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Yesterday I finished Ep. 3 and immediately started Ep. 4 of 9 -Nine-.

Ep. 3 was great, and Ep. 4 is very promising. I think I'll write more when I finish all parts. For now let me just say that Sora is probably the best character in this VN :D And the way route structure is incorporated into the story itself is IMO on par with YU-NO.

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42 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Yesterday I finished Ep. 3 and immediately started Ep. 4 of 9 -Nine-.

Ep. 3 was great, and Ep. 4 is very promising. I think I'll write more when I finish all parts. For now let me just say that Sora is probably the best character in this VN :D And the way route structure is incorporated into the story itself is IMO on par with YU-NO.

I dunno, i felt that route structure was one of the most overrated aspects of 9-nine. Too much hand-holding in comparison to YU-NO or the Zero Escape series, especially in episode 4 since that had so many opportunities for puzzle-solving on par with 428.

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37 minutes ago, onorub said:

I dunno, i felt that route structure was one of the most overrated aspects of 9-nine. Too much hand-holding in comparison to YU-NO or the Zero Escape series, especially in episode 4 since that had so many opportunities for puzzle-solving on par with 428.

Ah, actually I'm not a big fan of puzzles, and YU-NO is the only "multi route mystery" of that scale I played so far (with the walkthrough on hand all the time ;) ). There was also World End Syndrome, but it was pretty light. What I meant, that it has been well integrated into the story - as in having consistent and somewhat amusing in-story justification.

Spoiler

Especially once the meta fourth wall breaking occured at the end of Ep. 3, when it turns out, that the Overlord is not Kakeru but the player

Other VNs when routes were justified in-story that I played were two of the Key classics - Clannad and LittleBusters - but those were of slightly different kind.

Amber Quartz seems to have a bit similar structure to 9 -nine-, but there it wasn't spelled out clearly.

Edited by adamstan
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On 9/14/2021 at 2:40 AM, adamstan said:

I had Angel Beats on my radar, but what discourages me is that it's the first episode of the series that got discontinued :(

I really liked the story, characters and the atmoshpere of WES. The biggest downside for me was map movement system, which got quite tiresome, and the fact that "less important" scenes during map movement segments were unvoiced.

You can read Angel Beats without the other games. According to various sources, the game is a complete experience, with three main routes and a ton of content. The only thing it lacks are the sequels and a conclusion, but the latter you can watch in the anime version.

I'm loving WES. Loving. The map segments are bad, but I'm following a guide so it's not really a problem. I just wish there were more common scenes - as in scenes focused in the mystery instead of the characters - along the way. But I'm still in the beginning of Saya's route, so maybe it'll get better.

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7 hours ago, Silvz said:

According to various sources, the game is a complete experience, with three main routes and a ton of content. The only thing it lacks are the sequels and a conclusion, but the latter you can watch in the anime version.

That's good to know, thanks :)

7 hours ago, Silvz said:

I just wish there were more common scenes - as in scenes focused in the mystery instead of the characters - along the way.

From what I remember, there were some routes that were focused more on the mystery, and the others where focus was more on the characters. But when taking the game as a whole, I think it was more or less balanced. If memory serves, main story reveals were in Miu's route, and then in true, and I think that's why guides recommend playing Miu's route as the last one.

While I gave WES "only" 7.5, I also loved it - it lost some points mostly because of the map system and its associated woes.

Edited by adamstan
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Today I finished 9 -Nine-

Haruka's route (Ep.3) was sweet, one of the better executed romance parts in this VN. Also, in this episode the plot thickens, and we finally meet the actual villains. Overally great episode, and I gave it 8.5 score - but it was totally overshadowed by the grand final that the Episode 4 is.

That was truly an epic ride. In this part we also finally get closer to Noa and see her sweeter and cuter parts, as well as the hardships she faces. I got really attached to her, and the bad ending hit me right in the gut. Actually, my experience of this part was similar to Clannad -
 

Spoiler

 

When I was playing Clannad, Nagisa's death didn't hit me immediately - I started realizing and grasping what has really happened sometime later.

