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No One But You (Western VN Review)

Plk_Lesiak

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In our obscure EVN market, there are rarely games or events that could be described as major controversies – even the most unfortunate releases or Kickstarter disasters usually don’t involve enough people and money to gather the attention of the community for a longer period of time or spark a mass backlash. Along with Aeon Dream Studios’ k-pop fan game debacle (a really amazing story of incompetence and borderline-fraud, if you care to follow it), No One But You is possibly the most controversial and polarizing EVN ever released. Appearing on the relatively-barren landscape of early 2015 and promising experience similar to the high-budget Japanese VNs, it sparked a lot of interest and hope for the second coming of Katawa Shoujo – an EVN that would not feel overly niche or amateurish, but actually capture the charm of beloved Japanese titles and rival them in its storytelling.

            The reality, of course, proved much more underwhelming. The unexpected Kickstarter success (the campaign reached over 1200% of the initial, $1200 goal) resulted in a highly upscaled and complex project, developed within just a year by then still-unexperienced Unwonted Studios. Involving a network of over a dozen writers and artists, and a heavily-rushed release (which was never moved from the initial KS campaign claim despite of many major features being added through stretch goals), No One But You was eviscerated by many reviewers, with Fuwanovel notably giving it lowest possible score in two separate articles, and received only a mixed reception from the readers after showing up on Steam on January 2016. In a way, it remains one of the most infamous story-centric EVNs, possibly only beaten by the cheap ecchi titles such as Sakura games in the amount of hate and ridicule it gathered. However, looking at it three years later and with all the fixes and additional content added post-launch, is it really that bad?



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There are two english visual novels that are seared into my brain from their announcements. Sakura Spirit and NOBY. Both looked super promising with really nice art and what not. But alas... 

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10 minutes ago, solidbatman said:

There are two english visual novels that are seared into my brain from their announcements. Sakura Spirit and NOBY. Both looked super promising with really nice art and what not. But alas... 

Damn, you made me think for the first time how good Sakura Spirit must have looked when the only thing people really knew about it was Wanaca's art. I came to the community too late to experience such misery, but approaching that game with expectations of it being at least decent? Even thinking about it is depressing. :nico:

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man i had hyped it up on the fuwanovel facebook page back when i was doing that if memory serves. same thing with noby on other avenues. And yeah, people were pretty excited for Sakura Spirit based on those early screenshots. 

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Spoiler for Megumi's route here below.

Spoiler

Honestly I REALLY want to know if Japanese (Or whereever the setting is based on or where the writer live) education system is really messed up and corrupted or not. Granted that we can say the teacher can use the power of money, but I think no sane principal want to hire a murderer teacher even with the money unless they want to get many critic from the public (The murder in the school should be caused some major uproar). While you can still argue that the victim family might be decided to not pursue the case, there's no way that they didn't pursue the case if the killer is manage to get into the jail. While it's also possible that the killer's family is a powerful family who can get anything that they want, I believe that the writer should also elaborate on that as well and yet there's no such thing that showed in the VN (And neither the guarantor). So in the end you can say that the killer here is only act as the plot device for Megumi's route in order to have dramatic moment, and that plot device is got shoved in the very harsh way by the MC.

I guess that's all for what I can say here, and yeah my concern here is only in Megumi's route.

Edited by littleshogun

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in my opinion its been doomed from the beginning. honestly, and unless you´re a lucky fucker who´s got fairies writing the script at midnight, there´s simply no way sth good will come out of it without having at least some talent for writing. granted there´s also a massive mountain of garbage available in jp, but the vast majority doesn´t even dare declaring it as some sort of next level written whatnot, instead puts it on freegame and good is. this whole "let´s kickstart xy, cause i´m able to play with my dick - talent is for the simpleminded and there´s no stopping me" attitude is what ridicules those who really put their heart into it, eg. invertmouse, ebi-hime etc etc. no even wanting to touch upon the subject of releasing a barebone piece of rubbish, or getting mad upon being confronted with the ugly truth via reviews/blogbposts

Edited by SaintOfVoid

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9 hours ago, littleshogun said:

Spoiler for Megumi's route here below.

  Reveal hidden contents

Honestly I REALLY want to know if Japanese (Or whereever the setting is based on or where the writer live) education system is really messed up and corrupted or not. Granted that we can say the teacher can use the power of money, but I think no sane principal want to hire a murderer teacher even with the money unless they want to get many critic from the public (The murder in the school should be caused some major uproar). While you can still argue that the victim family might be decided to not pursue the case, there's no way that they didn't pursue the case if the killer is manage to get into the jail. While it's also possible that the killer's family is a powerful family who can get anything that they want, I believe that the writer should also elaborate on that as well and yet there's no such thing that showed in the VN (And neither the guarantor). So in the end you can say that the killer here is only act as the plot device for Megumi's route in order to have dramatic moment, and that plot device is got shoved in the very harsh way by the MC.

I guess that's all for what I can say here, and yeah my concern here is only in Megumi's route.

