Foreword: It’s been far too long without a review! I definitely have my schoolwork, employment, and other hobbies to blame, and even thought about quitting this site purely because of how little I was able to read VNs.
On the other hand, critiquing and reading VNs is one of the hobbies that I find unique about myself, so I just can’t really blow it off. It’s admittedly quite fun, especially when I get to talk trash about a title I hate. Why do you think I read bad VNs, you nerds?
However, I ultimately decided to swallow my pride and start DROPPING games. I generally had a very negative connotation about players dropping games in the first place (and still do, don’t get me wrong), but when one doesn’t have enough time to spend on a title as myself, this is pretty much the only option available since there’s way too many titles that’s dragging my time and not worth reading when in the end I’ll be complaining about how shitty it is anyways.
My biggest critique about players dropping games for whatever reason is that said reason is never expressed and doesn’t provide the player’s impressions on that game. This is why even if I do end up dropping games, I plan on mentioning them as well as my reason for dropping them. Whether I’ll do this as a monthly post or along with other reviews, this’ll be from trial-and-error, so please bear with me in that aspect.
Onto this title though, Kanojo Step! To be honest, I was actually quite surprised I completely forgot about this title; primarily because Smee is a company I find favorable especially with their writers specializing in intricate but silly humor. Overall though, I found this title was pretty much a copy-paste of another dating sim I found to be good, Lovely x Cation 2, so that was something I didn’t appreciate.
Let’s get on with the review!
P.S. After reading my review after writing it, it sounds pretty cringey, so I apologize in advance. I guess I forgot how2write during the long break.
Summary: Aki has never belonged anywhere due to his parents always moving around from one place to another, he was never able to make friends or form a deep relationship with anyone. With his parent’s death, his older sister takes him in and brings him to the countryside, where she promises would be the last “relocation”, and encourages him to form relationships here.
While Aki hates many things about the countryside including bugs or the lack of convenience stores, he is still grateful to his older sister for bringing him here, and genuinely decides to foster relationships he thought he wouldn’t be able to form during his school years. Perhaps that it’s time for him to settle down.
No Shiina, you can’t settle down on that bench (more…)
Foreword: I personally found myself picking this game up when I heard from a person named Zen, who works with Micchi back in Hau Omochikaeri in delivering previews of new releases every month (for which they really deserve more credit to be perfectly honest). For the most part, he has a very pessimistic (and humorous) attitude towards these new releases, but you can rarely see him being optimistic for some games. These are the games I generally want to try, because as someone who has a similar mindset as Zen, I imagine I might have a relatively similar preferences or tastes.
For the most part, this game was hilarious. Like seriously. There’s a lot of nonsense humor which really works if you know much about the otaku subculture and its taboos. Obviously though, being funny alone does not create a good game, so let’s get on with the review to see if this is a title you should try!
Summary: Sousuke is a relatively normal guy with interests in the otaku subculture. He shares the same interests with his younger sister Nanaru, who loves cute things such as idols, and is involved in a club specific for the groups of people who enjoy anime, games, or even things like mobile games.
While his life is peaceful with this group of friends, two people are suddenly introduced to his surroundings. One is his actual biological sister who was separated from him at a young age due to a divorce, and the other is an upperclassman who stalks the boy claiming she fell in love at first sight!
This along with the current relationships he has with Nanaru and his childhood friend Maho, there will most definitely be some love triangles involved!
Foreword: When one of my favorite companies release a game, it’s with no doubt that I’ll have said game on the highest priority on my list. Generally speaking, this game from Palette Qualia was almost on par with the more recent Palette release, Sakusaku, but was lacking in some areas as well. However, it was also good in other areas, and I’m here to discuss both of those traits.
I often wonder why producers would change their names like this. I mean, there’s really not that great of a reason to release this game in a different name when you’re already a branch of another company, right? (e.g. Palette vs Palette Qualia). It usually happens that this “debut title” is also the only title that the new company produces, so there’s that too…
Summary: Minato’s last blood-relative, his grandmother, passed away and now he is all alone in this world. He thinks about how he was blessed to have family, but dryly laughs about how he’ll need to take care of himself now.
However, during the funeral of his grandmother, someone named Kazari approaches him and offers to admit him into a prestigious school, in addition to providing him a place to reside. Minato immediately and thankfully takes up on this offer, but soon realizes that the Suzu Academy is an all-girl’s school, and the “ojou-sama” that he’ll be residing with has flaws of their own which really shattered his expectation for a high-class lady.
