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mitchhamilton

Your Favorite VN of 2019?

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I played almost nothing that got released last year. Steam Prison had some really cool moments, but overall was pretty disappointing. And I'm still in the middle of the first route in Baldr Sky, and the speed with which I'm going through this VN suggests that I'm probably not going to like it either.

Edited by Dreamysyu

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As for what I like personally, I guess Kami no Rhapsody and Venus Blood Frontier might count here (Even though those two released at year's end and the former was still partial) because both of those have gameplay. For best rated 2019 VN releases here, I created the list of those in my blog (Feel free to change any VN with your favorite VN that was released in 2019 if you're not satisfied).

PS - By the way I interpret the title as the VNs that was released in 2019.

Edited by littleshogun

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Kimagure Temptation or Realive.  Kimagure Temptation was yet another good one by the makers of Nanairo Reincarnation, and Realive was another great plotge/nakige by Purple Soft.  Most of the other stuff I tried was 'meh' at best.

Edit: Nvm, I thought Sakura, Moyu was 2018.  Definitely Sakura, Moyu, by several degrees above everything else.

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11 minutes ago, Clephas said:

Edit: Nvm, I thought Sakura, Moyu was 2018.  Definitely Sakura, Moyu, by several degrees above everything else.

A VN with Mahou Shoujo heroine that is nakige instead of nukige? - looks interesting :)

...but looking at its length, it would probably take me something like at least half a year to complete, assuming it can be hooked ;) Nevertheless, added to wishlist, together with Realive. Thanks :)

Edited by adamstan

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2 minutes ago, adamstan said:

A VN with Mahou Shoujo heroine that is nakige instead of nukige? - looks interesting :)

...but looking at its length, it would probably take me something like half a year to complete, assuming it can be hooked ;) Nevertheless, added to wishlist, together with Realive. Thanks :)

The game is pretty huge... one of the largest I've ever seen outside chuunige.  However, it is totally worth reading.  It is also highly unlikely to ever see a translation.

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52 minutes ago, Clephas said:

However, it is totally worth reading.

I'm definitely interested in it. Too bad the download version seems to be DMM exclusive :( DMM is the one JP VN storefront that I can't buy from - at least without using VPNs etc. I can access site and create an account, but whenever I try to buy a VN, it throws out an error message at me, equivalent to "this content is unavailable in your location". No problems with either DLSite or Getchu, it's just DMM being the odd one.

52 minutes ago, Clephas said:

It is also highly unlikely to ever see a translation.

Why is that? I'd be inclined to think that good nakige should be popular. Is it the matter of size?

Edited by adamstan

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3 hours ago, adamstan said:

I'm definitely interested in it. Too bad the download version seems to be DMM exclusive :( DMM is the one JP VN storefront that I can't buy from - at least without using VPNs etc. I can access site and create an account, but whenever I try to buy a VN, it throws out an error message at me, equivalent to "this content is unavailable in your location". No problems with either DLSite or Getchu, it's just DMM being the odd one.

Why is that? I'd be inclined to think that good nakige should be popular. Is it the matter of size?

DMM occasionally works properly, but it varies.  They go through cycles where they block IPs from outside Japan.

Yes, it is a matter of size.  Back when fantls were the mainstream (fantls being a minority now), it wasn't uncommon for someone to take on such a ridiculously ambitious project.  However, now that localization companies are the mainstream (having poached most of the good fantls), they choose which games get a localization... and they have to pay by the line.

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So should we consider official English releases of titles like Clannad, Little Busters or Grisaia kind of happy accidents? (perhaps having anime adaptation helped there to convince publishers...?)

But yeah, all those releases happened few years ago (2015 for Clannad and Grisaia no Kajitsu, 2017 for LB). Lately, SolPress picked up Irotoridori no Sekai (also Favorite's game), and JAST is working (forever...) on Majikoi, but neither seems to be close to release :(  While we're at Favorite's games, Sekai still hasn't fixed Hoshimemo...

In the meantime, FanTL of Hoshiori Yume Mirai has been released, and currently they work on Gin'iro Haruka, but tsurezure scans is kind of exception rather than a rule ;)

So, probably you're right, and translation indeed seems unlikely :( 

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7 minutes ago, adamstan said:

So should we consider official English releases of titles like Clannad, Little Busters or Grisaia kind of happy accidents? (perhaps having anime adaptation helped there to convince publishers...?)

But yeah, all those releases happened few years ago (2015 for Clannad and Grisaia no Kajitsu, 2017 for LB). Lately, SolPress picked up Irotoridori no Sekai (also Favorite's game), and JAST is working (forever...) on Majikoi, but neither seems to be close to release :(  While we're at Favorite's games, Sekai still hasn't fixed Hoshimemo...

In the meantime, FanTL of Hoshiori Yume Mirai has been released, and currently they work on Gin'iro Haruka, but tsurezure scans is kind of exception rather than a rule ;)

So, probably you're right, and translation indeed seems unlikely :( 

Clannad, Little Busters, Grisaia, and Majikoi were all fantls before the companies bought the finished or nearly-finished product.  Essentially, rather than paying in advance for something that might take years to finish, they payed for something that just needed to be polished and could potentially be released sooner with less expense in the long run.

