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Anyone else playing AI: The Somnium Files? I enjoy it quite a lot so far, but they really went overboard with the sex jokes. Depending on the situation, I can usually find stuff like that funny, but when I get bombarded with sex joke after sex joke for hours on end, I eventually get fed up with it. It's like they put a bunch of horny teenage boys in charge of the comedy aspect of the game.
One example is when

Spoiler

the protagonist sees a completely normal stereo setup with two speakers, immidiately compares it to male genitalia and then proceeds to ask his assistant if she likes them big or small.

Here's the speaker system in question:

dKEuC6.jpg

(not much of a spoiler, but I marked it as such anyways)

Edited by Seraphim88

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Whew, finished Mashiro Iro Symphony. It was definitely the best moege I've played so far :o(I read it two times in a row, first PC, then PSP version, and had great fun both times :D)

I liked almost everything about it - likeable characters, nice comedy parts, just right amount of drama for things to not become stale, pretty good stories in routes, beautiful art and music...

BTW I feel that Princess Evangile was quite inspired by this title.

The highlight is without a doubt Airi's route, and it was the first one I've read.
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Airi is tsundere, but a lovely one :) And her route features great character development. It was quite heartwarming to watch how she changes and opens up to others. I also loved how the relationship between her and Shingo progresses naturally, without sudden jumps (this applies to most of other routes as well). The H content was also handled exceptionally well I'd say. (The only part that felt shoehorned-in was obbligatory classroom scene :P Same in Sakuno's route). The scenes were focused mainly on the bond between characters, and generally had that "sex as expression of love" approach. They weren't rushed, there was proper relationship build-up before. The characters mostly retain their personalities and don't turn instantly into pornstars (at least, as far as eroge constraints allow...).

Spoiler

There's also interesting twist, that - in all routes - first time is a failure for various reasons.

Next one, Sakuno's route, would be a treat for all imouto-lovers ;)
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Spoiler

She's Shingo's step-sister though, so the route isn't too incestuous.

I have to say, she's my favourite character of this VN, together with Airi. Her comments are pure gold :D Also, I love her friendship with Airi, really heartwarming. The story in this route itself is nothing special, maybe a bit weird due to setting, but the characters make up for it - finally I liked it very much.

The third one that I've played was Angie's route.
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This one is for maid fans :) I think it was my least favourite route (but it's still good), but had very nice ending. Also, this route shows us again the importance of Multi's route in first To Heart - it turns out that she, being maid-robot, inspired not only other "robot-girls" routes, but also some of the maid ones. Just compare those two scenes below :D

Spoiler

angie-multi.png

Fourth, and last, route in PC version is Miu's.
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Miu is lovely(loli) senpai, almost always seen with mysterious cat-like pet, Pannya. Main theme of Miu's route is her unofficial school club ("Nuko club") that consist of her and Sana and together they take care of wounded animals. The route features many emotional moments, and would be great, but there was one thing hindering it. It is the only route where I felt H-scenes were overwhelming, rushed, out-of-character and disrupting the flow of the story. It was really disappointing, since all other routes seemed to handle this stuff very well (above the eroge average). But, OTOH, there were three different writers - one for Airi and Ange, one for Sakuno, and one for Miu - so maybe the other two were just better at this.

However, the story doesn't end here. Sana, who in other routes serves mostly as a comic (or hitting) relief, is very prominent character in Miu's route.
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Spoiler

Although she declares that she loves only Miu, hates boys, and seems to be just violent-tsundere kind, she falls in - obviously unrequited - love with Shingo. The scene when heartbroken Sana sits on a swinger in a rain, and gets comforted by Airi was really heart-rending.
sana-heartbreak.png

So (see spoiler above), after Miu's route I felt really sorry for Sana, despite her many flaws, and felt like she deserved a route too. So I got PSP version, where there is one :)
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Sana's route branches off from the Miu's. It was very good - it shows different, and sometimes surprising, sides of Sana, and gives pretty satisfying conclusion to her story.