Now getting back to  Nine. When suddenly Yoichi appeared and started killing everyone with a smiling face, I was so dumbfounded and startled by the contrast, that I was just watching the events unfolding, unable to even make any emotional reaction - that is, until the CG with Kakeru holding dying Noa in his arms appeared. At that moment, it hit me like a wave - really, I almost physically felt a wave of emotions surging through me, and I was crying during that whole scene...

 

Of course it made the final showdown leading to the true ending even more intense and satisfying. Cute romance, epic fight, great character development, emotional rollercoaster - that's definitely a 9 ;)

New Episode is just extended epilogue, that ties some loose ends and gives epilogue for each heroine. Very nice, I especially liked Haruka's part.

Spoiler

And then at the very end there's short bonus scene where we (as a player, not as Kakeru) meet Sofie in her true form - it's just one CG and few lines, but it was a nice touch.

All in all it was definitely one of the better VNs that I played. While there were stronger and weaker parts, as a whole it did very well, and so for me Nine is 9 :D

And I really saw some parallells with Amber Quartz - school SoL mixed with fantasy fight, superpowers, and character routes forming together the full story.

Spoiler

In one of the routes protagonist's male friend also became a villain, although not on the same scale as Yoichi in Nine.

Main difference was that Nine didn't have childhood friends, troubled memories, and Air-like medieval history episode ;)

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

I played Complete Edition, which is Japanese All-ages version.

Perhaps almost everybody will go for H-version anyway, but it's worth noting, that Steam/Sekai Project's all-ages versions seem to be more censored compared to the Complete Edition. First two episodes seem to be almost the same, but there are some major differences in Haruka's route. I'll list what I spotted below under spoiler tags:

  • Episode 3 (Haruka's route)
Spoiler
  • The CG for the scene where Kakeru influenced by Haruka's power pushes her on the bed and starts touching her breasts is missing (replaced with white screen) and the text also seems to be shortened.
  • Even though the text mentions Haruka wearing Kakeru's shirt, there's no sprite with her wearing a shirt - instead the one with her normal clothes is used. In the later scene, where she gives Kakeru a lap pillow after unbuttoning the shirt, it is also text-only in Steam edition, while in Complete Edition there's actually sprite variant with the unbuttoned shirt (in adult version there was a h-scene with boob sucking)
    9nine-haruka1.jpg
    9nine-haruka2.jpg
    (Yes, those are the screens from the "All Ages" version :P - but I guess Steam wouldn't allow that)
  • The scene with the two getting together in a bath has been completely removed from Sekai's all-ages version, while in the Complete Edition it's intact.

So that means 2 CGs, one scene and one sprite version missing.

  • Episode 4 (Noa's route)
Spoiler
  • The CG of Noa playing with cats got sligthly cropped to exclude panties area ;)
  • The CG of Noa and Kakeru cuddling together naked (wrapped up in a blanket) got removed, and replaced with a Noa's sprite (wearing a shirt) against bedroom background

OTOH the CG with dying Noa in Kakeru's arms is more bloody in the Steam edition - but the only difference is that there are more red bloodstains on their clothes.

Also, Complete Edition adds Sprite Viewer feature in the gallery menu, that Sekai/Denpasoft versions don't have.

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

Now I think I'll take a short break, and then perhaps I'll try DameKoi (PSP version)

Edited by adamstan
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And so, as planned, today I started PSP edition of DameKoi

I just finished first chapter of prologue/common route. I see some comedy and drama potential, but I'm already a bit annoyed and tired by the protagonist. It seems that in the meantime my tolerance for the hetare protagonists has dropped significantly :P Well, it's too early to judge, so let's see how it unfolds. Mitoko is nice, and the three guys living at the house are funny :)  Also, MC's traits seem to be so exaggerated, that perhaps it's best taken tongue-in-cheek?

I have to say that language-wise this is much harder to read than 9 -Nine- was - at least for me.

Also, I guess this is caused by some compatibility issues, but when playing in PPSSPP it's quite glitchy when it come to screen changes - each time a character sprite changes pose or position, it disappears for a second, and sometimes there's a moment of a previous screen peeking out - weird. Or perhaps PSP port itself is buggy? I guess I'll never know...

