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kivandopulus

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    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.

  2. 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
  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 

  8. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from MaggieROBOT 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.

  9. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from MaggieROBOT 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.

  10. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from MaggieROBOT 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.

  11. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from MaggieROBOT 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.

  12. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from MaggieROBOT 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.

  13. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Kuon no Kizuna 久遠の絆 [FOG]   
    Foreword: There is a good number of English reviews on this game (1 2 3 4), but those are all kinda short and non-structured. Now I know why and mine won't be an exception. You'll know why soon enough as well.
    Title: Kuon no Kizuna
    Developer: FOG
    Date: 1998-12-03
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v2773
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq-CHIuWBfnU3DYzNCEcLjcV

    Synopsis: This story starts out from the perspective of a high school student. One day a transfer student comes to his school, and tells him she’ll kill him. At the same time, he starts seeing weird dreams and people mysteriously gets killed in his city. Soon he realizes that them two are incarnated personalities of a man and a goddess that fell in love 1000 years ago. Since then, they have been trapped in a cycle of reincarnation and a battle against an evil god.
    Length: Took me 66 hours for all routes.
    Game type: ADV with choices and couple easy battles.
    Difficulty: I followed walkthrough, so not too sure on difficulty. There are some fake choices, but there are also choices that lead to game over. And there are a LOT of choices, so it must be quite difficult.

    Character Design rating: 7/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 7/10
    Rating comments: This is one of the most ambitious projects I've ever seen. Just imagine - 66 hours. 66 hours of not raising stats, killing monsters or chasing girls over and over. 66 hours of pure text reading time. There's nothing like that in the 1990s and it won't be beaten till 2000s. You know, in many Japanese reviews of the time volume is a very important factor and there's often such criteria as cost-efficiency. Visual novels cost a lot and compared to solid books they used to lose all the time. But everything changed with Kuon no Kizuna. It became a paragon for both volume and visuals. 
    I liked protagonist and characters enough, but they don't become cozy. They remain transcendent beings piercing the veil of time in an epic story, not really likable characters who I could respect for their characters or decisions, that's why it's 7/10. The story is indeed epic, but it does not go smoothly. We jump from reality to three periods all the time and the shifts aren't really explained, they just happen. I also did not like it that the first half of the story is pretty much the same for all three heroines and we just have to read it three times with little variation. That makes story only 6/10. But the quality of the game is superb, especially with full voice (excluding the protagonist though). The graphics are stunning and visual effects amazing. No complaints with the quality.

    Protagonist: Mikado Takeru is a strong protagonist as he constantly has to protect those who are dear to him and he's the only one who can oppose demonic forces thanks to his demonic heritage. He's a one man army and hardly ever gets any help from the side. He'd be more realistic with voice, but he's quite cool even as he is now.
    Characters: There are three heroines who have their own routes.
    Takahara Mayou is our mysterious transfer student who greets Takeru for the first time with words "This time I will definitely kill you".
    Itsuki Shiori is a childhood friend who Takeru lives with under the same roof.
    Tokiwa Saya is the class teacher.

    Story: The rant part. So each heroine has her route... but it's the same route, at least for the first half of it. In the second half some periods are developed for each heroine, but still there's a very strong feeling that you're watching the same story and it irritates a lot. 
    There are four periods: Heian, Genroku, Bakumatsu, and the present. Present and Heian are really the same and those are the most boring parts, especially Heian. Heian focuses on a an ancient period of Japanese history where nothing really happened for dozens of years and that's why it's full of myths and legends - because there was nothing to do there. In Kuon no Kizuna Heian is when beasts invasion starts and it differentiates just a bit in the end depending on the heroine chosen throughout it. I especially liked Bakumatsu period for meeting and fighting alongside Shinsengumi (and sometimes against) and kunoichi. 

    But there is a great problem with these periods - they aren't really connected to each other. People can die there or love there and in next period everything starts from scratch. That creates the feeling of multiple stories and I really dislike that genre. Nothing really happens throughout those stories, then beasts arrive, the short drama and it's over. Heroines aren't really able to hold attention. But what's worse, the heroine of your choice have play very small role till the very end of each part. 
    But then comes the fantastic Special route №1 that arrived later with remake as an attempt to tighten the crumbling main story. Special route №1 lasts for some 7 hours, holds a totally new epic story with really great enemies and is a great ending for all the characters, so I can't praise it enough.
    The Special routes №2 and  №3 are there for comic relief after all that superserious narration.
    So overall the story really sucks, repeats itself in routes and has poor tempo. But the great special route makes up for it.

    CG: Just fantastic. See for yourself.
    Sound: I really appreciated full voicing and beautiful BGM. That kept me from sleeping.
    Overall comments: This game was created to surprise the imagination. It has huge length and astonishing visuals, but there still was no culture of such huge coherent stories - thus the multiple periods format with lousy links between them. Dialogues are long and not too meaningful, fights are inevitably dull and poorly written, heroines fail to catch attention and the absence of humor makes it all a real torture. The sudden jumps between periods only add to the confusion. But this game bears a huge importance for the industry as it made long story-driven visual novels without gameplay elements viable while only dating SIMs, charage and nukige governed the ball.

     
  14. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, Kuon no Kizuna 久遠の絆 [FOG]   
    Foreword: There is a good number of English reviews on this game (1 2 3 4), but those are all kinda short and non-structured. Now I know why and mine won't be an exception. You'll know why soon enough as well.
    Title: Kuon no Kizuna
    Developer: FOG
    Date: 1998-12-03
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v2773
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq-CHIuWBfnU3DYzNCEcLjcV

    Synopsis: This story starts out from the perspective of a high school student. One day a transfer student comes to his school, and tells him she’ll kill him. At the same time, he starts seeing weird dreams and people mysteriously gets killed in his city. Soon he realizes that them two are incarnated personalities of a man and a goddess that fell in love 1000 years ago. Since then, they have been trapped in a cycle of reincarnation and a battle against an evil god.
    Length: Took me 66 hours for all routes.
    Game type: ADV with choices and couple easy battles.
    Difficulty: I followed walkthrough, so not too sure on difficulty. There are some fake choices, but there are also choices that lead to game over. And there are a LOT of choices, so it must be quite difficult.

    Character Design rating: 7/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 7/10
    Rating comments: This is one of the most ambitious projects I've ever seen. Just imagine - 66 hours. 66 hours of not raising stats, killing monsters or chasing girls over and over. 66 hours of pure text reading time. There's nothing like that in the 1990s and it won't be beaten till 2000s. You know, in many Japanese reviews of the time volume is a very important factor and there's often such criteria as cost-efficiency. Visual novels cost a lot and compared to solid books they used to lose all the time. But everything changed with Kuon no Kizuna. It became a paragon for both volume and visuals. 
    I liked protagonist and characters enough, but they don't become cozy. They remain transcendent beings piercing the veil of time in an epic story, not really likable characters who I could respect for their characters or decisions, that's why it's 7/10. The story is indeed epic, but it does not go smoothly. We jump from reality to three periods all the time and the shifts aren't really explained, they just happen. I also did not like it that the first half of the story is pretty much the same for all three heroines and we just have to read it three times with little variation. That makes story only 6/10. But the quality of the game is superb, especially with full voice (excluding the protagonist though). The graphics are stunning and visual effects amazing. No complaints with the quality.

    Protagonist: Mikado Takeru is a strong protagonist as he constantly has to protect those who are dear to him and he's the only one who can oppose demonic forces thanks to his demonic heritage. He's a one man army and hardly ever gets any help from the side. He'd be more realistic with voice, but he's quite cool even as he is now.
    Characters: There are three heroines who have their own routes.
    Takahara Mayou is our mysterious transfer student who greets Takeru for the first time with words "This time I will definitely kill you".
    Itsuki Shiori is a childhood friend who Takeru lives with under the same roof.
    Tokiwa Saya is the class teacher.

    Story: The rant part. So each heroine has her route... but it's the same route, at least for the first half of it. In the second half some periods are developed for each heroine, but still there's a very strong feeling that you're watching the same story and it irritates a lot. 
    There are four periods: Heian, Genroku, Bakumatsu, and the present. Present and Heian are really the same and those are the most boring parts, especially Heian. Heian focuses on a an ancient period of Japanese history where nothing really happened for dozens of years and that's why it's full of myths and legends - because there was nothing to do there. In Kuon no Kizuna Heian is when beasts invasion starts and it differentiates just a bit in the end depending on the heroine chosen throughout it. I especially liked Bakumatsu period for meeting and fighting alongside Shinsengumi (and sometimes against) and kunoichi. 

    But there is a great problem with these periods - they aren't really connected to each other. People can die there or love there and in next period everything starts from scratch. That creates the feeling of multiple stories and I really dislike that genre. Nothing really happens throughout those stories, then beasts arrive, the short drama and it's over. Heroines aren't really able to hold attention. But what's worse, the heroine of your choice have play very small role till the very end of each part. 
    But then comes the fantastic Special route №1 that arrived later with remake as an attempt to tighten the crumbling main story. Special route №1 lasts for some 7 hours, holds a totally new epic story with really great enemies and is a great ending for all the characters, so I can't praise it enough.
    The Special routes №2 and  №3 are there for comic relief after all that superserious narration.
    So overall the story really sucks, repeats itself in routes and has poor tempo. But the great special route makes up for it.

    CG: Just fantastic. See for yourself.
    Sound: I really appreciated full voicing and beautiful BGM. That kept me from sleeping.
    Overall comments: This game was created to surprise the imagination. It has huge length and astonishing visuals, but there still was no culture of such huge coherent stories - thus the multiple periods format with lousy links between them. Dialogues are long and not too meaningful, fights are inevitably dull and poorly written, heroines fail to catch attention and the absence of humor makes it all a real torture. The sudden jumps between periods only add to the confusion. But this game bears a huge importance for the industry as it made long story-driven visual novels without gameplay elements viable while only dating SIMs, charage and nukige governed the ball.

     
  15. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, To Heart PSE [Leaf/Aquaplus]   
    Foreword: It took me a while to get interested in this grandfather of all modern charage and moege. It took even longer to finish all the routes. I doubt I will ever pick a moege for review, but I need to see fundamentals with my own eyes. There are quite many reviews found, but only one of them (7nightstranslations) actually was reviewing a finished game, but still it was too short and only touched a few heroines. I'll have a word about each heroine at least.
    Title: To Heart
    Developer: Leaf /Aquaplus
    Date: 1997-05-23
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v18
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq8UD0quvrBnBr1LySRroX7Z

    Synopsis: In this game, you play as Fujita Hiroyuki, a high-school student who seems to have more interest in romance than in his studies. In his school there are several pretty girls, and his goal is to be nice to one of them, to make the right decisions when talking to her, and ultimately to win her heart.
    Structure: Game lasts roughly two months from beginning of March to beginning of May with events happening almost daily.
    Length: Took me 34 hours for all routes.
    Game type: Map selection ADV.
    Difficulty: Only the two main heroines routes are tricky, the others are easy.
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 5/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 7/10
    Rating comments: Let's say honestly - from modern point of view game is trash. It's a very generic school moege without plot or any interesting character development. It's a torture to go through and there's little satisfaction in beating the game. So why did I rate it as masterpiece? The whole point of charage and moege is in characters and this game indeed has two very nice character stories. About that in proper section.
    Protagonist: Fujita Hiroyuki is a very generic high school protagonist who can't sneeze without our command.

