If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~Pearl Buck
Foreword: Well, I just liked the cover - looked like today's charming covers.
Synopsis: Yuta Tachibana was supposed to graduate this march, but he decided to do a graduation trip with his childhood friend instead. In their destination, they find Yuta's cousin waiting in a bridge rumored to bring fortune to lovers. What Yuta doesn't know is that even stranger things are waiting around the corner...
Game type: Mythological school trip
Character Design rating: 5/10
Protagonist rating: 5/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 5/10
Overall rating: 5/10
Rating comments: Game with 6 score would mean that it has some interest for me. But it does not. Despite the positive moments game can't offer anything to me.
Protagonist: Yuuta does not have a face and is our nobody. No point observing him, really.
Characters: There are as many as six heroines. All the heroines can be roughly divided in two categories - classmates on the school trip and heroines met at the place of destination. Hazuki, Mikoto and Nonoka are our classmates. All of them have pretty much the same flow boring routes with interesting spots only hinted at best. But the other category is much more curious. Karen is our weird half-Japanese who is of unique simpleton personality, but she can actually do miracles thanks to it. The way she handled main conflict of the game is just hilarious. Shiho is Yuuta's pervy cousin. She behaves as a horny OL, but she actually has the most interesting action and mythological scenes inside her route - very similar to Kizuato. Lastly there's one secret'ish heroine Makoto. And I basically can't say anything about her without spoilers. The only thing I'll mention is that she's only available after clearing Mikoto route while all the other heroines are available from the start.
Story: The weirdest part of it all. And weirdest it's because of the bridge that hardly really plays any role in the game. It's just a notorious place to visit. In some routes the final scene has something to do with the bridge, but it's pretty stupid to pull it out by the end while keeping in in shadow along the way. There's very little in the story department in the game. A group of five students (two of them are boys) go to a graduation trip to some onsen near some legendary bridge. Classmates heroines pretty much stop there and after some development have their boring ending. Non-classmates have more or less unique stories at the onsen site - well, memorable, at least.
Overall comments: Don't really want to take much time discussing Koijibashi. It's the debut work of Raccoon and thus with many flaws. Humor. Boy side character Ryuu. Heroine sprites and majority of CG. Everything is really mediocre. And that cute girl on the cover in reality is chaotic Nonoka with her hair being disturbed at all times. Game has no good story. There is no True route. The list of flaws is so big that I really struggle to find anything really worthy. Well, those action and mythology scenes were nice - but again - terribly short. The only route that stands out for me is Karen's. Her unique personality, development and some really nice CG might be enough reason to try to read her route. A pity that such brilliant cover can be totally misleading.
Foreword: This is going to a slightly unusual review, because I'm going to totally ignore main three heroines and focus solely on two side heroines because of Masada scenario writing and uniqueness of these two heroines compared to conventional ones.
Title: Dear My Friend
Synopsis: This light-hearted, high school eroge surrounds the exploits of a soon-to-be non-average student named Kyoichi Morikawa. The son of the odd paring of a nurse and a poorly-selling novelist, he’s been living his life in mind-numbing virtuosity. One auspicious day his father returns home after running errands with a girl (about Kyoichi’s age) claiming to be orphaned. Being the good Samaritan, our hero’s father adopts the hapless girl. Now Kyoichi must explain the extraordinary circumstances to his one and only friend. Furthermore, seeing the main character with a girl has caused several of the female student body to take notice of him...
Game type: Charage
Character Design rating: 9/10
Protagonist rating: 8/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 8/10
Overall rating: 8/10
Rating comments: I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the game. The two heroine routes I saw were unique and charming, protagonist contributed to gags a lot, and side characters really shined in here. A firm masterpiece, I say.
Protagonist: Kyouichi is not really our usual nobody. He has a face and a strong personality. He does not have piety towards girls and plays jokes on them a lot. He's almost as fun as Taichi from Cross†Channel, just less pervy.
Characters: There are five heroines.
Kushiro Mai is our main heroine. And - according to To Heart tradition - the most boring one. She's blushing at every second line and is extremely shy overall. But even she has something fun about her - she leans to Kyouichi all the time despite the environment. That becomes the source of some nice joyful moments. She's the only naive heroine in the game.
