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ChaosRaven last won the day on March 15

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  1. Kanon is one of the rare cases where I think it's better to go with the (second) anime. The VN is just very dated now.
  2. This list feels almost nostalgic with its Mashiro-iro Symphony and Hapymaher remakes. And even nicer that the former will apparently get an English release. Finally!! I also wouldn't complain about Hapymaher - REGRET END, considering it seems to contain the still untranslated fan disc Fragmentation Dream as well. Little interest in Purple software's newer titles though. Somehow they dropped the ball after Chronoclock - at least for me. Same with Da Capo. DC 3 felt so bland in comparison to DC2, that it kind of killed my interest in all the newer ones as well. Though, that's also partly because I don't like their art style that much.
  3. I guess it's time to post some mini reviews of the VN's I've played in the last half year or so, before I forget about them. I list them in the order how much I liked them. The last VN I read is the first episode of Tokeijikake no Ley Line and it's also the one I liked the most. I haven't read a VN so far that managed to capture the feeling of a Hogwarts magical school so well like this one. The art style is really great, even if the sprite dynamics felt a bit too static if you're used to Yuzusoft stuff. The music is also decent most of the time, even though some tracks felt a bit repetitive after a while. The protagonist was a pretty cool dude and the heroines were also very likable. The VN does focus mostly on the story, with the heroine stories being rather short. But the VN did actually commit to the story, so almost everything was drawn that was actually happening, which is in no way a small feat. According to Steam it took me about 25 hours to read, which is pretty fine for the prelude to a trilogy. Heroine ranking: Tsubaki > Fuhito > Ushio > Rito > Neko Overall rating: 7.5/10 (Could get even better depending on how the trilogy continues) Tokyo Nekro was a VN I had a particular technical interest in, because it's using an actual game engine. Meaning it has a lot of animated characters and stuff. And in general I'd say the VN did succeed in what it tried to achieve. While the background textures did feel rather PS2 area outdated, the characters itself turned out surprisingly well. The combat scenes in particular deserve praise. At least the third person scenes, because they were pretty well done, while the ego scenes felt a bit too much like cheap Doom imitations. Nevertheless, the VN had a visual fidelity that bordered on an anime. Story wise it was a bit hit or miss. I was actually lucky to accidentally end up in Con Su's route, which actually felt like the true route. It wasn't really a romance route and more of a platonic friendship route focused on Con Su and Ilia and their origins. I was also lucky that an update had overwritten the adult patch. I restored it for the other routes and I did regret it. The H-scenes felt completely random and all over the place ranging from vanilla to disturbing. I heard that Ilia's route would be the main route, but I'd definitely disagree. It was just running after Milgram forever. It shared a lot with Mitsumi's route, but Mitsumi's was better since it was shorter. Something that was irritating about the VN were the two protagonists. I'm not a big fan of that in general, but this was really exhausting. The protagonists did switch so frequently that they were almost rotating. Sometimes even other characters got protagonist which made it even more confusing. Another annoying thing was the helmet view, that blocked almost half of the screen. It did took me almost 50 hours to finish the VN with only the Kiri route left, which felt a bit too long for my taste. I'd also give a small warning that this VN has some VERY gory scenes, that can easily compete with Kara no Shoujo. And I'm not talking about simple zombie splatter, but stuff like opening the skull of an arguably living person to manipulate its brain. Overall rating: 7/10 (Could have been better with single protagonist and less edgy content) Next is Hello Lady. The highlight of this VN is probably the protagonist and the male voice actors in general. The story is a bit of a spin off of the Count of Monte Cristo. While the protagonist was kinda cool, his frequent Casanova phases of excessive sexual harassment got old and tedious pretty fast. Another problem of the VN was the lack of commitment towards the story. It felt like they took the CG set of a pure moege and tried to twist it with a half assed story where barely anything plot relevant was drawn. Another problem was the lacking chemistry between the protagist and the heroines. I never got the feeling that they are more than just playthings for a few days to have some fun with until they are thrown away. His maid Hishia Mori felt like the only one he seemed to have some feelings for. The