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2 hours ago, Leonor said:

Alrighty, one more finished! This time, I finished all the endings left from The Nonary Games.

True Ending 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Ok... this ending... I did not like it. I mean, it wasn't bad, per say, but it was very confusing, to the point that I couldn't enjoy it as much. I like a good mindfuck, as long as I can somewhat follow it.

  • I still don't get how Junpei was able to connect to Akane. He wasn't in the Nonary Games, he wasn't related to her, he was only her friend. Seriously, are we gonna justify it with the fucking doll??? lmao
  • I like the idea that Seven was lying about his memories and helped Santa and Akane with everything ❤️ I mean, the only way I can think that Akane was able to do all this is through Santa, because of the stock market thingy.
  • Finally, I just found it so ridiculous that an egyptian priestess would just walk around Nevada. Like, I understand the "ice-9" part and stuff, but how was she able to be unfrozen if the coffin didn't leave the building? I- I'm so confused lol

 

Overall, it wasn't a bad game, not at all. I mean, I loved discussing it with my peers, especially when it came to the mystery!

You mean 999 though? Its sequel Virtue's Last Reward is part of the bundle that is The Nonary Games. About the true ending:

Spoiler

One of the major twists gets kind of lost in translation, or rather port from Nintendo DS to PC. In the original the screen the narration appears on changes and through the way the scene with the sudoku is narrated it is revealed that the text on one of the screens has been told from young Akane's perspective all along. The idea is that the bond between her and Junpei is so strong the two of them can create a time paradox in order to save her life. What I personally like about this ending is it doesn't just do some Deus Ex Machina happy ending* but acknowledges how what Akane went through changed her as person, making the kind of innocent relationship she and Junpei had as children impossible. Which is why she flees while Junpei still basically chases the idea he has of her.

*also the game establishes the idea that the way how people perceive things shapes "objective" reality from early on and runs with it, so the twist doesn't even completely come out of left field. I think the priestess appearing in the desert is rather a playful nod to this overarching theme than something you should think too deeply about on a logical level.

 

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IWhgiYk.jpg 


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t82IfE3.jpg

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23 hours ago, alpacaman said:

You mean 999 though? Its sequel Virtue's Last Reward is part of the bundle that is The Nonary Games. About the true ending:

  Hide contents

One of the major twists gets kind of lost in translation, or rather port from Nintendo DS to PC. In the original the screen the narration appears on changes and through the way the scene with the sudoku is narrated it is revealed that the text on one of the screens has been told from young Akane's perspective all along. The idea is that the bond between her and Junpei is so strong the two of them can create a time paradox in order to save her life. What I personally like about this ending is it doesn't just do some Deus Ex Machina happy ending* but acknowledges how what Akane went through changed her as person, making the kind of innocent relationship she and Junpei had as children impossible. Which is why she flees while Junpei still basically chases the idea he has of her.

*also the game establishes the idea that the way how people perceive things shapes "objective" reality from early on and runs with it, so the twist doesn't even completely come out of left field. I think the priestess appearing in the desert is rather a playful nod to this overarching theme than something you should think too deeply about on a logical level.

 

Yeah, the first game. And yeah, I know about the twist thing, I've actually discussed that with my book club peers haha it's a cool thing to know!

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Currently playing Aselia the Eternal right now, and I'm stuck at the Kyouko/Tokimi routes. Tried the Dakkodango guide; didn't work. Tried the guide on Steam which claims that it fixes the errors in the Dakkodango guide, but I still keep seeing Uraka in Turn 10 of "Mission 14: Defend Ransa". Is this normal, or should I be seeing someone else instead? If not, who should I be seeing in Turn 10?

The choices I made are the ones required for the Kyouko/Tokimi routes, plus the first 3 choices for Lesteena (excluding the last one so that I can quickly switch over to Lesteena's route once I'm done with Kyouko's and Tokimi's routes). Could this be causing the problem (having made Lesteena-specific choices)? I've completed the first 3 routes by the way.

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Got two routes done in Nightshade, Hanzo and Gekkamaru.

