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

Because I don’t do well with hot weather. Save me.

With my intolerance aside, the lack of MMOs recently does make more time for additional titles, and I find myself visiting some of the older ones just to feel some nostalgia + have a good game for once because as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t had a game that I was REALLY excited to talk about in 2020 yet.

Eh, Kimagure was good but it was too short for my liking so it doesn’t count.

Anyway, here’s a couple more short reviews (a couple not so short because I have mixed feelings about them) and I’ll be going back to going through more titles because I have no where else to spend my time now kek

Titles in this Post:

  • Harem Kingdom
  • Shuffle Episode 2
  • Bishoujo Mangekyou – Kotowari to Meikyuu no Shoujo -*
  • Sorceress Alive *
  • Yuusha to Odore
  • Shukusei no Girlfriend 3

* These are Spoilery

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Harem Kingdom [Finished]

Definitely a more unique title from SMEE considering all their games in the past revolved around a more realistic setting, I was pretty curious to how they would go about this “Harem” setting and what kind of story would come from it.

Turns out, it’s the opposite of my general consensus for a lot of games–this game is absolutely terrible at the start, but if you can get past the blatant contradictions, convenient setting, and generic character designs into the actual “routes” it gets really interesting and funny, not to mention worthwhile in terms of story development since it involves multiple characters at once in a single scenario (which it kinda needs to do because HAREM Kingdom). I thought this was ironic because the entire beginning of the game focuses on a single heroine at a time similar to heroine routes in other games. (usually at the later portions)

Characters are pretty generic when it comes to designs while some of them have facepalmingly terrible ones (such as how Marlu for example being a biological sister to the protagonist, but it’s unknown until later down the road when it’s suddenly introduced with 0 foreshadowing) and some designs like how Kiki has this very introverted and shy personality but sometimes also have these twisted moments of being hyper or ridiculous wasn’t really good for the immersion (though the writer does this pretty frequently in other titles too, and this is commonly called “Character Crumbling” in Korean). While this kind of writing might work for the humor, it gives the impression that this game is more of a joke title thus something I can’t take seriously.

Protagonist is frankly he worst of the worst with literally nothing special about him that makes him a protagonist and a successor of this fantasy kingdom. The amnesia factor is shit (like seriously. A game is NEVER good when it displays the protagonist with any kind of amnesia; the story and protagonist design is MUCH better when it portrays the protagonist as a more silent, stoic personality to make him mysterious instead, if you need a more vague background), while even within routes he never actually DOES anything; he’s just plopped there and BOOM harem.

It sucks because the writers obviously tried to make him a self-insert by not giving him a default name (contrary to some other SMEE games) while removing all forms of personal pronouns from heroine dialogue because discrepancy. While it’s not as blatant as Kanojo Step where this trait was really obvious and objectively bad (In the previous game heroine dialogue would be really awkward because they try to use general pronouns forcefully in places it shouldn’t be used, like “Hey you, want to go somewhere with me?”), I guess I should give credit where it’s due for making this more subtle in this title because due to his title all the heroines usually call him “My Lord”, “Master” or even “Oni-sama”… though Hikari did offer a bit of awkwardness by using the pronoun “Anta” excessively. Same with Marlu when she’s supposed to be a biological sibling but unable to address him personally or call him by name/nickname. Game companies should really stop with this kind of design I fucking swear to god. It adds nothing to the story, makes the game more cringey than anything else, and if the writers have some stupid disease where they die from not including this dumb self-insert protagonist feature you should just copy-paste hibki work’s Lovely Call system which is already a feature from MINIMUM 2013 (where I saw it from Lovely Cation 2) which was at least 7 years ago.

Story is obviously not going to be important nor worth your time with a very generic scenario repetitively emphasizing all the “good traits” about each of the heroines and protagonist, but this was obviously not helpful at all since there was very little (if any) basis for all these words and it felt more like fillers instead.

Though to praise the game for its goods, their storyline is just pure comedy and silliness which can make the game more lighthearted and fun to play than if it had a more grim/serious scenario. The humor in this game was did not use cheap humor where protagonist sexuality is overused–it does an adequate job using the heroines instead and their traits allowing that atmosphere as a good charage. Not to mention each actual scene involved more than 2 heroines meaning depth in said interactions, even if it was just a humorous intermission. I also enjoyed both the design, quantity, and quality of the H-scenes (again HAREM Kingdom) since after the intro all of them involve at least 2 heroines and I’m totally into that

Though some miscellaneous flaws are pretty in-your-face (primarily ones arising from the isekai setting). Japanese being a common language in this fantasy setting where English is also a thing, while this fantasy kingdom standardizes polygamy yet these same people ask heroines if they’re also okay with it (They wouldn’t ask if they were to keep consistent with the design). I also really wish the game did away with the stupid “Sex = Restore Life Energy for the King” logic that makes 0 sense. Instead, they could’ve literally given some other reasoning for the sexual interaction and the harem by giving the reasoning that production of these stone crystals depletes the King’s Life Energy (aka same as what they claim), but his brides are able to replenish it through physical touch and they just happened to find out that sex is the best method for doing so (it just adds only a few more lines and perhaps a bit of tweaking in the story in the beginning or something to maintain consistency). This would’ve opened doors to more dramatic scenarios and serious story… Though eh, the fact that they started with this title kinda suggests they weren’t really trying to go for that method.