Kurihara Tsukuyo is the second heroine that's available from the start. She's our traditional ojou-sama, polite and kind. It's good that she's serious and not naive, but all the other heroines look more interesting to me.
Kitazawa Miyako is the last of three heroines available from the start. She's a genki heroine, but really intelligent at the same time, kind of Ayaka from To Heart. She would be my natural first choice if not for the other two heroines...
Kurosaki Komugi is our crazy alien or so she's introduced in the game. The cute girl with bunny ears swears like a sailor and picks up on everyone. She makes every scene whirl around her. By To Heart analogy she's definitely Multi.
Nagamura Saeka is kind of joker of this game. She looks like a serious sempai, but she turns out to be of mischievous kind. Masada went a long way to invent all kinds of plot twists for her route. The one fact is that in her route Kyouichi dates.... drums-drums... Mai! And Saeka kind of tries to support them. Finishing with To Heart analogies, she's definitely Shiho.
Story: Don't think there is integral story. Mai just starts living in Kyouichi family and attending the same class. Game starts with the choice between heroines, but if we start following Mai route there's later branching to Komugi and Saeka routes. I especially want to take notice of Kyouichi parents - they're marvelous and really funny. Guess now it's time say a few words about my attitude towards heroines. Both Komugi and Saeka routes were really good for the comedy part and quite good for the drama. Not really should game would make it to the masterpiece status for me without these two brilliant routes written by Masada.
Overall comments: I'll be brief since it's not a plotge. I never really cared for charage and grew a disgust towards the titles with great evaluation like Mashiro Iro Symphony or White Album 2 (I hope to bitch about it some day too). I got assured that I can appreciate a charage only in conjunction with some great story like in SubaHibi or Cross†Channel. So Dear My Friend really took me by surprise. There's no great depth or drama in here, but it's an absolutely enjoyable cozy read. And it's not all Masada's praise as Kyouichi's parents written by main author are equally enjoyable. Guess Dear My Friend produced a little revolution in me, and I've yet to know how to live with this thought.
There are no plotge this month. If I am to choose among charage and moege, I'd get one with good text. Dear My Friend is my choice for scenario written by Masada (for two heroines). And just by chance it's the only masterpiece of the month.
Title: MinDeaD BlooD ~Shihaisha no Tame no Kyoushikyoku~
Developer: Black Cyc
Synopsis: Just off the coast of mainland Japan is the island of Chisakura, home to a city of the same name, where the heralds of darkness are slowly gathering. Host to a prosperous economy, with a nationally renowned academic institution for young women and an equally upstanding medical research facility, the community has unwittingly attracted the attentions of dreaded supernatural creatures with few equals: vampires. Yet even these immortal predators have daring individuals who hunt them, and a secret war between the two powers is quickly racing to an apocalyptic conclusion. At the center of this nightmarish struggle is a man who has the potential to tip the scales in favor of one side or the other. His choice of allies - the hunters, the vampires, or none at all - may very well determine the fate of humanity and the undead.
Game type: Vampire amnesia action nukige
Character Design rating: 6/10
Protagonist rating: 7/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 6/10
Overall rating: 6/10
Since there are other reviews, just some personal impressions are enough. NO. This game is NOT a masterpiece. It was a huge mistake on my part to even launch this game without checking it out properly. Let's try to observe some of its elements.
MinDeaD BlooD does have an ok story, but it's not a great one. The only "events" of the story is getting closer to different heroines and together triggering some kind of ending, often with action scenes. The "events" of bonding are dozens of H scenes with each heroine, over a hundred of events overall. Is there anything worthy about this game - action scenes / heroine stories / amnesia information recovery ? Nope. So why do all these people praise the story? Just one reason - because this game is a nukige. If nukige has some kind of plot involved, it's already treated as a great feat. And if there are complex routes and multiple different endings to contain mystery elements - it's fresh, it's new. Compared to Yami no Koe and Mushitsukai this game really has a good story. But compare it to any normal plotge - and MinDeaD BlooD becomes just an average nukige.
