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Clephas

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Clephas last won the day on July 18

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About Clephas

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    Infinite Stomach
  • Birthday 02/24/1982

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    http://clephasstomach.blogspot.com/?zx=719f8f42705b40c5

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    VNs, anthropology, writing, reading, translation, anime, video games, sharp things, firearms
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  1. Secret Game/Killer Queen series.
  2. Dropped Minikui Mojika

    Played one route... it was hilarious, but I wouldn't call it the best game in a long time.
  3. Dropped Minikui Mojika

    ? Nothing even approaching that level from last month's releases.
  4. Fast paced VNs?

    Zero Infinity moves pretty fast.
  5. Dropped Minikui Mojika

  6. Dropped Minikui Mojika

    I have to say I apologize to those who voted for Minikui Mojika no Ko... my original instinct not to play this game at all was correct. This game feels too much like a dark rape nukige to allow me to play it anymore, so I had to drop it. Not to mention that I hate all the characters and think they should all be tossed into the nearest garbage dump.
  7. Plotge recommendations?

    Baldr Sky, Baldr Sky Zero, Baldr Heart, and Baldr Force EXE are good. Baldr Bringer is 99.9% crappy gameplay and .1% story. Baldr Sky Zero is good, play it.
  8. Plotge recommendations?

    Akagoei pretty much has to be read as a series to be comprehensible... Subahibi is indeed meaninglessly pretentious. Vermilion Bind of Blood Electro Arms
  9. Is yuri "big" on the JP eroge market?

    From what I've seen on PC... 35/40= hetero, male-oriented 2/40= Yaoi 2/40= Otome 1/40= Yuri On consoles and portables 6/10= Otome 2/10= Hetero male-oriented 1/10= Shounen-ai 1/10= Shoujo-ai edit: This is just my impression of the proportions from looking over the releases each month for the last eight years... a significant number of the hetero male-oriented on console and portables are ports. Yaoi has been increasing in number over the last five years or so, but Otome and Yuri on PC have been decreasing or more or less plateauing. Console is dominated by Otomege, with Shounen/Shoujo Ai making infrequent appearances. Edit2: Note that those interested in LGBT content that isn't males magically becoming females in nukige oriented to male readers (which is more of a fetish than anything else) tend to go for doujinshi and ero-manga more than VNs. This is because doujin consumers and the manga industry are more permissive and open, at least at present. I don't think I see more than two or three yurige with H content come out in a given year...
  10. VNs with plot focus on alternate history.

    Mostly fantasy stuff like Shin Koihime Musou and Kikan Bakumatsu Ibun Last Cavalier. Alternative history usually means 'fantasy' got injected. Other than that... Liar-soft's Steampunk series is essentially a set of alternate history stories.
  11. Dark themes

    Mmm... lets be clear. I'm a Texan who grew up in a family that watched violent crap every day. My first TV show was the Vietnam War drama Tour of Duty... and as a result, I have few hangups when it comes to violence. Rape on the other hand... I generally don't like rape scenes. At best they are distasteful, at worst they are outright disgusting. I'm well aware that a lot of dark stuff, like Maggots Baits, have great stories... and my own experience with Mugen Renkan backs this up. However, I can honestly say I don't like dark sexual themes. Violent themes? Yeah, I eat it up. Bloody? Go for it. But ryona or sexual slavery... no.
  12. Random VN: Bloody Rondo

