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Showing most liked content since 08/07/2019 in Blog Comments

  1. 4 points

    The nature of an infodump

    Well, of course a prologue wouldn't work in a mystery horror story, but that's not what I was talking about. It's particularly meaningful for high-concept fantasy and sci-fi world that can be confusing to the player if it's not explained properly. Giving just enough context to make it comprehensible at the beginning, and minimize the need for infodumps when the action picks up pace is pretty optimal. In the case of your story, I simply think it could've done with a lot less info in general. I'd like it more being vague than just explaining the lore this way. That is a good point, but if you think of it as another method of "scattering" the infodumps to keep the complexity of the world without creating the walls of info in the middle of the story it should still be worth it. I also don't like encyclopedias if they contain information actually crucial to understanding the story – as you said, it can be cool for fleshing out your world, but it can't be a primary method. ...I might also be speaking from one specific trauma of an EVN with a world that was pretty much incomprehensible because of lack of proper exposition, and with encyclopedia which created more questions than it answered. A good prologue could've done miracles for that game.
  2. 3 points
    Haruuru's translation of the Main routes is long-since done. I was mostly working with @ittaku in an advisory capacity (details, colloquialisms, other stuff that requires a ridiculously long background). It is true, and we both agree, that the Main route is much, much better than the Branch route. Not only are Tonoko, Shino, and Miyabi much better heroines, but everything from the protagonist's personality to how the heroines' emotions and characterizations are handled are so dramatically different in quality that there is no possible comparison. The only real exception is that Yuuna's route has some good drama/story, probably more as a coincidence than anything else (Misaki and Sumika's routes were... basically somewhat above average charage fare at best). I don't quite agree with the reviewer in this case, as I always reviewed based on the Main path and ignored the Branch entirely, simply because my first experience of it was enough to put me off permanently. The Main routes have some truly epic feels, great character interactions, and are the truest to the 'nature' of the school's purpose, which is confinement and segregation from the larger sister school's population and the general population in general. This is ironic, since the Branch school girls are supposedly more of an 'embarrassment' to their powerful families, whereas the Main School heroines are supposedly only problem children after the fact. Perhaps the way the Branch school's writer screwed up the most was that he quite simply didn't manage to match two of the three heroines to the school's purpose. Neither Misaki nor Sumika had any business being in the Branch school at all, considering that they were both capable and had personalities that were not necessarily 'embarrassing' to their families (in both cases, they are loved deeply and don't have any traumas or major issues that should have resulted in them ending up there). Yuuna's route stands out from the other two Branch routes... to a degree that you have to wonder if the same writer had anything to do with it. It is also the most overtly morally distasteful of the paths (not in the teacher-student relations sense though), which is probably why it has such impact. Yuuna's presence there also makes a great deal of sense once you've done her path, which is different from the two redheads. Miyabi's path tends to get deified by fanboys, which I can understand. Tsukasa's actions, the characters' reactions, and the feels are all so well coordinated that it is impossible not to cry numerous times throughout the path. However, it needs to be said that both Tonoko and Shino's paths are of the same level of quality, if having someone different tracks (the last part of Shino's path had me rofling, though).
  3. 3 points

    Maggot Baits (JP VN Review)

    I was discussing this with a friend recently, but it was our consensus that Maggot Baits is one of the few eroge that could benefit from having all its h-scenes removed... To be blunt, the h-scenes are in the way (vanilla or evil h, it doesn't matter). As for pacing, that's actually typical of Kurashiki when he doesn't have Takahama, Marimo, or one of his other Light people keeping him from doing what he wants. Sora no Baroque had a similar problem. The writing is good, the story is good, but the pacing is abominable. Edit: I liked the game's story, but the H was gratuitous in several negative ways (understatement).
  4. 2 points

