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Clephas' random VN thread


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Occasionally, I play random VNs from previous months, years, and even decades.  I sometimes (about one third of the time) leave a comment on vndb about them, but I figured since I already spend so much time here, I might as well make my comments about them here, whether it is warning people against them, recommending them in general, or recommending them to a particular type of person.  I'm doing something similar with my VN of the Month thread (https://forums.fuwanovel.net/index.php?/topic/2086-clephas-vn-of-the-month/) , but I started to think it was wasteful that I wasn't telling anybody about the various hidden gems I've run across over the years.  When I'm done with my current game: Sakura Mau, Otome no Rondo, I'll either edit this first post with my comments on it or make a second post if someone posts before then. 

 

 

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Incidentally, I finally did get around to replaying Rewrite.  The first time I played it was right when it came out, and I played Shizuru and Kotori's paths first... and that naturally led to me dropping the game.  To me, it felt like the combination of Ryuukishi's writing and Key's style had fallen somewhat flat, and the jarring difference in writing quality between certain scenes continually dropped me out of sync with the characters.  This isn't something someone playing in English will notice, I believe (since the style is determined by the translator and editor to an extent).  However, for me, it was noticeable and a sign that the writer was having trouble transitioning from the more humorous common route to the more serious scenes.  This tendency is quite naturally fixed in Moon and Terra, of course (since they are mostly serious, and it looks like the writer got over some of his difficulties with the transitions from scene type to scene type).  Also, for some reason, Chihaya's path has a slightly higher quality of writing than the other character paths... 

 

My final impression of the game was that taking it path by path, it was far below some of my favorites in quality, but taken as a whole, the Moon and Terra paths tied things together more completely, smoothing out most of the bad impressions I had of the game originally.  I still say the writing quality for the character paths is jarringly inconsistent, but I decided to ignore it for the sake of my impression of the overall game.  Understand, I played it in Japanese, so my impression of the game is inevitably going to be different from those who read the translated version, and most of my complaints are technical ones that come from an overabundance of experience with what this VN was trying to do.

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For those who are interested, I'm sad to say that Sakura Mau, Otome no Rondo doesn't maintain the quality displayed in Gokigen Naname (a previous game by the same company).  It lacks for a strong protag - despite the fact that he is a trap and has full-voicing - and the heroine paths are what I like to call 'weak moege' fare.  There is no really significant drama, a lot of H, and no real depth.  Honestly, the times when they find out he is a guy aren't even that stunning... and the girls forgive him too easily or have weak reactions to it.  Honestly, it stunned me that Ensemble chose to go in this direction after Gokigen Naname, which gave a huge boost to their reputation as a company after their first release half-flopped.  The only thing that is the same is the constant presence of ojousama heroines (there are always at least two in each game by this company). 

 

Edit: 

The 'oh, you are a guy, so it isn't strange that I want to have sex with you!' reaction that Sakura had, in particular, really turned me off.

 

Edit2: Incidentally, this game is by the same company that did Otome ga Tsumugu, Koi no Canvas, which is being translated at the moment.  That is one of the reasons why I have difficulty forgiving this low level of quality from this company...

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Incidentally, I finally did get around to replaying Rewrite.  The first time I played it was right when it came out, and I played Shizuru and Kotori's paths first... and that naturally led to me dropping the game.  To me, it felt like the combination of Ryuukishi's writing and Key's style had fallen somewhat flat, and the jarring difference in writing quality between certain scenes continually dropped me out of sync with the characters.  This isn't something someone playing in English will notice, I believe (since the style is determined by the translator and editor to an extent).  However, for me, it was noticeable and a sign that the writer was having trouble transitioning from the more humorous common route to the more serious scenes.  This tendency is quite naturally fixed in Moon and Terra, of course (since they are mostly serious, and it looks like the writer got over some of his difficulties with the transitions from scene type to scene type).  Also, for some reason, Chihaya's path has a slightly higher quality of writing than the other character paths... 

 

My final impression of the game was that taking it path by path, it was far below some of my favorites in quality, but taken as a whole, the Moon and Terra paths tied things together more completely, smoothing out most of the bad impressions I had of the game originally.  I still say the writing quality for the character paths is jarringly inconsistent, but I decided to ignore it for the sake of my impression of the overall game.  Understand, I played it in Japanese, so my impression of the game is inevitably going to be different from those who read the translated version, and most of my complaints are technical ones that come from an overabundance of experience with what this VN was trying to do.

