Reviews are becoming a bit slower now that I’m even more busy with life after graduation. I still have a bunch of titles I want to play and plan to play, so I’m still not dead!
We have a bunch of titles I’ve played for the past two months or so, and here’s a list:
- Ryuyoku no Melodia
- Daraku Royal Seishojo
- Koi dehanaku
- Aerial Life
- Hime to Otome no Yakimochi LOVE
- Lunaris Filia
- Undertale [WARNING: Spoilers!]
- Haru to Yuki
Ryuyoku no Melodia [Finished]
I hope you can bear with me having Whirlpool reviews back to back (there’s more coming up too, so you ain’t getting a break muhahahaha), but these are games I can play with a light mindset (alongside MMOs
totally not an excuse to play more MMOs) plus the new Whirlpool game actually looks decent so there’s that going for me as well.
What I really consider to be Whirlpool’s 2nd best game, Melodia definitely has a lot of effort placed into it (with the presense of each CVs singing at least one song in the game) plus having true routes with additional unique songs. As I mentioned before games should always prioritize quality of its story/character design, but if that’s not possible at least give us the quantity, and that’s what Ryuuyoku did.
The game presents this quantity with the number of auditory elements plus a decent enough storyline for each of the heroines, focusing on a realistic aspect of their relationships (e.g. the sibling taboo for Mel, Romeo & Juliet type of storyline for Floria) and for the other heroines adding additional elements to the story relating to their design.
These additional events and features that happen in the heroine routes were actually quite decent and definitely why I can give this title that higher rating. Having a relatively consistent theme of music (though not in two of them) was definitely a plus and while the fantasy element was moreso used as a convenience factor it didn’t act as a Deus Ex Machina like in some other Whirlpool games. Many important events were elongated appropriately to give it that seriousness factor, which was quite ironic for reasons I’ll explain below.
The bads are really obvious from the get-go; the transitions (at least in the beginning and perhaps throughout the entire game) absolutely sucks. The game switches between scenes too rapidly and players aren’t given enough time to properly appreciate the humor presented or the heroine traits at all. This happening in the beginning was a critical flaw in the sense that the romance presented in the heroine route seems like it came out of the blue, plus the additional events that happen in said heroine routes also seemed incoherent with whatever elements were associated with the heroine in the beginning scenes (basically the story seems poorly planned because it just went everywhere). The lack of foreshadows also fails to present most of these “good traits” of heroines (plus the protagonist to a great extent) so that was another disappointment too.
The other thing that really jumps out is that the entire scenario is bland. Even aside of the fact that I’ve played all of Whirlpool games this title suffers especially from scenarios that just seems to want to “get this over with” meaning it just presents one scene after another after another and Bam! the end that’s the route. I’m sure this was contributed to by the lack of good transitions and the trait of the game moving along too quickly, but the scenario itself felt a bit monotone in a sense; like you’re reading a children’s book or something… though that’s just me.
Overall, while I definitely don’t think Ryuuyoku was a bad game, I don’t think it’s a stunningly good one either. Suzukaze still wins by a large margin as my favorite Whirlpool game, though this game does have good features of its own such as its large focus on music
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 6/10
Daraku Royal Seishojo [Finished]
Obviously games from porori is going to be on a higher priority in getting my attention. Including the Loliita Series and Maigo Kyoushitsu, porori’s works are in my opinion really good because of that complex character interaction/relationships.
Unfortunately, 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 characters, and this title was even greater of a step down from that.
Starting off with this weird setting, porori decided to go to a fantasy route despite the fact that most of his games were good because they were more realistic. This “fantasy” setting didn’t even make that much of a difference so there’s question about why he even chose this kind of design, along with weird elements like parallel universe that just seemed superfluous.
Character interaction also fell quite significantly as now you’re presented with characters that have already known each other for presumably some time and do not necessarily get that “full picture” of their relationship. The flow of the scenario leading into the first H-scenes (since this IS classified as a nukige) was rather poor because of this and was a big reason this game “felt different” than the Loliita series.
There is that effort to make this a more thought-provoking title with the addition of philosophical theories such as the meaning of life and pursuing happiness, but that was unfortunately short-lived and the game transitioned quickly into having weird fetish plays with the Royal Priestess which was just what the fuck
Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 3/10
Koi dehanaku [Finished]
Goddamn this game was long o_O
Basically a game I picked up because Kaibara Elena, I quickly noticed that this game was centered around a love triangle and was actually a bit skeptical from the start. I mean good lord I love seeing a well designed love-triangle, but besides literally two occasions which was White Album 2 (though it had its flaws) and Damekoi, all the love triangles in Visual Novels I’ve seen regardless of dramatic or comical were shit.
