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kivandopulus

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  1. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Dear My Friend [light]   
    Foreword: This is going to a slightly unusual review, because I'm going to totally ignore main three heroines and focus solely on two side heroines because of Masada scenario writing and uniqueness of these two heroines compared to conventional ones.
    Title: Dear My Friend
    Developer: light
    Date: 2004-07-09
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v519
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvEtF1Nh89A&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-vEHq8MQwNWKJi9NyRbYch

    Synopsis: This light-hearted, high school eroge surrounds the exploits of a soon-to-be non-average student named Kyoichi Morikawa. The son of the odd paring of a nurse and a poorly-selling novelist, he’s been living his life in mind-numbing virtuosity. One auspicious day his father returns home after running errands with a girl (about Kyoichi’s age) claiming to be orphaned. Being the good Samaritan, our hero’s father adopts the hapless girl. Now Kyoichi must explain the extraordinary circumstances to his one and only friend. Furthermore, seeing the main character with a girl has caused several of the female student body to take notice of him...
    Game type: Charage
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Rating comments: I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the game. The two heroine routes I saw were unique and charming, protagonist contributed to gags a lot, and side characters really shined in here. A firm masterpiece, I say.
    Protagonist: Kyouichi is not really our usual nobody. He has a face and a strong personality. He does not have piety towards girls and plays jokes on them a lot. He's almost as fun as Taichi from Cross†Channel, just less pervy.

    Characters: There are five heroines. 
    Kushiro Mai is our main heroine. And - according to To Heart tradition - the most boring one. She's blushing at every second line and is extremely shy overall. But even she has something fun about her - she leans to Kyouichi all the time despite the environment. That becomes the source of some nice joyful moments. She's the only naive heroine in the game.
    Kurihara Tsukuyo is the second heroine that's available from the start. She's our traditional ojou-sama, polite and kind. It's good that she's serious and not naive, but all the other heroines look more interesting to me. 
    Kitazawa Miyako is the last of three heroines available from the start. She's a genki heroine, but really intelligent at the same time, kind of Ayaka from To Heart. She would be my natural first choice if not for the other two heroines... 
    Kurosaki Komugi is our crazy alien or so she's introduced in the game. The cute girl with bunny ears swears like a sailor and picks up on everyone. She makes every scene whirl around her. By To Heart analogy she's definitely Multi.
    Nagamura Saeka is kind of joker of this game. She looks like a serious sempai, but she turns out to be of mischievous kind. Masada went a long way to invent all kinds of plot twists for her route. The one fact is that in her route Kyouichi dates.... drums-drums... Mai! And Saeka kind of tries to support them. Finishing with To Heart analogies, she's definitely Shiho.

    Story: Don't think there is integral story. Mai just starts living in Kyouichi family and attending the same class. Game starts with the choice between heroines, but if we start following Mai route there's later branching to Komugi and Saeka routes. I especially want to take  notice of Kyouichi parents - they're marvelous and really funny. Guess now it's time say a few words about my attitude towards heroines. Both Komugi and Saeka routes were really good for the comedy part and quite good for the drama. Not really should game would make it to the masterpiece status for me without these two brilliant routes written by Masada.
    Overall comments: I'll be brief since it's not a plotge. I never really cared for charage and grew a disgust towards the titles with great evaluation like Mashiro Iro Symphony or White Album 2 (I hope to bitch about it some day too). I got assured that I can appreciate a charage only in conjunction with some great story like in SubaHibi or Cross†Channel. So Dear My Friend really took me by surprise. There's no great depth or drama in here, but it's an absolutely enjoyable cozy read. And it's not all Masada's praise as Kyouichi's parents written by main author are equally enjoyable. Guess Dear My Friend produced a little revolution in me, and I've yet to know how to live with this thought.

  2. Haha
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Ramaladni for a blog entry, MinDeaD BlooD ~支配者の為の狂死曲~ ~Shihaisha no Tame no Kyoushikyoku~ [Black Cyc]   
    Foreword: There are a lot of praising reviews of this untranslated game (1 2 3), which was a great surprise for me. Are we really observing a great mistreated masterpiece in this case?
    Title: MinDeaD BlooD ~Shihaisha no Tame no Kyoushikyoku~
    Developer: Black Cyc
    Date: 2004-06-11
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v1060
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr5YBK4CASw&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv8DxlQByl9ojtAByJ-gdpN6

    Synopsis: Just off the coast of mainland Japan is the island of Chisakura, home to a city of the same name, where the heralds of darkness are slowly gathering. Host to a prosperous economy, with a nationally renowned academic institution for young women and an equally upstanding medical research facility, the community has unwittingly attracted the attentions of dreaded supernatural creatures with few equals: vampires. Yet even these immortal predators have daring individuals who hunt them, and a secret war between the two powers is quickly racing to an apocalyptic conclusion. At the center of this nightmarish struggle is a man who has the potential to tip the scales in favor of one side or the other. His choice of allies - the hunters, the vampires, or none at all - may very well determine the fate of humanity and the undead.
    Game type: Vampire amnesia action nukige
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 6/10
    Overall rating: 6/10

    Since there are other reviews, just some personal impressions are enough. NO. This game is NOT a masterpiece. It was a huge mistake on my part to even launch this game without checking it out properly. Let's try to observe some of its elements.

    MinDeaD BlooD does have an ok story, but it's not a great one. The only "events" of the story is getting closer to different heroines and together triggering some kind of ending, often with action scenes. The "events" of bonding are dozens of H scenes with each heroine, over a hundred of events overall. Is there anything worthy about this game - action scenes / heroine stories / amnesia information recovery ? Nope. So why do all these people praise the story? Just one reason - because this game is a nukige. If nukige has some kind of plot involved, it's already treated as a great feat. And if there are complex routes and multiple different endings to contain mystery elements - it's fresh, it's new. Compared to Yami no Koe and Mushitsukai this game really has a good story. But compare it to any normal plotge - and MinDeaD BlooD becomes just an average nukige.

    Game has over a hundred of H events, many have the same CG or slightly different CG. Those events are absolutely devaluated. They become mundane means of communication that repeat over and over during the 60 days course of the game. More than that, they are drawn in absolutely disgusting way, so it's no wonder reader gets an immunity over those and just skips them. When real heroines have their final bonding event, there's no emotion left for it, it gets skipped as well. Nukige nature of the game leaves a stamp of disgust on all its elements and really hinders evaluation of the story.

    The only way to get game and story interesting is to introduce really interesting characters that start to live on their own creating meanings. I absolutely can't see serious heroines behind these chunks of meat. Protagonist Shizuru with his cool attitude is ok, but basically he is a serial rapist, and I don't have the slightest desire to get to know his psychology. 

    Game composition is absolutely horrible. For each of 60 days we get to choose where to go both for Shizuru and vampire twins Mana and Mayu. It's absolutely impossible to do anything without a walkthrough here. Even with walkthrough it's very easy to screw something up. There are some 27 endings (don't cite me on that) with some 15 being named ones. But among those named ones most are still bad endings. Some endings only take couple minutes. Some are only accessible through normal mode (not easy mode) and only prior to clearing the rest of the endings. It's really a mess. There aren't heroine endings, just some named ones. Gameplay is such a torture. Hopefully, I covered all the big branches in my video. I really wanted to see all the meaningful branches to be able to evaluate the story properly, but this game does not care about readers at all.

    In the raw outcome, MinDeaD BlooD can't be compared to normal plotge like 3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~. It has such gross nature, that it can be compared only to fellow nukige games, and these review scores of 7/10, 8/10, 9/10 should be treated as 7/10, 8/10, 9/10 among nukige games where having any kind of plot is already a boon. Vampire theme got a boost after Tsukihime, but none of the vampire visual novels were able come close to it. I call it Tsukihime curse.

  3. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, VN of the Month June 2004 - 3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~   
    3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~ is VN of the Month. I'm intrigued by positive reviews of MinDeaD BlooD ~Shihaisha no Tame no Kyoushikyoku~ . I'm going to review it and develop an  opinion on it.
    1. Cosple Tea Party こすぷれ☆ティーパーティー [040604] Softhouse Dew

    Main character gets drag, ged to an alumni assotiation meeting by his two friends who wish to temporarily revive high school cosplay club consisting of six pretty girls. Protagonist gets attracted by their charm, especially by "rabbit" girl Yuka. A moege with dozens of spontaneous events rather than an integrative story.  
    2. Dice-ki! ~Koi wa Un Makase~ ダイス・き!~恋は運任せ~ [040604] Studio B-Room

    Main character advances to a new school and falls in love with a woman at first sight. However, childhood friend and classmates notice the change and are eager to change his view on women. Is love just a dice throw or it's possible to shake off annoying love candidates? A really bad board SIM game.  
    3. Koyuki no Aka 小雪の朱-コユキノアカ- [040604] Discovery

    School is closed due to raging snowstorm. Main character manages to get there due to a promise given to his girlfriend. But weather deteriorates rapidly, and there is no way back anymore. A group of students and a teacher get trapped at this empty building in the sea of snow. There is not much to do, so students organize to pursue legendary school wonders. It's not mystery that they find, but something totally unexpected... Love story in hindered conditions won't get old, not after those KID games. Transformation of characters is depicted well even though sometimes it feels that some text is missing to describe motivations - actions feel sudden at times. There is fantasy element, but it feels natural in the school wonders setting. It is a nice change from the usual school romance games.  
    4. Majipuri -Wonder Cradle- まじぷり -Wonder Cradle- [040604] Purple Software

    One day, the protagonist Makoto Himekawa was going to his school, Shiroha Academy, when he came upon a girl going crazy by a vending machine. He went to help her, but ended up drenching her in soda instead. After a light argument, the protagonist christened this girl "Trouble Woman". Due to this he was late for school, and barely made it to homeroom. And there, it seemed that there was an exchange student. But that exchange student was ... the "Trouble Woman"! Thus, with the appearance of the exchange student Yuuri Ashitaba, Makoto's ordinary school life took a sudden turn for the decidedly non-boring, and through the athletic festival, the cultural festival, and even the autumn leaf festival, the chaos of his life quickly increased. And then, he was swallowed up in an unexpected incident ...  Kind of onii-chan game. Someone counted that onii-chan is pronounced 997 times here. Quality varies from one root to another. Game's definitely not for scenario-oriented people.  
    5. Natsu no Tomoshibi 夏の燈火 [040606] 1

    One day a young boy arrived at this village, holding a letter in one hand and his sister's hand in the other. They had no place left to go but the address written in the letter he was holding. Since they traveled with one-way tickets, there was no way back.
    In the end, they were accepted as a part of the family living at the address written in the message, and started their new life in the village.
    A village full of spirits and protected by gods summoned into mirrors... It's a doujin game, but since it's first Looseboy scenario I won't block it. It's a straight nakige with only two heroines for capture, about 6-7 hours per heroine. There is just one H event for each heroine. Game has to do with sickness and is not really interesting per se, especially with the rural monster introduction. But game text is really good. Only length actually reminds that it's still a doujin game.  
    6. MinDeaD BlooD ~Shihaisha no Tame no Kyoushikyoku~ MinDeaD BlooD ~支配者の為の狂死曲~ [040611] Black Cyc 1 2 3 4

    Just off the coast of mainland Japan is the island of Chisakura, home to a city of the same name, where the heralds of darkness are slowly gathering. Host to a prosperous economy, with a nationally renowned academic institution for young women and an equally upstanding medical research facility, the community has unwittingly attracted the attentions of dreaded supernatural creatures with few equals: vampires. Yet even these immortal predators have daring individuals who hunt them, and a secret war between the two powers is quickly racing to an apocalyptic conclusion. At the center of this nightmarish struggle is a man who has the potential to tip the scales in favor of one side or the other. His choice of allies - the hunters, the vampires, or none at all - may very well determine the fate of humanity and the undead. There are English reviews.  
    7. Oratorio ~Umi yori Aoi Natsu no Kanata de~ ORATORIO~海より青い夏の彼方で~ [040611] Unchain

    Main character studies at geophysics faculty. He receives a report mentioning his native island being in danger of volcano eruption this summer. He arrives to his native town and meets a lot of relatives and childhood acquaintances there. Strangely, volcano shows no signs of activity yet besides slight shakes... Game shines for its directorship and animation. Both protagonist and heroines are depicted very realistically, but there's not much in the story department, to be honest. There is unique charm and fresh ideas in this game which alone qualifies for a masterpiece.  
    8. Tantei Jinguuji Saburou Series No.03: Kiken na Futari 探偵 神宮寺三郎 Series No.03 危険な二人 [040623] WorkJam 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

    Detective Hunter and his assistant Yulia have been invited to watch Yulia's friend Sabin participate in a motorcycle race. It doesn't all go too well when he crashes in the race, but when the racing team checks up on him it turns out to be Thomas, Sabin's apprentice, under the helmet. The mystery deepens as another friend of Yulia is found murdered in a hotel room. There are English reviews.  
    9. DearS ディアーズ [040624] Vridge Inc. 1

    A visual novel based on the manga and anime series "DearS". A "game original" character, not seen in the manga or anime, makes an appearance. Takeya Ikuhara is a temperamental seventeen-year-old Japanese student attending the fictitious Koharu High School with a strong prejudice against the DearS. Due to a childhood scare, he believes that the aliens are fake, worthless beings that have generated nationwide overhype and are secretly plotting to take control of Earth.
    On his way home from school he discovers a homeless DearS who, after fainting and much to his annoyance, he feeds and shelters in his apartment. The girl, who he nicknames Ren, is infantile and friendly, and grows obsequious and dependent upon Takeya, a responsibility he tries to disassociate himself from. Her oblivious tenacity keeps her around, however, and over time, realizing Ren's genuine care and empathy for him, Takeya has a change of heart. Unfortunately, because Ren is deemed defective, DearS headquarters orders her arrested. SIM games are just no go for me.  
    10. Memories Off ~Sorekara~ Memories Off ~それから~ [040624] KID 1 2 3

    Inori was looking forward to go to the annual Ashikajima Fireworks Display with Isshu this summer. They had made a promise to always go to the fireworks festival together, since that was the place that they orginally became a couple. But Isshu said he wouldn't able to go because of his part time job. That day would fall on their two year anniversary. Inori went alone to their memorable place, the church... and she began to recall the previous two years. Fourth game in the Memories Off series (subtitled "Kakeganai Omoi wo Norikoete"). It takes place one year and a half after Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~ (Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~) There are English reviews.  
    11. 3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~ 3days~満ちてゆく刻の彼方で~ [040625] Lass 1 2

    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 senpai and also to find the identity of the murderer. There is an English review.  
    12. Angel Egg [040625] You & I

    You're a high school student who's secretly an accomplished writer. All the upperclassmen of the drama club suddenly decide to quit due to a conflict, and the remains of the club need to do a play for the upcoming school festival. You end up being responsible for the script. Everything is painful about this game. Text depictions, boring characters, inconsistencies... It's a light work, but can't really be recommended.  
    13. Doko e Iku no, Ano Hi 何処へ行くの、あの日 [040625] Moonstone 1 2

    I killed a girl. Who was she...? The protagonist, Kunimi Kyousuke can't remember the memories of his distant past. Even the details are vague, merely appearing as flashes in his heart.
    "I am certainly the one who with this hand did that to the lone girl", he keeps thinking, but can't even remember the time or place it happened. But the memories are slowly entering his mind. He remembers the corpse...
    How will Kyousuke deal with his supposed sin? There are English reviews.  
    14. Innocence pain ~Michiru Yami Kakeru Tsuki~ Innocence pain~満ちる闇 欠ける月~ [040625] Ankh

