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Blog Entries posted by kivandopulus

  1. kivandopulus
    Sayonara o Oshiete has a good number of English reviews (1 2 3), plus reddit comments (4), but what strikes me is that all of them are positive despite some noticed flaws. But as a plotge fetishist and pragmatist to the bones, I demand demolition of fake idols. This bastion shall fall today.
    Video playthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh8pCRc3CEs&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv8rKP5oDa1nzt0KevjFrmhw

    1) Sayonara o Oshiete has a synopsis, but does not have a story. Deal with it. Nothing happens, like absolutely. Protagonist just visits three students out of five after school before going home. He sees some delusions involving the students. Getting into heroine route only tells us about each heroine specific theme. Just as theme starts to uncover there's the same abrupt end for each heroine. Credits.
    2) Heroines totally lack charm. Sugamo Mutsuki is presented as a pure angel and supposedly main heroine. But pretty much the first H scene almost made me throw up. There's no realism or depth in the heroines, just specific theme and some cleverly written dialogues paired up with actually eminent voicing. 
    3) Protagonist is no good. He can be renamed and is an abstract mass of destruction delusions. He's impossible to sympathize with. 
    4) H scenes. Roughly only half of them are shocking, but the rest are quite conventional. And that's a huge problem for me. It looks like game bears some idea half of the time, but also wants to appeal to as many players as possible and becomes a plain nukige. From idea point of view For Elise ~Elise no Tame ni~ was perfect. H events in delusions were 100% appalling. Sayonara o Oshiete is basically about same horrible delusions, but with very sexy heroines sprites and often appealing H events. There's not enough real trash in H events.
    5) Loli abuse. Can't deny - all loli scenes are drawn in a very traumatic way here. But I just detest any loli H events, especially such hardcore ones.
     I've seen transformation of nukige genres since the 80s. There has been shift to museum type vns, then to training SIMs, then to devil games, and currently I cautiously try to grasp when the shift to corruption visual novels happened. And Sayonara o Oshiete is the first candidate so far to be grandfather of all corruption games. With the half-measures Craftwork actually managed to depict sexy destruction, and that's no way a compliment considered that I detest corruption games the most.
    Horrible as it may sound, I'm relieved to see game translation project stalled, because completion  would cause an outrageous reaction and backlash at Japanese developers due to very troubling content involving loli characters.
    The only definite strong sides of Sayonara o Oshiete are first-class voicing and great song theme. Visual and textual decisions are questionable. But for me the number of negative elements outweighs it all. The only lingering taste after the game is nausea, and I hope to forget it as a nightmare asap.
  2. kivandopulus
    There are no masterpieces this month. My subjective choice for VN of the Month January 1998 is Machi - maybe it's the impact of 428 sequel. I've very difficult history with Divi-Dead as both times I tried it I fell asleep. No true ending is worth such boring gameplay. And I just can't appreciate dating SIMs without impact on story to evaluate Sentimental Graffiti properly.
    1. Blood Seed 2 ブラッドシード2 [980114] Arkham Products 1 Space cruiser Triant 2 from the free planetary association established a primary contact with an unknown life form while executing its mission. An organism entered the ship and started to attack crew members. No weapons could kill it and the crew had to separate the hull of the ship and abandon it. Then the military ship found the drifting hull, but men were wiped out... First and second missions to annihilate the organism were miserable failures. The four remaining members of third mission had to destroy the ship by destroying it with missiles. With that the incident was supposed to be over... You actually play as the biological organism. You need to explore dungeons and evolve by absorbing girls. With raising levels even the toughest security robots stop being a problem. Game's pretty obscure.  
    2. Kuon 久遠 [980114] M' Kuon used to study abroad, but now enters prestigious research academy in Japan on a secluded island. To pay his bills he starts a part-time job with one of campus facilities. A fortune-teller appears before Kuon giving him meaningless prophecy and promising to meet again... An obscure self-raising SIM. Every day you help out around the campus, do part-time jobs and meet girls. No idea where this all might be going since there is not a single review and there's no patience to get through a SIM game.  
    3. Pompom Pretty Parfait Okosamayou ポムポムプリてぃパフぇ お子様用 [980114] JAST Hero is a college student. Before summer vacation he receives an e-mail from his father asking to manage one of the stores for two months. The store is actually a cafe with cute cosplay girls as waitresses. Will he succeed? You start with four friends working as waitresses and one assistant manager. You need to determine the schedule, converse with waitresses and go on after work events. Each girl has parameters and each girl is only good for one-two jobs, not all of them. There are seven endings - one for each of four girls, one for assistant manager, one for ending up alone and one for failing in sales. The number of events with each girl is small and winning in sales competition during 2 months is quite challenging.  
    4. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Hoshimitou Kanashimi no Fukushuuki 金田一少年の事件簿 星見島 悲しみの復讐鬼 [980115] Hudson Soft 1 The idol at the height of the popularity got involved in a scandal scandal. Idol manager Tachibana Yufu was searching for the truth of it and was found dead. The police asserted Yufu's death as suicide, but there were two people who had suspicions in that. One was former idol and Yufu's best friend Katsuragi Yo and another one Yufu's fiance Takuya Asagiri. The two of them decided to take revenge at a leisure facility "Hoshijima" where the stakeholders gathered, but there was a also present a grandson of Kaneda detective Kanedaichi and his friends .. The purpose of the game is to commit a perfect crime - a murder - and get away with that. It just has everything that I can't stand.  
    5. Private Garden プライベートガーデン [980115] Tetratech 1 A puzzle game where you move blocks to form an image of a guy or a girl using all the blocks. Easy as it sounds, there is little space given to move the blocks and if any block slips off the platform, you have to try again. Do the puzzles and get HCG, easy as that. There is some kind of review.  
    6. Mix Candy 3 みっくすきゃんでぃ3 [980115] Cocktail Soft

    Fandisc containing screensavers, wallpapers and a short erotic story 『性欲ロボゼツリンガー』 as a part of the Erotic Baka Novel series. Story is erotic humorous one about one special robot.    
    7. Maigo no Kimochi 迷子の気持ち [980116] Foster Naoto lives in a famous club that his mother owns, that's why Naoto is well known around the town. One day he sees his classmate Asami wondering around downtown and falling victim to nanpa. After listening to her circumstances Naoto hides Asami in his house. It starts as if there is some meaning in the plot, but then you start to see H events at different places and start to set up your own, even with Asami, so story goes to the background. I still liked the system of moving around the map even thtough story is very linear and you need to go to exact one place each time to progress it.  
    8. Datenshi no Sumika 堕天使之住処 [980116] Apple Pie

    At night, life force is drained by the fallen angels who live over hundred years ... Put your hands inside the skirt of a girl and stimulate the petals. Girl trembles in treasure and collapses... I don't consider it a visual game. Just some intro and H-scenes for each girl.  
    9. Machi 街 [980122] Chunsoft 1 2 3 4 5 6 Machi is a story of 8 unrelated protagonists, all with their own problems and objectives, all living in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan. The story spans 5 in-game days and is told through a huge number of live-action still photographs. The protagonists are varied, including a high school playboy, a gamer geek police officer, a struggling actor, an ex-Yakuza man, a TV scriptwriter and many more. Each of the protagonists lead a completely different story that even defies genres, with one story having a lighthearted comedy style while another having a dark, ominous tone. The player must play all of the stories in parallel, jumping across different protagonists, and backtracking to re-select branches which not only affect the active protagonist, but also other protagonists through often bizarre twists of causality. Since its release in 1998, Machi has amassed a cult following among Japanese Sound Novel players, causing a yearning for a sequel for years which did not come to fruition until 2008 which had the release of the spiritual sequel, 428: Fusa Sareta Shibuya De. There are good English reviews for it.  
    10. Sentimental Graffiti センチメンタルグラフティ [980122] STACK software 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The protagonist, Tanaka Ichirou, is a high school student who, prior to the spring vacation of his third year, receives a letter simply stating "I want to meet you." During middle school, his frequent transferring of schools allowed him to form unique relationships with various girls. In order to search for the sender of the letter, he travels nationwide to various places, and meets the 12 girls of his memories once again. Game has at least three English reviews and a lot of information in English  
    11. Adrastea アドラステア [980123] Bell-Da In 2050 life extinction on the Earth progressing rapidly due to natural destruction, wars, hunger and indiscriminate murder. Humanity lost morality and approaches its end. You are going to leave struggling Earth for distant stars in search of gods who abandoned humanity to regain knowledge and morality from them. It's actually a quiz game to make love with six goddesses each with different topic. After all the goddesses captured you can challenge the Queen of goddesses and regain merits for the humanity.  
    12. Dice Kiss [980123] Meifuru House Karen It's two months before Xmas. The hero decided to find a girlfriend before Xmas. Board game. You throw the dice and move to some field where some event should happen. There are five girls to clear. It's plain tiresome to wait till you roll a good choice for your girl. And the dice rolls very slowly...  
    13. Divi-Dead [980123] C's Ware 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 My name is Ranmaru Hibikiya. Today is my first day at Asao Private School... My uncle is the dean of this school. About a month ago, he paid me a visit and offered me enrollment at his school. Seeing I've been out of school for a long time, I accepted his offer. What was the catch? He asked me to keep an eye out for him. Bluntly, I was to be his spy...No problem. Well actually, there was a problem. Once I arrived, I started noticing some disturbing things. There was violence and misconduct happening on campus, not the usual past times at a private high school. As I got deeper into my investigation, I came across a possible correlation between an underground society and the unusual behavior of my peers. I realized that I could not trust ANYONE. There's just one last thing...After transferring, sometime between all the sexual escapades happening on campus, and my investigation, something horrifying happened to me. I... Join me in my quest to uncover the horrible secrets at Asao Private School.... and find out what fate holds for me... Game is localized and has many English reviews.  
    14. Girigiri Paradise ぎりぎりパラダイス [980123] May-Be Soft 1 GiriGiri Paradise has a rather simple story: the protagonist, a teenager named Keiichi, is having a vacation. Together with three young, pretty girls (initially only friends of his), he goes on a journey, which ends in a small hotel on the sea shore. Exploring the surroundings and meeting local people (some of which are young, pretty girls as well!), Keiichi realizes that this trip is gradually turning into the busiest sex adventure of his life... Game turns into erotic adventure very fast, so there's no real development besides H story. From time to time you have freedom to choose location just to encounter more H events.  
    15. Amandine アマンディーヌ [980123] Flare

    Welcome to the world where imagination and reality mix together in a luscious image. A total of 12 attractive girls with unique personalities wait for you to answer quizzes about them correctly. Nothing fancy here, just quiz with HCG.  
    16. Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy ~Heart no Kimochi~ 魔法少女プリティサミー ~ハートのきもち~ [980129] Interchannel Contains two stories: "Nazo no Shinheiki!? ~Codename wa Kirakira Rakuda~" and "Moero! Honou no Choco ~Valentine made ato 3 hi~" An evil organization captured a mysterious secret ray weapon. Magical girl Pretty Sammy gradually gets involved in the incident. Saturn exclusive for fans mostly. There's full voice and lots of animation.  
    17. Kau 飼 [980130] 13cm Hero is a pharmacist who follows his father's steps who is a president of a pharmaceutical company. Of course, he's not interested in the current work. So in the end father suddenly requests a certain job from the hero - to train sex slaves for Tachibana play. What's with this play and why is he chosen trainer? Training H SIM + AVG with twenty girls. Plot-less nukige.  
    18. Rashin 裸唇 RASHIN [980130] Pias There was a strange woman in the castle I found in the forest. But I can not remember anything. But why I have a sense of deceitfulness... Mystery H adventure. Nothing is really explained. There are rooms and moving around triggers some girl H story. Each girl has two stories and two costumes. A normal nukige.  
    19. Seikimatsu Taimaden Tsumugi-chan SOS 世紀末退魔伝つむぎちゃん SOS [980130] Desire Tsumugi-chan is a girl from a demonic master clan who lives in a mountain temple. While still being inexperienced, a difficult job came in for her one day - to investigate the seven wonders of the school and eliminate the evil contained there. An apprentice exorcist and psychic who can not control her abilities will help Tsumugi-chan to uncover the mystery hidden in the school! Game's based on an ancient erotic manga and the contents is largely erotic plus some bakage.
  3. kivandopulus
    Foreword: Every time I start a slice of life charage I really want to like it. But too many companies follow the same trends and present the same product. For praising reviews please refer elsewhere 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.

    Synopsis: Tsukasa starts to work at a girl's high school after graduating from university. But the school is located at the edge of peninsula, no house around. On his first day of work, he gets out of a bus and walks to the school. And he is surprised to see the school building, a huge western building. Soon after he knows several facts, that this is a branch school, and students are isolated from society for personal reasons. He doesn't know them but it's too late. His life as a teacher starts...
    Game type: School romance
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 6/10
    There are so many English reviews that I don't need to elaborate on details. My personal impression is pretty bad, far below masterpiece level. So I'll just ramble about things that worry me here.

    The biggest mystery for me is some super-positive reviews and great overall score on VNDB and EGS. EGS gives overwhelming median value of 85. The majority of votes on VNDB are for the 9 score followed by 8 with a narrow margin. But let's look at actual reviewers scores from reddit. Out of four reviews there three readers give 7.5 score and one gives 7/10. There are also very critical reviews like these ones (1 2) What's going on here? 
    The answer is hype. This game won the 2007 Bishoujo Game Award as the best pure-love genre game among the voters. But Japanese readers read the game in original and understand all the details, so they can't be wrong, ne? But reality is very different. I noticed it on multiple occasions in the past that Japanese readers don't understand shit. They constantly obstruct plotge and adore moege. They are the real destructive force that turned industry in a moege fest. And I see three reasons why this particular title has such good votes from Japanese readers. They are...

    Lolicon, teacher taboo, sex tilt. Basically, a seemingly traditional pure love game becomes a cradle for multiple fetishes that suit nukige much more than a normal bishoujo game. Seriously, do you remember any other bishoujo game before 2006 with teacher at all girls school as a protagonist? Any sexual relations with students are immoral, but here all the heroines are students and all are active participants in sexual relations. Some heroines might look more or less mature, but some like Misaki are absolutely childish. And by some twist exactly our lively prankster Misaki is a sex-addict in a very late stages. Her route has like six H events or so (I did not bother counting), but here is where our final trait starts to shine. H events in this game are colossal by length. Last time I remember something like that was Tsuyokiss. And by a sudden twist of fate it's yet another title super-popular in the East and moderately unpopular in the West. In both these games H scenes don't exist as isolated skippable pieces at the end of the individual routes. Instead, they start at the beginning of individual routes and take the majority of the route time only occasionally being interrupted by conventional life events. Moreover, these scenes are interrupted by dialogues and then continued again very often. So H events pierce the whole reality, they become the reality substituting any school life. School starts to be treated as just another place to have sex among many others. It's tiresome to edit such routes because every time H event seemingly ends, it may either continue after couple minutes talk or new event starts in couple minutes. So there is always a dilemma to cut this whole mega H event taking majority of the route or cut actual action with leaving midterm dialogues - and in this case there would be too many cuts with too many skip scene notice displayed. 

    But there can't be everything wrong with this game. What's good about it? Actually, there are two games in one here. I don't care which of two writers wrote which routes, but it's evident that one writer wrote Miyabi, Tonoko and Shino routes while the second one those horrible sex-tilt routes of Misaki, Sumika and Yuuna (Yuuna route to the lesser degree as there only some three H events). First three routes are traditional ones - short, relatively fun and with just one short H scene in the end. And exactly these routes are usually positively assessed, especially Tonoko and Miyabi ones. I played Miyabi route as first one, and it was of masterpiece level due to two reasons - natural continuation of common route, plus tsundere personality. Common route is the most important and often most entertaining part of any game. And in Haruka ni Aogi common route is all about chibi principal Miyabi. Most of jokes are based on her tsundere behavior. So her individual route is almost same funny and pleasant. Tonoko is kind of main heroine for those who can't stand tsundere and like serious girls with good personal stories. 

    So this game is very controversial. It tackles dubious theme of love between teacher and students very differently in first three routes and last three routes. And while first three routes make up for a touching school love story, second half of routes should just burn in hell, seriously. And another proof of that is the stalled translation project. Three normal routes are translated in a flash, and last three are so weak and H tilt that they made translation stall indefinitely. I'd really hope to see partial patch with only normal three routes in it. Misaki, Sumika and Yuuna routes should never have been a part of this overall not bad game.