    Characters: There are 10 characters for capture. I rate the routes from best to worst in the following sequence: Multi > Shiho > Ayaka > Aoi > Tomoko > Lemmy > Akari > Kotone > Rio > Serika.
    Serika is our ojousama with interest in magic. Her route is one of the most boring ones, but what actually makes it unbearable is that she does not talk. Well, as I counted, she said 8 phrases overall with most of them being one word phrases. Her final like included as much as three words! "Fujita-san, suki...". It's surprising how she even continued to stand up after such long phrase. Really, her seiyu should be omitted from credits.  The whole route I was feeling that I read 1997 year original work without voicing.
    Rio is a poor girl who has to earn money for mother's operation and to take care of her younger brother at the same time. It's the weakest story plot-wise since Fujita did not actually move a finger to help her, only encouraged her to work harder at all her jobs. What a bastard!
    Kotone is our esper. Fujita first tries to persuade her that she's a normal girl without powers and when fails at that wants her to teach him to gain same powers. He fails at that either the very minuscule drama resolution of the route really leaves unsatisfactory feeling.
    Akari is the main heroine, but she's too much of a failure. First of all, her sprites aren't all beautiful. Secondly, it's kind of a rule that childhood friend should be of genki type, but Akari just nags and cries. The main feature of her route - drums, drums, drums - is changing hairstyle! What kind of drama move is that? Akari does not have her own will and that leads to pretty ugly resolution. 
    Lemmy is totally cool half-american heroine, but her route is one of the weakest, it's basically not about Lemmy, but about her big crazy family.
    Tomoko is our diligent class representative megane type. It's pretty cool how her snobbish attitude averts class members from her. Even Fujita only gains bad gazes in return at every move. But as her circumstances become evident there's quite a lot of sympathy towards her in the end.
    Aoi is our cute martial artist. There's nothing even to add here. Route is full of cuteness and trainings resulting in impressive match. 
    Ayaka is our cool martial artist, sister of Serika. Ayaka is the mature version of Aoi and is the only character not available from the start - first Aoi and Serika routes need to be beaten. Ayaka route is pretty cool is there's a change of pace from the school grounds - heroes spar daily at the riverbank. Ayaka is both genki and free spirit. Her sprites are often weird, but voicing is perfect. So Ayaka takes the third prize.
    Shiho is our second main heroine as her presence pierces all the other routes and because she's main friend of Akari. Shiho route is also very tricky to trigger since it's the route that has little to do with love and is entered upon meeting seemingly illogical prerequisites. Shiho is of genki type. She also is a rumor house and the queen of karaoke. The three songs she sings during her route are very impressive - those are old opening theme, new opening theme and totally new song. The main feature of Shiho route is love triangle and she's the total opposite of Ogiso Setsuna from White Album 2 if you know what I mean. But what delivers the most is the ending - absolutely cool and mature one.
    Multi is the true queen of the game. Her route is compressed to just 8 days and thus feels the most integral. She's an android of new type. Almost every scene with her has some cute element or situation, so it's the only route that I could read without distractions. It's the only must have route to play, so would not want to spoiler here.

    Story: None. Choose the portraits of the target heroine and give good answers when needed. The rest depends on the route.
    CG: Each heroine has about 10 CG in PSE version which is quite enough. 
    Sound: BGM is fine and praised a lot, but after so many routes it really started to irritate. Voicing is mostly great.
    Overall comments: Now that was a short review. Can't say I enjoyed the game, but I definitely feel like I understand eroge history better now. Could not get it before why Comic party anime had so many references to Multi doujins. It's the first fundamental charage and there are some inevitable mistakes made, but at least two routes are worth reading to get to understand the media better.

  16. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from SeniorBlitz for a blog entry, To Heart PSE [Leaf/Aquaplus]   
    Foreword: It took me a while to get interested in this grandfather of all modern charage and moege. It took even longer to finish all the routes. I doubt I will ever pick a moege for review, but I need to see fundamentals with my own eyes. There are quite many reviews found, but only one of them (7nightstranslations) actually was reviewing a finished game, but still it was too short and only touched a few heroines. I'll have a word about each heroine at least.
    Title: To Heart
    Developer: Leaf /Aquaplus
    Date: 1997-05-23
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v18
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq8UD0quvrBnBr1LySRroX7Z

    Synopsis: In this game, you play as Fujita Hiroyuki, a high-school student who seems to have more interest in romance than in his studies. In his school there are several pretty girls, and his goal is to be nice to one of them, to make the right decisions when talking to her, and ultimately to win her heart.
    Structure: Game lasts roughly two months from beginning of March to beginning of May with events happening almost daily.
    Length: Took me 34 hours for all routes.
    Game type: Map selection ADV.
    Difficulty: Only the two main heroines routes are tricky, the others are easy.
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 5/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 7/10
    Rating comments: Let's say honestly - from modern point of view game is trash. It's a very generic school moege without plot or any interesting character development. It's a torture to go through and there's little satisfaction in beating the game. So why did I rate it as masterpiece? The whole point of charage and moege is in characters and this game indeed has two very nice character stories. About that in proper section.
    Protagonist: Fujita Hiroyuki is a very generic high school protagonist who can't sneeze without our command.

    Characters: There are 10 characters for capture. I rate the routes from best to worst in the following sequence: Multi > Shiho > Ayaka > Aoi > Tomoko > Lemmy > Akari > Kotone > Rio > Serika.
    Serika is our ojousama with interest in magic. Her route is one of the most boring ones, but what actually makes it unbearable is that she does not talk. Well, as I counted, she said 8 phrases overall with most of them being one word phrases. Her final like included as much as three words! "Fujita-san, suki...". It's surprising how she even continued to stand up after such long phrase. Really, her seiyu should be omitted from credits.  The whole route I was feeling that I read 1997 year original work without voicing.
    Rio is a poor girl who has to earn money for mother's operation and to take care of her younger brother at the same time. It's the weakest story plot-wise since Fujita did not actually move a finger to help her, only encouraged her to work harder at all her jobs. What a bastard!
    Kotone is our esper. Fujita first tries to persuade her that she's a normal girl without powers and when fails at that wants her to teach him to gain same powers. He fails at that either the very minuscule drama resolution of the route really leaves unsatisfactory feeling.
    Akari is the main heroine, but she's too much of a failure. First of all, her sprites aren't all beautiful. Secondly, it's kind of a rule that childhood friend should be of genki type, but Akari just nags and cries. The main feature of her route - drums, drums, drums - is changing hairstyle! What kind of drama move is that? Akari does not have her own will and that leads to pretty ugly resolution. 
    Lemmy is totally cool half-american heroine, but her route is one of the weakest, it's basically not about Lemmy, but about her big crazy family.
    Tomoko is our diligent class representative megane type. It's pretty cool how her snobbish attitude averts class members from her. Even Fujita only gains bad gazes in return at every move. But as her circumstances become evident there's quite a lot of sympathy towards her in the end.
    Aoi is our cute martial artist. There's nothing even to add here. Route is full of cuteness and trainings resulting in impressive match. 
    Ayaka is our cool martial artist, sister of Serika. Ayaka is the mature version of Aoi and is the only character not available from the start - first Aoi and Serika routes need to be beaten. Ayaka route is pretty cool is there's a change of pace from the school grounds - heroes spar daily at the riverbank. Ayaka is both genki and free spirit. Her sprites are often weird, but voicing is perfect. So Ayaka takes the third prize.
    Shiho is our second main heroine as her presence pierces all the other routes and because she's main friend of Akari. Shiho route is also very tricky to trigger since it's the route that has little to do with love and is entered upon meeting seemingly illogical prerequisites. Shiho is of genki type. She also is a rumor house and the queen of karaoke. The three songs she sings during her route are very impressive - those are old opening theme, new opening theme and totally new song. The main feature of Shiho route is love triangle and she's the total opposite of Ogiso Setsuna from White Album 2 if you know what I mean. But what delivers the most is the ending - absolutely cool and mature one.
    Multi is the true queen of the game. Her route is compressed to just 8 days and thus feels the most integral. She's an android of new type. Almost every scene with her has some cute element or situation, so it's the only route that I could read without distractions. It's the only must have route to play, so would not want to spoiler here.

    Story: None. Choose the portraits of the target heroine and give good answers when needed. The rest depends on the route.
    CG: Each heroine has about 10 CG in PSE version which is quite enough. 
    Sound: BGM is fine and praised a lot, but after so many routes it really started to irritate. Voicing is mostly great.
    Overall comments: Now that was a short review. Can't say I enjoyed the game, but I definitely feel like I understand eroge history better now. Could not get it before why Comic party anime had so many references to Multi doujins. It's the first fundamental charage and there are some inevitable mistakes made, but at least two routes are worth reading to get to understand the media better.

  17. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Narcosis for a blog entry, Otomimi ∞ Infinity   

    Yeah, exactly that.
     
    Title: オトミミ∞インフィニティー (Otomimi ∞ Infinity)
    Developer: Applique -Sister-
    Released: 2011/09/22
    Genre: Social Fiction
    Rating: 18+
    website (overseas IP's are currently blocked because Akabei Soft3 are a bunch of faggots)
    trial version
    Trailer:
     
    Despite being a very popular trope in japanese pop culture, mimikkos don't appear that often in visual novels. Sure - they aren't uncommon as side characters or a single addition to the game's cast, but that's pretty much where it ends in most cases. Games focusing on these are a rarity and it's ever harder to find one that tries to be more accurate and ambitious, rather than focusing on their moe and fetish aspects. I wanted to play one of such games for longer while, so when @Clephas mentioned Otomimi Infinity around a year ago, I couldn't restrain myself from elevating this visual novel to the top of my backlog. And in all honesty, I couldn't chose any better, as the game prove to be far more interesting than I expected at first.
     
    The plot
     

    This is literally what you're greeted with within the first minute of the game and it doesn't look that cheerful, contrary to the game's cover.
    The story is based on an alternate near-future setting, where vast scientific achievements lead to creation of artificially engineered hybrids, which are half-people, half-animals. The reasons for this are more or less left unknown, but the beast-people (as being referred to within the story) live now amongst humans for a longer while, resulting in at least one or two generations co-existing with each other to a better or worse degree. Sadly - due to many different factors - the relationships between humans and beast-people have been gradually getting more awful as of late, mostly because humans consider them to be inferior and as such, try to limit their presence and rights as citizens. One of the major problems is that humans can actually reproduce with beast-people and many are worried about potential future implications this might bring. As such, relationships between both races are shunned and having a beast-girl or a beast-man as a partner or love interest is considered immoral and perverted.
    Our protagonist - Yamato Sagawa - lives on a remote island (which basically consists of two small islands connected through a large bridge), located somewhere south of Japan, where racial conflicts increase to such point, where a prominent politician figure and the island's currently residing governor - Touchiji Iwahara - manages to successfully and easily pass down a law (which is more or less a martial law, involving the island's peace keeping forces), encouraging actual segregation of beast-people from humans, all for the well-being of two races. Our protagonist, being an actual beast-people lover isn't obviously happy with such turn of events (actually, he's incredibly pissed). Needless, to say he has more fitting problems at the moment, which include constant love attacks from his older sister with a severely-developed brother complex. During one of such events, while he was trying to get away from Chizuru, he is run over by a yankee beast-girl, Ryouko - and somehow, ends up at the shipping company she's the owner of. There's a bunch of other beast-gals living there, each of them with different circumstances. Thankful for rescue and tired of both his sister and family, but without livelihood, he decides to agree with Ryouko's offer and begins working at the company. As it soon turns out, he's a really capable worker, who's genuinely interested in company's well-being, much more than Ryouko herself, which instantly grabs attention of some of the girls working in the company - mainly Kon and Mayoi - and slowly takes over the responsibilities of actual manager. Meanwhile, statute enforced by Iwahara is increasing in power to the point where government decides to slowly enforce it; the only reason it doesn't affect them directly is because they are located within the middle part, which has been considered a "neutral zone" between both races doing business for a long time. Needless to say, Ryouko suddenly disappears one day without a trace, leaving both the company and girls living on it's premises in Yamato's hands. At this point, Yamato decides to stay, take care of both the company and girls and with their help, oppose Iwahara and his government's plan to segregate beast-people from humans.
     
