Let's get this started. Hayate no Gotoku, a ridiculous title for a game but understandable given the use of Japanese characters, features a butler, Hayate, that is gathering characters for Nagi, who proclaims herself to be the heroine of the story, even if she is the weakest of the four characters you control.
Story: 5.5/10 Well, it is different. There's even a blatant namedrop or two of RPGs that use cliches. Except the names are either censored or changed. Golden Sun becomes Silver Sun, for example. And you find the magical Mana tree, which is sort of like the Deku Tree. And NPCs have an interesting explanation as well, which you find in the first village of the game.
Also, if you try to go somewhere you shouldn't, Nagi's soldiers (?) will be there to preserve the linearity of the game!
Music: 7/10 Perhaps the best part of the game, second to its story. HnG uses music I've never heard before, and it fits very well.
Graphics: 5/10 Mostly RTP but some nice additions in the facesets. The problem is that early maps are just huge. I know it's a mansion, but there are other ways to portray a mansion than that. It thankfully gets better once you leave the mansion.
Gameplay: 0/20 Hoo boy, where to start. HnG is plagued, YES, plagued by a terrible battle system. I'd rather play 100 RPGs with palette-swapped enemies (which this game even speaks against) than have one battle with these things. You'd think that if you were a few steps too far away, that you would at least see a sword or something emerge from your character. No. What's worse, is if you are too close to the enemy, you'll see your ENTIRE PARTY'S HP drain to 0 very, VERY quickly.
Total: 17.5/50. Certainly not the worst game, and in fact, it shares the same issue that plagued one of the games in my earlier reviews, and that's a bad battle system/mechanics. Hayate no Gotoku!!! Japanese for bad battles? Great to look at, and great to listen to, but that's about it.
The show has a lot of "meta" humor that has been transferred quite well into this fangame.
I agree that the battle system can be frustrating at times (e.g., getting stuck in the fucking trees with no recoil/invincibility to escape and then watching your party slowly die), but once you get the spacing down, it is pretty good (and a break from the generic turn based system).
"you would at least see a sword or something emerge from your character"
This would be a good addition to a later version of the game. It would help to visualize the hitboxes and different weapons could have different ranges or effects.