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kivandopulus

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  1. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Demon Parasite ~Akuma no You na Tenshi no Kanojo~ デモンパラサイト~悪魔のような天使の彼女~ [Ocelot]   
    Foreword: It's the only chunige of the month, so an obvious choice.

    Synopsis: 
    Demon Parasites..., the ones who can transform themselves into soldiers by holding a mysterious parasite inside. One night, Juzo meets Mizuki, who is a demon parasite, in the park, and gets to know that he is also a demon parasite. Now that he is a demon parasite, he gradually gets involved in a battle against monsters. Will he be able to defeat them...?
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcPfY8STGGw
    Game type: Chunige
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 10/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 9/10

    So you must be wondering how could Demon Parasite win over other great five masterpieces of the month. There is some personal preference towards chunige, but it's also a great game, so it's time to explain why.

    Story is called common place by some reviewers since it's students who get transformation powers and fight monsters, but it's actually based on a tabletop setting created by Kitazawa Kei in 2006, so the world is really well thought and detailed here. Not all the parts of the setting are utilized though like there's no Seraphim organization, but it's fun to know the setting basics and theorize who is Phalanx and who is Brigandine. It's a serious dark fantasy story, so don't expect bright development.

    This kinetic novel only took me 10 hours to record, and it definitely leaves room for a sequel. It has full voicing, great CG, powerful BGM and animation. Heroes are mature and logical, except maybe for Futaba - and her hysteria behavior actually constitutes the single penalty score for the game. Both tsundere and yandere archetypes are present. Mizuki is plain awesome as main heroine. There aren't H scenes. Everything is just as I like it. So what can people possibly be upset about this game?

    Those very few negative reviews name these disadvantages of the game: lack of CG, battle cut-ins that hurt tempo, short length, lack of excitement. Some see that it's a quarter-price work (2000 yen without soundtracks) and thus just can't rate such cheap game highly. These arguments are laughable. As for me, everything I like was united for one impactful experience here. It's not a long work, so I don't want to spoil game events. I encourage to see for yourself, since chunige of this high quality are rare to come by.

  2. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Zalor for a blog entry, Xvain エクスヴァイン ~Devil Out~ [Studio e.go!]   
    Foreword: Why is there only like two Japanese reviews for a game with this classy setting? The Japanese must have overlooked another great game, and I'm restoring it to due glory. Or so I thought.

    Synopsis: 
    There is a city filled with crime. The police can do nothing, and a big conspiracy is now being planned. To protect his beloved, Rex rises up...
    He has a secret that he is actually a battle hero, Xvain. His decision to use his power is triggered by meeting with Fiart, his childhood friend. Since the day he swears to protect her, his endless battle starts...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McrIk5XeMIk&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9q-oMU8Hrp7fXhAM9jFglv  
    Game type: Action fighting story
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 5/10
    Story rating: 5/10
    Game quality: 5/10
    Overall rating: 5/10

    Studio e.go makes RPG mostly, but there's also a good number of AVG games. I remember trying one of their games long ago. It was not RPG, but had some weird repeating actions, and I just could not break through that loop or whatever it was. But in 2007 things must have changed completely already, so I can finally give this brand a new try.

    As you see from the scores, things did not go just as I expected. First, I got to battle explanation system. Was a pretty long explanation. And I never faced a single battle. Guess it was turned off in the settings by default of whatever, but I don't remember touching anything there besides text speed. Then there was a spot to hunt androids. And no choices advanced the story. So I kind of chose hunt more and do other things like going home more. And somehow story went on occasionally. And now imagine that situations like that arise constantly in the game. Sometimes such scene was rushed in a minute, sometimes it took some 50 minutes of real time skipping and trying variants. And on the *th time of choosing the same variants it somehow proceeded. I cut some pointless stumbling in the video, but there is still abundance of such moments with up to half an hour of pointless skipping. Maybe there is really some kind of battle experience that I needed to get, but I never saw any experience meter or points, so can't say. It's all super confusing. Those who played with battles turned on say that battles are meaningless since you always know enemy's dice and can always choose perfect dice out of three variants to counter that.

    Let's leave system weirdness be. We're here for the hard-boiled city fighting adventure, after all. Rex has a secret weapon - power to transform into Xvain who fights with the demon power. And if this power is misused, his humanity can be lost. And in game there are indeed variants at each of five chapters to rest or pray so that accumulated devil weariness is lifted each time. I wound not call story fine. With these random grinding layers it feels like story serves the fighting sequences, and not vice versa. Development is gentle with occasional humor moments. There are some nice characters like older brother or Slayer. And story can be enjoyed to a certain extent... if you can put up with no voicing. There is voicing in H scenes, but I cut them out clean in the video, so no luck here. What kind of game inserts voicing only in H scenes? Either game that wants to empathize heroines charm in special emotional moments or... nukige.

    And here we come to the dark side of the game. When I occasionally glanced at game gallery, I could not recognize this game. There are a lot of devil HCG which can only be gained by approaching H events under different stages of devilishness. There are thee stages, but it's reported that at every chapter you are forced to reset this meter to 0, and there aren't enough battles to raise this parameter. So all those violation scenes could only be unlocked by actually hacking the game. Wow, just wow. This game manages to fail as a tactical game, as a story game (not with all those battle insertions), as a charage (after final H event there is less than a minute till credits) and now even as a nukige.

    I really wanted to like this game, and I liked both battle nun Michelle and genius Rinse heroines. But I'm just not sure this game is even meant to be played this way as a pure-love action driven story. It feels more like RPG with actual RPG elements torn out. With every element examined the same word pops up in my mind. WEIRD.

  3. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from fun2novel for a blog entry, Bullet Butlers [Propeller]   
    Foreword: There are so many superb English reviews (1 2 3 4 5 6) that it's already evident how great this game is. I'll only try to consider if flaws are big enough to prevent from playing.

    Synopsis: 
    There are various races living together at Ocelot City. Land, who lives as a mystic one, is one of the most famous citizens there. Rick, the main character, is a butler, and works for Selma. Selma lost her ability to transform herself into a dragon after a certain accident, and is always depressed that is one of his concerns. But, he somehow enjoys his life with his friends and other butlers. One day, Rand is assassinated by someone unknown, and their life turns around 180 degrees...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xbqE6QstoE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_SVBPEImkjvqjI-o3xS99I
    Game type: Suspense mystery
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 9/10

    Infodumping. There's a lot of information to process on the history, geography and current state of events. It produces a rich in detail and characters world. Can hardly blame any story for it.
    Composition is a bit redundant with three story arcs where first two only reveal small details about villains and focus on different heroines stories. Heroine ends can't compare to True End in terms of action, but in my opinion they should be skipped only if you can'ts stand both Valeria and Yuki. But I can't say I don't like Yuki. There are people who absolutely like all the heroines here, so see for yourself.

    Erotic scenes. I see them as disgusting in this game. HCG with twisted faces and degraded from main style art look very alien to me. It feels much better without H scenes for me, but - again - there are people who love H scenes in this game.
    SOL scenes can be considered as sleepy fillers and humor as simplistic. But those scenes whirling around SD CG are often hilarious. Tsundere behavior adds a lot to the humor. 
    It's not a game to read about. It's a game to play. And don't let any negative comments mislead you. All flaws are either insignificant in the long run or can be easily turned in advantages for many readers.

  4. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Reconquista レコンキスタ [Cotton Soft]   
    Foreword: Cotton Soft debut work Natsumegu did not snatch stars from the sky, but Reconquista seems to have a totally different, serious approach and thus arouses interest.

    Synopsis: 
    There is a certain town on a reclaimed island. It was developed as an international residential area, but it's in ruins now. And there is a rumor that if you walk around there at night, a girl in school uniform will appear and cut off your head...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esl-hAk-6M8&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_3HkMSokjrZXfwZiVI0FIR
    Game type: Suspense mystery
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 8/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Due to mystery genre there are limitations to what can be revealed, but at least concept should be laid out to understand what to expect. So, different characters miss beloved dead people, and there is a technique to bring back the dead, but the key to it is urban legend about beheading woman. Game has three chapters that can be roughly described as present dimension, past dimension and true route that can be called future dimension just for sake of simplification. First present Chapter is the largest one, and it contains two protagonists zapping views and all the four heroine endings. We do approach beheaded woman in each of those routes, but in the same manner, so mystery does not really get developed, it's just observation from different angles. Past and Future chapters are focused on the mystery roots and nature, correspondingly. 

    So mystery gets focused extensively, and everything gets explained, so even some emptiness is felt due to limited possible interpretations. But game touches important humanity questions for us to explore ourselves. Does one human life worth sacrificing another one? How does it cope with the concept of eternal soul? What will happen if everyone starts sacrificing other lives to save their beloved ones? Madness becomes the main theme of the game - and it contaminates not only maniac's mind, but even heroines minds who start to lose grip with the reality and ethics. 

    Game actually reminds me old game Kurenai by light. Same madness dominates the air, same bloody scenes everywhere, even main heroine of the two games basically looks and feels the same - in this game it's Kureha (even name seems to bear reference). Different heroines sing famous Japanese horror Kagome song which becomes a symbol of madness. I should also mention great BGM that contributes to the atmosphere a lot.

    But aside from Kureha, heroines aren't developed much. Loli daughter Momiji is also greatly portrayed, but she is not a capturable heroine, luckily. Shiina also feels alive with her bitter attitude compared to more ordinary heroines Mahoko and Masaki who have their share of charm, but that's it, no development. Male characters in this game are especially subtle and passive. All characters are normal people without special abilities, so at times lack of excitement is felt.

    Reconquista story is not that complicated, but thanks to four protagonists zapping and different chronology it gets rich in taste and details. It's not our usual fluffy happy end game. It leaves reader with touching moment, heavy feeling, hope and afterthoughts to linger on.

  5. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from fun2novel for a blog entry, Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni. いつか、届く、あの空に。 [Lump of Sugar]   
    Foreword: All the previous complex meta-textual intellectual novels got the highest score from me. Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni is exactly this kind of novel. So... is it 10/10 for me as well?

    Synopsis: In this town, there are "clouds" covering the nightsky, that the starlight won't even pierce. Because of this, constellations would always be too far.
    Born and raised in the Tatsumi noble family, Saku has failed to meet the expectations that lie on every male member of the family.
    One day, he receives word from his strict grandfather "to live life the way he wishes." Estranged by his family, Saku travels to the estate of Kuumeishi, a town that has never seen the stars.
    He went without hardly making sure of the details of arrangements for a wedding...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQOtL0k7pXk&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9cLlVyGlSgO3KP-VwxGWLb
    Game type: Mindscrew
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 9/10
    There are enough English reviews for this game (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8) and especially Japanese reviews (1 is one of the best ones). But game has such complex nature that there is still room for discussion. Minor spoilers are inevitable for discussing game concept, but I'll hide big spoiler under the bar.

    I played the only available at the start Futami route blindly before reading anything on the game... and I did not like it at all. After rather fun greeting of our supposed fiance in this ancient town nothing much really happens for the bigger half of the game. There's astronomy committee at school and Futami who tries to roleplay a perfect wife at home (and she studies at the same school as well). Futami wants to become protagonist's wife and wants his help in ritual for clearing clouds by the festival, and she constantly demands answer, like five times, really. And Saku never gives one. Then I was absolutely pissed by the fact how writer crosses out previous development with just one sentence "And it was the last night before Futami returned to her parents' house". The reason is not explained, and strange scenes start to snowball at this point. Basically, Saku kind of continues to live alone. At this point he is visited by three girls frequently - Mememe, Konome and Asuku San - and it becomes the fork for the routes to initiate. Then there's sudden burst of conflict with many antagonists showing up, and everything loses sense almost completely. There are constant time shifts, recollections, recollections inside recollections and what not. It gets really messy instantly followed by battles and really unsatisfying unification with Futami under weird circumstances. I'm telling all that just to say that first playthrough can be really bad, it's normal. Game still managed to rise from 6/10 to 9/10 somehow. I'll try to explain how.

    So the concept of all routes turns out to be slightly different. This town is ancient town of several  mighty clans dating from Heian period with heroines belonging to different ones. And these clans have both powerful warriors and magicians. A very important day approaches, so in each route protagonist Saku has to deal with the clan of route heroine. Problems and antagonists vary greatly for each heroine, so each route manages to provide an absolutely fresh experience. Concept looks much simpler now, but only because I try to simplify things on purpose. These clans exist at the same town and have a mutual co-habitation history. It means that in different routes all the heroines and sub-heroines and even lots of antagonists act simultaneously, and these arcs intersect. Positions of these clans are absolutely different, hierarchy and heroines positions are absolutely different. Even the purposes of clans are absolutely different. There's a lot of infodumping to chew.

    And after all three routes are finished another small story shows up which actually puts most of the dots at the right places. It explains both the origin of this town and clans, the history behind most important personalities, the ritual day and even role of Saku. It's a very strange structure where we get to know what the game was about after game is actually finished already. But this move gives incentive to recall or reread parts of heroines routes that made little sense beforehand. And it actually gives room for theory-crafting. My insight is under spoiler.

    Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni is a complex meta-textual intellectual visual novel. But why is it just 9/10 for me? The answer is because I did not really like the process of reading it. It's basically mindscrew where nothing is explained until the end and you are hit in the head over and over and over. But I really appreciate direction, text, concept, attention to details and discussion that it provokes. It's not a natural masterpiece, but an artificially kneaded one. The process is not really good, but the aftermath is. There is a feeling of accomplishment afterwards and recognition of something absolutely new done within a scale of visual novel. That's why I can't really recommend it. But if you read all this and still want to read it - it's worth it, at least for the after-taste, but it will be anything but easy.

