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vizualfan

Alternatives to VNDB

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3 hours ago, sanahtlig said:

Erogamescape is essentially the Japanese alternative to VNDB.  Its advantage is that the ratings / popularity aren't biased by translation status.

disadvantage is the much higher percentage of bot and troll voting.

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33 minutes ago, vizualfan said:

by the way, is it legal to view Visual Novel CG online ?

Erogamescape suffers from the results of being directly exposed to the much larger (currently and past, though who knows about the future?) VN market that is Japan.  To be blunt, you get people down-voting stuff for kicks, company-owned or hired bots in the hundreds voting others up, and no real effort on the part of the site administrators to rein it in.  The troll voting is worse on vndb, to be honest... percentage-wise, there are a significant number of fake players who vote games down or up without even playing them, based on the fact that their votes predate the games' releases (shouldn't it be relatively easy to fix that?  oh well).  That said, the real issue with Erogamescape is that you can't trust the ratings on anything that is hyped (in other words, by one of the big names before they went down) by a relatively 'big name' company... or anything mainstream, really, if you aren't a huge charage fan. 

In other words, Erogamescape requires too much filtering and preexisting knowledge from the viewer/reader/observer to even get what the real ratings of a given game are...  whereas vndb is a bit simpler.  Anything translated, cut off 90% of the ten, 9, and 1-3 ratings (since people either way overrate or way underrate depending on their prejudices and experience), then recalculate the average.  The rest, subtract all votes prior to two days after the initial release. 

That's if you are paying attention to voting scores.

VNDB is relatively simple to figure out... just find the tags you have an interest in, then set the list so the highest rated ones (usually translated) come up first, and browse.  The primary virtue of the site is the huge amount of basic info it holds on most of the VNs released since VNs came into existence.  Also, another way to figure things out is to find a member of Fuwa who shares your tastes, take a look at his vndb profile, then figure out what you want to play from that. 

The issue with vndb for the whipper-snappers (AKA, 'you young people') is that it is a PC-specialized site.  It is meant to be navigated via PC browsers with a keyboard and mouse, not finger-swipes and tapping, so it is extremely unwieldy when done from smaller tablets and smartphones.  VNDB's secondary utility lies in the fact that most Japanese games have the Japanese-language (kanji and kana) available to copy to a search engine in order to discover walkthroughs, websites that sell the games by download, and other stuff.  Searching a game by the romanized name is generally a dead end for that kind of thing, and remembering the precise kanji for the whole title can often be annoying, so that is seriously convenient, at least for me.

Honestly, if you can't navigate vndb, I dunno what to tell you... of all the otaku database sites I've navigated over the years, it is the easiest, at least for me.  Myanimelist is a pain in the rear to navigate, as are most of the other anime database sites.  VNDB is a breeze in comparison, since it doesn't present you with a dozen similar titles or barely related titles even if you put the exact one in the search box...

What is lacking on vndb is decent summaries/intros of most games, since most are poorly-translated translations of the Getchu or official pages, lol. 

Edit: oops forgot to answer your question in my urge to rave, no, it isn't illegal, since most games have pics on their official sites.  What is illegal is ripping the cgs and posting them online for profit...

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1 hour ago, Clephas said:

Edit: oops forgot to answer your question in my urge to rave, no, it isn't illegal, since most games have pics on their official sites.  What is illegal is ripping the cgs and posting them online for profit...

Slight correction: Most games have a few sample pics on their official sites.  What is illegal is ripping the entire CG set and posting it online for any reason, or downloading the entire CG set to keep if you don't own the game.

Posting a few screenshots (even if they're not of the same CG that the developer posts to their site) is much murkier.  if your screenshots are attached to a review, that's probably fine.  Browsing a complete rip someone else illegally uploaded, in order to see if you want to buy the game, is murkier but probably also fine.

Edit: If you were wondering 'what about what VNDB is doing' (by posting sample pictures for many games) - That is probably legal.  They are a database, and it's beneficial for a database to be holding a few pictures of the game to give people a feel for what the game's CG looks like, mugshots of the characters in the 'characters' view, and a screenshot of the cover art.

At least in the US, they are almost certainly covered by Fair Use.  There is no way VNDB got permission from every game company whose software they host pictures of.  For one, many of these companies no longer exist.  But because VNDB is not directly competing with, or undermining the market for, the VN companies, what they're doing would likely be found to be legal.

Edited by Nandemonai

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Honestly, I can see nothing wrong with VNDB: I find it a truly amazing site and hard to believe that so many VNs are covered in an easy to look up way. There are so many trash VNs out there that I surely would have given up on VNs if not for that site. Since I don't use VNDB on mobile devices there is not a single thing I can complain about. I hope the site continues to exist as long as I read VNs ;)

And if you are really not sure about the rating of a VN try the VNDB profiles of Fuwa members like Clephas said and see how they rated it. I do that a lot to get an even better idea!

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To be blunt, a database site will never be perfect.  VNDB is the best of the group, but that's mostly because there isn't anything else worth mentioning out there... and the effort it would require for a new site to surpass its utility is probably beyond volunteer helpers.  Why?  Because vndb already fills its niche pretty much completely and mostly free of corporate influence.  While it doesn't combine a news site like most other otaku databases do, it doesn't really need one... and the most important stuff (the existence of and release dates for new VNS) are posted regularly.

Edit: I should also mention that the main reason I hate erogamescape is for all the horribly wrong tracks it sent me off on in my first two years playing untranslated VNs.  I ended up buying and playing horrible games that had been bot-hyped about a half-dozen times, and that still infuriates me, even today. 

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