Then I played Yutsuki's route - who is completely new character, present only in PSP version.
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So, common route has been expanded a bit, to acommodate for the new character. It went quite smoothly. Yutsuki's initial appearrance is kind of playful subversion of "Onee-sama" trope. She's adored by many girls in school, but, as Sakuno put it in one of her brilliant comments, she's "Onee-nii-sama" :D She's more "cool" and "handsome" than "cute", and always plays male roles in drama-club. Her route is most light-hearted one in whole VN, and revolves around her struggle to be more feminine. Pretty good I'd say - I enjoyed it.

Afterwards I started to reread other routes, to compare them with PC version. I've reread Airi, Sakuno and Miu. Since console version has "C" rating (+15), obviously the routes were toned down and rewritten a bit, to exclude H-content. In exchange, we got some additional "normal" scenes. Also, in kissing scenes most of the sound effects were replaced with narration.

All in all, console versions of PC routes are all very good - the writers took care to rewrite them properly, not just cut things here and there. I'd say, that for Airi's route I slightly prefer +18 version, and for Sakuno's route it's a tie. However, Miu's route in console version is waaaay superior - it flows better, and additional scenes are very good. Actually I feel that some of them should be in original version as well, since they give some important background info.

Spoiler

Like the scene in back garden, when Ranka (headmistress, Airi's mother) talks about her friendship with Yuiko (Miu's mother)

Also, we got one quite hot new CG, especially for +15 title ;), that was used as replacement for H-scenes (since in Miu's route some of the sex scenes have been replaced by general making out in Miu's bed)

Spoiler

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New New Year party scene was hilarious :D

Spoiler

With Miu and her mom "fighting" for Shingo
ULJM05889-00004.png

 

This VN, despite being romance-focused, does also the "group of friends" thing surprisingly well. Other heroines (and Shingo's buddy Hayata) don't disappear once you enter the route, but become great supporting cast. The only exception is Yutsuki in PSP version, who disappears after common route, since probably it would be too much hassle to rewrite all routes to acommodate her. But the other side still stands - whole cast is important in her route as well. I loved this aspect.

To sum it up - I totally understand those who say, that it's kamige among moege. It certainly worked for me. Also, this VN was my initial reason to start learning Japanese, so being able to read it feels absolutely great and fulfilling.

Considering that I feel like it surpasses both Princess Evangile and Koichoco, who got 8.5 from me, I have no other choice, but to give it 9/10 score.

Now I think I'll take a breather by reading something translated ;) Probably Farther than a blue sky.

Edited by adamstan

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Speaking about that I know Joyjason like Mashiro as well, and once again it really says a lot. Also the art here should be noted as well, if only because Kawamura is the one who take care of that in the anime adaptation. For the context here, Kawamura here is one of PreCure artist and I always remember that my favorite PreCure reviewer said that her drawing is beautiful, so I think Tsubasu here might trust Kawamura as the one who redraw the former art for the anime version. So it's easy to say that Tsubasu art here is quite beautiful just like Kawamura, and I hope that we can have more of the VN with her art available in English (So far we only have Saku Saku and Nine) especially in regard of Mashiro.

PS - Forget to say that my suggestion on Kawamura and Tsubasu interaction for the anime version might be only just speculation, although if it's true that it would be very interesting.

Edited by littleshogun

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Started playing Otome ga Tsumugi Koi no Canvas . I'm playing for the icha icha to come, lol.

It's a nice heartful charage. For a jousou vn the protagonist is sometimes impossibly good at being a maid, and there are overly kira kira sappy moments which kind of makes me roll my eyes.

The art and voice acting is really great though. The characters outfits is quite good. My favourite voicing is Akie, who has the same VA as Irene from Eustia.

Edited by Chronopolis

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Finished Hello,good-bye the other day. Not a bad VN that has some Chuuni elements. I really like the ending theme (though otherwise, the OST is average).

