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

Alright so it’s been over a year since I last updated on this site, and I just wanted to use this post to give an idea to my readers where I’ve been and what’s been going on.

So in regards to the website. As everyone knows, I started off writing reviews after fully completing games, regardless of whether they were good or bad. This usually would mean that I’m stuck with really bad ones that I force myself to read because I feel like I don’t have the authority to trash critique it (for lack of a better term) if I didn’t.

However, as I wrote for years and gained experience, I became a bit more aware of how Japanese scenario writers write their stories. I could tell from the get-go if a game was going to have a bad story, purely based on my months of experience reading said bad games. With the fact that games were getting less and less worth playing, I soon moved to dropping games and writing a short review for it instead, along with my reasoning of why I dropped it, which was usually due to the game having a very bad story.

The problem is that as the genre became more and more niche and the preference of the general population for the Visual Novel genre switched to unrealistic romantic relationships (and quite frankly, some anime series, usually LN adaptations, are infamous for going this route), I found myself dropping more and more games to the point my last few posts have literally just been compilation of short reviews, even if the game was worth writing a full post for. (Totally not blaming companies like Giga, Lump of Shitugar, SMEE, Hooksoft, etc)

And that problem still lingers–many games I see nowadays are glorified pixels selling characters, and there’s really no point in investing on these characters in VNs when they’re more of a one-time gag, meaning they’re just characters made for one game and that’s it. Not to mention this is all assuming the writers were able to design them properly, which only happens what. 1 character out of 50?

Simply put, VNs have become very shallow. Characters are bland since the writers don’t (and usually can’t) put a lot of effort into designing them and then putting them within a 30-40 hour long scenario where they interact with others, more titles have been about quantity over quality since that usually results in more goods productions (which is generally more profitable than the games themselves)

This is quite frankly a common phenomenon, since if you ever follow Youtube creators they’ll sometimes have a slump or a period of time where they either post videos they’re not proud of because they have to, or disappear for months at a time like I did. It’s not as bad in my case since I’m just a reviewer that doesn’t need to create content so I can only imagine how bad it is for primary content creators.

It doesn’t help that the Voice Actress pool has been decreasing with some of the more experienced ones retiring, Hanazawa Sakura is still voicing many titles (including doujin and nukige titles) and newer ones appearing that I can’t recognize that just seems awkward (probably since they just don’t have the experience). I’m pretty heavy for CVs to the point I’d play a game just to hear that one particular CV, so this is definitely a problem for me.

All that being said, I still love the VNs that actually have good stories or morale to death–they literally helped me get through work or school and some even helped me shape my mindset. Maybe it’s stockholm syndrome at this point but I still read titles–it’s just that I tend to be more cautious about picking which titles to play since I can’t be a pessimistic bitch all the time, and this has really decreased the number of titles I’ve been playing.

As “proof” if you will, I currently have 22 “short reviews” that I’ve read within the past freaking year. That is absolutely pathetic since at my peak I averaged at least 1 title a week meaning that number should’ve been in the 50s. There are just not that many games worth playing anymore.

I’ve been thinking about what to do with this review site, and I think it’s best to simply just leave it as it is–I’ll post every once in a while with 5-6 short reviews (which should be every 3-4 months at this point), and it can simply be a reference point or even just a “read-while-taking-a-dump-or-brushing-your-teeth-in-the-morning” kind of deal.

At least for this particular post, I’ll go ahead and post the first 12 I have saved.

What I want to say is…

Sorry to make you guys wait.


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Sugar Style [Finished]

Smee games are obviously on the top of my list, even though we did have really bad games like Pure Connect. It’s definitely questionable that the  company’s been using the same writer for years now (who’s also been writing other titles too, like Hooksoft’s Amenity’s Life) and in my opinion his writing style admittedly is a lot more stale because of this.

Sugar Style unfortunately follows the same suit, and I feel like it’s safe to compare it with Kanojo Step in terms of various aspects such as the background design or even character design, which frankly made it less worthwhile to me, especially considering I was really on the fence with Kanojo Step in the first place and really it was the “hidden heroine” in that title that made it worthwhile for me.

Heroines are actually pretty cliche. I guess it’s at least a relief that there were some new CVs that made things a bit more refreshing, but it’s safe to say heroine designs were really nothing extraordinary or even a good match with the protagonist like it was in Fureraba. How characters were generic made it so their additional traits came out as bland and boring never helps the story and is more like that to avoid contradictions across routes or make this strange route system work in this game

Heck, this “living in an all girls dorm and immediately being treated as a pervert through unfortunate accidents” is definitely scenario we’ve seen multiple times throughout cheap charage, and Sugar Style starting off with this god-awful trope didn’t give me good vibes from the start. I guess a good trait is that this writer still has that proficiency in making intricate or well-timed puns but when humor is the only good trait about a game then you know you’ve stooped pretty low.