    The cast
    Main characters:
    Yamato Sagawa - The game's protagonist. He comes from an affluent family that had a major saying in many aspects of island's life, which he himself considers more of a burden, than a blessing. He is generally an independent, kind albeit cautious, hard-working person (supposedly after his father, whom he actually despises as a politician) with enough common sense to see through people and situations far better than most of his peers and as such, capable to work out solutions in circumstances, others typically fail at. He often complains about his family and how intrusive his older sister is, wishing for a more average, normal life. He is also a huge beast-girl lover (they are his fetish) and unlike many other people, doesn't see them any different or more ridiculous than humans, wishing for humans and beast-people to co-exist in peace.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Chachako Koya - The dog-girl heroine, Chachako is a rather clumsy and airheaded, hyperactive ball of fluff to the point you'd love to hug her for the rest of your life. She wants to be as helpful as possible within the company, but because she often acts ahead before thinking, her efforts utterly end up in disasters, others have to usually clean up after her. Even though she's a bit of a birdbrain and her puppy-like lack of common sense can be staggering at times, her kindness and near child-like trust and acceptance towards others, including humans allow Chachako to easily form bonds with new people she meets, including Yamato. Despite her seemingly flawed personality and childish behaviour, she can be surprisingly sharp at times - even more so than Kon.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Hanemi Kusahara - The pink haired bunny-girl, Hanemi is shy, timid and similarly to Yamato - a hard-working person that often puts the well-being of others above her own. Due to events from her past, she gets lonely very easily, often to the point of suffering from anxiety attacks and feels uncomfortable, when left alone for extended periods of time. Likewise, she's probably also the most reliable girl from the whole bunch and often helps Yamato to run the entire business, including dealing with clients and company's accountancy. Hanemi is also very close to Ryouko, almost to the point they consider themselves sisters. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHE SHOULD BE EVER ALLOWED TO CONTROL ANY VEHICLES, unless you're ready to face the consequences.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Kon Miyama - A true "kitsune" in every sense, Kon is a sly and intelligent, mature girl with a good grasp of human psychology and a gift of speech unlike any other, allowing her to easily smooth-talk through most of the problems arising throughout the story and often to company's benefit. Within the Otomimi Transportation, she acts mostly as an elderly sister figure and it's not rare to see other characters holding her opinions in high regard. Unfortunately, Kon has a weak constitution and suffers from illness, which causes her to vomit blood in stressful situations. Due to difference in opinions, she often argues with Tetora and takes great enjoyment from teasing others, especially Yamato.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Tetora Byoubu - The resident tiger-girl of the group, Tetora is a genetically enhanced, hot-blooded baby boomer. She was born with an outstanding intellect making her a tech junkie genius, but also made it more difficult for her to admit to mistakes through pride and as such, resulting in her being very insecure and vulnerable to teasing which she responds to in a typical tsun fashion... and boy, oh boy is she cute when that happens. When she doesn't work or play with her gadgets, you can find her constantly bickering with Kon to the point where people in the company don't use alarm clocks anymore, because these two are typically the first to wake up, haha. In all honesty, I consider herself the hottest female character in the whole story.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Chizuru Sagawa - Yamato's older sister, who currently manages the whole Sagawa household. She's both reliable and shrewd, but also unforgiving and strict when it comes to business, making her a prominent character in terms of island's political scape and definitely a person not to be trifled with. As adult-like and mature she acts, everything about her changes with Yamato around. Chizuru is an insane brocon, to the point where she's capable to order her family's security forces to stalk Yamato, controlling various aspects of his life through deceit and even waiting for him half-naked in his bed, when he goes back home from school. It's pretty obvious her feelings for Yamato extend far beyond those of siblings.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Mayoi Suzune - The game's true heroine. Mayoi is a rather solitary and lazy (leisurely would be more fitting) cat-girl with an incredibly foul mouth who dislikes working, gets vexed easily and doesn't care that much for humans, or anyone else in particular aside from those really close to her heart. She's also an avid otaku with a particular fondness for jrpgs and chuuni stuff, as well as cute (moe) anime girls. Completely indifferent and rather reluctant towards Yamato at start, she gradually opens up to him throughout the events of the game, revealing her different, warm side. Her past is tied with events, which ultimately lead to current situation on the island. Personally, she's my favourite heroine, perhaps because I found her the easiest to relate with.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Side characters:
    Ryouko Nagumo - Originally Otomimi Transportation's first manager, Ryouko is a cool-headed and laid back tanuki chick with a troubled past, who's efforts to increase her own well-being lead her to creation of the company and bringing in the other girls with similar life problems. As much as she acts very mature at times (she understands there are circumstances people have no control over and have to live with), she ends up being a completely irresponsible and lazy klutz most of the remaining time, much to Yamato's disappointment. Her past ties many of the characters together; my only gripe is that she didn't got a route of her own she really deserved, not to mention she's definitely the second most sexy character after Tetora, which is a big loss for the game.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Ryouzou Daikoku - One of the school's teachers, Ryouzou himself is a powerful elephant beast-man and the home room teacher of Yamato's class. He's very much a fatherly figure - both as helpful, as unforgiving and a peculiar example of a beast-person, who doesn't wish bad to humans and understands the circumstances of the entire conflict, which pretty much earned himself both admiration and respect amongst his human peers and students. When not busy with teaching, he's typically found patrolling the school premises bringing swift demise to all sorts of delinquents and troublesome students (including Yamato, who's notorious for entering school through the gate reserved for beast-people, for obvious reasons), fiery temper and bamboo sword included.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Dr. Foresto, aka prof. Hakumi / Hakumi Sensei - The ultimate scientific genius, also being one of the youngest characters within the story. Dr. Foresto is a cute, quirky and cunning (or at least that's what she thinks) owl-girl, balancing between something akin to an evil scientist delivering cheesy one-liners, intellectual recluse and insecure child. Much like an ancient troll, she lives somewhere under the great bridge and ordered her robotic creation - Mio to not let anyone carrying meat through, unless they hand it over, which obviously includes Otomimi Transportation (actually, it pretty much only involves their transports as of late). Considering her intellect and figure, I wouldn't find her gluttonous attitude surprising.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Mio (also known as F-30) - Dr. Foresto's creation, Mio is an android driven by high-grade AI prototype, capable of self-thought and learning, as well - as shown within the story - genuine emotions. Despite that, she still falls under the very same pitfalls of all applied AI mechanics, including pre-programmed routines and need to follow orders in a straight fashion (more commonly know as "watch what you ask for"), much to her guardian's annoyance. Her main job is to steal meat from Otomimi Transportation company's shipments, which she always fails in one way or another because both Yamato and Kon find it really easy to trick her, whilst Tetora would love to take her apart to learn how she functions. Despite being rivals, Mio is often found helping Yamato at school, especially whenever Sango's involved. She also self-destructs in a large detonation, when left in severely unfavourable conditions.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sango Tomajiri - The shark-girl that also attends the same school as Yamato and rest of characters. A typical girl by day, leader of a notorious gang of shark pirates otherwise - her actions definitely shape a large portion of the story, as she tries to subdue Otomimi Transportation's speed boat, which carries goods between island and mainland. Those events, which almost always end up in spectacular failures for Sango and her gang, led her to treat Yamato both with admiration as the company's manager, as much as hatred to the point of them becoming ultimate rivals. When she's not busy with pirating, she typically stalks Yamato at school, trying to slash him with her sword or shouting how she'll never forgive Yamato, barging inside even in the middle of a class, much to Ryouzou's annoyance.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Touchiji Iwahara - The game's main antagonist, Iwahara is a prominent politician figure and current governor of the island our characters live on. His decisions more or less shape the political and social landscape of the entire region. From a personal standpoint, he is a typical representation of japanese politics, including bluntness and far-reaching arrogance (an actual jab from the dev team towards real life Japan politics, in fact). As the story moves on, players will learn there's actually far more behind his decisions to segregate the island's residents than human well-being and aversion towards beast-people... including some, which are both really personal and tied to his past, when he was still a young man.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Akutaa - An applied AI module once made by Tetora, found in warehouse trash and stuffed inside a large hamster plushie. He unintentionally becomes the company's mascot. Akutaa (his name is indeed written with kanji, meaning trash/garbage) is the sole character, which brings hilarity and sexual humour into this game not found in anything I've previously played. A hardcore masochist and pervert the Earth hasn't seen so far, Akutaa's sole reason of existence boils down to either fluster and embarass all the female workers of Otomimi Transportation, or make them step on him with a various degree of success. While his dirty jokes remain super effective against Hanemi and Mayoi, both Tetora and Mayoi retaliate with passion, which nearly always ends up with him being thrown outside the window, stomped, punched or flushed down the toilet. Even so, it's noteworthy to say that despite his constant antics, he's really caring for everyone in the company and an actually reliable AI partner in business. He wins the award for best voice acting in the game.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Thoughts
    There's a lot of things I could talk about, which raise this game above the crowd of many, similar titles and overall sea of mediocrity in visual novels.
    One of them is definitely how writer handled the game's main themes - racism and prejudice against different species. Similar to Bloomkamp's District 9 alien race, beast-people are often portrayed in a very unfavourable position, ranging from being called a burden of society, "dutch wives" in regards to females (this is actually quite relevant in regards with game's premise) to plain subhuman trash. Younger beast-people are often bullied at schools by their human classmates (Mayoi being a prime example and it happens literally in the beginning of the story). They can't feel comfortably outside the streets and it's not uncommon for them to be treated with disdain or contempt. Obviously, not everyone behaves like that, but with time it became somewhat of a publicly accepted behaviour for humans to treat them in such way. Likewise, beast-people aren't without their share of negative traits - by being mostly hot-blooded, they often get easily provoked by humans, which only turns things worse in the process, making them spiral down into sort of situations, where they can be easily jailed. The overall situation on the island is definitely not the best, but certain fragments indicate, there are actually places in the world, where things became much worse, with beast-people being devoid of their most basic human rights. Regardless, the islanders are faced with many problems and their future is left uncertain. Kon even states at certain part of the game that if the segregation law gets enforced, it will become nearly impossible for many of them to find jobs or homes and as such, sustain themselves which might prompt the government to take further measures and it's not hard to imagine what might happen. It's a rather bleak, if not nearly dystopian portrayal of future, which also goes perfectly along with modern day issues we're currently facing in real life as societies, especially in Europe and United States. Thank gods Mayoi's route concludes everything on a rather positive, if not slightly bittersweet note.
    There's something really warm and fuzzy in the way how game managed to portray work at Otomimi Carrying Company, with Yamato and girls struggling hard everyday not only for their own benefit, but also well-being of the whole island they live on. After all, they are not only doing this for themselves, but recalling Yamato's words "The well-being of many companies and people on the island depends on our ability to deliver goods in perfect shape to right places and on time". Who wouldn't want to work in such a nice shipping company, being surrounded by so many cute female co-workers? I presume this sort of idealised image of working environment ca be treated equally to otaku's idealization of youth, prevalent within school settings. In the same way school setting-based visual novels let us relive those most cherished and nostalgic moments of our lives (at least, for most of us), games like Otomimi Infinity with their intricate portrayal of adult labour lets us - older players, who actually became a part of actual society - self-indulge in those dreams of a perfect workplace, while our real life jobs are often rarely as beautiful and fulfilling. I found this particular side of the game really enjoyable, knowing there's this part probably only we - older players - will be able to truly understand.
    This game has a lot of great, enjoyable moments, plenty of laughs as well as plenty of situations, where you will sit on the edge of your seat, which is quite surprising for a game - which despite it's themes - is still being kept in a rather bright tone for most of the time. Some of the fragments made me genuinely feel for the characters and the way the game is made - despite my overall dislike towards ladder-structured scenarios - easily keeps exploring the different angles through each of character routes. I was distraught after Chizuru's route, which can be definitely considered the worst possible ending in the game, while both Chachako's and Hanemi's endings were particularly bittersweet. Tetora's and Kon's endings are more light-hearted, whilst Mayoi's route leads to the penultimate ending - both extremely bittersweet and charming in itself - that will definitely both surprise and leave everyone satisfied.
    Otomimi Infinity presents a particularly high level for a game from the modern eroge period of 2011; It's probably one of the last games, that were presented in an SD format, although the game's assets were already HD. The game's graphics are beautiful - particularly character sprites themselves, backgrounds look very nice and there's lot of panning and additional effects that enhance the visual experience. The soundscape is thick and works well to build atmosphere - everything from small details like characters leaving rooms, closing/opening the car doors (repeated properly by number of characters) to various silly anime sfx are all present and add a lot to the game. The soundtrack is very good - and even if a bit generic to an extent in a typical, anime fashion (lots of instrumental tunes, a bit of electro/trance and even some rock) - provides an extremely good background for all the in-game scenes. The OP song  "Megumira -Megumira-", sung by Marie's bright voice will probably become one of the very few OPs I will actually remember and I found myself already whistling the tune a couple times. Speaking of scenes, the game's direction deserves a particular praise, with proper character placing on screen (there's so many different character sprite variations!), movement and animations - it all creates an unique feeling, not to mention there's so many things going on at the screen in certain moments, you feel the characters might even pop out of your monitor at any moment.
    In overall, this is a great game that shouldn't be omitted by anyone, least by fans of mimikkos or animal anthropomorphism.
     
