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

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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Foreword: I hope you’re not surprised that this game was pretty much one of the top priorities for me once I came back to VNs. As a fan of Izumi Tsubasu since Mashiroiro Symphony, I always want to fucking kill myself when I see her blogging the stuff she sells in her booth in Comiket for pretty obvious reasons. Legit one of my bucket list includes decorating all part of my room with Izumi Tsubasu/Hisuitei illustration, so my love for this artist is through the roof.

Let’s get to this title, which had some interesting concepts included in it. I actually have not read much of the information regarding it because I didn’t want to spoil myself, and heard it was quite short (which it was!) so there’s that too. I’m going to try my absolute hardest not to be biased for this title due to my insane love for Izumi Tsubasu but I just ask for your understanding that I’m a human too and can be a bit biasOMG MIYAKO IS SO CUTEE AHHHHHHHHHH@*!&@$(@&!##

Please do note there will be spoilers in this game in addition to various hypothesis I’ve made regarding this game! Please read at your own risk

Title: 9-nine-ここのつここのかここのいろ
Producers: Palette
Release Date: April 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19829
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=926298
Game Type: Short suspense novel

Summary: It would be a normal town until strange things such as its Shrine becomes broken by an earthquake and strange powers called artifacts start to appear out of nowhere. In this seemingly normal town of Shiromitsukawa, Kakeru is involved with all of these incidents whether or not from coincidence, and his meeting with Miyako Kujo will also be one of them.

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Foreword: I’ve been following Whirlpool’s games since a very long time ago and is one of the very few producers for whom I’m knowledgeable about all their games. While they’re not extraordinary, some of their titles are quite decent and a good read, and over the years they haven’t done anything absolutely retarded like other eroge producers.

It’s also actually quite pleasing to see that they’re utilizing more proficient scenario writers, seeing how they put the writer for Koidoll and World Election in full charge of writing this game, which gave Hatsujou Sprinkle that charage-like environment which allowed it to have value in the sense all the characters had superior designs

Title: 初情スプリンクル  (Note: Hatsujou means “in-heat” or “sexually excited”, but they use a different kanji meaning “First Affection” within the title) is it supposed to make this title more pure or something kappa
Producers: Whirlpool
Release Date: July 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v20975
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=952535
Game Type: Comedy Fantasy Charage with various real-life references

Summary: It was supposed to be a normal day for Souta… If he wasn’t suddenly pulled into the alleyway by a girl ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) who questions him with things he didn’t understand. She claimed he had magical powers of turning on women around him, and he was one of the “awakened” due to someone stealing a precious heirloom from her family. Without having any idea what the hell is going on, Souta really has no option than to allow this girl to watch over him in his daily life to make sure nothing goes wrong, which will sooner or later involve more people in his life.

I’d like to be involved in that uhhhhhhhhh…. battle

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Foreword: So here we have what’s really a overhaul of the Shin Koihime title that was released a long time ago (more specifically in 2008). Seeing how this series is still pretty popular for the original Koihime title to receive official translations and have extra games made (such as Heroes and now this remake), I was obviously going to give this title a go and see how great this “overhaul” would be, especially considering how it’ll likely be performed for other nations as well. The main reason I was unable to properly review the main game (e.g. the one from 2008) was that it was ridiculously long and was essentially three stories. Now that there’s actually separate games for each I feel that it’s necessary to place what I think about each title within the form of a review.

Generally, you shouldn’t really expect TOO many things different from the original. I’ll be comparing the two very frequently, so many apologies if you haven’t played the original…. Though to be honest you’d probably like this game if you DIDN’T play the original, because if you did you’ll be seeing the same scenes again for some portions of the game.

Title: 真・恋姫†夢想-革命- 蒼天の覇王
Producers: BaseSon
Release Date: July 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v18649
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=948930
Game Type: Remake of the renowned game from 2008 with additional characters and stories.

Description: This game is a remake of the 2008 game’s Gi portion, retouching pretty much all of the characters, switching some CVs around, creating new characters and scenarios, and altering the main scenario a bit as well. The substories for characters remains the same, but the gameplay has been revamped greatly so it’s not a rock-paper-scissors anymore.

But on the other hand some of the “harder” battles involve bullshit tactics like enemies being able to use special attacks/heals/buffs without restrictions and such, similar to the 2008 game.

Story Length: Very long (>30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: I honestly thought the minigame would be harder because of the fact it’s not a simple rock-paper-scissors anymore, but turns out it’s really easy. Even when it comes to the final battles where enemies have bullshit moves like dealing extra damage (like it did in the 2008 game), random buffs, or healing, the game’s difficulty remained low which was something I found to be slightly more disappointing because there’s more factors to the battles which only made the game more complex; not challenging.

One thing is that I hate how you’re limited to 5 “choices” when reading substories. It’s just a stupid excuse to make you play through the game twice and shouldn’t have been a feature. It should have been something like Sengoku Koihime instead. Just use Cheat Engine to bypass this limit and read all the stories in your first playthrough.

mrw Cheat Engine lets me avoid reading the same damned scenes twice

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