Tiny McDaniel is a new officer in the elite police force protecting New York City, Captain Vaneast. Although she dreams of having a brilliant career like her brother and grandfather, so far she's stuck doing small jobs like fixing the coffee maker. One night as she sneaks off to try and handle a high-profile case on her own, a horrific crime occurs, plunging the once-peaceful city into the depths of a nightmare...
Tiny x Machinegun: The Game
Tiny×MACHINEGUN THE GAME (website)
Age Rating: 15+
Date of Release: May 30, 2013
Voice Cast: Fujiwara Keiji, Miki Shinichirou, Nojima Kenji, Sakurai Takahiro, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Toriumi Kousuke
It's a fairly serious game, but I don't think I would go so far as to categorize it as "dark." There's a lot of blood because of the police theme, and in most of the routes at least one character from the main cast dies. However, if you can handle that, you'll probably be okay. Most everything else that would make people uncomfortable can simply be avoided by jumping past Reigand or Break's routes. (Respectively: Incest, almost everything I could warn a person about) Romantic development is basically limited to the endings, but the majority of the Happy endings are fairly sweet and there were also some comedic parts to lighten things up a little.
After a six-episode common route, the game splits into two stories: the Jacklost side (Break and Lian) and the Vaneast side (Reigand, Wolf, Zen, and Heinz). In the Jacklost side, episodes 7-9 are shared and episodes 10-12 are devoted to the individual characters. In the Vaneast side, each character has unique stories for episodes 7-12. In general, each character has four endings: Dead, Bad, Normal, and Happy. However, one character has had their Normal End replaced with a True End.
The game does not offer the option of changing Tiny's name.
Zen Mido (CV: Fujiwara Keiji)
A former member of Vaneast who's now wanted for attempted murder. He jokes around a lot, but he's essentially a serious person. After the death of his wife and daughter, he began frequenting the bar Raincat, and is very close to the owner.
Reigand McDaniel (CV: Sakurai Takahiro)
Tiny's gentle and overprotective half-brother. He's a skilled sniper and although he always acts calm, in reality he's just hiding his feelings.
Wolf (CV: Toriumi Kousuke)
Reigand's best friend and partner, who has the ability to drive almost anything. He’s cheerful, sensitive, and a bit of a ladies’ man. He cares a lot about those around him and is generally the one to intervene with Reigand on Tiny's behalf.
Heinz Siegbert (CV: Nojima Kenji)
Tiny’s partner, who comes to Vaneast from the German organization Commander Herrschaft. He excels at hacking and has trouble dealing with girls. Although he appears cool, he also has a bit of a teasing side.
Lian Jenkins (CV: Miki Shinichirou)
Lian is the president of Jacklost as well as being the mayor’s son and a master inventor. He's proud and idealistic, and cares a lot about the citizens of NYC. He lost his legs in an accident years ago and has never forgiven Vaneast for their involvement.
Break (CV: Suzuki Tatsuhisa)
A sadistic criminal who is responsible for much of the current discord in NYC. He has a strong grudge against the McDaniels and inhuman strength and endurance.
Until episode 7/8 (depending on what route you're on), there's only token sounds when characters are speaking, instead of them acting out the entire lines. In Tiny's case (CV: Tamura Yukari), the voicing stays like that the entire time. The voicing for the minor characters like Dark Tiny (CV: Tamura Yukari) or Tom and Jerry (CV: Yonaga Tsubasa and Morikubo Shotarou) was really memorable, and I wish that this game would have been full-voiced.
My generally recommended route order is Zen-->Lian-->Reigand-->Break-->Wolf-->Heinz, so that the excitement is spaced out some and the route requirements are all met along the way. Lian only unlocks after playing one of the Vaneast routes, and Break and Heinz only unlock after Lian's route. Additionally, getting Heinz's last ending will require you to have completed one of Break's. (Possibly the Happy End, possibly any ending. I tried the Happy End first, so I couldn't say.)
Be prepared to spend a while playing this game. While most people probably won't take the six months I did, it is fairly lengthy, and there are parts where the story felt like it dragged some. Friends and acquaintances who were playing seemed to take between a week and a month to get through it.
Tiny x Machinegun's system is pretty straightforward, and just requires you to go through the game and select the correct choices. In general, choices in episodes 1-11 will give you +4, +2, or 0 affection points. Choices in episode 12 will give you +5, +2, or 0. There are also points where more than one answer will give 0 points, or points where you can raise the affection of more than one character at once. Two choice branches will simply influence what happens in the rest of the game, and do not offer the chance to raise affection.
