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alpacaman

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alpacaman last won the day on June 3

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  1. But if it's a reaction, should't it at actually respond to the criticism rather than go "people sceptical of our vision of progress are part of or manipulated by a cult"? The man vs. man argument doesn't really work when the faction arguing against implanting children with experimental brain chips without oversight and employing a technology humans have no effective control over ist portrayed as cartoonishly evil. The good guys are the ones moving the fight from man vs. man to man vs. AI, AI just happened to be benevolent because otherwise the good guys would have created a monster and we can't have that because they are the good guys and only bad guys create monsters. It's circular logic.
  2. Sorry, I don't remember. It's been almost four years since I read the VN. As for your other points: if the game had an honest discussion about the potential advantages as well as dangers of new technology and came out with a positive outlook, I'd have no issue with that. But there isn't. There's the good guys with the good technology who only have noble objectives and the bad guys with the bad technology who manipulate the masses into being against the good technology.
  3. Started reading Cross Channel after @AmelieDoree's glowing review using the Amaterasu TL since it's supposed to be the only out of the three that's at least attempting to be somewhat accurate. I really like the game so far, but the TL notes are killing me sometimes. Like what the hell is this? 1) "My stomach bug" is not a personification. 2) English has a metaphor with the identical meaning: "my stomach growls". It's even comparing the noise to one an animal makes. 3) The phrase "stomach bug" also exists in English, and means something different. I'm usually quite lenient when it comes to TL quality, at least as long as there is some basic flow to the translated text, but when it's making me read three lines of text consisting of a wrong translation accompanied by a wrong TL note to explain a three word Japanese phrase that has an accurate three word English translation, it takes me out of the scene. So much so I decided to interrupt my read through and rant on the internet about it. Edit: the next line is "like a beast". Goddamnit.
  4. Great review! I'd love to read more of your thoughts about the themes as these are something most VN reviews don't really bother with. I wouldn't expect too much feedback though as sadly there isn't that much traffic on this forum anymore. I have two points where I disagree with you too some degree though: Firstly, yes the side characters aren't fleshed out at all, but I'd argue this is on purpose since the story is very much told from Fuminori's perspective and he perceives anyone except for Uta as not even human and thus not really worthy of being acknowledged as having any depth beyond what you can observe on a surface level. Switching viewpoint characters serves mostly to exposition and develop plot and themes as well as grounding the reader. Even Uta is mostly portrayed as someone whose only purpose is to provide Fuminori pleasure. He doesn't care all that much who she is or what her gets out of their arrangement as he is too caught up in the pleasure/pain dichotomy you mentioned above. That's why Uta gets introduced with a sex scene and probably why there's the otherwise completely pointless rape scene with the neighbor but very few scenes where Fuminori asks her about anything not relevant to their immediate circumstances (at least if I remember correctly, it's been a couple of years since I read the VN). Which brings me to my second point, the sexual content. I agree most of it gratuitous and pointless as well, the first scene with Yoh stuck with me though. It marks the point of no return for Fuminori in terms of morals. Each prior crime of his could be, to some extend, excused with him trying to protect himself and/or Uta. But in this scene he brutally violates someone not only without prior provocation, but he even chooses the one person from the other side who has remained the most sympathetic to him throughout his mental deterioration as his target or at very least readily approves this choice (again, it's been a few years). He figuratively and literally dehumanizes Yoh. He doesn't see other humans deserving of any basic dignity any more, and this is the scene where this shift becomes evident.
  5. The Silver Case has a somewhat similar vibe to Serial Experiments Lain, with both being highly stylized late 90s postmodern experimental titles.
  6. I liked Serbia as well! Their stage show just screamed "small country ESC entry" with its CG effects that some VNs from 2006 have pulled off more convincingly. Serbia is one of the more interesting countries in terms of nationally dominant politics vs. their contestants at the ESC anyway, but that's probably a rant for a different time. The second semi-final was just bad though. Almost anything that wasn't a not-quite-power-ballad where the performer lacked the vocal skills to carry their respective songs made it to the final because the alternatives were just that bland. Sadly Iceland didn't make it. They sent a bland song, but a different kind of bland than the majority of the field today, and with the by far best vocal performer this year (I mean she did backflips and still hit every note perfectly and with the right emphasis up till the end). YES. I joked with my girlfriend that Poland reaching the final would be the funniest outcome of this semi-final since it was the only song this year upholding the proud ESC tradition of boring latin-influenced pop songs performed by attractive women with thin voices. And then they did? I don't even know what to to say...