    Final Verdict:
    Impressive / Highly recommended
    Guilty pleasure
     
    Pros:
    Mimikkos galore! Protagonist, who's not a donkan dumbass or incompetent hetare crybaby Cast of diverse, colourful characters Enjoyable story, being a well-balanced mix of drama, comedy and action with surprisingly good twist at the end Mayoi's route, which also serves as the true ending of the whole story Great art (character designs!) and soundtrack, good direction and use of sound all deserve praise as well excellent voice acting brings characters to life Akutaa; Seriously, his antics lead to some really hilarious moments Plenty of the h-scenes are hot as damn Cons:
    Ladder-based scenario structure with large portions of the story being either repeated or shared throughout character routes detracts from the overall experience Chizuru's obsessive behaviour towards Yamato can get annoying after a while Some of the work and slice of life portions tend to drag on a bit too much As much as Dr. Foresto's and Sango's fragments are fun in the beginning, they get stale after a while The romance part of the game is mostly neglected; coupled with such lovely characters it leaves you with sense of unfulfilled expectations Love scenes are rather shallow for the most part and there's little to no emotional development. Yes, it's the kind of porn even Yuzusoft wouldn't be embarrassed about People having issues with willing suspension of disbelief will probably get annoyed by plenty of small details, like characters driving vehicles despite still being students or maintaining a difficult business at such a young age Game has one of the longest and most unrealistic orgasm scenes I've seen in my entire life
  18. Like
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    VN of the Month March 1996 - Mujintou Monogatari 3 - A.D. 1999 Tokyo
    VN of the Month February 1996 - DIES IRAE
    VN of the Month January 1996 - Ryuuki Denshou Dragoon
    VN of the Month December 1995 - Lilith
    VN of the Month November 1995 - Eve: Burst Error
    VN of the Month October 1995 - Trouble Chaser Dai 4 Wa - Saishuukai
    VN of the Month September 1995 - Mime
    VN of the Month August 1995 - Isaku
    VN of the Month July 1995 - Kuro no Danshou: The Literary Fragment
    VN of the Month June 1995 - True Love ~Jun'ai Monogatari~
    VN of the Month May 1995 - Koihime
    VN of the Month April 1995 - Mugen Yasoukyoku
    VN of the Month March 1995 - Cybernoid Alpha
    VN of the Month February 1995 - Doki Doki Pretty League Dai 3 Wa - Minami no Umi no Kai no Maki
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    VN of the Month December 1994 - Xenon ~Mugen no Shitai~
    VN of the Month November 1994 - File: Kokubou Soushou Jouhoukyoku Jouhou Rouei Taisakubu Josei Jinmonin
    VN of the Month October 1994 - Gao Gao! 3rd ~Wild Force~
    VN of the Month September 1994 - Ai Shimai ~Futari no Kajitsu~
    VN of the Month August 1994 - Shinsetsu Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou
    VN of the Month July 1994 - DESIRE - Haitoku no Rasen
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    VN of the month May 1994 - Tokimeki Memorial
    VN of the Month April 1994 - AmbivalenZ -Niritsu Haihan-
    VN of the Month March 1994 - Mirage 2 - Torry x Neat x Roan no Daibouken
    VN of the Month February 1994 - Dragon Knight 4
    VN of the Month January 1994 - Fuzoroi no Lemon
    VN of the Month December 1993 - Demon City
    VN of the Month November 1993 - Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou Vol. 2
    VN of the Month October 1993 - Nooch 2 Remy no Gyakushuu
    VN of the Month September 1993 - Youjuu Senki -A.D. 2048-
    VN of the Month August 1993 - Houma Hunter Lime Dai 03 Wa
    VN of the Month July 1993 - Bunretsu Shugoshin Twinkle Star
    VN of the Month June 1993 - Can Can Bunny Extra
    VN of the Month May 1993 - Nova
    VN of the Month April 1993 - Quintia Road 2
    VN of the Month March 1993 - Marine Philt
    VN of the Month February 1993 - Cosmology of Kyoto
    VN of the Month January 1993 - Mamono Hunter Youko: Tooki Yobigoe
    VN of the Month December 1992 - Koroshi no Dress 3
    VN of the Month November 1992 - Dracula Hakushaku
    VN of the Month October 1992 - Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna
    VN of the Month September 1992 - My Eyes!
    VN of the Month August 1992 - Kiss
    VN of the Month July 1992 - Phobos
    VN of the Month June 1992 - De-Ja 2
    VN of the Month May 1992 - Kurutta Kajitsu
    VN of the Month April 1992 - The 4th Unit - Wyatt
    VN of the Month March 1992 - Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki
    VN of the Month February 1992 - Joker II
    VN of the Month January 1992 - Himitsu no Hanazono
    VN of the Month December 1991 - Gidyy
    VN of the Month November 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare
    VN of the Month October 1991 - Rance III - Leazas Kanraku
    VN of the Month September 1991 - Cosmic Psycho
    VN of the Month August 1991 - Kimi Dake ni Ai o..
    VN of the Month July 1991 - Nike
    VN of the Month June 1991 - ELLE
    VN of the Month May 1991 - Ginsei Senshin Guynarock
    VN of the Month April 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel
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    VN of the Month January 1991 - Dragon Eyes
    VN of the Year 1990 - De-Ja
    VN of the Year 1989 - Imitation wa Aisenai
    VN of the Year 1988 - Lipstick. ADV
    VN of the Year 1987 - Hiatari Ryoukou!
    VN of the Year 1986 - Gall Force - Eternal Story
    VN of the Year 1985 - Shiro to Kuro no Densetsu ~Hyakki Hen~
    VN of the Year 1984 - Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu
    VN of the Year 1983 - Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
  20. Thanks
    kivandopulus reacted to Narcosis for a blog entry, Yougen Tennyo   
    Warning: This review isn't necessarily safe for work, but all the nsfw content remains hidden within the spoiler tags. Read at your own discretion.

    Title: 妖幻天女 (The Bewitching Celestial Maiden)
    Developer: Scoop
    Release: 2001/01/25
    Genre: Fantasy
    Rating: AO/18+
    Trailer:
    After way too many vns in our existence all the plots slowly run together into one and character development stops being important. It is when we want to take a break and get our hands on something extra crispy - as long as it allows us to indulge in the deepest of desires, there's no place for needless banter. We are merely simple beings with simple needs... and being a simple guy, I couldn't neglect a game, one of my friends recommended me long ago. "Play this japanese erogi", he said. "You will reach true happiness.", he said. At that point I barely knew moon runes, so I couldn't care less. Now when things changed, I accidentally stumbled upon this magnificent piece of software, while browsing through more forgotten corners of the japanese net. Was it worth it?
    If you're interested, please continue.
     
    Story

    It's common for sons of well-established leaders to be mostly useless, good-for-nothing gallants. Raziel isn't an exception.
    Prince Raziel is the successor to the demon throne, but his interests vary wildly from whatever his father keeps in stock, not to mention actual marriage. When his soon-to-be fiancée turns out to be an angel - a mortal enemy of the demon kind - Raziel takes a liking for the girl and decides to make her his bride, much to Demon King's disapproval. After a heated argument, king promises to approve of their relationship, but only if Raziel manages to bring her back to the demon realm. Clueless on how to begin, prince Raziel joins forces with his ever profit-hungry childhood friend Rosetta and together they embark on a fantastic journey through mystical realms, full of glorious dickings and endless hopes for treasure troves ready to be taken.

    In this realm, your future half is revealed through divination, the rest does not seem to matter that much.
    In order to reach the heavens above, our duo has to traverse through 魔界 ("Hell" for you, uneducated peasants) and obtain four elemental stones, which will allow them to open a magical portal leading to the mortal plane. From there onwards, they will have to pass through the Machine Country and Country of the Beasts, before they reach entrance to heavens. A seemingly simple task, if not for the fact the stones are being kept away within four great towers and each of them is supposedly protected by a powerful guardian. Obviously, the stones themselves contain tremendous powers that allow it's bearer to control the elemental energies and as such, shouldn't ever fall into anyone's hands, especially demon.

    What a cutie. I'm obviously talking about Rosette.
    No one really knows what lies beyond the mortal gates, but they're confident to push onwards. Such is their fate.
    TL&DR version: It's a game about a demon prince, boning any females that stand on his way to achieve true happiness. Also, snakes. Lots of 'em.
     
