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Slowly slogging through Robotics;Notes, took me literally like a week just to do Phase 1 lol. I'm a huge slacker sorrz

Thoughts/First Impressions:

The 3D sprites + animations take some time to get used to. It's kind of like when you first red Steins;gate and it might've taken you some time to get used to the watercolory artstyle. Doesn't help that the N.Switch has some anti-aliasing issues compared to all the other versions (rip). But it eventually grows on you/you get used to it.

Spoiler

d5fMnYA.jpgDon't mind the horizontal bars/videotapey look of this screenshot, this is a result of free-viewing the world through the ingame phone app IRUO or whatever. But the jaggy lines/antialiasing issue that plague Akiho's sprite is indeed a flaw that only apparently only exists on the N.Switch version.

Also, huge oversight by the devs, only for this particular pose of Akiho where she is leaning forward, when you look downward: 

Spoiler

EDq69Rv.jpg

 LOL

...I already miss YU-NO soundtracks. Stuff from the 1990s just had more identity and flavor. Everything in Robotics;Notes so far is forgetful generic elevator-tier sounding.  

Story takes a bit to take off, then again I'm barely starting Phase 2 so I'm probably speaking waaay too soon. I think it's the general overall premise/initial hook. Steins;Gate's premise was time travel. Intriguing. Chaos;Child was murder mystery supernatural. Interesting. Robotic;Notes? High school robot competitions. The main heroine Akiho is the genki-hardheaded-charge-towards-your-dreams-full-speed-ahead type but she just wants to do too much/has pretty unrealistic goals. Then we have the protagonist Kaito who doesn't help either with him being 100% disinterested in the Robotics Club (and being quite vocal about it too). He's more into his online pvp game KILL-BALLAD, where he ranks #5 in Japan. He sticks with Akiho though because they're childhood friends/the two need to watch over each other because of their Fast Forward and Slo-mo handicaps. On the plus side, the duo do have excellent dynamics and so far its a pleasure to see them interact with each other.

One of the great things about the Sci-ADV series is their continuity: R;N literally gives you a glimpse of 1.048596 in the opening, and you'll get a famous one liner about eyes pretty early on. Lovely callbacks, though I hope R;N can hold its own and not overly rely on the glory of its earlier siblings.


~~
Since it's ROBOTICS;notes-> Robotics-> technology, the devs got a bit more creative with the level of technological interactivity in the world you can have via Kaito's PhoneDroid/smartphone. Whereas in S;G you were limited to receiving and replying to texts only when the narrative demanded it, in R;N there is a barebones Twitter replica called Twipo that adds a hearty amount of flavor to the entirety of the cast/plot/setting via the characters twipping about their lives and ongoing events day by day, and Kaito can even reply to a handful of those twips. It's one of the things R;N does well and it makes the world feel alive:

Slight character reveal spoiler (though you learn their identity within a couple hours of meeting them so it's not too bad of a spoiler):

Spoiler

uK1BiFA.jpg

SoKieGP.jpg

I find myself checking Twipo often just to see characters' thoughts, it's a really nifty supplemental content idea.

Btw, Frau def is topping the first impression best girl charts, her online speech reminds me a bit of how I type on these forums sometimes lel. Fking millennials Gen-Z 

 

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Chaos;Head, on my way reading through the series (I already read Steins;Gate and 0 a while back).

Spoiler

It was pretty good, I get a lot of the decisions they made though the more focus on fantasy definitely makes it stand out compared to Steins;Gate and the first half of Robotics;Notes that I've read so far.

What started out as a simple murder mystery, I already knew was going to develop into much more. There of course was going to be some grand conspiracy plot in it, and really it was just figuring out what that was. At some point, several chapters in, I kind of stopped caring about that aspect though. They were definitely alluding to it throughout, but it took backseat to the absolute trainwreck of a person that the protagonist was. This aspect of the story was both a big problem for it, but also it's greatest strength. We experienced his mental state and just how fucked he felt first hand because of how much focus was put on the isolation of the character. It wouldn't be strange to say that the first 3-4 chapters, 75%+ of it is spent with the main character alone and no other characters on screen  or in the conversation. It helped bring to life the isolation and just how alone he was. Not knowing what was real either, never knowing if we could trust our narrator or what was going on around him. Was he the killer? Why was he being targeted? Did he have precognition? Or was it some sort of other power? I do think that this piece drags on for too long, our main character ultimately ends up passive and without agency for almost the entire first 9 chapters. The only time he does something of his own will is when he goes to save Nanami on the rooftop. 

