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

Foreword: Okay so I’ve been procrastinating this title for quite a bit so I felt that I should probably complete this before I move onto some other titles I have planned for myself (like Golden Hour). Before I start though, with all due respect to minori, MangaGamer, and all its readers, this is the type of the game that gets a shitload of excessive “hype” purely because of its setting or art when it’s not that great in the first place. Sure it can definitely be seen as good in many portions, but one thing I hate with a burning passion are stupid players who rate games like this as the absolute best and completely throw out everything else that was bad about it out the window. I’d say it’s fair if you thought this game was good, but I’m going to think you’re an idiot if you try to brush the bad parts under the rug.

I’m pretty sure some players only rate it good because others say so and/or they’re too dumb to understand the symbolism/analogies presented in the game. I know they’re out there. Kinda makes it really fucking sad some of these players have minds of 15 year olds when this game’s supposed to be for adults the age of 18 and up.

Enough of my ranting because I’ll be doing it anyways in my review. Let’s get started.

Due to various personal bias this review may be much more critical. Players who genuinely liked this game are discouraged from reading further.
It also contains various spoilers in order to prove my points properly.

Title: トリノライン (Trinoline)
Producers: minori
Release Date: March 31, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19644
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=916829
Game Type: Fantasy novel dealing with taboo of artificial intelligence

Summary: The word for “forget” (忘) in Japanese is written with the combination of “heart” (心) and “to die” (亡), meaning memories can be compared to one’s life or their reason to live. At least for Shun, this quote meant everything after his younger sister Shirone’s death where her memories in him was everything he had. Even after years pass after her death he still holds dear anything and everything he remembers of her.

However, this will change one day when he wakes up and finds the exact resemblance of his younger sister playing the piano. Extremely startled, Shun soon realizes that this is not actually his younger sister, but instead an android made in her image with her memories with the exact same name “Shirone”. While reluctant at first Shun becomes accustomed to this android who is almost like his younger sister.

However, their happiness won’t last for long as Shirone’s existence did not come without a heavy price. It comes with the separation of Shun and his mother along with his memories which now needs to be recovered by his childhood friends and his new younger sister.

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Foreword: I remember I was introduced to the Mangekyou series by a good friend named “gangrelion” (Not sure what he’s up to nowadays. Probably playing galge on other mediums like PS Vita or something). I remember getting some really good impressions from it along with the game itself being fun, so I’ve essentially played the entire Bishoujo Mangekyou series–this recent one wouldn’t really be an exception.

One of the biggest things with the Mangekyou series is that it has some serious shit going on. Regardless of whether or not that “shit” makes sense in the context of the original story or not, all of these games have extreme impact which makes these games highly memorable and also enjoyable.

Please note as a rather short game, mild spoilers are included in certain portions!

Title: 美少女万華鏡 -罪と罰の少女-
Producers: ωstar
Release Date: July 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19182
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=903609
Game Type: Kinetic Nukige novel revolving around incest

Summary: Yuuma is a boy who’s been hospitalized for some mental illness by his father, who hates him with everything he has. His days in the hospital wasn’t anything special as one day his twin sister Yuuri came to pick him up to take him home. Despite his father still being present, Yuuri is protective of Yuuma and takes care of him well.

Yuuma does have some trouble getting used to his new environment and his father who torments him to no end, but with Yuuri’s suggestion to crossdress and attend her school, perhaps Yuuma might find what he wants to do with his life outside of the hospital.

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Foreword: I hope you’re not surprised that this game was pretty much one of the top priorities for me once I came back to VNs. As a fan of Izumi Tsubasu since Mashiroiro Symphony, I always want to fucking kill myself when I see her blogging the stuff she sells in her booth in Comiket for pretty obvious reasons. Legit one of my bucket list includes decorating all part of my room with Izumi Tsubasu/Hisuitei illustration, so my love for this artist is through the roof.

