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  2. Warning: Heavy spoilers for How To Date a Magical Girl and Doki Doki Literature Club! ahead! Despite the amazing success of Doki Doki Literature Club! (including a commercial one, if you consider the 1300+ Steam reviews on the $10 Fan Pack DLC), there have been surprisingly few attempts to replicate its formula within the EVN scene, especially among the titles that could be considered of professional quality. While the plethora of mods kept the DDLC fanbase occupied, arguably no major Western VN even attempted to create a similar experience, or utilize some of the characteristic gimmicks used by Dan Salvato to a comparable effect. This, of course, can be seen as a positive development, as uninspired copycat games rarely make for compelling experiences, but elements such as drastic genre shifts, clever fourth wall breaking and weaving an interesting meta-narrative into the experience are far from being overdone in VNs, especially within the English-original niche. Or at least, this was the case before the release of How To Date a Magical Girl by Cafe Shiba, a game that openly featured a very similar base structure to DDLC – a cute dating sim exterior hiding a brutal horror story, in which nothing is at it seems at first glance. Showing up on Steam in January 2019, it promised 5 romanceable heroines, nearly 40 CGs and over 10 hours of content – rather impressive statistics, especially for a game that originated from a humble, $4000 Kickstarter campaign, and ones that make it hard to dismiss it as a cynical cash-in trying to exploit DDLC's fanbase. In my opinion, however, it managed to fail quite spectacularly, only in small part due to its mimicry of Dan Salvato's game and much more because everything it added to the table was deeply underwhelming. But where exactly did it go wrong? The mediocre quality of the game’s sprites and background art give the whole experience a rather cheap feel and contrast with the genuinely pretty CGs How To Date a Magical Girl starts with our protagonist (you can choose both their name and gender, but the difference between playing as a male and a female is nearly non-existent), an painfully-average person with no idea what to do with their future, being enrolled by their best friend, Hikari, to an academy for magical girls. While having nearly powers (their latent magic only activated once in the past, in a somewhat random and uncontrollable outburst), our lead decides to accept the offer and starts their new life of studying magic, quickly meeting a bunch of highly-dateable and surprisingly willing girls. Sadly, the seemingly-idyllic scenario is quickly disturbed with a tragedy – a murder of a student. From there, things pretty much only go downhill, with every new tragedy affecting the protagonist in a more direct manner and turning the whole scenario into a living nightmare, the meaning of which stays hidden under multiple layers of mystery. From the technical standpoint, the story is told through some rather robust dating sim mechanics, in which you grind four main stats (magic, alchemy, perception and expertise), engage in creating potions and earn money, all in order to effectively court the girls. As you spend time with them, give them gifts and raise affection, you unlock unique romance scenes, up to the slightly-fanservice’y culmination near the end of the story, while the main plotline progresses automatically at its own pace. The game gives you quite a lot of time to work with and various opportunities to optimize your playstyle (like skill training having a double effect on rainy days), so it’s not out of question to maximize affection of a few girls and max out your attributes on a single playthrough, making it reasonably easy to experience most of the content without replaying the game. Even though the plot-related events often come in the way of your stat-rising and dates, taking out time slots unexpectedly or skipping whole days, if you play competently you’ll never be under enough pressure for that to be a real problem. Dialogue choices, while present, are mostly meaningless, really starting to matter only at the very last moments of the game, where you can branch into three different endings (with slight variations to one of them, depending on which girl you romanced – if you finished the game without a girlfriend, it simply won't be available). There are fun aspects to the game’s magical girl theme, but all of it falls apart due to the setting and everything you do in it acting essentially as a distraction The giant problem of this whole setup is that the dating sim mechanics and the setting the game builds are basically one giant red herring and are turned mostly meaningless by the final reveal of the story. Not only all the girls, including the one you romanced get killed off (in an admittedly disturbing final sequence, where the protagonist’s sanity simply breaks from the overexposure to violence and losing everyone he cared about), but the world itself is revealed to be a simulation, created to assist with waking the protagonist from an accident-induced coma. Also, the protagonist’s homeroom teacher, Satomi, is revealed to be the perpetrator behind everyone’s misfortunes – an AI, that was meant to help him recover and still claim to be doing that, but actually went rogue and started working on her own, somewhat unclear goals (one of the endings suggests that her ambition was claiming the protagonist's body for herself, but her actions are hardly consistent between the alternative scenarios). This premise does a pretty poor job of explaining everything that happened earlier, but most importantly undermines everything the player worked for up to that point. DDLC’s game mechanics worked well specifically because they were brief and unusual, never making you feel like you were wasting your time and producing interesting feedback, even if the romance plots of the first act were obviously all dead ends. Here, the gameplay far overstays its welcome and while the final horror twist uses the dating sim mechanics as a build-up, it’s hardly good enough to justify all the effort on player’s part. Seeing the whole cast of the story you’ve spent many hours reading as mutilated corpses is surely unsettling, but the shock value here was mostly a goal in itself, rather than leading to some interesting plot developments. You could argue that even with a twist ending, experiencing the heroine arcs themselves could be a reward in itself, even if they were labelled fake and nullified later on. However, this is another aspect of How To Date a Magical Girl that turns out seriously disappointing. While the setting itself and the way the game uses the magical girl tropes is rather fun, with girls' transformations and powers playing a real role in the story, their personalities and backstories are basic at best. Also, while the unlockable “dates” give some slight spins to each of them, they are simply too short to add something really important and especially the heroines that play lesser parts in the main plot (the deredere childhood friend Hikari, shy Yui and school celebrity Miyu are clearly the most important characters here) feel heavily underdeveloped. This also means the game never really manages to create an emotional connection that would make the later development of killing off the whole cast that meaningful. The SoL content is never very compelling by itself, with writing being consistently very average and humour rather uninspired – Hoshi, Hikari’s magical dog familiar she dumps on the protagonist, is a prime example of that, as a comic relief character that barely does anything genuinely funny or interesting throughout the whole game. The game’s excessive violence does not completely lose its shock value, especially when it extends to the main heroines, but still feels heavily overdone Presentation is also something I have a major problem with, although it’s not on a particularly low level – it just underperforms in areas that I rarely see quasi-professional VNs having problems with. While the CG art is for the most part quite good, even if generic, character sprites look flat and unappealing. Same goes for background art, which lacks personality and detail. It’s pretty much a full reversal of the situation typical of EVNs, where good basic assets are often coupled with very few, or underwhelming CGs and honestly, as you spend most of your time with How to Date… on stat grinding and short dialogue sequences, better character and background art could do wonders for the overall enjoyment factor of the game. In the later parts of the story, the game introduces visual and sound gimmicks representing the protagonist’s waning sanity and glitches within the VR setting, quite reminiscent of some tricks used by DDLC. However, most of them consist of rather basic colour filters and changing the ways of displaying text and while writing accompanying them can be decently disturbing, these are the moments when the VN really does feel like a poor imitation. Also, some stylistic choices, like the “real form” of Satomi, are rather laughable and undermines the game’s climate even more. How To Date a Magical Girl is a strange game, as it doesn’t look terrible when you look at its production quality or various parts of the story, but somehow it manages to consistently undermine itself and turn out as less than the sum of its parts. Decent stat management mechanics are wasted by being made irrelevant through the twist ending. The heroines are proclaimed figments of the protagonist’s imagination and then unceremoniously killed off after hours of investment from the player. It wastes its setting and emotional buildup through a set of underwhelming endings. Playing through it is not without its share of fun, but in the end, it mostly just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. For all these reasons, I can’t really recommend buying this VN, but I hope the developers can learn from these mistakes and create something more memorable in the future – considering the technical competence shown in How To Date a Magical Girl, they're clearly capable of doing so. Final Score: 2/5 Pros: + Good CG art + Fun use of magical girl tropes + Well-crafted and reasonably fun dating sim mechanics Cons: - Dating sim elements are ultimately meaningless - Shallow heroines and romance arcs - Mediocre character and background art - Unconvincing main intrigue VNDB Page Buy How To Date a Magical Girl on Steam
  3. This song that plays towars the true end of Taishou Mebiusline just became my favorite on a VN after i finished it a few days ago.
  4. Today
  5. ok i see i understand. will be waiting for the completion =)
  6. Pact with a Witch [+18] [WIP]

