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You might wanna put off reading those too. :moses3:
Haven't read them myself yet, but from what I've been told, they're connected and the first one supposedly ends on some sort of cliffhanger that isn't resolved until the final part of the series, Le Volume sur Hiver. Judging by the fact that the previous parts have been released during the summers of 2016, 2018 and 2020 respectively, I'm guessing we can expect the finale to be done in summer 2022.

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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

Finished Sekien no Inganock, and holy fucking shitballs, why didn't I read this sooner? Seriously the atmosphere, the music, the charcters the story I think I may have found my next 10 on my vndb no e

Currently playing Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, after finishing Prelude to the Fallen a few days ago. Admittedly, that one was pretty easy, but what the hell is up with the enemy damage in Mask of Deception? Regular, run-of-the-mill enemies actually hit harder than the main characters of the story and can easily kill them in 1-2 hits, not to mention the AOE attacks that can wipe out several party members instantly. I imagine the developer being like:

qR8hjX.jpg

Makes it feel more cheap than genuinely challenging, really. Especially when you add all the RNG stuff and the fact that they've removed the position-based damage bonuses, which I considered one of the best parts of combat in Prelude.

Edited by Seraphim
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I do, but I was under the impression that the difficulty and tactical positioning were something kept from the original game. Maybe that's not the case, but that doesn't really change the fact that there are quite a few things I don't like about the gameplay parts of Mask of Deception. Too high damage, too much RNG, no EXP for non-combatants, no decent ways to farm EXP on the side, BP being borderline pointless, and so on. I hear Mask of Truth at least adds shared EXP from the battles, so that's nice. Dunno if they did any other improvements than that, but I guess I'll find out soon enough.

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I just finished PSP version of Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o ("The promise under blue sky"). I'll try to write my impressions below, but it might get a bit chaotic - please excuse me.

This VN has been written by Maruto Fumiaki (DameKoi, White Album 2)

I really liked it - it's nice charage, and while no LB! or Majikoi, it's also very good at evoking that "Group of friends" trope that I love :)I think this CG somewhere from common route captures the overall mood pretty well:

ULJM05442-00003.png

I quickly got very attached to characters. Each heroine has her own quirks and problems, there are also some minor, but still interesting twists and mysteries here and there. I also liked the protagonist, and I didn't have the "problem" I had with Sakura Strasse - this time I was reading few hours everyday, and didn't get bored for a second. There's also lot of side characters with voices and sprites. Comedic bits were brilliant - I was laughing often and loud :D

I think my favourite routes from the main six were Saeri, Rinna and Umi. Next would be Naoko, followed by Shizu and Miya - but they were all very close. Each route had different theme and mood - quite nice variety.

After completing all six routes, kind of "True Route" gets unlocked. First there's a story titled "Yakusoku no Hi" - "A promised day" (or "Day of a promise"). Very heartwarming (and tearjerking) story about our group's final day at the dorm. Then, after that, there's Akane's route. Akane was one of the side characters in the main game, and while some say that her route is just an meaningless bonus, I really liked it - it is very good continuation of "Yakusoku no Hi". It also has nice connection with one of the twists from Rinna's route :)

And then, after completing all above, eighth route gets unlocked (PSP exclusive). This time it's hidden heroine - Chihiro. She's a shy girl from Wataru's class, who suddenly confesses to him somewhere during common route.

ULJM05442-00004.png

I didn't have any expectations regarding this route, but it was lovely and heartwarming. It was also perhaps closest to typical VN high-school romance, with dates etc, but it also did good job at showing how the group of friends accepted new girl.

PSP version also features four side stories from the fandisc, which get unlocked after clearing respective routes.

"Hidamari no virgin road" ("Aisle under the sun") - absolutely lovely extension of Umi's epilogue

Spoiler

Wedding ending!
ULJM05442-00006.png

"Kono Aozora ni Omoide o" ("Memories under blue sky") - side story that gets unlocked after Shizu's route, revealing a bit more about her past - how she met Wataru. It also has some small memories for other characters.