The game’s “routes” if you will was pretty unique though it was just a glorified way to present each heroine’s traits and thus their own routes. It’s nice that no part of these routes repeat (meaning stuff that happens in the Fire Route doesn’t happen in the Water Route) which gives the game its bulk, though on the other hand the fact that all this scenario exists and there’s literally no form of actual “story” does raise some questions to what SMEE was really going for here, and whether this game is worth playing for some people (like me, who usually want a good story).

Overall, a “meh” game in my opinion. The humor makes the game worthwhile somewhat and doesn’t become repetitive… though on the other hand the supposed “romantic interactions” between protagonist and heroine was absolute shit and CTRL-mash-worthy. As most people would probably agree this game is no more and no less than a well designed charage/nukige.

If you like the harem setting it’ll be a plus but otherwise there’s only some clever jokes so don’t hold your breath too much.

Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 1/10
Overall Rating: 5/10

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Shuffle Episode 2 [Dropped]

So if you know anything about me, it would be that Shuffle was my very first eroge. It was the one that really got me into the genre, and while it was flawed (and minimal), gave me my first “standards” of actual story I should be expecting in this genre. Previous to that all I had were dumb anime series which are still questionable in quality today, because there’s only so much you can cram into a single episode all while considering production budgets and profit.

I digress. When I first played Shuffle I genuinely thought it was the best game ever and oh god the mere fact I thought as such makes me want to punch something. That tidbit is actually quite important because this “sequel” had a lot of similarities which I’ll be making a comparisons with the first title (and it should foreshadow my general thoughts about the game right off the bat).

I also thought about doing a full review because of this but fuck I’m lazy but what else is new

Right so unlike that dumb ass prequel that literally had no connection to the original title despite being claimed as such, this sequel does a bit of background explaining which was nice, and implies that the setting is roughly 60-100 years after the big “Calamity” which the original characters of Shuffle helped to resolve. (along with the semi-TMI how Lisianthus route in the main game is canon because that’s who Rin hooked up with). This means that as far as we’re concerned, both Neria and Lithia are direct descendants of Sia and Nerine from the prequel.

I liked this a lot. If it’s going to be called a prequel or a sequel, there needs to be some kind of proof in doing so (again with Navel’s 15th Anniversary game Spiral not fulfilling this feature for some strange reason), and while it doesn’t need to be something huge, that link allows the player who actually played the previous game to feel invested and enjoy this one much more.

Lines like this

It’s even better since this sequel presents a heroine from the previous title, Primula. The fact that this character exists and is voiced by the same CV (Hokuto Minami) also tfw she’s 53 years old was something I was super excited about since it would reveal a lot of the lore that the writers decided upon and the connection between the first title and this one. Even a small scene where she complains about a certain store’s cheesecake and goes to the chef actually teaching him how to make it (when she herself got the recipe from Kaede/Asa and names her recipe as such) is such a great small addition that amplifies the quality of the scenario more than anything else. Frankly for me, I didn’t like most parts of the game EXCEPT for the ones where Primula shows up precisely for that reason.

Frankly the best part of this game

Speaking of CVs, the cast in this game actually had a similar CV cast to Oretsuba, plus Gogyou Nazuna, Mai Goto (who opted to use a completely different name this time), Haruka Sora and Uehara Aoi. An older CV cast, I like. Though on the other hand, I thought it was unnatural to have Uehara Aoi voicing Kohaku and Gotou Yuuko voicing Kirara–it would’ve been better to have their roles reversed and also play into the Childhood friend voiced by Gotou Yuuko similarity from the original game… Well that’s just me I suppose.

In terms of character design, everything was lackluster. They switched up a lot of things within heroines, including stuff like how Shigure Asa equivalent from the previous title is Kirara (a younger underclassman) in this one, or how Neria is the one good at cooking, contrasted by Nerine’s (her ancestor) cooking being terrible. Even Mayumi, who is a subheroine in the previous title with the running gag about her flat chest, is contrasted by Marine who supposedly has the largest bust size among the entire cast.

Despite this the characters seemed shallow due to the highly lacking interactions with them. The two main ones (Lithia and Neria) use wording to imply they’re antagonizing the protagonist but it’s painfully obvious they’re in fact infatuated instead and the only one to not realize this is the protagonist himself. This kind of design oh god I hate. Donkan protagonists literally add nothing to the story and if at all it just prolongs the pain of having to read through cringe scenarios including monologues (which I generally like in games) because it gets repetitive of Raito claiming “oh she hates me” when even other heroines would clearly suggest that’s not true.

Not to mention this kind of design is used as a convenient excuse to remove other heroines from the scenario once you enter a specific heroine route (which is a highly unfavorable design), and later on it’s revealed it’s not just these two “main” heroines who have these designs–it’s also characters like Kirara as well who pretend to be affectionate for Kohaku but it’s Raito she’s infatuated with all along.

