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Sigh. Just got to the R18 scene of Muv-Luv Alternative...

Sigh. Sigh. Should really have stuck with the All-Ages version. This is just so damn stupid.

I mean, I've seen my share of hentai, so I'm not squeamish or anything, but it does break the immersion. Makes it all feel like one big parody.

You know, if I didn't know any better, I would've thought Nasu was the one who wrote this, given how Heaven's Feel turned out. Guess the rumor that many Japanese VN writers are closet perverts isn't that far from the truth.

Personally, I hate censorship for the most parts, but in some cases, I would actually favor the All-Ages version when the sexual parts don't add anything to the story (Key's VNs like Clannad comes to mind), or when they even detract from the story. This is definitely one of those cases.

Edited by LemiusK

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12 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

Sigh. Just got to the R18 scene of Muv-Luv Alternative...

Sigh. Sigh. Should really have stuck with the All-Ages version. This is just so damn stupid.

I mean, I've seen my share of hentai, so I'm not squeamish or anything, but it does break the immersion. Makes it all feel like one big parody.

Yup, I remember when I got to that part I felt pretty much the same, and wrote a very similar post to yours. I've actually read both the All Ages and the 18+ version of that scene, and yeah, I probably prefer the all ages version not because it shows less, but just because it feels a lot less over the top. 

On a side note, I believe it's probably because we've seen our share of messed up hentai that the scene felt like a parody to us :makina: I've heard that to other people it just felt like a very disgusting scene and didn't break the immersion at all. 

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22 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

I would actually favor the All-Ages version when the sexual parts don't add anything to the story (Key's VNs like Clannad comes to mind), or when they even detract from the story. This is definitely one of those cases.

Welcome to the dark side ;) (or maybe this is light side? dunno... :P )

Clannad itself fortunately didn't have VN version (apart from Tomoyo After), but it is true for other Key VNs. The only one where h-scenes were passable was ONE (it wasn't under KEY label, but same people involved). Kanon's scenes were awful, AIR's weren't good either - fortunately all-ages patches exist for both of these. Same with LittleBusters.

Edited by adamstan

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15 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

On a side note, I believe it's probably because we've seen our share of messed up hentai that the scene felt like a parody to us :makina:

:makina: :makina:

I know exactly what you mean, hue hue hue...

Ah, damn, it's so weird. Even when I'm satisfying myself, tentacles just plain put me off. I just can't relate to the idea of

Spoiler

being satisfied by slimy tentacles,

period. It totally felt like I was reading an entirely different story by that point, even when you consider all the horrific gore stuff that came before.

 

15 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

I've actually read both the All Ages and the 18+ version of that scene, and yeah, I probably prefer the all ages version not because it shows less, but just because it feels a lot less over the top. 

So the All-Ages version still showed the stupid h-stuff, just more censored? Damn, I was hoping it would replace the entire scene and overhaul it with new content, like what Key did with h-scenes. IIRC, Key didn't just censor the h-scenes, they replaced them with brand new scenes that added more to the story.

Edited by LemiusK

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2 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

Ah, damn, it's so weird. Even when I'm satisfying myself, tentacles just plain put me off. I just can't relate to the idea of being satisfied by slimy tentacles, period. It totally felt like I was reading an entirely different story by that point, even when you consider all the horrific gore stuff that came before.

Yeah, well, it's not like it's intended as a scene you could get off to anyway :wahaha: The IDEA of the scene made sense for me and it was indeed very disturbing, it's just the execution with all the hentai cheap hentai tropes that totally turned me off, which leads to:

5 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

So the All-Ages version still showed the stupid h-stuff, just more censored? Damn, I was hoping it would replace the entire scene and overhaul it with new content, like what Key did with h-scenes. IIRC, Key didn't just censor the h-scenes, they replaced them with brand new scenes that added more to the story.

Yes, kind of. The biggest difference is that obviously they don't show nudity and the descriptions are a lot more "sober", if you might. So, while the exact same thing happened (and I wouldn't want it otherwise, as censorship should never change the story facts), it left much more to your imagination. Twizzlers still sponsored the scene though.

 

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11 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

Yeah, well, it's not like it's intended as a scene you could get off to anyway :wahaha: The IDEA of the scene made sense for me and it was indeed very disturbing, it's just the execution with all the hentai cheap hentai tropes that totally turned me off, which leads to:

Yes, kind of. The biggest difference is that obviously they don't show nudity and the descriptions are a lot more "sober", if you might. So, while the exact same thing happened (and I wouldn't want it otherwise, as censorship should never change the story facts)

 

Well, yeah, I get that. I understand what the writer's trying to tell me too, but... yeah, the execution was definitely off-putting, to say the least.

