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Clephas

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Posts posted by Clephas

  1. 13 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

    Hikari no Umi no Apeiria

    That one has to be one of the weirdest ones I've ever read, and that's saying a lot.

    As for virtual worlds, keep in mind that most of these aren't 'game worlds' but rather virtual worlds in which the characters live most of the time.  The spoiler box contains ones for which this is a spoiler.

    Spoiler

    Reallive

    Strawberry Feels

    Owaru Sekai to Birthday

    Re:Lief

    The Baldr series

    Death End re;Quest

    Augmented Reality

    Harvest Overray

    Electro-arms

  2. Tokyo Babel

    The protagonist is Tendou Setsuna, a young man assigned the role of climbing through the transformed Purgatory to Jacob's Ladder after the maker of all things starts squishing parallel earths like bugs, the remaining angels and demons coming together to support a traditional journey of atonement in hopes that God will relent.

  3. On 1/4/2023 at 9:33 PM, Nemesis said:


    Maou Futekigousha - Kind of got bored of the story already, lol. Dropped the novels, manga, and the anime already. I can't stand an action story with zero tension.


    Eiyuu-ou, Bu wo Kiwameru Tame Tenseisu: Soshite, Sekai Saikyou no Minarai Kishi - this one is a fun LN with a battle-junkie MC who was reincarnated as a female.



    Isekai Nonbiri Nouka - an extremely boring LN about an OP reincarnator farming. If you like watching paint dry, go watch this.



    Kaiko sareta Ankoku Heishi (30-dai) no Slow na Second Life - This one is an ok LN about a former soldier from the Demon King's army quitting and starting a new life in the countryside. But his slow life is constantly bothered by events from his past. There are some interesting scenes, but overall rather boring.

    Saikyou Onmyouji no Isekai Tenseiki - It's a rather generic Isekai LN, but I'm a sucker for Onmyouji stories. The strongest onmyouji was killed by his disciple and reincarnated into an isekai. The twist is that the hero in this world is similar to his disciple.

     

    Maou has style and feels but yeah, no real tension since no one can beat the protag or even really get close to it.

    Eiyuu-ou is one of like a dozen LN/WN series that have become popular in recent years where a powerful person reincarnates to get away from his responsibilities or forcefully restart his life.  tbh, I thought it wasn't one of the better ones of this type.  I honestly don't understand why they bothered making it into an anime.

    Isekai Nonbiri Nouka- Yeah, this series is incredibly slow-paced and the poster boy for the 'slow-life reincarnator/transporter/summoned hero' sub-genre.  Unless you want a ton of SOL iyashikei, it isn't really a great series.

    Kaiko Sareta Ankoku Heishi- This one is a pretty fun read so far, but it is also yet another slow-life type.  At first, this genre was fun, but after like the fiftieth one, it started to feel like when I played all those romcom VNs for my blog.

    Saikyou Onmyouji- I actually really liked the books.  Well, the ones I got through before I got distracted, anyway.  I thought it was interesting because the protagonist is something of a monster at heart.  I tend to like stories where the protagonist is a little evil but still human.

  4. The season is really heavy on fantasy and isekai, which brings out mixed feelings in me.  I prefer those genres, so that makes me happy, but it also has the effect of dampening enthusiasm amongst Japanese watchers for next season.  I'd much rather have a few high-quality shows than one good show and a bunch of third-rate ones.  

    Maou Gakuin's second season is my current obsession, with the continuing Kage no Jitsuryokusha coming in a close second (especially given the cliffhanger of last week's episode).  

    My second rank of interests include: Bofuri 2, Vinland Saga 2, Kamitachi ni Hirowareta Otoko 2, and Hyouken no Majutsushi (read the novel, something to look forward to if they didn't botch it).

