Love In The Limelight

Dharker Studios has developed yet another Visual Novel for Paradise’s ‘cinematic universe’, this time it has a sort of interesting backstory to it. The developer once had “My Girlfriend” on Steam, however, it was banned by Valve regardless of being labeled as censored. This made Dharker Studios worry about getting blacklisted by Valve and hence pushed to the alternative of remaking the game with the new title “Love In The Limelight” and tag it with the uncensored label. At one time, for many years, Steam was a platform that had a strange tolerance with adult games, some were straight prohibited to be sold in their store, but we would still see other games, specially AAA titles, showing adult content without any issue. As of most recent times, Valve has finally made a 180 on this stand and now allows adult games to be distributed, but they still have weird gimmicks as to what goes and what doesn’t, sometimes even delaying the release of games, affecting both developers, publishers and their PR/Marketing teams. Any who! Stepping aside for a second on the whole topic of liberty of creativity and personal views focused on gaming, let’s talk about Love In The Limelight. (No warning necessary, but just in case, this is a fully uncensored adult game).

A limelight was at first a foreign word to me, but it made sense very quickly as a term known to be a metaphysical space for attention in a relatively large scale. The Visual Novel has a cheeky multi-route story under this theme, featuring your male protagonist in a butterfly effect life with different women. Our character decides to ask the girl of his dreams on a date, this girl so happens to be a very famous actress in the city (being featured with other characters in the roster of Galaxy Girls, another Dharker Studio game). Luna, accepts his proposal, making our character, Josh, shocked in disbelief, now how could your life change from this point forward, after being accepted into the life of someone way out of your league?

Here’s is were the VN tackles many interesting topics, each for one of the routes. Josh has a lifelong female friend who supports him and helps him with dating advice with Luna, and during your “not a serious relationship” dates with Luna you encounter more women who are directly connected to her. The VN gives liberty of pursuing different routes even if the branching of dialogue options is fairly large, it still has a set road in which you can reload your save and see how you play the romantic routes with other women.

Yup, even though the whole main objective of the story is to convince Luna that you’re worth it, the LOVE in the limelight covers many different scenarios and possibilities that were all under Josh’s nose. You will find love on people who were always with you, others who mainly seek to disrupt your new 15 minutes of fame, others who want to ruin your dreams with Luna, and others who you literally just bumped into and realized you were meant for each other.

Now some of the options in these routes are questionable in the sense of “how would a human being do such a thing” even IF the “relationship” with Luna was not official. Being the date of a famous person puts you and the girl under the radar, the internet is both fast and a hostile environment, this sort of situations are meant for people with some iron skin who won’t easily break. The VN brings a whole bunch of hypothetical, yet very interesting plots that make you think and reflect on how a person could -not should- behave, as well as learn that being famous can be an enormous burden if you don’t know how to control it or understand that sometimes a human being could just be in need of help, seeking other types of special attention.

The way it’s portrayed with very high quality anime-like illustrations, accompanied by a well mixed and appropriate soundtrack, but my only pet peeve is that if you played other games from the dev, you’ll realize that there are assets being re-used here and there, but in that regard, some cases like these are just simple smart tactics to help alleviate development, and who knows? These titles can focus on specific audiences who most likely stepping into their first entry to the Paradise franchise.