One of the best things about Hiiro no Kakera Portable is how simple it is to play and navigate through the game. Despite the fact that most menu entries use kanji rather than hiragana or katakana to label sections, which could initially deter those who can’t read Japanese, once you understand what everything does and get started playing, you’ll forget any issues you may have had.
The first thing to look at are the basic controls. The L and R shoulder buttons are cleverly implemented as your quick save and quick load controls. Simply press the L button in the middle of playing to save where you are. Then, if you make a wrong choice or want to go back, tap the R button to load your quick save.
The face buttons mainly deal with advancing the text, making choices or getting into the menu. The triangle button opens your in-game menu. The square button starts the skip feature, the circle button confirms a decision, and the x button cancels any decision, or temporarily makes the text box on the screen disappear so you can see everything. The start button starts auto-play, which will move the text and the speed of the voice acting and at a leisurely pace. The select button controls the speed of the skip function.
Next, the menus. This part will be mainly visual, relying on images with translated text imposed on them.
The main menu is fairly standard. The first option lets you start a new game of either Hiiro no Kakera or Hiiro no Kakera: Ano Sora no Shita de. The next lets you continue existing games. Then there’s an options menu. After that is an extras/omake section. In here is another menu that lets you view galleries of in game images, unlocked endings and opening cinematics, play the character quiz game and listen to extra dialogue you unlocked in the character quiz game. After that is the dictionary, followed by a fortune teller like the one in the game that you can occasionally check. The final option is the winter date – after you’ve beaten the game with one of the six guys, you can then play through a very brief extra scenario spending a day with that guy.
The in-game menu is very easy to explain, as you can see from the image below.
If you choose the menu option that is sort of an extras/status screen, you can then check the dictionary and the current status of all six guys in the game. This screen pops up.
When you start the quiz game in extras/omake section of the main menu, you’ll be taken to the following screen. You choose a guy, then choose a level challenge. We’ve translated this as well, since it can help you identify the guys in game when you see their names pop up. Take note though, that the order in this image below is different than in the actual game. In Hiiro no Kakera Takuma, Yuuichi and Shinji’s names are in the first column, and Mahiro, Suguru and Ryou’s are in the second.
Images Courtesy of Idea Factory.