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ChaosRaven last won the day on January 5

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About ChaosRaven

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    Fuwa Elite
  1. A question to those who read untranslated Japanese VNs

    Mainly because I wanted to read some VN's which were not available in English and also very unlikely to be translated. But I also liked anime before and was always fascinated with Japanese culture. I think I tried to read my first VN very shortly after starting learning Japanese with some educational books. Reading Japanese VN's is one of the best ways to help learning Japanese since it's much more fun than just dry learning of vocabulary and grammar. I read about two books about grammar and two smaller ones for Hiragana and Katakana. Though I kind of got stuck when learning Kanji. I even tried Heisig's way of learning it, but I'm honestly not a fan of it. It's just unnatural - if I read a sentence I don't have the time rembering two dozen short stories. And humans usually recognize entire words and not just single characters. I've also read most of Tae Kim's Japanese Guide, which is pretty good. I think my first VN was Kiriya no Roku Shimai and it was easier than expected since it used very clear language. (Besides simple nukiges) I find plot based VN's the most easy to read since they often use very clear language. Ironically, comedy and slice of life VN's are often way harder since they like to 'play' with the language itself. Yeah, I'm using a text hooker, mainly because of the damn kanji, not so much because of the grammar. Usually I iterate between translating the Japanese text myself and reading the translated text. For the former, I only use the translations of the kanji compounds I don't know myself from the translator. It's slower and exhausting but more precise. If I get too exhausted, I switch to just reading the translated text. If certain parts get too far off the track, I revert back to translating myself. To be honest, in the last few years my Japanese was probably more stagnating than improving. Most stuff I really wanted to read I've already read and I've also been disappointed too often to believe in kamiges anymore - there are just more or less flawed VN's. Though, I guess it's just a natural process to get a bit burned out after reading VN's for years.
  2. Kara No Shoujo or Rewrite?

    Kara no Shoujo if you want to catch and detain mass murderers and Rewrite if you want to date them. But yeah, playing Cartagra before KnS would be better. Though the writing in Cartagra isn't as good as in KnS yet.
  3. What are you playing?

    I dropped Sakura Sakura - it was just too annoying to read. Having a completely useless and indecisive hetare protagonist just isn't fun. Especially in a scenario with lots of bullying. I kinda liked Kurumi and Sakura though, but Tooru mostly seemed to interact just with Nanako, Akira and Naoki instead. And those three really got on my nerves after a while. It would have been nice to be able to have Masashi as the protagonist, since he's actually a really cool guy, but you're only allowed to play two dorks instead. *sigh* Rating: 4/10
  4. Heart of the Woods Review

    Very nice review. Actually, Heart of the Woods caught my eye almost immediately on release since it looked surprisingly high quality for an EVN and the story seems a lot more interesting than your run of the mill J-moege. I'm a bit hesitant because of the short duration though. I'm more into mid-length VN's.
  5. What are you reading? Untranslated edition

