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9 hours ago, Funyarinpa said:

So, thanks to it being 50% off I forgot that I was waiting for it to come to Vita by March and ended up buying Root Double on Steam. Played for a little while.

Pretty intriguing so far, but the cast feels a bit generic (Yuuri is the aggressively cliche shy heroine. zzzzzzzzzz). There also isn't much tension in its atmosphere so far. The music's good, I wonder if Takeshi Abo also worked on this one's OST (he did Steins; Gate, Ever17 and Remember11's music). Might even give I/O another try after this. That said, the whole "nine people stuck for nine hours in a life-endangering situation" is my favorite motif for VNs so this will be FUN.

Edit: How to best go about playing this thing? First do Route A fully then move on to Route B or switch to B after a few endings?

Nope, Abo Takeshi has nothing to do with Root Double. 

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39 minutes ago, Kurisu-Chan said:

Nope, Abo Takeshi has nothing to do with Root Double. 

Yeah, the OST lost me after a while. This game doesn't have its own Morphogenetic Sorrow, Karma or All or None yet. So I'd not be surprised if Abo didn't work on it. The tracks are decent but the nukige I also read yesterday had a few tracks more memorable than anything in RD so I'm kind of disappointed now. lol

 

Read 3 chapters of Route A so far. Good shit.

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Root Double. Big spoilers for one route.

Spoiler

Got a few bad endings as well as Route A's normal ending. Any spoiler-free walkthrough that denotes which choices I can use "to waste less time" as claimed by the normal ending screen (to avoid 'wasting too much time' and getting the normal ending)? That was fucking crazy but it was pretty obvious that this wasn't how the route was going to end. Too many repetitive ends (person is killed -> flashback to memories -> Japanese protag angry scream). The ending did convey its weirdness and outlandishness successfully (it feels comical after a while which reflects Watase's opinions). There are some really intriguing things though.

1) The whole Yuuri corpse thing. There was a sort of static on the whole screen for about half a second right before he enters the stairwell. That has to signify SOMETHING.

2) A couple CGs (I think the one where they learn they have to hold out for 9 hours) had scanlines on them.

These two make me feel that we're viewing at least part of this game from some sort of security system or CCTV. 

3) I'm worried about who Kazami was actually talking to in the surveillance room when she was talking to "the radio". 

Anyway, the music is disappointing but I like the art for what it's worth. The SSS system is pretty shit, though. It's very prone to misunderstanding. For example, it says that toggling Watase's Sense changes his self confidence but when he and Kazami argue about who'll take the half-depleted AD dose do you have to set Watase's higher than Kazami's to let Kazami take it, or set Kazami higher, which means you see her as more important? There are many more examples like this. I would have resorted to a walkthrough already had I not known the fact that the game gives you tips at bad endings. 

The normal ending is weird as fuck. I trusted Kazami the most and I think there are character endings, but does it change anything else? I always have her Sense at maximum. The ex-lover reveal was sad, man ;-;

 

 

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On 24/12/2016 at 3:39 PM, Funyarinpa said:

I wonder if Takeshi Abo also worked on this one's OST (he did Steins; Gate, Ever17 and Remember11's music)

First of all sorry to be late for responding this.

Speaking about OST, what I could said is that back at Gamefaqs Gundam Ace said that Root Double (RD) could had good music (Fitting) if Abo was the one who work on it. Oh, and if you looking for RD version of All or None,  personally I think Memento Mori was had some note borrowed from All or None little bit. By the way, it's good that you like RD there.

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Root Double, spoilers for a full route

Spoiler

So... just got the good ending for Route A. That was a bit more anticlimactic than expected though I see how they went for raising questions. 

Some things I want to note down:

1) There was a book titled Before Crime * After Days in the office where Watase finds books about BC. Fishy! Also their capitals (B-C-A-D) forms the chronological order of the routes, from what I've spoiled for myself (C connects two routes and D is like a true ending). 

2) I'm sure something about repetition is going on here. I suspect it's related to Watase's amnesia, does he dream it all (Normal ending hinted at that, something about him being stuck reliving the LABO incident while comatose on a bed)  perhaps, or are people around him not letting him know that he lost his memory several times in a row? I mean, we have no info whatsoever about how Watase spent the time between 6:42 and him waking up at 9:10 or thereabouts, right? Or do I simply misremember the time deficiency?

3) Kazami betraying Watase like that hurt, man. ;-;

4) Isn't there a possibility that Jun was hunting the scientist guy down and not Watase?