The interface for the game is pretty simple and easy to understand, with the menu and options screen all in English. All of the standard options (individual character voices, full screen, fancy cursor) are there and can be toggled on/off.
Standard for Rejet games, when you reach a CG, a button will appear in the bottom right with the words "CG Click". When you click this button, the menu will go away and you'll be able to click on parts of the CG to hear something extra. For at least one CG (Lian's Happy End), the second variation has an extra CG click that wasn't there in the first variation. While this is something that will probably keep happening, it's disappointing to me that most of the non-group CGs only have one spot to click on.
Occasionally, words will appear in yellow, and clicking on them will bring up a definition or further explanation. These keywords can also be accessed by clicking the [Dictionary] button at the bottom of the screen or by going into the Dictionary section of the extras menu, but only words you've unlocked in-game will appear.
The opening theme for the game is performed by CRYED, and the ending theme is by Itou Kanako. I really liked the ED in particular because I felt like it fit in with both the Dead Ends and Happy Ends. All of the game's background music is done by ZIZZ Studio, and it does a really nice job of fitting the feel of the game. There are some songs that I would have liked to hear more/less of, but it's probably just due to the length of the game and when the various songs are used.
Tiny x Machinegun has 133 CGs, 95 of which are unique. Unfortunately, there's no real way to get the entire CG if you're collecting them. (The [exit]/[CG click] button is in the way in-game, and the arrow buttons and [exit] are in the way if you try to go through the gallery.) Ginka is probably one of my favorite artists, and I really liked the coloring and some of the effects used. Other than one or two CGs where someone's face looks a little strange or the perspective/anatomy seems off, I really can't complain.
Part of me would have liked to have a few more outfit variations (hospital clothes, younger cast) with the sprites, but I think if they did that then the game would have taken longer/been more expensive when it did come out.
For the most part, the extras are standard for Rejet, and include memory, extra voices, a CG gallery, and a music player. Tiny x Machinegun also sees the addition of a mini-game to the extras.
Normally, Rejet's memory section includes the majority of the dialogue, so you can go back and watch scenes any time you want. However, this time it was a little disappointing. If you want to go back and see the endings or a particular scene again, you'll probably have to save them manually. The Memory section for Tiny x Machinegun only covers the text closest to the CGs--in some cases, as little as two lines of dialogue.
As usual, the extra voices are one of my favorite parts of the game. Once you unlock various endings, you can then go to the Character Profile section and hear the character respond to 25 different prompts, from what they think their charm points are to a set of police-themed lines like, "Freeze!" Tiny x Machinegun also sees the addition of a new character to the extra voices: the heroine herself. While I would normally expect Tiny's lines to be reduced or changed because she's a girl, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she has the exact same prompts as the rest of the cast.
The CG gallery is pretty standard, and includes the videos for the opening and ending themes as well as all of the CGs you've collected so far. Once you've completed the game, you'll unlock one final (fanservicey) CG as thanks for playing everything. (This last CG does not have any CG clicks)
Pressing the tab marked Hands Up! Bang Bang! will lead the player to the mini-game for Tiny x Machinegun. You can select from four different difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Expert. Once a difficulty level has been chosen, you have three seconds to get ready before the game starts. As mini-games go, it's pretty straightforward: you're given one minute to shoot as many criminal cutouts as possible. On the higher difficulty levels, the cutouts appear faster and there are more of them, including some of your allies. There's no penalty for missing a shot, but if you hit one of your allies then you'll lose points. For both criminals and allies, aiming for their head counts for more than if you shot them elsewhere. It's an okay game to play once in a while, but nothing super-entertaining, and personally I wish that Expert level was harder.
The Sound section includes titles and a music player for all of the background music from the game, so that you can listen to it any time you'd like. The song that you selected will just keep playing on a loop until you press [pause], [stop], or [exit], even when the game window is minimized.8.0 While it's probably something I would have ignored if it weren't a Rejet game, Tiny x Machinegun was pretty enjoyable. It ran smoothly and the art was well-done. My personal favorites were probably the Jacklost routes, but I can't really tell if that's because I thought they were more interesting, or if it's just that I love Lian and Break.
My main complaint with the game is that Wolf's route felt weak compared to the other characters. It was also frustrating trying to unlock Heinz's last ending with the order I played the game in, because the Break-related requirement didn't show up on any of the guides I checked and I don't remember it being mentioned on the official site. Beyond those two things, there's just a list of things that I wish there was more of: voicing, sprites, CG clicks.