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  1. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, Kami-sama no You na Kimi e   
    Kami-sama no You na Kimi e is the latest game by Cube, and it is based in a near-future setting where AIs run just about every aspect of society.  In this society, people have gotten past that raw terror of AI horror stories and have pretty much accepted the the ease and luxury of having AI run most of the important things that make civilization possible.  
    At the beginning of the story, the protagonist, Kaito, is hacking into Central AI, the AI based on the Moon that runs most of the world's infrastructure.  Triumphantly, he succeeds, essentially gaining control over the AI that rules the world... and the one thing he asks for before getting out of the system is for it to find his ideal girlfriend, which the system then says doesn't exist.  Kaito, quite naturally, is a bit down after this, but he goes to sleep more or less normally... only to answer the door in the morning to find his ideal girl standing outside.
    Quite naturally, this ideal girl is Tsukuyomi, the game's flagship heroine and the embodiment of Central AI in girl form.  As requested, she is already completely deredere over him, and a great deal of the common route has him running from her excessively sexual approaches.  In the days after this, like dominoes falling in a row, he meets a number of attractive heroines, and he shows off the usual donkan protagonist routine almost constantly when it matters.
    Now, just from this, you'd think this was your standard charage... but in actuality, it is a lot closer to a plotge in structure.  The heroines have real issues, the protagonist doesn't flake out or become less interesting as you proceed, and the paths actually have solid stories that involve most of the game's cast of characters.  For someone who wants an SOL plotge with some decent drama in a futuristic setting, this game is pure crack.
    I probably should have left her for last, but I played Tsukuyomi's path first.  Tsukuyomi is the game's obvious main heroine, the girl who is most prominent on the package and in the advertising, and in general is the one most central in the common route.  In most cases, I don't like 'no common sense' heroines, but Tsukuyomi manages to pull it off without it feeling excessively contrived, which is actually a feat, considering she is a robot heroine.  It is helped along by the fact that Kaito generally accepts that Tsukuyomi is what she is, has no illusions about her nature, and is perfectly fine with her being a different existence from himself.  
    Her story is your usual deredere heroine romance at first, but it quickly goes dramatic about midway through, for reasons that should be fairly obvious.  While the templated turn of events in this path is not revolutionary, it is well-executed and interesting.  There is even a truly surprising and emotional moment near the end that had me crying.  That, in itself, makes this path a success.  My only real complaint is that this path lacked an epilogue to tie off the story.
    Rein is the cold-hearted student council president, an honor student with a black heart and an overabundance of pride.  Her path branches off from Tsukuyomi's path and is a great deal weaker, at least in my opinion.  To be honest, this path was kind of 'meh' for me, since it never revealed anything important about the details of what was going on with Rein beyond the basics that were revealed in Tsukuyomi's path, which is a huge weakness in a plotge or a charage.  While the protagonist remains a cool and interesting character, the failures of this path are really glaring.
    Worse, the same as Tsukuyomi's path, there is no real epilogue, meaning you don't get to find out what happened after.
    Rana... Rana is the heroine on the cover dressed like Sherlock Holmes, a cosplay uniform she wears nearly constantly.  As it indicates, she is a private detective and extremely intelligent... but also fairly perverted (she has a thing for Kaito's butt).  Her path... let's just say it is surprising and diverges widely from the events in Tsukuyomi's path (I didn't really like how Tsukuyomi almost became a non-entity in her path, but meh...).  This path... is a bit depressing, to be honest.  Oh, if you choose the Rana-only good ending, it is actually pretty good and heart-warming at the end, but the process you go through to reach that point is pretty hard if you came to like Rana.
    Sophia/Sophia & Rana
    At first glance, Sophia seems like your standard 'yurufuwa oneesan', but she is actually a fairly intelligent adult (yes, she is the adult heroine in this game).  She is Rana's older sister and one of those involved in developing the S-CHIP, an AI chip designed to be implanted into the human brain as an aid to those who have brain diseases.  Sophia's 'path' diverges from Rana's during the darkest period of Rana's path, and... to be honest, while it is easy to understand why it happens, this path is fairly unusual/stand out for a modern VN for reasons I'm not going to spell out here.  
    Anyway, toward the end of Sophia's path, you have to decide whether you want the protagonist to be with just Sophia or with both Sophia and Rana... of course, after a seriously awkward set of events.  Generally, I recommend the Sophia and Rana choice... the guilt-trip you get from choosing just Sophia is pretty awful.
    Kirika is the protagonist's fellow loner, a girl who accuses him of stalking her because they keep meeting whenever they are trying to find places to be alone.  Her secret comes out relatively early in the common route, but I'll keep it quiet since it is funnier if you don't know in advance.  Her path actually begins very much like a charage path.  It is only toward the end where it becomes as deadly serious as the other paths above.  Indeed, in some ways it is the grimmest and most shocking of the paths, even compared to the depressing aspects of Rana's path.  It is also the path where the other heroines showed the least amount of relevance, a fact that I have mixed feelings about, considering how powerful the characters are.
    Similar to most of the paths above, this path's greatest weakness is the fact that while it does have a conclusion, it doesn't have an epilogue or after-story to tie off the last few loose ends.  For that reason, I'm pretty sure they are planning a fandisc, as I can't see them leaving things as is.
    Airi has the dubious honor of having the single weakest path in the game.  She is a net idol that the protagonist meets in the course of interacting with Kirika, and her main focus in life is on her work, despite being the youngest heroine.  Unfortunately, she is also the least unusual personality in the group, meaning that her character is by far the weakest... and her path follows suit.  Where the other paths had somewhat grandiose episodes that showed off the darkest aspects of an over-connected society, Airi's path's drama feels like an extension of internet trolling, so I had trouble getting into it.  
    A good game with a solid setting and characters, this is probably a good choice for those who want a decent near-future sci-fi plotge who have already played Komorebi no Nostalgica and Missing X-Link.  Tsukuyomi is an above-average AI heroine, though she falls short of the genius of Cinema and Fluorite from Komorebi or the raw emotions experienced with the AIs in Missing X-Link.  It's greatest flaw is how it handles the endings, a common flaw in modern VNs that seems to be born of the bad habits of the fandisc-loving charage companies.  It's greatest strength lies in the way it manages to keep the protagonist, the heroines, and the story interesting while balancing it with enough SOL to make them feel real in the first place.  
  2. Haha
    Infernoplex reacted to kivandopulus for a blog entry, Dragonia ドラゴニア [Hirameki International]   
    Foreword: Dragonia remains in obscurity while being localized. That's a strange situation, so I wanted to check why.
    Synopsis: In ancient Dragonia existed five orbs that could be used to make dragons do one's bidding. However, as time passed, the stories of these orbs faded from collective memory becoming mere legend. However, one day a man appeared and hatched an evil plan to take control of Dragonia using these very orbs. Yet the powers of the orbs could only be harnessed by certain, special individuals. Thus, only another person capable of controlling the orbs can stop the orbs' powers from being abused. But are Ryu, Jamka, Fiana or Tran capable of hunting down and controlling the orbs in time?

    Game type: Classic fantasy adventurer story
    Character Design rating: 4/10
    Protagonist rating: 3/10
    Story rating: 3/10
    Game quality: 3/10
    Overall rating: 3/10
    I really was initially quite optimistic for this youth fantasy story. But there is really hardly anything worth praise in here.

    First of all, the story. Ryu's father Roi disappeared, so boy goes to search for him. Scenes are rushed mercilessly. Most of the so call developments are introduced just for the sake of showing several Bad endings. Some events are pretty random, like when there are two choices - one gaining a sword and the other not gaining one. But in the situations when we need a sword we just have one despite of the previous choice. Another example is girl bathing in the pond naked and getting caught by a bad guy - in the next scene she has her normal full outfit... The whole plot can be described very shortly - we meet some girls and gather orbs of different elements to oppose the baddie with the ultimate Steel element.

    I need to focus on length separately. It's under 2 hours. Seriously, what kind of story can we fit into 1 hour 45 minutes ? Actually, game can take a bit longer if we look into all the (four) Bad endings and (two) normal endings. These additional endings bring pretty much nothing to the story. And there is also a really bad "maze" introduced for the very same reason - to prolong agony. And I'm even omitting all the 10 second pauses before each choice becomes available. Game is virtually about nothing.

    The ending deserves a few words. Without spoilering anything I can say that ending is really disappointing due to two reasons. The first is breaking the 4th wall. Heroine shouts at newsbringer for ruining her after-story minute of fame. The second reason is this horrible "To be continued..." instead any kind of conclusion. The time between the final battle and credits is just a minute or so. The pause of several minutes of black screen before the credits is just stupid.

    Finally, the quality of the game is really poor. Few CG, horrible animation, translation (we all remember the case of horrible translation from Phantom of Inferno, but this "The sword of a phantom was got." just beats everything) really don't add this game any points.

    There is a mystery linked with this game - it's about the original Japanese version of this game. Many people tried to find its traces. I myself spend an hour checking all the names in the credits. And as a result I believe that this game never had a Japanese version. The credits stay that Planning&Original Story are done by Jun Tsubaki (T2Planning). This guy is not an author. It's a staff member of this normal Japanese planning firm doing a subcontract for Hirameki International. The early Hirameki International site also had recruitment page in Japanese for different kind of staff. Moreover, none of the voice actors actually have Dragonia in the list of their voiced works, because there's nothing to be proud of - it's work for money for some strange American folk that pay. The other people mentioned in the credits have no relation to the game world. They all do their small thing well like character design, backgrounds, music and so on, but it's freelance work, not industry thing. Pretty much everything in this game is fake. So throwing in some disk with 100 anime girl CGs together with Dragonia for the 26$ looks just beyond any understanding. I consider this game to be the first  EVN with Japanese voicing, and not really a good EVN.

  3. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Blog update + my VN FTL university project   
    Hello there, all you good people still following my content-starved blog! There will be no regular review post this week (I’ll be catching up next week with one about Reine Work’s Our Lovely Escape, and hopefully a week after that with one of the long-overdue games sent to me for review), but I’ve wanted to take this opportunity to share the reasons behind the recent slowdown on the site and talk a bit my plans for the future. A warning: this will contain a lot of personal musings that most of you are probably not very interested in. However, I kind of need this opportunity to vent and reset. I’ll add a tl;dr version at the end of this post.
    Outside of my, not-extremely-successful attempt to jumpstart a new wave of activity on Fuwanovel, there have been a few other things happening behind the scenes. The major one was my academic project on visual novel fan translations, which led me to submitting a paper for an international fan studies conference in Cracow. Preparing the speech in English (this was the first time I wasn’t speaking in Polish on such an event), running a survey with people involved in fan translation projects… It all took a lot out of me and gave me little time and energy to actually enjoy VNs as such. It also coincided with a minor health issue, which despite its non-threatening nature made it impossible for me to sit straight for nearly two weeks – a truly infuriating thing when you should be working on your computer and are basically running out of time. This was probably a major factor which destroyed my motivation for working on the project, which in turn made it be the most painful and depressing one to date. I, however, still made my short presentation in the presence of prof. Matt Hills, one of the most influential researchers in my obscure field of study, and learned quite a lot from other speakers. Here’s some photographic proof, courtesy of my girlfriend who once more agreed to help me inflate my ego by documenting my speech. 😉

    As you can see, I was asking the Heavens to help me and my listeners to get through those 20+ minutes of my horrible English accent. Not sure to what degree my prayers were heard, but at least there were no fatalities. Oh, and in the lower-left corner, it’s Matt Hills. That was both awesome and terrifying.

    And here’s a rare moment where my conference ID wasn’t hanging backwards! You can see the fear in my eyes – one would think after nearly 10 similar presentations I’d be a little bit calmer, but it’s apparently in my nature to stress out over everything.