Protagonist is the usual super comical but supposedly kind-hearted, sincere character (as it is in various other games by this same writer) but quite frankly besides some very specific scenarios in Fureraba this “characteristic” isn’t even shown in any of these games which makes this rather a turn-off for me at this point. This has the same characteristic to how ensemble might include ojousama heroines or trap protagonists so just SAYING a protagonist is kind and thoughtful isn’t enough–he really needs to show it and let the reader come to that conclusion instead.

Honestly Smee needs to do something different. Their interactions are okay but not sufficient enough to justify the romance that they always seem to bring out of the blue to progress the heroine route because every single fucking time you just see the protagonist and heroine interacting for maybe a month at the most and they’re now thinking about marriage which is NOT how relationships work in real life. So much effort is put into making a “realistic dating sim” when the actual “dating sim” is just flawed in so many aspects it’s almost painful to read.

Protagonist naming is also something I wish Smee would stop doing, considering it makes 0 difference in the scenario and most of the players with a shred of decency would prefer to just keep it the default name. The fact that many lines have to have vague pronouns to reference the protagonist (and this is really obvious too) makes the game just feel awkward at times and this feature honestly doesn’t add anything to the overall experience. Heck the Lovely Call system used by hibiki works probably is a better idea and even then that’s not perfect.

Overall honestly disappointed with this game. I didn’t have too great of expectations considering my experience with Smee has been degrading slowly but this game really felt more of a step down from that. It’s pretty discouraging though to see both Japanese and Western players actually liking this kind of style however (the cheap romance into lack of depth in characters), so sooner or later I might find myself not following Smee… which is one more company abandoned when at one point they created one of my all-time favorite titles.

Character Design Rating: 3/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 2/10
Overall Rating: 3/10

Aiyoku Shimai Loliita [Finished]

It’s actually quite disappointing to see porori games being a lot less worthwhile compared to older titles. Originally games I played for that “iyashi” (healing) atmosphere, yorunohitsuji games have really degraded greatly to being just a flat out nukige instead of the healing part which was done through cute interactions between characters. My complaint regarding having of two heroines equaling much less interaction with each of them is still present, though unlike the previous title which displayed two heroines (Harem Futago Loliita), there’s a great implication that the protagonist is not just an optional 3rd wheel in the Aiyoku Shimai title–he is actually necessary in the sibling’s life which was a plus.

Similar to the other titles, it’s heavily implied that the protagonist’s cooking captivates the siblings (because of how he added “love” into it), but frankly I wanted to see this philosophical quote elaborated a bit more since it only lasted a couple of lines and bam that’s the romance part of this game done. It would’ve even helped if the siblings took a little longer to open up to the protagonist but I guess porori wanted to move straight into the H-scenes instead which is more disappointing.

Overall would definitely consider Aiyoku Shimai Loliita to be more on the weaker end of the spectrum for a lot of reasons, but hey it does check the box for people who have the niche fetishes so I guess there’s that going for them?

Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 3/10

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Jikan Teishi to Atropos [Dropped]

Writers and producers of eroge often use romance as the reasoning for their transition into H-scenes and sometimes even to progress the story. While I’m not vehemently against this kind of planning/design (though it’s really stupid), what DOES really piss me off is when said “romance” is pretty much non-existent so literally all the H-scenes and the scenario after the pathetic excuse to justify that romance is not worth reading. Think about it; if that “romance” which supposedly the story revolves around is non-existent then what reasoning is there that the game after that exists in the first place?

It’s why school-life harem never works. It’s why having a wimpy or douchey protagonist never does well for the story. Heck even the romance being the initiator for any further plot is already something companies overuse and something actual players such as myself don’t appreciate.

This is the reason why while I thought this game was nice in the aspect it introduced additional conflicts within each heroine scenario, it was exactly as I described above–it was based on that shitty romance that the game never took enough time to truly develop between the characters and gave that atmosphere of this game (both the story and the characters) being really shallow and unimportant. Of course this didn’t help the game one bit.

For example. Yuri comes to like Yuma after he helps her with her family problems, but this is with the notion that she didn’t see him as the opposite sex previously and now because of one conflict resolved she’s head over heels in love with him and such pattern is not present in other heroine routes where he actually DOES solve her problems in the same manner. Sakura’s affection for her brother starts right from the start with the explanation that he took care of her when she was younger. Literally ONE event for each of these heroines that’s not even that significant and that’s the reasoning for the romance that causes all the conflicts in heroine routes… Definitely something I don’t appreciate.

Each of the routes seems to have Hakua hinting at the true route (if it exists) and perhaps why she gives Yuuma the Atoropos Watch, but I don’t think I want to stick around to seeing that–if at all it’ll probably go towards that pattern of romance changing his fate or something again and that’s just bleh.