Every character he met betraying him at some point further built upon the isolation our protagonist had, and I definitely felt the weight of it each time. This was probably the crux of what made the main character's paranoia and otherwise inability to do anything on his own bearable. That it really did seem like everyone was out to get him. It made it at least somewhat believable that despite all these people who could help explain the situation of things to him, that had these weird powers around him that he knew about. It was annoying and frustrating because of how long this dragged on, but at least it was understandable to a degree from the perspective of our protagonist.

I think where the plot really fell flat however was in taking so long to make some major plot reveals. It wasn't until late in the game that we started learning all the heroine's back stories, and learning more about just who our protagonist was. I feel this needed to be sprinkled in more, because it made the visual novel very distinctive. A lot of the scifi elements were dropped at this point and it became far more fantastical as the truths began to reveal, too, which isn't a bad thing, just an observation. The growth of our main character I feel should have came sooner, or been more built up on. Because they literally broke him before he suddenly gained the power to become better, and we only get to see this transformed protagonist for the last 3 hours of a 30 hour experience. And even in that time he is getting broken again for a duration of it. 

On the topic of the heroines, I thought they were all really well fleshed out and enjoyable. I read more into their routes and saw them develop more from those, which were sad but I got a better understanding of just how messed up and broken everyone was. I felt Yua's awakening was pointless, just a bit of fan service perhaps but really no reason for it. Or because 'we need the 7 swords' even though none of them really help in the ending. Which also didn't make the most sense. Sena at least should have been able to come along and help fight. 

Overall I really liked it anyway, it does what it wants to well even if it goes overboard with it. I wish there was more to these characters and their story, Love Chu Chu isn't translated though and any other appearance they make seem to be minor. I don't expect much expanded media for them either simply due to this being the first and somewhat forgotten of the series (no translation beyond the fan one).



 

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Okay, so I've been reading Air on and off for a while now, but my in-game saves keep disappearing (the actual files are still on my hard drive) so I have to start over and skip through the entire game (several routes in succession at this point) every time I want to continue, and it's driving me more than a little nuts. Basically, I'm leaning towards playing the PSP version instead in order to avoid this issue for the rest of the game, but I read a comment from some dude claiming that there are some h-scenes in the PC version that are somehow relevant to the plot. Considering how Key's h-scenes usually are, I was like:

cM7f7W.png

Was that dude, against all odds, right or can I safely move on over to the PSP version without missing anything of worth?

Also, since I'm posting in this thread anyway, I'll go ahead and make some quick comments on VNs I've finished lately.

Umineko
Yeah, I made a couple of posts before with theories in them, but the story and all of its parts are of such a large scale that I simply lost the energy to keep writing about it. To sum everything up, the VN was pretty great, although it didn't quite live up to my expectations. There were a lot of things that were a bit too vague for my tastes, like the fact that

Spoiler

Sayo, in the fall from the cliff, damaged her genitals to the point where she'd never be able to have sexual relations or bear a child, or the fact that she never grew breasts and are instead wearing pads while being Shannon. This stuff was explained clearly in the manga, which I've read some of after finishing the VN, but in the latter case, there's only some passing comment about Sayo not being fit for a family life, which I just interpreted as a part of the constant "I'm furniture" talk.
I find it really weird that they weren't more clear on this matter in the VN, considering it's arguably one of the most vital clues to why Sayo becomes and acts the way she does.

I expect that this and a lot of other stuff you learn over the course of the game will make me see things in a completely different light if I decide to spend another 100+ hours on rereading Umineko sometime.

City of Broken Dreamers: Book One
A lot more interesting and enjoyable than Depraved Awakening, both in terms of characters and story. It obviously kinda sucks that it's a work in progress and that I'll have to wait for the continuation, but I'm glad that it was a good enough experience to actually make me hyped about the next part.