Game has over a hundred of H events, many have the same CG or slightly different CG. Those events are absolutely devaluated. They become mundane means of communication that repeat over and over during the 60 days course of the game. More than that, they are drawn in absolutely disgusting way, so it's no wonder reader gets an immunity over those and just skips them. When real heroines have their final bonding event, there's no emotion left for it, it gets skipped as well. Nukige nature of the game leaves a stamp of disgust on all its elements and really hinders evaluation of the story.
The only way to get game and story interesting is to introduce really interesting characters that start to live on their own creating meanings. I absolutely can't see serious heroines behind these chunks of meat. Protagonist Shizuru with his cool attitude is ok, but basically he is a serial rapist, and I don't have the slightest desire to get to know his psychology.
Game composition is absolutely horrible. For each of 60 days we get to choose where to go both for Shizuru and vampire twins Mana and Mayu. It's absolutely impossible to do anything without a walkthrough here. Even with walkthrough it's very easy to screw something up. There are some 27 endings (don't cite me on that) with some 15 being named ones. But among those named ones most are still bad endings. Some endings only take couple minutes. Some are only accessible through normal mode (not easy mode) and only prior to clearing the rest of the endings. It's really a mess. There aren't heroine endings, just some named ones. Gameplay is such a torture. Hopefully, I covered all the big branches in my video. I really wanted to see all the meaningful branches to be able to evaluate the story properly, but this game does not care about readers at all.
In the raw outcome, MinDeaD BlooD can't be compared to normal plotge like 3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~. It has such gross nature, that it can be compared only to fellow nukige games, and these review scores of 7/10, 8/10, 9/10 should be treated as 7/10, 8/10, 9/10 among nukige games where having any kind of plot is already a boon. Vampire theme got a boost after Tsukihime, but none of the vampire visual novels were able come close to it. I call it Tsukihime curse.
Foreword: Only chose Dingir as the only plotge of the month.
Synopsis: Year 1014 by local calendar.
Peaceful life is interrupted by betrayal and assassination in the court. Dying king conveys main character Baal the prophecy and asks him to try and save the endangered world. Girl As suddenly appears before Baal and agrees to help him on the journey to the Tower of Judgment.
Game type: Ancient Mesopotamia fantasy adventure
Character Design rating: 4/10
Protagonist rating: 4/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 3/10
Overall rating: 4/10
I don't have much to say about this game. It struck me that I could find only ONE Japanese review of the game. Usually even nukige have at least couple. So game's really neglected for some reason. I was curious to know why.
From the very start game infodumps tons and tons of names. Each such name is underlined, so it's possible to point at it and read an extract regarding each. It's possible, but there's hardly any motivation to do so.
It strikes the eye that half of the girl characters are simplistic with some being totally ugly. But it only does so till you see the first male characters. 100% of them are ugly beyond redemption. Male characters usually move the story and contribute for the atmosphere of the game the most. Here male characters kill the game just from the start.
Talking about this compromised ugly game further on is difficult, but let's try to. There's no real story beyond the synopsis. Only pointless talks and some armed clashes clustered here and there make for the length. Baal only needs to get back to his mother castle and battle impostor with his minions. That's it. Whether he does it together with princess Mertina or wiithout determines two main branches. I only recorder the one available from the start - without Mertina in party - because game's horrible beyond redemption at that point already.
BGM actually contributes to the irritating factors as it's repetitive and quite simple. The gag BGM is a total sham. And "gags" here aren't any-what sophisticated, like Gills damaging her bra and having boobs out during the fight.
Overall, game produces only negative emotions. There are more adequately drawn female characters from the second half of the game, but it's too little too late. Every element feels half-baked with the result leaving much to be desired.
Foreword: This perfect game made me re-evaluate... Coμ -Black Dragon in a Gentle Kingdom-. What do these games have to do with each other? Hop in to figure out.
Synopsis: One morning during the class, Matsuura Ryou saw a strange object flying in the sky. Orange body was falling in a strange dancing pattern, vaguely resembling movements of the life form. This was his first encounter with EGO which led to contact with mysterious girl - Shibaura Yae that completely changed Ryou's life and destiny.