  7. I've been quite happy with the line-up so far in terms of entertainment factor. Countries like Holland, Malta, Switzerland or Ireland especially suck almost every year, so I expected nothing else. But there has also been stuff like Serbia with its weird Gundam video show: Or Croatia with whatever this is: My personal favourite was Finland with its weird mixture of EBM and Eurodance, but performed with the right dose of self-irony. Also worth mentioning is Israel, who managed to send a pop song so generic yet overflowing with terribly misguided attempts at being quirky that it transcends our pedestrian notions of what constitutes good or bad.
  8. To cite this post from a couple of years ago: Anyway, wasn't this type of discussion about semantics kind of big a couple of years ago when the western VN community was still relatively young and trying to define who and what did and didn't belong? Darbury for example wrote an interesting blog on the topic on here a couple of years ago in case you're interested in reasoning that goes deeper than "has mandatory gameplay segments so it's not a VN". By this metric you could exclude something like Totono from the category since it has a stat raising/puzzle section you have to clear in order to see the true ending. The video even acknowledges that in Japan where the genre originated from the term visual novel isn't commonly used but then goes on to argue that games have to be novel-like to qualify because it's in the name of the genre.
  9. I totally get it. Lessons in Love at least has a really regular release schedule with one or two updates each month. It does probably work better though if you've started reading it when there wasn't nearly as much content. Then it feels more like an ongoing tv series where each episode has its own A and B plot while the overarching story moves forward really slowly until it culminates in the series finale. The next one introduces new threads and characters and so on. Once you've caught up you only need two spend one or two evenings each month to keep up to date.
  10. At least in my opinion DDLC has enough qualities that set it apart from other titles, even stuff in a similar vein like Totono. I wouldn't say it's anywhere close to a 10/10, but I'd argue it holds an important spot in EVN history and has enough going for it to make the cut. Then again that's just my personal opinion. You're the one curating the list and I can't imagine the end product would turn out well if you included anything anyone mentioned in this thread. Personally, I find it kind of hard to grasp what you are going for. Or rather I kind of get it, but I think something like a testimonial format where the personal angle is obvious from the get-go would work better than a list with somewhat dubious criteria for what gets included.
  11. I have a couple of suggestions, today I'll only add (my reasons why to the two I think any definitive list of this kind would be incomplete without because it's almost midnight where I live. Probably going to elaborate on the rest sometime later. 1) Doki Doki Literature Club: I know this one is kind of controversial in the community. It's still one of the titles that introduced many people in the west to visual novels. Yes, it's gimmicky, but what it sets out to do it does very well and doesn't overstay its welcome. Many people in the community saw the game as an attack on VNs as a whole, but I think it's more about player agency and the relationship between games and the ones playing them. 2) VA11 Hall-A: It's cyberpunk bartender action, what more could you possibly want? It nails the aesthetic with great visuals and BGM, has great characters, some actual depth to its themes without ever getting anywhere close to being pretentious. Also it has some of the best comedy in any VN I've read so far. Other: 3)Any Love Conquers All VN out of Analogue: A Hate Story, Hate Plus and Ladykiller in the Bind. The first is the most influential one, the second one the even better sequel, and the third one is really innovative for a porn game when it comes to mechanics. 4) Meeting in the Flesh: An inversion of Saya no Uta's themes, showing you can find beauty anywhere. 5) Lessons in Love: A work in progress that at this point is even longer than Umineko and according to its creator is the longest VN in existence, period (each update is about 30-60k words long and there's been about 50). Which shouldn't keep you from reading it. At least to me this one is more about vibes than plot and works very well despite its length.
  12. https://kimimithegameeatingshemonster.com/2022/03/14/students-statistics-and-bloodthirsty-beasts/ I found this post about it. If Loop8 comes anywhere close to how amazing that one sounds it's a must-play for me.
  13. Fixed it. Iwaihime is a confused mess. Anyway, Ryuukishi is an interesting choice for an interactive social game since his best/most famous works are almost exclusively kinetic novels.
  14. Did I mess up the link in the op? Anyway, there's also a Chaos;Baby #2 and aparrently four Chaos;Queen games.
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