I think the biggest reason this puts me off is because of the sexist implication it has. I mean,

Spoiler

why wasn't Takeru pleasured instead? Why weren't other males given the same form of pleasure? Why go down the generic and lazy route of having Kagami succumb to the pleasure like some cheap hentai? It almost assumes that only women can succumb to pleasure like some sex-craved machine.

It just felt cheap and lazy IMO. And if the All-Ages version doesn't change that, then I don't think it fixed anything in terms of the writing. It's a tired stereotype in hentai, kinda like how the "wise old sage" is a tired stereotype among western perception of Chinese culture (hence the "whitewashing" of Dr. Strange). If anything, it almost makes me wonder about the Japanese's perception of women in general... I mean, I've heard a few things myself regarding Japanese sexism.

Edited by LemiusK

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1 minute ago, LemiusK said:

Well, yeah, I get that. I understand what the writer's trying to tell me too, but... yeah, the execution was definitely off-putting, to say the least.

I think the biggest reason this puts me off is because of the sexist implication it has. I mean,

  Reveal hidden contents

why wasn't Takeru pleasured instead? Why weren't other males given the same form of pleasure? Why go down the generic and lazy route of having Kagami succumb to the pleasure like some cheap hentai? It almost assumes that only women can succumb to pleasure like some sex-craved machine.

It just felt cheap and lazy IMO. And if the All-Ages version doesn't change that, then I don't think it fixed anything in terms of the writing.

While it will still feel like an excuse...

Spoiler

If I remember correctly the Takeru from the alternative world had already died by that point, while trying to protect Sumika when the BETA attacked them. I know there's no way to convince you, because I know myself that the fact that the one subjected to sexual experimentation was Sumika was deliberate, but yeah... I mean, is it not the same for most VNs out there anyway? 

In any case, aside from the poor execution, the trauma and the guilt the poor girl must've been left with is perfectly understandable, so if I were you I'd look on the bright side and think of the powerful implications it has for the story and characters.

 

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1 minute ago, Thyndd said:

 

  Hide contents

because I know myself that the fact that the one subjected to sexual experimentation was Sumika was deliberate, but yeah... I mean, is it not the same for most VNs out there anyway? 

 

Hm. I'm guessing that by "deliberate," you're referring to story spoilers I haven't know yet. Guess I'll not probe further if that's the case.

Though I'm not sure what you mean by "the same for most VNs out there."

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1 minute ago, LemiusK said:

Though I'm not sure what you mean by "the same for most VNs out there."

The thing is, you bring up the fact that Sumika and not Takeru or other male characters are "sexualized", and while the story might offer you some excuse for it (like the harem setting in MLA, explained by the fact that most men already died when they first went to war), in the end it's plain obvious that the reason is just that the target demographic for most eroges are males, and guess what, a great part of that collective happens to like women :mare: Sex sells, everyone knows that.

So, I wouldn't try to read too deep into it. I don't think it's necessarily sexism, just good ol' sex stuff as a selling point.

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12 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

The thing is, you bring up the fact that Sumika and not Takeru or other male characters are "sexualized", and while the story might offer you some excuse for it (like the harem setting in MLA, explained by the fact that most men already died when they first went to war), in the end it's plain obvious that the reason is just that the target demographic for most eroges are males, and guess what, a great part of that collective happens to like women :mare: Sex sells, everyone knows that.

So, I wouldn't try to read too deep into it. I don't think it's necessarily sexism, just good ol' sex stuff as a selling point.

Then I'm even more disappointed. lol For such a highly-acclaimed series, it still follows the overused formula of other mainstream eroge/hentai. I mean, I understand to a certain extent that the Japanese's perception of sex is more open-minded than the western culture, and they're less inclined to squirm away from the subject like it's some taboo, but still... it's kinda disappointing that Muv-Luv wouldn't rise above that after all the deconstruction it did towards other eroge/harem. You might call them excuses (like the fact that most men already died), but for me, I felt like those were clever subversions of harem stories that made sense of an otherwise clearly illogical and unrealistic setting. Even the explanation about the combat suits being transparent was quite logical and clever,

Spoiler

especially when you take into account that their combat suits were modified to be less transparent when they graduated.

So for the VN to take two steps forward and one step back, that's just disappointing.

I honestly hope that Alternative would offer another one of those "excuses" to explain away such a bizarre behavior of the BETA that doesn't feel as... eye-rolling.