Let’s get to this title, which had some interesting concepts included in it. I actually have not read much of the information regarding it because I didn’t want to spoil myself, and heard it was quite short (which it was!) so there’s that too. I’m going to try my absolute hardest not to be biased for this title due to my insane love for Izumi Tsubasu but I just ask for your understanding that I’m a human too and can be a bit biasOMG MIYAKO IS SO CUTEE AHHHHHHHHHH@*!&@$(@&!##

Please do note there will be spoilers in this game in addition to various hypothesis I’ve made regarding this game! Please read at your own risk

Title: 9-nine-ここのつここのかここのいろ
Producers: Palette
Release Date: April 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19829
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=926298
Game Type: Short suspense novel

Summary: It would be a normal town until strange things such as its Shrine becomes broken by an earthquake and strange powers called artifacts start to appear out of nowhere. In this seemingly normal town of Shiromitsukawa, Kakeru is involved with all of these incidents whether or not from coincidence, and his meeting with Miyako Kujo will also be one of them.

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Foreword: I’ve been following Whirlpool’s games since a very long time ago and is one of the very few producers for whom I’m knowledgeable about all their games. While they’re not extraordinary, some of their titles are quite decent and a good read, and over the years they haven’t done anything absolutely retarded like other eroge producers.

It’s also actually quite pleasing to see that they’re utilizing more proficient scenario writers, seeing how they put the writer for Koidoll and World Election in full charge of writing this game, which gave Hatsujou Sprinkle that charage-like environment which allowed it to have value in the sense all the characters had superior designs

Title: 初情スプリンクル  (Note: Hatsujou means “in-heat” or “sexually excited”, but they use a different kanji meaning “First Affection” within the title) is it supposed to make this title more pure or something kappa
Producers: Whirlpool
Release Date: July 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v20975
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=952535
Game Type: Comedy Fantasy Charage with various real-life references

Summary: It was supposed to be a normal day for Souta… If he wasn’t suddenly pulled into the alleyway by a girl ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) who questions him with things he didn’t understand. She claimed he had magical powers of turning on women around him, and he was one of the “awakened” due to someone stealing a precious heirloom from her family. Without having any idea what the hell is going on, Souta really has no option than to allow this girl to watch over him in his daily life to make sure nothing goes wrong, which will sooner or later involve more people in his life.

I’d like to be involved in that uhhhhhhhhh…. battle

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Foreword: So here we have what’s really a overhaul of the Shin Koihime title that was released a long time ago (more specifically in 2008). Seeing how this series is still pretty popular for the original Koihime title to receive official translations and have extra games made (such as Heroes and now this remake), I was obviously going to give this title a go and see how great this “overhaul” would be, especially considering how it’ll likely be performed for other nations as well. The main reason I was unable to properly review the main game (e.g. the one from 2008) was that it was ridiculously long and was essentially three stories. Now that there’s actually separate games for each I feel that it’s necessary to place what I think about each title within the form of a review.

Generally, you shouldn’t really expect TOO many things different from the original. I’ll be comparing the two very frequently, so many apologies if you haven’t played the original…. Though to be honest you’d probably like this game if you DIDN’T play the original, because if you did you’ll be seeing the same scenes again for some portions of the game.

Title: 真・恋姫†夢想-革命- 蒼天の覇王
Producers: BaseSon
Release Date: July 28, 2017
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v18649
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=948930
Game Type: Remake of the renowned game from 2008 with additional characters and stories.

Description: This game is a remake of the 2008 game’s Gi portion, retouching pretty much all of the characters, switching some CVs around, creating new characters and scenarios, and altering the main scenario a bit as well. The substories for characters remains the same, but the gameplay has been revamped greatly so it’s not a rock-paper-scissors anymore.

But on the other hand some of the “harder” battles involve bullshit tactics like enemies being able to use special attacks/heals/buffs without restrictions and such, similar to the 2008 game.

Story Length: Very long (>30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: I honestly thought the minigame would be harder because of the fact it’s not a simple rock-paper-scissors anymore, but turns out it’s really easy. Even when it comes to the final battles where enemies have bullshit moves like dealing extra damage (like it did in the 2008 game), random buffs, or healing, the game’s difficulty remained low which was something I found to be slightly more disappointing because there’s more factors to the battles which only made the game more complex; not challenging.

One thing is that I hate how you’re limited to 5 “choices” when reading substories. It’s just a stupid excuse to make you play through the game twice and shouldn’t have been a feature. It should have been something like Sengoku Koihime instead. Just use Cheat Engine to bypass this limit and read all the stories in your first playthrough.

mrw Cheat Engine lets me avoid reading the same damned scenes twice

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Foreword: One of the major reasons why I’m so headstrong on trying out doujin titles (even if they’re made with engines like RPGVX) is because while it provides the new environment of a different engine (aside from the ADV we’re used to seeing with VNs), some also provide gameplay which entertains me for a while or as with this particular series, it’s very thought-provoking.

