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Everything posted by Plk_Lesiak

  1. Suisei is one of those talents that particularly make me appreciate Hololive. A girl that was rejected in multiple idol agency for "lacking focus" (meaning she could sing, play instruments, draw...) and maybe wouldn't ever get into show-business without v-tubing... Pretty absurd considering what she does today and how most "actual" idols sound when they try to sing live. Quite like with Calliope, who worked two jobs on top of her rapping to get by in Japan and could barely manage to make music, it just feels right to see her getting some love and success in this formula.
  2. Hoshimachi Suisei (星街すいせい) is a female Japanese Virtual YouTuber associated with hololive. While originally an independent VTuber who eventually was recruited into hololive, she is currently part of "hololive 0th gen" alongside fellow solo debutants: Tokino Sora, Roboco, Sakura Miko and AZKi. Suisei is a modest, multitalented singer and aspiring idol who is among the more level-headed members of hololive, though she also has a childish streak. After her unexpectedly compelling performance as a traitor in a game of Project Winter, she gained a reputation for remorseless sociopathy behind a facade of polite sweetness. No one seems to know how much of the "Psychopath Suisei" persona is real or not, but Suisei herself acknowledges that it is extremely funny and has referred to the incident on multiple occasions. YouTube | VTuber Wiki
  3. Well, I don't want to go too deep into this either, but you wrote mostly about hating tropes it uses which is a lot more in the personal taste/cultural sensitivities category. Just like the complaints @Dreamysyu mentioned, that's kind of a whole another layer of discussion. Plus with production quality... Sure, people may dislike the artstyle or it might age poorly... The same might even happen to storytelling, with VNs as a medium and culture people live in changing. But you can both acknowledge something representing high quality in its original context and it not standing the test of time – but honestly, 2D games suffer from this way less than many other forms of media. Well, I'll have to retreat to the intersubjectivity term that Palas was so nice to introduce to the discussion. Obviously no standards can be truly objective because objectivity arguably doesn't exist at all. But that doesn't mean things like consistent writing or technical prowess are completely up to one's feelings – it's grounded in the societally-created rules on what is considered positive, or sometimes the internal logic of the text itself. I, once more, argue that quality assessment and overall judgment on whether a piece of media is good/enjoyable are interconnected, but separate. Pointing out plotholes and poorly directed shots that make everything into blurry mess – these are as close to factual statements as you can ever get in media criticism. You can use the word "valid", "grounded" or whatever to avoid the misleading framing, but it's still the same principle. Like, the only possible riposte you would have for the asshats you mentioned above would be "these things don't matter as much as you make them seem", which is a fair opinion, but in no way invalidates their complaints. People freak out about the "culture of nitpicking" nowadays but if you don't have a counterargument against the nitpick, it means it pointed out a flaw. And small flaws can combine into a deeply flawed experience – which might still be very much worthwhile or effective, but that doesn't mean those are not worth discussing or can't ruin the experience for some. That final assessment, of course, is a lot more subjective and requires a lot more elaboration than sheer quality assessment can ever provide. That's why a review which tries to be as objective as possible will not only fail to achieve that goal, but will likely also be a very crappy thing to read. Or is, indeed, a pose assumed in bad faith/to mask one's opinions.