Even just the simple design of Primula in the original game being mostly emotionless but gain them in her own route (which I thought was one of the decent things that the original game did) was trashed as this title seemed like it wanted to sell Limestone by giving her unnatural traits like helping around the house all of a sudden, or gaining emotions spontaneously halfway through the common route. While the game tries to elaborate on this and explain with additional scenes, as someone who’s actually played the original game I preferred the original much more.

They look really similar though

Writers literally brought over some of the key scenario from the original game and obviously this was a big miss in my eyes (frankly this is probably a spoiler in itself but I didn’t want to elaborate by giving examples because that would be too much). The conflicts over at the original Shuffle game was criticized because they were so unnatural–the characters would do and say things spontaneously without proper foreshadowing or flow giving them bipolar vibes, and much of the information is made excessively vague (such as Raito and Kohaku’s past) which disengages readers and makes the game not worth reading. Bringing essentially the same scenario from the prequel was NOT a good idea for this reason and the reason why I can’t appreciate this game for what it is.

Basically if Navel was going to make a sequel they would’ve needed to change up at least something while keeping the nostalgic feeling of the original game (which they did with the introduction of Primula, or how Kohaku/Kirara acts out Asa/Kaede respectively) and could’ve done so with other camo appearances, like the portrait of past Kings or something). The flipped character traits are interesting, but having similar scenario as the original game just ruins the entire game (mainly because the original was just as bad and it’s like if you cheated off the exam from a class dunce). Romance transitioning being absent and the game essentially “false advertising” the entire god-race and demon-race gimmick to be antagonizing the protagonist when it was just another baseless school-life harem was something I had to facepalm the entire way through so I think it’s sufficient enough to say that when it comes to Navel games, don’t count on their sequels being worthwhile.

I’m genuinely curious to what Navel’s going to pull off next though, and here’s hoping it’ll be something even remotely high-quality as Tsukiyori

Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating: 4/10

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Bishoujo Mangekyou – Kotowari to Meikyuu no Shoujo [Finished]

We had the Nines series making a finale, and now the Bishoujo Mangekyou series is concluding too? Hot damn.

As I’ve said in a previous review, I heard of this series first from a friend of mine–gangrelion. He reached out to me when I was a newbie reviewer and even while he’s not playing VNs anymore he did really enjoy Bishoujo Mangekyou’s 3rd title “Girls created by God”, which I’ve also played via his recommendation and greatly enjoyed. As it stands, it’s also my favorite in the series.

Since then I’ve taken the time to go through the entire Bishoujo Mangekyou series, with the general consensus that these are all really well written nukige… with a bit of a catch.

The catch for all these games is that it’s kinda fucked up in some way. While I won’t get into specific details about what these are (because not only is it spoilery it’s also what makes them memorable), I WILL mention that strangely enough this “fucked up trait” actually makes the characters seem a bit more relatable at times, since the general notion is that these “weird fucked up moments” imply the characters are far from perfect, like any other human being.

I realize that on this review website I only have the 4th title reviewed which is big mood, but my impressions on each of the older titles are as such:

  1. Cursed Girl of Legends: First title which has Aoba Ringo which did make it a much more positive experience for me (also I happened to be into vampires back then but we don’t talk about that because oh god the cringe)
  2. Girl of Eternity and Forget-me-Not: Misono Mei voices this one, and it’s my least favorite due to the game trying to go for a more realistic vibe the entire way, though it’s still quite twisted when you compare it to other nukige
  3. Girls created by God: 3rd title that introduces two heroines, I really enjoyed this one because the “fucked up moments” are a lot more mild, the protagonist has some personality, and the general interaction between the characters were really nice.
  4. Girl of Sin and Punishment: 4th title which is kind of the worst because of that plot twist at the end. It does first introduce the PoV L2D animation feature which is, with all exaggeration aside, THE best things to happen to nukige and happens again in the 5th title too. I definitely plan on keeping close record of any games Happoubi Jin works on purely because of this little feature that I think is so amazing.

For this 5th title (ignoring the one involving the Innkeeper which is more of a spinoff), you unfortunately have to have played the previous titles which I think is a double-edged sword. It did make the scenario in this last title pretty pogchamp since it revisits the other titles quite in depth, but that was because I DID play through the previous titles so if someone hasn’t done so it would have made this last title insanely confusing instead.

This 5th title (Girl of Logic and Maze) as you can probably expect, focuses on Renge, the strange girl who appears in the beginning and the ending of each of the 4 previous titles giving a kaleidoscope to the character Natsuhiko (who also only appears briefly at that time), and he experiences these supernatural memories that people have had, presumably (and confirmed by Renge in the final title) in different worlds or parallel universes. In each of these episodes he remembers only parts of what he saw (while the readers have full understanding) and bases his work as a writer on these stories.

The 5th title originally goes to explain that there’s some weird curse that’s been plaguing a certain all-girls school, for which Natsuhiko along with his editor and a best-selling author Sumeragi gets enlisted to resolve. While Sumeragi is skilled in detective work, Natsuhiko believes there is some kind of spiritual explanation, and Renge joins the group to kick off the story.

