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Fatal Twelve. It popped up randomly in the Switch store the other day, jeez y'all gotta market better!

 

Fatal Twelve is a, uh... battle of wits style battle royale death game? Except there's no hard violence- no epic Fate/Stay battles to the death. At the other end of the spectrum, there's no glorified verbal debates like Danganronpa's Class Trials. That's probably my biggest first impression disappointment going into this VN lol.

The basic premise is that 12 people died, and through an enigmatic process called Divine Selection they are put through a 12 week altered reality where none of them actually died. The goal? To eliminate all other participants via weekly Elections in the Court of Fate. Other than that they are relatively free to do as they please with their newfound time. In order to Elect someone, a participant must have their opponents' 1) Name 2) Cause of Death 3) Life Regret. An eliminated participant will have their death become reality once again, and any physical actions or influence they made between their original death and the current present is erased. The sole survivor of the Divine Selection gets the privilege to defy fate and live on while the rest perish as fate originally intended.

The whole process is supervised by none other than Parca, a snarky self proclaimed Goddess of Destiny.

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Yo you're cute and all, but, I mean, wtf kind of name is Parca?

The 12 participants all have different backgrounds and circumstances ranging from mafioso, wealthy businessman, housewife, single old man, smuggler, rich indian prince, female child, and of course, our protagonist, your every day ordinary high school male high school female with a delinquent appearance: Rinka. She really is just a high school kid, as she mainly spends the first half of the Divine Selection just mulling about her school's upcoming culture festival and friendships, with her research into the other participants being limited to really amateur attempts such as trying to Google them on the internet. The adults do all of the heavy lifting, forming alliances and long con betrayals. 

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Who looks more out of place here, the handsome Nigerian Prince or the delinquent schoolgirl lol.

The story plays episodic/weekly, with the first few weeks being easily forgetful since they were used to eliminate the fodder cast and establish the mechanics of the Divine Selection as well as give you a feel for how the other participants are going about their days. Might as well have called this VN Fatal Six, since that's when the remaining cast get to have some better interactions and scenarios with each other. As I said earlier, the weekly eliminations in the Court of Fate also leave much to be desired, as those segments really lack any climax feel. No oomph. One person just Elects someone, calls out their name, cause of death, and regret, and that's it. Moving onto the next week.

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YO I FEEL SAD THAT THE DIVINE SELECTION ELECTION ELIMINATIONS BASICALLY BOIL DOWN TO LIST YOUR OPPONENT'S 1-2-3 LINERS AND NOT HOUR LONG DANGANRONPA CLASS TRIAL SEGMENTS
 

Pretty curious to see how this can end, like if there'll be any jaw dropping twists or if it'll just end straightforwardly.


~~
Another VN err otome that just came out today that I've been waiting for is Bustafellows. For some reason I thought this was made by the same devs IdeaFactory/Otomate who made the blockbusters Code;Realize and CollarXMalice, but apparently not. Still looks like it has the potential to be included in the list of high quality otome VNs that everyone who gets into otomes should read though.

You play as Teuta, a cheerful 21yo freelance journalist living in modern fictional U.S. New Sieg. Looking for her next scoop she happened upon one of the heroes, Limbo, a famous skilled arrogant lawyer on the side of justice. Hoping to catch an interview she calls out to him, but much to her shock he just collapses and dies, blood pouring out of his chest.

So what does she do?

She timeleaps one hour into the past into the body of another in order to warn Limbo about his impending doom.

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...Oh yeah, this should be good.

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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

I have no idea what any of that was actually saying because your posts are difficult to read sometimes. But please don't assault or sexually harass your coworkers, that's not cool.

8 hours ago, Eclipsed said:

YO I FEEL SAD THAT THE DIVINE SELECTION ELECTION ELIMINATIONS BASICALLY BOIL DOWN TO LIST YOUR OPPONENT'S 1-2-3 LINERS AND NOT HOUR LONG DANGANRONPA CLASS TRIAL SEGMENTS

So can tastes differ. I actually liked the straight to the point style in the VN and would have probably hated some comedic streched out debate battles. The main work is done out of the divine elections anyway. No reason to talk around the bush there.

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Man, Magpie is awesome.

I just started reading Making Lovers and was slightly annoyed by how blurry everything looked compared to the delightful 1440p of Kinkoi, which I finished a few days ago. (It turned out to be a great read; especially the final route. Can't go into any details without spoiling it though, so I'll just leave it at that.)
Aaanyway, the whole "blurry" situation was easily remedied thanks to this wondrous app. I don't know how it works from a technical standpoint, but it basically lets you sharpen the image through upscaling. If you haven't tried it out already, I highly recommend doing so. You can pick it up here, and then you just boot it up, choose which filter to use (Anime4K has some serious sharpening, but I think I prefer the slightly less defined ACNet option), launch whichever VN you want to use it in and hit Alt + F11 when you're in windowed mode.
Unfortunately, the upscaling forces the game into fullscreen, so I think you're out of luck if you prefer playing in windowed mode. For me personally, I always play in fullscreen anyway, so that part doesn't bother me.

