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Everything posted by Eclipsed

  1. I actually enjoyed Danganronpa solely because of the loud, obnoxious, over the top characters and bombastic class trials , but can totally see how it can be off putting to some. Definitely think just watching the Class Trials is a bit of a disservice though, that stuff should be played! Aaaand there's another person who vouches pretty heavily for VA-11 HALL-A, I'm definitely gonna bump it up priority wise on my to read list, it's been on my backlog for years now. ~~ So I was supposed to read Flowers, but work started picking up again for me yay 2021 so I did jack all in terms of reading this month. Also realized that Flowers is not a trilogy, but instead a quadrilogy or w.e you wanna call four entries, so I've decided to hold off on it since the last entry le volume sur Hiver apparently isn't EN yet. I did pick up some really random short VN called Prison Princess. It was aight. Just like Neko Para you expected a short VN about cute cat grills and !animated! pr0n, Prison Princess is a short VN about helping two princesses escape a dungeon. Some of the puzzles can put the heroines in some pretty... provocative situations, and there's standard live2D animations going on and !touch support! so if you get tempted enough you can totally just say fk the puzzle and tap away on the heroines to hear all of their moaning goodness. Which, not surprisingly, will lower your compatibility with said heroine(s) and lock you into the bad endings. Escape first, play later! ~~ I also picked up Yumeutsutsu Remaster. I think this will be my first Yuri / girl's love VN? The protagonist is (first) Ai Ohtori, a 21 year old naive cutie country girl who moves to the city to work at a small game development company. You'd think this VN would thus be heavy game design jargon infodumpy and maybe Ai would be this genius programmer with mad skillz or perhaps SOMETHING technical, but unfortunately Ai's position is circumstantial: she has never worked a job in her life prior, has absolutely 0 game design knowledge, and she was mainly approached by the company's President, Honoka, to work as an Assistant Director under her younger sister, 19 y.o Director Kokoro Yanagiya who I guess has been in some sort of slump and so the President went out of her way to set this up to rectify things power-of-sisterly love-style. Unfortunately, Ai and Kokoro are not on the greatest of terms, and that seems to be the core conflict of this VN: Ai's a really nice girl, it's great to have a female protagonist with moege-tier / casual / first world problems inner monologues for once. Most of the otomes I've read were mature story based so the protagonists and their inner monologues often reflected that.
  2. Ty for the heads up, Ill wait for Reflection Blue edition, bummer have to wait but yeah the changes are pretty substantial Guess I'll do...... uhh Flowers Le Volume sur Printemps+Ete+Automne I remember giving Printemps the cold shoulder because "pls Innocent Grey just focus on KnS3" but man they really pumped these out
  3. Step 1: Get a Microsoft Surface Go2 Step 2: Profit I remember years ago when Summer Pockets was announced it's like "Lel, wonder when that will come to the West" Boy time flies. I hear KnS3 also came out in JP, Lel, wonder when that will come to the West
  4. Happy holidays peeps! I finished Abyss of the Sacrifice and did manage to somehow clock in 33 hours so I guess that's a relief. Though admittedly I probably lost 10 hours just getting absolutely hardstuck in some puzzles, so it's maybe more of a 20-25 hour VN depending on how gitgud you are. There's only 16 BGMs, but they've got some pretty catchy techno-y escape room themes going on so I never felt the tracks were too limited/stale: I enjoyed my time with it. Again, most puzzles are doable but there are some that are wtfmuxlogix-tier so I recommend if you are approaching 30minutes+ on any particular puzzle to just go look it up (I used this site which was for the 2010 game, and just google translate the page) to save yourself some frustration. The pacing can feel a bit off sometimes because every time you pick a stage you'll also get some background lore characterization flashbacks on that specific heroine, but in a story that mainly focuses on the isolated trapped mystery aspect you kind of don't need to know their backgrounds (ie. Zero escape did fine not knowing many of the character's backgrounds prior to them being trapped) and it can interrupt the flow sometimes when you just wanna get on with the story. But hey, it's 5 kawaii high school grills, so we gotta get some characterization goin' on. The overarching mystery is decent, but nothing too fancy if you've already played the likes of Ever17, ZeroEscape. Missed opportunity in that you'll probably have a good idea of what's going on maybe 50-75% of the way through and then it's just figuring out how to escape, no more mystery, no more twists and turns. The process to get the ends is in itself a puzzle, which I kind of thematically liked: there is an ending for every heroine, with one of them leading to the true ending, but it's based on what order you play the later stages in the VN. An enforced play order so to speak. So you'll have to pay a little bit of attention to what unfortunate shenanigans happens in the later stages so you can eventually pick the right play combination to victory. Of course, you can just walkthrough the play orders for the endings, but I think there is some narrative value in trying to figure it out yourself. Playing certain later stages will lock you out from playing other stages because reasons*. (Blue is a completed stage, Gray is a locked out stage, Yellow is a stage not yet played, and Blank is a stage you've played on a prior run but not unlocked on your current run because reasons. You can only play Stages on your current column). Jitka's "Zero" stage is the default game over btw, so I was screwed on the pic above, but thankfully the game lets you menu one way back to a prior stage completion point once you get an ending and try proceeding again from there. *reasons spoiler: ...Think you can make it to the True Ending? Or will you be doomed to eternal failure Raging Loop style? I for the record tried for about 30 minutes of play orders for the True End but threw in the towel cuz it just ain't fun having to skip through the stages lol Overall if you just wanna play another trapped sci-fi mystery escape room VN, Abyss is a solid choice
