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Palas

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Palas last won the day on November 2 2016

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About Palas

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    Fuwa Elite
  • Birthday 09/01/93

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  1. I haven't played KARAKARA but geez, MGitP is so... lackluster. It's impossible we don't have any better translated moege so many years after the original thread. Also, Ladykiller in a Bind. I personally hate it, but for reasons that have little to do with it being a damn good game. Bolder and better than Analogue, I'd say (both are from Christine Love)
  2. Yeah I'll have to object My Girlfriend is the President. We now have at least 50 better silly-VNs-with-occasional-porn. Like KARAKARA, apparently. Or even Princess Evangile. Honestly, anything would be better than MGiTP. I'm all for it, but you're gonna draw many people's wrath by adding them. Here are some suggestions of non-Japanese titles: VA-11 HALL-A Solstice Break Chance Memento Cinders Mystic Messenger Dandelion Nameless Everlasting Summer Cursed Sight The Confines Of The Crown
  3. VNConf 2018

    That's fantastic - thanks!
  4. Kendjin. Who hasn't been here for a while, so no new people can be added. I think Emi (what was her handle again) and I manage it and since the last (maybe two) year(s) it's an extension of the FuwaReviews, which... could be reviewed, but that'd mean a completely new system. I don't know how it'd work.
  5. That's not what I said though. I personally don't care what numbers do or don't - and that the stats guide the story in LLtQ just means it's a choice system. A choice system can be infinitely complex, but to me, if you choose in it based on the outcome in the story or according to the characters, that's pretty much still a VN to me. But that's me. VNDB thinks differently. Ask them. Ask pabloc.
  6. 25 Otome Games Worth Reading

    It is an otomege in the sense that the main character is a girl and you can get pick a boy to go out with. But it isn't, in the sense that romance isn't the focus and the routes aren't really as about the guys as the male-centered counterpart of omotege usually are. You can also add The Confines of the Crown as an example. This one is more about romance and is still pretty good.
  7. Things that Happen

    !! Thanks :>
  8. Favorite choice in a VN?

    Bring Ilya back
  9. ~~~FAVORITES!!!~~~

    Favorite vn: Katawa Shoujo Favorite route: Emi's Route from Katawa Shoujo; Unlimited Blade Works from Fate Stay Night; Favorite best girl: Emi, from Katawa Shoujo Favorite art style: If My Heart Had Wings, Everlasting Summer (the BGs, at least), Solstice Favorite "dere" type: Yandere Favorite non-canon pairing: Spoilers from Clannad Favorite side character: Misha, from Katawa Shoujo Favorite otome game: Mystic Messenger Favorite best boy: Yukinari, from Break Chance Memento Favorite OELVN: Katawa Shoujo Favorite trap: Please don't use this terminology Favorite jrpg: Chrono Trigger Favorite waifu: At this point I don't even know anymore. I don't think I have a waifu Onee-san or imouto? As romance options? Neither Favorite Kemonomimi animal type? CROW TENGU
  10. Oh look. I miss Darbury. Well, anyway, I still believe what I said in this discussion to be true:
  11. I don't think you should. Because the fact is, they are out there and if you want to look at the EVN scene as a whole you absolute have to tackle the failures as well as the successes. Even more so, I think, and it's a dirty job. Depending on what you want to do, this may or may not be something you want to consider - either you want to work for players who are seeking good VNs or for the developers who are seeking ways to make their games better and how to insert themselves in the industry. Either way, good luck! I'll be following you.
  12. From Sociopaths to Pygmalions

