Jump to content
Guest

What are you playing?

Recommended Posts

Finally done with Language of Love... Quite a joyous experience, really. Like I've mentioned before, it's a celebration of mundane, imperfect romance, with two adults that kind of lose their way and then find new meaning to their lives in each other. A very slow-burn, awkward kind of love story, where neither side really knows whether they'll be able to make it work, but grow to care and depend on each other too much for things to go any other way. All with the unruly, 6 years old daughter of the heroine at the center of it, who's also the source of most of the story's humour and witty dialogue, where both the protagonist and the heroine has to fight with her stubbornness and irrefutable, childish logic.

Also, it features a wonderfully awkward, romantic h-scene. This is one thing I really didn't enjoy in Blackberry Honey, Ebi's other eroge - while the story there was quite excellent, the h-scenes were very porny and completely mismatched with the setting (with both language and various details – since when Victorian-era maids shaved down there???). Here everything stuck together perfectly, enhancing the overall climate and narrative. The whole experience probably won't be for everyone, considering how purposefully-mundane it all is, but it was a while since I was this satisfied with a VN – while it wasn't amazing, and basically didn't even try to be, there's hardly anything in it that I didn't like. A strong 8/10.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

there's hardly anything in it that I didn't like

I have one thing I didn't like, but it's not a fault of the game at all. It just doesn't apply to me and I'm not a fan.

Spoiler

The protagonist here was, uh, sort of suffering from depression and pressure. Even in this sweet title, ebihime finds a way to bring in the dark.
I get it. Not everyone is like me, and everyone has their own problems. I just don't like this idea that suffering/problems makes a character deeper. My life problem is that I can't empathise with all these brooding protagonists. What luxury!

 

Edited by Mr Poltroon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mr Poltroon said:

I have one thing I didn't like, but it's not a fault of the game at all. It just doesn't apply to me and I'm not a fan.

  Hide contents

The protagonist here was, uh, sort of suffering from depression and pressure. Even in this sweet title, ebihime finds a way to bring in the dark.
I get it. Not everyone is like me, and everyone has their own problems. I just don't like this idea that suffering/problems makes a character deeper. My life problem is that I can't empathise with all these brooding protagonists. What luxury!

 

Oh, I understand fully. Now that I think about it, nearly every male protagonist ebi writes is like that to some extent (and some female ones too). Emotionally drained and introducing themselves through a prolonged, depressive monologue. I kind of associate it with her style by this point. On the other hand, here it fitted the story a bit more than in some other cases. The game really depended on the idea of both protagonist's and heroine's lives being empty in their own ways, and the relationship they built filling that void. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Finally done with Language of Love... Quite a joyous experience, really. Like I've mentioned before, it's a celebration of mundane, imperfect romance, with two adults that kind of lose their way and then find new meaning to their lives in each other. A very slow-burn, awkward kind of love story, where neither side really knows whether they'll be able to make it work, but grow to care and depend on each other too much for things to go any other way

Sounds actually interesting... might give it a go.

What about art and sound? (There are no screenshots on vndb)

Edited by adamstan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, adamstan said:

Sounds actually interesting... might give it a go.

What about art and sound? (There are no screenshots on vndb)

The sprites are a tiny bit off in their design, I would say, but not ugly by any means. CGs and the rest of the assets are better (done by different artists and missing the peculiar proportions, but still consistent in style enough to not make you feel a disconnect between them). The music is rather cheerful and very... Japanese, including a theme song with vocals. It fits the premise and setting of the story though. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rm2cq9k.jpg

So, I finished another otome VN: Nightshade - a tale about Ninjas. :ph34r:

First, I wanted to say that I'm still a bit irritated that I have to revert to an otome VN if I want to read an action-loaded story about cool Ninjas, because the only other thing I get are a bunch of rotten sex fests from Black Lilith. <_< So, since I got that off my heart now, I can start with my review.