But Ryukishi didn't even work on those paths. He only wrote Luchia. And Shizuru has the same writer as Chihaya (Tonokawa) who is generally regarded as a pretty poor writer (though I can't judge that since I only read the english translation which has poor writing in general but plot and character wise (which I can judge) his routes where way worse than anything else in the VN IMO). Romeo Tanaka wrote Kotori, Akane, Moon and Terra.

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Incidentally, I finally did get around to replaying Rewrite.  The first time I played it was right when it came out, and I played Shizuru and Kotori's paths first... and that naturally led to me dropping the game.  To me, it felt like the combination of Ryuukishi's writing and Key's style had fallen somewhat flat, and the jarring difference in writing quality between certain scenes continually dropped me out of sync with the characters.  This isn't something someone playing in English will notice, I believe (since the style is determined by the translator and editor to an extent).  However, for me, it was noticeable and a sign that the writer was having trouble transitioning from the more humorous common route to the more serious scenes.  This tendency is quite naturally fixed in Moon and Terra, of course (since they are mostly serious, and it looks like the writer got over some of his difficulties with the transitions from scene type to scene type).  Also, for some reason, Chihaya's path has a slightly higher quality of writing than the other character paths... 

 

 

I actually think that Chihaya's path has the worst quality for some reason....

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Seconded this. From writing style and storywise, I'd think it was the worse. Felt like a fail shonen to me.

 

Agreed. I thought everyone hated Chihaya's route. It really felt out of place compared to the rest of the game, and it wasn't even good shonen (yeah, fail shonen describes it pretty well)

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lol, I was talking about writing quality, not scenario quality.  To me, all the paths' (other than moon and Terra) scenario quality was iffy.  Every writer has a specialty, and some people are just better at writing stuff like that.

 

Edit: About to start a playthrough of the HD PS3 reverse port (with H-scenes added back in) of the Akatsuki no Goei games. 

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lol, I was talking about writing quality, not scenario quality.  To me, all the paths' (other than moon and Terra) scenario quality was iffy.  Every writer has a specialty, and some people are just better at writing stuff like that.

 

Edit: About to start a playthrough of the HD PS3 reverse port (with H-scenes added back in) of the Akatsuki no Goei games. 

waaaaaaaaaat, a reverse port exists?!? Oh well, regardless it's good anyway... Also all the 3 games together, takes quite a lot of time... haha have fun again with them.

 

I personally really liked Rewrite, it just one of those novels that really clicks with me. Ignoring the inconsistencies ofc.

Which Heroine paths I liked the most I suppose is Chihaya and Akane. Chihaya because the protag didn't turn into a useless piece of dough through the game, was a bit annoying to read after a while. Even if the route was more simple. Akane was a more interesting read, with a lot of elements and thoughts put into it.

Shizuru my favorite heroine and Terra (moon 2nd) favorite route.

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I just completed my third playthrough of Akatsuki no Goei and its fandisc, and I'm about to start the third game.  However, for those who aren't familiar with these games intimately, I'll give a small explanation of how the series as a whole works.

 

Akatsuki no Goei centers around Asagiri Kaito, a young bodyguard in training who intends to quit.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you choose to look at it) he witnesses a young girl being kidnapped, and he impulsively chases down the kidnappers and saves the girl.  If this were your average VN, the kind-hearted and just young man would be rewarded and showered with love by the now deredere ojousama... but this is Akatsuki no Goei.

 

For one thing, Kaito is not a kind-hearted guy.  He is selfish, arrogant, and impulsive.  He saved her because he was bored, and he has to be blackmailed into becoming her bodyguard. 

 

Several factors define Akatsuki no Goei's attraction... Kaito spends much of the game creating situations that you can't help but laugh at, and each of the heroine paths reveal a certain amount of his past and another side of his nature.  Taken alone, the original Akatsuki no Goei would be just an exceptionally good love-comedy VN... it's when you take it as part of a bigger series that you start to understand things more.

 

Need to know facts:

1.  The third Akatsuki no Goei game is based off of Kaoru's ending in the first game, with a few events from the other paths mixed in.  You also need to have read Anzu's path in the fandisc to understand the background for the game fully.

2.  The first Akatsuki no Goei can stand alone, and I know a lot of people who simply play through it and the fandisc and stop there, because they want to see the story as having ended there.  Tsumibukaki Shuumatsuron is much darker than the previous two games (well, except for Anzu's path in the fandisc), and it requires you to pass through a bad ending to get to the rest of the game.  For those who want to end the series on a light-hearted note, it is perfectly acceptable to end your involvement with the series after the fandisc.