Generally speaking, my general opinion on this title is as follows:
Beginning to the resolution of the mystery -> Really good, even if it’s weak or faulty in some parts
Renge’s Scenario -> What the fuck
Romance with the reincarnated Renge -> Nutty Good

I thought it was generally unique and a positive trait that instead of this “Dream World” that’s due to the kaleidoscope (which we don’t even know if it’s real or not since it’s just Renge saying it’s from parallel worlds), we now have an actual real-life situation involving the characters we’ve seen for 4 titles (Natsuhiko and Renge), and the mystery itself in the beginning was pretty interesting and well executed–the additional character Moyoka seemingly friendly and energetic also being suspiciously sinister was a good foreshadow and design in my opinion.

If you avoid going through Karen and Moyoka’s routes (the latter being a bad route), you end up with Renge’s scenario which is…

Lackluster to put it nicely, basically garbage to be completely honest.
Renge as a character is a highly generic tsundere character. While I would normally have no qualms regarding this, it’s a severe mismatch for her overall design as this mysterious identity with seemingly all knowledge and fearing nothing. The additional feature that she loves food was disruptive while her blushing at even the slightest approaches from Natsuhiko (despite not having any interaction similar to this in previous titles) was unnatural.

Story-wise, the game also doesn’t make a lot of sense, not to mention on the boring side for the most part. The “revisiting” the previous titles was something enough to get me excited, but the repetitive H-scenes and so-claimed “romance” between Natsuhiko and Renge got boring REALLY quickly (since it’s basically the same lines of the two characters saying “I love you” over and over again), and the game clearly didn’t know how to bring about a happy ending because it just resolves everything in an anti-climactic manner trying to suddenly argue that Renge/Natsuhiko were destined to be together from the dawn of time through history (i.e. Middle Ages, Witch Trials, etc.) and will be in the future. This then creates the contradiction of how Natsuhiko’s past self somehow married the Fox Maiden, since even then he should’ve been “destined” to be with Renge. It’s pretty funny because the general scenario with Moyoka which also suggest he was destined with the Fox Maiden ironically felt like it had more depth (despite being like 1/10 the length AND considered non-canon)

Like why. This is just bad writing. There’s little if any, interaction between the two characters not to mention that last trait of them being “destined” is plain bullshit. There is a foreshadow of this “the two characters were destined” feature within the main game but considering we’ve seen these characters across 5 titles it does make this trait very superficial and farfetched at best.

On the other hand if you got past that and arrive at the last scenes, it involves the player as the reincarnation of Natsuhiko (since the game asks you for your name) meeting Renge’s reincarnation and falling in love which I really enjoyed. While there is the fact how they both received memories of their past lives was insanely dumb good god grown-up Renge is insanely cute.

As it is she’s my favorite heroine in the series

Artist Happoubi Jin is definitely one of the better nukige artists while also being highly proficient drawing unique backgrounds and setting the stage for the characters (obviously including the characters too), and this game was insanely high quality with moving backgrounds or CGs, not to mention a few of the H-scenes were also animated superbly much to my delight. Happoubi also does the thing with the heroine closeup lying on the bed like he did with Yuuri in the last title, which is something I think is revolutionary and ALWAYS a plus factor because you’re given this PoV situation which not only is immersive (and you can scroll up and down to view the heroine’s face or torso), but gives you the sense of investment in the heroine too. Despite not really enjoying the younger Renge as a heroine in the main game this little feature challenged just that and GIVE ME MORE GROWN-UP RENGE AHHHHHHHHH

Kazane as a CV was someone I actually got confused with Kawashima Rino a lot in the past wow I’m such an uncultured swine, and it happens so that in some communities they’re both a part of the “4 Kings Queens of Eroge CV” since they just have so many characters voiced (the other two being Hokuto Minami and Isshiki Hikaru). She’s definitely not a character to be voicing younger characters, as I felt her voice was more natural voicing the older Renge and that’s probably why I enjoyed the epilogue H-scenes or mature Renge a lot more.

My overall thoughts on the Bishoujo Mangekyou series is as follows: I really like the game’s external aspects–the music, the design of backgrounds, and pretty much all of the artwork that gives fantasy vibes and a sense of unsettlement which includes backgrounds, the setting (like in the 3rd title it happens in a desolate desert and the game portrays this so well). Characters are very easy to get invested into because there’s so few of them (corresponding to my theory from the Loliita series), and the general story isn’t that bad to begin with since the originality factor is there.

It’s just that as suggestive of being categorized as a nukige, the game does focus on H-scenes sometimes a bit too excessively while most of what I called “fucked up” relates to sex (double entendre not intended). It’s definitely not everyone’s favorite since there are suggestions and blatant acts of taboo topics such as rape or incest, which does make it less approachable for most.

It’s worse because the general “moral” (if you can even call it that) of each game also ties in love, which is what the 5th game reminiscences the most and obviously while said taboo topics I spoke of above can arise due to a twisted form of love I think everyone reading this review can agree it was probably not the best way to convey that moral lesson or even such a concept.