Edited by LemiusK

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1 minute ago, LemiusK said:

Then I'm even more disappointed. lol For such a highly-acclaimed series, it still follows the overused formula of other mainstream eroge. I mean, I understand to a certain extent that the Japanese's perception of sex is more open-minded than the western culture, and they're less inclined to squirm away from the subject like it's some taboo, but still... it's kinda disappointing that Muv-Luv wouldn't rise above that after all the deconstruction it did towards other eroge/harem. You might call them excuses (like the fact that most men already died), but for me, I felt like those were clever subversions of harem stories that made sense of an otherwise clearly illogical and unrealistic setting. So for the VN to take two steps forward and one step back, that's just disappointing.

You are just too negative my dude. I think Muv Luv is simply brilliant for being able to deconstruct the genre like that, while still exploiting all its commercial benefits. Plus, really, you'd be hard-pressed to find stronger female characters than the ones in MLA. If one thing is left very clear is that those girls are first and foremost warriors, the bravest you'll come across. And they are still young girls deep inside who due to the unfortunate circumstances don't get to experience a normal life like the one they had in the world Takeru came from.

While it uses the same formula, the message it tries to convey holds so much more meaning. I can't see anything wrong with that.

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16 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

You are just too negative my dude. I think Muv Luv is simply brilliant for being able to deconstruct the genre like that, while still exploiting all its commercial benefits. Plus, really, you'd be hard-pressed to find stronger female characters than the ones in MLA. If one thing is left very clear is that those girls are first and foremost warriors, the bravest you'll come across. And they are still young girls deep inside who due to the unfortunate circumstances don't get to experience a normal life like the one they had in the world Takeru came from.

While it uses the same formula, the message it tries to convey holds so much more meaning. I can't see anything wrong with that.

Well, I'm not condemning the entire story just because of that one scene, obviously. Don't get me wrong. But the way you explained it to me, that the scene served as mere commercial purpose, that did dampen the experience a bit, not to mention taking away from the heartfelt message you're praising. Almost makes the message hypocritical since it's associated with the superficial desire of making a profit.

But like I said, I'm not condemning the entire story for a single scene. Much like Mass Effect 3 and its controversial ending, there's plenty of good that outweighs the bad. Just take that as you will.

That being said, I'll just say that plenty of other VNs succeed without resorting to sex, like the one I just praised a few days ago, 428 Shibuya Scramble. There's not a single ecchi scene in that, period. It's not an impossible task to succeed without selling sex. IIRC, Corpse Party, in spite of its blood and gore, also didn't have any ecchi scenes. Steins;Gate was pretty wholesome too, minus a few lewd jokes.

Also, you have to take into consideration how the sex scenes were used in other eroge. Take for example, Grisaia no Kajitsu. It does have plenty of sex scenes, but those make sense because the protagonist was in love with the girl, so it's a good way to convey their romance like that through a sex scene. But the one with the BETA in Muv-Luv, however, gave the BETA an added motivation when they included that scene.

Spoiler

It turned them into generic tentacle monsters.

The first case didn't detract anything from the context of the story because it fitted right in. The second one added context which affected the story in a lazy way. There's a difference.

Hell, even School Days' sex scenes made a certain amount of sense in the context of the story because some of the main characters were clearly turned into deranged psychopaths by the events of the story. The genre didn't take an extreme shift because of the sex scenes.

Edited by LemiusK

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4 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

Well, I'm not condemning the entire story just because of that one scene, obviously. Don't get me wrong. But the way you explained it to me, that the scene served as mere commercial purpose, that did dampen the experience a bit, not to mention taking away from the heartfelt message you're praising. Almost makes the message hypocritical since it's associated with the superficial desire of making a profit.

Actually let me explain myself better, because I'm noticing some misunderstandings which are most likely my fault :yumiko:

I don't believe (or rather, I don't WANT to believe lol) that THAT particular scene was done with commercial purposes in mind. As I said, most people will be disgusted while reading it. It's just that it's in line with the eroge formula and cliches. You find yourself satisfied with the excuses for the harem setting and the transparent suits, because they are clever explanations that make what otherwise would be just dumb cliches sensible, don't you? I don't think that particular scene is any different. It's not that it's there to sell by itself just because it's sex related; it's another cliche of the genre being given a reasonable excuse to exist in that story. Muv Luv is in and of itself a very clever genre deconstruction, with all the tropes that the genre entails... while still benefiting from that overused formula to lure people into its claws.