    Visual Novels are a Hot Medium

    One thing I've noticed about the best Japanese VN companies is that they manage to keep all elements of their VNs at a high level or at least an aesthetically pleasing level. Visual elements are pleasing (though the Japanese baseline is much, much higher due to a near-standardization of the art quality in commercial vns, than the Western one), music direction is still a thing (you know, the thing that vanished after the PSX era from regular games, due to the arrival of voice acting), and voice-acting is even more refined (for the most part, though there are exceptions) than what you see in anime. The area where the Japanese stumble is writing. Due to the 'crutch' of voiced dialogue, there is a tendency for many writers to try to tell most of the story with dialogue and sprite poses. However, that is like using only black and white when you have a full color palette available. If there was one thing that struck me immediately playing my first VNs, it was the sheer impact of combining first-class narration with the other elements of a visual novel (as well as coordinating those elements). Heck, I've even encountered games where the appropriate use of music, narrative, and voices have carried the game past lower quality artwork to startling heights (Devils Devel Concept being a premier example) that only get better the more times you play it. When everything is high level, however, you wouldn't believe the degree to which it blows you away... the first time I played Dies Irae (In Japanese) it destroyed me completely. Everything about it quite simply was so different from what I'd experienced previously, while using many of the same elements. Bradyon Veda did something similar to me, as did Sakura, Moyu and Kitto, Sumiwataru Asairo yori mo,. To put it simply, there are works out there that utilize the full 'palette' of what the medium is capable of. However, I can tell you that very few companies would have the wherewithal to gather the talent that can create such games. First, writers with that kind of sheer brilliance are rare. Second, companies that might gather such writers would not be able to handle them, because each one needs different things to work at 100%. Third, maintaining all the other parts of a game (Art, VA, Music, and direction) at the same high level even if you have the writing staff has got to be a serious pain in the rear. To be blunt, Visual novels have a lot of moving parts, and just throwing extra people at it doesn't usually work (very few games with multiple main scenario writers or artists have turned out well, though assistants sometimes work out fine). In retrospect, is is amazing that I can name double digits worth of games that have drawn on every element of the medium to its fullest, considering what a pain it must have been to put it all together.
  5. 2 points

    The rules of a Good Trap Protagonist game

    Voiced protagonist is obvious. It shouldn't even need mentioning that having the protagonist voiced is a universal plus. By definition, point 2 is a quality that allows a protagonist to be 'not just another worthless non-person protagonist', so again, a plus. In my opinion, if the heroines are voiced in ANY VN, the protagonist should also be voiced... but if you like your protagonist to be a non-person cipher with no personality, that's your business. Point 3 is purely personal tastes, I'll admit openly. However, it is a commonality to all good trap protag charage. Probably because most ojousama protagonists in JVNs tend to fall into the yurufuwa (think sweet-mannered airhead), arrogant (often combined with tsundere elements, for some reason), or elegant archetypes, all of which are good archetypes for creating atmosphere. Point 4... completely glossing over the drama of a cross-dressing revelation stretches suspension of disbelief by definition, even beyond that of a cross-dressing guy infiltrating a girls' school. While no one seriously thinks any of this is realistic, suspension of disbelief for the purpose of enjoyment is a necessary process to enjoy most fiction. Oh, I'm not talking about drama on the level of Tsuki ni Yorisou Otome no Sahou's normal/bad end, but rather the kind of drama where there is real tension on one or both sides of the equation. In my experience, when all or a majority of the heroines sort of just blink and say 'that's fine' without even thinking about it, it is a serious mood-killer. 5. This is just a common comedic point that creates internal laughs for fans of the genre... and having built-in jokes is always nice. In the end, points 1, 2, and 4 contribute the most to the quality of the works in question. 3 and 5, as you mentioned, are mostly matters of taste and commonality. Well, if you actually wanted an answer, there is your answer.
  6. 2 points

    The rules of a Good Trap Protagonist game

    I don't think these are rules so much as commonalities... You fail to mention why any of this makes the games good to begin with.
  7. 2 points

    The nature of an infodump

    I think infodumps at the beginning are rarely employed because there is no in-story-conflict yet readers can connect it to. At least to me they feel more like homework than useful information most of the time and I tend to get bored before the actual story even begins. A way of infodumping that's rather unique to VNs that can be rather effective is adding opportunities for expositioning outside of the actual story. For example an encyclopedia can be a good way of explaining things characters in-universe wouldn't talk about normally without taking you out of the story for too long. 428 utilizes this feature brilliantly, adding funny side stories to its exposition and even secretly setting up plot devices. VA-11 also has an approach I really like where you read news stories and internet boards inbetween story-sections (although admittedly it's used more for world building than infodumping).
  8. 2 points

