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

Looking Back at 2015

This is actually my first post with a “Yearly Reminiscence” topic, even though I’ve been with this genre for over 6 years and have been writing reviews for roughly 4. The main reason for not ever making a “look back” post is that I didn’t really feel “big enough” to be writing such a topic (i.e. who wants to read a summary of a reviewer who only wrote 5-10 reviews in one year?), and the other reason was that I was just a lazy asshole (I still am)

So here it is: some of the statistics of my review site, based on its reviews!

In 2015, I’ve written a total of 22 reviews, 13 of the reviews for games released this year (2015). This number DOES NOT include approximately 30 nukige/doujin games that was not significant enough to receive a review. Although I did have about a 2 month blank starting from October when I was focusing on my studies, an average of 1 review biweekly seems pretty damn pathetic (since last year, I’ve made 38 reviews in 2014) Though on the bright side, I DID finish at least a game every week on average, which is nice.

The Best-Scoring Game
Tokeijikake no LeyLine–Asagiri ni Chiru Hana

The Tokeijikake series holds a very special place in my mind because when it comes to stories, I love any form of mystery games where the player’s intellect is put to the test. In addition to how I loved the second title, I was so hyped for the last title in the trilogy to be released, and while it wasn’t exactly a kamige, I myself enjoyed the finale quite a bit. I’m sure everyone knows of this title to at least a certain extent, and would like to recommend it to pretty much anyone, even if you may not be a fan of this particular type of genre.

The Worst-Scoring Game(s)
Rensou Relation, closely followed by Natsuiro no Nostalgica

It’s just horrifying that a company once making the famous and my all-time favorite Tayutama also thought it would be a good idea to publish this piece of shit that’s not even worth calling a game; it’s worse than your average nukige.

In short, making a shitty game actually takes effort, and the two titles above have accomplished just that. Whether or not these efforts were intentional, I think they deserve some Spotlight of Shame for dirtying the genre of Galge/Eroge/Visual Novels. Rensou Relation was also very insulting towards veterans like myself (for reasons you can find out by clicking on the review), which made it even worse.

===

The Average Rating of games (Overall Rating) for this year was 4.68.
Compare this to last year’s (2014) Overall Rating Average, which was 5.83. PICK UP YOUR GAME (quite literally), JAPAN! A full 1 point drop in averages is pretty sad!

The Most Number of Games I’ve played in a month is March of this year, with 4 non-nukige games. It seems that the most number of views I’ve received this year was March 21, corresponding to the number of posts I’ve made as well!

The Games I went back to play again this year that I’ve already played in the past (and you should too! xP)
Oretachi ni Tsubasa ha Nai
Mashiroiro Symphony (Don’t Hate)
Sekai de Ichiban Dame na Koi
Gin no Toki no Corona
Fureraba
Moshimo Ashita ga Hare naraba
…and much more!

The List of Companies whose games I’ve started playing this year are

3rdEye. While getting off to a relatively bad start, I’m definitely going to follow this company since they’re steering away from the school-life bullshit that I’d hate to read as much as another galge veteran. 3rdEye specializes in darker themed fantasy novels, which is (at least for me) infinitely better than some random fictional, horny Japanese male having sex with schoolgirls. Click on the link above to be taken to their website!

The most prevalent genre that I’ve enjoyed this year seems to be…
…School-life, but only because of its extreme prevalence. Please don’t do this to me in 2016, Japan.

The Most Memorable Game from 2015 is
Boku no Hitory Sensou from Akabeisoft 2

Who says a “memorable game” needs to be a good one? This game challenged my paradigm of how badly designed a game can be and flipped it completely. This trashy game is most noteworthy for the intentional misinformation by the authors, drop-dead horrible plotline, extreme convenience throughout the entire story, and held together strangely by a warm, and well-planned character design.

So was this game good, or bad? No one really knows. Go ahead; try it out. See if you’ll survive in that one-man war.

Personal Favorite Character from the 2015 Games List is

Yuzu from Natsuiro Recipe. I rarely feel affection for characters within galge, but Yuzu was obviously the exception. Seemingly worthless and incapable of taking care of herself, this becomes Yuzu’s Charm-Point as readers see how hard she works to help Takefumi in the story. The fact that she says the “World only changes for the worse” out of depression when the results aren’t what she expected and how she’s genuinely proud of being able to “cook” cup ramen were all very attractive traits about this character, and as the game revealed more and more things about Yuzu, I could only sympathize and feel more affection towards this character.

In addition to this, I believe the CV (Ichikawa Hinako) herself did a very good job voicing Yuzu, clearly expressing the girl’s emotions in various scenes including when she thought she would lose Takefumi and when the two characters had some misunderstandings. It goes without saying that I was pleased with even the H-scenes thanks to these things.

Best Opening Movie in my opinion for 2015 would be…
from Tokeijikake.

I mean, the voices that CVs can make when singing opening movies is nice and all that, and even I prefer my games to contain at least one vocal song sung by one of the CVs. It’s just that when it comes to Opening Movies, the impact that it haves is more important than the music, and this can be through various CGs presented, how the characters are shown, and the timing of various things. The mere fact that Unisonshift Blossom managed to do just this without spoiling the main story takes the prize as my favorite Opening Movie of 2015

A Game that I had high expectations for, but horribly disappointed me was…
Tsukiyori 2 and Pure Connect.

I was ABSOLUTELY infatuated with the first title for Tsukiyori. If I had to design an IDEAL game, Luna’s route in that game would be DAMN similar to that absolutely best route that you can possibly create with this medium. In fact, I’m THOROUGHLY PISSED that Luna’s route for Tsukiyori didn’t get an Anime Adaptation because WHYYYYY?!?!?!?