    And here’s me taking one of two questions that were still possible to ask after I’ve used all the discussion time for my way-too-long PowerPoint slideshow. And yup, I will insert Flowers whenever that's even remotely appropriate. Suou x Rikka forever. You can't stop me!
    While, in general, my project was fruitful and I’m satisfied with my performance, I also ended up so physically and emotionally drained that I’ve ditched the other two days of the conference, just enjoying my time in Cracow. Even after coming back, I had a day of what could be described as a full-on breakdown before I kind of got my shit together. All this, of course, has some very real consequences for the blog: for quite a while, I didn’t have the time and energy to really read VNs. And, obviously, without any new material to cover, I didn’t write anything either. It’s the first time since establishing the Blogger site that I have no “emergency” posts to use or quick ideas to supplement more involved write-ups with, even despite switching to the biweekly schedule. And honestly, I don’t expect to write much in-advance anymore. The “one post every two weeks” frequency is here to stay and I’m going to be flexible about it, switching content and dates when necessary.
    The other thing is that I still want to make the blog a little bit more of my personal space. I’ve kept up the regular stream of content both to become a better writer and to prove a few things to myself. I think I’m satisfied with what I’ve achieved, and while I’m definitely not discarding the general profile of the blog and the responsibilities I’ve taken upon myself (like covering the games sent to me), I’m going to have fun with it too. Write silly stuff connected to the weeb culture and my peculiar experience with it. I’ve already hinted at this at the beginning of the summer, but I’m even more determined to make it happen now. No hobby I’ve picked up over the years was this intellectually stimulating and satisfying as this one and I want to do all I can to keep it this way– I can't let things go too stale.
    And while I’m doing all this weird stuff and overthinking things, I hope you guys will stay and still read my crappy writing. Exploring the creativity and passion of EVN devs is not something I’ll ever get tired of, and I hope we can enjoy their stuff together for years to come. Thank you all for following my work, and until next week!
    tl;dr I’ve been to a fan studies conference which, together with minor health issues, ate a month and a half of my life. I’ll get back to “serious” posting next week, returning to the bi-weekly schedule. I might sneak in some weird posts about Japanese popculture between “proper” EVN ones. EVNs are love, EVNs are life (still). See you next week for actual content!
  4. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Ramaladni for a blog entry, VN of the Month December 2003 - Saya no Uta   
    You should read this over at https://j-addicts.de/vn-of-the-month-december-2003/ as not only does it have (some) juicier screenshots, but the formatting is much better.
    First of all, I believe I should thank the j-addicts/Koutou Yuumin team for their knowledge and expertise. This article grew way beyond my expectations, and I would surely have lost my way without them. Also, to the several friends who gave me feedback and helped me out in various ways, thank you very much. Well then, shall we start?
    This month has four masturpieces (get it?). They are Saishuu Chikan Densha 2, Kadowakashi, Christmas★Present, and Kizumono no Shoujo Gaiden. That being said, there are still several other quite decent games. The game that surprised me the most by the positive and my personal masturpiece is Jam 'n Limit, and the games that disappointed me much were Eisai Kyouiku and Yami no Koe III. If you're looking for this month's overall best game, the answer is probably something boring like Saya no Uta (the answer, not the game).
    How are masturpieces decided, you ask? Introducing: the fap-o-meter!
    In Erogamescape, it's possible to vote on how suitable the H-scenes were for fapping material, ranging from "Weren't useful at all" to "Were pretty useful." Thus, I will attribute a numerical score (from 0 to 5) for each of those and tally up the average. This will be known as the fap-o-meter.
    This isn't a fallible and objective method, but it should give an idea of how much cummies the players were able to get out of these games.
    The Games
    To begin with, I decided which games to play based on EGS's database. This is because it's bound to have more games listed than vndb. Out of 107 releases, I checked out 31 games. There were 21 games I would've considered for review, except that I wasn't able to obtain them as nearly all of them are obscure doujin games, which were sold exclusively at Comiket. I blacklisted 55 games: 32 are moege/charage/plotge – basically, games that have too much plot or other crap in the way of my precious porn, 9 were re-releases, 7 were PS2 games or not VNs, 6 were all-ages and thus no porn, and 1 was listed incorrectly.
    Please keep in mind that just because a game is ranked higher or lower, it's not an absolute indicator of its quality. Some games cater to one fetish exclusively, so they're not bound to please everyone.
    The game titles have been localized by me, as I thought that's something that a predominantly English-speaking audience would appreciate. That is if they don't have one already. The same goes for the synopsis. Many of them are translated by me, and at times, I've had to replace what was very obviously nonsensical machine-translated garbage.
    I am still in the process of learning Japanese, and translating is, well, challenging, but I can assure you that there are no lies, falsehoods, or made-up stuff on them. I will put any game descriptions that aren't mine between quotes and credit them appropriately.
    The screenshots are at 75% of their original resolution, except for one of the games where I could only play the widescreen version, so it's at 50%.
    If you're interested in a specific game, I'd advise for you to CTRL+F search for it. If you'd like to read my overall conclusions on this whole venture, search for My Thoughts and Conclusions.
    One last thing: I did not rely on machine translation tools to play these games.
    1. Midnight Sleazy Train 2
    EGS-Score: 74 (442) Atelier Kaguya TEAM HEARTBEAT Fap-o-meter: 3.26 (91) Saishuu Chikan Densha 2 Main appeal: chikan, forceful sex, group sex 最終痴漢電車2
    "Touch her/Lick her/Verbally abuse her"
    Well, color me surprised! For some reason, this game has hundreds of votes, so I was curious about how that came to be. Perhaps a lot of people watched the H-OVA and became interested in the game that way? That's what I call a marketing success.
    But that's not all. The game itself is a pretty good nukige. Beyond the beautiful art and hot H-scenes, the game bolsters a pretty robust map movement system. Unlike most games where you wander at random, hoping you'll run into the characters, the game tells if there's someone at the place you're about to visit. It sounds like something straightforward, but it doesn't matter how good the game's content is if the system doesn't facilitate the access to that very content.
    Besides that, you also have verb-based interactivity during the H-scenes (filling up their lewdness level gauge), and this makes for perfect roleplaying. You're not just playing as a groping protagonist, you feel like the groper yourself. With all of these factors combined, it's no wonder that so many people enjoy this game and the series, yet to this very day.
    Though, if you're not that big of a fan of uh...gangbangs, you might not enjoy it that much. Maybe watch the H-OVA first and see if it's something you'd like.
    2. Kidnapping
    EGS-Score: 65 (41) ZyX Fap-o-meter: 3.25 (4) Kadowakashi Main appeal: sexual slavery 拐 ~カドワカシ~  
    Wow, uh, what a fast development. They really get straight to the action, huh. Within a couple of minutes, the protagonist rapes one of his students, Tomoko. I'm actually not a fan of justifying this as "lol deep dark desires," but I guess that's the setup they were going for.
    The main meat of this game is to sexually train a trio of heroines. True to its name, with Tomoko's help, you kidnap two of your students and confine them in a locked room, starting off with Mizue.
    What really makes this game stand out is the sheer variety in H content. The heroine has stats, most of them sexually-related, and you have to raise them to allow for even kinkier play. You have to be strategic with your options to train the ultimate sex slaves. Though, if you suck, you can play on Easy difficulty.
    When I say variety, I mean that ALL of these options are available at the start (well, as long as the heroine "consents" to it). This means all kinds of play. You can choose to be kind or to be sadistic. You can make her service you or teach her pleasure through shamefulness. Ultimate freedom and variety.
    That doesn't mean you can just do anything. If you're too harsh on her, she'll collapse. Have this happen enough times, and you'll get a game over. So please, be responsible, and take good care of your sex slaves!
    When it comes to the staff members, the spotlight is on the game's artist, Mutou Keiji. He is responsible for the character design and art of many games I have played in the past, from Studio Triumph. It's extremely similar to JAST published Do You Like Horny Bunnies?. Perhaps they had the same teacher? It might seem odd at first, but I grew really fond of this style over time. The sex scenes are also animated, and for once, they actually look good. Nice!
    3. Christmas★Present
    EGS-Score: 70 (62) Ail [Team Riva] Fap-o-meter: 3.09 (11) Christmas★Present Main appeal: BDSM, forceful sex, comedy クリスマス★プレゼント
    This was actually the game I was looking forward to playing the most. Considering this is the month of December, I really wanted to play at least one game that would really get me into the holiday spirit. It took me hours to figure out how to get it working, but man, was it worth it!
    While the description is a bit grim and dark, the game is actually the complete opposite. It's always fun and filled with comedic moments. The best way to describe this game would perhaps be "bakage" (silly game) due to its sheer absurdity and ridiculousness.
    Of note, the game has a sort of "affinity" system. Your actions will increase your "evil" points by a certain amount. So, you can abuse the powers of the Saint's Crest, which can make any wish come true, or you can be a good boy and play along as Santa's Little Helper, spreading happiness all over town.
    The art is beautiful, the sex is hot, the banter between characters is great. This game would make for the perfect Christmas present.
    4. Defiled Girls - Campus of Used Goods Side Story
    EGS-Score: 70 (83) Rasen Fap-o-meter: 2.82 (17) Kizumono no Shoujo -Kizumono no Gakuen Gaiden- Main appeal: blackmail, forceful sex, group sex 傷モノの少女-傷モノの学園・外伝-
    This an insult game. This game has insult scenes, the protagonist and his buddy insult the girls...wait, what? Duh, I mean, rape. Yes, that's the word. This game is basically a side story of the original Kizumono no Gakuen. You don't really need to have played the previous game as it's not a direct sequel.
    Takeshi and Narumi's involvement in the previous incident is briefly explained - Takeshi was forced to film the girls being raped, under threat of being killed, and Narumi was one of the victims. Upon finding one of his old videos, he can no longer contain his excitement.
    I prefer this game to the first one because I like seeing the gap between peaceful school life and the moments of higher tension. That's not to say that the battle royale setting isn't thrilling though. It also feels like more of a personal experience, since you have one protagonist instead of multiple ones/multiple POVs.
    While you might initially think it to be a rape fest...it's just so much more than that. It capitalizes on human emotions: sorrow, anguish, sadness, loneliness...and instead of an abrupt chaotic state, it's gratifying to witness that transition. You can also expect exciting developments such as betrayals when you least see them coming.
    The H-scenes are well, pretty good. There's nothing that bonds friends together any more than doing the same girl at the same time...the story is about the defilement of the girls, as much as it is about the corruption of the protagonist's psyche. Though it helps to have a friend who is crazier than you. At least in this game, the "villains" actually feel like villains as they delve into their intricate plots, instead of your casual rapists.
    Of particular note, this game has a quite nice atmosphere, boosted by a quality soundtrack. Good faps are to be had with this game.
    5. I'm a Booth Attendant - Heisaku and Kenta's Wild Tales
    EGS-Score: 65 (35) Interheart Fap-o-meter: 2.75 (4) Oira wa Bandai ~Heisaku & Kenta no Yume Monogatari~ Main appeal: voyeurism オイラは番台~平作&健太の夢物語~
    One day, a police detective suddenly barged in a certain popular public bathhouse that the protagonist was in charge of.
    "Dan Koutarou! You're under arrest, under suspicion of sexual assault!"
    With a clack, he was handcuffed.
    Several months passed, and after a hellish series of interrogations, his guilt was established.

    "Why, why am I the only one serving a prison sentence?
    Why are Heisaku and Kenta getting away scott free?
    But, it seems that is my fate...
    Even if they were to be caught, it does not mean that my punishment would go away, but...
    Is the public bathhouse that I inherited from my pops done for?
    I've really done something awful to him..."
    Man, I can't believe we came out innocent. I feel kinda bad about pushing the blame solely on Koutarou, but this too is part of fate, huh. Kou-chan, just sit quietly in your cell! So, we were cleared of suspicion, but what should we do from now on? You're right...for now, how about we go back to Koutarou's shop, and peek in the bath once again?! There's also videos of those women we filmed that we haven't used yet! To begin with, let's change bathhouse's name! Enter Heisaku and Kenta's Wild Tales! This is a side story, continuing off the ending of the first game. I really recommend that you play that game first so that you'll get the most enjoyment out of the story.
    Basically, this is a real-time, public bathhouse management game. You take in customers, and you can peek at them while they change clothes, are in the toilet or just chilling in the bath. You'll have to follow the schedule carefully and know the exact times when the heroines visit the bathhouse. The game's system is pretty helpful in this regard, but something like a tutorial would've been much appreciated. It takes some time to get used to the gameplay, as you also have to use and buy items that will help you in your peeping quest, but I find the experience to be worth the trouble.
    If anything, the banter between characters is pretty well-done. Most of the characters are actually adults, which is a nice change of pace. I also like that the previous game's protagonist went to jail since that's what happens when you do bad things. The game is pretty similar to the first one, so once again, that's probably where you want to start.
    Interheart themselves published a walkthrough for this game, and I wish I had noticed it before playing...oh well.
    6. Please Teach Nanami and Konomi the ABC
    EGS-Score: 68 (101) Studio Ring Fap-o-meter: 2.61 (18) Nanami to Konomi no Oshiete ABC Main appeal: lolicon ななみとこのみのおしえてA・B・C
    Alright, so uh...yeah. Despite the pretty art and cutesy voice acting, I found this game to be not much more than wish fulfillment for lolicon.
    To begin with, I'm not a fan of deredere, lovestruck heroines, but if you're into this type of content, you're probably going to enjoy it.
    7. Lewd Little Sister BABY
    EGS-Score: 65 (65) Image Craft Fap-o-meter: 2.58 (13) Inmai Baby Main appeal: lolicon 淫妹BABY
    Right, so, uh...yeah. There are two main points of interest in this game. First, it's the art or overall art direction. Not only are the H-scenes fully animated, but the sprites are also constantly changing very fluidly. The artstyle might seem simple, but it's nice and colorful. Honestly, this game very much feels like an anime, to the point I'd almost unironically call it an "anime game".
    The second point is the sheer amount and variety of endings. You have the freedom to craft the story as you please, but remember that everything you do has a consequence.
    Strictly speaking, I'd only recommend this to fans of the genre.
    8. Children Milk Parfait
    EGS-Score: 66 (28) Shiritsu Sakuranbo Shouggakou Fap-o-meter: 2.57 (7) Kodomo Milk Parfait Main appeal: lolicon こどもみるくぱふぇ
    I swear, I'm not doing it on purpose! Anyway, for this game, I actually had to make a decision, since if I included the votes of the 2007 DVD release, it would score much higher. To make things fair, I decided not to.
    In my opinion, I found this game to be boring. The children don't act like children (more like naughty adults trapped in a child's body), and most scenes are teasing.
    I also thought that the OP was really catchy, it even forced me to get up from my chair and bust my moves for a few minutes. The UI is also extremely cutesy, which fits the mood of the game.