  4. kivandopulus
    Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai - Under the Innocent Sky. and Amber Quartz are the only masterpieces this month. I'm reviewing the latter. micchi has all the same titles, plus some delayed and one nukige.
    1. Saiki Kanpatsu Saishoku Kenbi no Kimi-tachi e 才気煥発才色兼備の君たちへ [090122] Applique -Imouto- There are two schools adjoining each other. They are big rivals and often have a fight. In the schools, there are four girls admired by other students. Though they have special ability, they are a little bit peculiar. The main character is Yuki. He has an old friend, Nanatsu, who is one of the admired four girls. "I'll become prime minister in the near future!" "Oh, you're great." He gets involved in various troubles, but he enjoys his school life with his positive personality... It's a school story that lacks excitement. Game tries to be a moege, but heroines are just not likeable. Heroines are proactive while protagonist hardly shows signs of existence.  
    2. Amber Quartz アンバークォーツ [090123] Cotton Soft There used to be a group of friends. They really trusted each other and their relationship never seemed to end. However, they gradually split up as time passed. Seven years later, Subaru now enjoys his school life with his friends and classmates. But when his old friends appear in front of him, his old memories come back... Despite appearances, it's actually a battle game that supposedly has references to Reconquista, so I'm sold here for review.  
    3. Kikouyoku Senki Tenkuu no Yumina 輝光翼戦記 天空のユミナ [090123] Eternal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The Student Council Election is your only hope. Fight, win, and change your destiny!" Midorishita Yumina is a junior at the prestigious Jinbu Academy. Far from being a model student, Yumina skirts the precarious line between barely passing and failing hard. One day, a young man named Akashima Ayumu transfers into her class. Ayumu claims to have been sent by his father, an eccentric and possibly delusional man who ordered Ayumu to find and protect Yumina, whom he believes will one day save the universe. Ayumu and Yumina are at odds from the moment they first meet. They bicker endlessly, day after day, until finally Yumina goes too far and starts a fight just before a critical test. Her failure dooms her to repeat the year. But just when it seems all hope is lost, a mysterious girl named Kurokawa Kirara appears and invites Yumina to run for Student Council President. According to Kirara, whoever wins an Election War and becomes President will have the power to change any school rule he or she likes. Realizing that this is her only hope of becoming a senior, Yumina agrees to join the race, and drags Ayumu along for the ride! Thus begins an epic tale of love and friendship in which youthful passions run high and debates shake the foundation of the heavens. Who will emerge victorious!? RPG is localized and has English reviews.  
    4. Kokoro Hokenshitsu ~Kimi to Naisho no Counseling~ ココロ保健室~キミとナイショのカウンセリング~ [090123] Custard There is a boarding school in the town. It is well-known as a prestige school, but most of the students have complicating family problems. Yes, the school was actually founded by the government for those students. One day, a transfer student comes to the school. He is quiet and polite, so he soon becomes friends with other classmates. As a matter of fact, he is an efficient counselor sent by the board of education. He acts as a student outwardly, but he secretly starts counseling to the girls in trouble.... It's actually a concealed nukige since first choice leads both to choosing a girl and H scene with her. Very simple approach.  
    5. Mystereet ~Other Side of Church~ミステリート~アザーサイド・オブ・チャーチ~ [090123] Abel Software Akito, who has a special ability, is in pursuit of Rei, a mysterious girl. One day, he is told a shocking fact from a mysterious thief called Sapphire and he decides to work with him. Sayaka, a private detective, also joins them and they try to solve a huge mystery and find another fact... It's another mystery solving game in Mystreet universe to such an extent that full picture won't be understood without playing Fukagyaku Sekai no Tantei Shinshi.  
    6. Tokino Senkaトキノ戦華 [090123] Studio e.go! Tokiwakoku. It is located at the southern edge of Toki no Kuni. They are now at war against Honohara no Kuni. Honohara just tries to get a precious stone called Tokigane, which exists only three in the world. Princess Ruri owns one of them, Soun, king of Honohara, also has it, and the last one is now missing. Soun tries to collect all of them to prove himself as a unifier of the continent. Most of the territory of Tokiwakoku is invaded by Honohara and the main base is about to be destroyed. Their one and only hope is Tokigane Ruri owns because there is a local legend that the stone will save the country when it is in danger. When she uses it, a convulsion of nature happens and a boy appears in front of them. "I don't know. I don't remember anything except for my name, Hayato." Like this, Hayato's battle starts... RTS  
    7. Akimaho!あきまほ! [090130] Klein Кazumi lives near Akihabara. One day, he gets involved in an accident and becomes a magical girl!? His mission is to save Akihabara?! This is a story of love and courage in Akihabara... It is a doujin level game about flirting in Akihabara. Weird bakage about otaku culture appeal.  
    8. Maou to Odore! 2 ~Change of the World~魔王と踊れ!2~change of the world~ [090130] catwalk There is Libfar Kingdom located at the center of the continent. It is a small country surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains. The country is between two big countries, but they keep balance and peace using clever diplomacy. The main character is Soron, a soldier of Libfar. He is an old friend of Marie, a princess. He is not satisfied with his life recently. "Am I on the right track?" He decides to leave the country and go on a journey. But one day, an evil religious group invades Libfar. Soron tries to stop it with Marie... RPG  
    9. Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai - Under the Innocent Sky.俺たちに翼はない ―――under the innocent sky. [090130] Navel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 This might just be a "what if" but, A certain day, Gretagard's pure white sky was overrun by winged ones. Now, the sky extends just about anywhere and everywhere, right? So no matter how far you run, you can't escape those white wings of theirs. And that's why the people without wings went looking for a sky of their own. Their prayers were listened, and they are now listening to "Jingle Bells" in a calm country--- This might just be a "what if" but, What we will tell you about now, is such a fairy-tale. There are English reviews.  
    10. Pygmalion ~The Dark Romance~  [090130] Stronger 1  Johann, a doll artist, lost his fiancee, Gulietta, due to illness. He is now extremely depressed and stays in his studio all day. In the studio, he secretly creates a doll... that resembles his deceased fiancee, Gulietta. However, the doll never heals his sorrow.... "I'll give anything if someone gives life to this doll!" A girl, Bell, suddenly appears in front of him and says, "I'll do it for you. However, you'll need to give me "the ties of friendship with your friends" in return." He has nothing to lose. He doesn't care what will happen to the world as long as Gulietta comes back.... Like this, a tragic rondo starts now.... There is an English review.  
    11. Shukufuku no Campanella 祝福のカンパネラ [090130] Windmill Oasis 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 The story takes place in Ert'Aria. The city is called "the city of treasures" and people are now busy preparing for a harvest festival. There is a mysterious power called Ale. If you gather Ale and crystallize it, it turns into a jewel. Once in every seven years, the harvest of Ale increases. The main character is Leicester. He is an item engineer and belongs to an adventurer group called Oasis. He also looks forward to the festival. A group of shooting stars fill in the sky in the year when the harvest of Ale increases. Yes, today is the day. Carina, Leicester's old friend, can't wait for it, so she takes him out into the town. At night, when Leicester and his friends have a party, a shooting star comes towards them! It passes them and falls down nearby. They rush to the venue and find a secret room. The room is filled with mysterious atmosphere and a girl sleeps in the bed. When Leicester looks at her face, she wakes up and says, "Oh, you're my father!" Her name is Minette and she leads Leicester and his friends to an adventure... There are English reviews.  
    12. Suzunone Seven!スズノネセブン! [090130] Clochette 1 2  There is a prestige school called Suzunone Magic School in the world where magic is established as one of the energies. However, the school has some dropout students. The worst seven students are forced to take part in a studying camp called Suzunone Trial. They take exams and they will be dismissed from school if they fail. It's time to decide the worst seven again... There is an English review.   BLOCKED   1. Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Maboroshi no Shoujo~ 快盗天使ツインエンジェル ~幻の少女~  [090101] Kuroneko-san Team 1
    Cheerful and energetic, but sloppy childhood friend Haruka and young lady Aoi transform into twin angel thieves of justice at night to regain precious stolen treasure. Fandisc   2. Mikuri Makuri みくりまくり [090123] Hooksoft
    Fandisc of Fairly Life focusing on the heroine Takaoka Miku.
    Fandisc   3. Heileen: A Trip to Bavaria  [090129] Tycoon Games Heileen: A Trip To Bavaria tells the story of a trip Heileen did for her 16th birthday to a small village in Bavaria. There she will met Magdalene and they will become very good friends, but… what are Magdalene's real intentions? EVN
  5. kivandopulus
    The only masterpiece game of February is Yatsu no Na wa Diamond
    1. Let's! Pirates Trouble Vacances Let’s!パイレーツ とらぶる・ばかんす [970207] ZyX Two female pirates earned lots of money and are came to a resort. They get interested in rumors of a mad scientist experimenting with monsters creation and look into the matter only to get caught themselves. Les SM H bakage story. The interaction between the main heroines is pretty fun, but rather short. Windows version has a nice 3 minutes intro animated video and seems to have more animated scenes, but I failed to launch it on modern pc.  
    2. Seiyoku Gakuen Seraphita 聖翼学園セラフィタ [970207] Space Project Futanari Rei transfers to an all-girl school to seduce all the pretty girls in the local student dormitory. First of all, game is from Space Project that only produced really trashy works to the moment. But this time they initially create a supertrashy environment to stir up the craziness. Second part of the game is mostly erotic, but first part is quite enjoyable as there are many strange jokes and dialogues. Some lines are voiced, so atmosphere is relayed all right. It has some charm, but second part quickly hit all the enthusiasm out of me.  
    3. Yaku Tsuu ~Noroi no Game~ 厄痛 ~呪いのゲーム~ [970207] Idea Factory Co., Ltd. 1 2 A game company has released a title only for it to be received coldly by the press. The company's president disappears soon after, and mysterious deaths begin to occur. For all those very small number of people who liked the prequel - here's the awaited (?) sequel. At least they have the guts to joke about the curse of the game company after releasing a bad game. Graphics are so weird and scary that this game received one of the worst ratings everywhere - probably from people who never played it. Game is quite short, hardly reaching two hours. You start just as before, in the group of five. It's also a sound novel, but the story is much more impressive than in the prequel and it tackles some deep themes.  
    4. BS Tantei Club ~Yuki ni Kieta Kako~ BS探偵倶楽部 ~雪に消えた過去~ [970209] Nintendo R&D1 1 2 3 Ayumi Tachibana returns to her parents home in Ochitani village over vacation to visit her mother, Toshie, who is recovering from illness. She meets with her mother and her old friend Reiko for the first time in years, hoping to ease her fatigue by relaxing at her childhood home. However, Gozo Kusano, the former mayor of Ochitani village, is found dead the next morning in a secluded area outside his house. Toshie was the discoverer of the dead body, and she is apprehended by the police as a suspect because her footprints were the only ones found in the snow near the crime scene. While waiting for her mother to return from the police station, Ayumi learns of a long-lasting feud existing between the Tachibana family and Kusano family. An ochimusha legend passed on in the village, an investigation from 18 years ago, and this new murder all tie into a set of serial killings which Ayumi must solve before it is too late. Quite famous NES detective series. There is an English review.  
    5. Amagi Shien 天城紫苑 [970214] Clip House Kimido Fumi is a popular mystery writer. But she also solves incidents in real life. In a local ryokan she is asked to investigate the death of a man. The main feature of the work is live action and two famous former AV actresses playing the main roles. There seems to be a 18+ PC version, but Saturn one is much more widespread. Content is quite specialized and aimed at detective dorama viewers.  
    6. Ekudorado ~Kagami no Naka no Oukoku~ エクドラード ~鏡の中の王国~ [970214] Black Package 1 2 A young high-school student named Seirou has a normal, boring life: days resemble each other, and so do the nights: every night he sees the same strange dream: two girls talking to each other, one of them saying something about a coming darkness... One day, he and his female classmates find a mirror in an abandoned house; when they touch the mirror, they are transported into the magical medieval land of Ekudorado. The hero must first find his classmates, who are scattered around this world, and then find a way to return to our reality... RPG and card battles mix. Story is one-way road and there aren't grinding opportunities, but if you lose, you're transported to the closest town and can gain some more exp on the way. Cards balance is not the best and some elements are just better. There's no real connection between the battles and H-scenes. There's very little justification for inventing the whole parallel world rather than just start in it. There's no story behind using cards. Game feels like its elements are gathered randomly and it does not encourage to explore its world.  
    7. In Days 淫DAYS [970214] Lunar Soft Collection of five short stories: 1. Over the Dream 2. 罠 3. TU. I. SI 4. 究極解決因果マン 5. あたしはあたし Stories are of erotic nature and end in 5 minutes each.  
    8. Roommate ~Inoue Ryouko~ ROOMMATE~井上涼子~ [970214] Datam Polystar 1 Ryoko is seventeen, her family has moved from Tokyo to New York, and she is staying behind to finish school. Her father (a friend of your father's) has asked that she move in with you in your apartment (where you have a spare room) so she can complete her studies. But Ryoko misses her family and is emotionally vulnerable - so it's time to for you to do some moving in of your own. In Roommate Ryoko you have three years to develop a relationship with her. Using a truly innovative real-time feature, the Saturn's internal clock affects how the game plays out. There is an English review.  
    9. Yatsu no Na wa Diamond 男の名はダイヤモンド [970214] Pis-Ton Soft 1 2 In the beginning of 21th century, technology has evolved in unprecedented ways. But so did crime. Huge corporations, which were in fact criminal organizations, came to control the world. Finally, a mega-corporation known as Connection has taken the power in its hands. Everything was sponsored with its money; the governments and the law were silent. Only vigilante groups called "Connection-Killers" still tried to resist. In 2015, in Detroit, one of those people, nicknamed DD, witnessed the death of his comrades... A year has passed. DD moves to Brain City - a highly developed, modern city, the center of scientific research. It was built on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, which appeared after a volcano eruption. It is controlled by Connection. DD opens an investigation office in the city, trying to get to the heart of Connection and defeat his old nemesis, despite the hostile atmosphere and the grave dangers that await him there... Gameplay is walking around the town and encountering enemies beating them, so not too intriguing. But game is chaotic in a good way - it uses all kind of weird enemies and lots of gags. A work with lots of charm, but it came for PC-98 when the tides already turned for Windows and romance games.  
    10. Hizumi 歪み [970220] MBS Truth 1 Hizumi is Japanese word that literary means "warp" in English. Like the word "warp" implies, the whole game is so twisted that it is [almost] impossible to happen. Basically, the game is about you, the main character, doing the same twisted thing everyday. You're constantly having sex with the girls in your class, teachers, mother, and friends. Having sex with girl is just like a normal exercise in game. Hizumi first starts with the main character [I don't know how to translate his name] having "fun" with his stepmother and ended next day still having fun with his stepmother. After the special "treatment" from your stepmother, who is no longer living with her husband or your father, you went to school and have more fun with your classmates and teacher. During the break of each class, you will walk around the campus and talk to many people (mainly girls). If you went to the correct place at the right time, H-scene will follow afterward. After you got home from school, you will find yourself reading adult novel and all the sudden your stepmother came in and night excercising with you. Hizumi is a game filled with twisted fantasy. Every event happened in the game is twisted. You would have fun with an OL (Office Lady) while taking the subway to school. You would get special couching from your teacher in her office. You would be invited to a "special group basketball training" from your friend. You would play a doctor-patient game with a girl you grow up with. And, the most twisted part of game is that you would have fun with your stepmother every day and night. There is an English review.  
    11. Tasogare no Kyoukai 黄昏の境界 [970220] Tiare 1 2 This is a horror-adventure about a high school student who is a treasure hunter. You'll need to explore some horrifying dungeons to investigate a mysterious sequence of murders. Hero lands hands on one of five manuscripts stolen from mysterious village shrine. When all five are gathered, it's rumored to be possible to summon a demon. This is ... an exploration game, sort of. You see the dungeons from first person view like in old rpgs and have to watch your lamp and draw maps to get through the maze. Events are generated on moving through the map. There are ghosts encountered on the way but they are mere obstacles - if you fight them you die. Game deliberately tries to confuse leaving lots of things hanging in the air. For example, the meaning of the title is not clear at all or the conclusion that this demon is involved with the murder. There's a lot of torture in map drawing and getting through the maze. Probably the best part of it is that we get an ending with one of three female characters once we deal with the demon.  
    12. M Hard [970221] Aaru 1 You're a normal college student. Your mother needs a heart transplant. Your father's mechanics shop can't pull in nearly enough money to pay for the surgery. Just then, this rich sadistic woman shows up and makes you an offer. She'll get the best doctors and pay for the operation, IF you become her slave. There is an English review.  
    13. Ningen Konchuu ~Nozoki~ 人間昆虫~覗き~ [970221] Poison Breath When the guy was a child, he killed a lot of insects, about 100 a day. Now, as their revenge, he got turned into insects and has to live as a mantis, bee, spider and beetle. Will he ever be able to return to human form? He will never view insects the same way again. Poison Breath games are always nauseating and dark, but this time they surpassed themselves. The vision of two humanoid insects with insect attributes having sex is not that easy to sweep away. But since the second title relates to peeping, most of the time this disgusting insect just peeps.  
    14. Boku wa Keiichi Onna Janshi no Itazura 僕は圭一 女雀師の悪戯 [970228] Segue Laboratory Hero arrives to the dormitory only to find that no good rooms left. He decides to challenge his female sempai in a stripping card game to get the room. Very short straightforward game. Game uses some specific BGM handler so it only launched with BGM off for me.  
    15. Taxi Genmutan ~Strange World Act. 2~ TAXI幻夢譚 ~ストレンジ・ワールド Act. 2~ [970228] Sorciere 1 Hero is a taxi driver. He chooses which passenger to take on a ride and can opt to interfere in his client's affairs at any moment. Same as prequel, some uncommon entourage is chosen for the stage. Lots of different stories can originate from the taxi and game provides lots of variants for development. Total number of branches is 42, but stories are very short.
  6. kivandopulus
    Kitto, Sumiwataru Asairo Yori mo is VN of the Month, Bengarachou Hakubutsushi makes another masterpiece. Micchi is especially excited about Natsuyume Nagisa and also about Owarinaki Natsu, Towa Naru Shirabe , but too much sweetness for me.
    1. Rosario to Vampire Capu 2: Koi to Yume no Rapsodia ロザリオとバンパイア 恋と夢の狂想曲 [090723] Compile Heart The school called Youkai Gakuen High School Tsukune entered is actually for monsters. But there are a lot of pretty girls. One day, Ginei plans to hold a school festival called "The Youkai Fes". The story just goes on involving the Otonashi sisters. But days later, Tsukune suddenly starts having an erotic dream every night. How come...? Anime spin-off  
    2. Angel Magister [090724] Mana 1 2  There is a world which is divided into the heaven region and the devil region. Baal is the man who leads the army of the devil region and tries to fight the heaven region. But his ambition is soon destroyed... He is confined for 100 years and all his memories are erased. He is now released, but there is no job to take... But one day, he is recruited as a teacher at a magic school in the heaven region. He jumps at the chance and decides to work there. In his class, there are a lot of dropout students. He takes in charge of three students and works hard! Days later, his ex-coworkers suddenly appear from the devil region and the atmosphere of the heaven region gradually becomes uneasy...
    There is an English review.  
    3. Bengarachou Hakubutsushi 紅殻町博物誌 [090724] raiL-soft 1 2 3 4 Tomohisa has some memory of his childhood. When he was a kid, he was often playing at some place near his house. But his parents don't remember it. Tomohisa doesn't remember it clearly, either. One day, he finds a notebook. It is about history and things happened at a small town. It's just eccentric, so no one pays attention to it. But he knows who wrote it. It's his uncle, who has been missing for years. The notebook includes a town he spent his childhood. He soon gets interested in the town and decides to visit there. Days later, he arrives at the town, but there are a lot of strange things and customs in the town. He finds various curious goods there and gradually gets to know a secret of the town and his past....
    There are English reviews. And I wanted to play it for quite some time already.  
    4. Kagura Douchuuki 神楽道中記 [090724] Debo no Su Seisakusho The story takes place in a deserted spa town. One day, the residents go missing one by one, kind of spirited away.... While police investigation doesn't go well, some more mysterious phenomenon happen. The police decides to hire two mikos to investigate the case. But they are totally different, like oil and water. Will they be able to solve the case...? Features random dungeon generation, the Kagura-typical defeat-ero scenes and a multiplayer mode. RPG  
    5. Kitto, Sumiwataru Asairo Yori mo, きっと、澄みわたる朝色よりも、 [090724] Propeller 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 We were always together. Irreplaceable friends. There was a strong tie between us even we got separated. Several years later, we have a chance to meet again at school. There are only four classmates, but that's enough. Only us. However... "Stop acting like before." Our relationship gets cold and distant. It's only me who believed in our eternal friendship. What made us like this...? "Ayanashisai Festival" Each person was given their own color. "Red" I make up my mind to establish our good-old relationship again... There are many English reviews. But I need to play it myself.  
    6. Kurenai no Tsuki クレナイノツキ [090724] Alcot Honey Comb 1 2 3  Kouya, a rookie detective, is walking deep inside the forest. It was two weeks ago, a hand of an unidentified creature washed up on the shore of a river. Hard and thick skin, bristle like an animal, thick fingers and sharp nails, it was not a human's hand. Also, there was a jewel ring on the ring finger. This mysterious story was featured in a magazine and caught people's attention. Days later, the police found that it was a woman's hand, who had been missing for a month. She went missing when she played golf with her friends nearby. The police confirmed she was attacked by a stray dog, but couldn't explain why the hand looked so differently. They tried to close the case, but her husband wasn't convinced. He didn't want to believe his wife was a monster. He decided to ask a detective to investigate the case, that's why Kouya is now roaming around deep inside the forest. It is getting dark, but he doesn't know where he is now. Just when he feels dizzy, he hears someone's voice. Is that auditory hallucination? He hears a girl's voice this time. "I've been saved!" But he accidentally falls down a waterfall. When he regains his consciousness, he finds himself lying in the bed. He looks around and finds three girls. "Are you alright?" "Well, did you save me?" "Yes, I and my older sister carried you all the way here." Their mother says to him, "I'm relieved to see you getting well. But you must marry either of my daughters, Sunao or Hiori." He doesn't know what she means. A mysterious hand bitten off by someone, a small village deep inside the forest, marriage to a miko, Kouya's fate is led to unexpected direction after he meets these two girls... There are English reviews.  
    7. Owarinaki Natsu, Towa Naru Shirabe 終わりなき夏 永遠なる音律 [090724] Age 1 2 3 4 5  In Kyushu, there lies the small village of Sunomura. In that small village, four childhood friends, Touma Takumi, Ogami Ritsuko, Amamiya Kanon, and Takanashi Mio comprise a small music club at the village school. One day, Takumi happens to see and hear the violin performance of Orihara Ai, a girl who recently moved to the village and transferred into the school. This performance later eventually causes Ritsuko to resolve to recruit Ai into their music club no matter what. However, one day, one of the childhood friends is separated from the other three, but before doing so passes on her role of "Supervisor" to Takumi. Later, they learn that the school they all attend is going to be closed down in one month due to a government-ordered evacuation of the village. Everyone resolves to make their last month together as memorable and enjoyable as possible before the school closes down... There are English reviews.  
    8. 77 (Sevens) ~And, Two Stars Meet Again~77(セブンズ)~And, two stars meet again~ [090731] Whirlpool 1 2  There is a world where magic is widely spread. The story takes place at Tenryou International School, which is famous for an elite training school. The students are divided into three groups: Intelligence, Power and Fate. A school festival is held once a year. The main event is a battle in which a girl and two supporters are chosen from each group and they fight for a selected man, who has a special ring. Yes, the main character is the one who accidentally gets the ring.... While he is persistently chased by heroines, a mystery of their school gradually comes out... There are English reviews.  
    9. Ano Aoi Umi Yori あの蒼い海より [090731] Lilac Soft "I thought everything would remain the same...." Sora has just moved to a town in the country. There is nothing special, but comfortable.... One night, he meets a girl on the beach. He soon feels attracted to her arrogant behavior and mysterious atmosphere. On the next day, he meets her again at school. She says, "I'll become your friend...." Sora has mixed feelings, but feels something warm inside his heart. They gradually cultivate their relationship involving other unique residents. Just when they feel happiness, the world is about to change again. When they meet, their crooked and complicating fates cross.... What will happen to them in the end...? "My one and only wish is not to forget you...."
    Story is monotonous and short. Development is absurd and uncomfortable. Sick hero is having various drama with (sometimes also sick) girls. Emotions are poorly drawn for an utsuge, so reader inevitably starts to feel unsatisfied and unhappy because of the quality, not because of compassion.  
    10. Ashita wa Kitto, Haremasu you ni 明日はきっと、晴れますように [090731] Hug Natsuhiko is back to his hometown for the first time in ten years. It's a quiet seaside town, but changed a lot. There is a big bridge, where he often played, in the town. The bridge still remains the same. During summer, a big festival is held in the town and a bamboo grass is displayed on the bridge with numerous tanzaku, small pieces of paper on which people write wishes. The bamboo and tanzaku have a local legend, "Only one of the wishes on the bamboo will come true...." No one knows if it's true or not, but people believes it. This is a story of boys and girls who make a wish on the tanzaku...
    Atmosphere is warm enough, but perfection level is low, so impression deteriorates with every new route. There's no true route after capturing all heroines, so can't find anything special here.  
    11. Fault!! フォルト!! [090731] Ciel 1 Shuuichi belongs to the tennis club. There are only five members in total, but he enjoys his school life with them. One day, the situation around him starts changing when Shuuichi gets injured in an accident. While Ai, one of the members, takes a good care of him, Mio, his younger sister, stays grumpy. In such an ugly situation, a big accident happens which changes the whole situation... There are two main heroines and two sub heroines, plus there is a harem route which is unavoidable for a game with H tilt. At the start love triangle is already broken, and there is no NTR. Story is thin and lacks excitement.  
    12. Mecha-Mimi メカミミ [090731] Candy Soft 1  Kotarou is now living at his aunt's house because his parents have gone abroad on business. He just lives a peaceful life with his old friends and classmates. But one day, he is attacked by a group of two girls on his way to school. He is saved by a girl called Yuno. According to her, she is an android his grandfather invented. Kotarou is surprised to hear that and runs away from her. He tries to forget it, but Yuno transfers to his class on the next day. "I'll work for Kotarou. I'll watch him anytime, anywhere. I swear I'll be his sword and shield...." Like this, his life changes completely... But he might have been wanting this sort of adventure life... There is an English review.  
    13. MQ ~Jikuu no Hasha~ MQ ~時空の覇者~ [090731] Abel Software 1  Shou, who faced his mother's tragic death, was given a word, "Collect fills...." As a matter of fact, she wasn't his own mother. He, who was surprised to hear the fact, got to know his varied fate soon. One day, a girl appears in front of him, "The world is being destroyed, Avatar." "Destroyed? Do you mean we are going extinct?" "The council has decided to erase you...." "Me? Killed? How come?" "Because you are the one who will lead this world to ruin. I objected to the decision and left the council. Collect fills as soon as possible...." The girl, who came to this world to protect him, promises him to care for him as a valet. She also tells him that she is a daughter of the former valet. "A daughter of the former valet?" "Yes, the girl who used to live as your mother. I'm her daughter." "...!?" The girl tells him to get out of this world soon. Like this, their adventure starts....
    There is an English review.  
    14. Natsuyume Nagisa ナツユメナギサ [090731] Saga Planets 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The story takes place on a reclaimed island, where sunflowers are planted all over, beautiful butterflies fly around and stray penguins roam around. Nagisa is a boy who can't remember his past. One day, he meets some girls. As the story goes, he gradually finds an important person deep inside his memory and true himself. The summer you were there. The summer you weren't there. The summer with you. Through various events with the girls, what kind of memory will he reach? There are English reviews.  
    15. Tiara [090731] Symphony Four years ago, a high-class school was established on the premises of the castle. One day, Creed, a soldier, is invited to the school and ordered to protect princesses from evil people. He meets Mio, his old friend, Silky, the woman of his dreams and so on there.... His mission is to protect them, but the story goes the other way, involving their surroundings. Who are the evil people? What's happening around them?
    Atmosphere is similar to previous work Ojou-sama Kumikyoku , this time it's a princess school and not just girls school. I hated that game, so there's not a single chance here.  
    16. Yumemiru Koi no Musubikata 夢みる恋の結びかた [090731] Atu Works There is a shrine which is said to bring romance called Ataragi Shrine. At the shrine stands a cherry tree, which always blooms in summer, inside the shrine. The local legend says if a boy and a girl tie a string on a branch of the tree together, they'll be happy forever. One day, when Tomoya visits the shrine with Taiki, his friend, they meet a girl, Sasaya, in a miko's uniform. She is actually his classmate. Days later, when he bumps into her in front of his house, Sasaya suddenly says to him, "I... love you...." Also, three different girls, Asuka, Emiri and Koeda, suddenly start approaching him at the same time. Is it just a coincidence? Or is it because of the cherry tree? Like this, Tomoya's life dramatically changes.... Damn, the second wish tree inside one month. And again there are multiple writers responsible for different routes. Slice of life scenes are full of bakage behavior. Light summer mainstream work without uniqueness.
  7. kivandopulus
    For the time being, I prefer stories without romance at all, and BLACK SHEEP TOWN is a safe bet for me, as for others, time will show   1. BLACK SHEEP TOWN [220915] BA-KU  The setting of this work is "District Y". It is a cosmopolitan downtown area where immigrants from all over the world live, and it is full of energy of visitors who enjoy its unique atmosphere, but the other side of the city is a dangerous area where gangs rule and the police have no power.  A decent Renya Setoguchi sound novel story in the setting resembling old Hong Kong. Gangs attack each other, serial maniac with transformation ability terrorizes community, and protagonist alongside officials gets involved in the center of conflict. Story zaps from one party to another.   2. 2045, Tsuki Yori. 2045、月より。 [220930] MELLOW ——Will humans still have “hearts” in 2045? 2045. Androids help people and undergo experiments to get more and more human-like. A boy who hates androids, Ieiri Sou, in a local city meets a woman who is a cutting-edge android born on the moon. Longing for the human world, she escaped from the research institute and disguised herself as a human to run a coffee shop. A boy who has met a strange person gradually learns about the strangeness of the city. A student net idol, a nun Sister with superhuman physical abilities and a hidden face, two detectives from organization Public Safety Section Zero, gang leader with overwhelming charisma - they all get involved with human boy and android girl. First two works of MELLOW were rather weird and of low price segment, this one is first full price. Nice cheerful setting, and the whole runaway android problem gets solved easily and early, so it's less about the story and more about the chosen girl. It all depends on implementation.    3. Hana wa Mijikashi, Odoreyo Otome  華は短し、踊れよ乙女 [220930] ensemble  It was about 100 years ago, in the 10th year of the Taishou era. In the midst of a glorious and turbulent time. The protagonist, Yamashina Rin, a kabuki actor who mostly playing onnagata roles, suffered a major setback in one of his performances. However, he found hope in the words of a blond girl he met by chance. In order to improve himself and return to the stage one day, he decided to transfer to an all-girls school oversees by a principal who is an admirer of his, and changed his name to "Fujinami Rin". What awaited him at the school was his first exposure to the glamorous world. The students are the daughters of the prestigious families and foreign students from the West. Arranged by the school's principal, Rin was accepted as a member of the "Eikakai", a group of five maidens who represent the students. In addition, he was assigned to live under the same roof with the Eikakai's girls. There, he also found Chris, the blonde girl who saved him. An election to decide the top maiden, "Nadeshiko no Kimi", will soon be held. Eventually, the purpose of the Eikakai was revealed to Rin, who knew nothing of the situation. The school is currently in the midst of a conflict between the Japanese and the foreigners. In order to solve it, an election will soon be held to decide the top maiden, "Nadeshiko no Kimi". The candidates in the election are the five members of the Eikakai, including Rin. While Chris is the lead candidate for the Western side, Rin has been nominated by the principal as the lead candidate for the Japanese side. Although he was caught up in the principal's scheme, Rin gladly accepted it, as he saw this as an opportunity to improve himself. Thus, with the future of the school and all the girls who attend at stake; The dazzling days of the maidens begin. Trap protagonist story is the last thing I would check out, so let's wait for first impressions   4. Homemaid Sweet Pea  ホームメイドスイートピー [220930] Silky's Connect ["Homemade" family made by a maid] "It may have been temporary at first, but it can be a real family." Verbena Manor is an unusual share house run by a maid. There, the residents of Verbena Manor, including the main character, do not know the feeling of a happy family that everyone normally has. This work is a story about them "living as a true family even though they were born differently and have different relations." New Silky's subsidiary, so it may be anything in the range from moege to Nanairo Reincarnation, although trial has worrying signs as starts too conveniently     5. Houkago Cinderella 2 放課後シンデレラ2 [220930] HOOKSOFT Spring. The protagonist, Kuzumi Arata, has moved to a new town because of his mother's job transfer. Up to this point, he always has regrets about his student life. "What have I been doing with my youth?" He had a part-time job that warmed his pockets. Still, he felt left out, surrounded by people who do their best in club activities and enjoy their love lives. Because of this, he decided to say farewell to his old student life and have a fresh start. Fortunately, he was blessed with new encounters in his new student life. A good male friend. Friendly classmates. An attractive, quiet, and cool classmate. A cheeky kouhai who gets tangled up with him. An enigmatic beauty he met on the train. However, he still has trouble with how he should spend his student life. Inspired by the words of Oze Hazuki, the daughter of the landlord who lives next door, he decided to enjoy his time at his new school leisurely. Then he realizes his inner desire and makes a decision. "I want to have an ideal student life where I can go home after school with my girlfriend!" As Hooksoft game and moreover a sequel, no one should have any illusions left by now   6. Role player: Tororo Shimai no Nenmaku Portrait - Gurigucha LIVE! Role player:とろろ姉妹の粘膜ポトレ ぐりぐちゃLIVE! [220930] AKABEiSOFT2 One day, I lost something precious. I went to several cosplay events, and took some pictures to satisfy my lust. However, the camera that contained all the pictures was destroyed in an unfortunate accident. Perhaps they didn't want to see my cry anymore, the Yamakake sisters, Sana and Yua, who were involved in the accident, said to me; "Would you like us to cosplay for you instead?" I accepted their offer. Their bodies look lewder than anything that I have ever seen in any erotic manga, and they were willing to be my very own cosplayers!! I put the skills I learned as a fashion student and my hobby of making costumes for dolls to good use, creating costumes for the sisters, and as luck would have it, I was given tickets to the cosplay resort "Costaria", located on a remote island. This was an opportunity for me to get the best portraits in Costaria. However, what awaited me on that island was so much more than I could imagine! "Let's have a different kind of cosplay today." "Erotic role-playing. You'd like that, wouldn't you?" The sisters whispered those words to me. With my very own cosplayers, I'm going to make extreme and intimate portraits that cannot be shown to anyone. I wonder if it's okay to make them── AKABEiSOFT2 continues to issue otaku nukige which often have better humor and buildup than normal charage     7. Tonari ni Kanojo no Iru Shiawase ~I Fight with Summer となりに彼女のいる幸せ~i fight with summer~ [220930] Prekano "Then a camp! Let's have a training camp in the summer, instead of a reward!" The final exam is over and the summer vacation is about to begin. The club is on the verge of disbanding, but a new member and kouhai, Serizawa Chisa, requested me to hold a training camp at the sea. With the club's small budget, we managed to plan a one-day camp in the club room and at the sea. However, there is no way that a camp with a self-indulgent and mischievous girl like her is going to end without a hitch...... The sea, swimsuit, battles!? In the end, what is my relationship with this girl next to me!? A different summer from "that time" (if) is coming! Not fan of single heroine romance low price stories, but since they're issued at consoles, can't ignore them either   8. Tsui no Stella 終のステラ [220930] Key If I make it to the other side of the sky, I can become human... Earth has been taken over by a group of machines that created a "singularity." Humanity is forced to live hidden in the shadows. One day a transporter receives an odd request. Their cargo this time will be a girl android developed as a family member substitute. She is unaffected by the Singularity Machines. Despite being put off by the girl's naive behavior, the transporter sets out on the journey. Sometimes it's human bandits they must evade, other times it's the machines they run from. Undeterred by such dangerous situations, they press on to make the delivery. The girl often talks about wanting to become human. Their destination is a space elevator, so tall it appears to pierce the sky. The rumor is that androids who make it to the top can be made human, but is it true? I feel like Key is lost in self-repeats of not so good but sold well and low effort planetarian ~Chiisana Hoshi no Yume~ in a constant chase for a fast buck. I'd be happy if I'm proved otherwise 
  8. kivandopulus
    Foreword: I just had to try Elf adventure title. Now I joined the army of Hiruda scenario fans.
    Title: ELLE
    Original Title: エル
    Developer: Elf
    Release Date: 1991-06-23
    Summary: Post-nuclear world last survivors dome city. "Black Widow" organization is trying to obstruct plans for human survival while anti-terror organization along with lady sniper Elle oppose them.
    VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v2293
    Video playthrough: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq_KMeaBzd3g0HXL2znhn-eQ
    Game Type: Point and click adventure visual novel
    Story Length: 7 hours.
    Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy!
    Comments of Difficulty: One-way road. The worst thing that can happen is that you can miss optional H-scene or couple CG.
    Character Design Rating: 9/10.  Story Rating: 10/10. Protagonist Rating: 10/10
    Game Quality: 10/10
    Overall Rating: 10/10 Rating Comments: I did not really expect this work to surpass De-Ja. But it actually did! Could not stop till finished it in one sitting. I can not give excellent mark to Characters since it's an adventure story and there's little time to crack complex characters. But apart of that I loved every second of it. Point and Click is much more fun than Interactive Adventure choices. There is much less effort needed to capture flags to progress the story compared to De-Ja, mostly because you don't need to think/look/investigate etc - story progresses just by talking and checking different locations for new stuff.