  6. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from fun2novel for a blog entry, Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni. いつか、届く、あの空に。 [Lump of Sugar]   
    Foreword: All the previous complex meta-textual intellectual novels got the highest score from me. Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni is exactly this kind of novel. So... is it 10/10 for me as well?

    Synopsis: In this town, there are "clouds" covering the nightsky, that the starlight won't even pierce. Because of this, constellations would always be too far.
    Born and raised in the Tatsumi noble family, Saku has failed to meet the expectations that lie on every male member of the family.
    One day, he receives word from his strict grandfather "to live life the way he wishes." Estranged by his family, Saku travels to the estate of Kuumeishi, a town that has never seen the stars.
    He went without hardly making sure of the details of arrangements for a wedding...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQOtL0k7pXk&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9cLlVyGlSgO3KP-VwxGWLb
    Game type: Mindscrew
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 10/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 9/10
    There are enough English reviews for this game (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8) and especially Japanese reviews (1 is one of the best ones). But game has such complex nature that there is still room for discussion. Minor spoilers are inevitable for discussing game concept, but I'll hide big spoiler under the bar.

    I played the only available at the start Futami route blindly before reading anything on the game... and I did not like it at all. After rather fun greeting of our supposed fiance in this ancient town nothing much really happens for the bigger half of the game. There's astronomy committee at school and Futami who tries to roleplay a perfect wife at home (and she studies at the same school as well). Futami wants to become protagonist's wife and wants his help in ritual for clearing clouds by the festival, and she constantly demands answer, like five times, really. And Saku never gives one. Then I was absolutely pissed by the fact how writer crosses out previous development with just one sentence "And it was the last night before Futami returned to her parents' house". The reason is not explained, and strange scenes start to snowball at this point. Basically, Saku kind of continues to live alone. At this point he is visited by three girls frequently - Mememe, Konome and Asuku San - and it becomes the fork for the routes to initiate. Then there's sudden burst of conflict with many antagonists showing up, and everything loses sense almost completely. There are constant time shifts, recollections, recollections inside recollections and what not. It gets really messy instantly followed by battles and really unsatisfying unification with Futami under weird circumstances. I'm telling all that just to say that first playthrough can be really bad, it's normal. Game still managed to rise from 6/10 to 9/10 somehow. I'll try to explain how.

    So the concept of all routes turns out to be slightly different. This town is ancient town of several  mighty clans dating from Heian period with heroines belonging to different ones. And these clans have both powerful warriors and magicians. A very important day approaches, so in each route protagonist Saku has to deal with the clan of route heroine. Problems and antagonists vary greatly for each heroine, so each route manages to provide an absolutely fresh experience. Concept looks much simpler now, but only because I try to simplify things on purpose. These clans exist at the same town and have a mutual co-habitation history. It means that in different routes all the heroines and sub-heroines and even lots of antagonists act simultaneously, and these arcs intersect. Positions of these clans are absolutely different, hierarchy and heroines positions are absolutely different. Even the purposes of clans are absolutely different. There's a lot of infodumping to chew.

    And after all three routes are finished another small story shows up which actually puts most of the dots at the right places. It explains both the origin of this town and clans, the history behind most important personalities, the ritual day and even role of Saku. It's a very strange structure where we get to know what the game was about after game is actually finished already. But this move gives incentive to recall or reread parts of heroines routes that made little sense beforehand. And it actually gives room for theory-crafting. My insight is under spoiler.

    Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni is a complex meta-textual intellectual visual novel. But why is it just 9/10 for me? The answer is because I did not really like the process of reading it. It's basically mindscrew where nothing is explained until the end and you are hit in the head over and over and over. But I really appreciate direction, text, concept, attention to details and discussion that it provokes. It's not a natural masterpiece, but an artificially kneaded one. The process is not really good, but the aftermath is. There is a feeling of accomplishment afterwards and recognition of something absolutely new done within a scale of visual novel. That's why I can't really recommend it. But if you read all this and still want to read it - it's worth it, at least for the after-taste, but it will be anything but easy.

  7. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru キミの声がきこえる [AXL]   
    Foreword: Unlike Hidamari this AXL work has no superficial elements, so I'm starting it with heavy heart. Can AXL pull it out with a SOL story?

    Synopsis: Naoya fails the university entrance examination, and starts to study at a preparatory school. He meets Sakura, Miyuki and Ouka there and enjoys his life. On the other hand, his father tells him to go and help the hotel, owned by his father. He also meets beautiful girls including Izumi, his childhood friend, there and enjoys his peaceful life. Naoya is busy with studying, loving and working! Sakura, Izumi and Miyuki... Love with girls, friendship with friends, long distance love and triple cohabitation...? What will happen to Naoya in the end?
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqMbhWBS_vA&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_GNDXkWAd8Vb9u1nwXBH6K
    Game type: Youth comedy
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 9/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Story is really absolutely normal, so I'm rather disappointed with it. But it's not a plotge, so game should be evaluated by different criteria. Still some words about the story. Naoya fails entrance exams to the university, so he attends a preparatory school for a year as a ronin. And it's a fantastic setting, actually. It's just a bit about school to get new acquaintances, but it's mostly free time to do anything characters want. Such a gracious way to avoid school-college-work dilemma. Recurring video addresses of Naoya's father is a huge repeating gag by itself, but among others it also gives an opportunity to help about family ryoukan. It's all about choice where to move now.

    Here comes the structure. Game presents an unusually complex structure that can be treated positively and negatively. Basically, there are three routes that can be roughly described as distance romance relations, cohabitation with heroine, and cohabitation with multiple heroines turning into harem. First branch is much more to my liking. Moreover, it seems to be initial plan for the story due to game's title that can be translated as "I can hear your voice". First part is all about telephone talks and sending photos to the telephones. As for heroine routes, it's also not that simple...

    There are three main heroines - step-sister Miyuki who comes to live together with Naoya, childhood friend and ryokan caretaker Izumi, genki classmate Sakura. Izumi and Sakura have an ending in each of three route branches while Miyuki has only one ending in third branch that can be described as harem. Can't stand Izumi, btw. There are also four sub-heroines that have just one ending each, but they are unjustly treated as bad endings. There is such feeling, because in every such branch choice there's either instant ending of sub-heroine or story continuation with several more choices for either Sakura or Izumi. It's ok for less funny heroines, but I feel that Ouka deserves better. 

    But where game especially shines is humor. Common route is an absolute paragon for comedy. Everything serves humor purpose here. Only bright and funny heroines like Sakura, Ouka and Miyuki show up here to set the drive. Needless to say that each heroine meeting is done masterfully. But that's not all. There are two baka friends that bring so much fun with them - otaku Masamune and moderately stupid sportsman Kenta. As if it's not enough two more silly characters are added - a self-proclaimed best-friend Gonjuurou and homosexual Shirou. Every time this many hilarious characters gather together it's in for a blast.

    As a result, Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru is a fabulous comedy that deserves much more attention. I personally consider that game would win with only distance romance relations authentic branch present. It would be a cleaner and less confusing structure without loli step-sister Miyuki and harem additions. But bigger story can't possibly be described as disadvantage. Don't read extra routes if you don't want to. I just wish I knew that and read only first route.

  8. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Steel [Graviton]   
    Foreword: I never expected a 80 hour long race out of this "episodic" story. How much time should pass till opening? What about length of the epilogue? Should there be some lines after the final credits? Believe me, Steel will surprise you with each answer. I knew that scenario from Kadokura Keisuke would be enjoyable. But it took me a full week to be able to digest it.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v6416
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Nc368AlSs&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9jHMWwIIkzFPiTpLJ-eMP7

    Synopsis: The protagonist, Tomoya, was abandoned by his mother at a tender age. He was taken in by Honjou Arisa after a chance meeting. Four girl adoptees who had joined the Honjou family home for similar reasons also lived there.
    Though they were not related by blood, Tomoya treated the girls as if they were his siblings. They lived peaceful lives at the Honjou residence... but one day, he encountered a strange woman in town. She was wreathed in something that looked like iron – and upon seeing her figure, he remembered that he, too, had once harbored such a metallic augment.
    "Is that... your Anima?"
    A right arm turned to metal... A peculiar corpse discovered at school... A transfer student exuding dark mist... And a foreign warrior wreathed in thick steel armor... Tomoya's peaceful life would soon begin to crumble as disaster came to visit him and his sisters. To protect them, he shall have to once again wreathe his right arm in Anima.
    Game type: Supernatural abilities chuuni story
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 4/10
    Overall rating: 7/10

    Basics first. This is a story of a big and powerful Honjo clan. Main character Tomoya is an adopted child who lives in the family for the last five years. Only few families possess the anima ability to turn their body into weapons. They have rivals, but don't show their powers to the outsiders. Tomoya only starts to master his anima. That brings us to structure.
    There are four chapters. Three first chapters have similar shape. Each of them is devoted to Honjo sisters and their anima - first Misaki, then Ayano, finally Iori. These three chapters have two endings each - initially the true one when the heroine comes off the stage in some way and then the side happy ending with each heroine. After each of four chapters there's a short explanatory chapter which is devoted mostly to past events and Honjo Alice heroine. The fourth chapter has only one ending and is devoted to the most mysterious heroine Nishinomiya Akizuki. It also covers most of the loose ends of the game. Epilogue chapter (with a small Final chapter which finalizes Explanatory Chapters) is very different from the other chapters and presents after-story for the different characters that remain on the stage up to the point. 

    Phew, with that covered - almost - without spoilers it's possible to go on. Story is thrilling, and text is really rich. Characters are quite developed despite having no voicing thanks to whole 15-hour long chapter devoted to each of them. What I liked the most is that there are very few SOL scenes. Protagonist Tomoya starts off pretty well with all his powers awakening gradually and evolving with more emotional experiences. But game really lacks a good conflict. There are some goons (including elite ones) from the rival family, but that's it. So in result Tomoya just does not have opportunity to actually fight since we constantly need to show battle prowess of our chapter heroines. Thus he gets from cool to passive losing charm. Due to the lack of conflict some fights happen even between heroines out of trifles. But on the other hand, some antagonists jump to the stage out of the blue. Momentum never gets lost.

    Time to get back to story since it's the main flavor of the game. Each chapter is actually very different, so we can't stop being surprised. Misaki chapter is our straightforward nakige with personal drama and focus on the heroine alone. Ayano chapter suddenly changes focus from heroine to her anima. Iori chapter is totally different again since Iori actually can't fight. Maid Noriko has to fulfill that function, so Noriko actually gets her own ending as well. Third chapter also marks the main conflict of the game and uncovers Honjo clan secrets. Fourth chapter has the most straightforward conflict between main heroines Alice and Akizuki against their own antagonists. As for epilogue, it gives off too much of Clannad scent which is a great minus for such Clannad hater as me. Each chapter is named after anima name and explanatory chapters are called Shizoid because of the very different perspective presented.

    The saddest part is graphical presentation and absence of voicing. That gives a huge penalty to the quality evaluation. I can't really imagine many persons to be able to read such a huge story with such poor presentation. But - on the other hand - how many real modern masterpieces are there without voicing? Can't really remember even one out of the blue. That's an enormous feat by itself.

  9. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from fun2novel for a blog entry, Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no 遥かに仰ぎ、麗しの [Pulltop]   
    Foreword: Every time I start a slice of life charage I really want to like it. But too many companies follow the same trends and present the same product. For praising reviews please refer elsewhere 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.

    Synopsis: Tsukasa starts to work at a girl's high school after graduating from university. But the school is located at the edge of peninsula, no house around. On his first day of work, he gets out of a bus and walks to the school. And he is surprised to see the school building, a huge western building. Soon after he knows several facts, that this is a branch school, and students are isolated from society for personal reasons. He doesn't know them but it's too late. His life as a teacher starts...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AybmlGKC84&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-xsNOvH0rFGxruMUt5Kifd
    Game type: School romance
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 6/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 6/10
    There are so many English reviews that I don't need to elaborate on details. My personal impression is pretty bad, far below masterpiece level. So I'll just ramble about things that worry me here.

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

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

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

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

  10. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Shuumatsu Shoujo Gensou Alicematic [Caramel Box]   
    Foreword: Choosing a chunige from Caramel Box can't be wrong.

    Synopsis: In 2022, the world is afflicted with a mysterious phenomenon. Adjoining multi-dimension world assimilates and becomes another space, dimension assimilation phenomenon called "Petulation". Humans can't approach these areas and their number keeps increasing...
    One day, Kuroudo receives summons from the government to help the related scientific investigation at Shin Shinonome Academy located on the newly reclaimed land in Tokyo bay.
    He has no idea what is going on. But the world gets closer to the destruction little by little. All he has is his skill of swordplay and one sword.
    There he meets others, whom just like him are destined to fight for the future of mankind...
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq3br0Dm-r4&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv8vL6O9gksA54sSIv93SKwF
    Game type: Eschatology story set in near future.
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 8/10
    Overall rating: 8/10

    Another Caramel Box game, and again a 8. But this time it's much closer to 9. There are already good English reviews on the game, so skipping introductions.
    My main impression from Shuumatsu Shoujo Gensou Alicematic is how much in common it has with Aekanaru Sekai no Owari ni despite the fact that scenario writers are different. First of all, both games have virtual world dimension. Second, both games present unique settings with very rich in detail worldview. Third similarity is non-cliche and developed personalities of heroines (well, Rikka may be an exception). And structure is unusual for both games.