    IM GOMEN No. Or at least I don't think so. I think in order to extrapolate its mechanical nature, a game has to acknowledge it first, then let go of it for the player to judge. You know how in Chrono Trigger -- c'mon, I think I can spoil the first hour of it, right? -- you can do a lot of small evil things at the Millenial Fair that you're sure will never be acknowledged by the game? Like trying to sell Marle's pendant. Since you've assimilated the game's rules, you know the only bad thing you can do is die in a battle. "Doing these lesser evil things didn't throw you into a battle, so they're not evil within this context, that is, the conventions of an RPG. But then suddenly the game goes ahead and acknowledges things you didn't even know could be acknowledged, like moving while Marle is buying candy. Suddenly everything you did, are doing right now or will do until the game ends becomes a moral choice, as if there was a phantom watching and judging you; out of the blue making everything feel more real than it would otherwise be if it tried to? I think our ability to mistake a robot for a human, or even to wish a robot was human, is greater than the ability of a robot to disguise itself as one of us. So when Monika shows her nature as a bunch of rules, we make her human. That's why she feels real. Maybe it has all been done before. But I'm not sure that's all that important. I haven't played Save the Date! But you know what, I think I'm done with meta. Ever since that Christine Love VN with the gigantic name I don't think I can stand EVNs anymore at all. But the thing is, DDLC did what it did not to subvert what we know about VNs, so its reference point wasn't Japanese VNs. It was games a whole right here, right now. Sure, it's also a trend, we saw that in Undertale too. But it's a Western trend, one that is made thinking of the games we play here, not trying to "strip VNs of their Japaneseness" by inserting our cultural values within the same systematic framework.
  13. From Sociopaths to Pygmalions