Game type: Robot familiars fights chunige alongside touching human story
Character Design rating: 10/10
Protagonist rating: 10/10
Story rating: 10/10
Game quality: 10/10
Overall rating: 10/10
Rating comments: No words really needed here. I had my doubts whether it should be 9 or 10, but it continued to surprise me over and over taking all the doubts away.
Protagonist: Game has not one, but two protagonists - Ryou and Shuuji. And those two co-exist in the same space and time. They are good friends, actually. Their bonding is the cornerstone of the game. Having two protagonist is also a great way to get out of one boy - lots of girls dilemma in a long one road story. Both protagonists are strong personalities with different focus - realistic and idealistic.
Characters: There are four heroines, and all are very nice ones.
Kei is our more traditional love interest, kind and romantic.
Rin is an attentive, polite and cheerful child that we want to protect.
Yae is the cornerstone of the story and the most mysterious heroine.
Saya is our tsundere with absolutely blunt attitude to everyone from the start and very charming awkward transformation. And she has the hugest sword - of course she's my favorite heroine!
Story: What I like the most in Realize is that game is not really that much about the story. There's no ultimate aim to reach like in most of chunige. Ryou just sees some robot familiar one day, then is summoned to the roof by his classmate Yae who shows him her familiar and answers some of urgent questions. That concludes the prologue. Later on he gets involved into the conflict between PK characters and some PKKs. This very fact already rose estimation level to the skies. Talking about PKs and PKKs 10 years prior to Sword Art Online! This was a moment of impact similar to that of Coμ when prestige traditional Wizardry classes Lord and Bishop entered the scene to compliment normal classes. I actually waited for ninja and samurai prestige classes to make them company, but - alas - those estimations were left without realization. What I want to say is that Realize has a lot of great Ego fights and all, but it's not the gist of the story. There are four endings in addition to the True ending. Half of those are kind of bad ones leaving us out without getting the needed power of losing allies. The other two are really nice and showing the game yet from more sides.
1) Robot familiars are called either Ego or Proxy in the game. Try to google that and you'll get the title of the best anime in history.
2) There are too many similarities between Realize and Coμ.
a) Both games are based on the conflict between the aggressive group of traditional PKs one one side and peacemakers PKKs on the other side.
b) The name of strongest PK is - guess what - Black Dragon.
c) Both games have a mysterious legendary fighting machine that acts by unknown principles with the identity remaining unknown
d) Both games have to do with μ symbol. Realize even explains its meaning for the game.
e) Both have two males as part of the coalition band. I always considered Shuu to be and odd one out. Never could understand his role in Coμ. Now I tend to think that he's implemented under influence of two protagonists great bond in Realize.
One or two similarities is a coincidence, but FIVE ?! Now I look at Coμ at a completely different angle. It's a great standalone game, but it has ways to go to reach the bliss of its spiritual predecessor - Realize.
Technical difficulties: Of course there are some. Only PS2 release is voiced, so I had to take it as the base. But console releases are known for poor hooking capabilities, so I had to satisfy with only translation of the first line in each screen slide. There were rarely more than five lines on one screen, but it still hurts to see words cut in the mids.
Overall comments: It saddens me greatly to see such a superb game in oblivion. Realize is one of the very few games that I can enjoy at any moment, at any page without relation to the development of the plot. That's the biggest praise a piece of media can get from me (the paragon is Vladimir Nabokov novels). Realize is written by a mastodon veteran of scenario writing - Takahashi Tatsuya. It's the person responsible for a good half of Leaf biggest works. And we all know that Leaf is the biggest benefactor and driver of the media - the company that always brings innovation. Realize is his first work after leaving Leaf and starting to write what he desired himself. It's a piece of history that's unjustly forgotten.
Foreword: Routes gets 5 votes cumulatively while closest rival sits at 3 votes, so here is review of this game.
Synopsis: The story takes place in 21st Century Japan (approximately at the end of April 2010). The main character Nasu Souichi is a perfectly ordinary high school student, who tries to do as little as possible everyday, and sleeps though most of his classes, only ever to be woken up by his friend Yuasa Satsuki. They believe they are living in a peaceful time, where no large wars are occurring.
However, these peaceful days are destroyed, when a number of large ships disappear at sea, almost instantly, and with no explanation as to why. A strange woman named Lisa＝Vixen suddenly appears and attacks Souichi... however Souichi also has his share of secrets.