"Kono Fuyuzora ni Utagoe o" ("Singing under winter sky") - heartwarming side story/extension for "Yakusoku no Hi".

"Atashi no kakera" ("My fragment") - side story further connecting Akane's and Rinna's routes, with quite emotional ending.

So, to sum it up - it wasn't perfect, but lovely. 8/10

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

I also briefly compared it with adult version. PSP version's "censorship" level is similar to Konosora - meaning that scenario got rewritten in a non-erotic way - there's only kissing and handholding at most, but I'm fine with it :yes:. Replacement and additional scenes are quite good. Adult version was actually a big disappointment for me. It almost felt as if it was made by applying Rule34 to all-ages version :P First sex scenes were definitely too rushed, and whole thing seemed like just being there because "PC VN has to be eroge".  Meh. It isn't reaching the bottom where Kanon's or LB!'s h-scenes lie, but I feel like in this case still non-ero version aligns better with overall mood of the story.

Also, bonus content in PSP version >>>> hentai in PC version. The only drawback of PSP version is low resolution - the whole thing definitely looked much nicer in original 800x600.

 

Also, if you are going to play it - walkthrough at seiya-saiga isn't optimal. While it works for getting all endings, it makes you miss one important scene for Rinna's route, because it does split between Umi's and Rinna's routes at a later point. So it's better to follow for example this one. Well, guess those are drawbacks of map movement system.

Edited by adamstan
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On 1/6/2021 at 3:11 PM, Seraphim said:

I do, but I was under the impression that the difficulty and tactical positioning were something kept from the original game. Maybe that's not the case, but that doesn't really change the fact that there are quite a few things I don't like about the gameplay parts of Mask of Deception. Too high damage, too much RNG, no EXP for non-combatants, no decent ways to farm EXP on the side, BP being borderline pointless, and so on. I hear Mask of Truth at least adds shared EXP from the battles, so that's nice. Dunno if they did any other improvements than that, but I guess I'll find out soon enough.

For the info Utawarerumono 2 gameplay here is supposed to be the improved version of original Utawareumono version, because the original one didn't even allow the player to do some grinding outside main story (So no redoing a stage), no skill, and no equipment. By original I mean not something like Prelude (Why NISA didn't localize it as Mask of Beginning is a mystery seeing that it's more appropriate to have the idiosyncratic subtitle based on 'Mask' and that the title make more sense if we look at the story later) and even PS2 version, but instead the PC version that has been translated since back at 2008. And what Leaf did here is improved the first part of the trilogy while obviously they won't touch the second and third part seeing that it's still modern enough.

As for my advice, well just be mindful about positioning and look out for the upcoming turn of the enemy, although it's easier said than done. Oh and make a save before engaging into the battle.

PS - Prelude will be released for PC by Shiravune at 22nd later although it won't have sex scenes though. In case you want to see the sex scenes, well you can play the old version of it. At least it's not Aselia or Yoake case if anything else.

Edited by littleshogun
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I'm starting Sorairo right now. (PSP version)

I loved Amber Quartz so I hope to enjoy this one too. (Yes, I know that it is different, supposedly more down to earth ;) But still, it also seems to deal with memories, childhood friends, nostalgia etc etc - basically my favorite topics ;) )

Edited by adamstan
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Reading Hakuchuumu no Aojashin

Its extremely highly rated on vndb and I always take vndb ratings with a grain of salt but if its a consistent 9 or 10 score on a non-moege game, i think i can trust it a lil bit.

VN's extremely good though, honestly I dont like this kind of format for a VN which is an anthology. Its 3 loosely connected stories that are all somehow connected to one main story. case 1-3 are all different stories with different atmopsheres and even totally different UI so it kinda feels like a different game sometime.

The order you read the cases are all randomized, I got case 3 first which is a rather light story with an interesting cast. It feels rather real with a rather bright atmosphere and I liked that as all of the characters made me laugh in some way including the protagonist which isnt a blank slate but rather has a real personality. Warning though, I know some people would be pissed if their love interest in the VN isnt a virgin, Sumomo the main girl had a bad past in which she slept around for money. Its not really a spoiler since its in the tag on her VNDB but this kind of things are better of mentioned early on, personally I don't care if a love interest is a virgin or not, but some people care a bit too much about that.

