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About this blog

This is a series of condensed articles from my main Blog.

Reviews, News and Analysis are my specialty and will be updated weekly on the main site followed by here.

Entries in this blog

Thriller – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   The Enemy Within   Sometimes we just need a little danger to add some excitement to our lives, but do not want to actually put ourselves in harms way so we turn to the Thriller. This genre has had a long history of fiction covering everything from spies to crime in order to keep the reader on their toes. In many ways it is similar to another genre visual novels thrive in, Horror, since

Stella Of The End Review – Do Androids Dream Of Being Human?

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – Sci-fi, Post-apocalypse, Journey     Play Time – 7 hours     Developer – Key     Steam     VNDB   How To Make A Human   Key has an interesting fixation with robots and AI and Stella Of The End marks their third notable attempt to address this subject matter. While their games all use it to showcase something about humanity, using the machines as a mirror, each individu

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Review

Mini Games – An Anatomy Of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Small But Mighty   When it comes to additional styles of gameplay within visual novels, they do not need to be as grand or demanding as a JRPG or SRPG component and the smallest of gameplay cycles can have a far greater effect in the right situation. Enter the Mini-Game, short and simple mechanical simulants that aim to prove value in being concise. Including these lends a form of textu

Space Sci-fi – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Breaking Through The Firmament   When looking up at the stars how can one not be filled with a sense of wonder? Since humans first stood upright we have told stories about what lies in the expanse above our heads. In the past this would have been the realm of gods and mythical creatures, but, now that people can reach it, the tales have shifted into the subject of today’s article, space

Steins Gate 0 Review – In The Shadow Of A Giant

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – Sci-fi, Thriller, Action    Play Time – 30 hours    Developer – Mages    VNDB    Steam   A Future That Could Not Be Saved   Struggling long and hard against fate only to find out you are the person who killed the one you love is enough to break a man and break Okabe Rintarou it did. Now he drifts through life in a world he knows is doomed to a hellish end. However, fate

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Review

Polyamorous Endings – An Anatomy Of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   A Relationship With Many Sides   When it comes to relationships most forms of media present monogamous pairings as the normal and rarely explore beyond this line of thinking and when they do the presentation of the opposite extreme is generally negative. Enter the visual novel, here is a space where polyamorous relationships are given an equal examination to their more traditional peers

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

School Slice Of Life – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   The Brilliant Days Of Youth?   Of all the genres that dominate the visual novel space there are none which can compete with the behemoth of school slice of life. Beyond the many games utilising it as their core narrative element, many others use it as a secondary pillar to ground their more fantastical or emotional genres and give them an easily recognisable touch point with the player.

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Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! A – The Afterlife Of A Game Series

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – School Life, Comedy, Romance    Play Time – 10-15 per game    Developer – Minato Soft    VNDB   When Only Characters Remain   Once a game series has given all the stories it can, what remains to be extracted from it? Perhaps you expand the world by adding a new setting or maybe you introduce an exciting new threat. The answer the Majikoi A games have settled on is to f

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Pallas_Raven in Review

Character Customisation – An Anatomy Of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   What Shall I Be Today   There is a tendency in visual novels to have some degree of self insert aspect in their protagonists due to the prevalence and intensity of first person narratives. Some of them take this to its natural conclusion by giving the player a means of deciding parts of the character they are going to inhabit and these manifest as customisation options. They range from

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon- (Remake) Review – Reimagined Under A Brilliant Moon

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – Urban Fantasy, Suspense, Horror, Action    Play Time – 30 hours    Developer – Type Moon   VNDB   Will It Disappear At Dawn?   The remake of Tsukihime was once considered a dead project by the fanbase due to how long it took to show any results to the point of being a running joke. Even when it finally did produce something the resulting visual novel only covered the fi

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Pallas_Raven in Review

Gacha Mechanics – An Anatomy Of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   What Is In The Box?   One of the latest and perhaps most contentious recent development in the sphere of visual novels is the rise of gatcha mechanics as one of the prominent elements in the design space. Leaning heavily into the mobile market, they involve spending currency for acquisition of a selection of random characters and items from a set pool with rarities attached to them. For

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Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Comedy VNs – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   I Laugh, You Laugh, We All Laugh   Making people laugh is a particular talent and more than any other it is dramatically effected by the medium it is presented through. Stand up comedy and visual novel humour might share a similar desire to entertain but they could not be further apart in terms of how they reach that goal. The unique set of tools available to visual novels has led to a

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Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Akai Ito Review – Blood Red Threads Of Love

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here. Genre - Horror, Yuri     Play Time - 25 hours    Developer - Success     Steam    VNDB   Shaped By Inevitable Bonds   Being bound by the red string of fate is a common trope in Japanese romance stories and at first glance you might assume that Akai Ito would follow these conventions given its emphasis on yuri. However, nothing could be further from the truth as the game takes this rom