Game type: There are two different games here - spy thriller and medieval rural mystery
Character Design rating: 8/10
Protagonist rating: 7/10
Story rating: 8/10
Game quality: 7/10
Overall rating: 8/10
There is already a good review of this game (1), so I'd better present personal impressions acquired during the course of the game. There WILL be spoilers, although I don't consider them to be big enough to really spoil anything - they are needed to present the structure of the game.
Game starts with Lisa Vixen route, and she is the real main heroine of the game. She is both stunning blonde beauty and a great super-agent. There is great teamwork and unexpected resolution there. But unfortunately only this route really resembles spy thriller. Next four routes required to reach true route are less impressive. From second playthrough there is a hint about a strange medieval-looking man as well as two choices - whether to go to school or stay home. Going to school leads us to our osnajimi Yuasa Satsuki route or her best friend Fushi Yukari route. I decided only to play thoroughly through Satsuki route. There is an attempt to fill it with SOL and humor, but it works out so-so. The worst part of it was how it ended up being so much overextended. I was hoping to get a fast H event and move to story already, but this route had as many as three (!) unsuccessful attempts of etching pushing story further and further. In the end, story development stars without getting into intimacy stage, but ends up a degraded version of the same Lisa route, just without the unexpected twist.
The other three heroines routes are even worse, a total bore-fest. Two of them are just an average town girl and an average town lady with their stories having NOTHING to do with the spy theme. The true route is the shortcut of the same Lisa route AGAIN, just with all three main heroines at support - Satsuki, Lisa and Fushi. There's nothing really special about it, and game just could not be called a masterpiece at this point after all the routes and the True route.
But then right after true route a totally another game kicked in - "Roots". That's a samurai rural story about the powerful sword and fighting the greater evil. This story has a bright cheerful scenery and a cast of funny characters with numerous memorable moments. Then the connection between "Routes" and "Roots" was revealed, and game finally could be seen as an integrative complex story above the giri-giri masterpiece level up to the point of firm masterpiece level, or 8/10.
I can't evade discussing technical difficulties here. Only console versions are voiced. But console versions can't be hooked - I tried all the variants possible. Without voicing this game does not really worth the effort. So I ended up running recording high resolution PC version screen and text acquired through hooking, but at the same time running PSP version to get voicing from it. PSP version has auto-reading, but PC version does NOT. So I had to manually click through every phrase following PSP auto-reading tempo. This causes all those un-synchronized lines. As if it's not enough trouble already, PC hooking is same clunky as both Kizuato and Shizuku, which means that lines appear consequently on the screen making hooker tools see it backwards. There was a special hooking script developed for Kizuato and Shizuku making lines be translated in the right order, but not for Routes, alas. That's why translation must be read from the end sentences to the first sentences properly. Leaf games really suck for hooking. Moreover, since I had to manually click through 30 hours of gameplay, I made text appear in full blocks skipping some mid-line animations. Just wanted to noted that, because actual PSP version looks much more alive than what I got as a result.
Routes turned out to be a real challenge for me due to really poor systems of PC version. I spent so much time recording it that it may even affect the pace of my next publications since none are left prepared. Unfortunately, only Lisa route, True route and Roots are really worth playing making the leftover heroines routes feel redundant. Game has a really decent "Roots" story which is difficult to get to due to numerous technical difficulties encountered. I just hope that more people will be able to appreciate the game through my video of it.
Foreword: I got on the hook of some reviews praising the story. Now I'm mad.
Title: Sora-iro no Organ
Developer: The Lotus
Synopsis: In order to save your cousin, who's been sucked into a mirror, you decide to jump into the mirror yourself. You find yourself in a strange, beautiful world of fairies. As you work through the game's storyline, you'll take part in interactive conversations. The game includes an "encore mode" which allows you to view previous event scenes and listen to music that you encountered on your adventure.
Game type: Some strange moege in fairy entourage
Character Design rating: 6/10
Protagonist rating: 3/10
Story rating: 3/10
Game quality: 6/10
Overall rating: 5/10
This "review" ain't gonna have a structure, because it does not deserve one. And I'm accustomed to just retell my impressions in the way they progressed in such cases. Spoilers are inevitable, although it's needed to be something good to spoil it.
