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In an effort to revive my fried brain, I read a few shorter VNs over the past week. The first one was Sakura no Ki no Shita ni wa. I saw it on vnts a few weeks ago, and was a bit curious. I didn't hear anyone talking about it and it was short and free, so I decided to give it a shot. Sadly, I was sorely disappointed. It's basically an adaptation of a poem, so it's very short and only took me a few minutes to finish. I guess all I can say in its favor is that the visual/sound presentation isn't bad... it's probably much better in Japanese, but the English translation is grating and difficult to read, which really is a game breaker for a poem. It wasn't good, but at least not much of my time was wasted.

Then I went on to Harmonia, which I didn't love, per se, but I most certainly didn't hate. The soundtrack was quite gorgeous and although I don't like Key's art style at all, the costume design itself was really nice. I generally had a good time with it, but the pacing could be a bit slow in places where it shouldn't have been and I found a few plot twists towards the end to be pretty predicable. It could be pretty hard to get attached to the characters as well, which made the tearjerks towards the end far weaker than they are in key's other works. My other main issue with the story was just that I felt like I had seen similar worlds and premises, and Harmonia didn't necessarily do anything for me that made it special. In spite of all that, it was generally quite nice as a whole and seeing as it's short anyway, I would definitely recommend it to the sort of person who likes that kind of story.

After that, I read Highway Blossoms, and it was a real breath of fresh air in a lot of ways. The art is absolutely gorgeous and it probably has the best production values I've ever seen in an OELVN. And contrary to many OELVNs that go out of their way to imitate Japanese VNs in storytelling, Highway Blossoms was a road trip story set in the southwest. The characters were all really charming and even if they weren't necessarily deep, they were still a lot of fun to watch. The romance arc was really standard formula, but I thought it was executed fairly well. It was definitely a worthwhile way to spend my Saturday afternoon.

And then, just a few minutes ago, I finished Sonohana Remembering How we Met. Honestly, I don't have much to say about it other than you probably know if you'll like it before you play it. It gave me diabetes and I'm not sure why I even picked it up but I like to think that it will make Himawari all the more satisfying in a few days, ahaha. 

Now I'm going to play the newly released Sonohana. By the time I'm done I'm not even sure if I'll ever be able to read yuri again. :notlikemiya: I really need something to distract me from the imminent Himawari release or else I'll go insane. Thanks to anyone who actually put up with and read this entire text wall :sachi:

Edited by akaritan

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40 minutes ago, akaritan said:

Thanks to anyone who actually put up with and read this entire text wall :sachi:

You're welcome :miyako:

I'm still slowly going through Koihime Musou. I'm probably somewhere over halfway done now? At first, it felt like I had too many turns during the home base phase; now it feels like I don't have enough. When Chouryou/Shia joined and I got spend more time with her, I realized that I apparently had grown quite fond of Kansai-ben when editing the twins' route in TH2, so I had a lot of fun with her. Unfortunately, I think she only got three home base events total, so I won't get to see much more of her now :komari:. Still enjoying this VN's approach of throwing a ridiculous number of heroines at the player, and how surprisingly deep its commitment is to most/all of them. In spite of the aforementioned shortage of Chouryou events, even with her I feel like they did her justice as a character.

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Steins;Gate 0 was really good! I was little hesitant at first how it would work since the original is so complete experience, but luckily I was proven wrong.
Overall Steins;Gate Zero is just more of Steins;Gate, for better or worse. It's one cool extra loop before the true end of the original, offering new viewpoints to the original and fleshing out the world. There's plenty cool characters, old and new, the humor and great character interactions are still there and it's still as moving when it's time to be serious. If you ever found yourself wanting more of Steins;Gate then S;G0 is pretty much that. It does some things better than the original and loses in some, and while it builds itself on already completed work Zero also manages to be cool on it's own. 

Obviously there's spoilers about the original Steins;Gate, and while I tried to avoid spoilers about Zero in my impressions you might want to be careful if you want to experience Zero knowing as little as possible beforehand. 

Spoiler

Multiple routes in Zero offered some cool possibilities to story, mainly the feeling of exploration, chasing after different ends after you start to figure out how the game works, but also makes the already convoluted time-travel narrative even more confusing at places. This time even the method of changing timelines is not in your control, or at least not to the same extent. That combined with wildly varying fates of same characters over different routes makes it pretty easy to feel lost.  But that sense of not knowing what is going on, that feeling of powerlessness applies to both the reader and Okabe, which is pretty cool. And it becomes even more and more interesting the further you get, when the feeling of being lost starts to change into something else as you start to figure out how everything works and how it all ties back to the ending of the original. Zero might be a story with foregone conclusion, but the route(s) to it is very inspiring.

And like I said, thanks to different routes the relations between different timelines became really confusing at times. I didn't notice anything that felt clearly wrong, but there were times when I was pretty lost figuring out what event had effect on what and why the world line ended that way, more so since this time you don't always know what even changed the world line. But this more of a problem how much small inconsistencies bother a person, since the story works well despite them.  

One thing I really liked about Zero is how it manages to make the threat of Third World War and the unreasonable situations driving world to it feel real. In original Steins;Gate it never had the same weight to it. Sure, you felt bad for Suzuha, but still it felt distant and not that real. Unlike in Zero where the world plummets towards the Third World War before your eyes, peaceful Japan changing in to a war zone and suddenly the threats about Beta-word line don't feel so empty anymore. In Steins;Gate everything still felt little like a conspiracy theory till the end, but in Zero makes it pretty clear that there's huge international power struggle around the time machine and it's no game.
 


