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Everything posted by Clephas

  1. Kami-sama no You na Kimi e

    Kami-sama no You na Kimi e is the latest game by Cube, and it is based in a near-future setting where AIs run just about every aspect of society. In this society, people have gotten past that raw terror of AI horror stories and have pretty much accepted the the ease and luxury of having AI run most of the important things that make civilization possible. At the beginning of the story, the protagonist, Kaito, is hacking into Central AI, the AI based on the Moon that runs most of the world's infrastructure. Triumphantly, he succeeds, essentially gaining control over the AI that rules the world... and the one thing he asks for before getting out of the system is for it to find his ideal girlfriend, which the system then says doesn't exist. Kaito, quite naturally, is a bit down after this, but he goes to sleep more or less normally... only to answer the door in the morning to find his ideal girl standing outside. Quite naturally, this ideal girl is Tsukuyomi, the game's flagship heroine and the embodiment of Central AI in girl form. As requested, she is already completely deredere over him, and a great deal of the common route has him running from her excessively sexual approaches. In the days after this, like dominoes falling in a row, he meets a number of attractive heroines, and he shows off the usual donkan protagonist routine almost constantly when it matters. Now, just from this, you'd think this was your standard charage... but in actuality, it is a lot closer to a plotge in structure. The heroines have real issues, the protagonist doesn't flake out or become less interesting as you proceed, and the paths actually have solid stories that involve most of the game's cast of characters. For someone who wants an SOL plotge with some decent drama in a futuristic setting, this game is pure crack. Tsukuyomi I probably should have left her for last, but I played Tsukuyomi's path first. Tsukuyomi is the game's obvious main heroine, the girl who is most prominent on the package and in the advertising, and in general is the one most central in the common route. In most cases, I don't like 'no common sense' heroines, but Tsukuyomi manages to pull it off without it feeling excessively contrived, which is actually a feat, considering she is a robot heroine. It is helped along by the fact that Kaito generally accepts that Tsukuyomi is what she is, has no illusions about her nature, and is perfectly fine with her being a different existence from himself. Her story is your usual deredere heroine romance at first, but it quickly goes dramatic about midway through, for reasons that should be fairly obvious. While the templated turn of events in this path is not revolutionary, it is well-executed and interesting. There is even a truly surprising and emotional moment near the end that had me crying. That, in itself, makes this path a success. My only real complaint is that this path lacked an epilogue to tie off the story. Rein Rein is the cold-hearted student council president, an honor student with a black heart and an overabundance of pride. Her path branches off from Tsukuyomi's path and is a great deal weaker, at least in my opinion. To be honest, this path was kind of 'meh' for me, since it never revealed anything important about the details of what was going on with Rein beyond the basics that were revealed in Tsukuyomi's path, which is a huge weakness in a plotge or a charage. While the protagonist remains a cool and interesting character, the failures of this path are really glaring. Worse, the same as Tsukuyomi's path, there is no real epilogue, meaning you don't get to find out what happened after. Rana Rana... Rana is the heroine on the cover dressed like Sherlock Holmes, a cosplay uniform she wears nearly constantly. As it indicates, she is a private detective and extremely intelligent... but also fairly perverted (she has a thing for Kaito's butt). Her path... let's just say it is surprising and diverges widely from the events in Tsukuyomi's path (I didn't really like how Tsukuyomi almost became a non-entity in her path, but meh...). This path... is a bit depressing, to be honest. Oh, if you choose the Rana-only good ending, it is actually pretty good and heart-warming at the end, but the process you go through to reach that point is pretty hard if you came to like Rana. Sophia/Sophia & Rana At first glance, Sophia seems like your standard 'yurufuwa oneesan', but she is actually a fairly intelligent adult (yes, she is the adult heroine in this game). She is Rana's older sister and one of those involved in developing the S-CHIP, an AI chip designed to be implanted into the human brain as an aid to those who have brain diseases. Sophia's 'path' diverges from Rana's during the darkest period of Rana's path, and... to be honest, while it is easy to understand why it happens, this path is fairly unusual/stand out for a modern VN for reasons I'm not going to spell out here. Anyway, toward the end of Sophia's path, you have to decide whether you want the protagonist to be with just Sophia or with both Sophia and Rana... of course, after a seriously awkward set of events. Generally, I recommend the Sophia and Rana choice... the guilt-trip you get from choosing just Sophia is pretty awful. Kirika Kirika is the protagonist's fellow loner, a girl who accuses him of stalking her because they keep meeting whenever they are trying to find places to be alone. Her secret comes out relatively early in the common route, but I'll keep it quiet since it is funnier if you don't know in advance. Her path actually begins very much like a charage path. It is only toward the end where it becomes as deadly serious as the other paths above. Indeed, in some ways it is the grimmest and most shocking of the paths, even compared to the depressing aspects of Rana's path. It is also the path where the other heroines showed the least amount of relevance, a fact that I have mixed feelings about, considering how powerful the characters are. Similar to most of the paths above, this path's greatest weakness is the fact that while it does have a conclusion, it doesn't have an epilogue or after-story to tie off the last few loose ends. For that reason, I'm pretty sure they are planning a fandisc, as I can't see them leaving things as is. Airi Airi has the dubious honor of having the single weakest path in the game. She is a net idol that the protagonist meets in the course of interacting with Kirika, and her main focus in life is on her work, despite being the youngest heroine. Unfortunately, she is also the least unusual personality in the group, meaning that her character is by far the weakest... and her path follows suit. Where the other paths had somewhat grandiose episodes that showed off the darkest aspects of an over-connected society, Airi's path's drama feels like an extension of internet trolling, so I had trouble getting into it. Conclusion A good game with a solid setting and characters, this is probably a good choice for those who want a decent near-future sci-fi plotge who have already played Komorebi no Nostalgica and Missing X-Link. Tsukuyomi is an above-average AI heroine, though she falls short of the genius of Cinema and Fluorite from Komorebi or the raw emotions experienced with the AIs in Missing X-Link. It's greatest flaw is how it handles the endings, a common flaw in modern VNs that seems to be born of the bad habits of the fandisc-loving charage companies. It's greatest strength lies in the way it manages to keep the protagonist, the heroines, and the story interesting while balancing it with enough SOL to make them feel real in the first place.
  2. VN of the Month October 2006 - Shuumatsu Shoujo Gensou Alicematic