 

And now I'm waiting to pick up either Onii-kiss or Aokana , both of which release this week. Two VN's I've been looking forward to (along with Lamunation , but that's seemingly disappeared).

I have a decision to make, and the better part of a week to make it. Welcome to life as a VN nerd :makina:

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Just finished I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin' Good Dating Simulator. Nothing to comment on the story, as there obviously isn't one. However, I do have a few complaints about the UI: no save function, no auto-read, unchangeable text speed. Why not just use Renpy instead? Thank goodness the VN isn't that long, or I would have been been somewhat annoyed.

That aside, I like how one of the side characters looks like he walked out of Jojo LOL

Spoiler

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Anyways, I can't rate this VN on vndb yet since it's still new, but I'm probably gonna give it a 2 out of 10.

Edited by wei123

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Well since I'm waiting for Aokana I decided to put the caboose on playing a super long vn and instead played An Adventure of a Lifetime

I got one of the endings already and I should finish it up by tomorrow

Anyway, it's a fun time so far and would have been a great summer vn if I had played it sooner

But yeah I'm still experiencing summer weather so whatever

It's giving me

 

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I'm currently reading G-senjou no Maou.

Seriously, who the hell composed this mess of a score? First and foremost the fake classical sounds which blatantly copied the classic pieces really grated on my ears. Secondly, the music just doesn't flow well as BGM as intended. They all sound forgettable and really just shitty pretentious jazzy themes that carry with some piano notes. I'm sure with a different, more coherent OST this VN would flow much better.

The writing is pretty messy although there's still a coherent narrative (I'm only reading past the kidnapping arc so it might get better). The characters are unlikable, if not downright despicable. Also what's with the head/body proportion? The main villain's head is laughably big compared with his body which is both stupid and hilarious at the same time. For what it's worth the VAs are actually quite good (still a mess, but at least above awful). UI is really nice and detailed, which is a huge plus.

All in all my hype was misplaced with this VN. Mostly because of the score, but also because the overall design is nothing short of bad. I'm still finishing it though to get the big picture. It won't make my top 5 list, thats for certain.

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Finished: Pheonix Wright Trilogy. There I could say a lot about this game but I already did some short opinion review on steam. First episode was the best one imo. That's how these series got famous. It's not surprise once you see the court action for the first time by yourself.

Starting: Kara no Shojo, great start with this one so far. Story has just the right pace, characters are interesting to say at least, and most importantly this VN is not wasting time. There is enough information in the text to feel into scenes situations and expressions from characters but also enough to get involved in detective action. Excellent murder mystery.

Waiting for: Ciconia... must play for me.

Edited by Saosin

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54 minutes ago, adamstan said:

The only thing I'm missing for now is language switching via key shortcuts

Yeah, I'd like that as well. It's kinda bothersome going into the options over and over again, so I've just stuck with the English translation for now.

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Someone was mentioning AI Somnium Files, I wanted to try it out but the game kept crashing on me. Which is strange since it's just an anime game, and my PC easily has minimum spec for it. I couldn't get past opening video after starting new game, so I had to go for reffund. As it turns out I wasn't the only one with video problems in this.

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Damn, that sucks. I had no technical issues with it myself, but I've had my fair share of it in other games so I know how frustrating it can be. I hope they fix it in some patch so you can pick it up and try it out sometime in the future. It's a great game, and I had a hard time putting down the controller because I always wanted to find out what was going to happen next.

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Guess it's time for some comments about a few VN's I played recently.

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So I finished the first two parts of the 9-Nine series and so far I'm liking the direction Palette are going here. SakuSaku had charming heroines, but suffered heavily from 'boredom syndrome'. Here they added a bit of a murder mystery to spice things up and while it's certainly not a mind blowing plot, it's working good enough to keep things interesting. It also gives the main characters a nice team spirit when they have a common goal and enemy together. Each of the heroines also has some quirks that make them likable. Overall, so far it's a healthy mixture of slice of life, humour, thriller and even a bit of chuuni action thrown in. To connect the individual chapters, they had to throw in a bit of Stein's Gate which felt more clumsy than smart to be honest. I guess that's the price you have to pay if you want an ongoing plot through several heroine routes.