 

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So after taking a 4 month break from reading VNs after I finished Danganronpa 2, I went ahead and read Steins;Gate 0, which was a phenomenal read, i quite enjoyed it, I decided to switch it up to something a little more light hearted with the latest A Kiss for the Petals, The New generation and I gotta admit I was pretty pleasantly surprised, Hazuki is freakin adorable probably one of my favorite Sono Hanabira characters since Reo, I then decided to resume reading Rose Gun Days, and I am glad that I did, its  quite enjoyable figure I'm at being close to complete with season 2. 

Edited by douggle

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23 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

Still enjoying this VN's approach of throwing a ridiculous number of heroines at the player, and how surprisingly deep its commitment is to most/all of them. In spite of the aforementioned shortage of Chouryou events, even with her I feel like they did her justice as a character.

I think that's one of Koihime Musou's biggest strengths and also part of why it developed into an entire franchise. They got a good balance between focusing on a selected cast of main characters and still introducing new characters. That way it kept the story fresh without overwhelming you too much with new characters.

Unfortunately they dropped the ball a bit in Shin Kohime Musou, and SKM Moeshouden was just chaos. I think they went back to the roots a bit with Eiyuutan, but I've honestly my doubts about Sengoku Koihime. Having many side characters is one thing, but a VN just doesn't work without a selected cast of main characters the story is focusing on. And Sengoku is just single route for all characters which makes it even more difficult than it was in SKM's three route structure. I wonder if it even has main heroines in the true sense, or just side characters that have slightly more screen time than others. But I disgress... :sleep:

Edited by ChaosRaven

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Steins;Gate 0 spoilers, be extremely careful.

 

Spoiler

Did Fubuki inherit White Okabe's memories? cause she remembers when Mayuri got trainwrecked, or headshoten, or got ran over by a vehicle, or...OH FUCK WHY DO I HAVE TO RELIVE THAT?!

 

Also, Black Okabe is a really interesting character so far, sick, depressive, a complete wreckage of a man, i don't recognize the mad scientist who "threatened" to destroy the foundations of the world, instead, we have a standard adult, depressive as fuck, following his studies, but with a dream, a very noble dream : pursuing her work, that's quite cool.

Maho is basically admirative of Kurisu, and at the same time she's Jealous, right? so far i have...mixed opinions about her, i hope her character evolves better.

 

 

ALSO MAYURI HAS A HUGE RACK, WTF?!

 

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9 minutes ago, Firemonk said:

I've never played it so I could give maybe 2 fucks at best

I meant it in the sense that a longtime member of Fuwa just stated they're playing the direct sequel to (what can be safely assumed is) their favorite VN and how it seems so ordinary.

 

That might sound weird, I'm a weird person lol.

Edited by Funyarinpa

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2 hours ago, Funyarinpa said:

I meant it in the sense that a longtime member of Fuwa just stated they're playing the direct sequel to (what can be safely assumed is) their favorite VN and how it seems so ordinary.

 

That might sound weird, I'm a weird person lol.

Nah dude, no problem, i'm not that active these last time, so it's not a problem at all. 

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7 minutes ago, Decay said:

I'm also playing Steins;Gate 0 and Steins;Gate is also far and away my favorite VN. Shower me with the praise I deserve for this. :makina:

No, wait, don't, that would be really weird. 

I was just really happy for Kuu lol

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52 minutes ago, Fred the Barber said:

I thought you were commenting on the idea of Makise Kurisu actually playing Steins;Gate 0.

It could happen.

A fictional character reading about a subfiction of herself? You can expect a layer of reality above all of this in wich another kurisu is writing all this shitherself just for fun, whitout realizing she's an

 

intelligence in a virtual space disconneted from reality that should be tied to a real human but just in theory...

Myth;Gate Kurisu sagashi ADV (Don't try to unravel it)

 

 

 

 

Edited by WinterfuryZX

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7 hours ago, Decay said:

I'm also playing Steins;Gate 0 and Steins;Gate is also far and away my favorite VN. Shower me with the praise I deserve for this. :makina:

Lo, let it be known thru all the four corners of the earth, that Decay did pay real money for a VN, because he grew overfond of the original.  Truly I say unto thee, words literally cannot express the sublime awesomeness of this blessed fact.

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Quite busy with Kamidori here once again, so my Flyable Heart playthrough at this moment still stalled. And for more info while I'm busy with the grinding, I'll try to continue my Flyable Heart playthrough if there is a chance. Oh, and while I knew that there's a patch to import Steins Gate 0 translation to PC, I think I won't played that for now.

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7 hours ago, littleshogun said:

Quite busy with Kamidori here once again, so my Flyable Heart playthrough at this moment still stalled. And for more info while I'm busy with the grinding, I'll try to continue my Flyable Heart playthrough if there is a chance. Oh, and while I knew that there's a patch to import Steins Gate 0 translation to PC, I think I won't played that for now.

There's also...you know, the PS4 and PSVita version, too. 

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First ending got.

WARNING : STEINS;GATE 0 SPOILERS... LIKE SERIOUSLY, IT SPOILS THE NORMAL ENDING.

 

Spoiler

So, what happened after being attacked by Rounders and Russians? Maho having feelings for Okabe, shit happened all over the world, more sadness, more madness., but what to say?

 

This whole VN is a whole huge mess of madness, and madness, and sadness... and then...Leskinen being the bad guy, Kagari being a fake Yuki-san, Operation Aquila...Mayuri confessing to Okabe, the war, the madness... THAT WAS AWESOME!!!

THIS WAS MORE AWESOME THAN THE ENTIRE STEINS;GATE!!!

 

And my adventures aren't over yet.

 

Altair & Vega ending was amazing, and when Houiouin Kyouma got back, man, that was amazing, after 24 hours of sadness, the return of the insane mad scientist, battling a true insane mad scientist!!

 

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