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Eclipsed last won the day on September 4

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About Eclipsed

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  1. Wow, it's an end of an era. I actually played soooo many VNs on my Vita, ranging from the thrilling Danganronpas and Zero Escapes to sci-fi shenanigans Steins;gates and Chaos;Child's to fantasy funtimes like Ar Nosurge and Utawarerumono trilogy, even Muv Luv, and a whole crapton of Otomes. All on a "dead" device that is the Vita: ....But now it's time to Switch it up Yup I finally caved and got a Nintendo Switch. Originally wanted to wait for a New Nintendo Switch Pro XL or something, but they came out with the fking Lite instead. Pretty excited~
  2. And so my Utawarerumono marathon finally comes to an end. 30 hours for the first game, 30 hours for Mask of Deception (MoD), and 45 hours for Mask of Truth (MoT). I didn't write up a review thingy after Mask of Deception because it kind of ended on a cliffhanger; a bit of a shame cuz I thought I could get a full story via MoD and then another full story via MoT but they both together make one big story. Considering Mask of Truth released only a year after Deception I guess they simply ran out of time and so they pushed out Deception first and then went straight back to the dev room to finish up the rest via Truth. Favorite MoD BGM: A nice surreal nostalgic reflective theme ~~ I'm probably part of the small demographic that got to binge this entire series in one go instead of reading the original and then waiting a decade for the sequels. So whereas the original Utawarerumono started you off as this amnesiac protagonist that wakes up in the arms of a beautiful nice girl-next-door type with animal-like ears and a tail whom he gropes out of curiosity, the sequel Utawarerumono Mask of Deception instead starts you off as this amnesiac protagonist that wakes up in the arms of a beautiful girl next door type with animal-like ears and a tail whom he gropes out of curiosity. Yup, you red that right. It's the same exact setup! Why hello there, Eruru- I MEAN UHH, WHO ARE YOU?! The main heroine this time around is named Kuon. She's a well meaning girl who contrasts herself from the passive obedient nice girl-next-door Eruru by being the clever strong independent type. She just happened to be on a solo self identifying carpe diem journey around the world when she happened upon the unconscious protagonist and decided to become his caretaker. And she's quite the looker indeed. After exchanging some pleasantries, Kuon decides to give the protagonist a name: Haku. Hoh... Haku, as in Hakuowlo from the first game?! Naturally the first thing on my mind is whether this Haku is some reincarnation of the first Haku(owlo) and Kuon is some reincarnation of Eruru. Kind of like The Legend of Zelda, where you have multiple generations of Link and Zelda across multiple generations/timelines. That'd be cool, right? This VN however does a good job of just dangling the carrot, teasing you and never really getting around to confirming or denying your suspicions. You even meet a major character named Oshtor, and his appearance just screams a Hakuowlo ripoff complete with the mask and all and you're just like EYYY THERE'S NO WAY THAT THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE GUYS LIKE WTF C'MON NOW. Hakuowlo Haku Oshtor Q: Which one of these three is the main character? A: They're the same person I jest. But it totally bugs me that no characters ever say "Hey Haku, you look like this one guy Hakuowlo that I knew from a long time ago". Not even Kuon, and she was the one who gives Haku his name AND Hakuowlo's trademark steel fan weapon. Hell, no one even goes "Hey Haku, you look like Oshtor", and these two will get plenty of screentime together. It's one of those audience-character red herring disjoints that will forever plague your mind as you read this. It's kind of like how Ash Ketchum and friends are always oblivious to Team Rocket's disguises when it should be an obvious as fuh thing to notice and exclaim about. Haku's a good protagonist. I didn't realize it at the time, but Hakuowlo was actually super, like SUPER bland. He was too idk, capable and perfect? Since he was thrust into a ruler/leadership position quite early on he always had to be serious and couldn't really afford to banter and goof around. His inner monologues would be dull and to the point. Haku instead gets the easygoing/laidback/lazy but dependable-when-it-matters persona, and his inner commentary is much more flavorful. He'll whine, complain, have snarky remarks, and oftentimes push Kuon's buttons just enough for her to want to wrap her tail around his head and CRUSH. In general the writing and dialogue in this VN flows much more nicely than its predecessor (though that could be the result of translation, or my attention span got better, who knows). Characters: 8.5/10 Characters make or break a VN. Why the heck would I care about what's going on in the story if I don't care about the characters? Not gonna lie though, it did take me a bit to warm up to the new cast of heroines but man by the time I was reading Mask of Truth I was super fond and invested in all of them. Haku is great for