    But Alicematic learns by past experience. Scenario is now more epic and overall more exciting. Male characters are voiced. We even get to see and hear protagonist for the times when protagonist shifts. There are good action scenes including sword fights. Unlike Aekanaru Sekai no Owari ni, Alicematic does not really require to have special mindset anymore, it's quite entertaining for newcomer readers. But there are also problems.
    CG aren't enough for me. I had trouble even picking some CG for this review as there are few cool CG here. Another strange thing is game's font that's really uncomfortable for the eyes. But probably main problem is how unexciting is the first half of the game. It's some strange academy where we meet teacher with some girls, get tons of seemingly unimportant information, and just spend time with our pal Nobutsuna doing usual boys stuff occasionally even in Green Green fashion. Things really take time.

    In the raw outcome we have once again a very special game with unique worldview. It's more heroine focused than story focused, but heroines in this game are worth it. Game complexity and lack of excitement can easily scare unprepared readers, but there is enough depth to keep the interest. I should especially note cool and able protagonist. Game is not for everyone, and that's not a bad thing.

     
     
  11. Haha
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Infernoplex for a blog entry, Dragonia ドラゴニア [Hirameki International]   
    Foreword: Dragonia remains in obscurity while being localized. That's a strange situation, so I wanted to check why.
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40ois_GrS5w&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv8rKP5oDa1nzt0KevjFrmhw&index=31
    Synopsis: In ancient Dragonia existed five orbs that could be used to make dragons do one's bidding. However, as time passed, the stories of these orbs faded from collective memory becoming mere legend. However, one day a man appeared and hatched an evil plan to take control of Dragonia using these very orbs. Yet the powers of the orbs could only be harnessed by certain, special individuals. Thus, only another person capable of controlling the orbs can stop the orbs' powers from being abused. But are Ryu, Jamka, Fiana or Tran capable of hunting down and controlling the orbs in time?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, AYAKASHI アヤカシ [Apricot]   
    Foreword: Could only find one small impression (1), and it covers main points. I'll try to provide some novelty by comparing the game with the anime version.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v25
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o19Xvg1cMhE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-J7-CHaWYlOWzwXgTG0uAE
    Synopsis: Kusaka Yuu is a student that lost his will to live after the death of a dear childhood friend, until the day a mysterious girl, named Yoake Eimu, appears. From that moment on, his life would never be the same again. Hunted by Ayakashi and their hosts, the power within Yuu awakens and a never ending battle begins.

    Game type: Chunige with superpower battles
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 7/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 8/10
    Some comments on the rating are necessary. I absolutely adore quality here as there is an abundance of CGs here, all male characters are voiced (except for protagonist), a lot of animation is used constantly, writing level is high. But as a whole it's a pretty straightforward action chunige with moderately interesting heroines and normal protagonist. The result is great, but within the expectation boundaries set by the concept.

    A few words should be added about the story. Yuu has a gift to manipulate items from the start. He meets aggressive gift bearers very soon, and mysterious girl Eimu can't protect him all the time, so Yuu has his power awakened in extreme situation. Alliances between ayakashi wielders get forged and broken as they all try to find their place in the society and protect the world from this curse that drains power with each use. Soon Yuu finds out that his powers come from the incident that happened two years ago and of which he has no recollections...

    As expected, anime version retells the introduction of the game very thoroughly and vividly (unlike game that tries to limit impact of blood in scenes), but then focuses mostly on action skipping all the build-up and gags. As a result, it feels like a spree of pretty random battles and starts to become boring around the middle of the series. Anime also does not have the liberty of following all the endings, so it focuses primarily on Eimu and her sister Akino endings. Eimu can be called the main heroine of the game due to complex personality (hinting this would be in the spoiler range already), and Akino story underlines the problem and future of ayakashi as species, so it's only natural these themes are developed in the anime. A lot of side characters get scrapped in the anime. What makes me feel awkward in the game is childish sprites of the girls. In CG they look much older, and in HCG even more mature. Anime fixes that by presenting slightly older versions of the heroines. Overall, anime feels forced and disappointing while game manages to provide a unique story while giving enough attention to various heroines. I especially liked that Chinatsu got her ending after being so poorly treated in the main course of the game.

    Ayakashi remains mostly an action game while the philosophy of ayakashi as species becomes buried in whirlpool of betrayals. Game is highly enjoyable as it is, and my only regret is that age range of main characters and constant shift into action did not let the more serious themes to flourish. Every heroine is likable, and personal stories vary greatly, so I don't really see a reason to ditch this game.

  13. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, VN of the Month October 2005 - Ayakashi   
    Memories Off #5 Togireta Film , Ayakashi and Heaven's Cage are masterpieces of the month, and I'm reviewing the latter two. The winner is Ayakashi. I refuse to acknowledge any spin-offs or sequels of Fate/Night like Fate/Hollow Ataraxia .
    1. Shirogane no Torikago: The Angels with Strange Wings しろがねの鳥籠 The Angels with Strange Wings [051013] Cromwell 1

    Shirogane no Torikage takes place in the city of Roddo Town. Two hundred years ago, a great war lead to the near destruction of mankind. The few people that did remain following the war started off with a clean slate, built new towns and connected the towns via steam-powered train. Soon, airplanes were invented and mankind took to the skies. Mysterious children started to be born in this new world, children with strange powers. So strange and feared were these powers that adults sent all the special children to Roddo Town, which is itself separated from the other towns of the world and is surrounded by a great steel wall.
    The game's main character is Woll, one such special child. Woll and the other kids of Roddo Town have the ability to read the memories of objects and know their pasts. One day, Woll uses his powers to fix the train station manager's television, and he's summoned to the Roddo Town mayor's place. He expects that he will be punished for having used his powers.
    Instead, the mayor asks him to fix a plane from 200 years ago and make it so that it can fly again. A great floating fortress called Sky Ray was built 200 years ago and is believed to contain the secrets into long lost pre-war technology. Woll, along with Andy, Bibi, Katie, Mini and the other boys and girls of the town start off on an adventure that will change not just their own lives, but the lives of people throughout the world. Visuals and some fun interactions are the only benefits. of the game. Scenario is pretty much a juvenile boy's growth story that's nothing but plain. Second half is especially bad.  
    2. Kakuu Shoujo 夏空少女 [051014] Mixed Up 1

    After the end of the world war in the near future, every human being is managed and controlled by a computer called "Mother". People who could not adapt to such a system were called "irregular", thus they lived in the educational facility "Reclaim Garden". The main character was sent to the garden as a "guardian" to re-educate its irregularities. Therefore, he will experience a world that he couldn't feel so far. There is an English review.  
    3. Days of Memories ~Boku to Kanojo no Atsui Natsu~ Days of Memories 〜僕と彼女の熱い夏〜 [051017] SNK Playmore 1 2

    Beautiful female warriors and other charming girls from SNK games make their appearances in this innovative dating simulation game. The first game depicts the adventures of the male lead (player character) and the the female cast. During the last summer of high school, the player has a premonition that something will happen between himself and the girls he came to know and became friends with. There are English reviews.  
    4. Kenshuui Tendou Dokuta 2 ~Inochi no Tenbin~ 研修医 天堂独太2~命の天秤~ [051020] Spike 1 2 3 4

    LifeSigns: Surgical Unit (研修医 天堂独太2~命の天秤~, Kenshūi Tendō Dokuta 2: Inochi no Tenbin, lit. "Resident Dokuta Tendo 2: The Scales of Life") is an adventure game for the Nintendo DS set in a hospital. This is the second game in a series that redefined the sim genre to make way for other medical games games such as Trauma Center: Under The Knife. Following the success of Trauma Center, LifeSigns was released in North America on November 6, 2007, and is released in Europe on July 25, 2008 under the name LifeSigns: Hospital Affairs. LifeSigns: Surgical Unit is the second game in the Kenshuui Tendo Dokuta series, but its predecessor has not been announced for foreign release. Game is localized and has English reviews.  
    5. Urusei Yatsura: Endless Summer うる星やつら エンドレスサマー [051020] Marvelous Interactive 1

    In here you will basically find a rather usual Japanese dating simulation in which you will be controlling Ataru and move him across the many screens that compose the town you will be playing in. You can enter some houses, talk to people you find around the scenario and even collect some items, all by simply moving your character to the place where the house/person/item is. When you enter a house or you get in touch with a person you will usually spot a small event sequence, in which your character will talk to someone else and sometimes more things may occur, like you having to play a mini-game (which are always really easy to play) and even increasing how much a specific girl likes you. There is an English review.  
    6. Aozora Enikki 青空絵日記 [051021] H.W.Lab

    The last summer vacation in the school life. This is the time when main character gets attracted to two younger sisters. The feeling of guilt for forbidden love can not suppress this wonder from a life-size perspective. Heartwarming and shy comedy. The ending is refreshing, but there is no impact.  
    7. Born Freaks! ぼーん・ふりーくす! [051021] Liar-soft

    Cell's sister, Uracil, suffers from an unknown disease since she was born. Cell became a successful medical doctor but he still can't find a cure for her. Together with another doctor, who happens to be his ex-girlfriend Fenyl, that works in the same clinic with him, they devise an unconventional method that might save Uracil, where everything else already failed.
    The plan is to make changes in her DNA so it can fight the pathogens eating her from inside. To do that, they have to try cultivating different strains in Cell's body and inject them into her body in a way that won't be rejected by her immune system. And the only way to do that is by sex... It's primarily a gameplay game, so no use talking about it without understanding mechanics.  
    8. CROSS WORLD -Mishiranu Sora no Etatia- クロスワールド 〜見知らぬ空のエターティア〜 [051021] Broccoli

    Enter Kuros, an average high school student who gets sent into another world after getting into a car accident. Losing his memory and forgetting his name, he became known as the Cross Sword hero. In search of a way to open up the Cross Gate to return his own world, Kuros and one of three heroines partner up to travel across the world of Etatia in search of clues. Meanwhile, a mysterious cloaked figure seems intent on disrupting their journey of getting Kuros back to his own world... It can be called a picture-only game. Enemies show up and get defeated through communication with one of three selected girls. Synopsis basically tells everything already, and there is no twist. An absolute failure game.  
    9. Happiness! はぴねす! [051021] Windmill Oasis

    Happiness! centers around Yūma Kohinata, who is a high school student attending Mizuhosaka Academy's regular section of the school, along with his close friends Jun Watarase and Hachisuke Takamizo. The other section, aptly named the magic section, was founded in order to train mages in the art of using magic. The story begins with Valentine's Day coming up in just a few days and there's a rush for all the girls to get the chocolate they want in order to give it to the boys they like, in accordance with Japanese custom. Haruhi Kamisaka, a mage in training, is out with her friend Anri Hiiragi, also a mage in training, in order to do just this. While walking outside in the park, after buying the chocolate she wanted to give to a boy she met when she was a child, Haruhi meets Yūma, who stops some younger boys bullying a young girl, and Haruhi thinks that he may be the boy she's been searching for all this time. The next day is Valentine's Day and at school, all the girls are giving their gifts to the boys of their choice. Later that day, Anri challenges Haruhi to a magic battle in order to take the chocolate she has by force for the reason that Haruhi wouldn't tell her who she was going to give it to. Before long, Anri loses control of her magic and it is flown outside, almost falling onto Yūma and his friends. Ultimately, Haruhi gives him the chocolate she had bought, and in turn Anri does the same, which was her plan - to give her chocolate to the same boy as Haruhi and see who would win his favor more. The next day there is a gas explosion at the magic section of the school and all the mages in training must transfer over to the normal section for the time being. Coincidentally, Haruhi and Anri are placed within Yūma's class.
    Now Haruhi and her friends must adjust to the transfer into the normal section of Mizuhosaka Academy. Extremely orthodox adventure. Overall, it's a normal moege with a slight tilt into magic. And it loses much charm for being overextended.  
    10. Heaven Strada ヘブンストラーダ [051021] AniSeed

    Aleph grew up listening about rare artifacts and adventures in the ancient ruins. As he becomes adult, he joins his uncle who got position of ruins caretaker.
    When he comes to the duel place in the ruins with his childhood friend, Aleph meets a girl in unfamiliar clothes being attacked by inquisition men in black. As enemies are defeated, Aleph takes girl home. She tells that she comes from the world of the blue sky. They decide to guard the ruins together against the men in black and work towards getting to the world of the blue sky. It's a single road RPG. Contradictions begin in the middle of the game, so game is weak story-wise. RPG part is unsatisfactory, but not bad.  
    11. Memories Off #5 Togireta Film Memories Off #5 とぎれたフィルム [051027] KID 1 2

    Haruto Kawai is an aspiring film director, however, upon the death of his best friend, the boy gave up the dream and settled down for a mundane existence until a strange girl pops up in his life. Life is like a movie, when Mahiro Sendou intrudes into his life, the cameras start moving. With touching storylines and endearing characters, make your own film and experience the climaxes and troughs as well as irreplaceable memories in the newest romantic adventure in the Memories Off series. There is an English review  
    12. Ayakashi AYAKASHI アヤカシ [051028] Apricot 1 2

    Kusaka Yuu is a student that lost his will to live after the death of a dear childhood friend, until the day a mysterious girl, named Yoake Eimu, appears. From that moment on, his life would never be the same again. Hunted by Ayakashi and their hosts, the power within Yuu awakens and a never ending battle begins. I want to play this game blindly and review it myself.  
    13. Bin★Can Darling BIN★CANダーリン [051028] Actress

    Our protagonist managed to enter in the school of his dreams, and prepared himself for a sweet school life after a painful past. He might even find a girlfriend! Thus, he starts interacting with the girls around him, trying to succeed in love... Game has nothing to do with Akikan anime, but it does not help much as moege direction is chosen instead. Basically, main character is invited to the art club with only girls as members. Development for each heroine is very thin, and very little effort is required for heroines to fall in love. H element is dominating here, and 3P scenes are frequent, so can't really understand how IOS and Android versions manage to exist with such a weak story and no H scenes.  
    14. Fate/Hollow Ataraxia [051028] Type-Moon 1 2 3 4

