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2 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Still, probably the weirdest route is Rin's. But Shizune's is close second.

 

When I replayed Katawa Shoujo, I recalled really not enjoying Rin's route the first time around, but having greatly enjoyed the common route scenes with her on my replay, I believed my tastes had changed and I'd greatly appreciate her route!

No. Uh... No. :(

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It was my least favorite route as well, even though it had many good elements.

My two favorite routes and heroines were, quite unsurprisingly, I guess, Lily and Hanako. After those two there would be Emi and Shizune, and then Rin in the last place.

Since each route had different writer (with the exception of Hanako's route sharing one of the writers with Lily's), it's no surprise that they're so different.

Edited by adamstan

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2 hours ago, adamstan said:

My two favorite routes and heroines were, quite unsurprisingly, I guess, Lily and Hanako. After those two there would be Emi and Shizune, and then Rin in the last place.

I second this.

I'd say Rin's route is either hit or miss; more so than any other route in Katawa Shoujo. The people who like it seem to really love it, but for everyone else, it ends up being pretty "meh". I think one of the main reasons is that a lot of people, myself included, find it a bit hard to relate to her personality and problems, which in turn makes it difficult to get truly immersed in the story.

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Memory's Dogma Code:01. And, honestly, the story is such a mess. The ideas behind the story are actually pretty cool, even if it quite clearly has a lot of inspirations from the SciAdv series, but the problem is that the story just feels completely random and is going nowhere. Well, at least the character art is pretty good.

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About Memory Dogma, well apparently they intend it as the first part so at least it's sort of justified that they didn't put enough focus on it (Apparently the ending is not resolving anything). I agree that the art is pretty good and that the cast is quite well known in anime, but it's just too bad that the developer decided to make this as episodic release, so we wouldn't get satisfying conclusion on this (Hopefully there'll be Memory Dogma part 2 in the future, even though I know that it'll take a long time to fulfill).

Edited by littleshogun

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Finished HoshiOri and it was not up my alley, unfortunately. I appreciate how much chemistry each heroine had with the protagonist and i really liked that the after stories actually felt important, but a lot of it felt like a bore to me. If you only care about aww-ing about the heroines' chemistries with the protagonist, i highly recommend it and i get why it had such high ratings, but it just wasn't for me.

Can't rank the heroines down because i felt all of them had about equal chemistry with the protagonist.

Ranking down routes: Sora>Rikka>Touko>Misa>Natsuki>Marika.

Edited by onorub

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Finished Danganronpa V3 two days ago and holy shit, I was NOT expecting that. The fun thing about Danganronpa is that even if you get spoiled on some things (and I end up getting spoiled even before I began playing it), it's still amazing to know how the murder was done and who did it (and why). Besides that, I kinda get why the ending has such a... split opinion (get it? get it?)

Spoiler

I mean, in a way, it isn't a satisfying ending, but hey, that's exactly what the characters wanted and what Kodaka probably wanted to tell everyone who doesn't Danganronpa to end: everything must end, and Danganronpa is done. I'm happy they ended it like that, although I would like to see the aftermath of the second game (more than what we got in the anime) and what really happened to the world... Nonetheless, it was a ending I enjoyed. Ah, just a little thought: you know what would be really awesome? Kaito actually being the mastermind. He has such potential! I mean, he is the bro character and your best friend, what better way to make a plot twist than that? I would love it so much! Also, I really liked the old (and possibly fake?) "pre-game" Shuichi and Kaito: Shuichi just gives me freaky vibes, which I love in a protagonist (honestly I would love to play a game in which we actually are the mastermind but we (the reader) don't know until the end); Kaito is an asshole and is the kind that would bully others, which I do not like but if he was actually like, the smart kind? I can appreciate that in a character (not irl, I'm not a fucking idiot)

 

Edited by Leonor
added the vndb link

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Like flanepaladin said, I already finished Kami no Rhapsody Lavirie's normal end. Still have no idea on how to reach true end, but perhaps I may miss one character interaction here. Also while you can still use magic, well you'll probably more focused on bring more ally in the battle and thus you forgot to use magic. Besides with the mana system in which the deployment cost did share same mana as the casting cost, I think you'll going to find yourself to mostly use spell as long range attack except for some circumstances (I rarely use area spell here by the way). That said, there's many way to play Rhapsody though as long as you remember some countermeasure for some certain battles. I'll give the tips for the hard boss here, and perhaps I'll try to play Mistoria's route later now that we have improved patch.