In order to improve this title, the game should’ve focused more heavily on character interactions. The protagonist and the heroine working together to solve the problem at hand with the other heroines/subcharacters popping in occasionally to say “hi” or provide some insight of their own.

This means someone should spoil this game for me. I’d actually appreciate it because I’m dropping it

Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 4/10

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Spiral [Dropped]

Navel’s really slacking with their games, with Kimimeza being a bit inferior at least compared with their Tsukiyori titles (though to be fair not all of the titles in the Tsukiyori series was good) and having small bits of copyright infringement along with relatively incoherent storyline with lack of literary elements, I really did have to criticize their last title for being poorly planned or at least poorly executed.

Spiral actually follows a similar suit, but in a more disappointing way in the sense the game tries to forcefully incorporate controversial topics of transgenderism and racial differences into a typical galge. By this I mean that the game actually focuses a great deal on two of the main characters (protagonist and Lenny) being boys but Chrome looking like a girl and Lenny flat out choosing to identify as one. This is in addition to how apparently at this school there’s a much more lax definition of gender and much of the beginning is having subcharacters be confused regarding others’ genders.

The racial difference is also a major factor in the beginning of the game, as this game is presumably taking place before events in a previous Navel game, Shuffle, with the introduction of the god-race and the demon-race and the struggle between the three races that now exist at once. While something like this is definitely something I like to see in games (see Tayutama), this “racial difference” rarely causes any form of conflict in the beginning scenes so the reader is given the impression that it simply does not exist. There is unfortunately a SUPER simple fix to this problem as all the game needs to do is add in a couple scenes here and there in the beginning where the protagonist actually witnesses these racial discrimination and/or react to them.

Then you get into heroines who have beef with certain races all of a sudden so that just feels like it came out of the blue and now you’re telling me that this is a main heroine and she’s going to have some trouble with the protagonist. Brilliant.

Definitely appreciate this dramatic irony (it’s an actual literary term) but the execution of this is really poor. As an example of this, for pretty much all the heroines they are associated with a single viewpoint on other races (e.g. Ibarako hates humans, Sango has a trauma towards the God-race), but this is kept vague until much later on, more specifically their heroine routes. This literally means that until you get into their routes you have no freaking idea why heroines are, quite literally, racist. And of course that honestly doesn’t leave a good taste in the mouth even as I’m playing the common route–Heroines being designed like this isn’t a problem. The problem is that the readers are unable to relate to their mindset because the game elaborates absolutely nothing about it. At least HINT why Sango is afraid of the god-race for fuck’s sake.

I guess the finishing factor is that the game makes absolutely no reference to the previous title (which is alleged to be the sequel) except for a couple of lines here and there. Not bringing sprites or CVs of the previous title just shows laziness especially if the main story revolves around this (i.e. Chrome is being sent to the Human World to protect Lisianthus, but you don’t see her at all throughout the entire game)

Might come back to this game later down the road to finish it just because it’s a Navel game but I’m already getting bad vibes from it. If at all it should’ve kept things more realistic like Oretsuba if they wanted to delve deeper into topics such as transgender or racism, or at least introduce a much darker setting than a blasted school-life setting since we are talking about some highly controversial topics not fit for high-school kids.

Character Design Rating: 3/10
Story Rating: 6/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Overall Rating: 4/10

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Raspberry Cube [Finished]

Coming as a suggestion from someone else, this is definitely a prime example of a “good charage”. I actually had lower hopes with this one after the Navel game crapped out on me but it’s definitely nice to have a legitimately decent game once in a while.

Lots of focus on character traits which actually includes the protagonist as well to my pleasant surprise, each character has their background pretty well defined as well as a colorful personality which made this game worth reading especially in the common route. It was more towards into the heroine route where things started to get dull (which is the usual), but the game definitely did its best to make it not as bad with additional conflicts involving other characters.

Story isn’t mind-blowing as expected from a charage. If at all the fact that nothing dramatic actually happens which can definitely be a turn-off for a lot of story-fags like myself but I went into this game expecting a character-focused game and I got exactly that.

If at all, I want to place the largest praise for this game on the protagonist, who is designed to be this rough delinquent who remedied his pasts and has a new mindset (One Good Deed a Day) which remains consistent throughout the game and earns him the affection of the heroines. Definitely a better aspect and I kinda hope this trait of Satoru could’ve been “overused” to an extent it would incite jealousy from the heroine if he does it to someone else (There is some but not to a large extent).

Definitely a solid game overall. Madosoft is generally good with their charage as I’ve seen from games like Yakimochi Stream but lack the depth. I think it’s fine as it is…? Though that’s up for further debate.

Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7/10

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Hentai Elf Shimai to Majime Orc [Finished]

Flat out nukige. I actually learned from a Discord friend that this was an actual comic (while it’s unsure if said comic was R18 or not) that was made into a nukige.

