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Clephas last won the day on November 8

Clephas had the most liked content!

About Clephas

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    Infinite Stomach
  • Birthday 02/24/1982

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    VNs, anthropology, writing, reading, translation, anime, video games, sharp things, firearms
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  1. I watched it... but I'll be honest in saying that Johan was too opaque for me to put him on this list, even if I recalled him. I will agree that Reinhardt is like those two historical figures, and I mostly call him an antagonist because a large part of the story has him standing on the other side from Yang, their contrasting situations and natures serving to form the more human side of the story.
  2. Worse than Akagoei, in terms of being incomplete. Akagoei at least pretended to have actual endings, as short and unsatisfying as they were until the FD came out. If they had released a sequel within six months, I might have been willing to forgive them, but even then, I still would have had major complaints. This game's potential was wasted entirely because the producers didn't rein in Kinugasa's love of never finishing anything. The non-true heroine paths are pathetically short and the true heroine's path essentially shuts down in the middle of things, where the action would have begun to get going in any decent game. Worse, there is no guarantee of a sequel, despite them having set up to easily graft one on, because Kinugasa's tendency to never finish anything extends to everything he does.
  3. Until a sequel comes out, this game can only be categorized as a half-assed mess of a kusoge with enormous potential.
  4. Clephas

    Ren'ai x Royale

    This is the latest game by ASa Project, a company that rose up during the Golden Age of VNs, making a name for themselves as solid comedy charage makers. To this day, their style hasn't changed significantly, but in some ways that gives them an advantage over modern charage, which tend to be less comedy-focused (actually, most newer charage makers don't seem to know how to make the readers laugh anymore). This game is focused on the harem of a young man named Hirotaka. The situation is, structure-wise, a classic 'all the girls already love the protagonist' setting, a style that you don't see as often anymore. Instead of the girls getting along and being friendly (the more common modern iteration of this setup), is almost 90% the girls fighting over Hiro. Moreover, the girls are so over the top I couldn't stop laughing throughout the common route, to the point where my voice got hoarse by the end of the day. There are four main heroines and two sub-heroines with one bad ending extra heroine and two male-oriented 'normal endings'. The main heroines are: The returning idiot osananajimi who throws everything into chaos with her return to town, Mari; the narcissistic and more than a little perverted (too self-absorbed to realize she is a pervert) Shione; the yandere-ish little sister, Nonoka; and the idol who constantly goes back and forth between being a straightforward deredere heroine and deliberately acting cute, Renna. The sub-heroines include the popular idol Yuuna and the class president Ikuyo. Something important to note about this VN is that the constant byplay with the side-characters contributes a great deal to the comedy and bringing the heroines to life, another technique that requires skill that most modern charage writers lack. The fact that Hiro is something of a forgetful airhead (who happens to be handsome and subconsciously seduces heroines without even realizes he's doing it) as well as being a bit crazy also helps, since it generally means that things never really ease up or calm down. Yuuna Yes, I did a sub-heroine first... but most people who get through the common route will understand why. There are just too many reasons to pick Yuuna for a first heroine, even aside from her being an interesting character. Though I call Yuuna a sub-heroine, she is actually a strong enough heroine with a long enough path to be called a main heroine. Her path is mostly straight-up ichaicha and dealing with the main heroines insane levels of jealousy (seriously), as well as planning for the future. It is generally heart-warming while also keeping the comedic atmosphere of the common route. I liked that the path had a 'years later' epilogue. Renna I had to play Renna's path after Yuuna's, because I wanted a good comparison between a sub-heroine path and a related main heroine path. Renna is Yuuna's understudy and younger partner in the idol group Gloria Snow. Renna is a pretty straightforward character who uses a 'cute' persona to