Here’s a bunch of titles I’ve been playing and writing my thoughts for for the past two months or so. As always, I didn’t feel like writing a full review for these games but that doesn’t mean they’re bad; some are actually quite decent. Remember you are fully permitted to use any part of my reviews (or anything I say for that matter lol) as long as you credit me for it.
The list of short reviews this time are as follows:
- Butterfly Seeker
- God Sisters
- Kanojo to Ore no Koisome Dousei
- Sorairo Innocent
- Hikari to Umi no Apeiria
- Shin Koihime Musou Kakumei – Songo no Ketsumyaku
Let’s get right to it!
Butterfly Seeker [Finished]
So well! Definitely an impactful game involving the “mystery” theme throughout, I generally want to start out by saying I really enjoy this kind of games that make you think. Unlike a previous mystery game I played, Shinsou Noise, Butterfly Seeker was much “easier” in the sense the game kinda repeats all the necessary information for these mysteries almost excessively. Likewise, this same factor made some of the mystery “more obvious”, often allowing the reader to come to the truth faster than what the game presents to you.
The real big points really come from the design of the entire game; it remains consistent. How there are multiple “ends” and how a single mistake relating to the heroine changes this ending WITHOUT changing the overall design makes this entire game feel realistic (i.e. the mystery gets solved as it is, but there’s SOMETHING different that causes the bad vs good ending), and while this “small change making a big difference” sounded very superficial and artificial sometimes, it had to do with the game’s theme of “The Butterfly Effect”, and made all the difference in the True Route. (Oh shit, I feel like this was a huge spoiler)
Another plus was how each ending of the heroine’s good routes revealed SOMETHING about the true route, and was required for actually reaching the true route
The biggest problem of this EROGE ironically is the romance, which was objectively bad and was more of an interruption to all the good mystery atmosphere. Not surprisingly I was thoroughly annoyed with it, despite how it was utilized extensively to create the bad routes in the game. I really wish these romance elements were elongated, as most of the protagonist-heroine interaction stemmed from very short reminiscence scenes. (Though to be absolutely fair these were actually really good and impactful scenes. Like if these scenes were elongated much more (because duh; that’s part of the heroine routes), I can see the romance actually adding to the overall experience.
Like Shinsou Noise, Butterfly Seeker involves some fantasy elements including the ability “Butterfly Seeker” and the “Red Butterfly” which didn’t really make the game as fun and gave it more of a convenience factor than I would’ve liked, though to be fair a mystery novel would be pretty stale if it didn’t have the fantasy elements… and the writers didn’t abuse it THAT much either.
Overall, a very good and exciting game that I enjoyed, I would definitely recommend Butterfly Seeker if you like a good mystery and can stomach some of the weird-ass scenes this game might present once in a while, and don’t really care too much about the romance being an interruption. Having completed the entire game, all the bad, good, and true routes “make sense”, so I want to praise the writers for knowing what they were doing.
On that thought, it seems like a fandisc for this game will be released in August, so I’ll definitely be getting to that as well.
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Protagonist Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
God Sisters [Dropped]
Like what the actual fuck.
Seriously. When I pick up nukige, I expect at least a bit of depth in them. Even if it’s the darker nukige with taboo themes like rape, that acts as the “story” and lays the background somewhat, then you have a game like this that’s literally H-scenes back to back and on the level of Softhouse-seal’s in pretty much everything from transitions to character development and protagonist interaction.
I mean after I commented how the H-scenes in Golden Hour being decent I didn’t think another child company of MORE is going to give me this, but I think it’s sufficient enough to say any game by MORE or its subsidaries is going to be taken with a grain of salt at least from me.
Characters are HIGHLY shallow, with the eldest sister literally selling her body to her brother who accepts immediately then down the rabbit hole we go with the rest of this god-awful excuse to present some H-scenes. Heck that might be the only time the word “god” might be related to this title in the first place.
