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Alrighty, it's posting time! I'm going to finish Iwaihime until this weekend, but so far I've read Kanae's and Riria's routes and I'm currently reading Kiko's. 

Well... It's not getting any better. To be honest, the only reason I haven't dropped it already is because I'm reading this for my vn club, so I do want to discuss it with the people there, even if it's to complain lol

Kanae's Route: Hum... This one was just weird, I guess. I don't know, I just noticed that the thing that made me really want to stop reading is the pacing, again. Well, it's not like this problem would disappear from one part of the game to the other. 

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I gotta say tho, the family thingy did hit home. Not because of Minobe's financial problems, but the feeling of wanting to leave the house and cut your ties to that toxic environment. The way this Tanaka guy said that family is everything really pissed me off. As someone who learned from very early on not to expect love from "family", that's totally bullshitery, but oh well, it's just fiction lol

Riria's Route: In a nutshell, can Lily just fuck off?

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Nah, but really, other than that, it followed the same formula as always... problem is presented > tragedy > protagonist saves the day.

Oh yeah, that metaphor for sex was really something, huh.... cute moans, Suzumu. Heh. :ren:

I'm still reading Kiko's but man, this is going to be one heck of a route... Sexism and traditional gender roles: the route! Oh boy, I can't wait! :ganbarimess: Hahaha... haha... ha...

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As soon as I finish this one, I'll start the zero escape games aaa I can't wait!

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guys I solved it I solved it, I finally know why mmorpgs make female armor so skimpy     Sharty's face is just priceless

Picked up, or rather finally started Ace Attorney trilogy on my 3DS. Finished the first game, in the middle of Ep1 of the 2nd game, which is atm a shame because i expected Phoenix to start off veteran

Only for H-scenes. Edit: Most VNs have some kind of flash or pause that occurs at the end of h-scenes... it isn't always obvious, but once you've picked up the knack for it, it is easy to stop th

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THAT IS THE CHOICE OF STEINS;GATE!


I think what holds R;N back is that it's the entry where the writers start trying to tie the whole SciADV series together, so R;N doesn't have as much standalone oomph like C;C or S;G did. Kept having to refer to the good ol' times and how badass prior protagonists are. But I get what they're trying to do. It'll be interesting to see what future titles have in store in the ongoing battle against the C of 3 times 10^2. I would've preferred that they did new scientific standalone titles with occasional references to the past like they've been doing, but it looks like they're gonna all in go for a mega ongoing saga that adds to the cast. Guess we'll see what happens in Anonymous;Code one day.

R;N was decent overall. But again, lack of standalone oomph. There were a lot of interesting story/character concepts presented in both entries that went absolutely no where, writers couldn't commit what the hell they wanted to do. AIri felt criminally underused despite playing such a key role during the Kimijima Ko report hunt saga then she just becomes a demoted-to-onii-chan-spamming-extra, though her DaSH route was rather enjoyable with the 'what if she was in her 20s' scenario. Jun's karate thing never develops despite it being 90% of her screentime and instead they just settle for her finally gaining some self confidence. I don't think Frau ever even got closure regarding the reason she came to Tanegashima, and her DaSH route offered nothing to her character and was mostly just for BL service. Idk, majority of the characters just feel like "why are they even here"? but the VN still tries to paint everyone as having this unbreakable bond with each other. Slomo and Fastforward were cool character concepts but nope didn't do jack with them either.

Akiho x Kaito was done well at least. It was pretty much the only thing that I was interested in reading about for DaSH. I loved the whole "we were inseparable childhood friends all the way through high school, then in the 6months between R;N and R;NDaSH, somehow everything's awkward now between us, wtf happened?!" plot point. Sometimes that's just how life works. 

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just wanted to be in the page 666

I've been playing Adabana Odd Tales for a very long time - unfortunately, my job is cosuming my free time - and I must say that the game is AMAZING, and it shocks me that no one seems to be/have been talking about it. It was released alongside ATRI, and it has Liar-soft all over it [obviously].

I've also decided to finally go back to playing Corpse Party after leaving it some years ago unfinished.

Aaaand although not a VN, I've been playing Yuppie Psycho on switch [which is also available for pc]. Seriously, you guys should try it!