In any case, here's a comparison shot of the original image and one with the Anime4K filter I mentioned above.

Original:
pD8Ek6.png

Anime4K:
QJC8XW.png

I suggest you open the images in separate tabs and switch between them, as that makes the difference a lot clearer. Also, it's obviously much more apparent on a large screen. I dunno how much of a difference it makes on a laptop or the like.

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45 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Man, Magpie is awesome.

I just started reading Making Lovers and was slightly annoyed by how blurry everything looked compared to the delightful 1440p of Kinkoi, which I finished a few days ago. (It turned out to be a great read; especially the final route. Can't go into any details without spoiling it though, so I'll just leave it at that.)
Aaanyway, the whole "blurry" situation was easily remedied thanks to this wondrous app. I don't know how it works from a technical standpoint, but it basically lets you sharpen the image through upscaling. If you haven't tried it out already, I highly recommend doing so. You can pick it up here, and then you just boot it up, choose which filter to use (Anime4K has some serious sharpening, but I think I prefer the slightly less defined ACNet option), launch whichever VN you want to use it in and hit Alt + F11 when you're in windowed mode.
Unfortunately, the upscaling forces the game into fullscreen, so I think you're out of luck if you prefer playing in windowed mode. For me personally, I always play in fullscreen anyway, so that part doesn't bother me.

In any case, here's a comparison shot of the original image and one with the Anime4K filter I mentioned above.

Original:
pD8Ek6.png

Anime4K:
QJC8XW.png

I suggest you open the images in separate tabs and switch between them, as that makes the difference a lot clearer. Also, it's obviously much more apparent on a large screen. I dunno how much of a difference it makes on a laptop or the like.

me trying to see the difference in my 1080p screen :kuma:

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I have been reading Higurashi: Tsumihoroboshi these past two weeks and boy, it was a ride! It's not my favorite one but it might actually be pretty close!! :rinkosparkle: 

Spoiler

Chapter 3: Rena getting all comfy in her hideout almost made me tear up, what the hell. I miss being a little kid... I mean, I could still do those things. I can't wait until I move to the countryside again... sigh.

Chapter 6: I cried like a bitch, damn. I was fine until Satoko joined and forgave Rena... cries. Also, is it just me who prefers the original CG of Rena crying over MangaGamer's or the console one? Idk, I just found it more emotional, even tho I'm playing with the console sprites.

Chapter 13/Finale: Man, that fight was epic! But agh, that last tip left me so freaking confused again... I mean, a lot of stuff has been cleared up but I'm wondering how Keiichi and his friend will overcome the big Hinamizawa Disaster because I sure want them to do that :kasumicry:

This chapter might fit neatly into maybe third place (in my personal rank), hehe~ I'll give this one an 8,3/10!

Next is Higurashi: Minagoroshi! I can't wait! :watame:

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I just finished Parfait ~Chocolat Second Brew~ Standard Edition

It was very good charage, with nicely written characters and their interactions - as expected from Maruto ;) 

I started with Yui's route -
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and it was very good. Yui is absolutely adorable lump of love, and perhaps the moest  of them all :yes:. Also, her being a musician additionally tugged at my heartstrings. Strongly intertwined with Yui's route is Rea

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Spoiler

(actually they are step-sisters - Yui got adopted by Rea's family)

Rea is lovely classic tsundere - and I'd dare to say one of the better ones. Her banter with Hitoshi, the way she tries to hide her feelings, the way she blushes, her deredere side... Ahhh... I'm in love :abilove:.

Those two girls are actually game's "cover girls", and I can totally understand why.

Next I've read two more standalone routes - Asuka's and Kasuri's. Those two routes, while not bad, felt a little flat - something was missing.

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Asuka is actually the only high-school student in the whole VN, and Hitoshi is her tutor. Their relationship was nice, but, idk, somehow the route felt a bit like a side one.

As for Kasuri - I felt like there was lots of wasted comedy or drama potential - considering that in the prologue we meet her scary overprotective father, and then escape together in the middle of the night. Yet the man never reappears again. I guess that perhaps those two routes were relying mostly on h-scenes to make an impression? And of course that would get significtantly weakened in all-ages edition that I've read ;)

Next pair was Ema and Rikako - they also share large part of common route, and the beginning of the two's respective true routes - here we face the only choice in the whole game other than map movement in common route.