    Main character is a new teacher at girls academy where witch legend is popular. He pays little attention to this story, but one day occult-looking events lead to student injury. Similar incidents continue while the culprit remains unknown. Protagonist starts his own investigation. Game is described as a suspense story, but it's mostly normal SOL in girls school. There is very short story involved, so they have to pour lots of water and insert insult scenes at random. Game produces rather weak impression.  
    15. Miko-san Hosoude Hanjouki 巫女さん細腕繁盛記 [040625] Studio Ryokucha

    Main character receives priest education and returns from Tokyo to his home town. But the local shrine
    is on the verge of bankruptcy. Protagonist needs to work hard alongside cute shrine maidens and childhood friends. Who will be his girlfriend during the festival? Light comedy game, but of mediocre quality. First half is somewhat saved by gags, but there is no charm of the heroines. The hinted conflict with the enemy has thin presence.  
    16. Night Wizard Mahou Taisen ~The Peace Plan to Save the World~ ナイトウィザード 魔法大戦~The Peace Plan to Save the World~ [040625] Rune

    Peaceful school life is interrupted by a transfer student arrival. Newcomer vows to kill main character who has his abilities awakened shortly afterwards. With the power of science and magic protagonist needs to defeat demons and save the world in card battles. You need only wins, so upon losing in battle game just restarts the card battle. World is based on tabletop RPG Night Wizard released in 2002, so is rather rich in detail. Each route takes some 10 hours, but it's impossible to skip battles, so it get bothersome from the second lap. Each heroine has two H events, plus there's a number of sub-heroines. There's nothing that stands out here.  
    17. Rakuen ~Ai Kawarazu na Boku no Baai~ らくえん~あいかわらずなぼく。の場合~ [040625] TerraLunar 1 2 3 4

    The player takes the role of a nameless protagonist that the script refers to as Boku. Boku is a ronin that moves to Tokyo in hopes of being able to study and prepare himself for the university entrance exams. His hobbies as an artist and the myriad of temptations of the big city have kind of caused him to waste his time away, playing games and watching anime instead of focusing on studying. His need for a job eventually landed him a job at MoonEarth, an eroge studio that at the time was needing a character designer. The studio's fate takes a turn for the worse when the scenario writer decides to entirely drop out just as the crew is producing their first title. Seeing as the fledgeling studio is under a lot of scrutiny from its parent companies, this turn of events places MoonEarth in a very sticky situation. As such, the story focuses on MoonEarth's budget problems (the project director likes gambling budget money away by playing pachinko), scheduling issues (the lack of a scenario writer means EVERYTHING from character designs to CGs to BGMs and Voice Actor casting is delayed as well), and eventual crunch-time (since as of the game's start, MoonEarth has one month to create a game from scratch) as they trudge their way to releasing their first title, a game called Ai kawarazu na boku. There are English reviews.  
    18. Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro そらのいろ、みずのいろ [040625] Ciel 1

    Asa & Natsume are both in love with Hajime Saisho. Instead of fighting over him, they both promised to share him equally. However, both girls have to leave him by the end of the summer. As the summer days go by, they each spend their precious time with Hajime, while the day of their fated departure draws near. Game was in many people's wish-lists, but upon release it could not really boast something more than just another Tony's works graphics borderline nukige. It failed to please pure love fans because of its NTR tilt. It could not please nukige fans because of long exhausting monotonous routes without letting any steam out.  
    19. Suzukuri Dragon 巣作りドラゴン [040625] SofthouseChara 1 2 3 4

    The setting is Middle Ages Europe style. A dragon male (the protagonist) must, in order to marry, amass a lot of treasures and wealth in his dungeon. For that reason, the protagonist went alone and lived in an area where human lives, constructed a huge nest and started amassing treasures. However, soon after the nest got built, gallant heroes wanting to exterminate dragons, townspeople that see the dragon as a nuisance and adventurers and thief out to get the dragon's treasure came.
    With this, he couldn't gather treasures at ease. Therefore, the protagonist hired monsters, added traps and threatened the neighboring area to not approach his nest. With his nest's defense strengthened, the protagonist started amassing wealth. He searched for a gold mine all over the place, started farming, deforested the forest to build drawers out of it. Of course, the foolish invaders that's successfully repulsed are stripped of all their possessions. Incidentally the women are used as sparring partner to gain experience for the honeymoon.
    Will he succeed in amassing treasures and marry his fiancée? Or would he meet some other woman...? There are English reviews.  
    20. Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito Typing Traveller ヤミと帽子と本の旅人 タイピングトラベラー [040625] Livedoor

    Main character's librarian sister got sucked into some book. Protagonist dives into different book worlds in order to rescue his sister. Typing episodic game, not in my interest league.  
    BLOCKED  
    1. Kokuin Waltz. 刻淫ワルツ。 [040601] Sponge Teikoku I had a childhood girl friend Rinka, who I always stayed together. One day her cousin got killed in a car crash. She told me that she'd been in love with him but trained as a sex slave..... Hot sizzling 10 days with her!! Adventure game with voice. Doujin Nukige  
    2. Lo-Devi ~Koakumateki Hen'airon~ ろーでび ~小悪魔的偏愛論~ [040604] Black Light Main character is a lower class demon who comes to this town to store human arousal power. However, she gets compelled to sex acts herself which is bad for her as she can not gain energy this way. Can she become a high-level demon? Nukige
     
    3. Mirai Daughter Musuemon 未来ドーター ムスえもん [040604] ZyX There are four stories about main character's daughters coming from future to live and laugh with him.  Lolicon  
    4. Moteasobing ~Moteasobaretai~ 弄ing~もてあそばれたい~ [040604] Yamikumo-Communications A mistake put Nagase Izumi, a boy and the protagonist of the story, to the girls dormitory. Head of the dormitory, Ayame, acknowledged her mistake and decided to let him live there. She even made a move on him and they had sex right there.
    But on the next day, she gave him a videotape of them having sex; which was edited to make it look like Izumi raped Ayame. As it turned out, Ayame had a hobby of peeping on her tenants and there were secret cameras in every room of the dormitory.
    In return for not spreading videotape all over, Ayame told Izumi to have sex with the tenants and sexually train them, including her own daughter. Nukige  
    5. Yume Shokushu! 夢触手! [040609] BANANA BLUE SOFT A package was sent to me one day, a panties was in. With the "dream" panties on in bed, anyone can have a dream whatever it is. A glasses girl tries to see the effect, but... Doujin Nukige  
    6. Houkago no Love Beat 放課後のLove Beat [040610] HuneX The main character is a high school girl trained in classical piano who has just transferred to a new high school, Aobadai Gakuen. On her first day, she gets lost and meets 4 boys there who are secretly practising as a band. She eventually becomes the songwriter for the band, using her classical background to create fresh melodies for the band to build on. Otomege  
    7. Hanazono no Musume 花園の娘 [040611] Dark Side Main character breaks up with his girlfriend and goes to the sea thinking about suicide. He calms down a little and turns back when his leg slips dragging him  in the den below the cliff.
    He wakes up in a Western-style mansion inhabited by three young women and one housekeeper. He has to stay there till he recovers. What secret is hidden inside the building? Nukige  
    8. Haruiro Toiki ~Kinroku Suimitsu Momo no Shimai-tachi~ 春色吐息~禁録・水蜜桃の姉妹たち~ [040611] EXtry Main character wants to be seen as a man, but childhood nurtured the girly side of him. His parents' business partners insisted on protagonist staying at the house with only women bullying him every day. The harassment continued till the day he broke the seal during shrine visit and gained great physical and mental power over women. Nukige  
    9. Moekasu モエカす [040611] KeroQ Among other goodies there are two stories based on the extended world of Moekan's Kirishima route and Tsui no Sora. Fandisc  
    10. Marukon まるコン [040611] Danco
    Main character leads a normal life until the day he picks an object from the devil world off the road.
    He starts to have mischief with the girls around him, and bizarre incidents start to happen one after another. Fate makes him travel to the devil world with different girls. Nukige  
    11. Bishoku 美喰 [040618] Gage Kenji Asama has returned to his home city to exact revenge on Douzan Kanzaki, his hated father. And all the girls somehow involved with Douzan will become the instrument of Kenji's revenge, willing or not... Nukige  
    12. Oshikake Mahou Shoujo Yui おしかけ魔法少女ユイ [040619] Lilith Soft Shacking up with a puni magical girl!
    The source of her magic is energy of men!! Inject sperm into her pussy without hesitation! Nukige  
    13. Azazel アザゼル [040620] Akabei Soft Main character loses after an accident two years ago. Life goes on peacefully till he notices a  shadow of a woman with a gun followed by receiving an injection. All his senses improve immensely, but so do his desires. Standing in a pool of blood he hears her say: "Finally your powers have been unsealed". Doujin  
    14. Ane Ore Imouto ~Kyoushi, Doukyuusei, Kouhai no Kankei~ 姉・オレ・妹~教師、同級生、後輩のカンケイ~ [040625] MBS Truth -The protagonist Kousuke attends school while living with his 3 stepsisters.
    The oldest sister is his homeroom teacher, the second sister is his classmate and the youngest sister attends the neighboring girls school.
    Kousuke starts developing certain emotions towards the sisters...
    Mixing in a childhood friend and a student council president an exciting school life is about to begin. Nukige  
    15. Boku to 4nin no Onna Kyoushi 僕と4人の女教師 [040625] Take Out Shun is a high school student. He has a regular head but looks weak and he is prissy. That is why he is sometimes teased by other students. However, he is living a peaceful life at school. But his peaceful life is destroyed by a new teacher Kasumi, beautiful and pure. He gets stiff when she is around and can't move even his tongue. When he knows Kasumi is engaged to Yoshio who is the worst teacher at school, the story starts to .... Nukige  
    16. Chijoku no Gakuen ~Toukou Sareru Onna Kyoushi~ 恥辱の学園~投稿される女教師~ [040625] Euros Main character gains pleasure from putting women in shameful exposing positions. But girls get used to it with time. Then he makes up his mind to spend shameful sessions outdoors... Nukige  
    17. Crime Rhyme クライミライ CrimeRhyme [040625] FlyingShine Black Aida Masaki, the leader of the newspaper club, has been investigating the rumor of ghosts with Kaede and Hinoki. Meanwhile, Shion, who lives with Masahi, is invited to the psychic treatment club's anniversary party by her classmate. However, the psychic treatment club is actually a group of rapists. Nukige  
    18. Hanamaru 3 Shimai はなまる3姉妹 [040625] Honey Soft Main character is a university student living alone in Tokyo. As he returns to his home town, he reunites with three neighbor girls. However, these girls aren't same innocent girls anymore - they are well aware of men as opposite sex. They suggest having relations with them  simultaneously at the same time. So starts their secret. Nukige  
    19. Immoral [040625] Blue Gale A school doctor comes in possession of a sexual hypnotic spray that inhibits girls to succumb to sexual desires. One after another, high school girls fall prey to the school doctor's sex schemes turning them into sex slaves. Nukige  
    20. Inran Byoutou 24 Ji 淫乱病棟24時 [040625] Tryset The protagonist is a horny young guy involved in a motorcycle accident whose stay in the hospital is spiced by 4 nurses, a female doctor and 2 female patients just as horny as he is turning his stay in the hospital to every day a 24 hour sexathon. Nukige  
    21. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien ~Special Fan Disc~ 君が望む永遠 ~special FanDisk~ [040625] Age 1 "What would have happened if that accident never took place?"
    Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Special Fan Disc explores this concept by retelling the first chapter of the original game. Also includes radio shows, puzzles, wallpapers and other fan materials. Fandisc  
    22. Kuro Ai ~Ichiya Saikan Inkou Rannyuuroku~ 黒愛 一夜妻館・淫口乱乳録 [040625] Clock Up Gojo Testsuya visited his distant related aunt, Kojin Rikka, to borrow money for the operation of Utsumi Ayaka. She is his childhood friend, and she took care of him like his sister. However, in return for lending money, Rikka ordered him to take beautiful women into the house to train them as prostitutes. Assaulting maids and female students, his hidden power was awakening. Nukige  
    23. Love Fetish ~Ashi Fetish Ashikoki Hen~ らぶフェチ ~脚フェチ・足コキ編~ [040625] Erogos After an accident Kouji bumps into the local school idol and ends up with his head stuck between her legs. This triggers a fascination and Kouji starts on his newest fetish conquest. Nukige  
    24. Nee, Chanto Shiyou Yo! 2 姉、ちゃんとしようよっ!2 [040625] Candy Soft Sequel to the first game.
    One year after the events of the first game, Kuuya Hiiragi finally finished his training at some distant relative's house, the Inugami family.
    After so much time, he is finally allowed to go back to the Hiiragi house and live together with his six older adopted sisters who love and dote him.
    But little he knew, his two adopted sisters at the Inugami house where he was training himself also loved him, and came after him.
    Now Kuuya has eight adopted sisters fighting for him. Nukige  
    25. Ryoujoku Hitozuma Onsen 凌辱人妻温泉 [040625] Strikes This is a historic Japanese style hotel, but after Yuji began to work part-time, everything has gone wrong. First, the young landlady and a waitress fell victims to him. Not being satisfied with them, the next games he aims at are three young married women staying at the hotel. Nukige  
    26. Tsui no Yakata ~Ningyou~ 終の館 ~人形~ [040625] Circus Fetish 1 Released under the Circus brand division 'Circus Fetish', the Tsui no Yakata series mainly focuses on maids.
    It's a winter's day and a second-hand dealer by the name of Akihiro pursues a clue he hopes will help him find a valuable doll by the little-known but skillful doll-maker Holst.
    The clue leads him to a certain European-style mansion, currently used as a brothel. Akihiro, meeting the mansion's mistress and the maid Melissa, decides to search the house in order to find the missing doll... Nukige  
    27. X Change 3 [040625] Crowd 1 2 You are Takuya Aihara, the hero/heroine of the story. You've been blessed with a very interesting life: several years ago you were changed a girl through bizarre chemistry accidents, not once but twice. Now as you approach your final year of university with faithful girlfriend Asuka at your side, you almost get nostalgic thinking about those crazy days you spent as a girl.
    Until it happens again, that is: that troublesome Kouji, still madly in love with your female persona, secretly gets Asami-senpai to whip up some of the sex-change potion and tricks you into drinking it! It'll be harder than ever for you to change back into your male self this time, but you've got no choice: you have to find a way to return to normal before your female body becomes permanent. Although Asuka is one of the most understanding women in the world, there's no way she'll stay with you as a girl -- that's just not her thing.
    As you start another round of bizarre sexual adventures in your female body, virtually all the characters from the past X-Change games are back: your twisted sister Natsumi, who loves to tease you; the ingenius Asami-senpai; the endlessly experimenting Chisato; and a host of others from the first two games. With an even richer and more complex game story than last time, you'll have loads of fun exploring college life in your new female body, with many rewarding story lines to discover. Where will it all end? Nukige  
    28. Erogeteki ni Imouto Suki! エロゲ的に妹好き! [040626] Sansai Soft Brother continues playing eroge while staying numb towards feelings of his real sister. One day his friend confesses his feelings to the sister. What should brother do in this situation? Doujin Nukige  
    29. My Pet Alchemist マイペットアルケミスト [040627] MOON GODDESS Alchemist Michelle sells illegal glaze to a shady merchant. How is it possible to stop her? One option is to drawn Michelle into the abyss of insult ...  Doujin Nukige  
    30. Have Relations With... ~Maho to Kataho~ have relations with… ~真帆と片帆~ [040630] Soft Circle Courreges I have a strong desire that I have never told anyone before...... I want to be humiliated and used like a slave by men...... Maho is a submissive woman indeed, while her younger sister Kataho is free-spirited and sexually active. Doujin Nukige  
    31. Milkyway 2.5 [040630] Witch Game observes the process of coupling and producing the new generation of heroines to come in Milkyway 3. Fandisc  
    32. Departures Second Engine [0406] Ochanomizu Electronic Manufacturing With dream and courage main character sets off for an adventure. He has to come over numerous trials to discover the secret behind the maritime Empire. Doujin
  4. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Arktic for a blog entry, VN of the Month October 1996 - Bounty Hunter Rudy   
    Star Platinum, Angel Halo, Stone Walkers and Bounty Hunter Rudy are masterpieces of the month. That's a difficult choice! I believe that Bounty Hunter Rudy is the worthiest for being VN of October 1996.   1. Girl 2 ガール2 [961001] Juice Reiko is a female tutor of three young girls. Here are three stories of what happened at the lessons. Game is focused on H events and the feature of the series is small windows that show only some part of the body.   2. Star Platinum スタープラチナ [961010] Custom 1 2 3 4 High in the heavens, there was a girl who was training in a shrine to be the successor of a goddess. One day, the goddess had to leave the shrine to attend a meeting of the many gods, leaving the girl alone at the shrine. The goddess warned her to leave alone a box of star-souls within the shrine, and that under no circumstances should she open it. Naturally, as soon as the goddess had left, the girl's curiosity got the better of her and she opened the box. The star-souls escaped, turned the girl into a small fairy, and fled down towards the Earth. She must track down and capture the star-souls, now causing mischief on Earth, before the goddess returns to the shrine. However, while chasing several of the star-souls through the sky, the girl crashes through the window of a young man who lives on Earth. She decides that since he can somehow see her, that he's going to help her out, and so the two of them begin their adventure. In the story mode the story unfolds until a character in need of exorcising is encountered and then a special card battle is held. The biggest feature of this work is totally unique style of graphics that's impossible to confuse with anything else.   3. Toriko 虜 [961011] D.O. Slave training simulator with prisoner as main theme. Shocking game and spiritual follower of SEEK. Training scenes are even animated. System is too difficult for modern players. There are some ardent fans of this work, but majority won't even come close to it.   4. Angel Halo Angel Halo −エンジェル・ハイロウ− [961017] Active 1 2 The protagonist, Kusakabe Makoto, is living a normal school life without knowing he is the reincarnation of Lucifer. One day an angel named Sofia and a demon named Lilith come to him. They are the messengers of Heaven and Hell. The day of Lucifer's judgement is approaching. I have a full review prepared.   5. Katei Kyoushi 家庭教師 [961018] Interheart Again Interheart and again nothing is found.   6. Stone Walkers ストーンウォーカーズ [961018] Sunsoft 1 Stone Walkers is an adventure game in which you take the role of Randy a teacher similar to Indiana Jones and his two girl helpers in a dangerous adventure searching for a mayan artifact called the Jade Mask. The adventure begins when they travel to Guatemala to start the search in some mayan ruins. Playstation exclusive title. It's command selection, but at times different forms like setting up traps that trigger trouble events. And you can not bruteforce all the commands since you've only got limited selection number, so need to think carefully what to choose. And there are multiple endings so the weight of choice increases even further. As a non-romance adventure story it returns to the origins like De-Ja or Nook series and that's why feels fresh in the launched romance novel era.   7. Bounty Hunter Rudy バウンティはんたぁルディ [961025] Scoop 1 Rudy is a famous space bounty hunter with top notch skills. But she's famous mostly for her ability to fall into troubles due because of uncontrolled destruction power. In order to deal with the debts she goes to casino but drenches down into even deeper debt. She is offered a top secret military case and she's in no position to reject it. Rudy is bisexual in the sense that with women she becomes a futanari... The main feature of the game is parody... it has reference to dozens of contemporary western and eastern media works from Start Wars to Crayon Shin-Chan. The evaluation of the game greatly depends on the ability to find and enjoy those parodies. I've a full review prepared.   8. Cherry Moderate チェリーマドレット [961025] Ucom Hero and his classmate argued about who of them was more popular with the girls. Now with the nanpa competition launched hero needs to win the hearts of as many girls as possible. Capture is not really difficult since at all times you can consult the school nurse who tells exactly what to do in each girl's case. The number of girls is big, but each girl story is plain and short - and ends with a CG. There is a time limit and all the girls that aren't conquered by the hero are conquered by his rival - that guy has a 100% success rate!   9. Ikumoto 生本● [961025] Illusion This Illusion game has the same fate as other early win95 eroge - oblivion.   10. RAM 1 - New Evolution Organize ラ・ム1 ニューエボリューションオーガナイズ [961025]  GMF Shinsuke is a teenager from modern time. He has a special mark on his forehead which is said to kill him on removal by his father. RAM is a girl who comes from 10.000 years ago in the past to the modern time. She searches for NEO where NEO stands for New Evolution Organize or in other words human with evolved cellular organization, a superhuman. After RAM removes the patch from Shinsuke forehead the bright light fills the room and a new sign is formed there. RAM is going to turn Shinsuke into NEO before DOMI from future arrives. Game actually follows Classmate as there is top down travelling around the map and time dimension. Shinsuke meets different girls at different locations. I'm bad with such type of games and there's next to zero information about the game.   11. Haruka no Sora ~Gekitou Mahjong Taikai Hen~ 遥の空 ~激闘麻雀大会編~ [961025]