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7 hours ago, Silvz said:

I've been playing Adabana Odd Tales for a very long time - unfortunately, my job is cosuming my free time - and I must say that the game is AMAZING, and it shocks me that no one seems to be/have been talking about it. It was released alongside ATRI, and it has Liar-soft all over it [obviously].

I was going to write about Adabana after I finish it, which is going to take some time since I was going through it very slowly and currently I completely switched to Iwaihime. But, yeah, it's pretty good. Especially the art and the music. As for the story, it's interesting, but I'll judge it after I complete the whole game, I guess.

As for Iwaihime, I'm currently at chapter 3, (yeah, I'm still slow) and it seems to be slowly getting better, even though the horror parts are still pretty disappointing. On the other hand, Ryukishi was always pretty good at writing character drama, so it could work in the end after the meaning of the horror parts becomes more clear.

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What a nice page number that we have lol. That aside, since I'm not particularly playing anything yet I'll just comment about Robotic Notes here. I know that DaSH here did offer some nice plot, although to me it's just undermined by the presence of Daru as the MC. I mean sure Daru here is a good character in Steins Gate, but as far as he become the MC let's just say that I prefer them to have Kaito as the only MC. Sure the people may like his presence so I can't exactly says it's a bad thing, although if a series or VN decided to make a crossover it could be signify that the company here is pretty much quite desperate and it shows with Robotic Notes seeing that they need to ask Daru to become the MC, and after I scanned some of DaSH playthrough I think they don't really need Daru to be the MC at all seeing that Kaito can still fulfill his role to be the MC because Daru didn't really interact much with Robotic Notes casts from what I see. Yes I know that DaSH here is meant for 'Daru Super Hacker', although once again it's pretty much a desperate attempt to grab some attention from the fans by blatantly slap the unrelated characters nickname in the sequel.

I guess in the end I can only say that my reaction with crossover would be quite complicated, because I always think that it should be okay as long as it's not in canon series and yet I didn't find it okay if the company decided to do it. I know that the staffs here want to make the heroes prepared themselves for their eventual confrontation with a mysterious and ambiguous group (C of 3 times 10 squared) so that the crossover would obviously inevitable, but I felt that rather than set them as threatening currently I can only see them as the plot device to keep the player to pay attention to the series with the promise that the staffs will eventually have them defeated along with give the excuse for the need of crossover (Especially in DaSH). If the staffs just want to make it as ambiguous threat and not to be defeated, I prefer them to not refer it at all although then again it would allow the staffs to easily explain on why some villain need to be evil (Because they can just use the excuse of them being the member of committee), so I sort of understand on why the staffs keep the ambiguous villain group there (Even though I didn't quite like it).

Anyway my rambling aside, I think Robotic Notes here should be good enough to be standalone. Granted that there's Nae who is basically Steins Gate character, but at least she's just a side character in there as well (She's very good looking if I may honest). Also I know that Steiner did say that the final arc for DaSH is a good one, although I can also said that it's similar to Chu Chu series (Pseudo sequel for both of Chaos series) in that it's a series that have fanservice filled and then ended with a serious plot, and it shouldn't be a coincidence that the main writer for DaSH here is also the one who write Chu Chu series.

Edited by littleshogun
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21 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

I was going to write about Adabana after I finish it, which is going to take some time since I was going through it very slowly and currently I completely switched to Iwaihime. But, yeah, it's pretty good. Especially the art and the music. As for the story, it's interesting, but I'll judge it after I complete the whole game, I guess.

As for Iwaihime, I'm currently at chapter 3, (yeah, I'm still slow) and it seems to be slowly getting better, even though the horror parts are still pretty disappointing. On the other hand, Ryukishi was always pretty good at writing character drama, so it could work in the end after the meaning of the horror parts becomes more clear.

Took one look at that. Romancing a loli? Hard pass indeed.

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Okay, Iwaihime is FINISHED! :haha: Finally... It's been 84 years-- erm, anyways!

Kiko's Route: erm... it was different, for sure. I felt grossed out by that scene, but it was on the same level as the other routes. I'm glad it wasn't too heavy on the "perfect wife" thing and that it had an actual explanation as to why she went through those phases of hers. 

