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  1. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to onorub in Rui wa Tomo o Yobu るいは智を呼ぶ [Akatsuki Works]   
    Even though my score wouldn't be that different from yours (i'd give it an 8) i do feel that i liked the VN a lot more than you did. I liked the story once the mystery really got going in the last two routes and i loved the characters (which is why i didn't mind the SOL scenes at all). I think RuiTomo's Girl Alliance might be the most underrated group of friends in VN history.
  2. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to onorub in VN of the Month June 2008 - Rui wa Tomo o Yobu   
    I know you don't consider it because it's a JRPG, but for me Ikusa Megami Zero is a classic and i have a hard time believing it's worse than RuiTomo.
  3. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month January 2008 - Fortune Arterial   
    Fortune Arterial was the game that came to be the base for the 'August Game Rules'.  
    1) August games have good concepts, good protagonists (heroines tend to be hit and miss).
    2) August will always make their games look pretty.
    3) August will always fumble the execution for the last third of the game.
    Tsuki to Majo to Taiyou to is a Silver Bullet game... that in itself says a lot, but I'll elaborate.  Silver Bullet games always make serious attempts to escape the mundane trends that were beginning to take over when they were formed, but they always fail, due to a lack of writing talent.  Poor Silver Bullet.  Their last three games were almost total disasters (I should know, since I played them) and Consome is the best game they've made... and it is still not something I would go out of my way to play now.  Hanafubuki and Kachou Fuugetsu (based in the same setting) are interesting games that nonetheless inevitably feel derivative, even if they are sometimes eerie in atmosphere.  Setsuei is one of those games that would satisfy the mild horror romance crowd and few others (ironically, this was one of their few games I felt escaped being mediocre in concept, if not execution).
  4. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to onorub in VN of the Month December 2007 - Dies irae   
    Keep in mind Dies Irae is more of a retroactive masterpiece for this month, because from all acounts the 2007 version is vastly inferior to the 2009 version that got translated.
  5. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month June 2007 - Reconquista   
    Shugotate - One of the two series that gave life to a curiosity sub-genre, the trap protagonist.  In this case, it created the 'combat-capable trap protagonist in a plotge' sub-genre, which turned out to have a weird life of its own after this came out.  A complete remake recently came out, with mostly aesthetic upgrades, though I haven't really played it yet.  This game has all the elements you would expect of the genre, from the protagonist constantly worrying about getting caught while being disappointed no one realizes he is a man, as well as the comedy, characters, and writing of an AXL game.
    Ouzoku- SofthouseChara's most famous game.  To be honest, this is one of those Rance-type games with a good story despite the fact that the protagonist is the worst kind of womanizer.  The gameplay is decent, but it is somewhat reminiscent of Langrisser, with the need to heavily budget-manage as well as put out units that can be effective on the individual battlefields you are deploying them to.  As such, it is not in any way suited for beginners to turn-based tactical gameplay.  It also doesn't have a decent tutorial to help you learn the ropes, so most people will end up restarting from the beginning after running out of money partway through.
    ExE- Yuzusoft's first chuunige.  Actually, its only chuunige.  It is very much a representative of the early genre that was born with Tsukihime, with a school-going protagonist who suddenly begins to get powerful rather than having any skills of his own previously, a seemingly devious plot that the protagonist stumbles upon by accident that somehow has deep links to his tragic past, and heroines who mysteriously fall for him inside an hour of gameplay.  In other words, it is a decent game, but it has all the flaws of the early chuunige genre to annoy the experienced while probably being one of the easiest entryways for people new to untranslated to try the genre.
  6. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in Shirogane no Soleil -Successor of Wyrd- Unmei no Keishousha 白銀のソレイユ-Successor of Wyrd- <運命の継承者> [SkyFish]   
    The Soleil series is all over the place in terms of quality and setting.  Part of this seems to be because Cthulhu Mythos mixes in at times, and because it is essentially a linked multiverse (unlinked multiverses being those like Type-Moon's Fate/Tsukihime series) where a near infinite number of versions of the post-Ragnarok world have come into existence.  Gouen no Soleil is pretty much 50% Cthulhu, 30% Norse, and 20% Taoist, whereas in other cases it only mixes in slightly.  However, every game in the series is a dark chuunige (I say dark, because most chuunige, especially modern ones, generally don't go as far as these games when it comes to the themes and bad endings).   