So far this VN builds off of common ninja tropes such as "the client/mission always takes priority over everything else," even over your friends and family, hell, it takes it to the max in that if multiple opposing clients hire from the same ninja clan, they'll actually have no problem fighting each other:
FxrAl7x.jpg 

As Naruto's Kakashi once said, "Those who abandon their friends are scum, but those who abandon their mission are worse than scum." ............no wait-


Naturally most of the drama in this VN will revolve around this outdated mentality, where Enju and co. will have to choose whether to follow their shinobi pride or screw it all and follow their heart in the name of friendship and love:
zdGKa5g.jpg 
Wait 'til Enju learns that the only reason Gekkamaru has been a loyal bodyguard servant to her since she was a baby was because offfffffffffsdafkjlsdfj


The bad ends are tragically romantic. You kind of have to go out of your way to get them, since it requires you to be, uh, rather unreceptive, to the Hero for the majority of his route. I particularly liked Hanzo's bad end. He was the absolute badass perfect ninja type who slowly started to learn how to care, and to love:

52iocQL.jpg

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...But if you don't max out them feelsies:

Spoiler

pSH2jgL.jpg

I might be sadistic or something, but I liked the bad end over the good end. The CG above is just too beautiful. Tragic, yes, but so damn beautiful..



~~
A glaring weakness with this VN however is that, two routes in, it doesn't seem like the writers created different scenarios for each Hero route. You basically get the same core conflict scenario, and just copy paste the Hero to accompany Enju and change up the confrontations. Revelations about Enju's ninja clan, the mastermind behind the conflict, are reused although explained in varying degrees based on Hero relevancy, etc. Unfortunate.

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So, finally, I finished Sakura Strasse.

Nice moege, but not the greatest one, and not without flaws. The biggest one was, like I stated in my first impression, a bit annoying and unrelatable protagonist. Even though VN is narrated from MCs POV (as usual), I had hard time, not even self-inserting, but just immersing. I was watching from the sidelines, like I'd watch a romcom anime. That's why completing this VN took me so long, since I had sometimes week- or two weeks- long breaks between sessions.

But when I actually read it, I enjoyed it. It's packed up with comedy, and I personally found it funnny. Heroines are cute, and while I didn't care much about MC-kun, I cared about them. Also, MC is at his worst at the prologue and first half of common route. Later on he luckily improves a bit. The only thing that doesn't change, and made me cringe and facepalm is his donkanness. LB!'s Rin was "legendary no-con", and Harumi is "legendary donkan". 🤦‍♂️:nessacringe:

As for routes themselves, I went in order Marie (main heroine) > Yuuka > Karin > Lulli.

Marie's route was nice, but ending was rather over-the-top, so it suffered from "watching from sidelines syndrome" I described earlier. But still enjoyable.

Yuuka is a (rather violent) tsundere. There are some interesting reveals in this route, and I think I perhaps enjoyed it more than main (Marie's). Also, it was amusing to see Yuuka taking lead in the H-scenes :pantsu:

Karin is MC's overly childish osananajimi. Her route however doesn't follow all usual osananajimi tropes, and for me it was the best one. It also made realize what bothered me about protag - he was also too childish. But in this route both he and Karin undergo quite a bit of character growth. If all routes in the game were of the same quality, overall score would be much higher.

And finally Lulli. Marie's companion and

Spoiler

actually a cat. So this is route for catgirl fans. And Harumi is mortally afraid of cats due to past trauma. This is going to be fun ;)

Weird, but nice route. Compared to other routes, here first H-scene jumps out rather suddenly, but, interestingly, the writers actually thought about an excuse for it ;)

Spoiler

A catgirl (who is actually a cat) in heat. Not the greatest excuse perhaps, but points for trying ;)

Ah, yeah, H-scenes. I actually have to praise this VN for its approach to the H-content. All scenes have proper build-up (well, except first Lulli's scene :P ), and there's lots of love in them - in dialogs and characters attitude. I genuinely smiled through most of the Yuuka's first scene, and second Karin's scene was totally heartwarming. This VN really succeeded at showing during H-scenes how much characters care about each other. Also, somewhere during every route protagonist stated (in narration) that the greatest thing about sex for him, overshadowing the physical pleasure itself, was the feeling of unity, intimacy, being connected with each other.:yes: So, while it isn't flawless, it was perhaps one of the most wholesome eroge I've read so far :abilove: (even if that might sound contradictory ;) )

Art, music and voices were good, no complaints about that. SD CGs served well to enhance comedy parts.

So, after all, just as I predicted, it ends up with 7.5/10 score, which is kind of my base score for good, but not exactly outstanding games (or the great ones that have some annoying flaw). It was long road, but I enjoyed it, and don't regret buying and playing it.