I’ll be honest though, that the H-scenes are well done (as consistent with my opinion of H-scenes in Golden Hour), though at least for me I find that I have a better time reading H-scenes if I care for the characters even just a tiny little bit
Character Design Rating: 1/10
Story Rating: 0/10
Protagonist Rating: 1/10
Overall Rating: 1/10
Kanojo to Ore no Koisome Dousei [Dropped]
Okay. I get it. I get it that you want to make a game with a single heroine and have some really cute ichaicha scenes and H-scenes.
Here’s the problem though; you really can’t just throw said events happening all at once with no form of story and expect things to work out. How the heroine is introduced is so insanely generic and the design of the “normal protagonist” along with a storyline of massive eroge tropes, you’re not doing anyone a favor here, Tokohana. At LEAST have some form of transition like meeting Miyabi outside somewhere; not just place her right with the protagonist and try to smother up something from there
Hanazawa Sakura (who’s actually transitioned more from voicing nukige to actual games nowadays; she voices 5 of the games I have on this post, just a trivia) is at least a decent choice in CV, so there’s that going for the game.
Let’s be brutally honest now though; the character interaction in this game is absolute crap. It seems too forced, spontaneous, and artificial. Of course, with this kind of trend, the actual character interactions after they become lovers is also going to be filled with tropes and sickening to the stomach, and that’s exactly what happened. In short, the base of this interaction was not formed, so obviously stuff that gets built on top of that is going to crumble.
The pinnacle of this kind of game that does this right (where it’s all about the character interaction) is the Loliita series. You actually have characters designed in that DOUJIN game to match with each other instead of this awful excuse of childhood friends and first-loves that doesn’t even come close to representing relationships and personalities in real life.
The game has no value whatsoever, and the only ones who may remotely like this game are those with nothing better to do and get butthurt easily with almost everything and needs every damned thing to be sugarcoated with 6 inches of maple syrup
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 1/10
Overall Rating: 2/10
Sorairo Innocent [Dropped]
When it comes to Akabeisoft 3 games, every bet’s off; you have absolutely no idea what to expect. You might have amazing games like Inochi no Spare, absolute shit like Gusha no Kyouben, or something in between… though that “something in between” usually follows the trend of a decent scenario with something crucially wrong.
As it stands, Sorairo Innocent followed that exact trend; a storyline that’s actually decent, but at least in the game, the character design is so shit that while I enjoyed the common route greatly, once I got into the heroine route I felt like dropping the game
(and actually did kek)
First off though, I really have to praise the game’s creativity. The “flying” theme might be overused, but this game resorted to using Canadian Geese as one of the additional elements for the theme, and quite frankly some of the CGs involving these geese were absolutely adorable. How the entire motive of each character centers around them was really the key factor in creating the story for the common route, and that just made it much more enjoyable.
The problem, as mentioned and also severely ironically, is the characters (both in terms of interactions and contradictions). Starting off you’re literally presented the central heroine (Mahiru) who cooks food for the protagonist and “supports” him the first week of his transfer for no reason (because that’s completely a realistic reaction to a transfer student apparently). Then you have the protagonist “confessing” to her and her completely being oblivious of this yet later down the road it’s her that confesses to him first. Like why was this even added? It provides nothing to the overall scenario and you could have just as well removed the entire thing and the game would’ve flowed better
This kind of awkward and bad design overall happens with all the other heroines, including Ami who falls in love at first sight, Kako who suddenly seduces Kuutarou in her route contrary to her lazy and blunt personality towards him, and Hikari who is literally unrelated to the entire story except in her own route. This trait makes every heroine route except Mahiru’s incoherent with the common route, and the game realizes this too; almost forcefully bringing the theme back to flying with the geese as soon as things sidetrack.