Nightshade is a story about the Kouga shinobi clan after the Iga clan was eliminated in the Tenshou Iga War, and its survivors fused with the Kouga clan. In that regard, it's a similar alternative Japanese history VN like Hakuouki, even if it doesn't quite reach the high level of it. The protagonist girl Enju is the daughter of the leaders of the Kouga clan and the former Iga clan and represents a symbol of their unification. When the VN starts she's pretty much a ninja rookie and sent on a mission with her companions to capture a famous thief in the capital of Kyo. The ninja's here fulfill different roles, depending on clan and current master. The range goes from private body guards and secret police like the Tokugawa, special agents and spies like the Kouga to simple hired mercenaries and assassins like the Fuma.

The common route is pretty much about getting to know all the characters and Enju's first mission to capture the thief of Kyo. The individual character routes start after that mission is over and things going horrible wrong afterwards with Enju on the run. This part was surprisingly good, even if it could have probably been a bit longer. Enju is certainly the best protagonist character from the otome VN's I've read so far. Though that doesn't say much I guess, since I didn't read that much otomes yet. Since Enju is a shinobi herself and not just a passive bystander, she's much more involved and proactive as usual. The VN also had a great feature to get more involved into Enju's thoughts and emotions. On the lower left side there was always her portrait showing her current expressions. Other VN's usually only show the currently talking character face there, but here you can always see how she reacts on what others say or what she herself says and thinks. I really liked that, especially since Enju was a rather pretty and charming character.

TjkRRLp.jpg

The quality of the routes varied though. The first route I read was from Choujirou. He's the leader of the Kouga group sent to Kyo and Enju's personal instructor. The character itself was great, but unfortunately his route not so much. A long time you've no idea what's going on and Enju is thrown around like a sack of rice between the guys trying to save her instead of doing something useful herself and I also found the resolution of the story fairly weak. On the other hand, it had some 'Red Wedding' like twist I simply didn't expect from that VN.
Fun fact: Choujirou was voiced by Toriumi Kousuke who also voiced Saitou Hajime from Hakouki, who is exactly one of the three characters I read the routes from in Hakouki.

f2h8Cx8.jpg

The second route I read was from Hanzou, a former Iga member and now the leader of the private shinobi guard from lord Tokugawa. He's a real badass and considered the strongest ninja around. This was clearly my favorite route. Hanzou had a cool teasing relationship with lord Tokugawa who was my most favorite side character by a long mile. Hanzou and Enju also develop a touching Leon & Mathilda relationship, with Hanzou being the absolute super killer, giving her advanced training when they are on the run and fending off the other shinobi clans together. Hanzou also brings the best out of Enju. He likes smart and diligent characters, so Enju is forced to act that way if a romance relationship should develop. I also liked the plot resolution much more like in the previous route, even though I found the resolution about her father a bit too comic-book-villainy.
Fun fact: Hanzou was voiced by Toriumi Kousuke who also voiced Kazama Chikage, the arch-villain from Hakouki, who is another one of the three characters I read the routes from in Hakouki.
Fun fact-2: I thought that lord Tokugawa was a (pretty) woman in disguise the whole time, because 'he' looked and sounded so feminine. I couldn't believe the VNDB entry and even checked the gender of the voice actor... and apparently 'he' is supposed to be male. It was still so hard to believe that I was almost thinking about requesting a gender check. :blink:

LwGKVzZ.jpg

The third route I played was from Goemon. He appears like a simple womanizer at first, but tuns out to be a man of many secrets. The plot also develops rather different than the other two before, and involves the five elders much more. I liked it although it doesn't beat the one of Hanzou. Mainly because Enju was forced into a rather passive observer role here for a good part of the route. The situation demanded it and was well-founded, but it's still more fun to have Enju doing stuff and making decisions herself.

I wasn't so interested in the teenie connection of Gekkamaru and his brother Kuroyuki. Especially Gekkamaru was painfully bland. I was fine with  the routes of the three adults and therefore skipped the routes of those two. The individual routes have strong similarities anyway.

