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Bought The Silver Case in the Steam Golden Week sale. I'm about halfway in and, well, it feels more like some postmodern experimental game than a straight-up visual novel or detective game (which explains why, at least according to vndb, close to no one has played it although Steam tried to advertise it to me a lot). I wouldn't really say I love it so far but it's defintively and I can see why the reviews of it range from masterpiece to incoherent mess. Which I don't agree with, but I can see why anyone just looking for a suspenseful thriller-game might be annoyed by all the stuff that's seemingly just there to piss off the player, like the tedious controls in the gameplay sections and scenes that go nowhere, both most certainly by design. I'll probably write more about it once I'm finished, as there is a lot to unpack.

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Not the greatest example of a vn, but it's still on vndb so i might as well post about it-Corpse Party BloodCovered, currently on chapter 2. i'd say it's a pretty cool game.

Spoiler

so far, that asshole black apparition thing in the infirmary in chap1 was the most annoying part of the game. although most of it comes from the fact that the game makes you click the door twice before you can get the rubbing alcohol. at least its ai was really stupid. it was easy to trick and i got it caught by its own traps many times. the next thing i'm worrying about for chap2 is the asshole ghost kid that patrols the school, mostly due to him appearing right after you pull the second lever and are forced to get around him in a narrow area.

 

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9 minutes ago, r0xm2n said:

Been reading Sakura Sakura . A good comparison would be if Fureraba crossed with Princess Evangile.

Nothing serious, but quite light hearted comedy ..... with Love Triangles. Yep :miyako:

+1 I loved it. Sakura was best girl for me. I also loved Nanako's route for Maison Ikkoku references :D It also does the "group of friends" thingy pretty well.

 

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Had to read utawarerumono mask of deception even though i didn't really like mask of truth too much.

Spoiler

 

It was pretty much a much more fun story. Was dragging a bit at points, and then it felt like the writer started rushing towards the ending. The constant abuses did overstay their welcome, but it didn't really bring the story down too much. It was fun watching Haku grow throughout the story. Kuon though didn't really change too much. Maybe a little at the end of the story. I did find the epilogue a bit weird though. She didn't really show much romantic inclinations towards Haku, but that end destroyed her. And then she said she loved him. Well, it's nice, but still felt a bit shoehorned in. All in all it was a fantastic game.

Too bad Mask of Truth ruined it. Mask of Truth felt more like "We like Oshtor better so let's replace Haku in a way that doesn't ruin the trilogy". Well, they ruined the story anyway. I would have been fine if he was Oshtor for a while, but tossed the mask somewhere in the middle or something. Let's face it.. Oshtor was defamed and his name meant nothing anymore, so why even bother pretending? Haku certainly had what it took to become great so why not build on that instead? Not to mention that Kuon figured out Haku was faking as Osthor, but the writers seem to have forgotten about that epilogue in Mask of Deception because we're back to page 1 in their relationship even when she knows who he is. It transformed more into a harem story. It's weird and completely fucked up something that could have been really nice. Didn't need that bittersweet and open ending either for a finale. That's uncalled for. Haku "died" in deception and he then he died in Truth as well. That's a bit too much if you ask me.

 

Well, i've pretty much said all this before, but i had to say it again after finishing deception.

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Finished Newton and the Apple Tree. It was a fun little story as i expected, but what impressed me the most was the effort put into giving it a light novel vibe. Not only the art and dialogue felt like it, but the videoclips with the girls talking fast while music plays felt like something straight out of promotional material for light novels.

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I've now finished Heart of the Woods, my first OELVN in ages, and it was actually surprisingly good. If that's the new OELVN standard, then I'm all for more of it. :rolleyes:

Heart of the Woods could be described as a modern fairy tale about a conflict of good vs. evil. While the cast isn't particular sizable, the creators certainly tried to make the most of it. Although it's tagged as a yuri VN, it's still first and foremost a story VN about defeating an evil being. The VN relies on several corner stones for that: The friendship between Maddie and Tara, the mysteries of the woods and its inhabitants, Morgan and her weird cat, the relationship between Maddie and Abigail and the evil being itself.