    A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!

    this person (not me) goes through one of the routes, I won't take responsability for any hearing damage. although those videos don't go through the worst meme in the old translation.
  9. 2 points
    hi my name is zaka and im a pepsiholic also part of this
  10. 2 points
    Formlose Gestalt

    Maggot Baits (JP VN Review)

    Thanks for the review. I am glad that I passed on Maggot Baits, this title isn't for me, even though the story sounds interesting.
  11. 2 points
    Reading this kind of stuff always makes me realize what a weirdo I am. I never saw school as oppressive. I'm still very fond of pretty much every bit of "useless knowledge I've gathered there and was too oblivious to most things around me to even stress out about my outsider's status. Maybe also because I never experienced negative parts of school life beyond mild teasing. But I'm also the kind of person to whom rebelling against their circumstances is pretty foreign concept. Or rather, it took something extremely f***** up for me to actually act out. School was comforting. Clear rules, clear goals, clear future. I could stay in such system forever. You get a lot of "freedom" when you get out of it, but I feel it serves l best for people that have the energy to conquer the world. I have yet to find any use for it. So, if I read this VN, I find it quite likely I would feel nothing. I wonder how many people like me are there..
  12. 2 points

    Master Magistrate - Early-Access Review

    I was really hyped when I saw that this VN get localized. It'll be a day one buy for me when it's released. It pretty much combines all the things I like: murder mystery, Japanese history and knight girls. I was even thinking about reading the Japanese version, but fortunately that won't be necessary anymore.
  13. 1 point
    Hearing all these comments and posts made on this game in 2019-2020 makes me glad I'm not the only one who recently got into this game, having just heard about Sayooshi last week. Anyways I think many of your points are valid. I agree wholeheartedly that the H-scenes are over-the-top and were most likely added for shock value. It gets to the point where a good number of these scenes become drivel, almost filler to pad the game. However I would disagree they are completely meaningless given they are strongly reflective of the protagonist's deteriorating mental state and do bear some significance when the big reveal happens at the end. That said, I do feel the drivel and disturbing content is worth sitting through (or in some cases grinding through) to get to the game's real treasure: its twist ending. A twist ending that, while not completely original, does bear its narrative fruit that makes you go "ah ha, why didn't I see that coming"? For myself, after finding out the twist in the end I was left somewhat dumbfounded I didn't figure it out sooner, but the fact the game played everything up until that point so convincingly caused me to forgive myself for not putting two and two together beforehand. Which brings me to my next point, and that is the topic of mental health. I will say I do not think this game portrays mental health symptoms such as psychosis with much grace and makes several faults with portraying the symptoms accurately (I say this as someone who has studied psychology and sociology) but I think this is reflective largely of Japanese media as a whole. Even today, there are not a lot of anime, manga or video games I would say portray individuals with mental health symptoms very favorably or humanely and this may be reflective of the current stigmatization of mental health as a whole in Japan. Still, in spite of underlying stigma and its emphasis on shock value over accuracy, I will say the writers of this game succeeded in making me feel sorry for the protagonist. There was not much to be gathered from his backstory unfortunately, but from the little we can glean, it is clear to me he was subject to complex trauma, loss and failure. The game may very well serve as a robust form of social commentary towards Japanese society as a whole- a culture that does not forgive ones who fail to deal with mental health symptoms on their own and especially does not forgive those who fail to fit into the system. I wish I could elaborate on this point further with examples, but that would give away too many spoilers of the ending. Anyways, before I ramble further, will I agree Sayooshi is not a perfect game? Absolutely. However I found this game to be quite a refreshing take on the visual novel genre, especially since it touches on taboo topics of mental health and failure to conform to social norms. Yes, these themes could have been addressed in a much more sanitized manner and it is a shame that the game's perverse aspects have detracted so many potential commentators. Still, for what its worth, the fact that the game has maintained its cult following even to this day shows to me that it has achieved some merit in its story-telling.
  14. 1 point
    I was open to criticism of Sayooshi as I am in agreement that it isn't perfect. But I couldn't find myself agreeing with any of your criticisms. It seems more that you dislike it because its popular in the small, but vocal crowd of English speakers who read retro Japanese VNs. And I can relate to that sentiment, if Doki Doki and Fate Stay Night for example weren't so popular I wouldn't mind them as much either. There is something particularly frustrating about disliking something that everyone else seems to adore, so I sympathize with you in that regard. What I will say, is that I think the reason Sayooshi gets adored so much (by me included) is because genuine denpa isn't a very popular genre. Sure you have VNs like Suba Hibi and others that have denpa segments, but its rare to get a VN where the denpa is the primary focus. And for those who love that genre, Sayooshi scratches in all the right places (for most of us at least).
  15. 1 point

