Student Transfer Scenario Reviews – Part 5

It’s the mid-quarantine extravaganza!


Student Transfer is an expansive visual novel comprised of collaboratively crafted exploits involving TG, body swapping, mind control, transformation, possession, and more, culminating in a persistent juggernaut that has only grown and expanded since its original release in 2015.  But while the base game is all well and good, Student Transfer also happens to boast a lively community of fans who create Scenarios that expand upon the world, concepts, and characters of Student Transfer.  Over the past year, I’ve been reviewing these Scenarios with regularity, having already put out  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.  I wasn’t planning on putting out Part 5 for quite a while, but seeing as how Student Transfer Version 5 still is not out yet and it’s Q2 2020, I figured I may as well keep things rolling.

Student Transfer Scenario Reviews – Part 5
Platforms: PC(Reviewed), Mac, Linux, Android

Rather than copy paste a bunch of notes and disclaimers, I’m going to jump right into the Scenario reviews proper, and assume that anybody jumping in on Part 5 is familiar with Student Transfer and my Scenario Reviews at this point.  If not, here’s my latest review of Student Transfer, here’s my recently updated dedicated Student Transfer page, and you can download various builds of the game via the download page of the official Student Transfer website.  So without further ado, let’s get on with the reviews!


A New Life by BuggsBDownloadFlowchart
In case it isn’t clear by now, my favorite gosh-darn thing about doing these Scenario Reviews is seeing the creative prowess of the Scenario writers, as compelling, strange, and overall high-quality stories can crop up from even the most unassuming places, and regardless of what Scenario I choose to pursue, there’s probably at least something novel about it.  And A New Life is anything if not novel, being a Scenario set in a loosely adapted version of the main continuity, and one that follows a rendition of student council president Claus Hawkins.  An academic elitist who looks down at the world and all of his peers, believing himself to be superior by virtue of his high marks, and by extension entitled to anything because of his supposed skill, including the supple loins of a fellow honor student, whom he assaults upon being met with rejection.

Dejected, suspended, and having lost a core of his identity, Claus calls upon the paranormal to aid him in a quest for revenge, and winds up losing his body because of it, turning into a wandering spirit who must use the bodies of others to seek out his vengeance.  …At least conceptually, as in execution Claus immediately forgets about after possessing a baby faced teenage boy by the name of Stevie, who also happens to have a 17-inch-long penis. Following a brief… indulgence, Claus chooses to stay as Stevie for the moment and is offered a prolonged look into Stevie’s familial, social, and academic life, which Claus begins taking on as his own for the time being.

It is a sweet, detailed, and very personal introspection that sees Claus’s iron shield of superiority begin to crack as he starts to interact with others and become a more human and empathetic person than he originally set out to be.  As best exemplified by his budding relationship with an alternate version of Mel, who struggles to unravel her feelings for this new ‘Stevie,’ wrap her head around the kindness he shows her, and come to terms with her own insecurities.  It’s genuinely good and compelling character writing… that leads to the most ambitious sex scene I have ever seen in a visual novel. I’m talking about animated handjobs, animated titty sucking, animated… whatever it’s called when a penis rubs against a vagina without penetrating it, and even animated door-busting.

From this climax, however, this route, which I consider to be the primary route, comes to a tentative close and is continued by two others that looked at the characterization of the Mel route and… just decide to be zany sex shenanigans instead, with little in the way of a narrative or thematic throughline.  One follows Claus having his way with a woman who becomes overcome with an insatiable penile lust upon gazing upon Claus’s super-sized and most enviable peepee and reads like a dime-a-dozen 15-page hentai comic. 

The other one follows Claus leaving Stevie’s body, possessing the lady with insatiable penile lust, masturbating for 5 hours, and then stealing a bunch of different female bodies in pursuit of finding the bestest and biggest-boobiest of them all.  This second route does admittedly end with Claus becoming this sort of sexual mastermind that enjoys using his ghostly powers to mess with and overpower people, and some especially entertaining scenes with him in Allison’s body, but they are so divorced from any preceding narrative that it almost feels as if they are from a different Scenario entirely.

Wrapping things up into a conclusion, the writing is very much the byproduct of a non-native speaker, with questionable word choices, numerous typos, and a plentiful collection of grammatical errors, but I have a decent tolerance for this stuff, and it all remains fully legible.  The presentation, while ambitious with its animations and close-ups, can be bizarrely unpolished, as seen in the numerous sexual actions are portrayed through small CGs clearly ripped from other sources that are clumsily thrown into the corner of the screen without any border. And the underlying lore relating to how possession works is very slapdash and improvised, as best seen by what Claus does near the end of the Allison route.  But once one peels back the sloppy translation and focuses on the finer points, they’ll find a there is indeed a compelling character-driven narrative with a strong male sexual focus… and also animated lesbian rim jobs.


A.S.A.P.! by ChoripanKillerDownloadFlowchart
After putting out and developing The Festival into something excellent, and joining up with the dev team to work on the MaidSwap route, Choripan returns to the Scenario game yet again with the curiously named A.S.A.P.!  A Scenario that follows John and Connie Williams as the two are body swapped during class one day thanks to a magical misfire by novice witch Allison.  Hi-jinks and drama ensue as the two try to go about their days, with complications arising from a B-plot involving a change in Connie’s class curriculum, and key limitations imposed by this alternate pocket universe’s rendition of magic.  

