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Not the Usagi I was looking for... but still pretty good!

Heh. You read the title of this review, didn't you?
Yes, at first I hoped this was going to be a game about Usagi Yojimbo, San Sakai's samurai rabbit. But no, this is a Yume Nikki fangame, on the other hand I was curious since I also played others Yume Nikki fangames/parodies like Yume Wheeky, and I know the original game too, of course.
LunarRabbit is the developer of this Usagi, that was released in 2013, so some years after Yume Nikki. Like Kikiyama's game this was made with Rpgmaker2003 and it's an adventure about exploring surreal landscape (so no typical rpgmaker battles and no puzzles, but if you know Yume Nikki, you know what you can expect from Usagi).

Even if these exploration games aren't my favourite genre, I still enjoyed them, maybe because they're more "art" than games and in some cases they kept me entertained for a lot of time. Is the case of this game? Well before before making a judgement and giving a rating, let's see how this game is about.

Cool! I found another effect here!

In this game we play as Umiko, a girl that enter her dreams looking for Effects, that award special abilities, and Mementos, that are necessary to reach the end of the game. Some assets are for example the Devil, that gives the power to burn other beings, the Uniform, that makes the hostile passive, and the Usagi (or the Rabbit) that gives you a couple of cute rabbit ears and most importantly an accelerated movement speed. Cool, isn't it? The game isn't very long and there are just 6 Effect and 14 Mementos that Umiko will find while visiting these dreams. The game has two endings and it took me 55 minutes to see both of them, so lenght is about an hour (despite some places, a maze and a teleport maze, may take some more time to navigate... but not too much!).

Music and sounds are... interesting: there are some ok themes and some tracks that the player is going to hate, there are some nice sounds and others, like the phone ringing, that are made to be despised. Mind that, it's all intentional, of course, so I didn't mind. Oh and there are also some (well) recorded voices.

This, the school, is the area where you will heard the worst tune of your life. Yeah, really unberable, just like school!

Visually... hey that's surely the most important aspect of the game and, I'm happy to say that from this point of view it's very interesting, because despite the shortness of the adventure there are tens of different themes for the various maps and locations explored. These includes various beings from gloomy shadows to cute cats and rabbits (or usagi)... and immediately reminded me of The Way since the first starts with a frenetic rabbit chase, and it uses the same charset, anyway I digress!
Ahem. Oh yes, the graphics are in many cases edits or palette-swaps and I liked that because also the protagonist Umiko while looking different from the Madotsuki of the original game is still drawn in the same visual style making a parallel. Other fangames like Expiate used a slightly different visual style, amd it's ok, but I like when a fan game looks closer to the source material.
This is just for the style, of course, concerning the story I liked how you have to place together all the pieces of the pictures that the games gives you until you can see the whole picture (but do not worry, it's not too obscure or difficult to figure out).

Usagi is the name of the game so there should be rabbits! I AM a rabbit too because... gotta go fast!

Final Verdict
Usagi is a short but complete and solid game, that well complements the source material. I found both endings to be rather open ended and in the end I liked this game, even if, despite the developer wanted to create characters and story that are totally separated from the original game, I believe that those who can appreciate this game fully are the players of Yume Nikki.
In the end this is a pretty good fangame and homage to an old classic rpgmaker adventure. Well done!