    Bazett Fraga McRemitz, a member of the Mages' Association and a master in the 5th Holy Grail War, wakes on the fourth day of the 5th Holy Grail war with a new servant, Avenger, and no memory of what happened to her beforehand. She and Avenger set off to fight and win the Holy Grail War. Meanwhile, Shirou Emiya lives a peaceful life with all his friends, from the 5th Holy Grail War. After her experiment alters the event-horizon changes time and space, Rin Tohsaka leaves for the Mages' Association in England to fix things. The Servants sense a new danger while dark creatures appear soon afterward. Shirou, as a precaution, sets off to ensure nobody is in danger and instead finds himself frequently meeting a mysterious girl, Caren Hortensia. There are English reviews.  
    15. Heaven's Cage ヘブンズケージ [051028] Art

    This game is about a group of classmates and an online game called “Heaven’s Cage”. As they go forth and explore the virtual landscape, battling monsters and looting dungeons, they unknowingly start to get to know each other. I appears that the characters can make some interesting online personae in the virtual world; such as seasoned fighters, powerful magicians, mysterious player killers, or a character that hates fighting/killing monsters. It would also appear that this game is more connected to the real world than we’d assume. I would not be me if I skipped a MMORPG setting visual game, so I'm reviewing it.  
    16. ShiroKuro ~Shiroi Kokoro to Kuroi Tsurugi~ しろクロ~白いこころと黒いツルギ~ [051028] ALTERNA

    Akira leaves his town to observe the first and last major meteor shower in this century and gets in an accident. He regains consciousness when he is attacked by some black life form "Zyphos". A girl appears and rescues him. This way Akira makes the first contact with the extraterrestrial life forms and gets involved in the species confrontation.  Some girls are more human-like, some are rather exotic. Scenario is a single road with frequent gags inclusion. Gameplay is quite monotonous, but game mechanics and moe tilt help a lot here. RPG part is tolerable, so it's a pity game is in oblivion now.  
    BLOCKED  
    1. Purepuri Niizuma wa Boku no Tannin プレプリ 新妻は僕の担任 [051001] Haikara Kissa Enari Akane, a new teacher at your school, was recently married with you. She is a close friend of yours since you were kids. She is so curious about sex, wanting to explore sexuality more and more! Doujin Nukige  
    2. Hitozuma Leotard 2 ~Akage no Bijo wa Inran Tsuma~ 人妻レオタード2~赤毛の美女は淫乱妻~ [051003] Studio Ebisu Let's buy various leotards by using the one like a kind of money that is called RP and dress to married women. It buys of course, and the game progresses by the dressed leotard. The thing always changed while playing a game is possible. The dressed leotard can be reflected even in event CG. Not only default (usually) leotard but also a special leotard was prepared. Nukige  
    3. Happy Class ハッピークラス [051005] Tabun Osoraku Kitto A short and linear horror sound novel.
    "Hey, do you know about the happy class?" Doujin  
    4. Aru Atsui Natsu no Hi no Dekigoto. ある暑い夏の日の出来事。 [051006] αPLACE A collection of three mysterious stories about high school girls in summer. Doujin Nukige  
    5. Sex & Friend ~Osananajimi no Amai Nioi~ セックス&フレンド ~幼馴染の甘い匂い~ [051007] Under Lip Masaki had known Mitsuru Ebina since they were little. The rumor at school was that they were going out. But in reality, they were always at each other's throats. Even so...Mitsuru was getting prettier each year, and Masaki couldn't help but notice. Then one day she came to give him a love letter one of the other girls had asked her to give him. Masaki had mixed feelings, but Mitsuru was as blunt as ever. And then he told her how he felt... Nukige  
    6. Komachi Koiuta 小町恋歌 [051009] Circle Mebius Main character has been working in an antique shop for ten years since childhood. He believes that there should be only laughter in this world, but no sadness. One day he overhears a story about a girl living in an old temple outside the town. This very evening he approaches this building and finds young girl inside. Doujin  
    7. Nurunuru Shokushu ~Miko to Majokko Daisakusen~ ぬるぬる触手 ~巫女と魔女っ娘大作戦~ [051011] Necronomicon The sealed tentacle monster has escaped! A shrine maiden and a witch girl move out to deal with the situation. Doujin  
    8. Mirugeki 2 Papa tte Yobitai no みるげき2パパってよびたいの [051012] Milky Pearl Father suddenly remarries one day, so main character who attends college acquires a new mother and a younger sister. There is a big age difference, so sister calls protagonist "papa" for some reason. But somehow sister's behavior is far from childish, she is definitely longing for sex... Doujin  
    9. Akuratsu ~Chijoku no Yuri Shimai~ あくらつ~恥辱の百合姉妹~ [051014] Marry Bell This time father orders to train six half-sisters to prevent their claims to the conglomerate. This time he will be assisted by the two previously trained half-sisters. Nukige  
    10. In'youchuu ~Ryoujoku Gakuen Taimaroku~ 淫妖蟲 ~凌触学園退魔録~ [051014] TinkerBell This is the story of a monster hunter squad consisting of three beautiful girls and the "hardships" they face in their endless fight... Nukige  
    11. Okaa-san to Na-i-sho ~Bijin Oyako, Bessou Kankin 7 Nichikan~ おかあさんとな・い・しょ~美人母娘、別荘監禁7日間~ [051014] Haoh Yosuke, Yukari, his stepmother, and Natsuki, his stepsister, visit their summer house. Yosuke secretly loves Yukari and he plans to tell her that he loves her. However, a group of bank robbers suddenly comes into their house. "Well, you're now our slaves. Just entertain us...." Like this, they are confined in a separate room.... Will Yosuke be able to save Yukari and Natsuki...? Also, will Yosuke tell Yukari that he loves her...? Nukige  
    12. Ore no Miko-sama ~Ore Miko~ オレの巫女さま~オレ巫女 [051014] Black Package There is a shrine inhabited only by three maiden sisters after their parents' death. But they aren't allowed to continue like that without a proper priest, so main character is appointed to this shrine. Nukige  
    13. Subete Ubatteyaru! 全て奪ってやる! [051014] Waffle Ryuya's life has changed completely after Atsuko, his mother, got remarried. Tatsuo, his new father, robs him of his position in his family. Konoha, his younger sister, also depends on Tatsuo. He dislikes Serina, his new older sister, too. One night, Ryuya sees Atsuko and Tatsuo having sex and his anger reaches its peak. Several days later, Tatsuo leaves his home for ten days on business. Ryuya makes up his mind that he will get back what used to be while Tatsuo is out.... Nukige  
    14. Tomona ~Watashi to Furousha no Oji-san no Kouryuu Jikan~ 智奈 ~私と浮浪者のおじさんの交流時間~ [051014] STARWORKS Main heroine leads a normal school life with friends, but she is missing something... On her way to school she goes past homeless bums. She is confused, but also interested... And these guys are happy to make an acquaintance. Doujin Nukige  
    15. Coupling Cocktail. [051015] Momoto Ichigo.jp Western mansion humiliation training novel featuring big breasted futanari girls. Nukige  
    16. Sora no Mayoibito 空の迷い人 [051020] Nokka~ The protagonist finds himself wandering in a world of loss, unable to remember exactly what was missing. Through the help of people in his life, he finally starts remembering... Doujin  
    17. Aigan Iinchou ~Doukyuusei wa Nikudorei~ 愛玩委員長~同級生は肉奴隷~ [051021] Under Lip Yoji is a transfered student. He is attracted by Miyuki, a class president. She shows him around the school after school and suddenly she induces him to have a sex with her. After that his classmates tell him that she is a "sexual slave" and he is appointed as her trainer. Nukige  
    18. Fami Fami! ファミふぁみ! [051021] Applemint Main character is an ordinary school student in Tokyo. He returns to his home town in Hokkaido for summer vacations and finds his home being reconstructed into a family restaurant. Moreover, there are two cute twin sisters helping out. Doujin  
    19. Milk Junkie 3 MILK・ジャンキー3 [051021] Blue Gale Yusuke, the protagonist of the first game who loves big tits, is back.
    After a few years, he ended marrying Mitsuki, the mother of the girl he was tutoring.
    Besides a beautiful wife with big tits, now he has a new employment opportunity at the company of the cousin of Mitsuki.
    A well-endowed wife waiting him in home, and a well-endowed boss waiting him at workplace. His new married life is about to begin... Nukige  
    20. Taimanin Asagi 対魔忍アサギ [051021] Anime Lilith  1 2 The game stars and takes the viewpoint from a female ninja who is said to be one of Japan's greatest warriors. She's part of an elite ninja squad called Anti-Demon Ninja that fights in the name of justice. The main enemy in this story is the OFA (Oboro Forbearance Army) lead by another female ninja who is also said to be one of the finest in the land. These two female ninjas go at it until one of them is captured and trained/transformed against their will into a sex slave.
    It's important to note here that the game takes place around 2050 in Tokyo, so technology has become relatively advanced. The world itself seems to be VERY grim. It's also slightly fantasy based as it seems many different races inhabit the world, including vampires, orcs, and various types of evil spirits, which are the demons or "evil influenced" people that are making the world so corrupt. The ninjas also have special, beyond human, abilities as well. Nukige  
    21. Wana ~Hakudaku Mamire no Houkago~ 輪罠 ~白濁まみれの放課後~ [051021] Guilty 1 2 Misaki Raika's brother, a teacher at an all-boys school, has committed suicide. So Raika decides to disguise herself as a male student to enter the school and find out the truth behind his death... Nukige  
    22. Qu Beifang 去北方 [051021] Yangwawa Girl loves snow so much that she sets off on a journey to the North. She is sure to find the meaning of her life in this journey... Non-Eng/Jp  
    23. Have Relations With... 3 ~Junko to Nami to Naoyuki to Ore~ have relations with... 3 ~淳子と奈美と直之と俺~ [051022] Soft Circle Courreges This game is an interactive sex simulation game, where the commands you choose influences the attitudes of those you meet and causes different situations to occur.
    The game spans 14 days, from September 4th to September 17th. The game continues by the selection of commands, having sex and having conversations.
    The sex part contains two couples that have sex together: the hero and Junko, plus Nami and Naoyuki.
    Depending on your selection, the attitudes of the people you meet will change, and different situations will occur, so try out a number of things. Doujin Nukige  
    24. Honki ni Shite wa Ikenai Uranai 本気にしてはいけない占い [051022] Tabun Osoraku Kitto A joke fortune-telling game. Doujin  
    25. Tsui no Hi -in the latter half of the 90's- 対ノ日 -in the latter half of the 90's- [051023] Inspire 1 Main character goes to Tokyo to enter a college. A woman that lives next door envigorates his fantasies. He is confused by his feelings and tries to listen cautiously to his heart. This summer the two bodies will overlap. But it takes something more for thoughts to overlap as well. Doujin  
    26. Ryoujoku Shiokinin 陵辱仕置人 [051024] Haoh Main heroine's father remarries a young woman. She gets both company and mansion after father's death. The girl runs away from the mansion after hearing that she is going to be sold to yakuza the next day... Nukige  
    27. Setsugekka 雪月花 [051024] Pleiades Company Three years have passed since abduction on a ruined island. A terrible power broke out at that time. Main character lives in these snowy mountains while taking care of his childhood friend Miyuki who lives next door. But the battle for extraordinary power pursues protagonist even to these mountains. Messenger brings a bad news, and boy turns his blade to the fate... Doujin  
    28. Dorei Seitokai 奴隷生徒会 [051028] Cybele Main character is a rich bonbon attending a prestigious school. His only hobby is personal computer, so he gathers school geeks around him in the computer club. Since all they do is visit adult sites and install illegal software, the club is crushed by the student council president who is also main character's childhood friend. Protagonist decides to revive computer club with his own means. Nukige  
    29. Hajimete no Otetsudai はじめてのおてつだい [051028] Studio Ring Landlord asks main character to help about the cafe on the first floor of the building. It turns out to be a maid cafe where two cute twins are working already. It's confusing to be called "onii-chan", but promise needs to be fulfilled. Lolicon  
    30. Houkago Gekisha Club ~Inyoku no Motif~ 放課後激写倶楽部~淫欲のモチーフ~ [051028] Oz Project Shame is art! Girls humiliation can reach the masterpiece level! This is the motto of main character who heads school photo club. All the five girls in club lead an active sex life with the boys of the same club, so protagonist has no difficulty inviting girls to a private shooting session for a solo exhibition. Nukige  
    31. Kunoichiban! くのいちばんっ! [051028] Crowd There is a world famous shinobu village that produced a huge number of subterfuge experts. Main character returns to his home village for retirement. He is asked to make full-fledged ninja out of failed ninja candidates. It's a colorful bunch of different girls, but pride of his art is on the stake. He starts to live with the girls under one roof and train them. Nukige  
    32. Kuro no Utahime 黒の歌姫 [051028] Clock Up In a peaceful kingdom, the country is governed by the five royal sisters who are also mystical songstress.
    The gentle oldest sister - the diva of the earth, the second sister who is also the leader of the knights - the diva of the fire, the third sister - the diva of the light, the fourth sister - the diva of the water, and the fifth and youngest sister - the innocent diva of the wind.
    From generation to generation the divas sing the song of peace, leading the nation against the power of the devil. But a man resurrected from the grave. And along with him, the shadow of many demons appear at the peaceful kingdom.
    Against the hord of demons, the diva of light serving as a guardian of the kingdom sings, and all demons disappear in an instant. The revived man who saw that demonstration of power gets startled.
    "If I get that power... i can dominate everything!"
    And beside the man, the figure of a succubus arises. And so the man who is the revived demon king began to move in order to dominate and rape them all. Nukige  
    33. Mahoutsukai no Tamago 魔法使いのタマゴ [051028] Zero Main character is taken by a 300-year-old magician to the forest. There he has to help apprentice girl Miu to become a witch and also comply with the host orders. The way to produce familiars is to place eggs in Miu's body, and he has to help with that as well. He helps to raise a fine demon and hopes to find a way to return home one day. Lolicon  
    34. Natural Another One 2nd -Belladonna- Natural Another One 2nd -Belladonna- [051028] DreamSoft Belladonna is the name of a flower that is both beautiful and extremely poisonous. But it's also the name of the goddess who cuts the fate threads with scissors.
    Main character is asked to fulfill a request if he wants to return former lover and get a billion yen. The request is to persuade former lover to abandon all her claims to her dead husband's corporation. Any means are allowed, so he can choose to cultivate love or lust in mansion girls to reach his goal. Nukige  
    35. Nymphomania [051028] M no Violet Main character is an ordinary student who lives with a step-mother and a step-sister. He has never had relations with girls, but he starts to show interest. There is a childhood friend with the same fascination who attends the same school. The peaceful everyday is transformed suddenly by a single transfer student girl who starts to live in the same house... Nukige  
    36. Ryouki 2 ~Ayashiku Ugomeku Inbou no Enbukyoku~ 凌姫II~妖しく蠢く淫謀の円舞曲~ [051028] Psy-chs The main character of this h-game is part of the royal guard in service of the king. However, the king has fallen ill, and there is suspicion that witchcraft is the culprit. Soon the kingdom is in a frenzy to capture any woman suspected to be a witch. The 'hero' has taken this opportunity to get his hands on the trio of princess-sisters. Furthermore, his power over them includes their female servants and court members, giving him a total of 10 girls to interrogate/train/humiliate. Perhaps, if he's successful, he may have the entire kingdom for himself! Nukige  
    37. Slave Police Michiru & Misuzu スレイブポリスみちる&美鈴 [051028] 1 In this game you play as a perverted teacher who happens to find one his students trying to steal a test paper to cheat. He ends up blackmailing her and forcing her to have sex with him. Eventually, he uses her to help him screw all of the hottest girls from the school. Nukige  
    38. Tenshi no Himegoto 天使のひめごと [051028] Tactics Hideyuki Inori is an exorcist and a member of a secret Catholic order fighting supernatural evil worldwide, but apparently even Holy Ops from the Vatican need a vacation sometimes, because he suddenly asks for a leave from service and returns to his native Japan.
    His true motives, however, are terribly serious: his dearest childhood friends, the two daughters of his old teacher, have fallen under demonic influence, a power so terrible that maybe only the death of the girls themselves can banish it.
    Hideyuki is unwilling to report this situation to his superiors, but what can he do? And what are the real nature and objectives of this mysterious, demonic enemy? Nukige  
    39. Tutorial Summer チュートリアルサマー [051028] Studio Miris Pellet Hyuuga Ippei is a self-supporting university student. He has to work part-time to finance his studies so he does not have spare time to spend for summer sports, Romance, refreshing summer retreat, not even summer festival.
    "During this summer, I want you to tutor my granddaughters living in the countryside beach," his professor ask along with the promise of good salary and accommodation. It is also a good opportunity to enjoy summer, on top of that, those girls are known to be cute.
    "I'll do tutoring! Please let me do it!" Nukige  
    40. Toki, Tsunagu Yume ~Ano Goro no Sunao sa o~ トキ、ツナグユメ ~あの頃の素直さを~ [051029] Crus-Ade First day of the second semester of high school. Main character is unable to reconcile with his girlfriend for a week. He tries to avoid seeing her on the way to school. At this time a mysterious boy stops him. Doujin  
    41. Inanimate Alice [0510] Chris Joseph Set in the early years of the 21st century and told through text, sound, images, music and games, Inanimate Alice is the story of Alice and her imaginary digital friend Brad. EVN
  14. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Saihate no Ima 最果てのイマ [Xuse]   
    Foreword: The reviews we have are pretty vague (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), so the impression of a very difficult work is created. I'm going to put all the dots so that there was not fear to read it.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v1278
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyO6B82c_GE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9G-VbjOXlAvQZqm-u8F497