5) We don't know Ena's fate by the end of the route. 

Anyways, I wouldn't put this route very high in terms of "surviving in enclosed spaces" VNs, there just weren't that many memorable moments about it. I did enjoy it regardless, enjoyed it greatly in fact. Something about it didn't really click with me the way these types of stories and settings usually do, but maybe Zero Time Dilemma just put me off about it. I'd give it about 7.5-8/10, I guess. I'm not miffed about other routes taking a different approach (SOL), because I feel that Route A was losing its hook a bit by the end. The whole "everyone is out to kill now" thing was both predictable and disillusioning, it just didn't feel scary. 

 

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I finished Aqua route in Himawari, found it annoying in the first part, and mildly interesting in second, which could be summarised as 'typical charage route' with interesting ideas behind "drama", presented in '2048' retrospect episode. So yeah, nothing great in here.
I'm so tired of this VN right now, so I'm taking a break before diving in another 'shitty unfunny humour filled first part' route. At least there is no Aqua, who is simply a vile, mentaly unstable creature.

My break looks like this:
102129_43339753.png

And just from the beginning there is SO MUCH QUALITY. I love InoGrey art, music, drawnings, voice actors, everything. And those top notch voice actors have some really beutiful things to say. I do not know jack shit about japanese, but I just love to listen to these full, complex, fastly read sentences, instead of typical for moeblobs moaning, whinning, barking and howling. When I hear those long sentences I just feel 'these characters are intelligent'. When I hear Himawari Aries doing all her 'Ewewewee, Yoichi, Aries is happy-desu!' I just feel like 'this is not a character, this thing is acting like an animal/very little kid'.

So yeah, excited to read Flowers. Unfortunatelly choice structure here is fucked up. 

Edited by Vorathiel

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4 hours ago, Funyarinpa said:

Root Double, spoilers for a full route

  Reveal hidden contents

So... just got the good ending for Route A. That was a bit more anticlimactic than expected though I see how they went for raising questions. 

Some things I want to note down:

1) There was a book titled Before Crime * After Days in the office where Watase finds books about BC. Fishy! Also their capitals (B-C-A-D) forms the chronological order of the routes, from what I've spoiled for myself (C connects two routes and D is like a true ending). 

2) I'm sure something about repetition is going on here. I suspect it's related to Watase's amnesia, does he dream it all (Normal ending hinted at that, something about him being stuck reliving the LABO incident while comatose on a bed)  perhaps, or are people around him not letting him know that he lost his memory several times in a row? I mean, we have no info whatsoever about how Watase spent the time between 6:42 and him waking up at 9:10 or thereabouts, right? Or do I simply misremember the time deficiency?

3) Kazami betraying Watase like that hurt, man. ;-;

4) Isn't there a possibility that Jun was hunting the scientist guy down and not Watase?

5) We don't know Ena's fate by the end of the route. 

Anyways, I wouldn't put this route very high in terms of "surviving in enclosed spaces" VNs, there just weren't that many memorable moments about it. I did enjoy it regardless, enjoyed it greatly in fact. Something about it didn't really click with me the way these types of stories and settings usually do, but maybe Zero Time Dilemma just put me off about it. I'd give it about 7.5-8/10, I guess. I'm not miffed about other routes taking a different approach (SOL), because I feel that Route A was losing its hook a bit by the end. The whole "everyone is out to kill now" thing was both predictable and disillusioning, it just didn't feel scary. 

 

The best thing about Root Double's A route is sandbagging choices just so you can completionist all the bad ends

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3 hours ago, Vorathiel said:

I finished Aqua route in Himawari, found it annoying in the first part, and mildly interesting in second, which could be summarised as 'typical charage route' with interesting ideas behind "drama", presented in '2048' retrospect episode. So yeah, nothing great in here.
I'm so tired of this VN right now, so I'm taking a break before diving in another 'shitty unfunny humour filled first part' route. At least there is no Aqua, who is simply a vile, mentaly unstable creature.

My break looks like this:
102129_43339753.png

And just from the beginning there is SO MUCH QUALITY. I love InoGrey art, music, drawnings, voice actors, everything. And those top notch voice actors have some really beutiful things to say. I do not know jack shit about japanese, but I just love to listen to these full, complex, fastly read sentences, instead of typical for moeblobs moaning, whinning, barking and howling. When I hear those long sentences I just feel 'these characters are intelligent'. When I hear Himawari Aries doing all her 'Ewewewee, Yoichi, Aries is happy-desu!' I just feel like 'this is not a character, this thing is acting like an animal/very little kid'.