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Pallas_Raven in Review

An Anatomy Of Visual Novels – Unlockable Extra Content

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Shiny New Things   Everyone likes to be rewarded for their effort and video games are happy to oblige with a variety of Extra Unlockable Content. These bonuses are often treated as a side show disconnected from the important main sections of the game and relegated to a sub menu where it has little impact on the greater structure. For visual novels this unlockable content has a much more

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Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Mystery VNs – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Through The Lies And Deception   Of all the genres Mystery is perhaps the one visual novels have the most tools of engage with. The levels of subtly and the precise execution needed to ensure a balance between the known and unknown so that the player is never lost is no easy task and demands a degree of control many games lack. At the same time they have to be able to spin other delica

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Pallas_Raven in Analysis

9 -nine- Series Review – Fragmented Artefacts From The Beyond

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here. Genre – Supernatural, Action, Mystery    Play Time – 9 hours per game   Developer – Palette    Steam    VNDB   No Power Without Consequence   Everyone wants superpowers and think themselves far more capable of using them than the fictional heroes from comics or movies, but what they rarely consider is that for every hero there must be a monster and this monster will be destructive to

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Review

Built-in Flowcharts – An Anatomy Of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Divergent Paths To The Future   For the longest time when you wanted to know how to get to a specific route in a visual novel the only options open to you where trial and error or looking up a walkthrough. However, in more recent years there has been a trend to include built-in flowcharts that fill out as the player progresses through the game. These help the player understand the struc

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Yandere Horror VNs – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Obsessive Love   The Yandere is perhaps the most iconic ‘Dere’, not just within visual novels but within the more general anime fandom, with their distinctive mix of love and violence, they have found their way into everything from Comedy to Slice of Life. It is the particular combination of Yandere and Horror that is the focus today and the way this niche aspect of visual novels has ca

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Kunado Chronicles Review – A Beautiful Post-Apocalypse With A Side Of Mechanic Menace

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – Action, Post-Apocalypse, Supernatural    Play Time – 35 hours    Developer – Purple Software    Steam    VNDB   Beneath the Sakura   Once the apocalypse is over and all the damage is done, will the world be a peaceful place? And what of those who come after, how will they adapt? These are the questions Kunado Chronicles opens with and it uses them as the foundations up

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Pallas_Raven in Review

Hybrid Visual Novels – An Anatomy of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   The Best Of Both Worlds?   When talking about visual novels there is a tendency to present the medium as pure and distinct from all other types of games. Of course the reality is that other games influence visual novels and visual novels influence other games in a cycle of mutual adaptation and growth. The most noticeable manifestation of this union is the hybrid visual novel. This bein

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

AI: The Somnium Files Review – The Mysteries Of The Mind

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – Mystery, Detective, Sci-fi    Play Time – 30 hours    Developer – Spike Chunsoft     Steam    One Eye Lost And Another Gained   Found wandering in the street with a missing eye and no memories, Date is taken in by a woman calling herself Boss, given a new eye/partner Aibo and takes up the role of detective. Now years later he finds himself investigating the murder of a

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Review

Enforced Play Order – An Anatomy of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Directions From On High   The player is a wild and chaotic beast prone to doing what you least expect and are both the joy and bane of developers. This is especially true for any game which focuses on narrative as its core element since there is no guarantee the player will experience the story in the way the designers intended and even more so if there is any form of freedom offered.

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Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Yuri VNs – Genre Deep Dive

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Forbidden Love?   If there is one genre which thrives in the visual novel space it is Yuri. While other mediums and types of games touch on Yuri, there are none that put their entire focus on it in quite the all consuming way present in visual novels. Rather than being a sideshow for another genre to use as romantic fluff, it is front and centre in many of the best and defining titles y

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

Sunrider 4: The Captain’s Return Review – A Glorious Return?

This is a condensed version of the full review which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Genre – Sci-fi, Action, Mecha    Play Time - 22 hours    Developer – Love In Space   Steam   Return From Exile   A fall from grace changes a man and exile from all he has ever known can break him. Such is the state of Kayto Shields as the curtain rises on the fourth game in the Sunrider series. This is the tale of how he pulls himself up from the pit he has fallen into, but thi

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Review

The True Ending – An Anatomy of Visual Novels

This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.   Final Destination   Controlling how your game ends is crucial to the impression of it the player walks away with. This is an especially pressing issue for games with any kind of choice system which provides the option of alternative endings. If not handled correctly this can cause the narrative to come across as inconclusive and lacking a coherent identity. Something to tie the events

Pallas_Raven

Pallas_Raven in Analysis

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