    9. Matty, the youngest child
    EGS-Score: 61 (22) Complet's Fap-o-meter: 2.5 (6) Matty Main appeal: straight shotacon まってぃ
    I actually completed two routes of this game...but it's difficult to call them routes to begin with. Okay, first of all, this is what will usually happen. At school, you get two alternating choices that decide what type of event will occur. When you're back home, you get four choices which are meaningless by themselves (e.g., kill time, go back to your room, watch TV, etc.), and if you're lucky you'll trigger some kind of event with the heroines.
    When it's time to go to bed, you can choose between going to sleep right away, going to the restroom, or reading a porn magazine (there are like four to collect, can you get them all?!). The first two of those choices CAN trigger events, but 90% of the time nothing happens.
    And this repeats every single day until the game ends. You have no idea which choices trigger what, you have to constantly savescum if you want to see events with a certain heroine (and of course, you'll have to try all the choices first, every time), and even then, more than half of the scenes are teasing. So all you're really doing is collecting events.
    I hope I was able to convey the frustration I felt playing this game. Why couldn't they have employed a map movement system, where you could just visit everyone in their respective rooms? Why this lazy, inane system? And even worse, the heroine I was aiming for doesn't even have an H-scene or a proper ending. The game just ends abruptly. What a piece of crap.
    Either way, the art by Mame is definitely the game's high point. I recommend that you read the prologue, download a complete save file, and check out the H-scenes. Or play a better game, by the same company.
    10. Surrender - Ravished Body, Broken Heart
    EGS-Score: 60 (3) X[iks] Fap-o-meter: 2.5 (2) Shikkan ~Hazukashimerareta Karada, Oreta Kokoro~ Main appeal: BDSM, forceful sex, mystery しっかん ~辱められた躰、折れた心~
    This is a mystery game where the objective is to uncover the spy and the island's other mysteries. Who is the spy, and what are they after? What secrets does this hospital hold?
    The navigation is done through a map movement system. I usually dislike these, but you can at least trust the characters to hang out in a specific place. There's the doctor who hangs out at her own office, the patient that stays inside her room, the two nurses in the nurse station and the nurse in the psychosomatic ward. If you check out the other areas, you can find out more about the game's world, side characters, and... special tools.
    When you talk to the characters, there's also this interactive system, kinda like the old verb-based games. Except that it's with nouns, people's names, locations and so on.In conclusion, the game's system is kinda annoying, and honestly, I don't feel like doing bad things to the characters when they're so lovely... The dialogue and voice acting are built in such a way that they actually feel like real humans. Speaking of voice acting, it's pretty good! You might recognize some industry veterans...
    I'd say that despite some annoyances, the journey does feel worth it. It's definitely a game I'd like to spend more time with.
    11. Good Girl's Worries Counselling Room - Fantasy World's Immoral Guidance
    EGS-Score: 65 (15) Collection Fap-o-meter: 2.33 (3) Yoi Ko no Nayami Soudanshitsu ~Mousou Sekai no Haitokuteki Shidou~ Main appeal: group sex, forceful sex よい娘の悩み相談室~妄想世界の背徳的指導~
    Essentially, when his brother collapses from overwork, by sheer coincidence the protagonist manages to find out that he was in charge of a counseling website. The gameplay is simple: you check your inbox on the website, pick the e-mail you want to read, read it, and then the protagonist imagines the H-events described on the e-mail. After that, it is your job to give the girls advice through a series of choices.
    I was initially disappointed, thinking it was kinda lame to not engage with the heroines directly, but I find this to be a really novel idea. They take what would be generic H-scenes and give them a backstory, aftermath, and the female character's perspective. The most fun I had with this game was reading those very e-mails and challenging myself to give good advice.
    For example, there's a high school student who talks about how several boys confessed to her at once, and she ends indulging their wish of wanting to create "pleasant memories" with her. I told her that she needs to value her body more and that she should be responsible and pick only one of the guys to be her boyfriend. It really feels like a very personal experience, where I am crafting my own story, almost as if I was actually talking to a real high school student.
    I did not get that far, but it seems, later on, you'll actually be able to meet the girls, so there's something to look forward to. After all, most of the game's H-scenes only occur inside the protagonist's fantasy world, not in reality...or do they?
    Another point I'd make is that while the art might seem kinda amateurish, I actually think it's pretty hot. I like it!
    12. Bright Future - Wet 'N Messy 2nd Time
    EGS-Score: 70 (93) FlyingShine Black Fap-o-meter: 2.17 (12) Akarui Mirai ~Wet And Messy 2nd time~ Main appeal: forceful sex, group sex, wet and messy アカルイミライ Wet And Messy 2nd time
    This is a mystery/drama game that also doubles as a nukige. You, as the leader of the newspaper club, are initially given the task to investigate the so-called "Honey Ghost." The rest is according to the description: you start talking to a girl from the past and then realize that she died. Your objective is to find out what happened and change her terrible fate to a bright future.
    But that's not all. There are also several peculiarities happening in the present. There's the mysterious psychic treatment (psychosomatic) school club, which is in fact just a front for a group of rapists. While you are busy with your investigation, be careful not to let the heroines fall into their grasp...
    True to its name, you can expect things to get really wet and messy, by a variety of fluids...be it water, essential oils (aromatherapy), milk, SEMEN...But while the art is beautiful and the story seems promising, the game actually suffers from the excessive H-scenes. Before you really have time to care about a heroine, you end up peeking on them having or being forced into sex by a group of guys. If the scenes were more spaced out, the game would actually feel like it has some tension. Overall, I Just feel like it's trying to do too many things at once.
    While you get plenty of choices, only very few of them branch out the story. Most of them just give you an alternate or slightly different scene. They don't really have an impact on the story. The series was rebooted as the Kurai Mirai (Dark Future) or Crime Rhyme series. By the name alone, you can see the new direction that they took with the games, which I'm not of a fan of. Because no matter which manners of cruelties they must endure, at least the title name "Bright Future" gives you the hope that there is a way for the heroines to avoid their awful fate...even if not entirely.
    I'm not a fan of these quasi-NTR gangrape games, where you're just walking around, peeking on others having sex, and not really doing much about it. That's not to say that some of the scenes aren't hot, especially if you like it...wet and messy. I like this scene where your previous choice changes whether the heroine calls you senpai or onii-chan. It's, uh, a nice touch since you're pretty much defining the relationship you have with her.
    13. Mansion, the Prison of Lust
    EGS-Score: 60 (12) Girl's Software Fap-o-meter: 2 (1) Ingoku no Yakata Main appeal: BDSM, sexual slavery, maids 淫獄の館
    First, I suppose I should start with what I liked about this game. The art is gorgeous when it comes to the character design and HCGs, drawn by one of my favorite eroge artists. The sexual slavery scenes are quite varied, but there's also a good number of vanilla scenes. You basically get the choice to give in to your "deep dark desires," or to defy your captor.
    To be honest, despite this being a nukige, what I enjoyed the most were the slice-of-life scenes and banter between characters. The music is a great mood-setter, but what made these scenes that much more enjoyable was the stellar voice acting performance. I'm sure that if you look at their names, you'll recognize several industry veterans. I'd point out Isshiki Hikaru, who voices the protagonist's sister in Cartagra as especially memorable. However, all of them were really good, and I also liked their performance in...other parts of the game. That's the thing, though. After spending all that time growing fond of the characters, I don't really want to do awful things to them.
    For this game's negative points, I'd say that getting a good ending is really difficult without using a walkthrough, and otherwise, it just gets frustrating. I also disliked the spontaneous H-scenes during the first part of the game. This is because they are all "dream sequences," more like showing a possible future for the protagonist.
    It feels as if those scenes were just thrown in there because the slice-of-life and comedy sections were too long, and they thought people would get bored if they didn't get some fap material, but eh. They feel entirely out of place because there's no context and no build-up for those scenes.Another point is that when I train my sex slaves, I don't like sharing them with others...especially dirty old men.
    14. Stray Sheep - Disgraceful Confession Room
    EGS-Score: 55 (4) Panda House Fap-o-meter: 2 (1) Stray Sheep ~Chijoku no Zangeshitsu~ Main appeal: BDSM, mystery STRAY SHEEP ~恥辱の懺悔室~
    Stray Sheep doubles as mystery and hardcore BDSM game. The protagonist makes use of his privileged position as the school's new Father to search for the truth, little by time, at times employing more forceful means.
    I did not find myself able to empathize with the protagonist and his revenge-filled heart. It's not that I'm not fond of revenge stories, but if you're going to do awful things to someone, then at least do it to people who deserve it.
    If one thing though, both the CGs and character sprites sure are pretty. Reminds me a bit of Mink's artstyle of that time.
    15. Masquerade
    EGS-Score: 64 (14) Soft Circle Courreges Fap-o-meter: 2 (1) Masquerade Main appeal: maid, pure love story MASQUERADE
    While the setting seems to be grimdark, it's actually kinda wrong to call it a nukige. In fact, you could complete the game while avoiding most of the sexual content.
    I actually completed this game as it's relatively short, about one to two others long. I found the main story to be sweet and very much worth the time I spent with it. Some might find it generic, but I guess I'm fond of these pure love type of stories.
    You can choose to either engage in sexual acts with your maid or to have conversations with her about a variety of topics, getting to know her better. By sexual acts, I mean that you don't force yourself upon her and that everything is done consensually, even if the protagonist is in a position of authority. On that front, it's kinda weak as a BDSM/sexual slavery game, but I appreciate the variety of content and the hot HCGs.
    The negative side is that both these conversations and H-scenes repeat themselves. For example, if you want to unlock further conversations, you'll have to approach specific topics an X number of times. The problem is that the conversations are the exact same the second or third time, so you're gonna be skipping them. It's just annoying. Did they run out of content even though the game is so short? Why force you to repeat conversations? Anyway, you'll probably want to follow a walkthrough.
    The similar happens with the H-scenes, where you can unlock extra scenes or variations of the same scene. Anyway, this is a pretty decent doujin game if you like maids, sweet but kinda corny love stories, are willing to press the skip button half the time, and use a walkthrough.
    16. A Naughty Doctor
    EGS-Score: 58 (7) Sol-fa-soft Fap-o-meter: 2 (1) H na Oisha-san Main appeal: lolicon Hなお医者さん
    So I booted up this game, which is unvoiced and has the same looping soundtrack all the time. And on the very first few choices, I hit a little girl, was sent to jail and got a premature Happy Ending. Great game.

