Well 2020 took an unexpected turn. With the pandemic everyone’s losing jobs (mine included) and people are going insane about social distancing it’s a perfect environment for introverts like me to stay indoors and play games all day…
But there’s nothing good to play
I’ve been getting into more MMOs recently so I’m using that as my excuse for not getting more titles reviewed :^)
Oh and there’s not many titles worth reading. That too.
Stella Cafe to Shinigami no Chou [Dropped]
Alright, this might actually be the first Yuzusoft game that I’m going to drop, and hear me out–I have good reasons.
First, the fantasy elements. Yuzusoft ALWAYS seems to add something fantasy even when it’s not really necessary, and for the most part it’s not too disruptive or disorienting to the point where the story needs to drastically change, plus the fact there’s other companies (like Whirlpool) who do the same anyways.
It’s that in this title this fantasy is incoherent AND unnecessary. There’s absolutely no reason to have these fantasy elements since it makes 0 appearances outside of the introduction all the way up to the heroine routes. Protagonist “dying” and having this convenient time-warp feature that selects him to become the center for this story is convenient at best and while this gimmick is occasionally hinted throughout the game, it never becomes a big thing. For example, a previous game Sanoba Witch revolves around the main story where protagonist accidentally “steals” the soul shards and needs to find a way to return it–the entire game focuses on this trait and at least hints said design in all heroine routes. On the contrary, Shinigami no Chou’s main scenario of the protagonist dying and getting revived is only shown briefly in the beginning only to be re-utilized at respective heroine routes while the entire common route is all about trying to run this weird cafe with the excuse that it helps their ultimate goal.
Second, character designs are extremely generic and frankly undesirable considering both the protagonist and one of the heroines are supposed to be college students but they both look and act like middle school kids
haven’t we seen this somewhere?, in the sense they get flustered with anything mildly sexual or being too immature in their thinking. One of them is literally added on for the lawls (Mei) since she has literally nothing to do with the main scenario of these magical butterflies which again, comes at a fault because Yuzusoft stubbornly insisted on this fantasy scenario.
Third, the central heroine might as well be a subcharacter because of how little showtime she gets in the first place. She doesn’t even interact with the protagonist that much plus her design is just all over the place and not attractive. It’s very contrary to other central heroine designs in past Yuzusoft games, and really more of a minus since less interaction = less reason for romantic development = weaker character route and story.
Fourth (we’re still going LOL) is the highly generic plotline and lack of proper humor. The game uses too much generic scenarios dangerously close to becoming fillers (such as how to run the cafe or coffee brewing strategies) while focusing most of its humor on the protagonist’s sexuality which is, I should point out for the 129th time, is the cheapest humor you can make and is enough reason to suspect writer’s incompetence and the company’s decline. This along with how these characters are allegedly (again) these mature college students or this mystical Death God were also childish and naive was highly contradictory and made it so they were really annoying instead of being these admirable characters that I can sympathize with or admire.
Unfortunately, that’s it–some of the things this game does well is the protagonist design and his awkward (in a good way) relationship with his father, but that’s pretty much it. The setting of a cafe is definitely not original (and it was more of a minus in the end) nor does the fantasy element work well with anything either. Characters are the opposite of likeable and their routes highly typical of their design (e.g. Childhood friend scenarios). Sure Yuzusoft may have had a pattern of including SOMETHING shitty in every one of their past games (usually one really badly designed route in the entire game), but it’s a first that the entire game is inferior in all aspects.
I’m legitimately confused by this–I didn’t think Yuzusoft would become a “bad choice” of a company just yet, but this game is legitimately bad even when compared with games like Tenshin Ranman which was a game from over 10 years ago
Character Design Rating: 3/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 3/10
Kimagure Temptation [Finished]
Silky’s Plus has been making a lot of games, albeit via various names and subsidiaries. The main one I remember from them is Butterfly Seeker, and honestly I went into this game expecting a nukige/charage because… I mean look at the main heroine on the cover.