  5. Ever since getting my Switch I've been pretty active in checking what the upcoming releases are and whatnot (on the console's news app itself, not browsing the web) And apparently they did like 0 marketing cuz I didn't see squat about Abyss of the Sacrifice meanwhile Sephiroth DLC for Smash Ultimate is making headlines everywhere Anyways it just released recently for Steam and Switch with a decently steep asking price of $39.99 (Steam has a 20% off launch deal for you PC masterraces) Abyss is a remaster of its 2010 PSP version and it's basically a trapped / escape room type VN involving 5 high school girls stuck in some sci-fi-ish underground facility and has typical mystery elements like why are they there, what the facility is all about, etc. I'm a big Zero Escape fan so I went ahead and jumped the gun, the scary thing though is that this VN is obscure enough that even VNDB doesn't list its length, so I pray this isn't some < 10 hr experience LOL but the game does take up a sizeable 6.2GB so hopefully they got a decently lengthy script to go with all those assets. The escape room puzzles themselves are nothing too special, typically take only 5-15 minutes, but have a huge quality variance, ranging from standard easy peasy just finding all the necessary items and applying them correctly to the various contraptions via trial and error, to headache inducing mindstopper decoding shit that basically require you be the developer to know wtf they were thinking when they made that puzzle (though I might just suck, for the record though I never had to use a guide for any of Zero Escape's puzzles and already ragequitted one or two of these LOL) IDK GIRL, JUST GOOGLE IT!!!! The VN plays in stages/chapters, with each chapter featuring an escape puzzle and heroine specific background lore, with a successful completion returning you to the main flowchart to pick from another heroine to playthrough as the group slowly but surely learns more about the facility and the state of the world: So far I'm about 5-6hrs in, the group is together and have a few quarrels but overall the atmosphere is neutral-positive. The intro PV does hint at some dark shenanigans happening later though, so that'll be something to (not) look forward to. Blood:
  6. Got two routes done in Nightshade, Hanzo and Gekkamaru. So far this VN builds off of common ninja tropes such as "the client/mission always takes priority over everything else," even over your friends and family, hell, it takes it to the max in that if multiple opposing clients hire from the same ninja clan, they'll actually have no problem fighting each other: As Naruto's Kakashi once said, "Those who abandon their friends are scum, but those who abandon their mission are worse than scum." ............no wait- Naturally most of the drama in this VN will revolve around this outdated mentality, where Enju and co. will have to choose whether to follow their shinobi pride or screw it all and follow their heart in the name of friendship and love: Wait 'til Enju learns that the only reason Gekkamaru has been a loyal bodyguard servant to her since she was a baby was because offfffffffffsdafkjlsdfj The bad ends are tragically romantic. You kind of have to go out of your way to get them, since it requires you to be, uh, rather unreceptive, to the Hero for the majority of his route. I particularly liked Hanzo's bad end. He was the absolute badass perfect ninja type who slowly started to learn how to care, and to love: ...But if you don't max out them feelsies: ~~ A glaring weakness with this VN however is that, two routes in, it doesn't seem like the writers created different scenarios for each Hero route. You basically get the same core conflict scenario, and just copy paste the Hero to accompany Enju and change up the confrontations. Revelations about Enju's ninja clan, the mastermind behind the conflict, are reused although explained in varying degrees based on Hero relevancy, etc. Unfortunate.
  7. Guess what I'm reading now! Hint: it deals with ninjas Hint2: it's an otome Hint3: It's Nightshade / Hyakka Hyakurou Sengoku Ninpou-chou It's actually fascinating how many otomes are getting localized in the west... I've read some big otome titles like Code;Realize and CollarxMalice and they've always excelled at having a mature, interesting story with high stakes and Nightshade looks to be another contender You play as female protagonist (first) Enju Ueno, a 16 year old shinobi who is the symbol of peace between two once long-feuding-but-are-now-united shinobi clans, being the daughter of the clan heads. She's the coming-of-age modest, naive, "I'm a princess but please treat me like a normal person" type who's eager to prove her worth, but everyone insists on pampering her: The first tag listed on VNDB is "Life and Death Drama", this oughtta be interesting...