Im on case 1 which has a very diff atmosphere right now. It feels rather sad and somber, considering the synopsis i read about case 1, I can kinda understand. I like plots like this about forbidden love or rather a fucked up love that isnt incest. Incest romance in VN's are done too much that i kinda lost care about that kind of trope. The forbidden love about case 1 is that the protagonist is a teacher, and the main love interest i guess is one of his students. Kinda standard plot right? No, the protagonist is married so its a double whammy of forbidden love.

Edited by Larxe1
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Just finished Umineko

Spoiler

Yeah.. This was not as great as i thought it would be.. At all.. It started epically, but headed more and more into the fiction direction and tried hammering into you "how you should now know whats true"... Yeah, no clue whats going on in your head Ryu, but much of this makes little sense. Episode 1-4 were the absolute best, but it just took a nosedive from there on as new characters just werent particularly interesting. Ange was mehh at best. She was nothing until she overtook and became the story. Yeah, that sat badly with me. It was Battler and Beatrice and how Battler had promised Beatrice to bring her off the gameboard. Well, he did but Beatrice did what she did and that was the end of that dream. In the end, nothing was answered. You only have to rely on wild theories by yourself or on the internet. Ryu purposely hid a lot of things. Lion's/yasu's gender, purpose of the outside witches(and if they were even witches), what the hell happened on the island, life itself. He basically didn't answer anything. And this story raved on how any good mystery gives clues how to solve it. Yeah..........  While i got an ending i was happy with as i knew the people were dead, the whole story left me very unsatisfied.

 

Edited by Stormwolf
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1 hour ago, Stormwolf said:

Just finished Umineko

  Hide contents

Yeah.. This was not as great as i thought it would be.. At all.. It started epically, but headed more and more into the fiction direction and tried hammering into you "how you should now know whats true"... Yeah, no clue whats going on in your head Ryu, but much of this makes little sense. Episode 1-4 were the absolute best, but it just took a nosedive from there on as new characters just werent particularly interesting. Ange was mehh at best. She was nothing until she overtook and became the story. Yeah, that sat badly with me. It was Battler and Beatrice and how Battler had promised Beatrice to bring her off the gameboard. Well, he did but Beatrice did what she did and that was the end of that dream. In the end, nothing was answered. You only have to rely on wild theories by yourself or on the internet. Ryu purposely hid a lot of things. Lion's/yasu's gender, purpose of the outside witches(and if they were even witches), what the hell happened on the island, life itself. He basically didn't answer anything. And this story raved on how any good mystery gives clues how to solve it. Yeah..........  While i got an ending i was happy with as i knew the people were dead, the whole story left me very unsatisfied.

 

the manga explicitly answers a lot of your questions [specifically episode 8]

there is a truth in the game, it's just not too obvious [and it is shown in the VN, even]

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9 minutes ago, Silvz said:

the manga explicitly answers a lot of your questions [specifically episode 8]

there is a truth in the game, it's just not too obvious [and it is shown in the VN, even]

Well, the length of the vn and convoluted way that "truth" has been explained makes for no solvable mystery for regular people. I'm sure there are crazies who have fine combed the story over and over to craft a theory. But unless stated outright, it's just a theory. Maybe i'll check into the manga for the last chapter.

Edited by Stormwolf
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2 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

Iwaihime. Still going through it. Very slowly. With massive pauses. Only about halfway in. Help.

Honestly, kind of surreal how one of my favorite VN authors wrote this piece of trash.

you can just drop it, you know, and I really mean it. I've been having the same problem lately, to the point I'm almost a month without advancing on my reading, and there are so, so many things in my list, as there are probably in yours, that dropping one can be more benefitial than not

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So in other words, the VN's story was completely unsolvable and it was just as shitty as people have been complaining about. Well, good thing of Ryu to rectify that mistake though. Good thing i have a hacked PS3

Edit: Ohh it's ported to PC. Quite nice

Edited by Stormwolf
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8 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

Iwaihime. Still going through it. Very slowly. With massive pauses. Only about halfway in. Help.