This is even worse than a previous Akabeisoft 3 game I’ve played (Toshinosa). In that game, the fault was that the characters didn’t match with each other properly to be creating such an interaction, but the interaction itself was okay. In this title the writers just went fuck-all with the scenario by providing almost no introduction to the heroines so this romantic transitioning is absent both for the readers (they can’t really feel affection for the characters), and for the protagonist (the romance in this game feels very artificial and fake)
The theme of flying and the Canadian Geese being that main motive is prevalent throughout the game though, so consistency was definitely a plus, but if you had to ask me, this game would’ve done MUCH better to simply cut out Hikari completely (like why the heck was she even added), make both Kako and Ami as minor subcharacters and the interaction with Mahiru be DRASTICALLY increased (I’m talking AT LEAST 5+ more hours of text) to make this more of a kinetic novel.
Character Design Rating: 2/10
Story Rating: 6/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
If you have a heroine so prominently on the front cover of the packaging but don’t have her as one of the choices for the ONLY choice selection in the entire game, you’re kinda screaming that there’s something fishy about the entire game
Such as how said heroine is actually the true route heroine
Considering I’ve already played games like Hapymaher, I was actually disappointed that this game was relatively similar to that title; I enjoyed Hapymaher’s melancholic and dark theme, but not its true route or its shitty-ass “everything you saw was a dream!” scenario along with extremely convenient conclusions, which was present in games like Floral Flowlove (shit game that copied the same concept and why the fuck is it received as a good game.
Goddamn I hate the VN community) as well. This NEVER works to the game’s benefit because there’s really no need for these stupid “theoretical routes”–like the only scenario which would really need or even benefit this kind of design is if the story deals with time and space (e.g. alternate universe). Then when you try to incorporate everything from these “theoretical routes” into the true route, of course you’re going to need to resort to convenient endings you dink.
Unfortunately, Aoitori also follows the same suit, along with the bigass contradiction that somehow these “theoretical routes” weren’t actually theoretical and were very much real, bringing in the concept of alternate universe into a game already shredded into pieces with religion, demons, and vampires. Fun, ain’t it.
From the three Purple Software games I’ve personally played (Hapymaher, Kazoku Keikaku, and now Aoitori) all three games suffer immensely from poor conclusions which really showcases the writers’ incompetence in wrapping up things. It’s literally as if he went nuts with a scenario he thought was a good idea (and to be fair it does have good concepts) but with no planning whatsoever then at like 90% completion of the route he realizes that he has to actually bring about a conclusion so he just makes up something in like 2 minutes and voila that’s the game.
This is because the beginning scenes definitely is interesting–“a boy who has special powers to make people happy just by touching them” is definitely a cool and unique concept but tying that into religion and good lord did you REALLY need to include vampires and demons in a story that uses BIBLICAL REFERENCES? Like why did you think that was a good idea?
Then the morale of the entire game is the boring old “happiness is subjective and can be found all around us” so I feel like I’ve read this entire game for no reason.
Here’s what I generally thought of each route though:
Mary’s Route: Pretty typical as your standard “life-and-death” route, my overall opinion on Mary’s Route was that as a character I really liked her, but a lot of the elements in her route I didn’t like at all, including the very convenient ending, the incoherent element of a “play” right in the middle of a fantasy story, and the fact that her route didn’t really contribute anything to the overall scenario (aka the true route) despite the fact she seemed like the central heroine.
Sayo’s Route: Better than the other routes in my opinion due to a more bittersweet ending and the extensive action of the protagonist, the ending was rather convenient and contradicts with the concepts presented in the ending of other routes which is just bleh. This route ties more into the true route than anything else though so I guess that was cool
Risa’s Route: Really a great example of a “lazy route” where the concept of life-and-death is extremely poorly utilized and the entire route screams of a convenient happy-go-lucky scenario. The shimai-don atmosphere was interesting enough
only as okazu let’s be real now but that wasn’t really that important throughout and frankly I sense the writer spent the least time on this route seeing how the entire route has no actual climax
Akari’s Route: Yes, it makes perfect sense that this bitch who is clearly displayed as being this evil mastermind up to steal Ritsu’s powers gets flustered around sexual jokes. How she adores being special but fails to see that said word is super subjective and she was already “special”
in the sense her mind was fucked up was exactly how I figured her route would turn out and holy shit that ending was super convenient as I’ve expected. Let’s also not forget how she made the premises of this game and the entire plan to kill the Telephone Demon in literally like, two seconds.