Quality of the art was pretty high - it had even (well) animated H-scenes. Music could have been better though, I listened mostly to the OST of Fatal Twelve instead.

Heroine ranking: Haruka > Sora > Myako > Noa

I'd rate both chapters a 7/10 so far, but since I don't have the big picture yet, it's definitely possible that I upvote (or downvote) the whole series again if it's finished.

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Next of the list is The Eden of Grisaia, the last part of the trilogy. For me this was the weakest part so far, although people who appreciate Grisaia's comedy more than I do would probably like it much more, since the first half of the VN resembles more a slap-stick circus campaign of the Grisaia girls. During that half, Yuuji himself had also so few appearances that he barely justified as a side character. Even if it got better in the second half, my hope for an interesting back and forth duel between Yuuji and Oslo wasn't fullfilled. Instead I just got a final over the top chuuni crusade to hunt Oslo down.

Spoiler

I mean, sure why come up with a clever tactic and sneak in for less risk and to spare lifes, if you can also just charge in and destroy everying in front of you like the Hulk?!

The VN still gets some bonus points for bringing back Kazuki again. I really liked her cynical interactions with the other characters. Her comment about Sachi was just priceless: "You're all smart and a nice diligent girl - but something if off about you." (don't remember the first half of the phrase exactly, but it was something like that).

Overall, I'll give if it a 6.5/10, though I would have rated it even lower if it wouldn't be for Kazuki.

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And the last on the list is Bishoujo Mangekyou -Norowareshi Densetsu no Shoujo-. This is a very unusual VN for me since it's a nukige centered on a loli girl. Usually I skip loli routes and a nukige about one is usual the last thing I'd want to read. But well, this is one of the rare exceptions from the rule for several reasons. I always had a thing for vampires and especially vampire love stories (not so much Twilight, more Bram Stokers and Interview with a Vampire). Despite being a vampire, the main heroine is an angelic white haired beauty and I have a bit of a crush for those. Others would be Suigintou from Rozen Maiden or Sion from Eden. Furthermore, the VN has a very artistic drawing style that fits the gothic theme perfectly.

And it was indeed a very unusual nukige. While most most nukges are more about the 'physical' merits, this one also has a very unusual emphasis on the emotional part. Shigehiko, the protagonist, is a rather handsome and likable guy (which is in itself already very unusual) and he falls deeply in love with Kirie, who turns out to be a 300 years old vampire princess. And this isn't just a cheap saying, Shigehiko would DIE for her in the most literal sense. Kirie herself, despite being an unapproachable tsundere, feels rather lonely for quite some time now.

She's also the more provocative character of the two, approaching a sexual relationship with all the suppressed passion of a lonely vampire. That's not to say Kirie would be slutty, she's actually quite the ice queen, but Shigehiko is probably the first person she really trusts and can fullfill her desire for physical and - probably even more - emotional closeness. So even if they play sometimes even rapey domination games with each other, there's also this umbrella of overwhelming trust that Shigehiko would never hurt her.

Although the many H-scenes were definitely a bit much for me, I definitely enjoyed the rest. It's actually the first nukige that had me in tears at the end because it was so touching. Production values are almost over the top. High quality art works for backgrounds and characters, animated H-scenes and a very atmospheric soundtrack. It's also one of the rare nukiges I'd also recommend for female readers.

I'll give it 'only' a 7.5/10 since I would have preferred it less ero heavy and with a higher emphasis on an interesting plot around the romance, but for loli fans this could be an easy 10/10 as well.

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10 hours ago, ChaosRaven said:

While most most nukges are more about the 'physical' merits, this one also has a very unusual emphasis on the emotional part. 