his modern day protagonist revision and Kuon is the poster girl so she's obvious best girl, amplified onehundred fold when you finally learn just who she really is and consequently just want to give her a big ol' hug. Atuy is your local ditzy girl who calls everyone "-han" and has a bloodthirsty battle side; Nekone is the younger genius sister type that finds everything that the protagonist does stupid and scolds him accordingly; Nosuri is the well meaning airheaded robinhood justice thief type, Rulutieh is the nice softspoken girl that loves supporting everyone by cooking (lol how stereotypical), Anju is the spoiled bratty princess with Munechika as her strict honorable guardian. Then you get Saraana and Uruuru and while they're a bit overbearing with the absolute servitude with sexual implications towards Haku you learn to appreciate them too. The male cast is slightly underwhelming outside of the prodigy Oshtor and while they all have their bro moments with Haku none of them really stood out too much. It's always funny when you take a step back and think about how a cast this crazy ends up banding together. Story: (MoD)- 7.5/10. Mask of Deception is sort of like the Muv-Luv before Muv-Luv Alternate: the calm before the storm. It devotes itself entirely to establishing its new cast and setting. After Kuon declares herself Haku's guardian, he decides to accompany her on her journey and the two will eventually settle upon the land of Yamato and then spend practically all of the VN's some 30 hrs in its Imperial Capital and dealing with its shenanigans and adding more heroines to the harem. Yamato is practically a utopia: the land is massive and flourishing and there is a benevolent ruler called the Mikado who is loved by all and recognized as a literal God for his mystical feats. He has 8 trusted generals dubbed "The Eight Pillar Generals" and two army commanders dubbed the "Imperial Guard of the Left (and Right)", and they'll all be relevant to the story at one point or another. Most of the VN is structured as slice of life; the first 20 hours you'll spend meeting new friends and allies and getting to know them while learning more and more about the land and its customs. It really gives an overall grand and satisfying feel to the land of Yamato. To keep things interesting, there are even nods to the first game's events/lore and plenty of foreshadow-candy opportunities regarding Haku and Kuon's backgrounds. Unfortunately, the peaceful tranquil days aren't fated to last forever, and Haku will be inevitably forced to make an irreversible decision, and- CLIFFHANGER LOLOL GO READ MASK OF TRUTH NOOB!! (MoT)- 9/10 Shit hit the fan, whoop-dee-doo. No more fun and games sadface. Can't really talk much because it's a big spoiler on the ending of MoD, but Mask of Truth is basically a 30 hour war campaign. Sounds boring at a glance, I know, but like I said, if you care about the characters you'll hopefully get a massive buff in caring about the story. Each location you visit during your conquest will actually be a hometown of one of the heroines and so you'll get to bond more with that particular heroine and see their family (many of whom were only briefly mentioned in MoD, and are prominent characters such as being one of the Eight Pillar Generals). The writers made sure to prepare them sweet sweet ethos to get you to care about these locations (unlike the first game where you could care less that some random named village got utterly decimated). Although, I can definitely see some readers finding the war campaign a chore/boring, especially if they never got around to liking Anju. Which I don't blame them if they didn't, the girl really didn't offer much in the likeable department. Overall though it was just great to see the camaraderie and struggles of the cast I grew to become so fond of during this conflict. The REAL fun though happens after the war. I thought the VN was gonna end after the war so I was pleasantly surprised that it kept going. You get another hearty 10-15 hours to finally get some much needed Haku+Kuon alone time and fully explore their backgrounds and also revisit and tie up any loose ends from pivotal events/lore from the FIRST game. And it does so so, so, beautifully. *Tear* Art/Music: 8/10. Art is modern moe, always love that stuff. Music is nothing special since the remastered first game included tracks from all three games so I heard nothing new. Gameplay: 8/10 I said I didn't like SRPGs but they really improved the look and feel for the SRPG gameplay that it was actually decently fun. The first game was horrifically limited, you can only mostly attack or heal units one space away, unit had only one combo attack string, etc, very outdated and played poorly. MoD and MoT gave units multiple combo attack strings to fit variety of situations/positions and your heals are AoE instead of only healing one panel etc. Not gonna do a longwinded misc. thoughts/comments, there are TOO MANY feelsgood/bad moments across the 100 hours I spent on this trilogy (70 for MoD/MoT), but man it was all totally worth just for this (ULTIMATE SPOILERS): P.S. Kuon is best girl by a huge mile, but I cannot for the love of god believe she is voiced by the same VA as grumpy scientist Mio from Chaos;Child. Like wtf man.
