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4 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Yeah, you're right, I exaggerated a bit or my memory played a trick on me - we "only" had to break up with her, but yeah, it wasn't especially ugly - breakups happen sometimes.

(I played it 4 years ago, so my memories got a bit hazy)

But route structure in Lovers was truly awful - there in order to unlock side routes you really just had to completely ignore Rie so she would leave you. And those routes weren't even worth it :P

Indeed. You could break up that fake relationship. It was fake. Because she didn't treat MC well really. You could choose to ditch her and move on and that's where it branches out. Even if you do stick with her she won't be a good GF until waaay late in the route and the sequel. 

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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

Only for H-scenes. Edit: Most VNs have some kind of flash or pause that occurs at the end of h-scenes... it isn't always obvious, but once you've picked up the knack for it, it is easy to stop th

 

14 minutes ago, adamstan said:

Which reminds me that perhaps one day I should check out the sequel ;)

I only recommend it for hard core fans really. It was ok to good for the most part, but it relied on deus ex machina bullshit at the end. Nothing offensive really, but it was lame.. 

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Played Your Diary + H

It's the newer version of Your Diary with new routes for that one senpai character and Kaho, the best friend character and wingwoman in the original game. Surprisingly, I didn't like much of the characters here enough to pursue a route except for Kaho which is the additional route. I didn't expect that as normally additional routes kinda suck and feel padded on for new content but surprisingly I liked Kaho's route a lot and probably due to me liking Kaho's character type a lot. I usually love best friend or very cheerful kind of characters as seeing the gap of them being light-hearted and always joking around and the contrast of them being embarassed and having a hard time in romance is kinda cute. Kaho's route kinda tries to get into that awkward stuff and as she is the wingwoman of the childhood friend who likes the MC, as expected one of the main dramas that they do is with the kind of love triangle? It's hard to say because there isn't much drama of the love triangle present. The drama is focused on Kaho just not wanting to be honest to her feelings due to not wanting to hurt the childhood friend. The drama of that is solved well, very lightly like a very light romcom way of dealing with the problem that is kinda laughable but it's not that bad.

The route all in all is kinda fine, not bad is what I would rate it. I thought of making a review on in vndb but I literally only played the common route and 3/4 of Kaho's and skipped a lot so I thought I shouldn't write a review for a game I didn't technically finish.

All in all, it is a fairly high quality game. I loved Kaho's route and some people may enjoy the game too.

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Currently reading through Hello Lady and started OMNIMUS

In Hello Lady, I have finally read the last part of the common route. Now, I am currently at the start of Tamao's route. It has many moments that keep me invested and excited to see what happens next. I like Tamao's range of emotions. I like seeing that more than Tamao's constant tough girl side. 

In OMNIMUS, a doctor is developing a virtual environment after the world has gone through many crises such a decrease in water supply, wars, and overpopulation. Although there are good benefits to come if this is completed, there could be something the doctor is hiding. The protagonist is someone that is testing the virtual environment. Our protagonist is a guy that has been woken up from a coma. He is one of the individuals testing the virtual environment called OMNIMUS. So far, the story is fine. 

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On 3/18/2022 at 7:22 AM, adamstan said:

Yesterday I completed the prologue in StarTRain - reaching the opening movie.

It has a bit unusual setting for a charage, because we start with a protagonist in a relationship. His girlfriend is two years older Nami, whom he met one summer night a few years ago while he was watching falling stars.

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  Reveal hidden contents

Sadly, they break up at the end of the prologue - yesterday I reached exactly that point. Looking at them and their relationship, it was inevitable, but nevertheless it made me sad :(

So now there's second part of common route waiting for me.

So far I met three (of four) heroines - tsundere childhood friend Kanade, shy but cute Asuka speaking with Kansai accent, and a bit mysterious Yomogi from parallell class.

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According to walkthroughs there's also fourth, unlockable heroine - Nanami, but she hasn't appeared yet.

