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Plk_Lesiak last won the day on August 16

Plk_Lesiak had the most liked content!

About Plk_Lesiak

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    Honorifics Hater
  • Birthday 05/31/1989

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    Anime & VNs, writing, popcultural studies
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  • Japanese language

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  1. Birthday thread

    All Best Wishes to @NowItsAngeTime! 30, eh? Hope you're taking crossing this dreaded threshold better than I did.
  2. Perceptions of the Dead 2, released on Steam on June 2018, is a light-horror visual novel by Ithaqua Labs, a team whose titles stand out from the usual output of Western VN studios through their unique, vibrant artstyle and full voice acting. Soon after the game’s initial release, I’ve reviewed its then-available first chapter, Misty Mournings. It was an hour and a half piece of content tying together all the stories and characters from the first, freeware Perception of the Dead, with the main storyline revolving around nulls – mysterious ghost-devouring creatures that pose a mortal threat to both spirits and human mediums. This, however, was meant to be only the beginning of the game’s story, with three more chapters promised in the Kickstarter campaign and scheduled for release over the next year. With the fourth story, House Haunting, now available and Perceptions of the Dead 2 experience complete, I’ve decided to revisit the game and take a closer look at all that additional content. Did it maintain the positive impression I’ve got from the first chapter? The game’s unique artstyle and creative visual design are still among its greatest assets Perceptions of the Dead is a strange series in that it’s made of relatively short episodes telling interconnected, but ultimately self-contained stories with a very limited overarching narrative. While some could expect that to change with Perceptions of the Dead 2, a larger and commercially-oriented project (while the first game was more or less a collection of Ithaqua Labs’ early works in a shared universe), the new chapters also take their own paths, exploring the game’s world and characters only in vague connection to the events of the initial story, Misty Mournings. Episode 2, Undercover Undead, features a brief section exploring the fallout of the previous events, but focuses on Jill and Tyrone investigating disturbing paranormal phenomena in a sleepy town. This leads them to infiltrating a local high school and discovering a threat way over their expectations. It is also the first time Tulip, the ghost of a teenager which haunts Tyrone, plays a major role, and the largest of new chapters – over an hour of reading with significant branching paths. Episode 3, Garage Reverie, features Jill talking at her home’s garage with her childhood friend. This gives us the opportunity to learn about her backstory and the ways she copes with the discovery of the supernatural world turning her life upside-down. Episode 4, House Haunting, briefly explores the developing relationship between Marcus and Ripley, the other major characters of the series, and reveals the true origins and nature of nulls. Those last two offer around 30 minutes of content, making all the post-launch chapters together offer a similar amount of reading as the game’s initial build. The overacted VA and annoying personality of Tulip take quite a lot of appeal from the second story, but is the only major issue I had with the new chapters While, at this point, I could complain about lack of any grand narrative within PotD2, the episodes themselves are rather enjoyable and it’s hard to not appreciate the variety they offer – from the genuinely-interesting mystery plot of the second episode to the long, nostalgic dialogue sections of the third one, pretty much everything the game has to offer is enjoyable in its own unique ways and adds to our understanding of its world and characters. Jill and Tyrone and still very good protagonists, both likeable and relatable despite their involvement with the supernatural. Art is still a joy to look at and is often used in a way atypical for VNs – for example, Garage Reverie uses panoramic, mildly animated drawings and comic-book-like dialogue clouds to present the conversation between Jill and her friend. More dramatic scenes are often portrayed with interesting visual tricks and distorted images fitting the mild Lovecraftian theme of the game. Voice acting is top-notch as always, with one glaring exception – Tulip, whose lines are nearly universally overacted and annoying. This was at least partially by design, as her dialogue makes it clear the writers wanted her to appear as an irritating brat over-the-top obsessed with Tyrone, but the substance of her lines could easily communicate that without making them unbearable. This contrasts strongly with the overall very solid direction of the voice acting and leaves a very unfortunate taint on my whole impression from PotD2’s new content – the role Tulip plays in Chapter 2 is crucial, especially in one of the story branches, making it significantly less enjoyable. I’m still surprised that a studio with such a strong record in this department let something like this slip through. The length of the second and fourth episodes might be disappointing, but all four stories together create a rather compelling experience and a good value proposition In the end, though, I think the new content for Perceptions of the Dead 2 offers some very solid additions, making the game and overall satisfying and well-priced package (currently sitting at $7.99 on Steam). It’s still a very unique and peculiar title that might not fit into people’s expectations: it plays on horror tropes and contain some grim/disturbing moments, but is ultimately fun and light-hearted (and distinctly colourful when it goes to visuals). It also puts quality over quantity, making even the really short episodes work thanks to their unique style and well-written stories. The 3-4 hours of reading time for the whole game might seem like relatively little, but most of what is in there is way more memorable and fresh-feeling than your usual EVN content. Of course, I can’t completely ignore the tiny length of the final two episodes and the aforementioned problems with the VA, thus making my final score for PotD2 new episodes slightly lower than the one I gave to the initial release – however, I still wholeheartedly recommend giving it a chance, especially if Lovecraftian themes and horror-comedy are something you usually enjoy. Final Score: 3/5 Pros: + More of great artwork and fun, creepy story + Interesting and varied storytelling Cons: - Tulip’s VA - Short episodes with little overarching narrative VNDB Page Buy Perceptions of the Dead 2 on Steam or Itch.io
  3. Unlimited Chat Works - Random Talk