Edited by adamstan
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On 9/26/2021 at 9:08 PM, adamstan said:

when playing in PPSSPP it's quite glitchy when it come to screen changes [...] Or perhaps PSP port itself is buggy?

Yesterday I got an actual PSP and tried it - the game runs perfectly fine on real hardware, so it's purely an emulation issue. Unfortunately for now I have to rely on PPSSPP since I need text hooking - retyping words manually into dictionary from PSP screen would be too much of a hassle ;)

As for the Damekoi itself - I'm around third chapter and all heroines have been introduced. Protagonist is slowly improving himself. Somehow I start to like Kaya, and I'm really curious how in hell that cunning Himeo could become a heroine - so far she seems rather villainous :P I'd also perhaps prefer if Asami was main heroine - although some say that actually her and Mitoko are two "main" heroines, while Kaya and Himeo are side ones. But still main emphasis seems to be put on Mitoko judging by the title.

  

On 11/24/2019 at 12:47 PM, ChaosRaven said:

The VN tries pretty hard to be like an episodic anime, but fails because it's a VN and not an anime. There's too much switching around of perspectives without any reason that just drags the pacing down and the protagonist feels undeveloped and bland as a consequence.

Those things bother me as well - the game doesn't flow, it feels chopped.

Edited by adamstan
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34 minutes ago, Novel21 said:

I'm going to play Shuffle

Which version of Shuffle do you have? I have Steam version from YumeHaven, which is apparently a port of PS2 version, but haven't read it yet. AFAIK currently none of the translated versions is available because licensing agreements have ran out.

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https://vndb.org/v31125 Looked up one of the monthly releases and played some random game that doesn't take much commitment and played Hooksoft's Aikoi.

Looks like a childhood group kind of story with the mc leaving his friend group in his childhood and then returning for some reason. 

Hooksoft games are a hit or miss for me and I only played through the prologue right now and I skipped so many texts due to it presenting the prologue from the perspective of the MC in his childhood. I skipped for I think 10-20 mins and that is a lot of content if I actually read it. I really don't like children-focused dialogues, while I may understand the intent behind it, being that it tries to introduce the childhood group organically and have them grow up to serve as a contrast later on, it is a risky move that requires the writer to be competent in handling children's dialogue and making it engaging and for me I wasn't really engaged much. I read some random dialogues here and there just so I can get the gist and head on the reunion part.

I don't like skipping much and maybe this will be a miss from me, but I'll continue reading anyway until I get really bored out of it. 

Also tried reading Muramasa and its amazing albeit with a lot of unnecessary rape scenes, haven't finished it yet due to Tales of Arise

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3 hours ago, adamstan said:

Which version of Shuffle do you have? I have Steam version from YumeHaven, which is apparently a port of PS2 version, but haven't read it yet. AFAIK currently none of the translated versions is available because licensing agreements have ran out.

I have steam version and I have downloaded 18+ one. 

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@adamstan

Quote

Also, Complete Edition adds Sprite Viewer feature in the gallery menu, that Sekai/Denpasoft versions don't have.

As for that, actually the original version also have that as well although Sekai somehow decided to remove Sprite Viewer feature from their releases. The same thing also happen with Kirikoi, but at least Nekonyan had excuse that they porting it to the new engine and that they didn't have enough time to add Sprite Viewer feature to the new engine before the release, while as for Nine I don't think that the engine between original and translated are different.

For the topic, I did play several VNs such as Negligee Spring Clean and Amayui Labyrinth Meister. I'll talk about Amayui sequel sometimes later (What I get for now is that the gameplay took some of the aspect from Himegari), but let me talk about Spring Clean a bit. As for what I can say, I expect the girls will wear lingerie when they sell lingerie for a whole day and I get exactly what I expected along with having to chose which lingerie that would be the best for the customers. You better enjoy the girl in lingerie instead of expecting the story anyway when it come to Negligee (Duh), although admittedly some of the past from the main casts are quite heavy and that Hannah's ending in Spring Clean are quite depressing compared to the other ending (Not dark like many other bad end mind you).

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3 hours ago, littleshogun said:

as for Nine I don't think that the engine between original and translated are different.

They're the same - all versions of Nine use Kirikiri engine.