IxSHE Tell
More or less exactly what I expected it to be; a decently fun slice of life VN with a bunch of heroines that were assertive to a satisfying extent compared to a lot of other VNs. The only thing that caught me off-guard was that

Spoiler

Kasumi turned out to be a malicious person. She was among my favorites during the common route, but after finding out how she planned to make Hajime fall in love with her only to then break his heart as some sort of deranged attempt at revenge for something he wasn't even at fault for, she dropped to the bottom of my list. Actually, she shouldn't even get to be part of the list, since that could be interpreted as me thinking she's almost on par with Ayaka, who I'd rank as number 4, which isn't true.

 

Edited by Seraphim

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11 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

there are some h-scenes in the PC version that are somehow relevant to the plot.

It's been a lot of time since I read Air so maybe I just don't remember it right, but I'm pretty sure they weren't particularly relevant, and some of them were even unfitting. I mean, Air is the VN where h-scenes were literally added to the script after it was already completed since the authors weren't sure if it would sell without them.

23 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Umineko

  Hide contents

Sayo, in the fall from the cliff, damaged her genitals to the point where she'd never be able to have sexual relations or bear a child, or the fact that she never grew breasts and are instead wearing pads while being Shannon. This stuff was explained clearly in the manga, which I've read some of after finishing the VN, but in the latter case, there's only some passing comment about Sayo not being fit for a family life, which I just interpreted as a part of the constant "I'm furniture" talk.
I find it really weird that they weren't more clear on this matter in the VN, considering it's arguably one of the most vital clues to why Sayo becomes and acts the way she does.

Spoiler

Yeah... To be honest, I'd also prefer if it was better explained in the VN. I mean, I get why the author decide to skip it, and it's more or less possible to understand that if you analyze the text very carefully... but, I don't know, I just can't say that I like the fact that such an important piece of character development was completely omitted.

PS. After you finish the whole VN, that scene it episode 1 where Battler almost groped Shannon gets a completely different meaning, doesn't it?

 

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30 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:
Spoiler

PS. After you finish the whole VN, that scene it episode 1 where Battler almost groped Shannon gets a completely different meaning, doesn't it?

 

Spoiler

Yeah, in addition to "Confessions of the Golden Witch", I've read some chapters from episode 1 of the manga, and that particular scene made me uncomfortable and feel really bad for Shannon now that I know all about her circumstances. I imagine there's a lot of other dialogue and events that are emotionally painful for her but you as a reader don't have any way to pick up on the first time you read the story.
Since I won't be rereading the VN anytime soon, I think I'm going to continue reading the manga instead to get some perspective on things.

 

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9IuAqsU.jpg

Hoh... didn't feel like I slogged through 20 hours on this VN so far, actually feels like < 10, I swear, my playtime is probably inflated because I'd get sidetracked and leave my Switch idling with the VN running or something. idk. But I refuse to believe it's been that long..!!

I'm assuming Nae's route is kind of like a common route ending type of route, because that ended WAAAY too abruptly lol I was legit confused and had the biggest "that's it??" ever when I saw the credits rolling. Plotwise it still feels like I'm only ~50% through the common route, I mean I only had 3/7 Kimijima Reports and there was still a whopping 6 months to go until the Robot Expo that Kaito and friends were preparing for, but then Kaito all of a sudden gets the hots for Nae (I don't blame him, she really grew up fine lol), yada yada oo la la, gg ez, rollcredits.

That being said I have no idea what triggers routes and whatnot, so guess I'll have to do some research.. Hope it's nothing too complicated like Steins;gate's systematic text message responses. God help me if it's based on TWIPO replies or something.

E: fk me, they are. How the hell do devs actually expect people to find their way blind through routes in all honesty..

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17 hours ago, Eclipsed said:

E: fk me, they are. How the hell do devs actually expect people to find their way blind through routes in all honesty..

trial and error? I mean, I think that's basically how you should play this kind of games [of course, nobody does that]. There are vns that are way easy to go through, and the choices are more oriented towards specific story moments rather than to confuse the player. Idk how this one is, but if it's like Steins;Gate, well, I don't know the answer - that was impossible.

Edited by Silvz

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Read Iwaihime over the last few days, and while the horror element was solid although a little underwhelming imo, what broke me was the epilogue (?) with its wrestling and pool scenes.

