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As planned, yesterday I started reading Parquet.

I'm now in the Chapter 3-2, and so far I find it very enjoyable. Both heroines and side characters are nice, and I quickly got along with them :) There's also right balance between main story and SoL stuff, at least for me. The premise itself is also interesting.

But I think I can see how it might be difficult to find target audience for this title, and why it might disappoint many readers. First, it isn't exactly typical modern Yuzusoft game (which means moege with quite prominent ero content), so die-hard Yuzusoft fans might frown upon it. Hardcore Sci-Fi/Cyberpunk fans also won't be satisfied, since to some extent the premise is used just as an excuse to tell the story - so there definitely are some "unrealistic" / "unscientific" things going on in there. I think in that regard it's similar to ATRI.

Nevertheless I find it quite engaging.

I got Steam edition, but I'm playing it in Japanese - it's very nice that it is included :) Of course that means that my speed is much slower - currently I have 9 hours on the Steam clock - while apparently with normal reading speed I should have it completed by that time ;) But OTOH I must admit, that while part of it is of course due to looking up unknown words and parsing the text, I recently also just enjoy the slower pace while reading. Especially when it comes to narration or protagonist's internal monologue - I sometimes will stop at a line for a moment even when I don't need to check it up - just to think a little about it or to soak in the atmosphere.

And, while we're at atmosphere - I find both music and art very nice and enjoyable :)

Edited by adamstan
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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.

Taking a break from MAMIYA and playing Togainu no Chi. Just finished Rin's route and honestly I really didn't like him at first but now he's my favorite, lol. I really enjoyed his route. I really wanted to like Keisuke's but it kinda just fell flat imo. Ended up not liking Keisuke that much in the end. 

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20 hours ago, VernonZirconKitsune said:

Taking a break from MAMIYA and playing Togainu no Chi. Just finished Rin's route and honestly I really didn't like him at first but now he's my favorite, lol. I really enjoyed his route. I really wanted to like Keisuke's but it kinda just fell flat imo. Ended up not liking Keisuke that much in the end. 

two VNs I'm really wanting to play :D can't wait!

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Mbn to be able to re-read VNs; I apparently red Princess Evangile like 6 years ago and gave it a solid 8 and it was definitely at the time one of my favorite charamoeges. Recently I tried re-reading like Little Busters! and Grisaia no Kajitsu, both of which are literally like my second and third VNs, but nope I remember just barely enough that they're both completely a drag for me to even bother continuing 😪

Over the past month I finished the otome Bustafellows. I ended up giving it an 8.5/10, so same rating as what I gave for the likes of Code;Realize and CollarxMalice. But I think I enjoyed Bustafellows a bit more than those two, so maybe 8.75/10? LOL But VNDB doesn't allow such a blasphemy partial rating oh wells

What makes Bustafellows so stellar is if you particularly enjoy a cast that has superb camaraderie, friendship, familial bond etc with each other. Bustafellows is ALL about that life. The setting of New Sieg (fictional modern US) with its corruption-behind-the-scenes and band of five heroes each having their own place in society + heroine protagonist all living under the same roof banding together to do vigilante work just allows for many funtimes. 

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What a solemn group picture LOL

Every Hero route will have the protagonist-heroine Teuta meddle with his private affairs, eventually culminating in them falling in love along with the other Heroes stepping in with the "Yo, we're bro's, let us help you out!" to resolve the conflicts. It's a good way to make use of all the characters without doing the whole out of focus thing.

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YO, BRO'S BEFORE HO'S


Teuta herself is one of the more vibrant heroine-protagonists I've had the pleasure of reading. I don't even remember Ichika's or Cardia's personalities- I think they were stoic and realistic, or whatever genericness that allowed the reader to self-insert better. Teuta's strong willed, positive, and speaks her mind. She's also FULLY VOICED, can you believe that? At first it was off-putting for me- usually I don't like my protagonists voiced because it slows down my reading and whatnot- but at the end of the day having Teuta voiced for Bustafellows with all of her emotions ended up enhancing the narrative experience so much more than if I were to just use whatever headcanon voice I conjured up for her.