Foreword: I lied. I guess I’ll be playing a lot more galge/eroge now that I have time since MMOs have officially sickened me. It’s really sad that some of the MMO community is absolutely retarded to the point that I’ve decided to come back to galge.
On with this title, while it’s technically more of a nukige than anything else, I actually found myself enjoying this game for its occasional references, humor revolving around the characters, the colorful characters themselves, and something else I’ll probably mention a bit further down below. It was at least good enough to warrant a fandisc which is being released on the 27th (So next week!), so there’s that.
I’ve also decided to now list the “pros” and “cons” of each game at the very end in the conclusions, so it really gives the people who want 20 second summary of the game the take-home message. Hopefully that’s enough to justify my rants or praises or extraordinarilyandunnecessarylongreviewsthataren’tevenhelpfulahahahahahahaha
Summary: “ponkotsu” is an adjective used to describe something that’s “missing” something or unusual. It quite literally means “amateur” in some instances as well. At least for Ren and his younger sister Emili and their childhood friend Riria, this word was unrelated to them until they’re all kicked out by Riria’s mom who is also the school principle, for them being a “ponkotsu”. They’re placed in a special dormitory along with four different other people including three animals (?). This is when Ren finds out that each member of this dormitory isn’t actually human, and was brought here for some reason. Not being a ponkotsu himself, Ren had no place here, but was eventually accepted to be a manager whose household skills were invaluable to these groups of girls who needed guidance to graduate from being “ponkotsu”!
Foreword: I’ve been losing my speed recently! Two reviews a month is ridiculously slow, and I blame my MMO hobbies for that :|
(That, and I went through Lollipop Nightmare and Hello Lady -ND-. Both were pretty “meh”, with the former being pretty crappy and equivalent to a poorly-made nukige. Well, I should cut them some slack since they’re a doujin circle.
On the other hand, I was actually quite disappointed with this title as well. I’m sure we all know of the amazing route in the first game involving Luna, with crappy routes for the other heroines that I’m sure no one would even care about. Frankly, that was what I was expecting here as well: one stunningly good route, and other routes being worthy of being thrown into the garbage.
Turns out, none of the routes were even remotely close to being this “stunningly good” route. As if to add salt to wound, the story makes multiple references to the parents (Yuusei and Luna), but never really make them show up in game, and holy shit this is going to knock off points.
I’ll discuss the in’s and out’s of the entire game with the review below.
Summary: Saika returns from New York to Japan, where he calls his “true home”. His excitement since he lands at the airport has been at its max, and it becomes even more delightful for him that his favorite uncle Aeon is waiting for him at the Sakurakouji mansion. However, he hears a very bad news from him, that the Filia Academy will close down the male portion of the designer class due to the lack of applications.
Saika’s plan revolved entirely around his admission into this school! While this setback gets to him at first, he’s not going to back off yet. He’s not willing to wait another year for more applicants; he will take drastic measures to get into the school and leave a splendid legacy like his mother and father did in the past.
Allying Lumine (his “grandmother” by law), Atole (his younger sister), and Konochiyo (Yachiyo’s niece), Saika develops a plan to serve as a maid under a master in order to be able to attend the school. His favorite uncle Aeon lends his hand by providing Saika with a 66-story luxury mansion, and with every plan in full force, Saika’s only obstacle is now himself as he battles for the Grand Prix in the Christmas Filia Collection!
Along the way, he may befriend some allies who will work with him to achieve this goal. Saika’s story has just begun!
Story Length: Long (~30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: Typical “Navel” difficulty and length; there is no need for a walkthrough.
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 5/10
Rating Comments: For the reference, I DO NOT include the Append Disc (which happens to be extraordinarily hilarious and I was literally rolling on the ground laughing my ass off while watching) when giving the game these scores. If you look closely, you can see that this game is the first to have the protagonist rating be higher than both Character Design and Story, which is essentially what happened: the game focuses on the life of Saika explicitly and only his connections with other heroines. As a consequence, heroines seem very insignificant to the protagonist and if I may be so bold to state, bland as fuck.
Some of the subheroines were plain bitches who had no role in the story except to show the readers how much of an idiot they were, and I’m pretty sure Navel added them in just to make a comparison about how awesome the characters were compared to the subcharacters.
Lastly, the story rating gets a large drop due to a large variety of unwanted and unnecessary elements both within the common route and heroine-specific routes. Some includes the obviously insignificant explanation of the “Family History” and some of the family rivalries which were never followed up with a good explanation.
Like this guy, who is technically Saika’s cousin.