    This is another strip majong game. In the story mode, you can pick one of 6 girls to fight for a banshee tear, which can grant one wish. I've no words for strip mahjong.   12. G no Kyokuhoku Gの極北 [961031] Bunny Pro. And one more forgotten eroge of early Windows era.
  5. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Salem no Majo-tachi セイレムの魔女たち [rúf]   
    Foreword: It looked like a semi-historical plot-centered game, so why not sample it, really.
    Title: Salem no Majo-tachi
    Developer: Daiginjou
    Date: 2003-08-08
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v3679
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P53wX3hGx64&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-sUBbx3VBtkjZ8QS4wiJk4

    Synopsis: Year 1699. A young priest, named Kevin, sailed to the peaceful town in the British colony in the New World. This town's name was Salem. He is yet to know all of the horrors of the Salem's witch-hunt.
    Game type: Semi-historical drama
    Difficulty: Easy, very few choices
    Character Design rating: 7/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 5/10
    Game quality: 6/10
    Overall rating: 6/10
    Rating comments: Story became a major disappointment for me dragging it all down.

    Protagonist: Kevin is actually really nice. His identity is complex - English pastor of indian origin fighting with knuckles. He is always shown with face. He does not really move the plot, but he's still a cool guy looking naturally in this environment.
    Characters: There are four heroines - naive main heroine Meg, free-spirit Julia, pretentious Emily and genius Sophie. I played only the routes of the first two - main heroine and gun-wielding girl. And these are two dead-serious boring heroines. All the comedy relief is created by the other two heroines. The problem with characters is that routes are pretty much the same - first some incident happens which is resolved by particular heroine special skill - love blooms - then it moves to the actual witch-hunt.

    Story: Such pseudo-historical setting is quite disadvantageous, as for me. It is overcrowded with all kinds of one-sided grotesque characters. Even prior to playing the game reader already has a very good image of what's going to happen - there's going to be a witch trial and a happy end. So the only thing that should surprise to create an impact is process and plot shifts. Game introduces two humorous heroines to lighten up the mood, but it still remains overextended historical SOL with just two notable events. Main heroine Meg route tries to tell a more involving story, but too little too late.

    Thoughts: 
    Somehow much older Dorei Ichiba produced a better impression on me. That were easy to grasp single heroine stories with interesting individual lines and plot shifts. Much shorter as well. Salem no Majo-tachi is a much more complex game containing dozens of characters, but heroines fail to charm, and lots of filler scenes both distract and irritate.
    Overall comments: Game is of very high quality and made with much effort and skill, but neither story, nor heroines manage to grasp attention, and without it any game is worthless for me.

  6. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Ramaladni for a blog entry, Interlude インタールード [Longshot]   
    Foreword: I played Aya route six  years ago, but was left quite confused for the lack of understanding. Anime put its dots, but it deliberately changed the ending. I'm over-enjoyed to finally read all the routes in all the complexity.
    Title: Interlude
    Developer: Longshot
    Date: 2003-03-13
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v3195
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE78kKpg5QY&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9mjQjlqFFGFu9r_-rNk861

    Synopsis: For a close-knit foursome of high school friends, life is all about sleeping in class, strawberry milk, and after-class karaoke. However, our unnamed main protagonist is troubled by nightmares of death and disaster. Only when he begins to realize that his memories of people and events are different from those of Tamaki Maiko (named "Tama-chan" by her friends, "Mai-chan" by herself), Chimu and Harusa, his three female friends, does he begin to wonder. Later, when the waking dreams start.... a short moment of him seeing something that noone else sees....an attractive young lady, who stares back at him in amazement from an empty subway station, does he begin to wonder about his sanity. That evening, the four encounter and follow a shadow with no person, only to encounter a gang of stumbling zombies. And then he wakes up that morning from yet another bad dream, but the threads of reality have become a bit too frayed, and he begins to see a way in which he can travel over to the reality of his nightmares.

    Length: 20 hours
    Game type: Parallel universe piercing real world mystery
    Difficulty: Relatively easy. Avoid Tama and get one of two heroines. Mutsuki is more tricky.
    Character Design rating: 10/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 10/10
    Rating comments: I love absolutely everything about this game. Well, apart of protagonist.
    Protagonist: Keichiro is very kind and reliable. He manages to find the right words to support each heroine in the time of need. We get to see his face, but not his eyes. He's easy to sympathize with as any reader can feel in his shoes. We don't get to see his eyes though, so he does not feel like a fleshed out character.

    Characters: There are four heroines. 
    Tama is our genki childhood friend, and it's easy to get in her friendship root if she is paid a bit of attention during anyone else's route. Her love route is pretty much the same save for kisses as results of right choices helping Tama to start studying. Route is very easy-going yet ordinary. We get to see some strange things, but just ignore them. This route is quite ordinary, but it still is of masterpiece level due to great warm drawing and funny atmosphere.
    Izumi is our OL here, but she's pretty cute in hiding her breast that's impossible to hide all the time. Her route starts pretty much normally as we just tag along her at pubs etc serving as her bodyguard and helping her find her prince. In this route alternative world finally pierces real world with dreadful consequences. We also get to know a lot about this parallel world since Izumi work deals with it directly. But what this route really shines for is very colorful side-characters we stumble upon. Ending is very intense here.
    Aya is hands off the main heroine of the game. She is featured at the covers, and she's in the center of attention in every route but Tama. She has become everything I love in visual novels - cynical anti-social beauty with difficult fate and mysterious weapon. Of course, her route is the most powerful.
    Mutsuki route branches off Aya route and repeats it almost completely. We get to know not only fate of this suicide girl, but also the creation of the parallel world, so route is pretty important for the overall structure.

    Story: It starts normally, but we get to see abnormal signs with time. It's pretty much up to us and the route to decide whether we start to investigate them. 
    Thoughts: 
    1) Game tells us the basic things, but a lot of stuff remains unclear and subject to further theorizing. What's the role of this organization? What's their main plan and backup plan? What happens to main characters? Who is actually the Councillor?
    2) I like it a lot as after each ending we only get a very short ending filled with anxiety. Only after seeing all the endings we get a full great ending.

    Overall comments: Interlude was one of my first untranslated visual novels, and it determined my entire visual novel experience. My love for the moon and warrior serious beauties also originate from here. Game atmosphere is quite close to luv wave. Anime made the right steps in rationalizing the game and underlining the things that may have the biggest impact, but original remains the paragon of a great mystery game for me.

  7. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, VN of the Month March 2003 - Interlude   
    Interlude is the only masterpiece of the month. This month blocked novels surpassed normal ones over four times which is very scary considered that it's not a Comiket month.
    1. Erinyes [030313] Pleiades Company

    There is an island country similar to Japan. Memory of the great war that happened 50 years ago starts to wear off. But people who got hurt can never forget. There is a den where such people are gathered - underground prison. Now the time for settlement has come. Will protagonist escape from this place? What role will mysterious girl in the rain play? A free puzzle-based adventure with the aim to escape prison through many different ways and enter one of 20 endings. Game is more about the process than the result.  
    2. Interlude インタールード [030313] Longshot 1

    For a close-knit foursome of high school friends, life is all about sleeping in class, strawberry milk, and after-class karaoke. However, our unnamed main protagonist is troubled by nightmares of death and disaster. Only when he begins to realize that his memories of people and events are different from those of Tamaki Maiko (named "Tama-chan" by her friends, "Mai-chan" by herself), Chimu and Harusa, his three female friends, does he begin to wonder. Later, when the waking dreams start.... a short moment of him seeing something that noone else sees....an attractive young lady, who stares back at him in amazement from an empty subway station, does he begin to wonder about his sanity. That evening, the four encounter and follow a shadow with no person, only to encounter a gang of stumbling zombies. And then he wakes up that morning from yet another bad dream, but the threads of reality have become a bit too frayed, and he begins to see a way in which he can travel over to the reality of his nightmares. There is an English review. I absolutely adore this game. Anime is an absolute must watch one. Visual novel has different, longer ending and is nice for those who liked the anime.  
    3. Angelium -Tokimeki Love God- ANGELIUM -ときめきLOVE GOD- [030314] Terios

    Zeus was an omniscient and omnipotent god who ruled in Heaven where the gods lived. However, he was a pervert who had a wish to flirt with young angels, unbeknownst to his wife, Hera. He came up with an idea to make use of the promotion examination which took place every three years. Three angels, Yu, Miki, and Chado-ko, came down to Earth to take the exams. When they began to work part-time jobs at the flower shop, the severe trials occurred one after another.
    Zeus was taking care of them secretly. However, it's wasn't from his kindness, but from his perverted desires. But, his activities were known in the lower world... Slapstick comedy. Anime actually follows story quite faithfully, just with less volume, naturally.  
    4. Colorful Kiss ~12 ko no Mune Kyun!~ カラフルキッス ~12コの胸キュン!~ [030314] Giga

    Main character returns to his alma mater for teaching practice starting in the fall. According to facility rule he has to stay at student dormitory. His stay there is full of nostalgia. Oh, and there are so many events at school - sports festivals, culture festivals and school trips. He gets in touch with many juniors through these multiple occasions.  It's Giga, so I did not expect anything above average moege. And it's exactly like that - generic moege with 12 characters, each having 2 H scenes.  
    5. Ai Yori Aoshi 藍より青し [030320] KID 1 2 3 4