I was a bit more cautious about this game since while I did have some fun with Butterfly Seeker, I’ve also played some other Silky’s Plus games that were much less than desirable (Natsu no Koe and Apeiria for example).
I should probably first start with a disclaimer. Besides the experience with past titles, I went into this game completely blind (not even reading any kind of summary, because that’s just what I like to do), and while I can be quite the critic when it comes to stories involving fantasy, this game goes down a completely different path by tackling suspense similar to Butterfly Seeker, and combined with some very disturbing images/sounds to give that EDGE I want in games, I’m surprised to state that I really enjoyed this game
I’m suggesting that if this wasn’t the case (so basically for most people who play games after getting SOME kind of summary on them), one might have a lesser quality experience than what I got.
The general summary I can make without spoiling it is that I would recommend against playing this game if you’re here for some cutesy stuff because oh boi you gon have a bad time. This game is dark as fuck and ironically, the design of the heroine being this succubus and the relatively lighter atmosphere in the beginning tricks you into believing otherwise and amplifies the shock factor, kinda like how Mahou Shoujo Madoka was on Episode 3.
I generally like games like this. Suspense especially when the game challenges and even gives the reader some time to develop his own thoughts about what the truth might be within all of this, not to mention that high shock factors are something I generally like in the first place + a good catalyst to helping a game become memorable, the design of the heroine and the fantasy elements might be pretty off-putting otherwise, but the game does try to bring everything back full circle with every element it presents (plus the E-mote is done pretty damn well).
I guess the only con after finishing the game completely is that said “full circle” does seem a bit forced and uses a lot of fantasy logic which is not my cup of tea, but hey a suspense game with edge and creepy CGs with a decent enough story? I’m willing to turn a blind eye to some of the less significant factors.
Back to some things I liked was their interactive system of being able to Explore, Talk, or Move, and while it was limited pretty heavily their transition for out-of-order choices were fabulous, meaning choosing to do A then B has a separate dialogue transition than choosing B first then A. Really good attention to detail, and postscript, I looked up the writer after finishing the game and this guy’s written some really good titles like the 9-Nines series and Kimi to Mezameru from Navel too. It does make me want to try Silky’s Plus’s older games like Nanairo Reincarnation since I’m sure I’ll enjoy it somewhat.
The game also involves a “good/bad end” system in their climax scenes where you have to choose the correct response 3 times in order to bring about a “good end”. The game also gives you a pretty big hint at what the correct choices are too, so while it’s intense in those scenarios, I very much enjoyed this extra feature. (I think games like Little Busters did it too, and I like it when games pressure you like this because that means I was immersed enough to be pressured)
Last compliment I have is for the heroine Annalize. I’ve stated in the past that I’m not a huge fan of Ayumi Sara as a CV, but it was very fitting for the character, plus she has a lot of traits that I like; succubus (and thus open to intercourse), skimpy outfit, a large bust, megadere, referring to the protagonist as “Darling”, (though frankly she could’ve been voiced by anyone else similar like Kiritani Hana and have been better for me). In retrospect, I was really invested in this character (in the H-scenes too), and it does make me a little sad that there won’t be any sequels or fandiscs coming anytime soon. Honestly it might be nice featuring these two characters in another title later down the road on another case or something
One thing that I kinda wish the game had is some spin-off, extra scenarios involving the other characters (i.e. the Apostles who acted as subcharacters). They used high-tier CVs like Akino Hana, Suzuya Maya, and Kusuhara Yui, while both Aji Sanma and Tezuka Ryouko aren’t new CVs either–they’re both highly experienced. This would’ve obviously broken that Kinetic Novel vibe that I appreciate, but I also think it was a waste of amazing CV potential and considering how this game was relatively shorter some additional story quantity would’ve been nice. On the other hand each of these characters don’t even have a sprite so that greatly implies these characters weren’t designed to get much spotlight in the first place.
So yeah. Definitely a game I enjoyed for a lot of reasons, so I’d also like to recommend it to individuals who can tolerate the creepy/dark shit and also enjoy the suspense. Obviously if you went into this game blindly like me without knowing what to expect it would’ve been more enjoyable (due to the shock factor), but that may have prevented you from playing this game in the first place which is quite a waste.
