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VN of the Month January 1998 - Machi - Doukoku Soshite...



There are no masterpieces this month. My subjective choice for VN of the Month January 1998 is Machi - maybe it's the impact of 428 sequel. I've very difficult history with Divi-Dead as both times I tried it I fell asleep. No true ending is worth such boring gameplay. And I just can't appreciate dating SIMs without impact on story to evaluate Sentimental Graffiti properly.

1. Blood Seed 2 ブラッドシード2 [980114] Arkham Products 1
Space cruiser Triant 2 from the free planetary association established a primary contact with an unknown life form while executing its mission. An organism entered the ship and started to attack crew members. No weapons could kill it and the crew had to separate the hull of the ship and abandon it. Then the military ship found the drifting hull, but men were wiped out... First and second missions to annihilate the organism were miserable failures. The four remaining members of third mission had to destroy the ship by destroying it with missiles.
With that the incident was supposed to be over...
You actually play as the biological organism. You need to explore dungeons and evolve by absorbing girls. With raising levels even the toughest security robots stop being a problem. Game's pretty obscure.


2. Kuon 久遠 [980114] M'
Kuon used to study abroad, but now enters prestigious research academy in Japan on a secluded island. To pay his bills he starts a part-time job with one of campus facilities.
A fortune-teller appears before Kuon giving him meaningless prophecy and promising to meet again...
An obscure self-raising SIM. Every day you help out around the campus, do part-time jobs and meet girls. No idea where this all might be going since there is not a single review and there's no patience to get through a SIM game.


3. Pompom Pretty Parfait Okosamayou ポムポムプリてぃパフぇ お子様用 [980114] JAST
Hero is a college student. Before summer vacation he receives an e-mail from his father asking to manage one of the stores for two months. The store is actually a cafe with cute cosplay girls as waitresses. Will he succeed?
You start with four friends working as waitresses and one assistant manager. You need to determine the schedule, converse with waitresses and go on after work events. Each girl has parameters and each girl is only good for one-two jobs, not all of them. There are seven endings - one for each of four girls, one for assistant manager, one for ending up alone and one for failing in sales. The number of events with each girl is small and winning in sales competition during 2 months is quite challenging.


4. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Hoshimitou Kanashimi no Fukushuuki 金田一少年の事件簿 星見島 悲しみの復讐鬼 [980115] Hudson Soft 1
The idol at the height of the popularity got involved in a scandal scandal. Idol manager Tachibana Yufu was searching for the truth of it and was found dead. The police asserted Yufu's death as suicide, but there were two people who had suspicions in that.
One was former idol and Yufu's best friend Katsuragi Yo and another one Yufu's fiance Takuya Asagiri. The two of them decided to take revenge at a leisure facility "Hoshijima" where the stakeholders gathered, but there was a also present a grandson of Kaneda detective Kanedaichi and his friends ..
The purpose of the game is to commit a perfect crime - a murder - and get away with that. It just has everything that I can't stand.


5. Private Garden プライベートガーデン [980115] Tetratech 1
A puzzle game where you move blocks to form an image of a guy or a girl using all the blocks. Easy as it sounds, there is little space given to move the blocks and if any block slips off the platform, you have to try again.
Do the puzzles and get HCG, easy as that. There is some kind of review.


6. Mix Candy 3 みっくすきゃんでぃ3 [980115] Cocktail Soft
Fandisc containing screensavers, wallpapers and a short erotic story 『性欲ロボゼツリンガー』 as a part of the Erotic Baka Novel series.
Story is erotic humorous one about one special robot.


7. Maigo no Kimochi 迷子の気持ち [980116] Foster
Naoto lives in a famous club that his mother owns, that's why Naoto is well known around the town. One day he sees his classmate Asami wondering around downtown and falling victim to nanpa. After listening to her circumstances Naoto hides Asami in his house.
It starts as if there is some meaning in the plot, but then you start to see H events at different places and start to set up your own, even with Asami, so story goes to the background. I still liked the system of moving around the map even thtough story is very linear and you need to go to exact one place each time to progress it.


8. Datenshi no Sumika 堕天使之住処 [980116] Apple Pie
At night, life force is drained by the fallen angels who live over hundred years ...
Put your hands inside the skirt of a girl and stimulate the petals. Girl trembles in treasure and collapses...
I don't consider it a visual game. Just some intro and H-scenes for each girl.