    Third Rank includes: Shinka no Mi 2, Spy Kyoushitsu, Ningen Fushin, Eiyuuou, Nouka (incidentally, this one's LN is huge in Japan, but it is one of those slow-life isekai reincarnation stories, so don't expect a ton of action), Saikyou Onmyouji (this one's WN is pretty good, but I doubt we'll see the best parts before the season is over), Kaiko Sareta Ankoku Heishi (Just like Nouka, this one is pretty popular in jp, but I dunno how well it will transfer), Isekai Hourou Meshi (another slow life isekai, moderate quality in the books, localized LNs), 

    Fourth Rank (no real hopes for it): Benriya Saitou ( couldn't get into the LN, maybe the anime will be different), Rougo ni Sonaete, Revenger, Ars no Kyoujuu, Ooyukiumi no Kaina, Trigun Stampede (nostalgia), and Tensei Oujo.

  5. 4 hours ago, TheLemmaLlama said:

    Hm, so it seems like most VNs still have the 'good' ending as the 'last' ending at least?

    After thinking about it a bit, I think the feeling I'm going for is 'the bad endings are *conclusive* and therefore more dramatic in the sense of "something has been DESTROYED and there is no recovering from this"'. Whereas with the good ending, a major 'block' is overcome and that's what makes it cathartic, but the change basically happens within the characters and there isn't any particularly dramatic external consequences; it's basically just 'life goes on' but now they're no longer stuck in the loop they were in for the majority of the story and can move forward and work on their other issues at their own pace. So I do think I want it to be more of a lowkey sense of relief; just a breath of fresh air , like if you've been lost in a tunnel it's less 'you BLOW UP the cave walls and emerge into the dazzling light of day' and more 'oh, I found the exit ... thank goodness ...!' - I think I like the sense of realism it brings 😄

    If you know of any examples that might've been aiming for that (whether executed well or poorly), I'd love to check them out - but regardless you've been a big help and given me a bit to consider; I guess it's ultimately up to me to decide if it's work risking the pitfalls you specified by attempting to do what I currently have in mind XD

    The key to making a truly good 'bad' ending is including a level of conclusiveness to it in the greater context of events.  Bad endings which are basically random are generally useless (make one bad choice and all of the sudden the MC dies, for instance).  However, if you include at least some progression after the choice or set of choices that creates the route to the bad ending, you can bring it to life in and of itself.  Essentially that is what utsuge do.  The best of them create a conclusive narrative that makes sense within the greater narrative as is defined by the 'true' ending. 

    A lot of writers - particularly the ones that use the ladder-style choice structure - botch things here by creating a true route that invalidates all other endings due to setting elements included.  Aiyoku no Eustia  is a classic example of a botched attempt at a true ending, as the true ending completely invalidates the story of the other endings.  

    This isn't much of an issue if you read slowly (those who read a single VN over the course of months or a year), but for someone who finishes an average-sized VN within a week or a month, it is a glaring flaw.  Even small inconsistencies and setting clashes standout in that case, and it is glaringly obvious in the case of VNs with true endings or grand routes.  

    In Akeiro Kaikitan, while there is a true ending, no single ending is neglected.  All of them are somewhat bittersweet and some are downright bad (Youko's ending comes to mind, as it is the result of literally everything going wrong).  My favorite path in the game, the path for the tochigami twins, is a classic example of how a bittersweet ending can leave an intense impression that overshadows the true ending.  As cathartic endings go, it is pretty close to the ideal.

    Another game that can be considered mostly extended bad endings is Jingai Makyou (by Nitroplus).  Even the single 'happiest' ending in the game is an ending where the protagonist casts aside his humanity, for instance.  Even then, it is a matter of interpretation, as some would find the alternate endings for the same path to be 'better' depending on their outlook, even if it cost the characters deeply in the process.  

    Yet another approach I experienced in the past is the one used in Ore no Tsure wa Hitodenashi.  In this one, the endings are separated into 'blue' and 'Happy' endings.  The happy endings are just that, straight-out happy endings.  However, the blue endings are endings where the inhuman heroines follow their darker desires and things go in a completely different direction.  This utilizes the drastic contrast to enhance the experience both ways.  It also built up the characterizations in a way that was surprisingly effective.