  3. I'm on a roll with VN's this year must be cuz of the pandemic and all the staying at home So I managed to finish the Utawarerumono - Prelude to the Fallen. It's the 2020 remake/remaster of the original 2002's Utawarerumono. Clocked in about 32hours, more VNs need to incorporate a play time with your save file smh. First off, I'll post my favorite BGM from it so I can be all nostalgic while I type this out: (OK, this BGM is a bit misleading because this track totally sounds waaay too tragic- this VN is actually pretty lighthearted throughout LOL- but the few times something sad/tragic happens and this music plays I always loved it). I read Chaos;Child before this, which was a modern high school SoL/pseudoscience adventure. Utawarerumono is a medieval light fantasy adventure featuring animal people and was originally written in 2002. Big contrast The protagonist is a nameless amnesiac guy (go figure) who wakes up in a rural village called Yamayura. He was apparently found gravely injured and slowly nursed back to health by a local villager cutie by the name of Eruru- the main heroine of the story. She's the typical nice girl next door supportive caring type with good mannerisms but can also throw the occasional jealous fit. And she also has fluffy ears. And a fluffy tail. Which the protagonist gropes after pondering if they were real or not (they're real by the way). Anyways before the protag can question this any more its revealed he also has an unconventional feature of his own: an unremovable mask which further adds to his mystery: Whoop dee doo, nameless amnesiac protagonist with a unremovable mask further obscuring his identity. And I still don't know what animal the folk from this VN are based off of. Squirrel? Fox? Lemur? Protag then is introduced to Eruru's younger sister, Aruru, and their grandmother Tuskur, the chief of the village who welcomes him with open arms and grants him the same name she gave her late son: Hakuowlo. Haku would spend the next few weeks recovering and mingling with the villagers. He's a capable protagonist: he teaches them how to properly cultivate their land to grow crops, and even how to forge iron to trade and bolster their economy. None of the villagers were knowledgeable in these aspects at all. Gives you some good brainstorm candy for just who Haku is or where he could be from for him to know these things (you'll probably be wrong lol). Eventually the peaceful slice of life days will come to an abrupt end and the VN will shift to a warring nations adventure narrative and throw in some SRPG gameplay. There's about 30-40 SRPG levels/battles that you'll play through in the entirety of the 20-30 hours it takes for you to read through this VN: There are many friends and enemies, love and betrayal, ups and downs, happy and sad moments to be had as you expand your empire. The story is linear but in between battles you are given a bit of freedom in which slice of life events you want to read (none are missable, thank god, because you'll eventually exhaust them anyway so feel free to pick whatever order you want). There's also a glossary to help with all the fantasy terminologies like the different races, locations, religions, etc... Definitely helpful. The total overall narrative is effectively 15% peaceful village slice of life, 75% warring nations conflict + the slice of life in between battles, and 10% Hakuowlo revelations. Story: 7/10 It's a solid medieval adventure light fantasy thing. Some of the conflicts between nations were meh and probably could've been cut imo but ultimately they do help expand the world and lore. Slice of life moments were pretty good. End game revelations about Haku are pretty cool, nothing meta or mind blowing. Characters: 7/10 They're all extremely one dimensional, I mean c'mon its 2002 whattaya expect heh, but they're all given their own little story arcs and were likeable nonetheless. Particularly fond of Eruru & Aruru, they're the poster girls ofc they'd win. Oboro was a total bro, they totally pulled off the 'starts off a complete prick and then becomes your right hand man' pretty well for him. Hakuowlo himself was entirely capable and leader material, no complaints. Art: 7/10 Pretty good looking despite 2002. Idk if they improved or just used the original assets. Music: 6/10 (original), 8/10 remake. The remake version I played offered two BGM settings: original: offering only the original Uwatarerumono tracks, and remake: offering the original + sequel tracks. Original is pretty lacking, I would change the settings back and forth just to see what the original played on certain scenes and yeah it's pretty