The story also gets a huge drop from the lack of drama which was thoroughly present in the prequel. In the first title, the reader is shown the struggles and made to FEEL those struggles that Luna and Yuusei experience, but this game had absolutely none of that; as all the characters were in their tip-top conditions and really had no opposition throughout the game. With that, there were no significant “conflicts” throughout the entire game; even when Saika’s gender was to be revealed.
It DOES, however, get some points from the climactic ending………
Which applies to only one route, and that’s it. (Wow, much quality)
All in all, a very inferior game.
Character Summary: So remember when I posted a preview a few months back? Well, I think I’ll be repeating a couple of things, so let’s copy paste! put some new features!
Due to the nature of this title, I’ll start out with Saika, the protagonist of this title and also the biological son of our favorite couple back in Tsukiyori. He inherited his mother’s hair and his father’s girly looks, and even their talent and passion for designing. Directly contrasting with their parents, however, Saika and Atole (his younger sister) is on very good relations with their uncle, the scary Aeon who you may have all hated in the prequel for his haughtiness. Saika even admits to “falling for him” if he was a girl and genuinely wonders why he hasn’t married yet.
Regardless, it IS Aeon that gives Saika the 66-story mansion which Saika names “Sakura no En” (Cherry Blossom Paradise), which has some really nice features including an underground path to the school so Saika’s fragile skin won’t be affected by the sunlight.
About Saika himself, he is highly narcissistic, except this is purely relating to self. In other words, Saika loves himself, but DOESN’T belittle others. Yes, yes, I understand how unrealistic this is, but guys, it’s fiction and just a story…. (and just wait, there are more characters that would grind your gears later). His attitude of “Positive-Thinking” and “Accepting Everything!” is pretty much proof of this trait, which happens to be contradictory with his sadistic attitude toward some of the “ojou-sama”.
As stated on the website, Saika has a severe mother-complex, but doesn’t really seem to get along with his father. Despite this, you’d be surprised to know that when he was younger, he saw his father dressed up as a maid, and actually fell in love with such “beauty” to the point his sexuality was traumatized. (I know. This sounds absolutely ridiculous but that’s what happened)
Lastly, Saika seems to be the “meat” of this game, meaning that the game focused on the protagonist extensively over the heroines, to the point everything was about him instead of the heroines. This is actually quite different than the “charage” we’re usually used to, and was actually a pleasant surprise for me.
Next we have the apparently central heroine, Est. As we know now, Est is the master who Saika serves under to attend the school, and this info is brought to him by Lumine. It’s shown to the readers that to Saika’s surprise, they know each other… but only by their names. They were essentially the top designers at one point and would battle for first and second place. Saika of course fears that Est would recognize him, but it’s definitely fortunate that they only know each other by their names. With his alternate identity, Kokura Asahi, Saika makes his approach to this young lady in hopes of infiltrating the school.
Est herself is a comical character completely unlike Luna from the previous title. Despite being a “noble”, Est’s family is known to be associated with some sketchy events, while she herself is relatively barbaric compared to other “ojousama”. In addition, Est swears quite frequently, to the disdain of Saika, who takes it upon himself to change his master’s speech patterns. I actually appreciated that Est doesn’t seem to have the “Japanese Accent” when speaking English, however.
Est’s route is ultimately boring as hell until the climax, when Saika’s identity is blown by a subheroine and he is not allowed to return to the school. However, he has his own connections and is determined to finish the costume for Est… which isn’t turning out good. As he lay crying about his powerlessness, the words of his father from the past returns to him, and may allow him to realize something important: a key that can infuse a dress with the ultimate beauty.
Next on the list is Sakuri, a strange character who literally asks for Saika’s hand in marriage as soon as she meets him. It’s clear that this girl is absolutely infatuated with anything that’s white, and literally falls in love at first sight with Saika’s hair. Despite the two being “girls”, Sakuri does not hesitate to make sexual approaches to Saika, and throughout the game, the reader can see her “character” switching rapidly depending on the roles she play in commercials and such.
In reality, Saika and Sakuri have met before, and neither of them are aware of it. Sakuri refers to this event in front of him and others, and hearing it, Saika realizes that Sakuri’s “first love” was him. Obviously, though, he can’t come out and say it, so he keeps his mouth shut at the time.
Sakuri’s route is pretty slow at first, but gains speed as soon as Saika reads something shocking in her Diary. This event changes his views on Sakuri completely, and admittedly, this was a great example of a “plot-twist”. Despite this, Sakuri’s route lacked impact, conflict, drama, and felt very rushed at the end.