For the hard battle, I can only think Zelgain, final boss, and dragon zombie. I don't know a surefire trick to fight Zelgain, but at least I can suggest you to use Elgamisera to tank those annoying 85 HP mooks with Guts (Revived with 1 HP) at first stage of final battle, bring some characters (Liwo preferrably) with Pierce to attack the 2nd stage final boss that have -50 damage shield (And please remember that Lutriche/Ostinard here is have artifact, so at least she can tank some heavy attack), and feel free to use shield for final boss battle (Basically it only have very simple strong attack, and thankfully it have no Pierce ability or shield). For Dragon Zombie that mod Clephas did call as difficult boss, actually you can just make sure that Forzaslein can have 74 ATK to bring down those annoying undead in one turn because she have Purify Undead medal, while you have Liwo as main attacker with Pierce and Counterattack medal. They should equip the medal that can give two action per turn (Forzaslein with Killing Reaction and Liwo with Double Action), and with it the Dragon Zombie should be downed easily (I have more trouble with the mooks though).

To answer when we should do the grinding, I think it should be when things start to get harder. But in general you should do as little as possible in order to maximize rune gain, and for Deadbeat dungeon I should stressed that you should clear it at Chapter 9 when all members are available (Of course after clearing all the area). In case you still think that it's not enough, you didn't need to worry much because you can carry the current state to NG+ (Keep in mind though that you need to at least level Eld to level 20 in order to unlock another dungeon, which mean more medal and more runes). Oh and please remember weapon point that you can fill in order to increase the attack (10 points to ATK/MAG should be more than enough, and you'll be able to fill all of it if you fully clear all of the areas).

Edited by littleshogun

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So, I just finished Fata morgana no Yakata -Another Episodes-, but I was honestly a bit disappointed by it. It was supposed to tell the prelude of the main story in more detail, but some episodes felt far too stretched with nothing happening for an eternity and others which should have been of great importance were just left as a side note or not particular impactful. Several developments also felt a bit too artificially constructed for drama purposes.

I think the start was still good though and the episode with the old lord as shocking as it should be. But then more and more issues started to pile up:

Spoiler

Morgana's time at the brothel felt extremely stretched and Ceren got far too much attention for a character that wasn't all too important for the overall story. I also never felt a particular strong chemistry between Jacopo and Morgana.

The treachery of Gratien felt awfully constructed. He isn't the type to use poison and Jacopo beating him in poisoned state when he was probably not even actively traing anymore, was very odd. And that's not all, why was Gratien not promoted to head of the bodyguard after the revolt? New leaders usually try to surround themselves with their closest allies which is just natural and Gratien was perfectly fitting for that role. Jacopo being the only one from the whole revolt ascending to a new position felt very unrealistic.

The VN also presented Jacopo's reign as too black and white. He has only the best intentions and works hard 24/7, but people are just ungrateful and ignorant, making a lords change to a sadistic maniac pretty much 'inevitable'.

I was really looking forward to experience the scene, when the swordsman tried to free Morgana from slavery and ran amok, in more detail, but there was even less than in the main game.

After Morgana got free from slavery, she arrives at the witch's hut who had died 'very conveniently' right in time. It would have been more realistic if she would have been still alive to take Morgana in and teach her the basics of her job first. Morgana's self education felt a bit too far fetched.

And now my main complaint: Where was the rage of Morgana about the ultimate treachery of the man she thought to be her biggest ally - Jacopo?! With her last breath she should have been full of rage and hatred and spitting out a bloody curse to bring doom onto the whole city. Instead she didn't even recognize him and died almost 'peacefully'. This should have been the moment when a saint turns into an evil witch and there was literally nothing.

