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I didn't hate ZTD as much as most Zero Escape fans seem to do but I admit it was a pretty weak way to end the trilogy. To address a few of your points:

Spoiler

1. Yeah, the only trio whose arc wasn't obnoxious was the one with Sigma and Phi imo, and even that one wasn't great.

3. That twist was actually quite heavily foreshadowed. There were a few references to an old and blind man being part of the crew and several scenes where the camerawork made it seem like characters were talking to the boy or the dog but the way they were adressed didn't fit (meaning it was actually adressed towards Zero). I still think the reveal felt rather jarring and out of nowhere and was pretty stupid imo but it wouldn't be an Uchikoshi game without the main twist being about perspective. The main twist in each Zero Escape game only works in its respective medium. In 999 it relies heavily on the use of the two screens of the DS, revealing that that the narration on one of the screens is actually told by past Akane. In VLR the use of a VN format causes you not to question the protagonist not being voiced because it's pretty common in the medium. It also allows the direction to restrict your vision in a way that keeps you from looking into mirrors or reflecting surfaces. The use of FMV in ZTD allows to always keep the culprit out of frame without you ever noticing, which wouldn't have worked in a VN. And as far as I know, Ever17 has a meta twist as well.

4. I read somewhere that the creators ran out of money so they had to rush the ending. I don't know how much truth there is to this but to me it certainly feels like this could be the case.

 

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14 minutes ago, alpacaman said:
Spoiler

Yeah, the only trio whose arc wasn't obnoxious was the one with Sigma and Phi imo, and even that one wasn't great.

 

Spoiler

Agreed. I think the most interesting stuff that happened in terms of character development was when Sigma and Diana got stuck together in the shelter, which ended up with the birth of Phi and Delta. Not even Akane and Junpei, who played major roles before, felt like necessary parts of the story, if it wasn't for the fact that several shifters were needed for that resonance shift at the end.
Eric was the worst character by far, though. He's just a nobody with a minor connection to Mira, and the only real purpose he seemed to have was to act as an instigator of violence to progress the story at certain points; something Mira could've probably done herself considering her identity.

 

41 minutes ago, alpacaman said:
Spoiler

That twist was actually quite heavily foreshadowed. There were a few references to an old and blind man being part of the crew and several scenes where the camerawork made it seem like characters were talking to the boy or the dog but the way they were adressed didn't fit (meaning it was actually adressed towards Zero). I still think the reveal felt rather jarring and out of nowhere and was pretty stupid imo but it wouldn't be an Uchikoshi game without the main twist being about perspective. The main twist in each Zero Escape game only works in its respective medium. In 999 it relies heavily on the use of the two screens of the DS, revealing that that the narration on one of the screens is actually told by past Akane. In VLR the use of a VN format causes you not to question the protagonist not being voiced because it's pretty common in the medium. It also allows the direction to restrict your vision in a way that keeps you from looking into mirrors or reflecting surfaces. The use of FMV in ZTD allows to always keep the culprit out of frame without you ever noticing, which wouldn't have worked in a VN. And as far as I know, Ever17 has a meta twist as well.

 

Spoiler

In any case, the fact that the game actively omits visual information, logical dialogue between characters and whatnot, just for the purpose of concealing that there's another person among them, means that his entire existence throughout the game is basically just a plot device implemented for this one twist. It's one of the most disappointing and boring plot twists I've ever seen, honestly.

 

42 minutes ago, alpacaman said:
Spoiler

I read somewhere that the creators ran out of money so they had to rush the ending. I don't know how much truth there is to this but to me it certainly feels like this could be the case.

 

Spoiler

Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me. I'm generally not a fan of open endings, and this is another example of one I don't like.

 

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House in fata morgana.

Absolutely wonderful so far. First story was predictable for the most part (Didn't know why or how, but what would happen was glaringly obvious once the pieces were on the board), but told in a wonderful way. I loved it. Second.. Man what a ride. Can't wait to finish it after work :D 

The true pity of this game is the cheap feel to it. Bad background images, so-so character art, so-so music for the most part and no voice acting. 

