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VN of the Month July 2000 - Shoin, Aruiwa Ushinawareta Yume no Monogatari

kivandopulus

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There's not much to choose from this month. Shoin is the only masterpiece and the winner by default.

1. See in Ao See In 青 -シーンAO- [000706] Alice Soft 1
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Kyoya goes to Andrude Ocean School, which is also a large ocean city. Kyoha saved Kisaragi Miyu who lost conscience her memory three years ago. Since then, she has had a secret yearning to him. Her twin sister, Yumi, is helping Miyu fulfill her love, but her thought is wavering between Kyoya and her sister. They lost their parents and they've lived helping each other. However, one day, Yumi turns out to be a biological android that the parents made.
Alice Soft finally joins the romance novel chase. It's a game with absolutely beautiful graphics and nice futuristic setting. But at the same time it's built on a traditional Alice Soft engine that poorly suits ADV novels. There is both pure love and devil route, and I can't really stand the gap between them. Little is actually explained, so reader has to observe the action from outside. The routes are one way roads and have poorly developed drama in them. It's a work that's difficult to evaluate. There is an English review.

 

2. Yousei 妖精 [000706] Alice Soft
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Early 20th century, Western Europe. Protagonist has had success as a painter, but he feels a sense of emptiness in his life with each day repeating over and over. But one day a small winged fairy fitting his palm falls from the sky. He takes her home and finds a new source of inspiration in her.
It's a bonus game without any reviews. Not voiced, and I'm not interested enough to play it to the end.

 

3. Ambience [000707] Inspire
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Main character lives in a mansion with his maid Lease Frau who allows him to avoid socializing. One day he receives a letter from his cousin Liana who is forced to serve at king's court and who wants to spend the leftover time before separation together with main character...
Inspire games are unique in graphics and atmosphere. Again there is medieval Europe and memorable heroines. There are three heroines and their routes mostly about human drama and lots of H events. 

 

4. Hachigatsu no Nostalgia ~The Summer with You~ 八月のノスタルジア ~the summer with you~ [000707] BeF
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Main character comes help manage the pension house at the request of his distant relative. He lived there 10 years ago and now has very vague memories about that time. As he comes closer to the place, the faint memories emerge at the sight of familiar landscape.
Can't stand these nostalgic works. It's first BeF non-eroge work, and it can't boast depth. The volume is smaller than usual. The drawing is original and not too bad.

 

5. Half Vampire Saki-san ハーフヴァンパイア サキさん [000707] Kurumi
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With the law enacted 20 years ago monsters penetrated human society. However, the fundamental difference between people and demons persists and there is a lot of protest movement, so the government dedicates an entire city of the Kanto prefecture as a monster 's living area with full autonomy - Baharihara City. 
Main heroine Saki lives this city with her vampire father and human mother. She gets caught up in the rapist attacks and discovers powers of an old god inherited from her father vampire. However, the government of Baharihara City can't tolerate rivalry and plans to assassinate Saki. So starts the battle over Saki and the Old god in the Baharihara City.
This is a bakage with a heavy use of deformed character CG. Saki is supposed to be main heroine, but the viewpoint actually changes a lot of times. Play time is about 7 hours, and the tempo is good most of the time. But there are mini-games that mess with the tempo, especially shooter one with sloppy mouse controls. It's possible to focus on different girls, but the routes repeat for the most part, and thus it's not fun to 

 

6. Nakanai Neko なかない猫 [000707] Scramble House
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One day Naoki sees a dream that recovers forgotten memories. In the dream he kills his parents inspired by his sister-in-law.  
Naoki resonates with the girls who have "heart wounds". Will he be able to heal their and his own wounds?
Game starts with a blood scene and is built on this contrast of a shocking start and movement to a happy end. Story is told from the 3rd point of view. Story is relatively short and differs with every choice - it's much better than going through the same main route over and over again. There are a lot of insult scenes and bad endings. So returning to normal life is already enough for a happy ending.

 

7. Milkyway [000708] Witch
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Fed up with your lazy attitude, your parents depart on travel for an indefinite amount of time, leaving you with the responsibility of taking care of the family cafe and your little sister. With the help of your childhood friend, you rearrange the shop, and hire new people, hoping to avoid bankruptcy.
A bright restaurant-themed game. There's not such thing as skip unread text here, and also it's impossible to save on the choose location screen, which irritates a lot. Each heroine route is short, but there are a lot of characters, nine, I think. Can't really say much about a moege.