    Shin Shirogane is not precisely an alternative version but rather a close sibling game.  Essentially, huge parts of the characters' roles, personalities, and origins get shattered and remixed with others, and this creates a much more chaotic and darker situation.  Honestly, I think it is the worst game in the series, because it was evident the writer couldn't decide what he wanted to do.
    The chronological sequel to Shirogane is actually Soukyuu no Soleil, though I won't spoil it for you.
    So far, the best game in the series is probably Gouen or Blade X Bullet.
  7. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month March 2007 - Shirogane no Soleil -Successor of Wyrd- <>   
    Shirogane no Soleil was the first Soleil game and the one that defined the  most essential elements of how the Runes, Valkyries, and other elements were treated within the multiverse (though a lot has been retconned since then).  It is also a very old-style chuunige.  The protagonist starts out as a normie, the girls are more powerful than him, and there is a horrible cost for using their powers.  The heroines will seem somewhat archetypical in comparison to modern chuunige heroines, but that doesn't hurt the game as much as you would think.  If you intend to play other games in the series, you should also pay attention to what happens to the various heroines, as some of it 'ripples' outward through the multiverse and has effects on their alternative versions.  
  8. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in Gekkou no Carnevale 月光のカルネヴァーレ [Nitroplus]   
    Most people, even Nitroplus fans, consider Gekkou no Carnevale an acquired taste.  I liked it, I liked the themes, and I even liked the fighting.  I didn't like two of the four heroines (ironically, I disliked both of the main heroines, while I liked their respective sub-heroines and their endings).  Like most Nitroplus games, it has sound problems (for some reason, almost all Nitroplus games have 'gaps' between the loops of their BGMs, and it can be jarring when the music cuts out for a second during an important scenes).  
    The story in general is too much of a 'chapter in an endless saga' type thing with the beginnings mostly ignored.  The main antagonist on the wolf side is boring, and the one on the doll side is unnecessarily inscrutable.  As such, the game will always remain an acquired taste adored by its fans and disliked by most everyone else.
    Edit: to be clear about what I mean by the 'endless saga' comment, the fights between the werewolves and the doll-users.
  9. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month December 2006 - Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru   
    Only ones I've played (that I remember) are Netotte Megami and Edelweiss.   Netotte Megami was pretty awful, as I recall (nukige with bad h-scenes and almost had a real story, lol).  Edelweiss... I actually played in English, if you could actually call that English.  Edelweiss's first version (1.0) on Mangagamer was a straight-out machine translation with no edit whatsoever.  I actually enjoyed it more when I replayed it in Japanese later, though even then there were so many much better games out there...
  10. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru キミの声がきこえる [AXL]   
    AXL doesn't really vary its general formula where it involves heroines that much.  They reuse templates shamelessly, but the games they produce are almost universally enjoyable from beginning to end, which is in itself an accomplishment.  Rather than forcibly evolving their style to perfectly match trends, they've just polished their existing style, making incremental improvements and finding ways to use their existing toolkit more effectively.  AXL is the paragon of doing the same thing in new ways, and so if you have played any AXL game, other AXL games will feel familiar but different, which is surprisingly reassuring, since 'innovation' can become toxic when it goes too far.
  11. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no 遥かに仰ぎ、麗しの [Pulltop]   
    Pulltop has been getting crappier every year though... their unwillingness to hire writing talent is sabotaging them.  Natsuiro Recipe was their last truly enjoyable game... 
  12. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to onorub in VN of the Month December 2006 - Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru   
    Definitely share the sentiment about Edelweiss, it's like the common route tried to be a japanese version of American Pie and failed hard. I would call it barely decent just because of Haruka and Mizuki routes. Eiden Fantasia is even worse.
  13. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to ittaku in Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no 遥かに仰ぎ、麗しの [Pulltop]   
    I agree with @Clephas. Shino's route is equally as good as the other other main school routes, and the reviewer has conspicuously left out details about Yuuna's route. To me, her is route is also excellent and stands out for being completely different quality to that of the rest of the branch school heroines, and even completely different tone to that of the rest of the game, with quite a dark story by comparison, but still has that uplifting resolution required of a nakige. Lumping it in with the other branch school heroines is ignoring another exceptional heroine route that is on the same quality as the main school ones. The branch school needs to be translated just for her route alone.
