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

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

Making Lovers

Overall really hilarious and easy to read. Would definitely say it’s better than Pure Connect in the sense there’s actually interaction between characters. However, it’s more or less comparable to Kanojo Step (and possibly inferior due to the following cons) and definitely not on the level of Fureraba.

The biggest cons is that while the game does shy away from the school-life setting, the characters don’t really represent that. By that I mean each of them aren’t really that “mature” or act their stated age with each said character making a big deal about romance or acting naive. Even Ako and Reina who is supposed to be the youngest of the heroines, is a senior in high school and you can’t really tell that apart just from her appearance or personality.

Another big con; how the game splits really early on into each of the Lover routes. Like seriously why would you do that. The game has a very poor transition between settings, meaning one scene you’re at location A doing X and literally a fade-out afterwards you’re at location B doing Y. Very choppy transition which was present across routes (meaning the protagonist would be doing one job in one route and another in a different one); even if it was his design to be a freelancer. Bad design

In general another typical charage with amazing humor and the game should really be considered as such. Obviously not the best game ever but there’s really nothing horribly wrong.

Rating
Character Design: 8/10
Story: 4/10
Protagonist: 6/10
Overall: 7/10

Hyper -> Highspeed -> Genius

So uhhhhhhhhh

What.

That’s pretty much my thought as I even started this game as I was greeted with generic tropes one after the other and absolutely horrible transitioning and introduction that I legitimately had to stop, close the game, and look away from the screen three times within 20 minutes of starting it. I mean the concept is original, but the game as a whole is really lacking. Beginning scenes literally jumps into the main storyline with 0 form of introduction, the characters are rather generic (imouto who literally appears half-naked and sexually pursuing her older brother, the soft-spoken student council president who obviously has the hots for the protagonist already, a girl who falls out of the skies, and the tsundere character) and the insanely rushed events don’t really help set the atmosphere. The game literally hits the ground running at maximum speed and throws out all these terminology never defined properly, and honestly that would’ve been okay if the game kept things mysterious and exciting but now you’re telling me that the world is gonna end and the protagonist conveniently has some powers to change that, and all this happened literally the first 15-30 minutes.

Goddamn this game sucks right off the bat and the partially voiced protagonist doesn’t really help because he sounds so monotone. The entire story is so incomplete and the parts that matter so fucking chuunibyou and a cringey harem school-life that I’m dropping this game not even 30 minutes into playing it… which really shows the game’s gone in the wrong direction. I’m sure the game will actually get better as it goes on, but I’m not sure if I want to actually invest time into seeing that happen when the beginning is already pretty poop.

I would really need someone to encourage me to complete this game because at this point the lack of engagement in the beginning is enough to make this title more of a chore than anything else. If you really thought this game was good, please let me know because damn I’m not getting any good vibes from it.

Ratings
Character Design: 3/10
Story: 1/10
Protagonist: 3/10
Overall: 2/10

Koiiro Marriage

Flat out charage. I’m not sure what else you’d be able to expect from a title like this aside from this. Relatively generic setting with an arranged marriage so that wasn’t really too fun, but I didn’t really have that great of an expectation from this title anyways.

Not many characters I found pleasing even with the CVs being relatively well known such as Misono Mei and Tono Soyogi, the real problem was that the beginning setting (which was more of normal life working at an inn when you’re suddenly arranged into marriage) never really relates to the heroine routes at all (except for Mihono for obvious reasons) and the entire game suffers from that phenomenon once you enter a heroine route all the other heroines become highly insignificant, and any previous affection that other heroines held for the protagonist just vanishes.

Ironically, I really appreciated the protagonist’s relationship with his grandmother quite a bit, especially since that was a good start to describing his background. I just wish this portion had more description as it would have given the readers a better idea of what Nao is like (which was actually quite decent, mind you), and was one of the things really missing from his description.

Humor is rather lacking and I couldn’t really feel any affection for the characters (so they were more shallow) so I’d really recommend this game to start and stay as a charage that you only play if any of the characters tickle your fetish or your favorite CV is in here. Otherwise, avoid because it’s nothing out of the extraordinary.

