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Dead Days

Clephas

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On request and because I am a Kurashiki fan, I decided to play this, despite worries about the concept and the characters... and I came out finding my worries perfectly justified.

First, the protagonist Teru... in a standard chuunige, he would be the jackass that gets killed after begging for his life in the opening act after doing something totally scumbag-like.  Worse, rather than being merely a cold-blooded manipulator (which is how the Getchu page presented him), he is actually an irritable kid who thinks he is a lot smarter than he is. 

Second, the heroines... first, the punk-like Aira who overdoes her makeup and generally speaks like an airhead but has definite anger issues.  Second is Asami, another man's wife who is generally weak-spirited and only clings to her second life out of a desire not to lose what she has left (her husband and child).  Third is Mao, the protagonist's osananajimi who has a strong sense of justice, is pretty naive in general, and tends to get on the protagonist's nerves constantly (this gets worse after he dies and gets resurrected).  Mao is the true heroine of the game... and also the single most annoying character in the game, even setting aside the protagonist's issues with her.  To be blunt, she is yet another Victim A heroine presented as the true heroine of a serious game with violence...

Third, the writing... I wanted to cry at how low-quality the writing in this game is compared to Kurashiki's previous two Clock-up games.  Both Okami and Maggot showed off his skills in full, and as a result, they have a cult fanbase even amongst those who don't like the sexual themes involved in the latter or the social ones in the former.  The basic narrative quality is scaled down to the level of the protagonist, which is hugely disappointing. 

Last, though this is more of a universal complaint for all Clock-up games... too much meaningless h-scenes.  I hate Clock-up's visual style for H-scenes (there aren't any torture rape scenes in this one, outside of the bad endings which I didn't watch), and the presence of loli content made me vomit... twice.  Seriously, was that really necessary? 

The good points of this VN lie solely in the individual heroine paths, because the common route is just poorly handled and paced.  The heroine paths, on the other hand, are slightly stronger, though only Mao's has a decent epilogue (even by VN standards). 

Overall, this game felt like a really inept attempt at psychological horror.  Considering how good a job Kurashiki has done previously at this kind of thing, it startled me how huge the gap in quality was between this and his previous works... both for Light and Clock-up.  Even Sora no Baroque was better, and that is saying a lot.



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I presume the poor writing might be a result of a really rushed job. The game was announced shortly after Okami and released afterwards in what was a really short period of time. I didn't try the trial yet. How does it feel in terms of general quality compared to their previous titles, mainly art and sound departments? If it's worse or simplified, Clock-Up may have released more of a budget game instead.

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