As for my playing - I reached sixth chapter in Damekoi, and in the meantime it all started to come together and make sense :) The very beginning was perhaps a bit too chaotic, but after getting used to that style now it's okay.

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https://vndb.org/v23205  After flip-flopping from a lot of different VN's I finally settled on Swallowtail.  I didn't expect to be immersed in the story considering it felt very rough, both in writing and system but it was unique enough to stand out for me to gain my interest. There is actually is established relationships between the protag and the heroines, which is interesting, the story starts with you already going out with one of the childhood friends Rie, and shows flashbacks from the past also focused on Yuuna, which I think is the true heroine.

Yuuna was originally Shou's (The main character) girlfriend but she randomly disappeared in the festival which is the main focal point of the mystery of the game I guess. The prologue was hella long though I think I was in 5-10 hours before I saw the opening. Saeko is also one of the Ex's of Shou so you could expect that the MC isn't a donkan or hetare, but he's actually a competent and fairly popular guy, albeit a bit bland himself but it made him stand out in the sea of eroge protagonists who sometimes act like idiots or losers. Shou is actually a charismatic guy which made me like him.

The game alternates 50/50 between the past and the present, which is fairly unique but sometimes presented in the interface badly. This is the kind of game I like which seems down to earth with characters not acting like caricatures. I'll make a review when I'm done with this

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39 minutes ago, Larxe1 said:

https://vndb.org/v23205  After flip-flopping from a lot of different VN's I finally settled on Swallowtail.  I didn't expect to be immersed in the story considering it felt very rough, both in writing and system but it was unique enough to stand out for me to gain my interest. There is actually is established relationships between the protag and the heroines, which is interesting, the story starts with you already going out with one of the childhood friends Rie, and shows flashbacks from the past also focused on Yuuna, which I think is the true heroine.

Yuuna was originally Shou's (The main character) girlfriend but she randomly disappeared in the festival which is the main focal point of the mystery of the game I guess. The prologue was hella long though I think I was in 5-10 hours before I saw the opening. Saeko is also one of the Ex's of Shou so you could expect that the MC isn't a donkan or hetare, but he's actually a competent and fairly popular guy, albeit a bit bland himself but it made him stand out in the sea of eroge protagonists who sometimes act like idiots or losers. Shou is actually a charismatic guy which made me like him.

The game alternates 50/50 between the past and the present, which is fairly unique but sometimes presented in the interface badly. This is the kind of game I like which seems down to earth with characters not acting like caricatures. I'll make a review when I'm done with this

Thanks for another VN added to bookmark/wishlist :)

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[Higurashi - When They Cry: Matsuribayashi]

It took me a whole-ass month, but I finally finished reading the Higurashi series!! Hooray! :ezgif-2-df452814b3f1:

Phew, it's been a long, long journey. I can't believe half of it was a reread too haha I won't touch another one of Ryuukishi's work until next year, but I did enjoy it a lot :100:

Okay, so... Let's talk about some things!
The whole talk about politics? BORING. Look, I usually handle info-dumping and stuff like this pretty well, but it felt so dragged, ugh... I was tempted to press skip.

Spoiler
  • I really enjoyed the connecting fragments part, but it got a bit too long for a single chapter way too fast haha,, ha... It wasn't that bad, but some fragments were a tad boring.
  • It's kinda frustrating how they just accept Hanyuu's horns?? I know it's to make a point about them not judging and Hanyuu finally being accepted, but this really challenged my suspension of disbelief lmao
  • Irie's CG is truly something else; I love how I can find Jojo references even in VNs
  • The scene with Satoshi and Shion broke my heart, damn,,, :niocry:

This was a good conclusion. It wasn't the best conclusion in the world, but it was satisfying and I feel like Higurashi is more about the journey itself than the conclusion. :abipog:

I really enjoyed the ride and all the emotions I felt while reading it! My next read of his will probably be Umineko!