****************************************************************************************

And now I think I'm going to read latest Konno Asta's game - Ano Hi no Tabibito, Fureau Mirai, which is kind of sequel to the Sora to Umi ga, Fureau Kanata (Adventure of a Lifetime). It is set in the same place, but features new set of characters (again MC and two heroines). The premise from the official summary sounds interesting to me, and I enjoyed previous part, so I decided to get it, since it doesn't seem like Pulltop is going to translate this one - perhaps the previous one didn't sell as much as they expected? And since anyway Pulltop's TL quality is very random, it was perhaps safer option to get original ;) 

 

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As for Pulltop's new all age VN (Anofure), I'm kind of wonder which Coldplay song that Pulltop would like to use if they decided to localize it. As for the chance of Anofure to be localized, I believe that Pulltop already prepared it with localization in mind although of course pandemic change everything so perhaps their initial plan for localization is halted for now. That said I hope that Pulltop will localized Anofure in the future, because it would be better for them to localize all age and that it looks nice.

PS - It's just too bad that Umikana is quite underrated, but I guess they're under impression that it's not as long as other localized Pulltop VNs.

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7 hours ago, littleshogun said:

As for Pulltop's new all age VN (Anofure), I'm kind of wonder which Coldplay song that Pulltop would like to use if they decided to localize it. As for the chance of Anofure to be localized, I believe that Pulltop already prepared it with localization in mind although of course pandemic change everything so perhaps their initial plan for localization is halted for now. That said I hope that Pulltop will localized Anofure in the future, because it would be better for them to localize all age and that it looks nice.

PS - It's just too bad that Umikana is quite underrated, but I guess they're under impression that it's not as long as other localized Pulltop VNs.

I just started reading it. The music is wonderful - you can instantly recognize that this is Pulltop VN :) Or rather, that it's TWO-FIVE's music. General feel and sound is similar to Konosora. I love that.

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On 12/17/2020 at 5:43 PM, Inorin said:

Currently playing Aselia the Eternal right now, and I'm stuck at the Kyouko/Tokimi routes. Tried the Dakkodango guide; didn't work. Tried the guide on Steam which claims that it fixes the errors in the Dakkodango guide, but I still keep seeing Uraka in Turn 10 of "Mission 14: Defend Ransa". Is this normal, or should I be seeing someone else instead? If not, who should I be seeing in Turn 10?

The choices I made are the ones required for the Kyouko/Tokimi routes, plus the first 3 choices for Lesteena (excluding the last one so that I can quickly switch over to Lesteena's route once I'm done with Kyouko's and Tokimi's routes). Could this be causing the problem (having made Lesteena-specific choices)? I've completed the first 3 routes by the way.

I only used Dakkodango guide, and I didn't have any problems getting into any of the routes. It's been a while and I don't really remember, but I think it's okay that Uruka appeared in that scene. The game will make you follow Uruka's or Lesteena's route before the battle of Mallorigan, but after that you will switch to Kyoko or Tokimi if you did everything right.

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18 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

I only used Dakkodango guide, and I didn't have any problems getting into any of the routes. It's been a while and I don't really remember, but I think it's okay that Uruka appeared in that scene. The game will make you follow Uruka's or Lesteena's route before the battle of Mallorigan, but after that you will switch to Kyoko or Tokimi if you did everything right.

I actually found out my issue, and it was that I didn't use New Game+ -- I had loaded a save on the prologue of my very first playthrough, which was a big no no for Tokimi/Kyouko. I had looked up the Steam guide which said that New Game+ wasn't required, which was why I thought loading a save would be fine. Turned out it wasn't fine at all LOL

Edited by Inorin
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1 hour ago, Inorin said:

I actually found out my issue, and it was that I didn't use New Game+ -- I had loaded a save on the prologue of my very first playthrough, which was a big no no for Tokimi/Kyouko. I had looked up the Steam guide which said that New Game+ wasn't required, which was why I thought loading a save would be fine. Turned out it wasn't fine at all LOL

Yeah, that makes sense. I'm not sure if New Game+ is required, but you definitely need to restart the game from the very beginning, since these routes buid upon some scenes that only show up on your second playthrough.

I should probably also add that I've seen people having problems with gameplay in Kyouko's route. I think some unique battles in that route are basically unbeatable if your units aren't high enough level at the start of the game. At least, if you play in the hard mode.

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On 12/18/2020 at 9:17 AM, adamstan said:

So, finally, I finished Sakura Strasse.

Nice moege, but not the greatest one, and not without flaws. The biggest one was, like I stated in my first impression, a bit annoying and unrelatable protagonist. Even though VN is narrated from MCs POV (as usual), I had hard time, not even self-inserting, but just immersing. I was watching from the sidelines, like I'd watch a romcom anime. That's why completing this VN took me so long, since I had sometimes week- or two weeks- long breaks between sessions.