Conceptually, it’s nothing conceptually outlandish, taking familiar elements and predicaments from both the base game and other Scenarios, but the execution of it all is where this Scenario shines vibrantly, as it is a consistently cute, silly, and funny story at the end of the day from someone with a lot of familiarity with writing these characters.  Between the dynamic and interactions between the three central characters, the incidental subplots that they stumble into, from using video game metaphors to teach calculus to an in-universe best girl competition, the Scenario has no shortage of quality or laughs. That being said, it still has its more somber and serious points, allowing the story to retain some degree of tonal fluidity, and is mindful in its handling of subjects like memory transfer or one-way body swaps.

The characterization is on-point, the presentation is lively with zoom-ins, tumbles, and a load of custom assets (courtesy of brespems), and the ultimate scope of the Scenario is sensible enough to be completable, while also being expansive enough to allow these narrative threads to breathe and gestate into humorous yet mindful side-stories.  The only criticisms I could offer are how the lone ending included in its initial release, Mind Transfer, ends a bit prematurely for my tastes (I would prefer an epilogue that took place weeks or months later) and how the script could have used another read-through to fix various grammatical errors.  Aside from that, I really couldn’t ask for much more from a Student Transfer Scenario.  


Chasing Setsuna by Troopage and CoreXDownloadFlowchartVersion 3.1 Compatible
Digging into the vault of likely abandoned Scenarios from yesteryear, Chasing Setsuna follows Nemuri, Setsuna’s father and overall footnote as far as the base game of Student Transfer is concerned, after he perishes from unknown causes, and is left wandering the Earth as a spirit.  A spirit who Setsuna must send away to the afterlife, but despite knowing and dealing with the spiritual on a daily basis, Nemuri gets cold feet at the idea of vanishing forever and ever, flees, and makes his way to the bodies of warm sensual women, where he proceeds to be an exceedingly dirty boy who steadily loses any degree of decency or maturity he, based on what little is known about his canon self, he really ought to have.

In Chasing Setsuna, this personality discrepancy is written off through a somewhat hamfisted lore-dump that positions ghosts and spirits as the mischievous and amoral sort who eventually lose themselves as they possess others, access their memories, and accept these stolen lives as their own.  It is certainly a nifty premise and one that could be used to great effect when involving a holy man such as Nemuri. In execution, however, the trepidations of identity death and details of Nemuri’s consciousness were not something the creators of this Scenario were going for.  Which wound up being a story about some dude going around possessing women, playing with their lives in a selfish but largely harmless way, and using their bodies for his own sexual pleasure. It’s ultimately alright, boasting a mostly decent script and showing some greater aspirations, but the final product does not use its premise especially well, nor does it feature any particularly interesting story beats.


Cold as Ice by HizackDownloadFlowchart
Cold as Ice sees the protagonist mantle passed to the underutilized Irene, a character defined by having a close relationship to Allison, being part of Sayaka’s clique, being a school athlete, and being a bit chill and mellow, at least based on what I can recall from the base game.  In Cold as Ice, Irene is instead presented as more of a fiery and short-tempered character, being very curt, argumentative, and honestly a bit of a jerk to a lot of people.  All while still nestling good intentions and seemingly having a reason for her periodic bouts of unpleasantness, which is best seen by her relationship with her best friend and roommate Allison, or rather Alice.

Following an introduction into her ordinary life, things naturally get a touch extra as Irene comes into contact with the magical and learns of mysterious transformations happening across Tina Koya, with the understated goal of finding the mastermind of these changes being the crux of the plot.  But for the most part, the story’s focus is instead on facilitating and developing character dynamics by pairing up the hotheaded Irene against others as she tries to bash her head through her problems, and engages in a deluge of snarky back and forwards with just about everybody she encounters.  

It’s genuinely good stuff, with sharp and cute dialogue that keeps things engaging, allows characters to be vicariously developed through banter, and is surprisingly polished considering how humble the writer is regarding their linguistic skills, being a non-native English speaker.  I found the Scenario to be a joy to play through, offering a protagonist with a very different approach to problem-solving, a showcase of Brad’s female sprite and its rainbow of excellent expressions, and some greater aspirations of fleshing out this alternate version of Irene.

However, when it comes time to put an end to this brief Scenario, things begin to crumble from the weighty ambitions of its writer.  The main antagonist reveal comes across as random due to a lack of foreshadowing or established disdain. The bad ending is… shockingly malicious all things considered, even by the standards of ST’s darker sister title, Press-Switch.  Various subplots are hastily wrapped up as things careen to a conclusion.  And despite regular teases of exploring this Irene’s past, personality, and sense of self in more detail, Irene simply walks away from this crazy adventure with a feeling that she should take care of her deeper issues eventually, before doing a kinky sex thing instead.  Still, for a first-time Scenario writer, this is pretty great stuff, and I look forward to seeing how this linear tale is expanded through future updates.