  4. I don't think saying Grisaia is the Twilight of VNs is that wrong... Maybe slightly exaggerated. But let's focus on Kajitsu for the time being. I think there are many positive things about it you'll be able to get most people to agree about. Like it's humour being well-done, the art and music being consistently high-quality and the common route effectively building up towards the dramatic character routes. The trashy and over-the-top parts of it, mostly showing up in the later parts of the experience, are what's most contentious about it – and it'd be easy to argue they wouldn't work, even for their intended audience, if they weren't preceded by the genuinely well-done aspects of the game, building the necessary emotional investment and slowly exploring the crucial characters. Also, from what I've seen, you'll find more people claiming it's a very enjoyable VN or a good entry-level one (for people who are not yet sick of the tropes it relies on), rather than seriously saying it's a masterpiece. In my ideal world, the statements "Kajitsu's heroine routes are trashy and over-the-top" and "Kajitsu is a great/touching experience for those that enjoy its stylistic" are completely compatible with each other and non-controversial. And we should, indeed, put all popular media to similar scrutiny. Edit: TBH, this is kind of a heavy(?) topic for me personally, as someone who plays with reviewing stuff. We're living in a world where things that I find objectively atrocious, like the Transformers movies, are wildly successful. And in a world where media critics fetishise technical competency and subversion of tropes that something as awful as The Last Jedi could become a critical darling. But still I don't think that we should give up on certain baseline quality standards. I mean, you can make various excuses and adjustments when it goes to specific genres and storytelling formulas, but for example, are teens too dumb to enjoy better prose and better-constructed characters than what Twilight offers? Nah. Its even on different level than Kajitsu, that very deliberately builds it's cascade of ridiculousness and ends up with something pretty unique despite remixing overused tropes – it's just lame writing, and that's the part that no amount of context can nullify.
  5. Well, Digital Seclusion is now officially Fuwa-endorsed: https://fuwanovel.net/reviews/2021/02/27/digital-seclusion/ Those that didn't read it yet, shame on you, but consider checking out both the review and the VN itself. Also, further discussion is encouraged. :3
  6. Well, you say "something like this", as if it meant a relatively small-scale project, but you point to one of the highest-budget EVNs ever made. Also, take into consideration that even that game, or something like Love in Space's Shining Song Starnova with its tons of content and JP seiyuus, do not ask for $60. Bah, the Sorcery Jokers and Grisaia, which you mention at the beginning of your post, don't try to sell for $60 in the West despite the licensing and translation costs being likely comparable to producing a smaller VN from scratch. Not saying this to hate on your idea or to discourage you, but realistically speaking, there are 2-3 studios in the West doing VN projects of this scale: PixelFade, Love in Space and Studio Elan. All three rely on years of experience and a loyal fanbase, along with regular crowdfunding to make it viable. VNs are still a very niche market and while a project this ambitious could work... It could just as easily turn into a disaster. particularly if you don't have experience in project management and a very good feel of the market. Be careful with this, particularly with the scale and associated costs, ambition tends to quickly run ahead of skills and resources at hand.
  7. Welcome to Fuwa! And hey, I'd argue Americans and Europeans already made quite a few cool VNs. But I very much share your hope that we'll get more in the future.
  8. So, I'm now past Chapter 3 and my God, what a combination of esoteric anime BS that has been. What makes it funny/weird is that the game doesn't know how to commit to its own brand of space magic. It suddenly introduces a planet of samurai giants, which is okay by itself, but also places two deities there that are completely outside of the established rules of the universe and get no real explanation. And it wouldn't even be hard to tie everything together, it would just need some conscious effort. I know most people don't care about consistency as much as pedantic nerds such as myself, but when you build this kind of complex universe with hours upon hours of story cutscenes, why not utilize it properly? ...and then the game transitions into some kind of meta-chapter with alternate-universe Earth where PSO2 is a full-dive VR game... And the introductory missions are obnoxious AF, with some rando high school girl being the new focus of the story. Why? We have a massive starfleet fighting space Satan, why do we need a Japanese high school in this with stupid student council drama??? Maybe it will get better...