  Reveal hidden contents

Although she looks quite suspicious to me - I have a feeling she might turn out to be Nami, or have some connection to her. From the glimpse in the OP, she looks similar, they share second character in their given and family names - Aida Nami (藍) vs Hata Nanami (羽), and they're voiced by the same person. But for now I have no idea how will it turn out.

59403.jpg<< Nami    Nanami >>59404.jpg

As for Sunohara (;)), this time it's not one person, but a couple - MC's friend Hiroki and his girlfriend Maiko.

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BTW, they get together during the first hour of the game ;)

So far I have two issues with this VN, but they're technical ones, and seem specific to the PS2 version I own.

  • The music gets cut abruptly during scene transitions instead of fading out - it makes those transitions a bit jarring. It was the same in Konneko - perhaps it's an PS2 or emulator issue?
  • The font used in this release is a bit hard to read due to low resolution, but somehow I managed to get used to it. But nevertheless I'm a bit puzzled why didn't they used something simpler. 640x448 isn't that small, and it should be possible to have more legible font. But they used bold and shadows, which make the fine lines in more complicated kanji just blend together. Form over function :P

At the very beginning I also had to get used to different style, but over the course of the prologue I got hooked, and now I'm looking forward to the rest of the game.

Okay, so yesterday I finished StarTRain 

It wasn't without problems, but I enjoyed it. It's kind of mix between high-school rom-com and KEY's classics - I feel like it borrows some ideas from Kanon and Clannad.

Main focus of this VN seems to be the true meaning of happiness - and, to extent, how relationships fit into that.

At the beginning of the actual common route (after the prologue) Tsukasa is quite depressed after breaking up with Nami (I previously tagged it as a spoiler, but it's such a big part of the setting, that it's hard to talk about this VN without mentioning this). He's rather weak, and she was his whole world so now he feels like he lost the meaning of life. He also keeps wallowing in self-hatred.

Depending on the choices, he can get closer to one of the three heroines, and there's also a "friendship" ending, which I wouldn't call bad - it's a bit like Crescendo's normal end.

Kanade's route was perhaps the closest one to the typical romance VN. Tsundere childhood friend having a long-time crush on donkan protag-kun, and all problems that stem from this situation ;)

Spoiler

Actually she confessed to him for a first time right after he broke with Nami, but then she ran away and turned it into a joke.

I liked this route even if it was full of cliches usually associated with tsunderes (and small tits ;) ). Also, Kanade will get jealous in other routes, and then deny it in a classic tsundere way ;)  And I absolutely love two final CGs of this route:

Spoiler

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Asuka's route was the first one directly touching the topic of happiness. In the common route she said very important thing - "If you don't love yourself, you cannot become happy". And despite being very poor, living in a small rundown apartment only with her mother, she never gives up, always keeps smiling and encouraging others. Of course that's only the surface, and her route is focused on her family problems, especially her strained relationship with mother. I really liked it, and it's this route when I thought about Clannad, even though the setting is vastly different. Besides, Asuka is cute :)

Yomogi's route was quite a surprising one. In the beginning, and on the surface, it looked like another cliched moege route. But soon quite creepy undertones appeared. Yomogi and Tsukasa were both in similar situation - dealing with past breakup. And so they decided to date to escape the loneliness. Not very healthy already, but Yomogi's situation was actually even heavier -

Spoiler

 

She panically feared the loneliness, because when being alone she was feeling completely lost, and not even sure if she's living or not - so she yearned for the relationship as a confirmation of her actual existence.

Tsukasa noticed, that they actually don't know almost anything about each other - they just seek the presence of the other to fill up the void, but it made him feel even worse than when he was single.

After noticing how unhealthy their relationship become, Tsukasa decided to break up with Yomogi. This resulted in her suffering an emotional breakdown.