Spoilers for the true ending and the extra chapter:

Spoiler

The true ending was... meh. I expected it, I just didn't expect Suzumu to die lol Seeing his funeral was interesting until he "woke up", sigh, why can't protagonists stay dead? I want them to suffer nyehehehe :ganbarimess: Anyways, I really hated the SoL part at the end, it was really boring; the dying (again) scene was unexpected for me because I didn't think they'd do the same thing twice but then again, the whole game was kinda like this. I gotta say tho, the extra chapter was the most interesting one in the entire game. I'm still a little confused by the whole mess of a story, but man, Hinagata's haunting and delusions were really good, I liked my inital shock when I discovered it was reality. I hate people already, if I realized it wasn't a haunting I'd give them a few punches lmao

I'd still give it a 6/10... maybe a 7/10 for the extra chapter alone. Tfw a dlc is more interesting than the main work itself... tsk, tsk

P.S.: A friend of mine says Toé is best girl but I still can't understand how, she's so meh :footsip: To be fair, so are the other characters but-

Edited by Leonor
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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.

It's made by Vanillaware, who were the makers of the 2(.5)D side scrolling action RPGs like Odinsphere, Dragon's Crown on the PSVITA. Which, sue me, have been on my Vita backlog for years now. Unfortunately there's only a PS4 version out atm for Aegis, yay exclusives, would've liked a Switch version plx.

And holy crap, this is one of them hidden gems. This thing was released in Sep 22 this year, and already has an average 4.9 stars with over 400 ratings on Amazon (and Amazon reviews are notorious for slamming VNs for "not being a real game" etc. smh). Even VNDB averages a whopping 8.95 with only 126 votes. It's on sale on Amazon physical NA for 30 bucks.

13 protagonists whose stories all intertwine in an epic Sci-Fi mecha time traveling world ending saga. It's not a traditional VN with static sprites and backgrounds; I'd say it's more of an interactive adventure visual novel. IADVN or something. Dialogue will be displayed over the character rather than a dedicated textbox at the bottom middle, though thankfully there is still a backlog you can refer to anytime. Presentation is supreme, you can control your current protagonist in a vivid 2.5D environment: there will be cars driving and pedestrians walking in the background when you're in the city, trees/branches will be swaying from the wind, characters all have fluid, expressive animations even when idle. The world feels alive. Then you think about the most recent VN where you have static sprites and empty backgrounds and it's like man, this is the future!

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Yes, the world is threatened by Mass Effect 3 Reaper wannabes and it's up to the 13 protagonists who are able to control their own personal mecha robot "Sentinels" to defend the universe across multiple time periods and yes I made it sound cheesy, but seriously the presentation of this game is top notch and gets you hooked right away. The story plays episodic, there will be 13 protagonists with their own shenanigans and the story progresses by shifting protagonists and perspectives until all of their paths eventually overlap. Every character has their own goals and motivations, relations and revelations, and every time you think you answer some questions, you get a new bundle of them in your face!

There's a real time SRPG gameplay element that's thrown in to compliment the adventure novel aspect. It's almost universally agreed upon that it's definitely on the weaker end of the enjoyment spectrum, but it'd be pretty hard for the 2.5D to show epic battles between the 13 Sentinels and the Reapers, and we need some gameplay to appeal to the masses so I guess that's that.

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This weekend I returned to Sakura Strasse. I finally finished common route, and started Marie's. Now I'm past the first h-scene and I was pleasantly surprised. It had proper build up and didn't jump out of nowhere like they often tend to do. It also was nicely written, with more emphasis on feelings than on moves ;)

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I started reading Akatsuki no Goei ~Tsumibukaki Shuumatsuron~ back in August, got to the beach vacation where I realized that the fan disk revealed Kaito's backstory 🙃 so I went back to read that before continuing to finish all the other routes.

My impression that Kinugasa's works are all about the journey and not the ending have strengthened significantly. His stories are very thriller-esque and he builds them up quite well but his final plot twist doesn't always live up to what he built up. Not that it's terrible since I definitely enjoyed reading it all.

