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VN of the Month December 2013 - Sengoku † Koihime ~Otome Kenran ☆ Sengoku Emaki~


Sengoku † Koihime ~Otome Kenran ☆ Sengoku Emaki~ and Timepiece Ensemble are masterpieces of the month. Clephas liked the first one more. Micchi likes the second one, plus Magicalic⇔Sky High

 

1. Kaihou Shoujo SIN 解放少女 SIN [131205] MAGES. GAME 1 2 3 4
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A sequel to Liberation Maiden, although it sheds the three-dimensional shooting gameplay in favor of a visual novel approach.
Liberation Maiden SIN follows the exploits of Kiyoto Kaido, childhood friend of and newly-appointed chief aide to President Shoko Ozora, during the events of the Second Liberation War. Kaido has the ability to read other people's minds. Several new female characters also appear as cabinet members in the New Japan government. Both the Liberator Kamui and the Guardian Spirits also feature.
Action has English reviews

 

2. Sengoku Hime 5 ~Senka Tatsu Haou no Keifu~ 戦極姫5 ~戦禍断つ覇王の系譜~ [131206] Gesen 18 1
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This is the sequel to Sengokuhime 4, offering an alternate ‘if’ retelling of the Sengoku era. The main routes are for the Oda family after the Battle of Okehazama, as well as a new one for the Chousokabe family. There’s additions to the routes for the other lords, which number over 120. The system has been updated with a seamless world map, potential rebellion outbreaks, military type branching, improved naval fights, among others.
TBS

 

3. Bad End [131213] Arai Koh Create Office  1
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Kyuuhei Inui has never been one to take rumors as anything but that - rumors, until his best friend had died while playing the game....
Kyuuhei is driven to find out the truth behind his friend's mysterious death by any means possible.
After exhausting all ideas, he decided the only way to find out the truth is to play 'BAD END' himself.
Will Kyuuhei risk his life to get to the bottom of the game's mystery or will he meet his demise?
Game is localized and has English reviews

 

4. Astelight Shissouki 星継駅疾走軌 [131220] raiL-soft
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In the midst of a deep fog shrouding a ‘station’ somewhere in the barren wasteland of an unknown world stood a strange giant machine. A forgotten legend has been revived: the train of the departed, containing people from the past, present and future. What things can they see while on this mysterious train? Why are they on this train and where is it heading? Will they be able to get off it safely?
I happened to review it already. Not much different from prequels.

 

5. Ayame no Machi to Ohime-sama あやめの町とお姫様 [131220] More
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Testuya recently had been seeing the same mysterious dream, with a lonely kimono-clad girl gazing at the moon in the middle of an open grassy field. He returned to his hometown of Koga after four years in Tokyo and was a bit saddened to see his place of memories changed due to recent development. One night, he headed to his favorite place, the garden of irises Ayame-en, and was startled to find a girl there who looked like the girl in his dreams. He joined the archaeology research group that she was a part of with the intention of getting to know her. Contrary to his initial impression, Ayame was a hardcore gamer, lacked common sense and called herself a princess from the Sengoku era.
Ayame story is fairly interesting, but other heroines aren't really. Cute and fine, but rather short and boring overall.

 

6. Love Replica ラブレプリカ [131220] Garden 1
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Sawato was brought up under the strict martial arts training by his grandfather and has never had a girlfriend. His dream was to have one and he had a revelation one day from a goddess who told him, “if you want to be popular, then you should join a band”. Even though he thought that it seemed too simplistic, he went about recruiting members for the band. One day, a new transfer student arrived in his class. She told him that if he becomes really good, then she’ll let him touch her breasts. Highly motivated by this, he gradually became obsessed with the band activities, making precious memories over the summer.
‘Love replicas’ are cloned humans whose sole purpose is as a vessel for organs required for transfer to people suffering from incurable GODS (genetic deficiency organ dysfunction syndrome).
There is an English review

 

7. Magicalic ⇔ Sky High ~Soratobu Houki no Omoi o Nosete~ まじかりっく⇔スカイハイ ~空飛ぶホウキに想いをのせて~ [131220] Whirlpool 1 2 3
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A long time ago, the magic world suddenly appeared, causing much confusion and many challenges to everyone. However, humans and magicians co-operated and now they live together peacefully. Ten years later, schools have been built all over the country to train those who have innate magic ability. Hayato attends one of them, Clarus Magic Academy, and is the best in the school at flying. However, he is totally incompetent at everything else.
One day while flying around like usual, he suddenly lost the ability to use his magic and fell from the sky. He narrowly escaped death at the expense of his cherished broom and found himself in an unfamiliar ancient ruin. Hayato found a carefully-kept broom there and thus, his sky-high story had taken off.
There are English reviews

 