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

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

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

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

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

  15. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Templarseeker for a blog entry, VN of the Month September 1993 - Youjuu Senki -A.D. 2048-   
    Youjuu Senki -A.D. 2048- is not really a masterpiece at all, but without strong competitors I find it entertaining enough to be called VN of the September 1993.
    1. Nurse Yuu no Muma Sensen ナースゆうの夢魔戦線 [930904] Wendy Magazine 1 2 "Nurse Yuu no Mumasensen" is an adventure game with a rather cryptic story. The player controls a young nurse named Yuu, who finds herself near a secluded military hospital, unable to understand whether she is dreaming or not. She then begins to work at the hospital, becoming more and more intrigued by the events happening in it. There is an English review.  
    2. Ooedo Tantei Kamiya Ukyou Vol. 1 大江戸探偵 神谷右京 Vol1 [930908] Altacia Detective Kamiya Ukyo is asked for an investigation, but the client is killed with her head chopped off. There was Ukyo name in the will, so agency took up the case. The series had its fan base, but game was postponed for a long time due to underdeveloped graphical technologies. Author of the script was an active detective at that time and game synopsis based on real events. Still, first two games had about 60% of fiction still involved to give the story more depth. And since the work was written by criminal expert, there is quite much uncommon terminology used. These first two works are still done in anime manner and for pc-98, but later works for Windows platform get much more serious design and reality feeling. First work is not polished enough to be considered a masterpiece, but second work is right in that zone.  
    3. Tinkle - Zenimusume てぃんくる [930909] Agumix 1 The great evil was prevented by the four legendary heroes, but the threat has awoken again. Elven heroine Narushi and her loyal pet set on a journey to get four crystals that would break the enemy's defense. Each crystal is hidden in a three-layer labyrinth. There is a Polish review available with some machine translation.  
    4. Houma Hunter Lime Dai 04 Wa 宝魔ハンターライム 第04話 [930910] Silence 1 In this episode Lime and Mizuki work as waitresses in a local cafe in order to detect the presence of a BEM. After having located the monster they become unexpectedly attached to it, which makes it harder for them to recover the jewel. Each episode is very individual. This time Mizuki plays the most important role while our heroes just observe the drama from the side.  
    5. Mouryou Senki Madara Daikongourin Hen 魍魎戦記MADARA 大金剛輪編 [930910] Kogado Studio 1 2 3 4 The game is based on the manga series Moryou Senki Madara. The story is set in a mythological era in Japan, and focuses on twin brothers, Madara and Kage-Ou ("Shadow King"), sons of the evil Emperor Miroku. While Kage-Ou follows in the footsteps of his father, Madara fights against him and for the good of mankind. The game begins as Madara is gravely wounded in his fight against Miroku, but is saved by a young warrior named Seishinja, who lives together with his sister Himika. Before Madara is cured, Seishinja has to fight demons himself, with the help of the legendary sword Kusanagi. This is a small part of a big franchise of some five series of manga and supporting content. First you have to fight alone, then Madara awakens and main character shifts. Unless you have the game manual, you wont be able to know chakra (magic) combinations. This VN ending differs from original manga since the main character here is set to destroy the world and recreate it for himself and no happy ending is seen.  
    6. Night Shifter ナイトシフター [930910] Four-Nine 1 Once upon a time, there was a young boy who loved motorcycles. Riding through the night on his bike was what he enjoyed most - until one night he crashed into a car, and was taken to hospital. There, he wakes up to find out that he'll have to go through some injections and infusions, which scares him so much that he faints... and immediately finds himself mysterious transported to a bizarre magical realm, somewhat inspired by Alice in Wonderland, with well-dressed rabbits, smoking caterpillars, but also plenty of cute girls. It turns out that this Wonderland isn't that bad - but how hard will it be to conquer the hearts of its pretty inhabitants?.. Looks like this game imitated Classmates, but without time dimension and with much lower production values. Lawful and Chaotic personalities only influence some CG and speech. Choices that have to be done from time to time hardly influence anything at all. So there's hardly a plot, just exploration of Wonderland with ultimate aim to get out.  
    7. Viper-V8 Viper-V8 [930910] Sogna 1 2 The second entry in Sogna's long-running Viper franchise, Viper V-8 has the same format as its predecessor: three separate short stories with minimal interaction and animated sex scenes. The three stories are: Friday the 18th: Obviously, a parody on horror movies, telling the story of three young girls who were sexually assaulted by mysterious masked men when camping near a forest. Demon's Night is set in medieval times and describes a battle of three young heroes against a vicious demon. One of them is killed in battle, while the other (a girl) is captured by the demon; the remaining warrior, a young man named Ryu, has to rescue his friend. Alien Wars takes place in the future. A young space pilot named Sylvie is ambushed and captured by aliens who have nothing else in mind but to have sex with her... There is an English review.  
    8. Ayumi-chan Monogatari あゆみちゃん物語 [930915] Alice Soft 1 The premise of Ayumi-chan Monogatari is rather simple: the protagonist, a young boy named Kouichi, is in love with the most beautiful girl in his school, Ayumi Kawai. One day she admits that she also loves him, and they begin a relationship. Plot is virtually non-existant and the whole point is to try each intimate date something new to get new CG and eventually get 100% CG. Very few works had CG galleries accessible in game and I don't think any measured completeness of opened CG in percentage. And thanks to graphics and cute character design the game was really popular. The game was made in close partnership with the active bbs fans which is also an impressive model that no other company could pull out. It's an important game for the visual novel history, but apart of all the novelty I only see a nukige here.  
    9. Custom Mate カスタムメイト [930917] Cocktail Soft 1 A young man finds a mysterious box. Making sure no one is at home, he opens the box and finds a scroll with a magic incantation inside. He chants the magic spell - and immediately a cute female elf appears. She says she can create any girl the hero wants. But once the girl is created, he has to figure out how to win her good graces... An easy seduction SIM which precedes a wave of SIMs in the second half of 1990s. Graphics is quite uneven.  
    10. Kachou Shima Kousaku: Super Business Adventure 課長 島 耕作 スーパービジネスアドベンチャー [930917] Yutaka 1 2 The game allows the player to play the role as a Japanese salaryman as he goes on his "employment adventure" in order to accomplish negotiations for business deals. Occasionally, the player will have to do stuff with his girlfriend and explore his office building in order to accomplish things from his employer. Game was based on popular manga and it's very realistic - it deals with dirty corporations ethics, racism, pregnancy... so it was scraped for release in the West. Series are closely connected with the original, at times for the bad, at times for the good. For example, letters are presented as in the original with its complexity, but some of the choices player makes won't have effect at all since they weren't reflected in the original. So it might be a nice game to try unless it was japanese famicom only.  
    11. Youjuu Senki -A.D. 2048- 妖獣戦記 -A.D.2048- [930917] D.O. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 The apocalypse known as "The Third" occured as a result of mankind's tasting the deadly fruit of nuclear technology. The massive radiation released in the holocaust of world war mingled with the genetic fallout from biological weapons, creating horrific mutations that came to be called "Yoju". These beasts bred in the bodies of humans and multiplied, covering the blighted landscape and pushing humanity to the brink of extinction. It is now the year 2048. As mankind's final gamble in the struggle against the Yoju, a squad of genetically engineered cyborgs was created - the Anti Strangebeast Special Police (A.S.S.P.) whose members possess combat ability far beyond that of normal humans. They have been programmed with the complete database of anti-Yoju strategies and tactics researched over years of war. These female biosoldiers have become humanity's last line of defense against total annihilation, and you have been chosen to command them. There are English reviews.  
    12. Ah! an Ah! an [930922] Wendy Magazine A collection of two short stories: 1) Face of Hakuhaku 2) Yukari laboratory Both of stories have 2 and 3 branches and endings, respectively. Game was ment to be Vol.1 of the series, but never got continuation. Drawing won't be to everyone's liking. H events are the center of the game and those are animated. The stories are too short even considering branches.  
    13. Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor - Griffon Hen 機動警察パトレイバー グリフォン篇 [930930] Riverhill Soft inc. 1 2 3 4 Digital Comic Patlabor is based on the anime series Patlabor. In the near future, officers of Tokyo Metropolitan Police pilot giant robots called "Labors" to combat criminals. Like most installments of the anime and manga, the game focuses on characters from Special Vehicle Section 2, Division 2, and the playable character is Noa Izumi. More specifically, the game follows the so-called "TV timeline", involving the Labor Griffon. There are English reviews.    
    14. Shangrlia 2 SHANGRLIA2 [930930] Elf 1 2 3 For a while peace was reigning in the magical Kingdom of Hyunckel. However, dark forces have emerged again. Commanding hellish creatures, they managed to capture the top female generals of the Hyunckel army, sealing them in special devices resembling eggs. Only three generals remained free, and they must liberate their companions and re-capture the land. There's little to be said. You either played prequel and don't need review or not played prequel, then it's better to start with that. The complexity of rules increased with sequel significantly.
  16. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from onorub for a blog entry, Ayakashibito あやかしびと [Propeller]   
    Foreword: This is a formal shameless review just to present a video and give score / personal impression. There is an abundance of reviews of this game in untranslated review sources (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8), and I did not even include reviews in the translated review sources. 
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v646
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkfbKBF3PZE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv8HOd7D19oHjX9NAj_dJRkF

    Synopsis: In face of human technological advancement during the Meiji Restoration, the youkai of Japan were forced to make a hard decision:
    1) To remain as youkai and watch over the land
    2) To return to the netherworld
    3) To give up their power and status as youkai and live amongst humans.
    While there were some that chose otherwise, the majority of the youkai decided it was best to become human. It was tough, but as time passed these youkai were able to blend in with the human world and live peacefully amongst them.
    However, blood is thicker than water. The offspring of these youkai displayed the powerful abilities of their ancestors in times of great anxiety, often manifesting in horrible and dangerous ways, and were labeled by society as monsters.
    Officially their condition was named "Acquired Systemic Special Heredity variety Syndrome", or "ASSHS" for short and treated as a non-contagious illness, but the common people began to refer to them as Jinyous (half-youkai) nevertheless.
    Of these Jinyous, most were sent to Kamizawa City: an isolated urban area walled off from the rest of Japan to keep all the Jinyous together and away from the human population. However, the ones that were deemed especially dangerous were sent to a medical facility on an uncharted island near the shores of Japan where they would be under constant surveillance.
    Takabe Ryouichi was one of those who were sent to said island at the age of five. This is a story about him along with the girl called Suzu, his only friend on the island, escaping to Kamizawa city to live a normal life. What they didn’t expect was that Suzu carried a secret that attracted much unwanted attention…

    Game type: Action chunige with fantasy elements
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 8/10
    I won't be original here. Game is a firm masterpiece with great action, funny SOL scenes and just perfect quality overall. But different people find different parts faulty. Some people blame protagonist Soushichi, but I actually like him a lot. He is really funny and human-like in conversations. Heroines are the main flavor of the game. They all are really well developed, and pretty much every one of them has fighting capabilities. Each route has a distinctive individuality.