The friendship between Maddie and Tara is rather realistically showcased. When they arrive in the remote village they were invited to by Morgan, they are in a bit of a crisis, but over the course of the story they overcome it and stick together when it matters. I also liked how the VN just slowly reveals its supernatural elements. In the beginning, everythings looks normal and Morgan appears more like a weirdo who made up some stories to attract attention. But then, slowly more and more strange things are happening and the true nature of some people is revealed. It was also nice that the VN went deeper into the mysterious world of the woods and its inhabitants. There are other VN's which are just teasing things and riding on the sugar coat *cough* Hapymaher *cough*.

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The VN also does a very good job in presenting its story in a very engaging way. Many key events and situations are emphasized with well placed event CG's and some pretty good atmospheric soundtracks. Story progress is decently paced, opposing the trend of slowing down everything with tons of slice of life.

Although the VN shows that the OELVN scene made a lot of progress in comparison to its Japanese counter parts, it's still a bit rough around the edges. There's no voice acting, and while the VN has some good soundtracks and effects, it's handling of it is often a bit wonky. There were many occasions when music wasn't faded out but apruptly stopped or changed instead. In other situations there was no sound at all and I wasn't sure if I accidentally muted my speakers. Sprites were okay, but they could have had more variety in positions. Why was Morgan the only character constantly staring into the screen while all the others were watching to the sides?

Furthermore, while story and characters were well presented, both were still kept kind of simple in a rather straight black and white scenario. Good and evil characters were mostly clear and there was no sudden twist or surprinsing revelation in that regard. It did fit to the overall fairy tale theme though.

Heart-of-the-Woods-1.jpg

While the relationship between Maddie and Abigail was rather sweet and well developed, I can't exactly say the same thing about the one between Morgan and Tara. They were suddently sleeping together and that was pretty much their 'relationship development'. Not to mention that there was little chemisty between them. Though I could never really see Tara as much more as a side kick of Maddie. I think I would have preferred to have a choice of Maddie getting together with Abigail or Morgan. And why does the most pretty girl of the VN,

Spoiler

Geladura in true form,

only appear in the true ending with no chance of romance?!

I didn't play with the adult patch. Just found out about it after I was finished, but I didn't really care about it anyway in that kind of VN.

Anyway, overall a very nice VN that values your time for a change.

Heroine ranking: Maddie > Abigail > Morgan > Tara

Overall rating: 7.5/10

Edited by ChaosRaven

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Finished Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai today. All in all, it feels like it would have benefited from being a shorter, more focused experience. There were way too many h-scenes, and the story itself was a bit dragged out and repetitive, with a lot of scenes being similar to scenes in other routes. Basically, a lot of time was spent on not much happening.
What little drama was in the VN was utterly uninteresting, to the point where I think I actually enjoyed Hatsukoi more, despite the protagonist being annoying more often than not. They probably decided to play it a bit more safe in Hoshi Ori, but it ends up kinda tame as a result.
I don't regret reading it, but I doubt I'll ever reread it.

Anyway, I have now moved on to Symphonic Rain. My first impressions, a few hours into it, are that the UI is ugly, the music is amazing, and the overall atmosphere reminds me of Katawa Shoujo, although I'm not quite sure why. I think I'm going to enjoy this.

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12 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Finished Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai today. All in all, it feels like it would have benefited from being a shorter, more focused experience. There were way too many h-scenes, and the story itself was a bit dragged out and repetitive, with a lot of scenes being similar to scenes in other routes. Basically, a lot of time was spent on not much happening.
What little drama was in the VN was utterly uninteresting, to the point where I think I actually enjoyed Hatsukoi more, despite the protagonist being annoying more often than not. They probably decided to play it a bit more safe in Hoshi Ori, but it ends up kinda tame as a result.
I don't regret reading it, but I doubt I'll ever reread it.

