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Clephas' VN of the month


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There are four heroines in the story: Kokoro the imouto, Minori the two-faced honor student, Haruka the mimikko mathematician, and Aira, the poker-faced girl with the beautiful singing voice.

I'm playing this VN right now and I think you're forgetting Nao whos route is unlocked after you finish with the four mentioned heroines.

P.S.: Aira FTW.

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Nao's isn't a route, its a ten-minute (for me) set of scenes that basically reveals one vital thing about her then ends. 

 

Edit:  Incidentally, I'll be starting Minori's new game next, and after that, hopefully the newest Soleil game will have a release available for me, as I intend to make that the last one I play from January for now.

 

Edit2:... just saying this beforehand, but I don't really like Minori, as a company.  I'm only playing this because I know the fanboys want someone to tell them what it was like and whether it was any good.  Also, leaving a Minori game out of the candidates for game of the month would be an abuse of my evil power as the master of this thread.  Production values for their games are always high... but the only time I felt a sense of satisfaction after a Minori game was Eden*  I'll strive to evaluate the game objectively, but I'm just warning yall in advance that a game being from this company is always an automatic -1 one for me.

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First, I should say this:  I hate Minori.

 

I won't bore you with the details of the how and why, but the only game of theirs I am unreservedly impressed with is Eden*. 

 

That said, 12 no Tsuki no Eve is a pretty good game (if i cut out my negative bias, which takes some effort).  There are a few jarring moments, and some things they should have blurred in the story ruined the effect later on (this is an honest complaint rather than an impression born of bias, lol).  However, overall I think Minori fans and those who don't possess my bias would enjoy this game, given that they like surrealist fantasy story-focused VNs (got that's a mouthful, but that is how I describe ef, Himawari no Kyoukai, and a few other games by other companies that hold similar qualities). 

 

First, this is both a romance and a time-travel story.  The game is structured so that you automatically proceed through the two sub-heroines to the true heroine in that order.  The two sub-heroines are the protagonist's childhood friends, Mizuka and Anzu.  I'm pretty sure most people who like the older style of Japanese love-comedy/drama that has sort of gone out of style in recent years will like their character dynamic and how it forms the basis of the first two arcs of the story.  The story for each of the first two arcs is suitably dramatic, the character interactions are hilarious, and all three heroines have comprehensible issues and psychological problems that I'm sure fans of this kind of thing will eat up nicely.  Perhaps the biggest jarring issue happens in the middle of the third and final arc, when a certain 'revelation' is made (not the obvious one) to the protagonist.  Unfortunately, it is a 'revelation' that is made to the reader fairly early on in the game, which reduces the impact significantly and jars you out of whatever empathy you might have had for him for the next few scenes.  That is the biggest downer for the game, for me; though for most people I'm sure it will be a minor or irrelevant point (especially if you aren't used to picking up every scrap of info that comes your way in the course of playing a VN). 

 

What is the final word on this game, from my point of view?  The ending made me cry, was decent, and brought a good close to the overall story, so I can't say I'm unsatisfied.  The fact that I am not unsatisfied (though I'm not content either) says more for the story than I would like, being a contrary Minori hater.  For Minori-lovers, this will be crack; for your average vn lover, this will be a good game, and for Minori haters this will be a game you might reluctantly acknowledge as being worth playing.

 

Now, onto my final game of the month candidate: http://vndb.org/v13717

 

Honestly, having played several of the other games in this series, I don't have huge hopes for this one.  However, if nothing else, their games are moderately enjoyable in my experience (also, it is obvious they based the protag's physical appearance off of Sora from DDC, so I'm curious as to whether his personality is similar too). 

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... well, that was short. 

 

This game is unbelievably short, and like all the other Soleil games, it starts in the middle of the action and moves too fast.  When I say 'too fast' I mean that you don't have time to get to like the characters.  Some of the action is cool... but without the background to make you care about the characters, the endings lack the 'flavor' of better games.  tbh, this game's immediate predecessor was much better, despite its flaws.  Not to mention that they reused some of the most important concepts in a really obvious manner.