Definitely a twist where the Orc is the sane one in the story and logical and acts with integrity, I kinda wish he was voiced instead of the partial “shouts” that he would do instead which was ehhh.

The gimmick that he dies if he has sex with an elf was also not something fun since this feature was repeated too often, even if this trait wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. Heck that pretty much explains this game in a nutshell–something that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

H-scenes are relatively… niche I should say. Not something that I really like though it’s nice that Oonami Konami was voicing a character here. Other CVs are relatively weaker and seem to be new (or COMPLETELY new in the case of one of them) to this industry so I can definitely say it lost that value as a nukige too.

I guess if you’re curious to how the writer put that twist of the Orc vs Elf stereotype I guess you might have some fun with this game. There are heartwarming moments too which is nice but again. When you get the impression that you shouldn’t take this game seriously that really acts as a double-edge sword to make the other, actually good moments shallow as well.

Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 3/10

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Nemureru sonono shoujotachi [Finished]

Another nukige with a company who I’m pretty sure is a subsidiary from Tanukisoft. Considering it’s the same artist and the same style of game engine I guess it’s one of those scenarios where the same people decided to arbitrarily come up with another name just for the lawls

There’s really nothing good about this game both story or character-wise. It’s a nukige and that’s what it was designed as so the entire scenario revolves around random and sudden H-scenes with characters suited for such an environment.

I guess it really sucks that strangely (and also ironically) I found the subcharacters to be much more likeable and wished they had routes of their own, but this wasn’t the case. Heck they often have more meaningful interactions with the protagonist than the heroines too so it’s not like my opinion is just personal preference

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

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Koihime Kakumei Ryuuki no Taimou [Finished]

Well finished this game entirely because I’ve been following this series for too long anyways and I kinda wanted to see how they’ll change up the Shoku story

Turns out it’s… okay. It’s more similar to the Go-scenario in the sense most of the main scenario have changed and thank god it did, while the heroine scenario is kept intact for the most part (compared to the older game from the 2000s) and simply received additional scenarios respective to new characters.

Strangely enough, I didn’t really enjoy this title as much as I thought, and I think it’s because the Shoku scenario is furthest away in terms of accuracy to the actual Three Kingdoms Story, even if we consider how the “accuracy” was already nonexistent in the very beginning due to BaseSon seemingly not wanting to make any character an antagonist/kill people off.

My annoyance with this feature is still intact, along with the fact that Ryuubi is definitely a character who can be considered all-talk-no-bite (which happens to be one of my pet peeves in heroine designs see Tayutama 2), plus Kazuto himself having very little involvement in the entire scenario except being a pathetic excuse for H-scenes.

Not surprisingly the Gaisha scenario was more interesting for me, with one of them involving the aftermath of the “Gaisha” in the Gi title (in quotations because spoiler reasons) leading back to the main storyline in that game plus the other one being a more pacifist route (???) involving the implementation of a new emperor to restore balance. That being said, even these routes contained contradictions and unexplained elements along with a very unrealistic and convenient ending.

In the end, the Koihime series is now worth nothing except as a charage. There’s 0 relevance to the actual Three Kingdoms except for the character derivatives, it doesn’t even feature a strong protagonist to make story interesting, nor is the idea even original anymore. This story about war and fighting is degraded to nothing more than cute girls doing cute sexy things, which is pretty fucking sad because even then it’s hard to categorize the game as a charage due to lack of character interactions thus you don’t really come to learn about each heroine sufficiently as you would in a typical charage.

And the game knows this too–the unimportant characters barely make appearances and only have 1 H-scenes each while characters from previous titles have the scenario from the 2008 title copy-pasted

Despite the fact that I enjoyed this title from its original Koihime (before even the Shin Koihime), I really wish BaseSon would stop adding to this series and work on something else. If they make a Moeshoden-like fandisc that includes all the characters oh god that would be hell but nonetheless amusing

I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone unless you’re a big fan of Koihime series, and even then this title would be pretty disappointing.

Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 1/10
Overall Rating: 3/10

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Fall in Love 4Tune [Dropped]

Yeahhh it was Tono Soyogi that brought me in. Generally I don’t really like Escude’s games because they put too much effort into fantasy and sex (similar to Alicesoft) that they neglect heavily on the story and that’s really what happened here. Except this time we’re also making characters shallow by giving them almost no interaction with the protagonist who’s obviously a cardboard cut-out conveniently placed in the center of all this mess because eroge logic.