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Though I will say, Kaito's backstory was quite surprising to me - I didn't think Kinugasa would shove his MC into such a traumatic upbringing; despite the constant allusions to how bad it was throughout the first game. Perhaps I was adjusting my expectations after reading how mild Ichinose's backstory was in the Youjitsu light novel series. Similarly, the torture scene with Mai was brutal - to the point that Kaito surviving and being able to walk a few days later made no sense. Also, given Japan's avoidance of drugs, it was rather surprising to see them overdose Kaito with cocaine.

The Restricted Zone endings didn't bring any world changing results as one might have hoped and indeed Kinugasa even makes fun of that, depicting a post incident TV scene showing that the civilians are moving on with their lives, barely remembering what just happened. Not only that, the underlying motivations behind the rebellion were extremely weak. Igarashi gave some comments about politicians becoming weak and pandering to social justice but it was only mentioned once and never explored in depth.

But as I mentioned, it's mainly the journey that counts and it was an enjoyable read regardless. This comes as a surprise since I only tend to read plot driven stories and pass on works that rely heavily on slice of life. I suppose what distinguishes Kinugasa's works (Akatsuki, Reminiscence and Youjitsu) from the typical slice of life is the dashes of mystery and action he adds into works as well as the entertaining character interactions he portrays.

I'm currently near the end of Rin's arc in Reminiscence and I've been enjoying the journey so far there as well. I'm intrigued by "Kyouichi", Hidetaka's backstory with his sister and Dream Town's apparent plans with androids but I'm certainly not expecting any mind-blowing revelations.

 

 

Edited by starcraft2
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Yesterday I finished Marie's route in Sakura Strasse.

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So far it's been pretty lighthearted and funny moege. Could perhaps call it romcom. (Without the school setting!) Characters are very likeable and the humor worked for me - I've been laughing out loud every few lines. OTOH the attempts at drama were literally hit and miss - meaning, some did hit me, while others flew completely over my head ;) The story was a bit all over the place, but perhaps that impression is because I had quite long breaks between my reading sessions (up to three weeks!) - this game, while very enjoyable, didn't manage to exactly engage me. Feels weird, but it is what it is.

Highlights of this route would be definitely Marie herself, who is cute and shy (and a bit of tsundere), but sometimes - perhaps half unconsciously - drops some serious bombshells :D And then we have her childhood friend Claudia, who reminds me a bit of Urd from "Oh! My Goddess!" franchise :D Coupled with her little brother Cris, most of the time she's just comic relief, but they also have important role near the end of the route.

Like I said in the previous post, H-scenes (at least in this route) are handled quite nicely. They don't jump out of nowhere, and have strong focus on feelings and love. There are also some sweet dialogues in there. As the MC-kun said (or rather thought) during the final H-scene (please forgive my sloppy translation) :

"Putting sexual pleasure itself aside, the greatest thing was that feeling of comfort and peace (楽) inside my heart" or something along those lines :P That's the way I like my H-scenes, if they have to be there, so big thumbs up :yes:.

I am still mildly interested in remaining three routes, and hope to finish it before the New Year ;) For now it is heading for 7.5 rating, which in my scoring system is "good, but not outstanding" - it's kind of a base score which then can increase or decrease.

And after finishing this I plan to read latest Konno Asta's game - Ano Hi no Tabibito, Fureau Mirai which I bought recently and it arrived yesterday. It's set on the same island that previous Pulltop's short VN - Sora to Umi ga, Fureau Kanata (Adventure of a Lifetime), but features new set of characters. The formula is similar - protagonist, two heroines, and single choice at the end of common route. Pulltop doesn't seem too eager to translate it, so I got tired of waiting, and bought JP version instead. (Especially since Pulltop's translation quality is hit and miss anyway :P)

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You know you got addicted to a story when you finish it within a week clocking in 30-35 hours, I don't think I've read any VN this year got me hooked this much. Robotics;Notes also clocked me about 30-35 hours, but took me a solid MONTH each entry to finish because I just read for a couple hours a day etc. And with 13 Sentinels I would boot it up and then BAM 8 hours passed already it's like huh where'd the time go.