  9. 1. People mix up quality and their personal enjoyment all the time which makes the discussion about it very loaded. Quality is somewhat quantifiable, while enjoyment is purely personal. It's utter snobbishness to claim you only enjoy good-quality things, or to not be able to appreciate the quality of something you personally despise. At the same time, it's easy to understand why many people do not have that kind of distance towards media they consume – they affect our emotions and can become so important that we see every critique of our favourites as personal attacks against us. 2. Quality isn't objective, as Palas nicely explained, but I also hate the perspective that it's 100% reliant on context. We get to something like claiming that Twilight is a quality series because bland self-insert protagonists and shitty, sappy writing are not considered negative traits for a teenage romance novel (and I've seen a writer that I semi-respect spewing that). I think that the "does it do its job?" question is important, but shouldn't be the end of the discussion. Otherwise, once more, we lose all difference between something being of good quality and just being popular. 3. And as the same time, the pedantic approach of overanalysing pieces of media by some (even well-developed) set of technical standards, and creating some kind of "mean score" assessment is absolute nonsense too. A piece of media is never just a sum of its parts, so to say something meaningful about it you need to include contextual knowledge and subjective impressions about its effectiveness in whatever it tried to achieve. So, to sum it all up... I'd argue that quality, if the word is meant to have any meaning at all, is a bit more objective than some people make it out to be – arts that develop over decades and centuries create their canons of good practices and techniques that are worth utilizing, and should be used as points of reference. But it's also not as important as some make it out to be – both because something doesn't have to be high-quality to provide entertainment and because high quality by itself doesn't create meaning. And that's good, because otherwise art and popculture would be awfully dull.
  10. All Best Wishes to @Clephas! Let his hunger be always satiated with someone other than us. ^^
  11. You sir need to chill out and let other people have their opinions. I didn't even say it was impossible, but quite like you yourself said about Corpse Party, "creepy" or unsettling is usually a better description of VN horror stories. I don't remember being scared by a VN or a horror novel the way I used to be scared by movies, or particularly by video games that requires you to actively steer the protagonist through threatening environments. You pretty much misconstrued our talk about what VN horror relies on into us hating on it, which was clearly not what anyone had in mind.
  12. And here's my greatest find from the ripped-nukige-CG folder of that shady disc. I want to ask for context, but I know the answer could never be fully satisfying. Also, for those really curious, here's an ISO. I don't think it contains any actual copyrighted material... Outside of the screenshots/CGs from 25-years-old porn games which definitely didn't find their way there in a legit way, but I don't think those are problematic to share in this context?
  13. Welcome, welcome! Just as Littleshogun mentioned that avatar is... something. ^^
  14. All Best Wishes to @Silvz!
  15. I've finished the second chapter of the story, which proved surprisingly long and involved. The plot at first felt just like generic anime BS and the formula of the cutscenes (segregated into usually very short "missions") made it seem a bit random/scattered, but I was surprised how well the many story threads came together in the Chapter 2 finale. It's still very much full of cliches, but it managed to become more imaginative and meaningful over time. There are cool relationships, plot-twists regarding the villains and characters that start out looking like caricatures but show decent depth later on... For an MMO, it's solid stuff. Also very well-voiced, but I guess that's standard for high-budget Japanese games. Ex. the crazy robot lady that acts as the ranger trainer is voiced by Kana Hanazawa and while she seemed like a tertiary character at first, she kept reappearing and it's hard to not appreciate her relentless and unapologetic bloodlust. The overarching lore has this Final Fantasy vibe of mixing sci-fi and fantasy and I think the latest story content went even deeper in the direction of mystical nonsense... But it's fun kind of cheese. I think I'm going to keep pushing for foreseeable future and in anticipation for New Genesis (which is part-sequel part-expansion on a new engine, apparently coming later this year). Edit: Also, apart from the story, I have to tell I really like the ability to freely switch between classes and essentially train in two specs at once. As the kind of person that puts everything into one character rather then creating alts, the freedom to experiment in this way is pretty awesome. Of course levelling requires a lot of time, but it's not necessarily "grinding". You can do a lot just clearing one-time quests, participating in events and completing battle pass tasks. Didn't feel much pressure to spend money either, apart from initial investment of like $8 to expand inventory.
