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ChaosRaven last won the day on November 4

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  1. Didn't expect Giga to do that bad. But considering that even other studios like Light or Minori closed doors in recent years, I guess nothing is impossible anymore. Nevertheless, considering I didn't even like Baldr Sky that much, it's not a studio I'd personally miss. But it would be still nice to also have some exciting newcomers from time to time instead of just one veteran studio after another biting the dust.
  2. It's really odd that they went for 12 no Tsuki no Eve. That's pretty much the weakest title they could get from Minori's leftover titles. Would have preferred to see Soreyori no Prologue, Natsuzora no Perseus or even Tsumi no Hikari Rendezvous. Still, will be interesting to see if it'll be better received than Trinoline.
  3. I've read Kara no Shoujo 2 and G-Senjou no Maou twice, though the first times I didn't finish them completely. The record still holds Koihime Musou, which I read three times.
  4. I'm currently reading this (besides other VN's). Amazing visual quality - it has probably the best animated backgrounds I've seen in a VN yet. Still not far enough in the story to accurately judge it though. That said, I really dislike that the game forces a heroine on you right at the start - full with H-scene. What's the point of choosing your romance partner now, if the game has already made the choice for you? Provided that the title doesn't go harem, that's just a huge blunder.
  5. Hm, I rather wait for Shiei no Sona-Nyl from MangaGamer. I somehow distrust Liar-Soft VN's that aren't from Sakurai. Tokeidai no Jeanne was really bad and ALPHA-NIGHTHAWK's VNDB ratings aren't particular convincing either.
  6. And yet another one I dropped... The last VN on my list is Amayui Castle Meister, which I unfortunatly didn't finish, but just dropped somewhere around chapter 5 I think. This VN has some major problems, and also a few peculiarities that can massively affect its enjoyment depending on the expectations of the reader. Let's talk first about its peculiartities. This VN is all about Fia, a goddess and sole main heroine. After the protagonist accidentally awakens her at the beginning, he becomes her dedicated slave disciple. This is the first Eushully VN I've read, where you have no choice on which main heroine to choose. Considering the rather large cast of side heroines the protagonist usually gets involved anyway, this might seem meaningless, but at least for me it's still an important choice to make. Now, this doesn't necessarily has to be a bad thing. If you're really into that heroine, this might be the best thing ever. Unfortunately for me, Fia is a slutty airhead boob loli, which describes almost exactly my most disliked character trope. To be fair, I didn't hate her, but having most of the plot and dialog just about her put a heavy strain on my enjoyment. Now, let's have a look at the other heroines. And what kinda stands out, that there's a huge emphashis on lolis. Just from the list of main heroines it's 4 : 3, but at least in the first half, they get vastly more attention than the other heroines. Naming the VN "Amayui Loli Meister" would have been perfectly fitting. Now, I don't want this to be a rant about lolis. In fact, I found the duo of Iol & Micheju probably the best written characters and Lauros (the non-loli) the worst. The consequence was mostly that I tried to avoid H-scenes with them. Not sure if that's what was blocking my progress later on though. Regarding the plot, it was pretty weak. But I also enjoyed Kami no Rhapsody despite its weak plot, so that's also not why I dropped the VN. The killer was the actual gameplay. And no, I wouldn't say that the gameplay is inherently bad. Actually, I enjoyed the early stages quite a bit. The problems were more in how it developed. Amayui's combat resembles the one from Kamidori, which is somewhat infamous for its grindy nature. Having to play maps repeatedly to get certain materials can get quite repetitive. And a major factor that affects my enjoyment of those maps is their size and how fast they can be finished. I think the first three chapters or so, the pacing was still kind of okay, but after that it just got worse and worse. There are a few key factors that vastly reduce the fun of the maps. The first one is the sheer size of them. Eushully has a tendency to think bigger is better and that's just not the case. If finishing