Naturally, I would have high expectations for Tsukiyori 2, considering the main protagonist is connected to the very couple that started all this hype and even I received a bit of my fame for writing a preview on it. However, the lack of even one route being one-tenths as good as Luna’s route from the prequel disappointed me greatly.

As for Pure Connect, you all know that I loved the previous Smee games, Lover Able and Fureraba. I expected the similar environment with this game as I did before, except the writers got extremely lazy and decided to screw this title over with Smartphone Texts which replaced the actual heroine interactions, and ruined the entire title by making the characters fall in love for nothing.

This change turned everything for the worse, where a dating sim literally became a nukige with shallow characters, lack of proper build up of relationships, and inconsistency in design.

“The At-Least-You-Tried” Award goes to

Jyuuichigatsu no Arcadia (Arcadia of November), the one game that tried so hard to be a serious game, but the writers obviously had a flaw from the very foundation of “story-writing” and botched up the entire game beautifully (?). With the addition of a crappy protagonist who was always emo and a worthless piece of shit, he pretty much dragged down the reputation that other heroines could have had and ruined the entire story. Even as your first effort, Good Try LevoL.

Last but not least, I want to present my Personal Goals for 2016, divided up into Primary and Secondary.

Primary:
1) Get off my lazy big butt and continue working on the “Library” that I’ve been planning since months ago. This library will contain most of my own theories, philosophy about the genre of eroge/Visual Novels, and even some intellectual questioning for the audience who may want some “shower thoughts”. This library will also contain various personal aspects of eroge, and if I’m not lazy enough, include some of my own “short stories” that I’ve been working on in the past.

2) Start a new section for Naver Webtoon Reviews. I’ve been reading a lot of Korean webtoons recently and plan on writing brief reviews on my thoughts on them. Unfortunately, these will be in Korean and NOT in English, mainly because they’re not worth writing an English review for, and will be harder for me to write as well. I am planning to, however, produce a rough English translation of the Korean Review upon request.

3) Produce more quality, entertaining, and truthful reviews! :) (pfft, I wish)

Secondary:

1) More headers and better design of the website. Everyone loves headers.

2) Also considering paying for my own domain + more customizations. The only reason I can’t do this readily is because I’m a poor college student :(

Thank you for sticking with me through 2015. This site was originally created so I have something to rant/compliment after I finish a game, but I would love for it to become a resource for the next game to play or even a comedy review, where galge players like me can just come in and laugh.

Please look forward to the reviews and updates for the year 2016 and much more to come! As always, Welcome to the Blog for Reviews, which isn’t really much of a blog!

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(Artist: yadapote)

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Comments on: "Looking Back at 2015" (6)

  1. Touch the rainbow said:

    I enjoy your reviews. Altough 2015 wasn’t as good, 2016 looks promising.

  2. The Leyline finale is pretty much my favorite title of the year as well. Admittedly, I didn’t play SakuUta just yet, which I probably should.

    It’s kind of sad that, despite how disappointing tsukiyori 2 was compared to the prequel, it still easily surpasses almost any other vn released in 2015 for one simple reason. The protagonist actually has a personality! And quite a unique one to add on that. That’s one of the reasons I love Navel, they don’t use zero-personality proxy protagonists. And what makes things even sadder, tsukiyori 2 was actually released in december 2014, not 2015, which leaves 2015 with even less decent titles lol.

    By the way, the two last LoS titles make me genuinely worry about tayutama 2 and to be honest, the recently released PV actually looks like they’re aiming to make it some kind of moege (as shown by the fact that every single of the three heroines for the new protag are full-blown lolis…). We’d better keep our expectations low. Like, very low.

    • Well, looks like SakuUta’s going on my backlog now that I’ve received MDZ’s recommendation for it. I’ve already played some of their other games as well, but it was too heavy for me (at least at that time when I was a weeb).

      Thanks for correcting me about Tsukiyori 2 being a 2014 release. Seems like I heavily derped and thought it was a 2015 release due to me making a review for it on 2015. At least I do agree with you on the aspect that Saika was very colorful (and thus in the review, I say the heroines are bland compared to him and even warrant him getting a higher “protagonist score”).

      I’m seriously about to cry here regarding Tayutama 2. I actually have a friend who was swearing me out when I told him a sequel was coming out (he absolutely loves the first title, and didn’t want LoS ruining its name like they did for recent titles).

      Now he rants at me every chance he gets because he’s genuinely and THOROUGHLY pissed LoS had the nerve to take his all-time favorite game and turn it into some shitty charage.

      I’ll take your words and have low expectations for it. I still have yet to go through Kodomo no Asobi (I always play LoS games, even though they’re the worst titles), so pray for my sanity to be intact when I come out of it.

    • Kodomo no Asobi is not THAT bad compared to Rensou Relation, actually. I suppose ‘bland’ would be the best adjective to describe it. There’s just nothing worth mentioning about it. They probably attempted to play it save and adhered to well-tried templates and cliches after that nuclear disaster that was Rensou Relation…

    • SakaUta is definitely a game that takes some effort to appreciate (It doesn’t have a simply ‘great’ storyline). If you’ve played Subahibi, then SakuUta, while executed entirely different, is in the same ballpark (although it’s considerably less ‘dark’). I have a love-hate relationship with it; it’s the reason that I ultimately finished only two games during my Fall quarter (as it’s ridiculously long), but it’s also an outstanding work. So, it balances out.

  3. 2015 was a pretty underwhelming year as a whole; for me, SakuUta was the best release by a long shot. As you mentioned, Boku no Hitori Sensou, is probably the most memorably infuriating work of the year (I think I’m turned off from reading any Looseboy work whatsoever in the future now).

    You should definitely look to hosting your own site. It’ll allow you a greater range of customization capabilities. I understand the pain of hosting fees as a fellow college student, but it’s worth it, probably.

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