    Chanter is your standard old-style charage... and a kusoge. Shuumatsu Shoujo is one of my favorites and a game I recently reviewed (relatively speaking). For my full thoughts: On a female friend's recommendation, I tried to play Lamento, but I lost interest fairly quickly... BL games' conventions make me sigh with exasperation even more than the ones in charage/moege. Extravaganza I made an attempt to play early in my VN-reading 'career'... and let's just say, it takes a peculiar set of tastes to enjoy anything by Black Cyc, but it takes especially peculiar tastes to enjoy Extravaganza.
  3. How do you guys find new visual novels to play

    VNDB, Getchu, checking my favorite companies' sites, occasionally word of mouth. When I first started playing, I essentially got everything that Accany had reviewed positively, though I regretted many of those purchases later.
  4. Random VN: Erect!

    I'm not going to lie... Erect is an appropriate name for this game in a number of ways. However, this game is, despite the name, not a pure nukige. Rather, it is more of a romantic (actually romantic, not just playing at it) charage with high sexual content (about 6 H-scenes in the common route and something like eight to ten in each path). Now, this is the game that got me paying attention to Astronauts as a company, and it is from Astronauts: Spica, a subsidiary that has so far only produced this game and Aozora Stripe. The first thing that stands out about this game is that all the heroines are succubi (in the classic sense). In the setting, succubi live alongside humans and have chosen to adapt to modern society by finding ways to survive without rape (lol). An interesting fact of the setting is that when succubi/incubi have children together, their powers actually weaken instead of getting stronger, whereas when they have children with humans the resulting child is more powerful and always a succubus or incubus. The protagonist, Kento, is a serious, sincere, and kind-hearted young man who works at his father's flower shop and is learning flower arrangement from his father. He provides flower arrangements to the local hospital for free as volunteer work, and he is generally the type of guy any community would love to have. He and Luna, the game's main heroine have a sort of weird platonic relationship going on at the beginning, where she waves to him from her balcony and he waves back on his way to school. It is cute in a really archaic way, and it is one of the reasons why I actually thought of this game more as a romance than a nukige. Now, when he happens to encounter Luna in a berserk state in her true form, she drains him (just by touching him) in a way that would turn most people into a mummy. However, he wakes up shortly after that, just fine and dandy. This leads to him 'helping' her handle her overwhelming powers as a royal succubus (yes, that way) and attending the local international boarding school, which is a front for succubi and incubi to learn how to live amongst humans. Generally speaking, the game is split between culture shock shimoneta jokes, heroines being cute and falling for Kento in classic harem-ge style, and h-scenes born out of the heroines being unable to control their nympho genes in the common route. The heroine routes, however, are surprisingly thoughtfully written. The heroines have realistic worries based on their personalities, the parts of them hidden behind the casual eros and natural shimoneta talk come out, and there were actually scenes where I cried throughout the VN because of the intensity of emotion on the characters' parts. This game has always been a quiet favorite of mine, simply because it took the best of romance, charage, and even nukige and somehow made a package that couldn't quite fit into any of those categories. The music is actually fairly high quality (above the industry average), and the art style is surprisingly attractive, even now that it looks somewhat dated in retrospect. For those who want more than casual eros, there are some really strange H-scenes in this game (the girls are succubi, after all), and it never goes down and gets dirty in the emotional sense, at least partly because of the way the girls regard sex in general. If you want a game with high sexual content, decent slice of life, shimoneta comedy, and good romance (if not godly) this game is an excellent choice... especially if you like nympho heroines. Edit: I forgot to properly introduce the heroines. Lunastia Astyr The game's main heroine, the current titular head of