So yeah, excited to read Flowers. Unfortunatelly choice structure here is fucked up. 

Yeah, Flowers's choice system made me want to punch a wall. I did enjoy the production values, for sure.

3 hours ago, Eclipsed said:

The best thing about Root Double's A route is sandbagging choices just so you can completionist all the bad ends

Intentionally picking bad endings is also the most fun part of 11eyes, at least at the moment. Every time I see the choices, I'm like "Time to die!" I think my success rate at choosing the bad end first is well over 90%. But, seeing as it isn't 100%, I think that means, were I the protagonist of 11eyes, I'd simply be dead, long since.

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Just now, Fred the Barber said:

Yeah, Flowers's choice system made me want to punch a wall. I did enjoy the production values, for sure.

Thanks for the great walkthorugh btw! Knowing about the flower and it's colours helped immensely!

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Reading Higurashi Chapter 3. I've been taking a pretty long break with Higurashi but I'm glad I still remember everything. Chapter 3 has a surprising amount of feels in the slice-of-life part before shit hits the fan.

After that, I might proceed with Chapter 4. I'm thinking of getting Tokyo Babel since it's 50% off so that might be my next one. Or something lighter like maybe The Royal Trap or This World Unknown.

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2 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

Glad I could save someone from the pain I went through :D

Could you say how much 'routes' differ? Or rather - are there any routes at all?
Because I wanted to save Mayurii (one of the best girls EVER <3 ) till the last playthrough, but if there is only one route with different endings, I might restert the game before it's too late and go with Mayurii first to have the best, full 'experience', without relying on 'skip' function.

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12 hours ago, Vorathiel said:

Could you say how much 'routes' differ? Or rather - are there any routes at all?
Because I wanted to save Mayurii (one of the best girls EVER <3 ) till the last playthrough, but if there is only one route with different endings, I might restert the game before it's too late and go with Mayurii first to have the best, full 'experience', without relying on 'skip' function.

There kind of aren't routes, basically just one route with three different full endings (Rikka, Mayuri good, Mayuri bad), setting aside the instant bad-ends from failing the investigation.

However, there are choices (or perhaps collections of choices? I'm not sure) that you can make that will lead to you seeing substantially different, fairly long scenes on the way there, even though the core events along any playthrough remain the same. For instance, there's a cute, longish scene with Nerine Komikado (how the hell do I remember that name?) which I think you won't see at all if you just take all the Mayuri choices. That was the most memorable different scene, to me, but there are at least a few others as well, IIRC. Some differences are larger, some are smaller, but I wouldn't really call either of them a different route since the core events always remain the same up until near the end.

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Thanks. I will stay on reading Rikka first then.

Did I mention that I love it? Cause I love it. So many memorable scenes, such a great atmosphere. 1 on 1 scene with Rikka on bed, when they firs started using their names? Such a great chemistry and erotic tension. Suoh outburst that she beleives in Rikkas innocence, and Rikkas gratefullness? God-like voice acting, made simple scene filled with emotions. Great title so far.
Although first 'investigation' was just pure luck + knowledge from character profiles on vndb. I had no idea what all those books mean, so I just shot in the blind.

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Finished Kikokugai.  Really liked it, and I felt that for what it was (a relatively short kinetic novel), it was quite exceptional.

First of all, I want to thank @Decay for steering me towards the remake.  After having read through it in its entirety, and comparing the CGs of the two versions, I have to say, there is no reason to read the original.  The are mostly the same, just with the remake having much better art, animations, voice acting, and slightly edited h-scenes so they're less explicit (no genitals, less explicit dialogue).  According to VNDB, the original release had no animations, and I can say without a doubt that the animations made the fights scenes much more enjoyable.  It was much easier to, well, envision the actions happening with a combination of the excellent writing in English (Makoto's use of English is probably the best I've seen so far in the TL scene) and the animations themselves.  Thanks to the animations and the updated art, it was the slickest-looking VN I've read besides Tokyo Babel, which had pretty good production values itself.  If I have to give up more explicit h-scenes in return for all of those improvements, then I'm honestly for it.  It did nothing to dull the overall grim feel of the story, and also didn't attempt to make it "all-ages" in the true sense of the word.  It's still an incredibly dark tale that was definitely not meant for children with either release.

