I've been considering this for some time, but it has suddenly become a reality.
To be blunt, I've come to my limit when it comes to playing pure SOL games. Oh, I can still enjoy many of them, but if you asked me whether I can look at them without my resentment of 'normal' SOL content blinding me, the answer is no. If I have to read through one more template date scene or see another osananajimi climb through the window from next door, I'm going to start tearing out the last remaining hairs atop my head.
*coughs* Ahem, now that I've got that out, it needs to be said that I've been doing this since September of 2012... a ridiculous amount of time to be playing roughly 80% of all non-nukige VNs that come out (I'm figuring those I dropped or just couldn't play because they were just that bad into the twenty percent).
Just to be clear, I will still continue to play VNs and comment on/review them in this blog. However, I will no longer play as many outside my tastes, nor will I go out of my way to seek gems from companies I hate reading from.
I realized while I was playing Koisaku (Ensemble's latest game), that a few years ago, I would have read this game without any real problems, and I wouldn't even have blinked at the crap that now drives me up the wall. Oh sure, Ensemble's base quality has fallen massively, but when I took a step back, this is actually one of the better amongst their more recent games, with plenty of indications of real stories for the heroines in the background. However, I found I just couldn't tolerate it.
It hit me in the date scene that occurs in the common route... I have no tolerance for date scenes at all anymore. Scenes like that exist for every heroine in every SOL VN, and they all turn out in almost an identical fashion. Reading it, even though it was basically a 'friend date', was like dragging my brain through mud. I just couldn't do it.
I promised myself that I wouldn't BS myself on this particular matter years ago... and I knew the limit was coming. I just didn't realize that it would be this soon.
So, I have to announce that this is the end of my VN of the Month column. Now, all that remains is my Random VNs and whatever VNs I choose to play each month.
I will continue to play what I'm interested in, and that will probably include slice-of-life at times. However, I will no longer play SOL out of a sense of duty to my readers.
My original reasons for starting VN of the Month
When I first started Clephas' VN of the Month, it was because vndb gives nothing to you for info on their games beyond poor tls of the game summary from Getchu, character profiles, and sometimes tags (that might or might not be accurate). I felt that that didn't do most games justice, and I hated the way I had to go into a game blind on so many occasions. As such, I started putting up commentaries on just what kind of VN I was playing, with few or no spoilers. This was a need that, at the time, was not being fulfilled (and as far as I know, still isn't, since most reviewers include major spoilers because they are inconsiderate).
Over time, my routine each month started with figuring out which games weren't nukige and which I would play first... and picking out which one was the best after I played them (the latter of course being entirely a matter of my opinion, informed as it might be).
However, it is time to set down my burden. I tried handing off my work to others, and that worked for a while (thanks to @Dergonu@fun2novel@BookwormOtaku@Kiriririri for their help over the last year - yes, even you, Kiriririri). In the end, though, I'm just one man... and one middle-aged man with increasingly bad health isn't going to be able to keep this up any longer. Heck, I'm amazed i kept going this long.
I do hope someone else takes up the torch of at least informing people of what to expect in newer games (and not just the ones from popular companies), but that isn't my job anymore.
Thanks for reading,