    Gameplay

    Thanks for stating the obvious, Rosette.
    Yougen Tennyo is a classic eroge, deeply rooted within the galgame realm of late 80's and early 90's. Game itself is divided into two parts - the usual story mode, presented in ADV fashion and a Qix-esque mini game, where your take control of our dark-winged protagonist trying to slash through maps compromised of tiles, avoiding and fighting against a variety of opponents. The capricious all-female guardians force him into a game of wits and wagers to prove his worthiness on being the next owner of the stones... and perhaps something else.
    As you slowly progress through the game, you quickly find out the damn stones are as relevant as Raziel's fidelity. While each failure results in a classic "game over" screen, after which the game restarts, actual victories net you - the player - not only story progression, but the main reward - h-scenes, in which our protagonist has his way with the defeated ladies (sometimes likewise). And boy, oh boy - if you enjoy stories, where protagonists are either rogues or straight out bastards, while females constantly switch from prideful to poor, oppressed beings into lust-filled demons demanding your se- I mean, your unyielding attention - you'll love every minute of it. It's not a mystery to behold our dear ladies are of supernatural origin and being forever bound to a single place with no one to accompany them, they grew both very lonely and bored over the passing centuries. Surely - they might be ill-tempered and/or cautious (PMS, perhaps), but it's in your task to soften them up and judging from devs, the best possible way to do so is by being rough. Push onwards, traveller. Open all the gates!
    The whole story is divided into seven arcs, not counting prologue and epilogue. There are four different towers and three realms our heroes will have to pass in order to reach ending. Each of the areas is a home to one of the game's heroines.
    The Earth Tower, inhabited by our shy nymph Raka (guarding the Earth Stone) Kingdom of Winds, home to the capricious sylph Sherra (guarding the Wind Stone) Tower of the Flames, guarded by the tsun fire sprite, Narsemi (guarding the Fire Stone) Rainy Kingdom, home to the tempting undine, Arga (guarding the Water Stone) Machine Country (human world), managed by the automaton Queen, Lia Country of the Beasts, supervised by proud centauress, Eija. Finally, the Heavenly Realm, where Raziel's fated bride - Oferina - resides. As a reader, you will spend most of the time following Raziel and Rosetta from place to place and engage in battles with it's guardians; either chasing after the more timid gals, or confronting the powerful vixens directly, ultimately falling into their playful clutches. It's worthy to note despite game's initial simplicity, girls themselves prove to be pleasantly developed, both in terms of personalities and the less, but not less important bits (when it applied). Each of the encounters is different and has something else in stock - there's a nut for every bolt, as they say. Not all of them run away scared or remain hostile to the protagonist. Some - in fact - welcome him as a pleasant surprise in their realms, offering to exchange their stones (wew) for a friendly game of cat and mouse. Those games - often being contests of strength, wits and spirit - ultimately turn to time, where they slowly get to know each other and sadly - the only time where we can learn something more about them. Fans of Rance series might find themselves at home, as most of the events in the story are described in an ultimately comedic fashion, rather than being serious and you can't deny that Raziel - even for being a villainous sort of a protagonist - isn't inherently bad, or evil as his only ultimate goal is to find a way to heavens and meet with his fated fiancée. In other words, you quickly let certain things go past the radar, even when most of the acts committed by Raziel could easily be described as nothing else but forcey fun time.
    Things get more hectic in the end, when you finally reach the Celestial Kingdom, that turns out to be less celestial, than you thought at first. A rather tiny, but surprising plot twist occurs, where you confront an unexpected guest and have to rescue Oferina from a fate far worse than death... I'd rather omit the details to avoid potential spoiling, but the whole final confrontation left me as much distressed and angry, as hilariously grinning for the remaining portion of the game.

    And they all lived happily ever after... or did they?
    I found the whole concept of the game symbolic at times. Embarking from the depths of the netherworld, collecting elements that form the basis of universe, passing through the human realm, reaching the kingdom representing nature itself (one that will always remain above humanity) and finally reaching heavens, representing self-understanding all create a somewhat mystic feeling. Each of the realms seems to be a self-sufficient, closed-off state - more of a dream, where our heroines reside, mostly alone, if not counting their faithful servitors. The lack of humans within their own world is thought-provoking and you start to wonder, what happened. Did we lost ourselves in our never-ending pursuit of perfection or perhaps the mechanical puppets themselves are what remained of our own kind? In contrast to this, the Country of the Beasts seems like a bliss, akin to ancient descriptions of Promised Land, or Eden. We see all the animals in the backgrounds - both herbivores and carnivores - living in perfect harmony. A place of eternal happiness and ultimately something we cannot return to. The Celestial world above seems very cold and empty, with ancient ruins older than the universe itself. It reflects in Oferina's eyes - distant, melancholic and filled with solitude.
    All those states form what could be seemingly described as our own consciousness. Quite artsy, to be honest.

    This is what happens, when you allow greedy lolis to do as they please.
    In overall, I found the whole story to be pleasant and really enjoyable, if not a bit repetitive. Despite being plain and very much straightforward, the entire voyage got me hooked until the very end. For that I have to thank the game's heroines and Rosetta's constant antics.
     
    Minigame

    Though the developers consider Yougen Tennyo a mix between ADV and Qix, the mini-game portion itself feels closer to Bomberman, rather than similar puzzle/arcade titles.
    The mechanics are very simple. Your primary task is to clear each stage from all the tiles scattered on the floor. There's a timer running, so you have to hurry up, because when it reaches zero it's instant game over.
    Raziel moves across the tiles, leaving a flaming trail behind him which can be used to close them in simple geometric patterns. When you succeed, all tiles contained inside turn into elemental bullets and shoot in a direction our character was last facing. Those can be used to damage and kill the servitors sent by the guardians to hinder our progress. Killed enemies will sometimes leave power-ups. Those are divided into few different types - offensive, defensive and utility, ranging from instant bombs and bonus lives to additional time or stop it for a while, prevent opponents from spawning on the map or summon Rosette's lovely pet companion - Grimarkin (actually, it's a female as well... hopefully) - to either destroy tiles or launch attacks at the opponents. Again, despite it's simplicity, the mini game turned out to be a lot more engaging than I expected. It's feels very balanced and provides constant challenge, while not being an overly frustrating addition. If you will play straight from the beginning and have some skill with arcade games, you shouldn't have any problems in reaching the end, considering how generous stages can be at times, raining you with constant stream of 1-UP's.
    You're also gifted with Rosetta's presence in the bottom-left window, cheerfully commenting on your achievements and mishaps, because all we need is more sarcasm.

    My only note is that the game could still use a bit more variety in map design and puzzle elements. If not for the slight changes in terrain graphics and opponents, you could be as well playing the same exact thing, over and over again.
    The whole game is divided into 7 different worlds and each of them contains four stages. The first one is considered more or less an introduction. The second one adds more opponents. Sub-bosses appear in third stage. Those are usually powerful beings and each of them comes with a fairly different set of skills, requiring different approach to clean stages. They can be killed, but attempting to do so can be quite tricky, considering their toughness.
    In the final stage, you will confront the guardian heroines themselves. Similar to sub-bosses, ladies have different skills and attacks, becoming progressively more dangerous and difficult to beat as the game progresses. Personally, I found Eija to be the most challenging opponent, truly worthy of her character. Heroines can be defeated as well, but they are one of the toughest opponents existing, requiring a lot of effort. Regadless, as your main task is to clear all the tiles, beating them is not required, but purely optional.

    Regarding boss fights, it's worth to remember about Rosetta's treasure hunting requests, if you want to earn her gratitude. As to why, I will leave it for players to deduce themselves
     
    Art & Music
    There is "music" in this game.
    Jokes, aside - it's all simple FM-midi tunes. Those might have been good around thirty years ago, but not anymore. Regardless, they are fitting and create a good background noise for all the action.

    Queen Eija is a lovely lady, but the bottom part seems incompatible.
    What really does shine, though is the art. For a game of it's time, Yougen Tennyo managed to reach a peculiar mix between simplicity and utmost artistry. The majority of art, including character concepts was done by Minoru Murao (of Knights, Last Exile, Burst Angel and 707R fame, amongst other works), remaining nothing less than gorgeous. It's obvious Minoru was heavily inspired by Arabian Nights (visible in character designs and setting) and Art Nouveau with it's flowery patterns, thick outlines, minimal shading, subtly drawn faces and beautiful anatomy. All of this is a true feast for eyes to look upon. The unique mix between erotica and high art - the subtle embrace of delicate female beauty portrayed against the flowery plains, contrasting with the primal joviality of our dark-winged demon protagonist turned out to be a really tasteful and unique approach for a visual novel of this kind.

    It's a shame the game is so old and as such, former hardware limitations prevented higher resolution graphics.
     
    Ero

    Because our protagonist is a an awful, awful person.
    The cherry on the top.
    If you're a fan of 100% consensual vanilla H, stay the hell away from this game, as some of the scenes might end in complete disgust to all things japanese, possibly combined with police knocking on your doors.
    If otherwise, this - my friend - will be one of the most memorable experiences in your life, you might feel ashamed of but won't ever regret.
    Not only you get beautiful gals, as they pant and tussle in ecstasy, there's a lot more in store for all the fans of dirty erotica. Our protagonist is a shape shifting dweller of the netherworld himself, capable to turn into a gigantic snake and command a whole flock of scale-covered familiars, ready to pursue his every single order. He is not afraid to use them to the fullest potential (don't click that link at work, seriously). The game offers a wide variety of heroines with different personalities, sexual experience and level of kinkiness, which results in a lot of funny situations (mostly for us, less for them), not to mention preceding sexual innuendos and dirty talking. As an seemingly inconspicuous but powerful apex predator - demonic avatar of lust and depravity - you will slowly drive your unsuspecting victims into a corner, devoid them of their dignity and work them up to new heights of carnal pleasure, they never experienced before.
    Even tentacles in this game come as one of the most beautiful I've ever came across and quite cuddly in their own way
    If you ever thought how females felt during the age of myth, play this game. Being forcefully taken against your own will is just the very beginning of a never-ending circle of perversion, our ancestors excelled at. Not only we loved to imagine how things are done within the celestial realm, but the cleverness behind the sex acts themselves could only equal to cunning tactics, our demigod brethren (and possibly sisters) employed to seduce their targets. Bulls, swans, sneks, golden rain, fog, treasure chests, spiders, mirrors, more sneks, wine, eagles, even more sneks, larks, mysterious objects(?) were all just a tip of an iceberg floating within a sea of wriggling snakes.
    This game just loves snakes. I won't be surprised you too might start to like them afterwards.
     
    Technicalities
    I can't forget to mention how hard Yougen Tennyo is to obtain nowadays (if you're a collector) and how even more difficult is to make it run on any modern PC at all. Since the game is basically a self-extracting software CD from circa 2001, it does not recognize modern display standards. I had to hack the executable in order to make it work on a 16:9 screen, although it did manage to open properly on another machine running Windows 7 on a 5:4 monitor, in 1280x1024 resolution. I suspect a windows hooker, such as DxWnd might be able to run it as well. If you own the original CD, an optical drive is surely required.
     
    End thoughts
    If you're a fan of oldschool eroge, looking for something nice and not overly long nor difficult to play, this game - despite it's complete obscurity - is a true gem in the rough and shouldn't be omitted.
     