routes therefore felt very lackluster since neither the romance nor the plot was convincing. Especially since the routes felt extremely repetitive and the true route wasn't much better either. In total it did cost me almost 60 hours to finish the VN and it was in no way worth that time. Maybe 30 hours, but not 60. Heroine ranking: Somehow none of them really clicked with me, even if I didn't dislike them... Overall rating: 6/10 Next was Cyanotype Daydream. This was a rather odd VN, since it's pretty much split in 3 side stories and a final true story. I've seen comments comparing this to The House in Fata Morgana due to its plot structure. However, I beg to disagree. While the introduction stories of Fata Morgana have a lot to do with the actual plot, introducing most of the main characters, the same can't be said about the ones in this VN. They share a bit of a 'broken romance' theme, but besides that they are so unrelated to the actual main story that you could just pick a few random VN's from VNDB and read those instead. Even worse, none of them was particular convincing and I skipped most of them after a while since I found the characters not particular likable and the storys somewhat boring. That said, the actual main story is actual quite decent with likable characters and an interesting world. However, it suffered from the fact that a lot of resources were wasted in some rather mediocre side stories. The VN would have been a lot better if they would have fully commited to the main story and flesh out the world with more characters. Heroine ranking: Yonagi > Izumo > don't care Overall rating: 6/10 (I'd rate the main story higher, but forcing those mediocre side stories on me demands punishment) Okay, I wish they would have stopped the Flowers series with the last part -Le volume sur automne- on a high. Instead we got this. So, there are two main problems with this VN. First, there's no romance arc this time, so the VN has to rely on its final revelation plot to justify its existence. Which leads us to the next problem, that the revelation plot was a complete joke and it came extremly late. Even some of the micro mysteries of the predecssors were better than that. Furthermore, it tried to antagonize some of its best characters which just made no sense. There were also almost no new characters, and the whole slice of life that was left felt like copy & paste from the previous VN's. Overall, this was a fan disc at best and even for that it did a poor job. My personal recommendation would be to just skip this VN, since it adds nothing of worth to the series. Overall rating: 5/10 So, that was it for now. Currently reading the recently translated TypeMoon VN Mahoutsukai no Yoru, with the second episode of Tokeijikake no Ley Line next in line.
  4. They made their money already with the old one - especially with the hard copy apparently. Not sure how many the new will sell though, considering many people who already played and own the old one will probably not buy the new one anymore.
  5. Seems like Shiravune finally figured out that Johren maybe isn't *that* popular, so they are now selling their titles also on other store fronts besides Steam. I'm quite happy about that, since there's now a chance I can get titles like Ryuusei World Actor via MangaGamer. I bought Ryuusei World Actor: Badge & Dagger some time ago on Steam, just to recognize that it's the actual successor and not Ryuusei World Actor itself (don't ask ). Unfortunately, it's not part of the first batch of titles they are giving out, but it might follow (fingers crossed). Oh, and they released the Kara no Shoujo Remaster. Already got it on Steam. Will be interesting if they manage to get the successors on Steam as well. MangaGamer wasn't able to. So, if Frontwing could do the same now with Hatsuru Koto Naki Mirai Yori, I could actually buy it.
  6. I'd back those suggestions. Root Double in particular might have a bit of an odd choice system and a slow start, but it really pays off. I also consider the 9-nine series one of the closest VN's to Stein's Gate even if it might not appear that way at first. I'm not sure if I should recommend Chaos;Child since I was very disappointed by its ending, but it has a strong first half at least and good production values.
  7. I would assume that it's the same or even worse with artists. Not gonna lie, some gachas really have great anime art. Lilith apparently went gacha with Action Taimanin, which probably explains why they don't seem to release any VN's anymore. And artists like Komori Kei from Walkure Romanze or the ones from Unionism Quartet also just went missing despite their titles selling really well. They're still selling fan merchandise like dakimakura and wallscrolls for those titles ten years after, but they don't do new VN's anymore. Wouldn't be surprised if they'd be doing gacha as well. I wonder how the Japanese can keep up reading all that stuff. I mean, even in Japan it's a niche, and they get way more titles for more cost.