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9 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

Actually let me explain myself better, because I'm noticing some misunderstandings which are most likely my fault :yumiko:

I don't believe (or rather, I don't WANT to believe lol) that THAT particular scene was done with commercial purposes in mind. As I said, most people will be disgusted while reading it. It's just that it's in line with the eroge formula and cliches. You find yourself satisfied with the excuses for the harem setting and the transparent suits, because they are clever explanations that make what otherwise would be just dumb cliches sensible, don't you? I don't think that particular scene is any different. It's not that it's there to sell by itself just because it's sex related; it's another cliche of the genre being given a reasonable excuse to exist in that story. Muv Luv is in and of itself a very clever genre deconstruction, with all the tropes that the genre entails... while still benefiting from that overused formula to lure people into its claws.

You see, the problem is... the scene with the BETA right there was a cliche itself, a cliche of ALL hentai that involves monsters in general. That's not a clever subversion at all! And unless there's a clever subversion down the line I'm not made aware of yet, then I don't think it's the same thing as what subversion they did for the transparent suits and harem setting. This is like the opposite of those subversions.

Again, it's really just one scene, so it's not like I'm THAT affected by it. I just wanted to point it out, that's all. It's a small peeve, but it's honestly not that big of a deal.

Honestly, this felt like that scene with Nae in Steins;Gate (that they cut out in the anime), the one that was so over-the-top that it felt like it was made for shock factor. It was an annoying flaw in an otherwise perfect VN, but that didn't mean I hated Steins;Gate for it. I still love it.

Edited by LemiusK

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12 minutes ago, LemiusK said:

You see, the problem is... the scene with the BETA right there was a cliche itself, a cliche of ALL hentai that involves monsters in general. That's not a clever subversion at all! And unless there's a clever subversion down the line I'm not made aware of yet, then I don't think it's the same thing as what subversion they did for the transparent suits and harem setting. This is like the opposite of those subversions.

Again, it's really just one scene, so it's not like I'm THAT affected by it. I just wanted to point it out, that's all. It's a small peeve, but it's honestly not that big of a deal.

You know, as I said, it's not like I'm a big fan of that scene as it's written either... though I do like the concept. You see, the thing with the deconstructions is that you need to first incorporate the thing you want to deconstruct. Instead of focusing on what makes it similar, think about what makes it different. Why is it different the harem setting in Muv Luv to other settings seen in so many other works? Why are the transparent suits suddenly acceptable? I believe it's the new implications they have. 

Spoiler

Muv Luv takes the idea of a harem and twists it. Now suddenly you've got a postapocaliptic world where men have already nearly gone extinct. 

Skimpy outfits to give the player some eye candy? Here they are just practical clothing for battle in order to detect wounds AND a way to make women get rid of any shame during their military education. They are no longer women, they are soldiers who must even give up their lives if they are ordered to.

Some tentacle rape where the girl misteriously ends up enjoying the inter-species sex? Arguably more polemic, and I think poorly executed in comparison with the rest, but the implications are still very different to the norm. If you are willing to accept that the BETA would find human sexuality interesting and would try to experiment with it (which you know, it's somewhat plausible... at least we know they did other experiments with other people too), then you now have a reason for Sumika to at least physically enjoy those stimuli, even though mentally she obviously found that absolutely repulsive. That contradiction between her body and her mind ended up breaking her psyche and causing a profound self-hatred. Yes, the cliche is there, but I don't think you'll ever see a cheap hentai with the heavy implications this scene has, and in that sense it's different, not in form, but in meaning.

 

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12 minutes ago, Thyndd said:

You know, as I said, it's not like I'm a big fan of that scene as it's written either... though I do like the concept. You see, the thing with the deconstructions is that you need to first incorporate the thing you want to deconstruct. Instead of focusing on what makes it similar, think about what makes it different. Why is it different the harem setting in Muv Luv to other settings seen in so many other works? Why are the transparent suits suddenly acceptable? I believe it's the new implications they have. 

  Hide contents

Muv Luv takes the idea of a harem and twists it. Now suddenly you've got a postapocaliptic world where men have already nearly gone extinct. 

Skimpy outfits to give the player some eye candy? Here they are just practical clothing for battle in order to detect wounds AND a way to make women get rid of any shame during their military education. They are no longer women, they are soldiers who must even give up their lives if they are ordered to.

Some tentacle rape where the girl misteriously ends up enjoying the inter-species sex? Arguably more polemic, and I think poorly executed in comparison with the rest, but the implications are still very different to the norm. If you are willing to accept that the BETA would find human sexuality interesting and would try to experiment with it (which you know, it's somewhat plausible... at least we know they did other experiments with other people too), then you now have a reason for Sumika to at least physically enjoy those stimuli, even though mentally she obviously found that absolutely repulsive. That contradiction between her body and her mind ended up breaking her psyche and causing a profound self-hatred. Yes, the cliche is there, but I don't think you'll ever see a cheap hentai with the heavy implications this scene has, and in that sense it's different, not in form, but in meaning.