    Other people did not like story resolution, but - again - everything felt natural, don't see much of a problem here. My complaint is much more profound. I do not see an interesting story here at all. On a grand scale absolutely nothing happens. There is no intrigue. Basically we get to know from synopsis that Takabe Ryouichi escapes from a clinic for youkai and is searched by the organization controlling this clinic. So what happens during the course of the game? Organization goons finally find Takabe after a few years which is followed by confrontation. That's it. Where the hell is multiple route mystery featured among vndb tags? There is absolutely no need to play different routes to get the whole mystery picture, because there is no mystery. Yes, we have different girls as allies in different routes, and different sources of power are discovered to fight back. But that's not a mystery. There are even no big twists.

    Ayakashibito is a great game, but its strength is not in depth and mystery. It's in width and details. The story is developed by constantly adding new characters and presenting their backgrounds and sometimes even small stories in great detail. I absolutely like writing, pacing and all. It's an enjoyable reading, but whenever I try to rationalize - why I keep reading - I can't find the answer, and overall evaluation degrades because of that. Ayakashibito remains a game about girls and their magnificent routes. Personally, I hoped for more mystery and twists.

  17. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from onorub for a blog entry, Ayakashibito あやかしびと [Propeller]   
    Foreword: This is a formal shameless review just to present a video and give score / personal impression. There is an abundance of reviews of this game in untranslated review sources (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8), and I did not even include reviews in the translated review sources. 
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v646
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkfbKBF3PZE&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv8HOd7D19oHjX9NAj_dJRkF

    Synopsis: In face of human technological advancement during the Meiji Restoration, the youkai of Japan were forced to make a hard decision:
    1) To remain as youkai and watch over the land
    2) To return to the netherworld
    3) To give up their power and status as youkai and live amongst humans.
    While there were some that chose otherwise, the majority of the youkai decided it was best to become human. It was tough, but as time passed these youkai were able to blend in with the human world and live peacefully amongst them.
    However, blood is thicker than water. The offspring of these youkai displayed the powerful abilities of their ancestors in times of great anxiety, often manifesting in horrible and dangerous ways, and were labeled by society as monsters.
    Officially their condition was named "Acquired Systemic Special Heredity variety Syndrome", or "ASSHS" for short and treated as a non-contagious illness, but the common people began to refer to them as Jinyous (half-youkai) nevertheless.
    Of these Jinyous, most were sent to Kamizawa City: an isolated urban area walled off from the rest of Japan to keep all the Jinyous together and away from the human population. However, the ones that were deemed especially dangerous were sent to a medical facility on an uncharted island near the shores of Japan where they would be under constant surveillance.
    Takabe Ryouichi was one of those who were sent to said island at the age of five. This is a story about him along with the girl called Suzu, his only friend on the island, escaping to Kamizawa city to live a normal life. What they didn’t expect was that Suzu carried a secret that attracted much unwanted attention…

    Game type: Action chunige with fantasy elements
    Character Design rating: 9/10
    Protagonist rating: 8/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 10/10
    Overall rating: 8/10
    I won't be original here. Game is a firm masterpiece with great action, funny SOL scenes and just perfect quality overall. But different people find different parts faulty. Some people blame protagonist Soushichi, but I actually like him a lot. He is really funny and human-like in conversations. Heroines are the main flavor of the game. They all are really well developed, and pretty much every one of them has fighting capabilities. Each route has a distinctive individuality.

    Other people did not like story resolution, but - again - everything felt natural, don't see much of a problem here. My complaint is much more profound. I do not see an interesting story here at all. On a grand scale absolutely nothing happens. There is no intrigue. Basically we get to know from synopsis that Takabe Ryouichi escapes from a clinic for youkai and is searched by the organization controlling this clinic. So what happens during the course of the game? Organization goons finally find Takabe after a few years which is followed by confrontation. That's it. Where the hell is multiple route mystery featured among vndb tags? There is absolutely no need to play different routes to get the whole mystery picture, because there is no mystery. Yes, we have different girls as allies in different routes, and different sources of power are discovered to fight back. But that's not a mystery. There are even no big twists.

    Ayakashibito is a great game, but its strength is not in depth and mystery. It's in width and details. The story is developed by constantly adding new characters and presenting their backgrounds and sometimes even small stories in great detail. I absolutely like writing, pacing and all. It's an enjoyable reading, but whenever I try to rationalize - why I keep reading - I can't find the answer, and overall evaluation degrades because of that. Ayakashibito remains a game about girls and their magnificent routes. Personally, I hoped for more mystery and twists.

  18. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Steel [Graviton]   
    Foreword: I never expected a 80 hour long race out of this "episodic" story. How much time should pass till opening? What about length of the epilogue? Should there be some lines after the final credits? Believe me, Steel will surprise you with each answer. I knew that scenario from Kadokura Keisuke would be enjoyable. But it took me a full week to be able to digest it.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v6416
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Nc368AlSs&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9jHMWwIIkzFPiTpLJ-eMP7

    Synopsis: The protagonist, Tomoya, was abandoned by his mother at a tender age. He was taken in by Honjou Arisa after a chance meeting. Four girl adoptees who had joined the Honjou family home for similar reasons also lived there.
    Though they were not related by blood, Tomoya treated the girls as if they were his siblings. They lived peaceful lives at the Honjou residence... but one day, he encountered a strange woman in town. She was wreathed in something that looked like iron – and upon seeing her figure, he remembered that he, too, had once harbored such a metallic augment.
    "Is that... your Anima?"
    A right arm turned to metal... A peculiar corpse discovered at school... A transfer student exuding dark mist... And a foreign warrior wreathed in thick steel armor... Tomoya's peaceful life would soon begin to crumble as disaster came to visit him and his sisters. To protect them, he shall have to once again wreathe his right arm in Anima.
    Game type: Supernatural abilities chuuni story
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 4/10
    Overall rating: 7/10

    Basics first. This is a story of a big and powerful Honjo clan. Main character Tomoya is an adopted child who lives in the family for the last five years. Only few families possess the anima ability to turn their body into weapons. They have rivals, but don't show their powers to the outsiders. Tomoya only starts to master his anima. That brings us to structure.
    There are four chapters. Three first chapters have similar shape. Each of them is devoted to Honjo sisters and their anima - first Misaki, then Ayano, finally Iori. These three chapters have two endings each - initially the true one when the heroine comes off the stage in some way and then the side happy ending with each heroine. After each of four chapters there's a short explanatory chapter which is devoted mostly to past events and Honjo Alice heroine. The fourth chapter has only one ending and is devoted to the most mysterious heroine Nishinomiya Akizuki. It also covers most of the loose ends of the game. Epilogue chapter (with a small Final chapter which finalizes Explanatory Chapters) is very different from the other chapters and presents after-story for the different characters that remain on the stage up to the point. 

    Phew, with that covered - almost - without spoilers it's possible to go on. Story is thrilling, and text is really rich. Characters are quite developed despite having no voicing thanks to whole 15-hour long chapter devoted to each of them. What I liked the most is that there are very few SOL scenes. Protagonist Tomoya starts off pretty well with all his powers awakening gradually and evolving with more emotional experiences. But game really lacks a good conflict. There are some goons (including elite ones) from the rival family, but that's it. So in result Tomoya just does not have opportunity to actually fight since we constantly need to show battle prowess of our chapter heroines. Thus he gets from cool to passive losing charm. Due to the lack of conflict some fights happen even between heroines out of trifles. But on the other hand, some antagonists jump to the stage out of the blue. Momentum never gets lost.

    Time to get back to story since it's the main flavor of the game. Each chapter is actually very different, so we can't stop being surprised. Misaki chapter is our straightforward nakige with personal drama and focus on the heroine alone. Ayano chapter suddenly changes focus from heroine to her anima. Iori chapter is totally different again since Iori actually can't fight. Maid Noriko has to fulfill that function, so Noriko actually gets her own ending as well. Third chapter also marks the main conflict of the game and uncovers Honjo clan secrets. Fourth chapter has the most straightforward conflict between main heroines Alice and Akizuki against their own antagonists. As for epilogue, it gives off too much of Clannad scent which is a great minus for such Clannad hater as me. Each chapter is named after anima name and explanatory chapters are called Shizoid because of the very different perspective presented.

    The saddest part is graphical presentation and absence of voicing. That gives a huge penalty to the quality evaluation. I can't really imagine many persons to be able to read such a huge story with such poor presentation. But - on the other hand - how many real modern masterpieces are there without voicing? Can't really remember even one out of the blue. That's an enormous feat by itself.

  19. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, Steel [Graviton]   
    Foreword: I never expected a 80 hour long race out of this "episodic" story. How much time should pass till opening? What about length of the epilogue? Should there be some lines after the final credits? Believe me, Steel will surprise you with each answer. I knew that scenario from Kadokura Keisuke would be enjoyable. But it took me a full week to be able to digest it.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v6416
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Nc368AlSs&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv9jHMWwIIkzFPiTpLJ-eMP7

    Synopsis: The protagonist, Tomoya, was abandoned by his mother at a tender age. He was taken in by Honjou Arisa after a chance meeting. Four girl adoptees who had joined the Honjou family home for similar reasons also lived there.
    Though they were not related by blood, Tomoya treated the girls as if they were his siblings. They lived peaceful lives at the Honjou residence... but one day, he encountered a strange woman in town. She was wreathed in something that looked like iron – and upon seeing her figure, he remembered that he, too, had once harbored such a metallic augment.
    "Is that... your Anima?"
    A right arm turned to metal... A peculiar corpse discovered at school... A transfer student exuding dark mist... And a foreign warrior wreathed in thick steel armor... Tomoya's peaceful life would soon begin to crumble as disaster came to visit him and his sisters. To protect them, he shall have to once again wreathe his right arm in Anima.
    Game type: Supernatural abilities chuuni story
    Character Design rating: 8/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 9/10
    Game quality: 4/10
    Overall rating: 7/10

    Basics first. This is a story of a big and powerful Honjo clan. Main character Tomoya is an adopted child who lives in the family for the last five years. Only few families possess the anima ability to turn their body into weapons. They have rivals, but don't show their powers to the outsiders. Tomoya only starts to master his anima. That brings us to structure.
    There are four chapters. Three first chapters have similar shape. Each of them is devoted to Honjo sisters and their anima - first Misaki, then Ayano, finally Iori. These three chapters have two endings each - initially the true one when the heroine comes off the stage in some way and then the side happy ending with each heroine. After each of four chapters there's a short explanatory chapter which is devoted mostly to past events and Honjo Alice heroine. The fourth chapter has only one ending and is devoted to the most mysterious heroine Nishinomiya Akizuki. It also covers most of the loose ends of the game. Epilogue chapter (with a small Final chapter which finalizes Explanatory Chapters) is very different from the other chapters and presents after-story for the different characters that remain on the stage up to the point. 

    Phew, with that covered - almost - without spoilers it's possible to go on. Story is thrilling, and text is really rich. Characters are quite developed despite having no voicing thanks to whole 15-hour long chapter devoted to each of them. What I liked the most is that there are very few SOL scenes. Protagonist Tomoya starts off pretty well with all his powers awakening gradually and evolving with more emotional experiences. But game really lacks a good conflict. There are some goons (including elite ones) from the rival family, but that's it. So in result Tomoya just does not have opportunity to actually fight since we constantly need to show battle prowess of our chapter heroines. Thus he gets from cool to passive losing charm. Due to the lack of conflict some fights happen even between heroines out of trifles. But on the other hand, some antagonists jump to the stage out of the blue. Momentum never gets lost.

    Time to get back to story since it's the main flavor of the game. Each chapter is actually very different, so we can't stop being surprised. Misaki chapter is our straightforward nakige with personal drama and focus on the heroine alone. Ayano chapter suddenly changes focus from heroine to her anima. Iori chapter is totally different again since Iori actually can't fight. Maid Noriko has to fulfill that function, so Noriko actually gets her own ending as well. Third chapter also marks the main conflict of the game and uncovers Honjo clan secrets. Fourth chapter has the most straightforward conflict between main heroines Alice and Akizuki against their own antagonists. As for epilogue, it gives off too much of Clannad scent which is a great minus for such Clannad hater as me. Each chapter is named after anima name and explanatory chapters are called Shizoid because of the very different perspective presented.