  8. Well, there are certainly still a lot of problems. Unlike computer games, VN's get barely any media coverage. And there are usually no standout lighthouse titles that could expand the scene. We still rely on the occasional oddball like Nekopara or Doki Doki that for some reason manage to get more attention. And due to their explicit content, they are usually more difficult to talk about wih other people. And selling those titles is still a problem. While it's easier on Steam than in the past, many titles have to split the adult content into a separate patch or don't make it at all on Steam. And not everyone likes buying incomplete versions that require additional patches. And in addition to that, there are 'regional restrictions' *sigh*. German Steam blocks every adult VN by default for years now that can be bought in the US and other countries without problems. Sometimes even if the adult content is split into a separate patch for whatever reason. Like Hatsuru Koto Naki Mirai Yori for example. I'd really like to buy it, but since it's only available on Steam and Steam blocks it in Germany, the only way I could get it, would have to be to pirate it. Another problem is that VN's usually are a significant time investment. So, many people probably won't buy more than they can read. Other than me who still buys almost everything I just want to read at some time, leading to an ever growing backlog. On the other hand I'm kinda positvely suprised how many VN's we are actually getting in the west. Thanks to strong newcomers Nekonyan and Shiravune (relative to MangaGamer, Jast and Sekai at least) in particular, we do get a decent number of titles translated. And we actually do get a lot of the good ones. What the publishers could definitely do to improve the situation, is to improve the shopping front. An English Getchu variant where I could get ALL titles would be great. Nekonyan at least sells their titles also on MangaGamer, but Frontwing sticks to Steam and if Steams blocks the title in my country, I just can't get it. I'm also unhappy with Shiravune's Johren which feels unnecessary complicated in almost every way. I couldn't even find a way to filter out untranslated VN's when browsing titles. And the one title I once bought made my Windows Defender go crazy. I also see AI translations as a great opportunity and unlike others, I see it as a great way to make work easier for translators and not as a threat to them.
  9. Actually, I'm not sure if it was a good idea to sticky this thread, because stickied threads tend to get overlooked. But yeah, I think most VN discussions are on reddit nowadays.
  10. Some of those panels sound rather interesting. Especially the ones about how the VN business has developed from MangaGamer, Sekai and Denpasoft. I don't follow the VN scene as closely as I used to, but I am curious if the business in the west has overall evolved or stagnated. Btw, why is it so important if the rooms are cleared?!
  11. Machine translation really improved a lot since the times of Atlas. Currently I use Textractor with simple Google Translate. I tried Deepl once, but the online translation has a daily limit if you don't wanna pay so I'm not using it. Currently reading Shin Koihime Kakumei 1 and The major problems I'm seeing are name recognition and genders. I therefore have to use a name replacement list, so Sei at least doesn't end up misinterpreted as a star . Though that might hurt gender recognition even more and since the default seems to be masculine... with a 99% feminine cast, so that part is a bit of a mess . I've also some doubts about certain province names. Lack of context, *J-slang* and complex text sentences can also be problematic, but aren't as frequent as the other stuff. Some sentences are also completely skipped with only a trailing name remaining - no idea why. Maybe a communication problem with Google Translate? Sometimes it works if I reload the scene, but sometimes it just stays empty. Not sure if this can be avoided with a locally installed translator. Anyway, while I don't think it's a full replacement for professional tranlations, it can help and speed them up a lot if you're open minded enough to use them. And if you're willing to accept some limitations to be able to read your favorite untranslated VN, it's a pretty nice tool.
  12. Yes, I also expected a lot more from it. The idea behind the plot might be good, but the writing was just bad. The writer was probably very experienced, because it felt like he was struggling with absolute basics. It would have been better if he'd started out with a short and simple VN before trying something like this. Anyway, if you want to try a decent EVN, I'd recommend Heart of the Woods (provided you're fine with yuri).
  13. Oh, it's released now?! I was really looking forward to that one, so I'll certainly buy it.
  14. Just want to get two VN's off my list I didn't like too much and therefore dropped. The first is Kin'iro Loveriche - a story about a boy accidentally ending up in a noble private academy for rich kids. Felt a bit like a poor man's Yuzusoft VN. Not the worst thing to be compared with, but the VN has a few peculiarities which I found rather off-putting. First, the protagonist is lazy, dumb and perverse, which made the whole heroine cast fawning over him rather unbelievable. Carrying tons of porn magazines around, drawing nude girls in lessons instead of studying and 'enlighten' his comrades about new fetishes on a daily base like a pimp. And not to mention the running gag going on about his countless hardcore sex fetishes - you get the picture! That said, I wouldn't go so far to say that he's a bad guy, and his interactions with Ria in particular were almost mature and well above the rest. Unfortunately, besides Ria the rest of the cast was pretty generic. I played Elle's route, which was trash, with no chemistry whatsoever between the two and little to no plot. I also tried Sylvia's route, but almost died of boredom and Sylvia's