 

8. Maverick Max マーヴェリック・マックス [000714] Blue Gale
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Distant future. Max is a captain of the fastest space ship that delivers cargo between different start systems. He does not belong to the guild, so can take any kind of requests if he feels like, legal or illegal - does not matter. He has two assistant girls to accompany him. One day he gets a request to deliver a mysterious girl Matilda to a certain start. What awaits him there?
There are six heroines to capture. In the middle of the game and in the end of it there are two different mini-games at enemy attack scene - the latter one has RPG feel about it. Basically first half of the game is world depiction and heroine flagging while second half is conflict between Matilda and some shady organization. As a result the setting is quite good and with a lot of explanation and description, but the number of events is small. Overall the impact of the characters is smaller than that of the previous Blue Gale games Pile Driver and Treating2U.

 

9. Omakase Doukoukai おまかせ同好会 [000714] Rain Software
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Main character attends school theater club. Participants work hard together, and satisfaction from well done job can grow into something more...
A romance comedy with easy to understand school setting. There is full voicing, but speech volume is very bad. The number of CG is relatively small. Quite an average game that's still possible to enjoy.

 

10. Shinobu - Tsukikage no Meikyuu 偲-月影の迷宮 [000714] C's Ware BLITZ
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Sengoku. One day Huaga clan scrolls get stolen by Saiga clan. Three Huaga clan shinobi were sent to recover the scrolls, but failed. Now a legendary ninja exiled from the Huaga clan in the past is requested to take up the task.
Game screen may look intimidating, but it's more of an adventure game than an RPG, it just looks this way to imitate RPG experience. Story is action one, but ero-tilt and not exciting enough. Since it's C's Ware minor branch and no CARNELIAN present, the game does not interest me much.

 

11. Suki da yo! 好きだよっ! [000714] Ather 1 2
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True love or just true lust?
As one of the most handsome guys on campus, Jun has never had any trouble finding a girl who wants to have a good time, but while the sex is always hot, something just seems to be missing... love. Jun's search to find that special someone leads him to the Shinbashi sisters, his good childhood friends! Should he go for Reina, the gorgeous blonde who overflows with kindness? How about Rina, the perky and agile sports girl who's had a crush on Jun for years? And then there's the mysterious Mina, the fiery redhead with a sharp tongue and a hot body who's just reappeared in his life...
Three very different sisters, but all have the same needs and desires. Will Jun ever be able to pick just one?
Story is actually not as straightforward as in anime. Main character is taken for a molester in the train and has to resolve this misunderstanding at school. For the most of the game we just receive requests and fulfill them in some manner which rises favorability level of certain girls. But in the second part of the game father suddenly remarries and we get three sisters-in-law suddenly living under the same room. The period is relatively long - one year. Some unrealistic features as clones and ghosts are used. There are some bugs like voice accompanying wrong text is some parts. Overall an average game with much less H tilt than in anime version.

 

12. Twin Way [000714] Studio e.go! 1
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Takada is the main character, a karate club member with a few bad habits. He is getting frustrated with being compared to his brother at every turn who started a dojo of his own.
He makes some friends over the internet and after meeting them his life begins to change, gradually he gets closer with more than a few girls and soon he arrives at a crossroads, which way will he chose his life to go?
There is an English review.

 

13. Shoin, Aruiwa Ushinawareta Yume no Monogatari. 書淫、或いは失われた夢の物語。 [000715] 1 2 3 4 5
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Two scenarios:
Shoin: You play as N, whose true identity is x, a serial rapist; with your latest job, you go to a hotel where three women, Hinata, Yukari and Misa, are staying, and you have to rape them. However, the first morning a note appears in your room, from somebody who claims to be x.
Ushinawareta Yume no Monogatari: The protagonist Akira is staying in a hotel with his friend from college Misa, and along with two other women, Hinata and Yukari. A morning, when they wake up, they discover that they have been closed off from the outer world, and they are left with a message saying that they will be trapped "until the winter comes".
There are English reviews. Definitely a masterpiece and the best candidate for vn of the month so far.

 

14. Liberal リベラル [000720] Clio
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Main character is a college student who attracts misfortune. One day he receives a letter from a childhood friend asking to return to home town during fall vacations. He is welcomed warmly upon arrival. But this town has been cursed 100 years ago. Hero needs help five girls with different troubles to lift the curse from inhabitants and himself.
Period is just a week, and it's needed to form ties with one of girls by day 8 or it's game over. One playthrough is as short as two hours. Just one H scene for each of five heroines. Setting is not used to the fullest. Text interactions are only funny with certain characters. There is nothing immersive or exciting here, not even in the ending. 