    So, I finally finished Shin Koihime † Musou - Kakumei ~Son Go no Ketsumyaku~ after literally months of reading. To be frank, this VN really brought me to my limits of my Japanese reading capabilities. It wasn't just freaking long, it also had a huge number of names, places, dynasties and some awkward old language style. With about 80 characters who didn't have just first and last name but also a 'true name', I had to deal with over 200 names over the course of the game. Add to that frequent discussions about political situations and developments during the Three Kingdoms period of China, and you get a real challenge for a foreign reader with some linguistic half knowledge in Japanese and a machine translator. In short, it was pretty exhausting at times. If I should sum up the VN in a few works, then I'd say it's overall a good Koihime VN but a weak remake because it barely addresses the weaknesses of the original Shin Koihime. The story can be roughly split up in three arcs, the Yenren arc when the mother of Sheren, Renfa and Shaoren is still the leader of the Go faction, then the Sheren arc when she succeeds Yenren, and finally the Renfa arc when she's the leader. The Yenren arc deals mostly with the early conflict of the Go faction with Huang Zu. This arc predates the events in the original Shin Koihime. It was overall well written, with Kazuto getting accepted into the Go faction as a celestial messenger. Yenren had a good mother-daughter conflict with Sheren running and there weren't too many characters yet, keeping everything more personal. At that time several key members either were absent or didn't even join yet. Renfa then joins after a while with Shaoren. Ironically the first meeting of Kazuto and Renfa didn't go that well with Renfa being all suspicious about him. They then come together when they try to convince Shishun to join the Go faction. This was a particularly well written part because Kazuto really gets active here and does something together with Renfa without the whole Go clan being present. The end of the Yenren are was rather dramatic and comparable to the Sheren incident in Shin Kohime. The Sheren arc deals mainly with the Go faction getting independent from the child ruler Miu (aka Yuan Shu). They also temporarily join forces with Gi, Shoku under the leadership of Yuan Shao (aka Yuan Shao) against the Tou empire. The relationship between Miu and Sheren was also pretty interesting since they didn't get along at all. Miu was also by far the best loli character because she was a somewhat believable character since child rulers weren't uncommon in that time. She also managed to be totally cute and adorable, while still being royally arrogant and sometimes even shockingly ruthless, not shying away from underhanded murder. A nice thing was also that they tried to get Kazuto a bit more personally involved in combat actions. Though a problem of the arc was that it got more and more crowded after a while, with too much time spent following different factions and events and characters joining the Go faction that contributed little to nothing in any sense *cough* Pao and Ashe *cough*. But overall the Sheren arc was still decent, since Sheren had a good chemistry with Kazuto and was a most excellent lead character, being a driving force for the whole Go faction. The transition to the Renfa arc was unfortunately much weaker than in Shin Kohime and as dramatic as a Mallorca vacation. I question the decision to take over this plot development anyway, since we already got that dramatic impact with Yenren without loosing the most important character. This story arc had several problems. On the one hand, Renfa couldn't replace Sheren at all, and while this was partly an understandable and believable consequence of Renfa being young, naive and a much more ladylike character than her natural born leadertype sister, the story simply lost a lot of steam because of it. Kazuto also reverted to a much more passive role and was hardly noticable anymore. In addition the VN started to get lost in moe blobbing because they wanted to showcase too many characters and events. Many conflicts also seemed to be just been made for another battle, which isn't such a great idea if the battle system itself is just a tagged on mini game. The whole conflict against the Shoku faction in particular was an absolute snore fest. Fortunately, it got better again against the Gi faction. Still, Renfa never really had the impact she should have as one of the most essential characters of the Go faction. In general, they missed the opportunity to make Kazuto a character with some impact - again - despite some improvements at the beginning. The story would have been almost the same without him. Having a too big character cast is also a problem which is almost unique to the Koihime series. They missed the chance to get rid of some unnecessary characters or at least degrade them to minor support characters. There was also too much moe blobbing and too many side events with barely any impact on the main story like the events in the royal court around Kūtan (aka emperor Ling). But overall, despite its flaws the main story arcs were still decent. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the heroine side stories. The VN didn't just recycle lots of music and character sprites from previous games, they also recycled parts of the heroine side stories. Considering, that those were the weakest parts of Shin Koihime, this was already a very questionable decision. But another problem was the pacing. The whole side story concept still originates from the first Koihime Musou, where it worked because characters were added over the whole time of the VN. So you didn't get too many side stories at once and they were also rather well paced with the main story. The same can't be said at all for Kakumei though. You already start with lots of characters, forcing you to almost stall the main story, to dig through too many side stories at once. But since the Go faction is complete after a while, nothing new comes anymore. So in the first half I got far too many side stories and in the second half I was pretty much finished with the ones I was interested in. The plot development of the side stories was also often not in line with the main story. Another problem was their not exactly overwhelming quality that reminded me frequently of bad fan fiction. The VN has about 130 CG's - which is huge - but only about 25 for the main story. Sounds great for the side stories though, since they got over a hundred. Well, too bad they had the glorious idea to EVENLY distribute them between all heroine routes. And we are talking here about 16 (!!!) heroines. That results in about ~6 CG's for each heroine - the industry standard for main heroines is about 2 - 3 times as much. That makes BaseSon probably the only eroge company that doesn't seem to understand the concept of main and side heroines. They even went so far to bundle Renfa and Shishun in one route, because they were too lazy to write one for each of them. So Renfa, the most popular Go character wasn't worth her own route while Pao, one of the most worthless and unnecessary characters in VN history got her own route and even more CG's. I think it's mute to say that something went seriously wrong here. Due to the low CG count, several routes also appeared oddly stretched like Meirin's for example. And Kazuto only being an advisor and not the faction leader like in the first Kohime, made the whole mega harem concept questionable here anyway. Audio part was pretty good though, thanks to Go's theme music always having been good. Not sure if all tracks were recycled though. The best ones were still the old ones though. Visual part was so so. It's nice to have Kohime Musou in higher resolution and most background and event CGs were good. But the best character designs still date back to the first Koihime, while most of the newer additions are questionable. Huang Zu was a walking freak show, Raika was a well written character but she was certainly not pretty and Pao was just meh. H-scenes were also below average. Considering this was one of the main strengths of the original Koihime, this isn't good. Especially for a VN with a huge cast of oversexualized heroines, that make it almost impossible to take it serious as a story VN. Overall, I enjoyed the VN mainly for its main story, while the heroine routes were mostly disappointing. I still appreciate the VN for its scope - its one of the rare VN's with an epic story and a really interesting historic setting. But it definitely suffers from a strong quantity over quality problem. I also think the creators should think about where they want to go with the series. If they want to go fan service - this isn't good enough. If they want to go serious, they should stop the moe blobbing, tone down the oversexualized heroines and get a more proactive protagonist. A good inspiration for that is ChuSingura. Favorite characters: Sheren > Renfa > Yenren > Merin > Sai > Miu > Suirei > Minmei > Raika > Rian > Shishun > Ashe >>> Non > Pao Overall rating: 7.5/10 If this would have been my first Kohime title, I might have even given an 8+ rating. But for a somewhat weak remake I don't think such a high rating is warranted. Hmm, besides that I've been digging through some Atelier Kaguya and Anim titles to balance out my all ages VN's lol. Nothing really worth mentioning though. But I really hope to get Haruru Minamo ni! finished soon which I stalled last year for a while.
  6. You can also use Chiitrans Lite. It allows Google to be set as translation environment, so it should work. Translation Aggregator never really worked good on my PCs so I already switched to Chiitrans a long time ago. Though keep in mind that Chiitrans only works as text parser in tandem with ITH under Windows 10. The text hooking feature doesn't work anymore.
  7. Getchu Bishoujo Game Awards 2018 are out