3.  The third game produces mixed feelings in fans of the series.  Some people love it and others hate it, but it is almost unheard of for people not to have some kind of reaction to it.

4.  Kaito is not a kind-hearted guy, though he sometimes acts in a compassionate way as a result of doing whatever he wants at a given moment.  He is frequently cold-hearted and tends to think in a way that is amoral.  This comes out in particular in the third game and to a lesser extent in the first game and the fandisc.  The fact that most people like his character and most of the events surrounding him end in laughter is a mark of how good the writing is in this series.

5.  The setting is... frequently disturbing.  It is an extremely stratified society, to the point where having a poor or criminal parent or grandparent is enough to exclude you from any decent work.  Worse, the powerless are considered to be less than human, and the current generation of affluent individuals is growing up seeing anyone below a certain societal level as non-human filth or irrelevant entirely.  The existence of the Forbidden Zones (small areas that are completely abandoned by the law, where the lowest of the low struggle for existence) in the large cities are the symbol of that society's problems.

6.  Anzu's path in the fandisc reveals all of Kaito's past before he goes into training to become a bodyguard.

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I just completed my third playthrough of Akatsuki no Goei and its fandisc, and I'm about to start the third game.  However, for those who aren't familiar with these games intimately, I'll give a small explanation of how the series as a whole works.

 

Akatsuki no Goei centers around Asagiri Kaito, a young bodyguard in training who intends to quit.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you choose to look at it) he witnesses a young girl being kidnapped, and he impulsively chases down the kidnappers and saves the girl.  If this were your average VN, the kind-hearted and just young man would be rewarded and showered with love by the now deredere ojousama... but this is Akatsuki no Goei.

 

For one thing, Kaito is not a kind-hearted guy.  He is selfish, arrogant, and impulsive.  He saved her because he was bored, and he has to be blackmailed into becoming her bodyguard. 

 

Several factors define Akatsuki no Goei's attraction... Kaito spends much of the game creating situations that you can't help but laugh at, and each of the heroine paths reveal a certain amount of his past and another side of his nature.  Taken alone, the original Akatsuki no Goei would be just an exceptionally good love-comedy VN... it's when you take it as part of a bigger series that you start to understand things more.

 

Need to know facts:

1.  The third Akatsuki no Goei game is based off of Kaoru's ending in the first game, with a few events from the other paths mixed in.  You also need to have read Anzu's path in the fandisc to understand the background for the game fully.

2.  The first Akatsuki no Goei can stand alone, and I know a lot of people who simply play through it and the fandisc and stop there, because they want to see the story as having ended there.  Tsumibukaki Shuumatsuron is much darker than the previous two games (well, except for Anzu's path in the fandisc), and it requires you to pass through a bad ending to get to the rest of the game.  For those who want to end the series on a light-hearted note, it is perfectly acceptable to end your involvement with the series after the fandisc.

3.  The third game produces mixed feelings in fans of the series.  Some people love it and others hate it, but it is almost unheard of for people not to have some kind of reaction to it.

4.  Kaito is not a kind-hearted guy, though he sometimes acts in a compassionate way as a result of doing whatever he wants at a given moment.  He is frequently cold-hearted and tends to think in a way that is amoral.  This comes out in particular in the third game and to a lesser extent in the first game and the fandisc.  The fact that most people like his character and most of the events surrounding him end in laughter is a mark of how good the writing is in this series.

5.  The setting is... frequently disturbing.  It is an extremely stratified society, to the point where having a poor or criminal parent or grandparent is enough to exclude you from any decent work.  Worse, the powerless are considered to be less than human, and the current generation of affluent individuals is growing up seeing anyone below a certain societal level as non-human filth or irrelevant entirely.  The existence of the Forbidden Zones (small areas that are completely abandoned by the law, where the lowest of the low struggle for existence) in the large cities are the symbol of that society's problems.

6.  Anzu's path in the fandisc reveals all of Kaito's past before he goes into training to become a bodyguard.

Any rating?