Ratings
Character Design: 4/10
Story: 3/10
Protagonist: 7/10
Overall: 5/10

Koi ni Kanmi wo soete

Pretty much another charage, this game’s main selling point is its “healing” (iyashi) atmosphere where you have cute girls doing cute things and it’s supposed to be this calm and relaxing environment. So while some people might actually enjoy this, there’s two reasons why this is a terrible idea overall:

1) This literally makes a game that’s supposed to be for ages 18 and up more suited for kindergartners.
2) This also nukes any form of story you would be able to have since many stories really require some form of “conflict” which contradicts with the atmosphere the game’s trying to have

So in essence, when you buy this game, you’re pretty much buying the character/artwork and maybe some of the auditory components of the game, but that’s literally it. If a game like this is up your alley then I mean you might have a good time (I feel like this would be the people who want the “adult” version of Gochiusa), but other than that this game really doesn’t have much to offer to its readers in my opinion, and it’s really only for a very niche portion of the audience. Otherwise, the characters are pretty cute so you might have a bit of eyecandy with this game

Ratings
Character Design: 6/10
Story: 3/10
Protagonist: 3/10
Overall: 3/10

Shinigami no Testament

[This was a Full Review which I did my best to deprecate into a short one]

I think at this point, it’s fair to say that not having a school-life background game (and I say background; not a theme. If you make school life a theme the game almost always becomes shit) can add to the quality for a game and while it’s pretty fucking sad it says a bit about the games being produced nowadays. 3rdEye is one of the companies that I keep an eye for (pun intended), purely because of this trait. While I haven’t really seen any of their games being that great (though Sorcery Jokers is about to get an English translation pretty soon), at least it doesn’t make me want to close the game and look away from my screen.

Long story short Shinigami no Testament is just “eh”. It doesn’t do anything that great, and it does have some really annoying portions at times, but it doesn’t do anything terribly wrong. Then there’s the fact I actually didn’t have too high of hopes for 3rdEye due to previous titles like Bloody Rondo or Sorcery Jokers, so that might’ve helped.

 

First off, Character Design is “okay” but definitely not on the superior side. Of the 5 “heroines” that exist, only two of them are considered to be main (Yua and Vivi), and the other three heroines are mostly there as a filler outside of the true route. Subcharacters are often given more appealing traits or action (e.g. Narumi), and the fact that the game doesn’t utilize heroines outside of their routes was one of the biggest turnoffs. The game sometimes kill them off, quite literally. Personally, I think I liked Vivi and Irina as a character the most.

Story is something I really have beef with 3rdEye. While they do avoid the school-life crap which is commonplace in normal galge, they don’t really do a good job with all this fantasy elements and bullshit either. A lot of the story really depends on the reader ignoring any form of real-world logic/physics to even accept that all this fantasy stuff exists, and with the game not giving proper introduction in some portions, a lot of fantasy elements are brought out from nowhere and then left vague. There’s a distinct difference between making implications and leaving things vague. In this game, the real shit is in Kana’s route where everything is just incoherent. It’s not omgwtfbbq horrible but things are just so messed up and inconsistent it’s a challenge to try to make sense of it.

Protagonist is actually okay, but far from perfect. As that “normal person” who suddenly gets pulled into this fantasy and ends up being someone super powerful in the end, the game does make foreshadows to this identity, but doesn’t really utilize his design to the fullest within the context of the story.

One good thing if I had to point out was that there was a distinct love-triangle for Ayumu, Narumi, and Rui which was kept consistent throughout the entire game which I did appreciate. It didn’t become too much like a soap drama like WA2, so that was plus points too.

Overall, while there are a lot of kinks in this game, I still finished through it and didn’t feel annoyed. I think that might be due to how there’s no school-life bullshit which is almost repulsive to me at this point, but I’m sure some of it had to do with the fantasy atmosphere which made the game exciting. I’d still rate this game below Sorcery Jokers purely for the lack of immersion, some inconsistencies, and relatively poor presentation/foreshadowing of story elements.

Ratings
Character Design: 5/10
Story: 3/10
Protagonist: 5/10
Overall: 4/10

Harem Futago Loliita

Aw-right, posted a hiatus announcement, gon go take a break, play some MMOs, catch up in real life, and…

(Sees title released in C93)

…Shit.

Well I wasn’t going to put this title on hiatus regardless of what happened so I jumped right in. Your typical Yoru no Hitsuji game drawn by Usashiro Mani (and another artist whose name escapes my mind right now) and written by porori.

Okay so first off, I want to actually say that this game was not quite up to my expectations, and it wasn’t really due to my high expectations either. You have the same set of design with loli characters who are very mature and a highly realistic protagonist who has some life problems, but unlike other titles, the heroines are not necessarily oppressed or troubled; they’re doing pretty okay by themselves and have each other to depend on. The protagonist just being another wheel in their “family” as stated in the game.

There are various symbolism and references in this game, but it was relatively more difficult to follow since now you have to remember there’s two heroines with very contrasting personalities each with desires of their own. Previously with just one heroine it was easy to follow the heroine’s traits and how the protagonist matches up with that, now you’re saying you need to do the same for both heroines, despite how the game becomes much shorter regarding the interaction between the three characters.