So play this series and treat it as a nukige. The fantasy can be really nice but don’t expect a solid story out of this one. Otherwise enjoy Happoubi’s art because they’re simply amazing.

Girl of Logic and Maze Rating:
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 5/10
Overall Rating: 6/10

Overall Series Rating: 8/10

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Sorceress Alive [Finished]

When it comes to fantasy, it’s no doubt they have not-so-ideal traits in terms of story, but as you can see with some of my top 10 titles like Tayutama or Suzukaze, story isn’t the end-all be-all in Visual Novels/Eroge.

Though in this title, it managed to hit the opposite extremes; it has amazing narrative and story execution, similar to the 9-Nines series I’ve reviewed recently, but a god-awful story and design, prevalent in the True Route. That’s actually a really good one-line summary; this game is generally pretty good EXCEPT for that true route.

One thing I like about this game right off the bat is the fantasy is used as an actual story element and not just some random excuse to use Own-World Logic as some other crappy games (though again the true route begged to differ). While the beginning scenes does sound a bit cringe due to the isekai, the protagonist makes it a lot bearable (explained later) and the game at least tries to cross its “t”s and dot their “i”s so I can give them credit for that.

I should probably caveat this game too, with the fact that it’s pretty dark. The four heroine routes is only part of the main lore that starts with the “True Route”, which has a much more kinetic style which I like, as well as contains a highly controversial (e.g. heroine antagonist/death) and dark scenario which is also something I like… except there’s a catch as I’ll elaborate more later. Especially within the beginning of the game and early heroine routes there are various tropes here and there that really made me dislike the game, but each of the routes actually gets better down the road whether that’s through humor or some impactful story.

The problem is that this “impactful story” throughout the entire game is pretty flawed due to lack of foreshadowing. Like seriously–the game has nearly 0 foreshadows even though it has a storyline that desperately needs it in almost every scene. It’s a very common problem for a lot of games especially if it has a fantasy theme because otherwise the writers can go fuck-all with the scenario and literally create whatever story they want with whatever dumb logic that’s in their brains and that makes for a bad game. These dark events where characters and subcharacters fight are very poorly transitioned, not to mention some conflict also resolved way too conveniently (such as the arranged marriage of Azulia in her own route)

Besides this though, the characters are very interesting, with Tono Soyogi voicing one of the heroines which is always a plus in my book. It’s strangely within each heroine route where the story takes on a more charage-like atmosphere and does it well (again to my surprise) which pushed me into giving this game a second chance and eventually finding out about that True Route. On the other hand, much poorer impressions in the beginning, as it should be said, and oh god that true route was terrible.

Protagonist is a character I appreciate. He has a similar design to Osamu from Damekoi, which I’ve praised thoroughly for being moreorless ideal in terms of a protagonist and Kouki definitely wasn’t an exception. It’s just that unlike Osamu, and also probably due to the fantasy factor, Kouki himself was definitely less than perfect when it comes to some thought processes and critical thinking (again especially in the True Route), or even just the convenient design of him being omnipotent in literally all lifestyle aspects such as cooking, strategy, and abilities while also being this “special person” with an ultra rare magical trait. It all felt like his character was artificial instead of helping the reader relate to him, so while I did enjoy him as a protagonist in the normal routes I felt that he was less than desirable in the True Routes, where he did have some multiple unnatural screw-ups but also because of that fantasy where he as a character needed to associate with.

Otherwise, I really need to praise this game for its attention to detail. Whether that was Kouki’s trait as an “Uncolored” become a huge topic in three of the heroine routes (usually accompanied by some really elaborate and well-written humor) or something small as Miya “giving up” on Kouki in all the other routes, even the trait of this fantasy setting being tolerant and encouraging of polygamy remained consistent within character dialogue unlike Harem Kingdom that fucked this up. This trait really begins from early on in the game much to my surprise.

Despite how I enjoyed the kinetic and darker atmosphere, as you can probably imagine by now the True Route was far from perfect and I would even go as far as to say it was worse than actual heroine routes which was technically non-existent according to the story’s lore (lul the game is pulling a Purple Software on me). This route frankly degraded the entire experience for me, and again this is 100% the fault of the entire game having basically no foreshadows, since when you have a fantasy isekai title where anything can happen within writer’s logic it’s absolutely necessary to not have some shitty game that ends on a spontaneous Deus Ex Machina (which spoiler alert; this game did). Even while some might argue the flashing reminiscence scenes might count as some heroine routes had, a foreshadow with no context (meaning the screen flashes and that’s it) is no more contributing to the story than none at all.