  6. 5 hours ago, TheLemmaLlama said:

    Thanks for the examples! I didn't know utsuges can have good endings (my VN repertoire isn't the largest lmao :P)

    Hmmm ... I don't think I'd be too mad about that, maybe. I don't want the VN to feel *hopeless* but it is supposed to be pretty sad. Maybe a bad ending that leaves approximately the impact of Undertale's genocide route is what I'm looking for.

    I guess I'm thinking of having my endings that way because with the way events naturally progress, I feel like the point where my good ending happens is the best place for it to happen because the momentum has been built up and everything, and I don't think I want to drag it out artificially. At the very least, leaving a happy last impression is probably not worth sacrificing this ...

    Follow-up question: if a VN has an unambiguously happy, cathartic good ending that at least stands out in that it's the only ending with a unique credits sequence, but also a couple of bad endings (all with the same credits sequence), one of which is the 'missed flag' type and another is noticeably longer gameplay-wise than the good ending, would you say it's a nakige or utsuge?

    It's better if I give an example here.  The example I'm offering up is Houkago no Futekikakusha.  Houkago no Futekikakusha is undeniably an incredibly brutal utsuge... but the true ending can be considered a 'good' ending... if you ignore the fact that in all the alternative timelines, those horrible events still happened.  The main difference between a nakige and an utsuge is that nakige always result in a 'good' ending, even if it is a bit bittersweet, whereas an utsuge's endings will mostly be sad or despairing endings (a single ending can be an exception, but anything more than that and it isn't quite an utsuge).  

    That should answer most of your questions, but I'll go ahead and put up another example... in this case, a chuunige.  Chuunige generally have bittersweet endings, with truly happy endings being relatively rare.  The one I want to mention is Silverio Trinity (second in the series).  Spoilers below:

    Spoiler

    In Silverio Trinity, the protagonist dies in all but one of the endings due to the side-effects of the human experimentation he went through before the story began. 

    Because of this, it fits your condition of a single ending being 'good' while all the others are bitter or sad.  This particular tactic, which is usually used to enhance the emotional response of the reader to the final 'good' ending, can have great results or horrible ones depending on how that last ending is handled.  To be blunt, I've read VNs where a writer took this tactic and ran it into the ground because he couldn't write a sufficiently standout good path to contrast with the bad ones.  The most effective tactic in this case is to path-lock so that one can only reach the good ending by experiencing all or at least one of the bad endings, then making the good ending highly detailed and emotionally impactful (made even moreso by the experience of the other paths).  

     

  7. It's not an unusual concept.  To be blunt, Sunao's ending in Semiramis no Tenbin is basically a bad ending that happens if you miss the flag for Ami's ending.  As for bad endings that are longer than the good endings... less common but also something that happens regularly in utsuge in particular.  Sora no Baroque comes to mind, for instance.

    However, you have to ask yourself... do you really want a bad ending to be the one thing people remember when it is all over?  Because the longest and most detailed endings are the ones people remember the most.  In good VNs, the true ending generally is never shorter than the other endings and is often longer many times over for this precise reason.  It is also why - if a heroine exists for the true ending - picking a poor quality heroine for the true ending usually damns the game to the kusoge pile.

  8. 5 hours ago, ChaosRaven said:

    Nice list of top five VN's. I also like that the previous years are linked. Would be nice to also have an addendum with all English release of that year - just to know the competition.

    Reminds me that I still have Hello Lady installed. Was a bit hit and miss for me. Interesting protagonist, but the heroines felt more like side characters. Tamao's route was pretty bad, so I stalled the VN for a while. Still have to pick it up again. Just have to find the motivation. Maybe next year...

    Currently I'm reading Amatsutsumi, but it seems a lot weaker than Chrono Clock or Hapymaher so far. Pretty much nothing happens at all - just pure slice of life. I'll probably just play Mana's route and call it a day.

    Besides that, I'm also reading Flowers 4 from this year, which feels rather... low effort so far. Half the characters of the previous titles are gone and none were added, which makes the experience rather boring.

    Not counting Japanese titles, the best English VN for me this year was probably Summer Pockets. Though that wasn't a release from this year.