The first thing that struck me is that game is not voiced. REALLY? What cruel joke is that not to give voicing to a charage? And I don't have spare 120$ to get voiced ps2 version.
The second thing that enraged me is the protagonist that comes right from BL games, it's a typical seme. I can't hide my irritation by this fact.
Game starts with what I see as protagonist Tomoya flirting with his cousin Sarasa and getting a slap on the face because of that. Sarasa runs away in tears and gets sucked into a mirror followed by Tomoya. And here we should start experiencing the great story. But it does not come. For the half of the game (10 chapters) Tomoya just flirts with all the girls he finds scoring with two of them. Then he finally finds Sarasa. So is it time for development now? Not so soon, lads. Sarasa is in vegetative state which lasts for 6 more (!) chapters. So what do we do in these next ten chapters from 11 to 20? Well, we kinda don't care about our cousin, but score with two more girls. Well, we're finally out of heroines and need to get closer with Sarasa. She's engaged, but is almost kidnapped on the ceremony day. She is saved by some sticky ice mass from the ice-cream (???). Short awhile she kinda throws herself on Tomoya. He asks "Do you understand you'll betray your fiance this way"? Her answer is as pathetic as stupid "I want to betray the whole world now". Then in some time they both get to original world. So what the hell is this? Where is my supposed great story? So I though till saw the writer's list of works. And those are all generic moege without even a glimpse of the story. So it probably is a great story compared to those total failures.
I'm greatly dissatisfied with artist here. CG and character sprites of uneven quality here, but males are the worst. All of them either come directly from BL or Otomege.
The only things that I liked in this game is that it had auto-reading mode and that both lolis were spared from trampling. Game had some chibi CG which were supposed to add humor to it, but the only humorous part for me was how game zoomed on the hips and breast of Stella - the most skinny boy-ish type heroine. Just laughable.
In the raw outcome we get a weird single road story with zero interest but with lots of pretentious motives, pictures and BGM. It looks like a decent game, but scratch it and it will rot.
Foreword: I awaited a high fantasy story with very mature and curious looking characters. What I got was...
Synopsis: Shrei-Ten is the name of a huge donut-shaped continent dominated by the kingdom of Schleiten. The holy king Schultz Engel defeated his bitter enemy Zusain fifty three years ago gaining supremacy and bringing eternal peace. Main heroine is an adventurer who accepts bounties to get rid of robbers, pirates and monsters. This is a story told from the viewpoint of seven different adventurers..
Game type: What the hell have I just read aka "Mindfuck"
Character Design rating: 6/10
Protagonist rating: 2/10
Story rating: 2/10
Game quality: 4/10
Overall rating: 3/10
Rating comments: Well, you see the numbers. The only thing I liked in this game is fancy male characters and kinky manga-like drawing. I'll list all the numerous fallacies of the game in the technical difficulties section.
Protagonist: There are seven protagonists, really. sword-wielding heroine Elisia Groundbell, her love interest two-handed sword wielder Yukito Howard, tank with a huge shield Richard Hackney, tinkerer and scout Mark Speedster, magical shop owner and former adventurer Silky Goldberg, alchemist Morgan Zimarson, legendary thief Gasutam Lionet. It's a great cast of really funny characters, so it's sad to see the game kill all the fun.
Characters: There are some side characters, but they mostly serve for H-scenes since there are only two female protagonists, and the demand for H-scenes is high. The majority from these 70 mini-stories can be described by the same core - a boy and a girl go to investigate some ruins and have fun together.
Story: Story is elusive and absolutely vague. There 70 (!) mini-stories told from different points of view happening in parallel. The worst point that you can't access them sequentially. Instead you start with the story 10, then constantly have to jump around 10 stories ahead and 10 stories back. But when you reach story 70 nothing really happens. Because the ending is behind story number 63! That's the most stupid structure I ever seen. The story itself is... weird. By the middle of the game we get to story number 1 where we get to know about explosion in the palace cellar, and the tunnels are revealed together with some vague threat over the kingdom. For the main course of the story characters mostly spend time at the town or investigate these ruins. That eventually brings them all separately to the source of trouble - the monster on the island. That's the whole story, really. More than that, some stories have forks, and it's never explained which one is real. Some forks are just for fanservice, as Elisia becoming futanari. But with some others it becomes really confusing. Person can die in one story and be alive again in the following stories.