    New Public PLATINUM version 0.9.8: DOWNLOAD: DOWNLOAD in ITCH.IO Download in GAMEJOLT CHANGELOG: v00.09.06: # Forcing Neus. v00.09.07: # Forcing Neus, 2nd Part. v00.09.08: # After 2nd date with Neus, Stranger Talking with Didac in a Park. ----------- STEAM version (just a bit more advanced version than the Free version) will be released at the end of JUNE. iF YOU COULD PRESS FOLLOW, and ADD TO YOUR WISHLIST, you will help me to give more visibility the game in STEAM. Thanks! Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/865570/Pact_with_a_witch/
  7. Umineko

    *cackle* *cackle*
  8. Umineko

    Episode 2 is insane lol
  9. Remake is going to be less annoying gameplay wise (greying out exhausted choices, option to show all hotspots, and two more jewel slots) - so if you're okay with new art and voices, wait for the remake. Otherwise, play the original (by "original" I of course mean TLWiki's version with voice patch, as it's most complete version ever).
  10. I think i'll still play the original version first, just because the old graphics look wicked cool.
  11. And here I am still unsure whether I should play this or the original version.
  12. i also agree with this, the people putting this together have no obligation to do so. so even if it is not released when they first think, its better to be glad it is still even being made and grateful to the creators for putting the time in to make it.
  13. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai Bugs

    I have downloaded the module. Now i don't know what to do next. Can someone tell me step by step? I rlly wanna play this game with a fixed font :<<
  14. Great Romances like Fureraba and ...