Anyway, I have now moved on to Symphonic Rain. My first impressions, a few hours into it, are that the UI is ugly, the music is amazing, and the overall atmosphere reminds me of Katawa Shoujo, although I'm not quite sure why. I think I'm going to enjoy this.

They can make as interesting drama as hatsukoi, they just need to go different about it than they did there. Girl breaks up for shitty reason > protagonist goes into ghost mode which means the girls plan backfires and she eventually comes crawling back, is one such example. Girl needs to move for some reason (piano, tv, painting, whatever) > protagonist packs his shit and goes with her and does his own thing there. Girlfriend is abused at home > protagonist takes girl into his home and tells girls parents to fuck off and they live with him until they move out together. 

None of these would ever happen though. Japanese writers are too busy writing the same old things without using their heads for thinking up new stuff.

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VN wise I'm reading a few
Steins;Gate I'm on chapter 6. Finally at the point when shit hits the fan. 
The World Is Ended on chapter 1 or 2. I like the art since the artist is the artist of Grimgar. Also my main man Sugita is one of the characters.
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulation: Just started it
Layton VS. Phoenix Wright. Its okay.
Sunrider series. Academy I need to finish. Mask of Arcadius is pretty fun. 
Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition. Still doing the After route.
Higurashi Chapter 1. Gotta say I wasn't expecting it to have a lot of funny or happy moments. Glad I transfer to the VN.
Corpse Party Book of Shadows and Blood Drive
Fate/ Stay Night.
I think thats all of them. I'm slow as hell when it comes to reading and always end up picking up another game or series, so I end up putting the one I already started on the back burner to the point I remember them and forget wth happened in it. 

Edited by Kas
I forgot about Fate

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I finished ever17 yesterday and was blown away.
I went in knowing next to nothing, with only a vague understanding that the final route basically made the game.
Base game routes were solid. I ended up enjoying Tsugumi's the most out of everyone. She just clicked.
I really enjoyed the art and soundtrack. The art felt crude at times, but hard a charm to it. The music had the early 2000s vibe and felt ahead of its time for the serious tracks. Well done atmosphere overall.

Reading through the first three days of each route took me some time and energy, but everything past that had me nearly glued to my screen. I enjoyed the plot structure immensely, the way certain scenes matched up and appeared in separate routes. I had chills run down my spine seeing the same scene play out from a different perspective, and things just not adding up. By the end of the second route I had a ton of theories in mind, and loved that the game felt like a puzzle just waiting to be solved.

The experience of it all is something I won't forget. It's one of those games where I think "man, this is why I read visual novels."

I'm eager to find more experiences like it.

Edited by dwaif

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Just finished Lise's ending in Symphonic Rain, and I'm a little bit confused.
 

Spoiler

She more or less turned into a vegetable that Chris no longer could interact with, but it was never properly explained what actually happened. Was it brain damage caused by lack of oxygen when Grave strangled her, or what? That's the only thing I can think of.

 

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5 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:
Spoiler

She more or less turned into a vegetable that Chris no longer could interact with, but it was never properly explained what actually happened. Was it brain damage caused by lack of oxygen when Grave strangled her, or what? That's the only thing I can think of.

 

That is indeed it.

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After a long time (because it's on my laptop that I don't use very often) I finally finished I/O.