  14. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to littleshogun in Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no 遥かに仰ぎ、麗しの [Pulltop]   
    I guess Harugi here really become the medium for the writer to show off their capability instead of working together to write a good VN there, which is interesting to note. Even the common routes here really separated between the Main's writer (Takehaya) and Branch's writer (Marutani Hideto). For more elaboration here, Main's heroines did consist of Miyabi, Tonoko, and Shino, while for Branch's heroines it should be obvious who are they (For the answer it's Misaki, Sumika, and Yuuna). So yeah, we can say that the main writer for Harugi here would be Takehaya, and I think people more or less just vote it as the best VNs for Takehaya's writing while at the same time giving Tsukihime anime treatment (You know what I mean) to Marutani's writing.
    For the translation, actually I would really like to see the English patch for this (Not only for Main, but also for Branch as well). Although apparently it's impossible to do as of now because the team really busy as of now, if not losing interest with this. The translator for Main route is Ittaku, and the Branch route translator is Hasa who apparently being busy as of now. The last time they have updates was months ago, and currently it's stuck. So yeah that's too bad here.
  15. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no 遥かに仰ぎ、麗しの [Pulltop]   
    Haruuru's translation of the Main routes is long-since done.  I was mostly working with @ittaku in an advisory capacity (details, colloquialisms, other stuff that requires a ridiculously long background).  It is true, and we both agree, that the Main route is much, much better than the Branch route.  Not only are Tonoko, Shino, and Miyabi much better heroines, but everything from the protagonist's personality to how the heroines' emotions and characterizations are handled are so dramatically different in quality that there is no possible comparison.  The only real exception is that Yuuna's route has some good drama/story, probably more as a coincidence than anything else (Misaki and Sumika's routes were... basically somewhat above average charage fare at best).  
    I don't quite agree with the reviewer in this case, as I always reviewed based on the Main path and ignored the Branch entirely, simply because my first experience of it was enough to put me off permanently.  The Main routes have some truly epic feels, great character interactions, and are the truest to the 'nature' of the school's purpose, which is confinement and segregation from the larger sister school's population and the general population in general.  This is ironic, since the Branch school girls are supposedly more of an 'embarrassment' to their powerful families, whereas the Main School heroines are supposedly only problem children after the fact.  
    Perhaps the way the Branch school's writer screwed up the most was that he quite simply didn't manage to match two of the three heroines to the school's purpose.  Neither Misaki nor Sumika had any business being in the Branch school at all, considering that they were both capable and had personalities that were not necessarily 'embarrassing' to their families (in both cases, they are loved deeply and don't have any traumas or major issues that should have resulted in them ending up there).  
    Yuuna's route stands out from the other two Branch routes... to a degree that you have to wonder if the same writer had anything to do with it.  It is also the most overtly morally distasteful of the paths (not in the teacher-student relations sense though), which is probably why it has such impact.  Yuuna's presence there also makes a great deal of sense once you've done her path, which is different from the two redheads.
    Miyabi's path tends to get deified by fanboys, which I can understand.  Tsukasa's actions, the characters' reactions, and the feels are all so well coordinated that it is impossible not to cry numerous times throughout the path.  However, it needs to be said that both Tonoko and Shino's paths are of the same level of quality, if having someone different tracks (the last part of Shino's path had me rofling, though).
  16. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Riku in Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no 遥かに仰ぎ、麗しの [Pulltop]   
    I am of the same opinion. Only the part (main school) written by Takehaya is great and the partial patch should just be released for everyone to appreciate Miyabi's greatness. I loved her path and would give a 9 just for her. Unfortunately, the VN isn't only about her, which bring down the whole thing. Though I think most of the good reviews are people rating the good side of the VN instead of the bad.
    By the way, while Miyabi's route and without question my favorite from the VN, I always give a special mention to Shino for saying one of the most romantic thing I have seen in a H scene.
    EDIT: Wait, just noticed you linked me in the critical reviews. lol
  17. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month October 2006 - Shuumatsu Shoujo Gensou Alicematic   
    Chanter is your standard old-style charage... and a kusoge.
    Shuumatsu Shoujo is one of my favorites and a game I recently reviewed (relatively speaking).  For my full thoughts:
    On a female friend's recommendation, I tried to play Lamento, but I lost interest fairly quickly... BL games' conventions make me sigh with exasperation even more than the ones in charage/moege.
    Extravaganza I made an attempt to play early in my VN-reading 'career'... and let's just say, it takes a peculiar set of tastes to enjoy anything by Black Cyc, but it takes especially peculiar tastes to enjoy Extravaganza.
  18. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month September 2006 - PP -Pianissimo- Ayatsuri Ningyou no Rinbu   
    Kono ko ga Itara is a good charage, though not kamige material.
    Kikaijikake no Eve has a decent story and horrible gameplay.
