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About this blog

Basically my thoughts on games in general, and other subjects. It isn't the most innovative thing in the world, but, it is still a thing. xoP

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SeniorBlitz

I’m so good at writing reviews that my last one was months ago. If I continue like that I’ll eventually beat @Plk_Lesiak on the review count (we all know that is a lie).

Anyway gonna drop the structure of my last two reviews and freely type, I’ll still go over all of the topics presented there, but without separating them in topics, this way I can freely write what I want without feeling limited to a certain space.

Also I wouldn't call this a "review" in the literal sense, it is just my spouting my impressions of the game without properly analyzing all the aspects.

BUT enough rambling, know let’s talk about the matter at hand. 

soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA -

 You know a EVN is good when our official OELVN hater approves it (this is a joke btw not trying to personally offend him, you never know on the internet :makina:)

DAMN this game, it is been a while since a story engaged me to such level; I literally read it from start to finish in one sitting.

Where do I start… okay… this game does Denpa way better than DDLC. Our protagonist, Mercy lives in remote town of Phada (cultist type of town), she is constantly bullied and harassed because of her “cursed” vision which cause her too see a corrupted world filled with red and black beetles. The town’s main figure of worship is the “holy woman” whose purpose is to receive energy and messages from “god”.

So after the accidental death of such, suddenly two holy women appears at the town, and one of them approaches Mercy claiming that she also has a cursed vision. Mercy finally starts seeing the good side of life with the help of this girl, but…

Strange things happen, and the girl starts acting out of character….

The rest you’ll have to discover by yourself. ;o)

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Some of the CGs are pretty awesome from characterization alone.

First off, can I say how much I love the presentation of the game, the art and music fits so well and the atmosphere is so perfect, it weirdly reminded me of silent hill with all the red imagery and the unintelligible speech of people around mercy.

Other thing I have to praise is how none of the characters feel useless, all of them are developed, have their motivations and. The game deals with dark themes like bullying and abuse very well, the tone is consistent and it never feel like the novel is trying to be “edgy”, and it genuinely makes you feel bad for the protagonist, you just feel like jumping into the game and giving her a hug, because you feel like she doesn’t deserve any of the things that happen to her.

The mystery and Denpa aspects of the game are also incredibly implemented, like I said, the story was very engaging and I couldn’t stop reading it until I reach its conclusion, and the messages it passes with the ending is very beautiful.

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Some persons just don't know how rude it is to garble a bunch of nonsense from their scribbled faces.

But I shall say no more, this game is free, not that long and there are no branches, so no save scumming to get extra CGs is required ;o). So, go download it, this VN proves that not all EVN’s are trash and that there are some genuine gems out there.

SeniorBlitz

This game…

I have so much to talk about, good things and… bad things.

If you don’t know, Lamento is considered somewhat of a Kamige in the BL community; I lot of people love it and glorify it as some kind of perfect masterpiece.

But this is no masterpiece.

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Protagonist seeing the cursed markings for the first time.

1. The Premise and Plot:

Konoe (the MC) lives in a small village called Karou, where, because of a phenomenon called “The Void” has its inhabitants practice acts of cannibalism to survive. Even with such conditions, Konoe insists on living in the village because of his attachment to his home.

One day, our protagonist starts having dreams of snakes entering his body, and after four nights of nightmares, cursed markings appeared on his body, and, to make things worst he was selected to be the next sacrifice in line.

With things taking a turn for the worst, Konoe is obligated to leave his village in order to look for answers…

Overall the premise really caught my interest, even with the slow pace on the start of the game; they manage to establish a sense of tension and mystery that kept my interested through the common route. The sense of journey as Konoe goes from location to location was also pretty good, and I was curious to know how each city and place worked within the setting.

2. The Characters:

Lamento has a nice amount of characters, mostly males because, y’know… dystopian BL setting clichés, but, there are some females that get to shine and even have their own backstories which is pretty cool.

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Bardo, Rai and Asato respectively. In the middle is Konoe our MC.

There are three main heroes in Lamento, Rai, a very cold and somewhat arrogant cat from the city of Setsura; he is a Classic Tsundere which is a plus in my book. XoP

We then have Asato, a shy and recluse cat from the remote and conservative village of Kira, with a child-like personality and very kind attitude, he stole my heart from the moment he spoke (I love the the “Adorkable” archetype way too much). BEST BOI :mare:!