 

Okay, that's the explanation I was looking for. lol I would react with the "Like" button, but I've hit my reaction quotas for today. :P

Yeah, okay, when you put it that way, it does make the scene a bit more tasteful. Buuuuut yeah, I'd still say the execution is poor because

Spoiler

another cliched part is that women are susceptible to sex and become horny in spite of being raped. THAT's the cliched part that I couldn't stand. If other men (doesn't even have to be Takeru) were raped in this way too by the BETA, I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it. It's more of a problematic implication because of what details they excluded rather than what they included. That's why it's so hard to write a good rape scene in a story without being condescending and insulting to real rape victims, and why many writers refrain from it.

But yeah, you're right, other hentai titles wouldn't even bother to include such meaningful context in their sex scenes, so it does elevate Muv-Luv above them. You're right. It's kinda like what Saya no Uta did for the gore scenes, or what Spec Ops: The Line did for the FPS element. In fact, it's a lot more like what School Days did with the harem setting. Thanks for the explanation.

Edited by LemiusK

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Lol.. all i think when i read this is that the scene is a desperate fetish scene for rape/ntr lovers where they madr some silly reason to make it somewhat fit. But likely, if thwy removed the scene the experience would be no worse. in fact it would likely be much better. Many people just cant think outside of the box and what they've been presented. The scene fit and that means that its perfect and no alternatives would work. But the fact is that most story driven vns dont need sex at all. 

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It's a legendarily bad scene. I had actually just finished MLA a few days ago after starting it in freaking 2014 (it's taken a while...). When I got to that scene last week I was flabbergasted. I knew everyone was calling it bad, but I didn't expect it to be THAT bad. There are dozens of different ways you can tackle that sort of storyline, and they chose the worst possible one, lmao.

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Yesterday I finished Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na -Brighter than Dawning Blue-

Common route did nice job of introducing characters, and establishing very nice atmosphere. I'd say, it was kind of heartwarming - it felt really good to just spend time with Tatsuya's family and friends.

On the first playthrough, we're locked onto Feena's route
73890.jpg
It reminds me of Koichoco, but I think Feena won't be as polarizing character as Chisato ;) It's almost impossible to dislike her. She's by no means perfect, but nevertheless very likeable character, and her route was pretty enjoyable experience, with just right amount of drama to not make things stale.

Then I went with Mia's route.
73892.jpg
If you're fan of cute maids, this is route for you ;) Very sweet.

Next there's lovely imouto, Mai
73888.jpg
This was also rather good route, with family as its main theme.
 

Spoiler

There's no incest as they actually aren't blood related - Mai was adopted, but they kept it a secret.

After that I read Natsuki's route
73893.jpg
I think this was my favorite among the romance routes - Natsuki is very beautiful, and is Tatsuya's childhood friend (so she gets bonus points from me :D). Their relationship progresses nicely, it's probably most romance-focused route in the whole VN. Drama near the end was maybe a bit forced, but still very good route and adorable heroine.

Then, Sayaka-neesan (actually a cousin ;) )
73891.jpg
Another family-themed route, and also touching themes like what it means to be an adult etc. Good read.

Green-haired Midori
73895.jpg
Natsuki's best friend and classmate. This route was also among my favorites. It is the third route about family, but from different angle than Sayaka's and Mai's. Midori herself was very sweet, there were many good comedy bits before they finally confessed, and the scene near the final,

Spoiler

when she made up with her parents and they all played together

made my eyes wet.

Estel, another girl from the Moon
73889.jpg
This was good too. Estel is almost classic tsundere (or even Ice Queen, at least towards the Earthlings who she despises), and it was very enjoyable to watch how she little by little opened up to Tatsuya and changed herself. I'd say also that this route serves as a first part of the setup for true route, giving us some insight into Moon-Earth relationships.

The last route, which is unlocked after completing all previous, was Wreathlit.
73894.jpg
Mysterious little girl, who is almost like a stray cat. This route also gives the reader some more background needed for true route.

And then there's Feena's true ending - it picks up exactly where Feena's route ended. It was pretty surprising. Don't want to spoil too much, but it gave off some strong YU-NO vibes.

Spoiler

Missing father who was historian, exploring ancient ruins for lost technology...

There was also lovely bath-scene with Feena ;)
The route was quite long, and very good ending to the whole game.

Another nice thing is that other characters still play significant role and don't disappear during routes.