Next is Paruko… I mean Haruko. A strange character introduced first as a mascot doll screaming at how beautiful Saika is, the reader will be astonished to see that this character is actually quite talented with an abstract form of designing which allowed her and her friend to form a brand called “ParuParu Silver” (I can’t remember if this was the exact name).
Corresponding to her personality, Haruko is very laid back and frank, while being relatively modest with her works. She is associated with the “Regular Curriculum”, and even chosen for the introductory speech due to her talents (although she MAJORLY botches up that speech)
Haruko had a weird and ambiguous route where her past which displays her frail body is revealed all of a sudden. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be a good relationship between the students of the Regular Curriculum and the Special Curriculum, which brings about more conflict. In a sense, I found her to have a good route and design, but largely lacking flow and impact.
It’s also freaking hilarious how Saika almost barfs during one of the H-scenes, too.
Last is the “older sister” character Lumine. I have that in quotations because in reality, she’s younger than Saika. The game answers her relationship to Saika, as it explains how Yuusei’s grandfather (aka, Saika’s great-grandfather) is still alive and kicking at over 100 years of age, and somehow hooked up with a lovely 18-year-old chick. This relationship gave birth to Lumine.
So think of the family tree for a bit. In this sense, Lumine is actually Saika’s grandmother, despite being younger than him. WOW
In reality, this is used more as a form of ridicule than respect, as she is called various names from “Great Aunt” to “Grandmother” to “Anego”. Despite this strange and messed up family tree, Lumine and Saika get along very well, and can be considered “osananajimi”.
Similar to Resona from the previous title, Lumine is unable to refuse Saika’s “requests” from a past experience endangering his well-being. The event is also the reason why Lumine seems to be “dependent” on him to a certain extent.
Like Est’s route, Lumine’s route is very boring until the climax, when it is again the protagonist who shines and brings about a decent conclusion. Lumine’s route involves the “Ookura” family moreso than the other routes.
Oh, and these are a few of the subcharacters behind Est
Sexual Content: Low. These are definitely H-scenes that you don’t want to skip, NOR fap to. They add such ridiculous “plays” onto these scenes and crude humor to the point it’s not even funny, but just so silly that you’re laughing your ass off and losing your boner completely.
So here we have the hyped sequel that unfortunately didn’t turn out that great. As stated above, most of the scenes involved Saika and his talents and NOT the heroine. The flow is rather awkward with this game, and some routes simply has background information just thrown at the reader’s face. Climax scenes are relatively okay, though, which reminds everyone that Navel’s been going strong for years for a reason.
On the other hand, I’m very distressed that only the very minor characters from the prequel make an appearance. Honestly, I would’ve loved to see any of the heroines from the first title make an appearance as an “older self”. As expected, no Luna nor Yuusei, and Aeon actually looks the same (just with glasses).
Now for the Append Comments. One Word: Hilarious.
The two stories are Luna After After Story, and a nonsense version of Resona’s side-story which involves the male characters. The former involves Yuusei (or Asahi) admitting to stop with the “Asahi” identity after graduation, and Luna being completely depressed over it (remember that Luna’s “first love” is Asahi, not Yuusei). It involves other characters including Aeon who has been working to stabilize the relationship between the Sakurakouji and Ookura families, as well as ichaicha between the characters.
On the other hand, the nonsense version of Resona’s side-story involves the cross-dressed Yuusei falling out the window and losing his memory. Anthony (Yuusei’s cousin) happens by and saves him, but does something absolutely idiotic that requires the full assistance of Suruga and Aeon to restore Yuusei’s memory. Here, you can see how silly the Ookura family can be, and what extent they would all go to expressing their affection for this ridiculously popular protagonist.
Hm… Isn’t this scene a bit familiar…?
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
CG Score: 5/10. Pretty average artwork with your same old Nishimata and Suzumiya. Really, Nishimata’s art is what got me into eroge in the beginning, but her artwork got pretty crappy recently (awkward poses, gestures)
Music Score: 8/10. Amazing music as expected of Navel. Some “eurotrance” tracks are amazing, heroine-themes are also quite well-designed.
C’est parti! (Filia Collection Theme)
ぐっどろもーにんぐす (Paruko’s Theme)
Conclusion: An inferior sequel from Navel, which is quite unfortunate since we all know and were expecting (don’t lie: Getchu’s ranking states that this game was hyped #1). It has a couple of routes where the climax is great, but most of the time, the story is boring lacking drama and “conflict” as it did in the prequel.
So you’re telling me that the “girl” on the right is actually a guy? WHAT?!