    Eldritch University (Yuri VN Review)

    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.
  16. 1 point

    VN of the Month December 2007 - Dies irae

    Keep in mind Dies Irae is more of a retroactive masterpiece for this month, because from all acounts the 2007 version is vastly inferior to the 2009 version that got translated.
  17. 1 point

    nothing & nowhere (Western VN Review)

    Although this is about Nothing & Nowhere you've ended up convincing me to read Lynne! To be honest I haven't heard of it before, but I'm a sucker for good psychological horror, and I actually really like the artistic design of it based off of the vndb sample photos.
  18. 1 point

    Visual Novels are a Hot Medium

    That is a completely different definition from the one Zalor presented though, touching on a seperate issue. It kind of makes both claims true... But when it goes to the mode of engagement, I'm definitely with Zalor on this. In my experience, reading VNs is close to reading a novel or watching an engaging show, when it goes to mental effort. I can watch YouTube or play traditional PC games for hours/days on end, but VNs are way more emotionally stimulating and I need proper mood and mental energy to tackle them. ...and that's why also get burned out on them and anime pretty regularly, even though I still consider those my favourite forms of entertainment. :C
  19. 1 point
    The art really was the draw for me, but after reading around 10 - 15 minutes of it I have to say I was kind of confused as well. Glad I wasn't the only one since I thought maybe I was just stupid. I think it has a problem where the art is nice, and for a different story it could have worked perfectly, but in Unfamiliar Work it felt like the art and writing were in conflict with each other. Not helping each other out which is the relationship art, writing and audio should have in a VN. I guess I'll have to try Eislyn's Apocalypse next.
  20. 1 point
    Indeed, Unfamiliar Work looks very different, which is something to appreciate, but I'm still not sure what that story was about. I'll be curious about your impressions of Eislyn's Apocalypse when you get to it. Zakamutt lately accused me of overhyping stuff in my game jam articles and I can't say he's totally wrong. Just the fact that you confront it with very amateurish entries can make a game that is just decent look like something really impressive or make you ignore some flaws... Which I don't think is a massive problem, as these posts are more about selecting noteworthy games from the sea of random weirdness, but if someone has really high standards they might expect a lot more than a game jam title can reasonably deliver. :>
  21. 1 point
    Shirogane no Soleil was the first Soleil game and the one that defined the most essential elements of how the Runes, Valkyries, and other elements were treated within the multiverse (though a lot has been retconned since then). It is also a very old-style chuunige. The protagonist starts out as a normie, the girls are more powerful than him, and there is a horrible cost for using their powers. The heroines will seem somewhat archetypical in comparison to modern chuunige heroines, but that doesn't hurt the game as much as you would think. If you intend to play other games in the series, you should also pay attention to what happens to the various heroines, as some of it 'ripples' outward through the multiverse and has effects on their alternative versions.
  22. 1 point
    Most people, even Nitroplus fans, consider Gekkou no Carnevale an acquired taste. I liked it, I liked the themes, and I even liked the fighting. I didn't like two of the four heroines (ironically, I disliked both of the main heroines, while I liked their respective sub-heroines and their endings). Like most Nitroplus games, it has sound problems (for some reason, almost all Nitroplus games have 'gaps' between the loops of their BGMs, and it can be jarring when the music cuts out for a second during an important scenes). The story in general is too much of a 'chapter in an endless saga' type thing with the beginnings mostly ignored. The main antagonist on the wolf side is boring, and the one on the doll side is unnecessarily inscrutable. As such, the game will always remain an acquired taste adored by its fans and disliked by most everyone else. Edit: to be clear about what I mean by the 'endless saga' comment, the fights between the werewolves and the doll-users.
  23. 1 point