Okay, but let’s talk about some good things about the game. It did have some complex though cheap humor relating to the protagonist’s sexual experiences and had the impact (in terms of plot twist? If you can even call it that) needed to create an impression plus real life references relating to the bible or folklore. And uhhhhhhhh…. Mary’s cute and voiced by Kusuhara Yui?
Damn, this game sure shot itself in the foot
(Someone please tell me what their favorite Purple Software game is so I can at least get some hopes for this company)
Character Design Rating: 3/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
Hikari no Umi no Apeiria [Finished]
My first impression of this game was literally SAO + the Time Travel factor, but playing the game for a bit it does seem like the game explains a lot of its spacetime concepts… although they’re flawed.
See, the problem with time-traveling in stories is that 1, they’re merely presented as a theory and 2, it needs to be presented in a way that’s super fucking convenient, and that’s exactly what happened in this game as well; the theory they present is just a theory, but they try to put an answer to it (which is not a good idea), and thus the reasoning has a large amount of that convenience factor plus some critical flaws
The primary example of this is how the game uses concepts from the theory of PHOTONS to resolve the theory of SPACETIME, aka, using logic from one theory and trying to apply it to another. That’s like me saying lemons are yellow and sour, therefore cherries must also be yellow and sour. Perfect Logic
Thus while the attempt at making such a storyline was good, the flawed logic as well as other undesirable factors (such as how the game tries to justify how an AI develops emotions. Oh god even as a non-programming major I cringed so hard; I can imagine someone who specializes in codes to go absolutely fucking nuts at the retarded logic this game presents. Then imagine this reason somehow getting worse because of that one event that happens in the true route), then there’s the romance which just makes everything worse, plus a deus ex machina (almost quite literally
totally not a spoiler) at the very end. A game that has so many things I hate in a story. Brilliant.
Then the entire game is lost to follow up with an extremely hasty conclusion, not explaining things like where Apeiria’s physical appearance came from or how Reiichi’s Genome was changed into a girl within the beginning to name a few.
But that’s aside the point: here’s two things that really pissed me off with this game:
1) The game doesn’t give two fucks about whether or not the reader understood its concepts. Basically this means that people who actually read the game slowly and understand what it’s trying to convey will be rather disgusted at said shit logic, while the people who don’t will just nod their head and say this was a good game at the end. Either way, that’s not a good way to go about a story when you confuse stupid readers with bullcrap that smarter ones will pick up anyways.
2) The game says 1+1=3, but that’s because in reality there’s another “1+” at the front that you can’t really see but you’re going to take my word for it because the game said so and the game is always right. What? You think 1+1=3? You fucking retard can you even do basic math
…Like dude, that’s exactly what the game does for the entire time. Making you think one theory is correct then presenting more scenario saying that theory is wrong and another theory is correct… but the problem is they never actually disprove the first theory completely and just keep that in the air to be used as a convenient “voila” at the end.
As such, while I did find that the fantasy atmosphere and the SAO-like environment was “fun”, as soon as the time-leap bullshit started to happen I started to lose interest, and that was the same for the character “Apeiria” as well, becoming this cute damsel-in-distress needing saving to “why the fuck is she even a heroine” kind of heroine with almost no action, no reason to be the central heroine, and good god Akino Hana is voicing a lot of bad characters recently
It didn’t help how the protagonist was designed to be this genius but an insane pervert and be only voiced during select battle scenes by a more hot-headed CV. Cheap humor’s there too but that rarely contributed to the game.
