A blog for reviews… that's really not much of a blog

Foreword: I really enjoy a good mystery/thriller/whatever kind of story that’s not spelled out in your face. It kinda gets me thinking about might happen, encourages me to keep engaged, and quite frankly this type of game is one of the main ones that can even HAVE a story in the first place.

Despite this game being relatively good in some portions (primarily the humor), it does suffer in some other areas as well, mostly the fact that it failed to deliver its most important elements (primarily said “mystery”) properly. Let’s get into the review.

As a story that really requires a lot of analysis, I’ll unfortunately be forced to spoil a large majority of this game! Please read at your own risk!

Title: ヤミと祝祭のサンクチュアリ (Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary)
Producers: Azarashi Soft Zero
Release Date: October 27, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v21073
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=953482
Game Type: Mystery action visual novel

Summary: Souji and Alice are moving to Nijima, a newly discovered island where only the ones invited can live in, and has very strange rules as soon as they arrive. Their original intentions are clear, however, that Alice came to this island looking for her lost sister that her family won’t even talk about.

While there is mystery surrounding every portion of this island, there is only one possible truth. Souji and the people around him are living their everyday lives unknown to the greater secrets that this island has in store.

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Foreword: I remember Samoyed Smile for their charage “Samidare Growing Up”, which was more advertised as a nukige but I really enjoyed some of the silliness and “group of friends” atmosphere that the game presented. Naturally a second game from this company would receive my appraisal, so here we have this title.

Quite an impactful game, I honestly thought this would be one of your average charage until I noticed an unusually high quality introduction which made me look up who the writers were. Sure enough I see “porori” as one of the scenario writers, (Hint: porori wrote the loliita series that I gave the utmost praise for character interaction) and this alone really explained the amazing character interactions and foreshadowing.

After this, it was all uphill; I was extremely engaged with this game that despite the game having several bugs (including how some Configurations wouldn’t save or the title screen glitched), I wasn’t annoyed and literally finished this game much quicker than I expected. I honestly hope with this review I can emphasize the pros and discuss the cons of this game, so let’s get started!

Title: 夜巡る、ボクらの迷子教室 (Yorumeguru, bokura no maigo kyoushitsu)
Producers: Samoyed Smile
Release Date: November 24, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v21405
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=964241
Game Type: Slice-of-life, realistic, drama game with recurring themes of psychological problems

Summary: Haruki sees himself as a failure as a teacher. While he would argue that the corruption within the classroom or the unfairness of society wasn’t necessarily his fault, he has learned to become apathetic towards his students and everyone around him as he was ridiculed, insulted, and oppressed his entire career. His mother who he admired was long gone and he hates his father who wasn’t there for either of them, he lives by himself with nothing to look forward in life.

One day he receives an offer. His father who is now bedridden with an illness agrees to give Haruki his entire inheritance of 400 million en (about $4 million) if he can teach the students who have not yet graduated at the school his father was the headmaster at. This school was to be closed with his death, and these last students who weren’t able to graduate or transfer to other schools become part of Haruki’s life as his desire for money got the better of him. He still hates being a teacher, but holds onto his mother’s words of encouragement as he struggles with his trauma.

But it’s not an easy task. These students weren’t able to graduate for a reason, and Haruki really needs to step out of his comfort zone to guide these students to success.

and flirt with young girls because this is an eroge

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So taking into full consideration of kzel’s advice; a reader who’s been giving me some really solid encouragements, discussions, and advice recently, I decided perhaps the best way to go about this website and my career in VN/eroge reviewing was really to write up a couple paragraphs regarding my opinions trying to explain the goods and bads of a game in the most straightforward way possible.

Of course, this definitely does mean no more bells-and-whistles full reviews for single games that do not deserve it… which just means that I’m getting lazy and while I will write up full reviews for games I feel like I want to talk about more, the other ones are going to just receive a couple words from me and that’s it. I’m not sure if I can even call them reviews, but considering how most of the veterans are doing the same, I felt like I should follow suit and not torture myself any longer.

I might do something like this with most of the future games I play every 2-3 months or so, with full reviews in between. Of course if you have any better ideas I do ask for your feedback!

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Titles discussed in this post!

  • [SMEE] Making Lovers
  • [Windmill Oasis] Hyper->Highspeed->Genius
  • [Marmalade] Koiiro Marriage
  • [Canvas Garden] Kimi ni Kanmi wo soete
  • [3rdEye] Shinigami no Testament
  • [Yoru no Hitsuji] Harem Futago Loliita

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Hey guys, joyjason here with some good and bad news.

Good news is that I’m still playing VNs even with my super busy schedule + work + MMO hobbies. I’m also preparing for finishing grad school too, so there’s that going for me.

The bad news is that I’ve really been slowing down writing reviews. As I tend to focus more on the critical portions of games (though I try to exaggerate the goods as much as I can), most of my reviews really tend to become very monotone and one-pattern regarding the same elements. Then there’s how many VNs released are essentially same concept, different company, so that’s not helping the variety of reviews I can write either. Heck, I have 4 reviews at the moment which I’ve written but never bothered to publish because they were literally the same comments over and over again.

How I feel about this entire situation

This is why I want to officially state an indefinite “Intermission” for this blog.

So What does this mean?

It just means I’m pretty swamped and I really need some time off where I don’t have to think about review writing and can enjoy some good titles I’ve played before. I also have my MMOs that I want to play and real-life things too.

What’ll happen to this blog?

Nothing! It’ll remain blank for a couple more months. I don’t plan on taking it down or anything, and I guess that’s one of the good things of having a free website from WordPress (lol I’m cheap. Don’t judge)

Will you return?

Almost certainly. Unless I somehow die from an accident or something (and may God forbid), I do plan on continuing reading VNs and even writing reviews. I’ll actually have it written as I do with the few reviews I have right now, but I won’t publish them until I actually do decide to return.