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Recently I tried another 3DEVN - Melody

Unfortunately, it was rather underwhelming experience.

Being musician myself, I hoped that I could relate to MC and the story, but it was very flat, didn't evoke any emotions from me. I was mildly curious how will it unwind - that's why I completed it, but it was full of not-so-well executed cliches. Character models are decent, some of the H-scenes were quite hot, but in essence it was just typical (?) patreon-based borderline-nukige dating sim. Writing itself isn't too good - there were parts that read like some of the '90s JVN translations ;) And repeated errors like "you're" instead of "your" are unforgivable in EVN... If you're selling your game, at least have someone proofread it... :notlikemiya:

It had interesting premise, but the potential has been wasted.

Like I said in the beginning - had some good moments, but overally underwhelming. 6/10

Maybe it's time to return to JVNs ;). I'm thinking about reading  Amber Quartz next.

Edited by adamstan

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Finished Lamunation.  Yaaaaaaawn...

I'm a bit surprised, but it didn't work for me at all. Sure, there were some funny jokes, it was nice to spot some of the references or easter eggs, but still I'm utterly disappointed. It's just too random for me, and with almost no story. Seriously, compared to this, your average moege is plot-heavy. It's just collection of loosely connected skits that would work as comic relief in "normal" charage, or at Majikoi exit screen, but it fails as a VN, since there's nothing more.

Also, the release is a bit buggy/messy. I get it that it is low-cost port, and price reflects that, but still... Engine feels unresponsive, and there's quite a lot of scripting bugs - like, often you need two clicks instead of one to advance to the next line, and there are several places when voices go out of sync with the text.

So, sadly, another 6 in a row... It isn't complete trash, and perhaps there are people who will like it, but for me it was a chore to complete...

PS The translation is nice :)

Edited by adamstan

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Well, i remember people saying it was a terrible choice when it was first announced. Translation teams terrible taste never surprises me anymore. The more boring the vn, the more interesting it is to translate.

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So, Chuusotsu - 1.5th graduation just became available for Kickstarted backers, with the official release on January 17th. So, I guess this marks the first time when I finished a game even before its official release. :vanilla: VNDB doesn't even let me vote for it yet, lol.

And, apparently, Steam is being Steam again, since they made Fruitbat mark this all-ages release as having sexual content, because apparently the jokes are too suggestive. I mean, there is some light sexual humor, it's not different from what we usually see in the anime and VNs.

Overall, this game is pretty much what you would expect of Chuusotsu, with the exception that the release seems a bit rushed. Actually, it seems like I forgot how good the original game was. I had been wondering if it really deserved the high vote I gave it, but after playing the side story I realized that yeah, it totally did. It's a pretty well-written and thought-provoking story disguised with the facade of a light-hearted anime-style comedy. Though, again, the biggest problem I have with this series is that it's episodic. I mean, I understand that this type of release schedule is pretty natural for doujin works, and both the first part and the side story work completely well even without continuation, it still bothers me that the second part wasn't even announced in Japan yet.

Still, definitely deserves a 'good' mark. 7/10.

Also, VN community in a nutshell:

Spoiler

20200115000911-1.jpg

 

Also, it's been almost a month, but I finished Katahane. It was very good. It's always feels good to find a work that tries to do things differently in the genre where the road to success is to rely on cliches as much as possible. Well, Shirohane chapter is just funny and light-hearted as good slice-of-life comedy should be, and Kurohane is just as touching as a proper nakige should be. I found it quite interesting how it allows to choose through whose eyes we experience some scenes, though, to be honest, I feel like this is the case where the multiple routes structure takes away from the experience more than it adds. In none-true routes the conclusion for Kurohane isn't shown before you reach the true route, and in non-true routes the chapters feel completely disconnected. At one moment you're reading slice-of-life comedy, then it suddenly switches to drama, then it's suddenly comedy again.