  8. Been years since I've done a walkthrough here, but World End Syndrome is legit a visual novel that should be played with one imo. World End Syndrome Digital NA Playstation 4 | Digital NA Nintendo Switch | Publisher Website (Arc System Works) Summary "I can't help but feel like you never say what's on your mind, and you keep a lot repressed. Like you've given up." World End Syndrome follows the story of a 17-year-old high school junior trying to escape his troubled past. After causing an accident resulting in his older sister’s death, he receives an invitation to transfer to Mihate High School. He takes it gratefully, hoping to start a new life and forget his past. But Mihate Town is not the coastal paradise it appears to be. It is home to the legend of the Yomibito, where the dead come back to life every 100 years. Once resurrected, the Yomibito attack the living to regain their sanity, but the dead’s thirst is never quenched. This year happens to be 100 years since the last known incident… As the protagonist navigates his new life with a colorful cast of new friends, a student at Mihate High suddenly dies. The murder sends shockwaves through the idyllic town as he finds himself caught in a string of strange incidents, romance, and unforgettable summer experiences… [From Arc System Works] Ending Guideline / Suggested Route Order There are five heroines: Saya, Hanako, Maimi, Yukino, Miu, and a final truth route. Yukino's route is unlocked upon completing Saya, Hanako, and Maimi's routes. Miu's route is unlocked upon completing Yukino's route. Truth route is unlocked upon completing Miu's route. Recommended play order: Saya -> Hanako -> Maimi -> Yukino -> Miu -> Truth Route Guideline Prologue: There is a rather lengthy "Prologue" that spans through 6/1 to 7/30. None of the choices matter in the prologue. Create a save on 7/29. Once the prologue is completed, you will receive Worst Ending and be returned to the main menu. Don't panic! That was supposed to happen! Resume the game and there will now be an unlocked choice on 7/30 "...you should wait a little" that will allow you to continue onto the month long Free Roam segment. These heroine walkthroughs will seek to MAXIMIZE the amount of scenes you can have for a heroine during the month long Free Roam by telling you which location they will be at on a certain time and day. You'll see right away that it would be very frustrating to play through this VN blind, because you have no idea where anyone will be and will have to trial and error / save and reload many, many times. The "Student Handbook" obtained from (date) event will add a menu option that displays your current "Aura" (compatability) with heroines. Failure to enter a heroine's route by 8/24 will result in the same Worst End that you got in the Prologue. Kamishiro Saya Yamada Hanako Kusunose Maimi Otonashi Yukino Amana Miu Truth Route Missions / Collectibles There are 10 missions that can be completed during the Free Roam month, along with XX number of collectibles. Attribution This walkthrough was created by me with lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of trial and error. Changelog: 12/14/20 - got the basic walkthrough template up. Time to do mass trial and error~
  9. Because obviously I'm a dumb dumb and that was a silly assumption to make. Everyone who read the VN already and then that comment of mine was probably like LOL Finished Raging Loops. Overall enjoyable. Here's the fav bgm: Honestly most of my enjoyment from this VN came from the Feasts, and that's mainly from my personal bias of loving group-battle-of-wits-discussion type scenarios ala Danganronpa. The endgame reveals were unfortunately kind of a big yawn. Waaaay too much last minute background history infodumping and kanji reordering wordplay reveals when you just wanna get the show over with. Getting the final 5 keys was about as tedious as Link having to fetch all of the Triforce shards in Windwaker. And it doesn't even ultimately end in with a big bang, just a matter of fact kind of resolution. Anticlimatic. (SPOILER) Random thoughts to various revelations (SUPER SPOILERS)
  10. Yeah, Raging Loops is an Among Us / Mafia style VN. Protagonist ends up in desolate village, with it's own mafia ruleset yadda yadda. Would've been nice to read this before Among Us peaked in popularity, cuz now it actually feels too mainstream to be reading this LOL Wolves are the imposters, 2 off them, 1 kill per night, 1 vote/hanging during the day on the human side to attempt to weed out the wolves, extra side rules that result in supernatural death if disobeyed (ie. trying to run away, or do more than 1 kill etc). I'm not doing this VN any justice with my super generic bland description- it does, to its credit, get pretty tense and keeps you on your toes until the bitter end on who to believe and whatnot. For the record, I was 1/2 correct by the end of it. ~~ The first loop Haruaki is NOT a participant due to his outsider status, so you get to watch the villagers screw themselves over like morons. I really wished I'd hadn't played Among Us to death when it peaked in popularity. ~~ I'm on my second loop now, will be interesting what kind of plot twists the writers conjured up to keep things spicy (because obviously after the first loop, you know who the wolves are etc etc)