How can I contact you?

I’m still available through email (itsjoyjason@gmail.com) or if you want a more quick response, Discord is really the best way. I’m actually a moderator for a couple mobile game communities, so you’ll have an easier time getting in touch with me that way (ID: Seraphrose#7536). It also provides an easier medium to talk about VNs, so that’s really the best way if you have specific questions. 

Can I still make requests/recommendations?

By all means please do! As stated, I’ll still be playing VNs so if you have a recommendation or a request I’d be happy to have another reason to play that game! One thing I will NOT do, however, is write reviews for crowdfunded, non-Japanese games. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from indie groups who make their own VNs and want for me to cover it, but my website is mostly dedicated for commercial Japanese galge. Many apologies in advance!

Any other questions? Please ask, but for now. I’ll see you all later!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Foreword: Sorry for the delay in finishing this game… Actually I should apologize for one more thing that I actually didn’t actually finish the game completely; I dropped it halfway. Despite being a dropped game, I just wanted to point out that I at least followed through with all the heroines and entered/played through their route to see what it would be like, so even as I dropped the game (and thus would’ve felt better if I just ranted about it for 30 seconds with the next review), I felt too invested in the story in the first place that I would at least need to rant about this title before I move on (to my break, probably)

A new game from a company I haven’t tried out yet is always quite an exciting experience especially if it has the overall first impressions that Golden Hour had on me. Zen from “Hau Omochikaeri” also mentioned how this game was stunningly similar to Natsu no Ame, which I rate rather highly for focusing greatly on character interactions in a realistic setting, so I admittedly had higher expectations from this game.

However, instead of those high expectations, I was met instead with giant eroge trope and rather poor design of routes. Let’s get started with the review so I can elaborate more.

Title: ゴルーデンアワー (Golden Hour)
Producers: Niko
Release Date: July 28th, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v20416
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=957582
Game Type: School-life drama with crappy foundations

Summary: Yuuya is a retired soccer ace who was hurt in an accident and was unable to play anymore. Despair overwhelms his future as he is more or less forced to spend his time outside of school in game centers while admiring his friends which includes Natsumi. One day, he will meet a girl taking pictures at a station, and have a sudden overwhelming feel of nostalgia as he turns back and asks her “Hey, have we met before?”

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Foreword: Okay so I’ve been procrastinating this title for quite a bit so I felt that I should probably complete this before I move onto some other titles I have planned for myself (like Golden Hour). Before I start though, with all due respect to minori, MangaGamer, and all its readers, this is the type of the game that gets a shitload of excessive “hype” purely because of its setting or art when it’s not that great in the first place. Sure it can definitely be seen as good in many portions, but one thing I hate with a burning passion are stupid players who rate games like this as the absolute best and completely throw out everything else that was bad about it out the window. I’d say it’s fair if you thought this game was good, but I’m going to think you’re an idiot if you try to brush the bad parts under the rug.

I’m pretty sure some players only rate it good because others say so and/or they’re too dumb to understand the symbolism/analogies presented in the game. I know they’re out there. Kinda makes it really fucking sad some of these players have minds of 15 year olds when this game’s supposed to be for adults the age of 18 and up.

Enough of my ranting because I’ll be doing it anyways in my review. Let’s get started.

Due to various personal bias this review may be much more critical. Players who genuinely liked this game are discouraged from reading further.
It also contains various spoilers in order to prove my points properly.

Title: トリノライン (Trinoline)
Producers: minori
Release Date: March 31, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19644
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=916829
Game Type: Fantasy novel dealing with taboo of artificial intelligence

Summary: The word for “forget” (忘) in Japanese is written with the combination of “heart” (心) and “to die” (亡), meaning memories can be compared to one’s life or their reason to live. At least for Shun, this quote meant everything after his younger sister Shirone’s death where her memories in him was everything he had. Even after years pass after her death he still holds dear anything and everything he remembers of her.

However, this will change one day when he wakes up and finds the exact resemblance of his younger sister playing the piano. Extremely startled, Shun soon realizes that this is not actually his younger sister, but instead an android made in her image with her memories with the exact same name “Shirone”. While reluctant at first Shun becomes accustomed to this android who is almost like his younger sister.

However, their happiness won’t last for long as Shirone’s existence did not come without a heavy price. It comes with the separation of Shun and his mother along with his memories which now needs to be recovered by his childhood friends and his new younger sister.

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Foreword: I remember I was introduced to the Mangekyou series by a good friend named “gangrelion” (Not sure what he’s up to nowadays. Probably playing galge on other mediums like PS Vita or something). I remember getting some really good impressions from it along with the game itself being fun, so I’ve essentially played the entire Bishoujo Mangekyou series–this recent one wouldn’t really be an exception.

One of the biggest things with the Mangekyou series is that it has some serious shit going on. Regardless of whether or not that “shit” makes sense in the context of the original story or not, all of these games have extreme impact which makes these games highly memorable and also enjoyable.

Please note as a rather short game, mild spoilers are included in certain portions!

Title: 美少女万華鏡 -罪と罰の少女-
Producers: ωstar
Release Date: July 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19182
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=903609
Game Type: Kinetic Nukige novel revolving around incest

Summary: Yuuma is a boy who’s been hospitalized for some mental illness by his father, who hates him with everything he has. His days in the hospital wasn’t anything special as one day his twin sister Yuuri came to pick him up to take him home. Despite his father still being present, Yuuri is protective of Yuuma and takes care of him well.

Yuuma does have some trouble getting used to his new environment and his father who torments him to no end, but with Yuuri’s suggestion to crossdress and attend her school, perhaps Yuuma might find what he wants to do with his life outside of the hospital.

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