My Arch Nemesis by ApplemelonDownload – No Flowchart
Aw, snap son!  ZOEYQUEST, Yui Spellbook, and Christmas in ST creator Applemelon is back with the fresh n’ stylin’ hotness known as My Arch Nemesis!  A Scenario that centers around John and Sayaka as they wake up in each other’s bodies on the first day of school, and need to deal with the ensuing turmoil that comes with living as each other, handing their personal and social routines.  All of which bears an extra spice as whatever disposition and resentment they felt for each other in the base game is cranked up ever so slightly, meaning that tempers are heated to a boil, frustrations are constant, and the bickering is relentless.  

Because of this, much of the underlying story consists of a series of back and forward revenge ploys, with John and Sayaka rapidly racing to the bottom and justifying their actions under the guise of deserved payback.  A move that only goes to harm both of them, leading to an overflow of frustration that would be repetitive if not for the quality of the writing seen in the dynamic between John and Sayaka, which delves deep into these characters as the situation they are placed in is felt to settle and grow over the span of 5 hours, undisturbed by any alternate routes or placeholder choices.  

It’s a nice change of pace to be honest, as is the focus of the Scenario, de-emphasizing the more sexual ramifications and minutiae that comes with existing in a different body, instead placing the emphasis squarely on adapting to a new social situation, relationships, and contrasting personalities of the protagonists.  You know, the way body swaps tend to be handled in more mainstream media. However, Applemelon has cemented himself as something of an aficionado at this sort of thing, and his experience shines vibrantly throughout this Scenario. From its innocuous and fiery beginning all the way to an epilogue that hit every single note I was hoping for, and several that I didn’t know I wanted.  It’s creative, it’s well-devised, It’s funny, it’s incredibly detailed at points, and it’s overall a quality of body swap fiction that’s pretty hard to come by considering how niche the subject matter is.

And, of course, it’s also one of the more visually stimulated examples as well, boasting a presentation flushed with such flair and pomp that it easily outclasses most commercial visual novels.  There are new expressions that allow John and Sayak’s sprites to convey a new layer of emotions. Regular zoom-ins throughout most environments to make them feel like locations rather than just backdrops.  Small little animations that only last a matter of seconds yet do wonders to bolster the sense of character and vibrancy seen throughout both individual scenes and the Scenario as a whole. And of course, a number of custom assets, many of which were created by other members of the ST community, that are positively shining with polish.

Overall, My Arch Nemesis is easily one of my favorite Scenarios I’ve covered thus far, though I do have a grab bag of minor criticisms.  Such as how John supposedly dislikes skirts in this Scenario, when he is pretty lax about them in the base game. How Katrina and Kyoko are sidelined for most of the Scenario, despite having very clear ties to both John and Sayaka.  How Sayaka mentions she is on her period at the beginning of the Scenario, only for that plot point to never amount to anything. Or how one character decisively wears jeans to school as opposed to the navy dress pants worn by all male students at Tina Koya, when that is a uniform violation and likely would not be permitted in-universe.  But aside from those petty quibbles, this Scenario is wonderful, and if you are this deep down the Student Transfer rabbit hole, you should probably give it a whirl.


Popular by Omen064DownloadFlowchart
Serving as an offshoot of what became the Cornstuck route, Popular sees John placed into a submissive position after his all-powerful alien doohickey of potential destruction, pleasure, and prosperity is snatched by Sayaka, subjecting him to her whims, or else it is curtains for… everything that he defines himself as being.  This concept leads to two primary story threads: The Morals/Butler route, wherein John is forced to serve as Sayaka’s butler, where he is subjected to an insatiable mix of mind control and verbal commands, allowing him to retain a sense of autonomy and self in order to maximize the anguish he feels as he thanks Sayaka for the honor of licking her boots.  Along with the Vanity/Jane route, where John sees his entire sense of self rewritten into a pet project of sorts for Sayaka as his mind is altered to that of a vain and vapid teenage girl with a body to match, and aspirations of achieving popularity… mostly for the sake of popularity.  

Both of these routes are conceptually quite promising, as they put John into situations where his will and internalized sense of self must clash against the commands entered into his head, and where his control over his… everything, basically, is within the hands of the fickle Sayaka.  I can easily see how they would spiral out into internal struggles for the character as he begins to question his sense of self, and decide whether or not it is worth retaining once his friends and family are threatened by somebody with a limited capacity for empathy and kindness. However, this Scenario is not so much interested in answering or exploring these questions, and instead offers a pair of story threads that frequently gloss over the small details, and culminate in a web of branching choices that determine which brief and forgettable ending the player will stumble upon, rather than a conclusion that truly draws back on the themes and concepts of the preceding storyline, and wraps them up in a big fancy metaphorical bow.

It’s not that the material was poorly handled or that the story told here is bad, it’s just that it does not shine as much as its peers, and I view there being a lot of leftover potential with a story that, from the offset, seemed like it could have fit in nicely with the base game.  …Aside from the animations, which are kept fairly plain and sparing by the standards set by other Scenarios. Perhaps things could be improved through more detail and expansion, but it appears that the latest 4/4/2020 upset represents the end for the project, and I can only hope that the next endeavor from Omen, assuming there is one, shines a bit brighter.  