9. Machi 街 [980122] Chunsoft 1 2 3 4 5 6
Machi is a story of 8 unrelated protagonists, all with their own problems and objectives, all living in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan. The story spans 5 in-game days and is told through a huge number of live-action still photographs. The protagonists are varied, including a high school playboy, a gamer geek police officer, a struggling actor, an ex-Yakuza man, a TV scriptwriter and many more. Each of the protagonists lead a completely different story that even defies genres, with one story having a lighthearted comedy style while another having a dark, ominous tone.
The player must play all of the stories in parallel, jumping across different protagonists, and backtracking to re-select branches which not only affect the active protagonist, but also other protagonists through often bizarre twists of causality.
Since its release in 1998, Machi has amassed a cult following among Japanese Sound Novel players, causing a yearning for a sequel for years which did not come to fruition until 2008 which had the release of the spiritual sequel, 428: Fusa Sareta Shibuya De.
There are good English reviews for it.


10. Sentimental Graffiti センチメンタルグラフティ [980122] STACK software 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The protagonist, Tanaka Ichirou, is a high school student who, prior to the spring vacation of his third year, receives a letter simply stating "I want to meet you." During middle school, his frequent transferring of schools allowed him to form unique relationships with various girls. In order to search for the sender of the letter, he travels nationwide to various places, and meets the 12 girls of his memories once again.
Game has at least three English reviews and a lot of information in English


11. Adrastea アドラステア [980123] Bell-Da
In 2050 life extinction on the Earth progressing rapidly due to natural destruction, wars, hunger and indiscriminate murder. Humanity lost morality and approaches its end.
You are going to leave struggling Earth for distant stars in search of gods who abandoned humanity to regain knowledge and morality from them.
It's actually a quiz game to make love with six goddesses each with different topic. After all the goddesses captured you can challenge the Queen of goddesses and regain merits for the humanity.


12. Dice Kiss [980123] Meifuru House Karen
It's two months before Xmas. The hero decided to find a girlfriend before Xmas.
Board game. You throw the dice and move to some field where some event should happen. There are five girls to clear. It's plain tiresome to wait till you roll a good choice for your girl. And the dice rolls very slowly...


13. Divi-Dead [980123] C's Ware 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
My name is Ranmaru Hibikiya. Today is my first day at Asao Private School...
My uncle is the dean of this school. About a month ago, he paid me a visit and offered me enrollment at his school. Seeing I've been out of school for a long time, I accepted his offer. What was the catch? He asked me to keep an eye out for him. Bluntly, I was to be his spy...No problem.
Well actually, there was a problem. Once I arrived, I started noticing some disturbing things. There was violence and misconduct happening on campus, not the usual past times at a private high school. As I got deeper into my investigation, I came across a possible correlation between an underground society and the unusual behavior of my peers. I realized that I could not trust ANYONE.
There's just one last thing...After transferring, sometime between all the sexual escapades happening on campus, and my investigation, something horrifying happened to me. I...
Join me in my quest to uncover the horrible secrets at Asao Private School.... and find out what fate holds for me...
Game is localized and has many English reviews.


14. Girigiri Paradise ぎりぎりパラダイス [980123] May-Be Soft 1
GiriGiri Paradise has a rather simple story: the protagonist, a teenager named Keiichi, is having a vacation. Together with three young, pretty girls (initially only friends of his), he goes on a journey, which ends in a small hotel on the sea shore. Exploring the surroundings and meeting local people (some of which are young, pretty girls as well!), Keiichi realizes that this trip is gradually turning into the busiest sex adventure of his life...
Game turns into erotic adventure very fast, so there's no real development besides H story. From time to time you have freedom to choose location just to encounter more H events.


15. Amandine アマンディーヌ [980123] Flare
Welcome to the world where imagination and reality mix together in a luscious image.
A total of 12 attractive girls with unique personalities wait for you to answer quizzes about them correctly.
Nothing fancy here, just quiz with HCG.


16. Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy ~Heart no Kimochi~ 魔法少女プリティサミー ~ハートのきもち~ [980129] Interchannel
Contains two stories: "Nazo no Shinheiki!? ~Codename wa Kirakira Rakuda~" and "Moero! Honou no Choco ~Valentine made ato 3 hi~"
An evil organization captured a mysterious secret ray weapon. Magical girl Pretty Sammy gradually gets involved in the incident.
Saturn exclusive for fans mostly. There's full voice and lots of animation.


17. Kau 飼 [980130] 13cm
Hero is a pharmacist who follows his father's steps who is a president of a pharmaceutical company. Of course, he's not interested in the current work. So in the end father suddenly requests a certain job from the hero - to train sex slaves for Tachibana play. What's with this play and why is he chosen trainer?
Training H SIM + AVG with twenty girls. Plot-less nukige.