the Astyr family and a throwback to the early ages of succubi, both in power and her need for life energy. She has been quietly in love with Kento from afar for quite some time when the story begins. She has also been surviving by draining flowers bought from his shop of energy to keep herself from going into seizures and randomly seeking life energy from those around her. A kind-hearted, sensitive, and innocent (other than sex... she is a succubus, after all) girl who single-heartedly loves Kento. In terms of pure power she is the strongest succubus in existence. However, her hunger is such that draining a normal human of the entirety of their lifeforce would only give her a few weeks of satiation. Ririela Churack Luna's maid and a member of the Churack family, which has produced retainers for the most powerful succubus clans for some time. She is unusual amongst succubi for her bashful reactions to sex talk and her unwillingness to show skin if she can avoid it. She is absolutely devoted to Luna, as Luna is both her best friend and her mistress. She has a long-standing acquaintance with Kento from buying his flowers to bring to Luna. For those who want a nearly-normal heroine, she is the best choice. Euphoria Trinity The daughter of the director of Trinity Hospital, a local hospital that caters to succubi as well as to the general public. She works as a nurse while going to school, and she is considered a very reliable senpai. She has always had a fondness for Kento, having known him from frequent conversations when he brings flower arrangements for the hospital lobby. While she is powerful, she has a complex born of a physical aspect of her heritage that causes her issues in contact with the opposite sex, even her father (no, it isn't nymphomania, though all the heroines are nympho, technically). She is definitely a 'ecchi oneesan' type. Tiana Gill Lilistia The daughter of the school's owners, a stiff-necked tsundere ojousama who is a mass of inferiority complexes just waiting to explode. However, at heart she is deeply passionate, deeply loving, and extremely hard worker. As a classic tsundere, she tends to say the opposite of what she means more often than she would like, especially with Kento, as his relationship with Luna, whom she considers to be her rival, brings out her competitive side. Eris Erotis The game's sub-heroine/extra heroine. Called a 'walking violation of vulgarity laws', she heads up the one-member 'pleasure research club' and can generally be found to be linking every word and action to sex and pleasure in one way or another.
  5. Fate/Grand Order

    I'm curious... for those who actually bothered with Saber Wars, what was your party makeup? I had Yagyu (my second max-skill Servant after Hokusai), Saberlot, Saber Alter, Nero Claudius, and my Altria Lily (usually with an Altria Lily support). With the event CE (and Yagyu as my primary attacker), things usually went fast... what was your Saber party like?
  6. VNR help!

    Suggestion: Switch to Textractor. VNR isn't being supported anymore, so problems are just going to keep getting worse and worse.
  7. Worst VN of The Decade?

    Eustia was the game that turned my faint dislike of ladder-style structure VNs into absolute loathing. I don't think I've ever encountered a VN that was more inconsistent with how it handled internal consistency between the routes... and considering the fact that Tia is the weakest of all the heroines by miles (both personality wise and in terms of characterization/character development) that was a mistake. I liked ALL of the other heroines, and I was immensely annoyed at the fact that Eustia's path essentially blithely says all the other paths are impossible based on the realities of what is going on there. It is one thing to make the other heroine paths essentially less important to the story or have the story cut off early... but Eustia essentially created a bunch of paths that didn't even meet the standards of 'what if'. The setting was good, the protagonist was good (until Eustia's path, where he suddenly became a total turd), and there was a pretty good lineup of characters (other than Eustia/Tia who sucks). Unfortunately, the true ending essentially ruins everything from the bottom up.
  8. Kono ko ga Itara is a good charage, though not kamige material. Kikaijikake no Eve has a decent story and horrible gameplay.
  9. Best Visual Novels to Read for a Book Club

    Treating G-Senjou no Maou like a kinetic novel wouldn't be a bad idea.
  10. What Are You Playing: Video Game Edition