    Structure: Game is one piece so it was difficult to say how much progress was left. Almost at the very end I was still of large amount of story to come since there were still two locations closed - but - BAM - unexpected stuff showed up and story shortly ended.
      Story: First things first. I've NO idea what girl is depicted on game poster. The only blonde girl in the game was secretary side-character. That's not fun making a poster out of non-existing character. And there is zero trace of game's alias title - L-Elle.
    Story felt a bit shorter than De-Ja. I can't avoid spoilers although promise not to spoiler heavily about the ending. So you join a unit of snipers to investigate recent abductions of humans by Black Widow organization and their leader Gimmick. "Sniper" is just a cool title, all you have is a hand stun-gun with volume ranging from light stun to lethal shot. So five of them are of low ranks and their officer is of S rank. You actually are of SS rank but you can't reveal that so it's blank rank and you're subordinate of a different intelligence body. One of lower rank snipers is girl named Elle who takes you on a tour around Media center and the city and then leaves alone. First you encounter a girl sexually assaulted by two Black Widow members, then as story progresses there are two more sexual assaults that you prevent right in the media center, the base of sniper organization. The attackers have bombs explode on arrest. Then one by one fellow sniper team members start to die just after they approach the mystery of Gimmick identity. Their bodies are gravely destructed, partly dismembered with all entrails out. Eventually Elle joins you as an investigation partner and together you eventually manage to reveal the secret of Gimmick. Then Ex-Machina happens (in a good meaning, nothing extraterrestrial or stupid) and everything ends in the spirit of Matrix.

    Characters summary: Characters are all depicted very lively. It's a brutal man world story so males advance the story while girls here are just service staff : waitress, receptionist, nurse, pop-idol, tv drama star. They have quite episodic roles and involve a single H-scene each (Chris actually has one and a half since you save her from street gangsters in quite an intriguing state). So Elle is the only heroine here.   Elle: El Mines is a sniper division member. Right from the start she marks you as a pervert and you by chance come to the same place together following the same lead and find the body of first fellow sniper. After that She feels responsible and volunteers to join you to find Gimmick. She's quite a typical Elf main heroine very similar to Gachako from De-Ja. Loud voice, constant use of "ne, ne" , emotional behavior. Just like Lipstick ADV and De-Ja written by Hiruda before, the most fun stuff happens when she follows you to well-known locations and comments on everything and quarrels with every female around.
      Protagonist: Joe Takanaka is the default name, but actually you get to insert your own name just as game starts. Again, very similar to De-Ja, protagonist is one hell of a pervert. Whenever he sees something with a skirt, he can't stand but to try to grab it, to lick it, to kiss it and to devour it with his eyes, of course.
      Sexual Content: Low. But freaking funny! There are five sexual assaults made throughout the game by gangsters and in four of them you actually join the assaulters! One superfun scene is of Section chief who we found guilty in murder. So he takes his secretary hostage stripping her while threatening with a knife. We don't have a good angle to shoot him so we just join him to harass her together. The fun part is that he cries : stop right now, it's my secretary, what are you doing to my subordinate. Since it's point and click adventure, you can't skip scenes but must gradually kiss/touch/lick etc, but the good stuff is that H-scenes give you a new lead by the end of it, so it's not just a senseless act, but a plot move.
      Affection for the Characters: High. Every male characters has strong individuality and you won't be able to forget them. Every female character is very cute and fun in her own way.
      CG Score: 10/10. There aren't too many CG here, but I just love Elf CG, even H-CG and guro ones. Special note should be given to animations. There are hundreds of 3D animations in the game. Most of objects grow legs and other limbs and do weird things on clicking. Very fun stuff. Really. Every second object on a screen. Another great feature is short videos in most important plot moments. They are of great quality and they make you forget that you're playing a visual novel game. It's totally like anime in those scenes.   Sound Score: There are some 20 compositions and most of them were so-so, just to break the silence. I have not remembered any brilliant ones, but it probably due to the fact that all the multiple animated scenes have their own sound, not the usual compositions. But I never once got tired of any track and never ever felt like one track was looping for too long. So 8/10 it is. Addictiveness: I'm hopelessly addicted to early Elf works now. And ELLE is awesome mostly because of point-and-click style. Now it's really interactive experience and you really feel like playing, not clicking every possible variant in each location over and over. Just talk and walk.
    Humor: Yes! I'm distinguishing a special column for humor here. Game treats everything unseriously. Just look at this picture. Nurse whipping patient to make him drink medicine properly. One guy hanging on a rope. Another one in speed wheel chair. 3rd one smells a pile of poo. Next pair are having sex. Next to them is a nurse who's masturbating with a sofa. To the right is the guy who holds his own eye. Just below is the guy with his head in his hands. This nice grandpa in lower right corner has a dick showing up from his head and cumming on clicking. Every object is clickable and everything produces fantastic commentaries and/or animations. This no restraint humor is the best!

    Technical Difficulties: Game is based on old fullscreen Direct-media and DirectX so it basically freezes on Alt-Tab, but as soon as I tried to run it in window-mode with DXWind, it was perfect.

    Conclusion: Game that I'll never be able to forget. Every piece that I like came together and produced pervert protagonist comedy adventure story in sci-fi setting with a single intriguing story-line and great shock in the end. It's the first VN game I played that I liked without any but's.
  9. kivandopulus
    Foreword: I don't believe Alice Soft - they can only make eroge and bakage. But this game was highly praised overseas. Who knows, maybe it's the game that can overcome my aversion.

    Title: Diabolique
    Developer: Alice Soft
    Date: 1998-05-28
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v2261

     Synopsis: In this world, here are two kinds of intelligent beings. One are humans and the other are Diaboliques. Diaboliques possess power, violence, intelligence, and eternal life. Their life form was categorized into four levels, the lowest division lacking intelligence, reproduction ability and beauty and the fourth being very intelligent and able to change form.
    For thousands of years, human race has been suppressed by the danger of diabolique. However, a legend has passed on through generation that there's diabolique that kills its own species. This diabolique was Azulite - one of the only five Lord Diabolique (the ones of highest category). Being known as the "species killer," Azulite has come up to kill diaboliques. At here, he met a girl named Letticia. Her innocence and tragic background has attracted Azulite, and soon Azulite fell in love with her. However, the two lovers were separated after Letticia was killed. They promised to see each other when she was reincarnated. Carrying with the promise, Azulite once again set off on a journey looking for Letticia.

    Structure: There are roughly five big parts corresponding to five different time periods.
    Length: 16 hours
    Game type: Command selection adventure
    Difficulty: Easy. Story is one way road and bad ends are possible only if make a bad decision in battle. Even then the game kindly suggests to load from the beginning of the battle rather than finding your earlier savegame.
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 10/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 10/10

    Rating comments: Two games in a row with a 10/10... either my standards are that low or the games are that good. I actually stand for the latter. My only complain to game quality is that it's not voiced and music only lasts for couple minutes and fades before the next scene is reached. And I did not particularly like the way the five Lord Diaboliques were presented. We get short scenes with them between the main Azurite story parts and only by the mids of fifth final part we're told their names and their governing elements. So through the game they are just random guys and when we get acquainted to them, there's already a climax part pending. I'd like to get more of Lord Diabolique characters.

    Protagonist: Azurite is absolutely fabulous as a protagonist. He lost most of his memory, but he knows that he's the strongest of Lord Diaboliques. He remembers he's searching for something and wanders around killing his kin and getting food and shelter for that. He travels in a human form and he looks like a very tall elf with his long hair, slender body and big sword. But in this cruel world drowned in blood he's the only gentelman. He's very polite, kind, good-mannered and modest. He never drawn his sword against any human no matter how bad he's bullied or hunted (well, not in human state at least he-he). And he's a one-woman man. From the moment he met Leticia in humiliating conditions he felt a deep sympathy towards her. He's never laid an eye on any other woman and when one woman throughout the story tried to force herself on him, his manhood could not react at all. He's very loyal and that makes the story unique. Well, he's quite sensitive too and he can afford to cry when he's with Leticia. He's a great cook and at mornings he always greets Leticia in an apron and with a ladle inviting her to have breakfast. 
    Characters: Each of the five story parts has its own set of characters. I adore party adventures and story part 2 and 3 were about adventuring in two different parties and that was absolutely cool. I really liked those different party members with fancy characters, but they don't play significant role. Only Leticia follows throughout all the parts (actually, even she's absent in one part) and enemies. There is also Aria girl that has an important role in 4th and 5th story parts, so let's look at those two girls.

    Leticia: Well... she's different. Part 1 shows us canonical abused scary girl. Part 2 is an absolutely different, bold and picky personality and a different appearance. Part 3 is again totally different from those two, but I would not like to spoil here. In Part 4 she's absent and in Part 5 she's basically canonical Leticia again, but she remembers all the previous reincarnations as well. Well, she's quite a typical heroine like in many single heroine stories. Sensitive scared crybaby who knows next to nothing about the world and that gives Azurite an opportunity to act protective and teach her basic facts about the world. But as for me, Part 2 and Part 3 Leticia reincarnations are much cooler, totally different personalities and great stories.