    "HAPPY ENDING...hell if it is!"
    But it's actually an enjoyable game. You touch the characters in places where you're not really supposed to, but get away with it with some convincing persuasion, and eventually get to do a more direct inspection.
    I actually like this type of games where you play as a doctor and interact with a patient, deceiving them, and abusing their trust. For example, Studio Triumph's games. But well, this one doesn't even compare since the game is too damn short, as the whole thing is about 20-30 minutes long.
    Apparently, there's a voiced version, but I couldn't get my hands on it. The game is decent for what it is, but it's nothing special. I think there should've been more bad endings.
    17. Jam 'N Limit - LOCKED/ROOM/CON/FINE/MENT
    EGS-Score: 53 (18) Studio Jikkenshitsu Fap-o-meter: 2 (2) Jam n' Limit ~Mis/shitsu/Kan/kin Main appeal: roleplay, forceful sex ジャムアンリミット~密/室/監/禁
    The only reason I went ahead and made the description this long is that this is the type of philosophical musings that are constantly present in the game. You can only imagine my surprise, playing this game after I almost considered skipping it - from the cover it seems like a generic nukige, and the score reinforces that assumption. I'm very glad I did not.
    Honestly, I can only do this game justice with a full review, which I'd like to do in the near future (maybe), so this will be a bit of a sample of what's to come. It comes with a fair warning though: this game isn't for everyone. It's probably only for sexual deviants like me.
    I've played this up until I was done with the first heroine's section of the story. Instead of having character routes, you "conquer" one heroine after the other, so you follow the protagonist's journey through madness. That is to say, this is more the protagonist's story than anything else, but you only truly understand the depth of his madness when you have a "normal" person as a reference. But that isn't all, as they too will find their own "madness."
    Your choices in-game have to do with the course of actions you take as much as the preparations you have to make. For example, for your plan to succeed, what kind of precautions should you take, what should you be most concerned about, how will you create the perfect locked room while avoiding suspicion, how will you psychologically corner your prey, how will prevent their escape, and what will you do in the event something unexpected happens.
    Accompanied by an in-built flow-chart, you'll be making these decisions as you try to avoid the game's multiple bad endings.
    I don't want to spoil the content of the H-scenes, but they've mostly based around..."personalized roleplay."For me, this is the best game I played this month and my personal master and masturpiece, or at least the one which surprised me the most, making this whole venture worth it. Please don't overlook it just because it has the "nukige" label.
    It could also be that the game simply left a lasting first impression, which lead me to overhype it slightly. Either way, I look forward to finishing it and publishing a more detailed review, whether it lives up to my expectations or not. Maybe.
    18. Gifted Education Frenzy
    EGS-Score: 65 (89) Kuzuryuu Fap-o-meter: 1.93 (14) Eisai Kyouiku Main appeal: BDSM, sexual slavery 英才狂育
    You might know this from the H-OVA "Study a Broad." With beautiful art from Innocent Grey's CEO Sugina Miki, renown artist responsible for Cartagra, Kara no Shoujo series and Flowers series, coupled with BDSM and sexual slavery themes, what could possibly go wrong with this game?
    Put simply, this game sucks. Sugina Miki's art and the seiyuu's talents were put to waste with this game thanks to an awful gameplay system.
    So, you have three phases during the day: morning, lunchtime, and after school. During those periods, you can visit different locations during the game, taking up one, two, and five time slots respectively. Oh, and I fail to mention that there are ten locations in the game? So, you have to visit the heroines at the RIGHT TIME in the RIGHT PLACE to trigger the events. What a load of crap.
    This game is the ultimate proof that no matter how good your game's content is (in this case, H-scenes), it doesn't matter if it's locked behind a nonsensical and overly complicated system. Sure, you have an idea of where the characters are likely to hang out, but who would've thought that the flower arrangement club member likes to hang out on the rooftop?
    So, definitely use a walkthrough. And don't try to pursue more than one heroine at a time, as the timeslots often clash. That's not everything, though. If you fuck up too much in the beginning, you can get a bad ending. And even if you follow a walkthrough, you probably won't get to see every event.
    This game is as sadistic to its players as it is to the heroines. I actually completed one of the routes - the twins. And there I witnessed some of the most stupid teen drama I ever had the displeasure of going through in recent times. At the very least, the H-scenes are hot, but I don't think it's worth seeing them without the context behind them. How frustrating!
    19. Erosion
    EGS-Score: 74 (21) Black Package Try Fap-o-meter: 1.8 (5) Shinshoku Main appeal: sexual slavery 浸蝕
    I actually edited the first part of this synopsis from vndb because it was filled with lies, so I claim it as my own. Ahem.
    This game unceremoniously starts with four H-scenes in a row. It sure doesn't waste any time, huh? On the very first scene, the setting is established. Toshiya, despite being of high school age, is somehow a hardcore sex slave trainer, all because his mother was a whore when he was a child. The orphanage's director is already his sex slave, as are other girls in school, and then he "infiltrates" this loving family intending to make them his sex slaves just for the lulz.
    You witness the mother, who knows the protag for nothing but a few days (or like, 10 minutes in-game), masturbate while calling his name. I mean, what the fuck. Already? She hardly even knows him! This protagonist is literally the equivalent of an isekai anime protag who one-shots everything in sight on the first episode.
    I did not find the art or the voice acting appealing either, but there's plenty of variety when it comes to the training scenes, I guess.
    If I had to mention any positives, it would be that the game is quite technically advanced. There's an in-built flowchart, a read text marker, the ability to jump to the next and previous choices, and voice lines on the backlog.
    All in all, this game is nothing more than rape fantasy and is completely disrespectful and demeaning towards women.
    20. Last Order
    EGS-Score: 70 (50) 13cm Fap-o-meter: 1.75 (8) Last Order Main appeal: sexual slavery, group sex ラストオーダー
    This is a game which seemed to be nothing more than a generic nukige, but ended surprising me. If there were such a thing as a theme for this game, it'd be moratorium, the postponement of social responsibilities. The protagonist and other characters deal with this issue on different degrees: feeling like they're growing up too fast, being afraid to become a full-fledged adult, or being too attached to things of the past. As someone finding themselves within this very period of transition, I felt I was able to connect to the game on a personal level, if even slightly.
    The sexual content mostly revolves around the use of devices for sexual training and bondage. With two new waitresses bolstering floréal's ranks, so are there two new prey for the protagonist to lay his hands on.
    I have mentioned this several times before, I believe, but I'm not fond of sharing my sex slaves. After the slaves' training is cumplete, you have them serve the customers, often multiple at once, and this happens when you had just thought they became yours. I'd say that might be why the fap-o-meter is so low, even though this is actually a quite decent game.
    21. Intense Pregnant Belly - Senpai, Please Acknowledge My Child!
    EGS-Score: 41 (18) Acme X Fap-o-meter: 1.67 (3) Hageshiku Botebara! Senpai, Watashi no Ko, Mitomete Kudasai!! Main appeal: forceful sex, group sex, yuri 激しくボテ腹! ~センパイ、私のコ、認めてくださいっ!~
    First of all, I gotta ask. Who the hell came up with such a dumb title?
    This game is just a tasteless and senseless complete rapefest. It is disgustingly evil and cruel. I'm sorry, but I don't have much else to say. I dropped it because I'm not a masochist and there's hardly a redeeming factor to this piece of crap. I guess some people might be into it, but I'm not. Moving along.
    22. Say Yah! Happy New Year 2003!
    EGS-Score: 55 (9) Authoring Heaven Fap-o-meter: 1.6 (5) Say Yah! 2003 Main appeal: comedy, straight shotacon Say Yah! 2003
    This game is not only a sequel to first Say Yah!, but it also features characters from other Authoring Heaven and Complet's games, as they're both imprints of the same stock company. You can expect similar kind of content and humor from the same games.
    Basically, you have a map, and you choose which house to deliver presents to... in the form of sex. It's not really my cup of tea, but the game is kinda funny, if you're into that type of humor...
    23. Married Woman Slave Coffee Shop 2
    EGS-Score: 60 (20) Black Lilith Fap-o-meter: 1.6 (5) Hitozuma Dorei Kissa 2 Main appeal: sexual slavery, group sex, forceful sex 人妻奴隷喫茶2
    "To think that you'd really take pictures like these...you're scum, human scum!"
    I played the first game too just so I could understand this game better. Thus this will serve as a review for both games. They're about 20 mins each, so that wasn't an issue. But well, there isn't that much to say, except that the games suck.
    On the first game, these three high school students with nothing better to do than wander around town manage to spot a lady shoplifting. And somehow, they make use of that knowledge to blackmail her into becoming her sex slave. After the first H-scene, it's scene after scene until the game ends.
    On the second game, this chick finds The Three Stooges talking about how much they love sex, and apprehends their sex toys. After calling them human scum, she ends up fapping with those toys inside the classroom, and she follows them to the coffee shop because she's secretly a colossal pervert, I guess. The rest plays out the same as the first game.
    The games have slight ero animations which kinda look good, but since it's a zoomed up close-up, they end up covering most of the CG. These games are cheap, they're too short, and they suck.
    24. The Voice in the Night III - Summoning Circle Pentagram of the Three Desires
    EGS-Score: 60 (45) Black Cyc Fap-o-meter: 1.5 (14) Yami no Koe III ~Gobou San'yoku Mahoujin~ Main appeal: corruption of characters 闇の声III ~五芒三欲魔方陣~
    Wait, what is a Black Cyc game doing at the very bottom? To truly understand this, you'd have to play the first two games, as this one is part of the original Yami no Koe trilogy. Thankfully, I am perfectly suited for this review as I played all of the three games. However, this is a game that I would like to review at a greater length, so I'll try to keep this short.
    Basically, this game sucks. No, it would be more correct to say that this would just be an average nukige, if not for its preceding legacy. Because it bears the Yami no Koe name, anyone who plays this game expects high-quality nukige, the same as the first two. But it's the complete opposite.
    Here's how the gameplay goes: you have a box with several magical items, starting with five, and each one of them is supposed to awaken a dormant fetish within the heroines. Once you reach the second stage, you get up to ten items to use on the heroines.
    Sounds awesome, right? Well, not really. The heroines are only receptive to one or two of the items in each stage. Most of your time is actually spent trying out different items, getting a generic "this item wasn't very effective" message, reloading, trying out a new item, getting the same crap all over again until you get it right. That's not all. While a heroine might've been receptive to an item at first, it might happen that they will not be interested in it in the future. So, it's save, reload, save, reload, save, reload. How about I just quit, uninstall this piece of crap, and never play it again?
    Even worse, the protagonist doesn't interact with the heroines directly. Thanks to K's powers, he makes the item magically appear in front of the heroine, and they'll make up a suitable excuse on their own for why the item is there. What a load of bullshit. The only time you have sex with them is at the very end (if you managed to corrupt them all fully), on what feels like the developers' way of mocking and trolling the player.
    You know when you play a sequel to one of your favorite games, and it's complete shit? Except that here, you can't blame EA, like with its sudden takeover of Bioware franchises such as Mass Effect or Dragon Age. No, it's literally the same writers, the same director, the very same team. They knew what they were doing with this game, and it's nothing more than a quick cash grab.
    I hope I was able to convey my feelings on this matter accurately, and looking at the scoring, it's no surprise. Everyone felt let down by what is the weakest game of the Yami no Koe series.
    The only good point to this game is the amazing art, by one of the best eroge/nukige artists. Even Conjueror agrees! However, he gave the second and third games the same score, so I wonder if he actually played them at all.
    25. Rape Secretarial Office 2 -Midou Shirou's Chapter
    EGS-Score: 65 (12) Maika Fap-o-meter: 1.5 (2) Ryoujoku Hishoshitsu 2 ~Midou Shirou Hen~ Main appeal: sexual slavery, mind control, forceful sex 凌辱秘書室2 ~御童志狼篇~
    This game is about rape. It has rape in the title, and even the game's executable file is called "RAPE2.exe".
    Basically, you have Midou Shirou, who can use some sort of mysterious power, which translated literally would be something incomprehensible such as "Obscene Vortex Core Fist." Probably some kind of wordplay.
    When he says specific keywords, it triggers something within the heroines - there are no tools that need to be used, so it's just a special ability of his. And by special ability, I mean that it's a complete cheat.
    After you meet all the heroines, you can choose one of them to be your trained sex slave, as in, it's something that already happened. I found that to be interesting at first, but it's actually kinda lame. Let's say you were interested in a character, would you want to conquer her or would you want the game to gift you her as your already trained slave?
    Your objective is to obtain sensitive financial information and have lots of sex while you're at it. Your chosen sex slave will assist you in this task, so you already have six slightly different ways of playing the game. This all sounds awesome, but it's simply too easy. It's too easy to make the heroines fall thanks to Shirou's ability, having them call you "Master" by one H-scene's time.
    To begin with, the protagonist is already a cool stud, does he really need this power? He doesn't have any interesting motivations or something you can empathize with. This game is just a trashy rapefest, which puts its beautiful art to waste.
    26. I'll Grant Your Wish - A Gift Received in Winter
    EGS-Score: 58 (17) High Soft Fap-o-meter: 1 (1) Kanaete Ageru ~Fuyu ga Kureta Okurimono~ Main appeal: group sex かなえてあげる~冬がくれた贈り物~
    The premise is rather simple. The protagonist wants to have sex with his girlfriend, but it's totally not happening any time soon, and he faps to his sexual fantasies all day. Wow, he and I are not so different after all!
    So, these girls suddenly appear in his room and make the proposal as mentioned earlier. The story is well, as you could imagine, nothing special. It's nothing but senseless H-scene after H-scene, without any thread linking the events together. Put simply, it's just boring to read/play.
    You literally play as Santa's little helper, as you go from house to house, and research which present to give to the residents. Depending on the presents you pick, your relationship will improve with one of the heroines. This is a quite cumbersome system, and not very easy without a walkthrough. I wasn't able to find one...
    Since the protagonist is the only one who can see the girls, it could also be that he's simply had one fap too many, and none of this is real. Yep, that's probably it.
    27. Let me fuck 'ya, teach!
    EGS-Score: 50 (11) Tryset Fap-o-meter: 1 (3) Yarasete! Teacher Main appeal: straight shotacon やらせてっ!てぃーちゃー
    For a while, I thought I was playing a Complet's game, as this one has similar art, humor, and sexual content. You play as an overly perverted brat and constantly tease the new assistant teacher. Instead of proper routes, just like Matty (ugh), you collect events. The difference is that you trigger those events by moving around the school, as you pick the location you want to visit. I find this blind guessing system to be annoying, so I'd recommend a walkthrough once again.
    I actually liked the H-scenes, and I'm pretty surprised this game is sitting here at the bottom, especially when you consider that it spawned a whole series. Maybe Tryset were off to a bad start with this one, or the players just found the system to be too cumbersome.
    28. Day-care worker <3
    EGS-Score: 45 (9) Triangle-delta Fap-o-meter: 1 (1) Hobo-san Chu! Main appeal: roleplay 保母さんちゅ!
    Thought I'd start by giving a warning that, despite the protagonist's profession and the game's setting, all participants in sexual activities are consenting adults.
    That already makes for strange setting though. Who thought about mixing up daycare work with...roleplay? The worst part is that they do a pretty poor job at explaining the need for such a thing in the first place. I mean, I don't think it helps her understand the kids' feelings any better by changing adult diapers or making her piss on the ground.
    Overall, the setting just feels at odds with the game's sexual content, but it does make for an interesting premise, I guess. I do commend them for trying out something different, and I do find the H-scenes to be not that bad...
    The main highlights are the beautiful OP (no need to listen past 2:10) and yet another casting by Isshiki Hikaru.

    29. Petite Idols - Disgraceful Fan Appreciation Day
    EGS-Score: 52 (14) Black Lilith Fap-o-meter: 1 (3) Puchi Idol ~ Chijoku no Fan Kansha Day Main appeal: lolicon, cosplay, forceful sex, group sex ぷちアイドル~ちじょくのファン感謝デー
    This is just bad. I feel like I really hit the bottom of the barrel with this one. It comes with a really stupid reasoning for revenge: the two idols are cheeky and foul-mouthed and treat their greasy, sweaty, disgusting otaku fans with the disrespect they deserve. But then came fan appreciation day...
    30. Nestle Close III - Manager Hibiki
    EGS-Score: 70 (3) Haikara Kissa Fap-o-meter: 0.5 (2) Nestle Close III Main appeal: onee-san, big breasts, glasses Nestle Close III
    I physically cannot play this game, as short-haired heroines with glasses are the worst. Next.
    31. Soft and Tender Lesson
    EGS-Score: 50 (11) Trabulance Fap-o-meter: 0 (1) Pururn Jugyou Main appeal: breasts, big breasts, big tiddies, tits, oppai ぷるるん授業
    As advertised, the heroines have enormous breasts to the point that it's sure to cause back problems. If you're into this type of thing, you might get some enjoyment out of it. However, I found the game to be a completely average nukige.
    Of particular note, there is a toggle correct choice indicator. Interact with the same heroine enough times, and you'll have sex with them. Wow, now that I put that in words, it seems that'd describe most games. Either way, despite being thrown to the very bottom, it's certainly not THAT bad. Then again, there's only one vote which is... mine.
    My Thoughts and Conclusions
    First of all, thanks to everyone who stuck with me until the very end. Or perhaps you're one of the people who scrolled down to the very bottom? It's alright, I don't blame you.
    The truth is, this format sucks. Usually, you'd first find a game you like, play it, and then maybe review it, not the other way around. This would've worked much better if I had a team of perverts working with me. Each one of us could pick a game that we might like, play it, and then review it. This was way too much work for one person, as this was all my own, original commentary, but I did my very best for the quality not to suffer.
    The very idea of reviewing eroge and excluding nukige would be ridiculous, as despite bearing the "stigma" that comes with the nukige tag, there are some pretty good games amongst those that I reviewed. Making people aware of that was my initial objective, and I hope to have realized it.
    Not surprisingly, there's a good number of games focused in particular fetishes. I think it's interesting that there wasn't a single Netorare game amongst these, perhaps the genre hadn't taken off yet. There's a big divide between games with consensual sex and games with forceful sex. The first usually focuses on lighter fetishes, while the second group often goes all the way with hardcore sexual slavery.
    I play my games on fullscreen, so I wasn't bothered by the resolution. And there are plenty of games with beautiful art, mood-setting soundtrack, and stellar voice acting performances nonetheless.
    The most significant conclusion I'd take is that most of these games, well, suffer from too much gameplay at times. Like I've said on my very first review, it doesn't matter how good your content is if the system is cumbersome in a way that players have too much of a hard time accessing it. You can have a map movement system like Eisai Kyouiku's, which forces you to check a walkthrough every 10 seconds, or you can have one like Saishuu Chikan Densha 2's, where you can worry less about optimization and focus more on having fun. The second is one where the creator really thought about the player experience, how would people actually feel playing the game.
    I also found it interesting that most protagonists are actually adults. There are several university students, but you have them do all kinds of jobs: ordinary salarymen, teachers, daycare worker, clerk, doctors, idol manager, grocer, businessman, restaurant floor manager, tutor, even a priest... You also have many different kinds of settings, as if everyone was trying hard to carve their own niche. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside thinking about how everyone, even the little guys, was working hard, giving up precious time during the holiday season to provide us with great fapping material. God bless you.
    Oh, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t talk about Saya no Uta. Well, it’s the title that needs no introductions, so I decided to go ahead and not talk about it at all to make my job easier. The point of this article was to have short reviews and summaries for lesser known games of the month, so I can’t just feature the most popular ones and not or just dismissively ignorant talk about the rest. The fap-o-meter is astonishingly low, which is complete blasphemy. This is one of the hottest english published eroge out there, with also one of the best translations available. There’s a story about how Makoto wouldn’t sell his translation until his writer parents approved it, so you can be certain of its quality.
    As a closing statement, please, by all means, do try some of these games and enjoy yourself to your heart's content. If you have any questions you'd like to ask me, please go ahead and message me or leave a comment below. As always, thank you for reading, and I appreciate any and all feedback.
  5. Haha
    Infernoplex reacted to Deep Blue for a blog entry, Kokuhaku review   
    Source: https://j-addicts.de/kokuhaku/ (shameless self-promotion xD )   Source: https://j-addicts.de/kokuhaku/ (shameless self-promotion xD )   Kokuhaku or “confession” is a short VN developed by a company called Song Wing which mainly work in sound design, casting actors etc basically all related to sound and music and this is their only work as game developers.   The plot, uuggghh.
    The plot in this VN is nonexistent and plain bland.
    The main character is your typical super popular guy and all the girls are in love with him. Why? Who cares, they just are! The game is more like a kinetic VN but lets you choose which girl you want to pick at the end. Throughout the painfully 1-2 hours of reading, each one of the bland and boring heroines will confess their love to the main character without much explanation and out of the blue. These girls are the cliché of the cliché,
    Childhood friend? ☑.
    Sister? ☑.
    Shy girl? ☑.
    Tsundere? ☑.
    Interesting and well-developed heroine?☒.   Once all the girls confessed their love you will reach the end, there you recall all the confession at once and that’s when you get to pick which of those confessions you take, thus picking a certain girl and confess your love back to her. Then a crappy CG shows up and it’s the end. Luckily there is no harem ending.
    And no I didn't omit anything, you read 10 min and a girl confess her love without warning then the other and so on and that's it...  
    (She confessed her love out of the blue in the middle of a class O.o)
    If you want to put it bluntly, there are 4 cockroaches and you are a stinky piece of meat and for no reason at all the cockroaches want that putrid meat no matter what. If you think this analogy is in bad taste, GOOD! Then you understand how playing this VN feels.
    It’s also an all ages so you won't see any type of eroge or sexual innuendo at all.