Scenario Scenario by TaleSpinnerDownloadFlowchart
Scenario Scenario is a Student Transfer Scenario from Scenario developer TaleSpinner whose previous Scenario, Priestess of Chronos, was covered in Part 2 of my Scenario Reviews… lord that was a horrible sentence.  Anyways, Chronos centered around John going on a bizarre borderline nonsensical journey filled with age manipulation and temporal tomfoolery that while exceedingly novel due to the creativity on display, was an incredibly hastily written affair without a clearly stated point or purpose.  While I was a bit harsh on it, pointing out its innumerous typos and dire need of even a thorough edit, it certainly held a lot of promise, and I was excited to see what the same writer could do when given a fresh slate.

What they came up with is a Scenario that centers around John discovering a curious app on his phone that enables him to reshape the world around him, editing, erasing, and replacing variables in the world around him, as he is inside a Student Transfer Scenario with access to a simplified version of the Scenario editor.  It is an exceptionally meta concept, giving John control of the very reality he exists within, but rather than going on a reality reshaping tangent where impulse dictates everything, TaleSpinner instead attempts a more focused series of smaller narratives. …None of which reach the same creative heights as Chronos, and contain many of the same problems it did, featuring a very slapdash approach to writing and storytelling, albeit one with fewer grammatical errors.

More specifically, Scenario Scenario features a brief tale about John trying to use this reality reshaping apparatus to grow closer to Holly, turning himself into a girl, Holly into his twin, and eventually the pair of them into children.  A very familiar story where John winds up accidentally discovers that he can delete people, and proceeds to abuse said power in a fit of paranoia. And a smaller anecdote where John is tutored on how to use the remote by a snarky book, which honestly just struck me as a less interesting version of the Skiegh is [f.display] ending from Press-Switch v0.5c.  All of these storylines house potential, but they are all over and done within a matter of minutes, amounting to a collection of ideas that never get off the ground, and are unable to make much of an impact before they tumble down the stairs to their hollow conclusions.


Social Experiment by Amel1995DownloadFlowchart
…You know, it really should not surprise me that so many TG caption writers have decided to take a crack at making Student Transfer Scenarios.  So far I’ve covered The Gift of Switching by mbrad of The Switching Grounds, Fate Grand Transfer by KawaiiSwitcher, Dream Girl by CaptainCaption, who’s gone and launched his own Patreon-funded visual novel built off of Student Transfer’s code.  And now here I am with Social Experiment by Amel1995, who I remember back in the days when I lurked for TG captions, and whose work I never particularly liked with regards to the images, the fonts, and her entire aesthetic.  I honestly thought she dropped off the face of the internet sometime in 2015 when she stopped updating her various outlets, but here she is with a Student Transfer Scenario.

A Scenario that centers around a race of aliens, represented using the bunny girls from Umineko, who decide to swap the heads of all residents in town as part of a social experiment that is never detailed, explained, or expounded upon, as the focus is naturally on the residents affected by this swap, as told in three core routes.  The main route follows Zoey as she is given the body of Tori from the neck down, which she proceeds to use to her own gain, asserting a sense of authority over those around her, bullying the now small Tori, and using her assets to swoon over Kiyoshi, who now has the chiseled physique of Brad, because otherwise, things would be insufficiently askew.  

While this may sound like the preamble to a Scenario rife with kinky shenanigans, the preceding tale is far more focused with presenting the head swaps and the events that follow as a formative experience for all involved, allowing them to walk away from it with a greater sense of appreciation and empathy from others, while growing as individuals.  With Tori learning to be less of a firecracker, Zoey becoming more mature and determined, and Kiyoshi learning to be a bit less of a horndog. And while the impact of this development is a bit muted due to the choice in endings, where the loosely attached moral of the story becomes confused through the presentation of two good endings, it’s still a perfectly pleasant story with plenty of awkward encounters and cute character moments.

The Mel and Flavia route sees the two swimmers switch physiques right before a competition, which is a fine enough story about two girls craftily escaping a town, comforting each other, and ultimately trying to do their best in an athletic competition, yet is based on a flawed foundation of contrivances and perplexing details.  Such as why is a competition being held during the first week of school, why Flavia needs to pursue a specific sports scholarship, or why she and Mel were the only members of the swim team. While contrivances like this could be forgiven if the execution is compelling enough, attending the regional swimming contest is what the entire route centers around, and when stripped away, all you really have is one girl being happy that she’s now tall and sexy, and another girl being sad that she’s now short and less sexy.

The final route smudges about the relationship between Sayaka and Rita as outspoken rivals who come to terms with one another as they get their heads swapped with Mina and Phila.  As tensions rise and their bickering persists, they eventually learn to push aside their differences in time of emotional need and stress, with the two forming a closer bond that is expounded upon by Sayaka admitting her faults and seeking redemption for those she’s harmed over the past few years.  It is, conceptually, a very interesting route that sees this extensively vindictive and spiteful character turn over a new leaf, but the precise execution is off, with Sayaka being a bit too willing to discard her old ways and accept help from others. It is insinuated that this is because of her having Mina’s body neck-down, but that only goes to muddle the idea that this is Sayaka changing her own fruition, rather than some vague and inconsistently applied biological reaction.