a map takes an hour or even more, it really starts to bore me. And there a few more factors that emphasize that process. The second factor would be the respawn portals. I absolutely hated them in Kamidori and I hate them here even more. And the bigger the maps get the more respawn portals are placed on them. It's so annoying to have defeated an enemy just to have it replaced immediately. It just drags the already slow pacing down even more. The third factor would be the lack of AOE skills. In Kami no Rhapsody you could lure entire enemy groups into their doom by well placed AOE strikes. But here you have to kill each enemy unit on its own. And with increasing immunities the maps get more and more like gables with less and less tactics involved. Oh, you've sent your perfect counter unit with the other group into a different direction because you couldn't know that it's required here? Too bad, now you have to waste lots of time to change positions. Combine that with respawn portals and slow movement and you can imagine the 'fun'. But that's not all. Just for Amayui they introduced a new gameplay atrocity - Fia's f***ing monuments. In order to progress you have to give Fia her powers back by cleansing her monuments. Any do you know the best thing about it? Only Avaro himself (and later Dietheim) can do it. So having to clear a huge dungeon with respawn portals with a dozen characters to move isn't enough, Avaro has to go everywhere himself to cleanse all the monuments spread around it. Oh, and there's usually a time limit of 40 rounds, so if you haven't made it in that time, you have to play it again. Even if already cleansed monuments stay that way, all the enemys and respawn portals are back - have fun! So yeah, no way I'll touch that game again with those kind of design flaws again. Heroine ranking: Kisnir > Iol > Micheju >Fia > Lauros > Katlit (Roselyne and Mikschana weren't in my party yet, so I can't really judge them) Overall rating: 5/10 I would only recommmend this to people who are more into lolis and Fia in particular, with a huge patience for slow grinding.
  7. So, another short review of a VN I've recently finished... Sanoba Witch was a bit of a gap in my list of Yuzusoft VN's. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant about this one from the start. And I should be right. They went with a real hentai plot this time. It's supposed to be about witches, but it's more about the characters being given some kind of geass or trial to overcome to gain something. And during that time they have to do 'stupid things' so to say. Like Tsumugi - the resident boob-loli - having to wear the cloths of a guy. That might have been still okay, however... The Top offender was certainly Nene, the supposed main heroine. In principle a nice character - if she wouldn't have to jerk off every five minutes. And naturally, her witch dress could be straight out taken from a sex shop. I'm certainly not opposed to the sexy witch trope, but the whole thing was just to embarass her anyway. It got old pretty fast and was more annoying that anything else. Tsumugi and Touko also didn't really click with me. While I didn't dislike them, they felt more like side characters. They were just not particular interesting or appealing. What saved the VN for me was Meguru. She's some kind of nerd girl, full into games like 'MonHun' and had some really funny interactions with the protagonist. She wasn't directly affected by the witch powers (fortunately) and her worries were more about making friends and integrating into school. She also had good chemistry with Nene and the trio of her, Nene and the protagonist gave me very good friendship vibes. And one of the best things about her route was that Nene suddenly stopped jerking off every five minutes and turned normal. No idea why, but it was certainly a huge relief, because she was otherwise a nice and likable character. This was the only route I finished. Tsumugi and Touko didn't really interest me and Nene's route would have turned without any doubt into a sex fest. An I don't really read Yuzusoft VN's for that. Heroine ranking: Meguru > Nene >> Tsumugi >Touko Overall rating: 6.5/10 Probably the weakest Yuzusoft I've read so far, both in regards of plot and characters, saved mainly by the cheerful Meguru.
  8. Certainly possible. I'm getting bored pretty fast, especially from pure slice of life. So I'm reading like 4 - 5 different VN's at the same time to get some more variety. That takes its toll on the finishing time.