8. Sengoku † Koihime ~Otome Kenran ☆ Sengoku Emaki~ 戦国†恋姫~乙女絢爛☆戦国絵巻~ [131220] BaseSon 1 2 3 4 5 6
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Kensuke trained hard every day under the tutelage of his uncle Kazuto. One day, when he held a sword he found in the storehouse, he lost consciousness. When he came to, he found himself in a place he did not recognize. He met a girl who introduced herself as Oda Saburou Kuon Nobunaga. She held out her hand to a stunned Kensuke and asked him to become her husband and accompany her on the road to national supremacy.
They travelled across the country, racking up victories in this period of social upheaval. However, there was one enemy they could not defeat: the oni. These man-eating, blood-drinking beasts soon took over all of Japan, plunging the country into hell. However, Kuon and Kensuke vowed to continue fighting, issuing a written appeal to all the influential lords: “Samurai who are not afraid of even the oni, gather under me and let us save Japan together!”
There are English reviews

 

9. Senjou no Folklore -Boukoku no Kishidan- 戦場のフォークロア ─亡国の騎士団─ [131220] Debo no Su Seisakusho 1 2
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The year 1221 of the Holy Calendar was a turning point for the Vandal Kingdom which ruled the continent of Sahul. The young king James the Fifth initially followed the lead of the previous ruler and was tolerant to the minorities, but turned to a hard-line stance after being influenced by his advisors. He forbade them from being involved in political affairs and betrayers would have their entire home village sent to settlements regardless of age and gender. The enforcement of this Fleming Rule drove those who wished for their own sovereignty underground.
Seven years later in the remote town of Rahy, the captain of the guards Kenneth received news that some rebels had escaped from the suppression of a revolt in a neighboring province and were heading his way. He gathered his troops in response to their request, but since he had also maintained good relationships with the minorities in neighboring villages, it was impossible for him to resolve this problem quickly. It was to be the opening act in a long battle which laid before him.
RTS

 

10. Tsuyokiss NEXT つよきす NEXT [131220] Candy Soft 1 2 3
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It’s been several years since the ‘legendary era’ at Ryuumeikan. The powers of student council and the public morals committee have increased to encompass not only clubs, but also over all classes. Now the two committees which had become friendly with each other were led by two aggressive girls, Hakari and Neko. Respecting the traditions imposed by the principal Heizou, they fight each other, dragging Hakari’s follower Sanagi along in the process.
There are English reviews

 

11. Ulijib Agigoyang-i 우리집 아기고양이 [131221] Novel Engine 1 2 3
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Hanul is a teenager having a weary day because all kinds of animals - including dogs, cats and even pigeons - are chasing him frantically.
One day, he discovers a mother cat and her kitten, which were living in the tree of his yard, lying dead still on a cold floor. He took them to a veterinary clinic, but it was already too late for the mother cat. And on behalf of the deceased mother, he decided to take care of the kitten named Nuri. But, the little kitten Nuri was not an ordinary kitten. She was a mystical creature, an inhabitant of another world not recognized by ordinary people.
After a peculiar meeting with Sora, who has her own story with the supervisor of mystical creatures, Yura, the boy who became a father of two girls after many twist and turns is now about to begin a new life with his new family.
It is a warm and mind-healing comedy regarding companion animals, granting you the chance to experience the joy of raising cute little girls for yourself.
Game is localized and has English reviews

 

12. Timepiece Ensemble [131227] GLace 1 2 3
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It’s the day before Hourai Shinobazu Academy’s culture festival. Taki and the rest of the Pip Club’s members are busy preparing their booth. On to way to the discount store to buy some last-minute supplies, he came upon a new store in a back alley called Kikouya (House of Tricks). Entering the shop, he was greeted by a talking cat Tetmet who took his order and brought him everything he needed, and at a bargain too. When he was about to leave, the storeowner Kuroha asked him if he would like to ‘buy time’. He was perplexed at her question, but was too worried about finishing up the club’s booth for the culture festival, muttering that ‘if he only had one more day, then everything would be done in time’. “Thank you, please come again,” said Kuroha as he left.
As expected, there wasn’t enough time for them to finish their preparations, so the club members all stayed overnight at the school to finish up. Although some parts were still not completely done, they planned to give it their all. When they woke up, they began their preparations for the culture festival the next day. An extra day had been added due to Taki’s wish, and he was the only one who realized it.
There are English reviews

 

13. Dare ka ga Koi Shita Hankagai ~Butterfly Loved the Street~ 誰かが恋した繁花街 ~Butterfly Loved the Street~ [131231] Life a Little 1 2
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Oriibu Village... that was the name of this town, as well as this world.
This otherworldly town has a nostalgic, retro-like flavor.
For ages, it has prospered, and continues to prosper without end.
Every corner of the place is bustling with people, and warmth.
It is both old-fashioned, yet refreshingly new.
Neither magic nor spells exist here, but there is an aura of mystique.
How long has it been since I, Yumesaki Haruki, have come to this world?
It feels like it's been a few days. But it also feels like it's been over a year.
There is the passing of the day into night, back into day.
However, you don't feel the passage of time beyond that.
The flowers that have once blossomed continue to stay in full bloom.
Game is localized and has English reviews

