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I wanna be your number One! Review of [130927]Ichibanjanakya damedesuka?

Foreword: Okay, I lied. I’m sorry TT_TT;; I was really tired from the continuous exams + speech + a report that I had to finish literally back to back, and I had a really bad headache for the past few days (along with the fact that I didn’t get too much sleep)… I’ll make sure I put in extra effort (?) for this review though!

My first game from Rosebleu, I actually had high expectations because of its description that sounded like there was going to be some good drama in the story. In addition to the fact that a friend of mine is a huge fan of Rosebleu, I guess I had my expectations TOO high…

Yeah, it didn’t turn out well.

Turns out, the summary is wrong on vndb.org (why am I not surprised?), and this is actually a slightly inferior game. The only “good points” was that some of the characters were “deredere” to the point of comedy, but aside from all that, this was your typical “harem” game without the actual harem ending. I think I would have some explaining to do, which I’ll get to very soon.

Title: 一番じゃなきゃダメですかっ? (Ichiban janakya damedesuka?) [Lit. Trans: Must I be First?]
Producers: Rosebleu
Release Date: September 27, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v12479
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=771496
Game Type: Comedy Novel with weak theme of family

Summary: Today is Shou’s moving day, and nervous about the people he’ll be living with for who-knows-how-long, he takes it upon himself to do an panties-fortune telling. Naturally, that doesn’t work out, and he arrives at the destination with his non-blood related sister (and childhood friend) Hisui.

However, there seems to been some misunderstanding. This apartment called “Ittokikan” (roughly translates into “one-time apartment”) is actually meant to be a girls only apartment due to its residents having some bad relationship with their male sibling. Despite this, all of the residents except for the manager, Ruri, finds Shou acceptable and a person who they can trust. In order to convince Ruri that he is a reliable and honest person, they now decide to have a swimming match… However, Ruri is the ace of the swim team…

(more…)

Leading the Lost Sheep, Like a Good Shepherd: Review of [130125]Daitosho

Foreword: The most recent game by August, I was actually pretty hesitant to play this game. Yes, Fortune Arterial and Aiyoku no Eustia were very good titles (at least in my eyes), but the problem was that Daitosho recevied various bad impressions from the general community.

What happened? I did play it (captain obvious here), but I didn’t like it. It contained the “true route” that is present in other August games, but it was rather incomplete (as I’ll try to explain in the later sections), and the humor was weak. There was even a dramatic love triangle, but that was turned into a rather comical one with one of the appendix stories, and not emphasized enough.

In a sense, this game resembles Fortune Arterial greatly: Light, shallow game, but with LOTS of symbolisms (which is unlike FA in my opinion).

On the other hand, sorry I’ve been delayed with exams! To make up for it (not really), I’ll post TWO reviews today (well, at least I’ll try to…)

Title: Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (Shepherd of the Great Library)
Producers: August
Release Date: January 25th, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v8158
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=724555
Game Type: Novel with various symbolisms

Summary: The “Shepherd” is a mysterious individiual who helps various individuals throughout the school with their problems. The strange thing about this is that while all of these students received something of great benefit, they cannot remember these “Shepherds” who changed their lives. Kyotarou Kakei is one of these individuals whose experience with the “Shepherd” started with a simple message saying “You’ll have a meeting today that will change your life”.

This message does come true as he finds a girl handing out fliers in front of the station, and suddenly sees a vision of her being hit and seriously injured by a malfunctioning trolley. Rushing towards her, he knocks her down to the confusion of everyone in that area…

But at the next moment, a trolley that was entering the station crashes in to the very location where the girl was standing.

This is the meeting of Kakei and a charming girl named Shirasaki Tsugumi. Together, with various other members that later join the group, form the “Library Club” to “Make this school a better place”, while trying to figure out the mystery of the “Shepherd”.

Story Length: Moderately Long (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: Nothing really hidden here; just a story for each of the characters, as well as a true route featuring Kodachi Nagi, the Library Committe Member. There’s a “true route” for all the other members (Tsugumi, Kana, Tamami, and Senri), and even subcharacter routes for Sayumi (the loli assistant manager of the cafetaria), Miyu (the pink haired voice artist), as well as Maho, the student council president who continuously tries to recruit Kyotarou into the Student Council.

Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 5/10
Rating Comments: A generally lower score compared to many other of August’s games, most of the score is dropped drastically due to the story being incomplete, and the reader is left with the feeling of “What next?” rather than “That was a good story!”. (This was actually my exact thoughts). As stated previously, the “True Route” for the four heroines were essentially the same thing, minus an H-scene for each of them, so I was pretty disappointed. Even Nagi’s true route contained no important elements that contribute to wrapping up the story.

I also found it strange how the game insists on using the character’s last name throughout almost the entirety of the story; even at some of the heroine’s routes too! If you’re confused about “who the heck is that?!”, it’s probably because I use the character’s first names instead of the familiar last names used in the game.

Character Summary:

Shirasaki Tsugumi
Tsugumi is the character that Kyotarou saves in the very beginning scenes, and is a strange character. While she isn’t introverted, she claims that when she addresses an audience above a certain number, her voice shakes (so she’s afraid of public speaking) to the point Kyotarou and Takamine finds it rather erotic. Her large breast size doesn’t help to defer the attention when her phobia arises, and it’s usually her good friend Tamami who offers a helping hand.

Originally trying to make the school a better place, Shirasaki makes a “bet” with Kyotarou, saying that by Golden Week, she’ll make him want to be a part of the Library Club on his own accord.

For a character designed to be the main heroine, Shirasaki isn’t really too unique, and doesn’t even stand out from the other heroines. On average, I’d say that she has even less “lines” than other characters, and this makes it rather confusing. (Since other games by August seems to have a “main character”).

Her route is paired with Mochizuki Miho , the student council president.


Sakuraba Tamami
Another strange character, Tamami is introduced along with Shirasaki, and is shown to be very resourceful and responsible. Taking on multiple tasks of the club by herself, she encourages the others to “take the spotlight” while she works in the shadows supporting her friends.

Kyotarou soon realizes however, that this girl has her own problems. Along with her family background as someone “important”, he will soon realize that it’s not only him that that keeps a close eye on this “princess” (*hint hint*).

According to Kyotarou, Tamami, despite being rather stubborn, is actually a masochist, and likes to be “disciplined”. While this fact is only mentioned slightly in one of the scenes, it is possible to see that this characteristic is continued throughout the story.

Tamami is the only heroine not paired with a “targetable” subcharacter


Suzuki Kana
Energetic and bright, the first scenes involving this heroine shows the joking of Takamine of ordering a “smile”, of which she charges 1000 en (about $10) for. This humorous character immediately becomes involved in the Library club since she also enjoys reading, and this originally creates the very first element of affection between Kana and Kyotarou.

Kana is very attractive in my eyes. Not only does she create the bright mood for the entire group, she also has the most sense of humor, and can even be seen as the “most honest” character. Despite this fact, she hides a secret from the rest of the members that Kyotarou soon tries to pry from her.

Nonetheless, Kana is involved in the love triangle with Senri and Kyotarou. It can be seen that she reacts much more dramatically to Kyotarou’s rejection (in Senri’s route), and in all of the routes, it hints that Kana is skilled in writing stories.

Kana is paired with Ureshino Sayuri, the loli assistant manager.

Misono Senri
So cliche that I can’t even laugh, Senri is the typical “coodere” heroine present in other games. (For the reference, the “coo” part refers to “Cool” or Japanese’s term to describe a girl who is insensitive to romance). Her first appearance is involved with the rumor that there is a highly talented singer who doesn’t attend class regularly. Shirasaki is the first to suggest the invitation of this girl into the club, and with the help of Giza-sama (the fat cat), the girl who avoids human contact soon joins the crew.

There’s really nothing to explain about Senri except for the fact that her personality is really similar to other “coodere” heroines in other games. It is her route where the “Love Triangle” with Kana is most detailed, but other than that, there wasn’t many details about this character.

It is shown that Senri is an extreme sadist, however, and greatly enjoys the company of Giza-sama, the fat (and possibly perverted) cat. It seems that she can control the cat according to her will, and uses this to her advantage when knocking out Takamine or threatening Nagi.

Senri’s route is paired with Miyu, the pink haired seiyuu who seems to have a direct and important connection with the talented singer.


Kodachi Nagi
A girl with red hair and a sadistic (?) personality, her role is very vague in the beginning, but becomes clearer as the story continues. The first real encounter with Nagi is when the Library Club is too noisy, and Nagi continuously barges into the door demanding silence. Because of this, Nagi is not on too good relations with Kyotarou…

But they are next door neighbors.