seduce the protagonist. In all honesty, since Yuuna was my favorite from the beginning, I kind of wanted this to be a 3P path, but ASa seems to be ignoring the trend toward such paths, lol. Like Yuuna's path, this one felt like an extension of the common route, with perhaps a bit more in the way of drama (short drama that doesn't really add anything to the experience) and about the same amount of ichaicha. So, for those who just want the ichaicha comedy, it is roughly equivalent to Yuuna's path in those terms. Shione I'm going to be blunt... this is the path that kind of made me stop playing the game. It wasn't that it wasn't funny... but as a heroine, Shione's clumsy attempts to take control of the relationship made me nearly go crazy. This path spent way too much time dancing around instead of getting to the point, and as a result, I felt like it took a lot of fun out of the more humorous moments. Conclusion For fans of old-style comedy harems where the girls are constantly at each other's throats, this is actually a great VN. If you want romance, it isn't. I say this because, except for Yuuna's path, the romance is the weakest part of the game. The heroines are mostly psycho (makes for great humor and catfights, but not so much for romance), so, while I spent a great deal of time laughing, I didn't get much out of the romance. I did like that the girls never did stop trying to reclaim Hiro, even after he chose one of them... the way girls always seem to give up entirely in other VNs always struck me as odd.
  5. Trouble@Vampire - I enjoyed this game, even if it has aged horribly. Soukou Akki Muramasa- Umm... if you haven't played this and you can play untranslated, there is probably something wrong with you. Comyu- Kagome is still one of my top ten heroines of all time, and I have no problem with man-whore protags. Shuffle Essence+ is the definitive edition of Shuffle, not just the tokuten disc. It was a partial rewrite with several new paths, not just side-stories.
  6. Functionally, the new Microsoft console probably has the best hardware for VNs. Sadly, the lack of a foothold in Japan will hinder them - just like it has with each iteration of the xbox - in actually getting any games out of Japan on their system. Consoles have pretty much become a stand-in for people who can't afford gaming PCs over here. A gaming PC generally bottoms out at $1000 and there is no limit to how much one can cost, if you go all-out. Even the current generation of consoles is half that, which means the trade-off in flexibility is attractive for people who just want to game. VNs have minimal requirements - relatively speaking - but high-end VNs sometimes have ridiculous ones for the content (I mean, why should any VN have a 3GB RAM requirement? It isn't like there is all that much in the way of gameplay). The fact that most VNs are based off the PC produces the need for ports, which cost a surprising amount of money to produce sometimes (depending on the original engine and the system they are porting it to). Like any port, the benefit vs cost analysis is everything to most companies. If people buy the VNs that get ported enough to justify the cost, then we'll see more get ported and sent over here. Personally, if I was going to play a console VN, I'd want it on the Switch. The Switch is more convenient than either of the other two systems, with the ability to easily connect it to a TV, its light weight, and its portability. I really wish the PSP version of Ayakashibito would get ported to Switch, lol. As for popularity? That's more questionable. It's going to be years before we see any real results from the console market for VNs. There just aren't a lot of JVNs that aren't otomege on consoles just yet, even over there. Without the content, there is nothing to lust after, after all. Note: Understand that when I say there is a 'limited' number of JVNs on console, I mean this in a relative sense. One reason that VNs have managed to create a niche over here is the sheer number localization companies have to select from with JVNs. The number of 'classics' and high-quality VNs in general makes it possible to cherry-pick, whereas consoles don't, as of yet, have the numbers to allow for that.