Spoiler

20201027224454_116juu.jpg

 

Edited by alpacaman

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I'm currently playing Majikoi A-1 | Nekopara, When i finish the Majikoi series i'm going to start reading Umineko (Took me a while to realise that the game was on steam :meguface: )

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Ehehehehe that's a legit 37 hours 37 minutes and 37 seconds playtime, though i waited for a minute or two for the timer to reach those 37 seconds

WErEcVr.jpg

 

Let's start off with my favorite R;N track:

Definitely a tune that I felt gave R;N its own identity, especially when it starts ramping up past the 1:00 mark.
 

Hrmmm, mixed feelings about this one. Robotics;Notes is definitely on the "it's good, but kinda lacking if you compare it to Chaos;Child & Steins;Gate", as much as I shouldn't compare this to its siblings, and I agree with VNDB's R;N getting 7.5 average versus C;C's 8.0+ and S;G's 9.0+ average ratings.

I think it has to do with the overall atmosphere/tone: we kind of have grown to expect the science adv series to be this mature, plot conspiracy heavy pseudoscience funtimes with quirky characters, and Robot;Notes is MOSTLY that, but ultimately they made R;N to be the more LIGHTHEARTED entry in the series, and lighthearted doesn't really work well when you're trying to write about world ending conspiracies and whatnot. Don't get me wrong, things will get dark come lategame, but they never really get TOO dark/bleak like they do in S;G and C;C. It kind of feels restrained, held back, like they went for PG-13 instead of R.

Which is mainly due to the Robotics High School Club setting, and Akiho being the main heroine and having the classic genki/optimistic/passionate template. Would've been nice if they tried to give her some heroic BSODs to overcome, but nahhh she's too strong for that

vr977hn.jpg

Power of friendship will trump over all!

Honestly felt like power rangers good vs evil levels of cheesiness sometimes. Exacerbated by Akiho's love of the ingame fictional anime about robot justice called Gunvarrel that she will constantly blabber about in your face. The good vs evil black and whiteness come lategame is so cheesy that I even felt like the big baddies of the science ADV were a bunch of chumps and not intimidating anymore, despite them coming up with technically an even grander more dire conspiracy this time around, yet they were for sure HELLA intimidating with their antics in S;G. How the mighty have fallen..

Still overall an enjoyable VN. I usually can grow to love all the characters and these guys are no exception, though they are indeed a very quirky bunch and sometimes you just go "how the heck did these guys all end up together". But yeah 90% of the plot is literally just Kaito YOLO following Akiho's immature unpractical shenanigans for robots (can literally rename the VN "Akiho's Robotics Adventures") with some bits of conspiracy unravelling scattered throughout eventually culminating into we'll-beat-the-baddies-and-save-the-world-power-of-friendship-style! It's a bit hilarious because come lategame you can actually have Kaito be like "yo sorry Aki, I've been following you and your shenanigans all this time, but now I'm tired of it all bb cya" and get a badend.

One thing I'll have to reiterate that I believe R;N does extremely well is having the ingame tweeting system that you can look up on a daily basis to get character reactions to daily events. They even went above and beyond and you can unlock certain very familiar names to follow and get their reactions to events, something I'm sure fans can appreciate:

Spoiler

oIHvuiu.jpg

 

RDbT2YK.jpg

 