    Amatsutsumi definitely is more slice-of-life focused.  The only route that is a real exception is the Hotaru route.

    I really suggest you play the complete edition of Hello, Lady (including the materials from Superior), as it contains a non-heroine true route that is excellent.  Also, the extra routes for Hishia and Mitori are worth playing simply because Mitori's provides a lot of insight into some of the background noise of the other paths and Hishia's path gives you more background on Shinri.

     

  9. For those who are interested, the best games by that company are:

    Baldr Skydive

    Baldr Sky Zero (alternate world setting, which makes sense if you completed the original, battle system was more clunky than Skydive due to a transition to 2.5D)

    Baldr Force (has aged surprisingly well, but the visuals, while pretty, are very much yesteryear.  Occurs significantly before the development of biological AIs that led to Baldr Sky)

    Baldr Heart (based a few centuries after Baldr Skydive, when Ark's digital mind transfer tech is in common use)

  10. 8 hours ago, Nemesis said:

    Which Baldr game are you talking about so I can avoid it?

    I'm going to get all the giga games that I'm interested in before they shutdown.

    Baldr Bringer.  Baldr Bringer's story is virtually nonexistent, and the combat is awful and slow-paced (the attraction of the Baldr series battle systems' was how fast-paced it was).  

    Senkou no Clarias (the last gameplay game by Giga's Team Baldrhead) was interesting... until it wasn't.  The combat system was clunky and poorly designed, though not as poorly as Baldr Bringer's.

  11. I played the Baldr series up to the point where they for some reason decided to make the last game a piece of crap (both battle system and story).  I still don't get why they destroyed the traditions of the series to create a mindless game obviously designed for mobile phones rather than pc or consoles.  

    Giga has been showing signs of collapse for a while now.  The over-production of the 'kiss' series, which was never that popular even amongst romance VN lovers, was another sign of this.  In addition, Giga's development costs were always excessive for the genre, which probably made it worse due to the borderline nature of sales of VNs.

    Harvest Overray was decent, but after that I came to the conclusion that Giga was incapable of producing anything truly superlative outside of the Baldr series.  This was confirmed by my first attempt to play a game from the 'kiss' series, which was a total kusoge.

  12. 6 hours ago, tahu157 said:

    This is really the only thing I've watched so far. The premise is hilarious but 5 episodes in and I feel like I don't really know any of these characters at all.

    Try reading the Ln or the web novel.  So far it is pretty close to the web novel, with the exception of skipping over a lot of the school life shit.  The details that includes will fill in the characters to an extent.  As for Delta and the others, you don't really get to know them until later in the story.  Alpha and Beta are the ones who have the most 'screen time' in the story, with Ipsilon coming to life pretty late in the story.  Delta is really simple (literally simple)... she's basically a wolf to the bone.  If you can beat her up, she's submissive, if you lose to her, she dominates you.  Her main interests are food and killing.

  13. Kage no JItsuryokusha ni Naritakute is my gem for this season.  Great mix of ridiculousness, melodrama, and story.  Beast Tamer is a good harem fantasy.  Shinmai Renkinjutsushi is cute but not so cute-focused that it makes me want to vomit, so it is actually watchable.  Tensei Shitara Ken Deshita I also like, but my thing for catgirls probably has me liking it more than most would.

  14. On 10/28/2022 at 7:41 PM, littleshogun said:

     

    Announcement 2 - Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

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      Reveal hidden contents

    Two childhood friends attend Takafuji Gakuen: Yuuki, who wants to fall in love, and Chisato, who hates chocolates. They are part of the food research club along with their friend and classmate Mifuyu. Even though it’s a food research club, they don’t actually do anything except for buying candy with the club budget and enjoying their time together. It is an irreplaceable place to them. However, the club’s existence is in danger with one of the student council president candidates, Satsuki, vowing to close all clubs that don’t do anything. Since their club is in this list, they do their best to save it but there’s no other way but to participate in the student council president elections and defeat her. Yuuki is persuaded by Chisato to run in the election. At first he isn’t interested at all, but since the club members are trying their hardest, he too wants to win to save the club.