    The game comes with two different story segments, South Island and Winter Lake. South Island Edition 
    During winter vacation, Tina sees a TV program about the balmy southern islands and says that she wants to go to the ocean. Aoi proposes that they go visit her villa in the southern islands.
    They immediately board a cruise ship to make the journey to the island as a group. However, on the way the weather turns nasty and the ship capsizes. Miyabi calls for help, but the radio is broken and proves of no use. They 
    Winter Lake Edition 
    During winter vacation, Tina sees a TV program about the warm southern islands and says that she wants to go to the ocean again. Kaoru points out that they just been to the ocean. With perfect timing, Mayu shows up to invite them to her vacation home for the holidays. Game is localized and has English reviews.  
    6. Run [030320] Lip2 1

    The story begins with Kouichi, the only son from a wealthy family. His mother died when was very little, and within that lapse of time, his father married a second time, and the stepmother brought her own daughter over, Serino, who would later become Kouichi’s little sister. His father used to ride a bike in his youth, on which he went on many trips to many places, meeting up with new people, and having different experiences. Kouichi liked to listen attentively to his father stories, no matter how plain, or simple they sounded. Both his admiration and love for his father grew with the pass of time, mostly due to these stories, and seeing how other people relied so much on his father. But after a couple of years, his father passed away. It’s normal, life comes to an end, he thought. By then he was already a college student, and would soon inherit and administrate his father’s company. Reality kicks in, a reality far away from those stories he used to hear. He had to embrace it, until he stumbled upon that old bike once again. It was non-functional, rusty, long forgotten by time. That beaten up bike, left abandoned at the corner of the garage brought him to tears the moment he laid eyes on it, and decided to do a total restoration of it to go on a journey, just like his father did. Easier said than done, though. There’s school, responsibilities, and pretty soon, work. Somehow, he got permission, both from his father’s company and school to be absent for a while. And his stepmother helped him with the cost of the bike’s restoration. Okay, everything is moving smoothly. But he hasn’t done anything on his own, he is just the family’s pampered child. They answer to his whims. But that’s precisely why he wanted to go out to the world; to grow as a person, to gain experience in life, to stop being the family’s child, and become like his father, his life-long role model. To obtain that “something” his father had, but he actually hasn’t. There is an English review.  
    7. Sister Princess 2 シスター・プリンセス2 [030320] STACK software

    The story begins on the final day of school before summer vacation. Then the player chooses a sister who he wants to start with for a close relationship. Therefore, Sister Princess 2 is about spending the player's time with either one sister or all sisters at the same time as they spend their summer together. Especially in Sister Princess 2, the player can spend the summer with all the sisters, not just one, in a special ending where the sisters invite their brother to a summer party where the brother and the sisters would swear to be together forever. Sister Princess 2 has four endings for each sister. The first two were the non-sibling relation and siblings-together ending and, if the player chooses one sister in the beginning but ends up with another sister, either of the other two endings for the first sister who the player does not choose appear ("non-blood relation" ending and "still brother and sister forever" ending also) but with a different story. Prequel got quite famous. This sequel has different systems, but as for contents - it's almost the same. Summer vacation story - going on a trip with a sister. A solid sister experience.  
    8. Brown Doori Sanbanme ブラウン通り三番目 [030328] SofthouseChara

    The setting is Middle Ages, a time where peace and war is jumbled together. It is during this time that utility people called "Adventurers" came into existence.
    Monster extermination, ruins exploration, getting back stolen goods, etc.
    As long as you have rewards and policy, they're an extremely useful existence.
    To those people, weapons and goods necessary for adventure are sold, requests are dispatched and wounded bodies are tended and nursed.
    An extremely essential existence for them adventurers that is, "Adventurer's Bar". SofthouseChara continues to make weird SIM games, as always.  
    9. Tsuki no Mori 月の守 [030328] Ark

    Japan, feudal era. In this game, you are Tsukinomori, a samurai. After a very difficult battle, during a night of full moon, you are walking hurt and alone in the forest when you see a mysterious light emanating from inside an old sacred tree. Investigating, you find inside a beautiful girl, naked. Her name is Hime, and she is the promised daughter of the moon who comes to the Earth every 50.000 years to change the story of the humanity.
    Is she an angel or a devil? Will she bring salvation or destruction to the human race? It is up to you to decide by becoming her guardian, tutoring her and teaching her all she need to know in order to find her true destiny... Basically heroine asks about different aspects of the world and, depending on answers, one of four hidden parameters raises or drops. Such conversation continues endlessly, and - since there's no story in the game - it becomes super monotonous. The number of events is very limited. Rare kusoge.  
    BLOCKED  
    1. Moshi Moshi Milk Cocktail Debut もしもし みるくカクテル Debut [030304] Studio-74 Get acquainted with a girl by email and date her without making mistakes to get to know her for real. Doujin  
    2. Boku no Mesu Hisho wa Doukyuusei 僕の牝秘書は同級生 [030307] Liquid 1 The Kirishima family holds the long standing tradition that the head of the company must train and maintain a sex slave as an obedient partner. Young Masato must find and train a female slave to take over his father's position as CEO of the group.
    Masato's father has left his slave (secretary) to help young Masato to find a suitable candidate. Masato turns to his classmates in hopes of finding a suitable female sex slave. Three girls rise to the occasion. He must put those girls through intense training so he can choose the best one. Your choices help Masato to find the best female sex slave. Nukige  
    3. Houkai Jokyoku 崩壊序曲 [030307] Rouge Main character gets mistaken for a pervert on the train one day, but that incident helps him to get acquainted with Miyuki who goes to the same university. They start dating, but Miyuki has phobia of physical relations due to past trauma. However after one seminar titled "Respect for self" she starts to behave differently... Nukige  
    4. Rakuen Yuki 楽園行 -RAKUENYUKI- [030307] Alice Blue Taisei spends his days working at a convenience store. Nothing ever changes--until the day a briefcase full of cash was dropped in front of him. Suddenly there are scary guys after him and the briefcase. Now, with the help of his friends, he is on the run to stay alive... Boys Love  
    5. Soushitsukyou 喪失郷 [030307] Mu Naoto and his lover Miyuki were going to ski resort. However, their bus was stalled in blizzard. The passengers were helped by Natsuyo, a landlady of a Japanese style hotel, and they decided to stay at the hotel for a while. At that night, Naoto and Miyuki made love at the hotel over and over, but he couldn't be satisfied, and finally he began to love Natsuyo. The situation was the same with other passengers. In this closed space, ritual and accidents continued... A bizarre and erotic story was just begun... Nukige  
    6. Toki no Tabibito 季節の旅人 [030307] Miryou Koubou Main character is on the verge of marrying his lover, but one passionate night he loses consciousness and is awakened by his lover crying. The girl runs out and gets in a traffic incident. Protagonist's desire to revive his love is so strong that he gets warped in time. Nukige  
    7. Promised Land [030309] ANGEL/BLOOD Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side parody game. Main heroine has time till the final exam to find her love.  Otome Doujin  
    8. Angelique Etoile アンジェリーク エトワール [030314] Koei Fourth installment in the series. The main character is a girl from the cosmos ruled by Angelique Limoges named Ange, who must save the cosmos as the "Legendary Etoile". Includes all of the major characters from previous Angelique titles, plus three new "Holy Beast Cosmos" Guardians. Otome  
    9. Ayakashizoushi ~Oumagatoki no Yume~ あやかし草子~逢魔が時の夢~ [030314] Mermaid Main character is the successor of a shrine, but he does not believe in monsters, spirits etc. One day youkai begin to sing. Protagonist does not know how to handle youkai, but thanks to that inability he manages to handle them his way - by having intimacy with them. Luckily, all youkai have shape of little girls. Protagonist's revolution has begun! Lolicon  
    10. Cosplay Tantei Nama Kigae♪ こすぷれ探偵ナマ着替え♪ [030314] Chiffon Main character is an ordinary college student. One day he is taken to a cabaret by his sempai and falls in love with hostess Sakura at first sight. However, in reality she is a woman detective who loves cosplay. Protagonist decides to work as her assistant, and he has to squeeze into nurses, maids, shrine maidens etc costumes while she wears female police officer uniform. Depending on the content of requests, sex techniques need to be applied to successfully fulfill the cases.  Nukige  
    11. Mahou no Milk Tea ni Onegai 魔法のミルクティーにお願い [030314] Hadashi Shoujo Main character becomes an owner of a tea shop, but he is not really interested in tea. He wants to have intimate relations with girls around. So he adds aphrodisiac to the tea and enjoys company of waitresses and cute clients. Nukige  
    12. Motto! Himitsu Taiken もっと!ヒミツたいけん [030314] Complet's Takes place a year after "Boku no Himitsu Taiken". Nukige  
    13. Ura Kazoku Yuugi ~Oyako Choukyou Hanashi~ 裏家族遊戯~母娘調教譚~ [030314] Haoh Father remarries a very young girl, and protagonist moves out to live alone. But as father gets into an accident, mother-in-law begs protagonist to return home. The scale of distortion at home is yet to become known. Nukige  
    14. Goukon Date! 合コンデート! [030319] TOKOTON-LOVERS Atobe gets a date, but choices can lead to a crazy outcome like getting to Sengoku samurai and ninja. Boys Love Doujin  
    15. Joi Okkusu 女医○っくす [030320] Blue Gale ON DEMAND This spring main character enters private medical college. He is attached to a senior doctor. This doctor turns out to be his lovely neighbor Yukari who he admires for a long time. However, she behaves coldly unlike old times. Protagonist is told that her character has changed after being betrayed by a man. 
    Yukari... let me heal you so that you could shine like before! Nukige  
    16. Sexfriend SEXFRIEND ~セックスフレンド~ [030320] CODEPINK Sexfriend focuses on the protagonist, Takabe Tomohiro who just happened to have his first sexual encounter in the nurse's office after school with his classmate, Hayase Mina. Tomohiro and Mina had been just friends until that fateful day. But was surprised at her attitude, he started to become addicted to the woman's body, and he continued the relationship with Hayase and eventually desires a real romantic relationship, not just friends with "benefits and cookies". With the school nurse's help, they were able to have sexual practice everyday. Nukige  
    17. Tsuma x Tsuma 3 ~Koko wa Hitozuma Market!~ 人妻×人妻3~ここは人妻まーけっと!~ [030320] Discovery 1  Sakuraba Koutarou has taken over the Sakura Mart since his father passed away due to a traffic accident. He now has to take over Sakura Mart's management and also take care of his young and beautiful mother in law Sakuraba Minato and his little sister Sakuraba Nagisa. The road before him wont be an easy one however since his evil older brother is demanding him to hand over Sakura mart since he has more lucrative plans for that place...
    Koutarou has to make Sakura Mart successful as fast as he can...he should fear not as many hot wives will be more than happy to help him and give him some "motivation", including of course his mother and sister!. Nukige  
    18. Boku no Mushi Kago ぼくのむしかご [030321] Arkham Products At school the protagonist is bullied, while at home he's forced to live with the gold-digger stepfamily of his absent father. He finds solace with his friends, which consist of pets such as reptiles and insects.
    One day he discovers that one of his bullies is afraid of a spider. Shortly after, he discovers he can make any girl obedient with his "power": a fearful obedience instilled by waving one of his uncute pets in her face.
    With the aid of a secret dungeon under his house and tons of bondage equipment, along with an aphrodisiac he developed from his friends' venoms and secretions, he begins to wield his power in an aggressive campaign of vengeance. Nukige  
    19. Fuyuiro Denshin 冬色伝心 [030321] Hanerom Main character attends school on a boring winter day. But this day he encounters a mysterious person, and the world around protagonist starts to change rapidly. Will there be warmth of someone else by the end of winter vacations? Boys Love  
    20. Magical Twirler Angel Rabbie まじかるトワラー・エンジェルラビィ [030321] Kuroneko-san Team
    Humanity makes much progress through a combination of science and magic, until a large war breaks out. Many years later, the magical city of Sosarium (constructed on the Moon) sends an agent down to Earth to make sure history does not repeat itself as civilisation starts to rebuild itself. That agent is known as an "Angel". Fandisc  
    21. No Area NoAREA [030321] Fusyro Two solitudes - doctor and company president secretary - meet at a beautiful bar named NoAREA.  Boys Love Doujin  
    22. Utsurogami ウツロガミ [030321] Underground Campaign The main protagonist is a boy who is working for the rich family. The game consists of two stories.
    First story is about demon that is killing people and the main goal is to understand the mystery about that demon. Second story is about protagonists childhood friend and about his relationship with other people(this story has more sexual content and consist only of narrow path). Boys Love Doujin  
    23. Wasurenagusa no Yoru 勿忘草の夜 [030322] Jewel Box Makoto is on her way to the drama club’s spring retreat when she gets lost in the woods, so she’s pretty glad to meet up with another lost kid. Taking him under her wing, she heads for the old school where the retreat is going to take place, blissfully unaware of what lies in wait... Doujin  
    24. Wagaya ni Majo ga Yattekita! 我家に魔女がやって来た! [030326] Touchy Black witch Kiri is defeated in a magic war and expelled to human world. She can not use magic there unless establishes a contract with a human being - and that human happens to be our protagonist. Kiri only desires to return to her primary world and conduct revenge at first, but her heart gradually softens. However, two white witches are soon sent to the human world to kill Kiri... Lolicon  
    25. Akikaze Yozora ~Boy Meets UFO~ 秋風夜空 ~BOY MEETS UFO~ [030328] Glasses! On an autumn night main character encounters a flying object and meets an alien girl who asks him to remember their common childhood recollections. Having finished playing the piano she says "I am the one who shot that person." Doujin  
    26. Daughter Maker ドーターメーカー [030328] Fortune♪ Suddenly main character's boss and lover Michiko dies from overwork. Protagonist decides to take care of Michiko's only daughter Mio. With time his attraction to Mio overgrows the one that foster father should have. Lolicon  
    27. Eden IV [030328] Forester Remnants of rockets drifting near Mars are discovered in 2070 AD. Investigation reveals that materials belong to the rocket from moon base attacked by aliens in 2067. Among the investigation team is planet geologist Ellen Marvell. Noone noticed Glen Collins lurking inside the recovered rocket... Nukige  
    28. Fushigi Densha ふしぎ電車 [030328] Digi Anime 1 2 The main character awoke at a bar in front of the station after getting drunk. There he saw a strange tram running through a strange city. A city filled with absurdity, a city lacking common sense. Our hero got on the tram and henceforth he was going to experience a lot of different stories and a lot of different sexual affairs as well. While getting himself involved in various strange happenings he arrives at the terminal station. Though, when he finally got there, the sun has already hidden itself behind the horizon, so he decided to wait for the dawn at the bar in front of the station. Once again drunk, he awakes and finds himself in a strange city with a strange tram running through it. Our hero, having lost all of his previous memories gets on the tram onсe again and sets on a journey through a mysterious town once more.
    Will this seemingly indefinitely looping tramway trip continue for a long time? 
    When will our hero finally get home? Nukige  
    29. Gekkou ni Nureru Kyoushitsu de, Boku wa. 月光に濡れる教室で、僕は。 [030328] Cherry Soft Graduation ceremony is coming soon. Main characters writes a little novel where his classmates are insulted. He could never believe it when his classmate called him to meet in moonlight class. Her words were "Please insult me".  Nukige  
    30. Grope ~Yami no Naka no Kotori-tachi~ Grope ~闇の中の小鳥たち~ [030328] May-Be Soft An earthquake causes the school campus to collapse living only 4 survivors—2 childhood friends, Fubuki & Shinichi with Takahaki and a Junior girl. Both Shinichi and Takahaki likes Fubuki, but Fubuki likes only Shinichi. Takahaki made false accusation on Shinichi having interest on the Junior, whom also likes Shinchi, in front of Fubuki to create a doubt between both childhood friends. And making use of the situation and raped the Junior and of course.... Fubuki. Leaving Shinichi in a mist of doubts. Nukige  
    31. Ichibatsu Hyakkai Special 一罰百快Special [030328] Herb Soft A set of two works with full voice: Ichibatsu Hyakkai  and Ichibatsu Hyakkai 2. Card game  
    32. Kingin☆Heart☆Succubus! きんぎん☆はぁと☆さっきゅばす! [030328] Megami  1 Partly against his own will, Ataru has been specially chosen for an unimaginably important task: aiding three promising succubus achieve demonic transcendence. To do this he must rigorously assess the sexual performance of his charges, and in the process temper their strengths while correcting weaknesses. The reward for success is beyond anything his mortal mind could ever comprehend, yet the the punishment for failure is equally as incomprehensible. Nukige  
    33. Marionette ~Ito Tsukai~ MARIONETTE~糸使い~ [030328] Carriere 1 The main character is Hiroki Mikage, apparently nothing more than a gifted but unremarkable high school student, although this facade hides an almost physical Darkness, a profound sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction menacing his own sanity.
    However this is merely the prelude to even darker events, when Hiroki, while going to school, notices a strange violet light coming from the riverbank beside the road and finds a mysterious violet gem(?) scintillating with an eerie inner light... Nukige  
    34. Match Uri no Bishoujo マッチ売りの美少女 [030328] Gaia A great war that divides the world in two, ends. One battle robot returns to New Edo...
    The female protagonist is selling matches, but no one will buy them. One day she comes across the robot who is about to run out of energy, and she is able to communicate with it and help it by using her matches. Lolicon  
    35. Menou-kun no Oshiete Oneechan-sensei 瑪瑙くんのおしえてお姉ちゃん先生 [030328] Jewelry Main character is given summer vacations task to touch nature and describe experience in the notebook. But he lives in the city! So he comes to his relative's house and is greeted by pretty little girls. They happily agree to play in the nature together, but they are eager to learn a lot from this new onii-chan. Lolicon  
    36. Nikushimi no Rosette 憎しみのRosette [030328] Marine Heart City that never sleeps, Shinjuku. Cocktail bar "Rosette" dwells peacefully while most of neighboring establishments are crowded. Inside the store are three beautiful boys and a master with shade. They are the "revengers" who carry out the revenge tasks on request ... Become one of them in this fascinating occupation. Boys Love  
    37. Ryoujoku Chikan Bus 凌辱痴漢バス [030328] Interheart Hi, I'm Masashi. I'm a bus driver. I secretly installed some bug microphones into my bus and eavesdrop on my customers, especially young girls. I get their secrets and enjoy having sex with them. There are now five target girls.... Well, it's time to get down to work... Nukige  
    38. Sei Famiresu Gakuen 聖ファミレス学園 [030328] Black Light Vocational schools are opened in a little distance from Tokyo in an attempt to revive family restaurant industry. The world's first family restaurant salesperson training school opens its doors! Main character is the store manager who is responsible for apprenticeship and evaluation of waitress girls. This year there is a contest to choose "Miss family". A fun and challenging weeks starts. Nukige  
    39. Tsumamigui 2 妻みぐい2 [030328] Alice Soft Three years after the events of the first game, Kanae divorced of her late husband and married the protagonist from the 1st game. Now they are living happily together with their two kids.
    The new protagonist is Naoto, an university student good natured but a little womanizer. One day he receives a letter from his old neighroor and sempai from highschool days, Haruka "nee-chan".
    Her husband is traveling to Italia, leaving her alone at their restaurant for an entire month, so she needs help. 
    You decide to help her, so you move to her block of apartments. Besides the new residents, there you meet your new neighroor Kanae (from the 1st game) too, who is feeling very alone because her beloved husband is traveling.
    Now you have the chance to live with two beautiful wives during the time their husbands are away on business... Nukige  
    40. D.Zone [030329] Ritz software The setting is a futuristic Japan in which the country is divided into the City and the lawless D.Zone. The citizens who live in the safe city have IDs and are implanted with chips that allow them access to everything (hence they're known as Chips). People who live in the slum-like D.Zone are either Lost (from the city but lost or sold their chip), Visitors (foreigners with no chips) or just plain unlucky enough to be born there (Next).
    Teenagers Tsugumi and Dail are childhood friends. Both are orphans living in a city called Eden and have only each other to support.
    Tsugumi works at a recycling plant. On his way home from work one night, Tsugumi found a sad-looking Dail in the park. He wanted to be left alone. "Tsugumi...I'm sorry.." were the last words he heard from Dail.
    The next morning, the police are at their house and Dail is nowhere to be found. It turns out that Dail has been accused of killing his uncle and is currently missing. He can't be found anywhere in the city and was last seen near the boundaries of Eden and D.Zone.
    Frantic to find Dail, Tsugumi leaves the safety of Eden behind and ventures into the dangerous D.Zone... Boys Love
  8. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, VN of the Year 2002 and POLL for Extra review 2002   
     