And I think I have never had such a difficult time rating a VN. The main problem ist that the story is good, interesting and exciting in many places but it's just wayyy too much of a brain f***, at least for me. There is virtual reality, different timelines and realities, quantum theories and a lot of hard-to-grip philosophical content. The way the routes are presented is way too confusing. And the 'true end', well... I didn't understand it at all. And to get the true ending you really need to follow a walkthrough and even then it's not easy. So my final rating for I/O was 7.7 and nearly all the points are lost on the story. Which is kind of a shame because there were so many things that I liked about the game:

  • The art took a while to get used to. I found it ugly at the beginning but really grew to love it.
  • The music I found also very charming
  • There is a pretty huge character cast and most of them are interesting
  • Although it is not much there are also a few very simple lovely romantic moments in it (all ages though)
  • I read it in English and I bow before the translator. Translating such a difficult story must have been extremely hard, but it's well done
  • For some reason even though it's so philosophical and sci-fi heavy you can still feel so much love through the game.
  • The story can't be compared to any other. This VN is in many ways unique so it was very refreshing in that aspect.

Will start with Moero Downhill Night 2 on my laptop now...

Edited by AustriaVNFan

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I tend to read a lot of romance VNs and have been wanting to branch out from that to some other genres / styles, but sadly have been really struggling to get into several of the VNs I've tried to read as of late. I tried going through Clannad for the second time, but now I have to do the first route in the VN that I ever finished: the Misae route. Considering I really didn't like that route, I'm really tempted to fast forward through it. I then opted to take a bit of a break and read Planetarian, but that feels really really slow and despite being billed as something that's probably 5 or 6 hours long, I haven't been able to be really gripped by it. I've also finally finished Chaos;Child, but I really didn't wind up enjoying that, sadly. 

All of that has meant that I've given up and gone back to, you guessed it: high school romance VNs. I've started reading Da Capo 1 and fortunately I'm enjoying it - it has me looking forward to reading it and the story is captivating enough to leave me wanting to see what will happen next, which is something that hasn't really happened all that much with the other titles. I'm not that far into it - just managed to do a blind playthrough where I wound up not getting an actual ending (not really surprising) and am now doing the Sakura route. I'm really interested in seeing what'll happen with the Kotori route (especially since I have Kotori Love Ex P to go through afterwards) but I'm saving that for last. I'm just glad to be back in the groove of reading something that I enjoy, and looking forward to reading it. 

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I've wanted to update my old article about Yume Creations, so I've started playing Imolicious (the game got a bit famous by being rejected by Steam and nearly getting the dev permabanned on the platform) and GOD, the siscon cringe is real from the very first moments...

Spoiler

yume__why_by_szafalesiaka_dd76ca3-pre.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwiaXNzIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsIm9iaiI6W1t7ImhlaWdodCI6Ijw9NzIwIiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvYThiODgzNTUtYzhjNy00YjE2LThhN2EtNGFhOWZjMWIwNGZmXC9kZDc2Y2EzLWRmNTY3MjFkLTdjZDQtNGQ5MS1iZTRmLTQ4N2E5N2FlN2ViZC5qcGciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9MTI4MCJ9XV0sImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl19.P1wSHgOAkt7FsrVcR2l6hRWB4LGDTV3Phy11z9s-bPs

I don't think I've seen a protagonist this clingy and creepy towards his imouto from the get-go. :wafuu:  Oh, and this character on the screen is a trap, for apparently no reason. I mean, why skip on any obnoxious tropes when your game sets out to be distilled weaboo cringe?

Well, we'll see where it goes from here. I'll definitely report even more on my self-inflicted misery soon. ^^

Update 1: So, I'm starting to get what this game is going for: it's a psychological horror of sorts and the protagonist is meant to be genuinely obsessed/unstable. However, this does not really excuse how cringy the writing is, it's just uncomfortable to read. Also, one thing that never seems to change is this dev's English comprehension...

Spoiler

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Update 2: I wanted to insert some snarky comment here at first, but well, isn't this what love is all about? :mare:

Spoiler

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Update 3: This is a brilliant piece of meta-commentary, if I ever saw one. Totally unintended though... :sachi: Also, four arms! :marie:

Spoiler

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Update 4: Well, that's always a solid plan...