 

After a few days and some events Tsukasa finds himself in Yomogi's room, and her in a rather miserable state, and he's faced with a choice - stay with her (forever...), or go home. (Or, in adult version - have sex with her or refuse and go home). The first choice leads to a bad end, and I think it was actually more pronounced in the all-ages version. It showed really unhealthy co-dependent relationship.

Spoiler

 

In this scenario Yomogi becomes complete recluse, Tsukasa moves to her house and becomes her only point of contact with outside world - like she said, "I don't need and want anything but you". It felt really heavy and heart-rending when she said "It's okay, it doesn't feel lonely" with an empty eyes...

In adult version it wasn't as grave, or rather it was told in a more roundabout way, since they basically became a pair of sex addicts, skipping school and spending almost all their free time locked up in a room and fucking :P

 

When choosing to go away, some more drama ensues of course, but thanks to it the characters grow up a bit, and then finally they are able to meet together again, this time in a healthier way. Really nice route, providing some good observations and food for thought.

 

Completing those three above routes unlocks another choice during the test of courage near the end of common route, and this is where we finally meet Nanami - who initially gets mistaken for a ghost ;) and can proceed to the true route of the game.

And this route was a hell of a ride. Nanami is a mysterious girl, who appeared at night at the school. She looks like a younger version of Nami (voice included), and she's great at playing flute. It turns out that she's on a trip (or a runaway ;) ) and she's been sleeping there because she ran out of money. For a few nights Tsukasa goes to school and brings her some food, but then somebody notices suspicious activity at the school and so Nanami gets locked out from her temporary room, which makes her end up staying at Tsukasa's home - and that's where the fun begins. While Nanami looks like a spitting image of Nami, her personality is very different - she's very optimistic, and she finds joy in every little thing.

Spoiler

And unlike the Asuka's case, it's 100% real.

Of course the two get closer and closer to each other, and suddenly Tsukasa noticed, that he's really happy when he's with Nanami. But sometimes she says some weird things - like that she used magic to get here, and, like in Cinderella's story, soon the magic will wear out...

And that's where the story decides to hit us with a KEY punch.
 

Spoiler

 

Actually Nanami is terminally ill, and she spent most of her life at hospital. She really wanted to experience the normal life at least for a while, and see the world, so she mustered up all her strength, and ran away to spend her final days on a trip (that's what she meant by "the magic"). And so it happens, that one summer night, just when the two finally confessed love to each other under the great tree in the school yard - she dies. And there's no "KEY magic" to the rescue...

Of course Tsukasa gets depressed again, and he's in even worse state than when he broke up with Nami. The remaining part of the true route is about getting over this loss and finding happiness despite of it - with a great help of his friends and Nanami herself, whom he meets in a dreams, on board of the titular "Star Train" traversing the sky, and being a reference to the "Night on the Galactic Railroad" novel by Kenji Miyazawa.

Gradually he learns to live and smile again, and finally, he accepts Kanade's third (!) confession, and they end up together - so it turns out that Kanade is this game's actual true heroine :)

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Another thing I'd like to praise is the Maiko and Hiroki duo. They're much more than a comic relief (although they're great at that) - they're Tsukasa's true friends, really caring for him, and helping in need - especially in true route.

WHoah... this became a huuge wall of text...

Time to sum it all up. I really enjoyed this VN, although the technical issues I mentioned in my initial post hampered that enjoyment a bit - the experience wasn't exactly smooth. Nevertheless true route was a great ride, and the standard routes also were decent.

I also checked out PC adult version, and while I prefer the way the story was changed and extended for the console version, it also isn't bad. The only route that IMO suffers from the "eroge logic" (=="Each heroine needs a sex scene") is Nanami's route - it's the only one when it felt out of place. OTOH the big plus of PC version is resolution - 800x600 isn't much, but it looks much better than the 640x448 PS2 version.