Oh yeah, this chapter deserves a 6,5/10. The chapter alone wasn't as great as the others, but then again, it's hard to end something haha

----

My next "read" will be VLR, but I'm also trying to keep reading Maggot Baits and finally finish it! :sacchya:

Edited by Fujoneko
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1 hour ago, Fujoneko said:

[Higurashi - When They Cry: Matsuribayashi]

It took me a whole-ass month, but I finally finished reading the Higurashi series!! Hooray! :ezgif-2-df452814b3f1:

Phew, it's been a long, long journey. I can't believe half of it was a reread too haha I won't touch another one of Ryuukishi's work until next year, but I did enjoy it a lot :100:

Okay, so... Let's talk about some things!
The whole talk about politics? BORING. Look, I usually handle info-dumping and stuff like this pretty well, but it felt so dragged, ugh... I was tempted to press skip.

  Hide contents
  • I really enjoyed the connecting fragments part, but it got a bit too long for a single chapter way too fast haha,, ha... It wasn't that bad, but some fragments were a tad boring.
  • It's kinda frustrating how they just accept Hanyuu's horns?? I know it's to make a point about them not judging and Hanyuu finally being accepted, but this really challenged my suspension of disbelief lmao
  • Irie's CG is truly something else; I love how I can find Jojo references even in VNs
  • The scene with Satoshi and Shion broke my heart, damn,,, :niocry:

This was a good conclusion. It wasn't the best conclusion in the world, but it was satisfying and I feel like Higurashi is more about the journey itself than the conclusion. :abipog:

I really enjoyed the ride and all the emotions I felt while reading it! My next read of his will probably be Umineko!

Oh yeah, this chapter deserves a 6,5/10. The chapter alone wasn't as great as the others, but then again, it's hard to end something haha

----

My next "read" will be VLR, but I'm also trying to keep reading Maggot Baits and finally finish it! :sacchya:

You should watch Higurashi Gou/Sotsu as they are sequels to the original story.

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9 hours ago, Larxe1 said:

https://vndb.org/v23205  After flip-flopping from a lot of different VN's I finally settled on Swallowtail.  I didn't expect to be immersed in the story considering it felt very rough, both in writing and system but it was unique enough to stand out for me to gain my interest. There is actually is established relationships between the protag and the heroines, which is interesting, the story starts with you already going out with one of the childhood friends Rie, and shows flashbacks from the past also focused on Yuuna, which I think is the true heroine.

Yuuna was originally Shou's (The main character) girlfriend but she randomly disappeared in the festival which is the main focal point of the mystery of the game I guess. The prologue was hella long though I think I was in 5-10 hours before I saw the opening. Saeko is also one of the Ex's of Shou so you could expect that the MC isn't a donkan or hetare, but he's actually a competent and fairly popular guy, albeit a bit bland himself but it made him stand out in the sea of eroge protagonists who sometimes act like idiots or losers. Shou is actually a charismatic guy which made me like him.

The game alternates 50/50 between the past and the present, which is fairly unique but sometimes presented in the interface badly. This is the kind of game I like which seems down to earth with characters not acting like caricatures. I'll make a review when I'm done with this

Just finished my 2nd route in the game. Its a ladder type of story which I admittedly dislike because sometimes it feels like it cheapens the route, like when you diverge from the ladder by choosing a route early on, you miss out on the true story, and that respective heroine's end is not the proper path to play on, but Swallowtail tries to solve this problem by making viewing each part of the ladder by making the routes themselves have their own contribution to the story.

I am writing this yet again while sleepy since I basically read this novel the whole night and finished Yuka's route which was amazing for me. Yuka's route hits all the buttons for a heroine for me by being something like a coodere like Kazusa from WA2 but also being highly aggressive of what she wants and being upfront while also being very shy. 

What truly makes this route amazing for me is it is important to give the context for the story and the route which is as I referred to earlier, Yuna is Shou's ex which suddenly disappeared and she shares the same looks and a lot of same personality traits with Yuka but they both have very obvious differences once you get to know them better. The route is obviously also centered around this shared commonality, as Yuna is a trauma and an obsession for Shou, and Yuka is something like  a living reminder of his past that he wants to forget that still continues to haunt him even up to today. The story of the route actually progressed very neatly and felt very adult-ish. I mean that in the way that Highschool romances that dominate the vn genre right now feel very immature and sometimes in a fairytale kind of way but the romance progression in this game felt very real and something that may actually happen IRL except the vanishing part. I don't want to spoil too much about it but the route is very fulfilling. 