 

Spoiler

The game "addresses" this in like one sentence, when the guy says he doesn't have the money to get away with murder for the second time. Pretty laughable, but the actual circumstances of the crime are so stupid and over-the-top incriminating that no spin could really make it work. :P

 

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Spoiler

Now that you mentioned it, suddenly I remember back when I played it (And comment about it here) and well I can only say that the guy is desperate in the very wrong context and stupid (The guy would lose in any ending, only that the bad end is obviously worse compared to the good end). My question is still remain though in regard of the circumstance of the guy, although if Megumi's route writer thought that the reader need some dramatic moments without proper circumstance, then I don't have anything to say other than he/she (Obviously not Ebi-hime here) may consider to work on soap opera production.

In the end, I guess the KS that they had in order to create this VN is quite ambitious with the base goal was only at 1,300 and the fund gathered was at 18,000, and yet they want to have the VN have English voice and manga adaptation within that goal which to say was a bit over the top and very hard to fulfill.

Edited by littleshogun

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Also, timeline in Megumi's route doesn't compute at all. All those things, that are described like they shoudld have happened over the years, would have to happen over few months or even weeks. Completely illogical.

I think some of the reviewers already pointed it out in detail, but cannot find relevant text right now. However, there's simply no time when all of this

Spoiler

Megumi's sister joining student council
Megumi admiring her, and joining too
They are in council together
New (pervert) teacher arrives at school
Megumi's sister being molested (for prolonged time!) and then killed by pervert teacher
Said teacher getting sentenced
Megumi's family rejecting her while mourning her sister's loss
Then teacher gets free
Returns to the school
Starts to stalk Megumi
The rest of the route

could happen.

It's just physically impossible, especially with 6+3+3 school system. Well, maybe if it was one of those schools that combined both middle- and high- school branches in a single institution, it could be a bit plausible (setting aside the degree to which the school system is or isn't corrupted*), but as it is described in-game now, it's enormous plot hole.

 

*And if anyone wants to see more realistic darker side of VN high-school setting, Aeka's route in Yume Miru Kusuri is the way to go.

Edited by adamstan

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22 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Also, timeline in Megumi's route doesn't compute at all. All those things, that are described like they shoudld have happened over the years, would have to happen over few months or even weeks. Completely illogical.

I think some of the reviewers already pointed it out in detail, but cannot find relevant text right now. However, there's simply no time when all of this

  Hide contents

Megumi's sister joining student council
Megumi admiring her, and joining too
They are in council together
New (pervert) teacher arrives at school
Megumi's sister being molested (for prolonged time!) and then killed by pervert teacher
Said teacher getting sentenced
Megumi's family rejecting her while mourning her sister's loss
Then teacher gets free
Returns to the school
Starts to stalk Megumi
The rest of the route

could happen.

It's just physically impossible, especially with 6+3+3 school system. Well, maybe if it was one of those schools that combined both middle- and high- school branches in a single institution, it could be a bit plausible (setting aside the degree to which the school system is or isn't corrupted*), but as it is described in-game now, it's enormous plot hole.

 

*And if anyone wants to see more realistic darker side of VN high-school setting, Aeka's route in Yume Miru Kusuri is the way to go.

Honestly, all they had to do was this. Have it be a year prior to the main story. Have the teacher be a new teacher. During Megumi's sister first month or so he is creeping her out, but she tries to focus on the student council and gets in, along with Megumi. During the next two months it gets worse and eventually he kills her and then goes to jail. Megumi's parents ignore her and the rest of the year is lonely and depressing. Then the next year is when the game takes place. 

But yes, this is a bad route and even with my idea would still make no sense honestly. Maybe it would've been better if he got away with it first and was jailed during the story in the game. But yeah, it's still kind of bad. 

Anyway, I've played this game. Common route is okay and I like the art, but the routes are too short, which would be fine if it had better writing. However, as others as said, since this is drama heavy, it needs a few hours pure route. Doesn't need to be like Clannad, but have some more substance. I do love Hiro and of course Chinastu is okay, but nothing amazing. 

Also, I'm iffy on the developer...He's been shady and you can't buy the game on Steam. It's sad. This game could've been good, even if it was short. 

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10 minutes ago, aliciarune said:

Also, I'm iffy on the developer...He's been shady and you can't buy the game on Steam. It's sad. This game could've been good, even if it was short. 

 

It seems there's some kind of internal drama within the studio (I'm mostly basing this on gossip, as there was no official communication about this). Steam versions of their games are impossible to buy, but not completely delisted curiously enough (store pages are still up). Versions on other stores are still available. I imagine their latest Kickstarter project, which I even backed, is effectively dead. Kind of sad but kind of fitting too.

42 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Also, timeline in Megumi's route doesn't compute at all.

And the only thing I'll remember from it long-term is the fact that they just went and had sex in the shower with Megumi covered in blood and a dead body in the hallway... The plotholes become kind of irrelevant by comparison.  :wahaha:

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Yeah, there is. And I know he may be going through something. But i was surprised when he decided to make a new game and wasn't honest about what happened to NOBY. Still, I thought maybe this would mean he would bring himself back up. But sadly, it seems I'm wrong, as no updates have come, least I think they haven't. 