H-scenes are actually quite alright, but I do wish there was more build-up because this game had none and used this “Cupid’s Arrow” as an excuse. H-scenes happen back to back with the occasional “intermission” if you will where you select your heroine route so that was definitely a design that’s relatively more unique (since these “intermissions” have no H-scenes). I guess if you want a very vanilla nukige this game’s pretty much perfect for you

Not my type of game though so I’m out right after clearing Karen’s story

Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 1/10
Protagonist Rating: 1/10
Overall Rating: 2/10

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Kakeochi [Dropped]

Yep. It’s literally the exact same thing as that Koisome Dousei title. Same setting, different background so they’re not sued for copyright. Same shitty progression with 0 form of introduction and 0 visible effort to actually sell the characters or develop a meaningful story.

At least show the two characters trying to resist the arranged marriage and running away as a last resort. At least include some monologue regarding the dilemma. Heck at least include their past relationships for god’s sake.

The fact that it’s also Hanazawa Sakura voicing the heroine again just like the previous Koisome title (which has no relation to each other, mind you) is just hilarious. She’s definitely not a bad CV let’s be real now, but she’s been voicing some really bad characters and selling herself short in more than one way.

Top all that with the writer having written Princess Sugar titles (Already a red flag) and pretty inexperienced too… I now realize that “Lass Pixie” has no affiliation with the company “Lass” who created some games with an interesting concept (such as Mayoeru) soooo yeah

Shit game. Woo. NEXT

Character Design Rating: 1/10
Story Rating: 0/10
Protagonist Rating: 0/10
Overall Rating: 0/10

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Haruiro Nine [Finished]

Well now this game was interesting.

As the 3rd title within the series, my complaint how this series is released only once a year is still there. The games are pretty short so it’s definitely not taking one full year to create these titles, so there’s definitely the question to why Palette decided to design a game like this

Though on the other hand, this game was surprisingly superior to the other titles in my opinion. Character-wise I saw a lot of dynamics in Haruka as a heroine this time around which I definitely can see as a plus point, along with great humor involving her character (though I do wish this kind of design was shown in other titles too)

Story takes a very interesting turn with this 3rd title resolving the conflict with the Evil Eye user while also bringing in another and True antagonist, with the ending scene revealing to the readers the ultimate truth about the identity of Iris, Sophie, and even the Player himself. This really leaves a strong cliffhanger for the 4th title (I’m doubtful that it’ll be the final title–there’s just too much to cram in one game to deliver a proper finale). Very good design.

Kakeru himself is definitely a decent protagonist as well, though he does seem a bit artificial. That last scene where Sophie comes out and reveals everything to the reader kinda made it so Kakeru as a character lost a bit of value because now the game’s trying to forcefully “bring the player into all this” and say he’s the almighty god of everything when he was just an observer until now (not to mention that this kind of design overall is a bad choice due to lack of explicit foreshadowing–upon a second playthrough there some vague words thrown here and there to remotely suggest it).

At least based on how the game ended this time, I suspect that the 4th title will definitely involve Iris and Yoichi to a great extent, along with the team finally convincing Yoichi and Satsuki to join them against the battle against Iris.

To be honest, I’m more interested in the Finale. The game makes heavy implications of parallel worlds and how the player is able to make changes to Kakeru in order to bring about a good end (oh man this stuff is fucking meta), so I really want to see how the game would bring about the conclusion through all this since the game heavily implies that in the end all the worlds will be merged into one. I’m genuinely surprised that I’m looking forward to this game because the previous two titles from series never managed to do that for me (minus the Izumi Tsubasu art).

Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 9/10
Protagonist Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

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pieces – wataridori no somunium [Finished]

Whirlpool is really plunging in quality with their games. I don’t know if it’s due to them trying to focus on their Nekonin titles being released into the West but this game is just flat out disappointing.

While not as bad as 77-Sevens, the fact that it’s used as a comparison for this title makes very obvious implications including how it’s near the bottom.

Starting off with relatively weaker character introductions, this really surprised me because the writer was Omiya Yuu, a writer I previously praised for doing character design properly. The entire game consisted of random and sometimes generic character traits throughout the beginning and common routes that made the game boring to play. None of these character traits hinted or related to the actual conflict for the heroine so that was another bad trait, especially because it made most of the beginning feel like “fillers”. Most games tend to have a stronger introduction but this game failed to even deliver that.

Story compartment lacks heavily due to the complete dependence on the fantasy theme as well as the theory of dreams which the writers used very conveniently to resolve the conflict at hand. Within all the routes (including the True Route) the conflict is not foreshadowed and simply appear out of the blue and resolved in a similar manner. Rest assured that each conflict is able to be summarized in two sentences which makes everything seem shallow, unimportant, and more of a chore to read.

Tsubame as a protagonist was fine, but he’s literally just a cardboard cutout which I didn’t like about him at all. The only saving grace was that he had his painful past losing his parents which was detailed a bit more clearer, but otherwise the protagonist score would have been a lot lower due to the highly generic protagonist design of being perverted yet caring for the heroines, knowing what to do in climax situations yet being a fucking idiot when it comes to obvious details, or how he’s pretty much the center of this “group of friends” that end up forming in literally a couple days yet still get “bullied” regarding his perversion. Lots of tropes here that’s not favorable.