As is with tradition, starting off with favorite BGM, this time it's definitely gonna go to the main menu music, lol. You know how sometimes a VN has a great title theme so you could spend some time just chilling while listening to it? Throughout 13 Sentinels you can switch between 3 main menu/modes: the story mode, the codex with all the key terminologies and lore, and battle mode with the real time strategy tower defense gameplay. Each menu will come with its own rendition of the main theme and when you swap between them the music also changes seamlessly. It's some great stuff. More modern games need to have seamless changing multiple versions of themes tbh.

0:00 Codex version. 1:12 main menu version. 2:19 battle version. Battle is my fav, it always feels good hearing this track as you prepare your teams for combat.


Story: 9/10. Celebration of Sci-Fi. You want giant robots? Alien invasions? Futuristic technology? Artificial Intelligence? Time travel? You name it. This game's got it all. The plot can get OVERWHELMINGLY CONFUSING to follow at times, since the story is told through the eyes of 13 protagonists, in anachronic order, in multiple time periods, with plenty of flashback/dream sequences and scientific jargon littered throughout, but somehow the writers were able to structure it in a way that keeps you thirsting for more as every scene always reveals something new about the characters and the world and as soon as you think you have a good understanding of the overall picture, BAM you get hit with another plot twist/revelation. The basic premise of 13 high school students and their giant robot Sentinels vs the Reapers to save the world is still there, but it's honestly only 10% of the story and the other 90% is understanding every protagonist's situation and figuring out what the hell is going on. There are so many revelations for the characters and the plot that I don't think there was ever a single grand HOLY SHIT moment akin to Ever17's True End, ultimately there's just a bunch of hory-shis that make you go "Ooo that was a nice reveal" and they all add up to make an overall fascinating story. 

And thankfully, there is an (actually helpful!) ingame codex that lists character information (and updates as you learn more information), important terminologies and lore, and even has an event viewer for every protagonist that organizes the scenes in chronological order should you want to review the story.

Presentation: 9/10.  Presentation for me includes art and music/sound, and everything Vanillaware did for this title was superb. The watercolor 2.5D artstyle was always gorgeous and captivating to look at, the sound design was fantastic making the world feel vibrant, music was surreal when it needed to be and epic when duty called, and the VAs did a splendid job portraying their characters. 

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Best girl is (first) Iori Fuyusaka (last), why do you think my first post was littered with her. Side note: every protagonist has a certain area on their body that is the "activation switch" to call upon their Sentinel, and of course Vanillaware made Iori's switch on her thigh so that's why she's posed like that in the screenie above. Not that I'm complaining.

Random character pulling a gun on another character montage, this cast is quite trigger happy and it's hilarious how often they will whip out a gun on each other:

Spoiler

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Yup, even kids be pullin' out  guns if you look at them the wrong way. The future is a scary place >.>

 

I hope they're able to port this to Switch+PC one day. I used to care about console exclusivity (lol) but 13 Sentinels is legit a story where I just want to tell everybody I see to go read it

E: Also realized I didn't mention the word mystery at all in this post lel. Mystery is a HUGE part of this story.

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Fuyusaka Is a bit of a slut though (not really a spoiler) I didn't dislike her though.

Just started reading summer pockets. I will just say that key might have failed to disguise their biggest plot elements here. 

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A looong time ago i was told there was time travel in this and tbh, this isn't my first rodeo with Key. It was going fine until this little red haired girl called the protagonist "Dad" during the prologue. Thanks Key, now i won't be able to dismiss her actually being his kid through some time travel device nonsense. And I also have a feeling that at least a lot of people know the protagonist, and these wings references are not just metaphors. I get a Little Busters feeling here if i'm honest.

 

Edited by Stormwolf
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Finished the third Flowers VN (actually already a few weeks ago) and it was definitely my favorite part of the Flowers series so far. Not just because it focuses on my favorite characters Yuzuyuzu and the twins, but also because for once they picked a couple with Nerine that actually harmonates with each other instead of trying to force two polar opposites into a relationship.

Despite being mostly slice of life with some light drama thrown in, the visual novel has a certain maturity that makes the characters more believable and engaging than your typical moe blob. It's just refreshing when characters show their serious side from time to time to remind you that they aren't just stock anime tropes fullfilling their cliche, but also have real personalities and deeper thoughts and worries to flesh out their characters.