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Protagonist Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Kemono Musume no Sodatchikata [Finished]
Ah Sweet & Tea. The company who betrayed my expectations like all my girlfriends who cheated on me
This title has definitely been delayed greatly (to the point it has several patches apparently), mostly because I saw that this title was relatively short and partially because I didn’t have this game in my Visual Novel folder (it defaulted to being installed on the C-Drive), and simply forgot about it whenever I felt like reading a title.
Generally speaking, it’s… okay. The game does keep things simple and I liked that Tayutama-esque atmosphere in there. Character designs are done pretty decently which includes the protagonist to my surprise, though I do think he was excessively stoic considering his current relationship with all the other characters in the title (Kana, Kisaka-sensei, and Chihiro) who are all relatively bright and cheerful
I honestly have very little to say because the game was so mediocre. Music was nice, story was okay (though besides the main conflict there wasn’t anything else), but nothing was mind-blowing for me to scream about nor was the idea that original considering Tayutama’s already a predecessor when it comes to “racial differences” and said predecessor also has some superior qualities like exciting conflicts to boot. On the contrary I’d be hard pressed to even say this game had any conflicts at all, and if at all I should be commenting how Iroha’s disappearance and reappearance plus her development was pretty convenient.
Romance was also definitely a weaker aspect, since “imprinting” was the implication for the romance with Iroha while for Kana the past relationship with Shuuji wasn’t elaborated enough. Not to mention if you had to compare Iroha to Mashiro (following how they both share similarities as heroines), the former is more of a damsel-in-distress while the latter is a colorful, powerful but sweet, type of heroine that you can really get invested into, and thus when said heroine was in trouble
(oopsspoilers), it actually seems more dire than the former.
Overall, good concept with a decent story, but the game is far too short for the reader to become invested in any of the characters or even the main scenario. It’s literally as if you read one of those “One-Chapter” titles sometimes seen with Webtoons or Mangas.
Now I’m questioning if I should touch Sweet & Tea’s 3rd title. It doesn’t seem incredibly promising but it’s a relatively short… but then again Karenai Sekai really douched on me the first time around…
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 5/10
Yuuwaku Namaiki Loliita [Finished]
I guess I appreciate the fact that Yoru no Hitsuji is still writing these games but it does seem like he’s running out of ideas at this point with how quickly characters are moving into H-scenes or even just the blatant lack of background that wasn’t the case in previous Loliita games.
As with other games in the series you’re featured with two heroines with contrasting personalities and how each of them “fit” with the protagonist’s traumas. It’s just that as with all the other titles that had two heroines this means that there is far less interaction with each heroine while there’s none of that healing atmosphere as a default that I really enjoyed when I played these games. (Even less in this specific title because both heroines generally “tease and bully” the protagonist unlike other titles in this series)
I guess it’s nice that they’re bringing in new CVs (well, only for Kayari; Ayuki’s CV is apparently someone very well established in the nukige genre) and Piyoderamucha, Usashiromani artworks are spot on for those with niche fetishes
Definitely would appreciate games like Yubiriki Konyaku or Otomari Koibito titles anytime in the future–those with some actual interaction between the protagonist and the heroine and I sometimes find myself going back to them because they’re just so relaxing.
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
Isekai Musume Hatsujouchuu [Dropped]
It really feels like this company (Calcite) is pretty new to this genre and possibly even a doujin circle instead too, considering this game was made on Unity engine which is common for said doujin circles.
I guess it does check that niche fetish for those who really like that isekai vibe like elves, beasts, and demons though that wasn’t the case for me this time, and unfortunately in the story department it was far too choppy with scenarios having no transition and the overall flow of the story nonexistent. Background was lacking, characters were relatively generic and not enough interactions with them (since the game was only a few hours long), the design of the protagonist being this normal human being who just happens to also be the Demon King was actually kinda cringey because it was supplemented with the harem environment which I really hate (note that I don’t hate harems; I just hate those without a background).
