Summer Lesson: Hikari Miyamoto Review | Time To Be A Tutor?


The first reveal of Summer Lesson: Hikari Miyamoto got the attention of many people. The idea of being able to interact with a Japanese school girl using the PSVR is indeed intriguing. In Summer Lesson, you play as a private tutor who is tasked to aid Hikari in her academics. Within a period of 7 days, you will be guiding her through her studies as well as engaging in various conversations and interactive scenarios.

Objective

A day in Summer Lesson consists of a tutoring, a conversational and an optional "lucky" phase. In each day, you will be given choices on how to spend the day with her. These choices include a variety of lessons and conversational topics, which will affect her differently. To quantify how well you have influenced Hikari, the game opted to use a simple stats system that consists of 5 different attributes. At the end of the second phase, the game provides several "lucky items" which can trigger an array of special interactive scenes between Hikari and you.

Interactive

The interactions and the entire feel of Summer Lesson can be rather intimate. Take having Hikari feed you cake. She will wait for you, with a spoon in her hand, to lean in and take a bite. The game does a remarkable job at framing that entire scene to make it feel as though you are actually eating the cake. Do not be surprised when you find yourself actually opening your mouth while leaning in for a bite. This goes to show how well it fully immerses you into its world.

Not to mention, the use of the DualShock motion control to physically interact with Hikari is pretty unique. From fanning her, to holding up the controller to your ear to simulate a phone call, the immersion factor of Summer Lesson is groundbreaking. Even the loudness and clarity of the phone call is simulated based on the distance of the controller to your ear.

Visuals

When it comes to looks, the game does not fall short. The character design of Miyamoto Hikari is top-notch, and is pretty close to the uncanny valley. This, coupled with beautiful animations and various intimate scenarios, makes it easy to get fully immersed in the world of Summer Lesson. It also makes Hikari feel genuine, even if she is merely a virtual construct.

Immersive

With its well put together interactions accompanying its impressive character design, Summer Lesson provides one of the most immersive experience in the PSVR gaming landscape. The game does an amazing job at making the virtual environment and Hikari feel real. By being able to look around the environment and lean in any direction, the game makes it feel like you actually have a "presence" in its world. This becomes apparent when she sits next to you or leans in close to you, and you will find yourself wondering where you should be looking at.

Conclusion

This is not your typical game, it is something more than that. Being able to make the simple everyday activities rather enjoyable makes Summer Lesson a great starting point for a genre of interactive storytelling. It is also definitely a must-have for otakus with its "fan service-y" aspects.

TLDR
+ Easy to be fully immersed
+ Smart use of motion controls
+ Natural interactions
+ Cute Japanese school girl
- Short with some replay value


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