  16. I wonder, anyone still playing it around here? I kind of jumped into it due to rather generous Game Pass perks and immidiately got hooked. This is, like, the ultimate loner MMO you can play on console and not even be bothered by the lack of keyboard to communicate with people properly. I'm playing a ranger on ship 4 BTW. The account name is the same as here. I started playing last week, mostly just advancing the story and doing quests, but I've spent over an hour tweaking the character today. I'm going to consult my gf on the final touches tomorrow and post it here afterwards. xD Edit: The process of getting a screenshot from my xbox to PC proved a lot more complicated than it had any right to be, but I did manage to figure it out... Yay?
  17. The bigger one was definitely more grating, but I also remember the smaller one getting to me a bit when I was reading later in the evening and with less backlight in my room. So it's probably not completely detached from my bad reading habits, but like I said, I usually don't get that effect much.
  18. Huh, well... Now after finishing the game, I wonder what can I add over what Palas already said. I very much agree with him when it goes to the quality of the writing and the presentation. They are superb and while knowing you for quite some times through Fuwa and realizing how personal some of the fragments and protagonist's opinions are distracted me slightly, I think average reader will have an even better time with it. The horror subplot however, I can't fully make up my mind on...
  19. I only read like the initial 20 mins before RL interrupted me, but I have to say, the visual style and music are spot-on. I love how thematic all the screams are, along with the ambience and sampled visuals and voices it really transports you to this eerie hikikomori world. I will comment more on the story when I get further into it. One technical comment I have is the flickering screen in the blog sections... I know it's for authenticity's sake, but it low-key gave me a headache and I'm usually not very susceptible to such stuff. I wonder if it would be complicated to create an option to toggle it off? It might just be me overdosing on coffee or something though.
  20. No ecchi is a tall order when it goes to VNs. I don't think you should be scared of the Steam version of Little Busters. The forced fanservice from the old 18+ versions of the game should be mostly gone, but I haven't played it yet, so I might be wrong to some extent. Also, I looked at my own wishlist (not buying anything during this sale, but it's still useful for moments like this), the best deals for quality story-centric VNs seem to be Symphonic Rain (-70%), Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning (-70%) and House in Fata Morgana (-50%). Mybe you can even fit the Fata Morgana fandisc in that 50 dollars? -25% on Little Busters doesn't sound that amazing.
  21. Nah, it's pretty low-key/not obnoxious and the heroine is more of a kuudere type... You could reasonably argue it's just her teasing the protagonist or masking her own bashfulness and overall it's one of my favourite anime couples. Still, it made me think about how calling someone a pervert is the consistently-used anime rebuttal to normal sings of affection and flirting. To the point where the only real meaning of the word "pervert" seems to be "not an asexual person". Edit: In the same vein of thought, I often have doubts whether the "pervert" tag on VNDB means anything more than the character being a horny teenager. Or, as most people would say it, a teenager.
  22. This doesn't seem that excessive TBH. The part that generally baffles me in Japanese media is protags being called perverts for simply being attracted to a girl and expressing that in some mild manner. It makes me wonder whether it's just an anime/comedic trope or something cultural. It particularly caught my attention in Bunny Senpai anime, where the protag and the main girl were explicitly a couple. "You want to f*** your own girlfriend and reference that fact in a mostly inoffensive ways? You PERVERT".
  23. I don't know whether there's a better place to post it, so let's go for sharing news here. The blog isn't dead completely, so the overall idea behind this thread also isn't dead. I'll probably write more stuff for it too. In the past I was reluctant to do stuff alone to not hijack the frontpage for my EVN agenda, but I think I'm at the point when I'm done giving a shit. Of course, I'll be talking with the rest of leadership about details. Still, other contributors would make the whole undertaking a lot more meaningful. And, here's the freshest piece of content, as interview with maybe the most interesting game jam VN dev I've discovered in the past year or so: https://fuwanovel.net/2021/02/interview-with-punishedhag/ Consider checking it out & checking out her work~
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