Unfortunately Koi dehanaku followed a similar trait that while the love triangle wasn’t “shit” per se, it could’ve been handled a lot better. It’s just even more unfortunate that the same statement can be applied to literally all other elements of the title, including story presentation, execution, and setting. It’s not like the game is bad, but there’s just so many ways it could “be better”. As far as it stands the game lacks good transitions, character interaction (there is some but it’s just so vague about it that you might as well say it doesn’t exist), foreshadows, or even conflicts in some areas
First off, the game has multiple routes. While this isn’t something to be shocked about, the thing is that each of these routes eventually have the same result in Norifumi and Yumi hooking up and quite frankly seeing that happen several times wasn’t exactly the most fun reading (honestly same-conclusion routes would be annoying EVEN IF the story leading up to that conclusion was done right). Adding to that pain is how the game never even bothers to give a good reasoning for the two to have affection for each other, only giving a VERY minimal implication that Yumi loved Norifumi because he was literally her “competition” since childhood and Norifumi for Yumi due to her looks. It’s actually pretty ironic considering how characters are better able to explain why they DON’T feel romantically towards certain characters involved in their
shitstorm love triangle, than why they do towards each other.
The difference in each route is actually the characters besides Norifumi and Yumi that gets involved in the love triangle, or how it becomes resolved… Except quite frankly the love triangles aren’t formed well so you just have these half-assed routes. At least in games like White Album 2 and Damekoi, you at least have large chunks of interaction between each “nodes” if you will (i.e. Protag and Heroine A, Protag and Heroine B, and Heroine A and Heroine B) but this wasn’t done in Koi dehanaku and that just made all these love triangle drama seem less immersive and shallow. Throughout the game I was wondering how the fuck these kind of relationships occurred in the first place, and frankly couldn’t sympathize with the dilemma presented by both Norifumi and Yumi.
Heck even said dilemma seemed artificial in the sense it’s really pathetic. It’s on the level of “I stole a 1 dollar candy bar when I was 5 years old and I’m a fucking disgrace to humanity”. Goddamn you guys if you’re mourning over shit like that what does that make me?
Small comedy breaks exist in this game which was very much needed considering good lord this game was all shit-storm and “boohoo I made a mistake let’s go kill myself”. Jesus lighten up it’s not like you went out and fucking killed someone and all of y’all acting like the world’s gonna end tomorrow, and honestly that was the most annoying thing about this game.
In retrospect however, this entire scenario is like one of those sticky, mushy school life drama kind of titles, with characters apparently so immature/stupid to be unable to view things from someone else’s perspective they’ve grown up with for as long as they can remember, BUT being able to literally read the minds of others (such as the subcharacters) which is just stupid logic. These kind of traits made it so the important parts like the character interactions done extremely poorly (and often too short), while fillers like the camera facts (like why was this even added) or flat out non-important dialogue took way too freaking long.
It really doesn’t help that I eventually got sick of Kaibara Elena’s voice for being quite a bad choice for voicing Yumi, who is portrayed as a much more mature and solemn character (Even Shimizu Ai would’ve been a better choice, and she’s known for voicing imouto-characters), and while Norifumi is also voiced as well he doesn’t seem like the protagonist because he’s almost like Haruki from White Album 2… except worse in the sense besides his knowledge with cameras he’s just a “normal protagonist”.
As mentioned just now, this game has a shit-ton of “fluff” relating to old camera facts, and quite frankly this never became a major element and was thus more of a filler. Pretty poor in design choices if you ask me
This game was honestly really disappointing. I thought it would improve gradually with other routes but even the last route which they label “Grand Route”
kek they just add some new characters (one of them who should have appeared much earlier) for some artificial gimmicks and wasn’t interesting.
If this game were to be changed, it would definitely need MUCH more reminiscence scenes or at least change character interactions so that it’s not all developed from the getgo (see WA2 or Damekoi) because when it comes to extremely detail-heavy themes like love triangles, the reader needs to be completely aware of most of the things that’s going on BEFORE the shit hits the fan, and if you have the two characters who have already developed a relationship with each other there’s no point in reading their interactions or their stories and surroundings.
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
Aerial Life [Dropped]
So when I first saw this game I was like holy shit is this actually Tenmaso from Whirlpool? It’s definitely been a while since she drew any games (I THINK the last one was World Election) and considering I already follow her on Pixiv, it was pretty nice to see her still working.
But what the actual fuck is this game
Okay so we have a setting where people are stuck in a VR game… which is scenario that sounds deceptively similar to Hikari to Umi no Apeiria title I played a while back, and to be fair that title wasn’t that great either. But fine; let’s push aside the bias from that title and try to enjoy this game for what it’s worth.