    (Pick your ending)
    Music and Art.
    The music while not outstanding it does the job same as the art, it’s a bit on the unique side but nothing that will make it stand out.
    The redeeming factor.
    So you are probably wondering why the hell is this review for then? Well, as I said earlier the company that made this VN works in the sound industry and here is the catch and what makes this VN partially redeemable. You can choose the voice acting of each heroine from 4 voice actresses when you start the game, which are (IMO) some of the best in the industry itself.   (The screen to select the voice acting Noto Mamiko https://vndb.org/s468 , Tsuji Ayumi https://vndb.org/s271 , Horie Yui https://vndb.org/s46 , Hirano Aya https://vndb.org/s1500 )   But that’s not the most impressive thing, the best part is that you can choose only 1 heroine to do the voice acting of the 4 heroines.
    Basically this game was more like a technical concept to show how an actress can interpret several roles at the same time, it’s more like a demonstration project rather than a game but it was sold as a proper game... the question is why they didn't bother to write a decent plot rather than this bland abomination if they were doing it anyway... Also, the writer is not a nobody without recognition in the industry so it’s really mind boggling why they approached this project in this particular way...
    Regarding the voice acting itself it’s actually pretty good and the concept itself works amazingly well. Playing the game with the same actress doing all the voices is interesting, to say the least.
    So as a concept this is really interesting at least on a technical level. Having 4 heroines and 4 actresses letting you mixing up whatever you want, theoretically there are countless and countless of hours for you to enjoy by playing with all the variations (You do the math)...  but in reality after 1 time you will want to throw this game in the garbage bin and let it rot forever there where it belongs.   Final score.
    Now, saying how much of a technical accomplishment something is where you can only tell by listening it would be unfair so I recorded a demonstration so everyone can judge for themselves.   Here it is, rejoice (I recommend watching it in full-screen):     If you want to read more reviews like this one check out: https://j-addicts.de/      
  6. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, A List: Chuunige likely to sell in the West   
    Understand, chuunige mostly appeal to a very core fanbase.  The style, the fact that they don't translate well, and the fact that most of the action/story is so 'out there' makes the games unapproachable.  The sheer amount of text means that localization costs are through the roof, which makes things worse, of course. 
    I'm being realistic, ignoring my inner fanboy who screams everybody should love chuunige because charage suck in comparison.  However, that is the flat-out truth. 
    So, I decided to make a list of chuunige I believe would sell in the west/appeal more to the western brain... and not just the core fanbase.  I have these ordered by the most likely to the least.
    1.  Bullet Butlers- I say Bullet Butlers is the most accessible precisely because it uses a lot of elements that Western audiences can easily grasp without having to be 'deep' into otaku media.  Zombies, elves, dragons, and orcs.  Firearms as the most common weapon type, superviolence, and a film noir atmosphere to a great deal of the game.  If I were to name one chuunige that has the potential to be a hit (by VN standards), if properly advertised, it is this one.
    2.  Draculius- If I were to name a sort-of chuunige that is accessible to people that don't particularly like chuunige, this would be it.  If you liked the best parts of Libra and hated the rest, you'll probably like this game.  It has aged somewhat, but the characters are unique, the story is excellent, and the humor is recognizable on both sides of the ocean. 
    3.  Hello, Lady- Yes, I went there.  If you can enjoy Narita Shinri, you will like this game, regardless of your genre preference.  Narita Shinri is a protagonist who will earn as many haters as he does lovers, and there won't be that much room in between.  However, his story is very much one that is visceral and easily comprehensible for any human who has lost someone they loved.
    4.  Shinigami no Testament- 3rdEye's chuunige are accessible.  I could put any chuunige by that company in this spot other than Bloody Rondo and say that it has the same potential for success.  Even Bloody Rondo does have some appeal outside its genre (in fact, it probably has more, lol).  3rdEye is a company that I can use to brainwash newbies without overwhelming them, which is why I was happy when Sorcery Jokers got localized, lol.
    5.  Gekkou no Carnevale- I can guarantee someone is going to ask why I didn't mention any other Nitroplus game besides this one.  However, the themes in this game are very Western, for the most part... and werewolves and murder are always guaranteed to catch the interest of a certain (surprisingly large) crowd over here.  Put in living dolls and mafia connections as well, and you have a recipe for success. 
    I actually thought of naming some others, but when I seriously thought about it, the hurdles for a Westerner and non-chuunige addict for playing those were just too high.   Anything Bakumatsu is going to be translated poorly, so Last Cavalier is out.  Evolimit has potential, but I thought BB is more likely to catch hold of westerners who aren't already part of the scene.  Anything like Dies Irae is almost guaranteed to flop if it isn't 100% crowd-funded (as in, all costs paid for by the crowd-funding), so Bradyon Veda and the Silverio series are out.  Vermilion has similar problems.  Muramasa suffers from swordsmanship infodumping that will probably cause the average reader's brain to go numb early on.  Tokyo Necro has zombies, but the chances of people actually getting past the prologue are relatively low, despite the coolness of the story and setting.  Izuna Zanshinken has enormous potential in the US, because of the style and the themes it tackles, but its episodic 'feeling' is a huge negative for some of us... 
  7. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, VN of the Year 2017   
    As always, I took a ridiculous amount of time considering candidates for VN of the year, this year. 
    The final lineup of candidates were:
    Aoi Tori
    Kin'iro Loveriche
    Bakumatsu Jinchuu Houkoku Resshiden Miburo (I determined that it, to an extent, stands on its own enough to be considered)
    Suisei Ginka
    Haruru Minamo ni
    Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary (lost to Aoi Tori)
    Kanojo wa Imouto de Tenshi de (lost to Haruru Minamo ni)
    Oni ga Kuru (lost to Kin'iro Loveriche)
    Ojou-sama no Hanbun wa Ren'ai de Dekiteimasu (lost to Suisei Ginka)
    While those five candidates made it to final consideration, I have to say for the fanboys that I never really seriously considered Kin'iro Loveriche for the final selection once those five candidates popped up.  I reviewed my experiences of each VN individually, then compared them in my mind.  While Kin'iro Loveriche is an excellent game, it just didn't match several of the other VNs on the list.  If I split this into candidates by genre, though, I would consider this the nakige of the year.
    Miburo falls off for a different set of reasons... in fact, it probably wouldn't have made it to the finals at all if I wasn't a weaboo and a Japanese history freak.  It is good, it is detailed, and the bloodshed is awesome... but if you asked me if its raw quality is at the very top of the list, I would have said 'In another year, maybe.' 
    Suisei Ginka was a great game.  I'll say that before I go through why it failed to make it through the final selection... actually, it just fails to get there because it just isn't good enough.  Oh, the story is interesting and enjoyable, but truth be told, Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary was better in its limited battle scenes, and I honestly found the antagonists to be too weak for a chuunige.  Great bad ending though.
    Haruru Minamo ni is definitely my pick for charage of the year, if Loveriche is nakige of the year, lol.  I'll state it outright... no other charage this year got anywhere close to Haruru Minamo ni.  That isn't a surprise, because Clochette's formula (if not the boob obsession) is probably the best established one for the genre.  However, it just didn't make it there.
    VN of the Year 2017
    Now, you've probably already figured it out from my explanation above, but Clephas VN of the Year 2017 is Aoi Tori.  I probably could have picked any of these in a year with no other equivalent candidates and been satisfied with them as VN of the Year, but, after four 'layers' of consideration (I've been filtering candidates since March last year) this one was the one left over, having barely eked its way past the other VNs above.  Any of the VNs that made it past the filter back in December really had VN of the Year levels of quality, which is unusual.  2017 was a good year for quality VNs, even if I didn't choose the one you wanted me to, lol.
  8. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Darbury for a blog entry, Editors Are Not Proofraeders   
    If I could give you any two pieces of advice, gentle reader, they would be: don’t eat unopened mussels, and don’t proofread anything you’ve edited. Neither will end well for you.

    I always scratch my head when I see a visual novel translation project with the same person listed as Editor and Proofreader. Or worse yet, Translator, Editor, and Proofreader. Or (and I know I’ve seen this at least once) Translator, TLC, Editor, and Proofreader. I’m all for DIY, but that's a disaster waiting to happen.

    Here’s the rule: If you’ve touched a piece of copy in any one of these roles, it’s tainted for you in all others. Sorry, that’s just how it is. These jobs are meant to be a series of checks and balances to help ensure the quality and accuracy of the content. If a single person takes on two or more of these roles, you’ve got problems. If one or more of these positions goes completely unfilled, you’ve got problems.

    It’s not that you wouldn’t be capable — many editors are amazing at proofreading, and tons of translators are wonderful at TLC — but once you’ve worked with the text in one capacity, your familiarity with it makes you far less effective in any other role.

    Our stupid, stupid brains
    Like so many things in life, it all comes down our stupid brains being more helpful than we want — kind of like an overeager toddler who just handed you your iPhone. In the shower. (Thank god for Applecare+.) Whenever our brains see a gap in content, they try to fill it whether we want them to or not. “Hi, I’m your brain. Hey, is there a word missing there? Can I make a fairly good guess as to what it is? Wheee! I’ll just pretend like it was there and we read it and nothing’s wrong. Now let’s go think about boobies some more! BOO-BEES! BOO-BEES!” And the more familiar your brain is with the work in question, the easier it is for it to fill in those gaps. It already knows what to expect, and it’s just waiting to jump in and save the day.
    Our brains must be stopped before they kill again.
    The easiest way to do this is, at each step of the creation and revision process, have someone ready look at the content with fresh eyes and no preconceptions. Simple as that. You wouldn't go get a second opinion from the doctor who just provided your first opinion, would you? So don’t do it here. Don't double-up on jobs, and don’t leave positions unfilled. The final product will be better for it.
    Yeah, yeah, I know. Easier said than done. Finding good volunteers is tough and people flake out or have RL commitments all the time. So what then?

    The nuclear option
    When I got my first job in advertising, I was an idiot. Thankfully, my first creative director was not. A highly accomplished copywriter, she’d penned dozens of the brand slogans that had littered my youth. Suffice to say, she knew her stuff. (You’d probably know her stuff too, if you saw it.) And this was one of the first things she taught me: “Never, ever proofread your own work. But if you have to ...”

    That’s right, she had a trick. A big red button on the wall of her brain that said, “PUSH ONLY IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.” You never want to proof your own work, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Sometimes you’ve rewritten the copy deck five minutes before the big pitch and there’s no time to send it back for proofreading. That’s where the trick comes in.

    Read it backwards.
    Start at the very last word and read your way back until you hit the first. This strips away all meaning from the text — your brain isn’t leaping in with a guess as to what comes next — so you can focus on minutiae like spelling, punctuation, repeated words, etc.

    This is a relatively laborious process, unfortunately, and it doesn’t scale well to an entire visual novel. But I mention it here in case you find yourself with a few lines or even a short script that needs a proofing pass and you’re the only one around to do it.

    .it of habit a make don’t Just.

    Full disclosure
    By the way, I’ll be the first one to admit that v1.0 of the KoiRizo English patch has typos. In my role as editor, I tried to work as cleanly as possible, but over the course of 36,000+ lines — I figure that’s gotta be at least 250,000 words — a few foxes got into the henhouse. The team didn’t have any proofreaders, and the QC process wasn’t nearly as robust as had initially been hoped. (Zakamutt touches on that here.) But you know what? For all of that, I think the launch product came out comparatively clean. I still want to drink bleach and die every time I see a typo report, of course, but that comes with the territory.

    And with any luck, there will be patch updates forthcoming that address some of these lingering issues. Which is good, since I’m running low on bleach. And lives.
  9. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Darbury for a blog entry, Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah (Editing Onomatopoeia in VNs)   
    There is a secret language spoken in the darkest corners of the visual novel world, a cant so ancient and intricate that none know its origins. To be initiated in its ways, one must drink from the Dread Chalice and be reborn in fire. Only then will the caul be drawn from your eyes.
    You shall know onomatopoeia. And you shall know fear.
    Sploosh 101: What is onomatopoeia?
    Before we jump in with both feet — *splash!* — let’s do a quick primer on terminology. An onomatopoeia is a word that imitates, resembles, or suggests the source of the sound it describes — i.e, it sounds like what it is. Like clink, yip, kaboom, swish, meow, oink. (That’s the verbatim transcript of my bachelor party, in case anyone’s wondering.) This is different from a word that describes a sound or action, but doesn’t actually imitate it — e.g., sneeze vs. achoo, punch vs. kapow, close vs. slam. The latter are onomatopoeia; the former, I call ononotopoeia.
    For the sake of brevity, let’s refer to these O and not-O.
    The Japanese language is rich in O. There’s a sound effect for everything. There’s probably a sound effect for there being a sound effect for everything. (If there isn’t, I’d like to propose one now: darubu.) There are even sound effects for things that don’t actually make sound — e.g., “jii” for staring. While it’s woven into the fabric of the modern Japanese language, O is especially prevalent in manga and, to a somewhat lesser extent, anime. Since visual novels draw heavily from these two worlds, they too feature lots and lots of these words.
    English is relatively impoverished in O by comparison, and therein lies the challenge for VN translators and editors. Do you leave these essentially untranslatable sound effects as they are? Or do you try to translate them, losing some of their immediacy and, for lack of a better word, oomph?

    Across the great divide
    The VN community seems to be fairly split on that question. In one camp, we have the purists. By and large, these are readers who are already comfortable with Japanese O through manga and anime. They consider it part and parcel of the VN experience. Learning and appreciating such terms is simply part of becoming an accomplished reader. It’d be like going to a fine dining restaurant and, instead of the chef presenting you with “the amuse-bouche,” he just came out and said, “Here’s this small appetizer thingy I made. Hope you like it.” The vocabulary is part of the experience.
    In the other camp, we have the reformists. To them, leaving O untouched isn’t translation; it’s mere transliteration. It denies meaningful content to the uninitiated English reader — e.g., if you don’t know "munyu" means to grope someone, you’ll be clueless when the best girl hauls off and smacks the protagonist in the very next line. To extend the fine dining metaphor, it’d be like going to the same restaurant, being handed a menu that was all in French, and having the waitstaff snootily refuse to tell you what anything meant. Hope you like thymus glands, mon ami, because that’s what you just ordered.
    When it came to KoiRizo, I was a reformist editor on a purist project. I joined the team after the translation had been completed and a lot of the big up-front decisions had already been made: Will this be a literal translation or liberal? (Literal.) Will we keep all the honorifics? (Yes.) Will we keep all the onomatopoeia? (Yes.) MDZ, the KoiRizo project lead, was very up-front about all this. And that was fine. The job of a VN editor is to facilitate and execute on the project lead’s vision. It’s great if you’re involved early enough to shape that vision, but it’s ultimately his/her show, not yours. (If you’re not okay with that, go start your own TL project.) So with that in mind, I did the best purist editing job I could.
    But what if I had carte blanche in how I approached O? What would I do differently? As luck would have it, I’ve given that some thought.