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Hmm... my rating of the third game... I'd probably give it a rating of 8.7 out of 10 (since most games tend to float between 6.5 to 7.7 for me, that is  a pretty good rating).  The Reika, Shion, and Kaoru arc (the 'normal arc') has a great story that is fairly straightforward, with the only real gut-twisting, ice-in-the-belly moment when you have to read Reika's bad ending.  Akemi and Kiyomi's routes (I call them the 'gray zone' arc) are significantly different in focus, and they have numerous moments that can cause disturbance in the average reader.  However, ultimately the stories have good endings, so it is hard to feel troubled overmuch about how they end. 

 

It is the 'Forbidden Zone' arc that serves to feed lovers of darker stories what they want, while probably repulsing people who prefer the lighter tone of the original game.  This arc contains endings for Anzu, Shouko (girl who always seems to get the sharp end of the stick), Haku (incidentally, the oldest heroine in the game and a permaloli), Mai (insane yangire who likes torturing and killing people for kicks), Kaede (expressionless loli swordswoman), and one other heroine whose name I can never seem to remember.  The epilogues for the Forbidden Zone Arc run the gamut from the heartwarming to the bittersweet, to the meloncholy, and to the insanely violent.  This arc leaves a really strong impression, and it also happens to reveal all of the major background for the major events of the story.  I strongly suggest not playing this arc until you've played all the paths for the other arcs.  Generally speaking, Haku's, Shouko's, and the last heroine's (poisoner, tactician) endings feel kind of tacked on, which is one of the standing complaints from fanboys of the first game.  Haku is very important to Kaito's past, but she plays a fairly unimportant role in the story overall.  Shouko... mostly serves as a window into one of the story's antagonists.  The poisoner girl feels really, really irrelevant.  Mai, Anzu and Kaede are all integral to the Forbidden Zone arc, and so it feels fairly natural that they should have epilogues, overall.

 

If I have a complaint, it is that there was no route for Akiko in this game (ok, yes, I have a thing for Tae's mother, so sue me).  lol

 

Ok, my real complaint... I could have done without the Shion route and with a more individualized Kaoru route (yes yes, Kaoru has a ridiculous amount of scenes centered on her, but her path is attached at the hip to Reika's... and it feels a little unnatural because of that). 

 

There are some really, really minor tweaks to the storytelling in the Trinity Edition, such as the use of actual character portraits for characters whose faces were not displayed in the Anzu path of the fandisc, and certain scenes were rewritten partially (it is almost impossible to tell which ones, though), and certain CGs that were altered for less ecchi content in the PS3 version remained so when they reverse-ported it and made it 18+ again.  tbh, one particular scene was something of a relief (Kaito, Ryuu, and Naoto in the bath at the Nanjou home... ).   It was slightly less funny than in the original version, though, haha.

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As a foreign reader I can only play translated visual novels, I suppose that means I don't get to enjoy the original writing as much.  -_-

 

Do you play these random VNs on suggestions or do you just shuffle one on VNDB? Anyway, keep the reviews going. You might just find an overlooked and underrated visual novel and I just might bite!

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Hmm... my rating of the third game... I'd probably give it a rating of 8.7 out of 10 (since most games tend to float between 6.5 to 7.7 for me, that is  a pretty good rating).  The Reika, Shion, and Kaoru arc (the 'normal arc') has a great story that is fairly straightforward, with the only real gut-twisting, ice-in-the-belly moment when you have to read Reika's bad ending.  Akemi and Kiyomi's routes (I call them the 'gray zone' arc) are significantly different in focus, and they have numerous moments that can cause disturbance in the average reader.  However, ultimately the stories have good endings, so it is hard to feel troubled overmuch about how they end. 

 

It is the 'Forbidden Zone' arc that serves to feed lovers of darker stories what they want, while probably repulsing people who prefer the lighter tone of the original game.  This arc contains endings for Anzu, Shouko (girl who always seems to get the sharp end of the stick), Haku (incidentally, the oldest heroine in the game and a permaloli), Mai (insane yangire who likes torturing and killing people for kicks), Kaede (expressionless loli swordswoman), and one other heroine whose name I can never seem to remember.  The epilogues for the Forbidden Zone Arc run the gamut from the heartwarming to the bittersweet, to the meloncholy, and to the insanely violent.  This arc leaves a really strong impression, and it also happens to reveal all of the major background for the major events of the story.  I strongly suggest not playing this arc until you've played all the paths for the other arcs.  Generally speaking, Haku's, Shouko's, and the last heroine's (poisoner, tactician) endings feel kind of tacked on, which is one of the standing complaints from fanboys of the first game.  Haku is very important to Kaito's past, but she plays a fairly unimportant role in the story overall.  Shouko... mostly serves as a window into one of the story's antagonists.  The poisoner girl feels really, really irrelevant.  Mai, Anzu and Kaede are all integral to the Forbidden Zone arc, and so it feels fairly natural that they should have epilogues, overall.