Also what I hate about this ladder style of route is that sometimes the ladder is structured around rejecting the girls and If you really get in to the story it is kinda hard to do it. I skipped the 1st route which was Saeko, Shou's ex and IMO they wrote her well with her being still in love with Shou and regretting her decision to break up with him. It wasn't explained why they broke up so you have to play her route but I didn't like her well enough to play her route but that is simply because she is not the kind of heroine I like. Rejecting Yuka which I really really liked was kind of hard but it wasn't much of a rejection of a confession per se, but rather rejecting the crucial step that will start their eventual relationship.

Yuka on the other hand, which is the 2nd route, has you also going through the same problem as Shou. It is easy to sympathize  with him because most of the drama is centered around him still not fully getting over Yuna, and as he falls in love with Yuka, he begins to doubt his own feelings about Yuna and it is interesting since the player too will probably be confused about the two but eventually get over the problem the same way as Shou as you also begin to notice how different they are. 

 

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19 hours ago, Larxe1 said:

Just finished my 2nd route in the game. Its a ladder type of story which I admittedly dislike because sometimes it feels like it cheapens the route, like when you diverge from the ladder by choosing a route early on, you miss out on the true story, and that respective heroine's end is not the proper path to play on, but Swallowtail tries to solve this problem by making viewing each part of the ladder by making the routes themselves have their own contribution to the story.

I am writing this yet again while sleepy since I basically read this novel the whole night and finished Yuka's route which was amazing for me. Yuka's route hits all the buttons for a heroine for me by being something like a coodere like Kazusa from WA2 but also being highly aggressive of what she wants and being upfront while also being very shy. 

What truly makes this route amazing for me is it is important to give the context for the story and the route which is as I referred to earlier, Yuna is Shou's ex which suddenly disappeared and she shares the same looks and a lot of same personality traits with Yuka but they both have very obvious differences once you get to know them better. The route is obviously also centered around this shared commonality, as Yuna is a trauma and an obsession for Shou, and Yuka is something like  a living reminder of his past that he wants to forget that still continues to haunt him even up to today. The story of the route actually progressed very neatly and felt very adult-ish. I mean that in the way that Highschool romances that dominate the vn genre right now feel very immature and sometimes in a fairytale kind of way but the romance progression in this game felt very real and something that may actually happen IRL except the vanishing part. I don't want to spoil too much about it but the route is very fulfilling. 

Also what I hate about this ladder style of route is that sometimes the ladder is structured around rejecting the girls and If you really get in to the story it is kinda hard to do it. I skipped the 1st route which was Saeko, Shou's ex and IMO they wrote her well with her being still in love with Shou and regretting her decision to break up with him. It wasn't explained why they broke up so you have to play her route but I didn't like her well enough to play her route but that is simply because she is not the kind of heroine I like. Rejecting Yuka which I really really liked was kind of hard but it wasn't much of a rejection of a confession per se, but rather rejecting the crucial step that will start their eventual relationship.

Yuka on the other hand, which is the 2nd route, has you also going through the same problem as Shou. It is easy to sympathize  with him because most of the drama is centered around him still not fully getting over Yuna, and as he falls in love with Yuka, he begins to doubt his own feelings about Yuna and it is interesting since the player too will probably be confused about the two but eventually get over the problem the same way as Shou as you also begin to notice how different they are. 

 

Just finished the third route, Imozawa Erina. I rarely read alot of routes in a VN due to me quickly losing interest due to the atmosphere of the game and such. Unexpectedly I really loved this game's story and all the routes, I don't think I had a moment where I was bored because  I really loved the atmosphere of it being very adult-like, or something like the atmosphere of a college life with problems being encountered by young adults and not the teenagers normally in stories.

Imozawa Erina is the genki girl that I usually am not interested in but there is a very interesting contrast to be had with Erina. Erina is the closest friend of Yuna, Shou's original girlfriend who randomly disappeared. Erina lost Yuna, and then she also lost her mother, she grieved and in contrast to her natural genki and friendly character, she became thorny and pushed people away. What's interesting to me about it is that normally, in stories the thorny side becomes the main personality, but in Erina, her thorny side was simply a facade because she was grieving and pushed everything away because she blamed herself for everything, it was easy to break through her thorny side because she was always seeking help and Shou gave that to her. Her route is really interesting in that the progress of their relationship felt natural without like a big moment that dragged them into a relationship but something very natural like they just naturally had fun together and helped each other in their weakness, naturally this ended with them asking each other out.