limited. Remake would change tracks in the middle of scenes based on what was happening whereas original would use that one track for the entirety of the scene. Gameplay/SRPG: 6/10 I'm just not a fan of SRPGs, lel. But it was aight. Overall 7/10 enjoyable VN. I may watch the 24 episode Utawarerumono 2006 anime, I heard it's what many people would do before reading the next entry back then since it was the only translated version of the first entry at the time, but I'm ready for Mask of Deception! Pretty interested in seeing what they'll do with the narrative, there's literally 13 years between the release of the first and second VNs. So the writers were like, oh yeah, y'all remember that VN we made a decade ago? Let's make a SEQUEL! Misc Thoughts/Comments (SPOILERS)!!
  4. I've been looking for another VN series that I can binge on my Vita. I did Muv Luv earlier this year, a handful of otomes (still have like 6 more in my backlog) and recently did Chaos;Child And it looks like I'll settle on Utawarerumono. They apparently released the (translated) second and third Uta games Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth a few years ago but barely released the first game retitled Prelude to the Fallen this year, lucky me
  5. Welp so much for September lol, I just binged the rest of Chaos;Child last night, meaning Hana's route, then Uki's route, then Nono's and finally the true route. It's a pretty good VN. Chaos;Child takes place 6 years after the key events of Chaos;Head's New Generation Madness killings and the Shibuya Earthquake, but focuses on a new cast, so an indirect sequel. The protagonist is an upgraded version of Chaos;Head's (first) Takumi Nishijou by the name of (first) Takuru Miyashiro: upgraded in that he's less of an extreme hikkikomori (shut in) who avoided social contact at all costs and was a stuttering mess if he did interact with people, and more of just a typical awkward high school boy with his own hard beliefs on him being a right-sider and everyone else a wrong-sider. A much more bearable protagonist if you ask me. Takuru is the president of his own newspaper club, with the members being his inseparable ditzy childhood friend Serika Onoe, his naggy but evercaring foster sister Nono Kurusu who's also the student council president and VP of the newspaper club (she's my best girl btw), Hana Kazuki the 'mute' gamer girl who only ever utters "Mmm" and mainly just plays her online ESO2 game in the newspaper clubroom, and Shinji Itou the male protagonist best friend support guy. Other characters include Hinae Arimura: a blonde twintail kouhai who acts very superficially friendly around her friends and Mio Kunosato, the "what if we take Steins;gate's Kurisu and make her completely unlikeable" cold hard facts scientist type. Takuru used to be a part of Dr. Sakuma Wataru's household: Sakuma is an easygoing doctor who owns his own Aoba Clinic and he adopted Takuru, Nono, and siblings Yui & Yuto Tachibana- orphans from the Shibuya Earthquake 6 years ago. The family eventually grew fairly tight-knit, always gathering for supper to exchange pleasantries about their days under a "keep no secrets from each other" policy. However, Takuru angrily moved out into his own trailer 6 months prior to the start of Chaos;Child after feeling betrayed when the secrets policy was violated against him by none other than Nono (resulting in him calling her Kurusu, her last name, from that point on. Ouch). As president of the newspaper club, Takuru has a thirst for chasing exotic cases he feels would shake the world. Fortunately for him, a new set of bizarre murders start occurring in Shibuya- and interestingly enough they are dated to occur on the same days as the ones that occurred during the New Generation Madness killings from Chaos;Head 6 years ago! Takuru easily gets hook-line-and-sinker'd and begins to obsess over investigating and solving the case, much to Nono's dismay. The first 6 chapters will meander between Takuru's everyday slice of life with his newspaper club shenanigans, his friends, and his adoptive family as the New Generation Madness Killings continue to make headlines all over Shibuya. Will Takuru be able to solve the case, or is he getting in way over his head?! Story: 8.5/10. Common route starts off slow with the slice of life and preparing for culture festival but once the term Gigalomaniac makes it onto the screen the story starts picking up. It involves a lot of pseudoscience/supernatural powers that can affect reality jargon and are channeled via Di-Swords (A.K.A. BIG F*CKING exotic supernatural swords) btw so it can feel a bit Chuuni at times. The concept of