The VN is all-ages (it is backport of PS2 version), but it is very good. @Stormwolf asked how romance is in this VN in all-ages version. I'd say that it didn't suffer. In romance-oriented routes there's lots of kissing, holding hands, cuddling and flirting, so we don't miss anything by lack of h-scenes. And for some characters h-scenes would make things super-awkward (like Mai or Wreath).
Also, Estel's and Midori's routes are only in this version, and main story got expanded compared to first PC (H) version, so overally I think it is superior.

Grahpics are absolutely beautiful - both backgrounds and character designs. I especially liked the characters - they have a bit of that old-school anime-like design that I love. Music was also good.

Unfortunately translation isn't the best. I'm aware that it is unfinished patch, with almost year worth of editing not implemented. There are also some mistranslations and awkward lines here and there. It is readable, but rather rough. Of course the routes that were translated the last (Estel, Midori, Wreath and true) suffer the most. I spotted one particularly amusing mistranslation in Midori's route:
 

Spoiler

 

yoakemistl.png

When I read I was like "WTF?" - second Midori's line doesn't make sense in the context at all.

Actually she says "なんかさ、音楽も楽しいこともうれしいことも、全部どうでもよくなっちゃって" which would rather translate to something along "Music, fun things, happy things... I didn't care for any of it anymore" - and that fits with the previous and next line. As for the origin of this error, I suspect that どうでも got mistaken for とっても - when you're tired they can look somewhat alike ;)

Also, the line before says それだね、小学校六年の時, which means "in the sixth grade" rather than "six years ago", but here, by pure coincidence both versions are correct, as they are in the 12th year now (high school 3rd year), so sixth grade was six years ago ;)

 

Also, in Wreath's lines, sometimes "そう" and ”はい” are translated in a way that doesn't fit the context - like そう translated almost always as "I see", while in some lines it evidently meant just something like "yes/that's right". In the final route she is asked about something by Mai, (like "hey, was that blablabla?" kind of question) and confirms by saying はい, which got translated as "Okay", and it didn't make sense in a context ("Yes" would be more fitting).

I'm sure that it all would have been caught and corrected during TLC and editing stage, but unfortunately some parts of this patch are just 1st pass translation, so those kinds of problems are inevitable.

Also, while we can argue infinitely about honorifics :P , leaving "Itadakimasu", "Gochisousama", "Oba-san" and "Oji-san" untranslated was very bad idea. Actually, if there weren't some scenes where characters make fuss about them, I'd opt for removing honorifics from this translation too.

Another problem is that in Midori's, Estel's, Wreath's and true routes there are some images with parts of the story (like Estel's lecture) and they aren't translated.

But, setting TL problems aside, it was very enjoyable experience, 8/10

It was first VN by August that I read, and after it I have really high hopes for Aiyoku no Eustia

Edited by adamstan

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On 11/6/2018 at 12:25 AM, LemiusK said:

Sigh. Just got to the R18 scene of Muv-Luv Alternative...

Sigh. Sigh. Should really have stuck with the All-Ages version. This is just so damn stupid.

I mean, I've seen my share of hentai, so I'm not squeamish or anything, but it does break the immersion. Makes it all feel like one big parody.

You know, if I didn't know any better, I would've thought Nasu was the one who wrote this, given how Heaven's Feel turned out. Guess the rumor that many Japanese VN writers are closet perverts isn't that far from the truth.

Personally, I hate censorship for the most parts, but in some cases, I would actually favor the All-Ages version when the sexual parts don't add anything to the story (Key's VNs like Clannad comes to mind), or when they even detract from the story. This is definitely one of those cases.

I'm glad I read this. I've been playing the Vita versions and wondering if it was a good idea. I don't like missing R18 scenes if it goes well with the story and builds on the relationship of the characters, but H-scenes for the sake of H-scenes can be pretty stupid. I'm hardly ever alone, so it just makes things more awkward too. Especially, if they're ridiculous ones.

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Ah, finally finished Corpse Party: Blood Drive. To pick a word to describe my overall experience... well, I guess "disappointing" does come to mind. lol

For starters, the ending was painfully short, even the "True End." After so many hours of hard work, it's actually quite a short ending that leaves much ambiguity to the many characters' fates. When compared to many popular visual novels in general, like Fate/Stay Night or even something like G-senjou no Maou, Blood Drive feels like one of those mediocre Japanese horror movies where it ends on an unsatisfying note, only telling you that the evil has been vanquished, but nothing else beyond that. Well, being a horror story, I didn't expect a happy ending or anything, but we didn't even get to see how the characters dealt with the aftermath of the events that lasted three whole games.