    Langrisser I and II for the Switch.
  11. 「かつて、核爆弾という殲滅兵器があったらしい。旧暦二十世紀に誕生した破壊の炎は、長らく人類を焼き尽くせる破壊の象徴だったんだとよ。 2500年代にもなればどの国でも当たり前の基本装備になり、それぞれが世界を焼き尽くせる量を保有しつつ、それぞれの領土へ常に矛先を向けていたそうだ。おまえ達が撃って来たらこっちも撃ち込んで滅ぼしてやる、という感じでな――いわゆる核抑止論というやつだ」 Dainsleif "In the distant past, there used to be a weapon of annihilation known as the nuclear bomb. This destructive flame, born in the twentieth century of the old calendar, was for a long time the symbol of humanity's ability to destroy itself. By 2500, it was basic equipment for every nation, every country had enough to wipe out the world, and they always had them pointed outward toward their rivals. It was like, 'If you guys shoot, we'll destroy you'... in other words, it was the idea of a nuclear deterrent."  破壊行動を一切止めぬまま、突然ダインスレイフは奇妙なことを語り始めた。大破壊で文明が滅びる前、旧西暦世界の歴史について口ずさむ。 Without stopping his destructive actions, Dainsleif suddenly began talking about something strange. He spoke of what was before the Catastrophe obliterated civilization, of the old era's history. 「要はどこも人類全滅必至の力をもっていれば、怖くなって大きな戦争を起こさないという考えらしいが――何だそれは、舐めてんのか?」  Dainsleif "The point of the theory was that if everyone had the ability to obliterate humanity, everyone would be too scared to start a war, but... what the hell is that?! Were they making fun of each other?!" ぞくり、と。聞く者の背筋を震わせるような悪寒が走る。今まで欠片も見せなかった怒りを顔に滲ませてダインスレイフは続けた。 紡がれる言葉はその一言ごとに殺意の圧力を発する言葉の刃。抑えようもなく溢れる暴竜の怒気に星辰体が感応し、大気を震わせていく。 A chill sufficient to make one shiver ran up the spines of those who could hear him. Dainsleif suddenly showed his rage as he continued. With every word, the pressure of his bloodlust came down on those around him like a blade of words. The Astral around him responded and the atmosphere shook in response to the dragon's rage. 「どうして本気でやらなかった? なぜ全力を出さなかった? 本音を殺して、不本意を甘受して、求めた未来へ必死にならずわざわざ我慢し続けた? 大統領に総統、帝王……支配者なら普通考えるはずだろう? 世界征服ってやつをよォ。 自分以外のあらゆる国を這いつくばらせて、自分の国のためだけに生きる格下の奴隷国家として従えたいはずじゃねえのか? 世界の盟主になりたかろう? そのチャンスをどうしてわざわざ封じたんだ」 Dainsleif "Why didn't they go all in?! Why didn't they use everything they had? Why the hell did they bother hiding their true desires, endured their own reluctance, and went out of the way to keep their self-control instead of desperately seeking their desired future. Presidents, Fuhrers, Emperors.... if you are a leader, wouldn't you think of this at least once? ... World domination. Wouldn't they want to make every country other than your own crawl on their bellies, living as slave nations for the good of your nation? Wouldn't they want to become the ruler of the world? Why did they go out of their way to eliminate that chance?" 「そいつらはなぜ、邪魔な国に核ミサイルを撃ちこもうと必死に努力しなかったんだ? おかしいだろうが、常識的に考えてッ」 Dainsleif "Why didn't they work their hardest to shoot nuclear missiles into the countries in their way?! It doesn't make any sense, if you think about it logically!" 「くッ……」 Mistel "Kuh...!" 「うおおおお……ッ」 Ash "Uoooh...!"  静かな、しかし他を圧倒するダインスレイフの情動に比例して激しさを増す暴星の嵐。邪竜の毒が世界を侵し、変質させていく。  暴れ狂う巨竜と化した戦場で、魔星は世の不条理を憎む正義のように持論を吐き散らしていた。 何故だ、ふざけるなと――光に焦がれる殉教者は凡愚たちへの憤りをもはや隠しもしない。抑えることなどできはしない。 The tyrant star's storm of Astral become more ferocious in direct proportion to the quiet - but overwhelming to all others - emotions Dainsleif was displaying. The evil dragon's poison violated the world and changed it beyond repair. On the battlefield which had itself become a giant dragon, the Masei proclaimed his own worldview like a form of justice that hates the world's unfairness. 'Why? Don't give me that bullshit -' The martyr who longed for the Light couldn't hide his anger at the world's foolish masses. He couldn't hold it back. 「止めようとする副官の家族構成をなぜ調べて脅さない? 発射命令を出す兵士をなぜ権威や金で懐柔しない? 秘密裏に協力者を募ろうとなぜ欠片もしようとしないのか? できるはずだ、やれるはずだ。必要な情報を調べるのにかかる年数はいったい幾らだ? 資金を、人材を集めるのにはどの程度の時間がかかる? 二十年、十年? いいや恐らく必死になれば五年程度でやれるだろう。 本気で自国以外を核の炎で焼き払う。それを真剣に考えて考えて努力して……鋼の決意で実行すればやってやれないはずはないのに」 Dainsleif "Why didn't they research the family structure of the subordinate trying to stop them and threaten them? Why didn't they corrupt the soldiers who were to give the launch orders with power and money? Why didn't they even try to secretly gather supporters? They should have been able to do it, they were able to do it. How long would it have taken them to gather the necessary information? How much time to gather the money and personnel? Twenty years? Ten years? No, most likely, if they put their all into doing it, they could have done it in five years. To burn away all others outside their nation. If they thought of it seriously and worked at it... if they had the iron will to do it, there is no way they couldn't have." 「もったいねえ。英雄ならやるし邪竜もやるぞ? なぜなら常に本気だからだ。 一片の曇りもなく、一度決めたのなら怯まないし諦めねえ。ああ、ああ、ああ、ああ……なんだその様は、まるで生きちゃいねえぞオイ! 人の可能性を、人生の価値を、どこまで馬鹿にしてやがる……ッ!」 Dainsleif "What a waste. The hero would have done it, and I would do it too! For we are always deadly serious. Once we decide to do something, we, without a hint of doubt, will never falter or give up. Aah, aah, aah, aah... what is wrong with you?! It's like you aren't even alive! Just how far will you go to make fun of the value of life, of people's possibilities...!?" Gotta love Dainsleif... one of the craziest game characters I've ever seen, right up there with Kefka from FF VI...
  12. Random VN: Silverio Trinity