delusions was interesting. There are a fair amount of plot revelations that change the very nature of characters entirely that can add some "let me go back to this scene now that I know this" reread value. Overall enjoyable. Characters: 9/10. Takuru was nowhere near as unbearable as Takumi. Nono would probably be on my top 5 heroines if I did have a list. Idk, the student council president + nagging worrywart but legitimately caring older sister type was a complete and utter win for me. Hinae was the guilty pleasure. Hana and Uki were kind of like the filler heroines, but passable. Art: 9/10. Has that clean modern moe look. Particularly loved all of best girl Nono CGs. Some CGs can look a bit low quality though. Music: 8/10. They got some good tracks. The title theme World is pretty up there along with their other works like Steins;gate + (0). Visible Essence is the revelation theme and its quite badass when you do get it. !!!SPOILERS!!! MISC. THOUGHTS/COMMENTS (MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS) Finally can rant about the juicy bits. Overall: 8.5/10. Legit did not think I would like this sci-fi adv VN as much due to how much I despised Chaos;Head. It was good enough that I actually want to reread Chaos;Head so I can catch up on all the story beats and whatnot, but ahh nvm. Will look forward to reading Robotics;Notes + DaSH when they do come out to EN on the Switch later this year. I'll watch the 6.5/10 MAL rated anime of Chaos;Child real quick because I like to see things animated even though they'll probably butcher it so bad since only lol12episodes for a 30-50+ hr VN. E: lol yeah, the anime is only enjoyable as a "let's watch a recap of Chaos;child" right after finishing the VN itself. So many disappointed people who were like I don't get it or it's a rushed mess (which it definitely was, but I obviously was able to keep up and just enjoy seeing everything animated)
  6. Still slogging through Chaos;Head Child LOL LOOK HOW BAD MY SAVE TIME STAMPS ARE: So it's been a little more than a month and a half now that I've been casually reading through this? I've finished the common route, Hinae's route, and currently going through Hana's route, then will do Uki's then Nono's and finally the TRUE route. So ETA completion at this pace should be by September or something
  7. I've been putting off Chaos;Child solely because I hated Chaos;Head with a fiery passion and thought it was a sequel but apparently they're not related at all story/character wise(just same setting) So time to check it out~
  8. Finished Al Somnium Files Overall a pretty satisfactory murder mystery with plenty of pseudoscience thrown in to keep you from being able to *logically* deduce the truth behind the murders until they literally spit out the secret behind said pseudoscience at you some 80% of the way through the VN. It's definitely not like Danganronpa/Ace Attorney where you can figure out the culprit early on/throughout; you'll have to wait until nearly the end for this one to learn the truth. Still was very entertaining just going through the motions though. First off, I have this BGM playing on repeat as I type this. Glad Spike Chunsoft was able to come up with another catchy interrogation theme~ Let's get the introductions over with. In Al Somnium you play as (first name) Date Kaname, an amnesiac (go figure) police officer/detective/agent of Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) secret elite Advanced Brain Investigation Squad (ABIS). The ABIS have access to a highly classified technology known as the PSYNC (PsychoSYNaptic Neurological Connection(?)) system, our main pseudoscience plot element machine that allows one individual designated as the PSYNCer to connect and neurologically dive into another individual's- the PSYNCee's-subconscious in order to find the secrets hidden within their "Somnia", or dream realm. So I thought this VN would have a pretty straightforward formula akin to, say, Danganronpa, which had a basic flow consisting of 1. Murder happens 2. Gather evidence 3. Solve the murder through class trials. Rinse repeat for 6 Chapters. Al Somnium would do the same: have a murder, gather evidence, then bust the perp through PSYNCs, rinse repeat right?! LOL NOPE!!! Instead what you basically get is a narrative where the once the first murder happens, you then go on a massive wild goose hunt chase only to always be a step behind and playing catch up wondering who the eff the killer is for nearly the entirety of the story. The further you go, the more bodies pile up, and instead of finding answers, you'll only pile on more and more questions. I'm making this sound like a bad thing, but I think it was actually pretty well done and effective at keeping you engaged purely on the WTF IS GOING ON, I NEED TO KNOW!