But when I actually read it, I enjoyed it. It's packed up with comedy, and I personally found it funnny. Heroines are cute, and while I didn't care much about MC-kun, I cared about them. Also, MC is at his worst at the prologue and first half of common route. Later on he luckily improves a bit. The only thing that doesn't change, and made me cringe and facepalm is his donkanness. LB!'s Rin was "legendary no-con", and Harumi is "legendary donkan". 🤦‍♂️:nessacringe:

As for routes themselves, I went in order Marie (main heroine) > Yuuka > Karin > Lulli.

Marie's route was nice, but ending was rather over-the-top, so it suffered from "watching from sidelines syndrome" I described earlier. But still enjoyable.

Yuuka is a (rather violent) tsundere. There are some interesting reveals in this route, and I think I perhaps enjoyed it more than main (Marie's). Also, it was amusing to see Yuuka taking lead in the H-scenes :pantsu:

Karin is MC's overly childish osananajimi. Her route however doesn't follow all usual osananajimi tropes, and for me it was the best one. It also made realize what bothered me about protag - he was also too childish. But in this route both he and Karin undergo quite a bit of character growth. If all routes in the game were of the same quality, overall score would be much higher.

And finally Lulli. Marie's companion and

  Reveal hidden contents

actually a cat. So this is route for catgirl fans. And Harumi is mortally afraid of cats due to past trauma. This is going to be fun ;)

Weird, but nice route. Compared to other routes, here first H-scene jumps out rather suddenly, but, interestingly, the writers actually thought about an excuse for it ;)

  Reveal hidden contents

A catgirl (who is actually a cat) in heat. Not the greatest excuse perhaps, but points for trying ;)

Ah, yeah, H-scenes. I actually have to praise this VN for its approach to the H-content. All scenes have proper build-up (well, except first Lulli's scene :P ), and there's lots of love in them - in dialogs and characters attitude. I genuinely smiled through most of the Yuuka's first scene, and second Karin's scene was totally heartwarming. This VN really succeeded at showing during H-scenes how much characters care about each other. Also, somewhere during every route protagonist stated (in narration) that the greatest thing about sex for him, overshadowing the physical pleasure itself, was the feeling of unity, intimacy, being connected with each other.:yes: So, while it isn't flawless, it was perhaps one of the most wholesome eroge I've read so far :abilove: (even if that might sound contradictory ;) )

Art, music and voices were good, no complaints about that. SD CGs served well to enhance comedy parts.

So, after all, just as I predicted, it ends up with 7.5/10 score, which is kind of my base score for good, but not exactly outstanding games (or the great ones that have some annoying flaw). It was long road, but I enjoyed it, and don't regret buying and playing it.

****************************************************************************************

And now I think I'm going to read latest Konno Asta's game - Ano Hi no Tabibito, Fureau Mirai, which is kind of sequel to the Sora to Umi ga, Fureau Kanata (Adventure of a Lifetime). It is set in the same place, but features new set of characters (again MC and two heroines). The premise from the official summary sounds interesting to me, and I enjoyed previous part, so I decided to get it, since it doesn't seem like Pulltop is going to translate this one - perhaps the previous one didn't sell as much as they expected? And since anyway Pulltop's TL quality is very random, it was perhaps safer option to get original ;) 

 

While the mc sounds like a woman regarding sex, this vn sounds very interesting actually. Would like a read.

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27 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

While the mc sounds like a woman regarding sex,

Perhaps indeed this approach is more popular among women than men, but I actually like it, and I feel similar - although it's still purely theoretical in my case. BTW Harumi, during one of his internal monologues also said something similar - while pondering how the sex has meaning only with the loved one, and how he wouldn't like to use it just to "release the tension", he also added something like "Perhaps it's just the virgin in me speaking, but that's how I feel".

27 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

this vn sounds very interesting actually. Would like a read.

Yeah, it has some interesting points. But if the MC managed to annoy me with his donkan-ness and emotional instability, I suppose after a while your head would hurt from all the facepalming you'd be doing ;) Well - it's Palette's VN, and we already have some of their titles translated, so maybe one day it will get translated - who knows?

Although when it comes to Palette's untranslated VNs, I think Mashiro Iro Symphony should be done first.

Edited by adamstan
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3 hours ago, adamstan said:

Perhaps indeed this approach is more popular among women than men, but I actually like it, and I feel similar - although it's still purely theoretical in my case. BTW Harumi, during one of his internal monologues also said something similar - while pondering how the sex has meaning only with the loved one, and how he wouldn't like to use it just to "release the tension", he also added something like "Perhaps it's just the virgin in me speaking, but that's how I feel".