    Rainbow Dreams (Western VN Review)

    Oh boy... Now I'm really curious what their other titles are like.
  24. 1 point
    I guess Harugi here really become the medium for the writer to show off their capability instead of working together to write a good VN there, which is interesting to note. Even the common routes here really separated between the Main's writer (Takehaya) and Branch's writer (Marutani Hideto). For more elaboration here, Main's heroines did consist of Miyabi, Tonoko, and Shino, while for Branch's heroines it should be obvious who are they (For the answer it's Misaki, Sumika, and Yuuna). So yeah, we can say that the main writer for Harugi here would be Takehaya, and I think people more or less just vote it as the best VNs for Takehaya's writing while at the same time giving Tsukihime anime treatment (You know what I mean) to Marutani's writing. For the translation, actually I would really like to see the English patch for this (Not only for Main, but also for Branch as well). Although apparently it's impossible to do as of now because the team really busy as of now, if not losing interest with this. The translator for Main route is Ittaku, and the Branch route translator is Hasa who apparently being busy as of now. The last time they have updates was months ago, and currently it's stuck. So yeah that's too bad here.
  25. 1 point
    Hah, how interesting! I actually found Nise meandering and (relatively) boring. Basically everything between Bake and Second Season felt like filler, not bad really, but nowhere near as captivating. I'm always amazed with how people's opinions differ. That EVN though, looks quite interesting. Might check it out this weekend, considering how short it is... My reading output is at disastrous levels though. I should start working on NaNoRenO coverage soon and if this quarantine apathy doesn't leave me I think I'll be working on it for the next three months.
  26. 1 point
    huh, i may read this sooner than later now.
  27. 1 point

    Fallstreak (Free VN Review)

    Looks pretty interesting, added it to my wishlist. Thank you for the review.
  28. 1 point

    The nature of an infodump

    Yeah, I think there are worse ways to do exposition than dumping it right at the start, and I know quite a few TV shows and movies that do this and are still quite good. It's just very hard to do in a way that keeps the reader invested enough that they remember the important information. As for the encyclopedia thing, I don't think reading an encyclopedia entry is worse than a wall-of-text dump or some character monologueing exposition, at least as long as it's not information that's new to the protagonist. Of course none of these options should be the primary way of expositioning, as imo a story should always try to tie every important piece of information to its characters' motivations or its themes or whatever makes sense through a scene where something actually happens imo, but if that's not possible or highly inconvenient, putting it outside the main text often is a better choice imo. Do you think this particular VN could have gotten a good prologue when the writers weren't able to write an encyclopedia that actually explains things?
  29. 1 point
    Nanami Pyon

    Maggie's top 10 reads of 2019

    Very interesting read. Our tastes seem to be similar so I'm hyped to start playing Nie No Machi asap since you recommend it! I hadn't got around to playing it since I didn't fully understand what concept they were going for so it gave me rapey vibes lol. I wonder if you already played NG, Death Mark's sequel? I liked Death Mark (and Mashita is my fave too <3) but I was surprised to not see NG here since it improved everything that was clunky in Death Mark, imho. Death Mark had a tendency to just throw a bunch of characters at you and then take them away before you could properly bond with them (only Mashita was around for long enough), and this only improved with the extra Red Riding Hood case. If you haven't played NG yet, I really recommend it! It improved the faults in gameplay and placed a lot more focus on characterization, so you actually walk away attached to all of your friends instead of a select few. My favorite partners in Death Mark were Mashita and Yasuoka, which is why I'm a bit bummed out Yasuoka apparently won't make an appearance in the upcoming 3rd game ;; (Recommendation for NG: the Super Scary mode is the one that has the same jumpscare formula as Death Mark, not default mode. I made the mistake of picking default, thinking it would be the Death Mark setting... Turns out NG's default has basically no jumpscares.)
  30. 1 point
    Don't make me shiver in fear! :kowai: I didn't read YU-NO, but if this is a story on par with that title, then damn, YU-NO is definitely overrated then. Just finished reading this VN (Youtube has whole playthroughs of all 3 volumes), and oh boy, I think I lost a couple of brain cells by the end of it. One of the worst plotge fails I've ever encountered. It had some very good ideas, but that execution, that writing, that delivery... it's all ZERO! I felt like it was aimed at 12-year old kids or something. So many implausible shit and unconvincing developments... it's comically bad! In many "drama" moments, I couldn't help but laugh at the sheer absurdity of it! It's truly a shame since there were aspects of the VN I definitely liked.
  31. 1 point
    The best trap protags are of that type... though there are a few that make a good pass as 'predators in skirts' types (Ojousama no Hanbun wa Ren'ai de Dekiteimasu). Mizuki in this one and Tsuki ni Yorisou Otome no Sahou's protag are the best outright. It really is too bad that Otome no Sahou's sequel based off the Luna ending (protagonist is submissive version) sucked so badly. The cross-dressing son started out really well, but the heroine routes ruined things, because his personality changed the second the routes started. There are also weren't any really stand-out heroines.
  32. 1 point