    Silverio is easier than Dies Irae, but not that much easier. As I mentioned above, it is heavy on exposition. However, Takahama and the others are less obsessed with poetic turns of phrase than Masada is, so it is marginally easier to read.
  13. Random VN: Silverio Trinity

    In preparation for the release of the Silverio series' conclusion, Silverio Ragnarok, next month, I decided to replay Silverio Trinity, one of my favorite chuunige. First, I should note that I consider the Silverio series to be one of the three most well-designed VN settings in existence. One is Eushully's Dir Lifyna, the other being the Nasuverse (Type-Moon's Fate and Tsukihime universe). In terms of details, unique aspects, and generally fascinating fun, they all have their high points. Dir Lifyna's high points mostly revolve around the intricate dance of dark gods, light gods, old human world gods, demons, demi-humans, and the faith-based magic that make up its background. The Fate/Tsukihime universe's strengths lie in its approach to the occult, the inhuman, the mystic, and the unnatural. Silverio's strengths lie in a combination of turn and turnabout philosophy mixed with a world that has survived the tribulations and trials of our own, plus another fifteen hundred years (and one cataclysm that ended our civilization). As in the excerpt of Silverio Vendetta I previous translated, The first game had an intensive philosophical focus on the two extremes of victory and retribution. Zephyr himself is defined as an eternal loser, whereas Valzeride, the antagonist, is defined as the ultimate victor. In many ways, Trinity is an answer to the question Vendetta poses, since Vendetta, despite its ending, didn't really pass judgment on the argument between the two extremes. Trinity's protagonist, regardless of which path you are on, is a straightforward young man who is facing a fate that is in many ways far worse than Zephyr's in Vendetta was. However, he is also potentially the second-wisest character in the game (behind Galahad, who is an example of the best kind of priest) in the game, depending on the path. His experiences and his limitations have the potential to give him a perspective unique among all the characters in both games, which makes him an ideal protagonist for the second of three games. Like most Light games, this game has over the top action... but it needs to be said that some of it is seriously crazy even for Light. Gilbert is probably among the top three scariest characters I've seen in any otaku media... not so much for his abilities (though he is extremely capable) but for how his mind works. He is unbelievably intelligent, simulating literally hundreds of potential outcomes for each action he takes, manipulating everyone involved in the story with a skill that makes my head hurt. What is worse is that he is also ruthless without being in the least bit cold-blooded. What do I mean? Gilbert is the kind of guy who will kill someone, hate himself for it, and use his anger at himself for what he did to them as fuel to keep him going on his path. This game, like Vendetta, uses a very similar approach to telling its story to Dies Irae by Masada. It is heavy on exposition, relying far less on the dialogue (in fact, dialogue is often as not used as an accent in key scenes) than is normal in most VNs, often waxing poetic about the characters' thought processes, their nature, and various other elements key to the scene. The story of Trinity is based three years after Vendetta in the city of Prague. Prague is one of the few cities that remains mostly unchanged from our own era... save for the fact that the Japanese National Diet now sits in its center, making it a religious spot for the Japan-worshipers of the world-spanning religion based in Canterbury (which is also the name of the nation that rules the British Isles). It is also a strategic key point for both Adler and Antaruya, two countries that have been at each other's throats for decades at the point this story begins. As such, it has become a quiet battleground, with people fighting and dying in surprisingly large numbers but no one really acknowledging the conflicts in the open, so as to avoid showing weakness to the other two nations. In general, it is a pretty explosive setup. Now, I love this game... on my third playthrough, I found myself translating random scenes and sending them to friends, who complained that if I was going to tempt them with excerpts, I should translate the entire thing (which of course, I didn't deign to respond to, lol). It has its flaws (the fact that there is no Alice path... I'm a sucker for mature heroines who have survived horrible pasts more or less intact save for a wide streak of amorality), but it shows off the best of Light's non-Masada team's skills. In fact, it was this game that led me to pronounce that they had surpassed Masada, simply because they have proven to be far more consistent than he is (he reminds me of George Lucas... dreaming grand, often poetic, but with eccentricities that get in the way and with a tendency to pander at weird moments). If you want a game with great exposition, an interesting concept, a deep setting, and great characters, this one is an excellent choice... if you've already played Vendetta. Unfortunately, most of this game doesn't make sense without playing Vendetta.
  14. 10283 posts less than Nosebleed - AMA