    Onomatopoeia in standard scripts
    For the majority of scripts, it helps to separate O-words into two groups: content-light ad content-heavy. The content-light group tends to consist of interjections, exclamations, grunts, groans, laughs, etc. These are mostly self-explanatory terms, communicating very little other than the fact that they’re a familiar sound. Some examples include:
    Ho E A Heh Uuu At most, I’ll clean these up to make them friendlier to Western eyes — “A! A sea cucumber!” becomes “Ah! A sea cucumber!” (In this case, it’d be too easy to mistake the “A” sound for a stammering repetition of the indefinite article “a.”) Otherwise, I’m happy to leave them be.
    On the other side, we have the content-heavy O-words. These are either (1) terms that have a very specific meaning you’d never be able to guess at without prior knowledge, or (2) common sounds that are rendered much differently in English than Japanese. These are the words that, if you ignore them, will result in meaningful content being lost in translation. Some examples include:
    Kakkun = the “sound” of hitting someone in the back of the knees. Based on a kids’ game. Su = the sound of something suddenly appearing (among other meanings) Gusu = the sound of a whimpering sob Hakushon = the sound of sneezing Chikutaku = the sound a clock makes Our first line of attack is to see if there’s any suitable English onomatopoeia we can swap in. It’s rare that it works out so neatly, but it does happen. So "hakushon" becomes “achoo,” "chikutaku" becomes “tick tock,” etc. If this doesn’t work, we fall back on another common approach: turning not-O English words into O by enclosing them in asterisks. So:
    “Gusu. Why won’t you return any of my calls?"
    *whimper* “Why won’t you return any of my calls?”
    As your final line of defense, you might consider abandoning O altogether, instead relying on some explanatory text to flesh out the intended meaning. So:
    “Where do you think you’re going, jerk?”
    She appeared out of nowhere.
    “Where do you think you’re going, jerk?”
    I’d recommend turning to this as a last resort, however, since you can see a certain staccato elegance gets lost in translation.
    As for where you can find out what all these untranslated O-words mean, there are all sorts of online resources to be had out there. I tend to use the Japanese > English SFX dictionary over at The JADED Network, but I’m sure there are plenty of others just as good.

    Onomatopoeia in H-scenes
    Sex scenes are something of a special case. You’ll find there are large blocks of text that are nothing but wall-to-wall O. (I see what you did there, you sly dog you ...) Here are some sample lines from KoiRizo:
    Sango: “Nafufu. Fumu, Juru, Zuzuzu."
    Sango: "Rero, Chu, Chuu ..."
    Sango: "Hamu, Chuu, Chuu ... Rero, Juupu, Zuzu."
    Sango: "Jupo, Gupo, Zu."
    Sango: "Juzuzuzuzu."
    Sango: "Fumu? Fua ..."
    During editing, I liked to call these sections “word salad.” They’re an unholy mishmash of content-heavy O, content-light O, and nonsensical fuck-grunts. It’s a tangled mess of syllables that can make even the bravest editor or translator turn tail and run. In my earlier post on editing H-scenes, one of the commenters — smile for the camera, Ittaku! — suggested it might just be better to replace these sections with ellipses and let the VO do all the heavy lifting. It’s a tempting thought. But despite all appearances, there’s content to be had there — content the Japanese reader would have understood, and which the English reader will miss out on ... unless you take action.
    Let’s see what happens if we (somewhat liberally) run it through the techniques we’ve discussed so far.
    Sango: "Ummph. Umm." *slurp* *sluuurp*
    Sango: “Mmm.” *suuuck*
    Sango: *nibble* *suck* “Mmmm ...” *bob* *sluuurp*
    Sango: *sucksuck* *slurp*
    Sango: *slurpslurpslurpsluuurp*
    Sango: "Mmmph? Ahhh ..."
    Okay, it ain’t poetry, but at least we’ve transformed our tossed salad it into something with actual meaning. Even without having read the rest of the scene, you can guess that Sango is vigorously polishing the protagonist’s knob. Or is trapped in a vat of ramen and eating her way to freedom. It can be improved upon, of course; all those asterisks start getting visually distracting, so if the VN engine supports it, italics might be a better choice here. But I’d argue it’s much better than what we started with.
    Feeling more confident? Good. Go forth and sploosh.
  10. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Darbury for a blog entry, Preparation H (Getting Ready to Edit VN Sex Scenes)   
    There’s no getting around it. If you’re looking to edit visual novels, at some point you’re going to have roll up your sleeves, put on the rubber gloves, and get elbow-deep in some H. The good news is that if you come prepared, practice your technique, and set some clear boundaries, it can be a pleasurable experience for both you and the reader.

    First, a disclaimer: I don’t like pineapple on my pizza, and I don’t like H-scenes in my VNs. It’s not a prudish thing; it’s a narrative thing. They’re rarely well crafted — you can feel all the hallmarks of the B-team being brought in to write them — and they almost never add plot/characterization that couldn’t have been handled better some other way. (I’ll pause here so you can mention Amane’s route from Grisaia, an exception that helps prove the rule.) Let’s be honest: they’re shoehorned in to help sell product. It’s built into the economics of the eroge genre. And honestly, that’s fine. I try to be sanguine about it and think of H-scenes as banner ads or TV commercials. They’re profit centers that help support the content I’m actually interested in. (I suspect more than a few developers feel the same way.)

    Long story short, H-scenes ain’t going anywhere. So how do we deal with them? Go in with a game plan.

    [Warning, there will be some NSFW language from this point forward. Sorry! It’s all part of seeing how the sausage is made.]

    1. Do your research
    In raw translation, sex scenes from a Japanese visual novel tend to be far from erotic. More often than not, they read like an obsessively detailed transcript of a gynecological exam. That’s not because the Japanese writing team suddenly forgot they were supposed to be penning a passionate sex scene. It’s just that what’s erotic in one culture isn’t always as erotic in another. It’s your job (along with the translator) to help bridge that cultural divide and come up with something that feels faithful to the original, yet still sexy in English.

    Your first stop? Research. Read some English-language erotica so you can get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t. Sites like literotica.com even have stories broken out into fairly specific categories, so if you know you’ll be editing BDSM, threesome, and footjob scripts, you’ll have no problem finding what you need. (If you have all three in a single scene, you still might be in luck.) There’s also a category called “First Time,” which is more broadly useful, given how fixated many VNs are on virgins.

    Read, read, and read some more. Pay attention to the verbs, the nouns, the pacing. Try to quickly form a model of what makes a sex scene successful, then look to carry those techniques over to your VN script.

    2. Pack a box lunch
    If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this: bring a big bag of dicks; you’ll need them. Better pack a few pussies while you’re at it.

    By the time you’ve edited your third or fourth H-script, you’ll find you’ve run dry of good synonyms for the male and female genitalia. In KoiRizo, the raw script mostly used the word "thing" for the protag’s package, which ended up sounding childish and/or ambiguous in English. (I only kept it in a few instances where such a reaction might be appropriate — for example, when the route partner catches her very first glimpse of Lil’ Protag: “Is that your ... thing?”). The remainder of the original script was a mix of the clinical ("my mucous membrane”) and the hilarious (“my soiled meat stick”). As for ladyparts, the original script relied heavy on metaphor and indirect reference — lots of openings, entrances, gates, doors, depths, special places, overflowing pots of nectar, etc.

    So what’s missing from the above? The common English erotica standbys: “dick” and “cock” for men, “pussy” for women. There’s a reason for that. KoiRizo complicated things by using the Japanese equivalents of these very sparingly, reserving them mainly for shock effect in dialogue — “e.g., OMG, she just said ‘cock!’ Things must be getting real.” Moreover, when these words were finally hauled out, the devs bleeped the VO and censored the text string (e.g., “p*ssy”). That meant it was very obvious when those words were being used and when they weren’t.

    All of which presented quite a challenge to the team: if we were to preserve those “shocking” character moments, we couldn’t use the most common English terms 99% of the time. And so, I fell back on a shortlist of alternate references: pole, rod, erection, hard-on, manhood, etc. By the time I was done editing, however, this list felt far too limited; those words were overused pencils worn down to their nubs.

    This is one of those areas where, in hindsight, I feel like I could have done a better job with KoiRizo. The takeaway: If I ever tackle a VN this H-heavy again — doubtful — I’ll come packing a much longer list of euphemisms.

    3. Bring a raincoat
    Compared to its English counterpart, Japanese erotica seems downright obsessed with fluids: saliva, vaginal secretions, semen, urine — you name it. The look, the sound, the feel, the taste, the smell, the volume. You’ll be describing a lot of liquids in a lot of ways, so get ready to break out the thesaurus. And an umbrella.

    4. Embrace the improbable
    Let’s admit it: VN sex is over-the-top ridiculous. In a matter of seconds, sheepish virgins turn into seasoned pornstars, cramming 20 orgasms and 40 positions into a quickie broom closet hookup. (Oh so much cramming.) This is the nature of the genre, so don’t fight it; embrace it. Trying to force realism onto a typical H-scene would be like trying to force realism onto a Dragon Ball Z fight: everyone still looks constipated, but no one’s having any fun. If you’re that desperate to edit sadly mundane sex scenes, wait for the VN version of Michael Winterbottom’s 9 Songs to come out. Till then, work with what you have.

    I remember a tiny dustup a while back when another TL team supposedly wrote lubricant into an H-scene because they felt the acts described would be difficult or painful without it. It’s a minor thing, but if the original writer left the lube out, I’m inclined to do so too. These portions of the script are wish fulfillment at their best/worst, so just leave them be.

    Except ...

    5. Reject the impossible
    ... Except when the improbable becomes the impossible. More often than not, this is either the result of a mistranslation or an error by the original writers. (As an example of the latter, KoiRizo was haunted by an entity we dubbed “phantom Riho.” A couple of times, the devs would forget they were writing another girl’s scene and use Riho’s name for a line or two instead. We fixed this in our version, but still ...)

    Anyway, as editor, it’s your job to keep an eye out for the impossible. Is the protag’s penis simultaneously in someone’s vagina, anus, mouth, and ear? Did the heroine’s hymen suddenly regenerate? (Starfish Girl is mah waifu!) Did a corded vibrator suddenly become a battery-operated one? Ask to have the TL double-checked and, if that still doesn’t resolve the issue, use your best judgement to fix the error while causing minimal disruption to the surrounding lines.

    6. Set your limits
    This is important. Know what you’re comfortable with going into a project and make those boundaries abundantly clear. Some VNs can venture into very unpleasant territory — rape, abuse, gore, catgirls, etc. — and it’s best to ask yourself up front if you could, in good conscience, commit to editing that sort of content. Set your limits early on, then make sure your team’s fully aware of them.

    7. Have a sense of humor
    At the end of the day, VNs are entertainment. Unless you’re editing Saya no Uta 2: Vom Harder, it’s probably okay to approach your H-scripts with a subtle sense of play. A decent chunk of your audience will either be fast-forwarding through these scenes outright, or paying far more attention to the visuals than the script.

    So think of these times as exhibition games in your script editing schedule. They’re opportunities to spread your wings a little bit, try a few stylistic experiments — maybe even slip in a sly joke or two. And even if everything doesn’t quite work, we’ll still respect you in the morning.
  11. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Darbury for a blog entry, How to Edit like Bill Murray   
    A good editor is a good reader.

    By that, I don’t mean that he or she is well-read (although that helps). And I don’t mean that he or she reads exceptionally fast (although I’m sure that helps, too).

    An editor’s most important job is to serve, quite literally, as the reader’s proxy. If you want to edit anything — a magazine article, a TV script, a visual novel — it’s your job to approach the text not as yourself, but as someone you’ve never met, someone who doesn’t share your likes, your dislikes, your accumulated knowledge. And that doesn’t mean approaching the text as some imaginary “ideal reader” either. They, like unicorns and affordable housing in San Fran, simply don’t exist. Seriously, when you ask a content creator to describe their “ideal reader,” they invariably end up describing themselves. Instead, it’s your job to edit for the “average reader.”

    And just who is that? And how do you edit for them? That’s going to vary from title to title. If you’re editing some hardcore and super-niche VN, your assumed reader will be very different than that of some light and frothy moege. (And if you’re editing a Sakura title, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Let me buy you a shot.) That said, I do have some basic ground rules I try to follow.

    1. Anticipate that this could be the reader’s first VN.
    I've decided to edit visual novels because I believe in them as an art form. I want to see their English releases improve in quality and become more widely accepted outside of certain closed cultural circles. That means I choose to invite new VN readers into a text and make them feel, if not at home, then at least like a welcomed guest.

    Stop. Put down the pitchforks. I’m not talking about dumbing down VNs. This is simply Writing 101. Among the authors I know, a common credo is, “A good novel teaches the reader how to read it.” (Unless it’s trying very, very hard to be unreadable. *cough*) A text in translation needs to work doubly hard to achieve this. First, it needs to bridge the gaps in cultural knowledge between the original audience (Japanese VN fans) and the secondary audience (Western VN fans). Otherwise, the work becomes much harder to read and enjoy than the author ever intended.

    As you edit, read with beginner’s mind. Where might someone new to the VN genre get hung up? Which cultural nuances might prove confusing? Ask yourself if there’s a way you can bring clarity to those aspects without diluting the original text. If you do your job right, they’ll seem organic enough part of the VN that the experienced reader will barely know they’re there.

    2. Choose to operate on the same timeline as the reader
    As an editor, you have a luxury the reader does not: access to the full text. You probably go into the project already having read a large chunk of the VN several times over. Maybe you were even involved in the translation of it. Whatever the case, you run the risk of your brain filling in gaps that might leave the average reader confused.

    Think of yourself as Bill Murray midway through Groundhog Day. Trapped in those endless 24 hours, he bull-rushes through his routine, responding not to what people are actually saying, but what he remembers them saying in past loops. He falls prey to over-familiarity and, as a result, alienates everyone he meets. It’s only when he learns to interact with people in their timeframe again, living and responding in the moment, that he finally gets what he wants. (The girl. It’s always the girl.)

    Be late-movie Bill Murray. Edit mindfully.

    When working on KoiRizo, I forced myself to do three separate editing passes. First, I tackled each script completely blind, going in with no more knowledge than any other reader. No cheating, no reading ahead. As I encountered lines that left me, the reader, feeling like I just missed something, I edited them as best I could but flagged them for later. Maybe the author intended that line to be cryptic. Maybe it was foreshadowing. Or maybe something got lost in translation. No way of knowing, so best to keep moving.