As a whole, I was pleasantly surprised by how ambitious the narrative of this Scenario was, offering a number of structurally solid stories that are told to completion.  All of which are laced with amusing interactions with head swapped characters as they come to terms with their awkward predicament, and handle the ramifications of this sudden change in a pleasantly relaxed manner.  That being said, the writing on display is laced with grammatical errors and typos, which I guess is par for the course with ESL writers like Amel, who hails from Algeria.

Then there’s the presentation, the most notable part of this Scenario, as the creator went out of her way to make custom head swap edits for just about every major character from the base game.  And while most of these edits do possess dirty little fragments, it is both clear that a lot of time was invested into them, and it is at least a bit cute seeing who swapped heads with who, and how the final product looks.  Unfortunately, that was where the bulk of the production points went, as characters tend to be very static throughout the game, both with regards to expressions and animations. Also, there’s no music.


SummerGals! by GeobreakerDownloadFlowchart
SummerGals! follows three young men cruising around the local mall in search of potential girlfriends, only to stumble across a peculiar magic shop of wonders that appeared from nowhere, where a woman promises to make their fantasies into realities.  And seeing as how this is a TG game, said wishes are twisted into putting the trio into the bodies of busty ladies at a tropical resort, where they fumble around, try to understand what’s going on until they either stumble into a dead end, where the story ends for now or into a penis, where they are forced to spend the rest of their days as a human-shaped semen receptacle.

Yes, it’s one of those under-developed, overly expansive, and incredibly sexual Scenarios, but I would be lying if I said there were not fragments of something that I could genuinely enjoy, as best seen in the route where the lads initially refuse to engage in magical offerings, which leads to a pair of stories.  One that follows a character trying to get their body back through the aid of a different magically attuned lady, which features a lot of establishing dialogue and hints of a greater magical presence in this world, but reaches a placeholder as things are kicking up. Or another route that casts two of the protagonists into the bodies of promiscuous ladies with matching mental states and sees them begin a competition dubbed “Slutfest”, where they see who can intake the most semen within 24 hours in order to regain their old bodies and lives.  

It’s crass, it’s stupid, it’s perverted as a bucket of jizz, and it could be a genuinely amusing story… but it never quite gets there.  Everything moves too quickly, is too sprawling, and features a foundation too barren to make the proceedings particularly captivating. None of which is helped by the writing, which has stray instances of charm to it, yet is laced with what has to be hundreds of obvious spelling and grammatical mistakes, which I guess could be attributed to how Geobreaker is yet another ESL Scenario writer, and presumably lacks the linguistic understanding to spot and correct common errors.  Oh, and no music here either, so I just jammed out to dope royalty-free Japanese music while playing this Scenario. Like a normal person  


The Fate of Hannah Sterling by NargDownloadFlowchart
In Scenario Reviews Part 4, I covered Escape the Manor, a promising Scenario that unfortunately fell down the trap of creative quantity over depth and quality, offering myriad concepts without really developing them beyond their initial starting point.  Since then, Narg has joined up with the Student Transfer dev team, where he has diligently been working on the PopularPoss route, but before all that he was working on a far more focused Scenario by the name of The Fate of Hannah Sterling.  A Scenario following a transfer student as she tries to fit at Tina Koya High, and consults a mysterious book that appeared from nowhere in order to help her acclimate to her surroundings and make new friends… through the magic of bimbofication!

In concept, the story is about Hannah either accepting or rejecting the book, choosing between her sense of self and the joys that come with popularity and superficial beauty, while having her judgment clouded by mental transformation, choosing to either yuck it up with Sayaka’s clique or John and company.  In execution, the story is not especially interested in the more mental ramifications of the transformation— the only reason why I find bimbofication as a concept even somewhat interesting— choosing instead to expedite mental and physical changes in order to push the story forward towards what amounts to three primary routes.

One wherein Hannah discards the magical book, recognizing it as a tool of self-destruction and it instead falls into the hands of Gabriel, who uses it to craft a harem, with Hannah serving as his top-tier-ganguro-concubine.  Another where Hannah loses her former sense of self and chooses to pursue the life of a prolific sex worker who enjoys seeing how many penises she can shove into her holes at once. And finally, a route where Hannah and her book begin plotting mass destruction for only vaguely defined reasons, using reality-warping magic to switch around people’s lives, gender, and memories because… um…  Oh, I’ve got it! She’d like to build a site and furnish it with sex, with whorish chicks, and giant pricks, and gangy-bangs galore!

As a whole, the Scenario is… fine, I guess, but it never really goes the extra mile to make a narrative compelling or detailed, or investigate the concepts it toys with at a higher level.  The expedient script, the rapid progression of events, the plethora of 30-second-sex-scenes, and a distinct lack of identity death, baring the prolonged yet questionably framed identity death of Vanessa in one route, all make for a story that brushes by without leaving much of an impact.  I feel kinda bad for saying such things, especially after how harshly Narg took my review of his last Scenario, but those are my honest thoughts on The Fate of Hannah Sterling.  It lays out a novel premise, but does not build upon it in a way I found particularly captivating.