The VN also had some pretty good side characters, especially Tokugawa Ieyasu, but also Enju's two companions Kyara and Ennosuke.

Production values were decent even if it can't compete with Hakouki. Art designs were still good, although the images could have been a bit sharper. Story and characters were interesting although the villains were a bit lacking and made some plot resolutions disappointing. Hakuouki had much better developed villains. If the other four elders would have been as well developed as lord Tokugawa this VN could have even beaten Hakouki. Though Enju was certainly a better protagonist than Chizuru. The common and hero routes could also have been a bit longer I think.

Character ranking: (Tokugawa Ieyasu) > Hanzou > Choujirou > Goemon >> Kuroyuki > Gekkamaru (Still irritated that Tokugawa is supposed to be a dude, but I certainly like her him)

Overall rating 7.5/10

Edited by ChaosRaven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree with you. So many otome with interesting settings. And what do we get?..... highschool, highschool and more highschool. They create what the audience likes best, so the average male japanese must be an absolute loser(well, no shit with the average protagonist in these games) while girls being far more interesting.

Edited by Stormwolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stormwolf said:

so the average male japanese must be an absolute loser

The average male Japanese doesn't read VNs. If we recall how eroge players are often represented in manga and other Japanese media, then I wouldn't be surprised if they actually are seen as losers by the general public. :makina:

5 hours ago, ChaosRaven said:

So, I finished another otome VN: Nightshade - a tale about Ninjas. :ph34r:

You know, your review looks very intriguing. I was interested in this VN some time ago, but after my disappointment with several other otome I tried and since there was no information on whether it would even be good, I decided to skip it. But, if the protagonist in this one is actually pretty good, then I certainly need to give it a chance at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

You know, your review looks very intriguing. I was interested in this VN some time ago, but after my disappointment with several other otome I tried and since there was no information on whether it would even be good, I decided to skip it. But, if the protagonist in this one is actually pretty good, then I certainly need to give it a chance at some point.

I guess it depends a bit on what exactly you didn't like about the other otomes, and I didn't read that much myself, but if your main issue was the protagonist then I'm pretty confident that this should be an improvement. At least if you stick to the better routes like the one of Hanzou.

Edited by ChaosRaven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stormwolf said:

Completely agree with you. So many otome with interesting settings. And what do we get?..... highschool, highschool and more highschool. They create what the audience likes best, so the average male japanese must be an absolute loser(well, no shit with the average protagonist in these games) while girls being far more interesting.

Worst part is that if you look at the untranslated stuff, even Boy Love Games are starting to have more interesting settings. I think the fujoshi are gonna have all the fun come next decade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

The average male Japanese doesn't read VNs. If we recall how eroge players are often represented in manga and other Japanese media, then I wouldn't be surprised if they actually are seen as losers by the general public. :makina:

You know, your review looks very intriguing. I was interested in this VN some time ago, but after my disappointment with several other otome I tried and since there was no information on whether it would even be good, I decided to skip it. But, if the protagonist in this one is actually pretty good, then I certainly need to give it a chance at some point.

obviously i mean the vn readers and not everyone else

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn’t really related to this topic, but I’ll ask here anyway since I don’t think it warrants the creation of a new one.

To those of you who have read Higurashi and Umineko:

I’ve been putting off reading Umineko for a really long time since it’s apparently supposed to spoil some plot devices and whatnot in Higurashi. I’m kinda sick of waiting by now, so rather than wait another year or so for chapter 8 of Higurashi, I’m considering reading chapter 1-7 followed by Umineko as soon as I’m done with Tsukihime.

How far into Higurashi is the stuff that Umineko supposedly spoils? Will I find it out if I read chapter 1-7, or is there something in chapter 8 that will be spoiled if I read Umineko before reading that final chapter of Higurashi?