The romance is exquisite. Teuta conforms to her Hero of choice EXTREMELY well it's almost shocking how "made for each other" Teuta is able to be with each Hero, vs. some other VNs where sometimes you just laugh at how quickly and abruptly some pairings get together. It's probably partly because it was by design here- a majority of the Hero route flags are triggered by a 'personality' test Teuta takes during the common route and so yeah, the pairs do naturally end up having much in common.

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The sassy and snarky playboy Helvetica

 

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The playful self proclaimed "Underworld Boss" Scarecrow

 

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The overly stoically logical Mozu

 

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The lone wolf badass Shu
 

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The charismatic and dependable posterboy Limbo

 

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There's plenty of supporting cast as well that adds to the one-big-happy-family-that-has-each-others'-backs theme. Teuta in particular has two lifelong childhood friends Luka and Adam who will make sporadic appearances throughout your time with Bustafellows and they're always a treat to see because you just know whenever they pop up that they'll take care of Teuta. She really is the central pillar that joins everyone together in this VN.

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Luka and Adam are probably some of the best side support characters I've had the pleasure of reading. Their "lifelong friend" status really made me appreciate them.

 

And so, you may want to avoid stumbling into some of the bad ends. Overall they're pretty mild, but some can get JARRINGLY dark. Teuta's a great protagonist, and everyone loves her, but she's not invincible 💀

SUPER SPOILERS AND PROBABLY NSFW:

Spoiler

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Un. Be. Liev. A. Ble. 

I legit had to take a break, can't believe my girl Teuta got offed in such a gruesome way...

 

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Yesterday I finished Parquet. (It took me 19 hours)

It was better than I expected. It had some flaws, like some pacing issues and a bit anticlimactic/underdeveloped "showdown" with the antagonist. And I think those two are connected - the shift from SoL and investigation to the action was a little too sudden - it wouldn't hurt to stretch it over a few more scenes. But then it turned out that it wasn't meant to be the finale of the story

Spoiler

dr. Hashihime was just a kind of a mini-boss ;)

, and the equally important part, focused directly on relationship between two heroines (Rino and Tsubasa) starts from there, so I can forgive that.

Rino and Tsubasa are both cute and charming in their own way, even though they are different like night and day ;) I especially liked shy and somewhat cold Rino, and how she gradually warmed up.

The ending, at least for me, was very emotional, and as heartwarming as only the best moeges get - even though Parquet isn't focused on romance at all. :abilove:The short afterstories with brief branch for each girl showing a hint of a budding love were also cute and fun, but they were just an addition - more like a teaser for a fandisc, or as if the whole VN was just a common route of something bigger ;)

 

Reading some other reviews I often saw that people complain about protagonist being too "wooden" and lacking personality. I didn't have that impression, but I was reading Japanese version. I briefly checked the translation for a few scenes - and to me it seems like some of the MC's personality might have been lost in translation. Somehow in English version he feels much more hollow than in Japanese. But then it's also possible that my Japanese simply sucks, and I read the things that weren't there or misread some nuances :P

So, to sum it up - gorgeous art and music, engaging story and cast of characters, heartwarming ending - that's an 8/10 in my book.

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

EDIT:

This review posted on r/vn describes nicely the problems I had with the "showdown" part:

https://old.reddit.com/r/visualnovels/comments/pg0nzh/what_are_you_reading_sep_1/hc0l5o4/

Although I disagree about the protagonist ;)

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

Today my physical copy of 9 -nine- Complete Edition should finally arrive, so perhaps this is going to be my next read.

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Edited by adamstan
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1 hour ago, Novel21 said:

I'm playing Koisuru Natsu no Last Resort and I miss play it very much.

I'm going to finish play Koisuru Natsu no Last Resort before read next VN.

it have such good storyline and i love character design 

If you set up translation you can actually read the fandisc also. Translation will be far from perfect, but will be overall very accurate and little nuanced with some quirks here and there due to processing errors. I read tsujidou san fandisc like that and it was quite alright to read and i understood almost everything.

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3 hours ago, Stormwolf said:

If you set up translation you can actually read the fandisc also. Translation will be far from perfect, but will be overall very accurate and little nuanced with some quirks here and there due to processing errors. I read tsujidou san fandisc like that and it was quite alright to read and i understood almost everything.

How do I set up translation for fandisc? 