Also, there’s one throwaway scene in this Scenario where Hannah turns a random girl into her slave, gives her a new name, and makes her skin dramatically darker without changing any other aspect of her appearance.  Yeah, um, I don’t want to go on a spiel about race change etiquette, but… maybe consider changing that.


Before closing things off, I want to give an update regarding the Scenarios Never and Empyrée, the latter of which I was planning on reviewing in this installment.  Back in February 2020 the developer of these Scenarios, C.R.E.A.M., delisted these Scenarios.  He gave no reason or warning for this delisting, but I have been told that this may be due to how his Scenarios were received by the community, by which I mean the official Student Transfer Discord.  

For the sake of preservation, and the fact that I greatly enjoyed this chap’s work, I have hosted personal mirrors of the latest builds of Expect the Unexpected, Never and Empyrée.  But out of respect for the creator, I will take these download links down if asked and will not be reviewing Empyrée or the latest build of Never, as I do not wish to review something that a creator is clearly unsatisfied with and unwilling to share with the world.  This is all a damn shame considering the relentless creativity on display in Never, which I reviewed in Part 3, but… c’est la vie and I guess this is The E.N.D.

And with that banger reference, so ends this latest entry in my Student Transfer Scenario Reviews.  Part 6 will happen eventually, but likely not until Q4 2020.  I say this because Student Transfer Version 5 should come out in the next few months, Skiegh could release a new build of Press-Switch at any time, and I plan on giving re:Dreamer a whirl in the upcoming months.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, stay fresh, and feel free to recommend me Scenarios to check out in the future.  Currently, my list consists of John the Altruist, Phantom Thieves vs Student Council Final Remix, Principiis Magicae, and Summoning Surprises, but I’m sure many more Scenarios will start cropping up in the ensuing months.  

Also, yes, I am aware that half the Scenarios I covered came from ESL writers.  That was by no means intentional and is simply indicative of how these sorts of niche communities operate in the age of the internet, where the English community is often the biggest, and fans typically want to engage with the biggest community possible.

21 thoughts on “Student Transfer Scenario Reviews – Part 5

  1. Well, I was waiting for this happen, and it’s here, Natalie reviewed my scenario.

    As you mentionned most of the time when I wrote Captions most of the feedback I got was “That’s cool” and “That’s Hot” and all that, and nothing more than a couple of words, so having multiple paragraphs talking about my work is very flattering.

    So as for your points about what’s wrong with my scenario:

    1- “A Scenario that centers around a race of aliens, represented using the bunny girls from Umineko, who decide to swap the heads of all residents in town as part of a social experiment that is never detailed, explained, or expounded upon”

    1*-This one is a fair critisism, I started writing the scenario in May 2019 and only finished the first path (Zoey path) and released it in January 2020, and throughout the whole thing the story changed a lot, The aliens were supposed to expand more about why they want this experiment to happen, but as I got frustrated with editing images and face sets and also dragging the story for too long, I cut the aliens story and just used them as plot device that gets the story going.

    2- “And while the impact of this development is a bit muted due to the choice in endings, where the loosely attached moral of the story becomes confused through the presentation of two good endings”

    2*- That is one of the problems I had as well, the way I wrote the story cornered me to have one ending in mind, and while I was writing, the story and choices up to the ending never mattered to how the story goes, and in a visual novel I felt was stupid, so I needed some sort of other choices and endings to make me feel better that I gave the player a choice, not just give them the illusion of a choice that no matter what you do is just going to lead to the same end every time.

    3- “….yet is based on a flawed foundation of contrivances and perplexing details. Such as why is a competition being held during the first week of school, why Flavia needs to pursue a specific sports scholarship, or why she and Mel were the only members of the swim team.”

    3*-
    A- In my mind I had the idea that this competition is just a qualifier that is set up on the first week of school (I wasn’t in a swimming team, but our Basketball team had games as early as the first month of school), so if Flavia missed it she wouldn’t qualify for higher competitions in the future, maybe I should’ve pointed that out in the story more clearer (I think I did though).

    B- The scholarship was just a point to drive the story forward, why would Flavia and Mel escape the town with no reason other than to participate in a competition that has no impact on their lives, and I also pointed out that Flavia was fine with missing the competition if it was impossible to go, since everyone told her she’d get the scholarship or one similar even if she missed it.

    C- Flavia and Mel being the only members (other than Sayaka and Rita, but that didn’t last) and I think I explained this in the story, but because of funding to the school’s program they were having less and less sports teams, and the only that were left was the swimming team, and with no incentive to join the team no one did, because no one wanted to sacrifice their free time on it, other than Flavia and Mel who are passionate about swimming as a competition.

    4- “….and when stripped away, all you really have is one girl being happy that she’s now tall and sexy, and another girl being sad that she’s now short and less sexy.”