  11. Wait a minute, I just finished World End Syndrome, which delved into Yomibito lore pretty thoroughly, and now I gotta deal with it AGAIN for Raging Loop? Is Yomibito a common folklore thing(I didn't even know about them before reading WES), or did I just supermassive coinkydinky read two VNs back to back that decided to involve them lol Pffft, I'm Takeru Umisho, a certified Yomibito expert, and I can definitely say that Haruaki Fusaishi ain't no Yomibito. Anyways, protagonist 24 yo. Haruaki Fusaishi gets into a recent breakup, takes a one way motorcycle trip to the middle of nowhere to clear his mind, gets into an accident, and eventually finds himself in a remote, desolate village called Yasumizu where the villagers are extremely cold to "outsiders". There is one friendly face though: Chiemi Serizawa, a 21 year old college student who returned here for vacation. She finds the lost Haruaki and vouches for him. Raging Loop already lives up to its name, as the game takes the time to explicitly tell you, "Hey, you'll run into a lot of necessary bad ends to progress the story, glhf" Without further ado, time to go die~
  12. Finished World End Syndrome. The final few routes for Yukino and Miu were pretty fun, because they finally touch upon the murder mystery and Yomibito lore aspects of the VN that the prologue hooks you in with whereas everything else in between was just standard slice of life & world building & heroine personal baggage solving. So overall it's like 90% SoL and 10% murder mystery / supernatural lore lol. Btw, anyone wanna play Among Us? LOL It's a shame, because while reading their routes I constantly found myself going, damn, this VN would've been even more awesome if the entire thing revolved around the mystery aspect. But ultimately all the slice of life did serve its purpose and softened me well for going into: Yup, there's a truth route to look forward to by the end of it, yeee. It's nothing too mind boggling; a bit of a shame considering you have a title like WORLD END SYNDROME so you might be expecting the true route to have reality bending consequences (it doesn't), but nevertheless it was still a pleasant truth route. Hint: it deals with: Alright, detour over. Back to Raging Loop
  13. I finished Hanako -> Saya -> Maimi routes in World End Syndrome. Apparently you need to do these three before you can do Yukino's and Miu's, and so far the supernatural lore regarding the Yomibito-undead-reviving-every-100-years thing hardly has any presence, so I'm guessing the final two routes will start touching base with that. Hanako Yamada / Rei Nikaido Heh, and I'm Takeru Umisho, from Muv-Notes Luv-Robotics ; Alternate DaSH This girl is great. She's the (true personality) socially awkward clumsy girl (fake alias) Hanako Yamada by day and the rising idol sensation (true name) Rei Nikaido by night. She comes to Mihate Town to film for her latest movie after being inspired by the Town's legends, and joins the Mystery Club under her incognito name out of desire to experience being a normal high school girl. Saya Kamishiro Honor student. Athletic. Rich. Talented. Gorgeous. The girl's got it all. That's a funny way of saying "Hey I like you, can we walk home together?" Maimi Kusunose LMAO! One of the rare times my boi Kensuke actually gets some good shots in. (Ironic, because she's actually his one true crush despite all of his fanboying for the idol Nikarei). Maimi is the hotheaded tomboy down to earth speaks her mind type. Unfortunately, even though Takeru was able to avoid having an uneventful summer leading to his prologue-demise by mingling with some heroines, it turns out:
  14. I'm taking a detour from Raging Loop, tbh I just read all of the foreword stuff and then got randomly sidetracked, but I'll get back to this soon I swear But right now I'm reading World End Syndrome cuz it finally went on sale Switch digital for 12 bucks$$ The Protagonist is nameable, so I was like fk me, I don't know any decent names, and I'm hella not gonna self insert my own name, so here's what I named him LOL: Takeru from Muvluv and Umisho from Robotics;Notes. Yes, I literally could not think of anything better, and yolo'd, sue me. So Takeru moves to Mihate Town, a (fictional?) modern day rural seaside Japanese town, to escape some personal baggage. He's like the most indifferent, unemotional protagonist ever because of said baggage. The kind who just lives day by day with no goal, no purpose in mind. It's reflected well during the VN's Free Roam segment during Summer Break which I'll get into later. Mihate town itself has some supernatural lore, The Yomibito Legend, where supposedly every 100 years the dead revive and wreak havoc on the town. Hmm, okay, we're off to a good start. I like my moe slice of lifes to have behind the scene shenanigans to look forward to later. He lodges in a relative's supposedly vacant mansion, but unbeknownst to him he runs into an unexpected roommate: a distant cousin by the name of Maimi. She's not too happy about having some random unknown boy roommate show up, but she quickly lays down some