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43 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

You use a program called "textractor" and couple it with "Sugoi translator". Textractor will grab the text from the game and sugoi will have it translated from Deep translation. Google and Bing are horrible in comparison.

I'm going to download two program tomorrow, thank you very much.

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Yesterday I started 9 -Nine- and reached the end of the prologue of the first episode.
(BTW, in Complete Edition you select the episode at the "New Game" screen, but each episode needs to be unlocked by finishing previous one)

It seems very promising - I like this kind of "School-slice-of-life suddenly turned upside down by supernatural danger" settings. Other VNs where I enjoyed that were Folklore Jam, World End Syndrome or Amber Quartz - although, at least for now, 9 -Nine- seems to be more lighthearted than those - if not for other reasons, then because of the Sophitia ;) And Yoichi is one of the weirder Sunohara variants I saw so far - a pervert with a cute face of a "good boy" :D

Character designs are cute - as expected from Tsubasu-sensei :) Voiced protagonist is also nice addition.

The only thing I'm missing are some background characters - like people walking on the street, other students in the classroom etc. This level of details is a trademark of Sprite (Koichoco, Aokana), but also some Yuzusoft titles feature this in their backgrounds - like the Parquet I read just before, or Natsuzora Kanata. But that's just a minor issue, and I'm aware, that what I'm expecting is kind of luxury and not a norm.

I'm looking forward to see how the story unfolds 👍

BTW while Complete Edition is 1080p, I'm playing it in 900p window to leave some space at the bottom for Chiitrans window for looking up words ;)

Edited by adamstan
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The common route dragged on for way too long, but I thought the heroine routes were great. That said, Grisaia was one of my first VNs, so I have no idea what I'd think about it today. At the very least, my tolerance for various VN/anime tropes is significantly lower than it used to be, after being fed them over and over more times than I can count.

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1 hour ago, Silvz said:

So... I'm not enjoying Grisaia 😕 I'm very early in the story, I think, and no character - or even music - has caught my attention enough to want to read. I've actually read very little of the game. Does it get better? Or is it a case of if I don't like it now I won't later?

Honestly, if you don't like it in the beginning, I doubt you'll like the rest of the common route. If you don't like this kind of humor, you will probably hate it. It stays more or less the same to the end. As for the heroine routes, for some reason there are some very polarizing opinions about them. I personally found Amane's route to be really good, and Makina's route to be quite decent, while the other routes were a bit lacking (though all of them had their moments).

Edited by Dreamysyu
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5 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

Honestly, if you don't like it in the beginning, I doubt you'll like the rest of the common route. If you don't like this kind of humor, you will probably hate it. It stays more or less the same to the end. As for the heroine routes, for some reason there are some very polarizing opinions about them. I personally found Amane's route to be really good, and Makina's route to be quite decent, while the other routes were a bit lacking (though all of them had their moments).

I mean, there was only one scene that made me laugh a little and it was just after the protagonist told a horror story to Makina, I believe, the young one. I love comedy, but there is not much of it at least until now

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I just finished first episode of 9 -Nine-.

I found it really engaging and enjoyable. If that was indeed the weakest part, then I see that I'm in for a treat :)And while some people say that Miyako makes for a rather bland heroine, I found her absoutely cute, and could definitely fall in love with her :abilove:. Besides, the confession scene was amazing - very awkward and at the same time feeling very natural. I'd probably act very similar in such situation ;) The way how the relationship between siblings Kakeru and Sora is portrayed was also brilliant - I loved their constant banter.

Another nice thing was acknowledging of the other "branches" directly in the story, making routes and different endings part of the setting.

I'm playing All-ages Japanese release, so cannot say much about H-stuff, but as for this episode I don't think anything was lacking, and I don't feel like this would be better as an eroge ;) Kissing scene did very good job to convey the intimacy.

And I dread at the mere thought of H-scenes between Kakeru and Sora in the next episode :nou: - that's one of the reasons I chose All-ages version ;)

There were some points that could see some improvement, but overally it was very good start. So it's 7.5 for the first episode, and I'm looking forward to the rest :)

Edited by adamstan
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So, I finished Kin'iro Loveriche or Kinkoi for short. 

I am not the biggest moege player as I struggle to keep my motivation when the stakes in a story are too low and there are no particularly engaging conflicts to speak of. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the cute characters, the SoL and the comedy, but I have to pace myself and be careful to not get oversaturated or chances are I'm not gonna finish the game. 