    Maggie's top 10 reads of 2019

    Out of those 10, I only remember that True Remembrance did have good opening song. Also I just realized that Heart of the Wood have a very beautiful graphic, which is more than it sounds seeing that I didn't pay attention much to OELVN here if I may be honest. Anyway it's a good list that you made there even though I didn't quite interested with most of those (BL), but admittedly Hashihime plot here sounds interesting despite the genre (And that Steam Prison MC here is good looking).
  33. 1 point

    A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!

    Holy Mother of Horrible Translations, this is kind of hilarious, but mostly I'm just baffled trying to imagine what the original line looked like. I don't think it went according to keikaku. Wow, it's the 90s all over again, with Japanese devs having no idea how to localize stuff... "How can we appeal to this mysterious Western audience? Maybe with CHEAP TRANSLATION and EVEN CHEAPER DUBBING! That sounds perfect."
  34. 1 point

    A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!

    Holy damn, a crappily-dubbed Engrish localisation? That's kind of amazing in its stupidity. Will have to look for some playthrough of that, but also happy the game received a second chance after being mistreated like that. :]
  35. 1 point
    Jin Uzuki

    [Review] Hashihime of the Old Book Town

    (Last route/ending spoiler) Personally I'm pretty neutral toward it, if it's well written (which is rare for VNs I guess lol) or makes sense (As I think is the case for Hashihime's first two routes) I don't mind it or I may even like it, otherwise I tend to CTRL it if I'm reading a game for the story (Which is the case of Hashihime, it's certainly not a game I would recommend for the "dating sims" aspect or the fanservice).
  36. 1 point
    Jin Uzuki

    [Review] Hashihime of the Old Book Town

    Nice review. Overall I agree with the general sentiment, "The 3 good routes are very high quality for me, but sadly it gets dragged down by 2 subpar routes when you rate the game as a whole ", though personally the first route was really a stand-out for me, overall worth the price alone and a pretty exceptional (love) story on its own and something anyone (Not just BL fans) could enjoy. It felt like the story the author wanted to tell first and foremost, and the rest was mostly... filling the blanks and exploring possibilities. The last route is utter trash that brings the quality of the product down. Even if we can ignore it because by the words of the author it is an AU, it's just an ugly way to end the game and it makes hard to recommend the game for me. I partiarlly disagree about the ero content though, at least Minakami's one had a fairly good amount of characterization in it with some really good banters that showed off their personalities, which caught me by surprise. I would probably say the same thing about Kawase, though maybe that one would have worked with a fade to black too. But I don't they were badly written as Nasu's mollusks or out of place. The rest is... yeah. They do have characterization in them though, but it felt like they were there because the product is an eroge, especially the one in the last route which was "just why". Ahah, this is so true.
  37. 1 point
    Basically, it is a theoretical where there was official acknowledgement of Japan having multiple ethnicities early on (think right after WWII) instead of relatively recently (Japan only acknowledged the existence of the Ainu and a few other ethnicities in the last twenty years or so). This resulted in a social movement, where people migrated to areas with people of the same ethnicity, and this caused a degree of political alienation between them that eventually split the nation politically in a way that is eerily familiar to anyone who has been watching the Brexit mess or American politics. Tbh, Gunjou no Sora tries too hard to be an intellectual VN and falls somewhat short of making its objectives and themes clear. The decision to resort to using the child soldiers trope (the protagonist and friends) was an even poorer choice, as it muddled things, distracting from the central themes. Typical of Light, the writing quality is high, but it is one of their few failures to match the results to their own pretentiousness, lol. Edit: Until relatively recently in history, the cultural unity between the people of Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido, and Honshu... and Okinawa of course were limited. Each has their own cultural elements that aren't present in the same forms as the others. However, back during the Meiji Restoration era, the unification of official Shinto beliefs was used to force cultural homogeneity on the more traditionally 'different' groups. The Ainu, who actually had their own language and dramatically different culture, suffered the most from this, actually going into direct conflict with the 'wajin' several times in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  38. 1 point
    As someone who thought Tokyo Babel was good but not great, my biggest complaint is that the prologue had this amazing atmosphere leading up to the fight while the rest of the VN just felt like regular chuunige stuff.
  39. 1 point