Yeah, it has some interesting points. But if the MC managed to annoy me with his donkan-ness and emotional instability, I suppose after a while your head would hurt from all the facepalming you'd be doing ;) Well - it's Palette's VN, and we already have some of their titles translated, so maybe one day it will get translated - who knows?

Although when it comes to Palette's untranslated VNs, I think Mashiro Iro Symphony should be done first.

 

But that is natural for many virgin i'd think. You know what you want, but you don't know what to expect. Well, i wasn't exactly like that personally. I just wanted to get rid of my virginity and some nasty party skank did the job fairly well. But i understand the notion perfectly.

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Finished Eien no Aselia yesterday. Overall a decent read, but there were several issues which I had:

  • The requirements for Kyouko/Tokimi are too complicated
  • Main antagonist is as generic as it gets
  • Main story doesn't diverge much in all routes except Kyouko/Tokimi and Lesteena. After the first playthrough (with Aselia), I sort of understood the direction which the other routes would take. So I basically replayed the game multiple times just to get a few unread lines in between and a different epilogue.
  • Too many battles. Sure, I can just press 'l' to skip the battle, but the fact that there are so many battles means that I had to press 'l' multiple times to skip them, when the skip function should have already done that.

Final rating: 7.8/10

And now on to Seinarukana, the sequel to Eien no Aselia. Honestly, I have no idea how the route order even works, since I can't seem to find any solid walkthroughs in English online. I'm aware that there are 6 routes, and so far I only know of potential 3: Nozimi, Satsuki, Narukana. What about the other 3? In general, I know that Narukana requires NG+, but are there any other requirements for routes which I should know of? Where can I find JP walkthroughs for this? I'm only at Chapter 2, so a route hasn't decided yet, but I read that Chapter 8 is the divergence point, so I'm not sure what to do when the time comes.

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10 hours ago, Inorin said:
  • Main story doesn't diverge much in all routes except Kyouko/Tokimi and Lesteena. After the first playthrough (with Aselia), I sort of understood the direction which the other routes would take. So I basically replayed the game multiple times just to get a few unread lines in between and a different epilogue.
  • Too many battles. Sure, I can just press 'l' to skip the battle, but the fact that there are so many battles means that I had to press 'l' multiple times to skip them, when the skip function should have already done that.

Overall, yeah, I personally thought that linearity was a bit unsatisfying. To be honest, after finishing it I personally believe that Aselia is the game that you play twice for the story (since New Game+ adds enough new content to make the whole game worth replaying), but you should only aim to finish all the routes if you really like the gameplay. If you enjoy the gameplay, then the multiple route system gives you a chance to play the game more, and there is a bonus that you get some information about the world and the characters only in certain routes. If you don't like the gameplay, then playing one route will give you enough information about the whole story to make replaying really unnecessary.

Which brings me to the next point.

10 hours ago, Inorin said:

I'm aware that there are 6 routes, and so far I only know of potential 3: Nozimi, Satsuki, Narukana. What about the other 3?

There are 6 routes: Nozomi, Satsuki, Narukana, Katima, Ruputna, and Naya. I personally only finished 4 out of 6 routes, and, honestly, I literally don't see any reason to play all of them. There's literally even less difference between routes than in Aselia. Just a few lines and h-scenes here and there, and the last chapter is a bit different, but that's it. The only exception is Satsuki's route which adds some interesting stuff in the middle that you don't get in any other route (and introduces a major plot hole). So, honestly, I'd recommend to play Satsuki and then Narukana and skip everything else. If you really want to finish every route, play Nozomi before Satsuki and other routes after Narukana.

10 hours ago, Inorin said:

I know that Narukana requires NG+, but are there any other requirements for routes which I should know of? 

No, every other route is unlocked from the very beginning.

I personally recommend playing Satsuki before Narukana, or you may be a bit lost.

10 hours ago, Inorin said:

Honestly, I have no idea how the route order even works, since I can't seem to find any solid walkthroughs in English online.

I never found one myself. And the problem is that the guides that exist kind of contradict each other. Overall, the route system is more straightforward than in Aselia, so you don't really need a walkthrough.