Edited by Seraphim88

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for that while it's not as bad as Meikyuu to Rakuen in that it ended before the big action, the cliffhanger is still there. Namely that it'll end in a downer note (You should understand it from the chapter name alone) and the main casts will resolve it in the next chapter, so yeah you better wait until Matsuribayashi if you prefer wait for the resolution (You can read the older version of Matsuribayashi though if you being impatient after read Chapter 7). Hope it'll answer your question here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Thanks! Another question: Are the Higurashi chapters somewhat standalone, or is there a cliffhanger at the end of chapter 7? I'm trying to determine how painful the wait for chapter 8 will be if I decide to read chapter 1-7 now.

What @littleshogun said, basically. There's something like a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter 7, and ideally it would be the best to read chapter 8 right after that since it connects all the plot threads together, but the cliffhanger is not s big as in many other series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've finally completed Hakuoki. I have no idea why it was listed as "Long (30-50 hours)" since it is definitely way longer than that (13 routes each in Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms, with an average route length of ~3h; excluding Chizuru's route which is about 16 minutes), so I took it upon myself to edit the length to "Very Long (>50 hours)".

Well that aside, I've got to say that it has definitely improved my take on otoges. My first otoge was Amnesia, and I didn't really enjoy it that much (A yandere male lead? A protagonist who doesn't even talk? Yikes). Hakuoki also has a yandere-ish male character in the form of Kazama, but he's definitely much more toned down than the one in Amnesia.

Before I get to the plot, I have to say that it has quite a star-studded lineup of voice actors; with the likes of Ono Daisuke, Seki Tomokazu
and Miyano Mamoru in the mix (Warning: The following list is very long). Tldr; some of them have voiced characters for Umineko, Higurashi, Muv Luv, Fate, Dies Irae, Majikoi , Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan and many other popular VNs/anime.

Spoiler

1. Ono Daisuke as Sakomoto Ryouma (Battler/Tohya and Kinzo from Umineko, Akasaka from Higurashi, the protagonist from Planetarian, Misumi Daisuke from Chaos Head, creepy history teacher from Majikoi, Kakeru from 11eyes, Yuuya Bridges from MLA Total Eclipse, K from Virtue's Last Reward, Kuujou Joutarou from Jojo)

2. Miyano Mamoru as Iba Hachirou (Okabe from Steins Gate, Shuu from Tokyo Ghoul, Pandora's Actor from Overlord, Light Yagami from Death Note, Bedivere from FGO)

3. Miki Shin'ichirou as Hijikata Toshizou (Assassin from FSN, Nasu no Yoichi from Majikoi)

4. Yusa Kouji as Harada Sanosuke (Karna from Fate/EX, Aoi Touma from Majikoi)

5. Morikubo Shoutarou as Okita Souji (Tajima Takahisa from 11eyes, some side character from Jojo)

6. Toriumi Kousuke as Saitou Hajime (Archer from Fate/EX, Ren/Lotus + Mercurius from Dies Irae)

7. Yoshino Hiroyuki as Toudou Heisuke (Takumi from Chaos Head, Haruta from Toradora, Ishida Saburou from Majikoi

8. Suzuki Takayuki as Yamazaki Susumu (Kusaka Tatsuhiko and Murase Naoki from Kara no Shoujo)

9. Ookawa Tooru as Kondou Isami (Tomitake from Higurashi, Ukita from Root Double)

10. Hatano Wataru as Motoyama Kotarou (Julius from Fate/EX, Leon Kuze from MLA Total Eclipse)

11. Koyasu Takehito as Takeda Kanryuusai (Dio from Jojo, Sagiri and Meiya's butler from Muv Luv, Sakuraba Hiroshi from Cross Channel, Yukidou Satoru from Remember 11, Astro Circle president from Hoshimemo, Hans from Fate/Extra CCC)