    Selfcest it is.
  15. PS5 Details Drop Tomorrow!

    That's periodic. Sony has always gone back and forth between lower and higher censorship standards. It was ten times worse in the PS1 and PS2 eras.
  16. PS5 Details Drop Tomorrow!

    Meh... here's to hoping it is affordable and enough games I find interesting come out immediately to justify buying it in the first or second year. I have a decent gaming PC, so my only reason to buy it would be jrpgs...
  17. Hey

    Welcome back... *considers eating Nosebleed to display his joy at the other Fuwan's return to the fold, but thinks better of it, remembering that most people don't eat other people as a greeting*
  18. Loca Love

    Neither needs one. There is only one choice and it doesn't effect the ending.
  19. Mononokei Kanojo

    Yes I played this, for obvious reasons. This is one of those rare nukige that makes an attempt at escaping being a nukige. It attempts to have a story, has an interesting setting, and even has interesting heroines with dark pasts... Unfortunately, there are places where it stumbles (and no, I'm not talking about the high H content). The most obvious place it stumbles, for someone just starting it, is the horrible way the music is handled. It cuts out in some scenes, has little connection with what is going on in others, and is outright (and completely so) generic at others. Considering the money that had to have gone into the Live 2D system and the character visuals, this strikes me as being a singularly stupid way to handle things. Yes, you don't expect a nukige to have GREAT music, but I do think a baseline of good music such as is seen in even the weakest charage, should be well-within the capabilities of even a newbie company. I was horrified to see them reusing the 'everyday life' music heard in Norn/Miel games, which is pretty much the worst everyday life BGM in existence. The character designs in this game, while not godly, are definitely done extremely well. In particular, the kitsune Tamayo, the inugami Yanoe, and the yukionna Hisame have excellent character designs, even if the latter two are just a bit off from my personal tastes. You can tell that a large portion of the budget for this game was put into the character designs, and it definitely pays off. Live 2D is, like most motion animation, a waste of money. It doesn't really add anything to the experience (except for people who just want to see boobs bounce), and it requires an engine that is so bug-ridden that the weirdest crap can render it inoperable (I hate Unity engine). Now, for the story... and there is a story, albeit not a great one. Essentially, the protagonist, due to some kind of mess in his past lives (and he has a large number of them, lol) is cursed with bad luck, to the point where if something bad is going to happen in the area he is in, it will always hit him. One night, he encounters a beautiful kitsune during a kimodameshi at his school (for those unfamiliar with it - in other words, people who don't normally play SOL games - a kimodameshi is basically a staged test of courage), who promptly and gleefully reverse-rapes him (though he gets into it halfway through). The next day, the class idol, Tenko Tamayo, is all over him, and eventually he ends up learning about youkai and their relationship with humanity. To be honest, what bothers me most about this game, after finishing it, is the fact that every single one of these paths at least meets charage-level and possibly nakige-level requirements for writing and scenario. Unfortunately, the music and oddly-timed jumps into H-scenes tends to break things up whenever they start to get really serious. Moreover, some of the paths (Yanoe's in particular) sometimes get weird jumps from decision-making to the results, taking out a lot of the fun of watching the characters struggle. Nonetheless, since I enjoyed the youkai H, the setting, and Tamayo's path, I added extra points that kept it out of the gutter in my vndb list, lol.
  20. Essentially, since @mitchhamilton made a thread covering what was best in entertainment (Japanese entertainment especially) media in the last decade, I thought I'd set out my dream results here. Gaming Interface: True VR through either some kind of implant tech or through the use of a haptic suit of some sort (yes, I hate today's incomplete VR with a passion). Anime: Sequels for all the junk-food isekai anime left incomplete over the last six years (and that's a LOT of anime) Reading: I'd like to see a satisfying conclusion at least to the current (Mesan conspiracy) arc of Honor Harrington. While the last entry in the series was godly, it still doesn't conclude the most important thread. VNs: I'd like to see the rise of more plotge-specializing companies in JVNs and hopefully a new chuunige company to replace the loss of Light (if it doesn't end up lending its name as a subsidiary of Akabeisoft) General Gaming: I know this will probably make me sound like an old fogey... but I'd like to see less focus on expanding multiplayer to ridiculous levels in gaming in general. I wouldn't mind so much if people would stop feeding back multiplayer gameplay styles into solo gaming, which has been a trend for almost fifteen years now. I'm really disgusted when I see MMO-style skill hot buttons in a solo rpg, and I hate it when there is no pause function in an action game. Moreover, I seriously despise it when people insist on gluing on random multiplayer BS into games that function perfectly fine without it.
  21. VN of the Month July 2006 - Bra-Ban!