    I might be reading to much in the 'Island' and 'Time Travel' themes both VN's seem to have. Maybe I was a bit unfair here. In the last few years almost every school life VN I read was a boring snore fest, and now I feel so burned out from them that I tend to react a bit allergic to them. I guess it would help to read an actual 'good' nakige again. But the ones I'm actually interested in like Hatsusaku, Tsuriotsu or White Album 2 are all still untranslated.
  8. Getchu Bishoujo Game Awards 2018 are out

    You might consider school life moege with some time loop innovative - I do not. I'm okay with time travel if it's done on a more scientific base like in Stein's Gate, but that's usually not the case. My Key fanboy times are long over - though my interest could get rejuvenated if they tried something like Rewrite again. But Summer Pockets certainly doesn't look like that.
  9. Getchu Bishoujo Game Awards 2018 are out

    I also expected Koihime - it might not have been perfect, but it was certainly better than a lot of its competitors. And Love Holic winning the Ero ward is a joke, I even tried that since it's an Atelier Kaguya title and it was the first Choco Chip title I dropped in the middle because it was so bad.
  10. Getchu Bishoujo Game Awards 2018 are out

    I guess it's a parody about nukiges then. Though, considering I'm absolutely no fan of comedy VN's and even less of naughty ones, I'd probably even prefer to read a real nukige instead.
  11. Getchu Bishoujo Game Awards 2018 are out

    It's actually hard to think anything else after reading the synopsis: And I honestly don't think I'd even want to read a 'story VN' with such a plot.
  12. So Getchu's Bishoujo Game Awards 2018 are out and the glorious winner is: Summer Pockets! Congratulations to Key. It follows a list of the twenty best VN's of the contest: 1.) Summer Pockets by Key (Also winner of Scenario, Music and Movie awards) 2.) Rance 10 by Alice Soft (Also winner of System award) 3.) Riddle Joker by Yuzusoft (Also winner of graphics and character awards with Arihara Nanami) 4.) Nukige Mitai na Shima ni Sunderu Watashi wa Dou Surya Ii Desu ka? by Qruppo 5.) Amazing Grace - What color is your attribute? by Cabbage Soft 6.) Fuukan no Grasesta by Eushully 7.) Love x Holic ~Miwaku no Otome to Hakudaku Kankei~ by Atelier Kaguya Bare & Bunny NSFW (Also winner of Ero award) 8.) Mirai Radio to Jinkou-bato by Laplacian 9.) Motto! Haramase! Honoo no Oppai Isekai Ero Mahou Gakuen! by Milk Factory NSFW 10.) Sora ni Kizanda Parallelogram by Uguisu Kagura 11.) Trinoline: Genesis by Minori 12.) Deatte 5-fun wa Ore no Mono! Jikan Teishi to Atropos by Hulotte 13.) Onee-chan no Yuuwaku by Hibiki Works 14.) Raspberry Cube by Madosoft 15.) Kari Gurashi Ren'ai by Asa Project 16.) 9 -Nine- Sorairo Sorauta Soranooto by Palette 17.) Deep One by Nameless 18.) Kotonoha Maichiru Natsu no Koe by Silky's Plus Dolce 19.) Kuroinu 2 ~In'yoku ni Somaru Haitoku no Miyako, Futatabi~ by Liquid NSFW 20.) Erewhon by Clock Up NSFW I'm honestly speechless - I've never seen 6 nukiges in the top 20 before. Summer Pockets' copy & paste of Island will also hardly win an innovation price with the two most overused tropes in eroge history - school life and time travel. And most of the other stuff also looks pretty generic. Even a few simple fan discs made it in. IMHO, only Mirai Radio to Jinkou-bato and Deep One look somewhat interesting. Not even the Eushully title looks particular appealing this time. While Yuzusoft's Riddle Joker couldn't win the award this time, they're still the top seller according to Getchu's sales ranking 2018. Overall, 2018 seems to have been a rather weak year for visual novels.
  13. If I could go back in time, I'd definitely skip the first one - or at least the Extra story arc. Alternative had more than enough flashbacks to clear up the missing pieces.
  14. Hidden Pearls

    Yes, they have completely different stories and characters. First part is also much weaker. I think he was just trolling, because calling the Rance series as a whole 'underrated' and 'hardly anyone talks about' is just ridiculous.
  15. What are you playing?

    Yes, that's pretty much how I approach all my Japanese VN's as well. I also find the voices very helpful for understanding the dialogs, because mood and subtle meanings are often communicated via vocal accentuations and not necessarily through the text.