And then there's the characters, which aren't that amazing to begin with. Don't get me wrong - I did enjoy certain moments, even the plain whitebread Satoshi. But if you ask me if there's any unique characteristic about them, or any clever subversion the story does with them, it all comes down to none of that, as it's a bunch of rather generic anime archetypes. So yeah, I wasn't really that invested in them in the third game especially, particularly because there's a lot more insight into their relationships in the first game, which made me more attached to them. Here, the story isn't really character-focused, or at least relationship-focused, so while I do feel some tinge of sympathy for some of their fates, it's just not as emotionally engaging as the first game.

And speaking of the story, boy does it drag on and on. The good stuff doesn't even begin 'till like Chapter 7 or something. There's a lot of exposition and pointless meandering in the story, all so the villain could pull a "Aha!" plot-twist like it's some clever ruse, which really wasn't. The "villain" in particular was so predictable and edgy, your typical tragic backstory edgelord trying to justify his desire to destroy everything with a shoot-the-dog story. You know, typical anime stuff.

Overall, I'm kinda glad I managed to stick with it 'till the end, but I couldn't really say I came out feeling satisfied I spent time with these characters, especially with that lackluster and abrupt ending. 5/10

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17 hours ago, adamstan said:

Yesterday I finished Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na -Brighter than Dawning Blue-

Common route did nice job of introducing characters, and establishing very nice atmosphere. I'd say, it was kind of heartwarming - it felt really good to just spend time with Tatsuya's family and friends.

On the first playthrough, we're locked onto Feena's route
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It reminds me of Koichoco, but I think Feena won't be as polarizing character as Chisato ;) It's almost impossible to dislike her. She's by no means perfect, but nevertheless very likeable character, and her route was pretty enjoyable experience, with just right amount of drama to not make things stale.

Then I went with Mia's route.
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If you're fan of cute maids, this is route for you ;) Very sweet.

Next there's lovely imouto, Mai
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This was also rather good route, with family as its main theme.
 

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There's no incest as they actually aren't blood related - Mai was adopted, but they kept it a secret.

After that I read Natsuki's route
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I think this was my favorite among the romance routes - Natsuki is very beautiful, and is Tatsuya's childhood friend (so she gets bonus points from me :D). Their relationship progresses nicely, it's probably most romance-focused route in the whole VN. Drama near the end was maybe a bit forced, but still very good route and adorable heroine.

Then, Sayaka-neesan (actually a cousin ;) )
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Another family-themed route, and also touching themes like what it means to be an adult etc. Good read.

Green-haired Midori
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Natsuki's best friend and classmate. This route was also among my favorites. It is the third route about family, but from different angle than Sayaka's and Mai's. Midori herself was very sweet, there were many good comedy bits before they finally confessed, and the scene near the final,

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when she made up with her parents and they all played together

made my eyes wet.

Estel, another girl from the Moon
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This was good too. Estel is almost classic tsundere (or even Ice Queen, at least towards the Earthlings who she despises), and it was very enjoyable to watch how she little by little opened up to Tatsuya and changed herself. I'd say also that this route serves as a first part of the setup for true route, giving us some insight into Moon-Earth relationships.

The last route, which is unlocked after completing all previous, was Wreathlit.
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Mysterious little girl, who is almost like a stray cat. This route also gives the reader some more background needed for true route.

And then there's Feena's true ending - it picks up exactly where Feena's route ended. It was pretty surprising. Don't want to spoil too much, but it gave off some strong YU-NO vibes.

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Missing father who was historian, exploring ancient ruins for lost technology...

There was also lovely bath-scene with Feena ;)
The route was quite long, and very good ending to the whole game.

Another nice thing is that other characters still play significant role and don't disappear during routes.

The VN is all-ages (it is backport of PS2 version), but it is very good. @Stormwolf asked how romance is in this VN in all-ages version. I'd say that it didn't suffer. In romance-oriented routes there's lots of kissing, holding hands, cuddling and flirting, so we don't miss anything by lack of h-scenes. And for some characters h-scenes would make things super-awkward (like Mai or Wreath).
Also, Estel's and Midori's routes are only in this version, and main story got expanded compared to first PC (H) version, so overally I think it is superior.

Grahpics are absolutely beautiful - both backgrounds and character designs. I especially liked the characters - they have a bit of that old-school anime-like design that I love. Music was also good.

Unfortunately translation isn't the best. I'm aware that it is unfinished patch, with almost year worth of editing not implemented. There are also some mistranslations and awkward lines here and there. It is readable, but rather rough. Of course the routes that were translated the last (Estel, Midori, Wreath and true) suffer the most. I spotted one particularly amusing mistranslation in Midori's route:
 

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yoakemistl.png

When I read I was like "WTF?" - second Midori's line doesn't make sense in the context at all.