Let's start with Ema

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Her relationship with Hitoshi is quite complicated - she was his childhood friend (and perhaps the first love), then she became his stepsister, and then sister-in-law by marrying Hitoshi's (now deceased) older brother. Good route, with the two trying to untangle that mess and sort out their feelings.

And then Rikako's epic route

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She's obviously designed as a main heroine - her route being perhaps the longest in the base game, and with three endings. When first entering Rikako's true route, we meet a bad end somewhere in the middle. It was really heartwrenching, but understandable, considering the mess their relatonship was, and their personalities. To unlock good end, you have to complete all previous routes (Yui, Rea, Asuka, Kasuri and Ema). Then there's Rikako's "normal" route, which is kind of glimpse, or preview, of good ending. And finally, after entering her true route again, it picks from the moment a little before bad end, and goes from there on quite an journey - to finally arrive at the sweet and heartwarming ending.
 

Spoiler

 

Yay! The family ending :abilove::100:

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The there were two additional routes exclusive to all ages version.

First was Mizuna

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She's the waitress at Curio, and Rea's best friend. It was interesting route about insecurities, and how they can harm the relationship.

And then there was Mio

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At first glance, quite tomboyish coffee vendor and genius barista. But there's much more to her. Her route was almost as epic as Rikako's, and outside of her route, she was quite good side character.

As mentioned before, I've read all-ages version. It has been rewritten in a very natural way. Some of the sex stuff has been replaced with kissing, and the stories were also extended significantly - there were some very good scenes that were not present in +18 version. Also, I was very surprised to discover that Mio and Mizuna were totally new characters (and not just side characters getting routes). They got integrated into the common route so seamlessly, that I thought they were always there. Their routes were also on par with the rest quality-wise despite having different writer.

When reading all-ages versions sometimes I think "Hmm, that's nice and all, but perhaps a bit of H stuff wouldn't hurt".:pantsu::maybe: It happened with that VN too. But then I checked out +18 version and was like "NOPE! Not that way!" :nou:. It was way too porny, and some scenes were inserted pretty randomly. So, for this game, all-ages version FTW.

So, to sum this up - very good charage, with amusing character interactions, nice art, voices and music. Out of 8 routes, there were only two a bit weaker ones. All in all - 8/10, great stuff.

Edited by adamstan
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Talk about coincidences, and deep roots of some tropes... After finishing Parfait, I just started playing ancient and obscure charage from 2000 (or 2003 for voiced edition) called Hachigatsu no Nostalgia ~the summer with you~ - since it's August right now ;) 

In Parfait one of the heroines was Ema - blue haired sister-in-law, currently widow.
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Imagine my surprise when I started playing Hachigatsu no Nostalgia and met Chitose - blue haired sister-in-law, currently widow 😮
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Edited by adamstan
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I just finished Hachigatsu no Nostalgia ~the summer with you~

What a letdown and wasted potential...

I took me 10 hours to complete four routes in Japanese (!) - it was unexpectedly short. The events feel quite disjointed and romance unconvincing. That's because the writing is so sparse that it feels like reading an abridged version or a summary :P For each character there's bunch of semi-random SoL events, one short H-scene and brief epilogue. I think it doesn't even reach the "charage level", since the characters are way, how to say it, undercharacterized? It's simple, short, old-school "bishoujo game".

Nanao's and Eri's routes feel like typical "summer eroge adventure" :P Natsuki's route promised more, with flashbacks and childhood promises - but it failed to deliver, because it feels like 90% of text has been cut out, and we're left with some random scraps. Chitose's route seems to make the most sense, and I think the writer has given her route a bit more attention - it felt a bit less unconvincing than the other three :P Besides, she's pretty hot ;)

The engine is very crude, not having even a skip mode (!).

All in all - it's no surprise that this VN is so obscure - it certainly deserves it :P Not great, not terrible, but still a letdown - 6.5/10

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1 hour ago, ChaosRaven said:

How do you decide, which of those old relics of VN development to play anyway?

It looks so incredible niche, that it's more something I'd expect to show up when clicking on "Random visual novel" in VNDB. :baobao:

Sometimes I'm lured in by random images on VNDB front page. When image catches my attention, I then check out the VN page. If I find something interesting in the summary or in the tags, then sometimes I decide to give it a go ;) In this case, I liked the setting and the mention of "buried memories" - it's a trope I'm pretty fond of. Sadly, this VN utterly failed to deliver what it promised :(

If not by images, then some of those obscure titles turned out when I did some searching by tags. Or they share some staff with other titles that I enjoyed. But it's all pretty random. Sometimes I stumble upon a hidden gem - or at least the title that I personally enjoy, even if it's unpopular, like Konneko or Amber Quartz, but then sometimes there's just disappointment.