    Pros:
    Gorgeous, highly stylized art Six different heroines standing on your path, plus Rosetta and your would-be fiancée Despite the themes, story is mostly light and comedic, akin to Rance games Plenty of well drawn and varied h-cgs with pretty, fairy-like gals You get to bang a haughty centauress 👌 Rosetta is cute af and she gets her screen time as well (provided you know what to do) You get cucked Cons:
    No catgirls (sub-boss in the penultimate map doesn't count) The story can be considered shallow and characters could include more depth The mini-game could use more variety in terms of mechanics The game is a pain in the ass to run on modern systems, unless you own a retro pc Lack of possibility to save, skip and fast-forward the text the old style censorship with it's invisible weenies and huge mosaics gets really annoying at times If resident lolis weren't enough, Narsemi's arc might be an actual deal breaker for a lot of people (YMMV) You get cucked
  21. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Palas for a blog entry, Updated   
    Finished updating old posts.
    VN of the Month April 2000 - Gyousatsu♥Shinsengumi Hitokiri Bishoujo Adventure
    VN of the Month March 2000 - Eve Zero    
    VN of the Month February 2000 - Phantom of Inferno    
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    VN of the Month November 1999 - Parts
    VN of the Month October 1999 - Silver Jiken
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    VN of the Month July 1999 - Mamatoto ~a record of war~
    VN of the Month June 1999 - Kanon
    VN of the Month May 1999 - Comic party
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    VN of the Month October 1998 - Psyclone
    VN of the Month September 1998 - With You ~Mitsumete Itai~
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    VN of the Month October 1997 - Sweepers!
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    VN of the Month May 1997 - To Heart
    VN of the Month April 1997 - Canaan ~Yakusoku no Chi~
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    VN of the Month February 1997 - Yatsu no Na wa Diamond
    VN of the Month January 1997 - Rookies
    VN of the Month December 1996 - Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO
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    VN of the Month July 1996 - Kizuato
    VN of the Month June 1996 - Es no Houteishiki
    VN of the Month May 1996 - Rouge no Densetsu
    VN of the Month April 1996 - Harlem Blade ~The Greatest of All Time.~
    VN of the Month March 1996 - Mujintou Monogatari 3 - A.D. 1999 Tokyo
    VN of the Month February 1996 - DIES IRAE
    VN of the Month January 1996 - Ryuuki Denshou Dragoon
    VN of the Month December 1995 - Lilith
    VN of the Month November 1995 - Eve: Burst Error
    VN of the Month October 1995 - Trouble Chaser Dai 4 Wa - Saishuukai
    VN of the Month September 1995 - Mime
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    VN of the Month July 1995 - Kuro no Danshou: The Literary Fragment
    VN of the Month June 1995 - True Love ~Jun'ai Monogatari~
    VN of the Month May 1995 - Koihime
    VN of the Month April 1995 - Mugen Yasoukyoku
    VN of the Month March 1995 - Cybernoid Alpha
    VN of the Month February 1995 - Doki Doki Pretty League Dai 3 Wa - Minami no Umi no Kai no Maki
    VN of the Month January 1995 - Doki Doki Vacation ~Kirameku Kisetsu no Naka de~
    VN of the Month December 1994 - Xenon ~Mugen no Shitai~
    VN of the Month November 1994 - File: Kokubou Soushou Jouhoukyoku Jouhou Rouei Taisakubu Josei Jinmonin
    VN of the Month October 1994 - Gao Gao! 3rd ~Wild Force~
    VN of the Month September 1994 - Ai Shimai ~Futari no Kajitsu~
    VN of the Month August 1994 - Shinsetsu Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou
    VN of the Month July 1994 - DESIRE - Haitoku no Rasen
    VN of the Month June 1994 - Necronomicon
    VN of the month May 1994 - Tokimeki Memorial
    VN of the Month April 1994 - AmbivalenZ -Niritsu Haihan-
    VN of the Month March 1994 - Mirage 2 - Torry x Neat x Roan no Daibouken
    VN of the Month February 1994 - Dragon Knight 4
    VN of the Month January 1994 - Fuzoroi no Lemon
    VN of the Month December 1993 - Demon City
    VN of the Month November 1993 - Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou Vol. 2
    VN of the Month October 1993 - Nooch 2 Remy no Gyakushuu
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    VN of the Month August 1993 - Houma Hunter Lime Dai 03 Wa
    VN of the Month July 1993 - Bunretsu Shugoshin Twinkle Star
    VN of the Month June 1993 - Can Can Bunny Extra
    VN of the Month May 1993 - Nova
    VN of the Month April 1993 - Quintia Road 2
    VN of the Month March 1993 - Marine Philt
    VN of the Month February 1993 - Cosmology of Kyoto
    VN of the Month January 1993 - Mamono Hunter Youko: Tooki Yobigoe
    VN of the Month December 1992 - Koroshi no Dress 3
    VN of the Month November 1992 - Dracula Hakushaku
    VN of the Month October 1992 - Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna
    VN of the Month September 1992 - My Eyes!
    VN of the Month August 1992 - Kiss
    VN of the Month July 1992 - Phobos
    VN of the Month June 1992 - De-Ja 2
    VN of the Month May 1992 - Kurutta Kajitsu
    VN of the Month April 1992 - The 4th Unit - Wyatt
    VN of the Month March 1992 - Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki
    VN of the Month February 1992 - Joker II
    VN of the Month January 1992 - Himitsu no Hanazono
    VN of the Month December 1991 - Gidyy
    VN of the Month November 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare
    VN of the Month October 1991 - Rance III - Leazas Kanraku
    VN of the Month September 1991 - Cosmic Psycho
    VN of the Month August 1991 - Kimi Dake ni Ai o..
    VN of the Month July 1991 - Nike
    VN of the Month June 1991 - ELLE
    VN of the Month May 1991 - Ginsei Senshin Guynarock
    VN of the Month April 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel
    VN of the Month March 1991 - Jesus II
    VN of the Month February 1991 - Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha
    VN of the Month January 1991 - Dragon Eyes
    VN of the Year 1990 - De-Ja
    VN of the Year 1989 - Imitation wa Aisenai
    VN of the Year 1988 - Lipstick. ADV
    VN of the Year 1987 - Hiatari Ryoukou!
    VN of the Year 1986 - Gall Force - Eternal Story
    VN of the Year 1985 - Shiro to Kuro no Densetsu ~Hyakki Hen~
    VN of the Year 1984 - Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu
    VN of the Year 1983 - Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
  22. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Palas for a blog entry, Updated   
    Finished updating old posts.
    VN of the Month April 2000 - Gyousatsu♥Shinsengumi Hitokiri Bishoujo Adventure
    VN of the Month March 2000 - Eve Zero    
    VN of the Month February 2000 - Phantom of Inferno    
    VN of the Month January 2000 - Lien ~Owaranai Kimi no Uta~
    VN of the Month December 1999 - Elemental Arts
    VN of the Month November 1999 - Parts
    VN of the Month October 1999 - Silver Jiken
    VN of the Month September 1999 - Kazeoto, Chirin
    VN of the Month August 1999 - Tsui no Sora
    VN of the Month July 1999 - Mamatoto ~a record of war~
    VN of the Month June 1999 - Kanon
    VN of the Month May 1999 - Comic party
    VN of the Month April 1999 - Lipstick Adv.EX
    VN of the Month March 1999 - Captain Love
    VN of the Month February 1999 - Campus ~Sakura no Mau Naka de~
    VN of the Month January 1999 - Ikusa Megami
    VN of the Month December 1998 - Kuon no Kizuna
    VN of the Month November 1998 - Exodus Guilty
    VN of the Month October 1998 - Psyclone
    VN of the Month September 1998 - With You ~Mitsumete Itai~
    VN of the Month August 1998 - Shiokaze no Memory
    VN of the Month July 1998 - luv wave
    VN of the Month June 1998 - One ~Kagayaku Kisetsu e~
    VN of the Month May 1998 - Diabolique
    VN of the Month April 1998 - Love Escalator
    VN of the Month March 1998 - EVE: The Lost One
    VN of the Month February 1998 - Doukoku Soshite...
    VN of the Month January 1998 - Machi
    VN of the Month December 1997 - Universal Nuts
    VN of the Month November 1997 - Moon.
    VN of the Month October 1997 - Sweepers!
    VN of the Month September 1997 - Comic Road
    VN of the Month August 1997 - Kaeru nyo Panyon
    VN of the Month July 1997 - Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series Vol. 1: Nijiiro no Seishun
    VN of the Month June 1997 - Zoku Hatsukoi Monogatari ~Shuugaku Ryokou~
    VN of the Month May 1997 - To Heart
    VN of the Month April 1997 - Canaan ~Yakusoku no Chi~
    VN of the Month March 1997 - Ruriiro no Yuki
    VN of the Month February 1997 - Yatsu no Na wa Diamond
    VN of the Month January 1997 - Rookies
    VN of the Month December 1996 - Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO
    VN of the Month Noveber 1996 - Mashou no Kao
    VN of the Month October 1996 - Bounty Hunter Rudy
    VN of the Month September 1996 - Sakura Taisen
    VN of the Month August 1996 - Be-Yond ~Kurodaishou ni Mirareteru~
    VN of the Month July 1996 - Kizuato
    VN of the Month June 1996 - Es no Houteishiki
    VN of the Month May 1996 - Rouge no Densetsu
    VN of the Month April 1996 - Harlem Blade ~The Greatest of All Time.~
    VN of the Month March 1996 - Mujintou Monogatari 3 - A.D. 1999 Tokyo
    VN of the Month February 1996 - DIES IRAE
    VN of the Month January 1996 - Ryuuki Denshou Dragoon
    VN of the Month December 1995 - Lilith
    VN of the Month November 1995 - Eve: Burst Error
    VN of the Month October 1995 - Trouble Chaser Dai 4 Wa - Saishuukai
    VN of the Month September 1995 - Mime
    VN of the Month August 1995 - Isaku
    VN of the Month July 1995 - Kuro no Danshou: The Literary Fragment
    VN of the Month June 1995 - True Love ~Jun'ai Monogatari~
    VN of the Month May 1995 - Koihime
    VN of the Month April 1995 - Mugen Yasoukyoku
    VN of the Month March 1995 - Cybernoid Alpha
    VN of the Month February 1995 - Doki Doki Pretty League Dai 3 Wa - Minami no Umi no Kai no Maki
    VN of the Month January 1995 - Doki Doki Vacation ~Kirameku Kisetsu no Naka de~
    VN of the Month December 1994 - Xenon ~Mugen no Shitai~
    VN of the Month November 1994 - File: Kokubou Soushou Jouhoukyoku Jouhou Rouei Taisakubu Josei Jinmonin
    VN of the Month October 1994 - Gao Gao! 3rd ~Wild Force~
    VN of the Month September 1994 - Ai Shimai ~Futari no Kajitsu~
    VN of the Month August 1994 - Shinsetsu Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou
    VN of the Month July 1994 - DESIRE - Haitoku no Rasen
    VN of the Month June 1994 - Necronomicon
    VN of the month May 1994 - Tokimeki Memorial
    VN of the Month April 1994 - AmbivalenZ -Niritsu Haihan-
    VN of the Month March 1994 - Mirage 2 - Torry x Neat x Roan no Daibouken
    VN of the Month February 1994 - Dragon Knight 4
    VN of the Month January 1994 - Fuzoroi no Lemon
    VN of the Month December 1993 - Demon City
    VN of the Month November 1993 - Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou Vol. 2
    VN of the Month October 1993 - Nooch 2 Remy no Gyakushuu
    VN of the Month September 1993 - Youjuu Senki -A.D. 2048-
    VN of the Month August 1993 - Houma Hunter Lime Dai 03 Wa
    VN of the Month July 1993 - Bunretsu Shugoshin Twinkle Star
    VN of the Month June 1993 - Can Can Bunny Extra
    VN of the Month May 1993 - Nova
    VN of the Month April 1993 - Quintia Road 2
    VN of the Month March 1993 - Marine Philt
    VN of the Month February 1993 - Cosmology of Kyoto
    VN of the Month January 1993 - Mamono Hunter Youko: Tooki Yobigoe
    VN of the Month December 1992 - Koroshi no Dress 3
    VN of the Month November 1992 - Dracula Hakushaku
    VN of the Month October 1992 - Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna
    VN of the Month September 1992 - My Eyes!
    VN of the Month August 1992 - Kiss
    VN of the Month July 1992 - Phobos
    VN of the Month June 1992 - De-Ja 2
    VN of the Month May 1992 - Kurutta Kajitsu
    VN of the Month April 1992 - The 4th Unit - Wyatt
    VN of the Month March 1992 - Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki
    VN of the Month February 1992 - Joker II
    VN of the Month January 1992 - Himitsu no Hanazono
    VN of the Month December 1991 - Gidyy
    VN of the Month November 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare
    VN of the Month October 1991 - Rance III - Leazas Kanraku
    VN of the Month September 1991 - Cosmic Psycho
    VN of the Month August 1991 - Kimi Dake ni Ai o..
    VN of the Month July 1991 - Nike
    VN of the Month June 1991 - ELLE
    VN of the Month May 1991 - Ginsei Senshin Guynarock
    VN of the Month April 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel
    VN of the Month March 1991 - Jesus II
    VN of the Month February 1991 - Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha
    VN of the Month January 1991 - Dragon Eyes
    VN of the Year 1990 - De-Ja
    VN of the Year 1989 - Imitation wa Aisenai
    VN of the Year 1988 - Lipstick. ADV
    VN of the Year 1987 - Hiatari Ryoukou!
    VN of the Year 1986 - Gall Force - Eternal Story
    VN of the Year 1985 - Shiro to Kuro no Densetsu ~Hyakki Hen~
    VN of the Year 1984 - Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu
    VN of the Year 1983 - Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
  23. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Palas for a blog entry, VN of the Month February 1996 - DIES IRAE   
    There aren't masterpieces this month. My personal favorite is San Shimai due to it being my first visual novel, but I rate DIES IRAE even higher and nominate it for VN of the Month. 1. Exciting Milk Dai 1 Wa エキサイティングみるく第1話 [960201] Silence 22nd century. Humanity is prospering through the expansion of the Earth's development, but natural destruction has also become extreme. One day Amon, a scientist who opposed the destruction of nature, decided to return to the Earth 150 years earlier via time machine and protect nature. Police opposed that as it could bring unknown changes and followed Amon. In the 20th century school girl Kurumi heard from a classmate that an aircraft landed in the forest and went alone to the forest out of curiosity. Milk is a police officer from future who landed in the forest colliding with Kurumi. As a result of the collision Kurumi body was seriously hurt and her soul was placed into Milk body until full recovery. Now Kurumi transforms to Milk at wilk and back by wearing glasses. Will she find Amon? Game's fully animated as other Silence works. But it's even shorter than previous animated games barely exceeding 10 minutes time. There's just one fighting scene and it all ends with Amon coming to Kurumi class as transfer student. Looking forward to part 2.   2. Angel Crysis エンジェルクライシス [960209] ZyX 1 You're part of an all female crew on a ship exploring some planet and the crew picks up a mysterious cargo crate from an underwater ruin. There's an English review that tells us all that we need to know about this borderline work. And there was exactly a tentacle monster in the crate...   3. Guernica ゲルニカ [960209] Backspin 1 2 Long time ago, human passions caused the appearance of a monster tribe that has since become unwelcome in the human society. Years of bitter antagonism and violence followed as humans settled in the land of Galesnia. A thousand years later, a simple warrior named Grog enters a forest inhabited by monsters, and becomes gradually involved in a struggle that puts him in the forefront of the defense of Galesnia. Fish shop holder to the rescue of the world! The guy was sleeping peacefully when at night the "Apostle of Salvation" child appeared before him saying that the barrier started to weaken and will be destroyed in 13 days and only Grog can prevent that! Quite a simple rpg with only 13 lvls and basic stats. You can hold up to 10 recovery items and you get one every time you visit an inn or hitting a bed. Game is linear. So it's not the brightest species of RPG breed.   4. Persona ~Ingyaku no Kamen~ ペルソナ ~淫虐の仮面~ [960209] Sorciere 1 A series of gruesome murders shocks Japan. Young women are kidnapped, tortured, and killed under mysterious circumstances... The protagonist wakes up in what looks like a hospital, but is in fact a special psychiatric facility on a space station. The hero doesn't remember anything, not even his name. Three young women - Shelly, Elisa, and Aoka - will help him to find his memory, and he will gradually realize who he is and what is his mission. You need to regain your memory within 38 hours or the space station explodes. What's the best way to regain memories? I guess Japanese have their unique opinion on that. There are parameters of the hero and depending on numbers one of five protagonist personalities show up. Yes, he has a deep personality disorder and can be anything from a good guy to a sadist. Time also ticking so it's a nice rush factor. There are basically just three rooms on the spaceship. So it's an original system and is not necessarily an eroge if you play out as a good guy and aim for the happy ending that does not even have a H-scene.   5. Valentine Kiss: Birthdays 2 バレンタインキッス ~バースデイズ2~ [960209] Silky's 1 Valentine Kiss is a dating simulation game, very similar to Birthdays, only instead of "conquering" a girl as a birthday present, the goal here is to "score" on Valentine's Day Second installation of a difficult sim that's memorable to me mostly by the fact that it's Silky's game and not a full-scale eroge. UI is still charming but it came from the prequel with minor changes. Quite few things changed actually and some even degenerated like the number of heroines dropped from 8 to 4. Main difference though is that while prequel was just hard everyday work to earn love, this work has events in ADV mode and all your hard work is useless unless you flag events properly. Still the freshness is lost since it has been two years since the prequel and not much changed.   6. DIES IRAE DIES IRAE [960215] Family Soft 1 2 Heroines Kim and her side partners Kris and Lee are professional detectives and they have very opposite personalities. Kim on one hand is very cheerful and lively all the time, Kris is very serious and quiet. They are investigating a murder case that ends up being a much bigger issue, revolving gang members, the mafia and later on some sci-fi elements. There's a nice English review that sheds light on this curious game.   7. Kanako 香奈子 [960223] Red Zone 1 Kanako is a young woman who has just graduated from college and is in a desperate need of a job. Finally, she is invited to a job interview in a large and successful company. However, the boss seems to ask too many personal questions and generally looks at Kanako in a weird way. After she has been introduced to her duties at the new place, Kanako decides to get to know the employees better, and in process learns their most intimate secrets... Red Zone inevitably means ero-centered work. But graphics are nice and win version is fully voiced, even the thoughts of the heroine - that was unexpected and captivating. Her thoughts is the most funny part in the game as she comments emotionally on many occasions.   8. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy Kouhen 魔法少女プリティサミー 後編 [960223] AIC Spirits