12. Seki Tomokazu as Ibuki Ryuunosuke (Gilgamesh from FSN, Daru from Steins Gate)

13.Tsuda Kenjirou as Kazama Chikage (Nico from Tokyo Ghoul)

14. Tobita Nobuo as Sannan Keisuke (Oogushi Suguru from Majikoi)

15. Kaji Yuki as Souma Kazue (Ayato from Tokyo Ghoul, Eren from Attack on Titan, Kouichi from Jojo)

Ok, now to the plot. Since the story is loosely based on real-life historical events, one can easily predict the outcome of certain events in the game given that they have some knowledge of Japanese history (well, not that the average non-Japanese VN reader would know much Japanese history, but still). This is also why some events can never be altered in all routes. 

Spoiler

Basically all the non-romancable men are fated to die: Gen, Kondou, Nomura etc 

With that being said, while events remain roughly the same in all routes, the ways in which they are approached in are different. Depending on who Chizuru ends up with, we get to experience things from different perspectives, giving us a very detailed insight on each major event. Some characters like Kazama and Sanan may come off as evil and creepy at first, but as we get to their routes, we start to understand their motivations better. 

On a side note, 1 thing I feel quite intrigued about is 

Spoiler

how Harada's the only human who didn't turn into a Fury and had a child with Chizuru. 

 

I had some expectations going into this VN, and I'm glad that those expectations were met. Plenty of action, decent romance and good pacing. Final rating: 7.8/10

Edited by wei123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, littleshogun said:

you better wait until Matsuribayashi

 

1 hour ago, Dreamysyu said:

it would be the best to read chapter 8 right after that


I think I'll try to endure then, since the final chapter probably won't be out for quite a while. From what I've heard, it's more or less finished already, but I doubt Mangagamer will release it this year even if that's the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I've decided to once again dramatically switch tracks completely in the tonal change department.

I started playing Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai, and I have to say my fucking god is it so much better than Hatsukoi! Like holy shit, it's like the difference between night and day.

Ryou is an actual character and not some frothing, slime excretion that was shat out by some deformed pestilence.

The male best bud is not some loser pervert whose soul reason for being is to make the protag look better by comparison. Plus, he has an actual girlfriend! It's amazing!

I pretty much like all the girls for the most part which was not the case in Hatsukoi (rip kyou and maya..you deserved better)

Here are my initial impressions on them

Ousaka Sora: She's cute and has blue hair so she already reminds me of another blue haired girl that I like so she's alright with me.

Shinozaki Marika: On the spectrum of childhood friends I think she is pretty decent. I tolerate childhood friends a lot more when they have spent some time apart and not just lived next door to the protag since forever. I hope she doesn't pull some childhood promise shit though.

Segawa Natsuki: She's a real spitfire and she reminds me of Sachi from Sharin No Kuni so I quite like her.

Narusawa Rikka: More proof that moody girls with long black hair are my weakness

Yukimura Touko She's also a real spitfire and she seems like she could have a nice teasing game going

Okihara Misa: She's probably the character I'm least enthused about but she seems like she could be a little interesting.

 

An there you have it folks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoshi Ori is nice, but it's too long. There's not that much going on in the story, so I don't get why it has to be so massive. For me, it just resulted in it starting to feel repetitive after a while.
There are way too many h scenes as well. Rather than adding a ton of scenes with like one CG and miles of filler text, I'd prefer if they had just a couple of scenes per heroine and used more CGs in each one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ranzo said:

HOLY SHIT THE PROTAG ACTUALLY TALKED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SAFE SEX! IN A VISUAL NOVEL! WILL WONDERS EVER CEASE???

Clearly you never played I Walk Among Zombies. Its commitment to safe sex in a zombie apocalypse setting is really quite impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Fred the Barber said:

Clearly you never played I Walk Among Zombies. Its commitment to safe sex in a zombie apocalypse setting is really quite impressive.

Well, that's honestly a scenario in which I'd really want to prevent causing random pregnancies...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×