I guess part of my discontent might also be because Jacopo was the protagonist and I was never a big fan of him. But still, I think the main game showed much more effort and the story flow was more conclusive.

Overall rating 6/10

Edited by ChaosRaven

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I just finished Amber Quartz

I get the reasons why it might be not too popular, but for me it was great, and actually stands out among the VNs that I've read so far.

I think that one thing that hurts it might be actually... misleading marketing? I mean, judging from VNDB summary AND official developers page, it looks like pretty generic high-school moege, with added theme of memories, and the Protagonist with the troubled past TM;). What's more, it keeps up this disguise for first two or three hours nearly perfectly. However, considering the length of the whole game I think it won't be too big spoiler to say out loud that it's actually something quite different - since the end of the first chapter, action and fantasy kicks in (and also a bit of mystery I guess).

If I had to compare it to the things I watched and read, I'd say that it is a mix of KEY's classics - I see the influence of Little Busters (group of friends!), Clannad (family), AIR and Kanon in various parts - and(please don't laugh)...  Sailor Moon (!), when it comes to the action parts, and also the way it mixes action and fantasy fight plot with slice of life and comedy. Also when it comes to the design of the enemies/villains - they are more grotesque than genuily scary, just like the monsters in SM anime were. I guess that to appreciate it, you need similar level of naivety ;)Horror plotge veterans probably wouldn't enjoy it as much.

There is also quite decent romance added, but it definitely isn't main focus of the game, at least outside of the true route.

Characters were very likeable, and there were many emotional scenes, which often made me shed some tears. Also, I loved art style, especially character design. Music was pretty good as well, especially one of the battle themes.

So, after all, this VN was total surprise for me, as I expected something different, but it was a very welcome surprise :D

The story totally sucked me in. I sometimes dreamed about it, and kept wondering how will it unveil. I loved it. 8/10

Edited by adamstan

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It looks like I have some perverted attraction to ancient charage :P For my next read I picked up a 2003 one - Tenohira o, Taiyou ni. (After figuring out how to hook it - in this case AGTH is the only way)

It seems to have pretty good ratings on EGS, with the average score of 80. So far, it looks promising.

Initial setup (MC getting reunited with his estranged childhood friends) seems a bit similar to the Amber Quartz I've finished recently, but this is much older title. I was about to say that I feel some Yume Miru Kusuri vibes as well, but this title is also few years older than YMK. Let's just say that one of the MC's classmates looks like a prototype for YMK's Antoinette. Truly horrible person. Initial apatethic state of protagonist also reminds me of YMK a bit.

I'm really curious where will it all go.

 

BTW - I said that Amber Quartz looks unpopular with 370 votes on EGS. Certainly it isn't much when compared with top titles. But then, out of curiosity, I checked out EGS page for Princess Evangile.  Only 208 votes :o (and 2411 on VNDB, definitely thanks to translation). That shocked me a bit.

Edited by adamstan

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I'm reading Legend of Everything by Kidalang, the An Octave Higher people (you might want to check this one out at some point @Zakamutt). It starts like a silly isekai story observed from the perspective of a gameworld inhabitant, but then is basically turns into a giant lecture on the "universe is a simulation" thesis. By this virtue, it becomes a giant mindfuck and by the point I'm at now, it's scary with how logical its arguments are. I pretty much hate the 3D graphics in it, but reading it is still tons of fun if you enjoy this kind of infodumping and science discussion. It probably won't offer much new to anyone who is super into this topic, but for me it proved to be pretty captivating, and actually managed to tie together the scattered pieces of physics knowledge I've possessed before...

More educational than Go! Go! Nippon/10

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On 02/02/2020 at 9:36 PM, adamstan said:

It looks like I have some perverted attraction to ancient charage :P For my next read I picked up a 2003 one - Tenohira o, Taiyou ni. (After figuring out how to hook it - in this case AGTH is the only way)

It seems to have pretty good ratings on EGS, with the average score of 80. So far, it looks promising.