Nagi, however, uses this irony to her advantage and “barges” into Kyotarou’s house to borrow his TV since hers is broken. She likes watching drama, and doesn’t want to miss out on a single episode.

Nagi has the largest breast size of the entire character list, making her a “threat” for the other girls who aim for the affection of Kyotarou (she is especially targeted by Senri and Kana). Finding this enjoyable, this sadistic girl will cause various misunderstandings that expose the poor guy to cold stares from his peers. However, her sadistic personality is crushed in her own route, when her paradigm is overturned by our intelligent protagonist.

The Appendix story shows the complete reversal of her personality when Giza lands on her head. (For the reference, she is really weak with animals)

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: A surprisingly inferior August game. Although it does have a fandisk as well as a spin-off, I don’t think I’ll be getting to them any time soon since the spin-off is unrelated to the characters completely (assuming that it’ll be the same setting though), and I generally don’t go for a fandisk when I didn’t really like the main game.

All in all, I didn’t like the game overall. As I’ll say for the 3rd time, the “true endings” were repeated 3 times (4 times total), which really made my head hurt as I was trying to collect the last bit of CG (which were HCGs too…), and while the appendix story is funny, I’m afraid to report that the appendix story only contains the “ichaicha” of the heroine and Kyotarou, and the other members pretty much cringing continuously. Along with this, I found these “extra stories” to contain more humor than the main game. Does this mean that the game was supposed to be a drama? I don’t think so… But nonetheless, this mismatch (or I’d like to call it a poor wrap-up) makes, actually, a lot of August games turn out rather crappy. (Another example would be Eustia. If you’ve played it, you’ll know what I’m talking about)

With the Senri + Kana route, it is shown that there is a love triangle, but it wasn’t displayed as much. There ARE scenes where either Kana or Senri will become depressed due to being rejected by Kyotaro, I feel like there could have been more to it. As an example–Kana, who returns after being rejected by Kyotaro, meets the Shepherd, who suggests her to become a writer. Even in Senri’s route, I would’ve liked to see Kana’s lingering feelings for Kyotaro, as she works hard to becoming what she wants to become.

Additionally, this game (as well as Fortune Arterial for that matter) has 2 opening movies. However, the second one is REALLY unnecessary because it only re-introduces the characters again, and each movie uses the same freaking CGs again. On that thought, let me also complain here that due to an element (which I’ll explain in the “CG Quality” section), there are very little number of CGs compared to other games of similar length.

Oh… shit shit shit shit shit…

Finally, my last complaint is that Shirasaki Tsugumi, who was supposed to be the “main heroine”, didn’t really seem like one. According to the story, I found one of the other characters to be more prominently “important” than the mascot girl, and perhaps in some players’ eyes, other characters may have been much more attractive.

All that aside, pay attention to the symbolisms. Many of the elements presented, including “shepherd”, “book”, and “happiness” is present here, and while I complain about the story being pretty crappy overall, August’s games are very effective in presenting fundamental morality to the audience.

Affection for the Characters: Low

CG Quality: Low
Alright. In Daitosho, August uses the sprites to its fullest extent. By “cutting off” parts of the sprite with the screen, and enlarging some while making some small allowed them to create “background pictures” with just the sprites themselves. Many scenes involve these “modified sprites” that actually are placed in lieu of CGs themselves, and this is pretty much why there are more HCGs than regular CGs (and why the movies use the same freaking CG =3=).

That’s bright :O

I would only find this trait a plus if the game actually had other CGs besides these “semi-CGs”.

I can’t find the “Oh, we didn’t have enough time to create full-blown CGs with all this programming we did for sprites” a good excuse.

Music Quality: Moderately Low

Addictiveness: Low

Conclusion: A very inferior game when compared with both other games or even August’s previous titles. Much of the storyline is based on symbolism (which I generally find favorable), but the characters are so cliche (you should definitely try other August titles and see if some characters’ personalities match up even across games), and there are many other factors that made this game receive a far less score than what it could have received.

Where can I put this?! Review of [100527]+[111125]Okiba ga nai! Series

Foreword: Well, this title was finished about 4 days ago, but I had exams (so couldn’t write up a review). I hope my memory serves (since it was filled to the brim with Physiology and Biochemistry until about a few hours ago) as I write up a new post.