Spoiler

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Generally, the twist was way less interesting than I expected. There's a super-short "good route" in the game, where the protagonist decides to fight his obsession and do not confess his love to his sister, but the main portion of the game is just a bunch of h-scenes and a poor attempt at creating shock value. It's better than Games & Girls, but not by much. On the other hand, my GF, who read the final 1/3 of the game with me though it was "cute". I guess she liked the artstyle in the CGs - that was admittedly quite decent, unlike the story itself. :P

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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Trap Shrine: why the fuck did i pick this? i knew it was going to be stupid. have i become so wanton that i cannot repress myself in the face of crossdressers? has my wokeness fallen to such an abysm?

SeaBed: heard it was a strong representation of the monotony of depression, which i'm familiar with. i'm still in the early parts, but i think it's okay so far.

Sakura no Uta: still playing Abend, but i like the direction it's taking

Corpse Party Blood Covered: chapter 2, that ghost kid, that fucking ghost kid, that FUCKING GHOST KID MY GOD...

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I seem to have a thing for older titles...

Today I started reading to... - it seems to be pretty old and obscure VN  (with only 1 vote on vndb). I stumbled upon it while clicking on random screenshots on vndb front page.

It's summer, protagonist comes to small seaside town to do one month part time job at small ryokan (together with mandatory idiot friend ;)). There he meets some nice girls (including inn's owner). Meeting the heroines will change him and those around him. (that last sentence is from official story summary ;))

Pretty typical old romance VN setup. I liked art style, so I decided to give it a go.

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(first heroine, and first person that we meet in the whole VN - Miho)

First impressions:

  • It has unskippable opening movie, so I disabled it by renaming the file - it complains with error window, but then continues ;)
  • Art is indeed nice
  • It has blinking animations - even for CGs! (I think it's third VN with this lovely feature that I'm playing :D - remaining two being Sakura no Kisetsu and Sakura Sakura)
  • Music isn't looped, and only main heroines and protag's friend are voiced, so for the most time it's rather quiet
  • It's a bit dating-sim like, with map movement as main system. But there are no stats or other such "gameplay" elements. I guess, maybe it's not "dating-sim" like, but just "oldschool VN"? First ToHeart used similar system, as well as DaCapo and some other titles.

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(Map movement screen)

I wonder how will it turn out.

BTW - thanks to rather strange title, searching for anything about this game, or the game itself, was absolute nightmare. I had to add character's name to query to get any usable results ;)

Edited by adamstan

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I'm playing Cross†Channel, I've played for more than 12 hours and most of the time I don't know what is going on. Is it normal?

18 hours ago, Trickay said:

Reading MYTH and absolutely loving it!

Myth is truly unique and I haven't seen anything like it. I love the concept.

Edited by Mago Ivo

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3 hours ago, Mago Ivo said:

I'm playing Cross†Channel, I've played for more than 12 hours and most of the time I don't know what is going on. Is it normal?

Which route are you currently at? If you are still at the first or the second route, then yeah, I guess it's normal. The story should start making more sense after you get to Kiri's and Miki's routes.

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23 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

Which route are you currently at? If you are still at the first or the second route, then yeah, I guess it's normal. The story should start making more sense after you get to Kiri's and Miki's routes.

I'm at the beginning of the second route. Thanks for answering. I wondered if something was wrong with me, because I catch on slowly sometimes.

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It's been a long time since I updated on my progress here, so here we go. :sachi:

20190415190627-1.jpg

So, I finished both Bodyguard routes and about the half of Adage's route, and, unfortunately, while the second half of the common route was pretty great, the character routes made me completely disappointed, so I decided to drop this game. Well, this game does have some very good points, mostly in how it handles its route setting, and the setting is also quite unique (though, after finishing both routes focused on Liberaritas, I still have pretty shallow understanding of how the Depth's society functions. The plot might be pretty interesting at times, though its mostly meh due to mediocre characterization. That leads me to the next point - the part that broke the game completely for me is the characters. When it comes to the love interests, basically every one of them follows some very common anime archetype without having any additional depth at all. The female protagonist is a bit better, but not by much. I find it quite funny that, while the story tries to present her as proactive and 'badass', in realty she is actually the weakest protagonist in all four otome I tried so far. She is completely useless in pretty much everything that does not involve fighting with a sword, and even that is a completely useless skill in the world dominated by guns. Her personality is also kind of bland. I mean, these qualities don't necessarily make her a bad protagonist, but this type of mc is simply boring to follow around, and the heroes who could save the situation make it even worse.