Basically all you need to know:

  • Narukana's route is the easiest to get into. There's a choice in a dream sequence in chapter 8 that only appear on your second playthrough which lets you choose between "Continue watching" or "Reach out for her". If you choose the later, you're locked into her route. That's it.
  • All the other routes are decided by the number of affection point you have with a heroine. You can get affection point by:
  1. Choosing dialogue options that favor the heroine in some way.
  2. Putting her into the the same squad as the MC and using this squad to defeat enemy squads marked with a heart. This is the biggest difference with Aselia where any enemy squad works.
  3. Putting the heroine into the same squad as the MC and letting her get an MVP, which means to defeat the highest number of enemies in the battle. I believe, this gives you the highest number of affection points.
  • In the end you get into the route with the heroine that has the highest number of affection points. That's it.
Edited by Dreamysyu
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Ever since getting my Switch I've been pretty active in checking what the upcoming releases are and whatnot (on the console's news app itself, not browsing the web)
And apparently they did like 0 marketing cuz I didn't see squat about Abyss of the Sacrifice meanwhile Sephiroth DLC for Smash Ultimate is making headlines everywhere

Anyways it just released recently for Steam and Switch with a decently steep asking price of $39.99 (Steam has a 20% off launch deal for you PC masterraces)

Abyss is a remaster of its 2010 PSP version and it's basically a trapped / escape room type VN involving 5 high school girls stuck in some sci-fi-ish underground facility and has typical mystery elements like why are they there, what the facility is all about, etc.

I'm a big Zero Escape fan so I went ahead and jumped the gun, the scary thing though is that this VN is obscure enough that even VNDB doesn't list its length, so I pray this isn't some < 10 hr experience LOL but the game does take up a sizeable 6.2GB so hopefully they got a decently lengthy script to go with all those assets.

The escape room puzzles themselves are nothing too special, typically take only 5-15 minutes, but have a huge quality variance, ranging from standard easy peasy just finding all the necessary items and applying them correctly to the various contraptions via trial and error, to headache inducing mindstopper decoding shit that basically require you be the developer to know wtf they were thinking when they made that puzzle (though I might just suck, for the record though I never had to use a guide for any of Zero Escape's puzzles and already ragequitted one or two of these LOL)

jXdBYgx.jpg


2JTx1hq.jpg
IDK GIRL, JUST GOOGLE IT!!!!

The VN plays in stages/chapters, with each chapter featuring an escape puzzle and heroine specific background lore, with a successful completion returning you to the main flowchart to pick from another heroine to playthrough as the group slowly but surely learns more about the facility and the state of the world:YmrF34c.jpg


So far I'm about 5-6hrs in, the group is together and have a few quarrels but overall the atmosphere is neutral-positive. The intro PV does hint at some dark shenanigans happening later though, so that'll be something to (not) look forward to.

Blood:

Spoiler

ggZWRYf.jpg

 

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I just finished Ano Hi no Tabibito, Fureau Mirai

It was just like its predecessor - short, but good. Although I wouldn't mind, if it was longer. Still, if publishers prefer to release smaller titles, I think I'd rather have such stanadalone short VN over episodic releases.

Almost all characters from Sora to Umi ga, Fureau Kanata reappear as side characters in Anofure as well, so the cast is bigger than in previous game.

The story begins with Yuuri (MC) coming to Chichijima island, looking for Tamaki. Tamaki was Yuuri's girlfriend during middle school when she was manager of athletic club Yuuri was member of. He was great sprinter, and his dream was to win the Olympic Games ;) But after graduation, Tamaki became an actress, and this caused them to drift away from each other, since they went to different schools, and didn't have chances to meet. Then one day she suddenly retired, disappearing from show business world. After learning that she has retreated to Chichijima, he goes there wanting to get some closure, and at least say proper farewell.

On the way to the place where Tamaki is supposed to be staying, he meets strange girl sitting on the side of the road, and doing one-man-show with Hamu-chan, a mascott character from children magical girl anime "Prettier" ("Pretty Cure" reference? ;) ). It's Eri - shy girl, who dreams about becoming voice actress. For that reason, she wants to try working at local radio station "Bonin FM", which is supposed to be at the top of the hill. Incidentally, that's the same place Yuuri is heading to, but as far as he knows, it shoud be "Sunset Station" hotel ;)

It turns out that indeed former hotel has been trasformed into radio station. And that station is on the verge of bankrupcy, since apparently nobody listens to it.

Spoiler

Because, as it turns out later, almost nobody on the island owns a radio receiver :P

Tamaki is also there, but she's in pretty miserable state, and Yuuri cannot believe, that it's the same girl he used to date.

To protect the place for Tamaki to recover, to help Eri chase after her dream, and to have some place to sleep (since he didn't take enough money to afford proper hotel :P) the three start to live at the station and do their own show, in attempt to gather new listeners and drive away the looming shut-down.

The school club or other institution at the verge of collapse. and group of teenagers trying to save it - yeah, that classic Konno we all love (or not :P). We've seen it already multiple times - Soaring Club, Stargazing Club, or even the school (and later, whole world) in ATRI, and now Bonin FM station - but I'm still not tired of it :D 

There are two routes selected through game's only choice near the end of common route.