Now, to the setting itself.  I'm going to come straight out and say it: I felt a very strong inspiration from Blade Runner.  Now, I'm not saying Urobuchi took the dystopian future with robots setting just from that movie alone, but having seen Blade Runner, I can't deny the similarities, and in my opinion, it's a very good thing.  It focuses more on the criminal underbelly than Blade Runner did, and the setting being in a futuristic Shanghai opens up the path to replace guns with kung fu and traditional eastern weapons for the main character's way of killing his cybernetic foes.  I've always been a fan of noire and sci-fi, and seeing such an immersive movie affect a VN is such a cool thing.  It's a lot less philosophical than Blade Runner was, but it's still an extremely awesome setting that I was extremely pleased to see more of.  I'm always game for dystopian futuristic setting  :sacchan:

And finally, the story.  It doesn't disappoint for those aware of Urobuchi's reputation.  It starts out dark from the very beginning, and it remains so to the very end.  Not much point in posting a short synopsis, since VNDB already has one for those that aren't too lazy to go there and read it themselves.  I was initially a little disappointed with the ending itself, but after a while and a little bit of thought, I don't dislike it as much as I initially thought.  It certainly could have been better, but it definitely didn't ruin the story, and was itself quite twisted and disturbing.  I still think that the story leading up to the ending was a lot more enjoyable than the conclusion itself, though.

TL;DR: Kikokugai is a dark tale of a broken man lusting for bloody revenge and the violent deaths of his enemies that caused him to turn into what he is.  It doesn't pull any punches, and is quite an exciting read.  I highly recommend it for those that like darker stories with futuristic settings full of robots, cyborgs and good fight scenes.

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After half a year when I only had about one or two hours for VNs every several weeks, I finally got myself some free time and returned to Fata Morgana. Right now I'm at the very beginning of chapter 3. So far, the story is pretty good, almost excellent, but there are some problems, and I have a feeling that more problems may arise in the future.

The main advantage of this title so far is the setting. I'm pretty tired of modern Japanese high-schools in VNs, so the early Modern Age Europe is undoubtedly refreshing. Also, I like how they keep the nice balance between between developing the characters and the main intrigue of the story, which is not always done that well. At the same time, there probably are some problems with the pacing, as I often feel like the story becomes a bit too boring. Characters themselves are pretty interesting, though I believe that the first chapter is bit better in that regard than the second one. The main intrigue is pretty interesting, and I personally cannot see so far where this is going. I just hope they don't end it all with something stupid like "It was all a dream" or something. I would be pretty disappointed if this is the case.:yumiko:

Also, nice intrigue is always good, but it means that the main ideas of the story are left in the dark until the very end, and I have no means of judging them before then. So far I'm willing to rate this title with 9/10, but I would not be surprised if the mark falls to 7 in the end.

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2 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

there are some problems, and I have a feeling that more problems may arise in the future.

They won't. ;)

2 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

The main intrigue is pretty interesting, and I personally cannot see so far where this is going. I just hope they don't end it all with something stupid like "It was all a dream" or something. I would be pretty disappointed if this is the case.:yumiko:

Oh, you won't. You have no idea. ^^

2 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

Also, nice intrigue is always good, but it means that the main ideas of the story are left in the dark until the very end, and I have no means of judging them before then. So far I'm willing to rate this title with 9/10, but I would not be surprised if the mark falls to 7 in the end.

It's not as bad as Ever17, when almost every question was raised just before all the answers was presented - in the last few hours. FataMorgana opens itself slowly, but steadily, around 4th chapter onwards. And it's great. 

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I just bought Rance and pre-ordered Da Capo III (hopefully not a mistake?) so I'll get around to them at some point in time. I'm still trying to play through Koiken Otome though so when I eventually finish that I'll be able to go to one of those. 

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Root Double spoilers (Route B)

Spoiler

So, I'm up to September 14th of the route. Overall, it's slightly better than my expectations; the SoL didn't feel egregiously slow for the most part. It had a peaceful atmosphere (not as much sci-fi as I would have enjoyed), and I like how the meat of the route is a series of overly vivid fiashbacks during their LABO adventure. Yuuri is so sweet, which is weird because I normally cannot tolerate her archetype. I think the VA makes the character in Yuuri's case. Her intermittently going serious and grim is also pretty spooky. Salyu was a positive surprise, I was afraid that she'd either be a cold asshole or overly shy. Her character seems to be muted only on the surface though, so that's nice. Mashiro is... eh. The accident of 9 years ago and whatnot are also quite intriguing. I think I'm about to go to LABO right after Mashiro ditches school to thwart the terrorists' plan.