    The saddest part is graphical presentation and absence of voicing. That gives a huge penalty to the quality evaluation. I can't really imagine many persons to be able to read such a huge story with such poor presentation. But - on the other hand - how many real modern masterpieces are there without voicing? Can't really remember even one out of the blue. That's an enormous feat by itself.

  20. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Narcosis for a blog entry, Abandoner - The Severed Dreams [Unknown]   
    Foreword: Abandoner is the second winner of poll for the extra review in 2004. There are actually two reviews already (1 2), but it does not hurt to give it a fresh look. Clephas recommends not to read this visual novel unless we are really hard masochists, but every visual novel reader is at least a bit of masochist for reading such long stories while normal people can't endure even director's cut movie versions. As for me, such question does not even stand - it's enough to look at the number of visual novels I played without really enjoying them. So let's start.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v1182
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eGicIWOOlw&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_qT6p_Y5f1XbwJYUu2TCCe

    Synopsis: A cross between fantasy, science fantasy, and mystery. The protagonist is a former detective who is living in virtual exile in a walled-off city occupied by foreign military forces. It is a lawless city, where just about anything can happen...
    Game type: Superhuman experiments story
    Character Design rating: 6/10
    Protagonist rating: 7/10
    Story rating: 6/10
    Game quality: 7/10
    Overall rating: 6/10

    First of all, let's observe the plot since it's so vaguely drawn in both reviews. The stage is an imaginary city that resembles Italian city of the first third of the 20th century. It's under occupation of Tristian forces for the last 30 years. Main character Neil Fox is a former detective who now works independently and takes bounty hunter jobs. This time he is promised an outstandingly generous payment for rescuing some girl from a kidnapper and protecting her. But kidnapper turns out to be girl's guardian. The place gets ambushed by the military police. What makes this girl so important? That's what'd described in the first 30 minutes of the game. We successfully rescue that Helena girl and conceal her in the hideout. The girl is as if from another world since she has a poor grip on the reality.

    But then the problems start. Or, rather, nothing starts. Instead of returning girl to the request giver, Niel tries to find Helena's father and find out more about her past in the mysterious laboratory. In the meantime he just hangs around mafia bar and participates in some of their activities that COINCIDENTALLY bring him closer to Helena and Abandoner mystery. Even when Helena disappears at some time of the story, nothing really changes. He just continues to do jobs for the mafia. If even feels like he totally forgets about Helena in the second (longest) chapter. Game has neither an aim nor the conflict. Just for that reason I can't consider Abandoner a masterpiece. 

    There is also a problem of main character Neil Fox. He takes a job to rescue the hostage and protect her, but he has absolutely no weapons. He carries some rusty gun just as a means of threat, but that's it. He is unable to win any fight. All he does is run away and hide. And thus he can't really influence the outcome of events which - only by some incredible luck - develop in his favor. That's realistic, but kind of boring for the main character.

    I rated heroines even lower than protagonist, because they aren't loveable. Helena is our out of this world girl who whispers trivial things all the time. There's little of interest in her. Next is mafia daughter Hilda Lutz. To tell the truth, I can't take girls seriously if their single boob is bigger than their head. She's very knowledgeable, but that's it. She hardly plays any important role in the story. The last heroine is military police sergeant Cecilia. Well, she's the most irritating character in this whole game. She's stubborn and pushy as she considers herself to be the only representative of power in this city. She's that character who does not listen to anyone and just tries to force her opinion everywhere. So I see it why Clephas blames this game of characters not listening to each other, but I don't see any other characters with this trait. Cecilia position and personality is to blame, but not everyone else. The mafia guys are all simpletons and can't be judged harshly. The first time we meet them, one 50-year looking guys cries because he's afraid of BOOKSHELVES. Yeah, stupid, but just treat them as comical characters. The poor Tony eventually just goes into reckless rage crying out "I'm Antonio Beltamo!" over and over. Well, I just did not pay much attention to mafia guys who are evidently just cannon fodder.

    I kind of lowered BGM level too much in the video so that music can hardly be heard, but BGM is actually rarely plays in this game. It's the sound of constant rain that plays most of the time instead. Music is nice, but its sudden cut offs irritate.

    What I especially want to point out is that there are NO fantasy elements in the game. All the alterations presented can be addressed to the results of human experiments. Just science is very advanced for the corresponding time period taken. There's no fantasy scenes, no magic, no resurrections - nothing. It's an atmospheric hard boiled realistic story that should not be really compromised with fantasy elements.

    In conclusion, this is a good story for the story's sake. But in order to like it you need to put up with senile mafia characters, not exactly lovable heroines and passive sneaky MC. This game is not about characters, thus each heroine has just one H event that happens kind of spontaneously at any point of the story when it's convenient - not necessarily in the end. Girls don't really have after-stories and actual roues, because it's not a charage. It's a single road story. If you're interested in the Abandoner mystery and can tolerate the cast, then you can enjoy the story even without being a really hard masochist.

  21. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Chronopolis for a blog entry, 3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~ ~満ちてゆく刻の彼方で~ [Lass]   
    Foreword: It's requested as extra review, so I'm pleased to tell what kind of masterpiece this game is. It does not mean I'm not reviewing Abandoner, though. Both games stood so close in the poll that I could not make my mind in any way.
    VNDB: https://vndb.org/v1085
    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDJG1UQavYg&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-73f48qzUpNIceFnIA8Mot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    One day a young boy arrived at this village, holding a letter in one hand and his sister's hand in the other. They had no place left to go but the address written in the letter he was holding. Since they traveled with one-way tickets, there was no way back.
    In the end, they were accepted as a part of the family living at the address written in the message, and started their new life in the village.
    A village full of spirits and protected by gods summoned into mirrors... It's a doujin game, but since it's first Looseboy scenario I won't block it. It's a straight nakige with only two heroines for capture, about 6-7 hours per heroine. There is just one H event for each heroine. Game has to do with sickness and is not really interesting per se, especially with the rural monster introduction. But game text is really good. Only length actually reminds that it's still a doujin game.  
    6. MinDeaD BlooD ~Shihaisha no Tame no Kyoushikyoku~ MinDeaD BlooD ~支配者の為の狂死曲~ [040611] Black Cyc 1 2 3 4 5

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

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

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

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

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

    The game revolves around the main character's 3 days repeating over and over again, where he is constantly being killed in the third day of the story (in various ways) but magically being brought back to life in the first day to repeat his 3 days. Your goal here is to solve the mystery behind the death of your senpai and also to find the identity of the murderer. There is an English review.  
    12. Angel Egg [040625] You & I

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

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

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

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

    Peaceful school life is interrupted by a transfer student arrival. Newcomer vows to kill main character who has his abilities awakened shortly afterwards. With the power of science and magic protagonist needs to defeat demons and save the world in card battles. You need only wins, so upon losing in battle game just restarts the card battle. World is based on tabletop RPG Night Wizard released in 2002, so is rather rich in detail. Each route takes some 10 hours, but it's impossible to skip battles, so it get bothersome from the second lap. Each heroine has two H events, plus there's a number of sub-heroines. There's nothing that stands out here.  
    17. Rakuen ~Ai Kawarazu na Boku no Baai~ らくえん~あいかわらずなぼく。の場合~ [040625] TerraLunar 1 2 3 4 5

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

    Asa & Natsume are both in love with Hajime Saisho. Instead of fighting over him, they both promised to share him equally. However, both girls have to leave him by the end of the summer. As the summer days go by, they each spend their precious time with Hajime, while the day of their fated departure draws near. Game was in many people's wish-lists, but upon release it could not really boast something more than just another Tony's works graphics borderline nukige. It failed to please pure love fans because of its NTR tilt. It could not please nukige fans because of long exhausting monotonous routes without letting any steam out.  
    19. Suzukuri Dragon 巣作りドラゴン [040625] SofthouseChara 1 2 3 4 5

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

    Main character's librarian sister got sucked into some book. Protagonist dives into different book worlds in order to rescue his sister. Typing episodic game, not in my interest league.  
    BLOCKED  
    1. Kokuin Waltz. 刻淫ワルツ。 [040601] Sponge Teikoku I had a childhood girl friend Rinka, who I always stayed together. One day her cousin got killed in a car crash. She told me that she'd been in love with him but trained as a sex slave..... Hot sizzling 10 days with her!! Adventure game with voice. Doujin Nukige  
    2. Lo-Devi ~Koakumateki Hen'airon~ ろーでび ~小悪魔的偏愛論~ [040604] Black Light Main character is a lower class demon who comes to this town to store human arousal power. However, she gets compelled to sex acts herself which is bad for her as she can not gain energy this way. Can she become a high-level demon? Nukige
     