 

15. Snow Drop [000720] Sweet Basil 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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Snow drop is a beautiful European herb known for bearing nodding white flowers that often appear while the snow is on the ground, despite the cold of winter around it. Filled with symbolism of "hope" and "consolation," the beautiful flower is the central theme in Snow Drop, the romantic wintertime bishoujo adventure from Peach Princess!
You are Minoru Sasazuka, age 19, a bit of a dreamer with a difficult tendency of not being able to make decisions when your heart is involved. A normal Japanese boy, trying to get into college, you've got a handsome physique that should make you popular with girls, but your occasional penchant for romanticism drives them away.
Invited on a winter dream ski trip with a group of friends, you head for a ski lodge for some winter skiing and fun. For you, it's a journey home, since you frequented this particular lodge since when you were young. With you are Kyoka, a very special childhood friend of yours, her stylish sister Keika, and your sister, Honami.
At the lodge, you enjoy the hospitality of the owner, Kasumi, a competent woman with a tinge of sadness in her eyes. Also at the lodge is the lovely Shizuka, the mysterious helper who has many secrets.
As the story develops, you are confronted with the reality that Kyoka, your friend since childhood, loves you. You've suspected this, but haven't ever been able to face this before now, with the magical and romantic winter snow all around you. At the same time, you are strangely attracted to the quiet and romantic Shizuka-chan -- which will you choose? Although many erotic temptations are in store in the quiet mountain retreat, and there are many paths you can choose, you must be true to your heart.
There are English reviews.

 

16. Calendar Girl カレンダーガール [000721] Foster
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Hero has a tedious personality, but once he says to himself "I want to have a girlfriend by summer vacations". He has sympathies for three nice girls around him...
Forster first pure love story! That's the new trend and they hopped in. All three heroines are very cute and voicing is good. But apart of that there is no impact. There is nothing special in hero and characters, and text is not particularly good either. Without the traditional Foster tilt to funny and unusual H events there's not much to talk about.

 

17. Drill Shoujo Spiral Nami ドリル少女 スパイラル・なみ [000721] Evolution
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Our lonely and bored guy decided to buy a maid doll robot. Since he can't afford a new doll, he ended up buying a prototype with a missing right arm. The store owner put in a drill arm as replacement. So, to get enough money to buy a normal arm for his maid, he let her work Monday to Friday to train her stats and earn some money. On Saturday and Sunday, he can take her to doll fights to win more money, or have fun with her if he bought parts necessary. If he defeat other dolls, they might like him too. This game is nice that even though you have one year, you can end the game early with most doll girls.
Evolution continues its experiments with gameplay eroge, and as I see it, not too successfully. There is pretty much nothing in the game but these two protruding elements.

 

18. Sentimental Graffiti 2 センチメンタルグラフティ2 [000727] STACK software 1 2 3
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The second game takes place in a world in which the first protagonist died in a traffic accident during his journey. The game takes place in a college town in which the original 12 girls have gathered to attend. The protagonist, Shiina Kouhei, is a second-year college student and a member of the Photography Club. He has been tasked with the job of finding his own model for the photo exhibition at the upcoming school festival, and thus turns to one of the now emotionally scarred girls in hopes of convincing them to become his model.
There are English reviews.

 

19. Hoshi no Furusato -Stardust Memories- 星の降る里 -STARDUST MEMORIES- [000728] Face
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Main character loses memory after an accident and returns to his hometown to regain his memory. Through conversations with cute girls there he starts to recover, but at the same time he realizes the promises he made long time ago.
Game is a true disaster. The talks are monotonous, the H events are sudden. Heroines are typical and blank. The quiz about little details from previous encounters is irritation. It's hard to find even a single appeal point here, not even the graphics.

 

20. Kirameku Shunkan きらめく瞬間 [000728] Black Light
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Main character breaks a leg in a motorcycle accident and starts to undergo three months treatment in the hospital. This hospital is admitted by students from the same school. He is found by his classmate who can't stop surprising how seriously ill people fight their problems with optimism every day.
Another Treating2U clone with an absolutely plain protagonist. The only surprising thing in the game is one boys love route.

 

21. Portrait ポートレイト [000728] Tesla
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Main character attends a religious school. As a member of arc club he has has hesitations sometimes. One day he reads a book and gets so much inspired by it that decides to make his new work with this book as a motif. Each day he works with girls on his work and each night he interacts with their hearts in his dreams.
Quite a unique work with a lot of reviews. There are 8 kinds of stories prepared for 4 heroines - one love and one insult for each. Game only takes 6 days, but the amount of text is large as there is both real world and the world of dreams. It's a serious scenario-centered psycho nakige, but also with insult routes. 