The deep and slow-paced character interaction is still there (sasuga porori), but most of this title felt more on the level of a nukige because of how the readers were unable to focus on a single heroine and now had to look at two instead; that’s half of pretty much everything that makes this series so good. (Then the entire game feels really short too)

But damn these kinds of games melts my cold cynical heart because these heroines are often adorable not just their appearance, but their actions and personality as well. It’s nice how the CVs are from the previous games so that’s pretty good as well. Artstyle is splendid with that softer outline which gives that calmer atmosphere.

I’m definitely not a lolicon myself but these kinds of games make me want to become one.

Ratings
Character Design: 7/10
Story: 4/10
Protagonist: 4/10
Overall: 5/10

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Comments on: "I’m Back-ish? + Some Short Review Comments" (6)

  1. […] the previous title that I’ve reviewed, Harem Futago Loliita, was rather lacking in many parts despite the fact I still enjoyed it for the unique but mature […]

  2. […] anime like Gochiusa, I can’t help but compare any cafe/bakery setting games to it (games like Koi ni Kanmi wo soete), and it really does seem like the character design is inspired by the (in my opinion) overpopular […]

  3. Welcome back!

    It’s nice to see your review again even though these are shorter, I hope someday I have encourage to play VN again… :'(

    I’m busy with drawing even though this is holiday, and I admiring some SDCG artists especially Komowaka Haruka, I draw lots especially SD/chibi… ahh chibis are adorable~

    P. S: B-but in your past posts you said that you’re a lolicon lol

    • Shh! No one’s supposed to know about the fact I am one ;)

      Thanks for the warm welcome back. VNs are fun, but they can really be tedious. For a casual player, I think it’s okay to enjoy some of the good ones (based on what the community says) occasionally. No need to play all the mainstream titles like me xD

      That’s pretty cool you’re practicing art. Maybe I should pick it up as another hobby!

  4. Welcome back! I hope this new style suits you better in terms of time invested in each posts, and hopefully will allow to talk about more game, albeit in a shorter fashion for most of them.

    I haven’t been reading much VN lately, but I still follow the news and apart from Making * Lovers and Harem Futago Lolita these were all games I had never even heard of. Thanks for bringing them up to my attention, even though given the comments on them I doubt I’ll play them anytime soon or at all. I guess you’re also going through your backlog which isn’t surprising considering how bland the eroge scene has been lately.

    I only played about 80% of Making * Lovers (all routes but Saki’s), and I do agree that while the game is genuinely funny and entertaining, SMEE still hasn’t been able to re-create the magic that happened with Fureraba. I think the game overall lacks lasting impact, something that the previous Kanojo*Step managed to have with the hidden Tomiko route.

    I was happy to see them go away from the school setting but at the same time as you said the adult side wasn’t taken very seriously and most of the heroines felt less mature than they should have been. The protagonist in particular I think would have been better off being different for each heroine, rather than try to shoehorn the same guy into wildly different professions and have him perform equally well in all. It’s something that was also in Gin’Iro Haruka, but having these jack-of-all-trades master-of-all characters feels less human than characters with proficiency, faults and goals that are set beyond just matching the heroine of the day’s needs (as was the protagonist in Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai).

    Heroines were fine with a good CV cast, Kitami Rikka shines as always but the other are not lacking too far behind either. If I had one complaint about them, it’s that the writing team tried to fit too much gap-moe into their characters, I enjoy some of that but it was sometimes pushed a little too much to the extreme with sudden mood swings and completely out-of-the-blue behavior. Mashiro fits the best this atmosphere as she is an oddball character anyway, but for the more ‘tame’ others it’s not quite right.

    I actually didn’t mind the common route being short and going straight into the action, but it was pretty surprising to find out it’s very possible to be thrown into a route without having met half the cast yet. Unfortunately, focusing more on heroine routes didn’t necessarily translate into better romantic transition, as most of it remains pretty sudden and difficult to see coming (especially Reina’s confession and Karen’s sudden switch of attitude).

    One last remark, and the reason why I didn’t complete the game yet : each route structure is so utterly similar that by the fourth time through it really felt like replaying the game rather than enjoying it for the first time. I’m letting a bit of time pass before going on with Saki’s route, hopefully it will help make things feel fresh again.

    • I’m really thankful for you in recommending these “shorter” reviews since they’re really helping me blaze through some of the cheap charage without having to go through the entire thing. On the other hand, as you’ve mentioned, being able to hit some of the titles in my backlog and actually seeing it DECREASE is a feelsgoodman right there so I guess I have that going for me.

      Overall, I wouldn’t really say I’d strongly recommend any of the titles I discuss as a “short review” because for the implied reasoning that my review is short for a reason. Hopefully it’ll still be enough to incite some discussion while I go more in depth with the games I enjoyed such as Maigo Kyoushitsu

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