    Aria: She's a usual native Indian girl, curious and brave. She recovers Azurite body when he falls into a trap and takes care of him while he recovers. But Azurite falls into the same trap for the second time (well, he's not wisest man) and she dies stepping up and getting all the blows that were ment for Azurite. That's an inevitable spoiler because there's not point discussing Aria as human. Azurite makes a misfortune (intelligent creation) of her she stays protecting those ruins and waiting for Azurite. Well, that's the biggest charm about this girl. She's becomes a killing machine, but she regains her memories - she looses humanity, but she has intelligence and senses. She's condemned to wait for Azurite for hundreds years in that dark den and eventually he comes... not alone, but with Leticia. There's a very touching scene of jealousy risen inside Aria towards Leticia and that and her damned fate make her a very memorable character.

    Story: Story is superb throughout first four story parts. There's a lot of diabolique fights, lots of death, lots of adventuring. Part 2 and 3 features adventuring inside two different parties and that's just the best moments of the game. Part two is also a perfect slice of life on top of that. So we get to know Leticia in part 1 and eventually lose her. In part 2 after 60 years we discover her soul in a different girl and eventually lose her. At this point I already thought I knew what would happen in leftover parts. But part 3 is totally shocking - there's no Azurite in it, there's no Leticia in it - main three characters are a pub girl, a huge warrior woman and pub girl's brother who wishes to go adventuring and joins that huge warrior woman. For two hours the story lingers and you start to put up with the fact that's it's a totally different story when - BAM - Azurite appears in a totally unexpected way - BAM - Leticia appears and the chapter shortly ends. Ok... now I adjusted my expectations and the leftover stories were bound to be the same Azurite is searching for Leticia, but in other humans forms, easy as that. And fourth chapter gives another shock - there's Azurite in his usual for throughout the whole chapter, but Leticia does not make appearance in this chapter at all - not her soul, pretty much nothing! Just wow. So fifth chapter should finally be about meeting of two heroes, right? NOT. For one and a half hour you watch a slice of life about 7-year old reincarnated Leticia and her 7-year old friends. And I'd like to assure you that watching a slice of life about 7-year old first graders is not fun in any way - that was the most torturing part of the game. But fifth part is the longest one (about 5 hours long), so there is enough time for heroes union and new confrontation setting and final resolution. I'll tackle the fifth chapter in Themes more.
    CG: There's a lot of CG, actually. I'm totally satisfied by is quantity and quality. Here are some gore CG for the taste of it. There's a lot of CG, actually. I'm totally satisfied by is quantity and quality. Here are some gore CG for the taste of it.


    HCG: Believe it or not, but there are only two and a half hentai scenes in the game. Two scenes for 16 hour long gameplay. I'm sorry, is this really Alice Soft? Well, it is. In order to make up with just two H-scenes there are a lot of half-naked/naked shots. A lot of enemies are drawn the way to amplify eroticism. There are a lot of flashbacks and occasional nudity scenes, so don't worry, it's very much Alice Soft, just adapted to fit the pure love eternal reincarnation story. And the only Azurite and Leticia H event is one of the most memorable in my gaming experience. There's no music and no voice during that. Only the rising and fainting gusts of wind are heard. The scene is maid as manga scrolling strips overlapping each other with up to 4 small screens deployed at one time. Very beautiful and touching.

    Sound: Sound is my biggest complain. I'm used to unvoiced games, that's ok. But each bgm fades after some two minutes and during the rest of the scene there's dead silence so I really often had to check whether I forgot to turn on sound or something. Actually, there are also nice sound effects during actions, but everyday life scenes lack them a lot.

    Themes: So first four chapters were pretty much brainless merry adventures with some sad resolutions. I loved those the most. But then came final fifth chapter and game suddenly turned into a nakige. The great diabolique/human war broke out and our heroes are hunted from both sides as well as by four Lord Diabolique. Leticia shakes in hysteria crying that's she's tired of running and hiding asking to leave her alone. Azurite is totally depressed as well because he can't give anything besides his feelings to the woman he loves. Those are very depressing scenes that last throughout the whole fifth chapter. But at the same time a lot of serious questions are raised.
    1) Time brings change. Leticia was hiding in the forests with Azurite for 11 years and now she's 18 and she's tired, she wants a normal life. Feelings alone aren't a solid basis of relations.
    2) What's better - to reincarnate, lose memory and start anew or to keep on living? Surprisingly, I feel like the game says that reincarnating even with memory loss is much better. First four chapters are a vivid example of it. It used to be a great romance story, but once heroes got together and Leticia turned 18 things have changed. She'll soon get old and die of boredom in the forest. Bearing the burden of past lives memory is already difficult. So when fire kings visits her alone in the forest and suggests to wipe her memory she's pretty much ready for both memory wipe and even death and reincarnation since reality has turned into such a heavy burden.
    3) What's good and what's evil? Diabolique Lords are almighty cruel creatures that enslave humans, but with the story flow we start to see their characters, their griefs, their losses and they aren't seen as evil anymore. Humans used to be on losing side, but with the invention of firearms the balance shifted and humans started to kill even 24 Diaboliques getting very close to hunting Diabolique Lords. While diaboliques mostly used humans for sex pleasures, humans started to torture diaboliques just for the sake of revenge and those tortures were inhumane. At fifth chapter we're given the ultimate choice - shall we support the Diabolique Lords or shall we keep on hiding and fighting diaboliques. Supporting Diabolique Lords leads us to the first game ending with Azurite regained memories and power of Lord Diabolique of darkness and Leticia happily living with him. This is not a true ending, but I don't see it as a bad ending either. Humans with their lowly desires are hardly better than diabliques. While they were weak, they used to humiliate their own kin. And the story of Leticia in Part 1 is a vivid example of that. Now they got the power and they start to torture and humiliate even diabolique gods. Under diabolique lords dominance the Earth survived for thousands of years and they never really cared much about the humans, never tried to wipe them. And there's big question whether the human dominance going to be better. Azurite understands that and he chooses the third way. No spoilers.
    Humor: I don't really need humor to enjoy the story, but it can be a very nice addition to the story. In this game those seldom humor moments present were of Alice Soft bakage heritage. Here's one example of its "humor". Chapter 2 Leticia takes Azurite's clothes and gets to wash it while Azurite sits covered with a blanket. He wants to get breakfast and set coffee, but Leticia notices that it's dangerous and he could get a scorch. Azurite suggests that he wears an apron to prevent that. -But you don't have anything to wear, all your clothes is being washed! -I can wear an apron as I am! -NO! PLEASE! NO WAY!

    Overall comments: Atlach-Nacha was the first game of Alice Soft to shake my beliefs in Alice Soft as a sucky company. But it's Diabolique that made me surrender and shake off all the grunts. Diabolique is really an astonishing adventure and pure love story. It's ever surprising, mysterious nature keeps the thrill on all the time and I finished this 16 hour story in just two sittings. It has plenty of touching moments and an ultimately satisfactory ending. It's a waste to bury such story just because the game is old, has command selection gameplay and meciocre sound support. You can always glimpse on the game through my video playthrough as well.

  10. kivandopulus
    Foreword: Game first arouse my interest as alternative version of Subarashiki Hibi. Then I tried to get the glimpse of it by watching hentai OVA... and it was the worst hentai OVA I ever seen, so I was really infuriated since it did not say much about the game. Finally I've picked it up while investigating year 1999 and it struck me as something more serious than a nukige, especially after seeing those demon mind-screw CG. And it's been a while since I enjoyed a visual novel that much.

    Title: Tsui no Sora
    Developer: KeroQ
    Date: 1999-08-27
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v3246
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq8vJwICEnwWJOz0Yf6ycKz3

    Synopsis: Our guy got waked up by his childhood girl for school. Once they got to their classroom, they found out that a girl classmate jumped from their school roof yesterday. Soon, people started talking about end of the world on day 20th. Some even went crazy, lead by one guy. You get to see the events first through our guy's eyes, then his childhood girl's and two more people.
    Structure: There are two routes - for Kotomi and Ayana, then there's the route from Kotomi point of view, then the retro-route from Zakuro eyes, then villain route from Takuji viewpoint. And it all finishes with epilogue route for Kotomi and Ayana.
    Length: 7 hours 30 minutes.
    Game type: Mindscrew end of the world theme ADV.
    Difficulty: Easy since there are only 3-4 decisions to make.
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Rating comments: I did not expect such high scores. Characters aren't voiced, but somehow they manage to feel alive. There are so many protagonists in this game that the rest of characters are easy to understand and remember. If it was only for Yukito, protagonist would get a full 10. Story does not seem anything special on the first glance, but with each route it opens up new depths and raises new questions making it a very integral, memorable and personal experience. I can't rate game quality good for the lack of CG, unvoiced heroes and macromedia director engine.
    Yukita makes the perfect protagonist for me. He cites Kant, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, Bible all the time. He looks like a hooligan, but is absolutely faithful and reliable even though he tries to shrug it off with crude words. He's pretty much the only one who stays calm, trusts in logic and comes to everyone's rescue.
    Kotomi is Yukita's childhood friend. She is quite nice as a heroine, but when she becomes protagonist we get to see her constant hesitations and anxieties. It's a pain to see her crying "I don't know anything anymore", thinking "I must be alone and get stronger" and running away from Yukita at school.
    Zakuro is the classmate of Yukita and Kotomi. At the beginning of the game she's already dead having jumped from the roof. But her story was the most impressive one for me. But more of it in the story part.
    Takuji is the villain of the game. A shy small boy who at the same time wants to peel everyone naked and sentence to death. He's really cool as protagonist for having all kinds of hallucinations that make the game a mind-screw.
    Characters: Who do we have left? There's classmate Otonashi Ayana who has her own route, but is not a protagonist for she's the most mysterious character in the game and her manner of thinking should not be revealed. There's also classmate Yokoyama Yasuko who enters the same kendo club as Kotomi, but at the same time really sympathizes Takuji end of the world ideas. Yasuko brother is the biggest supporter of Takuji as well. There's also guy Ozawa that bullied Zakuro, but at the beginning of the game he's dead. There's a magical girl Riruro, but her existence is under a huge question, hehe. We also have medical department teacher.

    Story: I can't really tell about the story without some spoilers (although I'll try to hide heavy spoilers under a banner), so be aware. 
    I. Game starts from Yukito perspective 7 days before the disaster and he can opt for either Kotomi or Ayana as the main heroine. The choice only determines couple short scenes of each heroine and determines whether Kotomi H event opens up or not. The contents remains the same. First two days are spent in mass neurosis as classmates keep jumping from the roof and rumors about the end of the world keep spreading. Then there are two days of open conflict of Takuji with the school that result in dangerous cult creation. Next two days are notable for Kotomi kidnapping by the Takuji group and her rescue by Yukito. The final day is not clearly shown.
    II. Then starts the route of Kotomi which is exactly the same route, but from the eyes of Kotomi. She's there mostly to add girlish thoughts to the narration and of course to show her two days of captivity and torments (read: H events) while kidnapped. So it's kind of non-important fan-service route.
    III. Well, when you think that the game is over, the next route opens up. And instead a week before the disaster we go to two weeks before the disaster to the body of Zakuro. She got raped and made photos of by bully Ozawa one day and from that time was blackmailed into intimate relations daily. But once she gets a letter saying "Rejoice, your torments will end tomorrow". Since it's the most impressive route for me I'd only tackle it under the spoiler banner.
    IV. The seven days before the disaster are shown yet again, but from the eyes of main villain Takuji. We get to see how his ideas are formed, what pushes him, how he recruits allies and eventually names himself the savior of humankind. From that point it's hard to determine delusions from truth as he sees monsters, magical girl Riruru, her spirit father and gets instructions from them, but most of the time he seems to just be talking with the graffiti wall. He starts as savior of humanity, but through demonic teachings soon recognizes the need to purify humans before the final skies by killing them. The longest and weirdest route, but at the same time it still feels light.
    V. Epilogues sheds light on events after the day X and give more questions than answers.
    CG: Too few! But characters standing sprites usually look so good that the lack of CG is not that grave.
    Sound: BGM includes few, but atmospheric short cycled compositions and there is no voicing at all.

    Humor: Apart of this funny moment of skirt flipping there was one real joke. Yukito and Ayano stay at the roof. Ayano asks "- What book do you hold in hands?" "- Kant" " Why would you need a book about girl's genitalia?" "Wrong! It's not about that!" "So it's called just CAN'T? Why would you need a book about impotence?" Then he tries to tell her Kant and Wittgenstein theories. "Wittgenstein? Is that the male apparatus?". I don't remember any more moments, but for me it's important to have at least one funny memorable moment. 

    Themes: There are a lot of themes. 
    1) Is the end of the world possible? Yakuto tries to find an answer in Kant, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard and Bible books. He uses Kant's antimony to make a conclusion that the beginning of the universe is not provable and thus there can't be the end of the world. 
    2) The war between light and darkness forces to impede/fasten the end of the world - is it real or imagination of fanatics? One certain route is devoted just to this theme.
    3) Who actually saved the world? Was it Zakuro, Ayana or maybe even Takuji? All three came to contact to the higher essences and could influence that. Of maybe the world never needed to be saved and those are just superstition and ignorance? We have to figure it for ourselves.
    4) The separate question is who is Ayana? Her every word is mysterious. She does not have parents, but she's always present at the most gruesome events late at night at the school.
    5) What this game is even about? Again, you decide, the first two collages of screenshots allow to treat the game as spiritual mind-screw, youth criminal drama or eschatological religious confrontation of heroes and devils.
    Overall comments: I have not read Subarashiki Hibi and can only judge it by reviews and vndb. But what I see there is that the core of the plot and the characters are absolutely the same. SubaHibi was enlarged immensely to fit the modern demand, but such detail would not be possible without this little weird gem from the 1990s.

  11. kivandopulus
    Foreword: Who does not know of Leaf company? Who does not know that its games Shizuku and Kizuato are considered the first modern type visual novels? But how many of us actually played those? There are some good English reviews of those (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) and I initially only relied on those as well. But the historical significance of Kizuato made me change priorities. Throughout the rest of 90-s and the first half of 2000-s I encountered quite many story-focused visual novels that are described by Japanese reviewers as "degraded version of Kizuato", so I really needed to see the original myself to get the proper idea. As for Shizuku... it came first and is a curious blend of old and new types of visual novels. Why did Leaf bother to make two remakes of it if it's a plain nukige about radio waves? Or maybe it's a dark-themed masterpiece akin to Moon by Tactics? I hope to answer those questions here. And I decided to make a comparative review to spice things up. Screenshots on the left belong to Shizuku, on the right - to Kizuato.
    Title: Shizuku | Kizuato
    Developer: Leaf | Leaf
    Date: 1996-01-26 | 1996-07-26
    VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v235 | https://vndb.org/v184
    Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4ivg044iMI&list=PLENAECnNmAq-I8SGBuae4loVKdMDk6axP 

    Synopsis: When one of his classmates suddenly gets mad in the middle of the class, the protagonist's uncle, one of the teachers in the school, asks him to investigate this matter after school. He starts the investigation with the help of one of the girls from his class, an investigation that will lead them to many horrors...
    The protagonist is visiting his four cousins' home. He starts to have weird nightmares. Soon, he finds out that their family has non-human genes and the beasts in them want to hunt, and the ones who hunt are the males. Will he be able to help his cousins, will his love be enough or will he be devoured?
    Structure: Three routes + Omake with total number of endings being 12  | Six routes + Omake with total number of endings being 26.
    Length: 25 hours | 40 hours
    Game type: NVL AVG | NVL AVG
    Difficulty:  Easy as there are few routes and branches, but to get all 12 endings best to follow walkthrough  | Moderate as there are many routes and endings and it's easy to miss some of bad endings and some omake routes
    Character Design rating: 5/10 | 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10 | 6/10
    Story rating: 5/10 | 8/10
    Game quality: 7/10 | 9/10
    Overall rating: 6/10 | 8/10
    Rating comments: Nukige-like story really hurts Shizuku. All the main events happen during just one day and there's not even remotely enough time to get to know the girls. Girls also aren't too cute or interesting. Protagonist is a faceless embodiment of the player and we make all the decisions for him, so his presence is not felt at all. Still the game manages not to fall into nukige category and maintains its storyline which is worth praising.
    Kizuato characters are totally adorable - every one of them! Each route follows a different pattern. Story is a fascinating one and each roots adds new details to the overall story. Protagonist is a faceless one and without much presence, but a good game does not need the protagonist to be great. So the question hangs in the air - why not 9 or 10 score then? As for me the routes are rushed and follow the same pattern - general route up to the half of it, then getting to know one of the girls better, then something bad happens and we hurry to help. And even though some details are added in consequent routes, those don't add much to the story and after first exciting route - second, third and fourth routes look really plain. True route was also disappointing for me as it added finally something new to the story, but failed to present a satisfying finalizing mark just freezing the state of events as it was.
    Protagonist: Nagase Yuusuke is quite a failure as protagonist and being called Nagase-chan by the girls makes him even more humiliating. A totally generic high school student.
    Kashiwagi Kouichi is a young adult, so he is at least mature. He's also not really a generic protagonist since he has quite a background behind him. He comes from an ancient Kashiwagi clan and his father mysteriously died as well as the girls father. So he has some mystery behind him, but I don't remember his face being shown and he does not show special personality traits in the dialogue, so I'd call him generic protagonist.

    Saori is a red-hair cheerful volleyball team member. Her route comes first and it's a really good route. And not just because of novelty as we see the carcass of the story for the first time. First - Saori has a bright personality and laughs a lot. Second - there is only one H event in her route and it's a voluntary one. Third - her route has the most of life essence as Saori and Yuusuke openly oppose the enemy, put up hell of a fight and emerge victorious from it. If only the other routes were similar. There is also one strong and shocking moment in the route bad ending, but it's the only bad ending that has nothing to do with H events, so it's really nice.
    Mizuho is short brown-hair student council secretary. Being the filler mid-game route it is the most miserable route. Mizuho cries often, feels miserable about herself, admits lying all the time and is drawn as a totally self-insufficient personality. She has no friends but Oota and was dragged after her to the student council. Mizuho has no motive to help with the investigation but to help Oota. And on top of that the route is full of helplessness and rape with it ending only thanks to external factors, but not the heroes.
    Ruriko is a mysterious short blue-hair girl who turned from a school idol to a weird goofy girl a year ago. She's more like a robot than a girl, but she has a very strong sixth sense, a mysterious aura around her and she gradually gains human traits throughout her route which looks really satisfying. Her route is a true one answering many questions, but it's also a route that features a lot of bad endings with all of the three girls and in that regard is very tiresome to get through.
    I would also like to notice the absence of sub-characters in this game. There aren't friends, schoolmates or some external characters. All we have is Yuusuke's uncle and the three girls under influence of radio-waves - one of them being Oota and the others aren't even given names.
    Chizuru is the oldest of sisters and the route is the most exciting one as it's full of action and cool-looking CG. Many other people as well as myself call this route a favorite one.
    Azusa is a tsundere and has a misfortune to present one of the middle routes - and the result is truly grievous - route is full of H events and adds nothing to the story.
    Kaede is a cold-hearted calm sister who devotes her life to a shire. And for the whole route we try to reveal her human traits. Her route tells us the clan story and gets to understand the routes of the problem.
    Yumiko is a side-character who works as correspondent. Her route is a very short one (just one hour long!) and is basically a single long H event.
    Hatsuno is the true route to my deepest regret. She's the youngest loli sister with bright personality and affection for her onii-chan. I really hoped she would not have her own route, but I guess developers needed an imouto route as well - and Hatsuno makes a great imouto.
    Rikka route added only in the last remake of 2009. She's a totally new - maid - character that comes with a totally new after-story with a new villain. And it's a totally good route that adds lots of new cool everyday life scenes for old characters. But just remember that it was not meant to be in the original game and should thus be treated as a sequel with old characters, but since it's just one route it was not wise to release it stand-alone so it was released together with original.

    Story: Shizuku story is almost entirely retold in the synopsis. Oota gets mad one day and goes to the hospital. When uncle asks us to investigate strange gatherings of students at night school we can either investigate it or ignore it. If we choose to ignore, we're showed the graduation ceremony that becomes a huge orgy because of commands passed by radiowaves. So radiowaves use is not the mystery of the game - it's showed in the very first hour of the game. Only the mystery of personality of the villain persists, but it also becomes soon uncovered as we come with one of the girls to the night school to bear witness of the events happening there. Each girl has her own reasons to accompany the hero to the night school, but those don't change anything - a confrontation happens followed by game's end. So the game has no mystery, no story and no likable characters (maybe apart Saori) - what's the game for then? My guess is that the game is a thrilling eroge in unusual conditions, nothing more. It barely manages not to fall in the depths of nukige and presents mostly a historical interest.
    Kizuato story is not really special. First half of each route takes nice and warm slice of life with only distant sings of the beast living in Koichi. In the second half something happens - either a mysterious enemy shows up or someone gets kidnapped or like in true route we just get to find an ancient cave and explore it. So it's a simple enough composition. But through the dialogues we get to uncover many secrets of the past and get to know the girls well. The most intriguing question is what about the beast part? I'd say it does not have that much emphasis in the game, actually. We get to have strange visions and people torn apart, but there's no telling if those are of Koichi doing. And thankfully beast instincts aren't used as a pretext for rape scenes - that happened only once. There aren't bad endings when Koichi would wreak havoc and kill everyone. Mostly beast instincts only show up during confrontation scenes. And the main theme of the game is learning to control those instincts. So as I see it Kizuato is more of a charage with a fancy intriguing plot rather than a full-scale action driven story. Rikka route is so big that it can easily qualify for a different game. It has a new serious story with some new characters and and presents a very satisfying development with a lot of interaction with all the heroines.