I gave it 8/10, though I admit it's a bit on the weak side.

Edited by Dreamysyu

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On 11/01/2020 at 2:20 PM, Seraphim88 said:

Did you go with the original version or the one on PS4 in the end? If it's the latter, I'd love some comments on the new content once you've read it!

For some reason i never saw this post. I went for the original. I decided the ps4 version was not worth the pricetag.

Edited by Stormwolf

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I'm still working through MLA but it's been brought to my attention that some of the gore was censored out of the steam version.  Does anyone know if the 18+ patch restores it, and if so is it abundant and/or graphic enough to be worth needing to wade through h-scenes?

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13 minutes ago, GXOALMD said:

I'm still working through MLA but it's been brought to my attention that some of the gore was censored out of the steam version.  Does anyone know if the 18+ patch restores it, and if so is it abundant and/or graphic enough to be worth needing to wade through h-scenes?

Hmmm. I had no idea anything but the h-scenes was censored in the Steam version. I mean, I don't know how much they didn't show, and it's not like there's much of it, but I would be pretty pissed off if they censored some iconic scenes.

By the way, the universal opinion seems to be that the h-scenes are pretty awful and aren't worth wasting you money on.

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1 minute ago, Dreamysyu said:

Hmmm. I had no idea anything but the h-scenes was censored in the Steam version. I mean, I don't know how much they didn't show, and it's not like there's much of it, but I would be pretty pissed off if they censored some iconic scenes.

The post I read mentioned two scenes:

Spoiler

It said that the "Chomp" scene was not censored in any way, which assuming that's the scene where Marimo dies was pretty tame, albeit unexpected.  The other scene the post mentioned was "Twizzlers" which I assume I haven't gotten to yet.  It said that this scene was censored to not include gore or sexual assault.

It sounds to me like I'm not missing much, so thanks for the help.

7 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

By the way, the universal opinion seems to be that the h-scenes are pretty awful and aren't worth wasting you money on.

I have zero interest in h-content unless it provides some form of entertainment beyond being ero, the fact that I'd have to skip the h-scenes is the primary reason I haven't bothered with the patch.

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1 minute ago, GXOALMD said:

 

  Hide contents

It said that the "Chomp" scene was not censored in any way, which assuming that's the scene where Marimo dies was pretty tame, albeit unexpected.  The other scene the post mentioned was "Twizzlers" which I assume I haven't gotten to yet.  It said that this scene was censored to not include gore or sexual assault.

Spoiler

Oh, I'm not sure but I think I know what scene they are talking about. If I'm correct, then yeah, it's probably fine without it. The general opinion is that it's pretty unfitting anyway.

 

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10 hours ago, GXOALMD said:

The post I read mentioned two scenes:

  Reveal hidden contents

It said that the "Chomp" scene was not censored in any way, which assuming that's the scene where Marimo dies was pretty tame, albeit unexpected.  The other scene the post mentioned was "Twizzlers" which I assume I haven't gotten to yet.  It said that this scene was censored to not include gore or sexual assault.

It sounds to me like I'm not missing much, so thanks for the help.

I have zero interest in h-content unless it provides some form of entertainment beyond being ero, the fact that I'd have to skip the h-scenes is the primary reason I haven't bothered with the patch.

Ohh it's just the typical NTR corruption of main heroine. 

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I did it, i finished Evenicle, and for how fked up some scenes were... it had a really nice, satisfying and fulfilling end, also fucking loved all the lore dump that was done in the last 2 minutes of the game, so much info and all so fucking tantalizing. Overall even if some scenes were absolutely way too much for me, I'm glad I played it. It has some really nice art, the story is kinda nice, the girls are all likable, the protagonist too is a surprisingly likable guy, and the gameplay is even serviceable, I would recommend this to basically anyone with any sort of interest in VNs and Jrpgs,just be warned that this contains some really heavy materials not for the faint of heart, now for some spoilery talk 

Spoiler

My fav girl, by far the best girl, got it really bad. Man I felt so bad for Natal, she really didn't deserve her fate, I feel that she drew the shortest stick in the entire VN, also for Riches sister, that scene was so fked man but surprisingly I was really happy at the end of chapt 6, I didn't think she would get into the harem and I had a really bad feeling she was going to die but the ending to chapter 6 was basically the best possible outcome for her story arc. I am genuinely impressed with how that arc ended and how it washed away the bad taste in my mouth.