 

22. Pure Heart ~Sekai de Ichiban Anata ga Suki~ Pure Heart ~世界で一番アナタが好き~ [000728] Saga Planets
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In the future there is a boom of robotics and female humanoids AI-D are developed. Main character suddenly gets a large money from a contest and decides to buy his own AI-D android. How will his living together with a robot fare?
It's kind of a SIM game to cultivate a perfect female android in one year time. Schedule, training... you know the drill. AI-D is cute and all, but I won't ever understand SIM games.

 

23. Rimlet [000728] Tail
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Rimlet is a cafe with a calm atmosphere where main character starts to work as a part-time worker. The staff members and customers make his heart sing there. Can he heal girls troubles and make them smile again?
There are only three heroines and story is only good for one main heroine. Setting is thin and development is too fast.

 

24. Tsuioku 追憶 [000728] Purple
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Main character is a martial arts master who gets to live at a Shinto priest family together with three beautiful shrine maidens. But as memories of his previous life gradually wake up, he starts to treat the priest family members differently... with jealousy, affection, hatred.
A new purple game, but it is a different scenario writer from Lien, so scenario is not even remotely as good. The setting is focused on mystics, martial arts and past life, and this mix makes me feel bored already. There are three heroines both with good endings and bad endings. There are fight scenes in the game, but just few of them. Game is sometimes evaluated as Okinawa version of Kuon no Kizuna, and that's a very good comparison... same deadly boring.

 

25. Tsukushite Agechau 2 Nandemo Shichau no 尽くしてあげちゃう2 なんでもしちゃうの [000728] Trabulance
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Main character has rough appearance, but there are several girls around him who start to pay him a lot of attention. He wants just peaceful life with a girlfriend - but what will he get?
A continuation of an easygoing franchise with a distinctive ero tilt. The difficulty level is surprisingly high for such kind of game. Game is not voiced and there is not enough expression in text. Game is divided into two half - first flagging a girl and then living with her.

 

BLOCKED

 

1. Kumo Tsukai 蜘蛛使い [000707] Akubi
Main character gets a spider bite in an expedition. That infuses him with great lust and desire to abduct women. He has had his fun with expedition women and now comes back to Japan in search for more victims.
Nukige

 

2. Unbalance [000707] 1
The story revolves round a rich man's son, whose wife, Misato, died a year earlier in a traffic accident. After her death, the main character can only indulge himself in drinking. By chance, Misato's little sister, Mika, had a crush on him and one spring night, she could not stand to look at the main character wasting his life away on drinking, so she confessed her love to him in hope of taking over Misato's place in his life. 
As a result Mika sort of becomes a sex slave when the main story starts six months later, but it seems that the main character has not gotten over the death of Misato and he's quite bitter about it...
Nukige

 

3. Uragiri 裏切り [000707] Haoh
Main character enjoys face expression of deceived girls. He believes that people want to be betrayed by others. His past memories are deleted by "organization", and now he gets into trust of girls and then kidnaps and trains them without any moral hesitation.
Nukige

 

4. Bible Black -La Noche de Walpurgis- Bible Black -La Noche de Walpurgis- [000714] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
There’s been an ever-present rumor going around the school that there were some students that held satanic rituals inside the campus. However, the faculty is still tight-lipped over the whole subject. You play as a regular student who stumbles upon the very book the cultist used. You crack open the book, and begin stumbling upon the various powers this book has granted him. Now rumors are milling around you, and your best friend, some fellow cult-happy students, and a few of the school-staff start getting curious. How will you handle this evil power?
Nukige

 

5. Hentai Channel Abnormal TV 変態チャンネル アブノーマルTV [000714] STONE HEADS
Main character is a trainer for five applicant girls for hentai TV channel. Learn their preferences and approach accordingly while managing commercials in live braodcast.
Nukige

 

6. Houkai 崩壊 [000714] Omni-sha
There are a lot of women who have to uphold high moral standards at work. But the sexual desire is so strong in them that it is possible to collapse if keep everything inside. This is a web site for such women to convey their stories and share experience.
Nukige

 