    Year 2002 was quite curious. A lot of heavy weight candidates finally entered the scene. 
    New portion of Visual Novel Openings 2002 with songs.
    My list of masterpieces in 2002:
    Baldr Force  Bokura ga Koko ni Iru Fushigi. D.U.O. ~Song for All~  Ever17 -The Out of Infinity- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hotosenaru Uta Chitosenaru Shirushi Kikokugai - The Cyber Slayer  Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ Masaru: Ashita no Yukinojou 2 One 2 ~Eien no Yakusoku~   Princess Knights Rocket no Natsu  Subete ga F ni Naru ~The Perfect Insider~  Suigetsu Utawarerumono Viper-RSR It's evident that public sympathies stand for translated visual novels. But for me meta-layer intellectual novels would always stand above plotge, so VN of the Year 2002 is Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ .
    My previous attempt of poll for review failed mostly because I do not like to return to VNs that I played recently. This my new attempt is for visual novels that I evaluate highly, but did not have time to make a proper review due to one month - one review concept. This time poll won't have ending date, and I will be reviewing game with highest number of votes despite of overall number of votes. So here we go. 

  9. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Rocket no Natsu ロケットの夏 [TerraLunar]   
    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.

  10. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Rocket no Natsu ロケットの夏 [TerraLunar]   
    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.

  11. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Hello, world [Nitroplus]   
    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.

  12. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Narcosis for a blog entry, D.U.O. ~song for all~ [Panda House]   
    Foreword: A bad-ass cover and cyberpunk setting is all that it took to interest me.
    Title: D.U.O. ~Song for All~
    Developer: Panda House
    Date: 2002-04-26
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v2235
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ttjs7mdDS3Q&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_0xb07WK6DgqoNosWs_kET

    Synopsis: It happened on December 25, 2001, right after the new century began.
    It was the biggest and worst disaster in human history, "Apoptosis Crisis."
    A virus called "apoptosis" begins to destroy human cells. 80% of the Earth's population is killed and the people who survive try their best to revive civilization.
    A century has passed, and it is now the year 2099 in Tokyo. Something is happening in this big city, where many kinds of ethnic groups reside. The network junkies, called "jugglers," suddenly die an unnatural death. The cause of death is still unclear. However, it is apparent they were all on computer networks when they died.
    Takuya Takahashi, who is a professional investigator, a "Runner," is asked to investigate the case, and he starts investigating this dangerous disease, without even knowing much about it?

    Structure: 12+1 chapters.
    Length: 7 hours for one route, but second route is almost the same.
    Game type: Cyberpunk detective mystery
    Difficulty: Easy, we move on if exhaust all options
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 10/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 9/10
    Rating comments: The only question for me is whether it's 9 or 10. I totally like the game, but story overall and the heroines in particular appear to me with flaws.

    Protagonist: Takuya is great. He has face and hard-boiled personality. At the same time, not everything is clear about his personality that happens to content quite the depth.
    Characters: Hitomi and Itsumi are main heroines of the game. These is also mysterious girl Sophia that exists for plot purposes. Can't say anything bad about Hitomi or Itsumi, it's just sad that the difference in their "routes" is just choice of who to H, not much character development.

    Story: Synopsis actually covers all I could tell. I can only hint that story tackles genetic and cyberspace a lot. I'd really like it to be more focused on actual  virus and deaths, but most of the time we just hang around with girls stumbling upon important events at times, so resolution feels forced.
    CG: Loving CG here. Lots of motion in the interface. I especially appreciate those several animated moments used for underlining charm of the heroines, and NOT in H events.

    Sound: Game is called "song for all" not for nothing. There are a lot of vocal parts in here. Very enjoyable. Everyone but protagonist is voiced, and that includes all the male characters.
    Thoughts:  The title "D.U.O. ~song for all~" contains two spoilers itself, but luckily you only get to know why late in the game, so there is that "a-ha" moment. No idea what "D.U.O" stands for, but the word "duo" already gives an important hint. I really appreciate when title gets to say so many things about the game.

    Overall comments: Absolutely magical game. Great direction and use of interface make an impression of a futuristic world, can't really believe game dates back to 2002. I was treating Cat's Pro quite favorably, and it's joyous for me to see Heart Heat Girls concept being reborn in such way by the successor Panda House. Game's very nice while it lasts, but it's quite gentle-minded and lacks impact, so it gets average or poor scores by the Japanese. I absolutely can't understand how the Japanese manage to bury the best representatives of the genre with their own hands.

  13. Thanks
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Kusarihime 腐り姫 ~Euthanasia~ [Liar-soft]   
    Foreword: I already chose another game for review in February... but in the end just could not ignore this huge pillar of today's visual novels. Without Kusarihime there would not be Saya no Uta, Cross Channel, Fate/stay night and Higurashi, so it's significance for the history can not be overerestimated.
    Title: Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~
    Developer: Liar-soft
    Date: 2002-02-08
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v37
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J_joeqKri0&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9h7u5e_7ePpWZ28i2PWbxd

    Synopsis: After the mysterious death of his father and his younger sister Juri, Itsuki, now suffering from amnesia, moves back to his hometown with his stepmother. There he meets an enigmatic young girl dressed in a crimson red kimono named Kurame, and the two soon become friends. The strange thing is, Kurame looks exactly like his younger sister Juri...
    On the surface, Itsuki's family and friends all appear to be rooting for his full recovery. However, deep inside, they also seem to be burdened with secrets and guilt about the past. In the span of four days, Itsuki's memories will slowly return as he struggles between his loss and his fear of the truth, until the fourth night, when the whole world becomes blanketed under a red sheet of snow and wrapped up in the silence of death....

    Structure: 10 cycles x 4 days
    Length: 10 hours
    Game type: Mythology rural human drama mystery.
    Difficulty: It's easy to get some ending, but not so easy to get the desired ending
    Character Design rating: 10/10
    Protagonist rating: 10/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 10/10
    There are as many as 5 reviews, plus reddit impressions, plus very curious spoiler theory-crafting thread (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), so pretty much everything is said there already. So what I intend to is to tell you without spoilers what this visual novel is about and why you must read it. And it's very difficult to talk about Kusarihime without spoilers. Let me present an imaginary dialogue of my consciousness after reading Kusarihime trying to persuade my skeptical other self reluctant to try it.

    - So, first of all, Kusarihime is neither a horror nor a nakige. It's a rural story about a boy who looses memory and comes to his home town to try to regain his memories.
    - How convenient! We've seen dozens of such stories by 2002 already! What's special in it this time?
    - One thing is that game is looped over the same four August days
    - That's not exactly a new thing. I remember at least three games with loops before 2002.
    - But the second thing is that it's not a game about chasing girls. No heroine gets her separate end.
    - That's weird. Is it some all ages game or something? What is there if there aren't heroine routes?
    - Each heroine actually gets one of those 10 time loops to focus attention almost exclusively on her. That provides ample opportunities for presenting H scenes.

    - So there ARE actually heroines routes, they are just hidden inside some of the loops. What makes it different from usual nukige or charage?
    - Heroines here are not isolated inside their stories. They pierce all the loops, and each heroine story only helps to reveal the mystery behind the protagonist past.
    - Oh, the "mystery". Something about the promise made 10 years ago?
    - Absolutely not. First tier of mystery is about stray girl Kurame who looks just like protagonist's deceased sister Juri. Second tier of mystery is about protagonist's family overall - he had a father, a mother, a sister and a dog - all dead by now. The third tier of mystery is about the loop itself that ends with red snow falling, usually after some impactful violent events.

    - Oh, so people die in here? Any guro as well?
    - Thanks to loop concept it's possible to introduce any number of deaths here and then rewrite everything with another loop cycle. There is no guro.
    - Pff, so even deaths happen not in the real world. Why should I bother reading 10 imaginary stories?
    - Well, deaths actually affect same characters in next loops greatly. And count the characters - only half of the stories are loosely focused on some character. The rest of loops are focused on past or give hints to the listed mysteries.
    - Oh, the "mysteries" again. Btw, what does this weird title Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ mean?
    - Kusarihime is translated as "rotting princess", it's the local legend about a girl in red kimono that causes certain people die. That girl's name is Kagame. And the stray girl that's found in the forest is given name Kagame by protagonist, but he can not explain why. As for "euthanasia", it's also a mystery. Here's dictionary definition: "Euthanasia is the termination of a very sick person's life in order to relieve them of their suffering".

    - I know what it means, thank you. So I get the concept of the game more or less. But what makes this game so special?
    - Soundtrack, unique graphics style, great directing with lots of flashbacks and insertion of sudden scenes from other times, use of frequently moving figures on the screen instead of sprites, stunning stories of each girl, mystery plot loopholes as basis for replay-ability or theory-crafting.
    - Ok, enough! Might give it a look if I find the time in my busy schedule. No promises, though.
    Overall comments: I consider Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ to be the first intellectual visual novel in history. It attracts not thanks to thrilling plot, great characters or superb visuals. It creates a multiple layer mystery where different parts move in their own pace cross-referencing each till sudden resolution. Reader is required to remember or re-read early scenes to fill some parts of the puzzle and make his own guess about the rest. In that way it can also be called the first interactive visual novel.

     
  14. Confused
    kivandopulus got a reaction from 1P1A for a blog entry, Sayonara o Oshiete さよならを教えて ~Comment te Dire Adieu~ [Craftwork]   
    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=SvPm3uYd90o

    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.
  15. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Deniz for a blog entry, Kaichuudokei 懐中時計 [Free's]   
    Foreword: Won't lie, I only picked this game since the other notable titles of the month were gameplay-centered. But this one is a mystery story centered around time travel which makes it stand out among the rows of typical charage in October 2000.
    Title: Kaichuudokei
    Developer: Free's
    Date: 2000-10-13
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v21778
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8GxGaUo6Yc

    Synopsis: Some girl appears before main character and gives him pocket watch. The next day she meets hero once again, but she had no recollection of the yesterday encounter. Strange events start to pile up turning into bizarre incidents that are able to claim one's life. Can he protect the girls?
    Structure: Game takes some 5 days, but we have to repeat only last 2-3 days usually through time travel
    Length: 3.5 hours for one route
    Game type: School crime mystery with time travel
    Difficulty: I'd say moderate. Composition is unusual, so it's possible to get lost without knowing how to proceed after bad ending
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 7/10
    Game quality: 5/10
    Overall rating: 6/10

    Rating comments: 6 is the best score I can give to a non-masterpiece game. Game is about the mystery, so characters aren't much developed, same as protagonist. Game quality gets a dent for some poor CG, no voicing and constant crashes at win10 at sound effects play (win98-ME does not have crashes, but it's impossible to hook text there).
    Protagonist: Nothing much special. A normal high school student who got involved into a mysterious case.
    Characters: There are three heroines - Asuka, Haruka and Sakuya, but the main heroine with the most intriguing plot like is Asuka.