Foreword: Merry Christmas, everyone! I wanted to include that statement with my newest review, so here I am 3 days after starting this awesome game that I give credit to akerou for having me go through; I don’t regret my decision one bit, except that I’m kinda scared that future games won’t match up this one!
Hm, now that I think about it, that whole “Christmas” thing wasn’t really that important… Oh well
Let’s get right into the review. Aokana, which is the shortened acronym for “Ao no kanata no four rhythm” was a great game. It’s unique in the sense that while it doesn’t look like it, it contains a lot of battle scenes, and to the great pleasure of players like myself, lots of symbolism and moral lessons.
Almost on kamige-quality, this title really did throw me off guard and had my blood boiling during some of its battle scenes! Quite unfortunately, it also had its bad portions, and I’ll be going through all of it during the review.
I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas, and I wish you the very best for the New Year to come!
Thank you all!!
P.S. Holy crap, this game already has a translation project going?
Title: 青の彼方のフォーリズム (Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm) [Lit. Trans: The Four Rhythm of the Blue Other Side]
Summary: Masaya was one of the best Sky Walkers of his era and age. He was known to be invincible with his Grashoes (Anti-gravity Shoes) when performing a sport called Flying Circus (FC), and everyone was calling him a “genius”.
However, this same praise had been crushing the protagonist for years and years, until finally, a certain event made the poor boy snap and destroy everything that he was living his life for.
Now, he is just a normal student with a few friends in school with no hobbies and nothing special. It is on one of these days when he meets a cute girl named “Asuka” who lost her keys on her way to school. Even though Masaya is able to quickly find the keys for the girl, they end up being even more delayed on their first day of school… Until Masaya breaks out his Grashoes and to Asuka’s surprise, they arrive at school in time.
The stunned Asuka turns out to be a transfer student who has never heard of these “Anti-gravity shoes”, and her interest inflates to the point she pulls Masaya into the thing he hated most with all his heart.
Masaya is reluctantly dragged back into being the coach for the thing he had long given up on; FC. However, to his fear, he finds himself enjoying himself as a coach, and perhaps with the help of the team and the people around him, he can get back on his feet and soar through the skies again.
Not gonna lie: this looks exactly like me running away from my huge, growing backlog. (more…)
Foreword: Back when I was still a boring weeaboo, (which happens to be quite a long time ago), the name “Lump of Sugar” immediately corresponded to a great game called “Tayutama”, a heart-warming story about accepting each other’s differences and even finding love across those differences that one would normally be prejudiced for.
Fast forward to today, and their newest game, Unmei Senjou no Phi, is actually… (brace yourselves) a nonsense game. It is directly contradicting with their previous styles (including how it’s completely opposite to their world-famous kamige), and most of this game was focused on the “nonsense routes” that were emphasized more explicitly than the heroines themselves. If you remember Girls in Black from Whirlpool, it’s safe to say that this game is resembling this.
However, unlike the former title, this game was hilarious. Despite being a nonsense game, I also want to say it’s a well-made charage due to its great design of characters, including heroines and protagonists. In addition, some of these “nonsense routes” were the very elements that added to the game’s humor, and while I understand that most of you have different standards of humor than I do, but I’m sure you’ll crack a grin at least at some of the silliness that the characters present.
Unfortunately, those things don’t necessary make up a “good game”. Here goes the review for Unmei Senjou no Phi!
P.S. As I write this, I have started four nukige titles, two of them decent, but the other two so horrible that I can’t even find the desire to fap to them. Don’t expect a review for these, and it might take me a while to finish these and move on to some other games
Please note that this review contains intentional minor spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Summary: “Kotodama”, a spiritual and mysterious energy contained in the words of humans is present in some of the selected humans, and Iori is definitely one who has such powers as well as he arrives at the Shintenjima, a mysterious island thought to be just an illusion and not even present on maps.
Through various reasons he makes this visit, one thing is clear; and it’s that his lost memory from 5 years ago has something to do with this island, and its residents. Little does he know, however, that him nosing into this “Kotodama” business will make him go into the depths of the truth, and help him realize about his lost past, relationships, powers, and destiny.
Kotodama, 言霊, literally means “Word Spirit” and is equivalent to a super power related to the “word” that the individual possesses. For Iori, the word is “Zan” (斬) or to “cut and throw away”. However, the usage of this superpower also induces a side-effect…
Nagisa used Neko-Charm! It’s Super Effective! (more…)
Some reviews will contain spoiler pages and password protected so that it doesn’t appear publicly in the main page, and you don’t “accidentally” peek at it ;)
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