 

If I have a complaint, it is that there was no route for Akiko in this game (ok, yes, I have a thing for Tae's mother, so sue me).  lol

 

Ok, my real complaint... I could have done without the Shion route and with a more individualized Kaoru route (yes yes, Kaoru has a ridiculous amount of scenes centered on her, but her path is attached at the hip to Reika's... and it feels a little unnatural because of that). 

 

There are some really, really minor tweaks to the storytelling in the Trinity Edition, such as the use of actual character portraits for characters whose faces were not displayed in the Anzu path of the fandisc, and certain scenes were rewritten partially (it is almost impossible to tell which ones, though), and certain CGs that were altered for less ecchi content in the PS3 version remained so when they reverse-ported it and made it 18+ again.  tbh, one particular scene was something of a relief (Kaito, Ryuu, and Naoto in the bath at the Nanjou home... ).   It was slightly less funny than in the original version, though, haha.

Say, is it safe for someone yet to play AkaGoei to read this. This smells like total mmajor spoilers it scares me :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://vndb.org/v838

 

I was asked to check this out by members of Fuwa's lolicon community (you know who you are), and I went ahead and did so.  This is a fantasy lolige, with nothing but loli or loli-appearing heroines.  In all honesty, I didn't get much pleasure out of playing this game, primarily because the story is pretty poorly paced.  I finished all the paths of the game in just under eight hours, and it goes pretty much from beginning to end in a ridiculously short time.  It is quite obvious that not much thought went into the overall setting or story from the very beginning, and I felt the overall situation was kind of... iffy.

 

I honestly can't come up with much of a redeeming value for the game... though I think with some work it could have been made into something interesting.  The big problem is that the time from beginning to end is too short to get the sense of isolation that you'd need to get behind the protagonist's eyes in the story, as he goes more over to the monsters' side of things.  Considering that it was obvious that was what they were trying to do... that is a critical flaw. 

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Yes, I've played it... those who played Ever17 and liked it but would have preferred a slightly more character-centric story will probably enjoy it.  However, for those who are afraid of bad endings, you should probably avoid the game, as you'll be forced to see a lot of horror in the ends of each heroine's path. 

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No, you pretty much have to play the first game and the Anzu path of the fandisc to understand the third game.  Also, I haven't really spoiled anything, haha

Oh, uh.... I'm already at the sea trip part of AkaGoei2 and I haven't even touched the fandisc yet, since I assumed it was irrelevant.... what should I do? :x I thought the stuff surrounding Anzu would be explained in this VN.

 

Also, you really got me interested in the reverse PS3 port, where can I get that? I'm reading the regular PC version.

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Oh, uh.... I'm already at the sea trip part of AkaGoei2 and I haven't even touched the fandisc yet, since I assumed it was irrelevant.... what should I do? :x I thought the stuff surrounding Anzu would be explained in this VN.

 

Also, you really got me interested in the reverse PS3 port, where can I get that? I'm reading the regular PC version.

 

 

you can get the complete edition at anime sharing

 

what you should do, is go get it and play the fandisc, at least Anzu's route that reveals Kaito's past

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you can get the complete edition at anime sharing

 

what you should do, is go get it and play the fandisc, at least Anzu's route that reveals Kaito's past

Oh, I just realized it's an official release. Found something on nyaa, so I'm trying that. Though since I already finished one VN and a good chunk of the common route in the other, skipping all that just to get to where I left off could be a pain. I'll do so probably only if there is an awesome difference in the HD release. Though I will definitely read the fandisc, thanks for the tip! :)

 

EDIT: Ok, only a minute in, and I already like this version better. It's not even as much the widescreen as it is the simple fact that the hook doesn't split the lines like in the original, so I don't have to go in the log with every single line. :D Awesome, thanks for pointing this version out! Since you can pick titles, looks like I'll only have to somehow skip through what I read in the last VN.

 

EDIT2: Is there any more information about Kaito's past beside the prologue in the fandisc? I went through Reika's/Kyoka's route because I figured that's where Anzu would appear, but there wasn't really anything in there - and I don't feel like reading the rest of the routes just to see if there is anything, at least not now.

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