Definitely a game which needed a lot more planning as the scenario writing was designed to be confusing and never makes sense in a rhetorical or even a logical sense. Character designs also needs more work with the Eroge Trinity (!!!) design of heroines, and the ending is just objectively bad and I’ll do everyone a favor while not spoiling it and say it’s absolute bullshit.
I’m definitely not going to be playing the fandisc, so apologies in advance.
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 3/10
Shin Koihime Musou Kakumei – Songo no Ketsumyaku [Finished]
Honestly, my opinion on this series is really divided. I’ve played this “route” from the Shin Koihime title 10 years ago and can definitely say there’s some goods and bads with this revamp, but the thing I liked most about this series overall was its relative accuracy to the actual Three Kingdoms story. As such, since the “Go” route in the original Shin Koihime Musou didn’t follow that suit I didn’t find it particularly interesting. (I would’ve wanted something like the Gi’s “Kazuto makes a change but then receives the consequences” kind of storyline)
To start off, this revamp’s scenario is definitely better than the Go story in the original Shin Koihime in the sense there is more “accuracy”. However, with the Heroes and now the Kakumei releases BaseSon literally took their concept of “accurately presenting the Three Kingdoms story” and threw it out the window so this was something I found very disappointing (considering this was the trait that really got me into this series)
It’s safe to say much of my opinions are consistent with what I’ve said about the Souten no Haou release, so here’s just a brief list of my opinions, which is unique to this title:
- This time around, there was actually less copy-pasting (some are still present) and a fair share of the story was revamped to include the new characters. Aka, the story is considerably different than the original Shin Koihime title. Definitely a positive from BaseSon in my opinion and a good enough reason to play this game even if you know of the predecessor.
- The game actually HAS more characters, though this in my opinion acts both as a plus and a minus. Plus because it has value as a charage, minus mentioned later.
- Kazuto as a protagonist is actually resourceful in this title. My previous complaints for BaseSon games involved how the protagonist was never portrayed as one but this title did very well to answer to that complaint; he actually makes inputs of ideas on strategies based on his knowledge from the future or stands in the frontlines. As with my complaint in Sengoku and previous Koihime games however, I really wished his powers were more significant, as to suggest his actions and contributions were the things that “changed” the world into a new story; not just because he was just there.
- The Gaisha route does have much more action by Kazuto, and suggests the chronology to Heroes. Definitely a good follow up unlike the previous games I’ve been playing.
- One neat thing that I appreciated BaseSon took into account was the usage of “Mana” or True Names. In the previous games it was stated that this name was sacred and only allowed to certain individuals, but it was utilized too frequently and lost that “rare factor”. BaseSon took this concept and fixed it, displaying enemy generals with their actual names (Kanu instead of Aisha), and added an additional concept it’s frowned upon to use said Mana when others were present. Definitely plus points even though it’s a smaller detail.
- The story took a really big hit. While previous Koihime games tried to display accuracy in their character design, everything since Moeshouden threw that out the window and at least in the Heroes and the Kakumei (which are in the same timeline), the story is so inaccurate you might as well say it’s not related to the Three Kingdoms anymore. This was my biggest worry about this series in the first place since obviously there’s not much you can do to an already popular title except putting your own twist on it, and invalidating the “concept” completely. Plus a lot of other eroge companies and even mobile games already do this (put their twist on the Three Kingdoms story) so there’s the lack of originality as well.
- I really REALLY hate the design in the Koihime series in general where fatalities of generals don’t occur. This title itself does challenge that and kill off SOME characters, but this is done outside of battle and it just makes battle scenes in general super boring. There’s also some in-your-face contradictions such as how generals always seem to be cutting through normal soldiers like grass but when it comes down to it the generals act as if suddenly they’re at a huge disadvantage facing 50 normal soldiers.
- On that thought, the battle scenes themselves are very poor and only consist of flashes and screaming. Kinda like Seiken Tsukai. Not that fun to read in my opinion.