I picked up Kinkoi as per recommendation of a friend of mine who knows what I tend to enjoy very well, and he told me that I would most likely come to love the true route... and holy shit he couldn't be any more right. To be completely honest the rest of routes were nothing to write home about. They were funny and entertaining enough so long as I didn't binge, but I can't say they are spectacular by any stretch of the imagination. The romance also felt incredibly lackluster and I never felt a special connection between the MC and any of the heroines... until the true route. Hooo boy the true route. What a beautiful and powerful thing. I love how everything comes together and how tactful it all feels. It never feels cheesy or overly dramatic, it doesn't feel like they are trying to manipulate your feelings. It all flows so nicely and leaves you with such a good aftertaste and a message that will stick with you for a long time. It might not be exactly original or innovative, but it's beatifully executed and that's more than enough.

Now I'm talking about it in very vague and abstract terms because I obviously don't want to spoil the experience for anyone. I am just going to say, please, if you have even the slightest tolerance for moege, you need to give Kinkoi a try. 

PS: Ria is such a beautiful human being and she earns a more than well deserved spot in my best fictional girls of all time, and in my heart. Bless her.

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I just finished Muramasa, and, well, it was a worthwhile experience, but not much more than that. It's definitely on the good end of the spectrum; it simply fell short of my, admittedly high, expectations. To say it in clearer terms, I wouldn't place it among my top 10 VNs, as suggested on VNDb; maybe not even my top 30.

To name a few things I disliked about it:

- The protagonist. Yeah, he's pretty much the definition of an antihero and he's expected to grow on you over time, but I still think you'd need to be able to symphathize with him somewhat from the getgo to truly immerse yourself in the story. Sadly, that is something I was unable to do for a good part of the game. I realized there was probably some reason for his actions, but not knowing those, I could only judge him based on the information I had been fed. This made me not really care one way or another whether he lived or died, which made battles, among other things, lose a lot of impact. Speaking of...

- The fight scenes. They're probably my biggest issue with Muramasa, considering the fact that they make up such a large part of the game. Basically, I found them too long and over the top for my tastes. I could accept the premise of "Okay, foe, in order to beat you, I will unleash my ultimate attack, which cannot be avoided. <1 second later> Damn, he avoided it. Let's boost my power although I was already at the maximum and try again. Rinse and repeat." back in the days when I was watching Dragonball or Naruto, but I've kinda grown past that by now and don't find it nearly as entertaining or exciting as I used to. (This also happens to be one of the reasons I haven't read Dies Irae yet.)

- The rape scenes. I can't recall a single one that was actually relevant to story progression in the grand scheme of things, meaning they were all just there either for cheap shock value or to cater to the tastes of the people who actually enjoy that stuff.

- The info-dumping. I realize that many people might want to know every little detail about every little thing, but to me, it just felt tedious and bothersome. At one point, it caused me to literally start nodding off on the couch, so I ended up skipping past that part of the game just so I wouldn't get completely bored out of my mind. I think this is actually the first VN where I've skipped something that wasn't an h-scene, which should speak volumes about how disinterested I was.

- The true ending. This came so out of the blue, I had to take a moment just to realize what had happened. I was entirely convinced I was on one of the regular routes and would later end up on some true route revolving around

Spoiler

Hikaru,

but then it just ended and all I was left with were a few missing CGs from earlier choices and the knowledge that all the stuff I thought were just a bunch of sidenotes in pursuit of something greater were actually what canonically happened in the story. It was a cocktail of confusion and unfulfillment.

To not end this post on a negative note, I'd like to mention that one thing that Muramsa deserves praise for is its translation. I remember seeing one person making a comment about this being the new golden standard for localizations, and while I can't attest to the accuracy compared to the Japanese original, which I haven't read, this is without a doubt one of the best VNs I've read in terms of prose.

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6 hours ago, Seraphim said:

Oh, right, to those of you who'd like to know what you can expect from the translation, here's an example:

Yeah, it sounds very competent. But at the same time, if this really reflects the original writing, then I'd say it's horribly pretentious :P I probably couldn't stand whole game written like that ;)

Edited by adamstan
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