Technical difficulties: There is no auto-read. The "no wait" option only appears after patch is installed. Before that it was pure torture to read. BGM only appears from time to time and for a very limited time. There is NO voicing. Had to rely on good old AGTH to tackle the flush problems. Only HCG and a handful of non-HCG take the whole screen size. Normal events only take some 2/3 of screen space, and background are squeezed to some 1/5 of screen size. But the worst of all, game continued to force close every 10-15 minutes at different PCs and OS.
Overall comments: The horrible game structure, weak story, no voicing, poor game system and impact at H-events absolutely ruin this game in my eyes. I see such structure as the result of impotence of the writer covering plot loopholes with short individual stories format and abuse of H-events. But the same writer created Kansen ~In'yoku no Rensa~ that's reported to include worthy story. I look forward to reviewing it.
Foreword: I just could not pass by without seeing with my own eyes one of the best cyberpunk'ish visual novels.
Title: Paradise Lost
Synopsis: Paradise Lost takes off in a dystopian setting that comes off as much more blatantly dark than its successors’. The stage is in a city known only as Sodom, which is separated from the outside world known as “Zoar”. Ruled by the gang known as the Infinite Viper, the law of “the strong eat the weak” is rampant throughout Sodom to the point that if you’ve lived beyond the age of 20, you most likely have murdered someone in order to do so. It is widely believed that outside lies a peaceful world free of the everyday violence so frequently seen in Sodom, but there is a closely guarded Gate that prevents residents of Sodom from leaving so no one has actually left and returned to confirm.
Game type: Dystopia epic confrontation
Character Design rating: 10/10
Protagonist rating: 10/10
Story rating: 10/10
Game quality: 10/10
Overall rating: 10/10
Rating comments: Game has few perfect ratings, and I really tried to find any flaws in it as well. But I could not find any. I absolutely love all the protagonist, heroines and even side-characters. Story is second-to-none and without any fillers. Quality hits over the roof for me.
Protagonist: Ryle is totally awesome with his split personality and coolness, but I was worried about Know a lot after reading reviews on the game. He was described as a jerk associating with the worst moments of the game. That's partly true, but Know is not a one-sided character. He's a kind-hearted loving brother in the beginning of the game. He is reflexing about having to lose his left hand to buy food. When he is put into conditions to lose his right arm, he's at the brink of despair. He's so weak, but he chooses to protect Sophia and Ril even at the cost of his life - and only miracles save him several times. Masada writing manages to imbue Know with a lot of empathy which colors his less rational actions with different shades of grey.
Characters: All three heroines are charming and possess a unique story of survival in this unpredictable world. But side-characters and enemies also make this game shine. Ennis appearance makes every scene better. Moral choices and hesitations of Lilith make this heartless scientist feel alive. It's rare to meet such charismatic (and voiced!) negative character as Judas Strife.
Story: The only thing I want so say about the story is that it's fast-paced, breathtaking and without fillers. Each chapter has its title which seems a bit off from the start, but each chapter manages to perfectly describe its meaning.
The 1st. God Forsaken Sodom
The 2nd. A Contest For Belzebub .
The Intermission. Criminal Fire Works.
The 3rd. Guilty Guilty Guilty
The Final. God Save The Zoar
The Final Godless A God Knows
1) One of the best features of the game is sex scenes filled with talk and meaning. And it's not just one Ast blowjob scene. Half of H events are made this way, so I feel sorry I have to cut them out of the video. I only encountered this feature in Coμ so far, and it really adds up to the evaluation.
2) I only know Dies Irae by the anime so far, but I'm sure that Paradise Lost is its spiritual predecessor. It has a lot of God motives as well concept of an omnipotent Deity messing with lowly creatures fates.
Overall comments: This is the first Masada game that I've read. I'll try to play every game where he has something to do with the concept or writing.