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Posts posted by TexasDice

  1. 4 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

    I'm not sure if this will make sense to anyone, but I'm kind of sick not only of arranged marriage plots but generally of the "defying the parents" drama, whether its about marriage, career or whatever.

    Oh, I feel you.

    What bothers me a lot in these kinds of stories, is that the only ending they ever seem to go for is the "I did a bunch of things, so now your DAD accepts me and everything is fine"-ending. Would it really be so bad to actually play out the story in which the couple elopes? I assume this is yet another "Japanese thing", where doing your own thing and fulfilling your own desires against your parent's wishes is frowned upon in society and that's why the authors never do it. 

  2. Just wondering. Feel free to pick some broad terminology, like "bullying" or "mysterious identity" (or call them tropes if you feel like that term fits what I'm describing better). I'm going to take a guess here and say that a lot of respondents would pick the infamous "love triangle", which I personally don't mind as much.

    The top of my own list of infamy would definitely be "incurable disease", but I am also very tired of "arranged marriage"- and "heroine has to move away"-stories.


    Keep in mind that you can dislike a premise at it's core, even if you read such stories and thought it was good or great. On the contrary, I would love to hear examples of stories which you liked despite them involving your least favorite type of narrative trope. Oh, and please mind spoilers. 

  3. This has been pretty alright so far. The story is pretty cool and I like the protagonist and his clear, understandable motivation. However, I am feeling a bit of tonal whiplash with the girls. The cute girls aspect keeps getting in the way of the plot every now and then.

    Furthermore, after the common route is over, there is a unique problem: 


    After the murder solved, I don't really care about anything anymore. The protagonist just decides to date someone and it just happens within 30 seconds. I read one route (Kureha) and while it extends this plot a bit further, I didn't really care all that much? I can kind of guess what the other routes are about (based on the loose common route threads), but the story is kind of over already and the transition into the dating part feels a bit jarring. 

    If that makes any sense, great. If not, why did I bother writing this down? :notlikemiya:

  4. 49 minutes ago, Infernoplex said:

    but none of you go out of your way to explain what exactly it is that Sol should've been picking up. ... The only difference is that NN was able to go after more famous ones, and was lucky enough to make a partnership with a Chinese localization company.

    Aside from titles/companies someone has heard of before?

    How about titles that have some basic features I'd expect from a VN in 2020, like voice lines playing over mouse click or free button mapping. Even the one-voice-actress, reused-bgm nukige Ammolite keeps shitting out manage to fulfill those requirements. 

    But yes, what it boils down to most is the complete lack of any big name that gets people exited. I like Newton, Under One Wing is fine and Oniikiss is a pretty decent nukige. However, these games as well as the by now infamous Sakura Sakura are the epitome of "literally who?"-games. Which is a shame, since the Sol tech-whizzes responsible for decensoring and upscaling those 2008-resolutions are committing what I can only assume is black magic.

    which leads me to... 

    49 minutes ago, Infernoplex said:

    They picked up some okay average VNs, I don't see what's so niche about picking up, I dunno, My Fair Princess over Hello, Goodbye. They are both niche just as much as each other.

    They are similar, but that isn't exactly the problem. Nekonyan scored a well-known publisher in addition to their "literally-who"-games. Nobody cared at all about Fureraba when it released. I assume no English VN reader ever heard of it before or cared much. Now, quite a while later, lots of people (me included) were RAVING for Making Lovers to come out and put the Smee name out there. That's the two-step plan: Lure the masses in with a big name (in this case Sanoba Witch) first and when they decide to stay, they'll check out the rest of your catalog.

    MangaGamer was, as far as I understand, able to get away with completely niché games from their initial Overdrive repertoire because a) There was no real competition and b) most of the initial footing was based on nukige and cheap porn games before Da Capo landed in their laps. And even then, we are now seeing that MG is running out of things people want to see, though I do appreciate their idea behind releasing some non-standard VNs recently.

    I'm not saying Sol Press is completely hopeless in this area, considering they managed to snatch Favorite, due to SP's utter lack of business sense, management and well... anything worth of basic praise. So if Sol can succeed with Iroseka, maybe those who cared about that will be more open to read - god forbid actually buy - Sakura Sakura. 

  5. I knew about "the thing" before Totono was TL'd, so the damage inflicted to me is rather low. However, I did not know the full context for everything I picked up over osmosis and now that I'm finished, I think it's neat.

    After finishing it, you realize it's one of those ideas you have when you're awake at 3:00 AM and shitposting on VN discords or imageboards. Kind of like Cabin in the Woods for horror movies. Although maybe that's just me. There were enough meta moments to genuinely impress me and I do enjoy reading something different every now and then.

  6. After two long as hell main games and two equally long fandisks, the Majikoi H-scene music made me go insane. It's probably gone by now since years have past, but there used to be a time where I wanted to disable my brain by hitting it into my keyboard over and over.