house rules to compromise (Takeru is in charge of cooking, cleaning, basically all the house chores, gg ez). Uncle's...Wife's...lover's....mistress? Uhhhh- I lost track of the family tree at Uncle already, sorrz. Takeru eventually gets roped into joining his school's Mystery Club, which, by VN modern day protagonist standards, means it's a club that exists solely for Takeru to be able to mingle with all of the heroines. Unfortunately though, the writers of this VN made the fatal, fatal mistake of having the worst side-bro character ever by the name of Kensuke exist: a flamboyant failure playboy type whose only purpose is to get collectively shat on by the heroines repeatedly and relentlessly. It gets old FAST. Seriously less than 5 minutes of and this guy already won my award for worst sidebro character EVER. Doesn't help that he actually gets a SIGNIFICANT amount of screentime. The VN has a calendar-date day by day system, with the first two months June and July being considered the prologue which naturally establish the town's setting, characters, high school mystery club, and sparsely hints at some supernatural shenanigans, all in bread and butter slice of life format. Near the climax of this relatively lengthy prologue, a random student goes missing, and during one of the Mystery Club's outdoor trips they stumble upon said lost student's belongings. Uh oh. Unfortunately you won't get to learn much else regarding this case, because the prologue will automatically lock you into the VN's default bad ending as your reward for completing it. Upon resuming the VN you can pick an unlocked dialogue choice to avoid the prologue bad end and move onto the month long summer break free roam slice of life segment taking place in August, and this is where you really get to see Takeru's aimless no lifing as he just goes through the motions, living day by day, wandering around doing whatever he pleases (which mostly amounts to nothing). It's quite overwhelming at first, because as a completionist I kept wanting to reload saves to see what different scenes would occur if I picked a different location to go to, and a lot of the times you're left wondering "WHERE THE HELL SHOULD I GO? DOES IT MATTER???" It's exacerbated in that every day you can visit one place in the morning, one place in the afternoon, and one place at night. With 7 locations to choose from, with up to 3 times a day per location, and 30 days, it gets exhausting very quickly trying to see every possible scene (and there's many deadend scenes, where you visit a location just to get a one liner description and nothing else). 7 locations... 3 times a day (morning afternoon night), so basically every day has 21 potential scenes, times 30 days = 630 times I'm gonna have to reload my save to see all potential scenes, WTF GAME! It also doesn't help that this VN doesn't have a quicksave/load function, in fact you can only save AFTER or BEFORE scenes, not during. A really nasty technical limitation by today's standards. What's fascinating though is that, I think THAT'S THE POINT of this month long Free Roam segment, especially the first time you go through it blind. The VN seems to be aiming for a "if you could relive a moment of your life, how would you go about it differently?" theme of sorts. Takeru's summer vacation my first playthrough was just spent lounging and wandering around and making small talk with whoever I happened to bump into. Uneventful and wasteful. Takeru himself will admit he basically has no life, and heroines will nag at him to start being more open and active. But if you're ultimately unable to develop any connections with any of the heroines and stay a loner, you'll waltz right back into the arms of the prologue's bad end. So from a narrative standpoint I thought this was rather neat. But from a gameplay completionist standpoint though, fk this game. It's so tempting to just pull up a walkthrough and avoid the unnecessary scene grinding. GIRL DONT'CHU BE TELLIN' ME WHAT I OUGHTTA DO! Thankfully, upon getting the bad end a second time around, my initial month long of meandering gave me a good idea of where most of the heroines generally spend their month... Maimi the fiery redhead distant cousin seems to be at school for tennis, Yukino the bluehaired eager young adult journalist is investigating the supernatural Yomibito Legend so she's a wildcard, Miu the stoic softspoken greenhead is mostly working at her brother's cafe in the afternoon, Hanako/Rei is the ditzy pink haired only-the-audience-can-see-through-her-idol-disguise who's shooting a film in the forest, and Saya is I guess the starter route yellow haired ojou because you can literally just say yes to become her servant so she'll assign you your shifts where to go: We'll see if this develops into something interesting.
  15. It's something I'm very glad to see, handheld console is my preferred way to read VNs nowadays, just get comfy in bed and play away. Looking forward to see more releases trickle onto the Switch over the upcoming years. My PSVita has served me well. Muv Luv trilogy, Utawarerumono Trilogy, Chaos;Child+Steins;gate0, otomes like CollarxMalice and Code;Realize, Zeroescape + Danganronpa, whew.