    4*- I don’t think I oriented the story to where this was the point, Flavia was sad that she lost the body that she was used to in a pivotal moment of her life as a competitor, while Mel saw it as a blessing to have a trained body being so effortlessly good at what she was doing.

    5- “It is, conceptually, a very interesting route that sees this extensively vindictive and spiteful character turn over a new leaf, but the precise execution is off, with Sayaka being a bit too willing to discard her old ways and accept help from others.”

    5*- Actually I pointed my displeasure at the way I wrote this story in the discord, and how it’s had to write a redemption arc for Sayaka within the limited time frame of the week, and how I hated having her be “suddenly good” that’s why I had no one believe her and her intentions to be a good person, my intentions was to have Sayaka torn down of everything she was proud of (Mainly her body) and try to pick herself up and change, I admit it was rushed and inconsistant at points.

    6-
    A*- I did the head swaps with limited capabilities with Photoshop and GIMP, I’m not satisfied with most if not all sprites, but at that point I just wanted to get on with writing the story that I just settled that I can’t do better than I already did.

    B*- Characters are static throught the game because I was lazy, there’s no sugarcoating it, I was lazy with the expressions lazy with poistioning and lazy with the music, I’m not the best Musically gifted person, quite the opposite, so I didn’t trust myself to add in music that fit the moment, so I didn’t.

    I hope that answered all of your concerns, I will take all of what you said under consideration and try to improve the next release, thank you for taking the time to read and review my scenario <3.

    • Sorry for not approving this comment when you first send it. For some reason, it was caught by my spam filter.

      1 – This was not really a criticism, and was more of a jokey jab on my part. Not everything in a story needs to be explained, and I simply thought the premise was amusing when phrased a certain way.

      2 – As somebody who has played a lot of visual novels, and a lot of ST Scenarios, I think choices should not be implemented unless you really want to tell a diverging story with multiple endings. While gameplay may be king in some genres, storytelling is king in visual novels.

      3 – I will admit that you did make some efforts to explain why things were laid out the way they are, but the Mel/Flavia route is one that I still believe is bogged down with contrivances made to make the plot go forward. You do justify most things, but I find those justifications to be questionable.

      4 – This was again a jokey bit on my part, simplifying things and being reductive about the story you wrote. But as I went over my notes and parsed through my screenshots of this route after playing, that and the escape to and from the city were the only things that really stuck with me.

      5 – While a timeframe can prove to be very limiting to a story, a lot can be accomplished and conveyed through inner monologues or in-depth discussions. Depending on how thorough you are, you can expand a single day into a 50,000+ word story. I know because I did that last year. Also, yes, Sayaka is a very hard character to redeem from a writer’s perspective, as it requires her to change so much about her personality and demeanor.

      6 – The sprites aren’t perfect, but I really appreciated the effort you put into them, and into the Scenario as a whole. It definitely has its shortcomings, but I overall enjoyed my time with it. I look forward to seeing what you do next, especially if you intend on breaking some of these lazy habits of yours.

      • Thanks, as I said in my scenario thread feedback is very welcome on what I can do to improve, and your feedback is greatly appreciated, keep up the good work.

  2. Hey Natalie, thanks for reviewing my scenario!
    I absolutely agree with the criticisms towards the ending, I had to change my mind about it relatively late and I couldn’t find a satisfying way to close it anymore, coupled with the stress of scenario making my job with it turned out less than exemplary.
    I’ll keep in mind all of your comments and try to improve my work in the future, thanks!

    • No problem, I’m always happy to review the Scenarios of promising writers.
      As a writer myself, I can attest that endings can be quite tricky to nail, especially if you don’t have a clear ending in mind from the outset. It’s one of the many reasons why I like to make an outline of a story, even a ~5,000 word short story, before I begin writing it.
      Again, I really enjoyed your Scenario, and I look forward to seeing what you do next.

  3. Appreciate the review of Popular. I think I agree with a lot of your points. Bearing in mind that I have never done any kind of coding/visual novel work before and this was my first attempt, I’ll have to take away the points you’ve made (especially when it comes to animations, etc).

    A lot of people have said the endings are all a little abrupt or too short, and that’s understandable, but I didn’t necessarily set out to make a professional-quality story with deep meaning behind any of the routes. This scenario is intended to be a bit of light-hearted fun based on ideas I liked in other scenarios, so I’m fairly happy I delivered on that. I suppose people want different things when they read/write their stories.

    Maybe next time I’ll narrow the narrative down and have something that does play out with more of a linear track, I dunno.

    Thanks for playing, though. :)

    • As your first attempt, I believe you did a very good job, and I hope you can take my criticisms to heart to better your skills and your work going forward, as I do believe you have potential as a writer.

      However, with any sort of long-form storytelling, it is important to have an intended narrative and for your story to gradually build towards it. You do not necessarily need to feature a deep meaning in a story for it to be compelling, but readers will typically enjoy your story more if it has a steady progression from beginning to end, and features the details and minutia that the audience would expect and or want to see.

      That being said, the actual most important thing about creating a hobbyist work like a Student Transfer Scenario is that you’re satisfied with what you made and enjoyed making it.