I started with Tamaki's route.

109567.jpg

Spoiler

It turns out that the harsh world of showbiz was too much for teenage girl, and it broke her. She lost herself in acting - doing so not only for the movies, but also acting out the character she thought others are expecting her to be. Suddenly she realized, that she forgot who she really is, and then became unable to speak in front of microphone.

After hiding at Chichijima she spends most of her time eating junk food and playing FPS shooters over the net, swearing to never ever work again.

Adv-HD-2020-12-22-18-41-40-958.png

Later on she confesses to Yuuri, that when they were dating she's also been acting the part of girl she thought he would like.

Tamaki's route's main theme seems to be accepting one's and other's true self, without resorting to acting. And of course it's the story of reunion between former lovers. Nice.

Then there's Eri.

109447.jpg

Eri is very shy and has almost no confidence in herself. Her family - especially her older brother Ryouta - keep treating her like a little child who cannot do anything on her own. And her route revolves around overcoming that shyness and gaining the confidence needed to make the dream into a goal, and then reality.

Eri's relationship with her mascott Hamu-chan is very much - almost exactly - like Majikoi's Mayucchi and her Matsukaze - quite funny :)

After seeing the prologue one could easily think that Tamaki would be main heroine, but I actually feel like Eri's route is more fleshed out, and it has longer epilogue. Still, I enjoyed both.

Recently I've been listening from time to time to japanese local radio stations - which are called "Community FM" over there - and this VN captures the mood and formula of those stations pretty well. There's also one Konosora easter egg/reference:

Spoiler

When one day Yuuri listens to some other local station on his phone, looking for reference, there's message from a listener - a girl using the nickname Habanero Kotorinu :D

All in all, it was very enjoyable experience, even if a bit short. But no major complaints - 8/10 from me - same score I gave to Sora to Umi ga, Fureau Kanata.

***************************************************

And now I'm actually a bit lost, not knowing what to read next... There are so many titles in my backlog to choose from... Sukimazakura to Uso no Machi? Flyable Heart? Bokuten? Or maybe I should finally tackle Grisaia? Or something else?

Basically, this is my "immediate backlog"

 
Spoiler

 

             
      Akenai Yoru ga Kuru Mae ni  
 
 
      Boku ga Tenshi ni Natta Wake  
 
 
      Boukyaku Shitsuji to Koi Suru Ojou-sama no Memoir  
 
 
      Brass Restoration  
 
 
      Clannad - Hikari Mimamoru Sakamichi de  
 
 
      Corona Blossom  
 
 
      Cosmos no Sora ni  
 
 
      Deep Love Diary -Koibito Nikki-  
 
 
      Dengeki Stryker  
 
 
      Enigma:  
 
 
      Eve: Burst Error  
 
 
      Flyable Heart  
 
 
      Fu'un to Kou'un to Koi Uranai no Tarot  
 
 
      Fuyu Uso -Snow World End-  
 
 
      Gogatsu no Sora.  
 
 
      Grisaia no Kajitsu -Le Fruit de la Grisaia-  
 
 
      Grisaia no Meikyuu -Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia-  
 
 
      Grisaia no Rakuen -Le Eden de la Grisaia-  
 
 
      Hachigatsu ga Me ni Shimiru  
 
 
      Hachigatsu no Nostalgia ~The Summer with You~  
 
 
      Harmonia  
 
 
      Hatsukoi * Syndrome  
 
 
      Himawari  
 
 
      Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai  
 
 
      Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-  
 
 
      Hoshizora ☆ Planet  
 
 
      Idol Mahou Shoujo Chiruchiru ☆ Michiru  
 
 
      Kimi no Nagori wa Shizuka ni Yurete  
 
 
      Kimi no Tonari de Koishiteru!  
 
 
      Kimi to Hajimeru Dasanteki na Love Come  
 
 
      Kisaragi Gold ★ Star  
 
 
      Koiiro Soramoyou  
 
 
      Koiken Otome  
 
 
      Koioto Se Piace  
 
 
      Koishiki Manual  
 
 
      Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o  
 
 
      LoveKami -Divinity Stage-  
 
 
      LoveKami -Useless Goddess-  
 
 
      Lucy - Geunyeoga Baladeon Geos -  
 
 
      Maitetsu  
 
 
      Moonlight ~Omoide no Hajimari~  
 
 
      Nanatsuiro★Drops  
 
 
      Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart  
 
 
      Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! ~We've Been Waiting for You~  
 
 
      Pure Love!  
 