Well, I guess you somehow made me somewhat interested in a nukige, which is pretty rare. :michiru:

10 hours ago, ChaosRaven said:

Next of the list is The Eden of Grisaia, the last part of the trilogy. For me this was the weakest part so far, although people who appreciate Grisaia's comedy more than I do would probably like it much more, since the first half of the VN resembles more a slap-stick circus campaign of the Grisaia girls.

I personally quite liked the comedy in Kajitsu, but I found the humor in Rakuen kind of dry and repetitive. And it doesn't help that after I learned the girls' backstories some jokes actually started feeling a lot less funny, especially the constant bullying of Michiru.

And I definitely agree that it's the weakest part of the trilogy. I guess, I liked it even less than you since I'm personally not a fan of Kazuki myself. To me personally the only parts I actually enjoyed were the ending to Angelic Howl and the Prologue side story. Really a shame after how good the grand route in Meikyuu was.

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I'm reading The House in Fata Morgana and I think it's been excellent so far. The music has been superb as well. I'm at, chapter five, where we're starting to get some answers. I'm not doing a very good job predicting how the plot is going though... I've come close at times but the plot twists always seem to one-up my guesses. 

Anyway, it's great, I can't put it down at the moment.

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I'm currently playing Sengoku Rance and having blast, its a kind of Eroge/Visual SRPG that I didn't expect to play but ended up loving it all the way! The gameplay is highly addictive although somehow hard and needs to be played with a walkthrough or guide of sorts to have any sense of whatever is it your doing in the game. The storyline is pretty hilarious as well! the only let down is the lack of voice acting in the game but its no big deal. its has a ton of reply value and it would take a while before I could really finish the game and all its routes! Hope to see all the Rance games makes it way on Mangagamer! 

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Well, I guess I just randomly decided that it's finally the time to stop my VN hiatus and started reading Konosora.

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Overall, I wasn't in the mood to read something plot-heavy, so the natural thing to do was to try reading some well-received charage that I haven't read since I'm usually not really the fan of the genre. And since I already own the Steam version of the game from some bundle I purchased long time ago, I finally decided to give it a try.

Played it for about 15 minutes so far. Well, it's definitely early to say anything right now, but, I guess, I'll need to get used to some annoying VN cliches which I kind of forgot since I've been mostly playing more niche things recently. I guess, the probability that I actually finish it is on the low side (I guess, I'd give it about 20%) but we'll see how it goes. :sachi:

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Are you reading in Japanese or English? (I'm not sure if the picture you posted is one you took yourself or if you just grabbed one from the internetz)
If you're reading the English version, make absolutely sure to apply the retranslation patch ASAP if you haven't already.

Edited by Seraphim88

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17 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Are you reading in Japanese or English? (I'm not sure if the picture you posted is one you took yourself or if you just grabbed one from the internetz)
If you're reading the English version, make absolutely sure to apply the retranslation patch ASAP if you haven't already.

While we're at it - has anybody tried Steam version of Akari's route? How's the translation in it? Were RNG Gods merciful, or not?

(I have PS3 original, which I'm going to read one day, but I'm curious)

Edited by adamstan

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I haven't read it myself, but from what I hear, MoeNovel's localizations are pretty acceptable nowadays (if you disregard the fact that they're censored, but that shouldn't be an issue with Akari's route since it was all ages all along). Nothing even comes close to the trainwreck that was IMHHW.

Edited by Seraphim88

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12 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Nothing even comes close to the trainwreck that was IMHHW.

They say that CrossChannel was. Apparently that game is impossible to translate, since from what I've heard, FanTLs (two of them) weren't good either :P

But yeah, as for their own (I mean Pulltop's) games, both A Sky Full of Stars and Adventure of Lifetime were indeed acceptable translation-wise.

Edited by adamstan

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2 hours ago, Seraphim88 said:

Are you reading in Japanese or English? (I'm not sure if the picture you posted is one you took yourself or if you just grabbed one from the internetz)
If you're reading the English version, make absolutely sure to apply the retranslation patch ASAP if you haven't already.

Yeah, I'm playing the retranslated version (and I took this picture myself). Thanks anyway.

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