    Of these, I've played Kaiware and Maid-san... Maid-san is... predictably a maid-themed nukige that happens to include swords. I couldn't fap to it, so that should say everything that needs to be said about it, since it is a nukige. Kaiware is a kusoge. It was among a plethora of random games I played through at the time. While I do have a mild gender-swap fetish, this was one of the few games where a rather abortive effort was made to take it seriously. It failed.
  22. VN of the Month June 2006 - H2O -Footprints in the Sand-

    I played Kanojo-tachi no Ryuugi... like most games by that company, the relationships are twisted and incestuous, with a lot of surprising drama despite many of the characters being mostly straightforward. Iinchou wa Shounin-sezu bored me to death... it was sort-of funny for the first part of the game, but the actual romantic portion is worse than most moege. H20 is pretty overrated... people kept trying to get me to play it, but I couldn't get into it.
  23. Help needed.

    The official website says start as administrator. Edit: It also says if you have further problems, fiddle with the compatibility settings in properties. Since it worked with pre-Windows 10 OS's, pick one of them and see if it works if the above doesn't. If none of the compatibility settings works, I couldn't find anything else to help you.
  24. Love Destination

    Umm... wow? This game is seriously out there. Yes, I needed to start with that. Love Destination's every aspect is more than a little crazy. It starts with a salaryman in his late thirties dying in a car accident and being told by the lazy-ass woman at the gates that she accidentally killed him on a whim. She offers him a chance to start over from the branching point of his life (after several other attempts to cover her own incompetence), and he ends up going back in time... only to choose to go to the girls' school he previously refused to go to. Now, up until this, you might think this was a charage... but that couldn't be any further from the truth. This game is a seriously screwed up plotge with a scenario designed by someone with a rather twisted mind. There are four paths in this game, one monogamist and the other three threesomes. There are also a ton of bad endings at two normal endings (some of them branching off from the paths). Now, up until now I've focused on how crazy this game is, but I need to say that this game has some negative aspects I need to state early on. First, though the scenario itself is actually at kamige tier, the writing is... second-rate? I felt like I was reading something by someone who loved chuunige but also liked to insert symbols in the place of words. A lot of this game already has furigana even without a parser because of this, which bemused me somewhat. Personally, I found the methods this writer used to be pure eye and brain cancer, so if you are a fan of god-tier writing, you aren't going to be happy with this game. I seriously empathize with anyone who might attempt to translate this, lol. Second is the protagonist and his osananajimi. The protagonist, in his previous life, was the type of guy who, rather than seeking out positives, always sought to eliminate negatives. As a result, he ended up on the lowest rungs of a decaying Japanese society that was on the verge of losing its sovereignty before his death. While he does try to change in his new life (literal), it is only in the actual heroine paths and at the end of the common route that he actually starts to strip away the layers of cowardice that make up his personality. He does this in a grand fashion in several of the paths, so I can forgive the way he is at the beginning... but I really hate his interactions with his osananajimi Mayuri early on. Mayuri keeps insisting he act in a way convenient to her without ever actually getting around to telling him what she wants from him. That this is true both in his former life and in his new life is one point that annoyed me to no end. Rina and Shina The Otona sisters are descendants of foreigners from northern Europe (so no, the older sister did not dye her hair). Early on, the relationship between Shina and the protagonist is almost antagonistic, whereas Rina is so quiet she is not in the picture. Shina pretends at being a delinquent, but she fails utterly (even moreso because the protagonist sees through her easily), but she does, unfortunately, have a relationship with real delinquents. Honestly, I can't dig deep into the heroines' personalities without ruining the experience for you all, so I'll stick to a vague description of what the path