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VN of the Month September 1997

kivandopulus

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The best Visual Novel of September 1997 is Comic Road - a shy life simulator of a starting manga artist with a lot of animation and very cute scenes.


1. Be Happy! Koi Mau Gakuen BE HAPPY ! 恋舞う学園  [Studio Jikkenshitsu] VNDB

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Shoji Toki is preparing for high school entrance exam. One of the teachers invites him to a cram school to prepare for exams.

Raising sim about study in the first part of the game. Examination is held by the series of quizzes. After you pass the exam, the second ADV part with map choice begins. Every heroine has her own ending. Difficulty is above average. Graphics is really meh and character design is not even remotely same cute as on the box. Just compare the winking girl in game with the same winking girl on the box...


2. CD Girls -Utahime-tachi no Koi Monogatari- CDgirls -歌姫達の恋物語- [C's Ware] VNDB

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A mediocre hero borrowed a CD from a friend with the title "CD Girls". The moment he pushed "play" a little girl jumped out from the CD. Time stops here with only old memories and old love wounds lingering in search of cure.

Scenario is ridiculous and ending is abrupt. Choices can be severe as one wrong answer leads to event end. Game's very short. There's an H-event for each of 3 heroines in the end of their tiny routes.


3. Comic Road  こみっくろーど  [Cocktail Soft] VNDB

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Comic Road is a "life simulation" game, starring a young girl (whom the player names themselves) who dreams of becoming a manga artist. In order to become successful, she has to do more than just draw well; it is important to develop other aspects of her personality, and also keep an eye on the finances, otherwise working too much might deteriorate her drawing skills. Social life, physical exercises, reading - everything has consequences!

Manga training sim. Might be the only of this kind. Highly animated work (3 hours total!) during a period of 3 years. While other companies keep making weird raisig sims and clone dating sims, this is a sim about life with part-time work, skills training, occasional friends gatherings and doujinshi festivals. It may still seem monotonous, but that's basically life simulation, it can't be exciting. This game was largely overlooked at the time of issue, but I think it a very important work to doujin culture, probably same as Comic Party in 1999.


4. Heart no Kakera ハートの破片 [Seal Staff] VNDB

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Masato Sakurai just entered high school. He starts to feel dissatisfaction with current life and starts club activity. What kind of girls can he meet?

Command selection ADV. One way road with only number of CG depending on choices. At first four girls scenarios are available, then three more open up. The scenarios are short and unmemorable. Girls are not voiced and that's really bad. There is not enough romance or bonding or smth, more like a nampa game.

 


5. Kuroyagi ~Otome-tachi e Sasageru Serenade~ 黒山羊 ~仔羊たちへ捧げる小夜曲~ [E.G.O.] VNDB

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Late 19th century. In a certain place in Western Europe there was a famous house called the Yagi family. Lord Earl was an excellent person as its head. 

· · · However, one day the he disappeared. An incident occurred in which all members were found dead. The crime remained unsolved. 100 years have passed since then · · · 

A certain detective tried to bring the truth about this incident up without a request from anyone and vanished without a trace. His best friend is anxious to know about his whereabouts and he steps into the mansion as well. He seems to be a very ordinary journalist, but in reality he has a "witch" as his ancestor. 

It's a minor low-price work, but very atmospheric one. It's well depicted as detective gradually approaches the truth behind the incident. He travels in time three days before the incident and can witness its circumstances with his own eyes. Standing CG ruin this atmosphere to an extent. There are five heroines to clear overall. The pacing is generally good but development becomes too fast in the second half. I've tried it game is not voiced at all. There is no opening either. Character designs are mostly ugly, but CG much nicer. I see little interest in plot, it's merely a pretext to enter a house full of girls and see some dramatic resolution only by the end of 3rd day.


6. Kyouen Etsuraku no Requiem 狂宴 悦楽のレクイエム [Vector] VNDB

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Yasuto Hirabayashi's grandfather died and left him a diary. There was written about the woman and the ring that he could not attain. How is it connected to the classmates that who decided to spend vacations in a mystery mansion?

Multi-ending (six endings) command selection adventure. How to reach each ending in hinted in the help option. There are two heroines but neither can get a happy ending. Game has poor system. Quite a well known fabula since Beast series where a group of students break into pairs and explore the abandoned mansion. Wandering around the rooms takes majority of time.


7. Metadoll Ai メタドールAI [Petit] VNDB

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2026 AD. Amagi Shiro used to be metadoll robots fighting competition champion back in middle school. Then he abandoned it after his mother and his robot disappeared in the house fire of unknown origin. Now a year later he lives with father and he's returning in the competition on his new metadoll Ai.

Game consists of first raising sim part where we aim for the champion title and then there is mystery adv where we investigate the tragic incident of the fire. Fights are very difficult, especially in the first part of the game, but losing does not seem to affect the flow and the ending. And the culprit of the incident is the evil organization and this ADV scenario is too short to matter. 


8. Mujintou Monogatari X ~Gaiden~ 無人島物語X ~外伝~ [Pinpai] VNDB

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The story behind Desert Island is that you and six other people (all girls) have been anesthetized and brought to an uninhabited island. You woke up from theanesthetic and found you and your sister is on an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific. You and your sister have no clue on how you two got on the island. However, you have soon found a radio inside a hut on the beach. From the radio, you are given the information that you and six other people have been transported to this island under the experiment called "J Project." The company conducting this experiment has informed you that you will have three-month to uncover the secret of J Project. From here on you will begin your exploration of the island to uncover the secret of J Project and gather up girls.

After the main trilogy Desert island story started to adapt to the market. So after R story there was an inevitable X story. But instead of just adding H-events the gameplay was razed to a simpleton level. The game has an English review.


9. Roommate ~Ryouko in Summer Vacation~ ルームメイト ~涼子イン サマーバケーション~ [Datam Polystar] VNDB

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Roommate: Ryōko in Summer Vacation is the second game in the trilogy centering around Ryouko Inoue, your roommate for the time of the story. Ryouko just came from abroad and decided to use her summer vacation to return to Japan. Arriving hot and sweaty from the airport, she rings your door bell and after taking a quick shower tells you all about her trip abroad. For the time being, she'll be staying with you and be your roommate.

There is an English review of this game.

 

10. Winter Kiss ウインターキス [UcomVNDB

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You come to winter ski resort. That's a perfect place to find a girlfriend.

There are 8 girls but selection is made on the very first day and then the story just goes automatically. There is full voice here. Besides that it's hardly noticeable. At least the system is ok. An obscure work like most of Ucom works.



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