I want to start doing reviews of VNs that I have physicals of where I both review the VN itself and show of the physical edition. I figured I would start with the most recent one I have completed which is Starless.
First I guess I should mention what kind of VN Starless is. Starless is a hardcore fetish nukige, so if that doesn't sound interesting to you it probably isn't something you are going to like.
I guess I should first start of with the general plot, though I will avoid spoilers.
In the VN you play as Sawatari a young man who is looking for a summer job. After finding a sketchy looking adverticement he ends up applying for a two week long job as a servant in a mansion belonging to a rich family consisting of a mother her two daugthers and one son. During the interview Sawatari finds out that the job is more like that of a sex slave rather than that of a normal servant, though due to the high wage and not wanting to back down after all the things they had done to him during the interview he decides to stay. The next day a woman named Mitarai who is in desperate need of money also applies for the job and reluctantly accepts it due to her suituation. After this you follow Sawatari's daily life as a servants of the family for two weeks. During these two weeks you and the other servants of the mansion act out the messed up desire of the family as you try to keep your sanity. Throughout your stay you learn pieces of information about all the shady and messed up things that the family is doing behind the scenes and ultimately your aim is to get yourself and Mitarai out of the mansion alive and with your sanity intact.
Some things that I liked
The art of this VN is really good, I suppose rather than me telling you about it you can look at the pictures bellow or you can look at the screenshots at vndb.
As for the music I liked it quite a lot. I found it to always work with the mood of the scene.
The main character is actually able to think and I found his inner monologue to be interesting.
I really liked how they built up the different mysteries in the mansion, it was quite fun not really knowing what secrets were hidden in the basement and the shady things the family did behind the scenes.
The characters were well writen, their distinctive personality really showed.
After the first few days they start having sexual lectures and I found it interesting not knowing what type of lecture the next day would bring. I felt that this was quite good for building up anticipation for what would happen next and keep you playing.
The VN has a rediculous amount of sexual content since it is a long nukige, I would estimate that the VN is about 40 hours long and most of it is just sex scenes.
The genitalia is really well drawn.
It covers pretty much every fetish you can think of, excluding fetishes found only in fantasy VNs, you know like monsters.
Some things that I didn't like
While the music is good there are few tracks compared to the length of the VN, this makes it feel somewhat repetative.
During one part of the VN there are a lot of scat scenes, the high amount of scat scenes was something I really didn't like that much.
Towards the end of the common route and during most of the endings I found the content to be too extreeme for my liking. During the last parts of the VN I honestly just wanted to get it over with. This is of course based on taste, but if you don't feel up for a lot of really messed up things I would advice avoiding the title.
Too many bad endings in my opinion.
I really hated the secound daugther of the family, though since the family are the villains of this VN I can't really call that a bad thing. Also while I despiced her I do remember being at the edge of my seat everytime she was involved with something just waiting for her to do something horrible. Guess this is more of a neutral point.
Some of the content is censored due to legal reasons, things like scat and beastiality. This can be restored easily by using an unofficial patch, which to my knowledge is pretty much actually an official patch that they had someone else publish to avoid legal problems. While it is easy to fix I think it is somewhat annoying not to have all of the VN on the disc.
This is a high quality long nukige with good writing, art and music, but it is not for everyone. This title is only for those who really want a completely messed up nukige with a ton of fetishes ranging from slightly messed up to absolutely horrifyingly messed up. Personally I really enjoyed the first part, but as I got towards the end of it I found it to be way too extreeme for my liking. As for whether or not I would like to pick up any other VNs from Empress after this my answer is no, the reason being that I hated the later part of it. While I wouldn't pick up another similar title I am glad to have experienced this title since it was quite a unique experience that I haven't really had before.
As for the translation I found the translation itself to be really good, the lines had a good flow and captured the different characters personality quite well.
However one thing I found annoying about the translation was that there were a lot of typos.
It seemed to me like the one translating did a really good job, but that they then just didn't do proper quality control afterwards.
Pictures of the limited edition
In advance I would like to appologize about the pictures bellow not being that good, I am not really good at taking pictures and my iphone's camera isn't the best either.
Outside of the limited edition box
The inside of the limited edition box. The artbook is to the left and the DVD case for the game is to the right.
The game itself as well as a user manual and a card with a code for starless that can be used through Jast USA. Of course the DVD works for the game so the code is just an extra.
User manual that contains the setup and different features. If you look at the text under "Gallery Room" you can see that there is an obvious typo, a bit sad that typos made it into the physical copy itself.
Here is a sample from the artbook that shows of one of the servants of the mansion.
Here is another sample from the artbook, the mother of the family to the left and her oldest daugther to the right
As for my review of the limited edition I would say that it is really worth it, the box looks really good and the artbook is really nice to take a look in. If you think of picking up the title I would really recommend going for the limited edition. When I wrote this post the limited edition was available, but it has now been sold out and been replaced by a regular edition.