And finally we have the “bi-daddy” tiger, also from Setsura, Bardo, he is pretty much Motomi from Togainu no Chi with cooking abilities. Kek. Though he was enjoyable.

We also have Leaks’, our antagonist, the poet, a mysterious figure who guides Konoe on bad times and other characters like the demons, but, I won’t talk much about because of laziness SPOILERS!!!!

We also have Konoe, our MC, way better lead than Akira, even though he does suffer from the “uke in distress” syndrome that I hate, but, he does some courageous things (especially in Asato's good end).

3. Art and Music:

As expected from a budget Nitro+ title, Lamento has high production values, the art is pretty good and most of the in-game characters have at least a sprite to them, and the pre-rendered backgrounds are an improvement over N+C’s  previous game (though that may be due to the fact the Lamento is on a fantasy world with forests and such, instead of a urban dystopian setting).

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Rai and Konoe on the city of Ransen.

The music is simply incredible, with varied and fitting tracks for the scenes, and even different songs for each of the endings. My favorite ending song is definitely “When The End” the theme that plays on Rai’s and Bardo’s respective bad ends (more emotional than the actual ends IMO).

4. Routes:

Now… this is the part where my complaints start to appear, but, I’ll first note what I found good about the routes.

  •  None of the routes use the “Rape=Love” trope that I utterly despise and as matter of fact, all of the rape scenes are avoidable and are located on the Bad Ends which is always a plus.
  • The character arcs also have backstories to other support or main, non-hero characters (apparent in Asato’s route).
  • Asato’s route has pretty nice romance.

Now let’s talk about the thing that I hate the most about this game: Repetition, oh my fucking god do they love to copy and paste ENTIRE sequence of events on each and every single one of the routes, it is so dumb, to make things worse the routes all follow the same formula, and by the time you enter your second path you’ll already know how some events and how things will play out, which made some parts a chore to get through. The routes aren’t unique enough for me to have to talk about them individually.

To make things worse, they don’t even utilize the setting they created to the fullest, the sense of journey that you had on the common route is simply abandoned when you enter the character arcs, as Konoe stays on the same city from beginning to end, all of the terms and interesting locations that they presented at first are simply not used to their fullest potential. I could say the same for Konoe that has abilities introduced that are simply forgotten for the most part. Places like Setsura and Kira are simply forgotten, and you only know the basics of it and nothing in-depth.

The romance in some of the routes didn’t feel that natural (especially in Bardo’s that comes out of nowhere since he isn’t a present enough character in the common route), and the endings are also somewhat underwhelming, the Bad Ends could have been longer and more interesting and the good ends less formulated. The game can also be very “Guide Dang it!”, while some common route choices are obvious, most are pretty cryptic and don’t make much sense on the first playthrough.

I also feel obligated to talk about Leaks, the villain, he simply isn’t that threatening during the routes he barely appears aside from a specific sequence of events that play in each of the paths.

Also Bardo’s path should have been locked, it spoils way too much about Rai for it to be available from start.

5. Conclusion:

While Lamento is far from bad, it isn’t the Kamige that people seem to consider it, the repetition and lack of use of the setting it creates are glaring problems that hold back a VN that could have been great, that now it is just “good”. Be aware of these problems if you’re gonna play it.

SeniorBlitz

 Wow! Another review blog? So fucking creative, I’m right? But yeah, I decided to create a blog about… stuff?

 I was actually going to do a Lamento –Beyond The Void- review, but, I have yet to finish Bardo’s route, so I choosed the next best thing…

 YU-NO… I was really interested in this game since it created one of my favorite genres and also because it has similar themes to the Zero Escape series.

 So, during my vacation I got around to marathoning the shit out of it reading it. So without further ado…

 

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(Remake's cover art)

 

0. The Premise:

 The story begins with the disappearance of the protagonist’s father, which were an eccentric historian and a really bad father figure. xoP

 One day, he mysteriously receives a package from his (supposedly) dead dad (Pun intended), containing a bunch of strange objects and whose purpose were yet to be discovered.

 After wandering around town he arrives at a local landmark “Triangle Mountain” where he finds a strange blonde woman who abruptly kisses him, and disappears.  

 Things only go downhill as he is suddenly confronted by a former friend and colleague of his father named Ryuuzouji, his step mother Ayumi,  while one of his colleagues Kanna is watching  them (it makes sense in context).

 When Ryuuzouji pulls out a gun and demands the package that he gained from his old man, thing suddenly turn bizzare as space time seems to distort itself and he suddenly finds himself alone at the base of Triangle Mountain.