All in all - it was nice charage with a bit of a twist. 7.5/10

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

Recently I got physical Switch versions of Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai and Aonatsu Line, and I think my next read will be one of those.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally finished rereading Amnesia: Memories! It took a week longer than I was expecting (I did a route per week) but I did finish it :ehehe:

Well, I'm gonna be honest: it wasn't as good as when I first read it, but oh well, that's what usually happens when you read something you feels nostalgic about. It's a 90/10; though it's so damn satisfying when it's still good even after all these years :iamslain: Well, maybe one of the causes I didn't like it as much this time was the big focus on romance when I was going to reread it expecting more mystery lol  Anyways, back in 2016 I gave this a 9/10 and now it has a 7.8/10, hah.

Heart World - Shin

Spoiler

Oh boy, the tsundere route... Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against tsunderes, but Shin is just so... childish? Like, rude. Yeah, that. There's a reason his was the only route I barely remembered, oof-

The sudden kisses were a big turn off for me, honestly. Maybe it's exciting for straight women and such, but oh gods, it was really uncomfortable, ESPECIALLY by the fact that he was basically a stranger to us :baobao: Oh, and another thing that bothered me that seems to be almost a trope in romances: the "we were childhood friends but now that I've got a crush on you we can't keep being friends - we either date or we go our separate ways" thing; like, wtf? As someone who is aromantic, this might sound strange, but couldn't you just tell your feelings to your crush and if they reject you, couldn't you cope in healthier ways??? You look so insecure, bro. 

It's a good thing I read this one first, as it really was the least memorable one; the only good scene imo was the last bit with Toma and Shin, as it shows the big reveal AND it foreshadows (along with one of Shin's bad endings) Toma's yan yan side, let's say. Ngl I would love to see a scene of them as a throuple, it looks hella cute~

Spade World - Ikki

Spoiler

I don't have a lot to comment on this one, but I'd like to hear more about his "condition" - which, actually, wouldn't he be one of the human Nhil tried to help?? :sugoi:

I feel like Ikki is much better as a secondary character, kind of like the mischievous friend asjhdbasjhbd Oh yeah, the bad endings were darker than I what I expected :peek:

Diamond World - Toma

Spoiler

People usually like to roast this route a lot, and I GET IT, I really do! Ho-we-ver! Toma is, in my honest opinion, a really good yandere and he's done in a more realistic way, instead of the usually over-the-top way most yanderes act. I do like yanderes in general so I might be a bit biased, but I don't like them just because they fit the archetype - they have to be a well-written character. I like Toma because he's not perfect, as much as the game tries to make it so in the beginning: he has basic flaws and that nice side of him IS also him! Just like a lot of abusive, manipulative and possessive people, he doesn't believe what he is doing is truly wrong, as fucked up as it is. Sure, he is self-aware to a degree, but he believes everything he is doing is for the "best". He does have a bunch of insecurities, which they actually show, instead of making him go fully yan out of nowhere like a lot of them do.

If there's one thing I didn't like (besides the whole route feeling soooo dragged) is the endings - the normal ending felt more of a good ending than the good end itself. The heroine accepting everything and being this submissive felt really weird and forced the whole "I can fix him" narrative, which is a big ew for me LOL

Clover World - Kent

Spoiler

The best route imo! It's another tsundere, but this time it's a good balance between tsun and dere! Kent feels more mature and, at the same time, more awkward when it comes to socializing and romance haha kind of like me, except I am sometimes even denser than him, mostly because I don't feel romantic attraction and totally forget most people do kasndkasjnd as an autistic person, I also understand Kent not understanding some social cues and taking some things literally, so it was fun being like "*nod* *nod* I get you, I get you" while Orion freaks out-

Kent is adorable, he's like a cute hamster. I feel like he's the only character I'd be willing to romance if I was playing this blindly haha though I feel like if I met him irl and we became friends, I would text him as little as he does... Poor Kent!

The only thing that bothered me a bit was Kent's jealousy... It was too much.

True Ending!

Spoiler

Joker World - Ukyo

Spoiler

Here we are, it's the big finale! :yes: When I first played it, this was the big "WOAHH!?!?!?" route but now that I know the big mystery, it was a pretty soft route?? Aside from that, I did like how they answered the "why is August so cold" question, as weird as the answer was. Oh, and that bad ending with Toma? Creepy.