    Our Lovely Escape (Western VN Review)

    On one hand, I'm glad they finished the game. On another, it doesn't seem to be a very good one. I mean, for me, it likely wouldn't be the worst, but it's sad that it's not what it wanted to be. I backed this game when it came out and was excited to play (I was the girl for the protag). Cute story but with darker elements can be a great game. Sadly, it appears the devs weren't able to get the story down right. I don't regret backing, but wish I got a better game. Also, sad that the girls are so unlikable. I mean, when I played the demo, they were nothing amazing but okay for me. I loved the art and the premise of being game devs too. Like How to Date a Magical Girl though, they are trying to copy Doki Doki, and though I don't mind if they take some elements from that, neither game did well enough to pull it off. And this one seems to have bad love interests. Well, I do hope they can make a better game next time. I know it's not easy, especially writing. But, good review.
  40. 1 point

    Jingai Makyou 塵骸魔京 [Nitroplus]

    This was my first untranslated VN, so my impression differs somewhat. 1. This was the first game where I discovered that h-scenes could be hilarious. For some reason, Kaze no Ushiro ni Ayumu Mono's (yes, that's her name) h-scene hit my funny bone and made me rofl. 2. The protagonist is not at the highest tiers for me either, but he has good reason for being the way he is. 3. One interesting impression I felt needs to be noted is that the inhuman in this game (thus the first part of the title, Jingai) are fundamentally inimical to humans and humans are inimical to them. In addition, it is possible for humans to transition into Jingai through cross-contamination, which is partly physical but can also be a spiritual change (it should be noted that both are explored as part of the VN). 4. This game was never actually completed (or so goes the story). There was supposed to be a remake, but it never happened... probably because Nitroplus is so slow on everything that it got canceled. 5. There are multiple, drastically different endings to each of the three heroine paths. These endings are interesting to explore, but the common element all of them is that all of them are bittersweet at best. 6. Story-wise, this game's most negative point is one that is actually common to more than half of all Nitroplus game... deliberate obscurity. 7. The heroines in this game are... unique. None of them have purely human perspectives, and that becomes ever more obvious as the story progresses.
  41. 1 point

    Looking Back On YMK: A Drug That Makes You Dream

    There is actually an ending if you choose to be complacent. Its not considered a good ending, but its not exactly a bad one either. It does do a good job of putting everything into perspective though. So you may appreciate that. While I do think YMK is a really good all around VN. I really just wanted to highlight why I subjectively like it so much in this post. Perhaps in the future I might do a more objective and analytical post about it. But I'm not sure.
  42. 1 point

    Master Magistrate - Early-Access Review

    Good review there, and I admit that at first I dismissed it. Of course after I did a bit of searching, I find that the character is quite good looking and that it have some familiar VAs so I picked my interest to this. And not to mention that Hobibox here is basically improved their translation from Your Diary, which mean that at least they learnt from their mistake by hire the native speaker. Too bad that their confidence is plummeted seeing that they didn't release the full version for this yet (I know that they have the reason, but I want to say it), and so we need to wait for a while here. I don't have any problem to wait until 2020 though, because we have enough good release for this year. By the way I already played this, and yeah it resembled Ace attorney except that the MC here is the judge instead of the attorney with Nagai Sr. here is basically Blaise with Nagai Jr. here is basically Sebastian (AAI2 refrence, and yeah I used localized name). Oh and the dad of the MC here is basically Mia Fey, except less busty and less beautiful (The dad is quite handsome here). Also apparently they change the vertical textbox to horizontal textbox, which is acceptable seeing that it would be very awkward if Hobibox keep the vertical textbox here. Anyway after read the review and solve the first case here, I can say that I'll look forward to the full release and of course hopefully they'll also have 18+ contents as well. PS - Almost forget to say that Koume here is really living up to her family name lol.
  43. 1 point