7. Truth of Mind ~Kokoro no Yami ni Hisomu Akuma to Tenshi~ Truth of Mind ~心の闇に潜む悪魔と天使~ [000714] Serene
One day a rape case occurs in a theater that main character is guarding. Owner of the theater asks protagonist to investigate this case discreetly so that theater reputation does not suffer. Girls willingly cooperate with investigation, but then second and third rape cases occur as if criminal wants to ridicule the investigator. Will hero be able to catch the culprit and protect cute theater girls?
Nukige

 

8. Dear Daniel no Sweet Adventure ~Kitty-chan o Sagashite~ ディアダニエルのスウィートアドベンチャー ~キティちゃんをさがして~ [000719] Imagineer Co., Ltd.
In order to reunite with Kitty we need to clear the stages all over the world and get "love points". Upon accumulating love points it's possible to use various costumes and items, and enter a hidden stage. The more power-up items you get, the more high-score techniques of jump you can use, making it twice as easy to earn love love points. Mini games and communication function depend on love points.
Gameboy exclusive

 

9. Hello Kitty no Sweet Adventure ~Daniel-kun ni Aitai~ ハローキティのスウィートアドベンチャー ~ダニエルくんにあいたい~ [000719] Imagineer Co., Ltd.
In order to reunite with Daniel, Kitty needs to clear the stages all over the world and get "love points". Upon accumulating love points it's possible to use various costumes and items, and enter a hidden stage. If you change your costume to fit the stage, you can gain power, fly in the sky, swim in the ocean and use magic. Mini games and communication function depend on love points.
Gameboy exclusive

 

10. Masuo-san マスオさん [000721] Kurumi
Main character is going to marry a girl from a known family. That family has a tradition that the week before the wedding groom has to live with the bride's family. A lot of unexpected events can happen in one week...
Nukige

 

11. Ori no Naka no Watashi 檻の中のわたし [000721] Cage
Girl Nao is taken from an orphanage and has a happy childhood with father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. But it only lasts until the day her step-father abuses her on the exit from the bathroom. Nao decides to accept her obscene fate. Can she ever find true happiness?
Nukige

 

12. Ryuusei Tenshi Primaveil 流聖天使プリマヴェール [000721] Escu:de
Main character is an executive of a secret evil society that manages to capture the justice idol heroine. His job is to train her into an obedient slave. But there is another justice heroine still fighting the organization. It would be perfect to catch her and train into pet as well.
Nukige

 

13. Success! サクセス! [000721] Scoop
Tokita Hayato visits major manufacturers with his brilliant inventions, but can't find real investors. One day he stumbles upon his former classmate who invites him for an interview to a huge lingerie shop building. Hayato's bio gel invention becomes a huge success, but Hayato gets involved in power struggle between development manager and health underwear director. The tension rises high, and he'll need to cool it down to the best of his ability in a huge building full of passionate girls. 
Nukige

 

14. Hako no Naka no Etsuraku 匣の中の悦楽 [000725] Gaia 1
The player becomes a taxi driver and violates passengers, Seeing girl's breasts and beautiful legs through a rearview mirror can easily excite any driver. He stops the taxi where no one is and turns the taxi into a box of carnal desires. 5 different types of girls are your targets, and you can violate them not only in the taxi, but also at your house, or even at a park. 
Nukige

 

15. A la Carte アラカルト [000727] Actress
A collection of short stories chosen from the cafe menu:
1. Last mother
2. Dokan at your warehouse 「お蔵でドカン」
3. Chuki Choki Chiki Story 「ちゅきちょきちゅきなものがたり」
4. Distant blue sky 「遠い青空」
5. Voyeur Dog 「盗撮犬わおーん」
6. Wolf King 「狼王」
Antology

 

16. Maamoku Remix!! ~The Mah-Jang Remix~ まぁ黙 Remix!! ~The Mah-Jang Remix~ [000728] West Gate
Same as original game with an addition of some modes and features.
Remake

 

17. Mizu Tenbin ~Nageki no Namida~ 水天秤 ~嘆きの涙~ [000728] Apple Pie
In order to become a successor to the world's most prestigious conglomerate, main character must fulfill Don 's unusual desires which is to collect all kinds of female body liquids. It's a dark world here, and it's possible to dispose of opposing persons calmly.
Nukige

 

18. Yuki Zuri ゆきずり [000728] Aquarium
Tomoko is raised by a lady drowned in sex with random men, and as a result gets involved in adult games as well.
Nukige

 

19. Canon キャノン [000730] Digital Aniki
A fan-fiction VN featuring Ka*on's characters.
Fandisc


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I remember one of the english reviews i saw for Shoin making it look like a lesser version of Ever17 with the narrative trickery. Is that exaggerated or not?

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