    I'm kind of suspecting the author herself has those every other day and that is pretty relatable from my point of view. ;p Seriously though, I don't think Rituals in the Dark is going to be a gloomy story. It looks more like something sympathetically poking fun at its goth girl cast.
  4. I’ll be completely honest: I didn’t have a good opinion of NTT Solmare even before approaching the game this review is about. After exploring their sole non-otome visual novel, Moe! Ninja Girls, I was absolutely stunned with the predatory monetisation and poor quality of that title. I was still curious about their otome projects though and decided to check out one featuring the theme I personally enjoy a lot: vampires. Thus, I ended up playing Blood in Roses+, one of the over 20(!) games in the Shall We Date? series and what I found there was an extension of my Moe! Ninja Girl experience, along with some interesting surprises (which doesn’t mean any of them were particularly pleasant). First, however, a bit of context is required. NTT Solmare is a Japanese company producing e-books and mobile games primarily for the Western market. Shall We Date? Otome games are their flagship product and can be split into two categories: paid apps, which are mostly Android/iOS, English-localized ports of Idea Factory otome VNs and free apps which are produced by NTT Solmare themselves. Since 2011, they’ve released literally dozens of cheaply-made, but aggressively monetized games, particularly in the free-to-play segment. This is also the category where Blood in Roses+ fits in, being a fully free-to-play mobile VN, in which you can theoretically experience an impressive and constantly-expanding pool of content without paying anything. There’s a catch though… Or a dozen, which are all worth discussing in detail due to the unbelievable abuse of the VN format they represent. Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  5. Not sure how much of that is by choice though...
  6. In this exact order, I assume?
  7. Eiyuu*Senki Gold Translation Project

    You know, Stormwolf, I'm always amazed by you uniquely friendly manner of expressing things. Whatever you're trying to say, you always manage to make it sound so positive and nice.
  8. Really? What an unfortunate bug! How did I forget the most important tag?
  9. Plk_Lesiak ♂ Height: 181cm Birthday: 31 May Hair: Brown, Parted to Side, Short Eyes: Grey Body: Pale, Slim, Young-adult Clothes: Glasses, Jeans, Polo Shirt, Sports Shoes Personality: Curious, Cynic, Girls' Love Fan, Lazy, Otaku, Pragmatic, Reserved, Smart Role: Blogger, Boyfriend, Not a Virgin, Part-time Worker, University Student Engages in: Apostasy, Reading, Sarcasm, Teasing, Working Out, Writing Subject of: Disappointment, Neuroticism, Teasing Engages in (sexual): <hidden by spoilers setting> Subject of (sexual): <hidden by spoilers setting>

    Hmmm, I guess the yuri games that escape the fixed pairings formula are usually doujins or EVNs and those rarely include that many routes... There's a number of good EVNs doing multi-route GxG romance or having multiple male and female LIs (Starlight Vega, Magical Diary: Horse Hall, SoulSet, a lot of WinterWolves games), but I indeed have a hard time thinking of one that would have over three heroines. They're simply too small to handle more without diluting the experience too much. Even that one Kickstarter project whose developer said it's a yuri game but "a moege at heart" has only three routes (it also went radio silent a few months ago after the game was supposedly pretty much finished ). On one hand, it would be cool to see yuri games with more option but on the other, I kind of like the more-focused stories they usually tell? Like, Flowers has only very limited route variety and there's always an obvious canon ending, but the little branching it does go for is usually really interesting. I'd love to see Seisai no Resonance translated one day and some games to follow its formula, but ultimately, I was never really dissatisfied with yuri VNs that are already here...
  11. Unlimited Chat Works - Random Talk

    Sounds cool, but I'm not sure it's that different from all those gameworld isekai where protagonists performs their avatars' over-the-top/dumb personas. Just going even deeper on grotesque humour and avoiding some male protagonist tropes.
  12. Eiyuu*Senki Gold Translation Project

    I think your heart is in the right place, but I'm with @Nandemonai on this. If you go for long enough, JAST will pretty much have no choice but to react to defend their interests. And this is the kind of conflict that the fan translation community and even this site were pretty effectively avoiding for many years. You'd be unlikely to get in serious trouble over it, but ultimately, it would be best for everyone involved to let this project go. I know it's never a nice thing to do, but as Nandemonai also mentioned, there's a lot of interesting VNs you could train your Japanese with. Including dozens upon dozens of interesting, freeware doujins that no one will ever fault you for translating.
  13. What Anime are you watching now?

    I finished watching Happy Sugar Life and... I'm kind of puzzled how people can enjoy that. I mean, I read what people defending it claim, but I feel like they watched a completely different show. Calling it a psychological anime makes School Days looks like a PhD thesis in psychology. People call it a comedy, but I haven't seen a single trace of genuine humour or self-parody in it. It's not even outlandish or incompetent enough to be "so bad its good", it's just disgustingly stupid. Haven't seen something this alienating and obnoxious since Calamity of the Zombie Girl, which proudly sits as my only 1/10 on MAL. Happy Sugar Life had literally one somewhat believable character (Hida) who I was slightly disturbed to see murdered, thus it's a 2/10. Disgusting trash. Oh, and I guess it was some visual and sound gimmicks that could be considered marginally interesting if they were used for a better cause. Not good enough to deserve credit with how pathetic the actual substance of it all is.
  14. Those horror games today... They go too far.
  15. Birthday thread

    All best wishes to @adamstan and @Nayleen!