    Noel [FlyingShine]

    I liked it a little more than you did, but i have to agree that the people that made this VN had no idea who to market it for. It kinda fails as a action spy story because the yurige scenes fuck up the pacing and it kinda fails as a yurige because most of the H-scenes are between men and women. Fortunately for me, the way the relationship between the two main girls developed and the ramifications of a certain death in the story were enough for me to consider it a pretty good VN.
  44. 1 point
    Played it and overall, i didn't like it as much as you did. I probably would've liked a more down to earth story, but i can definitely appreciate the direction taken (the last few hours of the VN are pretty much impossible to predict, regardless of route). My biggest complaint is that the routes felt too uneven, with Henri feeling like a bad end, Fuuko feeling like a normal end and Komaki feeling like a good end. This probably should've been in enforced route order.
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point

    random top 100, one year later

    Good list there, just like the last year. I have nothing much to say, although if you want to read some more VN perhaps I can recommend stuffs such as Damekoi and Aokana if you still interested in the newer VNs.
  47. 1 point

    The problem with reviews and reviewers

    I justify this as a desire to promote games that might not be on peoples' radar, or that they might not have seriously considered. Why spend time and effort promoting that which has already been extensively covered elsewhere, especially if my perspective doesn't bring anything new to the table? Does that generate value for my audience? As a novelty seeker, I'm often interested in the games people AREN'T playing, and giving them reasons they should. Conversely, I don't write too many negative reviews, because why would I choose to spend my time writing reviews about games I didn't like?
  48. 1 point
    As for Hinatabokko, the last line that was added in the English premise is really corny if not ridiculuous and uncanny. First of all while the twin sister here is sexy, the art is definitely not show that because Fue's art here is more focused on the cuteness. Second while granted it's normal VN where the man was need to choose a girl, I don't really think that Natsuki here is really confused when he chose a girl. And by the way the new lines about sexy and confused MC here is really added for English version, because when I checked Japanese version synopsis it tell us on how Natsuki's parents dead and the first paragraph of the English premise. Oh and they got the title wrong as well, because Hinatabokko actually mean 'Basking in the sun'. That said, it's understandable though if the staff got it wrong on the translation (Actually it shouldn't be happen) because back at 2008 Mangagamer was still newbie and they probably lack of English speaker translator. Also for more trivia, actually Mangagamer was formed by four Japanese companies with Tarte was one of the company so maybe they only have Japanese staffs back then. Other than mistranslation on the title and the unneccesary addition of the uncanny premise, I guess it's more or less okay as long as you try to tolerate Mangagamer's early bad translation (I'm okay with it, although other people need to mind on that here).
  49. 1 point
    The fact that they gave 'samples' of all three stories before starting the 'present' chapter did not bother me. I think it was the right thing to do present->past->future chapters in that respective order. But I have to disagree about the story. The entire story was bad. Kano, may his soul rest in peace, had great ideas but a lot of time the execution was not up to par. The 'present' chapter had boring characters, the protag was insufferable, the story just went no where and felt pointless. The 'past' chapter was even worse, it's as basic as a final fantasy plot can get. The idea is interesting, the protag is determined to go against the gods. Great idea but really, it's like a 5 year old wrote it, it's a typical boring story about the 4 elements of earth, wind, fire, water. I was bored enough that I decided to drop the 'future' chapter in the middle. This is not a well done story. Excellent idea and a great premise, but not well executed story. Edit: Like I said it had some interesting ideas. For example, in the non dvd version like the playstation and the dreamcast ones, you had to jump between different times to gain clues for puzzles in another time. The gameplay was pretty much lost in the dvd version.
  50. 1 point

    Visual Novels and the Bechdel Test

    They don't. Each individual VN is considered on its own merits. So even if the fan disc features a 5-hour orgy with every single man, woman, animal, and teapot in the cast, the original VN can still pass the test.