 
      Root Double -Before Crime * After Days-  
 
 
      Shichigatsu ga Mimi ni Tsuku  
 
 
      Shuffle!  
 
 
      Snow Rain  
 
 
      Snow Rain 2 ~ fragment of the heart ~  
 
 
             
      Sono Hana ga Saitara, Mata Boku wa Kimi ni Deau      
      Sorairo      
      Steins;Gate      
      Sukimazakura to Uso no Machi      
      Symphonic Rain      
      Te to Te Try on!      
      Tokimeki Check-in!      
      Toradora! Portable      
      True Love Story      
      Uminomichi      
      White Album      

 

 

 

 

- what should I choose...? :illyathink:

 

 

Edited by adamstan
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Happy holidays peeps!

I finished Abyss of the Sacrifice and did manage to somehow clock in 33 hours so I guess that's a relief. Though admittedly I probably lost 10 hours just getting absolutely hardstuck in some puzzles, so it's maybe more of a 20-25 hour VN depending on how gitgud you are.

There's only 16 BGMs, but they've got some pretty catchy techno-y escape room themes going on so I never felt the tracks were too limited/stale:


I enjoyed my time with it. Again, most puzzles are doable but there are some that are wtfmuxlogix-tier so I recommend if you are approaching 30minutes+ on any particular puzzle to just go look it up (I used this site which was for the 2010 game, and just google translate the page) to save yourself some frustration.  

The pacing can feel a bit off sometimes because every time you pick a stage you'll also get some background lore characterization flashbacks on that specific heroine, but in a story that mainly focuses on the isolated trapped mystery aspect you kind of don't need to know their backgrounds (ie. Zero escape did fine not knowing many of the character's backgrounds prior to them being trapped) and it can interrupt the flow sometimes when you just wanna get on with the story. But hey, it's 5 kawaii high school grills, so we gotta get some characterization goin' on.

The overarching mystery is decent, but nothing too fancy if you've already played the likes of Ever17, ZeroEscape. Missed opportunity in that you'll probably have a good idea of what's going on maybe 50-75% of the way through and then it's just figuring out how to escape, no more mystery, no more twists and turns.

The process to get the ends is in itself a puzzle, which I kind of thematically liked: there is an ending for every heroine, with one of them leading to the true ending, but it's based on what order you play the later stages in the VN. An enforced play order so to speak. So you'll have to pay a little bit of attention to what unfortunate shenanigans happens in the later stages so you can eventually pick the right play combination to victory. Of course, you can just walkthrough the play orders for the endings, but I think there is some narrative value in trying to figure it out yourself.

ACtC-3fYo1sI4Pwzim4u2kFIVIlHcWKAyMVwlkhIWHlRagUEb7ARhaGMz2nzdyErMGInGJLGfwMUlQ0b9ej-U9QxH4L0K7m0qlh5nDyOG-uC_TGOPfCVVXZ_x4QY_S5yFiS48pIh2Ofxql8VQZk51RgbUChv=w1280-h720-no?authuser=0

Playing certain later stages will lock you out from playing other stages because reasons*. (Blue is a completed stage, Gray is a locked out stage, Yellow is a stage not yet played, and Blank is a stage you've played on a prior run but not unlocked on your current run because reasons. You can only play Stages on your current column). Jitka's "Zero" stage is the default game over btw, so I was screwed on the pic above, but thankfully the game lets you menu one way back to a prior stage completion point once you get an ending and try proceeding again from there.

*reasons spoiler:

Spoiler

a heroine dies

 


ACtC-3eoJAZGPoeLUl2-resE5eB9XqmFg60Os2fKPBBXW2S_Puw2MmouBKNsnPQ6lY7Fy6B_7vb2gyVGQea_qSJrWrsCJLd16yHnyhRy2pXj8PCHInsRXmvfse2mK7UQC9ht907IYTP6wm35hFmQSXAb1GAA=w1280-h720-no?authuser=0
...Think you can make it to the True Ending? Or will you be doomed to eternal failure Raging Loop style? I for the record tried for about 30 minutes of play orders for the True End but threw in the towel cuz it just ain't fun having to skip through the stages lol

Overall if you just wanna play another trapped sci-fi mystery escape room VN, Abyss is a solid choice

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Ty for the heads up, Ill wait for Reflection Blue edition, bummer have to wait but yeah the changes are pretty substantial

Guess I'll do......

uhh

Flowers Le Volume sur Printemps+Ete+Automne 

I remember giving Printemps the cold shoulder because "pls Innocent Grey just focus on KnS3" but man they really pumped these out

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