The story relating to “Dreams” was disappointing because its setting and design seem like it was copy-pasted from other games such Aoitori. The introduction starting out with this “lore of a Sleeping Angel” was only a convenient excuse to be ignored until the climax of the true route, and if at all the introduction should’ve delved more into what each character/protagonist thinks of the concept/philosophy of dreams.

I guess how each of the heroine routes hinted heavily at the True Route and the finale is “okay”. Though I should mention it’s literally an Angel Beats finale copy-paste (oops spoilers) which is definitely not fun to read. At least it was pretty heavy with the morals which was acceptable and heartwarming but when you have a game where it’s only worthwhile for just the last 15 minutes, that’s pretty sad.

Honestly in retrospect this game is quite literally one of those games where having good foreshadowing would’ve made it a “good game”. Add some strange intermissions here and there to hint at the game’s “truths” which is frankly piss easy to do and contributes so much to the overall story.

pieces is that game which could’ve turned out well but the writers failed to sell its characters and used convenient story elements to conclude each routes. The game seems to shift rapidly from a charage-like atmosphere to a gloomy story-focused one during the conflicts without much transition which suggests incompetence especially since these conflicts are artificial and don’t even involve the protagonist most of the time. Finale is good but it’s still a copy-paste regardless of how you put it.

Because of how this game’s designed, unless the heroine traits were completely rewritten it would be difficult to make this game amazing. The foreshadows I mentioned will only do so much to improve this game, and how heroine traits weren’t connected to their respective route conflicts is a serious issue that Whirlpool needs to watch out for in their next title.

…And somehow there’s a fucking fandisc coming out for this game. Why.

Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 3/10


I honestly don’t think I’ll be frequenting this genre, and I’ll definitely let you guys know whenever I plan to leave it permanently. It’s not that time yet I suppose, so we’ll be seeing each other for a bit more.

Comments on: "Real-Talk, and a Couple of Short Reviews" (14)

  1. […] was literally just expecting another cheap loli nukige like the previous Kaerusoft game, but this one happens to be written by Daisangen and some other writers that have written some good […]

  2. […] lead to poor romance transitioning which was basically my biggest beef with titles like Atropos and is the same here as well. In fact that’s the exact factor that causes CUFF subsidiary […]

  3. […] so unlike that dumb ass prequel that literally had no connection to the original title despite being cl…, this sequel does a bit of background explaining which was nice, and implies that the setting is […]

  4. […] salty that my prediction for the above was incorrect, this title goes completely batshit and does exactly the thing which was the worst thing it could have done and I also feared it would do–try to cram every element, every detail, and every answers into one single […]

  5. I admire you, because I once loved this genre, but now I don’t play Eroges anymore and hardly ever play VNs in general. I knew you were not enjoying what this genre has become, and yet, you give them a chance and play though so many titles, while suffering through most of them. I just couldn’t do the same. Not anymore!

    Just by looking at the main art of the titles above, I feel I can already say what the game is all about, and I already know I wouldn’t care about them. While, in some cases, I could swear I’ve seen certain games before, but the truth is that those games just look too generic and too similar to some older titles.

    I couldn’t possibly say this genre is dead. Far from it! But I do believe that the typical PC Galge (or “Eroge, if you will) is just not the same thing anymore. Most people would say: “But they were always trash from the beginning”. That just comes to show how low is the bar now. And like you said: things aren’t all that different with light novels and manga or anime shows based on them, which is very disappointing.

    Welp! Hope you can still find joy in whatever you decide to do with your precious free time! Cheers!

    • As time passes it’s inevitable that change happens and it just happened to be in a negative direction this time. Lots of older players including myself hope there will be a reversal, meaning a company or a studio will appear suddenly with an amazing writer, but because of how the audience preferences are as it is now (shallow, emphasis on quick sex/poor romance) it’s definitely looking grim for this genre for the future.

      If at all I see poorer games being translated and the English community thinking such games are the norm, so it’s basically a double whammy at this point where producers aren’t making good games and the community doesn’t want good games.

      Well! That’s depressing.

  6. Re;Domo-kun said:

    Hey JoyJason, welcome back! I’m glad to see that you’re still around. Your reviews and this blog have been very helpful in introducing the wide world of visual novels to me, and you have shown me so much interesting works that are available out there. Just like what other people have said earlier, I look forward to seeing what other thoughts you may have with the incoming series such as Palette’s 9-nine-.