With my bias for lolita aside, these titles are extremely well made (as you can see one of the titles not containing that niche element). The reason being that the writers were able to keep most things like the environment simple, but make the character themselves much more complex. As I’ll discuss in the main body of the review, this is really how games should be written and created, so I actually feel bad right now I’m lumping all of these 5 titles into one (4 plus a sequel); it almost feels like I’m disrespecting the game which is the last thing I want to do.

There is one more game from this doujin group. The problem is that title is MUCH darker and is actually an NTR title, making it somewhat unfitting to be placed in this review.

Titles:

  • ゆびきり婚約ロリータ (Pinky-promise engagement Lolita)
  • お泊り恋人ロリータ (Sleep-over lover Lolita)
  • 相思相愛ロリータ+生活 (Love each other Lolita + Living together)
  • 彼女、甘い彼女 (Girlfriend, sweet girlfriend)

Producer: 夜のひつじ
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/php/search.phtml?search_brand_id=74929
Game Type: Reality-set kinetic novel revolving around stigma of “lolita”  and socialism

General Explanation: Each title is actually quite short and thus giving a summary would essentially spoil the game. While the last title do not follow the same theme of “lolita”, it is well made, displaying an ideal form of romantic relationships as well as displaying some sociology viewpoints. Each of the other titles displays a young man in his 20s coincidentally meeting a young girl and after interacting for a bit they find something within each other which allows them to fall in love.

Mako from the first series, and also the only one currently with a sequel

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Foreword: Without a doubt I’ve been slowing down. While there’s definitely my fault in this delay of finishing and writing reviews, I also want to place at least a portion of the blame on generic titles which I was simply not interested in or annoyed me to the point I put it off. Instead, I found myself going to doujin titles, games (admittedly, I played roughly 10-15 doujin titles between the last review and this one), and MMOs instead of galge, which is like one certain friend who went down this path (although for other platforms) much earlier than I.

For that reason, the bottom portion of this review (or where I place my “dropped games” explaining my reasoning) may be quite long. I still haven’t really figured out what I wanted to do with all these dropped titles because they’re now becoming rather increasing in number compared to actual review posts (wow much quality)

Let’s get to the review of the most recent game I played which left quite a bit of impression on me, I would first off say that as with a previous game I played, Senmomo, this game was actually rather fun. As that mystery game where you are required to use clues and various other hints to solve a crime or make various conclusions. It was almost like a puzzle game, which I really appreciated.

Obviously, however, this title wasn’t exactly the best ones out there, so I’ll be talking about the things that I found to be not-so-praiseworthy, which mind you, will take up quite a while. Let’s get started!

Please do note that this review may contain mild spoilers for this game! 

Title: シンソウノイズ (Shinsou Noise) [True Emotion Noise]
Producers: Azurite
Release Date: December 22, 2016
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19684
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=916833
Game Type: Mystery/Suspense Novel with themes of Social and Human Psychology

Summary: Since he was born, Kazuma had a strange ability to hear the “inner thoughts” of people around him. These inner thoughts would never lie and always tell the truth, and would sometimes overwhelm the poor boy.

After being abandoned by his parents and raised by his grandmother who also had this ability, Kazuma learned to live his daily life by shutting himself apart from all his peers and refusing to associate with anyone. Despite how he was able to see the “truth”, it’s this very truth which pushed the poor boy into depression and despair as he saw the evils and trickery that humans were capable of.

It was around this time he meets Yukimoto Sakura, a mysterious girl who would often go to the rooftop of the school and simply stare at the sky. When looking at her inner thoughts coincidentally, Kazuma saw violent and gorey images of her death which at first made him almost want to regurgitate his lunch. However, this event also lead him to wanting to know more about this girl, as he stops her from committing suicide one day.

It won’t be long however, that on another certain day, Kazuma would hear a loud thud, and witness the death of the same person who was his first love, and the inner thoughts of someone who whispers:

“I Killed Her”

Scary!

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