Honestly, kind of surreal how one of my favorite VN authors wrote this piece of trash.

I like that philosophical musing there. That said, since Ryukishi here is not the director and thus he might be not in hold of the whole story (As in he might be told to tone down his writing), I can see on why the VN would feel different with his other works even though the writing here is still obviously the same. If anything else, at least you can say that the graphics is better than default Higurashi art and that you can see on how Suzumu become One Punch Man lol (The MC Suzumu here did share same VA as the titular One Punch Man Saitama). Also I felt like that 'soot' can be used as euphemism for (Sorry) sperm or penis XD, especially when the characters did say that they want 'Suzumu's soot'.

Seriously I can say that I agree Iwaihime here might be not his usual Ryukishi's writing and so many people are disappointed when they didn't find it as good as Higurashi or Umineko, so perhaps drop Iwaihime here might be the best option if you didn't like the writing there.

Edited by littleshogun
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My first impressions from Sorairo.

For now it looks like quite relaxed and relaxing summer SoL :)So far I'm liking what I'm seeing. It has a bit unusual route system. There are 3 heroines, but apparently there are 9 routes and 11 endings. The game starts with childhood flashback prologue, and depending on the choices made in that part, you can end up in one of the three heroine's "worlds". But those aren't equal to routes - it's more like three different VNs packed into one, because in each "world" there are routes for all three heroines. So each heroine has three routes - one "main", in her "world", and two additional in other heroine's "worlds". Additionally, Tsubame's main route has two endings, and her "world" also has mini-route/ending for Risamisa-senpai (one of the side characters, sister of MCs classmate) - so that makes 3 routes in prologue, which then continue into three different common routes, and then that splits into a total of 11 endings.

Currently I'm going for Ai's main route. (And school trip episode I'm now in remembered me about my unfinished Sakura no Kisetsu remake project...)

According to Accany's review Tsubame's main route seems to be true route (and the best one), so I'm saving it for last.

Edited by adamstan
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8 hours ago, Silvz said:

you can just drop it, you know, and I really mean it. I've been having the same problem lately, to the point I'm almost a month without advancing on my reading, and there are so, so many things in my list, as there are probably in yours, that dropping one can be more benefitial than not

I know. And usually I drop VNs pretty easily as soon as I lose interest, which happens quite a lot recently. Looking i at my vndb list, the last time I actually finished a VN was in June. On the other hand, in this particular case I just want to get some sort of conclusion. I guess, I'm still kind of interested to see how the mystery is resolved, even though, honestly, the game itself is just boring. Plus I still have some hopes that it might get better when they start to explain stuff. I may drop it still, but I want to read a bit more.

And, honestly, I probably a bit overreacted yesterday. It's not like the game is all bad. I personally kind of enjoyed Riria's chapter. The problem is just that I feel like it fails on so many levels. The horror is not scary at all, and the characters are pretty forgettable. I honestly feel like their stories could be a lot more impactful if the setting was more realistic, without all the weird supernatural stuff.

2 hours ago, littleshogun said:

Also I felt like that 'soot' can be used as euphemism for (Sorry) sperm or penis XD, especially when the characters did say that they want 'Suzumu's soot'.

That's kind of disturbing analogy. Though it makes perfect sense, I guess.

2 hours ago, littleshogun said:

That said, since Ryukishi here is not the director and thus he might be not in hold of the whole story (As in he might be told to tone down his writing), I can see on why the VN would feel different with his other works even though the writing here is still obviously the same.

You know, I have some suspicions about that. You know, one of the main things I like about Ryukishi's stories is how well he constructs them. Everything makes sense in the end. I read Higurashi after I already spoiled the whole story with the anime, and it was crazy how many little hints there are throughout the whole story which only make sense after you already know everything. In case of Iwaihime, however, he only wrote the script, and he probably didn't really construct the story itself, as the original idea wasn't his. Also, there were probably some constraints on the story length, so the characters aren't that well fleshed out. Maybe that's what's missing.