    It has, but is treated more in a comedic way, not as a source of drama. It's just two heroines "competing" for protagonists' affection - so no "true" love triangle I guess. And there's absolutely no NTR in any form. After all, it's "just" a RomCom (and that's good for me ) As for two protags - it's just kind like two chapters, or two VNs in one, that share the characters. First you play as Tooru, and here you have Sakura's and Nanako's routes. After completing those two you unlock second chapter, where you play as Naoki, and heroines are Akira and Kurumi. Completing this unlocks epilogues/after-stories for all four heroines.
  15. The drama I hate is the love triangle kind of drama. I'm tired of it as it's used way too excessively. Doesn't Sakura Sakura has love triangle? Also, how do we play this, it has two protags iirc
  16. Hi guys I have problem with Kin'iro Loveriche This normal translation which appear in one box but after reach certain text which like this appear VNR decide to split it become 3 different text box. It's kinda annoying everytime text like that appear I must scroll it or drag it down to see previous text box. Is there a way to fix this problem? This is my VNR text setting.
  17. While console versions of YU-NO remake were released in 2017, Spike Chunsoft has been working on PC version and English translation. Recently they announced planned release date - 2019.10.01 YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World (link to Steam store) Additionally, translated version will be also released for PS4 and Switch. According to publisher both japanese and english PS4 versions have some mild censorship (in one CG lower part of naked heroine is obscured by ray of light - not unlike original Windows version from Elf ). While japanese Switch version doesn't have this, apparently translated Switch version will be the same as PS4. However nothing above affects PC version, which is said to be "uncensored". Still, it has 17+ rating. If I understand correctly what @Ramaladni wrote on vndb, there are sex scenes in the story, but without explicit CGs. That's fine with me. Incidentally, HCGs in original PC98 version also were rather mild, as all heroines were drawn with "barbie doll anatomy" - meaning no genitals at all (so no mosaics as well, because there was nothing to hide ) While I'm still lamenting the change of art style and voice actors (I'll be missing especially Kikuko Inoue and Aya Hisakawa ), I'll probably give it a go once it's released. At least there's apparently option to switch to old soundtrack. I wonder how will the translation quality turn out, and how will it compare with TLWiki's version. Some more screenshots from homepage:
  18. Friendship routes

    Tamaki in Interlude has both friendship and romance route.
  19. Foreword: With Fuwa and vndbreview votes combined One 2 ~Eien no Yakusoku~ got 5 poll votes which is two votes more than closest competitor Masaru: Ashita no Yukinojou 2 has. I already mentioned that One 2 is a masterpiece, so it's time to present my reasoning. As usual, I only picked two heroines to capture while remaining four remain untouched (except for common route cameo). Title: One 2 ~Eien no Yakusoku~ Developer: BaseSon Date: 2002-04-26 VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v670 Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJfpbHU6BJI&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9Hia_EVrgITFqPHmCZQNO1 Synopsis: I was away from home during the summer vacation, when I returned I found out that my father has moved away. No one in the school knew my name, not even my classmates. I started my new life like that. I never expected those things, to miss the everyday life, going to school... and to love... Structure: Did no notice any Length: Some 8 hours for initial playthrough, about 4 hours for consequent ones. Game type: School love drama with eternal disappearing world theme Difficulty: Not sure, followed walkthrough Character Design rating: 8/10 Protagonist rating: 8/10 Story rating: 8/10 Game quality: 9/10 Overall rating: 8/10 Rating comments: Voice version is decent in every field Protagonist: Kazuhiro gives away an aura of a reliable man in both routes that I played. With Ayame he's able to kindly disperse her antisocial attitude. With Haruka teacher he communicates as an equal from the very start, so their love story looks very natural. Characters: There are five heroines in the original One2 game, but in voice version popular heroine was added to the cast. I played only two routes with most interesting personalities. Heroines with "Naive" personality are no good for me, and the rest of heroines are exactly like that. Ayame is our short white hair mysterious anti-social beauty. She actually gets as many CG as presumable main heroine Nao, so I consider Ayame main heroine as well. Ayame is a great heroine, because she has such a difficult personality. She does not talk to strangers at all at start, then she just throws short cold phrases. The very first time Kazuhiro tags along her, she invites him to enter girl toilet, something that he does not dare to do. But as story goes on, she actually turns out to be friendly. She has a perfect reason to treat the rest of the world like that. Ayame had a kind and gentle twin-sister who spent a lot of time in the hospital. We get to see long flashback talks with sister talking to Kazuhiro which creates good mood. Then we get to know that sister ... just disappeared before Ayame one day, and everyone forgot about her. The only two persons who have recollections of sister are Ayame and Kazuhiro. This is the ground Ayame and Kazuhiro start to get closer. Ayame has a serious attitude most of the time, but she can also be emotional and somewhat even tsudere-ish, and her soft quiet "Baka" is just great. Haruka is the teacher and the only grown-up heroine in the game. It would be pretty impossible to approach a normal formal teacher, but Haruka is no way like that. She loves talking to Kazuhiro about spies and laughs all the time. After Ayame route with zero humor in it, Haruka route looks very refreshing and funny. Her story of prodigy piano player is less impact-full than Ayame one, but decent enough. Story: All six routes are united by the disappearing eternal world concept and the same school, but routes are written by two different writers and are very different. The absence of one formal main heroine puts an emphasis on diversity, and the eternal world concept is cleverly used to emphasize encounters, farewells, frustrations, forgetting and remembering. In original One it was the protagonist to travel to the eternal world and disappear, but here it's actually heroines that do that, so every heroine needs her special story and reason. Overall comments: It's a strange nakige for it does not have gags or really impact-full heroines. Story is also bound to make ties to the eternal world concept, so it may look weird how so many heroines reached this point. But what game shines about is telling sincere beautiful memorable stories. Game has serious heroines, so even such nakige-hater as myself could enjoy it substantially.
  20. What are you playing?

