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Eldritch University (Yuri VN Review)


Plk_Lesiak

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Note: I was provided with a free review copy of the game by the developer. All opinions are solely my own.

Sequels to obscure, low budget EVNs are always a slightly awkward topic to tackle. They are inevitably tied to games which few people are familiar with and which can be, at least in some aspects, of subpar quality simply due to their indie nature. This makes giving a meaningful rating and recommendation for potential readers tricky – at the very least, any kind of conclusion about them will be served with a good number of caveats, related to the interplay between titles in the particular series and the value proposition they represent both together and on their own. The latest title to create such a conundrum for me is Eldritch University by Jackkel Dragon.

                Released on Steam in June 2020, this game is a sequel to early 2019’s Eldritch Academy, a supernatural horror VN combined with a fair dosage of high-school yuri romance. While amusing in its romantic arcs, the prequel had several issues: unlikeable protagonist, repetitive routes, below-average visual and, in my opinion, an unreasonably high price for the level of quality it represented. University, while borrowing the setting and tying itself loosely to the core intrigue of that game, represents a major improvement in most aspects – a better-looking, more focused experience with a price tag way more representative of its entertainment value. Is it, however, good enough to make the whole series worth it, or to be a viable read as a standalone experience? Well, it depends on what you want from it…

Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com

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Misaki’s is weighed down by the social stigma and rejection she suffered due to being a lesbian, while Kasumi struggles to adapt to her changed behaviour and the doubt on whether the connection they once had can be fully rebuilt.

That sound quite interesting. I maybe wrong since I am completely ignorant about Yuri VNs, but I always felt like yuri JVNs were pretty much just fetishization. It seems that EVNs have a stronger tendency to show the more realistic nuances of homosexual relationships. 

 Also, and this is just a side note. Eldritch University is a really good title name.  

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4 hours ago, Zalor said:

That sound quite interesting. I maybe wrong since I am completely ignorant about Yuri VNs, but I always felt like yuri JVNs were pretty much just fetishization. It seems that EVNs have a stronger tendency to show the more realistic nuances of homosexual relationships. 

 Also, and this is just a side note. Eldritch University is a really good title name.  

I wrote about it a lot in the past, but definitely, EVNs have a much wider range of approaches to LGBT issues and tons of yuri EVNs are actually made by minority creators. Of course, sometimes you have a lesbian creator making fluffy GxG porn because they enjoy that stuff, but generally, you'll have a lot more games implementing a semi-realistic approach and trying to build a believable dynamic for the GxG romance. Even something like Love Ribbon, which might look super-fetishistic at first glance (sister incest), has some very interesting scenes of one of the sisters discovering her sexuality and trying to make sense of it. It feels way more authentic than how Japanese writers usually do it (if they even bother to touch the topic), and that's at least to some extent because Razzart, the author of that game, actually knows what she's writing about. :>

To be fair, this game's writer is a guy, but did a very good job here – and that is despite using a cliched "all-girls school when everyone is assumed to be a lesbian" setting for the first game... In a way, this series is a really cool example of Western influences and influences of otaku media clashing and melding into this weird amalgamation of themes that do not always agree with each other, particularly in Academy, where the fluffy romance formula did not synergize with the horror plot at all. Maybe playing just the sequel is the way to go after all... '^^

Edit: And only now I realized how sad it is that games conditioned me to consider "main plot" and "romance" as separate entities and be genuinely surprised when the two are connected in a truly meaningful way. Video games suck. :P

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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1 hour ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Edit: And only now I realized how sad it is that games conditioned me to consider "main plot" and "romance" as separate entities and be genuinely surprised when the two are connected in a truly meaningful way. Video games suck. :P

That's why we read VNs :maple:

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