However, as creating a KS myself, I know how stressful it can be. I've been going through some hard time both in my life and dealing with the horrible things happening in America right now. But I won't get into that. 

Anyway, I always worry about my own game and whether people will play and will it be good/fun for them. I'm not the best writer in the world and lack much confidence. Never sure if what I'm writing is good. I just hope I can finish and make a good Yuri game for players. 

Still, I did want NOBY to work. Yeah, it was a bit generic, but I don't mind that. I think it could've been a good game, but maybe presented itself too much of being the next Clannad and others, rather then focusing on making a good product. 

 

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4 hours ago, aliciarune said:

Anyway, I always worry about my own game and whether people will play and will it be good/fun for them. I'm not the best writer in the world and lack much confidence. Never sure if what I'm writing is good. I just hope I can finish and make a good Yuri game for players. 

Still, I did want NOBY to work. Yeah, it was a bit generic, but I don't mind that. I think it could've been a good game, but maybe presented itself too much of being the next Clannad and others, rather then focusing on making a good product. 

like mentioned before, some sort of talent (in writing) and dedication is needed, though whilst no one sane expects nobel prize winning quality, it shouldn´t read like dick either.
honestly i don´t get most of the english galge scene, cause starting out right of the bat with kamige-esque titles is neigh impossible at best and those ending up halfbaked garbage tier at worst. why even being that much of a selfdelusional fag? why does some complete rookie have to produce the alpha & omega as his/her first work? why no aiming to improve naturally over time? why is that so? just fucking polish your idea+ script to an extend, gather some like minded staff and create a doujin which is then put on itchio or wherever. constructive critism and a will to improve is all you need from there on - which in all honesty might take a while. whole bunch of (now) successful eng studios/devs did it that way, didn´t have an omnipotent publisher when starting out and didn´t mean to revolutionize the medium with their debut novel. seriously feels as if sudden money and 5min of fame fried peoples brains beyond rationality. 

Edited by SaintOfVoid

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1 hour ago, SaintOfVoid said:

like mentioned before, some sort of talent (in writing) and dedication is needed, though whilst no one sane expects nobel prize winning quality, it shouldn´t read like dick either.
honestly i don´t get most of the english galge scene, cause starting out right of the bat with kamige-esque titles is neigh impossible at best and those ending up halfbaked garbage tier at worst. why even being that much of a selfdelusional fag? why does some complete rookie have to produce the alpha & omega as his/her first work? why no aiming to improve naturally over time? why is that so? just fucking polish your idea+ script to an extend, gather some like minded staff and create a doujin which is then put on itchio or wherever. constructive cristism and a will to improve is all you need from there on - which in all honesty might take a while. whole bunch of (now) successful eng studios/devs did it that way, didn´t have an omnipotent publisher when starting out and didn´t mean to revolutionize the medium with their debut novel. seriously feels as if sudden money and 5min of fame fried peoples brains beyond rationality. 

I am not trying to write a revolutionary game or be the next Clannad. I just want to write something I enjoy that hopefully others will enjoy as well. And yes, I do agree that starting out smaller is a good thing to do to start out, but not everyone has to. I'm not with a big publisher or any of a matter of fact. Just because my own game is on the big side, doesn't mean I'm looking to get rich either. Yuri doesn't even sell as well as some BxG games. I do what I enjoy. And I do this part time and as a hobby for myself.  And I'm taking my time. I only did a KS so I could afford better art and music. Just because this dev and some others may do this, doesn't mean everyone does. Please don't say everyone is the same because of certain games. I've seen developers who are not like this.

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44 minutes ago, aliciarune said:

I am not trying to write .....

sorry if that sounded a bit rude, but it wasn´t neccessarily aimed at you, more generally talking, or in the case of noby refering to your previous comment. the "maybe presented itself too much of being the next Clannad and others, rather then focusing on making a good product" part that is.

in short, neither has a debut title to be commercial, nor does it have to look like one. good writing and story is all that matters in the beginning. seen some friends pour tons of their savings into creating sth and still put it on freem, only to get some exposure first. budget, media coverage and hype gets you nowhere if the aforementioned are lacking.

Edited by SaintOfVoid

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6 minutes ago, SaintOfVoid said:

sorry if that sounded a bit rude, but it wasn´t neccessarily aimed at you, more generally talking, or in the case of noby refering to your previous comment. the "maybe presented itself too much of being the next Clannad and others, rather then focusing on making a good product" part that is.

No, it's okay. I'm not saying you're wrong. In fact I agree with you for games like NOBY and that yes, people like me sadly start off big as their first game which I admit was not the best idea. When I did my game, I just really loved the idea of lots of romance and friendship and added a lot of characters. But a year latter, I'm realizing how maybe going small would've been better and maybe added onto it. And you're right about the Clannad part with NOBY. That's what he was trying to do I guess and some others even. Or other games want to me moe and do I bad job. I've seen plenty, though some vairety has been happening. But I understand your anger. I was just saying, I've seen devs who aren't like this and just want to make good stories. But yes, people are know for wanting to be popular and having their second of fame and they often let it go to their heads.

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