    Speaking of which, I couldn’t help but get surprised upon hearing recognizable voice actors and actresses from anime series I have watched ever since I was a kid in that series when I first began with Miyako’s route, but I felt that they did their best in playing out their roles. I may not personally like Palette’s way of separating each of the routes into separate games, but I think that they pace each of the routes so that the readers’ anticipation will build the deeper they dive into the stories. I definitely enjoyed Haruka’s route, seeing how she didn’t show some of her unique personalities she displays now compared to the previous two routes, and seeing her become more self-confident was really heart-warming. I can’t wait for Yukiiro Yukihana Yukinoato and more of Izumi Tsubasu-sensei’s godly art~

    As life and work starting to weigh down upon me and as someone who has a difficult time reading kanji and keeping track of the JP entertainment news, I also had a break from reading visual novels in the past year. But I am glad to see that you updated your blog, and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and reviews on VNs out there.

    • Thanks for the warm welcome! It’s good to be back.

      Miyako’s CV is Sawata Natsu, who voiced Golden Darkness (under a different name) from To-Love-Ru which might be the title people remember most (at least it’s the case for me). She’s actually an older CV but her voice is adorable so here’s hoping she continues even after the Nines series ends (which is unlikely since the last title she voiced was in 2018. RIP)

      It’s very empowering to hear that I’ve introduced many people including yourself to this genre, so thanks for that :)

      I definitely encourage you to take your time reading VNs since it’s supposed to be like a book and frankly it’s more enjoyable that way too. Leave the reviewing and funny haha moments to people like me!

  7. He’s back! And with a bunch of reviews too! Glad to see you’re still aboard on the hobby, even as it continues its slow but steady decline. It is pretty sad to witness it firsthand, with the severe decrease of (non-nukige) releases each month, and with previously much-loved brands (SMEE, Asa Project, etc…) losing their touch in a last ditch effort to make something original. Honestly, the only game I’m looking forward to in the next few months is Amakano 2, and if Azarashi Soft fails too then I don’t know what I’ll do.

    Anyway, quick comments on your reviews because I played a few of them:

    Sugar Style: I didn’t like it, pretty much for the reasons you stated and more. Generic heroines, unlikable protagonist (in a SMEE game, heresy!), messy game design with half-baked incorporation of heroines routes in the middle of the common route, etc. I on the other hand don’t think SMEE needs to do something radically different. They need to on the other hand go back to Fureraba, take a good long look at it, and (finally!) realize what made it so special. It’s a tricky recipe and SMEE has been making wrong moves here and there with all their following attempts to recreate it, but I don’t think it’s impossible to reproduce. There were signs of improvement with Making*Lovers going in the right direction but it’s gone downhill even since. Hayase Yuu is back for their next game so there’s hope for the protagonist, but it’s also a isekai harem comedy experiment so romance is basically out the window.

    Jikan Teishi to Atropos: I haven’t played it myself, but if you want detailed spoilers take a look here : http://www.anime-sharing.com/forum/eroge-corner-102/visual-novel-cafe-394/index367.html#post3376600

    Raspberry Cube: People apparently didn’t like it, as shown by Madosoft making a carbon copy of their previous success Wagamama High Spec for their upcoming game. I did enjoy it, although I’m surprised you praised the common route since it lasted barely an hour if memory serves right. It’s actually something I liked, down with the endless repeating of the scene group school events, and more time devoted to one-on-one heroine interactions and romance progression. The endings were more a of a letdown for me, with themes (gangs, money) that don’t really fit a charage.

    Fall in Love 4Tune : I thought I missed a Tooni Soyogi title but this is from 2015. We need more of her, at least she has one game coming up, it’s ensemble but it’s not trap so maybe it’ll be decent enough to warrant a playthrough just to hear her again.

    Kakeochi : You didn’t finish it? It lasts less than an hour so you really must have hated it. Well, it does suck and Hanasawa Sakura is the only redeeming value, so you didn’t lose out on much.

    pieces : Interestingly enough I had the reverse reaction to yours. I enjoyed the early parts and the sub-heroines routes more than the actual climax and ending, that I found tropy and needlessly padded. I am not a fan of the “it was all a dream” trope, with accompanying relationship reset and all that.

    • Good to be back!

      SMEE: It’s very interesting to listen to your opinions because they’re definitely valid–if SMEE can go back to doing what they did for Fureraba that would be ideal, but as you’ve also mentioned their next title is less than desirable so that’s probably why I’m a bit more pessimistic. Though I’ll have to retract the statement that they need to do something radically different

      Atropos: I appreciate that link. Having read through that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on much, minus allegedly good H-scenes which is abundunt in this genre anyways

      Raspberry Cube: Not trying to be a douchebag (but actually trying to be, cause it’s funny), but if I had to take a guess why people didn’t like it, I’d have to go with my hypothesis most players nowadays want that instant gratification of being loved by a heroine or for the story to progress quickly. I actually don’t remember the common route being that short (or maybe it’s because I like to consider heroine scenario where you “choose” said heroine also a part of the common route), so that might also explain the above hypothesis. Ruri’s supposed “bullying” for Satoru might have also annoyed them since the general population is generally less open-minded to stuff like that (like for me, I knew from the get-go there’s a reasoning for it)

      Haven’t tried Wagamama High Spec though I hear it’s more favorable, so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Madosoft from now.