 

For those who don't know what the Soleil games are like, they are basically fantasy/end of the world stories based on weird twists of the Norse myths (like, the names are there, as well as some of the concepts, but everything else is different). 

 

I honestly can't recommend this game, due to its short length and an unbelievable lack of depth (I say unbelievable because even the other Soleil games had more content and development).  I had hopes they had begun to learn from the mistakes of the past with this game's immediate predecessor, but it looks like, if anything, their bad habits have gotten worse, lol.

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Since that one was a downer, I decided to try Aisare Roommate, since it is a non-nukige I missed when I was looking through the list for this month.  So far, there are three votes on it, one from our friend Aggressor and two from rather obvious vote trolls (votes on all last months games by the fifth, over three hundred votes in less than six months, etc).

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Since that one was a downer, I decided to try Aisare Roommate, since it is a non-nukige I missed when I was looking through the list for this month.  So far, there are three votes on it, one from our friend Aggressor and two from rather obvious vote trolls (votes on all last months games by the fifth, over three hundred votes in less than six months, etc).

I've played it for Yui-sempai, because that evil-looking expressions of hers and her profile from getchu made me put off everything else for two evenings. Unfortunately the route hasn't been able to meet my expectations, and I haven't even tried other heroines. For me Lump of sugar gets an easy win with Aira (and I'm in the middle of Kokoro route now). Let me know your impression when you're done.

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I have voted too. I'm not a troll. I only did Yui-sempai Route for the exact same thing like Aggressor (By the way, she was a Chuuni-byo :o). I guess we have the same taste. And I didn't tried the others too. It's normal that I have over three hundred vote less than six month. It's because I did my list this last four month. I didn't have an account before that. So I needed to vote for every Vns that I had played over these years. 

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Ah... Sorry, I keep running across people with three hundred to a thousand votes who are bots...

 

In any case, yeah, Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de is the first place candidate so far. I just wanted to play something to wash my mouth out, and I had this downloaded.  Too bad Aisare Roommate looks to be a straight moege...  even if the character designs are kind of unusual.  I'll replay Harumade Kururu or Sakura, Sakimashita to give my brain a good washing out after this.  I have the leftover bad taste from playing a Minori game (it is like an allergy), plus the disappointment of the Soleil game, and now a straight moege that doesn't look to have any depth whatsoever.

 

Incidentally, if you want an evil-looking woman who actually probably is as bad as she looks, try Lovesick Puppies.  The one I'm talking about isn't a heroine, but she is a kairakushugisha and a kijinhenjin.  She also seems to spend all her time screwing with people's heads, teasing them, and forming a base of money and power for the future.  God, I wish she was a heroine. 

 

Edit:  Incidentally, just finished Yui's route... and I get what you are saying.  God, Reon's writers really have no idea of how to write a good story.  They went for the eccentric thing, but they didn't manage to create a satisfying climax to either of the heroines I've finished so far.  I can't really see this game getting any better, so I'm dropping it before I feel like doing something I'll regret later. 

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February candidate list:

http://vndb.org/v12863 (haven't played anything by this company, not really much of a candidate)

http://vndb.org/v12987 (a hopeful, despite being made by a company infamous for its lolige obsession)

http://vndb.org/v13223 (being related to Pure Girl, I hope it manages to be as funny... but even if it is, I am curious as to whether it really is candidate material)

http://vndb.org/v13694 (I love VNs where the protag isn't a hopeless loser at home, and this one has the homemaker protag tag... hopefully he is decent outside the house as well, lol)

http://vndb.org/v13651 (speaking from experience, I wouldn't get my hopes up about this one... everything about it, from the cover picture to the website screams 'I'm just another moege!!!')