This true route (at this point I should probably rename it as “trash route”) progressively gets worse each scene and finally resorts to convenient fantasy bullshit that’s highly contrasting of the fairly decent scenario of main heroine routes. Starting with how suddenly you’re telling me that Miya and Yuzuriha are part of the Rebels who were opposing the Royals due to various reasons, the game later on shifts that perspective to Akina/Azulia being the bad guys then proceeds to tell the players that these are all just POSSIBILITIES in the future. Yep this game totally pulled a Purple Software on us

This then goes onto explaining that there’s one true antagonist and even then tries to suggest that the antagonist isn’t really a bad person either, along with this screwed up logic that now in order to save the world Kouki needs to sacrifice himself. Then there’s the connection to the real world (which just happens to be 800 years ago) plus the game skipping all the explanation between then and the present time while seemingly trying to imply that the group of characters (heroines + Lily + Headmaster + Yumi) were all fated to meet and intertwine while all of them (except one character) are reincarnations of each other…

At this point I lost my hopes in this game. None of the events make sense or is explained even remotely because it’s just like how I described it above–the writer went nuts with fantasy and isekai without providing good foreshadowing and it created this crappy, convenient bullshit and this really does feel like I’m playing another 3rdEye game or even Mayoeru, a title that one of the writers wrote previously that I severely disliked due to similar characteristics (such as “fake evil” antagonists, wrapping up scenario with fantasy bullshit).

This really sucks. The charage atmosphere that was actually good is thrown out the window and replaced with an objectively bad scenario even if it’s geared towards my tastes and much more serious (and mind you this ONLY happened because the writers neglected on foreshadows), and we’re still ignoring the fact the game doesn’t explain a lot of things like how this mysterious meteor only preyed on males or even how the original Kouki created this magic to reincarnate himself despite not having any magical capabilities himself (the game literally says he did it and that’s it), while there’s also the question why Kouki was the only coach in this game AND the game creates a blatant paradox by telling readers the soul of the Original Kouki got warped all the way 800 years in the future when the same Original Kouki is the one who brought magic into the world.

Games like this make me genuinely sad because it would’ve had good potential otherwise. The Rave mechanic is interesting enough though said battles are boring as expected (see Seiken Tsukai), the harem atmosphere wasn’t annoying since the game built up its environment sufficiently for it to have that basis (i.e. it’s difficult to find partners, Kouki has multiple benefits as a partner, and the setting allows polygamous relationships) so it could’ve just as well gone that route instead and resulted in a better game. The fact that the game takes a HARD left without even signaling it (via said foreshadows) means that it’s almost guaranteed to cause accidents, and that’s what happened here.

Generally, I liked the music in this game, but perhaps because I was playing the 1.00 version (I never bother with updates), the game had a LOT of visual bugs. Presumably some patches would have fixed this but considering most commercial games bug-test their games in advance even before the official release it’s kinda disappointing that Flourite never bothered with it.

As my first game from Flourite who’s affiliated with Azurite (who published Shinsou Noise), I feel like it’s only right to give them another chance. It’s not like either of the games were terrible throughout, but both titles do have that trait of extremely bad conclusions which pisses me off to no end, but if I give them the benefit of the doubt I might find a new top 10 within one of their lists

Oh who am I kidding. I’ve literally had this mindset for years and it never paid off
Please still suggest a title from them if you thought it was good

Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 1/10
Protagonist Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 6/10

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Yuusha to Odore [Dropped]

Sometimes I do want to have games that I can play casually and not expect it to be a fuckfest like the last two that happened to disappoint me greatly. While I didn’t have much hopes going into this one for that reason, it still wasn’t great.

As another isekai game, I was surprised to find that this had some form of gameplay within it; a dungeon crawler aspect and an RPG aspect similar to ones you might see in a doujin game made with RPG Maker engines.

The problem really lies in that the game fails to properly sell itself. By that I mean as someone who’s never played a game from catwalk before I couldn’t be bothered to go through the filler storyline and the cringe interaction/chuunibyou dialogue that the game threw at me right off the bat. Lacking voice lines for even the more important characters (like the antagonist) wasn’t a good sign not to mention with a story like this it’s almost a MUST to have the protagonist voiced at least within the gameplay portion (like Eternal’s Yumina/Corona series) and that didn’t happen.

Kyou’s interaction with the heroines was very artificial probably because the game failed to even create a good first impression for the heroines, resorting to more fillers and vague dialogue that it was probably better not to have instead (Like the general gist of it goes from Meet Heroine -> Think she’s cute -> Try to Talk to Her -> Heroine already likes protagonist -> They meet later and beg to join his party).

It’s quite disappointing because I was actually looking forward to Kyou as a character as someone who might have had a dark past and literally has this weird anger management issues that might conflict with heroines. Instead, the game trashes all potential possibilities of meaningful interactions and conflicts and dives straight into heroines having max affection for him from the getgo while also trying to squeeze in the school-life aspect because apparently that’s necessary (it’s not)

I guess I should’ve seen it coming when the game literally has a chuunibyou “awakening” moment for the protagonist in the few beginning scenes and other isekai inconsistencies which comes as a norm at this point that the game doesn’t even bother trying to answer to.

After a bit of digging it seems that catwalk is a company that usually focuses on nukige (usually dark ones which isn’t really my favorite) and I think I can confidently say they should stick with that genre because this title shows their lack of experience/skill in creating ones otherwise.