The other characters were also nicely written. Erika with her cynical comments and funny interactions with Chidori. The shy and composed but smart and observant Suou. Even Rikka was kinda nice this time around and didn't behave like Satan's first-born for a change.

It's a pity that the VN, just like the other parts of the series, doesn't really have a bigger scope with more complex and interesting mysteries and story lines tied to it. From a more objective point of view, they certainly didn't overexcert themselves. Sprites and backgrounds are pretty much all recycled from the previous parts and no new characters were introduced this time. It does have some gorgeous CG's from Yuzuyuzu in particular though. But knowing what Innocent Grey actually is capable of in terms of complex stories, it's still hard to shake of the feeling that this series mostly exists to finance Kara no Shoujo 3.

Heroine ranking: Yuzuyuzu > Twins > Nerine > Suou > Erika > Chidori > Rikka

Overall rating: 7/10

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Okay, I finally dropped Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception. Despite having a rather decent start, the massive decline in quality later on was just unbearable to endure. I'm not sure if I've ever read an actual 'story VN' that was so incredible boring to read. I even fell asleep multiple times during my time with it. Real plot lines barely exist and when something actually happens for a change, then it involves mostly side characters and the main cast is just watching from the side lines.

You know that a writer has given up on a story when he doesn't even bother ordering his scenes anymore and just gives you a massive slice of life scene gallery where you can arbitrary pick the ones you want to read at the moment. Their content is just so meaningless, that it absolutely doesn't matter when or in which order you're reading them. And the majority of the text is structured that way.

The whole thing might have still worked out if at least the characters would pay off. Unfortunately, in the understanding of the writer cute = dumb and so he tried to make them as dumb as possible to make the cast cute. While the starting cast with Kuon and Rulutieh were still kind of okay, the heroines introduced later on got just worse and worse. Just look at Nosuri, she gets her whole gang killed out of stupidity, but doesn't feel a glimmer of regret about it. Or the two royal sex slaves who were obviously written for a nukige. Even Kuon got kind of annoying, though in her defense, with such a pathetic protagonist, it might be hard to avoid turning into a bitch.

The protagonist is certainly one of the main problems. Being introduced as somewhat weak but smart at the beginning, he degenerates more and more into a retarded clown later on. He even had to be reminded once, that they were actually going to war and not to a picknick. But his main purpose was to act as an entertainment clown for the loli's and as punching ball for the rest anyway, so that didn't really matter.

The side characters were also somewhat baffling. There were actually a few rather decent ones among them, but the writer had such an akward obsession with dull and goofy characters that he almost exclusively focused on the likes of Maroro or Dekoponpo instead.

However, all that doesn't change the fact that the VN actually had some impressive production values under its belt. The game engine in particular was frequently used to showcase animated sequences which could occasionally get almost epic dimensions with lots of characters. The art was rich and fitting for the setting even if the sprites were a bit too simple for my taste.

It's a pity that they picked such a failure of a writer for this project, there's just so much wasted potential. I actually played Tales of Berseria along with this and it was almost a difference like night and day in terms of story and character quality. It's a pity I can't refund the successor Mask of Truth anymore - 30+ bucks down the drain. Should have waited with buying until Mask of Deception showed me it's worth it. But well, lesson learned for next time. :sleep:

Heroine ranking: Rulutieh > Kuon > Don't care

Overal rating: 4/10

Edited by ChaosRaven
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You know, i think you'll change your mind later. Haku gets some serious development, and thats no joke. Also the plot rears its ugly head sooner or later too. Especially during mask of truth. I'd say the first just suffers from being more of a setup for the finale (mask of truth). They're all heavy with sol, but its sol events you grow to appreciate once the plot properly picks up.

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Summer pockets. A temp review, predictions and opinions.  Well im on the last of the regular heroine routes. My thoughts so far is quite mixed. All key vn's are masterpieces alone, but for a weathered veteran of their works, you kinda feel their too stuck in their ways and kinda write the same things over and over, making it quite predictible.

Art 5/10 yeah, the art is nothing to write home about. Umi and tsumugi being among the best. Also a certain woman in a route. AO looks like a mess. 