 

Also kinda sucks at the end for most of the girls, Aster just fucks off to another world and leaves them behind, what if he never comes back, I feel really bad for them.

I'm glad that I didn't read the spoiler that Ruberick gave in the thread I started, that would have probably turned me completely off and I would have never read this VN.

 

I often times feel like VN's really hold back their punches, it always feels like the creator is afraid to kill off character or hurt them to much, this one is the exact opposite, I feel like this one just likes to give out gut punch after gut punch, but even so this did not leave me with the same depression I felt when finishing Fate. Guess that means it has a lil bit of mercy in it at least.

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19 hours ago, GXOALMD said:
Spoiler

The other scene the post mentioned was "Twizzlers" which I assume I haven't gotten to yet.  It said that this scene was censored to not include gore or sexual assault.

 

Minor spoilers:

Spoiler

From what I recall, there was no gore in that scene, just sexual assault (if you can possibly use a word like "just" while talking about a scene like that).
Actually, I can't remember there being any gore in MLA at all other than in the chomp scene, unless you consider blood spatter to be gore, which I don't.

 

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40 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Minor spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

From what I recall, there was no gore in that scene, just sexual assault (if you can possibly use a word like "just" while talking about a scene like that).
Actually, I can't remember there being any gore in MLA at all other than in the chomp scene, unless you consider blood spatter to be gore, which I don't.

 

There's

Spoiler

Cat 50% off

I guess?

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Amber Quartz already managed to surprise me pretty hard :o When you read vndb summary and look at screenshots and (non-spoilery) tags, it looks like just another nakige/charage, focused on the themes of group of friends, memories, etc etc. And the beginning of the game seems to confirm this - it starts similarly to many other high-school romances. Also, just in line with summary, we see some of the MC's flashbacks from seven years ago, when he was playing with his group of friends, from whom he's been estranged later on. And now they (a bit unexpectedly) meet again. So far, pretty typical setup, and I actually liked it.

But then they

Spoiler

turn everything on its head and seem to go chuuni way already in the middle of the first chapter, when suddenly monsters appear, in this case the 異神 "Ijin" - "aliens" who are man-eating shape shifters / mimics. One of those eldritch abominations targets Nayuta - the MC's current almost-girlfriend, and disguises as her. And two of the MC's childhood friends (Miko-nee and Kyou) seem to be chasing and fighting those monsters.

That was totally unexpected, but now I am really curious what happens next.

Also, I love character designs - they have that classic 90s anime style.

BTW it seems to be pretty obscure VN, with only 18 votes on vndb, and, if memory serves, something like ~380 on EGS.

Edited by adamstan

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I've been a bit curious about this VN since you first mentioned it. I'm awfully tempted to click on that spoiler box, but I'm afraid it might lessen my own experience if I decide to read it. Any chance you can give some vague hints that don't give away too much?

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7 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

I've been a bit curious about this VN since you first mentioned it. I'm awfully tempted to click on that spoiler box, but I'm afraid it might lessen my own experience if I decide to read it. Any chance you can give some vague hints that don't give away too much?

By combining my knowledge of how storytelling works with my knowledge of how spoilers work, I've most likely inferred an appropriate hint: shit goes down.

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11 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Any chance you can give some vague hints that don't give away too much?

Hmm... how to say it without being too spoilery... there's more to this VN than SoL and romance. It kind of reminds me of first episode of Sailor Moon - you have your SoL, and then suddenly strange things start to happen, or, as @GXOALMD has put it - shit goes down ;)

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