    Story: Main character receives pocket watch from a girl one day, but when the same girl moves to his class the next day, she has no recollection of giving the watch. There are several incidents targeting girl's life and of course death in the end which triggers time jump with the need to prevent death. There are four cycles of the same events, and each time we get to uncover new part of the mystery and observe different suspects. The ending was very unexpected for me. Great composition and story, actually.
    CG: Most are fine. Good thing that there are very few H events in the game, two per heroine or so.

    Sound: BGM turned out to be nice and inspirational, especially liked the danger motives.
    Thoughts: The motive of the game is that innocent looking persons are usually the most vile. And it was nice to see how that idea played out in each of girl routes. 
    Overall comments: I liked the story here. It's complex enough and short enough to keep the thrill from beginning to the end, creating an overall positive impression.

  16. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Dreamysyu for a blog entry, VN of the Month June 2000 - Age Maniax ~Isumi Yon Shimai Saigo no Hi~   
    There are two masterpieces this month - Age Maniax ~Isumi Yon Shimai Saigo no Hi~ and Hateshinaku Aoi, Kono Sora no Shita de..., but the winner is Age Maniax, one of the most entertaining bakage I've played so far. As usual, I'll pour all my admiration in a review coming along with the video playthrough.
    1. Lavender [000602] For

    Main character suddenly acquires an unstable "predictive ability" that he can not control. He has to see near future against his will. So started the days full of bliss where the the scent of lavender drifts everywhere on a soft wind.  Game can be described as a moege. It's short, impressive cute. There are five girls including one devil girl from the other world. So it all depends whether you can stand moege or not since the girls have the appeal here.  
    2. Rakuen Meikyuu Pet 楽園迷宮PET [000602] Speed

    Year 2007. Main character gets a media CD after he spends a night with her. She promises him some work, but instead he gets hunted by various people and organizations willing to take possession of that CD. Scenario base is not bad, but the seasoning is not right. The choices are timed here and actually require reflexes. Characters aren't too attractive and only main heroine story makes sense. It's not clear why game is set in 2007 since no futuristic elements are involved.   
    3. Teito no Yuri 帝都のユリ [000602] Sweet Basil

    Showa 10th. The "Emperor" reigns for many years while recession continues and natural disasters break out. At the same time the Teito Tokyo faction that seeks reforms grows in power.  All all-girl military unit that vowed to protect the emperor hear a rumor that that the ruler is obstructed and can not rule anymore. They decide to organize a coup d'etat to protect the emperor.  That triggered a chain of dreadful events that verged the country in chaos for three months. 
    As usual, Sweet Basil manages to produce an intriguing story swarmed with nasty H events at the same time. This time the charm in military struggle and all the yuri events. I like good stories, but I absolutely could not enjoy Rinkaiten ~Critical Point~ due to abuse of H events, and this game is very similar in that way. All kinds of voluntary and non-voluntary dark H events take place at war, and that totally devalues the story. Every heroine has her route.  
    4. Age Maniax ~Isumi Yon Shimai Saigo no Hi~ アージュマニアックス ~伊隅四姉妹最期の日~ [000603] Age
    One day protagonist meets with four sisters, who due to certain events starts living in his house. But he has to go to Europe to follow a story, and they decide to go together with him. They make reservations in an old castle which had reports of a princess' ghost, a legendary wolf, a lake monster and a crashed UFO surrounding it. And this is not even the beginning of the events to unfold around the sisters ... What bunch of weird crap. But I'm much more interested in the girl on the scree - this is Drei from Phantom of Inferno. What the hell is Nitroplus character doing in the Age game?! I even secretly hope this month won't have a superior game, so that I could make a playthrough of this strange game.  
    5. Ao no Tobira Shiro no Kagi 青の扉 白の鍵 [000609] Cyc

    You're on your way to becoming a sports coach, but then you get into a car accident and get hospitalized. There you meet girls and reflect on your past life. There are five heroines to capture during one month period. Heroines feel real. But here there's no songs and no quirk of Treating2U, it feels heavy overall. And I was traumatized even by Treating 2U...  
    6. Kioku no Umi Kara ~Watermark~ 記憶の海から ~Watermark~ [000609] Loze

    The graduating class of a village school. It consists only of main character and four girls. Soon they fly away from the nest leaving only memories behind. But four years from then the class gets to meet again.
    The game of occult theme at the time of alumni association. The four heroines are of typical archetypes. All the sentimental crap really irritates me. Depiction is thin, so it feels a bit flimsy.  
    7. Maid in Bunny めいどいんばに~ [000609] Eushully 1

    The game is pretty much like a fairy tale, and takes place in a peaceful kingdom. The heroine (yes no hero this time) of the game is called Elena, one of the many maids in the castle serving the royalty. What makes Elena special besides her clumsiness and pure (yet cute) innocence is that she is the exclusive maid who takes care of Prince Galu. The 2 of them have a close relationship which makes other maids quite jealous. Anyways, Elena and Galu was chatting in the garden one day. In the meantime, a mysterious lady came to the throne claiming that she is the dark race and wants to take over the castle (yes it's kinda pathetic but remember, it's a FAIRY TALE). She turns the King into stone. When the Maid Head realizes the problem, she starts to attack the lady. However, the Maid Head's thunderbolts renders useless because the lady had the ancient relic to protect her against magic attacks. Realizing the trouble, the Maid Head decides to ring the alarm to summon all the maids in the castle to hit the lady with brooms etc since that's phyical attacks rather than magical attacks.
    Just when Elena and Galu heard the alarm, a Succubus as well as the mysterious lady popped out of nowhere wanting to hold Prince Galu captive. Elena tries to defend the prince but fails. Galu decides to give in since he doesn't want to see Elena get hurt. The succubus then carries Elena in the air and flew out of the castle to get rid of the maid. A slip in the hand made Elena free fall into the ground from the air.
    In the meantime, Revea, a royal magician who lives outside the castle sees the invasion of the Dark race. She tells her student Yuri the white mage, to go and find the legendary hero and save the kingdom. Yuri leaves and finds Elena climbing up from the ground where she fell from the sky. At the same time a bunch of monsters popped out of nowhere. When asked by Yuri if she has any weapon, the only thing Elena has is a feather duster. Yuri then uses his magic to enlarge Elena's duster, making her be able to slap the monsters and destroy them. With this enlarged duster as her weapon, Elena along with Yuri have to find a way to get back into the castle (which is now protected by a force field) and save Prince Galu. There is an English review.  
    8. Yasoumu 夜想夢 [000609] Melody

    A night park connects reality and illusion. Unnoticed by majority of people there is an door here that leads to illusion world. What kind of things can happen there? Game is similar to Kurayami 2. There are different scenarios. The consistency of each scenario is low and there are a lot of bad endings. The H scenes feel alien to the stories and thus clumsy. It's mostly a stylistic thing.  
    9. Maykick Online [000615] Zenos

    In the end of the 21st century humanity starts to develop artificial life forms. The first secretly developed pack of androids were all beautiful women, and scientists refused to send them to fight. Authorities dispatched mercenaries to kill the androids, but mercenaries were so fascinated that supported androids instead. Instead of participating in military conflicts androids were set to participate in new a fighting sport game. Main character needs to train such android woman to become the queen of the ring. It's not exactly a nukige, but a raising SIM with H elements in between. Bo-oring.   
    10. 8th Angel ~Shuumatsu no Tenshi~ 8TH ANGEL ~終末の天使~ [000616] Eye 1

    World is in crisis, and in order to save it you must find and awaken eight angels. To do so, you will have to defeat as many monsters as you can while you develop your relationships with the seven female angels and with your sick step sister. There is an English review.  
    11. Bluelight Magic [000623] light

    Hero sees a strange dream, and it urges him to visit his three cousins. Seemingly ordinary girls turn out to have superpowers. They are being targeted by a mysterious organization...

    Once again a serious story is faked in favor of numerous unlockable short routes (just 5-6 days!). All the routes roughly have the same contents. Game produces a mixed impression. It has wonderful opening, gas, great sound and graphics, but at the same time has bugs, system deficiencies and poor quality text with not much story development. It's a huge step from amateurish White Angel, but can be of interest only as a charage with gags.  
    12. Enamel Panic!! エナメルパニック!! [000623] F&C

    Main character is a reincarnation of a legendary hero. He has no choice but to save a different world by collecting crystals, rescuing damsels in distress and defeating the demon king. Scroller games are no my thing. At all.  
    13. Seiryaku ~Koukyuu de no Himegoto~ 性略 ~後宮での秘め事~ [000623] Mutation

    Continent drowned in the flames of war. The king of "Jin" country falls ill and his eldest son takes over. He urgently needs to get a wife to become a proper ruler. Six neighboring countries instantly send their bride candidates. If he gives a clear preference to one of the girls, the rivals will assassinate her the same day. He needs to resolve the situation peacefully while keeping his affairs secret.  It's evident that China is taken as prototype. Character design is specific and overall very nice. Difficulty is reasonable, but it's difficult to foretell assassinations, so lots of loading is required. The game is mostly about secret dates in original atmosphere, so don't expect real story here.  
    14. Setsunai せつない [000623] Marimo

    It's high school love bloom season. Will hero find his love this year? Game is labeled as kusoge everywhere. The main reason is redundant and repeating scenario. Game takes place during 14 days, but actually has events only for 2-3 days. Tempo is just super bad. Apart of that there are several heroines to flag and enter individual branches.   
    15. Roommate Novel ~Satou Yuka~ ルームメイトノベル 〜佐藤由香〜 [000629] Datam Polystar 1 2

    It is summer and your parents left on holiday for all of August while leaving you alone with the house. One month complete of freedom. When suddenly destiny throws in a grain of salt. Sometimes one prefers to pass there evenings in the company of good friends and even a girl that you hardly know, meet the famous Sato Yuka! At this point I'm deeply confused by the number and similarity of these Roommate games - this one seems to be the sixth (!) There's a nice English guide for those willing to know more of the game.  
    16. Ameiro no Kisetsu あめいろの季節 [000630] ZyX

    Hokkaido. Main character lives with two older sisters Yuuko and Kasumi. He learns that he is not blood related with his relatives. Siblings have feelings for each other, but keep it secret. But one day hero's father returns from overseas trip with a new family... The feature of the game is that it's possible to be played from three points of view - protagonist, Yuuko and Kasumi. Love triangle resembles author's previous work Liaison. Psychological depiction is good, but no much evolution is felt. The number of choices is large with lots of fake ones. Overall it's a solid private story, especially notable for providing woman point of view.  
    17. Fuurin no Uta 風輪の詩 [000630] Soubi Kenkyuujo

    Main character is a university student who sees the same dream every day. The dream depicts his breaking up with his lover two years ago. Guilt and regret feelings make him ride a bike and go on a trip somewhere his memories can't reach him. What will he encounter in this journey? The first game of Soubi Kenkyuujo is of doujin level. Picture is rough, scenario has no meaning, and there is no skip function.   
    18. Grand Finale ~Final Funfair in 7 days~ グランドフィナーレ ~Final Funfair in 7 days~ [000630] Lily-Z

    After working almost the whole summer to make money for a seaside trip with his girlfriend, she left him because she longer love him the way she used to. While depressed and roasting in end of summer heat, he got a call from his childhood girl. It seems their local fun park is going to close in 7 days and they need him to help out there. Since he can never refuse her, he starts working as a cleaner in the park. While cleaning, he can chase one of 7 girls. They are his childhood girl, park manager, girl who lost her brother, English girl, horror house doll, alien girl and guardian angel. Will he be able to find lasting love? This is a charage, so you need to like a particular girl to enjoy the game. Atmosphere and picture is nice. Difficulty is easy for each girl. H scenes are a bit rushed. Nothing in particular except for one thing... ending. There only drama endings for the girls, at least I could not prove otherwise.  
    19. Hateshinaku Aoi, Kono Sora no Shita de... 果てしなく青い、この空の下で… [000630] TopCat

    "Our school will be closed down next year." I know that.... There are only six students (I'm one and only male student...!) A train station will be constructed here. Anyway, what should I do until the school is closed...? We'll get separated next year.... As I look up the sky, the blue sky is spreading as if lapping me over. What am I doing next year...? This is going to be the most difficult game overview for me this month, because it's not my type, but it's a big mystery work with dozens of contradictory reviews and a great opening that has 70k views. It's being called a classic nostalgic title and sometimes even Hayao Miyazaki work in the world of eroge. Graphics is not appealing, but there is a charm in it. The theme is childhood friendship and trust in each other. There are five girls each with her own mystery. If all the good endings of each girl is reached, bonus after-story scenario opens for each heroine. Work is divided into four parts corresponding Spring, Summer, Fall and Winder with first ones being bright ones and the final parts containing drama. What I want to say is that this work suits well newcomers to the genre and most of positive scores come from there. The more experienced players say that mystery is satisfying only for the first route played and the rest are absolutely foreseen, and the novel with evident ending ends up boring. Text is easy to read, and it also can be seen as disadvantage for mature players who have seen lots of such rural sentimental stories. Each element in the game is good, but it's too classic to bring new emotions. So it's definitely a masterpiece of its time, but it the type of game that gets mentally older with each year passing.  
    20. Lens no Mukougawa... レンズの向こう側... [000630] Mina

    Protagonist is a college student who has eyeglasses fetish. One night he sees a dream of an unfamiliar woman gazing at him near a big tree. He goes to the tree and finds strange glasses at the excavation site near the tree. When he wears the glasses he hears the command to dedicate women to the glasses, and one wish will be granted in return. And the moment the first girl wears those glasses...  Don't expect a serious story here, the best thing we get is solving the problems of each of three heroines. It's glasses fetish work with three different types of glasses to choose for each heroine. There are three heroines with an ending and four heroines just for occasional H event. But CARNELIAN is responsible for art, so art is super-cool, as usual.  
    21. Nakushita Jikan e 失くした時間へ [000630] Ciel

    Main character is 28 years and he now returns to his hometown. He is shocked to know that his former lover committed suicide two years ago. He gets into an accident and gains an ability to turn time back. Now he can save his first love or opt for absolutely new acquaintances. Quite a normal school charage, just with a more serious protagonist than usual. There are few impressions, but the existing ones are mediocre.  
    22. Sakuranbo Kaigan さくらんぼ海岸 [000630] Fairytale 1

    Your grandmother has got a house at the beach but she doesn't need it, so you can have it. You have the idea that you could use it during summer vacation as a restaurant. Of course you will meet many girls (and a boy) who would love to work for you in the restaurant. There is an English review.  
    23. Senjuuya 千秋夜 [000630] Riot