Initial setup (MC getting reunited with his estranged childhood friends) seems a bit similar to the Amber Quartz I've finished recently, but this is much older title. I was about to say that I feel some Yume Miru Kusuri vibes as well, but this title is also few years older than YMK. Let's just say that one of the MC's classmates looks like a prototype for YMK's Antoinette. Truly horrible person. Initial apatethic state of protagonist also reminds me of YMK a bit.

I'm really curious where will it all go.

 

BTW - I said that Amber Quartz looks unpopular with 370 votes on EGS. Certainly it isn't much when compared with top titles. But then, out of curiosity, I checked out EGS page for Princess Evangile.  Only 208 votes :o (and 2411 on VNDB, definitely thanks to translation). That shocked me a bit.

Bit off topic, but has there been any advancements in the machibe translation the last years? Last i used was vnr with atlas.

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3 hours ago, Stormwolf said:

Bit off topic, but has there been any advancements in the machibe translation the last years?

I don't know - I use hooking only to look up unknown words. I send captured text to Chiitrans, which works as a parser and dictionary - after hovering mouse cursor over the word it gives me dictionary entries for it. And that's all.

There probably have been some advancements in MTL, but it looks like not too much when it comes to Japanese. What I know is that Google Translate is still pretty bad with JP. (or rather unpredictable) Other free online services too. There are some people who swear by MTL (even on this forum...) and claim it's perfectly viable way to read untranslated JVNs, but I cannot agree with them.

I've heard that some of the recent Japanese hardware electronic dictionaries/translators give considerably better results than Google, but those things are pretty expensive, and of course unusable with VNs ;)

 

Edited by adamstan

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I just finished the demo for Marco & The Galaxy Dragon. The beginning reminds me a LOT about Guardians of the Galaxy, it's pretty fun. It's mostly comedy in a sci-fi world, but I'm feeling some drama to come. Ah, yeah, and for those looking for romance in this one... there isn't going to be any, at least that's what I get from the demo. Anyways, you should give this one a go! :D

I'm also going to read Kara no Shoujo, wish me luck haha

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14 hours ago, Leonor said:

I'm also going to read Kara no Shoujo, wish me luck haha

I highly recommend to you to read Cartagra ~Tsuki kurui no Yamai~ before you start Kara no Shoujo.

I started to read Kara no Shoujo recently and it's very interesting to see the characters from the previous VN in that one.

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8 hours ago, Stormwolf said:

A true a shame. I love guardianf of the galaxy and scigi in general, but japanese all girl cast??? *barf* just cutesy cuties being cutesy cute *barf*

I liked that they didn't focus on the romance part, but yeah, I would like some guys as well lol I really liked Little Busters for that reason (Masato best boi) and I have a feeling I'll also enjoy Majikoi when I finally read it c: at least they didn't show much fanservice on this one! (I think...?)

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20 minutes ago, GXOALMD said:

These exist?  How do I find or make one?

I found some that exist in podcast format, but I made one on a discord server c: Idk about others tho
I'd recommend this podcast to listen to, I like it a lot! :D besides, it's one of the only that is still running, oof-

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So, I finally decided to clean up my VN library and read all those VNs that I got on sales or in bundles ages ago and never played. As a result, I finally got to Alice in Dissonance titles. fault milestone one was one of the first VNs I bought on Steam, back in 2016, and while I liked the first 20 minutes of the game that I saw during my play test back then, but for some reason I never finished the game till now.

Overall, the fault series was pretty different from what I expected judging by these first twenty minutes. If I had to describe this series in a few words, I'd say, it's an episodic fantasy with heavy focus on characters and drama. What I personally found rather impressive about these games is how well they use CGs and visual effects in certain scenes to make them look really dynamic. In my opinion, it's really impressive that a doujin VN manages to use its graphics a lot more consistently and more creatively than many high-profile titles. The quality of the art itself, however, is a bit inconsistent. Overall it's pretty standard anime-style drawings, and there are some minor characters who look a bit strange, but, overall, it's pretty detailed, and there are some pictures that look really beautiful. Also, the first game got a major graphics update in 2018, so now it's one of the few VNs in 4K resolution.