    CG: I only played the remastered version, and there are only some 10 non-HCG there which is a dreadfully small number. But what I really liked in Shizuku is the use of camera focus and animated camera shifts. Those really help to put emphasis on dialogue situations and show better what's going of from hero's perspective. Overall there are few outdoor daytime scenes in Shizuku and omnipresent dark areas make up for the gloomy pressure atmosphere.
    There is a moderate number of non-HCG in Kizuato, but both CG and HCG look great and really refined there. Most of dialogues take part in well lit areas or on sunny days outdoors which contributes to good impression.
    Sound: BGMs are very few and I grew tired of listening to the same main tune each time something important happened. Voicing is good, but due to the game nature those moans really get stuck in the head.
    BGMs are sufficient and pleasant, but not special. I totally liked the voicing since the four sisters have very different personalities. Hatsuno voicing is just perfect and always enjoyable to listen to.

    Shizuku is not a too complicated game, so it's useless to search for concealed meanings there, but I liked that each character route had a different theme. Saori route has the power of reason and overcoming even hardest obstacles for the right thing. Mizuho route is based on friendship with Oota and has a nice resolution of friendship prevailing all the odds (even though it's the the most weird ending as everyone just forgets about the villain). Rikka route is centered around the inner connection of two siblings.
    The curse makes the make theme of Kizuato. The whole clan is cursed with transformation affinity, but the males of the clan also subject to madness at some point of their lives. Koichi is the last male descendant of the clan with the rest of males taking miserable deaths full of suffering. Noone was ever able to cure it or control it. This desperation makes the theme of the game, but on practice the beast problem does not stand as grave in the game.

    So Shizuku is not our usual galge, but it has an absolutely awesome part. That's omake. Main game suffers from lack of slice of life part and omake makes up for it. It's a total bakage that breaks the fourth wall constantly. It looks like seiyu and scenarist just wanted to fool around and had their full at it. Basically heroines discuss the game and what kind of character everyone is which leads to forcing Yuusuke to choose the girl he likes the most. And since he can't make a decision girls participate in sport and cooking competitions. 
    There was some humor in 2009 Rikka route, but can't remember any of the original. But that awakening scene with two sisters getting embarrassed by the state of Koichi body was nice.
    Overall comments: So here are first Leaf visual novels. What makes Kizuato a contemporary visual novel?
    Different long route for each heroine  Long enough main part with heroines introduction Heroines aren't isolated in their routes but act alongside other heroines in the main course of the story. Text-heavy narration for which NVL system was introduced Has erotic content (which distinguishes from sound novels). Rich sub-character cast. Branched routes and multiple endings including bad ones. And here's what's wrong with Shizuku:
    Almost no sub-characters No introduction to heroines (no slice of life part) Too short time period taken Abundance of H events Each girl route follows absolutely the same pattern Game has 12 endings (10 for main game and 2 for omake) and a lot of parts are shared between them, so it gets very repetitive and there's a constant deja vu feeling. Repetitiveness is aggravated by the use of same phrases for countless times with different intonation. There were at least 5 such spots in the game when the characters may repeat the very same phrase for over 10 minutes. It may look fresh for the first time, but later on it only irritates. Both games systems remind contemporary visual novels, but Shizuku as the first test bullet contains numerous flaws. My plank for masterpiece games is a bit low - 7/10 is enough to get there, so I consider Kizuato with 8/10 a masterpiece. It has great heroines cast, solid intriguing story and it surpasses nowadays charage a long way. 
    As for Shizuku, it holds mostly a historical significance, but it still a worthy game if only read Saori route, then the very end of Ruriko route and the hilarious omake, of course.

  12. kivandopulus
    Foreword: Absolutely unknown game in the West that has overwhelmingly positive evaluation in Japan. Which side would I take?
    Title: Rocket no Natsu
    Developer: TerraLunar
    Date: 2002-10-11
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v4190
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_HLI2A5oFE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_3lP089VAcjTRvabUf9dJf

    Synopsis: There used to be a season called "Rocket summer"...
    The Earth has become a member of the Galactic Federation and has accepted multiple emissaries from aliens.  Silver rockets are launched from the Earth on daily basis, but one day all inter-galaxy contacts cease and space port doors get shut.
    Main character has dreamt of space travel since childhood. One day he decides to help girl Chise to participate in self-made rocket competition "50 Miles Over". Together with princess from the other star they form a rocket club. Will their dreams come true?
    Structure: Roughly a month from 05.07 till 06.11
    Length: 7 hours for initial route, some 3 hours for each of remaining 4 routes. Plus 3 hours for omake.
    Game type: Space dream youth comedy with aliens
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 8/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 7 or 8/10
    Rating comments: It's 7 if you have sound stuttering like me and are't crazy about the genre like me. It's 8 for everyone else.

    Protagonist: Takashi is pretty cool. He's so knowledgeable of rockets and so patient and attentive that I'd happily have same intelligent protagonist everywhere. 
    Characters: There are five heroines which are very different. Chika route is forced as first - and she's the only normal human among all the heroines. She has the only normal route about passion for rocket building and normal romance. But after that surprises begin. There are two routes for each of aliens - Selen-chan and her guard Berthia. Characters are pretty crazy and so are their routes, but it was really sad for me to see ignorant and vain Selen-chan to have teary face in the end. Tsundere should never cry! Haruhi-sensei is... android teacher. And Akira is our normal childhood friend with a huge secret about her - the most shocking route for sure.

    Story: Main route only covers characters getting together around Chika desire to build a rocket and being joined by aliens. Then each route has its turns.
    CG: No complaints at all.

    Sound: Everyone is voiced, including protagonist. That's absolutely superb. But sound stuttering that I got at Win10 really started to kill the fun around the third route I played. Freezes also got more and more frequent, so I did not record past 3rd route.
    Thoughts:  It's the third rocket club theme visual novel that I play, and it's actually the best one of the three. The reason is the variety of routes and only interesting scenes. There's tension that leaves your interested from beginning to the end. Full voicing, bright atmosphere and colorful characters add up to the feeling. Omake about space adventures fits greatly to the picture as well.

    Overall comments: Game is a masterpiece, no doubt. It's not a breakthrough game to become a pillar of new visual novel world. No, it's just a cosy cool place to visit and have a rest. I guess it's the real reason why it went unnoticed in the West - we need a breakthrough. The Japanese can be jerks about plotge, but they can rarely be wrong about a good calming charage.

  13. kivandopulus
    Foreword: With script size of around 4.5Mb Hello, World is one of the largest visual novels ever created. Cyberpunk, Nitroplus and positive reviews (1 2 3 4) all promised a great time. However...
    Title: Hello, world
    Developer: Nitroplus
    Date: 2002-09-27
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v431
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsNedut_3eE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-KYrXbyAGXRCg720guyMwo

    Synopsis: Set in Akihabara in the near future, "Hello, world." is a hearty, feature-length, cyber battle-action/campus-life story about a robot boy and the girls that surround him.
    Tremendous progress has been made in technical advances. Various networks have taken strongholds with each new generation. Though not nearly advanced as humans, two-legged robots are utilized in many practical areas throughout the world. Amid worldwide peace, the human race remains unchanged.
    Kazuki Tomonaga is a robot made by an entity called "HIKARI" for the purpose of "GLOBAL ILLUMINATION". He's created with ingenuity as precise as that of a human being. Kazuki is commanded to research the concepts of "human emotion". Along the way he meets various girls and has exchanges with them. In their "exchanges" his "curiosity" gradually turns into "affection" and his mission becomes more intense. He gradually starts to build his own philosophy, not knowing he will be forced to make crucially important decisions in the near future.
    Structure: Days from October 1st to October 30th
    Length: 100+ hours
    Game type: Cyberpunk android adventure
    Difficulty: Relatively easy, most of choices are just about picking the same girl all the time
    Character Design rating: 3/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 6/10
    Overall rating: 5/10

    What? How can "Hello, world" not be a masterpiece - are you even sane? That would be my initial reaction as well, but I have my argumentation. All in its due time.
    First of all, I was shocked by trash rating of the game in the most notable Japanese reviewer blog of old games ADVGAMER (1). The reasons for that are quite vague: overextendent, confusing in the second part and as a result a really boring game. But of course I just considered reviewer a weakling who could not understand the gist of the game - and bravely dived into the action.
    The first half of the game is surprisingly orthodox despite the fact that protagonist as an android. He explores the world and the girls close to him. There are over 10 events with each girl to pursue with its romantic resolution. Pace is really bad, but curious side-characters and unfamiliar futuristic setting make it tolerable.

    But then happens second part which is a set of action episodes with a bit of romance in-between. And it all comes to very simplistic story. There are five girls who have relatives suffered from a certain "evil" corporation. Hacker incidents start to happen breaking out into a full-scale machine rebellion. That's it! There's no sophistication in the plot at all. Of course, there are much more side-characters, every girl has her own circumstances, and there is a series of incidents leading to the culmination, but it does not change the fact that it's all done just to show action scenes, not to really move the plot. But the greatest tragedy of the game is that it lasts for 30 hours on initial playthrough, and subsequent routes need to go through absolutely the same plot, just with different romance events and the very ending. As ADVGAMER puts it, game either must have an unusual setting and take time to describe its details or have a common setting and then adhere to compact structure. But Hello, world tries to present a common setting like something new, and then prolongs it to insane lengths putting reader in the state of the ultimate boredom. 
    One of the flaws of the game is tasteless character design. Who said that green hair girl should have green eyes, violet hair girl - violet eyes, blue hair - blue eyes and red hair girl - red eyes?! That looks absolutely stupid. Character designs are trashy, and artist work manages to catch such poor angles at times that result looks super-ugly. There is just one girl with the design I like - that's Junko. Cool white long hair with really nice haircut, great black and red suit, mini-skirt and always carrying a gun. Just perfect! But she's not one of the heroines! She's just a side-character to help fight baddies in action scenes! Why-y-y???

    The second disappointing feature is "partial voicing", but don't be misguided here, it's actually NO VOICING. We barely manage to hear how each heroine should sound during the first hour of play, then there are 30 hours of NO VOICING. Not in action scenes, not in culmination romantic scenes - just never. That's something really disappointing.
    Game really makes the best of 3D rendering from Phantom of Inferno (close-ups on weapons) and Vjedogonia (moving vehicles), but action scenes remain confusing. The air battle between three aircrafts on one side and one modified air fighter on the other side left me really disappointed. Action scenes end with some sudden development rather than being one logical performance.

    Routes are composed in one of the worst possible ways. Story is absolutely the same with just romance events changing from heroine to heroine. Then each heroine has her individual end where only she and hero survive as well as the true end where everyone survives. There is just a bit of fresh air in the individual endings of each heroine, but True ending of each heroine is absolutely the same... save for the last 5 minutes that describe heroine 6 years after the main events of the story. That's a real crime to make people try to grasp something new in 30-hour long route and not even giving anything really new. It's the same story, but we hope you have 150 hours to read them all - a horrible move.
    The biggest problem with "Hello, world" is the aftertaste and lack of satisfaction. It's not that bad while it lasts for the first time even though pace is terrible, but each new "route" only brings anger and despair. I look back and only see dozens of hours of wasted time. What did I get in return? Nothing. Not a good story, not a good romance. Some flashy action scenes and some nice side-characters are the only things that I look back to without irritation. Game does not respect its readers. Readers should not respect such a disintegrated game.

  14. kivandopulus
    Foreword: May had zero interesting releases without review for me, so I chose one with the English review already (1). My hope in nakige is crippled, so I wonder if it can be restored with this game, just as it affected this review's author.
    Title: Ashita Deatta Shoujo
    Developer: Moonstone
    Date: 2003-05-30
    VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v464
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSo0XrcBv54&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_DLXni9hleM4mOM7gpQmjf

    Synopsis: "It's summer. The place is a crater lake near the naturally ambient, rural village "Takachiho". The protagonist is standing still, blankly looking at the far-away sky.
    His memories of the past have been lost.
    It's a strange thought, but to him on that day, the sky seems tailored to both dusk and sunrise, a mysterious color..."
    The protagonist, Tachibana Takashi was a freeloader in a house, living there with four beautiful sisters. Until suddenly, one day, a sad incident occurred...
    Game type: Rural crime mystery with memory loss
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Rating comments: Wow, it's a very good score from me to a nakige/utsuge. Basically only relatively weak characters and two lolis downgraded the overall impression. There is also lack of CG, and many important scenes conveyed by text alone.
    Protagonist: Ryuu is our typical guy, representation of reader. Game shifts from present to past very frequently, but protagonist does not have memory in any of periods. Typical good-for-nothing lad.

    Characters: I played just two routes, as usual. Both Sanae and Fuyuka are our older sisters. But if they wore the same clothes it would be impossible to distinguish between them - the only difference is that one has straight hair and the other one wavy one. The same, actually, may be told for younger sisters Rin and Misato - only hair and clothes makes them look different. The biggest flaw with the heroines is that they hardly really communicate with each other, it's just so wrong for blood-related sisters living together for all their lives. And it's pretty weird how side-character girls are better fleshed out.

    Story: Reader is hooked right from the start with time shifts and mysterious diary reading. Whenever I thought that game finally entered SOL state with eating tarts and such, I was corrected over and over as there were always dialogue lines with ambiguous context or sudden change of atmosphere and music. I don't think this game has filler scenes, it really punishes for the lack of attention. There are different mysteries hinted all the time. 
    The directorship is really cool as time shifts are presented in really confusing manner, like in present they go home, then time shifts to past and they also just arrive home. 
    The biggest problem is the ending. There is that a-ha moment when suspense cover yields, but the shift between the main game flow and the revelation is huge which can easily alienate some readers.

    Overall comments: Game resembles Kizuato from Leaf in many ways, but deliberately takes a turn towards ambiguity and suspense over action. I liked both approaches. Ashita Deatta Shoujo demands more attention and imagination from the reader and gives less in the field of visuals and characters. But curious mind will find a lot to like in this metaphysical approach to the mystery.
    Oh, come on, just go read this other review (1), it's so much better.

  15. kivandopulus
    Foreword: It's FlyingShine in its prime, after Cross Channel and before Swan Song, so why not taste one more bit of it. But it's action scenes and not yuri that keeps my interest here. 
    Title: Noel
    Developer: FlyingShine
    Date: 2004-09-24
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v1000
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9ULLAtemM4&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_enAwLmfohExhIgVI2CClL

    Synopsis: Emanon, an organization run by special military forces. The protagonist is their top soldier, nicknamed the God of Death, her name is Noel. She is given a new mission, protecting a girl attending a prestigious academy for women while remaining undercover. To accomplish this, she infiltrates the school posing as a new student.
    Game type: School assassin yuri story
    Character Design rating: 5/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 6/10

    Rating comments: Game does not feel like a masterpiece to me. The first half might look like one, but the latter events put it back to senses fast. 
    Protagonist: Don't really have complaints with Noel. She's serious, but at the same way charming. Stunning in action scenes with her skirt always torn on the side and attentive to anyone.

    Characters: It's not really good with characters here. Villains Aoi and Hiroki are much more memorable than the real heroines and girls who are supposed to be cute - Riri, Takako, Shiori and Yukino. And it's a poor result considered that characters should move the story, not be decorations in it.
    Story: It's royal road. There are two main parts in the game. First is actual Noel's mission up to its conclusion. The second part is romantic like with Riri up to the moment of final conflict. This whole latter part is over-extended and pretty boring. Well, maybe I just did not like the yuri element here.

    Technical issues: Surprisingly few. Engine is kind of improved BM0 engine still, but at least there's more comfortable auto reading (too fast still, but, oh, well). It was shocking to see two separate memory threads for manual lines and auto-reading lines.
    1) Game has an element of disgust that looks much like  BM0. Aoi is almost directly taken from it. Overall impression is pretty dark due to those grey empty rooms and some disturbing scenes.
    2) Yuri element is quite light in here. There is no scene of real intimacy between the girls. No nakedness (taking shower together is the only scene with it that I remember). I could easily include all the yuri scenes without cutting them just because of how toothless they are.
    3) Action scenes are pretty cool due to use of animation. It's impressing how we see a sprite of a character that in some moment whirls just before your eyes and hits someone. Animation is well done. There is also lip and eye move, so long dialogue scenes.
    4) Art is gorgeous here. Every time I see the pitch of white skin above the stockings makes my breath stop in awe.

    Overall comments: There are mixed feelings depending on what kind of memories show up. Neither of Noel elements is particularly thrilling, but together they form a decent unique setting. The dark Emanon organization living in the underground of the society, human experiments turning them into monsters with the help of drugs, ambitions of various parties - it all makes reading good enough to go on. If only the game had a more refined composition and length was cut in three, it would be a decent venture. But it its current state it's a strange half-baked mix not really appealing to any type of fans.

  16. kivandopulus
    Foreword: The reviews we have are pretty vague (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), so the impression of a very difficult work is created. I'm going to put all the dots so that there was not fear to read it.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v1278

    Synopsis: This game tells the story of seven long-time friends. How they grew closer or further apart as they got older. The story is presented using a blog-like interface.
    The protagonist, Atemiya Shinobu, who was raised at a certain facility since young, had no one around him that could be called "friend". Being that way, the first thing he started doing after leaving the facility with his sister - Chidori - was to find and make friends.
    Benio Azusa, a tomboyish girl who lived nearby.
    Hondou Sayaka, a quiet yet sharp-tongued girl who was in charge of raising the pets at school just like him.
    Tsukamoto Youko and Itsuki, a pair of siblings who belong to a prestigious family around the area.
    Higuchi Shouji, a boy he knew by being attracted to by the similarities they both share.
    Izuki Fueko, a girl he met by chance.
    Together with Shinobu, they were a group of seven. Just like that, each and every one of them, who had never experienced the joy of having friends, was able to meet each other and become companions. The story begins in a quiet town colored by dusk. Around the seven friends, there were understanding, empathy, conflict, and what's more, fleeting love of adolescence. It was a friendship that could last forever.
    Such a simple happiness should have... lasted forever.
    That was until the "enemy" appeared.
    The "enemy" had disturbed the peaceful relationship of the seven people.
    Shinobu could not forgive that. He could not forgive the one that injures his companions, nor could he forgive the one that hurts another one's hearts. And when he realized all that, the world they reside in changed, rather then becoming the new world that it should have... they had arrived at the "sanctuary" instead.
    This is a story that describes the heart.
    A story that describes the thing located in the farthest end of a heart.

    Game type: Mindscrew circle of friends story
    Character Design rating: 10/10
    Protagonist rating: 10/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 10/10
    I just can't understand how it's possible to give any other score than 10 if game is played to the end. It's the third philosophical visual novel in history after Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ and Cross†Channel, and it's just a great human story with the magic of Cross†Channel still present, and even on a higher level since childish pranks don't interrupt serious talk this time. But enough vague words.

    The structure of Saihate no Ima is very simple. There are four girls in the circle of friends - Azusa, Sayaka, Fueko, Youko - and there is a route for each this heroine told in a forced order. In the last Youko route we see a mysterious gothic loli girl Ima who says that Shinobu is not ready yet. And then all the four girl routes repeat again, but with more explanation and depth to the stories as well as the Shinobu mystery. In videos I call this second lap of routes as True heroine routes. After the end of True Youko route there's the True Shinobu route as I call it. It's something absolutely different from the rest of heroines routes. Basically, there are no four main heroines in there, but instead there is a whole new cast of characters. So, there are only nine structural parts in the game. Moreover, True routes generally include all or almost all the scenes from the Normal heroine routes, so I'd advise to skip Normal heroine routes overall and start with True heroine routes if you follow the video. That saves you from the bulk of repetition and allows to have a fresh view. There are actually some scenes in the Normal routes that don't present in True routes. For example, there is a step sister Chidori H scene in Fueko Normal route that does not present in Fueko True route. But it has little influence on the story, so I'd still stronly advise to skip Normal heroine routes or at least watch them after all the heroine routes and Shinobu True routes are finished.

    Again, the story is simple. Just mind it that heroine routes are not entirely romantic ones as different killer stories often in the core of the routes. Heroines are fleshed out so well that I absolutely adore  all four of them. Azusa has a perfect buid-up for her story. Sayaka the sulky ojousama really starts to shine in her route. Fueko has that beautiful a-ha effect upon taking down glasses. Youko is actually my favorite character for her sharp tongue and absolutely enthralling voicing that I can't ever have enough of. All the more difficult parts of this visual novel actually refer to retelling the concepts of modern world philosophy related to the core of the game, namely, the phenomenology of Husserl and Global village concept of McLuhan. Basically, all the spoilers of the True Shinobu route are given in the synopsis. This is a story of the heart, and the main mystery is the identity of the "enemy". Pretty much anything else would be in the spoiler zone already, so I hope you see everything with your own eyes.

    Basically, Saihate no Ima is an eternal ultimate masterpiece that shares the Olympus of intellectual visual novels alongside Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ and Cross†Channel. Saihate no Ima deserves dissertations written on it just like George Henry Shaft's 160000-word dissection on Cross Channel. From these dissertations we'd be able to discuss the message of the game, follow all the hints and compare all the additional scenes in Normal and True routes as well as clicked links versions compared to non-clicked versions (since there are couple scenes available only when no links are clicked, actually). But unlike Cross†Channel the other two games are not translated, so we'll see none of those, to my great regret. Let's keep fingers crossed, with Kickstarter miracles are possible like the one with Dies Irae.