  16. Aight I was holding off on this for the longest time ever because I'm a judgmental prick and didn't really like the art style, heh, but it's time to start
  17. You know you got addicted to a story when you finish it within a week clocking in 30-35 hours, I don't think I've read any VN this year got me hooked this much. Robotics;Notes also clocked me about 30-35 hours, but took me a solid MONTH each entry to finish because I just read for a couple hours a day etc. And with 13 Sentinels I would boot it up and then BAM 8 hours passed already it's like huh where'd the time go. As is with tradition, starting off with favorite BGM, this time it's definitely gonna go to the main menu music, lol. You know how sometimes a VN has a great title theme so you could spend some time just chilling while listening to it? Throughout 13 Sentinels you can switch between 3 main menu/modes: the story mode, the codex with all the key terminologies and lore, and battle mode with the real time strategy tower defense gameplay. Each menu will come with its own rendition of the main theme and when you swap between them the music also changes seamlessly. It's some great stuff. More modern games need to have seamless changing multiple versions of themes tbh. 0:00 Codex version. 1:12 main menu version. 2:19 battle version. Battle is my fav, it always feels good hearing this track as you prepare your teams for combat. Story: 9/10. Celebration of Sci-Fi. You want giant robots? Alien invasions? Futuristic technology? Artificial Intelligence? Time travel? You name it. This game's got it all. The plot can get OVERWHELMINGLY CONFUSING to follow at times, since the story is told through the eyes of 13 protagonists, in anachronic order, in multiple time periods, with plenty of flashback/dream sequences and scientific jargon littered throughout, but somehow the writers were able to structure it in a way that keeps you thirsting for more as every scene always reveals something new about the characters and the world and as soon as you think you have a good understanding of the overall picture, BAM you get hit with another plot twist/revelation. The basic premise of 13 high school students and their giant robot Sentinels vs the Reapers to save the world is still there, but it's honestly only 10% of the story and the other 90% is understanding every protagonist's situation and figuring out what the hell is going on. There are so many revelations for the characters and the plot that I don't think there was ever a single grand HOLY SHIT moment akin to Ever17's True End, ultimately there's just a bunch of hory-shis that make you go "Ooo that was a nice reveal" and they all add up to make an overall fascinating story. And thankfully, there is an (actually helpful!) ingame codex that lists character information (and updates as you learn more information), important terminologies and lore, and even has an event viewer for every protagonist that organizes the scenes in chronological order should you want to review the story. Presentation: 9/10. Presentation for me includes art and music/sound, and everything Vanillaware did for this title was superb. The watercolor 2.5D artstyle was always gorgeous and captivating to look at, the sound design was fantastic making the world feel vibrant, music was surreal when it needed to be and epic when duty called, and the VAs did a splendid job portraying their characters. Best girl is (first) Iori Fuyusaka (last), why do you think my first post was littered with her. Side note: every protagonist has a certain area on their body that is the "activation switch" to call upon their Sentinel, and of course Vanillaware made Iori's switch on her thigh so that's why she's posed like that in the screenie above. Not that I'm complaining. Random character pulling a gun on another character montage, this cast is quite trigger happy and it's hilarious how often they will whip out a gun on each other: I hope they're able to port this to Switch+PC one day. I used to care about console exclusivity (lol) but 13 Sentinels is legit a story where I just want to tell everybody I see to go read it E: Also realized I didn't mention the word mystery at all in this post lel. Mystery is a HUGE part of this story.
  18. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. It's made by Vanillaware, who were the makers of the 2(.5)D side scrolling action RPGs like Odinsphere, Dragon's Crown on the PSVITA. Which, sue me, have been on my Vita backlog for years now. Unfortunately there's only a PS4 version out atm for Aegis, yay exclusives, would've liked a Switch version plx. And holy crap, this is one of them hidden gems. This thing was released in Sep 22 this year, and already has an average 4.9 stars with over 400 ratings on Amazon (and Amazon reviews are notorious for slamming VNs for "not being a real game" etc. smh). Even VNDB averages a whopping 8.95 with only 126 votes. It's on sale on Amazon physical NA for 30 bucks. 13 protagonists whose stories all intertwine in an epic Sci-Fi mecha time traveling world ending saga. It's not a traditional VN with static sprites and backgrounds; I'd say it's more of an interactive adventure visual novel. IADVN or something. Dialogue will be displayed over the character rather than a dedicated textbox at the bottom middle, though thankfully there is still a backlog you can refer to anytime. Presentation is supreme, you can control your current protagonist in a vivid 2.5D environment: there will be cars driving and pedestrians walking in the background when you're in the city, trees/branches will be swaying from the wind, characters all have fluid, expressive animations even when idle. The world feels alive. Then you think about the most recent VN where you have static sprites and empty backgrounds and it's like man, this is the future! Yes, the world is threatened by Mass Effect 3 Reaper wannabes and it's up to the 13 protagonists who are able to control their own personal mecha robot "Sentinels" to defend the universe across multiple time periods and yes I made it sound cheesy, but seriously the presentation of this game is top notch and gets you hooked right away. The story plays episodic, there will be 13 protagonists with their own shenanigans and the story progresses by shifting protagonists and perspectives until all of their paths eventually overlap. Every character has their own goals and motivations, relations and revelations, and every time you think you answer some questions, you get a new bundle of them in your face! There's a real time SRPG gameplay element that's thrown in to compliment the adventure novel aspect. It's almost universally agreed upon that it's definitely on the weaker end of the enjoyment spectrum, but it'd be pretty hard for the 2.5D to show epic battles between the 13 Sentinels and the Reapers, and we need some gameplay to appeal to the masses so I guess that's that.