    3. Mirai Daughter Musuemon 未来ドーター ムスえもん [040604] ZyX There are four stories about main character's daughters coming from future to live and laugh with him.  Lolicon  
    4. Moteasobing ~Moteasobaretai~ 弄ing~もてあそばれたい~ [040604] Yamikumo-Communications A mistake put Nagase Izumi, a boy and the protagonist of the story, to the girls dormitory. Head of the dormitory, Ayame, acknowledged her mistake and decided to let him live there. She even made a move on him and they had sex right there.
    But on the next day, she gave him a videotape of them having sex; which was edited to make it look like Izumi raped Ayame. As it turned out, Ayame had a hobby of peeping on her tenants and there were secret cameras in every room of the dormitory.
    In return for not spreading videotape all over, Ayame told Izumi to have sex with the tenants and sexually train them, including her own daughter. Nukige  
    5. Yokubou no Ori 欲望の檻 [040604] Double Soft Cream The lead character accidentally obtained two tools: contoll someone's mind, and make someone's desire visible in the shape of tentacle. By using the tools, control guys as you want, and lead the beautiful young chick into the world of sensuality! Doujin Nukige  
    6. Yume Shokushu! 夢触手! [040609] BANANA BLUE SOFT A package was sent to me one day, a panties was in. With the "dream" panties on in bed, anyone can have a dream whatever it is. A glasses girl tries to see the effect, but... Doujin Nukige  
    7. Houkago no Love Beat 放課後のLove Beat [040610] HuneX The main character is a high school girl trained in classical piano who has just transferred to a new high school, Aobadai Gakuen. On her first day, she gets lost and meets 4 boys there who are secretly practising as a band. She eventually becomes the songwriter for the band, using her classical background to create fresh melodies for the band to build on. Otomege  
    8. Hanazono no Musume 花園の娘 [040611] Dark Side Main character breaks up with his girlfriend and goes to the sea thinking about suicide. He calms down a little and turns back when his leg slips dragging him  in the den below the cliff.
    He wakes up in a Western-style mansion inhabited by three young women and one housekeeper. He has to stay there till he recovers. What secret is hidden inside the building? Nukige  
    9. Haruiro Toiki ~Kinroku Suimitsu Momo no Shimai-tachi~ 春色吐息~禁録・水蜜桃の姉妹たち~ [040611] EXtry Main character wants to be seen as a man, but childhood nurtured the girly side of him. His parents' business partners insisted on protagonist staying at the house with only women bullying him every day. The harassment continued till the day he broke the seal during shrine visit and gained great physical and mental power over women. Nukige  
    10. Moekasu モエカす [040611] KeroQ Among other goodies there are two stories based on the extended world of Moekan's Kirishima route and Tsui no Sora. Fandisc  
    11. Marukon まるコン [040611] Danco
    Main character leads a normal life until the day he picks an object from the devil world off the road.
    He starts to have mischief with the girls around him, and bizarre incidents start to happen one after another. Fate makes him travel to the devil world with different girls. Nukige  
    12. Bishoku 美喰 [040618] Gage Kenji Asama has returned to his home city to exact revenge on Douzan Kanzaki, his hated father. And all the girls somehow involved with Douzan will become the instrument of Kenji's revenge, willing or not... Nukige  
    13. Oshikake Mahou Shoujo Yui おしかけ魔法少女ユイ [040619] Lilith Soft Shacking up with a puni magical girl!
    The source of her magic is energy of men!! Inject sperm into her pussy without hesitation! Nukige  
    14. Azazel アザゼル [040620] Akabei Soft Main character loses after an accident two years ago. Life goes on peacefully till he notices a  shadow of a woman with a gun followed by receiving an injection. All his senses improve immensely, but so do his desires. Standing in a pool of blood he hears her say: "Finally your powers have been unsealed". Doujin  
    15. Gyakuten Ryoujoku Angel Online 逆転陵辱エンジェルオンライン [040624] Trinitron CG Various girls come to the insidious man's house. What actions will he undertake towards the sweet scent of innocence? Doujin  
    16. Ane Ore Imouto ~Kyoushi, Doukyuusei, Kouhai no Kankei~ 姉・オレ・妹~教師、同級生、後輩のカンケイ~ [040625] MBS Truth -The protagonist Kousuke attends school while living with his 3 stepsisters.
    The oldest sister is his homeroom teacher, the second sister is his classmate and the youngest sister attends the neighboring girls school.
    Kousuke starts developing certain emotions towards the sisters...
    Mixing in a childhood friend and a student council president an exciting school life is about to begin. Nukige  
    17. Boku to 4nin no Onna Kyoushi 僕と4人の女教師 [040625] Take Out Shun is a high school student. He has a regular head but looks weak and he is prissy. That is why he is sometimes teased by other students. However, he is living a peaceful life at school. But his peaceful life is destroyed by a new teacher Kasumi, beautiful and pure. He gets stiff when she is around and can't move even his tongue. When he knows Kasumi is engaged to Yoshio who is the worst teacher at school, the story starts to .... Nukige  
    18. Chijoku no Gakuen ~Toukou Sareru Onna Kyoushi~ 恥辱の学園~投稿される女教師~ [040625] Euros Main character gains pleasure from putting women in shameful exposing positions. But girls get used to it with time. Then he makes up his mind to spend shameful sessions outdoors... Nukige  
    19. Crime Rhyme クライミライ CrimeRhyme [040625] FlyingShine Black Aida Masaki, the leader of the newspaper club, has been investigating the rumor of ghosts with Kaede and Hinoki. Meanwhile, Shion, who lives with Masahi, is invited to the psychic treatment club's anniversary party by her classmate. However, the psychic treatment club is actually a group of rapists. Nukige  
    20. Hanamaru 3 Shimai はなまる3姉妹 [040625] Honey Soft Main character is a university student living alone in Tokyo. As he returns to his home town, he reunites with three neighbor girls. However, these girls aren't same innocent girls anymore - they are well aware of men as opposite sex. They suggest having relations with them  simultaneously at the same time. So starts their secret. Nukige  
    21. Immoral [040625] Blue Gale A school doctor comes in possession of a sexual hypnotic spray that inhibits girls to succumb to sexual desires. One after another, high school girls fall prey to the school doctor's sex schemes turning them into sex slaves. Nukige  
    22. Inran Byoutou 24 Ji 淫乱病棟24時 [040625] Tryset The protagonist is a horny young guy involved in a motorcycle accident whose stay in the hospital is spiced by 4 nurses, a female doctor and 2 female patients just as horny as he is turning his stay in the hospital to every day a 24 hour sexathon. Nukige  
    23. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien ~Special Fan Disc~ 君が望む永遠 ~special FanDisk~ [040625] Age 1 "What would have happened if that accident never took place?"
    Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Special Fan Disc explores this concept by retelling the first chapter of the original game. Also includes radio shows, puzzles, wallpapers and other fan materials. Fandisc  
    24. Kuro Ai ~Ichiya Saikan Inkou Rannyuuroku~ 黒愛 一夜妻館・淫口乱乳録 [040625] Clock Up Gojo Testsuya visited his distant related aunt, Kojin Rikka, to borrow money for the operation of Utsumi Ayaka. She is his childhood friend, and she took care of him like his sister. However, in return for lending money, Rikka ordered him to take beautiful women into the house to train them as prostitutes. Assaulting maids and female students, his hidden power was awakening. Nukige  
    25. Love Fetish ~Ashi Fetish Ashikoki Hen~ らぶフェチ ~脚フェチ・足コキ編~ [040625] Erogos After an accident Kouji bumps into the local school idol and ends up with his head stuck between her legs. This triggers a fascination and Kouji starts on his newest fetish conquest. Nukige  
    26. Nee, Chanto Shiyou Yo! 2 姉、ちゃんとしようよっ!2 [040625] Candy Soft Sequel to the first game.
    One year after the events of the first game, Kuuya Hiiragi finally finished his training at some distant relative's house, the Inugami family.
    After so much time, he is finally allowed to go back to the Hiiragi house and live together with his six older adopted sisters who love and dote him.
    But little he knew, his two adopted sisters at the Inugami house where he was training himself also loved him, and came after him.
    Now Kuuya has eight adopted sisters fighting for him. Nukige  
    27. Ryoujoku Hitozuma Onsen 凌辱人妻温泉 [040625] Strikes This is a historic Japanese style hotel, but after Yuji began to work part-time, everything has gone wrong. First, the young landlady and a waitress fell victims to him. Not being satisfied with them, the next games he aims at are three young married women staying at the hotel. Nukige  
    28. Tsui no Yakata ~Ningyou~ 終の館 ~人形~ [040625] Circus Fetish 1 Released under the Circus brand division 'Circus Fetish', the Tsui no Yakata series mainly focuses on maids.
    It's a winter's day and a second-hand dealer by the name of Akihiro pursues a clue he hopes will help him find a valuable doll by the little-known but skillful doll-maker Holst.
    The clue leads him to a certain European-style mansion, currently used as a brothel. Akihiro, meeting the mansion's mistress and the maid Melissa, decides to search the house in order to find the missing doll... Nukige  
    29. X Change 3 [040625] Crowd 1 2 You are Takuya Aihara, the hero/heroine of the story. You've been blessed with a very interesting life: several years ago you were changed a girl through bizarre chemistry accidents, not once but twice. Now as you approach your final year of university with faithful girlfriend Asuka at your side, you almost get nostalgic thinking about those crazy days you spent as a girl.
    Until it happens again, that is: that troublesome Kouji, still madly in love with your female persona, secretly gets Asami-senpai to whip up some of the sex-change potion and tricks you into drinking it! It'll be harder than ever for you to change back into your male self this time, but you've got no choice: you have to find a way to return to normal before your female body becomes permanent. Although Asuka is one of the most understanding women in the world, there's no way she'll stay with you as a girl -- that's just not her thing.
    As you start another round of bizarre sexual adventures in your female body, virtually all the characters from the past X-Change games are back: your twisted sister Natsumi, who loves to tease you; the ingenius Asami-senpai; the endlessly experimenting Chisato; and a host of others from the first two games. With an even richer and more complex game story than last time, you'll have loads of fun exploring college life in your new female body, with many rewarding story lines to discover. Where will it all end? Nukige  
    30. Erogeteki ni Imouto Suki! エロゲ的に妹好き! [040626] Sansai Soft Brother continues playing eroge while staying numb towards feelings of his real sister. One day his friend confesses his feelings to the sister. What should brother do in this situation? Doujin Nukige  
    31. My Pet Alchemist マイペットアルケミスト [040627] MOON GODDESS Alchemist Michelle sells illegal glaze to a shady merchant. How is it possible to stop her? One option is to drawn Michelle into the abyss of insult ...  Doujin Nukige  
    32. Have Relations With... ~Maho to Kataho~ have relations with… ~真帆と片帆~ [040630] Soft Circle Courreges I have a strong desire that I have never told anyone before...... I want to be humiliated and used like a slave by men...... Maho is a submissive woman indeed, while her younger sister Kataho is free-spirited and sexually active. Doujin Nukige  
    33. Milkyway 2.5 [040630] Witch Game observes the process of coupling and producing the new generation of heroines to come in Milkyway 3. Fandisc  
    34. Departures Second Engine [0406] Ochanomizu Electronic Manufacturing With dream and courage main character sets off for an adventure. He has to come over numerous trials to discover the secret behind the maritime Empire. Doujin
  25. Like
    kivandopulus got a reaction from Arktic for a blog entry, VN of the Month October 1996 - Bounty Hunter Rudy   
    Star Platinum, Angel Halo, Stone Walkers and Bounty Hunter Rudy are masterpieces of the month. That's a difficult choice! I believe that Bounty Hunter Rudy is the worthiest for being VN of October 1996
    1. Girl 2 ガール2 [961001] Juice Reiko is a female tutor of three young girls. Here are three stories of what happened at the lessons. Game is focused on H events and the feature of the series is small windows that show only some part of the body.  
    2. Eternal Melody エターナルメロディ [961004] MediaWorks

    Main character is a normal high school student who gets into an accident at the construction site. Instead of dying he finds himself in a strange world. There he learns that he needs to find a powerful artifact in order to return to his world. However, there are also other contestants for the treasure as it can help to conquer the world. Will protagonist return to his world safely? Genre is raising SIM to train four people including yourself and fight in the battles to come.  
    3. Hokenshitsu no Akuma 保健室の悪魔 [961004] Neko no Kessha

    A mysterious organism attacks a private school. This is an omnibus drama showing aftermath of the attack in different parts of the school. Kind of horror tentacle insult themed doujin work..  
    4. Star Platinum スタープラチナ [961010] Custom 1 2 3 4 High in the heavens, there was a girl who was training in a shrine to be the successor of a goddess. One day, the goddess had to leave the shrine to attend a meeting of the many gods, leaving the girl alone at the shrine. The goddess warned her to leave alone a box of star-souls within the shrine, and that under no circumstances should she open it. Naturally, as soon as the goddess had left, the girl's curiosity got the better of her and she opened the box. The star-souls escaped, turned the girl into a small fairy, and fled down towards the Earth. She must track down and capture the star-souls, now causing mischief on Earth, before the goddess returns to the shrine. However, while chasing several of the star-souls through the sky, the girl crashes through the window of a young man who lives on Earth. She decides that since he can somehow see her, that he's going to help her out, and so the two of them begin their adventure. In the story mode the story unfolds until a character in need of exorcising is encountered and then a special card battle is held. The biggest feature of this work is totally unique style of graphics that's impossible to confuse with anything else.  
    5. Heroine Dream ヒロインドリーム [961010] Map Japan 1

    Heroine Dream is an idol simulation game in which the player takes a role of a producer whose goal is to help Shizuka Maiki enter the scene in style. But that doesn't happen over night, in fact, it requires many weeks of training. The heroine herself has many attributes that lack in quality and as her producer, you will have to balance her training (ballet, dancing, swimming etc.), but at the same time keep an eye on her stress level. The game features voice-acting, but without the ability to see subtitles, only the answers you can select during conversations with other characters. Depending on what kind of a star producer you turn out to be, the game may reach one of several different endings. Just another raising SIM mix.  
    6. Toriko 虜 [961011] D.O. Main character is a new teacher with a notion of love and lust. He imprisons his student Yumiko Saeki at the request of Asami Tamura who enslaved her and took her virginity. During the summer vacations fierce and dense training begins. Shocking game and spiritual follower of SEEK. Training scenes are even animated. System is too difficult for modern players. There are some ardent fans of this work, but majority won't even come close to it.  
    7. Angel Halo Angel Halo −エンジェル・ハイロウ− [961017] Active 1 2 3 The protagonist, Kusakabe Makoto, is living a normal school life without knowing he is the reincarnation of Lucifer. One day an angel named Sofia and a demon named Lilith come to him. They are the messengers of Heaven and Hell. The day of Lucifer's judgement is approaching. I have a full review prepared.  
    8. Katei Kyoushi 家庭教師 [961018] Interheart
    Michiko-chan is a normal student girl anxious of love. When her friend suggests tutor variant, Michiko agrees. Again ero-centered Interheart work with some voices and some animation.  
    9. Stone Walkers ストーンウォーカーズ [961018] Sunsoft 1 Stone Walkers is an adventure game in which you take the role of Randy a teacher similar to Indiana Jones and his two girl helpers in a dangerous adventure searching for a mayan artifact called the Jade Mask. The adventure begins when they travel to Guatemala to start the search in some mayan ruins. Playstation exclusive title. It's command selection, but at times different forms like setting up traps that trigger trouble events. And you can not bruteforce all the commands since you've only got limited selection number, so need to think carefully what to choose. And there are multiple endings so the weight of choice increases even further. As a non-romance adventure story it returns to the origins like De-Ja or Nook series and that's why feels fresh in the launched romance novel era.  
    10. Bounty Hunter Rudy バウンティはんたぁルディ [961025] Scoop 1 Rudy is a famous space bounty hunter with top notch skills. But she's famous mostly for her ability to fall into troubles due because of uncontrolled destruction power. In order to deal with the debts she goes to casino but drenches down into even deeper debt. She is offered a top secret military case and she's in no position to reject it. Rudy is bisexual in the sense that with women she becomes a futanari... The main feature of the game is parody... it has reference to dozens of contemporary western and eastern media works from Start Wars to Crayon Shin-Chan. The evaluation of the game greatly depends on the ability to find and enjoy those parodies. I've a full review prepared.  
    11. Cherry Moderate チェリーマドレット [961025] Ucom Hero and his classmate argued about who of them was more popular with the girls. Now with the nanpa competition launched hero needs to win the hearts of as many girls as possible. Capture is not really difficult since at all times you can consult the school nurse who tells exactly what to do in each girl's case. The number of girls is big, but each girl story is plain and short - and ends with a CG. There is a time limit and all the girls that aren't conquered by the hero are conquered by his rival - that guy has a 100% success rate!  
    12. Ikumoto 生本● [961025] Illusion At start there is only a remote control. But when channel is chosen, a world of horny drama lies before your eyes. It's an adult channel with all kind of hardcore content. There are also casters and commercials between the show pieces. It's hardly a game - just choose a program and watch. It can be weird or funny, like when on the alternative of discovery channel there are still girls having sex in Savannah.  
    13. RAM 1 - New Evolution Organize ラ・ム1 ニューエボリューションオーガナイズ [961025]  GMF Shinsuke is a teenager from modern time. He has a special mark on his forehead which is said to kill him on removal by his father. RAM is a girl who comes from 10.000 years ago in the past to the modern time. She searches for NEO where NEO stands for New Evolution Organize or in other words human with evolved cellular organization, a superhuman. After RAM removes the patch from Shinsuke forehead the bright light fills the room and a new sign is formed there. RAM is going to turn Shinsuke into NEO before DOMI from future arrives. Game actually follows Classmate as there is top down travelling around the map and time dimension. Shinsuke meets different girls at different locations. I'm bad with such type of games and there's next to zero information about the game.  
    14. Haruka no Sora ~Gekitou Mahjong Taikai Hen~ 遥の空 ~激闘麻雀大会編~ [961025]

    This is another strip majong game. In the story mode, you can pick one of 6 girls to fight for a banshee tear, which can grant one wish. I've no words for strip mahjong.    
    15. G no Kyokuhoku Gの極北 [961031] Bunny Pro.

    Main character decides to become world's strongest guy in masturbation. He gathers six girls from all over the world and starts an international contest. Masturbation scenes have text descriptions, but there is zero plot there.
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