    I ended up getting traumatized in my early days, I always turn the Video volume down to 10% or otherwise I'm afraid a cacophony is going to give me tinnitus. Other than that, I also disable system voices and loud menu-sounds, because they just annoy me as a notorious right-clicker and backlog checker.

  7. Yooo, that was a blast. Aokana is the first "sports"-vn I've ever read, (excluding the occasional track team route,) so with my boxing background I felt right at home (and should move my fat overwinter ass off the couch). The big FC fights actually glued me into my chair from start to finish and this title makes good use of moving the screen, transitions, sound effects and narration to make them exciting to follow along. The last vn fight scenes I enjoyed were the ones in Comyu and this is even better. Nice. (quick shoutout to the episode-preview narrations)

    Sprite draws amazing... well sprites, SDs and backgrounds, so like in koichoco I had a lot of fun looking for easter eggs in CGs and backgrounds. The Soundtrack also kept me entertained without becoming grating after repeating for all four routes.

    I've read the routes in the following order; Mashiro, Rika, Misaki, Asuka. I would recommend following that, with the option to either start or completely skip Rika. Whatever you do, read Asuka last.

    Mashiro - smoll and cute



    She is not a character I got along with right away. She actually got on my nerves during the common route and I snapped her first mostly because I was morbidly curious as to how the hell a romance was supposed to grow out of this... lets call it "unfortunate" character setup.

    Well contrary to what I expected, it just happened to work really well. Mashiro's route is a really cute romance story, featuring a really cute little girl. The more this little shit untangles herself, the more likable she becomes and I'm a big fan of her personality change, because it's gradual and doesn't come out of nowhere. Aside from this really strange stretch of "nothing" happening when Masaya works at her place and she going to Rika for training in which they never speak, I can't think of a single thing I hated. 

    Mashiro's route has the best romance of them all and it has my favorite conclusion; Instead of focusing on the themes of the sport and "defeating the bad guy/girl", this route culminates in a showdown between Mashiro and Misaki, which is great because we as the readers are invested in both characters at this point and makes us care a lot about the result. Thematically very fitting finale and it wraps everything up with a neat bow and tie. 


    Rika - Things happens and then it ends



    Lets me get this out of the way: The route is not bad, Rika is a very nice and soothing heroine and it's not so bad, that you'd hate yourself reading it when you're a fan of Rika.

    Now, if you didn't click with Rika in the slightest, you might as well skip this route, because it doesn't really contribute anything to the greater picture. Things just kind of keep happening, the protagonist doesn't do anything all that important and the villain of the route is... very bad. It was physically cringing to myself, due to how lame it she is and her suddenly plot twist.

    It's the only route that doesn't adress the fate of the protagonist (which is strange, considering she knows the most about his past from the get go) and has a surprisingly high number of plot holes regarding the flight psychics and technical laws, mostly because it had a different writer who is not credited on VNDB.

    I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't reread this one either. It was fine.


    Misaki - The pity party



    So, this route was amazing. A little messy to be sure, but an amazing mess nonetheless. We are allowed to delve into the complex feelings of frustration and jealousy through the minds of two scarred individuals attempting to, failing to and lastly, succeeding to overcome those emotions. Misaki is a frustrating heroine at times, because her flip-flopping is great for the comedy and sass value, but sometimes annoying to read, which is without a doubt intentional. 

    Misaki's route aside from targetting issues from a fresh (and dour) perspective, benefits greatly from axing the main cast and instead building up a new "party" of support characters. That is pretty nice, because it keeps things fresh. Storywise, the Inui fight was my favorite fight in the whole vn and I was super proud of myself for figuring out their strategy hours before the characters. Unfortunately, the big final fight against Asuka seems a bit less important and isn't as tense.

    Anything I didn't like? Well, yeah the romance. While it gets better towards the end when Misaki and Masaya end up flirting and screwing around, initially the start of the relationship kind of just happens and it's never brought up by anyone else. The tone of route, the science and action came at the cost of the romantic development. Furthermore, the new support cast comes at the cost of not addressing the Mashiro issue in a meaningful way. Or any of their issues in general; It's mostly a problem with Asuka being the "main-route", so the inability to resolve the other, open character plots in this route is the nature of the beast.

    high level nagging, but nagging nonetheless


    Asuka - the big finale



    Yeah, so Asuka's route is the main story and you feel it. Despite building up how amazing Asuka is, we still follow a rather classic underdog type sports story that focuses on learning new tricks and exciting asspulls. The big solution is this time dropped right at the start and easy to pick up on, but most readers would most likely forget by the time they reached the finale. 

    This route also delves into some serious topics, mostly related to the protagonist, but mostly focuses on the FC sport itself, which is great for me because I was into that the most. The romance is very cuddly and fluffy, because Asuka is a precious cinnamon roll.

    The finale is big, flashy and a little stupid. The ending spectacle is a bit too flashy for my tastes, but it works as everything was setup. We actually get some nice endings for all the main characters, including the protagonist. However, the script does reach a Return-of-the-kings approximate amount of endings that could've been souped into one, full epilogue just to steamline somewhat.