The ending was good but unsatisfying because I did want to read more, I felt like there should have been more, but in the end their route indeed solved most of their character problems by supporting each other, I just wanted to see more casual romantic stuff because I really liked their pairing. This is one of the rare VN's where i feel bummed out when I finish a game because I wanted more of their character and dialogue but alas, its not a pretty long game.

Going to my next route now, and the mystery of Yuna's disappearance isn't given much clues to in the first three routes but it seems like there will be something in the next route of Kasumi.

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21 hours ago, Larxe1 said:

Just finished the third route, Imozawa Erina. I rarely read alot of routes in a VN due to me quickly losing interest due to the atmosphere of the game and such. Unexpectedly I really loved this game's story and all the routes, I don't think I had a moment where I was bored because  I really loved the atmosphere of it being very adult-like, or something like the atmosphere of a college life with problems being encountered by young adults and not the teenagers normally in stories.

Imozawa Erina is the genki girl that I usually am not interested in but there is a very interesting contrast to be had with Erina. Erina is the closest friend of Yuna, Shou's original girlfriend who randomly disappeared. Erina lost Yuna, and then she also lost her mother, she grieved and in contrast to her natural genki and friendly character, she became thorny and pushed people away. What's interesting to me about it is that normally, in stories the thorny side becomes the main personality, but in Erina, her thorny side was simply a facade because she was grieving and pushed everything away because she blamed herself for everything, it was easy to break through her thorny side because she was always seeking help and Shou gave that to her. Her route is really interesting in that the progress of their relationship felt natural without like a big moment that dragged them into a relationship but something very natural like they just naturally had fun together and helped each other in their weakness, naturally this ended with them asking each other out.

The ending was good but unsatisfying because I did want to read more, I felt like there should have been more, but in the end their route indeed solved most of their character problems by supporting each other, I just wanted to see more casual romantic stuff because I really liked their pairing. This is one of the rare VN's where i feel bummed out when I finish a game because I wanted more of their character and dialogue but alas, its not a pretty long game.

Going to my next route now, and the mystery of Yuna's disappearance isn't given much clues to in the first three routes but it seems like there will be something in the next route of Kasumi.

Okay finally finished, I now know why some people say the ending is vague. While this maybe a spoiler, if people are gonna read this it would be important to know that this down-to-earth story has a sci-fi element to it that felt tacked on which was essential to the ending.

Its hard to say much without spoiling others too but, the 80% of the game was amazing with extremely good character interactions and atmosphere for me but the last 20% may be polarizing for some people since it went into sci-fi territory. 80% of the game was about moving on from the past (which was Yuna's sudden disappearance). Each route helped Shou grow to be a better person to face his traumas but the last 20% vexed me in that I did like it but it was a big downgrade from the amazing experience I had. Some people would probably like that aspect but personally I would have preferred if it remained down to earth and realistic about moving on from the past instead of engaging in sci-fi stuff, the sci-fi stuff felt tacked on and worked something like KEY magic if you read clannad.

Spoiler thoughts:

Spoiler

What the fuck was that ending, so randomly on a relatively realistic game setting, in the ending they created two divergent timelines with two separate happy endings. This is a time leap story, and it was used hella randomly and stupidly. Future yuna stayed in the past to help guide past yuna and Shou to be together but it leaves a very disturbing implication for me in that there is now a future yuna stuck in the past, alone, and hiding her identity, without anyone much to help her. What the hell everyone got a good ending aside from her

if anyone is curious for a review, I have on up in the vndb page later

Edited by Larxe1
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Currently reading Harem Kingdom, where I was met with this:

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I couldn't help but be reminded of a certain scene from this old gem:

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Anyway, I rarely read harem or isekai titles, but I have to say that Harem Kingdom is one of the more entertaining reads for me lately. It can be pretty hilarious how each of the girls try to one-up each other in order to get the protagonist's attention!

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