  19. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month July 2006 - Bra-Ban!   
    Of these, I've played Kaiware and Maid-san...
    Maid-san is... predictably a maid-themed nukige that happens to include swords.  I couldn't fap to it, so that should say everything that needs to be said about it, since it is a nukige.
    Kaiware is a kusoge.  It was among a plethora of random games I played through at the time.  While I do have a mild gender-swap fetish, this was one of the few games where a rather abortive effort was made to take it seriously.  It failed.  
  20. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in VN of the Month June 2006 - H2O -Footprints in the Sand-   
    I played Kanojo-tachi no Ryuugi... like most games by that company, the relationships are twisted and incestuous, with a lot of surprising drama despite many of the characters being mostly straightforward.  
    Iinchou wa Shounin-sezu bored me to death... it was sort-of funny for the first part of the game, but the actual romantic portion is worse than most moege.
    H20 is pretty overrated... people kept trying to get me to play it, but I couldn't get into it.
  21. Thanks
    kivandopulus reacted to Infernoplex in Exodus Guilty エクソダスギルティー [Abel]   
    Don't make me shiver in fear! :kowai:
    I didn't read YU-NO, but if this is a story on par with that title, then damn, YU-NO is definitely overrated then.
    Just finished reading this VN (Youtube has whole playthroughs of all 3 volumes), and oh boy, I think I lost a couple of brain cells by the end of it. One of the worst plotge fails I've ever encountered. It had some very good ideas, but that execution, that writing, that delivery... it's all ZERO! I felt like it was aimed at 12-year old kids or something. So many implausible shit and unconvincing developments... it's comically bad! In many "drama" moments, I couldn't help but laugh at the sheer absurdity of it!
    It's truly a shame since there were aspects of the VN I definitely liked.
  22. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to onorub in VN of the Month November 2005 - Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo   
    I guess moege enthusiasts liked Nursery Rhyme, but that VN is definitely more famous for the op song that became a meme in the mid to late 2000's. Listening to that and thinking it was good in my pre-teen mind was one of my earliest memories from when my interest in VNs began.
  23. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in AYAKASHI アヤカシ [Apricot]   
    This is another one I played way back when.  Like most chuunige from the early era (2000-2008) it has a tendency to be obscure, and the protagonist (abilities, personality, etc) doesn't quite fit with the setting.  However, for lovers of guro and psycho heroines this is a good game, and it is a great deal darker in a visceral sense than many later works.  For people who like guro and dark stuff but don't want to go as far as Clock-up's disgusting games, this is actually a pretty good choice.  I forgot about it mostly because it isn't a game that I would want to replay over and over...
  24. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to onorub in Saihate no Ima 最果てのイマ [Xuse]   
    After finishing it, i'm willing to call it a "near-classic" because the plot, characters and atmosphere are really well done. However, there are a few things that put the VN fairly below Cross Channel for me: i thought the solution to the mystery was a little too simple for all the slow build that it had (a newer VN called SeaBed had that same problem); also, i didn't really like the tips/links system, i thought it lacked the subtlety that Remember11 had and the fun functionality that 428 had.
  25. Like
    kivandopulus reacted to Clephas in Gunjou no Sora o Koete 群青の空を越えて [light]   
    Basically, it is a theoretical where there was official acknowledgement of Japan having multiple ethnicities early on (think right after WWII) instead of relatively recently (Japan only acknowledged the existence of the Ainu and a few other ethnicities in the last twenty years or so).  This resulted in a social movement, where people migrated to areas with people of the same ethnicity, and this caused a degree of political alienation between them that eventually split the nation politically in a way that is eerily familiar to anyone who has been watching the Brexit mess or American politics. 
    Tbh, Gunjou no Sora tries too hard to be an intellectual VN and falls somewhat short of making its objectives and themes clear.  The decision to resort to using the child soldiers trope (the protagonist and friends) was an even poorer choice, as it muddled things, distracting from the central themes.
    Typical of Light, the writing quality is high, but it is one of their few failures to match the results to their own pretentiousness, lol.
    Edit: Until relatively recently in history, the cultural unity between the people of Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido, and Honshu...  and Okinawa of course were limited.  Each has their own cultural elements that aren't present in the same forms as the others.  However, back during the Meiji Restoration era, the unification of official Shinto beliefs was used to force cultural homogeneity on the more traditionally 'different' groups.  The Ainu, who actually had their own language and dramatically different culture, suffered the most from this, actually going into direct conflict with the 'wajin' several times in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 
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