    A direct continuation of the first part, but not hookable and normal synopsis not found.   9. Shadowrun シャドウラン [960223] Compile Co., Ltd. 1 2 3 4 5 6 It is twenty-first century, and the humanity faces a difficult period that follows devastating wars and other disasters. Magic and technology co-exist, supernatural powers, mythical creatures, ghosts, cyberspace, where hackers meet and fight each other, street deckers which can be hired to do the dirty work, anarchy and struggle between mighty and corrupt corporations - this is the world of Shadowrun. Unlike the two other Shadowrun games which are set in Seattle, according to tradition, Shadowrun for Sega CD is set in the futuristic city of Neo Tokyo. The player controls a party of characters with different backgrounds: the street samurai Rikudo, the shaman girl Mao, the decker (a hired mercenary) D-Head (who also happens to be an elf), and Shiun, a former member of a mighty corporation. Their first assignment is to hunt down a ghostly warrior who has been disturbing a segment of the city for quite some time. As the player begins their investigation they plunge deeper into the dark world of intrigues and find themselves fighting on different fronts. There are several great English reviews and there even might be a fan English translation according to some materials.   10. Escape! エスケイプ! [960229] May-Be Soft 1 In Escape, the player assumes the role of an ordinary teenager named Root. He is returning from a long journey, and just beyond the mountain, he can see his house. But fate had other plans for the boy: one step on the wrong stone, and Root falls through a dark pit into the underground world. Looks like it won't be simple for him to find the way home, because this world is populated by girls, each one of which wants something from him... I've only seen Windows version and it's very simplified and plays like a normal visual novel with only occasionally choosing locations on the map. Characters are nice, but the story lacks excitement and all the time is spent underground. A fine game, but far from masterpiece level.   11. Kara no Naka no Kotori 殻の中の小鳥 [960229] Black Package 1 Foster, formerly a trainer of high-class prostitutes for a secret political group that used these girls to exert power over politicians, has has long been out of the game, as he and his cohorts were busted years back. However, Foster couldn't help himself and soon returned to his old profession. He began training new maidens, though this time with a distinctly evil bent, drawing the recruits into a sordid ring of discipline and bondage. Maid slave training SIM. Main difference is that training is done in the form of a card game in an attempt to simplify SIM part.   12. San Shimai 三姉妹 [960229] JAST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 The one that started it all! I was just a boy when my father threw himself under the tracks of an oncoming train on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo. He had been the president of a powerful trading company, but had been under siege by an enemy in a power struggle that I didn't understand at the time. With my father gone, it fell upon my mother to lead the family and try to pay off Father's debts. She wasn't up to the task, and was buried next to my father less than a year later. My older brother Eiichi and I were separated, then, passed around the family like unwanted guests. We had lost everything. Last summer Eiichi appeared again on my doorstep. He had prospered in the years since I'd seen him, and had built a successful trading company. "Koichi," he said to me, "I found out who was responsible for our father's death: the current head of father's old company, Shoji Okamura." When he asked me, "Will you help me avenge mother and father?" I agreed immediately. So I became his hatchet man. My job was to approach the Okamura family, especially the three Okamura sisters -- sexy, grown-up Yuki, short-tempered but sensitive Emi and the innocent Risa -- and gather information on the Okamuras for my brother. After six months, I had gotten to where I was eating dinner at their house regularly. This allowed me to bug Shoji's office take documents out of his trash, and copy files off his computer. I reported everything to my brother faithfully. I was never sure if the information I was providing was doing any good, but gradually, it became apparent that Shoji Okamura's business was failing. He grew more and more desperate, and one day he disappeared completely. The happiness of the Okamura family, who had taken so much from us, had been stolen piece by piece. My brother swore he wouldn't stop until Shoji Okamura was driven to the point of taking his own life, even if it meant pushing the Three Sisters into lives of prostitution and worse. The only problem is, I had fallen in love with those same three sisters... Game has many English reviews
  24. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Palas for a blog entry, Updated   
    Finished updating old posts.
    VN of the Month April 2000 - Gyousatsu♥Shinsengumi Hitokiri Bishoujo Adventure
    VN of the Month March 2000 - Eve Zero    
    VN of the Month February 2000 - Phantom of Inferno    
    VN of the Month January 2000 - Lien ~Owaranai Kimi no Uta~
    VN of the Month December 1999 - Elemental Arts
    VN of the Month November 1999 - Parts
    VN of the Month October 1999 - Silver Jiken
    VN of the Month September 1999 - Kazeoto, Chirin
    VN of the Month August 1999 - Tsui no Sora
    VN of the Month July 1999 - Mamatoto ~a record of war~
    VN of the Month June 1999 - Kanon
    VN of the Month May 1999 - Comic party
    VN of the Month April 1999 - Lipstick Adv.EX
    VN of the Month March 1999 - Captain Love
    VN of the Month February 1999 - Campus ~Sakura no Mau Naka de~
    VN of the Month January 1999 - Ikusa Megami
    VN of the Month December 1998 - Kuon no Kizuna
    VN of the Month November 1998 - Exodus Guilty
    VN of the Month October 1998 - Psyclone
    VN of the Month September 1998 - With You ~Mitsumete Itai~
    VN of the Month August 1998 - Shiokaze no Memory
    VN of the Month July 1998 - luv wave
    VN of the Month June 1998 - One ~Kagayaku Kisetsu e~
    VN of the Month May 1998 - Diabolique
    VN of the Month April 1998 - Love Escalator
    VN of the Month March 1998 - EVE: The Lost One
    VN of the Month February 1998 - Doukoku Soshite...
    VN of the Month January 1998 - Machi
    VN of the Month December 1997 - Universal Nuts
    VN of the Month November 1997 - Moon.
    VN of the Month October 1997 - Sweepers!
    VN of the Month September 1997 - Comic Road
    VN of the Month August 1997 - Kaeru nyo Panyon
    VN of the Month July 1997 - Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series Vol. 1: Nijiiro no Seishun
    VN of the Month June 1997 - Zoku Hatsukoi Monogatari ~Shuugaku Ryokou~
    VN of the Month May 1997 - To Heart
    VN of the Month April 1997 - Canaan ~Yakusoku no Chi~
    VN of the Month March 1997 - Ruriiro no Yuki
    VN of the Month February 1997 - Yatsu no Na wa Diamond
    VN of the Month January 1997 - Rookies
    VN of the Month December 1996 - Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO
    VN of the Month Noveber 1996 - Mashou no Kao
    VN of the Month October 1996 - Bounty Hunter Rudy
    VN of the Month September 1996 - Sakura Taisen
    VN of the Month August 1996 - Be-Yond ~Kurodaishou ni Mirareteru~
    VN of the Month July 1996 - Kizuato
    VN of the Month June 1996 - Es no Houteishiki
    VN of the Month May 1996 - Rouge no Densetsu
    VN of the Month April 1996 - Harlem Blade ~The Greatest of All Time.~
    VN of the Month March 1996 - Mujintou Monogatari 3 - A.D. 1999 Tokyo
    VN of the Month February 1996 - DIES IRAE
    VN of the Month January 1996 - Ryuuki Denshou Dragoon
    VN of the Month December 1995 - Lilith
    VN of the Month November 1995 - Eve: Burst Error
    VN of the Month October 1995 - Trouble Chaser Dai 4 Wa - Saishuukai
    VN of the Month September 1995 - Mime
    VN of the Month August 1995 - Isaku
    VN of the Month July 1995 - Kuro no Danshou: The Literary Fragment
    VN of the Month June 1995 - True Love ~Jun'ai Monogatari~
    VN of the Month May 1995 - Koihime
    VN of the Month April 1995 - Mugen Yasoukyoku
    VN of the Month March 1995 - Cybernoid Alpha
    VN of the Month February 1995 - Doki Doki Pretty League Dai 3 Wa - Minami no Umi no Kai no Maki
    VN of the Month January 1995 - Doki Doki Vacation ~Kirameku Kisetsu no Naka de~
    VN of the Month December 1994 - Xenon ~Mugen no Shitai~
    VN of the Month November 1994 - File: Kokubou Soushou Jouhoukyoku Jouhou Rouei Taisakubu Josei Jinmonin
    VN of the Month October 1994 - Gao Gao! 3rd ~Wild Force~
    VN of the Month September 1994 - Ai Shimai ~Futari no Kajitsu~
    VN of the Month August 1994 - Shinsetsu Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou
    VN of the Month July 1994 - DESIRE - Haitoku no Rasen
    VN of the Month June 1994 - Necronomicon
    VN of the month May 1994 - Tokimeki Memorial
    VN of the Month April 1994 - AmbivalenZ -Niritsu Haihan-
    VN of the Month March 1994 - Mirage 2 - Torry x Neat x Roan no Daibouken
    VN of the Month February 1994 - Dragon Knight 4
    VN of the Month January 1994 - Fuzoroi no Lemon
    VN of the Month December 1993 - Demon City
    VN of the Month November 1993 - Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou Vol. 2
    VN of the Month October 1993 - Nooch 2 Remy no Gyakushuu
    VN of the Month September 1993 - Youjuu Senki -A.D. 2048-
    VN of the Month August 1993 - Houma Hunter Lime Dai 03 Wa
    VN of the Month July 1993 - Bunretsu Shugoshin Twinkle Star
    VN of the Month June 1993 - Can Can Bunny Extra
    VN of the Month May 1993 - Nova
    VN of the Month April 1993 - Quintia Road 2
    VN of the Month March 1993 - Marine Philt
    VN of the Month February 1993 - Cosmology of Kyoto
    VN of the Month January 1993 - Mamono Hunter Youko: Tooki Yobigoe
    VN of the Month December 1992 - Koroshi no Dress 3
    VN of the Month November 1992 - Dracula Hakushaku
    VN of the Month October 1992 - Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna
    VN of the Month September 1992 - My Eyes!
    VN of the Month August 1992 - Kiss
    VN of the Month July 1992 - Phobos
    VN of the Month June 1992 - De-Ja 2
    VN of the Month May 1992 - Kurutta Kajitsu
    VN of the Month April 1992 - The 4th Unit - Wyatt
    VN of the Month March 1992 - Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki
    VN of the Month February 1992 - Joker II
    VN of the Month January 1992 - Himitsu no Hanazono
    VN of the Month December 1991 - Gidyy
    VN of the Month November 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare
    VN of the Month October 1991 - Rance III - Leazas Kanraku
    VN of the Month September 1991 - Cosmic Psycho
    VN of the Month August 1991 - Kimi Dake ni Ai o..
    VN of the Month July 1991 - Nike
    VN of the Month June 1991 - ELLE
    VN of the Month May 1991 - Ginsei Senshin Guynarock
    VN of the Month April 1991 - Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel
    VN of the Month March 1991 - Jesus II
    VN of the Month February 1991 - Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha
    VN of the Month January 1991 - Dragon Eyes
    VN of the Year 1990 - De-Ja
    VN of the Year 1989 - Imitation wa Aisenai
    VN of the Year 1988 - Lipstick. ADV
    VN of the Year 1987 - Hiatari Ryoukou!
    VN of the Year 1986 - Gall Force - Eternal Story
    VN of the Year 1985 - Shiro to Kuro no Densetsu ~Hyakki Hen~
    VN of the Year 1984 - Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin: Ohotsk ni Kiyu
    VN of the Year 1983 - Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
  25. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Zander for a blog entry, Rabyni ラブィーニ [C's Ware]   