  7. In action stories, often the story's quality is determined by the quality of the antagonist as much as the quality of the main characters. The antagonist acts and the main characters react, creating the drama that pulls at our heart strings and excites us. The more complex the story, the more likely the need for a strong antagonist will exist, at least in modern fiction. I decided to put down my top ten and my reasons for making them my top ten here. These are my top ten, but there isn't a particular order to them, save for the top five being the absolute best. 1- Shannon Wordsworth- 2- Mercurius- 3- Kefka- Final Fantasy VI's main antagonist. He is frequently listed as one of the craziest bad guys in all of gaming history, with good reason. He is the nihilistic result of experiments with granting humans magic, and as a result he gets the bright idea to destroy the world... and actually succeeds. His psychotic laughter (in 16 bit sound) is familiar to anyone who played the game, and his psycho clown character traumatized an entire generation of gamers into thinking clowns are inherently evil. 4- Christopher Valzeride- The heroic antagonist of Silverio Vendetta. 5- Reinhardt Lohengrin- Legend of the Galactic Heroes- While he can also be considered the protagonist of the massive space opera, he is also an ongoing antagonist. Reinhardt is an ambitious young man whose meteoric rise in the militaristic and expansionistic Galactic Empire are driven by his twin desires to wrench his sister away from her position as the incompetent emperor's mistress and conquer the galaxy. A fierce man with a warrior's demeanor that usually only serves to fuel his strategic and tactical victories, he honors both enemies and allies who show ability and contempt for those who rise above their level of competency. As a ruler, he is ruthlessly fair with those of ability who are capable of loyalty and brutally ruthless with those who are incapable of it. As an enemy, he is one of the most frightening (non-magical) men in any anime, game, or VN I've ever seen. 6- 7- Mikado Ruri- 9- 10-
  8. Be warned, this is full of spoilers for one of my favorite VNs, Evolimit. Shiranui Yoshikazu is one of my favorite protagonists of all time, and I thought it would be good to just lay out why I loved the guy from beginning to end. Shiranui's past The Disaster (MAJOR Spoilers. Don't read this part unless you have finished at least Kazuna's ending) Even entirely ignoring the events of the main story, Shiranui's story is one of quiet heroism, of sacrifice, and of love-born duty. A flawed hero who often acts the fool, while always stepping up when he is needed, without hesitation or regret. A pioneer in the best sense of the word (as opposed to the Manifest Destiny version) who acted out of duty and compassion to a girl who dreamed of Mars even as she never rose from her hospital bed. A man who, in the end, always acted for others as much as or moreso than for himself. Note: If you can't tell, I love this protagonist.
  9. Abyss Homicide Club is a great game... but it looks like Tsukihime, albeit with a better soundtrack and a lot more blood.
  10. Shumon Yuu's talent is in adding depth to every aspect of the games he serves as scenario writer for. Whether it is setting, plot, characterization, or atmosphere, he literally is the best out there. Perhaps that is why he is also one of the least prolific VN writers out there. Each of his works is a rather obvious product of love and passion, of art. I hope I see at least one more work by Shumon Yuu before I die.
  11. Technically, the protagonist of Tsuki ni Yorisou, Otome no Sahou applies if you choose Luna's path with the submissive option.
  12. Angel Magister- This one tried too hard to mix SOL with plotge, and as a result it didn't really fulfill on either side. It wasn't horrifically bad, but it isn't great either. Kitto Sumiwataru Asairo Yori mo- Shumon Yuu. I don't need to say anything else. All games by Shumon Yuu are automatically awesome. Natsuyume Nagisa- One of the games Saga Planets became known for, a solid nakige with a mild mindfuck. Mecha-mimi- A decent android love story plotge pretending to be a charage on the surface. Sevens- Straight-out moege/charage from the era in which that was 90% of what Whirlpool did. Kurenai no Tsuki- A great inaka fantasy mystery based in fall (easily the best setting for that kind of thing). I found this one enjoyable both times I played it. Best heroine is the hidden one though, lol.
  13. It depends... in some cases, the SOL is handled in such a way that it makes you long for the lost daily life the characters enjoyed (this is the most common reason for SOL inserts). However, in some games - like G-senjou, they are just inserted as 'breaks' from the crushing realities the characters are enduring. In all honesty, in most serious games, these interludes are short and relevant. However, they aren't always.
  14. I'm having a similar problem with the Japanese version of Kaziklu Bey. Honestly, I dunno where this issue is coming from, but I can't get it to start. There are also reports that Zero Infinity is having similar problems. The only idea I have is that a recent Windows update must have partially disabled the older (pre-2016) malie engine games to some extent.
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