- The lack of antagonists in Souten was extremely annoying, and Sonken at least has 1. Yeah. Just one. You have three nations fighting and at each other’s throats and one fucking character that can be considered an antagonist. It’s even worse because you have so many characters portrayed as fucking idiots in this title and you don’t make them into antagonists just because they’re heroines as well. This is another design I really hate about the Koihime titles and the main reason why I really wanted to see a much darker, much more grim environment considering this IS a story about war and fighting. Along with Cons 1 and 2, this is the main reason why the Koihime series will not succeed outside of being a charage.
I generally liked these extra scenarios because it contains the humor that you can’t really find in the main game. From breaking the fourth wall right at the beginning to the plot twist that Chouson is actually a muscular man (which has been present since the original Koihime Musou though), this gaisha does make some suggestions on this world’s truths but also has an additional serving of my favorite character in the entire series: Enjutsu. There’s actually two Gaisha episodes though, one being that joke episode while the other does a “what-if” scenario featuring Kazuto more in action.
The preview of the 3rd game is also presented at this time (for the Shoku), and it seems BaseSon plans for it to be released in the Summer of 2019.
Overall, I’ve followed this series from its first title and really enjoyed many parts of it. While I definitely would argue the Songo no Ketsumyaku revamp is definitely a successful one, it’s still far behind titles like Souten no Haou, which had almost no change in its overall storyline but was still better in the sense a bit of realistic elements are maintained.
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 6/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 6/10
My first impressions of this game was extremely positive; extremely well designed characters which doesn’t neglect the protagonist or the various subcharacters, the general atmosphere of this game is light and jokeful, and doesn’t hesitate to present parodies or break the 4th wall at times. I found myself laughing my ass off at these intricate and clever jokes and honestly that only helped the game present itself better. I also think Hanazawa Sakura’s voicing of Rita was definitely a great choice in displaying her proficiency as a CV (remember she voiced 5 of the games listed here).
How the choices presented in the main storyline doesn’t make any difference made it rather interesting considering most of these “meaningless choices” were pretty obvious and allowed for additional jokes, and as the game was relatively longer I found myself wanting to play more of this game in one sitting.
Another thing I have to first commend this game for doing well is its story presentation. If you’ve read my reviews before, you’ll know that I absolutely cannot stand games where there are no antagonists. While this is true to an extent, it really matters to how the game presents that concept in a story. If it’s just from 10 lines of text that the bad guys are converted to good guys, then yeah that’s the exact type of story I would absolutely hate. However in Maoten, the humor discussed above plays into developing these character relationships and these relationships then become a factor when these “antagonists” are doing their “evil stuff”. These actions and intentions vaguely presented on purpose to allow for that “Tada!” at the end. Basically, if you knew about these antagonist’s good motives all their actions presented in the route itself make sense.
Now onto the bads. While the concept of introducing demons and angels in an otherwise normal setting is definitely not a bad intro, adding traits such as “angels > demons” definitely is, and creates many imbalances and unnecessary contradictions. There were plenty of times within the entire game where that rule above is overturned and it could’ve been avoided altogether just by removing it, which is not a hard thing to do at all.
Another bad, and my sincere apologies for a spoiler, is that the game incorporates the theory of a parallel universe. It just didn’t work out with the demons and angels, since this is more of a sci-fi element than a fantasy element.
Lastly, as with any of the fantasy games that involve drastic conflicts like life and death, the resolution of the conflict is done extremely conveniently. That’s actually a problem with these games that start out with lots of jokes and humor like this game, then suddenly try to transition into a series “story” because that’s what visual NOVELS are supposed to be. As it stands, the story of Maoten had very poor design and can literally be summarized in a couple of sentences by anyone who reads it, making this game only have value as a charage with lots of humor.
All that being said though, I wouldn’t say the story was objectively bad per se, as it does have some solid morale in it, and much of the endings are heartwarming which is something I like, plus subcharacters also receive side-stories of their own which was definitely another feature I appreciated.
This definitely makes me want to try out some other CandySoft titles in the near future.
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 7/10