 

And that was it!! It wasn't as amazing as when I first read it, but hey, at least I have refreshed my memory and my score on it. I'm 55% done with Maggot Baits, and I'm trying hard to finish it! It's super interesting so far, and it's curious how the heavier stuff seemed to all appear in the first 30% (?) but then, it softens? Not that I'm complaining, I am digging the plot!

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Finished the second episode of Supipara a while ago. I've read the first one years ago already and due to the whole funding campaign mess, the seond one vanished from my radar for quite some time. I then picked it up after Higurashi since I wanted something short and also to get it finally finished.

Overall, it was okay. As typical for a Minori VN, the atmosphere was a bit more on the melancholic side, which I quite liked. The second episode focused on Ange, which is the resident tsundere in Supipara. Her story arc is about compensating for the loss of her mother by making a deal with the witch Alice to gain special powers to help others. Those special powers enable her to see into the future and prevent bad things from happening. However, that powers also comes with the price of sacrificing parts of her happy memories. Naturally, when she gets closer to the protagonist, this is causing problems to their developing relationship and the protagonist tries to help her overcome those issues during the route.

It wasn't the deepest plot arc, but still nicely written due to the likable characters. However, Ange itself felt a bit like she was written too much to fit the tsundere cliche. While undoubtly a good person, she talked a bit too much nonesense for my taste. Meaning, she lacked the sharp intellect to back up her foul mouth.

Actually, the true star of this episode - just like in the first one - is Alice the witch. It's pretty obvious that she was intended to be the main heroine, destined for the final true route. She resembles Yuuko from ef a lot, being Minori's unique smart-dere character type. Funny and talkative, but also smart and mysterious. I absolutely adore her.

Graphics were still impressive, due to the many CG's and the fantastic scene lighting, even if some of the character faces felt a bit simple for todays standards.

It's a pity that the VN could never be finished, because the ending of the episode made it quite obvious that the first two episodes were just small fragments of a much bigger story. Especially Rikka and Momiji seem to know a lot more than they were willing to reveal so far. Not to mention Alice, who's quite obvious a big blob of hidden secrets. It also makes the VN hard to rate since it's obviously incomplete.

Heroine ranking: Alice >> Momiji > Rikka > Sakura > Ange

Overall rating: 7/10 (I'd rate the story lower since it's just incomplete, but it gets a bonus for Alice, atmoshere and graphics)

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I've also read Making*Lovers and frankly it wasn't my cup of tea. It took me literally months just to finish Saki's route, because it was just so painful to read. The writing was extremely goofy and didn't fit the cast of supposedly adult characters at all. Actually, there was not a single character that seemed to have a mental age beyond 12.

There was also pretty much no common route at all and the characters started dating like they were coupled by a dating agency. An overlapping friendship theme also didn't exist since the heroines only exist in their own routes (juding by Saki's route at least). The protagonist -let's call him Hamster-kun - was also presented as somewhat mentally retarded and really annoying. It's as if they made the idiot friend the actual protagonist. A plot also didn't really exist, so you're stuck with an endless loop of dumb and unfunny jokes, connected by some arbitrary H-scenes.

In terms of positives, the art was quite decent - it's a pity that it was wasted on such a bad writer. The custom dates were also a good idea and some of the heroines at least had potential.

Generally, I think the writing would have fit more to loliges or at least school life VN's with a strong comedy theme. For a romance VN involving adult characters, it felt just completely inappropriate. But to be perfectly honest, I don't think I'll read another VN from this writer or company again. Just not my cup of tea.