http://vndb.org/v13718  (considering that Timepiece Ensemble was a decent game, I hope this one manages to match it in quality, despite being released so soon after it)

http://vndb.org/v7584 (otome game candidate... no downloads available yet, but if I can, I'll play it and include a few comments on it for otome game lovers)

 

 

 

February Special VNs:  http://vndb.org/v12455 http://vndb.org/v13108

 

The former is chuuni, the latter is the FD of my 2013 VN of the year, Hapymaher.  Both are excluded from the VN of the Month contest, the former for the reasons I stated in posts last month and the latter because it is a fandisc that is reliant on the story of the previous work in order to make sense. 

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Lol, Light's game poster looks so much like Dies Irae... Well, this one and H Rozen Maiden the doll-game are the only two I'm going to give a try. Btw the doll-game's average boob size has grown considerably (Tsukumonotsuki had a great pettanko art), so I regret to admit that Sugar Pot has been corrupted by the light side and is no longer a lolige company.

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February candidate list:

http://vndb.org/v12863 (haven't played anything by this company, not really much of a candidate)

 

The trial showed your assumptions were right, it introduced the characters in a really non-interest piquing way, a generic moe-ge but with good graphics. Will probably try out Pure Girl if any from the releases of this month.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just finished Hachimyoujin... and I'll leave my comments here.

 

First, this game was written by the same guys who wrote Dies Irae, and it shows.  For a game that uses every trope you could possibly think of from the chuuni genre, it really is amazing that they managed to create a story that really was fun to read.  This is their style, unapologetically chuuni and with the sense of humor to make fun of itself at times (surprisingly frequently).  There are some really good twists to the overall story, but what really defines this game is its antagonists...

 

Amakasu Masahiko, Hiiragi Seijuuro, and Shinno Akikage make great antagonists... as do Dan Karuma and Kiira.  This game has three individual heroine routes, and a grand route that includes an extra ending for the three initial heroines (as well as the grand finale) and two endings for Mizuki. 

 

If I had a problem with the game, it was that I thought the grand route endings, save for Mizuki's Ending 1, were somewhat disappointing.  This is something I don't think can be helped, however.  The events leading up to the climax and the climax are so intense that anything that comes after would inevitably be an anticlimax. 

 

I can't really go any farther into this, as I don't want to spoil this for those who want to play the game (and I ask for anyone who comments after me to do the same).  However, if you want a decent fantasy, with overblown drama and powers, as well as minor mindfucks (though the experienced and jaded will probably see through most of them) this is a good choice. 

 

Second (I actually played this before Hachimyoujin), is Kimi ga Tame, Koishi Midareshi Tsuki no Hana, the otome game.  Like most otome game, this game's protag suffers from the worst disease ever to befall a female protag... DIDS (Damsel in Distress Syndrome).  It doesn't suffer from it as badly as most otome games, however.  Thus, it is worth reading, despite the weakness.  It has some minor political machinations, some minor action scenes (understand that my basic standard for action scenes on the lower end is Propeller), and an excess of romance at a time where it makes little sense to indulge in such.  tbh, this totally took me out of behind the character's eyes.  Romance is all well and good, but I prefer a protag that can prioritize or at least has a guiding principle, lol.

 

This game isn't horrible, but it isn't great either.  It has the weakness of characters changing too much based on which route you are on, as well.  I know it sounds like I'm just bashing this game, but if I didn't nitpick the bad points here, someone else would, lol.  However, if you want romance between a ninja girl and various guys (running from her masters to a psychotic swordsman) it isn't a bad choice.  It does have some serious bloodshed and some melodrama.  However, the fact that it is over-focused on the romance damages the story in this case.  For those who want to try otome games, this is probably the most common weakness for story-focused VNs made for women... the romance and the story tend not to mesh very well.  It tends to feel like you are reading one of those romance novels that clutter up the shelves at used bookstores because no one ever re-reads them.

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