    Foreword: A C's Ware game at the mature period of company development, past DESIRE, Xenon and Eve:Burst Error. That's already enough to hook me. It has other attractiveness factors like title mystery that is Russian word Рабыни for "female slave". But why bother with Russian title in a nukige? Another reason is that cover has absolutely no premise for slavery. So mayhaps it's a sly puzzle that the company prepared for us? I'm more than willing to discover.
    Title: Rabyni
    Developer: C's Ware
    Date: 1996-06-21
    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v9048
    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq_g_IirpxlYgTVj7C3WhmKz

    Synopsis: Reiji is a loser high school student. He likes to peek after girls and girls detest him for that. He only has one childhood friend Misaki who brings him to school and helps him with studies. But everything changes after Reiji is caught by the teacher red-handed taking camera shots in girls' changing room...

    Structure: Single road.
    Length: Took me 9 hours
    Game type: Command selection ADV  
    Difficulty: Easy, but all the command selection moving around the same areas over and over again makes it exhausting
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 5/10
    Game quality: 4/10
    Overall rating: 6/10

    Rating comments: I can divide the whole game into three parts. Beginning part prior to being caught red-handed was actually a blast. First first five minutes of the game hero just decides on a very important question - to go to school or to skip school. That's a very amusing monologue. Next he picks up on every girl discussing their body proportions and each girl gets angry in her own way. It's a very nice comedy in the first part with nice characters and dialogues. I put a firm 8/10 to the first part.
    Middle part changes the game drastically. His teacher blackmails him into becoming her slave under the threat of kicking him out of school with making his secret camera shots public. But it's not about sexual slavery that much - she rewards him with intimacy if Reiji has excellent marks and does the home chores like cleaning and cooking properly. In just couple days Reiji evolves greatly and becomes the best student in the class and starts to attract different girls attention. That's a hard to believe change, but still this part is very close to a romance work with getting to know girls better and helping solve their problems. I'd rate this part below the masterpiece level, but still quite highly, at 6/10.
    Then comes the last part and the title of the game starts to kick in. Reiji becomes dissatisfied with constant treasons of Yoko-sensei and one day just coerces her to his will putting her to slave position instead. And from then on this master-slave attitude starts to shift to girls. Girls stop being subjects. Even though there is nothing about sexual slavery, Reiji starts to behave like a master easily punishing any of girls for misbehavior. That stopped looking good anymore and ending failed to impress. So this part is worth 4/10 for me.
    The sum of those marks is 6/10 and the overall quality of the game prevents it from reaching masterpiece level. Game has no voice, repeating command selection gameplay, few locations and even fewer non-HCG.

    Protagonist: Reiji is a nice protagonist while he's a looser. Then he's suddenly reliable good guy with a secret in his his closet. And then he's a master who treats girls around him like punishable objects. That's a bit of too much change for a single game, isn't it? That quickly severs the link between him and the readers.
    Characters: There are some 6 girls, I think. But surprisingly enough two girls don't really have their H events. I don't really want to focus on girls since neither of them has their own route. Still girls are cute and dialogues with them makes the most enjoyable part of the game.
    Story: I happened to retell the story in the rating comments section.
    CG: Very few CG and few locations make the game look bleak. Animated H scenes don't help much since same scene may repeat over and over at different times and there's no dialogue in the mids. Palette is dim.

    Sound: Nothing special and no voicing really hurt.
    Overall comments: Game was not bad while I tried to evaluate it in the beginning and middle part, but final part spoilt it all creating an inevitably poor impression overall. Still I felt C's Ware puzzling feeling. There was even one scene when you suddenly make it from №300-sh to №1 in grades and have to participate in spontaneous test to prove your ability. It took me some 20 minutes to answer 8 out of 10 repeating questions correct, because many of those questions were different each time and I failed to understand how the knowledge of japanese baseball or which coin can be put to an envelope actually qualified as school knowledge. 
    Game has a complex nature and is a treat for C's Ware fan like me. I'm really glad it turned out to be a quirky romance comedy rather that fall into fetishism.

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