 

BLOCKED
 
1. Hina to Issho 雛といっしょ [131227] Ex-iT 1 
This is a fandisk for Hiyoko Strike! focusing purely on Hina, as she got more than 70% of the votes in the popularity vote.
Fandisc
 
2. Sanzen Sekai Yuugi ~MultiUniverse Myself~ 参千世界遊戯 ~MultiUniverse Myself~ [131227] girls★dynamics 1
"I must protect 'my other self'."
100 years into the future.
On Earth, 40 years had passed since the discovery of "Multi Universes". In Tokyo, humanity, science and technology had advanced smoothly.
As a bounty hunter, Tomoe chased down criminals for a living.
However, in the midst of trying to exterminate a cult, she had let a criminal get away.
Few days later, Kira Seishirou told Tomoe:
"Your other self on another Earth is being targeted."
Seishirou worked for the Relocation for Public Safety Bureau
and had sought her assistance in trying to exterminate the cult once again. Confused but needing to protect her own life, Tomoe set foot on the universal transfer device, and...
Otomege, but unusual one and  with an English review

Edited by kivandopulus

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If you are going to play any game in the Sengoku Hime or Sangoku Hime series by Gesen, Sengoku Hime 5 is the single best, in every way.  It has the best gameplay balance, the best story for each path, and my favorite Nobunaga path by miles.

Sengoku Koihime (especially after the X version was released a year later) is the best of the Koihime Musou series.  I say this because they actually made the protagonist central to every aspect of the story and made him capable enough to feel 'real' instead of being a hanger-on that occasionally contributes.

Magicalic Sky High was one of several mediocre charage that Whirlpool made during this period of time.

Senjou no Folklore is a very, very old-style srpg/VN.  It had the potential to be good, but the mediocre staff at Debonosu worked their magic on it effectively, giving us their usual sub-par result that somehow sells like hotcakes anyway.

Tsuyokiss Next is a series based half a decade after the original Tsuyokiss, with a protagonist who is related to Kani and a decent set of heroines.  Like all Tsuyokiss games, it is very old-style rom-com with no attempt to be anything else.

Timepiece Ensemble is a high-quality plotge that is also related to 1/2 Summer.  While this game isn't the greatest VN of all time, it is pretty enjoyable.

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No much that I can comment in regard of December other than I'm sort of hoping that Mangagamer will someday localized Sengoku Koihime even though I know it's quite hard to do, so let me comment some releases from previous months here.

Magical Marriage Lunatic - The premise gave me bad impression that the MC is some sort of playboy who engage with six girls in his childhood, although turned out it's not as bad as the premise tell us. Other than misleading premise, it's more or less just usual charage and obviously it's more light compared to Evangile. Lastly the opening song here is the remix of Wedding March, and I admit that it's quite good.

Karumakura Circle - Saga Planet VN with Seven Deadly Sins theme, and considering that it's one of their less known along with older title I don't think that Nekonyan would localize this.

Rance 01 - The remake of Rance 1 that was localized by Mangagamer, and let's just said that Alicesoft here did more effort to remake this compared to what they did in 02 in which they did completely revamped the gameplay in 01 while for 02 they just improved the graphic (And hid the improved script in one of the other folder at the DVD instead of included it in Rance 02 folder from the very start).

Chiisana Kanojo no Serenade - Feng VN that was just licensed by Sekai, and apparently it's just some normal moege (Bordering nukige) with mermaid festival setting. At least it should be good for anyone else who want to play more moege in case Sekai release this later, although the obvious question would be when Sekai finished with the translation process of this.

Cocoro@Function - Pulltop VN with some high technology setting, although apparently it wasn't as well received as Konosora. It has translation project in the past, although obviously it's already been dropped here.

Monobeno Happy End - The extended version of Monobeno, and it's obviously not localized yet. By the way if mod Clephas did say that it would be better as all age VN, perhaps it would be nice if we have this in Steam (I know that it's in Steam, although obviously it's not in English). That aside, looks like it's another VN with high production value just like Maitetsu (Same developer and all).

Tears to Tiara 2 - The sequel to Tears to Tiara that was available in English, although too bad that it's only available for console (Which mean no sex scenes in the first place). It would be interesting to see if Shiravune can release this for PC, although it depend on their negotiation with both of Aquaplus (To let their VN released in the PC) and Valve (To get around their censorship that has been infamous for being random here) if they want to license this.

Well that's all for my comment in regard of past releases at 2013 here.

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