    Protagonist's parents are working a lot, so he has to take care of his sister. She drags after him everywhere and enters the same school and college. He wants some private space and has plans for this winter, but first he needs to do something about his sister. Scenario is the weakest point of the game. Little is explained and dialogues progress separately, often without realizing who talks to whom. Sometimes game looks really funny because of that. Imouto fans would probably like this game, but there are many heroines besides the sister as well.  
    BLOCKED  
    1. Marchen Maid Jigoku めるふぇんメイド地獄 [000602] Archive The mansion has three maids who only live for their master. However, working hard every day is very tiresome, so when the master is not looking, they take a break. In one of those occasions, they pick a white book from the library, but when they open it, they get sucked inside the book and become trapped in a strange wonderland, in which they will be exposed to a lot of erotic situations without taking off their maid uniforms. Nukige  
    2. Mou Suki ni Shite Kudasai ~Ryoujoku to Kusari to Himitsu no Ana~ もう好きにしてください~凌辱と鎖と秘密の穴~ [000602] System Rose There is an old western mansion on the hill of a small fisherman's town. It is owned by a chairman of a certain company. Main character is the son of that chairman. He lives in the mansion with four women servants. As of late he starts to pay them a lot of attention in attempt to record juicy moments on the camera. Nukige  
    3. Dancing Cat's Dancing Cat's [000609] Dreams 1 In Dancing Cat's (sic), the player takes the role of an ambitious businessman named Kazuhiko. He founds a company named PiPit that focuses on show business. He has two goals in mind: first, hire talented dancers and singers and do everything possible to beat the competition; second, conquer the hearts (or probably just the bodies) of the seductive women who surround him... Nukige  
    4. Kokudouou ~Doura II~ 黒瞳皇~瞳裸II~ [000609] Studio Jikkenshitsu Main character is the king of a small country sandwiched between two major countries opposing each other. After his father dies both countries try to impose their princess candidates. Main character does not want to anger any side, so he stales the time promising marriage to each side. But the day of taking decision grows near. Nukige  
    5. Oyako Donburi 母娘どんぶり [000615] Beenyan This summer is different from previous ones, not only the temparature but also my mind and body. Shintaro has a beautiful mother and pretty younger sister who have been living with him. But this summer is somehow different.... One day, when he enters a bathroom to have a bath, there is a sister, Tomoe. She gives a shriek and runs away. This is the first time for him to see his sister as a woman. And when he soaks in a bath, Tomoe comes in to apologize for what she did to him and she says she will wash his back.... Nukige  
    6. Close 2U ~Saigo no Natsuyasumi~ Close 2U~最後の夏休み~ [000616] Aka-chan Club Twin brothers dream of becoming wind surfing professionals. Together with three other boys and six girls they go on a tropical island. This may be a summer when dreams come true. Nukige  
    7. Karu Mesu かるめす [000616] Dall Main character is a god who makes women squirt. He conquered women in many dimensions already, so this one must capitulate before him as well. Nukige  
    8. Chat Shiyou yo! チャットしようよ! [000623] Black Package Nanpa SIM in the form Internet chat. Use boards, emails and chat to try to pick up girls outside internet! Nukige  
    9. Dennou M Dorei - Reimi 電脳M奴隷・麗美 [000623] Guilty During university, Kazato Reimi was a pop cyber idol because of her talents.  After graduating from college, she retired from being an idol and established a computer game company, Reimyck, and as the president she has worked to make game software.
    However, Reimyck has faced a crisis because a big title game had a virus and stopped releasing.
    Saiki Junko, Reimi's partner, asks Reimi to meet Wakura Kenzo, a president of George Electronics to receive financial support. If her financial plan seems good, he will await her payment. There is no way for her to refuse this proposal because of this crisis. Nukige  
    10. Depaga ~Service Angel~ デパガ~service angel~ [000623] Janis Depaga are top class workers of huge department stores. But what's hidden from the eyes of buyers is lots of training. Main character must become an instructor of useless newcomer girls and make first class universal workers out of them to fill any role from waitresses to elevator girls. Nukige  
    11. Ing 陰具 [000623]  Merlot Main character inherits an adult shop. Together with his sister-in-law he needs to repay all the debts in just one year.  Nukige  
    12. Kazoku no Kizuna 家族の絆 [000623] Bind Main character prepares to enter a famous university. On his 20th birthday he learns that his mother and two sisters are not blood related to him. He decides he can't trust his family anymore. And since trust is impossible anymore the best course of action is to make obedient slaves out of them.
    Nukige  
    13. Lovely Angels Peropero Candy 2 Lovely Angels ぺろぺろCandy2 [000623] Mink The stage is Image club where one can order various situations for sex. Main character walks inside by mistake but is unable to forget about this place afterwards. Nukige  
    14. Mirror [000623] Alloe Main character falls from a cliff during a ski trip. He miraculously survives and being unable to climb up the cliff he walks into a lodge in the woods. He stays for the night, but at night the master of the house gets killed. He's unable to leave the house till the killer is found, so he decides to investigate the matter himself. Nukige  
    15. Nie 3 [000623] Hyperspace Three girls compete to be the bride. Main character needs an enduring wife, so he organizes a series of severe compatibility tests. Nukige  
    16. Sadistic Wedding ~Yogosareta Junpaku~ Sadistic Wedding ~汚された純白~ [000623] Kurumi Four different girls feel disbelief towards men since attempted rape cases at school. Main character shall help them master their behavior and overcome the complex.  Nukige  
    17. Toilet no Megami-sama トイレの女神様 [000623] Authoring Heaven Goddess is supposed to come this new moon night to collect all the semen that poor men have been saving. In order to confirm this legend main character searches around various public toilets in the city.  Nukige  
    18. Eden III [000630] Forester Ellen is stationed at the moon base. The aliens attack the women at the base. Humans who get aware of aliens presence start to fight back with weapons. Eventually aliens take their original form and flee. Meanwhile Glenn sneaks into the base, gathers materials to create his own rocket and struggles to return to the Earth to conquer it and become world leader. Nukige  
    19. Kangatari 神語 ~かんがたり~ [000630] Euphony Production Main character is leading an ordinary school life. But then one day a student is found in the form of the living vegetable - organs are functioning normally, but there is no consciousness. Such living vegetables start to increase with each day. At the same time the unrivaled protagonists gets beaten by another boy who somehow acquired superficial powers. There's some great conspiracy unwinding, and school administration seems to be involved. Nukige  
    20. Keibiin ~Yuuganda Shokumu Nisshi~ 警備員~歪んだ職務日誌~ [000630] Interheart Main character is a guard in a department store. All the shoplifters should pay for their crimes, this way or another... Nukige  
    21. Material Girl マテリアル・ガール [000630] Komaya Protagonist celebrates an anniversary of relations with his girlfriend. It's the real honeymoon of their life. But in the process of experiments it's possible hurt partner. Will they stay together forever? Nukige  
    22. Sei Cosplay Gakuen ~Game Bunkou~ 聖コスプレ学園 ~ゲーム分校~ [000630] STONE HEADS Popular Tokyo cosplay shop issues a game featuring itself. It's possible to work as a part-time worker there, build up relations with cosplayer girls, get into romance relations with them and even invite girls to school for some hot action!  Nukige
  17. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Narcosis for a blog entry, Carbon Knight [Palette]   
    Foreword: I did not have much hopes about the game, but its introduction came upon me as a whirlwind. Mechanical dolls? Knights without soul? Three armored musketeers? Great demon king in person? A parade of deaths? Those were only a few things encountered in first 10 minutes of the game. Game has a very strong start and a strong ending with some nice battles and character development in-between. What's not to like here?
    Title: Carbon Knight
    Developer: Palette
    Date: 1998-09-25
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v10914
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq_kUzzqmi57545i6p5b_Dwl

    Synopsis: A world devastated by the battle of gods. The surviving people created inanimate "carbon humans" by using the relics of Gods and sealing the soul within. For several hundred years the war lasted. Now carbon knight needs to deter the restoration of the once sealed demon king.
    Structure: 13 short days.
    Length: 4 hours for one playthrough
    Game type: Eschatological fantasy.
    Difficulty: At least moderate, since there are a lot of choices and I only got lonely ending while there are happy endings with a girl as well.
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Rating comments: Overall score might be even 9 if I got some substantial epilogue that should exist in some girl ending. The lonely ending I got was too abrupt, but actually cool in itself. Characters are funny and cute enough. They look simple at the first glance, but each of main heroines carries a huge secret behind her back, so I like how their personalities played out. Protagonist is very straightforward, but he's probably needed like that for story's sake. Game quality suffers from big loading times between the scenes. Autoskip function is implemented very poorly. Backgrounds are mostly implemented in 3D, but that's rather a feature than a shortcoming here since those look immersive. But as for the story, it seems ordinary fight the demon king tale, but bears much more in it as it goes, so I rate story very high.

    Protagonist: Isaak is shown almost always irritated and/or shouting. He is too straightforward and short-tempered. He's not the most pleasant MC to deal with, but he's not voiced, so he can grimace as much as he wants in silence. 

    Characters: There seem to be two main heroines - long red-hair Sheckly and short violet-hair Fortita. Sheckly is our usual child friend, tender and caring. Fortita is much more mysterious since she's very short and never aging. She's actually a carbon knight, soulless relic created to fight demonic invaders. She serves to Isaak and his father. There is also father Balzak's fighting buddy girl Gina who gets a H scene if willing. Possibly she can also get her ending, but according to very few and very poor CG gallery that exists for the game good ending confirmed only for Sheckly, just don't cite me on it. There are lots of very colorful side-characters as well. Everyone but MC is voiced, so it's never really boring.

    Story: So the game starts in a whirlwind of events. Demon king and his army demolish the city and kill the populace. The three armored musketeers are the only ones who try to oppose the demons. Sheckly, Isaak and Fortita try to escape a group of mechanical dolls. Next we're shown the dialogue between the demon king and the three musketeers and how a mechanical doll comes out with three corpses of Sheckly, Isaak and Fortita pierced. Isaak's father who is one of the musketeers goes berserk and demolishes the demon king... Then Isaak wakes up and those events seem to be a dream on the demon king invasion three years ago. Isaak is dreaming of becoming carbon knight master and goes on a journey with Sheckly and Fortita. There they confront demonic underlings who predict the resurrection of the demon king once all his body parts scattered around the world are collected again. These events take roughly first 15-20 minutes of the game, so I would not consider them a spoiler. As you can imagine, all the demon parts are destined to be collected for a grand confrontation again. But what I especially liked was that the battles of carbon knights and demons started out quite plain, but kept on with more and more increasing numbers of fatalities on both sides nearly wiping all the characters in the game. That was absolutely terrific and unprecedented since the time I saw GANTZ. Just so you know, there's much more to the story than just a series of battles. Every hero has a huge secret and uncovering those secrets make the game really exciting. Ending is surprising as well.

    System: So I decided to devise an optional system section since there are issues that don't fall into other sections well. So here I wanted to rant why I only got lonely ending and not going to pursue true ending with a girl. First of all, I value initial game experience very much - and each consecutive playthrough is a torture for me, especially without a guide. Secondly, I know that I like lonely ending the best since it's so cool, a real mortal combat. Lastly, game has very poor skipping feature that has to be turned on in the menu and you can't really stop it till there's a new choice or till a new scene starts. And each scene loads for some 10-20 seconds. It's really not fun doing it again. There are actually two more issues - big number of selections and very poor save implementation. Each time you load, you're thrown away very far back, so it's hugely inconvenient. 

    CG: Absolutely terrific CG. Just loving it with all my heart. So much detail. Sometimes the blend of 2D and 3D looks weird, but mostly it's in harmony. But the best part in the art is dresses of girls. These dresses show so much skin that they look like the prototypes for all the modern Korean mmorpgs. Truly hilarious and breathtaking.
    Sound: BGM is decent, but not too memorable.

    Title and Themes:  Game does not tell us much about carbon knights from the start apart of the fact that Fortita is one. But carbon knight theme gets a huge development in the last third of the game and finishes with the absolute domination of this theme, so it's a good choice.
    Overall comments: So Carbon Knight has its flaws lying mostly in technical part, but they don't belittle its advantages. I consider it to be the first traditional fantasy chuunige and a huge masterpiece of the time.

  18. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Psyclone サイクロン [Vanilla]   
    Foreword: I have not put a 10/10 score in a while. Psyclone is a classic cyberpunk story with sophisticated plot and great cast of characters. For genre fan it's an ultimate treasure. But game's not hookable, so I had to manually copy each line from the script for video playthrough. It was absolutely worth my time and I hope it can be worthy of yours.
    Title: Psyclone
    Developer: Vanilla
    Date: 1998-10-30
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v15546
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq8KWBAvVAymrEDxV6nl3B0E
    Synopsis: Psyclone is a cyber-reality city accessed by using bio-interface. Recently it has been under attack of crackers causing anomalies and hurting people, so its inventor "Postman" along with his comrades "Bee", "Peepin Sam" and one of the crackers "Saiko" try to find the source of attacks. At the same time in the real world many young girls get missing in the slums. How can these cases be connected? 

    Structure: There are about twenty micro-chapters, but those are numerated in any manner. 
    Length: 5 hours
    Game type: Classic cyberpunk story.
    Difficulty: Easy. Each time you get a game over, you can press try again and get just before the wrong choice.
    Character Design rating: 10/10
    Protagonist rating: 10/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 10/10
    Rating comments: It's been so long I put any game a full score. Game is perfect composition-wise and characters-wise. But game quality gets a huge penalty for rhytmic but lacking excitement BGMs, non-full size CG (HCG are almost full size). There were also technical difficulties - inability of hooking and game error on windows switch, but launching with Dxwnd and using the text script ripped from the game did the trick in the end.
    Protagonist: Postman is a great protagonist. He inherited rights on bio-interface after his deceased father, but he created Psyclone all by himself. Furthermore, he managed to save his father's memories before the brain death, so his father is alive in the form of talking head in the real world and a full-scale actor in the net. The real name of Postman is Thomas Post Stroker. He's got a face and both knowledgeable and cool. 

    Characters: The characters names correspond to the picture above - upper names row to the upper characters and lower names to the row below.
    There are two main heroines. First one is Postman's comrade "Bee" who is known for being a fast and tough user. She uses both forms of male and female in Cyclone. Her real name is Vi Rubins. She tries to behave rough like a boy, but she is so sincere and protective over Postman that she managed to totally win my sympathies. For example, in one of the bad endings she keeps nursing Postman in the vegetable state after he got his brains fried in the cyberspace. She also saves her virginity for Postman despite behaving all tough and being mocked by Saiko for that. I could not force myself to look at Saiko ending after seeing Bee's one.
    Saiko is a supercute and supertalented cracker. She has a lot of in common with Postman as they both are regarded as otaku with an affinity to old tech. She's energetic and of modern views. She's a very nice person, but I don't like it that her ending requires intimacy twice during the main course of the game.
    There is also a third main heroine, but she stands aside of both primary heroines. Kelly is a police inspector with a very important role to play. All I can say is that her ending goes on top of the primary heroine ending and may either happen with any of the heroines or may not happen at all.
    But look at this cast. There are also plenty of cool characters. Ange with her bright clumsy personality brings a lot of comic relief into the game. Peeping Sam is one of the coolest hackers with a terrific voicing. Postman's father is not presented here, but he is a worthy addition to the team, both for his constant fights with Postman and for his activity in cyberspace. That's a really great cast in here.

