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Maggot Baits (Yes, I played this)

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Clephas

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I’m going to be frank with you about this VN.  Maggot Baits is in no way, shape, or form a story with good guys.  Everyone in this VN is a monster or scum.  This VN has way too much guro, even for a VN focused on the grotesque, and it is actually made worse by the high-quality writing, lol.

That said… story-wise, if you skip through 90% of the H-scenes, this VN is actually pretty good.  Unfortunately, if you don’t skip those h-scenes, it is very hard not to see this as one big snuff-film turned VN.  Horror… it is that.  It is definitely horror.  Unfortunately, it is pretty obvious that the writers were just being self-indulgent with the sheer number of such h-scenes (was it really necessary to have multiple mind-break scenes for every single Witch introduced, even the ones who weren’t really significant to the main story?)

The writing in this VN, ironically, is first-class.  The problem is, there is so much torture – sexual and otherwise – that it was pretty hard to maintain my interest through large parts of the early VN, where they kept digressing to look at h-scenes of witches that the protagonist never encounters.  To be blunt, this is a failure of scenario design, despite the VN as a whole being very well-written. 

Visually… the VN is about as high-quality as it gets.  Unfortunately, that high-quality just means that those with weak stomachs will spend a lot of time vomiting. 

The audio in this VN (I’m ignoring the voices, since way too many of them are h-related) is fairly high-quality, with a focus on death metal tunes and dark techno. 

What’s most ironic about this VN is Ending 2, which is the closest thing you can get to a ‘good’ ending.  Ending 1 isn’t a bad ending… but it is very much an Akiha from Tsukihime-style ‘normal’ ending.  Well, in the sense that there really isn’t any sweetness and a lot of loss.  There is a bad ending early on, but it is more like an ‘oops, you screwed up, time to die’ ending, and it feels kind of tacked on, considering you can only access Ending 2 after completing 1.  On the bright side, Ending 2 is actually pretty touching, leaving a definite impression and a sense of salvation Ending 1 didn't have.

The protagonist... think of someone who has gone completely over the edge due to his desire for revenge and reduced himself to being a killing machine, willing to use anyone and anything for the sake of his goals, and you will have a decent picture of the guy.  In Ending 2, he shows off a softer side, but throughout the path leading to Ending 1, he is a cold-blooded bastard.

Overall… what can I say about this VN?  It is a party for those who like extreme guro, but for anyone else, this is going to be a high-stress VN that they probably won’t even get halfway through before dropping.  This VN is tailor-made for a niche within a niche in the VN community that generally doesn’t see much high-quality work (that isn’t a remake of old stuff) anymore.  That said, it didn’t appeal to me, except once I basically excised the h-scenes and thought about it that way.  This VN is a major failure though, from a scenario design perspective, simply because too much effort was put into inserting extra gratuitous sexual violence scenes that just made the entire thing seem monotonous after a while.

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Clock Up has some surprisingly talented writers on staff. I was thinking that when I read euphoria, too. The dialog in that was probably the best part of the game and it took me by surprise. But they also have a habit of being "indulgent," as you say. I know some people like Tyr will vehemently disagree with me on this, but Clock Up definitely overly-sexualizes their more serious stories. It's kind of disappointing to see that Maggot Baits falls prey to the same things as their past games.

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is hard to call this types of vns bad or a failure because of all the guro... after all the target audience of this vns are very specific and they are looking for this kind of content so having a good story in my opinion is just a plus, let's be honest whoever read this they dont read it for the story.
To me this kind of content turns what could have been an awesome vn into a mediocre even bad one (like with euphoria) but then again im not the main target so that's ok.

Edited by Deep Blue

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I don't say the guro made it a failure... I say mixing guro and h-scenes only has impact the first few times you see it.  After that, it is like 'not again... can't they move on already?'  I say the design was a failure because the way they did the h-scenes made them feel like commercials in a cable network TV show... taking up almost as much time as the rest of the VN.  Not even Black Cyc's teams had this much of a one-track mind.

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Sounds like a nukige with great writing to me. I don't mind guro that much (I'm definitely not going to fap to it) so I'm going  play the game. Great review as always clephas!

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