Heroine ranking: Don't care

Overall rating: 4/10

Edited by ChaosRaven
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Today I started Aonatsu Line - and made it to the OP movie, so I guess I completed the prologue ;) 

So far I'm really liking what I'm seeing - mainly the nice friendship between the characters. Even though this game isn't about saving the school club on the verge of demise, I got similar warm, fuzzy feeling like when reading Konosora :) 

I'm reading Switch version, and this presents additional challenge, since I have no H-code for this version so far. But OTOH this VN seems to be on the easier side language-wise, so this might be a good thing - I have to concentrate more on the text itself, and I'm not so easily tempted/distracted by mouseover dictionary. Now, since I have to look up unknown words manually, I use it as a last resort, and try to infer as much as possible from context. Interesting experience :)

It seems, that Alka Translation group wanted to translate this VN, but sadly the project is stalled for now, since they ran into engine problems :( 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Playing Futama Renai from Asa Project, It's been so long since I read another VN lol since I lost the energy to read.  Picked a random recent release and I played this game. Another game from Asa Project, Renai Karichaimashita, I liked because of its change to the typical setting which is being a rental bf, while I absolutely did not like Renai X Royale because it was too average, Most of their games are average to good in quality but I was looking for romcoms with different settings no more "loser protagonist gets with school idol/childhood friend etc etc. Rental boyfriend setting was kinda new and Futama Renai was kind of new to with the setting being the protagonist is a cheating bastard while he has a reason why he two-times, he still knows he was trash on choosing to two time.

This was a college setting so there isn't a lot of school-life shown so far (only few hours) and that already made me happy. So far, I was surprised that the jokes are kinda toned down unlike the typical Asa project game. They got the slight change of setting from Renai Karichaimashita without the usage of tons of jokes as usual form Asa Project. It just seemed kinda like a normal VN with possible drama ( I don't know if they will actually pursue that drama or do it badly since this is an Asa project game). I'm interested in the story so far and hopefully they don't drop the ball too hard or avoid the drama they set-up and answer it with jokes

Edited by Larxe1
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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Two days ago I finished Aonatsu Line

It's very nice "coming of age" story, with great friendship vibe between characters. I especially loved common route for that. All characters are present and important in every route, which is another big plus.

Yui's and Kotone's routes are "feel-good" routes, featuring some sweet romance, and light drama. One could say, that's "moege standard", but it was executed very well - at least it worked for me, giving me wonderful warm, fuzzy feeling :)Kind of side-routes, but very nice.

Miki's route is more serious and longer, her being the main heroine. Apart from (obviously) romance between Tatsumi and Miki, it's also focused on the relationship between Tatsumi, Miki and Chihiro. And that leads to the next highlight of this VN - very good MC's male friend character. Chihiro is actually pretty serious and important character, not another Sunohara-wannabe comic relief.

Now for the (minor) downsides. This VN lacks after-route epilogues. While no deal-breaker, I always kind of wait for them...
Completing all three routes unlocks short bonus story after credits, and while walkthroughs sometimes call it "True End" it isn't one - it's actually "bonus prologue", showing four short scenes from the first day of school from the POV of four main characters - Yui, Kotone, Chihiro and Miki. Nice little touch, but I'd prefer full-fledged epilogues still...

Another thing I missed are sprites for side characters. There are only four sprites in the whole game - three heroines and Chihiro. Thankfuly all "NPCs" are voiced, but I'd like to see them as well.

And that's it - it took me 36 hours to read this in Japanese (without text hooking, because it didn't work on emulated version), so it isn't long VN.

To sum up - nice atmosphere, cute heroines, great friendship vibe, and some minor drawbacks - that makes it 8/10 for me :)  I guess that my initial impression of this having similar atmosphere to Konosora was because of the "coming of age story" + "friendship" combination.

I hope that one day Alka translations team manages to overcome technical issues and translate this nice VN, so more people can enjoy it. I actually think it deserves official release - maybe NekoNyan could pick it up?