In terms of quality, let’s just say for a game that was published in November of 2019 and has a file size of over 4 GB, it sure seems like it’s a doujin game from 5 years ago. The RPG aspect is basically the same as a doujin-made one and the dungeon crawling puzzle is way too easy.

Artwork is good, though, so I’ll give them at least that

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

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Shukusei no Girlfriend 3 [Dropped]

Uhhhhhhhhhh…

What?

What the fuck is this game? The writing is so bad that the best I can describe it is that it feels like the writers weren’t even trying at this point–it just wants to pump this story out and be done with it because they’re so sick of it. Seriously. It’s so bad that I thought I had corrupted files or the game was completely bugged because the game literally jumps from one scenario to another in a couple of lines and does absolutely nothing to set the scene or introduce the characters, not to mention make literally 100% of the game shallow piece of garbage with very minimal dialogue/monologue and basically 0 narrative at all.

I mean this IS the 3rd game in the series that I’ve only come across recently, and can understand how games in a series might skimp out on some repetitive details like how the 9-Nines series might do for previous routes (i.e. if I played Haruka’s route first without playing the previous two), but even in games like the 9-Nine series the scenario might be confusing only because for a first timer they haven’t gotten adjusted to the setting of the game. Contrary to Shukusei where even unimportant scenario such as school-life is abridged excessively while tropes such as Lucky Sukebe is repeated unnecessarily. The game even has a small scene where the characters explain the general gist of the series (aka a group for fighting demons that appeared all of a sudden) and they really think that bullshit explanation that comprised of literally 7 lines is sufficient enough alternative to playing the previous two games?

The game makes forced efforts to create interactions which is pathetic at best and the story is highly unnatural too. Imagine if a game like Cafe Stella where the protagonist dies but gets revived, except this happens in the first few scenes with 0 effort to make it a shock factor and now you have this anti-climactic setting that you suddenly need to use to have the characters interact in some way; that’s how I felt about this game.

Not only does the game practice generic tropes, it does a bad job in presentation and story execution as well. There’s no way this was meant to be a serious game because it does much MUCH worse than even doujin titles or nukige. It would’ve literally done better if it skipped through the general storyline and went straight into H-scenes with this 3rd heroine explaining after all the conflict was resolved the protagonist hooked up with her, and then proceeded to display H-scenes or just general charage features; that’s how bad this is. Not only did they fail to give me quality, they even skimped me on quantity as well. I’ve had some really bad games but I think this will truly hit the bottom of the bunch holy shit.

Woo boy this doesn’t give me any good impressions on this company or this series.

(If this series is usually good please let me know; I know I can’t judge an entire series with just one game)

Character Design Rating: 2/10
Story Rating: 0/10 (I honestly wanted to give this score MINUS points because it felt like the writers just didn’t care and that just made me even more angry)
Protagonist Rating: 1/10
Overall Rating: 0/10


Currently playing Salute which is dark as fuck but feels like it would be a good game. I’ll have that plus other titles reviewed for the next post.

Comments on: "Can’t wait for it to be Winter" (4)

  1. Oh man, going by the title of this post I thought you were reviewing Amakano, which made me both excited but also very nervous. It’s a series I really like so I’d be happy if you liked it too but also realize it’s not flawless and kinda don’t want to see you bash the game into oblivion. I was wrong, so I’m a bit disappointed… but kinda relieved I don’t have to reevaluate my opinion on something yet again.

    I haven’t played most of the titles reviewed here, because many involve fantasy isekai settings that bore me to death, even more than standard high-school, and also a lot of these seem to have harem themes which is also not my preference by any means, at least when romance is involved. I’m of the opinion that harem and romance are inherently incompatible, and I haven’t yet seen a game make me think otherwise.

    So, the only game I can really comment on is the last entry in the Mangekyou series, a game I also liked but found flawed as well. I liked that contrary to the previous four there’s not quite as much violence (both sexual and otherwise), and while having played the other games is certainly a plus I had no issue understanding the plot and the references with only a minor knowledge of 3 and 4 that I haven’t played.

    I’m surprised you don’t into more details on the curse resolution part of the game, it makes up for easily half of it and without a single H scene if you don’t choose the obvious wrong answer. Speaking of which, are either Karen and Moyoka’s route worth anything? I imagine they lead to quick sex and bad ends so I skipped them. I didn’t want to overtly betray both Renge and the main character’s feelings but if they add some plot or background information they may be worth checking out.

    Anyway, about Renge’s route, I also found her part to be a little too forceful with the sex scenes, which is kinda understandable since having none in the first part and having to cram a specific amount in the game in the first place. Rather than romance it’s mostly sex and revisiting old games backgrounds, for more than one loop at that… Trying to tie each previous entry to a form a love felt a bit forceful too, as I mostly associated with madness themes instead. I didn’t reach the same conclusion as you did about their ‘destiny’, rather the opposite: from the dawn of time they’re destined to fall in love but have their relationship broken apart by something or another (king/slave taboo relationship, one of them dies, etc…). So the whole point of the hesitation towards going to the next life is to avoid repeating the cycle.