Edit:

More Root Double spoilers (Route A and B)

Spoiler

So I'm 100% sure that Natsuhiko's rank rose to Rank S due to being a part of the LABO incident of nine years ago. Wonder what that says about Yuuri. Perhaps that whole "half second of blank screen" ability is a third form of BC, or some Level 6 ability or something. That said... Wasn't there some document in Route A that said that someone (a child?) died in the 2021 incident? Think Jun had found it, but not sure on that detail. So perhaps Yuuri is actually dead all along: The possibility of "people's feelings surviving in a location" was brought up in a lecture by Ena, so perhaps that's why she's in LABO by 2030 in Route B. (Many things like the suspicious rescue worker asking "how many people, did you say?" when Natsuhiko said they were 4 people, and then the same worker mistaking Salyu for the "cute and frail girl" Yuuri who Natsuhiko was talking about, make me think that Yuuri is a sort of illusion. No one but Natsuhiko directly talks to Yuuri in Route B LABO anyway. I would venture to even argue that Yuuri's seen at Natsuhiko's home and she cannot leave due to actually being the remnants of the dead Yuuri but that fails on several accounts (she wouldn't have grown physically, it's not plausible that she got back from LABO and died later and we don't know if she stayed at Natsuhiko's home long enough to form a "ghost" that lasts for close to a decade even if she did die soon after 2021). Something is off with Yuuri either way, and if Yuuri's making Natsuhiko recall everything vividly during the LABO incident itself (as I think she says so once), then that also casts doubt upon the "Yuuri is dead" theory. Also, that would leave her fear of Watase completely unexplained. But speculating is fun!

 

Edited by Funyarinpa

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Hey, I'm still alive... maybe! Finished Shin Hayarigami - the reboot of the relatively obscure detective horror series, Hayarigami.

Now, this reboot gets a lot of flak and gets shit on all around, mainly because of how different it is from the original series. I've only played two cases from the original, but even I could tell the difference in direction and tone. While the originals focus mainly on the, let's say "occult" variety of urban legends (the usual stuff like Kokkuri-san etc.), Shin Hayarigami seems to take a more "realistic" approach, where the urban legends it picks feel more like hoaxes (i.e. soy sauce made from parts of human body) or straight u things that really did happen, like snuff films, with the VN pulling as recent and specific examples as the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs. From the more occult oriented stuff, there are only two arcs out of the total 9 - and these two dealt with very vague stuff like angry spirits and cursed dolls, rather than anything specific at all. It's also incredibly grimdark and super edgy compared to the previous iterations - and if you know me even a little bit, you can probably guess that that is the point where the VN started winning me over.

I'm not going to lie, I loved the tone of the VN, even if it was so edgy at times that it was hilarious . in fact, it was probably exactly that what made me like it so much. I also didn't really mind the different direction it took compared to the previous games, as I haven't really played much of them before - and I actually enjoyed the references it did make quite a lot. The game starts with the Blindman arc - which is unfortunately enough also considered the true arc, and is probably the least interesting one of the bunch. It tries to make an urban legend of its own and then go with it, but it really didn't have me convinced by the end of it at all. But once you finish that, new choices appear in various spots of the original arc, each one splitting into a completely new story. Now, this system might sound like a huge pain in the ass - but thankfully, the VN has an interactive flowchart. Hell yes! Why can't every VN have this, god damn it?!?! It also has some other gimmicks, like a section it calls the Liar's Art, where you are tasked to make use of the main character's silver tongue to win an argument. This means a lot of timed choices, and a surprisingly tense and fun minigame. The staple of the series, the Courage Points (your currency that is required to select certain choices) and the Inference Logic, where you are required to fill out a chart of events and people to solve each case, also make a return - but the Self Question part, that used to sway the cases in different directions in the original, is unfortunately gone - and as such each arc only gets one ending plus a whole bunch of bad endings - but the normal endings are so deliciously edgy for the most part that I absolutely loved them. As such, the VN also felt more like a regular story than a game where you solve cases - but there were a few exceptions where the MC took things into her hands and you were actually asked to do some thinking, the Doll arc being probably the best example, surprisingly enough.

I would personally give the VN an 8 out of 10 as I've enjoyed it a lot, but I do admit it was kind of a guilty pleasure more than anything else. I've started the second one now, and the hardcore backdown to the core of the series is apparent right from the arc selection already (occult and science endings are back) - I just kind of miss the super edgy tone, as it is more hilarious than anything so far.

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