      This is your Public Service Announcement that Sogoyi is a goddess. Thank you. But yeah I’ll try that ensemble title just for Soyogi

      pieces: Preferences vary, which is why our opinions may divide. I can definitely attest that I enjoyed Tsubame’s efforts to try to get Yua to step outside (and also bring in his friends to help him do that), but that was pretty much the limit for me. I’m curious to hear what else you enjoyed about the earlier portions of the game.

      I have 10 more reviews stocked which I wanted to post soon, but that would leave me with nothing and require me to play more games for the next review so I thought I might space them out a little

    • SMEE: It seems SMEE has embraced their new identity as a creator mainly focused on shimoneta humor with a slight touch of moege, rather than the other way around. Obviously I would have preferred it in reverse, but I can’t really fault them for heading in the direction they believe in (or has the widest possible market), I’m just not willing to follow them along anymore if that’s what they settle with. We’ll see how HaremKindgom fares and what the studio will do next, but I’m already prepared to let them go.

      General eroge situation: It’s a theory of mine that the new generation of young adults, bred on gacha-based mobile games from their teenage years, isn’t willing to put in any effort anymore to actually read stories or get invested in characters enough to look past obvious stereotypes and first impressions. Case in point with the reaction to Ruri’s antics. When one is used to judge characters from a 5-10 minutes introduction (usually leading straight to the sex for the 18+ variants), it feels like a standard reaction. I’d go as far as argue that the mobile game industry is one of the main factors of the decline of the old eroge format as a whole, seeing as it’s draining so many creator talents with promises of quick riches, and so much money (and time!) from people who used to buy and play more varied a title collection. To be fair, when you can sell a random chance to get a character drawn/written by someone you like (average two CGs and 30 minutes worth of text/voice) for the same price as a complete 30 hours fully-voiced game with four heroines, I can’t really fault them for choosing the obvious easy option. Still disappointed though.

      Tooni/Tono Soyogi/Sogoyi : We both deserve divine punishment from Our Goddess for misspelling Her name, shame on us! I’m sorry! Please come back and do more voice work! I’ve even played that rapey Guilty nukige just for her, that’s how far I’m willing to compromise.

      pieces: Looking back at what I wrote on it at the time, it seems I didn’t really like the common route for how slow it felt and how the “mystery solving” part ignored obvious hints in order to dilute things even further. I appreciated that the dream-peeking powers of the protagonist weren’t used for their obvious eroge purpose, and I liked Alice’s route that I played first, but I have a soft spot for this kind of character/drama. I somewhat enjoyed Tsubame’s, but then it was pretty much downhill from there. Generally speaking, from a moege perspective I thought that the specters of drama loomed too heavily during the romance portions to really enjoy the icha-icha, with characters ignoring obvious problems. This kinda contrasts with your point that the game lacks foreshadowing, but honestly it’s been a while so I don’t remember it that well. I did like the true route’s efforts to give even sub-characters a chance to shine and even their own CG though. Too bad it was all a dream!

      Reviews: As a personal preference I prefer when the posts are more spread out, in both time and posts. It makes for an easier read, and also (mostly) it allows me to write my comments without them taking more than a page’s worth of height (as if that’s even possible, ahaha good joke).

    • I appreciate your input, especially with that last bit. I’ll really consider toning down and only doing a few short reviews instead per post, since that seems to be more user-friendly on WP’s services.

      Mobile games and eroge: Definitely true about pretty much everything you’ve said–East Asians are crazy for RNG because it somehow gives self-satisfaction when it rolls in our favor (this is the reasoning and even as one of them I think it’s utter bullshit), which makes game companies sway more towards those designs and less story-focused which older players appreciate. At this point really no one can blame any of us for simply not playing VNs as much.

      Soyogi: I actually follow her personal blog (which she updates every once in a while) too so I guess I win >:)
      No but jokes aside, I totally agree she needs to voice more

      pieces: Looks like our opinion divides again. I suppose I’m the type to look at the entire game as a whole (perhaps due to being pressured to finish them quickly) while you stop and smell the flowers and appreciate the smaller details which is probably a better trait and might explain why it was “popular” enough to warrant a fandisc

  8. I’ve been missing your reviews and I’m glad that you’re posting again(or updating this blog at all at this point). I will be looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the Nine series as a whole once the last title is finally released.

    • Glad to be back! Yeah definitely looking forward to the last Nines title, which should release in April (I think) so that’s pretty soon. You’ll definitely hear from me then, and maybe I’ll do the rare full review for it! :)

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