  19. THAT IS THE CHOICE OF STEINS;GATE! I think what holds R;N back is that it's the entry where the writers start trying to tie the whole SciADV series together, so R;N doesn't have as much standalone oomph like C;C or S;G did. Kept having to refer to the good ol' times and how badass prior protagonists are. But I get what they're trying to do. It'll be interesting to see what future titles have in store in the ongoing battle against the C of 3 times 10^2. I would've preferred that they did new scientific standalone titles with occasional references to the past like they've been doing, but it looks like they're gonna all in go for a mega ongoing saga that adds to the cast. Guess we'll see what happens in Anonymous;Code one day. R;N was decent overall. But again, lack of standalone oomph. There were a lot of interesting story/character concepts presented in both entries that went absolutely no where, writers couldn't commit what the hell they wanted to do. AIri felt criminally underused despite playing such a key role during the Kimijima Ko report hunt saga then she just becomes a demoted-to-onii-chan-spamming-extra, though her DaSH route was rather enjoyable with the 'what if she was in her 20s' scenario. Jun's karate thing never develops despite it being 90% of her screentime and instead they just settle for her finally gaining some self confidence. I don't think Frau ever even got closure regarding the reason she came to Tanegashima, and her DaSH route offered nothing to her character and was mostly just for BL service. Idk, majority of the characters just feel like "why are they even here"? but the VN still tries to paint everyone as having this unbreakable bond with each other. Slomo and Fastforward were cool character concepts but nope didn't do jack with them either. Akiho x Kaito was done well at least. It was pretty much the only thing that I was interested in reading about for DaSH. I loved the whole "we were inseparable childhood friends all the way through high school, then in the 6months between R;N and R;NDaSH, somehow everything's awkward now between us, wtf happened?!" plot point. Sometimes that's just how life works.
  20. R;N is pretty much linear, so the only time you'll have to repeat content is to make the choices to lock yourself into a heroine "route" (which can all be done from literally a single save point) The heroine "routes" branch off from the main route
  21. Ehehehehe that's a legit 37 hours 37 minutes and 37 seconds playtime, though i waited for a minute or two for the timer to reach those 37 seconds Let's start off with my favorite R;N track: Definitely a tune that I felt gave R;N its own identity, especially when it starts ramping up past the 1:00 mark. Hrmmm, mixed feelings about this one. Robotics;Notes is definitely on the "it's good, but kinda lacking if you compare it to Chaos;Child & Steins;Gate", as much as I shouldn't compare this to its siblings, and I agree with VNDB's R;N getting 7.5 average versus C;C's 8.0+ and S;G's 9.0+ average ratings. I think it has to do with the overall atmosphere/tone: we kind of have grown to expect the science adv series to be this mature, plot conspiracy heavy pseudoscience funtimes with quirky characters, and Robot;Notes is MOSTLY that, but ultimately they made R;N to be the more LIGHTHEARTED entry in the series, and lighthearted doesn't really work well when you're trying to write about world ending conspiracies and whatnot. Don't get me wrong, things will get dark come lategame, but they never really get TOO dark/bleak like they do in S;G and C;C. It kind of feels restrained, held back, like they went for PG-13 instead of R. Which is mainly due to the Robotics High School Club setting, and Akiho being the main heroine and having the classic genki/optimistic/passionate template. Would've been nice if they tried to give her some heroic BSODs to overcome, but nahhh she's too strong for that Power of friendship will trump over all! Honestly felt like power rangers good vs evil levels of cheesiness sometimes. Exacerbated by Akiho's love of the ingame fictional anime about robot justice called Gunvarrel that she will constantly blabber about in your face. The good vs evil black and whiteness come lategame is so cheesy that I even felt like the big baddies of the science ADV were a bunch of chumps and not intimidating anymore, despite them coming up with technically an even grander more dire conspiracy this time around, yet they were for sure HELLA intimidating with their antics in S;G. How the mighty have fallen.. Still overall an enjoyable VN. I usually can grow to love all the characters and these guys are no exception, though they are indeed a very quirky bunch and sometimes you just go "how the heck did these guys all end up together". But yeah 90% of the plot is literally just Kaito YOLO following Akiho's immature unpractical shenanigans for robots (can literally rename the VN "Akiho's Robotics Adventures") with some bits of conspiracy unravelling scattered throughout eventually culminating into we'll-beat-the-baddies-and-save-the-world-power-of-friendship-style! It's a bit hilarious because come lategame you can actually have Kaito be like "yo sorry Aki, I've been following you and your shenanigans all this time, but now I'm tired of it all bb cya" and get a badend. One thing I'll have to reiterate that I believe R;N does extremely well is having the ingame tweeting system that you can look up on a daily basis to get character reactions to daily events. They even went above and beyond and you can unlock certain very familiar names to follow and get their reactions to events, something I'm sure fans can appreciate: ~~~ Also, started Robotics;Notes DaSH. Hmmm, having a sequel with a set-insameuniverse-prequel character as one of the main characters? I don't know if that's a clever way of writing or if it's just a "let's ride off of the popularity of a prior work!" but I guess we shall see... Btw, I see why you prefer 2D over 3D now, Daru. You look absolutely terrible with a 3D sprite. Revert back to 2D pls.