Sound 5/10 you know key is also known for their beautiful soundtracks that gets stuck with you and hit the mood of the events perfectly. Well, none if that so far. Finished 3 routes and the music has not impressed me in any way. By this point i hope they're saving a slam dunk ost for the no doubt true route at the end.

Plot: 6/10 The plot was all over the place. It had decent set pieces all around, but i dont think they utilized them properly and made a mess of things instead.

Characters and routes- spoiler territory

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Kyokou - Honestly this woman is a bit of a mystery. His true wife? Just his relative as they say? I feel there is more to her, but fortunately the vn still has mysteries i look forward to uncovering. I know from the cutscenes between routes that this vn is about learning how to deal with loss of his wife and daughter. He has his daughter here, so maybe wife as well? Time will tell, but im betting on some key magic ala clannad.

Umi - What a fun little girl and definitely feels like the most important character here. I always enjoy reading hers and the protags interractions. Sadly i think the game spoilered her too thoughtlessly. Im now at the point where she changed from being loud and funny to more child like. A regression because the protag has wifed too wrongly? or protag getting closer to his true self and seeing reality as it is is something i'll find out as i go. She keeps disappearing in the story though and the protag at some point mistook Shiroha for Umi. A thoughtless thing or something more to it? I guess i'll find out!

Shiroha.. well, she's quite a bit boring isnt she? Dont really have much to say about her. Her route plot wasnt too interesting either. It was rather stupid. They knew the set pieces of her prediction and did their damnest of making sure that it happened. Her grandpa was the highlight of it. A fun character all in all.

AO - A big improvement over Shiroha. She and the protag had a much better dynamic. I always enjoy perverted heroines. Her plot of saving her sister and how she struggled to do so kept me engaged. She falling asleep too was an eyerolling cliche sadly. And they totally ruined the reunion with the incest lesbian shit they pulled. Was tactless. I do wish i got to know how long the protag worked on waking her up though.

Kamome - A really good route i must say. I was engaged in their adventure and it was really sad to see how everything really was once you started learning what was actually going on. Kanome has been the best main heroine so far and her mother's art was a few step above than anyone else. Shame they went the mysterious illness route with it though and it didnt really sit right with me that you never really interreacted with the real her at any point in time. Wish they gave her a proper epilogue. Did they reunite? Was it a dream or wish? I dunno really. Illness seemed very serious and they took it too lightly by not spelling out if she got better or not.

Tsumugi - Ehh.. what did i just read? Tsumugi has good design, but her character was annoying and her "mgyuu" became grating. Suzuha was more entertaining and looked good too. What about the protagonist you may ask? He was an idiot here. Usually he's pretty decent, but here he just mirrored these two girls. Didnt really think much for himself. Suzuha was great, but she was too omnipresent. And it was a shame they acted like 9 year olds in this route. The drama here was interesting though. The lighthouse in the field was interesting, but the writer didnt care about making anything out of it so it just was a thing really, which at the same time made it feel very pointless. Potential was there, but the execution failed.

Alka - The route was interesting and pretty tearjerking, There were a lot of beautiful moments in this route when they were acting like Umi's mother and it was truly sad seeing Umi wither away. But i steeled myself. I had read Clannad and i knew it would redeem this current sadness i was feeling with a properly cathartic moment.

pockets- Well, how can you avoid feeling like you've wasted your time after finishing these two? Previous heroine routes are discarded and unresolved and Hairi and SHiroha are unresolved also. Not only that, but Hairi was majorly left out in the cold in this route. We had some beautiful mom and daughter moments, but they didnt even care to even mention Hairi. This is about  A girl's struggle to fix this islands magic fuckery which ruins basically everything it touches.  While i was reading i was very unsure as to where the plot was going and to what end. I knew Umi was going to remove Shiroa's powers of traveling through time, but where would that leave us? No where in particular is the answer. The answer should be obvious, but they made it somewhat ambiguous anyway. Thats wrong. They made it entirely ambiguous. We know Shiroha only died after giving birth to Umi, but the true route didnt get further than Hairi meeting Shiroha.  Shiroa pretended not to know him when they first met and Hairi only had fragments of his memory. A the very end Hairi is leaving the island on the boat, but he sees Shiroah on the pier looking out and throwing the paper plane. He jumps off and swims to shore and asks her to teach him to make fried rice...... The end... So where was that cathartic moment we waited for? You know, the moment we've been waiting for when we can see them all truly happy and safe? It just never happened. Seems to me they intentionally fucked this up just to give us a proper ending in their rerelease, but likely that is just a bandaid to the fuckup. I figure we'd have a clannad solid ending if there were no "holding back" for monetary reasons. Truly disappointing.