@# aspect. Date is missing his left eye, which is instead replaced by an ABIS provided advanced artificial intelligence eye-ball dubbed Aiba (clever right?). Aiba serves as Date's main investigation partner/companion- she's the Navi or Midna to Link from the Zelda series. Really great partner character, I really love stories that are able to incorporate a partner for the main protagonist. Other characters include Mizuki (Date's tsundere 12yr old roomate living with him due to special circumstances); Iris Sagan (18yr old rising-in-fame net idol) and her mother Hitomi Sagan (raised Iris single); Ota (24yr old otaku/Iris fanboy), So (a shady gruff politician). A decent bunch. Minus So. Iris Sagan. Net idol. Best Girl fo' sho There is an accessible at all times Flowchart where you can return/jump to any point of the story at anytime. If you know Spike Chunsoft, you know the significance of these Flowcharts >.> Gameplay was satisfactory, although unfortunately was never able to achieve the same thrilling highs as Zero Escapes' escape rooms or Danganronpa's Class Trials imo. Throughout the entirety of the story you are given moments to cursor-point-and-click the backgrounds for extra scenic info/banter between characters. This ultimately degrades into a fluff/padding mechanic: you will never be able to miss key information that a certain Kara no Shoujo was infamous for (in that it locked you into a bad ending for missing something in one of the point and click investigation segments). So 80% of the time you will be clicking a chair in the background just to result in "this is a chair" description, but you'll find yourself checking everything anyway just so you can completionist grey out everything on the map and see all the character banters if any. Quite a chore. You can probably shorten your playthrough of this VN by half if you completely skip clicking everything. Interrogation scenes. They're honestly pretty barebones and lackluster interrogation scenes compared to the bombastic DR's Class Trials or Ace Attorney's back and forth Courtroom Trials since this VN doesn't revolve around this gameplay mechanic like those aforementioned do. They were fairly entertaining to playthrough though, mainly because of that catchy theme that plays during them (linked in the youtube vid above). But yeah I would've liked there to be more substance to them. PSYNC/ entering Somnia worlds: the flagship core gameplay mechanic of Al Somnium Files. This is the trumpcard method Date utilizes as an agent of ABIS to interrogate key persons of interest. By Psyncing with them and entering their subconscious (Psyncees are usually rendered unconscious/sedated beforehand), Date is able to visit their Somnia, an ethereal dream realm where the Psyncee is "the author, director, and actor of their play" (without any conscious control over it), and Date is the Psyncer "the audience witnessing this play". It's all very abstract- the VN shifts to a 3D free roam surreal environment where you can move around and perform tasks while in another person's mind with the goal of breaking through their Mental Locks to reveal their secrets buried deep within. Btw, did I mention that PSYNCs have a 360 sec (6min) time limit? Any further and the Psyncer risks having their mind/consciousness absorbed by the Psyncee completely. Walking around and performing Actions consumes Time, so Date is always racing against the clock. It's an artificial way to add difficulty to this gameplay, but you're never really punished too hard for failing since you can always reload and then skip to where you last left off. Unfortunately, even this flagship PSYNC mechanic left me feeling unsatisfied: while there are indeed some epic wow moments to be had, most of the time Somnia experiences are RNG/trial and error based; you cannot logically deduce what action would progress you deeper into someone's mind. What should I do with this fan? Blow on it? Kick it? Grab onto it? Whoops one choice was wrong. Whoops the second choice was wrong. Whoops the third choice is wrong. So the fan's not the answer, how about that random pot over there? Shit, out of time, gotta restart and try again. One of the lategame PSYNCs is ESPECIALLY guilty of this: After going through a fairly lengthy and confusing labyrinth to break through several Mental Locks and actually running fairly low on time by the end of it, the devs actually had the gall to slap you in the face and choose from (not really spoilers i guess?) To give credit where it's due though, here are some Somnia moments I enjoyed: (MASSIVE SPOILERS) Other random misc. comments/thoughts/moments: (ULTRAMASSIVE SPOILERS): Overall this VN is a solid 8/10. Engaging murder mystery plot that utilizes pseudoscience, fairly likeable characters, solid sound track, decent gameplay that has its moments. Didn't feel like ermergawd mindblown masterpiece, but was definitely a fun experience. Oppai-lady