  17. kivandopulus
    Foreword: It's requested as extra review, so I'm pleased to tell what kind of masterpiece this game is. It does not mean I'm not reviewing Abandoner, though. Both games stood so close in the poll that I could not make my mind in any way.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v1085

    Synopsis: The game revolves around the main character's 3 days repeating over and over again, where he is constantly being killed in the third day of the story (in various ways) but magically being brought back to life in the first day to repeat his 3 days. Your goal here is to solve the mystery behind the death of your sempai and also to find the identity of the murderer.
    Game type: Horror looped murder story with fantasy elements
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 8/10
    Game quality: 6/10
    Overall rating: 7/10

    I only found one impression (1), and it's not very elaborate, so let's dissect things properly. 3days is a classic loop game, but for me it's the same kind of classic as To Heart for galge - boring and exhausting. The same loop of three days goes on for some 15 laps (maybe less if some alternative branches are skipped) and finishes with more and more elaborate ways of killing and sometimes raping. But the worst thing for me is that specific scene needs to be triggered in all of three heroine initial roues. I had to do much more loops, because I triggered only one Tamaki H scene while I needed to find another one for her item to show at the main screen indicating her route fully done.

    That being said, first half of 3days is of little interest to me. Watching the same events over and over and girls die over and over in different situations is not really what constitutes for fun pastime. However, the second part actually manages to present a favorable impression by cleverly mixing past, present and future Ryou stories. We get acquainted with the new charming heroine Miyu who has to bear all the positive intentions of the game alone just because she's the only heroine that we don't see dying miserably with torn apart body and face distorted with fear. Magic finally comes to the stage, and game turns into a fantasy battle from a pesky contemporary murder story. 
    But I don't suffer from short memory, so horrible first part gets a huge evaluation penalty from me. There are also other negative factors. Basically, game is a royal story. That goes for both first and second part. The individual heroine endings take really like a few minutes astray from the main story. Another negative factor is poor CG representation and occasional lack of voicing. I can remember very few CG after playthrough, so it's constant character sprites hell. Also, I can't really stand Harry Potter, so second part is rather repulsive with all the magic domination and stuff. At the same time Tsukiko as the best starting heroine never receives her route in the main game and plays mostly a comical role. There are too many deficiencies to neglect in the overall evaluation.

    In the raw outcome, 3days is a masterpiece, but only thanks to the main concept and true route in the second part. It occupies a firm position among classics as one of grandfathers of loop visual novels. Tsukiko and later Miyu don't let the game to turn into total despair. But as to my recommendations... I'm not so sure. Game fails as a detective story and suffers a lot whenever it tries to advance romance. Would I really play this game if I knew that it'd total to magic battle? I'm pretty sure that I would not, although such turn of events was really unexpected. Game really feels old and lacking production quality. It's still a good game at the core, but who would want to get to the core when there are so many better quality stories nowadays.

  18. kivandopulus
    Foreword: I took up Tsuyokiss blindly hoping for a decent charage akin to Majikoi (same writer and also girl with katana) due to the high score this game gets. Moege equals trash for me. With such a high vote Tsuyokiss can't be a moege, right?
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v397

    Synopsis: Tsuyokiss is about the lives of a group of high school students and the often comedic events that occur around them.
    The protagonist is an ordinary boy named Leo Tsushima. He is secretly in love with the eldest daughter of the Kiriya Corporation, Erika Kiriya, who is also the student council president.
    One day, a senior female student, Otome Kurogane, knocks out several of the main characters when they were trying to sneak into school being late. Surprisingly, it turns out that she is Leo’s beloved cousin that he had not seen for years. And she decides to move in to the same house with Leo, whose mediocre life starts to change into something a lot more exciting.
    Game type: Moege
    Character Design rating: 5/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 1/10
    Game quality: 6/10
    Overall rating: 4/10
    Tsuyokiss is a pure trash moege. If you want to see a favorable review, go elsewhere (1 2 3). I've got nothing but obscene words for this trash game. 

    Basically all I can do is list multiple flaws of this game:
    1). There is absolutely no story. We go to school.
    2). There is actually no main heroine. Otome does not really stand out among heroines in any way. Her katana is just a decoration to describe her club. Yoshimi route opens up last and tries to introduce some drama which gets smashed down and thrown in the recycle bin next. Good job.
    3). There is no humor. Well, unless crying loudly some crap with a funny voice counts for it, because that's in abundance. Parrot and our poor kani contributes to the most of it (Kanisawa Kinu is called Kani for short, and that actually means crab - it suits her so well). I tried to dissect SOL scenes in search for some humor, and there is no humor that makes sense and can be explained. 
    4) Tsundere is still a thrilling personality for me (probably because games that I played had usually one decent tsundere). In Tsuyokiss there is only one tsundere Nagomi, strictly speaking. But Otome and Erika have strong elements of tsundere as well. Well, I just can't understand how it's possible to play out tsundere concept that bad with such bland characters.
    5) Tsuyokiss equals porn. For a good half of individual routes there is nothing but H scenes in a long long row. Really - about 10 H scenes (sometimes more) for each heroine all smashed together in the end. As everything else it's done poorly and only deteriorates the overall impression by degrading heroines characters.

    I played the Complete edition and can only guess how bad original PC edition initially was. PS2 release got the highest score, because heroines save some decency without this marathon of banging. It's a complete mystery to me how a moege can be given somewhat high score, anyway. I follow Candy Soft works since their start in 1997, and they could only make peculiar funny nukige. Well, congratulations to Tsuyokiss, it follows the trend just perfectly. And it looks as Candy Soft just decides to cash out while it scores, so it releases the same games with some alterations of 2gakki and 3gakki later on - how shameless is that? That actually puts it on even worse stature than Circus. Circus at least changes names and hair colors in their endless flow of monotonous crap. Well, the minute of anger is over. I don't want anything to do with Tsuyokiss franchise ever again.

