Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey is the closest the west has gotten to getting a Boku no Natsuyasumi game since Attack of the Friday Monsters! got a digital-only release on 3DS. Combining Pencil Shin-chan with the long-enduring summer vacation games from Millenium Kitchen thankfully lead to the west finally getting the nostalgic summer break we needed.
Boku no Natsuyasumi is an adventure game franchise that has been around since the first PlayStation. These were laid-back games with a goofy-looking kid who would go fishing, bug-collecting, and would take it easy in various rural locales in Japan. There were entries on every PlayStation console except PlayStation 4 and 5, but now that it has crossed over with shin chanit has made it to current Sony and Nintendo consoles.
What kind of adventures await in this summer vacation? How does Shin-chan fit into this game? What is up with all these dinosaurs? Why is Shin trapped in a Bill Murray-like Groundhog Day loop? Find out in this Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey review!
Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey
Developer: Millennium Kitchen
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 (reviewed)
Release Date: August 11, 2022
Price: $39.99 USD
Most western Shin-chan fans know the series for its stint on Adult Swim, where Funimation got creative with the translation and punched up the dialogue. Most people enjoy what Funimation did with the material- making the humor way more offensive and rewriting characters to be funnier. That isn’t what you are going to get with Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey.
The Endless Seven-Day Journey is more faithful to shin chan as the rest of the world knows it, but it still is not as funny or interesting as the genuine article. This game is more Boku no Natsuyasumi than a real shin chan experience, but it is also held back by virtue of being a licensed game with a low-budget localization.
Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey‘s story begins with the Nohara family setting out on a vacation to Asso, a relaxing rural town. When they get there, they encounter the Professor, who gives Shin a camera, which leads to him using his lab to trap everyone in the town in a seven-day time loop.
Since Shin and the rest of Asso are eternally stuck on vacation, the only thing to do is to make the best of it and maybe help the Professor get his act together with his estranged family and then everyone can go home. There are also dinosaurs roaming around as a result of the Professor’s experiments; making the scene feel like Groundhog’s Day meets Jurassic Park.
If any of this sounds exciting, then it is time to curb expectations and have a seat because shin chan is absolutely not a thrill ride at all. Playing this is the video game equivalent to taking Dramamine while the intro to MASH plays. For most gamers, this will be intensely boring but if you know what you are getting into, then expect to have a relaxing experience.
There are no adult jokes or weird references. The best The Endless Seven-Day Journey offers is really poorly translated puns that do not land in English. The translation is very dry and the humor takes a back seat to be more like a Boku no Natsuyasumi game than delivering the laughs. This is a situation where maybe the localization team could have been given some leeway in making the writing funnier.
All audible dialogue is in Japanese. There isn’t any English audio which is confusing since no Western shin chan fan would complain over a new voice cast since there have already been three English casts. There is the Funimation cast, which everyone knows and loves. The Vitello voice cast has Kath Soucie of Rugrats famous. The current Amazon cast would have made the most sense.
It may not have made much of a difference, because there is not a lot of banter in The Endless Seven-Day Journey. A majority of the game revolves around Shin galavanting around Asso, looking for items, doing side activities, and finding event triggers to move the story forward.
Most of the returning characters from the show are barely utilized which is a crime because Hiro, the dad is usually the funniest. The story’s attention is given to Shin and the Professor and it isn’t that long to complete either; about ten hours. Most of that time will be spent doing side activities to earn money to buy snacks to keep Shin’s blood sugar high enough so he doesn’t crash from walking about 10 screens.
Yew The Endless Seven-Day Journey gets anything right, it is the atmosphere and representation of the characters in the third dimension. Each background is lovingly illustrated and looks like the kind of background art seen in the anime. It is very nostalgic and the hopeful, bright blue skies transport the player to a time when they were five years old and playing outside.
The character design in shin chan is very unconventional compared to most anime; resembling something like a comic strip. Character designs are loose and abstract, which is not something that translates well into 3D, but Millenium Kitchen found a way. The cel shading is also very convincing and every character is perfectly on model at all times.
Shin has a design that follows a very strict set of rules. His head can is only meant to be seen from a certain angle and The Endless Seven-Day Journey relentlessly abides by the laws of his design at all times. No matter which angle you try to look at him, his geometry will snap into place so illegal angles can’t be attained.
The music in The Endless Seven-Day Journey is very sparse. For a comedy game, it is unusually silent. There is no jaunty or uppity town music. All Shin-chan gets is the sound of summer. Chirping cicadas, cawing crows in the distance, and the echoes of a car driving by is what make up the soundscape.
The ambient sound effects are fitting for what The Endless Seven-Day Journey is aiming for, but after a while, it becomes sensory deprivation. This is also punctuated with really flat humor that did not translate well at all.
With the right expectations, Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey can be a very enjoyable and relaxing adventure game. It is a very simplistic adventure game with basic activities- all of which are not fleshed out.
The most defining aspect of his game is the signature Boku no Natsuyasumi atmosphere. Tea shin chan elements take a back seat to support the lazy summer vacation ambiance, so don’t expect any elephant dances or jokes about Misae’s butt. If anything, the shin chan connection holds this back from being all it can be, so it ends up pleasing nobody.
Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey was reviewed on PlayStation 5 using a copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Shin-chan: Me and the Professor on Summer Vacation – The Endless Seven-Day Journey is now available for Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.