The weird thing is, unlike other games I can actually see this game making that effort. It tried to give monologue to the protagonist to describe his situation and explain his thoughts in this mess he gets into, so that was something I found strange.
Regardless, getting further into this game showed that there wasn’t really going to be anything I’ll miss, and this game was designed to be a nukige. Not to mention some of its H-scenes also includes the more extreme fetishes that I won’t discuss and will say it’s not something I particularly appreciate either.
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 1/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 3/10
Kanzume Shoujo no Shuumatsu Sekai [Dropped]
Yeah it’s another Silky’s Plus title. I actually got to this after I played Kimagure Temptation despite this title being released first, so you can probably presume this wasn’t a good title for me.
This title shares the same problem as the Natsu no Koe title–too much pointless fillers in the beginning, and lack of involvement with the reader. The interesting concept of this girl seemingly cuckoo in her head blabbing about the apocalypse is fine, but the story drags on this concept for WAY too long in the beginning and only after hours of just talking about “How to survive the apocalypse” with this group of friends that seemingly form in minutes the game goes on to present other things like survival tips that you could’ve easily googled instead if you were really interested.
The game spends very little effort developing these characters to interact with the concept and environment it created, meaning the game felt more tedious and “educational” than interesting. Not to mention some of the character designs with the concept of the apocalypse seemed contradictory. For example–Sarasa’s obsession about canned food and this apocalypse that seemingly starts this entire story doesn’t reflect her actual and expected knowledge about survivability nor does it affect her general personality. It’s like if I said I was hungry, but had no money and no knowledge to cook and somehow these writers were supposed to write up an entire story about it from scratch.
Website and other information sites claim that there are two protagonists in this game, but the introduction thereof is pretty unsettling–you literally start out with the other one browsing the dark web then getting raped by another character so the incoherence definitely becomes a problem of how these two protagonists will intertwine and relate with each other (and FYI, games with two protagonists rarely present them well–I’ve played plenty of them), and while it does supply the edge that I appreciate, there’s a difference between edgy and wtf territory (and this game happens to be the latter), while getting a save data to unlock CGs (because Sarasa is still pretty cute + Fujisaki Usa) shows some spoilers about the second protagonist which is nearing the quality of a really bad shitpost. (Think gender change)
I feel like this is one of those games I’ll need some opinions on whether or not I should go through with it. I have other games I do want to play, frankly some old ones at this point that I know are good, so I’d rather not spend the time on some ones with a bad introduction and some convenient fantasy to wrap up the scenario
totally not what happened with Apeiria totallynotaforeshadow kek
Not to mention the writer for this game wrote some really bad games so I’m not holding my breath in that field either
Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 2/10
Overall Rating: 3/10
Kamisama no Shippo [Finished]
Interesting game. I generally like the rural setting and while the fantasy is a bit off-putting it’s not a complete turnoff as long as they create a solid foundation (which they did with the little “lore” in the beginning). This lore does come back at the end of the game, but oh boy does this game have issues.
First off, the characters are “okay” though most of them are archetypes and not really something to be impressed about. I think the only reason why this score wasn’t higher is because the writers needed to collaborate and coordinate 13 characters with the protagonist and as I’ve stated with titles like the Loliita series, more heroines = less interaction with each and thus shallower designs. Besides this there’s obvious effort into creating this game since there are 6 artists and 4 scenario writers
Protagonist is also fine in a similar sense, but his design seemed so bland because it was the typical “I want to be friends with everyone!” kind of design with nothing special about him besides his seemingly random ability to communicate with animals. If at all his overall design was contradictory since the “lore” which becomes important says that he was mostly alone without friends, but obviously you have
a harem 13 heroines out here which includes 2 very close friends right off the bat when the story starts.
Story is the one that takes the biggest hit, as the game placed no effort into creating the DEPTH with this lore they worked so hard for this game. This means that character design which ties with the lore wasn’t elaborated enough or it was simply “stated as is”, kinda like if you told someone that in this fantasy setting rock beats paper and you just need to accept that as it is.