  4. Hi, is the first tome than I coment in your blog. I like many student Transfer but I can’t install the scenarios in My PC. Can You helpme with this?
    Please

    • In your locally stored copy of Student Transfer, go to the game folder, then go to the scenario folder. This is where you want to extract all scenarios you wish to play, and there should be several scenarios pre-installed. Simply add to this directory, and the scenarios you wish to play should be available to play from the in-game scenario menu. Or in other words, extract the scenarios you wish to play into the scenario folder.

  5. Again, good to hear some legitimate feedback. At the moment I have no plans to update my current scenarios (I feel I’ve left them to sit for so long that I can’t really get back into them, though that could change at some point) but I am currently working on a new one that likely won’t be released until it’s finished. No major details yet, but I’m going to try my best to keep things as grounded as possible and develop things at a steady pace.

    Also, unrelated, but the review seems to end with an incomplete sentence, “Oh, and C.R.E.A.M. also”, and I wasn’t sure if you meant to write something more or if it was accidentally included.

    • I’m looking forward to what you come up with next, and I hope my reviews have been helpful in your creative process.

      “Oh, and C.R.E.A.M. also” was included by accident when I was updating the post to include a download link to Expect the Unexpected, which I did not include when I originally published this review. Thank you for pointing out this error.

  6. Hi natalie! thank you so much for reviewing my scenario. To be honest with you, i think that you got it right on the nose. I have been thinking lately about how to improve my writing even though, I’m awful at it, even in my own native language.

    The paths that you mentioned on your review have become my favorites to write, after I decided to make this scenario, the main goal I had was to get awareness on CG’s in scenarios since there isn’t much included in almost all of them. My plan was to make it something much more than just sex scenes, I am trying to make a good story while still keeping the naughty stuff, mainly my inspiration comes from skiegh’s work.

    All in all great review, but I have to say that I didn’t feel very good on the whole ” but it represents an inkling of what could be a genuinely amusing story, but never quite gets there”. I try my hardest to get an update as fast as I can, but sometimes I can only work on it maybe 1 hour a day or none at all. Frankly this scenario isn’t even a year old, I made the first version of it in two weeks which was only the prologue, so saying those things really hurt, after all the hard work I’ve put into this.

    • I apologize if my review upset you. What I was trying to convey with that line is that, while your Scenario has a lot of interesting ideas and the beginnings of a genuinely amusing story, it is not quite there yet, based on the most recently released build as of this post’s publication, and its routes could be developed further. I understand that Scenario writers do this out of love and devote their free time so other people may enjoy the fruits of their labor. I recognize and acknowledge the effort you put into this project. I believe that SummerGals has a lot of potential, and consider the biggest points of contention in the Scenario to be the writing and the pacing of events.

      I do not mean to insult or undermine your efforts, and was simply offering criticism based on something you released for the enjoyment of the Student Transfer community. I have revised the line you highlighted in an attempt to better reflect this… and fix grammatical issues I did not notice when editing.

      • No worries, its fine. I realized that i sounded way too upset in that comment. It’s just that for some reason that really hit me hard, but I actually enjoyed your review and it actually helped me find the things that were lacking and what I need to do to get better. I really appreciate the work you do here and thank you for always being honest with people.

        • I try to make these reviews informative to those who make them, and also fun to read. I’m not sure if I always do a good job of that, but it makes me very happy to receive kind words like these from a Scenario writer. ^^

  7. Always looking at these to find new scenerios to play when there’s no real easy way to look. I’ll admit while games like Summer gals, Popular, and The fate of Hannah Sterling aren’t master pieces, they’re good fun, espically if you’re looking for TFs and mental changes like I tend to be ^^

    • The best way to find new Scenarios is to search the Scenario Updates channel in the Student Transfer Discord. But if you are looking for Scenarios with specific content, you but if you want a more customized approach, the best bet would probably to ask around the Scenarios Discussion channel of the Discord for recommendations… or parse through my reviews for more detailed summaries of the content and quality of the dozens of Scenarios I’ve reviewed over the past year.

      Also, despite the criticisms I offered those three Scenarios I would like to emphasize that I did enjoy my time with them. The creativity and variety present throughout them and other Student Transfer Scenarios is what keeps me coming back to this well every few months, and I appreciate the time, effort, and dedication all Scenario developers invest in their craft. It’s just that sometimes I wish they invested a bit more.

      • I suppose the Discord is always an option, They should really make a sort/tag system with all these scenario’s though

        • Student Transfer actually has a feature that allows players to browse through a library of Scenarios, search through them by tags, and directly download them in-game. This is all part of the Scenario menu and has been for quite some time.

          This should make it very easy for players to browse for Scenarios that fit their preferences., but only a few Scenarios can be downloaded this way and the tagging system is not used consistently by Scenario writers, which greatly limits how useful this feature is. I’m sure the dev team could improve it or upload a lot more Scenarios to be downloaded in-game, but most fans seem content with downloading the Scenario zip file and installing them manually.

  8. I don’t know if you have tried it yet, but “A place in the world” by Reman91 is pretty good scenario

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