But at least Apeiria tries to make a serious game; Aerial Life was honestly more of a nukige based on how shallow everything is from the introduction to the setting and the complete lack of any form of impact even during climax scenes (if you’re even generous to say there is one). I pretty much tolerated all the crap elements of this game for about 30 minutes but the red-flag really alerted me when even after all this the supposed “romance” and first H-scenes happen in about an hour into the game.
Like legit–the romance in this game is done in 3 fucking lines:
“Why am I working so hard for her?”
“Maybe I like her?”
“Yeah! I love her!”
I’m not even joking. What the fuck.
This isn’t even bad writing; this is ADVANCED bad writing. Like even my own chuunibyou crap that I wrote waaaay back is better than this game. Then you have successive H-scenes for really no reason so I’m just sitting here like ????
I mean if you take out the fact it’s Kusuhara Yui as the CV as Tenmaso as the artist there’s literally nothing this game has to offer. It has the meta-element of discussing RPGs but it’s not like people who enjoy eroge are new to that genre anyways.
Character Design Rating: 2/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 2/10
Hime to Otome no Yakimochi LOVE [Dropped?]
So I kinda asked for it this time blindly going into this game without even taking a closer look at who made the goddamn game. Just because the CVs are S-tier (Kusuhara Yui, Fujisaki Usa, Aoba Ringo, Ogura Yui) plus the writing being assigned to the writer of Koi Doll and World Election doesn’t mean that the company Princess Sugar is going to pull off a good game.
As with Himekoi Sucreine, another one of their games which I dropped after finishing two out of the four routes, this game sounds like it would be more fit for children considering the lack of conflicts and the 0 need to think about the storyline. As with any other charage there is very little effort to describe character interactions and if at all the game dives STRAIGHT into an H-scene less than half an hour into the game just because this “princess” is a horny slut and that her unexplained romance towards the protagonist somehow justifies her actions to semi raping him.
Protagonist is fine, but then you give him one of the worst designs of being this “donkan” protagonist who’s supposed to be super smart and the Administrator of the school and I’m just like WHY!? If at all being in such a position should’ve made him more mature (and we’re already COMPLETELY ignoring the shit gimmick that he’s the only male in this all-girls school because fuck logic), and the girls clamoring all over him is just plain and simple cringe.
The forceful story progression and characters literally falling in love at first sight was annoying at best, and goddamn Japan hire a fucking proofreader for your English. It’s not that hard.
Because your protagonist here sounds like a fucking douchebag
You’re obviously not a genius if you can’t even speak English with proper grammar
Though like I said in the beginning, I kinda played myself into this; it’s fucking Princess Sugar. They spend all this effort with artwork and hiring top-notch CVs then direct an actually good writer to pull this shit out of his ass. As it stands both the cute artwork, the high-tier CVs, AND the potential of a good writer was all ruined at once with bad decisions so the proper way to play this game is take your brain out completely and just enjoy the decent design of characters.
Or not play it completely because if you just want cute characters there are at least other games with a non-cringy storyline
Frankly, the character introductions are done decently. It’s literally everything that happens after the character introductions that’s just pure cringe–harem set in a school life? I’m sure I’ve THOROUGHLY explained myself how I hate these kinds of designs and you should too. It lacks originality, the only thing you can even incorporate are these “jealousy” elements that obviously just go out the window in a heroine route, and god these games are better off introduced and designed to be a nukige.
The reason why I have a “?” after “dropped” in the title above is because I might actually come back to play this game, but ONLY when I’m too tired to care about the shit scenario and just want to watch the H-scenes of the heroines. Princess Sugar is a company just as bad (if not worse) than companies like Lump of Sugar because their games feel like they’re insulting player intelligence: “Oh here, have a game where the scenario makes 0 sense and is just a crap excuse for the H-scenes HUR DUR DUR”
As it stands, the characters are well designed enough, so all that would be needed is some depth in the scenario to display some worthwhile interactions instead of all these “jealousy” elements. Quite unfortunate, really.
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 1/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
Lunaris Filia [Finished]
Let’s be honest; Whirlpool’s games are generally considered to be on the lower spectrum of quality besides a couple of exceptions, and Lunaris Filia isn’t one of them. Definitely picked for the Mikagami Mamizu artwork, as with literally any other game that receives my blatant criticisms the story is pretty shit.
I mean vampires is nice and all; it can definitely be an interesting element. The problem is that many elements surrounding them (as well as the fantasy aspects the game incorporates) is done very poorly. Starting with how the protagonist is somehow a reincarnation and his childhood friend was coincidentally a vampire who created a contract with him when he was already “taken”, the scenario design just screams poor planning considering the characters go from living normal lives to being dragged into this vampire bullcrap in like 2 minutes.