However, if we exclude the graphics, there are some minor flaws that I would expect from a doujin game. First of all, there are no voices. I personally don't consider it a major flaw and believe that some VNs actually work better without voices, but it may be crucial for some people. Secondly, while I personally didn't dislike the music, its usage in the game wasn't ideal. Some songs were looping with very small interval and it was very irritating. Also, there are some melodies that may sound well on their own, but, I believe, don't fit well in a visual novel because they distract from reading. Finally, it's not very important, but the opening song is kind of... meh, if you ask me.

As for the story, the first half of milestone one is mostly focused on introducing the setting and important characters. Which leads me to the biggest complaint I have with this game - the first half is basically just one massive infodump. I mean, I understand that it's necessary evil because of the episodic nature of the series, and they tried to include the infodumps more naturally in the dialogues, but I still can't help but think it could be done even more subtly. There were some occasional small details in the story that, I felt, either didn't make much sense or could be done a bit better. Other than that, I don't really have any complaints about the story at all. As it shifted from the worldbuilding more toward character drama in the second half of the game, it got a lot more interesting. The last quarter is especially cool. All the little details actually come together in the final reveal, and overall the conclusion felt pretty emotional to me, just like it was supposed to feel. Overall, I'd give this game a solid 7/10.

 

fault milestone two (side: above) is pretty similar to the first game that there's little to add. Still, many small details were definitely improved. There's no problems with the music. Actually, I can say that I liked the soundtrack in this VN. In my opinion, the general quality of writing also improved. There are no infodumps, and all the new information is introduced naturally in the story. The visual effects are used even better than in the first VN, especially since there's a bit more action (though it's still not the focus). The overall pacing of the story is also pretty great. Though, I suspect it may be a problem on my side, but I personally had some annoying stability issues in the second half of the VN. It really didn't help the emotional impact of the final scene that I had to replay the whole scene four or five times simply because it was constantly crashing. Still, I don't think I've seen anyone complain about having any similar problems with this VN, so most likely I just finally need to buy a proper desktop PC instead of my three-year-old laptop.

The only major complaint I have with the game is that, well, it's incomplete. As you can probably guess from the title, this game is something like a half of the second episode in the story rather than a proper episode. Excluding the overarching story that started in fms1 and will probably continue before the last episode assuming that we actually get to the last episode eventually, there are two major plot threads that started in this episode, and while one of these threads comes to the proper emotional conclusion, the other is completely left hanging. Well, it's a pretty obvious thing to expect from an episodic release. Still, I can't really give it anything higher than 7.5/10 for now. I will probably raise it after side: below is released. Though, it seems like they are going to release the prequel to the first game first, and, after massive delays, it will probably come out this year, so I'm not really expecting the continuation for another two or three years.

Just for the record, the trailer to fstp looks pretty amazing!

 

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Mhakna Gramura and Fairy Bell is quite an interesting... experience. It's written more like a children's story book, though there is a bit of a twist in the last quarter of the VN. It's also fairly short: it took me just two hours to finish the whole VN. Overall, you can definitely read it even if you didn't read the main fault series since it's pretty standalone. Well, it's interesting example that VN format works even for something so vastly different from the usual galge and otomege. I gave it 8/10 on VNDB, but, honestly, due to the nature of this VN, I don't think like rating it even makes much sense.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the later fault titles. I can't really say this was the most impressive VN series I've read at this point, but it has good potential, and I still enjoyed it a lot.

~~~~

Now, let's see what Kindred Spirits of the Roof is about.

PS. Also, I stalled Baldr Sky for now. I don't know, I just can't make myself enjoy this VN for some reason. I'll return to it eventually and at least force myself to finish the first route, but I don't know when it will happen.

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