    true, added, thanks!
  14. (Or Dream Daddy, Doki Doki Literature Club and The State of Our Clichés) @@@ SPOILER ALERT @@@ This post contains spoilers of: Katawa Shoujo, Dream Daddy, Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi and Doki Doki Literature Club @@@ SPOILER ALERT @@@ Here is an interesting thread on Twitter. It argues that Doki Doki Literature Club succeeded as a critique/subversion of the traditional dating sim/stat juggling model, but this model has been discarded in the scene, both Japanese and Western, decades ago and only ever persists outside the genre Dream Daddy did the same things DDLC did and more, actively trying to avoid tropes associated with visual novels, but people criticized it and its "cult end" DDLC only ever succeeded and is exempt from criticism because it has cute girls, not really subverting anything as it reinforces the stereotypes even with all its shenanigans Thus, it shouldn't be assumed that DDLC appeals to those interested in subverting visual novels Let's dissect these talking points, because I feel they can give us insight into what are VNs right now as a genre, particularly in the West. So, first, let's talk about the dating sim model. It's true that as visual novels evolved, they stripped themselves from any and all exposed mechanics (you don't see the numbers that you have to use in order to win the girls' hearts, you have to "feel it"). Flags are still a thing, of course, but several VNs came up with several solutions to try and make the immersion in the story matter more than the material act of playing, be it associating story branches to characters (Fate/Stay Night); totalizing and neutralizing player agency before proceeding with "what really matters", that is, enforcing a playing order by exhausting player possibilities (Clannad); or doing away with any kind of choice (Kinetic novels in general). Still, materializing relationships as numbers never stopped being a staple of how games deal with romance and no ove ever cared about it. Even Catherine, a game about these things, never dropped a flavored number system to determine your relationships throughout the game in favor of the player's subjectivity. But one thing absolutely didn't change -- even in the absence of numbers, people still play to win, not to express themselves. When Katawa Shoujo presented itself to the visual novel community as a deconstruction of the genre, it did so through the sheer power of its morals and stories. It is still, structurally, the most basic of the visual novels. The general idea behind the routes' writing is that by choosing what you'd choose in any other romance VN, you'd get a bad end. So what is subverted here is not the material act of playing, but the values you put in and get back by playing. What Four Leaf Studios never expected was that the great majority of players wouldn't play according to a supposed self that was in line with other visual novels (as in, men thought they should save women and that's why they picked choices accordingly), but according to the rules the game presented; most people, even seasoned visual novel players, got good endings the first time they played. The common story about the game isn't of getting the face smashed in by a bad ending and learning from that, but is that of adapting to the values and rules the game had in order to win, due to our notion that a good ending is a truer ending than a bad or a neutral one. That is to say, the moral values were always second to the rules of the game, even when the bad is more "genuine" to you and your choices. So by subverting values but not rules, Katawa Shoujo ended up not being a subversion at all. What's more, we learned something about games: we'll assimilate a game way before we'll try to make it assimilate us to see what happens. And that means we'll be sociopaths, as has been pointed out by Dream Daddy developers. So here, this will start to get complicated. The developer tried, in Dream Daddy, to address inherent values of the material act of playing, or at least how he perceives them. So in Dream Daddy, you choose who you'd like to date so as not to fuel players' unavoidable sociopathy. Also, the game tries to deny the players the feeling that good ends are necessarily about conquering love and also that they are more valid to the game's system than bad endings. In short, "winning" not necessarily meant "good things happening", as we're all aware is the case with many visual novels the cool guys like to call utsuge, but necessarily meant "choosing to win", which is not the case of said visual novels. Dream Daddy does dismantle the genre's traditional structure at first, but untimately its subversion lies in values. The important point to discuss here is that the stereotypes associated with visual novels -- that they are romance games made to satisfy desires by allowing a player to date whoever they want -- were challenged as values in most successful Western visual novels. Most prominent titles try their best to be unconvential. In fact, there's no successful conventional visual novel made by Western developers. The closest the community has ever had to offer in this aspect was -- oops! Huniepop, which is not a visual novel but a full-on dating sim, accepting the mechanical nature of love in games and embracing it as much as its budget and (probably) the law allowed. The rules behind how values are accepted by players in visual novels were never really challenged. Not until Doki Doki Literature Club. The Untranslated VN Club had already seen Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi, sure. KKKK is a game in which winning ultimately depends on deleting an entire route and character from the system and this is done through a lot of shenanigans that don't really matter here, but that escape the traditional magic circle. One of the characters talks to you as a player, you're forced to go through a rape/NTR scene simply because it's on the gallery and you have to complete the gallery to continue and, in the end, the girl you don't choose is completely erased from existence, forever. This can be seen in a number of ways. It's a very extreme tactic to make immersion in the story overcome the system, the final frontier of visual novels' history of rejecting numbers by finally accepting but swallowing them, as the system as a whole and the material act of playing are now part of the story; it's also a very casual dismissal of any value the player may want to put in the game, since you absolutely have to win, you have to choose everything in order to progress even in you don't like it and there's a conflation of good and bad endings: the good ending of a girl is necessarily the bad ending of the other. No excuses, no mercy; it's the strongest attempt in visual novels yet, after all, to try to make the player "feel it", the romance, even beyond the ability or will to win. However, KKKK is still bound by its own rules. The mechanical nature of love was finally accepted, but ultimately the game still tries to dissociate its values from the fact that you're playing. Doki Doki Literature Club doesn't. DDLC first accepts the mechanical nature of its system, but places winning as a value within the story, not the other way around. Winning is how you get closer to the characters, even if the game has to completely ignore the traditional systems, stat juggling or otherwise, it first presented to you. And the characters never try to be more than files in a folder. In fact, it's by laying its numbers completely bare once again (though not really; as far as I know ren'py games don't have .chr files for characters. They're just dummies) that Doki Doki Literature Club subverted the rules of visual novels although it didn't subvert or even try to subvert its values. After all, maybe cute sad girls helped, and we already have lots of cute sad girls around. What DDLC did, though, was present them to you as rules, as numbers, not as moral or romantic values. By burning the rules into its skin, Doki Literature Club subverted them. And to subvert the material act of playing is universal -- it's not restricted to a genre, people don't really care if they're psycopaths here or elsewhere. This is the real reason why it appeals to more people, people who don't really care what visual novels are usually like. Where every other deconstruction tried to hide their nature as games, DDLC embraced it, and this is why it succeeded. I'm not saying it's the greatest, not at all. Far, far from that. Including and especially Katawa Shoujo, there are a lot of visual novels made in the West that are better. However, Doki Doki Literature Club may be the first true Western visual novel. (Or maybe it's all just because it's free.)
  15. Things that Happen

    Are you getting help? That's important. Be safe.
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