  9. I had the most randomest "Oh hey I wonder what Spike Chunsoft made over the past couple years, I was a real big fan of Danganronpa/Zero Escape" Not really feeling up for 'dungeon crawling rpg' so I skipped Zanki Zero But I splurged on Al Somnium Files, an adventure sci-fi murder mystery (?) https://vndb.org/v26532 Also randomly picked up the modern 2019 version of YU-NO even though they're just the publisher for that https://vndb.org/v1377
  10. Muv Luv Alternative spoileryish The first few chapters are Unlimited-recap-but-I-know-teh-futures-and-am-more-mature-and-buff It was nice to see Takeru be considered a natural talent this time around rather than the wimpy holding everyone back loser he was in Unlimited Then 12-5 happens and it was kinda draggy but a good outlook on the world political dramas going on and Meiya's philosophies (Yuuhi's hawt btw) XM3 trials were nice, always liked how Takeru's Valgern-On expertise in Extra pays off for the TSFs Then the CHOMP happens and you're like whoa whoa WHOAAA HOLD UP!!!!! THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN!!! Really disappointed that Sumika and her diaries actually failed in Return to Extra, I mean Extra BEGAN with her diary excerpts, they're just so damn iconic, and then you get blasted with "Good morning Shirogane-kun" and you're like WHAT.THE. SOME CHILDHOOD FRIEND YOU ARE. Isumi's Valkyries... Despite being introduced pretty damn late in the trilogy I was still able to grow fairly attached to them. Michiru+Mitsuki+Haruka ranting about their love lives at first felt kind of out of place, it's like huh I know there's no way we're ever gonna get to see the people they're talking about, then you learn that Kimi ga Nozomu Eien / Rumbling Hearts exists and it's like dammit, y'all told me to read extra/unlimited so I could be attached to the main cast, but you forgot about these for the secondary cast!@#$#(Jk they're not even TLed sadface) 00Unit and Causality Conductor jargon was quite interesting, it's the meat of the Sci-Fi content comparable to other VNs involving time travel / multiverses. Topics concerning the BETAs behaviorals and objectives were always worthwhile to read. Military debriefing sections were cool but often difficult to keep up with; actual combat scenes were very well done. Would've liked some more Takeru x Sumika dialogue, it actually feels like they didn't get to interact that much all things considered. Mass Effect 2 Final suicide mission... If I red MLA back in 2006 I probably would've loved it, but now in 2020 overall it felt pretty meh and average to have an outcome like that. Or maybe at that point I was so battle hardened and so it didn't phase me. Or maybe I'm just still in denial to the reality that THAT is the ultimate fate of all of those beloved characters in this world. Superordinate encounter was a real climax-y moment, but writers fell short by having to wrap up the story at this point. I would've preferred this encounter being at like the halfway point and then having a whole half to explore the rest but oh well. Biggest whamline: "The superordinate will display the newest specimen designated for recycling as Soldier Class". Fking Christ the CHILLS I got. The final letter I got was from Class Rep, admittedly shedded some tears. Extra Alternate ending was some good feels. Overall this trilogy really does the whole "don't take peaceful everyday life for granted" theme justice. As much as Muv Luv Extra was super super basic, at the end of the day after going through the monster that is Alternative it just made me so nostalgic and really appreciative of the simpler times. 9/10
  11. Oh sweet, I managed to make it through Unlimited, the Shuckle Pokemon that told me about bad news must've reverse psychology'd me or something so I didn't really find it a slog to read as much as Extra was. Not much to say about Unlimited, it was more enjoyable for me than Extra with its more "serious" tone but it's basically the same generic high school harem 'cept with mecha sci-fi military the world's ending!!@# elements thrown in to keep things interesting. Kind of missed Sumika, never thought I'd say that l0l ..Well, now it's time to see what all the Alternative hype is all about..