    I don’t think there’s a contradiction with the fox maiden at all, I’m pretty sure Renge explained that the fox maiden is a previous incarnation of her soul and the remnant spirit that rampages and possesses Moyoka in this game is just a part of her that lingered from too much sadness/despair losing Natsukiko’s previous incarnation. In short, it’s basically a more detailed and relatable example of the fucked up destiny of their relationship. How they managed to get out of the cycle is a little more puzzling, sheer will I guess?

    The last part I didn’t like quite as much as you, “the player” self-insert was obvious from the start by the game asking for a name at the beginning, but it didn’t really feel like he actually looked or even remembered Renge (just some vague “looking for something” feeling), until he happened to chance encounter her in a park. The whole point was to escape destiny, but in the end the game completely relied on it anyway. I happen to prefer small Renge’s more serious and mysterious side, but I’ll agree seeing her grown up and sexually very aggressive was quite nice too, and made for some good H scenes at least.

    By Salute did you mean Saleté? I skipped it because it looked like trash (just like the name implies, in french).

    • The only knowledge I have about Amakano is that the artist is the same person (piromizu) who also drew Aozora Stripe, another title I greatly enjoyed as a charage. Otherwise I haven’t played any of Azarashi Soft’s titles so maybe I should give them a try +w+

      I also agree isekai is something I’m not too fond of, but as it stands I’m still a giant weeaboo at heart so I will give them a try just in the hopes I’ll find a good title. I guess it didn’t happen for me this time :(

      Going into Mangekyou, that’s true there isn’t much violence or sexual taboo as last games, and that may be because this is an actual setting the writers tried to base the story on, though the spontaneous hand bursting into flames or a girl choking herself due to the curse was pretty violent methinks

      Karen’s route is basically garbage and just another excuse to add a subheroine. Moyoka’s on the other hand is more of a bad route because Natsuhiko disappears while Moyoka dies, and strongly implies that the Fox Maiden regains her powers to cause additional chaos (presumably killing all the girls affected by the curse at the school) while the group fails the investigation. It does bring up several inconsistencies (like how the Fox Maiden gained all of her powers just by having sex with Natsuhiko) so I wouldn’t say you missed much.

      The contradiction with the Fox Maiden is in regards to Natsuhiko’s PREVIOUS life; the one where the reminiscence scenes display the Fox Maiden approaching the injured Natsuhiko and the two falling in love, and Renge doesn’t even exist in said narrative despite how she was “destined” to either fall in love (your analysis) or be connected (my analysis) with Natsuhiko.

      I can see where you got your analysis of Renge and Natsuhiko “destined to fall in love but have obstacles”, except this really doesn’t apply to the epilogue when they gain their memories of past lives spontaneously. That’s where I changed my own analysis as well. Again wish the epilogue was elongated a bit more to allow for the lore to remain consistent but I guess the writer was running out of time.

      I also preferred mature Renge probably because I’m so used to hearing Kazane voicing mature characters lul. Very subjective preference.

      Saleté is the title; I didn’t know what it meant so thanks for saving me the effort to find out! It’s very dark and with the second “death” the game makes pretty interesting foreshadows about the conclusion, not to mention the narrative is decent if I play the role of the “audience” as the game expects me to.

    • piromizu is indeed a very good artist, almost good enough to make me excuse the awfulness of the common route in Aozora Stripe and Erect! (but not quite!). One thing that may strike you is that his character tend to look alike a lot between different games. If you have a particular attachment to some of his characters, seeing almost the same “face” for a different character/voice can be unsettling, just like it was for me when I played Aozora Stripe after Amakano : I just can’t not see Misato as Sayuki and Kotone as Koharu.

      I can’t in good conscience recommend anything other than the Amakano series from Azarashi Soft, all their other attempts are pretty lackluster compared to said series. I guess you could also look at Aikagi 2, it is the only single heroine game they put out I didn’t find deeply flawed.

      -Mangekyou
      It’s true the strangling and bursting into flame made from some nasty CGs, but compared to some of the stuff that goes on in the other games it’s still pretty tame. In the H scene department, there’s also fewer violent/rape scenes that what the series had me gotten used to (for the better!).

      I must be dumb but I still don’t see the contradiction with the fox maiden. She’s Renge’s previous incarnation, so it’s “destined” for her to fall in love with Natsuhiko’s incarnation of that time.

      I remember some dialogue from the end of Renge (small) route that hinted at breaking away from this destiny of unfulfilled love (before they enter the black hole?). Just being destined to be connected doesn’t sound quite as tragic and painful as the characters made it sound. The epilogue would be the result of succeeding at breaking away from the cycle, though exactly HOW they done it remains a mystery to me.

    • I’ve dealt with Aoi Nishimata and Hiro Suzumiya from Navel for years now so I’m kinda already in the waters when it comes to same-face characters LUL

      In regards to Mangekyou though, there’s no way the Fox Maiden is Renge’s previous reincarnation–the story mentions no such thing and if at all it shows that the Fox Maiden went mad after the death of the “previous Natsuhiko” and placed the curse on the town in the first place which manifests as the curse of the Blue Web via Moyoka

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