is like. I didn't bother with bad or normal endings on this path. In this path, the protagonist gets caught up in the twisted problems hidden beneath the surface of the seemingly normal sisters and is forced to grow far beyond his previous limits in order to deal with what he finds there. The actual events that occur in this path are... dark and depressing until things turn out all right. This path is probably too muddy for anyone interested in a simple romance, but I thought the ending made everything worth it, since I loved both heroines (despite their... issues). Mayuri and Sakurako Mayuri is the protagonist's overbearing osananajimi (who has the worst kind of tsundere thing going) and Sakurako is her best friend, a rich girl who obviously has certain 'tendencies'. Most of this path focuses on this particular love triangle's difficulties (Protagonist>Mayuri<Sakurako), and there are a lot of facepalm moments involved... mostly because all three have similar personalities hidden under different facades. Now, this path's impression, for me... was that it was good but exhausting. I liked the solution they came to in the end, and I had to rofl at some of the weirder moments. However, the antagonist of the path is a seriously exhausting person... and this is the first time in the VN that I encountered her (vicariously). The first scene in which she appears left me needing to watch something fluffy, so I went and watched a few episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura to cleanse some of that atmosphere's effects on my mind. This path is quite a bit less dramatic and dark than the previous path... and thus it lacks the sheer gravity born of comparison when you watch the ending. Still, it is a pretty good path, with an interesting concept. Ai Ai's path is the only monogamous path in the game, and Ai herself is a somewhat 'mysterious' heroine. Her role in the story is minimal... until you do her path. For various reasons, I recommend that anyone who plays this game do this path last, as it spoils all the other paths' secrets. Since Ai's path draws on elements from all the other paths, many of the events and revelations were familiar to me. For obvious reasons, I left the Mizuki/Karin path to last, but in terms of experiencing the story as it is meant to be experienced, it is better to do this path last. Ai appears randomly throughout the common route, often questioning the protagonist's ridiculous good luck (which does seem ridiculous toward the end of the common route, though the heroine routes reveal that his luck isn't as good as it seems), and she has a familiar role to many true heroines... the heroine it shouldn't be possible to get together with. Now, I'm not questioning whether this trope works. I've played any number of VNs where this trope was used effectively to create truly exceptional stories. Indeed, this path is one of the single best uses of the trope I've ever seen. However, the ending feels waaay too convenient in comparison to the other paths. Yes, it was exhilarating to see the antagonist of the game getting what she deserved, but the way they went all mystic with the ending gave me a headache. Mizuki and Karin Yes, I played this path. No, I didn't play this path for the H (as one guy joked with me as I conversed with him on discord). Instead, the events in Ai's path made me curious enough to get over my inhibitions. Well, to be straight, this is a weird yandere SM path. Well, that is the relationship anyway... both heroines are a bit crazy/obsessive/possessive/etc. This path was surprisingly good, despite the fact that I had to actually read the h-scenes to get to parts of the story (normally, I skip h-scenes, but the first few are vital to progression of the story, as are some later). I also found myself laughing through much of the latter parts of the path, despite the darkness of what was going on, because both Mizuki and Karen are so... out there. Their common sense and personalities are pretty abnormal by most standards, though they grew on me as the path reached its end. The ending... well, like most of the paths in this game, the ending was good. I still like the twins' ending the best, though. Conclusion Well, this game was an unexpected treat. It doesn't really fall into any established genre beyond 'plotge', and the writer/writers (no names are listed) are not the most skilled out there (tons of typos, use of symbols in place of words, etc), but the story itself was pretty interesting. The only 'downside' to the whole thing is that you only ever really see the heroines truly happy near the end and in the epilogue.