  12. I've been slogging through Muv Luv on and off for the past few months Still in Extra lol But I've managed to finish Sumika, Meiya, and Chizuru's Extra routes MuvLuv Extra is truly... Average. Which means it's probably boring af to seasoned readers who've seen all the cliche high school SoL shenanigans by now. Doesn't help that Muv Luv is technically 2003 so it has the older type of writing/humor/dialogue and outdated graphics with them lovely body proportions. I found both Sumika and Meiya to be fairly annoying, it's the classic should I bang my lifelong airheaded clingy and naggy childhood friend who's been by my side through thick and thin since forever, or this enigmatic super-privileged-super-rich and lacking-in-normal-people-common-sense/mannerisms girl that popped out of nowhere who seems to have larger than life fate/destiny ties to me? I did like the moral crisis Takeru faced when it came to choose time, the writers did a good job setting it up by making Takeru reflect on both girls via inner monologuing flashbacks reinforcing the whole "childhood friend vs destiny girl" dilemma. Needless to say I banged Chizuru first (Jk about "banged", I'm playing the Vita version LOLOL). Anyway she's the class rep strict by the book hardhead who tries to shoulder everything by herself. And she looks damn good when she lets her hair down and takes off the glasses. Her drama was pretty eh, a lot of LEAVE ME ALONE, I CAN HANDLE IT!!! And Takeru being NO YOU CANT, LET ME HELP!!! But yeah, Chizuru's my best girl atm. I really really don't feel like slogging through Miki and Kei's Extra routes, might just start Unlimited now...
  13. Finished Collar X Malice, no energy to do a lengthy write-up on every route. 7/10 for decent-good, most hero routes leave much to be desired.. They all have their own personal issues and morals that'll need to be solved along with the X-Day Incidents and corresponding peeps, but I ultimately was always left unsatisfied. Classic case of expecting too much. After you finish all hero routes you can finally do Yanagi's route which is considered the true route. Things like confronting the Mastermind behind Adonis, learning Ichika's and Yanagi's troubled past, the morale dilemma of justice vs. corruption and Ichika's vital role in X-Day...these were all extremely hyped up plot points for me that were finally going to be explored in depth, but they simply failed to deliver. It was just underwhelming. Nothing WOW-worthy True end is a standard golden end where everyone's problem is solved, the big bad defeated, and the canon couple profess their love happily ever after style I actually liked the bad ending, where ... Those bad ends were wow-worthy. If the writers actually made a fleshed out narrative for these ends I would've given this VN a 9/10. I hear the fandisk actually has an epilogue for the true route bad end, but what are the odds I'll ever get to read it huh ~~ Ok, my next Otome is a tossup between: Bad Apple Wars- Heroine awakens in NEVAEH Academy, a school for those whose souls were left behind after death. 7 Scarlet- Heroine looking for long lost brother joins Okunezato Supernatural Club to investigate the town's legends Period Cube- Heroine is transferred into a Fantasy RPG world called Arcadia as she is looking for her long lost brother, wait didn't i just say something similar Hmm
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