Problem is, that’s not the end of the problems when it comes to the story–it gets a lot worse. Wew let’s get into this.
I generally like Episodic Atmospheres in games but due to this game having so many characters it backfired in the sense it prevented varying character interactions. For example one heroine Takami interacts most exclusively with Jun, Akira, and Misora while Kikyou the same with Miyuki, Reiko, and Misora and said characters would rarely (if at all) interact with other heroines. This becomes a lot more obvious BECAUSE of the episodic atmosphere since the other miscellaneous heroines simply disappear for the entire arc. This also makes the scenario become a bit more bland with some things like Takami and Akira fighting with each other becoming repetitive and more annoying than creating humor, and this trait carries on for all the other characters too.
Another problem is that the main conflict of the 12 gods refusing to “become a family” with Akinari directly contradicts how they took on these forms because they wanted to spend more time with him. It results in the story of the first half of the game, but said half was more about Akinari going around trying to convince said heroines to join him at the dinner table which doesn’t make much sense. Chizu’s scenario was actually garbage (and follows a cringey trope of how Akinari conveniently forgets how he met her in the past) despite how it was considered the climax and how it was supposed to be this tear-jerker.
Another problem I saw was that some music tracks are pretty bad. I generally enjoy music in VNs and rarely find ones that really annoy me, but this one managed it. Besides some oriental tracks which were typical for this type of setting and acceptable, the other ones would switch chords and MAINTAIN those two different chords the rest of the track which makes it seem like something went wrong with the recording and they didn’t play their own game through to notice. I would record it to share with you guys, but it’s actually something so unbearable even I had to turn off the BGM (which I NEVER do) just to press on with the game.
It’s honestly probably an exaggerated OCD flareup but I never had that experience with any other game
You lose a lot of immersion because in the very beginning because all the characters that become heroines are there from the start; they just don’t have sprites. The general story is that people around Akinari become the hosts for these Ancient Guardian Gods and are direct reincarnations of them (and let’s not discuss the convenience and how low the probability of all 12 gods are reincarnations to people around him at the same time/place), but the only “change” that happens with their “advent” if you will is literally them just getting ears and tails of the animal they were supposed to represent, and the artists couldn’t even be bothered to create sprites of these heroines without these features to use in the beginning of the story when the advent didn’t take place. Simply put you see at least 4-5 of these heroines (like Jun, Takami, Reiko and Kikyou) without sprites in the prologue but with voices that give the impression they’re not that important, but they’re actually heroines.
The “Cat Episode” is frankly the only part that’s worthwhile (and story-driven) since everything outside of it is basically a school-life harem with fantasy and charage vibes. This is where the lore at the beginning is repeated albeit a bit more clearer, and the conflict of the Cat is presented, but these writers try to resolve that not with humanistic elements (such as repentance/forgiveness, or even just the 14 characters all working together), but more freaking fantasy (I literally facepalmed so hard). Honestly at that point they lost me; some of the heroines did appeal to me but their relationship/affection for Akinari was shallow at best, and even for me I had planned on dropping this game a lot sooner, but it was only after getting a save file and finding a “second opening” and a “True Route” that I gave this game a second chance.
Quickly skimming through the rest of the game confirmed this, so all I got out of giving this game a second chance was me getting annoyed at the fantasy and the ability to put the [Finished] tag instead of a [Dropped] one I guess.
Though again I should stress that this wasn’t supposed to be a shallow game with its larger staff, volume of the story, and how it’s considered a mainstream title by Getchu. It was designed to be dramatic and story-driven but it just failed in it heavily for a lot of reasons, and that really makes me sad; it’s worse to have a serious game that fails than a crappy game from the start. That being said, the one thing I can praise this game is how they managed to design 13 heroines and actually put effort into having them interact more extensively (unlike BaseSon’s games where you literally have 50+ heroines but they’re all shallow as fuck), so I guess it did succeed and have value as a charage.
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 4/10
I’m taking recommendations for games (PC or Mobile) or VN titles. Save me from this boredom :( Also 9-Nines title is next And backlog. Always the backlog.