Edited by adamstan
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2 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Sometimes I'm lured in by random images on VNDB front page. When image catches my attention, I then check out the VN page. If I find something interesting in the summary or in the tags, then sometimes I decide to give it a go ;) In this case, I liked the setting and the mention of "buried memories" - it's a trope I'm pretty fond of. Sadly, this VN utterly failed to deliver what it promised :(

If not by images, then some of those obscure titles turned out when I did some searching by tags. Or they share some staff with other titles that I enjoyed. But it's all pretty random.

My backlog of English VN's alone aready demands a high amount of discipline against random VN's. :P

Not to mention that I'm still struggling to get my current Japanese VN Shin Koihime † Musou -Kakumei- Ryuuki no Taimou finished - it's just so ridiculous long. :vinty:

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3 hours ago, ChaosRaven said:

My backlog of English VN's alone aready demands a high amount of discipline against random VN's. :P

Not to mention that I'm still struggling to get my current Japanese VN Shin Koihime † Musou -Kakumei- Ryuuki no Taimou finished - it's just so ridiculous long. :vinty:

Yeah, my backlog is quite big as well. However recently I tend to prioritize reading in Japanese - it got strangely addictive. And well, I keep adding VNs to the backlog, and the order/queue often gets shifted around - when something seems to grab my attention, I might read it immediately, regardless of backlog ;)

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I'm almost finishing Flowers 3 after reading it non-stop for a week after months stalling. I'm glad I did, because the story is so enjoyable, well written and engaging. The romance flows naturally and the mysteries actually made me interested in what was going on. I'm pretty excited for Flowers 4 [come on, Jast, release it already!]

 

That said, I just bought a fan-favorite on Steam - yeah, Steam! because from what I researched, for me it is the best version - Fruit of Grisaia! Unless something major happens, such as Reflection Blue being completed, I'll read Grisaia next. Do you have a recommended route order? Or should I go blind?

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6 hours ago, Silvz said:

I just bought a fan-favorite on Steam - yeah, Steam! because from what I researched, for me it is the best version - Fruit of Grisaia! Unless something major happens, such as Reflection Blue being completed, I'll read Grisaia next. Do you have a recommended route order? Or should I go blind?

Sadly I have no idea. I also have Grisaia on Steam, but it sits in my backlog for two years already, and I keep postponing it ;)

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2 hours ago, Seraphim said:

Didn't they censor even dialogue outside of h-scenes in that version? Or maybe I've got it confused with some other VN.

According to what Reddit says,  some jokes and dialogue that contain explicit sex/illegal themes were rewritten, and one route has a major scene changed. Besides those, it's mainly the h-scenes, which I'm not interested into.

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I looked into it a bit as well and it seems like there are some added scenes and CGs in this version, so that should definitely make up for any censored content, to the point where I'm deliberating rereading the VN myself. It's one of my personal favorites, but the h-scenes were awful and way too long (and this was back in the days when I used to sit through the entire scenes to make sure I didn't miss anything plot-related). We're talking a huge time investment though, so I dunno when I'd find the time, considering my current backlog and all the other stuff that's being released.

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On 8/14/2021 at 11:25 AM, Silvz said:

That said, I just bought a fan-favorite on Steam - yeah, Steam! because from what I researched, for me it is the best version - Fruit of Grisaia!

I personally played the Steam version for the first Grisaia, with the exception of one route which everyone said was ruined in that version, and I never played the full 18+ version, though I skipped through some routes of the other version, and I've seen some skipped scenes. So, take everything I say with a grain of salt. That said, I personally believe that the 18+ version is superior, though not to the point that I recommend going for it if you absolutely despise h-scenes. Lots of changes are pretty minor: some jokes are missing, and some foreshadowing is skipped. The protagonist in the all-ages version appears as a lot more decent person, and it will probably make him a lot more bearable for some people, but you can also argue that it breaks his characterisation. On the other hand, there are some changes in Michiru's route that I personally find really nonsensical. The route is pretty much big mess to begin with, but I personally believe I could enjoy it if I came with a right mindset, though the changes in the Steam version certainly didn't help.

Ironically, I probably should've gone for the Steam version for the third game.

Edited by Dreamysyu
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1 hour ago, Dreamysyu said:

Ironically, I probably should've gone for the Steam version for the third game.

I think I remember reading somewhere about translator saying that for third game (and I think for the second one too) he found all-ages versions to be superior and recommended them over +18 ones.

Edited by adamstan
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