  9. Finished some more VN's so I guess it's about time for an update. First is Summer Pockets which I just finished a few days ago. Reflection Blue wasn't out yet when I started reading, and I didn't want to switch inbetween, so I've only read the vanilla version so far. Overall, it was a rather fluffy moege with one of the most likable heroine casts I've seen in a Key VN so far. Usually there are few hits but also some misses for me, but here I liked all of the 4 heroines with routes. It's also the first time that the actual main heroine (Shiroha) was also my favorite. Granted, that was also the case for Angel Beats, but I just watched the anime for that. Admittedly, the likable character cast might also have something to do with the nice visuals, since it's probably the best looking Key game to date. At least regarding the character designs. It might be worth noting that they had several character designers. Ao was clearly stolen from Izumi Tsubasu - Palette's main artist. I recognize her character designs from miles away. But also the other artists did a good job. Na-Ga in particular certainly improved a lot since his early times with Key. Just the backgrounds felt a bit more uneven though, with some of them looking rather cheaply made. Music was okay, but I think earlier Key works had more memorable soundtracks. Still on the good side though. That said, there were still some things that were bugging me (like usual). First, the writing was frequently a bit hit and miss. Especially the lewd jokes felt a bit too much at times. While Ao was mostly still on the okayish side, Shizuku frequently felt like she was a cheap hentai chick from Boob Wars. The level of sexism towards her character reached almost misogynic levels at times (nickname 'Boobies'?!?) which I frankly found inappropriate for a Key novel. Ryouchi's stripping fetish also got old pretty fast. Still not entirely sure if he's supposed fan-service for female readers or just a plain joke character. Something I'm also a bit irritated about is its nakige tag. While I do think it's a decent moege, the nakige parts at the end of each route felt a bit short compared to the rather extensive slice-of-life and comedy parts. That's not to say they were bad and it's certainly not about the addition of pointless melodrama. I just wished they sticked with the more serious mood a bit longer and went a bit deeper into the actual mysteries. Which brings us to the actual 'true' routes that were supposed to shed some light into the events... (Warning: Incoming mini rant!) So, let's start with Alka - the first of the after routes. First, it tells a lot about the effort put into a route, if literally 50% of it are straight up copy & paste from one of the heroine routes. And to add insult to injury, the other half felt pretty much like a baby-phone recording. Overall, the whole route felt so unnatural and forced that it was almost creepy to read. Just not in a good and exciting way of creepiness. I ended up just skipping a lot of it... Fortunately, the final Pocket route was a better. It was still rather short and didn't add a lot of meat to the story, but at least it was way less annoying to read than Alka and also didn't just copy & paste half of its content. While it did highlight the relationship of certain characters, it still kept major things too vague or not explained at all. Most of the relevation seemed about stuff that wasn't even a thing in the main routes. As a short sidenote, the VN actually reminded me more of Da Capo 2 than other key VN's. The whole island theme with mysterious phenomenons affecting the heroines ; the location structure at the start to decide which heroine to go for ; two sidekicks instead of just one. There were a lot of similarities. Just that Da Capo 2 explained its themes way better, had overall more substance and was actually a real nakige and not just a moege. That said, its heroine cast was more uneven. Summer Pockets really shines in that regard. Okay, after the bashing, some more compliments again. Regarding the parent & family theme the VN tries so hard to force in its after routes, it did a way better job in the actual main parts about that. The interaction between Kyouko, Hairi and Umi felt very natural and heart warming. Kyouko was a very well written adult character with a strong parent role. And Umi also wasn't just another loli to ****. Heroine ranking: Shiroha > Ao > Tsumugi > Kamome Overall rating: 7/10 Actually, after Alka I was very close to rating it down to 6.5, but after some time to vent and considering I read and enjoyed all the heroine routes to some degree, I think a 7 is fair. Just wished it had a bit more substance. The high rating on VNDB is a bit puzzling in that regard. Though, it includes Reflection Blue that might have improved some things. At least I hope it's more that than just blatant Key fanboyism. Hm, the review got a bit longer than I thought. Guess I'll stop here now and make a separate post for the two other two VN's I've finished in the meantime (well, one of them just dropped). They'll get shorter reviews anyway.
  10. Hm, Jast actually has the most interesting announcements for a change. I'm having an eye on Tokyo Necro and Gears of Dragoon 2 for some time now. A bit weird that they're skipping Gears of Dragoon 1 though. Aksys stuff is all Vita, so nothing for me. The only two titles from Sekai Project that 'might' be interesting are Watashi-tachi Marriage 1 and Nie no Hakoniwa. Though there's not enough info about them yet, to really judge them. MangaGamer brings their anual Rance title like usual, so nothing for me either here.
  11. Only the first part was translated if I got that right. I've already read that already in Japanese a few years ago. Wasn't an easy read, so I'm thinking about reading it again. But I have to finish some stuff first I'm currently reading.
  12. I see, so the all ages version is tagged as adult-only but still has an adult patch to get even 'adultier'. Guess a VN just having girls in it already makes it adult-only for the Steamquisition. Reminds me of Musicus, but that was at least also available from MangaGamer directly.
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