    I tried the English demo of Venus Blood Frontier. Learning curve seems steep since I don't have any experience with SRPG.
  21. Script Extraction Thread

    How can I open encrypt .ks files from G-Senjou no Maou Steam release. I've tried #1 post method but no luck.
  22. Hi from Croatia!

    Welcome to Fuwanovel and sorry for the belated greeting. As for VN recommendation, I guess I can recommend AIR here seeing that some people did say that it's sort of Clannad's prototype. Other than that, I guess you can try Kanon and Hoshiori here although the latter is more lighthearted though. Lastly I hope that you'll have fun here.
  23. Great Romances like Fureraba and ...

    [ttps://vndb.org/v14265 - Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai is a pure love story focused on following the different stages of your relationship with your heroine of choice.
  24. Friendship routes

    I think that depends a lot on what type of story it is. A friend route in a run-of-the-mill SoL VN would probably feel pretty uninteresting, but it should be fine in a VN with a decent plot at its core.
  25. Post pics you like (Powered by Jun Inoue™)

    *fanboygasms* Source: https://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=946272
  26. Yesterday
  27. Spring 2019 Anime Discussion

    The protagonist of shield hero is so stupid its painful to read/watch. The brooding and distrust gets real old, real fast.
  28. The Pain They Cause; Devil Gods -Free Edition- Released! Link Summary The Highly Anticipated Visual Novel/RPG -3 Years- In the Making is Finally Here! Set in the UCT (United Countries of Terra). The Pain They Cause; Devil Gods is a visual novel with an enriched story, developed with the help of RPG Maker VX Ace, about three life long friends who come into conflict after a strange phenomenon tears them apart at the seams (literally). -Inspired by popular Visual Novels such as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Steins;Gate- In this indie game we ask the question: “Why do creators force their characters to suffer? And how can they really love them?” In a story about trust, betrayal, conflicts of morality and hope vs. reality. Made for Windows PC. *Some images from beta build -Key Features- -Comprehensive Story -Intuitive Keyboard and Mouse Control -RPG Elements -Story Rich -Team- Lead/Sole Developer Art/Music Tekaji/Project C. (Christian Sword) -RPG Maker VX Ace & RTP- Enterbrain -Super Simple Mouse Script 1.10- Script by: Near Fantastica SephirothSpawn Amaranth Games Shaz -Ace Message System v1.05- Script by: Yanfly -Galge Conversation Script- Saba Kan of Petit Rare Official Site: https://projectcdev.wordpress.com/ Download: https://projectcdev.itch.io/the-pain-they-cause-devil-gods Social Media |Twitter|DeviantArt|Wattpad| Developers Note: Thank you for taking interest in my project. I know you all have a lot of questions! Please take this time to view the project's project page here if you have the time and are seeking immediate answers as they may have been answered already by yours truly. I never would have thought this project could grow so big. It was one part experimentation and one part dedication and heart. It was very explosive and if given the opportunity. I would very well like to do it all again. Here I present to you the free copy of this game (donations optional). The game itself is completed and the overall development is done. However, I hope to add more content over time along with other improvements and renditions. Let's just see how this one goes. Shall we? All in all. Thank you for this moment of your time and I look forward to sharing it all with you. My enjoyment I mean as you play the game and test the story for yourselves! Please share your experience!
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