Edited by adamstan
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Long time no see, all of you! It's been a month, more or less! :iamslain: In the meantime, I've been playing Zero Time Dilemma and while I know many don't consider it a visual novel and for good reasons, I approach it the same way dknjasknda It was... well, it was something, alright. :baobao:Yeah, I didn't enjoy it... I'll give it a 6/10 but honestly? It felt like a 4/10... Maybe I'm just done with these series and it's my brain saying "pls no moreee" but oh well; I did like one thing! The puzzles!! They are easier!!! I actually did most by myself!! :ehehe: Way to make me feel not dumb lmao

But yeah, the cast was not fun to be with at all, maybe except Team D, but the visuals didn't help aaaaa... I hate it I hate it I hate it. At some point I did get used to it but it was always something that stopped me from being too emotionally invested lol I just couldn't take the story seriously.

I'm almost done with Maggot Baits (finally!) at 90%, hooray! I might actually finish it lololol

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On 6/2/2022 at 9:11 PM, Fujoneko said:

Maybe I'm just done with these series and it's my brain saying "pls no moreee" but oh well; I did like one thing! The puzzles!!

Nah, ZTD is just that bad, objectively the worst thing Uchikoshi has ever written, even if you count the barely coherent Punchline. I will never believe that he had this story in mind when he was working on VLR.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/8/2022 at 8:48 AM, novurdim said:

even if you count the barely coherent Punchline

He wrote PUNCHLINE??? Seriously? Damn, that was so shitty and I don't even remember much of it lmao welp, glad to know my taste is still somewhat good /j :kyoku:

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7 hours ago, Fujoneko said:

He wrote PUNCHLINE??? Seriously? Damn, that was so shitty and I don't even remember much of it lmao welp, glad to know my taste is still somewhat good /j :kyoku:

I tried it twice plus one try at the anime. I gave up all three times. It was sad

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's a hot take

How the hell did Subahibi get an overwhelming majority 9+/10 ratings (avg 8.68) on VNDB?

Yeah, sure, innocent lighthearted SoL beginnings turned GOTCHA! pyschological multiple viewpoints wtfmux that rabbit?! delusional EnDSkY savior bonanza

But nothing that made me feel like goddamn, this is a 10/10 masterpiece!@#. 

I gave it a 7/Good. Gets too rapey at times. And Takuji can go suck it.

~~
I feel bad for people who followed 9-Nine since its first episode released in 2017 and had to wait until 2020+ to get the final episode. Idk how episodic releases fare against just making one complete VN, but whatever floats your boat. I got the luxury of finding out about this VN in 2022, so huzzah me, can just marathon the whole thing!

9 9 was fun. It's another modern day high school setting with a dash of the supernatural/superpowers. Good balance of highschool SoL Romance and Supernatural Overarching Plot Build Up to keep things interesting, with 4 Episodes to keep ya busy and add to the superpower lore(each Episode is dedicated to one of the 4 heroines, yee Enforced Route Playthroughs). The payoff when you finally get to Episode 4 is similar to, if not only a fraction of, the payoff you'd get from making the trek from Muv Luv to Muv Luv Alternate. Things can get pretty high stakes and epic, just don't uh, overload. Heh.

7/10 Ep 1-2,
8/10 Ep 3,
9/10 Ep 4.

~~ 
I was gonna do a misc. thoughts for both Subahibi and 9-Nine, but uhhh I kinda got too lazy, srrz. And I kinda just wanna start reading:

Spoiler

AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative Story Trailer - YouTube

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Somewhere in April I started Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka, but just after the prologue I got distracted/interrupted by moving to a new flat, and haven't been able to resume it yet.

 

Meanwhile, the "Loopers Book Club" formed on wanikani forums, so I jumped on and started reading Loopers today. I just completed the prologue, and so far I'm liking what I'm seeing :)

 

I'm playing JP version from DLSite, but there's bi-lingual Switch version released, and Steam port in works, so it's possible to play this VN in English too.

 

Edited by adamstan
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Yesterday I finished Loopers

What can I say - it's pretty typical KEY story in a short format, with all pros and cons that come with it.