Now, the art, music and heroines might not be as good as they could have been, but the vn still has me hooked. 

Edited by Stormwolf
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1 hour ago, Stormwolf said:

You know, i think you'll change your mind later. Haku gets some serious development, and thats no joke. Also the plot rears its ugly head sooner or later too. Especially during mask of truth. I'd say the first just suffers from being more of a setup for the finale (mask of truth). They're all heavy with sol, but its sol events you grow to appreciate once the plot properly picks up.

I appreciate the words, but there won't be a Mask of Truth for me. The slice of life in Mask of Deception actually made me despise most of its characters, so I'm realistic enough that just some slight improvements in its successor won't change anything for me. 

But this being essentially an JRPG, I'm actually thinking about giving the new edition of Tales of Vesperia a try. It's famed to be the best of the series next to Berseria, even though the gameplay itself in Berseria didn't exactly blow me away. But Kami no Rhapsody will probably be the next JRPG/VN hybrid I play anyway, so there's still time to decide.

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I know what you mean, but its nothing unusual in the world of japanese entertainment. Girls treating protagonist like shit that is. Dunno whats so extremely funny and interesting about it. Many heroines i've grown to loathe for the same reason. Doesnt help if she gets some growth development in the last 5 minutes of the rpute or anime.

Edited by Stormwolf
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As I mentioned before, I started playing Zero Escape - 999 -. It's been really entertaining so far, I'm liking it! :D

First Impressions

Positives:

  • I liked the characters — it was refreshing to see more "adult" characters and everyone was really different haha
  • the flowchart ("flow") — one more excellent addition to the steam port 👌
  • the protagonist — he is normal, that's all I ask for.

Negatives:

  • the minigames — this is kind of subjective but, personally, I was stuck for way too long on them and got frustrated a lot of times...
  • the differences between the "novel" and "ADV" mode — I like the option of choice, but I'd like to have novel mode's writing with the ADV's design. It's just less polluted. Oh, well...
  • NOT HAVING A LOAD OPTION ON THE MENU — C'mon! That's basic!

ENDING 3

Spoiler

Nooo, I liked Snake!!! T^T I already knew about Clover having an ax (damn you, google images!) but I didn't expect her to be the one doing the killing, damn. Anyways, this basically makes me suspect more of Clover and Akane... Clover is just obvious, but Akane is pretty sus. Seven too, tbh... his amnesia is just weird.

ENDING 5

Spoiler

 

So... Santa has a little sister? And according to his "tale", he killed her? That's why his clothes are black and white? Neat. Is she going to actually appear? Naaah, that would be too random and forced lol unless... 👀
The big [9] door is indeed leading outside the ship but the other... hmmmm, pretty sus if you ask me.

Possible murderers: Clover (so it's consistent with end 3) and Akane, since she was with him just moments ago (maybe, maybe... there's still the matter of the elevators, after all - it's more likely it was Clover).

 

Current theory (after discussing it with my pals)

Spoiler

 

So, Snake is VERY suspicious. I am discussing this vn with my pals and we've come to the conclusion that Snake is the most likely to be the mastermind.

He could be lying about his blindness and/or the content of his letter. After all, no one else there appears to know braille.

He died very soon, so that makes him extra suspicious, as ridiculous as that sounds. This is because I don't remember the protagonist finding his bracelet, so he could be very much alive just to watch everything unfold from the sidelines. ALSOOOOO, he has a prosthesis for his left arm, which I'm pretty sure it's the arm which has the bracelet hmmmmmm pretty sus if you ask me!

 

-----

This week, I'm playing ending 6 and 4 (in that order)! I'll finish it the week after! :yes:

Edited by Leonor
typo
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