    Bloody Rondo is 3rdEye's first and arguably their worst game. By chuunige standards it is very much 'yesteryear' even by the standards of the year it came out, being a 'half-gakuen' type where the protagonist splits his life between school during the day and other stuff at night. What it comes down to in the end is that this game was, from the very beginning, apologetically derivative and something of a failure primarily due to an attempt to draw on the relative success of Draculius several years before. First, I'll explain why I say the game attempts to draw on Draculius. Draculius is probably the best vampire fantasy chuunige/slice-of-life hybrid in existence. I say this because it doesn't in any way nerf vampiric nature or power, and it also has a rather unique atmosphere that draws on the fantasy familial aspects of the non-undead type of vampire (a vampire that is a lifeform, as opposed to being a dead being forcibly kept alive by magic or evil forces, lol). The combination of intimacy and hedonistic behavior that you see in that game, as well as the veiled potential for violence and moral ambiguity are subtly presented to the reader interspersed between humorous slice of life and often brutal action scenes. Bloody Rondo (and Libra) attempt something similar... but fail dramatically in that sense. Luna, the canon heroine of the game, is a clumsy true vampire (as in trips over her own feet clumsy) with a nonexistent work ethic but a deep capacity for love combined with an incredibly dependent personality. This in itself wouldn't be a negative and it indeed bears some similarities to Draculius's approach to the cast of characters, but the biggest issue is the utter failure to shift from the humorous elements to the more serious ones properly. Luna generally only maintains something like dignity for a few minutes at a time before stumbling, and her attempts to maintain it are... spectacularly bad, often lightening the atmosphere at the worst time for the story. The path that actually succeeds in reminding the reader of what is best about Draculius is Lynette's path, where the somewhat twisted relationship between her, Luna, and Shinkurou is the focus of things. Lynette is modeled on Zeno from Draculius in a blatantly obvious fashion (werewolf turned into a hybrid vampire with incredible physical abilities and absolute devotion), and she also serves as an excellent catalyst to turn the three into something resembling a family in her own path. The unfortunate aspect of this is that it waves the flaws in the 'canon' path in front of the reader so blatantly that you have to wonder why a short path that completely ignores the background story and Shinkurou's own issues works out so much better. I will not say this is a bad game... but it stumbles because it never quite manages anything like individuality, despite a good cast of characters and a decent setting. Anyone who plays this after Sorcery Jokers will instantly get how the writer used his failures with Bloody Rondo to grow and build up the setting he eventually used. In that sense, this game provides an excellent study in 'before and after' for someone interested in the history of VN writers. Shinkurou is actually a great protagonist, but he is damned by a weakness of motivation and a general lack of emotional filling in of the blanks by the writer. He is skilled, he is intelligent, and he is pragmatic... but the writer fails to capitalize on his personality the way he did with Senri's personality in Sorcery Jokers. Going back to play this, it is blatantly obvious that Egami Shinkurou is the prototype for Senri... a rough bare-bones character archetype to Senri's full-fleshed individuality. Needless to say, this is one of those rare times where I went back and actually felt the game failed in comparison to my distant, years-ago impressions. Most of the chuunige I go back and play years later have new discoveries waiting for me... but this game is an exception, unfortunately. Lynette's path is still great, but the weakness of Luna and her failure as a canon/true heroine is painful to read.
  13. Right now, in order to 'clean my palate' before playing Mojika, I'm replaying Bloody Rondo, 3rdEye's first (and arguably worst) VN. A thought came to my mind that has been bothering me since I finished Oratorio Phantasm. Are Shinkurou and Luna still alive at the time this VN occurs within the setting? The reason I ask is because Now that we are finished establishing my hypothesis about why things in Oratorio Phantasm played out as they did, I thought I'd consider Shinigami no Testament. Shinigami no Testament, Bloody Rondo, and Oratorio Phantasm share the same world (Sorcery Jokers didn't show a recognizable connection to the other games, so I'm viewing it as a completely independent setting). The events in Bloody Rondo apparently occur at least a few years before Shinigami no Testament, and at least a century and a half have passed since the events in Bloody Rondo when Oratorio Phantasm has occurred. Shinigami no Testament has the weakest connection of the three, simply because if the inherently self-contained nature of its main storyline. To tell you why, [spoilers for those who haven't played it] The difference between Shinigami no Testament and Oratorio Phantasm is that Oratorio Phantasm actually has a direct link, whereas Shinigami no Testament just has a few pieces of info that tie it to Bloody Rondo. Moving on... it is always interesting to see whether and how a writer or company will link its games together. Kinagusa Shougo's Akagoei and Reminiscence series are directly linked together in an obvious way: However, it has never clearly been stated whether there is a canon for the two series (whether Kinagusa actually intended for the result that created Reminscence's setting to be absolute). Personally, I would prefer that it wasn't, because: Other games that possess a link are Ayakashibito and Bullet Butlers, through the Chrono Belt FD. In the Chrono Belt FD, Kuki-sensei is sent to the Bullet Butlers world along with a particularly nasty villain from Ayakashibito, and Alfred Arrowsmith is sent to the Ayakashibito world, where he, for the first time, confronts his own demons due to the essential peacefulness of the world he finds himself in (keep in mind that this is post-Ayakashibito's events). This link is a more peculiar one, in that I normally wouldn't have liked it... but Higashide Yuuichirou somehow made it work (seriously, I sometimes think Chrono Belt has more impact than the original games...). Now, I just gave you a bunch of examples of games where the 'setting link' actually works out pretty well... but as anyone who has stumbled onto a 'bad sequel' knows, the 'setting link' is a sword that cuts both ways. A more negative link would be the direct sequel to Hachimyoujin by Light... Bansenjin. Now, one of the problems with even thinking of making a sequel to Hachimyoujin is that the main characters had been stretched about as much as they could possibly be in the original. They had pretty much used up what made them interesting (which wasn't much in some cases), and Masada had pretty much played up their flaws and virtues as far as they could be... in other words, Bansenjin essentially revived a cast that had nothing new to add. There literally weren't any new angles within the existing cast that could be played on, and that resulted in a game that felt stale, perhaps precisely because Hachimyoujin was so self-contained. The new characters weren't that good in the first place, and Masada was really heavy-handed about how he screwed with the setting. As such, Bansenjin most definitely suffered from the 'sequel disease'. It makes me wonder... why do some writers, regardless of their skill, seem to always want to make a bad sequel to an excellent game? Oh, Dies Irae far surpassed Paradise Lost, its predecessor in the trilogy of Shinza main-series games. However, that was more of a result of Masada peaking with Dies Irae than anything else. Shimantogawa Seiryuu, 3rdEye's main writer, has obviously (seriously) grown since he wrote Bloody Rondo. Shinigami no Testament was immensely greater than Bloody Rondo, Oratorio Phantasm benefited from his realization that he wrote one-path stories better than multi-path ones, and Sorcery Jokers pretty much showed the peak of what he was capable of. Masada definitely grew after writing Paradise Lost and through the versions of Dies Irae (the first few of which sucked compared to the two final versions, Fabula and Amantes). However, he also peaked at that point, and the expectations created by the final versions of Dies Irae were impossible to fulfill... Higashide got out while the getting was good, recognizing that Tokyo Babel's financial failure meant bad things in the future (so quite naturally, he signed on with Type Moon). Shumon Yuu only ever seems to write when he has a masterpiece in mind... This post was all over the place... but then, it was never intended to be coherent, since I was writing things as I thought of them. It is hard to make a VN sequel or reuse a VN setting... the adjustments necessary to keep expectations from ruining things for the reader are delicate, and few writers or companies can manage to do it well. 3rdEye did it by mostly keeping the setting links light, Masada failed with Bansenjin because he misjudged the quality of his own characters and setting, and Higashide managed to pull a masterpiece out of what should have been a massive failure...
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