 Takuya (Aka the MC) runs home and after rummaging through the package he discover that one of the devices included was actually some sort of dimensional travel that allowed him to jump between alternate dimensions with the usage of special jewels.

Takuya decides to use the device to look for answers…

1. The Plot:

 The story is really good, the routes branches out pretty early, and they each build off of each other to create a really nice mystery with sci-fi elements. Most of the characters are pretty nice; Takuya’s perverseness can get really annoying sometimes though.

 There are a total of six routes in the game, one for the Teacher Mitsuki, a kind hearted woman that works as an assistant for the director Ryuuzouji, she seems to have a past with Takuya and Eriko, a delinquent-ish school nurse who doesn’t really care the ethics of teacher, she goes for walks during her worktime, smokes without a care in the world, things that you would expect a teacher not to do; His step-mother Ayumi a hardworking woman that have been taking care of Takuya after his father disappearance; Mio which is the best girl one of Takuya’s classmates, she acts pretty cold towards him and mostly spend her time investigating the mysteries of Triangle mountain;  Kaori a reporter whose intentions are very unclear,  Kanna a mysterious girl who seems to be related to Takuya somehow, and the True route.

 Another plus is that the routes are pretty unique on it, Mitsuko/Eriko’s have you investigating a murder, Ayumi’s a scheme against her, Mio’s the secret of Triangle Mountain, etc. They are all pretty nice. One thing that was really annoying was the excessive use of panchira during event CGs even in more serious events.

 The way that the device is implemented in the narration is pretty neat; sometimes you’ll need items from other routes so you can properly advance the story, though this pretty much makes this a guide game, so have a walkthrough by your side.

2. Gameplay:

 The gameplay consists of a point-and-click, so you’ll spend most of your time clicking around, doing some puzzles, collecting items, etc. There is barely any direct choice making; you’ll mostly chose where to go which trigger certain events that will lead you to new branches. 

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(The Divergence Map / Flowchart)

 

 There’s a flowchart to keep track of which paths you have already explored and whatnot, you can use it with the jewels (that are pretty much “checkpoints”) so you don’t have to replay everything from the beginning.

3. Art and Music:

 YU-NO’s art is extremely pretty, there is a lot of detail to the even CGs and some even has animated details. The backgrounds and character appearances are very distinct and unique, no complains here.

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 (Mio Investigating the mountain)

 

 The music is also really great, the tracks are fitting and not repetitive, each of the heroine also have their own BG theme. "Bonds" and "Touch" are one of my favorites.

4. Routes:

 I really liked all routes in this game, though I wish there was more backstory revealed about the heroines, since Mio’s and Eriko’s are mostly implied…

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(Event with Kaori during one of the routes)

 

 Mitsuki/Eriko’s: This route is mostly centered around Ryuuzouji and urban legend related to his house. The route only properly starts after an event with Takuya and Mitsuki in the school Lab Room (nothing dirty silly :yumiko:), it is an introductory route, some terms and info here will be used on other route. Also this Arc doesn’t have the most positive of endings…

 Ayumi: Her route is focused on a scheme that her co-worker seems to be planning against her. Takuya spends the majority of her route trying to convince Ayumi that she is in danger and her naivety can make you cringe a little. This Arc should be played second.

 Mio: Probably my favorite route, Mio is a really nice character; her route is centered on the secrets of Triangle Mountain, so Takuya spends most of his time with her investigating and looking for clues. This Arc takes from both Mitsuki’s and Ayumi’s respective routes, so this should be played after them.

 Kaori: Her route is mostly here to explain a plot point, and is also the shortest route. Though I really liked Kaori’s character, she was very mischievous and cunning.  

 Kanna: Her route should be played before the true route, since it reveals a lot of important info about Takuya’s father. She shares a branch with Kaori for a while, so things mostly get interesting in the end of the Path.

 True Route: Very hit-or-miss, the game takes a turn to whole different genre and it seems like a totally different, unrelated tale for a while. There is a lot of info dump that comes by the end of it which doesn’t make things better.

 After finishing the routes, you’ll unlock bonus content like side stories, CG gallery, extended endings for Ayumi, Mio & Kanna, which is always a plus (Though 100% the game can be a chore).

4. Conclusion:

 Overall, YU-NO is a pretty good game that becomes very hit-or-miss during the final path, though I’d still recommend you check it out for it's value and contribution to the VN world. 

 Special Thanks to @MaggieROBOT for the help!

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