    Story: I don't feel like giving spoilers this time since the story is absolutely worth of reading yourself, but here is what I can share in addition to synopsis. Postman dives into the cyberspace to track the cracker and confronts Saiko there, but she turns out to act all by herself and not connected with the other cases of attack or kidnappings. So she decides to cooperate with the team to find the real culprit. At the same time Postman is being followed by a Cybertech corporation worker Ange who consistently offers to sell the rights for bio-interface. Upon overhearing a policeman we get to know that policemen have to fill quota of bringing two girls per day. So we need to investigate three major facilities - Saiko's information shop where she got information from, police station and Cybertech. And that's absolutely all I can tell without major spoilers.
    CG: There are not as many CG as I hoped for and it's a pity that CG only take like 1/3 of screen space. But I really like the old-school style and the quality of each CG.

    Sound: BGM is rhythmic, but without real melody - that can be both plus and minus. Voicing is truly great (only protagonist not voiced).
    Humor: Humor in this game is not in the form of gags, but rather situational. Ange is the main source of humor situations. I especially liked how she was offered some tart and each time she sincerely exclaimed "Ah, oishiso!!!", but then remembered of the number of calories and rejected the offer. But the fun part was that the same situation was repeated several times during the talk. And she has such a light windy personality that we easily believe that she sincerely rejoices each time forgetting about previous cases.

    Title and Themes:  I always try to guess the meaning behind the title of the game. And this time there are so many meanings in the title. Psyclone = Psyclone city + Saiko + Psy + Clone. Game incorporates the best cyberpunk ideas, but manages to tell an absolutely unique story.
    Overall comments: I praised the game enough, but how could such a wonderful game be overlooked by Japanese audience? Game's got just one impression that's not even accessible now via web archive. I guess game graphics are to blame. In 1998 users could only try to assess the content by the box and box only features non-flashy images and weird phrases like "Cracker", "Bio Interface", "Texture Ripper". And that cost 8800 yen which was the cost of a top-tier game. Whatever the reasons are, game is just too big to be forgotten and I'll give remaining Vanilla games special attention.

  19. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SaintOfVoid for a blog entry, Rougetsu Toshi 朧月都市 [Softhouse Bonbee Bonbon]   
    Foreword: I was prejudiced towards this game after reading Japanese reviews blaming it for scrapping story in favor of H-events, but in reality the setting, plot and characters left me no choice but to get to the ending.
    Title: Rougetsu Toshi
    Developer: Softhouse Bonbee Bonbon
    Date: 1997-12-26
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v15347
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX9cGamwbB8&list=PLENAECnNmAq9uoqPyBvnAsL7316x1C3bc

    Synopsis: Tokyo at the end of the century got completely blocked from the outside world due to transformation of Kanto plains and emergence of black fog that blocks radio waves. The raise of shady organizations and appearance of strange dreams make people uneasy. Hero acquires mysterious power to oppose those threats.
    Structure: There are six chapters roughly one hour long each.
    Length: 6 hours
    Game type: Mystery end of the world chunige type.
    Difficulty: Just one route with some commands to choose action and location.
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Rating comments: My rates reflect my hesitation between 8 and 9 as final score. Game felt like a firm 9 during the most of its course and and only in the last third some of its flaws became evident after grasping where the game was finally going. I expected even more epic ending and at least some sort of epilogue. Otherwise it would be 9 since the game is of surprisingly high quality with individualistic characters, old-school charming design and a well-rounded story.
    Protagonist: Akira Myouji is an average high school student who starts to see strange drams. However he has a formed personality and no real weaknesses thus he has a cool aura. He does not look for H events, but is rather coerced towards it or does it out of necessity. The reason is that crystal bearers have to compensate their negative destructive energy with some positive life creation act... oh well, at least there's some kind of justification.

    Characters: There aren't main heroines in the game. There is childhood friend Asuka, her best friend Kuriko. There is also police special female team with the following cast: leader and descendant from ancient monsters fighting clan Suzuka, reserved blue long hair beauty Aoto, undercover transfer student Yuka, eccentric burly personality Mai and undercover Health room nurse Shiho-sensei. There are also side characters - strange library girl Kuko and school teacher Biho. Needless to say, they all get H-scene and sometimes much more than one. Most of the characters are grown-ups and everyone is memorable and attractive. My favorite character is Kuriko. We first meet her when she gives Akira a tour around the school - and while at it she badmouths pretty much everyone and gives skeptical comments on everything. Then she suddenly starts to avoid Akira and has a fight with Asuka and in the end Kuriko turns out the the most mysterious person with a huge role to play in the story.

    Story: Story can actually be described in couple sentences. Akira visits school and sees strange wet dreams about opening of the first game at night. One day he sees TV news broadcast about monster rampaging on the main square and hurries there to protect his friend who might be there. As police forces get thrown back by the monster, Akira manages to create a spirit gun and kill the monster with one shot. After that he's drafted to a special police division of spirit gun users unit and together they try to uncover the mystery behind school girls disappearance and prevent opening of the rest of four gates and the end of the world that ensues after all five are opened. But actually there's much more in this game than this dry outline, like development of relations with different characters and side-lines like the fate of the hooligan band or identity of woman who comes in the dreams or mystery behind Akira power (he can't control it and fails to use it when he wants to). Add to then the apocalyptic dark setting of isolated Tokyo standing on the brink of destruction by monsters or environmental disasters and you get more a less a full picture.
    CG: Great number of CG and I absolutely love the style and design.

    Sound: Only girls are voiced. BGM is notable, especially the piano composition by the end of the game.
    Theme:  Title of the game can be roughly translated as "hazy moon city" and the moon plays a big role in it, especially in the second half. There is almost no sun in this world and outside scenery is inevitably dark, but by the end of the game the end of the world happens literally by the Moon sucking Tokyo city in. That's a great sight and decent metaphor.
    Overall comments: Game turned out to be a big deal and a serious chunige story. It lacks the multiple routes diversity or the philosophical basis of the events, but it's an epic apocalyptic adventure story and game tells it brilliantly and logically. Just don't expect complex elements and Rougetsu Toshi will definitely attract you with its dark charm.

  20. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Liaison リエゾン ~liaison~ [Bell-Da]   
    Foreword: Bell-Da as a company has come a long way in visual novel industry, but prior to Liaison there were only terrible macromedia flash tasteless short games. But Liaison managed to turn the tides by presenting a solid story about working adults that kept my attention for over 4 hours till the end.
    Title: Liaison
    Developer: Bell-Da
    Date: 1998-07-16
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v8155
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dflf6As2eww&index=55&list=PLENAECnNmAq_3TQ0rXcu0n95aygm3PPQU

    Synopsis: Kusanagi Daisaku came to Tokyo to attend art university with a dream of becoming a painter, but he clearly lacked talent. One day he meets two women in jewelry store and that casual encounter greatly influenced his life and his upcoming biggest masterpiece.
    Structure: No division, but choices determine the path of one of the two main heroines or the side heroine.
    Length: 4 hours
    Game type: Love triangle story with some NTR tilt
    Difficulty: Flags are evident and there are usually only two variants to choose from.
    Character Design rating: 7/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 4/10
    Game quality: 6/10
    Overall rating: 5/10
    Rating comments: Probably the lowest rating among my reviews. The reason is that I felt betrayed by the story. The first two hours were wonderful and it was not clear where it all was going, then the poor plot became evident, but it was too late to turn back. I still rate characters quite high here as they are memorable and have great voicing. 
    Protagonist: Kusanagi Daisaku is a university art department student. The worst thing about him is that he mostly moves with the flow and after one professor tells him he does not have talent, Kusanagi gives up and gets depressed. It's not fun to look at such a hetare protagonist.

    Characters: So there are three heroines with enging. Long purple hair Jun and short violet hair Minako work at the same jewelry store and compete with each other in sales every day. There's also childhood friend from hero's hometown Shiori who appears only during short stay of Kusanagi at his hometown and also visits him briefly afterwards once. Characters are quite well done as they don't belong to any archetype and are full of inconsistencies and own troubles. When I don't have clear preference I go for the main heroine and that seemed to be Jun since she had the most of troubles from the start. But the most delivering character for me was Kusanagi mangaka brother Naru. He's an egoistic man, but full of surprises and funny moves. He really invigorates the cast.

    Story: Since I rated the story as low as "4" I don't need to hold back. Kusanagi is an absolute failure as a man and protagonist. The story starts with an already stupid twist that Jun phones him while working on her sales list of customers, but instead of saying clearly what she wants she invites Kusanagi to the building which turns out to be jewelry shop. Cunning! He comes only to be offered to buy diamonds and miserably retreats. Then by a weird twist of fate Jun skips work with her friend to go to a countryside and they meet Kusanagi in person again even though Kusanagi was not shown going on a trip or anything. The next day Kusanagi decides to visit jewelry shop again and noone seems to care that he comes just to talk and never to buy anything. Somehow that ends up with a date with Jun. And Minako is so obsessed with sales competition with Jun that she decides to... stalk on Kusanagi and get him to karaoke to seduce him before Jun does so. Is there any logic in that at all? Of course Minako boasts of that at work to her rival which becomes the source of cheap drama. Then the real drama in the figure of former Jun boyfriend Daimon, SM relations apostate, appears. So it's a pretty normal relations story with cheap drama, drawbacks and restoration cycle. Former lover kindnapping of Jun and its resolution bring an end to the game.

    Humor: There were quite a lot of funny moments. While seducing at karaoke Minako asked Kusanagi to guess her cup size. There was a variant of "W" to which she says "What? World cup? Stop fooling around already!". 
    CG and Sound: A very good number of high quality CG. There are only few CG that look weird. BGM is solid as well.
    Overall comments: I expected the game to move towards artist profession self-realization and creating of a real masterpiece, but there was not even remotely enough time devoted to art. What I got instead is not sophisticated cheap drama without much basis behind it. Even in this state the game is really entertaining for a good half of it thanks to view zapping between the characters, funny sub-characters and fast pace. Later on it does not get worse, but it gets too repetitive and evident to my liking.

  21. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Narcosis for a blog entry, Touchuukasou 冬虫夏草 [Petit]   
    Foreword: Game had hardy any characteristics but "degraded Kizuato" and I did not plan to make a review of it. However, it managed to keep my attention till the end for over three hours. So maybe it's not really bad?
    Title: Touchuukasou
    Developer: Petit
    Date: 1998-07-17
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v15352
    Youtube walkthrough:https://youtu.be/adRAHxJVaBo

    Synopsis: In a rural town there has been a series of murders recently. Part of the bodies was lost as if it had been eaten by someone. Toshio Hiyama moved to this town 10 years ago and he was constantly bullied due to his introverted nature to the extent that there might be even another will lurking inside his consciousness...
    Structure: There are three heroines each with a route. The whole story takes three days.
    Length: 3 hours
    Game type: Action mystic beast transformation type.
    Difficulty: Very easy, there's basically just one big decision for each heroine to flag.
    Character Design rating: 7/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10
    Story rating: 8/10
    Game quality: 5/10
    Overall rating: 7/10

    Rating comments: In my classification that's a masterpiece. Game is integral. It has simple but clean story-line, nice memorable characters, cool battles and most amusing BGM support. Protagonist is too ordinary though and game quality is lacking due to a really old engine with NO keyboard support and with 5 second freezes on BGM change.
    Protagonist: Hiyama Toshio is pretty much an average high school student Joe who sees strange drams. We don't see his face, so that's it for him.

    Characters: There are four main heroines. Short brown hair Yuka is your cute and caring imouto. Short black hair Makoto is your shy childhood friend who you meet after 10 years time. And long red hair Akane is... your fun-buddy, without any obligations. Fourth one is short gray hair girl, but she makes a very short appearance in core game time, so can't tell much about her without playing her route. I only played Makoto route since I'm not a fan of imouto and free love. Furthermore, Makoto seemed to have some early memories important for the plot. It turned out that those memories weren't exactly about Makoto, so any heroine of preference can be enjoyed without loosing much on the story. As for Makoto, her route is very sweet and there's a very nice satisfying ending after the battle. At some point she even abandons her shyness and confesses her circumstances which are rather curious. So I'm very impressed with her route, but I don't like other heroines roles and not ready to manually mouse click through their routes.

    Story: Events develop very fast here. Toshio and Yuka arrive to the school and barely have time to get acquainted with a newcomer Makoto when they get assaulted by a hooligan Shinichi. That's followed by promise to share bento with Makoto daily, some quality time with Akane and yet another same hooligan assault. The next day starts with a hooligan team trap that leads to a massacre. And lastly heroine specific part with a date ensues followed up by old enemy big fight finale. And something to put under a spoiler as well.
    CG: Very few from the start, but quite numerous closer to the ending.
    Sound: Somehow I really enjoyed the tunes and the voicing. Everyone but protagonist voiced.

    Themes:  
    1) Game is a bit simplistic and fast paced to suggest multiple themes, but the main theme of the game is werebeasts. It goes back to the story about 200 years before about how the wild dogs got massacred and how a shrine and a clan grew from that event in order to commemorate those beasts. There's a huge stone in the shrine connected to the event and it's the touch of the stone that actually raised the wild urges in males of the blood. It's actually very nicely pictured that the memories of clan ancestor are alive in Toshio Hiyama. Those memories and the mystery of the girl shown at the very first scene of the game were the main attraction point for me.
    2) What's right - to suppress the beast origin or to seek more power? Unexpectedly, game definitely chooses the second in contrast to Kizuato. In Kizuato hero is being judged of ill-behavior just for his dreams and headaches. In Touchuukasou hero is just destroyed in a bad ending if he tries to suppress his emotions. On the other hand, hero is the only suspect in the massacre where two people died and... he gets away with it very easily. So it's a very simple answer - kill or be killed.

    Overall comments: Game is not well known and is trashed for being Kizuato clone. And I strongly object to that. Games have absolutely different approach to the beast state. I actually give the preference to Touchuukasou for having an integral fast-paced story with adorable characters over the painfully crumbling structure of Kizuato where nothing big happens in ANY of the routes. Touchuukasou has lots of charming sides and I played the main heroine route to the end. However, I don't see how other heroines can contribute to the story and CG actually confirm that as there are mostly only additional fight CG and HCG of other heroines. [Petit] has grown a lot over the years and I call its last two games Sweepers and Touchuukasou masterpieces. It's really sad to see story-driven works of unique charm overpowered by charage/moege. 

  22. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Subarashiki Hibi alternative version - Tsui no Sora 終ノ空 [KeroQ]   
    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.
    Protagonist: 
    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.
    HEAVY PLOT SPOILERS INSIDE
    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.

  23. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Subarashiki Hibi alternative version - Tsui no Sora 終ノ空 [KeroQ]   
    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.
    Protagonist: 
    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.
    HEAVY PLOT SPOILERS INSIDE
    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.

  24. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Subarashiki Hibi alternative version - Tsui no Sora 終ノ空 [KeroQ]   
    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.
    Protagonist: 
    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.
    HEAVY PLOT SPOILERS INSIDE
    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.

  25. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Subarashiki Hibi alternative version - Tsui no Sora 終ノ空 [KeroQ]   
    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.
    Protagonist: 
    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.
    HEAVY PLOT SPOILERS INSIDE
    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.

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