So, in the end, this VN made me pretty disappointed with otome genre in general. I already tried to get into the genre four times, but, while there were a few good games, none of them really made me impressed as much as some male-oriented VNs or as some works in the other anime-style media. Don't know, maybe I'm just unlucky. I will still try to read more otome in the future. But now I'm keeping my expectations at minimum.

5/10. Some people might enjoy this more than I did.

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Finished Seinarukana for the second time, now following Satsuki's route. This game turned out to be even more linear than Aselia, but there was a major deviation at the very end, and I personally prefer this ending a lot more that the one in Nozomi's route. It also would work a lot better as the first ending, imo. Nozomi's ending would feel a lot more complete if I finished her route after this one.

Overall, my impression over this game as a whole did not change. The plot is pretty mediocre, but it's fun to follow and is saved by good gameplay. The worldbuilding is on-top, as always, though it feels kind of incomplete so far: a lot of things weren't explained very well, though there are still other routes. The gameplay is fun, at least if you try to get the SS rank. I guess, it would get a bit too easy otherwise. It suffers a lot after the addition of a certain character who is a bit too OP (literally, she can basically finish whole missions by herself), but this problem naturally disappeared in the hard mode.

6.5/10. I will try to finish it another time to get the true ending, and I think I will skip the other routes.

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1 hour ago, Dreamysyu said:

So, I finished both Bodyguard routes and about the half of Adage's route, and, unfortunately, while the second half of the common route was pretty great, the character routes made me completely disappointed, so I decided to drop this game. Well, this game does have some very good points, mostly in how it handles its route setting, and the setting is also quite unique (though, after finishing both routes focused on Liberaritas, I still have pretty shallow understanding of how the Depth's society functions. The plot might be pretty interesting at times, though its mostly meh due to mediocre characterization. That leads me to the next point - the part that broke the game completely for me is the characters. When it comes to the love interests, basically every one of them follows some very common anime archetype without having any additional depth at all. The female protagonist is a bit better, but not by much. I find it quite funny that, while the story tries to present her as proactive and 'badass', in realty she is actually the weakest protagonist in all four otome I tried so far. She is completely useless in pretty much everything that does not involve fighting with a sword, and even that is a completely useless skill in the world dominated by guns. Her personality is also kind of bland. I mean, these qualities don't necessarily make her a bad protagonist, but this type of mc is simply boring to follow around, and the heroes who could save the situation make it even worse.

So, in the end, this VN made me pretty disappointed with otome genre in general. I already tried to get into the genre four times, but, while there were a few good games, none of them really made me impressed as much as some male-oriented VNs or as some works in the other anime-style media. Don't know, maybe I'm just unlucky. I will still try to read more otome in the future. But now I'm keeping my expectations at minimum.

5/10. Some people might enjoy this more than I did.

I was wondering whatever happened to your playthrough.

So, in my case, I felt somewhat differently. At the start, I thought the characters were all generic, but the more endings with them I got the more sides to them I got to see, and began to think they were rather interesting.
But fair enough. I haven't played many games with such different scenarios depending on my choices, so that, at least, was very interesting.

Since you've finished, here's some good moments you might have missed:

Spoiler

On the topic of kissing:

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"What was that???"

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On the topic of cooking:

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On the topic of lizards:

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On the topic of cooking:

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The nice doctor:

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On the topic of romance:

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On the topic of important religious figures:

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