Character interactions are also very poor in the sense a few minutes of text is all that takes to have them develop romantic feelings and the remainder of the route is just one more conflict with some additional generic fillers just so they can justify pricing this game at what it costs.
These “conflicts” make sense, to be perfectly fair (i.e. in Silvia’s route she’s seen going on a rampage and attacking humans, Yukari finds herself unable to find the balance between being a human and a vampire), but these are rather short-lived and never gives that “dire feel” like a conflict should. This is probably the case because the game never takes the time to introduce you to the environment so you simply end up not caring too much about it, so even when the story goes “Oh no! This is terrible!” you’re just like “eh”
There is a “hidden” true route in this game as well, though it is very poorly hinted and then adds even more fantasy elements to a game shredded already with lots of fantasy crap. This true route almost seems forcefully added because the writer realized the other 5 routes were pretty short and just scripted up a 6th that he couldn’t incorporate in any way so it ended up being “hidden” instead.
I think Lunaris Filia was that game when I first played it I commented the Mamizu artwork is nice but the game itself was really crappy so I couldn’t recommend it. That opinion still stands; along with my new opinion that Arisugawa Miyabi and Oukawa Mio aren’t exactly my favorite CVs so even if the story was good I wouldn’t have enjoyed it regardless.
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
Not a VN, but I’ve been meaning to play this game for a while now since I’ve had some of my real-life friends suggest that I play it. A lot of the hype really seemed excessive even 3 years after its release, and I honestly didn’t have anything better to do.
Long story short, I’m really into the lore of Undertale as well as a lot of aspects of it, including breaking of the fourth wall, the meta-discussions, and philosophy on life.
The problem I see however, is that the story while good, also has some in-your-face contradictions as well as elements that contradict logic. It’s these that fans of this game brush under the rug which I really hate, so I just want to present them here since that’s really what I do with other galge I play nowadays.
Fair warning however, that this trait will make this discussion of Undertale spoilery.
1) SOUL = Ability to experience happy emotions, but apparently NOT having a soul restricts you to only experiencing negative emotions which doesn’t make sense. Says who? Why is it JUST negativity as displayed by Flowery when he has Determination but no SOUL?
2) Chara. Honestly this was a really bad introduction. I really hate the character first off and he’s honestly that element that goes fuck-all with any other rhetoric and is most closely what I would say a Deus-Ex-Machina. How he dies but magically comes back to life in the Genocide route is just unnecessary plus him being able to destroy the timeline despite being a single human (since the timeline assumes you’re pretty much killing all other humans in said timeline) he shouldn’t have been able to do this. For the sake of story I can definitely see some common sense being thrown out the window to accompany this plot, but as someone who’s already seen this kind of story-writing in bad galge at least a good 100 times it was something that bothered me.
3) I could not sympathize with Asriel at all. I see people bawling their eyes out about how this guy’s the saddest character out there and while I can definitely say that it was noble for him to not kill anyone while he was alive how he acts in the end of the “True Pacifist” route even after absorbing all the souls was so contradictory I lost all the sympathy I had for him. His desire to “starting over” was pathetic at best since it contradicts with point #1.
and quite frankly Asgore is the best character in this game. It might also not have helped that I was playing Haru to Yuki concurrently
4) Not really a story element, but the fact that the Genocide run has so much effort placed into it is just plain disgusting. The fact that a good half of the game is Genocide-scenario makes it so players are moreorless required to play through it even if they don’t really want to (for reasons like they don’t want to be a dick), but this means they technically “haven’t played the game completely” which is just a trap on the game’s part.
It’s even more of an insult that the game blatantly insults players who actually play the genocide run as well as making fun of players like me who know of the route but don’t really go out of my way to play it. Kinda reminds me of Apeiria to be honest, with the game pretty much insulting you in every way it can which isn’t a good way to go about capturing the audience.
Those are the big ones; there are smaller ones out there such as homosexuality which was quite frankly not necessary for the story to present its lore but did anyways. Again it’s not like I hated the game but it’s the same with idiots screaming that games like Summer Pockets is the best game evar!!1!!
No it’s fucking not. You need to fucking chill for a second and really analyze the game for what it’s worth. It has some heartwarming characters, moral lessons, as well as a really good lore but that doesn’t necessarily all equate to “the best game”. Take that from me who spent the last 7 years playing a genre strictly focused on storytelling.