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Scanning through my VNDB I realized how few fresh releases I actually read in 2019... From the few I can actually talk about, Heart of the Woods and The Language of Love would be my favourites.

And if I had to choose one favourite (as opposed to "the best VN"), it would be... The Language of Love. It just resonated with me in multiple ways and did the thing ebi-hime does best: conveying emotions and themes that are more or less absent from your typical visual novel storytelling.

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If we're looking just at released and/or localized in 2019 then Grisaia: Phantom Trigger volume 5.5 is the best one I read, and Aokana is the one I gave the highest score to.  Wow, I guess 2019 was a bad year for releases.  Though if I look at everything I finished in 2019 regardless of release year, then my top 3 in order are: Grisaia no Kajitsu, Little Busters, and Euphoria.  So even though new releases failed me, it's been a good year overall.

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Kindred Spirits on the Roof, it may have been a re-release (full chorus), but that was also the reason why I took notice of it. (The first VN to pop up in my steam feed) Besides that Funbag Fantasy 2 and Onii-kiss just hit my strike zone and Love Esquire and The Demon World of Flore Hades (No official release) were fun as VN as well as with their gameplay. The best ones I've read last year regardless of release date were Chrono Clock, Hoshimemo and Katawa Shoujo in that order.

Edited by Ruberick

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So, I guess I'll also pick my favorites from last year. Though I don't really care if it was released last year, I'll just choose from the ones I played.

Best story VN:

19896.jpg 40011.jpg

I think Fata morgana no Yakata from Novectacle is a clear winner here. There was certainly nothing else that came close to this one in terms of story telling. But my runner-up is surprisingly an OELVN, Heart of the Woods from Studio Élan. I think that's the way to go for the English VN scene.

Best moege:

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Shin Koihime † Musou -Kakumei- Son Go no Ketsumyaku from BaseSon gets first place for me. I was actually pretty close to pick that in the story VN section due to its strong plot, but in general I see the Koihime franchise still as a moege series because of the all-girls cast and the emphasis on fan-service. And Haruru Minamo ni! from Clochette is my runner-up in this section. I played both titles in Japanese, but if I would have to pick an English favorite as well, I'd probably choose the two first 9 -Nine- episodes from Palette.

Best nukige: (NSFW)

Spoiler

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So Mamagoto ~Mama to Naisho no Ecchi Shimasho~ from Atelier Kaguya Team Bare & Bunny gets first place from me. And I decided to pick Bishoujo Mangekyou -Norowareshi Densetsu no Shoujo- despite its loli heroine for second place, because of its surprisingly strong emotional impact. It's probably the only nukige I've read where I had tears in my eyes at the end. And Kyonyuu Fantasy Gaiden gets an honorable mention from me for its surprisingly strong plot.

Best otome:

35053.jpg 27550.jpg

Ah and I almost forgot, Hakuouki ~Shinsengumi Kitan~ gets first place for me for otome, followed by Nightshade. Actually, both would have been strong contenders in the story section as well.

Edited by ChaosRaven

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Aoi Sora no Camus. Such a beautiful game. Kai has mainly released magical girl x tentacle nukige with some decent story on the side in the past, so this character based heavy psychological horror game, (that’s a mouthful,)  coming from them really surprised me. The game had me thinking about the ending and how beautiful of a story it was for several days after I finished it. It’s one of those games I’d love to wipe my memory off so I can experience it for the first time again. 

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I read so much good stuff last year, it's pretty much impossible for me to just choose one favorite in particular.

When it comes to VNs actually released in 2019, it's a battle between AI: The Somnium Files, Chaos;Child, Damekoi and Bokuten. I considered putting Aokana here too, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations so I'm choosing to omit it from the list.
If I have to to pick one of those, I think I'd go with AI: The Somnium Files. It's the only one out of the four that I went into completely blind, and it turned out to be a really great experience with a well-balanced mix of both humor and seriousness.

As for VNs that were released earlier but I read in 2019, it's even more difficult to pick a winner. I'd say it's either 999, Chaos;Head, Kazoku Keikaku, Symphonic Rain, Narcissu, YU-NO, Little Busters or Acting Lessons. I'm kinda leaning towards Symphonic Rain, because that was the first one that came to mind when I started racking my brain over this. The soundtrack is amazing, and there's something special about the overall ambience of the game. I have yet to reread a single VN, but Symphonic Rain is one of my top candidates for when it eventually happens.

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I already mentioned Aokana, but if talking about VNs I read in 2019 (instead of 2019 releases), it falls to second place, and my absolutely favourite read of 2019 would be Mashiro Iro Symphony.

Edited by adamstan

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1 minute ago, adamstan said:

I already mentioned Aokana, but if talking about VNs I read in 2019, it falls to second place, and my absolutely favourite read of 2019 would be Mashiro Iro Symphony.

i really want to read Mashiro Iro Symphony,but unfortunately it's not in english.

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2 minutes ago, rimvydasm said:

i really want to read Mashiro Iro Symphony,but unfortunately it's not in english.

Yeah, I think it really deserves translation. Maybe someone should pester NekoNyansoft about it - I think they would be best for this job ;) At least Palette isn't against translating their VNs (Koi ga Saku Koro Sakura Doki and 9-nine have official translations).

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