lcoMgF9.jpg

Kurigohan and Kamehameha <33333333



~~~
Also, started Robotics;Notes DaSH. Hmmm, having a sequel with a set-insameuniverse-prequel character as one of the main characters? I don't know if that's a clever way of writing or if it's just a "let's ride off of the popularity of a prior work!" but I guess we shall see...

2sHEamS.jpg

Btw, I see why you prefer 2D over 3D now, Daru. You look absolutely terrible with a 3D sprite. Revert back to 2D pls.

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How much repeating content is there to skip through in R;N? I've heard that the skip function is broken, at times not skipping already read text while other times skipping unread text when it shouldn't, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to manually sort through all the repeating dialogue in each subsequent playthrough just to make sure I don't miss anything.
It was extremely annoying in Baldr Sky, but I'm assuming it shouldn't be quite as bad here since this VN is much shorter.

Edited by Seraphim

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R;N is pretty much linear, so the only time you'll have to repeat content is to make the choices to lock yourself into a heroine "route" (which can all be done from literally a single save point)

The heroine "routes" branch off from the main route

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Wow , It's been two years since I was in this forum.. 
nanairo-reincarnation-3.jpg

welp, rn playing something popular months ago, Nanairo Reincarnation ... just late to play because of works...
anyway... When I just on half-step (?) on common route. I can tell this VN got some quite nice comedy (personal opinion)
and Of course...this funny shit make ......

Spoiler

worst after-taste when we got twist
which make my heart crying more


I mean, this damn vn written by maeda junior or something ? well not something I can compare with Clannad and pals. But come ooooooooon.... 

When I know the plot is eternal-living youkai as heroine, I can mostly guess what thing make this VN sad (hell yeah, I got mild spoiler from friend so that's why I know it would be sad) And....so I thought I've been prepared for worst... BUT WHAT THE HECK, This thing just got me .... Even template plot can't make this less ....

Well... after all , no regret, This thing very nice... yep... I just masochist with nakige lately so don't mind me ....

Edited by Orakana Newbie

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Alright, I'm reading Iwaihime and I've read the first 4 chapters. So far, I would give it a solid 6/10...

SPOILER-FREE
Negatives:

  •  each chapter follows a very predictable storyline and pattern which gets boring after a while;
  • the plot is too fast for me to get attached to any of the characters and the horror element is very affected because of it;
  • I was expecting more gore, especially in the second chapter... since the graphics are the best element, I wanted for the vn to show the gore, not tell :ganbarimess: ugh...
  • The voice acting isn't the best and the comedy sounds too forced, especially because of the fast pace. It's hard for me to enjoy it because I just can't get attached to the characters;
  • The protagonist is very assertive, sure, but other than that, he is just so bland and protagonisty lol

Positives:

  • the graphics!! Honestly, this was exactly what drew me in when it first released in Japanese besides being from Ryuukishi; yes, there are some derpy CGs and sprites, but overall, I really enjoy to look at the art :abilove:
  • the mystery isn't a super positive point, as it isn't as intriguing as I was expecting it to be, but it's still making me interested enough to keep me reading!

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Well, I'm also playing Iwaihime, though, as far as I understand, I only just finished chapter 1. And, to be honest, I'm not entirely convinced about this VN so far. The very first scene was pretty well done and overall disturbing, but after that it kind of got kind of cheesy. The horror scenes after that aren't particularly impactful, since they just don't feel real to me, which reminds me of my experience with Phenomeno. I don't know, I hope I'm wrong, but this may just turn into an inferior version of Higurashi.

At the same time, I am moderately intrigued by where this whole mess is going. From what I understand, while the scenario for this VN is written by Ryukishi, the original idea isn't actually his, so I don't really know if I can use my experience with his previous VNs to make assumptions. That said, I do seem to recognize certain hints here and there, but they may just be red herrings.

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I just finished Steins;Gate even though I never thought I'd like it, because I don't liked the Anime back then, but was really good. Now I play Hoshizora no Memoria - Wish upon a shooting star, which is surprisingly good so far, but at the beginning "Mare" the mysterious girl is really annoying, guess I'll like her later on when I get to her Route. After that I plan to get back into Monobeno, I like the setting of it, and I am still surprised nobody translated it yet despite being much better than Maitetsu. 

Edited by ParanoidGegnar

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Currently addicted to "Obey Me!". Also playing "Samurai Love Ballad Party", "Wizardess+", "Gossip School", and "Twilight School" on my phone.

As for my PC, I'm currently playing quite a few including "Backstage Pass" and "Dream Daddy". 

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Playing Aonatsu Line. Giga games rarely surprise me but aonatsu line surprised me by just being normally good and pulling off tropes i normally see. What I really am surprised about Aonatsu Line is the male side character Chihiro, IT IS INCREDIBLY RARE AS HELL FOR ANY school life romcoms in VN to have cool and reliable male side characters that fulfill the typical best friend roles ( while also having a sprite). Its a big positive thing for me if a male side character in a school life romcom vn is not incredibly perverted, exist only to make the protag look better in comparison, and doesn't really have any redeeming qualities and is used only for laughs.

Im only a few hours in but color me surprised

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