In conclusion though? Undertale’s good. I recommend you play it if you have the time. Just don’t be those cringey people afterwards that sexualize skeletons and think they’re cool for being able to talk about this game. The game did annoy me several times but that’s more due to personal bias and not really the fault of the game so those were more plus points instead.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Haru to Yuki [Finished]
Huh, an Akabeisoft 3 game that looks like a nukige? Pfft. How good can this game be?
== 2 hours later ==
Holy shit No NO NO NO NONONONO YOU WILL NOT WARM MY COLD DEAD HEART LIKE THIS AHHHHH
Written by the same writer for both Kurikaesu and Inochi no Spare (
as well as Gusha no Kyouben but we’re not going to talk about that), the entire game has a very gentle and calming atmosphere along with an amazingly soothing soundtrack. The fantasy aspect is very subtle and offers that small “spark” within what would have been a boring scenario, and the large number of characters and subcharacters really added to the immersion of this game while also immensely magnifying the affection for characters
Man this game was good. Even if I were to take away the story aspect just the music alone was splendid and tugged at my heartstrings.
First off characters: Generally very well designed there are a bunch of subcharacters and “mob characters” if you will, some who have sprites and some who don’t, but they all added to allow for immersion within the story. Just wished that even the more non-significant mob characters also had sprites because you just knew that the ones who did were going to be relevant to the heroine route, for example.
Heroines were colorful, but sometimes felt like their design was almost forced and not natural. Some of these included how all the heroines had no resistance to anything sexual or how some of them had certain speech patterns. I still appreciated how much of their design correlated to conflicts presented in their routes. There are H-scenes for two of the subheroines as well if that’s something you enjoy too. One thing I will say is that this game HEAVILY lacks normal CGs. There was so many scenes where a simple static image of the situation would have added so much to the experience but I suppose they didn’t really invest too much into them hoping to make more of a nukige (ironic to be honest because of that shitty Princess Sugar title above being the polar opposite)
Protagonist is also designed well, as someone who is reliable and capable. His amnesia was rather generic but it was almost necessary to create this specific scenario, plus the game does a VERY good job to making the readers question his identity several times in the game until the route splits. Big plus points. Much regarding his past is revealed in Sakina’s route then in San’s route (make sure to go through Sakina’s first!), though I just wished there was more to this; such as reminiscence scenes with his previous Inn Supervisor.
Story-wise, I would have definitely wanted a bit slower transition to romance, though it’s heavily implied that each heroine had romantic affection for the protagonist throughout the entire game, I think this was more due to the game not being a kinetic route so the writer couldn’t spend enough time developing character relationships like he was able to do in Inochi no Spare. H-scenes are rather disruptive for the same reason, as the cosplay H-scenes were frankly not necessary plus the scenes themselves mostly being superfluous and presented too rapidly.
On the other hand, definitely need to praise the game for being fluid with its introduction of the setting and maintaining it throughout the entire game. The usage of mob characters to explain the setting or the logistic within this world was done subtly but expertly, and if I had to rate the story of the common route, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a solid 9 or even a 10.
Heroine routes are actually foreshadowed very well much to my surprise, plus the transitions into them decent (there are multiple parts where the game “skips” days which is definitely not a good trait, however). Much of the routes involve the resolution of regrets that characters held from when they were alive, so the effort and extent that the crew goes to resolve these conflicts was definitely pleasing to read.
Another surprise I had was that heroine conflicts were actually more obvious considering it was well foreshadowed and predictable, yet I didn’t feel annoyed. When you read mystery novels or suspense a predictable conclusion is the worst thing you can have. It was the exact same in this game, but instead of what was going to happen, most of my excitement and “unpredictability” really came out of how the characters would respond to the relatively predictable scenario. This made characters alive and interesting to watch.
The game doesn’t receive top-scores such as a 9 or 10 in the story compartment because frankly this “regret” can be a bit superficial, meaning that while it’s touching and all, it’s unnatural for some of these characters to genuinely have these regrets as they claim they do, considering some of them have lived very different lives and may have had much greater regrets. These “regrets” were often very subjective as well but that’s more of a personal preference and not the game’s fault.
As mentioned previously goddamn the music is amazing. Its oriental tune is strangely uplifting and some of the sad ones really hit me hard in the feels
I definitely have a lot of bad experiences with Akabeisoft, but now we have 3rd game that’s amazing from Akabeisoft 3. I’m definitely going to follow this company for future games with the risk of running into bad games–at least there’s a possibility of a good game unlike other companies
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Protagonist Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
And that’s it for this round of short reviews! Hopefully I can keep pumping these out but as mentioned it will definitely take me a while to do so so please be patient! As always please keep reaching out to me with suggestions on what to play or if you just want to chat about a new release