I loved it - but I'm easily moved, and I like KEY formula, so the fact that this VN adheres to it didn't bother me at all ;) I think the fairy tale prologue sets the mood perfectly, and it tells what this story actually is, allowing to adjust expectations.

ryujinx-capture-2022-07-23-09-48-02.png

Because I have to admit, seeing the premise and R07 as main writer, it's easy to expect more, and then get disappointed - which can be seen in some reviews.

I think it's a similar case like with ATRI and PARQUET - the setting isn't the main point, it's just a stage to tell a story. And while surely R07 added his own flavor to it, especially in the early chapters, this is still unmistakably KEY story. Needless to say, it fulfilled its "nakige" mission, making my eyes teary many times.

I think the closest to this from the "big" KEY VNs would be Little Busters - there are some clearly visible parallels. But at the same time it isn't just "LB! abridged" ;)

Spoiler

 

loopers-LB.png

"Maybe this world is someone's dream?"

 

I think this was first VN I read that in addition to voiced MC featured third person narration. That was nice, made it more "novel-like" I guess ;)

Art is nice, music and voices too, although the voices have too much of dynamic range - some shouted lines are waaaay to loud.

To sum it up - YMMV, but for me it was 8/10.

If you're not tired of the KEY formula yet, want another dose, but don't have time for behemots such as Clannad or Summer Pockets - go for it :D

:thumbsup:

There's English translation available in Switch version, and unofficial patch that ports this translation to the PC version. There's also multi-language Steam version in the works, but no release date yet :(

I played Japanese PC version, so I cannot say much about TL quality. Reportedly there are some errors, but it's not bad.

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^"If you're not tired of the KEY formula yet, want another dose, but don't have time for behemots such as Clannad or Summer Pockets - go for it"

Sold. I already have Loopers on my Switch but haven't gotten around to it; but I'll definitely move it up on my to-do-list 😛 

~~
AI: Nirvana Initiative was good. If you liked the general reading experience from The Somnium Files you should be able to enjoy this as well.

The Somniums can be solved more logically this time around instead of having to trial and error yolo choosing random actions and hoping for the best so that's a plus.

The dual-protagonist system is... unfortunate; splitting screentime between Mizuki and Ryuki definitely imo weakens the both of them than if the VN focused on just one of them. Ryuki was aight, but ngl would've totally preferred Mizuki to be the sole protagonist cuz bias

The big twist... was a whole bunch of "...that's it?", especially with how it'll literally, and I mean quite literally, be told to you upfront in plain English handholding spoonfed style after a certain part in the story. It's VERY underwhelming.

8/10. I gave the first game 8.5/10. The first game just keeps you hooked with the always-a-step-behind murder mystery. Second game tries to be grand with the whole Nirvana Initiative plotline and falls flat

~~
Currently reading the most randomest thing ever, Making*Lovers. If you're ever in the mood for a legit dating sim where the narrative is all about a modern day no-relationship-experience whatsoever young adult male protagonist meeting a likewise no-relationship-experience whatsoever heroine by some contrived circumstantial chance, they awkwardly hit it off, but slowly and surely fall in love as they get to know each other and involve in each others' lives, this thing will be quite a treat. No overarching plot or common routes here, the entire focus of this VN will be on the protag and the heroine of your choice's fated encounter and blossoming romance.

If you don't got a thing for the sassy just-an-acquaintance from the good ol' college days, ya oughta rethink your life decisions:

qgldyt4.png

NxLtVr0.png

 

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Recently I downloaded update for the Vita3k (PSV emulator), and was pleasantly surprised at the progress it made - many VNs that I wanted to try out but weren't working are now completely playable.

Therefore I think that for my next VN I might go with either Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai or Hatsuyuki Sakura.

Sadly, AstralAir no Shiroki Towa boots up, but then freezes on the title screen, so that one has to wait :(

Or perhaps the time has come to tackle the White Album 2?

Too many options and too big of a backlog!

Edited by adamstan
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