    After reaching the end of a script, I’d start back at the beginning and do another full edit, this time focusing on the lines I’d flagged previously. VNs tend to be episodic, so if I hadn’t found the answer I needed inside that self-contained script, I elevated the flag and left a comment for the translator asking for clarification.

    Finally, when I’d finished an entire route, I’d go back do a third, quick edit through the whole thing, top to bottom. I had all the facts from the scripts and all the notes from the translator, so if something still wasn’t working, it was likely all my fault. And that meant it was time to really hunker down and do some major surgery.

    Technically, I also did a fourth edit pass once I’d finished the entire VN, since some of the routes had little in-jokes and references to other routes, but I consider that more of an enhanced read-through than anything, since I was only making tiny tweaks. Which brings me to my last point ...

    3. Read, read, and read again
    You might be done editing, but you’re not done reading. Find that beginner’s mind and read through everything again. And again. And again. Forget that you’re the one who rewrote the words on the page and just try to approach them anew. Be the reader. Each time, you’ll probably find something new — typos, grammatical errors, slight nuances you might have missed earlier that change the whole meaning of a line.

    I read through KoiRizo a bunch of times and I know I still missed all sorts of things. Sorry! I've been kicking myself whenever I see the occasional typo report float through. (Editors are not proofreaders, by the way. Or vice versa. Fodder for a future blog post.) But at a certain point, a work just wants to get out in the world, warts and all.

    And that’s another part of editing: learning to let go.
  12. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Fred the Barber for a blog entry, A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing   
    While the principal job of a good VN editor is line editing (making sure that a line reads well and that a script flows), copy editing is vital as well, and copy editing should follow a style which is consistent both internally and with other comparable texts. That said, most VN editors (myself included) are way too lazy to sit and read the MLA, Chicago, or AP style guide cover to cover and actually internalize it, let alone to extrapolate from them what, if any, changes need to be considered for styling a VN, which, being a different medium, may require different stylistic choices than the media covered by traditional style guides.
    As is abundantly obvious if you read older officially-localized VNs, VN style has grown somewhat organically over the past decade and, if you compare against works published in only the last year, you'll find that the predominant style has become fairly consistent across the major localization companies. However, fan translations often miss the mark and make many styling mistakes and deviations from this standard, resulting in irritatingly inconsistent texts.
    To help solve that, I put together this brief VN style guide a couple months ago and shared it around a number of people, and I've subsequently refined it a bit in preparation for posting it publicly today.
    This is not a full prose style guide by any means, but it covers every interesting and potentially divisive topic I've seen come up in styling VNs; it is, I believe, pretty complete, especially given how concise it is. I've tried to avoid topics of grammar and of style that are not generally deviated from in VNs. Basically, I only tried to tackle areas where people actually have issues. This style guide, I believe, more or less represents the state of the art in officially localized VNs. I haven't read a recent official localization which I noticed to be following different rules than the ones I lay out here.
    All that said, take this with a grain of salt: I'm not a professional, and I haven't actually read any official MLA/Chicago/AP style guide cover to cover, though I have dabbled in each of them. At the end of the day, this is more a summary of what I've empirically discovered than anything else. But when you're a fan translation editor, you've got to start somewhere; this is a better option than any other that I know of.
    https://github.com/FredTheBarber/EditingPublic/blob/master/style guide.md
    Feedback is most welcome, whether to offer corrections or to ask questions for areas which I have not covered.
    Edit: By popular demand, I've made a markdown version of the document so it doesn't display like shit on github. The link has been updated accordingly.
    Edit2: who will edit for the editors?
  13. Thanks
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, Haze Man -The Local Hero-   
    Yes, I played this.  On the surface, this game looks like a straight-out thematic nukige... but in reality it is a comedy VN that just happens to have a lot of sexual humor and h-scenes, lol. 
    Basically, the protagonist Shotarou receives a fatal wound protecting a pretty girl, who proceeds to kiss him, fusing her body with his, covering him in an armor suit and granting him incredible physical abilities while also healing his wounds... and then immediately asks for sex once he is finished beating up her attackers.  He ends up in a '-rangers' type hero vs monster villains type situation where he faces off against plant monsters controlled by a scantily-dressed girl wielding a bow.  This leads to a lot of wacky situations that are generally amusing from beginning to end.
    What surprised me was that they actually made an effort to tell a story in this game.  Sure, it wasn't a GREAT story, but it was a decent one, far better than you usually expect from a game so reliant on sex and sex humor.  I spent most of my time laughing, but I was also able to get into the story emotionally to an extent, despite the half-assed nature of the setting. 
    While this isn't good enough to be a VN of the Month candidate, if you just want to play a VN with shotgun-fast humor and carefree h-scenes, this is a decent choice.
    PS: I know I didn't bother explaining about this VN in detail... but literally ninety-percent of this game is endless conversations that turn into jokes, halfway decent fight scenes, and h-scenes.  The remaining ten percent is the halfway decent story they somehow managed to combine with this.
  14. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, Chrono Box   
    Review by Dergonu, edited by Clephas
    I just finished this game a few hours ago, and I’m honestly not sure what I should write about it. It left me with so many different impressions and emotions, I’m kinda overwhelmed. One thing is for certain though, this game was absolutely amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and, dammit, it scared the crap out of me a few times.
    Chrono Box is a mystery from start to finish.  As a result, one of the things that makes the writing and the story so good is the element of surprise. In other words, twists you don’t see coming. There are tons of these, and they are done very well. The writers really did a fantastic job in my opinion. I was constantly trying to piece together the puzzle in my head.  However, they just kept on taking me by surprise, making me more and more confused. (In a good way. Confused as in, the kind of confusion you want from a good mystery.) 
    You are fed information on a regular basis, but it is never enough to come to a complete conclusion. Honestly, comparing it to some of the other mystery stories I have read, this was by far one of the better ones. I often manage to somewhat guess most of what is going on by the halfway mark in these types of stories, but here I was at a loss until the very end. 
    To be honest, because of the fact that this is a mystery, where spoilers really can ruin the experience, I don’t want to get into any details about the plot. In fact, I recommend that you do not look into the plot at all, as stupid as that sounds. 
    My recommendation is this: if you have some interest in reading the game, just do it. Don’t read any summaries or reviews, don’t look at any CGs. Just read it blindly. Well, use a guide if you want. The guide luckily won’t spoil anything at all, as all the choices are map movement choices, meaning you won’t have to worry about «spoilery choices» whatsoever. 
    I will say one thing though. The game has a lot of H. I know some people aren’t really big fans of H-scenes, and ends up skipping them. DO NOT DO THAT IN THIS GAME. Don’t skip any scenes. Read everything, even if it bores you. Trust me, you want to read absolutely everything in this VN. Every little detail matters. 
    Anyways, Chrono Box is definitely a must read for horror/ mystery fans in my opinion. It's one of those stories I wish I could forget, just so that I could experience it all for the first time again. 
  15. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Arcadeotic for a blog entry, Worry   
    Well, I guess it’s time to show something.
    Don’t worry, dearest follower of this site, I’m not dead, I’ve just been incredibly busy. I’ve had exams left and right, and thus, I’ve felt a little demotivated. But, I’ve never given up on this project, there’s no way I can. I mean, it’s been over a year since I started this “passion project”, and I still intend to finish it with all of my power.
    I won’t give up, there’s no way I’ll allow myself that. This project is important to me, way more than you think. And yes, for a while, I’ve been incredibly dead, I’ve still answered every question coming my way on Twitter, and I’m still active as ever on my Discord server. There’s no need to worry, Biman -1- will see the light of day.
    As for a “beta” patch some people have been asking, I will be looking for two beta-testers after proofreading is done, and after the testing, I will ship the translation out to the masses, and then focus on Biman -2.5- that I’ve neglected, and then onto bigger things.
    I’ve been pretty horrible with my way of keeping all of you above water, but all I can do at this point is to ask for all of you to wait patiently and to have faith in me.
    Well then, this’ll be another sporadic update that won’t become the norm for a while, but the next planned update is the recruitment of those before mentioned beta-testers.
    Until then, everyone!
  16. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, VN of the Month December 2016   
    Before I announce the VN of the Month, I'm going to go ahead and apologize to those who wanted me to play Honoguraki... to be blunt, I don't have the energy for it.  Ragnarok sucked me dry, and I need to get away from undead and demons for a while.  Moreover, I hate zombies in the first place (so many reasons), so I'd be unlikely to give a pleasant review or comment anyway.
    Now... it is kind of startling how so many great games got packed into a single month.  December 2016 was a monster month for story-focused VNs, with a relative dearth of charage/moege (with only two released).  I played as much as I could, but after six games, including the monster known as Venus Blood Ragnarok, I feel drained and tired.  The main reason I don't deny the existence of charage utterly (other than the occasional shining diamond I find in the piles of icarabu shit) is because even I need a break from bloodshed and darkness sometimes.
    There were three releases that had the potential to become VN of the Month this time around...
    Akiyume Kukuru
    Ryuukishi Bloody Saga
    Ou no Mimi ni wa Todokanai!
    Now, to be blunt, Ou no Mimi would be my first choice.  Why?  Because, without the art bigots interfering, it is the most solid of those three candidates by several degrees.  In fact, if this were six years ago, all things equal (including art), I would without hesitation have named it VN of the Month.  While AXL doesn't escape its own unique formula, there is a reason why this company is a consistent seller despite reusing character art and music constantly. 
    However, we come to Ryuukishi, which is only a few steps behind story-wise and has the advantage of being an immensely creative story that doesn't fall back on tropes for the most part.  It also has a more modern art-style that is highly-detailed, illustrating battle scenes and some of the more shocking guro scenes in loving detail. 
    Last of all, we have Akiyume Kukuru, which didn't fail to please as the third (and possibly final) game of Sumikko's 'Seasons' series.  As usual, it provides the kind of meta-science mystery combined with violent and sexual humor that the company has become infamous for.  For a certain type of reader, this VN is pure crack, though if you aren't the type it is aiming for, it will be a huge miss.
    So what is the conclusion?  In the end it came down to Ryuukishi and Ou no Mimi.  I balanced Ou no Mimi's solid, well-narrated story against Ryuukishi's more innovative approach... and in the end I chose Ryuukishi Bloody Saga as VN of the Month December 2016.  While AXL's works are really 'at-home' for me, I felt that Ryuukishi will probably have a larger impact on the VN community as a whole in the long run... and they were dead even on how I enjoyed them. 
    Now... look forward to VN of the Year 2016, which I probably won't finish considering until sometime next month.  Fortunately or unfortunately, 2016 was almost as good as 2014 and 2011 for VNs...
  17. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Arcadeotic for a blog entry, Euphemic Translation: The Graveyard   
  18. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, Clephas Top 50 VNs   
    For the last two years or so, I've gotten repeated requests to unequivocally name my top VNs made up until the present, ignoring objectivity, my vndb votes, etc.  I've more or less just ignored most of those requests, because it is a pain in the ass to name a 'favorite' VN in the first place.  I've made lists of VNs I loved from various genres, and I've also made lists of VNs for a specific purpose.  However, I've avoided making a list like this one up until now, mostly because my 'favorites' switch out so often. 
    Let's get this straight for those who are going to criticize my choices... these are the VNs I like the most, not the fifty best VNs of all time.  I make no pretense to preeminence of opinion in this case, because I'm also discarding all attempts at objectivity.  What a person likes is ultimately a matter of personal tastes, not a matter of logic.
    Why did I make it fifty?  Because my number of VNs played, setting aside replays and nukige, is over six hundred already (with replays and nukige, it is closer to eight hundred...)... I'd be surprised if I didn't have this many VNs I considered wonderful. 
    Keep in mind that these aren't in a particular order.
    1.   Evolimit
    2.   Dies Irae (the one by Light)
    3.   Ikusa Megami Zero
    4.   Nanairo Reincarnation
    5.   Semiramis no Tenbin
    6.   Bradyon Veda
    7.   Vermilion Bind of Blood
    8.   Hapymaher
    9.   Tiny Dungeon (as a series)
    10.  Bullet Butlers
    11.  Chrono Belt
    12.  Ayakashibito
    13.  Otome ga Boku ni Koishiteiru 2
    14.  Chusingura
    15.  Draculius
    16.  Otome ga Tsumugu, Koi no Canvas
    17.  Silverio Vendetta
    18.  Konata yori Kanata Made
    19.  Grisaia series
    20.  Akatsuki no Goei series
    21.  Reminiscence series
    22.  Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no
    23.  Harumade, Kururu
    24.  Soukou Akki Muramasa
    25.  Tokyo Babel
    26.  Tasogare no Sinsemilla
    27.  Komorebi no Nostalgica
    28.  Yurikago yori Tenshi Made
    29.  Izuna Zanshinken
    30.  Moshimo Ashita ga Harenaraba
    31.  Kamikaze Explorers
    32.  Devils Devel Concept
    33.  Suzunone Seven
    34.  Baldr Skydive series
    35.  Baldr Sky Zero series
    36.  Toppara Zashikiwarashi no Hanashi
    37.  Tsuisou no Augment (series)
    38.  Kikan Bakumatsu Ibun Last Cavalier
    39.  Shin Koihime Musou (series not including the original Koihime Musou)
    40.  Soshite Hatsukoi wa Imouto ni Naru
    41.  Tenshi no Hane o Fumanaide
    42.  Irotoridori no Sekai
    43.  Noble Works
    44.  Koisuru Otome to Shugo no Tate (series)
    45.  Kitto, Sumiwataru Asairo yori mo
    46.  Jingai Makyou
    47.  Sakura, Sakimashita
    48.  Abyss Homicide Club
    49.  Re:Birth Colony Lost Azurite
    50.  Owaru Sekai to Birthday
  19. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to littleshogun for a blog entry, Reminiscene of the Maid Review   
    Visual Novel Translation Status (11/05/2016)
    Since we had Memory Dogma and Sakura Maid 3 as the header, I figured that I'll use the word reminiscene (The synonym of memories) and maid for the title. As for the release, once again Dogma was still one chapter here so we couldn't said that the story was complete yet or as Fred said it's still leave many unanswered thing (The art once again was good there). For Sakura Maid 3 I would said that was very awesome of Winged Cloud there, and by awesome I mean they so quick to release the sequels, so the story was suffer A LOT (At least it was free lol).
    For this week, I'm kind of questioning why there's still not Bishoujo Mangekyou duology update here. Oh well, maybe right now Arcadeotic was quite busy, and if he update those I'll add it here. And this week Mangagamer was delivered the news that Nyuu Jene will be released at 25th and they already released at the site. Try it if you still not yet.
    As for Other section here, this week Conjueror managed to translated Miniature Garden halfway (50%) here. Libra was also had some progress here, and right now they managed to had Lycoris route was at 30% translated. This week apparently the infamous MoeNovel tease us with another announcement. Looking from the red color at their picture, maybe it'll be this one if only following my wishful thinking there although it still not explaining the lotus though. Keep in mind that I may be wrong here, and for trivia MoeNovel was part of Pulltop there.
    Sekai, this week they had quite surprising update in regard of Chrono Clock which they jumped around at almost 16% for the progress from last week (59% translated or as they state 58.99% translated) which of course was good news because I kind of looking forward to Chrono Clock if I may honest here. As for the others, Maitetsu was reaching more than halfway (51.41%) translated, Princess Knight Chapter 2 was 82.23% translated, Tenshin Ranman was 63.57% translated, and Bokukotsu was at 13.64% translated. Oh, almost forgot that this week Akerou managed to had Hoshimemo 67% retranslated here. As for Meikyuu 18+, this week they had entering technical work and because of that this month they didn't had update for Rakuen translation. That's all for Sekai this week.
    Aside from Bishoujo Mangekyou which curiously still didn't had the update yet once again, this week we had Tsui Yuri was finished for the translating and they still had much of work remain (QC and TLC) so apparently 2016 release wasn't possible. For the rest of usual update, this week we had Majokoi was at 54.3% translated and the editing reach 40% mark (40.3% edited), and Loverable was at 24.41% translated and 0.88% QC-ed. For unusual update, this week we had Sukiuso almost reached 40% mark translated (39.4% translated) and for Clover Days this week we had Ittaku managed to translated 80% of twin's route. As for Mahou Shoujo which didn't had update for quite a while (Around 5 months iirc), finally they had update with 7 chapters translated, around 3 chapters edited, and 1 chapter QC-ed (For comparison, the VN was comprised of 40 chapters here). Finally this week we also had surprise here, and it was Daitoshokan which complete for both of translating and editing progress, although there's still some work left though (QC, engine, and image editing) so this year release was also not possible like Tsui Yuri. And like Decay here, I also interested with Daitoshokan here (Decay said it was fun moege though).
    That's all for this week VNTS Review from mine, and see you next week.
  20. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Aizen-Sama for a blog entry, Dear Translation Requesters   
    Disclaimer: At the end of this post I get pretty salty, so be aware of that. This post endorses MY and MY OPINION ONLY. The numbers about the costs of a translation team were researched before putting them here.
    Hello guys. Aizen-Sama here with another spicy rant. Although I haven’t been around the forums as long as other users who have spent their time here several years (I have spent around 7 months more or less at the present time being) I have seen that there’s a huge problem that I’ve mostly seen here, in Fuwanovel, more than any other site that congregates VN fans. In fact, I think that this doesn’t happen anywhere but here, but again, what do I know? I don’t really visit Reddit nor 4chan that much, let alone interact there.