    Announcement 3 - Baka Moe Heart ni Ai o Komete!

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      Reveal hidden contents

    Renren Academy is a school which promotes romance, with couples-only meals, events made specifically for couples, and a shrine where only couples may enter. It is said that a couple who ties the knot in front of the legendary goddess statue in the shrine on the day of the Christmas party will be happy forever. These phrases of “legendary” and “eternal love” make Shoutarou burn with excitement. He vows to find a girlfriend and confess his love for her in front of the goddess statue.

    However, there are the ‘juubakusha’ who stand in his way. They despise the lovey-dovey atmosphere given off by the couples in the school and want to cancel the Christmas party! They also play tricks on couples to try to make them break up and attempt to destroy the statue. Shoutarou won’t put up with their ill actions! Nothing will stop him from becoming the best man there ever was!

     

    .Announcement 5 - Shinsou Noise ~Jushin Tantei no Jikenbo~

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      Reveal hidden contents

    This is the debut game for Azurite. Shizunomiya is a commuter town located on the outskirts of a big city. It has many urban landmarks, while still being full of nature on the sea side. In the middle of this town is Shizunomiya Gakuen, whose students often flock to the city after school to enjoy the wide assortment of entertainment there.

    Kazuma entered the school this spring, but he is no ordinary student. He has the ability to envision the thoughts of others, however he is not able to discern the source. Moreover, these thoughts often overlap one another, creating noise that makes it hard to understand them. While he was born with this ability, he still cannot completely control it and often gets involuntarily exposed to strong thoughts. Nevertheless, he still leads a relatively normal school life.

    First year students are required to form ‘action groups’ which have to do various events throughout the year. The groups are chosen randomly, and the unsocial Kazuma ended up with seven eccentric members. They didn’t bother to meet up, but just to do enough to fulfill their obligations as an ‘action group’. Shortly thereafter, there was a theft in the girl’s changeroom. This would be the first case for the ‘Reception Detective’ Kazuma.

    This is a mystery/suspense ADV, so you’ll have to use your detective skills to solve puzzles and crimes. It employs a ‘voices of the heart’ system where you can tell what a character is actually thinking. You’ll have to collect clues to solve the crimes, which quickly escalate from a simple theft.

    I'll try to comment on those announcements later.

    2- Given how this one had several early attempts to fantranslate it, it isn't much of a surprise.  However, in terms of quality, it isn't a 'classic' I would have bothered with.  It is just famous because it got an anime, in any case.

    3- One of a very small number of 'nearly pure comedy' VNs out there.  This one is a pretty good choice.  

    5- Mmm... to be honest, I don't get why they decided to translate this one.  It is not only niche but has extremely mixed reviews (from me, in particular).  There are some fairly disgusting aspects to the story, and it is more than a little depressing.  Moreover, there is a really awkward mystery system included in there that makes it annoying to play at times.  For a small number of people, though, it seems to have hit the spot perfectly...

  15. Something to keep in mind with replaying a VN is that 'normal' VNs really aren't suitable for being played repeatedly.  In my experience, there are a few golden standards (though not absolute ones) that enhance the replayability of a VN.

    1) Depth of the Setting- This is one of the two primary reasons why I'm most likely to replay a VN.  If a setting is deep enough, there is very little chance you will catch everything on a first playthrough, so games with deep settings often take two or three replays to start to feel stale.

    2) Emotionality/Catharsis- The degree to which a VN stimulates the emotions through presentation and story can often make a VN that is otherwise not all that special replayable.  For this reason, nakige are some of the most commonly replayed VNs from my conversations over the years with other VN players.  If it makes you cry, it is probably worth trying again, lol.

    3) Presentation (dramatic, memorable)- In some cases, there is just something about the way the story is presented that makes replaying a VN easy.  

    4) Uniqueness- Though this became rarer and rarer as time went on, this quality is often enough to make me go back to a VN.  Semiramis no Tenbin and Re:Birth Colony both fall into this type, for different reasons.

     

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