Actually she says "なんかさ、音楽も楽しいこともうれしいことも、全部どうでもよくなっちゃって" which would rather translate to something along "Music, fun things, happy things... I didn't care for any of it anymore" - and that fits with the previous and next line. As for the origin of this error, I suspect that どうでも got mistaken for とっても - when you're tired they can look somewhat alike ;)

Also, the line before says それだね、小学校六年の時, which means "in the sixth grade" rather than "six years ago", but here, by pure coincidence both versions are correct, as they are in the 12th year now (high school 3rd year), so sixth grade was six years ago ;)

 

Also, in Wreath's lines, sometimes "そう" and ”はい” are translated in a way that doesn't fit the context - like そう translated almost always as "I see", while in some lines it evidently meant just something like "yes/that's right". In the final route she is asked about something by Mai, (like "hey, was that blablabla?" kind of question) and confirms by saying はい, which got translated as "Okay", and it didn't make sense in a context ("Yes" would be more fitting).

I'm sure that it all would have been caught and corrected during TLC and editing stage, but unfortunately some parts of this patch are just 1st pass translation, so those kinds of problems are inevitable.

Also, while we can argue infinitely about honorifics :P , leaving "Itadakimasu", "Gochisousama", "Oba-san" and "Oji-san" untranslated was very bad idea. Actually, if there weren't some scenes where characters make fuss about them, I'd opt for removing honorifics from this translation too.

Another problem is that in Midori's, Estel's, Wreath's and true routes there are some images with parts of the story (like Estel's lecture) and they aren't translated.

But, setting TL problems aside, it was very enjoyable experience, 8/10

It was first VN by August that I read, and after it I have really high hopes for Aiyoku no Eustia

That was cold water over my head though. Absolutely cant stand Chisato. Did my absolute best at forgetting the fact that she was the main heroine. In this though it seems they force her on you with an additional true ending.

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7 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

Absolutely cant stand Chisato. Did my absolute best at forgetting the fact that she was the main heroine.

Ahh, it looks that I've been misunderstood! :gasp:

Feena has nothing in common with Chisato. When I said "reminds me of Koichoco", it was just about the same construction of VN, with being locked on main heroine's route at first playthrough. They are completely different characters.

Edited by adamstan

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9 hours ago, LemiusK said:

Ah, finally finished Corpse Party: Blood Drive. To pick a word to describe my overall experience... well, I guess "disappointing" does come to mind. lol

For starters, the ending was painfully short, even the "True End." After so many hours of hard work, it's actually quite a short ending that leaves much ambiguity to the many characters' fates. When compared to many popular visual novels in general, like Fate/Stay Night or even something like G-senjou no Maou, Blood Drive feels like one of those mediocre Japanese horror movies where it ends on an unsatisfying note, only telling you that the evil has been vanquished, but nothing else beyond that. Well, being a horror story, I didn't expect a happy ending or anything, but we didn't even get to see how the characters dealt with the aftermath of the events that lasted three whole games.

And then there's the characters, which aren't that amazing to begin with. Don't get me wrong - I did enjoy certain moments, even the plain whitebread Satoshi. But if you ask me if there's any unique characteristic about them, or any clever subversion the story does with them, it all comes down to none of that, as it's a bunch of rather generic anime archetypes. So yeah, I wasn't really that invested in them in the third game especially, particularly because there's a lot more insight into their relationships in the first game, which made me more attached to them. Here, the story isn't really character-focused, or at least relationship-focused, so while I do feel some tinge of sympathy for some of their fates, it's just not as emotionally engaging as the first game.

And speaking of the story, boy does it drag on and on. The good stuff doesn't even begin 'till like Chapter 7 or something. There's a lot of exposition and pointless meandering in the story, all so the villain could pull a "Aha!" plot-twist like it's some clever ruse, which really wasn't. The "villain" in particular was so predictable and edgy, your typical tragic backstory edgelord trying to justify his desire to destroy everything with a shoot-the-dog story. You know, typical anime stuff.

Overall, I'm kinda glad I managed to stick with it 'till the end, but I couldn't really say I came out feeling satisfied I spent time with these characters, especially with that lackluster and abrupt ending. 5/10

I enjoyed Blood Drive, but it definitely was the weakest of the three I played (Sachiko's Birthday game was never available in English back then, so I have no idea how that stacks up). I don't really remember it that well, but gameplay wise those damn wandering ghosts still stand out in my mind. Exploring the school was a way bigger pain in the ass than it needed to be.

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