absolutely bland personality didn't help either. And I found Reina's 'I'm more lude than you' attitude pretty annoying, so I just skipped it. Maybe Ria's would have been better, but it just wasn't worth having to go through all the other routes, just to 'maybe' get a decent route. Besides Ria, I had an odd liking for Akane, but she didn't seem ready for a relationship yet and especially not with the protagonist. Though to be fair, it's not the worst moege you can play and I've certainly played worse. However, this VN had a strong 'lude & cute' vibe going on, which I simply found unfitting and tasteless. Just not my cup of tea. Heroine ranking: Ria > Akane > Don't care Overall rating 5/10 I also played Amatsutsumi, but didn't like it. First, from the three Purplesoft VN's I've played so far, this was certainly the most boring one by far, with absolutely nothing happening whatsover. But well, a VN can still get decent without much plot if it offers at least good romance. However, the protagonist was apparently taken straight out of a nukige. Pretty much a walking boner who barely thinks about anything else than sex and seems to think that the world is his personal brothel. He therefore bangs all the heroines already in the common route - who needs a romance anyway? Ironically, the VN would have been way better if it would have been at least honest enough to fully commit to a nukige. Instead it tried an inbetween ride with the most misplaced and unfitting H-scenes you can imagine. Kinda "Oh I'm so down and depressed - let's f*ck?!" cringe. I also found the character designs - with the exception of Mana maybe - rather bland in comparison to previous works, with HapyMaher in particular standing out with an incredible audio-visual design. Though, to be fair, the visual effects of many backgrounds (usually involving water) in this VN are off the charts. While all PurpleSoft VN's I have read so far had their issues, they at least got the basics of romance right. This VN fails even at that. So yeah, if that's the future of PurpleSoft VN's, it'll be a future without me. Heroine ranking: Don't care Overall rating: 3/10 (I added one bonus point for the visual effects)
  15. So, I finished two Japanese Koihime VN's. First ist Shin Koihime † Musou -Kakumei- Ryuuki no Taimou, the third part of the Kakumei trilogy. This took me quite some time, due to it being very long and also quite difficult to read, because of the many names, locations and what not. I also switched computers inbetween and it took me a while to pick it up again. In the process I also switched translators from ITH/Chiitrans using Atlas to Textractor using Google Translate. The advantage is that it's way more stable and comfortable to read and Google Translate is way better that the old Atlas nowadays. On the other hand, it's not as good for learning the language, because it lacks the convenient word-lookup functionality of Chiitrans. Nevertheless, regarding the VN itself, the good news is that it was certainly a massive improvement over the Shoku route from the original Shin Koihime. It also added a nice conclusion, by having all the major factions unite against a common enemy at the end in the form of tibetan and manchurian barbarian tribes. It also handled the many characters better than expected, though it still got a bit chaotic in the second half. The major weekness was probably their attempt to add individual routes for all heroines. And we're talking about 30+ or so. They also copied and expanded some of the heroine routes from Shin Koihime, which weren't the best there either. In order to manage this, they 'bundled' the routes for heroines which is something I never liked. Therefore the best routes were usually the ones for single heroines like Sei or the new maid character Mifa, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I wish they would have done that for all major heroines and just skipped the ones for the many minor heroines instead. Fortunately, the VN doesn't force the reader to read any of the individual heroine routes, except the first introductory episodes of each. The protagonist Kazuto also looses more and more screen time towards the end, when the title focused more and more on other characters. I think they really should have toned down the scenes with the opposing factions a bit, considering they already have dedicated parts of the trilogy for themselves. Overall, it was probably a bit weaker than its predecessor Son Go no Ketsumyaku, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Overall rating: 7.5/10 The next VN is also a Koihime title (yeah, I really like them) - the fourth Eiyuutan 4 fan disc Shin Koihime † Eiyuutan 4 ~Otome Enran ☆ Sangokushi Engi [Go]~. I actually finished this surprisingly fast. Reason for that it that it's a rather focused story on the Go family, split into three parts. The first part is about Sheren searching for her rumored to be dead mother Yenren, together with Meirin, Rian and Kazuto. They are also dealing with an assassination plot against Sheren which escalates at a final tournament at Karin's court of the Gi faction. This was the best story. The second part is about the past of Yenren and how she met Sai and Raika. Since it's in the past, Kazuto is only part as a listener to the story. Not as good as the first story, but still decent. The third story is more on some side characters I wasn't too interested in and I therefore just skipped it, since it seemed just a tagged on filler story anyway. Overall, I found this very refreshing, since due to its focused approach, it wasn't too overloaded with characters for a change and could focus more on the main characters that way. It was rather sparse in the H-scene department though and some scenes seemed to clearly indicate that there were initially more planned. Overall rating: 7.5/10 So, now I just have to tackle the last part Shin Koihime † Musou -Kakumei- Souten no Haou to finish the whole Kakumei trilogy.
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