    When compared to Misaki's route, I think it's weird that she stuck around for this whole thing to go down (considering what's going on with her in Mashiro's and her own route) but I like that you essentially pick your preferred type of story: Do you want to heal Masaya's old wounds by applying wholesome excitement and fun or do you prefer brute forcing your way through the wall by hitting your head until it breaks


    The protagonist is a cool guy and I love almost all side characters. So much so that I'm baffled that ohohohjou-sama didn't get a route (also why does Arika have those giant knockers? Holy lord in the sky)

    Overall I give Aokana a 0/10, because there's a character voiced by my girl, Mizuhashi Kaori and I wasn't allowed to respectfully bone her into oblivion all night long.  

    NSFW PS: bless Madoka, she a good girl.




  8. I remember being super sold on Suki Suki initially. Yuuki was perfect, Rinka was overall good (route a little contrived, but the novelty of the idea behind it I liked) and Mahiru was at least great if you are into that sorta thing...

    What knocked it out for me however, was that first, Ayame's route, which starts off nice and neat, utterly shits the bed in it's second half. It falls so flat on it's face, I could still plug pieces of asphalt out of it's face. Really bad stuff. Then secondly, Chiho happend. Dudegirl was a clusterfuck of bad writing, bad management and strangely enough bad translation. Chiho's route makes no sense and doesn't fit into the story of the common route and the four other heroines whatsoever, while all three side girls who had more development AND screentime than Chiho get nothing. From what I understand, Chiho's route only exists because one guy at the company was like "but I wanna do that though".

    The reason I mention this, is because I'm now reading Haretaka and praying to whatever divine beings are out there, that this one doesn't have a "chiho" route. On the other hand, I am morbidly curious if there's another Ayame hidden in here. 

  9. I completely disagree, Kira*Kira and Deardrops have a very different tone and themes. One is a story about that one last trip before becoming adults in a music setting, while the other uses music as plot, setting, theme and basically main character. Kira*Kira could be a story about interpretive dancing or flying gliders and it wouldn't change the all that much, while Deardrops doesn't remotely work at it's core without music.

    Overdrive is on a 3/1 good/bad ration for music vns, so my hopes are high. Just keep the curtain call prick out this time and maybe don't try to give every single character a route if there's no material to work with at all.

  10. I wholeheartedly wish I knew more about fashion to use actually correct terminology here, but lemme go ahead and embarrass myself on the internet anyways:

    So the way I see it, for girls there are like three general designs for school uniforms (Blazer, Sailor and the ... corset type? You know, the one where the boobs are really fun to draw) and a fourth category for fantasy and unconventional ones. And then shit gets even more complicated, when the summer and winter uniforms are different types, like how Hoshimemo has sailor uniforms in Summer, but blazers in winter just to annoy me. :komari:

    Getting something similar to a coherent judgement was rough; For general blazer uniforms, Little Busters came to mind because I love the red/black combo and Comyu because it was a Harry Potter gag, but I would say my favorite uniform of that type would be the Daitoshokan uniform. It's very bright, with the white and red and the vest some of the girls wear helps make it not so boring in Summer when they take the actual blazer off and only rock the shirt. Good fashion, would force a girl to wear IRL/10

    In the Sailor category, the To Heart 2 uniform came out on top over the Suki Suki uniform. Both contestants enter with the tried and true white/red aestethic. But when in doubt, go with the classics and do Ittaku a good one. Also, the 2Heart (I think To Heart 1 has the same, but whatever) uniform looks more like something an actual student would wear, while the other one looks like a cosplay from amazon. Honorable mention to Dracu-Riot, because I have to.

    Entering the corset... half-shirt... tiddy window... the third category, I immediately remembered Koichoco and the thicc dream supreme: Wagahigh. Koichoco has a very simple, but effective design that scores points from how easy it is to customize it (I like it when the school uniform gets some personal touches by the characters, like Michiru's shirt or Nozomi's lab coat) and the greenish-blue is cool. On the other side, the Wagahigh uniform is a technical marvel, capable of containing to sheer amount of (totally anatomically correct) waifu flab within it's confines. Neither of those take the win for me though.

    Not gonna touch up on the fantasy stuff, because I can really think of is Rewrite with the dress uniform.

    So now I wrote out of my ass for a while, what is my favorite uniform? *drumroll*



    Princess Evangile! What did me in? The white/brown with a little bit of red coloring? The noble feeling? The fact that it doesn't charge design between summer and winter? It's the boob window, isn't it? 


    Everything, really. I just love this uniform and it's one of those  where I think it genuinely looks just great on every single heroine we see wearing it. 





    It even looks good when you're about to jump off a building.





    For men, Visual Novels aside, the best is the Persona 4 cloth. Sorry chinese powerpoint boyos, you will never come anywhere close to the absolute thuggery that is the checkerboard collar and the swagass stichlines. I love this one so much, I actually bought one. 

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