    Anyways, what I want to address is a problem that has been going on since the beginning stages of this site, and that problem is the Translation Requests, or what I like to call “e-beggars” (yes, I know this term has been invented already).

    First and foremost, the majority of people that make these Translation Request posts are usually new users and I’m fully aware of that. But this has been blowing up lately. I know that 4 posts in the last month and a half doesn’t sound like that much, but the proposals are getting so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe sometimes if the guys asking these things are for real or if they’re straight out trolling.

    Let’s take this post as a quick example. You’re scrolling through the forums and see this post, and then the thought comes to mind “Another typical Request Post. Sigh. Let’s see what this guy’s asking for…” and then you see this:

    These posts show nothing more than ignorance and arrogance, as well as no interest towards these groups they are begging to translate something for them. Do these people even understand what it takes to translate a medium length VN? A medium length, around the 35-40k line mark in my opinion, could easily take a year. And the guy in this post begged for 5 medium and long length VN’s to be translated, one of them being >50 hours long.

    But don’t be mistaken, the worst part about that post wasn’t the amount of VN’s he was begging for nor their length. It was the last statement: “Thanks in advance”. Although it sounds stupid, that’s what triggered me the most. A shitty “thanks in advance” is not something that motivates people to do these things. People have to put themselves in a translators’ shoes sometimes. Not only him, but also the people who aren’t translating, but the ones who edit the text, proofread it, the image editors, the quality checkers, etc… Do they think that the task can be easily done if the guy in question knows Japanese? Not even close.

    The secret of a translation project.

    I know this is hard to believe for the e-beggars, but the translation of a game requires an enormous amount of time, and one year to finish the TRANSLATION, not editing, of a medium length VN is a very decent deadline. And I’m talking about a medium length game, not a long one. Majo Koi has around 47k lines. Supposing it had one sole translator and the translator in question did 100 lines a day, the game would be finished in around 470 days approximately, this taking into account he diligently does 100 lines a day, no skipping, no nothing. Let’s convert that into hours spent in total, since that tends to shock people more; 470 days doing 100 lines a day, if the translator is an experienced one, meaning that he has done this before or is a professional in the field, he could get rid of that task in about an hour. But an amateur translator, basically the bulk of the community in itself when it comes to fan translations, could take around 1,5 or 2 hours to do the exact same number of lines. That could mean than in total, just translating could take from 470 hours for the experienced translator, which means around 20 full days translating something, to 705-940 hours for the amateur translator, which is around 30-40 days translating nonstop. And this would be just translation, I’m purposely taking out the other processes such as editing and QC’ing. Do you e-beggars understand the amount of work is being put in these projects? This is why Translation Request posts should be completely banned off this site and instantly deleted. Then again, where would I put my insulting memes towards the op’s to gain likes for no reason?

    Let’s throw in another question now that we’re shifting towards that matter: Is fan-translating Visual Novels even worth it in the first place?

    Before I answer (although it’s probably known what I’m going to say, given my tone) let me address this: I by no means think that fan-translation is bad, in fact, it has been the reason why we’re getting official localizations now and I think that no amount of praise of thanks can equate the amount of work the translators of these projects did in order for this genre to be known better in the Western community.

    But, as sad as it sounds, fan translating at this moment is not worth it. Why? I’ll put in some of the reasons:

    -          Although some members of the vocal community throw in the occasional thanks once the patch is out that’s all the team who translated the game gets. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people might say that recognition counts as some sort of reward as well, but personally I don’t think that’s the case.
    -          No reviews of the translated VN’s are usually made (this is what in my opinion spreads the awareness of these games), only discussion threads are made, which is pretty sad in my opinion.
    -          I’m going to quote something that Clephas said in one of my posts, that sums up this next point:  “Another thing is that most people in the community will never even try to experience fantl from the other side of things... they don't realize how much time it eats up, that emptiness you feel when you realize you've used dozens of hours of your personal time only to put out a patch that people bash left and right for 'errors' and other shit.”
    -          The work put in to translate the game itself is not worth, meaning that the compensation that the translator/team worked for it is not even close enough to what they should be getting.
    Lastly, I want to address the problem that comes with donations, awareness of localization costs/translation costs, and ignorance.

    I’ll cut to the chase; for the people that think that with donations alone you can “pay” a translator to do some kind of game, you’re WRONG. Let’s put an example of what could a medium VN translation cost: let’s suppose that the team consists of three persons, to translate a 1.5 million jp character VN (equating to a 45k line count approximately). The translator gets 1 cent per Japanese character, the editor gets 1 cent per English word and the QC gets a quarter of a cent for each English word. In total, the final price equates to 33k dollars JUST FOR THE TEAM TO TRANSLATE A SINGLE VN. And these prices are apparently pretty shitty for a translator, so yeah, there you go. Besides, why donating a random group of guys, who could easily run away with the money and machine translate the game, or not even translate the game at all, when you can just support the official localizers? Contrary to what some people think they are actually releasing more games than ever and the 18+ industry in the scene has never seen so many official releases ever.

    Summing up this 3 page-long essay of frustration:

    1.       Please for the love of god don’t e-beg or Request for translations. Just no, it triggers people off and it only shows how ignorant you are about what happens behind the scenes.
    2.       Fan Translating in this actual moment is NOT WORTH, only people who are very commited and have a strong resolution will be able to start one, and very few out of those will actually finish the project.
    3.       Donations are NOT a solution to encourage Fan Translation, it ruins the very concept of it and it’s also ILLEGAL. Don’t support an already illegal activity by paying it.
    4.       Before posting retarded shit on the forums please look for other posts similar to what you might want to post. Maybe looking at the responses could enlighten you and help the other users not waste their time by reading the same shit over and over again.
    5.       Before criticizing Translations and patches for “errors” and “typos” and being a little whining bitch how about you try to show interest on how much effort people put on the translation of these games behind the scenes? (This goes solely to the people that haven't experienced working on a fan translation and whine non-stop about "how bad the translation of this is" and blah blah blah.)
    Anyways, I think that’s all the rage out. For those of you who haven’t dozed off already have a nice day and all of that stuff.

    And if you smash that like button you will get your very own… DIES IRAE MACHINE TRANSLATED PATCH. Yes! This is not a scam at all, your own personal Dies Irae Machine Translated patch. If you leave a like you can choose between a Google, Bing, or a Skype translated patch. I’ve invested so many hours on them, it was totally worth though ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).

  21. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Arcadeotic for a blog entry, Bishoujo Mangekyou TL Update 37: The Great Return   
    Alright, I have some excellent news this week.
    Our long lost TLC from over half a month back, Fukukaze, has finally returned back to us. This is great news, and he will be TLC’ing the new, secret project.
    As for the progress, I’m just going to quote my editor on this:
    So, there’s not that much progress like normal, but still progress nontheless.
    Anyways, about the secret project, 10 more days until the reveal. Time sure does fly. The team’s pretty much picked, so there’s no need for a recruitement phase this time around. I’ll leave you with this picture. I’ll applaud you if you guess it right.

  22. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to Arcadeotic for a blog entry, Bishoujo Mangekyou TL Update 36: Smooth Sailin' and 75% edited   
    Well, this update is basically a one-to-one cardboard copy of the previous update.
    +9% on editing, +9% on QC, and +6% on proofreading. Everything’s coming along just nice, with a steady stream of progress, and the game’s now over 75% edited! It’s a huge milestone for us, and it shouldn’t be too long until the fully-fledged patch lands.
    Nothing much to say here. Every smug face I see nowadays strikingly reminds me of Kirie, and it’s 100% because of this project.
    Enjoy some mahou shoujo Kirie.

  23. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to sanahtlig for a blog entry, Sekai Project launches Kickstarter preorder store for Chrono Clock   
    Sekai Project has boldly launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund merchandise for upcoming title Chrono Clock. I summarize my initial reaction.
    Sekai Project launches Kickstarter preorder store for Chrono Clock
  24. Like
    Infernoplex reacted to littleshogun for a blog entry, Day of Anger Review   
    Visual Novel Translation Status (08/27/2016)
    Sorry for very late review here, and my reason here that I also had some real life issue like admin Tay here. Anyway for the title, since Dies Irae mean 'Day of Wrath' and for now that we just got unclear confirmation, so I decided to use lesser form for wrath here (Anger) as the title. About the announcement, well if Dies Irae will be translated and released, this is definitely big news here but for now we still lack of info here (If Dies Irae got released, I'll using 'Day of Wrath' as VNTS Review title here). For now I would said let's just wait and see here, although since Decay said about the confirmation about being translated, might as well check the confirmation later (I admit that I'd still not see the confirmation yet). Oh, and about censoring H for Steam release, no problem for me if they bring Updated Expansion here.
    For this week, nothing special here although Sekai still give their usual update. As usual here Mangagamer will give the update between 2 weeks each ie biweekly so we must wait for next week to see their update. Speaking about Mangagamer here, this week they released 2 more of their nukige (Orc Castle and Detective Masochist). Didn't know much about Orc Castle here, but I think we'll had M detective here if we looking from the title. For my opinion about nukige release here, if those 2 releases will help Mangagamer sales to announce and license more good VN like back in Otakon, why not? Feel free to disagree though.
    Sekai once again give their usual update with one more update here. For usual one Chrono Clock was 31.44% translated, Maitetsu was 24.71% translated, Tenshin Rahman was finally past 40% translating progress (40.69%) and Hoshimemo was 29% retranslated here. Not much comment for usual update here, but for Hoshimemo I think it was quite redundant here because while I see some people had the problem with quality of the current translation, majority people out there didn't had too much problem with it (Including me to be honest). Although I said it was redundant here, I would still like to said good luck here to Akerou for retranslating Hoshimemo.
    This week there's also not much progress for fan translation itself, although of course usual progress was always welcome here (Bishoujo Mangekyou was at 48% edited and 36% QC-ing; and for Majokoi we had 36.2% translated, 20.9% edited, and 11.7% TLC here). Speaking about progress, this time Tsui Yuri give unusual progress here, which was at 33% retranslated right now (Guess I'll see what it means next week). Speaking about the leader of Tsui Yuri translation project (Dergonu), this time he started some guro VN with name Shi ni Iku Kimi, Yakata ni Mebuko Zuou. My taste aside here (Not my taste once again), good luck with the project and as for the progress we had 1 of 69 scripts translated here. This week we also had the progress from Nocturnal Illusion Renewal namely the editing by Ryechu was started. Oh, for this week we also had another project established to translating Loverable, which from first look it was some kind of moege. Good luck to the team here. And for last progress, might as well write it again that for Clover Days we had twins route at halfway (50%) translated.
    Actually this week we had release for fan translation segment, too bad it's not the one that I should looking forward. If some of you wonder there, the release was Mahoyo translation patch up to chapter 6. About Mahoyo, while I knew that there was some praise about it, it was still incomplete even if it's fully translated (12 or 13 chapters, and it'll probably take very long time to be completed) because Nasu was planning for more 2 of the sequels here, and looking from of how Fate franchise gathering the money so much for Nasu and Type Moon, safe to said that it'll take long time because obviously Type Moon will pay more attention to Fate franchise here.
    For Hanasaki, I'd already said about this but once again looks like the Saga Planet VN will be cursed just like August and Yuzusoft in the past (The project never completed). As for Decay comment about Hanasaki, it'll be quite interesting for sure if it's come true but then again if for example I was JAST CEO, I also could said that Shadow of Pygmalion (Licensed by Mangagamer) was my personal favorite VN here. What I want to imply here that if Baba said that Hatsuyuki Sakura was his favorite VN here didn't mean that his company translated Saga Planet VN here. Well, let's just see if VisualArts will localized Saga Planet VN by themselves or keep it 'cursed' later.
    I think that's all for my VNTS Review right now, and sorry for being very late here. See you next week.
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