  22. Hoh... didn't feel like I slogged through 20 hours on this VN so far, actually feels like < 10, I swear, my playtime is probably inflated because I'd get sidetracked and leave my Switch idling with the VN running or something. idk. But I refuse to believe it's been that long..!! I'm assuming Nae's route is kind of like a common route ending type of route, because that ended WAAAY too abruptly lol I was legit confused and had the biggest "that's it??" ever when I saw the credits rolling. Plotwise it still feels like I'm only ~50% through the common route, I mean I only had 3/7 Kimijima Reports and there was still a whopping 6 months to go until the Robot Expo that Kaito and friends were preparing for, but then Kaito all of a sudden gets the hots for Nae (I don't blame him, she really grew up fine lol), yada yada oo la la, gg ez, rollcredits. That being said I have no idea what triggers routes and whatnot, so guess I'll have to do some research.. Hope it's nothing too complicated like Steins;gate's systematic text message responses. God help me if it's based on TWIPO replies or something. E: fk me, they are. How the hell do devs actually expect people to find their way blind through routes in all honesty..
  24. Slowly slogging through Robotics;Notes, took me literally like a week just to do Phase 1 lol. I'm a huge slacker sorrz Thoughts/First Impressions: The 3D sprites + animations take some time to get used to. It's kind of like when you first red Steins;gate and it might've taken you some time to get used to the watercolory artstyle. Doesn't help that the N.Switch has some anti-aliasing issues compared to all the other versions (rip). But it eventually grows on you/you get used to it. ...I already miss YU-NO soundtracks. Stuff from the 1990s just had more identity and flavor. Everything in Robotics;Notes so far is forgetful generic elevator-tier sounding. Story takes a bit to take off, then again I'm barely starting Phase 2 so I'm probably speaking waaay too soon. I think it's the general overall premise/initial hook. Steins;Gate's premise was time travel. Intriguing. Chaos;Child was murder mystery supernatural. Interesting. Robotic;Notes? High school robot competitions. The main heroine Akiho is the genki-hardheaded-charge-towards-your-dreams-full-speed-ahead type but she just wants to do too much/has pretty unrealistic goals. Then we have the protagonist Kaito who doesn't help either with him being 100% disinterested in the Robotics Club (and being quite vocal about it too). He's more into his online pvp game KILL-BALLAD, where he ranks #5 in Japan. He sticks with Akiho though because they're childhood friends/the two need to watch over each other because of their Fast Forward and Slo-mo handicaps. On the plus side, the duo do have excellent dynamics and so far its a pleasure to see them interact with each other. One of the great things about the Sci-ADV series is their continuity: R;N literally gives you a glimpse of 1.048596 in the opening, and you'll get a famous one liner about eyes pretty early on. Lovely callbacks, though I hope R;N can hold its own and not overly rely on the glory of its earlier siblings. ~~ Since it's ROBOTICS;notes-> Robotics-> technology, the devs got a bit more creative with the level of technological interactivity in the world you can have via Kaito's PhoneDroid/smartphone. Whereas in S;G you were limited to receiving and replying to texts only when the narrative demanded it, in R;N there is a barebones Twitter replica called Twipo that adds a hearty amount of flavor to the entirety of the cast/plot/setting via the characters twipping about their lives and ongoing events day by day, and Kaito can even reply to a handful of those twips. It's one of the things R;N does well and it makes the world feel alive: Slight character reveal spoiler (though you learn their identity within a couple hours of meeting them so it's not too bad of a spoiler):
  25. Ehehehehe I wonder why Robotics;Notes scored relatively poorly compared to Chaos;Child and Steins;Gate (130 votes avg 7.36 vs 1806 votes avg 8.39 and lol 8132 votes avg 9.02 respectively) I'd like to think it's just that most peeps who tried R;N were going off of the high from S;G and then got disappointed, or maybe it's the use of 3d sprites, which can look pretty jank: Worst case scenario it's cuz the plot actually is subpar, god I hope not. We shall see~
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