  19. kivandopulus
    There are only six titles this month to choose from, but four of those are masterpieces - Shinjisougeki Carnival, Devils Devel Concept, Like a Butler and Tapestry -you will meet yourself- . Reviewing first two. Micchi has pretty much the same, plus three vns that I block as nukige, but what's really funny is that he considers only delayed game Areas and Yoake fandisc big titles. Expectations and outcome don't necessarily coincide. 
    1. Shinjisougeki Carnival 神事双劇カーニバル [090203] Talestune 1  The story takes place on a small fictional island in Japan called Rokushiki Jima (6 Ceremony/Equation Island). In this island, there is a festival held every year called the Rokushiki Sai where young girls on the island borrow the power of God and fight each other. There are 6 head families on the island, who succeeds individual fighting techniques and manages the festival tournament. The Day-side scenario is the original part, featuring the visible side of the tournament. The main character is Rokushiki Nanaki, who’s the new head of the Rokushiki family and the Miko arranging the tournament. She’s irritated because she can’t enter the tournament herself because of her position and tradition. She was so confident about her fighting skills that she was certain that she will win if she participated. She even beat her own parents, but that doesn’t change anything. However, her 4 friend were the participants of this year’s tournament. The girls are put into a cage surrounded by a magical barrier and with the divine power borrowed from God, fights until one loses consciousness. The new evening side scenario features some of the other family members and the hidden bloody side of the festival. Other than the 6 major families, the island had 4 sub-families, which were replacements in case something happens to the 6 families. And addition to that, there was a system called the Shadow Sakura Festival, where the 4 family member can challenge the head of the 6 families and can replace them by force. Misakura Tomoe is the main character of this story. 10 years ago, she was challenged by Toritari Tsubasa, in the Shadow Sakura Festival. Everyone acknowledged Tsubasa’s strength and the battle between Tomoe was held in form of just custom. However, using dirty tactics, 7 year old Tomoe defeated Tsubasa who was 10 years older than her. Tomoe remained to be the head of her family, but because how she fought was unfitting for the head, her skills were sealed with a magical rope wrapped around her leg by the Rokushiki Miko. Tsubasa’s sister, Toritari Kaina also despised Tomoe, and swore to defeat her in a justified battle. 10 years after that incident, a new Shadow Sakura Festival was taking place. Misakura Tomoe was challenged by all the four sub families. Doujin, but there is an English review and translation. It had pretty much zero attention since English patch release, so reviewing it.  
    2. Devils Devel Concept  [090226] Akatsuki Works 1 2 3 4 5 6 Human, monsters, and beasts... The world doesn't forgive them... There is a town where mysterious cases often happen. The ones who have special ability called Enja. The origin of Enja is "devil". They get together as if led by something unseen and kill each other. Sora is an Enja boy. He lost his parents several years ago and now lives alone. His life is full of peace, rest, and destruction. Peaceful school life with friends. Strange dreams he has every day. Battles against devils that appear in the town at night. His "contract" leads him to a hell of sadness, fights, and carnage. He also meets some girls along the way. Love, obedience, subordination, immorality, and desire. Sora, who doesn't know how to love, is a broken human. What does Sora get, what does Sora lose through contracts with the girls? At the end of the contract, he meets the last devil... Game has many English reviews, but there is no video playthrough, so I'm in for review. Naturally.  
    3. Dareka no Tame ni Dekirukoto ~Innocent Identity~ 誰かのために出来ること~Inoccent Identity~ [090227] Giga A boring life. Takaya always thinks, "I hope something interesting happens..." One day, a girl transfers to his class. Her name is Aya and she came from a small town in the country. Also, she starts living at an apartment Takaya takes care of. Her presence is a symbol of changing life. Aya is always cheerful and his school life gradually changes. "Is this my school life I wanted?" Because of Aya's innocent behaviors, he also gets to know different characters of his classmates. Yes, this is just the beginning of his new school life. Development is long and super dull. It takes a lot of time to figure out who is that someone referred in the title, but it does not make it worth it at all. Typical Giga.  
    4. Like a Butler  [090227] AXL 1 2  There is a super-rich school. It is really hard to pass the entrance exam. Yes, it is a common knowledge the chosen few are allowed to enter the school. But one day, the school announces that they are accepting in a tuition-exempt student. The main character is Kazuki. He hears the news as well, but he is not interested in it. Several months later, the result comes out. The student who passed the entrance exam is Kanade, Kazuki's old friend. "Oh, what should I do...?" She never expected she would pass, so she is totally panicked. When she receives a document from the school, she gets surprised again, "Students are required to have butlers." Kanade says to Kazuki, "Please be my butler!" Like this, he reluctantly becomes her butler... On their first day at school, they enter a completely different world from their old one. Kazuki and Kanade's new school life now begins... There are English reviews. As promised earlier, not reviewing it.  
    5. Mikoko みここ [090227] Citoron Soft Takeru lives a peaceful life with various attractive girls. For your information, they are all miko. But one day, his life suddenly changes. A mysterious creature and a girl with black hair appears in front of him and says, "You'll need to choose a next Miko God and live with her as a partner!" "Miko God? Choose someone? Can I really do that?" When he is at a loss what to say, the girls around him give the answer to him, "Choose a girl you like the best." Well, a new love story starts now... Basically, a moege with very long process of getting to know a heroine and over 10 H events per heroine.  
    6. Tapestry -you will meet yourself- タペストリー -you will meet yourself- [090227] light 1 2 3  Hajime is a member of the handicrafts club. He's the one and only male member, but he's an expert at it because his father taught him so well. He enjoys his school life with other club members and classmates, but his life dramatically changes one day. He suddenly falls down unconscious and is sent to hospital. A while later, he learns that his days are numbered. Hajime decides, "I'll die without ever showing a sad face to my family and friends. I won't tell anybody about my illness." But his childhood friend, Hikari, finds out about it anyway. It isn't long before all of his friends know. Nobody wants to believe it, but... "We'll just pretend we don't know about his illness..." They decide to smile in front of him and cry inside their hearts... There are English reviews.  
     BLOCKED   1. Meitantei Conan & Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Meguriau Futari no Meitantei 名探偵コナン&金田一少年の事件簿 めぐりあう2人の名探偵 [090205] Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. 1 2  After receiving a distressing correspondence from a former classmate requesting his presence, high school detective Hajime Kindaichi travels to Twilight Island to investigate the anguish behind the letter. Meanwhile, as fate would have it, Conan Edogawa has been introduced to a modern folktale by Professor Agasa, on an island in the south that serves as a premiere tourist resort, inhabitants have been mysteriously disappearing for extended periods of time before suddenly returning without explanation. What's more: When they disappear, they are transported to an alternate version of that very same island. Intrigued, Conan consents to investigate the case while his companions go on a vacation at the tourist trap known as Twilight Island. As the mystery deepens and it becomes clear their two cases are more related than it first seemed, a grand case unfolds that requires the unmatched reasoning powers of both young detectives. Console exclusive, including it just because of missable reviews   2. Another Code: R Kioku no Tobira アナザーコード: R 記憶の扉 [090209] Cing 1 2 3 
    Set two years after the events of the previous game, a now 16-year-old Ashley is invited by her father to visit the campground of Juliet Lake. As the story progresses, Ashley attempts to find the truth about her mother's death.
    Console exclusive, including it just because of missable reviews   3. Chaos;Head Noah [090226] Nitroplus 1 2 "If you were God, and your delusions could become reality. What kind of delusions would you imagine? A sensual world? A dystopic society? Destructive punishment? Or..." Nishijou Takumi, a shut-in gamer and anime otaku, spends his days locked away in a shipping container while occasionally attending classes. In his place of residence, Shibuya, a bizarre string of serial killings are set in motion as he is dragged into the ordeal. Chaos;Head NoAH is the Director's Cut release of Chaos;Head, adding 6 new routes, changes to the story, new CGs and a revamped True Ending. Fandisc   4. Sara Sara Sasara さらさらささら [090227] Atelier Kaguya 1 
    One day, the main character gets involved in a mission to save God due to some reasons. To save God, he needs to unite with miko both physically and mentally in his dream using the power given from God and strengthens bonds with them. Of course, he can do anything he wants in his dream.... At a different place in a different costume...? He strengthens the bonds with miko like this, but the bonds that only exist in his dream gradually affect his real life...?
    Nukige, including it just because of missable review   5. Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na -Moonlight Cradle- 夜明け前より瑠璃色な -Moonlight Cradle- [090227] August Called the last part of the Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na story; -Moonlight Cradle- follows the ending of the expanded storyline of the PS2 version Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na -Brighter than dawning blue-. It tells of a new story involving all the heroines from the original as well as Estel Freesia and Tooyama Midori who made their first appearance on the PS2 version. Also included is a brand new heroine Cynthia Marguerite. Fandisc
  20. kivandopulus
    Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai! is VN of the Month. Guess I'll need to review and evaluate doujin Abyss -Homicide Club- . As many as two doujin games during this August Comiket managed to crawl into the list. Micchi does not really see anything worthwhile, but he starts to add some synopsis starting from this month.   1. Abyss -Homicide Club- ABYSS -殺人クラブ- [090815] Festival 1  Sasayama Akira was born into a family of assassins and trained as a child to become one of them. However, due to psychological issues, his father decided to send Akira to a relative's house, to live a normal life. Several years later, Akira gets asked by the student council president to investigate a rumor of a group called Abyss, a shadowy group of students responsible for abducting and killing students in a grotesque game. Doujin game, but one of better known ones, there is an English review. Don't see anything better to review this month.  
    2. Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru うみねこのなく頃に散 [090815] 07th Expansion 1 2 3 4  Umineko no Naku Koro ni takes place in the year 1986 during the time frame of October 4 and October 5 on a secluded island named Rokkenjima (六軒島). The head of a wealthy family named Kinzō Ushiromiya, who lives on and owns Rokkenjima, is near death, and eleven of his family members arrive on the island to discuss how Kinzō's assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are five of Kinzō's servants, and his personal physician. After the eleven family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island and shortly after people start to get mysteriously murdered. There are English reviews.  
    3. Ookamikakushi おおかみかくし [090820] Konami 1  Hiroshi, a 16-year-old boy, has started living at Jouga Town, where a big river divides ex-downtown and new downtown. There are also some mysterious customs in the town. Though he enjoys his life at new school, only Nemuru, class president, keeps a distance with him. One day, she suddenly tells him, "Don't go ex-downtown...." What will be there...? Story tries to mimic Higurashi, but does not go as far. Basically, it becomes one event shown from different perspectives, so from second lap no more mystery remains. Final ending is opportunistic and fast to deliver, not too impressive.  
    4. Kurai Nichiyoubi - Sombre Dimanche 暗い日曜日-Sombre Dimanche- [090823] ZIGZAG 1  It's the sixth day of incessant rain in the city. The entire country had been shaken by a series of bizarre murders, occuring late at night on a deserted street. Because slashing throats and tearing open stomachs were his modus operandi, the criminal was rumored to be a "Modern-day Jack the Ripper." But the fourth victim was the last- the crimes just stopped. Did he fear that the police would find him, or is he preparing for his next crime? Eventually, the existence of "Jack the Ripper" began to fade from everyone's minds, though the mystery and terror remained. ...and now, in October. The rainy season has come again. The protagonist, though he lives a boring, mundane life, is antisocial and rejects others. One night, he encounters a stuffed rabbit wielding an enormous axe in a nightmare. What awaits the protagonist is a new world, cloaked in a semblance of reality but slowly eroded by madness: the stuff of nightmares. Drowning herself in the song Gloomy Sunday, his mother commits suicide in the bathtub. The twin brothers who only exist at school on Sunday. The junior from the track-and-field club who can't run anymore because of his family's deaths. The protagonist continues to roam the "world with no way out" in the ceaseless rain. He has no idea of the "truth" that awaits him there... Doujin game, but curious one and with an English review.  
    5. Dream Clubドリームクラブ [090827] Tamsoft Corporation Our protagonist, whom we must name by ourselves, just wanders the streets thinking about just how messed up his life is, when he accidentally comes across the Dream Club, which is an elite hostess club. He happens to be the 10000th(?) visitor, and is thus granted a free member pass for a year. In the Dream Club he will meet ten girls... just how will this story end?
    Usual PSP dating club crap  
    6. Memories Off 6: Next Relation メモリーズオフ6 Next Relation [090827] CyberFront Just before summer holiday, Shio lives a busy school life as captain of the student council with a support of Yuno, who is in charge of general affairs of the council. He sometimes vaguely thinks what he will do after graduating from high school.... There is an important girl by his side.... Those who liked T-Wave would play it, those who did not should not care. Chloe shines here.  
    7. Bokura no Katachi, Sekai no Katachi Schroedinger’s 僕らのカタチ、世界のカタチ Schroedinger’s [090828] Nord On the last day of training camp at school held every summer holiday, Kazuya stays up all night with Noa, who recently transferred to his school. He just stays still together with Noa, who is already asleep on his lap. When he looks up, there are two moons in the sky. Thanks to the two moons, his extraordinary life suddenly starts.... The change of the world that surrounds Kazuya and the existence of another world. What is the shape of the world they want...? Characters are good even though imbued with cliche traits, but there is little explanation of what's going on, so reader remains confused even after the end. Mixing Schroedinger parallel worlds with magic makes it even more confusing. It's neither moe, nor erotic, nor funny, nor interesting as a story, nor charming. There's just nothing outstanding to build everything around.   
    8. I ☆ Can あい☆きゃん [090828] LiLiM Ryota is an ordinary student. One day, when he is on his way back home, he accidentally collides with a girl, Miyu, and kisses her. At that moment, she suddenly transforms into an idol girl. Also, a mysterious creature called Qupu appears.... According to Qupu, she is a limb of the devil and she came to this world to make Miyu's wish, to be an idol, come true. But Miyu transformed herself when Ryota kissed her though Qupu didn't cast a magic. As a matter of fact, Ryota is the one who can amplify Qupu's magic power... NTR H tilt game. There is also a pure love branch which is on average moege level.  
    9. Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai! 真剣で私に恋しなさい! [090828] Minato Soft 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Kawakami City is famous for its strong dedication to its samurai ancestors. A strong fighting spirit is always valued and it's even an important factor in succeeding in school there. Yamato, a second year student from Kawakami Highchool is always with his close friends (4 boys and 3 girls). They have known each other since they were young and have done loads of things together. They have many other friends, but these seven people are a close-knit group, they even have a secret base where they meet... With the new semester, they welcome two girls into their group and shortly after things start to change... Game is localized and has many English reviews.  
    10. Meitantei Shikkaku na Kanojo 名探偵失格な彼女 [090828] Issue There is a boarding high school. Konoha meets a girl on the entrance ceremony day. Her name is Karen and she suddenly says to Konoha, "You're the culprit." According to her, the mysterious thief who sent theft notice to the school the other day is Konoha. She doesn't know what's going on, but Karen believes that Konoha is the culprit... All-age yuri detective game is totally alien to me.  
    11. Memoria メモリア [090828] Purple Software 1 2  There's something in this world people have been longing for. "Asteria" and "Esteria". Two separate worlds. They weren't supposed to be connected when a "gate" suddenly appeared, binding them together. At first, both populations were confused, astonished, bewildered. After acknowledging each other's existence, if wasn't long before people were allowed to circulate freely across the gate. Soon people became accustomed to one another. The story takes place in Fuyuhi, a city covered with snow, where the main protagonist, Kouichi Sakurazaka, meets a girl. It was merely a chance. However, this was the beginning of everything. A pure white story, like the pure white snow... There are English reviews.  
    12. Mimi o Sumaseba みみをすませば [090828] Shakunage Tetsu has moved to an isolated island where his grandmother lives due to some reasons. You can't use mobile phones there and almost all of residents are engaged in agriculture or fishery. On his first day at school, he enters his classroom.... "What? All students have animal-like ears!?" As a matter of fact, the "ear time" comes once in a few days. During the ear time, all residents on the island have animal-like ears and they can hear what others think. They are already used to it, so they just try not to think about something unnecessary. But Tetsu is confused, "What I think will be heard by everyone...?" Nekomimi moege with little depth.   
    BLOCKED   1. @Honey Coming Royal Sweet [090828] Hooksoft
    This fandisc features short scenarios for the five heroines of Honey Coming and adds scenarios for four sub-heroines.
  21. kivandopulus
    A lot of titles got delayed till April, so we're sitting at 10 titles again just like in February. Onigokko! is the only masterpiece I acknowledge. Micchi basically only favors Onigokko and games that got delayed, so let's anticipate a hot April.  
    1. Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto - Ginga Bishounen Densetsu STAR DRIVER 輝きのタクト 銀河美少年伝説 [110303] Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. In Southern Japan, there lies the verdant Minamijuuji Island. One night, a youth by the name of Tsunashi Takuto arrives on one of the island's beaches. This youth, who had swam to the island from the mainland, subsequently enters Minamijuuji Academy's High School Division. Possessing a positive and forward-looking attitude, he easily develops relationships with Agemaki Wako, Shindou Sugata, and various other people he meets at the Academy. However, Minamijuuji Academy hides a big secret. Beneath it, 20 humanoid constructs lie dormant. In this land that lies under a blue sky and surrounded by blue seas, a story of love, dreams and friendship begins. Anime spin-off  
    2. Suzumiya Haruhi no Tsuisou 涼宮ハルヒの追想 [110324] guyzware This is a sequel to "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya" movie, an adaptation of the fourth installment of the popular Haruhi Suzumiya light novel series. This sequel, The Reminiscences of Haruhi Suzumiya, is a direct continuation of the film's ending, taking place in the parallel world where the SOS Brigade doesn't exist. However, this sequel is a video game, featuring an original story; it just happens to be tied in to the plot closer than most Haruhi games. Anime spin-off  
    3. 12+ [110331] anisetta Anisetta’s debut game is based off Arthurian legend. In a period of chaos and war, the throne is vacated with the death of the previous king. Arthur becomes the new king and is attacked by the 11 surrounding countries, but he fights them off and instead is viewed as the king of all countries. With peace finally in hand, the magician Merlin tells him to marry a princess from a neighbouring country. Even though he had taken her advice many times, he refuses to do so this time. She believes that it is necessary to strengthen the newly-found peace and that he is just afraid because he’s not used to being with girls. Don’t worry, she has a plan and the Knights of the Round Table will gladly help out. Game is rough on all edges and with really weak scenario.  
    4. Bura Bura ぶら ぶら [110331] Wheel Takuji is a guy who’s pretty popular among the girls, but he already has someone he likes: Hitomi, his osananajimi who’s doting and is quite a cute… guy!? Their childhood friend Nakaba, as well as other girls, want him to snap him out of the trap and lead him back to ‘normality’. Silly bakage with all kind of trap/gay humor.  
    5. Hatsukoi Time Capsule ~Osananajimi to Kyakkya Ufufu~ 初恋タイムカプセル ~幼馴染とキャッキャうふふ~ [110331] Citoron Soft 1 When he was small, Kiriya buried a time capsule under a Camphor tree with his 5 osananajimis. Soon after, one of his osananajimis Kazuha moved away and they lost touch with each other. Ten years later, his other four osananajimis Yuuna, Mio, Maika and Anna all attend the same school and stay at the same dormitory as him, but hold back their feelings for him. One day, Kazuha returns and asked him if he still remembers the time capsule and their promise. With Kazuha’s return, the other osananajimis don’t hold back anymore and start making their moves, resulting in chaos. Which osananajimi will he end up with? There is an English review.  
    6. Onigokko! 鬼ごっこ! [110331] ALcot 1 2 3  A long long time ago, the oni (demons) collected many treasures on an island known as Onigashima and Momotarou came with his three friends to defeat the oni and recover the treasures. Now, there is a thief Ura that is said to be the descendant of the oni and who is stealing all the treasures. His actual name is Keisuke, the protagonist of this story. However, someone else posing as him sent out a notice and he wonders who it is. But soon his cover is blown as the descendants of Momotarou, Kintarou, Issun-boushi and Otohime also attend Onigashima Gakuen. And thus a modern fairy tale is born. There are English reviews  
    7. Rensai Kisou Camellia Note ~Yume ni Shinobazu, Kirisake Otome!~ 恋祭☆綺想カメリアノート ~夢に忍ばず、斬り咲け乙女!~ [110331] tritail Shouichi is a normal student at Raikou Gakuen, which holds an event called Meikousai where students fight for ‘camellia pages’ which hold mysterious power, with the winner getting their wish granted. Even though Shouichi lost his camellia page pretty early, he found himself still stuck on the battlefield. Game can be fun, but scenario and gameplay parts are no good.  
    8. Secret Game Code:Revise シークレットゲーム CODE:Revise [110331] Flat 1  Another time, another "game". 14 people have been confined to small rural village and fitted with exploding collars. Each one also has PDA with a unique ability and a condition to remove the collar. If anyone tries to leave the designated area or fails to achieve the condition in their PDA, their collar explodes, killing them. This is the "game" of death, where mistrust and manipulation run rampant and death is common. But this time there's also a catch, as when the "Rain starts to fall"... There is an English review  
    9. Trouble @ Spiral! とらぶる@すぱいらる! [110331] Aries Keisuke didn’t have much luck finding a job after his graduation, but he finally found a place to work at his father’s cafe Tenryuu. There aren’t many visitors at all, but it’ll do for now. He also helps out with renting out the nearby apartment Nazuki-sou and many cute girls live there. However, his father went missing and debts start piling up… soon he’ll be evicted! All the tenants help him out to renew the cafe and save their home. A banal setting for a banal moege.  
    10. Tsuyokiss 3gakki つよきす3学期 [110331] Candy Soft 1 2 A further retelling of Tsuyokiss and Tsuyokiss 2gakki, takes place a few months after Celeb has transferred to Leo's class (but before the game enters any routes). There are English reviews  
    BLOCKED   1. Hotch Potch ハチポチ -Liar&raiL FanDisk- [110318] Liar-soft
    Hotch Potch is a fandisk which covers Liar-soft’s titles from Seiken no Inganock to Dosukoi!, as well as all three of raiL-soft’s works. Various characters from the ten works will appear and in the original story, they all seek ways to return to their own worlds. There’s a few original characters that help drive the story.
  22. kivandopulus
    Hotel. is the only masterpiece for me in December. Micchi highlights some RPG and - naturally - a game about 345 imoutos  
    1. Ever17 [111201] CyberFront 1 Ever17 is the tale of seven individuals who come to be trapped 153 feet within the underwater marine theme park, LeMU. During an apparently normal day at the park, a massive accident happens, placing almost half of the facility underwater. The path to the surface and the communication lines are cut off. In addition, LeMU is under constant assault by severe water pressure, limiting time to find a means of escape to 119 hours. Escape is not the only concern, however; many questions arise as to the legitimacy of the accident and whether or not those trapped there were brought there for a purpose. Remake  
    2. Kikouyoku Senki Gin no Toki no Corona 輝光翼戦記 銀の刻のコロナ [111216] Eternal 1 2 3 4 5 The fantasy SRPG Gin no Toki no Corona follows ETERNAL’s previous title, Tenkuu no Yumina. Touka isn’t a normal student: he has the ability to sense and interfere in the purple-lit space known as ‘shinya’ (true night). One time in shinya, he met a strange girl named Tokino who also had the same ability as him. Then a woman named Murial descended from the skies and entrusted a small girl Corona to them. Even though she is an innocent girl right now, she is a dragon girl who possesses enough power to destroy the world. Murial tells them if they raise Corona right then they will be able to save the world from ending. RPG has English reviews  
    3. Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru: 11ninme no Suspect 真かまいたちの夜 11人目の訪問者(サスペクト) [111217] Chunsoft 1 2 A mystery sound novel that’s supposed to be this generation’s follow-up to Chunsoft’s famous murder mystery, Kamaitachi no Yoru. There are English reviews  
    4. Appare! Tenka Gomen あっぱれ!天下御免 [111222] BaseSon 1 2  The famous Ooedo Gakuen is the home of students who will become the future leaders of Nihon. It is a mix of traditional setting and modern technology where students walk around with swords. Yakumo recently transferred to the school and he is very satisfied with the school life. There is a school rule that students must earn money to support their own expenses, in order to learn how to be independent. He helps out at a nearby tea shop, but soon after he starts some delinquents pick on him. A girl on a white horse, Yoshine, appears and dispatches them after a lively swordfight. Touched by her pure sense of justice, he ends up helping her in her quest to change the world. There are English reviews  
    5. Hanasaku Otome to Koi no Grimoire ~Guild no Nai Mura ni Guild o Tsukurou!~ 花咲く乙女と恋の魔導書~ギルドのない村にギルドを作ろう!~ [111222] Debo no Su Seisakusho  Lime and Sheena are dragon girls who wanted to be of help to the world and joined an adventurer’s guild to undertake quests. One day, the guildmaster asked them if they wanted to start a guild in a town that doesn’t have one. They happily accept the challenge and head off to the remote village of Erile. Along the way, they saved a young boy Ein from monsters. He tells them that he used to be bigger, but was turned into a small boy by the monsters’ magic and asks for their help in returning him to his normal form. RPG  
    6. Hotel. [111222] Akatsuki Works Black 1 Keisuke is the vice manager of the Hotel Primeiro, a warm respite for the hearts of weary travellers. He is an overly serious individual who strictly enforces the hotel’s rules. In the comforts of his room, he listens to a melody over and over again. After he heard a similar music coming from the lobby, he headed there to find a girl playing the guitar. When he asked her for the name of the song she was playing, she rushed at him with a knife. Fortunately, he was able to stop her by grabbing the blade. She collapsed to the ground, not knowing why she just did that. She later apologized for the incident, introducing herself as Sarah and requested to listen to his tape after he mentioned it. The soothing melody made her cry and she explained that it was composed by her precious friend Lucille who had been murdered. It was Lucille’s wish to let everyone her hear music and become happy, so she was travelling around and playing her songs to people in order to fulfill this wish. However, she decides to stay in the hotel for now. There is an English impression  
    7. Imouto Senbatsu☆Sousenkyo 妹選抜☆総選挙 [111222] Latte 1 April 1st is the day when the world is full of lies, however to Kouta, it is his precious imouto’s birthday. His father returned that day after a long time away and told him: “Actually Kouta… you have 364 other imoutos”. He was still confused when his father brought him to Tachibana Gakuen. He was the only guy at the school. The other 365 students were… all his imoutos. There is an English review  
    8. Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi Portable いつか天魔の黒ウサギ Portable [111222] Kadokawa Shoten 1st year high school student Kurogane Taito is a disillusioned youth. He has thrown away the belief that hard work and effort will be compensated. Now, he simply exists as the days pass him by. However, there is something that he has forgotten. A stolen memory of a girl, a pact, and a curse. 9 years ago, the young Taito had met Saito Himea, the eldest vampire, and made a pact with her. Now, Taito's memories are about to be restored, and he will remember the girl which has been kidnapped and kept imprisoned for the past 9 years, waiting for him to free her. Anime spin-off  
    9. Koisuru Koto to Mitsuketari! 恋するコトと見つけたり! [111222] Fizz 1 The story starts off with our protagonist Kyou waking up to 2 girls lying on top of him and teasing him, and they both end up kissing him on the cheek. However, he then wakes up in the student council room where student council president Mira finds him and reminds him of the meeting. After said meeting, Kyou attends an assembly where Mira announces that all the students should strive to find love this year but anyone who wants to lay their hands on Kyou needs to go through her first! It seems the two girls from the beginning, Yukina and Towa, are Kyou's fiancées. As more girls join in, the fight for Kyou's love begins! There is an English impression  
    10. Manatsu no Yoru no Yuki Monogatari 真夏の夜の雪物語 [111222] Ex-One 1 2 3 4 The debut title from EX-ONE, a pure love story illustrated by Mikeou and written by Saitou Kenji and Fuuyama Yuuki. It’s the height of summer, but snow blankets the mysterious town of Aome-machi where it snows year-round and the legend of the Yuki-onna has been passed down for generations. There are hot springs, beaches and ski resorts in this popular sightseeing town. Yuuya transfers into Aome Gakuen and stays at the Snowflake Lodge which his relatives run. He meets his cousins Mana and Koromo who have opposing personalities, the public morals committee leader Nozomi who doesn’t seem to like him, and the mysterious Yukina who calls him her husband. What secrets do they hold and how will he solve them? And so begins the winter fairy tale in the middle of summer. There are English reviews  
    11. Nanatsu no Fushigi no Owaru Toki 七つのふしぎの終わるとき [111222] etude 1 2 3  Tomo is a student at Tokinodai Gakuen, a small traditional liberal arts boarding school that was built in the Meiji era. However, he has a secret – he has a clock passed down from him by his grandmother which allows him to control time – and he uses this ability to make his school life enjoyable. One time, Tomo found out that there is a link between the clock and the seven mysteries of the school. If one obtains any of the seven clocks linked to the seven mysteries, they will be able to use various time-manipulating powers. His interest perked, Tomo set out after school to the old school building to begin his search. During his search, he meets various girls and together they unlock one of the seven mysteries. They arrive at a space where time has stopped and find a girl in traditional dress sleeping there. She used to be able to manipulate time, but now she has lost those abilities. Will they be able to find all the clocks, awaken the sleeping girl and return her to her time? There are English reviews  
    12. Omae no Pantsu wa Nani-iro da!? お前のパンツは何色だ!? [111222] Molamola Software On Takato’s first day at Kojou Academy, an energetic girl Mitsuna ordered him to use his genius brain only for her sake for the next three years (and all this while he could see her panties clearly). For Takato who failed to make it into an overseas school of his choice and ending up transferring to Kojou Academy instead, of course he bluntly said no. However, she manages to convince him to join her unofficial club Tateyoko-kai that she is the leader of. The only thing that the Tateyoko-kai does is to "use words to help others". The other club members are just as weird as Mitsuna: masochistic rich girl Yomi, poor girl Shizuku who masturbates everywhere, his childhood friend Sae who’s a stalker no matter how you look at it, and the delusional denpa girl Sako. Did not block prequel, so can't block this game now. Just an ecchi comedy.  
    13. Seifuku Tenshi 制服天使 [111222] Sherbet Soft 1 Even though Kento was fed up with the monotony of every day, he doesn’t do anything to make it better. His only joy is sneaking glances at the angel-like girl Shion who sits next to him. One day at dusk, he saw her with wings on her back. As she tells him about her ‘angel sickness’, they are attacked by the ‘angel hunter’ Hiruta. He helps her escape and avoid the clutches of a man who harbours great hatred for angels. There is an English review  
    14. Suigetsu 2 水月 弐 [111222] F&C 1 Suigetsu 2 will feature a new story along with a new protagonist and heroines, while retaining the Japanese folklore theme of its predecessor. You play as Moriya Fumihara, who lives in the onsen (hot springs) town of Mizumori. One day during summer vacation, while taking part in practice with his school's archery club, Moriya stumbles across two girls playing in a lake. Like the manly man that he is, he quickly flees the area; but when he returns home, he finds himself greeted by those very same girls! It turns out that the two girls are the daughters of Moriya's father's friend, and they'll be staying at the Fumihara residence for the time being. Scenario is full of loopholes, and quality is very uneven. Individual routes have lots of duplicate scenes. Making it a sequel but with new protagonist and heroines to feed on ancient game's fame can only irritate.  
    15. White Album 2 ~Closing Chapter~ [111222] Leaf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 The cold breeze chilled me to the bone, a singing voice reached my ear- That frozen song from 3 years ago, It once echoed in the classroom, in the empty cafeteria, in the silent campus. Born from passion, evolved by love yet ultimately, vanished as a "lying song". The winter where they were "three" was no longer. A new winter started as "one and one" The season is late autumn. A foreboding change is approaching although the scar of the severed bond is yet to heal. 2 lonely melodies attracted each other and hurt each other, summoning new one in the process. The new winter will arrive soon. The winter without her. There will be no more white album, because I won't sing again. There will be no more unreachable love, because I won't love again. There are English reviews  
    BLOCKED   1. Boku no Kanojo wa Gatenkei/Kanojo ga Shita Koto, Ore ga Sareta Koto/Kyonyuu Tsuma Kanzen Hokaku Keikaku/Boku no Tsuma ga Aitsu ni Netoraremashita. ボクの彼女はガテン系/彼女がした事、僕がされた事/巨乳妻完全捕獲計画/ボクの妻がアイツに寝取られました。 [111208] Elf 1 2
    This is a story of love between Masashi and his wife Misaki over the years. The different titles of this game refers to stages of their story.
    Nukige, but with English reviews   2. Kansen 5 ~The Daybreak~ 姦染5 ~The Daybreak~ [111222] Speed 1 Four years ago, Makoto Nakazawa lost family, friends, and even memory of the events during the outbreak of the Unknown virus epidemic in the Tohoku region of Japan. Now adopted by a female friend of his deceased father, he lives in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, struggling to rebuild a new life in a new land. However he doesn't suspect what Fate has for him when he accepts to go to a little (and not entirely fictional) island in the Inland Sea of Japan as correspondent for the newspaper club of his school, because that island is about to become one of the starting points of the second outbreak of the epidemic he barely survived once... Nukige, but with an English review   3. Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni - Dai Ni Ya 彼岸花の咲く夜に 第二夜 [111231] 07th Expansion 1 2 3 4 
    Continuation of Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni - Dai Ichi Ya.
    Doujin, but localized one and with English reviews.   4. ChuSinGura 46+1 Edo Kyuushin-ha Hen ChuSinGura46+1 -忠臣蔵46+1- 江戸急進派編-Edo radical faction [111231]
    Sequel with a new main heroine.
    Doujin, but with an opening
  23. kivandopulus