PS. Forgot so say it, but I finished chapter 4 (Tsubakiko's).

Edited by Dreamysyu
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20 hours ago, Stormwolf said:

Well, the length of the vn and convoluted way that "truth" has been explained makes for no solvable mystery for regular people. I'm sure there are crazies who have fine combed the story over and over to craft a theory. But unless stated outright, it's just a theory. Maybe i'll check into the manga for the last chapter.

Okay, so, Umineko is interesting in how it wants the players to solve the things (Not only that, but I'll focus purely on the episode murder mysteries).

Spoiler

It's by no means impossible to figure some things out by yourself whilst you play, like by noticing that magic only happens when Battler cannot see it up until the end: Something Episode 5 goes out of it's way to destroy and confuse the player. At the same time, it's here they explain Knox's rules and how the stories probably follow them, and expect the player to associate only the detective sees the truth with the new girl showing up and calling herself the detective.

But let's get away from the details. These things can possibly be figured out, but quite frankly I understand your feelings very well. I myself thought for a very long time on how everything was clearly impossible for regular people.
However, once I replayed the game, I found it way way way easier, simply because of the bits of knowledge I now knew. If I know only the detective sees the truth, that Kanon and Shannon are the same person, and that Kinzo is already dead, suddenly most mysteries are way easier to tackle.
The things Will says near the end of the novel, in which he "solves" every case, he is actually explaining all the solutions (to crimes). "Illusions to illusions" usually means they just lied. The vast majority of the things we deal with for the first 4 episodes are just people in cahoots and lying.

But yeah, I'm fairly certain the author knows the solutions, he just chose to give players the tools to come up with them instead of spelling them out. I think that's really cool! But Umineko is so long I doubt many people who didn't already love it would come back to find the same experience I did.

 

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2 hours ago, Mr Poltroon said:

Okay, so, Umineko is interesting in how it wants the players to solve the things (Not only that, but I'll focus purely on the episode murder mysteries).

  Hide contents

It's by no means impossible to figure some things out by yourself whilst you play, like by noticing that magic only happens when Battler cannot see it up until the end: Something Episode 5 goes out of it's way to destroy and confuse the player. At the same time, it's here they explain Knox's rules and how the stories probably follow them, and expect the player to associate only the detective sees the truth with the new girl showing up and calling herself the detective.

But let's get away from the details. These things can possibly be figured out, but quite frankly I understand your feelings very well. I myself thought for a very long time on how everything was clearly impossible for regular people.
However, once I replayed the game, I found it way way way easier, simply because of the bits of knowledge I now knew. If I know only the detective sees the truth, that Kanon and Shannon are the same person, and that Kinzo is already dead, suddenly most mysteries are way easier to tackle.
The things Will says near the end of the novel, in which he "solves" every case, he is actually explaining all the solutions (to crimes). "Illusions to illusions" usually means they just lied. The vast majority of the things we deal with for the first 4 episodes are just people in cahoots and lying.

But yeah, I'm fairly certain the author knows the solutions, he just chose to give players the tools to come up with them instead of spelling them out. I think that's really cool! But Umineko is so long I doubt many people who didn't already love it would come back to find the same experience I did.

 

I did reread it and can agree 100% with you. The second time is way more interesting, because knowing the culprit you can pay attention to all the hints and tricks used in the story. Umineko is a great novel to read more than once if you want the whole experience.

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Yesterday I finished main Ai's route in Sorairo.

44731.jpg

It was shorter than I expected, but OTOH that's understandable since each route has three versions, so if each of those was full length, it would probably get too big for rather standard high-school moege ;)

The route itself was nice - nothing outstanding nor groundbreaking, but also not boring - it was quite pleasant read, and two final CGs were very romantic :)

Spoiler

Kiss and holding hands on the island beach during sunrise

If I had to complain about something - I'd like to see more interactions with other characters/group also during heroine's route, and not only in common route - I prefer that approach over the "isolated" routes focused almost solely on MC and chosen heroine.

Well - it was just 1 out of at least 9 routes, so let's see how others turn out.

Edited by adamstan
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