18. Rashin 裸唇 RASHIN [980130] Pias
There was a strange woman in the castle I found in the forest. But I can not remember anything.
But why I have a sense of deceitfulness...
Mystery H adventure. Nothing is really explained. There are rooms and moving around triggers some girl H story. Each girl has two stories and two costumes. A normal nukige.


19. Seikimatsu Taimaden Tsumugi-chan SOS 世紀末退魔伝つむぎちゃん SOS [980130] Desire
Tsumugi-chan is a girl from a demonic master clan who lives in a mountain temple. While still being inexperienced, a difficult job came in for her one day - to investigate the seven wonders of the school and eliminate the evil contained there. An apprentice exorcist and psychic who can not control her abilities will help Tsumugi-chan to uncover the mystery hidden in the school!
Game's based on an ancient erotic manga and the contents is largely erotic plus some bakage.


Recommended Comments

Guest stop this pls


2 hours ago, fun2novel said:

I don't get it. Do you actually play all these vns? How is this different from vndb?

He doesn't.

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17 minutes ago, Guest stop this pls said:

He doesn't.

I see.

Then how about at least linking to English information. All it says is, there are two English reviews or something like that. Or there  is information in English. At least show links if you don't want to add anything of your own.

Just an idea. Because to be honest, I have vndb with the same information, at my fingertips, and it's easier to look up vns there than in a blog. And googling for images and videos on youtube takes no time at all.

Edited by fun2novel
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1. 50% of titles so far did not even have synopsis on VNDB. After each post I fill in synopsis on VNDB, so it's definitely less different afterwards.

2. I'm mostly interested in gathering up English review links - each game title here has a link showing to http://vndb.review/XXX where actual links are gathered. From time to time i block or unblock smth, so blog is like a rough first view and most up to date information will only be on wiki. I used to post direct English review links separately prior to 1997, but that was time-consuming, so one wiki link it is. I started it as an incentive to create review corner at VNDB anyway and wrote that in VNDB suggestions back in 2016.

3. I read all Japanese reviews for unknown titles and retell them so that at least some opinion is given on top of dry synopsis. I actually play the game only if I like what I read, although I've a really huge backpack of VNs read.

4. I get an opportunity to look at evolution of genre and try to sum it up at the end of the year.

5. If that all still seems pathetic, hop in for full reviews. There will be lots of untranslated forgotten titles.

P.S. This month is especially crappy since I don't comment on English reviews and two leftover ones are a badly made board game and series detective work that I can't force myself to even read on. 

Edited by kivandopulus
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Do whatever you feel like you want to do, it's your blog. You don't want to add links because it takes too much time, you add an image for each vn that you found somewhere on the net, and a link to a youtube video, which takes just as much effort as adding a link to a review.

But you don't want to bother downloading and playing these games on an emulator for a few hours at least and give your readers an opinion from a first source experience. You don't want to take screenshots, and if the game has no youtube video you'll never bother to record your own video and upload it.

Basically do whatever you feel like. It's just that you update your blog really fast and it shows just how much effort you put and the quality of your work. I think you have a great idea and a lot of heart in what you're doing. But just a little more work can go a long way in making a better user experience.

Edited by fun2novel
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I don't want to add links other than my wiki because it would overburden the text. There are up to 10 links for each game and giving all of them for each game is just unwise. But getting additional info if you get interested in the game - that's another thing. Some might want to check Japanese reviews - they are also there. And I actually used to have all kind of other sources links like wikipedia, game wiki, getchu, walkthrough, savegame, erogamescape, seesawiki - and I was amazed to know that all that all that is gathered already at egono.com japanese site, so now I'm posting just egono.com link of each game and it's of huge help, there should be egono link at VNDB too.

One image can sometimes tell more than a page of text. I don't really care where I take the image - but it should reflect gameplay part of the game. If there's no gameplay, it should contain as many characters as possible to give a better impression on drawing and characters. Game overview without an image is just lifeless. 

Video opening/trailer can be a great inspirational material and additional tool to show drawing/gameplay. By 1998 very few games have an opening so sometimes there's just first minutes of game start instead.

I'd like to grasp a unique impression for each game - image+opening+synopsis+freestyle opinion so far feel ok for me. Omochikaeri here is the paragon I look up to with the major difference of impression/review rather than a preview. 2000's are going to have up to 40 non-eroge VNs released at certain months so info-dumping is inevitable even with such modest format.

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