    VN of the Year
    Year 2013 exceeded my expectations. I was able to choose as many as 34 masterpieces, even one more than in fruitful 2012. Surprisingly, there's a better selection of chuunige as well - industry is absolutely alive and kicking. However, now it's truly the last year of abundance - sneak peek into 2014 shows the number of masterpieces being in the mid twenties. Visual Novel Openings 2013 . 
    My list of masterpieces in 2013: Boku ga Tenshi ni Natta Wake ChuSinGura 46+1 Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai Electro Arms -Realize Digital Dimension- Futagoza no Paradox Getsuei Gakuen -kou- Gensou no Idea ~Oratorio Phantasm Historia~ Grisaia no Rakuen Hapymaher HHG Megami no Shuuen Himawari no Kyoukai to Nagai Natsuyasumi Inpyuri -Hito to Anata to Ayakashi to- Izayoi no Fortuna Jesus 13th -Ushinawareta Gakuen- Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode Karumaruka * Circle Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi. Koi Suru Tame ni Umaretekita- Komorebi no Nostalgica Lovesick Puppies -Bokura wa Koi Suru Tame ni Umaretekita- Natsu no Owari no Nirvana Natsukumo Yururu Ojou-sama wa Gokigen Naname Prism ◇ Recollection! Reminiscence Ryuusei☆Kiseki -Shooting Probe- Seihou no Prismgear Sengoku † Koihime ~Otome Kenran ☆ Sengoku Emaki~ Shoujo Shin'iki ~ Shoujo Tengoku -The Garden of Fifth Zoa- Timepiece Ensemble Tojita Sekai no Tori Colony Tsukiakari Lunch XBlaze Code: Embryo Yume ka Utsutsu ka Matryoshka
      As for year 2013, apparently, Clephas chose Hapymaher . I'm absolutely subjective when I choose game of the year thinking only of personal preferences, so I choose ChuSinGura 46+1. And I need to announce what I'll be reviewing. Sadly, Dunamis15 can't be hooked. Or rather it can and I can get wall of text, but no lines are loaded into memory, so proper play is impossible, and I'm not going to repeat what I did with Psyclone - copy-pasting lines from the wall of text on the fly, it was also a much shorter game. So for 2011 I'm going to review Noblelige instead .  I find two games in the utter need of English reviews, so I'm taking up Seihou no Prismgear and Shoujo Shin'iki ~ Shoujo Tengoku -The Garden of Fifth Zoa- for review. See you there!
  24. kivandopulus
    VN of the Month is Endless Dungeon with other masterpieces being Hikoukigumo no Mukougawa and Hello Lady! . Clephas nominated the last two. Micchi pulls out a ridiculous list of seven titles including additional Clover Day’s , Doko no Donata no Kanjou Route , Koisuru Natsu no Last Resort, fandisc and delayed ones.  
    1. Ar Nosurge ~Umareizuru Hoshi e Inoru Uta~ アルノサージュ ~生まれいずる星へ祈る詩~ [140306] Gust 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 On the planet Ra Ciela, humans and spiritual lifeforms known as Genoms once co-existed. That was a long time ago; and the world has since lost its former beauty. People have adapted to this poorer new enviroment and manage to eke out a living. One day, a race known a the Sharl invaded and began kidnapping humans, who found themselves helpless against their mysterious Song Magic. All seemed lost until, unexpectedly, the Ancient Genoms returned to give people hope that one day there will be peace. RPG has English reviews  
    2. Golden Time: Vivid Memories ゴールデンタイム Vivid Memories [140327] Cattle Call inc. Adapted from Takemiya Yuyuko's light novel "Golden Time". The series follows Tada Banri who lost his memories and his spirit has awoken as a separate entity. In this game, You get to choose how Tada spends his days and perhaps who he falls in love with. Golden Time: Vivid Memories has over 20 endings. Anime Spin-Off  
    3. Rou-Kyuu-Bu! Naisho no Shutter Chance ロウきゅーぶ! ないしょのシャッターチャンス [140327] Vridge Inc. New club struggles for those who was not satiated with previous two games. Anime Spin-Off  
    4. Alia's Carnival!   [140328] NanaWind 1 2 3 The Sakumo ward is well known for its cherry blossoms. In recent years, as part of the redevelopment of the ward, an experimental education system was introduced where the students would govern themselves in the newly constructed Sakumodai Gakuin to improve the student life. Those students who are capable and work hard to improve the learning environment would receive various benefits. Also, it seemed that the one with the top results would get a special privilege. Ren returned to Sakumo ward after a long time away and transferred into the school, reuniting with his timid little sister Karin and childhood friend Shiina, who had grown up to be very beautiful. On his first day at school, he was caught up in some trouble and ended up saving a girl. The girl Asuha asked him to join her club, aim for ALIA and change the school. He was puzzled over her sudden invitation, but was excited that his new school life will be surely be an exciting one. There are English reviews  
    5. Baldr Sky "Zero" 2 バルドスカイ ゼロ 2 [140328] Giga 1 2 This is the sequel to BALDR SKY Zero. Edward had waken up in the middle of a virtual battlefield with no memories. He was assigned to the Squall squad under the notorious mercenary corps Fenrir. One time while on a mission, he met and protected Marelle, who was being chased by government forces. A few days after she joined Squall, she volunteered to partner up with him on missions. Their squad leader Goodman approved of it just because he thought it was amusing for two people who didn’t have any memories of their past to pair up. Ed also thought it would be a good opportunity for a ‘wired ghost’ like Marelle, who didn’t have a body in reality, to be in more touch with other people. One day while they were on a mission to support Kei who had gotten into a bind, they came across a being that looked like a monster, but moved like a robot: the third most wanted Rasayana. He was soundly defeated and thought he was going to be eaten, but nothing happened. It appeared like Rasayana knew them. Who exactly is Rasayana and how are Ed and Marelle related? Action has English reviews  
    6. Clover Day's  [140328] ALcot 1 2 3 4 5 6 It was a buried memory. It was an eternal oath. It was a wish from the heart. It was a regret kept for eternity. And a childhood promise— Yuuto was raised in an orphanage in England. He was taken to Japan after being adopted by Takakura Yoshiomi, an executive of his business. Yuuto, who couldn’t speak Japanese, was supported by his twin sister-in-laws, the bright and shy Anzu, and the cool and reliable Anri, along with the innocent and gentle Tsubame, and the showy and devious Izumi. The young boys and girls were unaware of love. They laughed and they cried, nurturing irreplaceable bonds. And 10 years later— The local scenery had changed so much, and so did Yuuto and the others. –But there are also things that remained the same. “Do you remember… the promise we made that day?” Yuuto's other childhood friends, Hekiru and Hikaru, moved overseas ten years ago. They are together with Yuuto again, and their memories from ten years ago return with them. Clover Day's starts during those rich and fulfilling days. There are English reviews  
    7. Doko no Donata no Kanjou Root ドコのドナタの感情経路 [140328] ad:lib 1 2 3 Shouta’s mother is the Kaguya-hime from fairy tales. This spring, a new transfer student Tsubasa appeared in his class. In her previous life, she was a prince who was rejected by Kaguya-hime. She recognized features of Kaguya-hime in him and fell in love with him at first sight. However, her confession was stopped by other girls who used to be Kaguya-hime’s suitors and who held feelings for him. There are English reviews  
    8. Eiyuu*Senki GOLD 英雄*戦姫GOLD [140328] Tenco 1 This is an alternative version of Eiyuu*Senki, with a new storyline. It takes over its cast while adding additional heroines and powers up its system. The old Far East country of Zipang is ruled by the greatest hero Yamato Takeru and since it has secluded itself from other nations, it had developed its own unique culture. The hero of Oushuu, Masamune, starved for excitement in this time of peace. After finding a young man by the sea who had lost his memories, she concocted a plan to put him in charge and challenge Takeru. If he was able to defeat her, then Zipang would break its seclusion and take over other countries, leading to world domination! TBS  
    9. Endless Dungeon [140328] Rosebleu 1 2 This is a sequel to the Tiny Dungeon series, featuring new heroines. Trinity is a school which trains future heroes. A half year after the past heroes successfully passed the trials, a group of new youths pass through the gate, brimming with confidence. One of them was Hime’s imouto, Miko, who came to support her brother. In addition, there was a second blond-haired dragon girl and two girls who came from 20 years in the future and are of a fifth race which was a mixture of all the special traits of the demons, gods, dragons and humans. What future lies ahead for our hero who had opened the gate? There is an English review  
    10. Hello Lady! ハロー・レディ! [140328] Akatsuki Works 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Many problems lie ahead for society in the 21st century. The best youths in the country are gathered at the super-elite Amakawa Noble School where they are trained to lead us to a brilliant future. They are led by five bishoujos known as ‘crowns’. One day, the leader of the crowns Saku was the target of a terrorist attack. She was saved by Shinri, who was invited to the school as the sixth crown. However, he is at odds with the school system. He vowed to do things under his accord and bring change to the school. Saku decided that she must keep an eye on him. There are English reviews  
    11. Hikoukigumo no Mukougawa ひこうき雲の向こう側 [140328] Flat 1 2 3 4 5 6 Eiri is a beautiful girl who is perfect in studies, athletics and style. She knows most things in the world… except for love. Lately, she’s been interested in her classmate Kouji who had turned down a confession by the school’s number one bishoujo Risa. Why would he not go out with her when every other boy would? Could it be because he already has a girlfriend? Or maybe he’s gay? She did some checking into it, but none of the possible explanations satisfied her. So, she started up the ‘love observation club’ to uncover the special circumstances behind his decision. There are English reviews  
    12. Juukishi Cutie ☆ Bullet 銃騎士 Cutie☆Bullet [140328] Effordom Soft 1 2 3 Ayato is a part of the Shirobara musketeer squadron, under the command of his imouto Miyabi. He didn’t have any subordinates, but the group was close like family, fighting against evil in the capital Louvre. His busy days came to a sudden end with the announcement that Shirobara will be disbanded. However, when they found out about a plot by the Akabara musketeer squadron, they gathered three other girls (Mayu, Reina, Sara) in order to stop them. He lived with them under the same roof in order to train for the battle, but… why are they wearing bunny outfits, sneaking in his bed, taking baths with him, and waking him up while straddling him? Can they prevent Akabara’s plot at this rate? There are English reviews  
    13. Koisuru Natsu no Last Resort 恋する夏のラストリゾート [140328] Pulltop Latte 1 2 3 4 5 Soutarou just manages to pay his school fees by doing part-time jobs. After helping his kouhai Umi and skipping his shift, he was fired from his part-time job and was having problems making ends meet. Umi felt responsible for his present situation and introduced him to a part-time job at a Southern resort. With deep blue skies, clear seas and vibrant vegetation, the place looked exactly like in the travel magazines. Moreover, he was surrounded by many girls: energetic imouto-like Sango, affectionate airheaded ojousama Riho, shy and earnest Shiori, and the kind but also strict manager Nagisa. Arriving at the resort, Umi turned to him and asked him to spend the time there as her boyfriend. There are English reviews  
    14. Kunoichi ga Gotoku -Nugase! Bakunyuu Ninjas!- くのいちが如く -脱がせ!爆乳ニンジャーズ!- [140328] Gyunyuu Sensha Hagakure Ninjutsu Academy is an educational institution for training “justice ninjas” who fight against evil prevailing in this world. Teacher Hayate supervises four female students. One day "mystery book" required to become full-fledged ninjas gets stolen by an enemy ninja corps. The battle to regain the artifact begins. Action  
    15. Love Love Life ~Ojou-sama 7nin to Love Love Harem Seikatsu~ らぶらぶらいふ ~お嬢様7人とラブラブハーレム生活~ [140328] Cabbit 1  Takuma transferred into the famous private school Saimei Gakuen, which is attended by the richest girls. What sets him apart from others is that he will always come to the aid of a troubled person, and he loves girls so much that he wants to make his own harem. Naturally his declaration was first met with disdain, but all the girls slowly warmed up to his kind nature and actions. Soon, he had a harem of 7 girls living with him. One of his lovers, Leone, was the princess of a small European country which allows polygamy for royalty. She invited him to come to her homeland and he agreed without too much thought. However, the other heroines were really worried and upped their attacks on him at school and in the dorm, from morning to night. What will he choose in the end: pure love or a harem? There is an English review  
    16. Ren'ai Made Sentakushi Hitotsu 恋愛まで選択肢ひとつ [140328] Nounai Kanojo 1 2 3 Riku and his childhood friend Misora loved each other, but she passed away in an accident when they were in grade school. Ever since then, love has become a trauma for him and he did everything to never have the same kind of relationship with another girl again. He treated his childhood friend Kirio like one of his guy friends. He considers his lady co-worker Yukari as a rival. Misora’s younger sister Suzuho, who’s quite attached to him, is like a follower to him. His younger sister Karen seems to hate him. He continued to live his normal life without looking at them as women. However, one day, a girl who looked exactly like Misora appeared before his eyes. He suddenly became aware of his feelings, and so did all the other heroines. There are English reviews  
    BLOCKED   1. Reika no Yakata ~Saimin Yuugi e no Shoutaijou~ 麗華の館 ~催眠遊戯への招待状~ [140322] Sister Soft 1
    A sudden snowstorm forces Kyoichi and his sister Hime to seek shelter in a mysterious inn. Once inside, they discover that the two voluptuous owners Reika and Hitomi operate it as a high class brothel. They use hypnosis on Kyoichi to bring him into a world of pleasure, and when his lovely sister tries to rescue him, they also use hypnosis on her! Will they be able to escape?
    Nukige with an English review   2. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai -Dreaming Sheep- 大図書館の羊飼い -Dreaming Sheep- [140328] August  1
    This is the fandisk to Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai. “The book club is eternal!!” Everyone ignored Kana; it’s another normal day at the book club. They still joke around and do random tasks. The only difference is that Kyoutarou has a girlfriend and at least to him, they have a pure relationship even if the rest of the members call them a lovey-dovey couple. It’s become much more fun than before.
  25. kivandopulus

    VN of the Month 2016
    I have difficult history with Island and its anime, but it was still a memorable event in VN history worth discussing, so I give it its due. Clephas chose Wagamama High Spec which I placed to February for formal reasons as it was a partial release and not demo back then. Micchi in addition obviously chooses D.S. -Dal Segno- , Natsu Uso -Ahead of the reminiscence- , Wizards Complex and a nukige.  
    1. Campus Notes - Forget Me Not. Campus Notes - Forget Me Not. [160406] 4th cluster 1 2 "Campus Notes - Forget Me Not." is a visual novel set in the University of Tsukuba, created by 4th cluster, an indie game studio established from the same university. The University of Tsukuba is a National university that is the focus of Tsukuba Science City, a town 50km east of Tokyo. The city has a unique culture, as the area is heavily populated by students. The story is placed in true-to-life settings of Tsukuba city. Come and enjoy a slice of campus life. Meet our heroes and heroines and set out on a strange adventure, and maybe even fall in love... Game is localized and has English reviews  
    2. Natsu Uso -Ahead of the Reminiscence- ナツウソ -Ahead of the reminiscence- [160422] Campus 1 2 3  There are many types of lies and everyone has their own reasons to lie. It could be to protect, to deny, to misrepresent, or to keep things unchanged. Souichirou can tell if someone is lying, even if he doesn’t know the specific reason. He gained this ability from a magician one day after wishing to know ‘true feelings’. In exchange, he requires magic power from fulfilling magic contracts, under the guise of the ‘Neko no Te Bu’ (cat’s hand club) at Mahoshi Gakuen. As a result, he became known as the school’s top troublemaker. Souichirou first met his kouhai Aoi last summer when she was dispatched to inspect his ‘Neko no Te Bu’ club and she watched him with hostile eyes. In the year since then, they had gotten closer and then moved apart from one another. Now, after many twists and turns, the club has got a new member and the days were rambunctious as ever. Then one day, he woke up and found himself in a room which he had visited once a year ago. When he tried to recall what happened the night before, he got an intense headache. Sleeping next to him was the girl who always verbally abused him. Moreover, she was totally naked for some reason. There are English reviews  
    3. Anata o Otoko ni Shite Ageru! あなたをオトコにしてあげる! [160428] ChuableSoft 1 Toushirou found himself in Nanohana Gakuen’s best couple contest even though he didn’t have a girlfriend. It was so that the name of their “Wednesday club” would be etched in the school’s history on the winner’s trophy displayed in the showcase at the school entrance. The four girls in the club decide to train him to become a better man, while also advancing their relationship with him to improve their chances of becoming his partner. Will they be able to win the contest and who will he choose as his ‘girlfriend’? There is an English impression  
    4. D.S. -Dal Segno- [160428] Circus 1 2 3 4 5 Kazana Island... A cozy, cool paradise where summer never ends. The protagonist finds himself stepping foot into this island paradise as a transfer student, greeted by a mysteriously glittering sky, as well as the energetic island caretaker Ame, a girl-type AI. After a bit of a rocky start, he settles at the dorms where a handful of new female friendships await. She's a tomboyish beauty, but a bit of a loner: Himari Asamiya. The manifestation of brains and beauty, and also student leader: Hazuki Murasaki. The self-proclaimed "Daughter of Darkness", with a normal side too: Io Kouzuki. Always trying to act the grown-up, but still a tease (your cousin): Noeri Fujishiro. And the girl who embraces her role of making everyone happy: Ame. How will you sculpt your everlasting happiness here in paradise? A new love is about to begin... Game is localized and has English reviews  
    5. Island [160428] Frontwing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Urashima is a small island, far from mainland Japan. It’s a true utopia, blessed with rich natural beauty. But the island harbors a difficult past, and it’s about to be erased, silently, from history. Soot blight syndrome, an endemic disease, has brought about a rift between the island and the mainland. An offshore platform intended for marine research has long been left abandoned; five years ago, three separate incidents brought the once influential Three Families of Urashima to near ruin. Rumors about children being spirited away have become part of the local folklore, alongside another legend, one that has been repeated on the island since time immemorial... “Let me tell you the legend of this island: it’s a story of tragic love...” The key to saving the island lies with three girls, each of whom belongs to one of the Three Families. These girls aren’t able to change the fate of the island by themselves, but might they succeed with the help of the young man who’s just washed ashore? Claiming that he’s traveled back in time, the man immediately sets out on a lonely path, challenging the longstanding traditions of the island, and seeking to change the future. But those aren’t his only goals... How will his presence transform the lives of these three girls, the future of the island, and the fate of the world...? Game is localized and has English reviews  
    6. Kono Koi, Seishun ni Yori. この恋、青春により。 [160428] More Spring has come once more to Sakuraba Gakuen and the students pass through the school gates with new hopes. Ace pitcher Tatsuya wishes to make the nationals after falling short last year. Class rep Chiharu wishes to change herself by revealing her hidden feelings. Osananajimi and manager Kyouko wishes to go to the nationals together with him. Loafing classmate Nao wishes to graduate as soon as possible. Top student Rin shoulders the expectations of everyone around her. As third year students, it was their final year at the school. What lies ahead for them? There will probably be both moments of happiness and sadness, but they will be able to one day look back fondly at their youth. System flaws and bugs made a huge dent in evaluation from game's release. Overall, it's a a nice school romcom with Kyouko route being really strong as love triangle story, but the other routes stay half-baked and similar to each other. Actually, may be a good choice if you can still tolerate school romance.  
    7. Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! りりくる Rainbow Stage!!! [160428] PARTICLE 1 2 Yuno loves Tamaki’s smile, and wants her to witness her dreams coming true.... though having not seen much of Tamaki lately, Yuno’s been feeling somewhat down. She depends on Saeka a lot, and since the latter always comforts her in times of need, Yuno can feels as though she can talk about her problems without a care in the world. Tamaki wishes with all her might that she could keep watching over Yuno, who’s always been number one in her heart... but the circumstances around her are changing, little by little. It's not only one girl she has to keep watch over now, after all. Saeka has always been dependable and supportive, and Tamaki's has begun to feel confused... “Sigh... Looks like she always needs someone by her side too...” Saeka still has a crush on Yuno, but has been enraptured by Tamaki's aura, and finds that she can’t leave her alone. Recently, she's been mulling over whether or not she wants to try and change the way she is... As they chat, grow closer, become jealous, get embarrassed, and laugh... The crisscrossing emotions of these three girls allow this warm yet slightly bitter story to unfold... Game is localized and has English reviews  
    8. Nama Love なまラブ [160428] Oct Works 1  Sayohama private school was created a few years ago through the merge of a boys’ school and a girls’ school. Carrying on the tradition from when only young ladies attended the school, it was forbidden to have relationships with the opposite sex. At the end of October, Shouta’s osananajimi and student council president Mafuyu addressed the students at the closing ceremony of the school festival and declared that from that moment on, they were free to fall in love. Earnest but slightly clumsy Mafuyu, who isn’t as close to Shouta as before. Cool pianist Saya, who is adored by all students and loves cute things a lot. Meddlesome tsundere imouto Mio, who dotes on him only when she’s at home. Timid literature girl Kotoha, who became friends with him while skipping class. No longer bound by the school’s rules, their hidden feelings began to overflow in this new season of love. Game is close to a moege as short scenario is followed by thick H part. There is an English impression.  
    9. Punch Line パンチライン [160428] MAGES. GAME  1 2 3 If he sees underwear, humanity will be destroyed! Punch Line is the newest visual novel adventure from the creators of Zero Escape and the Science Adventure series! Play as Yuuta Iridatsu, a high school student who faints at the sight of panties. After being stuck in ghost form, it’s up to you to help Yuuta get back into his body and solve the mystery of *why* he causes an asteroid to destroy the earth every time he gets too excited by his underwear-sighting! Anime Spin-Off is localized and has English reviews  
    10. Purely x Cation [160428] Hibiki Works 1 Spring is in full bloom in Asahama, a town reminiscent of old Japan. Hibiki found himself moving here due to his parents’ transfer for work. While it was his first time living alone, he was able to make friends and get familiar with his surroundings pretty quickly. Everything was smooth sailing, but he felt like there was something missing in his life. In the middle of his youth which only comes once in a lifetime, his first love may be just around the corner. Looks like it's the final nail in the coffin of Cation animated H SIM series. Visuals has always been its main and probably even sole attraction.  
    11. Sankai Ou no Yubiwa 珊海王の円環 [160428] Eushully 1 2 In the west-central region of Lunoche of the Raulbhach continent, there’s a legend of a great pirate who hoarded up many treasures, defeated demons by himself, vanquished other pirates and established a nation. His name was Gautherio Bonezzi, the greatest ruler of the seas who achieved everything that he desired. However, that was not the end of the tale about the “King of the Coral Sea”. Several hundred years later, he appeared once more on a ghost ship, proclaiming that he would grant an audience to the one who gathered all six rings to prove their worthiness and fulfill their wishes. It seemed like just an old tale that could be passed off as a bedtime story, but then there were reported sightings of a ghost ship out at sea. Excited that the legend is indeed true, people began to battle with one another to collect the rings before the great king disappears again. Strategy  
    12. Wizards Complex ウィザーズコンプレックス [160428] Windmill Oasis 1 It’s already been several years since it was confirmed that witches existed around the world. Magic has become part of everyday life, and it was common knowledge that only women can use magic. However, this no longer held true when a single boy was found to possess magic abilities. This boy, Aoi, was invited to attend the Mikuni Academy for Witches. It was a peculiar school where the students were separated into two groups: the East Tower housed domestic students, while the international students occupied the West Tower. Each tower was governed by its own student council. He was initially nervous being the only male student, but he quickly got along with the others. He was expecting a bright and enjoyable school life. Then, he and his classmates were forcefully enlisted as the new student council members for the east tower, and were thrust into a series of magic competitions between the two student councils. They must protect the honor of their tower, but there was one problem: he couldn’t use magic at all. There is an English review  
    BLOCKED   1. Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai! A-5 真剣で私に恋しなさい!A-5 [160426] Minato Soft 1 2
    A fandisc featuring routes for Yoshitsune and Takae, as well as an after story for Margit.
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