Despite controversies surrounding AJ Tilley and his projects, as well as issues with the original writer, I honestly didn’t think that Beach Bounce would ever be completed. In this case, though, I’m glad that I was proven wrong. With the “remastered” edition finally wrapping up the first game (there are two more sequels planned down the road) I finally decided to take a look at what has been changed. And, frankly, I think the rework, for the most part, improved the title immensely. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.
While the writing itself was completely reworked (more on that later), the one thing that didn’t change was the artwork. Which makes sense considering that the majority of the assets were already done from the first two parts. Honestly, this was the one area that I had absolutely no problem with anyway. For obvious reasons. As far as I can tell only a few CGs were added that I don’t remember spotting in my previous playthroughs, and maybe a few new facial expressions for the various girls.
Which brings me to what I consider vast improvements in the writing. As I said, Beach Bounce is not a perfect visual novel, and it certainly won’t win awards, but the girls are a lot more believable this time around. At least in my opinion. Previously everyone acted strange around Tomoyo, hanging over him without any real reason. Which was especially jarring for Rei (the ice queen) and Sakura (the self identified lesbian), but you can read all that in my previous reviews.
In the remastered, finished version of Beach Bounce everyone is very much toned down and the writing actually makes some sense in the way events are handled. We find out why Rei is so cold around Tomo and Sakura’s sexual preferences are much more subtle and downplayed. There is some real weirdness that goes down throughout the game but overall I feel like things are much more cohesive as a unit instead of everyone throwing themselves at the protagonist. Who we actually do get to see briefly in a couple CGs.
And speaking of cohesiveness, there is one admittedly minor issue that I have with the flow of Beach Bounce and I’m pretty sure that I’ve read elsewhere that this is a big deal for some players, but depending on which dialogue options you choose throughout your playthrough you can get a disjointed story. For instance, in one game I end up going to the beach towards the end and I meet Minami for the first time but they seem to know each other. A bit jarring, but nothing major in my book. Just be aware of this if you play the game yourself.
In all, Beach Bounce has been improved considerably in my eyes but there’s still room for improvement. They say that you only have once chance to impress someone with something and that you don’t often get a second chance. I honestly was ready to write off the final release and not even try it, but I figured it was worth taking a look at and comparing the old with the new. While I have nothing against the old writer and their dialogue it ended up being too unbelievable even for an eroge visual novel (which, by the way is heavily censored on Steam as far as I can tell).
Beach Bounce may not be worth the full price of admission but if you can get it on a sale or with a bundle it wouldn’t hurt to at least check it out.