Alright, let’s get on with the title I finished in high spirits. Okiba ga nai! roughly translates to “There’s no place for it!”, and refers to one of the characters which I’ll get into detail in the summary.

Overall, this was your typical Akabei Soft 2 game, with great story line, careful attention to even the smallest details, and a splendid mix of both drama and humor. The story also doesn’t fail to include a few scenes where you are literally at the edge of your seat because you’re looking forward to how things will turn out.

“Yaya Okiba ga Nai” is the title of the fandisk, and is also very well designed, to the point it could even become a standalone game. However, I also have reasonable complaints for these two titles, which I’ll get to in a bit. Nonetheless, its title translates into “There’s even less place for it!”

If you remember the titles “Sharin no Kuni” and “G-sensou no Maou”, you should note that both titles are from the same company. Keep that in mind as you read through the review

Title: 置き場がない! (Okiba ga Nai!) [Lit. Trans: There’s no place for it!]
Producers: Akabei Soft 2
Release Date: May 27, 2010
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v3098
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=685775
Game Type: Sci-Fi Novel

Summary: One day, as Seiji, Renka, and Genji return home from school, they spot a bright red star. While it was Seiji that first spots the red star, it is Genji that remarks that it was growing larger. What does this mean?

If something is fixed in place in the sky, but is getting bigger, there’s really only one explanation…..

IT’S COMING RIGHT AT YOU!!

The crew then start to panic, but is fortunately not directly hit by the “meteor”.
As the dust clears away, the trio soon find out that it wasn’t a meteor, but a giant human (whose head is smashed deep into the ground). Approaching it, they soon realize it’s not a human, but a giant robot!

Seiji soon realizes that the robot is friendly, and become the first to approach it. Thus begins the friendship of Seiji and this giant robot who is named “Yarusenaizer” by Genji.

However, the group will not have it easy; governments and other individuals will chase for the robot’s authority, and with no place to even keep the 20-meter tall robot, how will Seiji avoid the people who are chasing after him, while being able to keep a strong bond of friendship with this strange robot?

The strange robot. He looks friendly though

Story Length: Slightly Long (30 hours), Fandisk: Short (10 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Slightly difficult; Fandisk: N/A
Comments:

Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: A game with superior character design and story, I found myself laughing hysterically in various scenes, while literally glued to the screen in some of the fight scenes, with the desire to know what happens next. Akabei’s tendency to “introduce conflicts on top of another” is still present here, and that only adds to the drama of the story, as well as make the scenario that much more difficult to produce. They really earn my respect in this field.

I also appreciate that the subcharacters also get a story of their own to a certain extent. While I somewhat expected more of it in the Fandisk, I can’t really complain because the Fandisk really had an entirely different story that acted as a “concluding story” for the main game. (Which is also why I’m somewhat forced to merge the two titles onto a single post)

Character Summary:

Shannon’s first! This strange girl is the subcomputer to Yarusenaizer, and is actually trapped in the cockpit for a while even after Seiji and the giant robot meet. Very polite and honest, this girl immediately becomes fond of Seiji after seeing that he accepted Yarusenaizer despite their differences. It seems that Shannon’s connection with Yarusenaizer is similar to that of a sibling, which makes her address the giant robot as “onii-sama”.

It also seems that Shannon can share “thoughts” with Yarusenaizer in real-time, making the two seem like one individual at times. It is Shannon that usually translates the giant robot’s speech, since Yarusenaizer cannot speak.

Shannon’s name is actually given to her by Seiji, after he became disturbed that she should be addressed as a sub-computer, not an identity. The what’s-originally-supposed-to-be-a-program then becomes even more affectionate for the protagonist, who she immediately registers as their “pilot”, and addresses as “Master”.

Bright and cheerful, Shannon’s CV (Miru) is a very good choice. Many of the scenes involve Shannon relinquishing herself to Seiji in a way or another, and simply the fact that a girl calls someone “Master” is pretty attractive even in my eyes. Shannon is also “overly” diligent, and becomes extremely angry if Yarusenaizer becomes lazy (since he really has nothing else to do…). However, her anger is more “cute” than “scary”, in the eyes of readers (obviously this is not the case for the 20-meter tall robot), and I think the most affection for this character stems from her “diligence” being crushed occasionally by the actions of our protagonist, and her panicking at this fact.

As the childhood friend of Seiji, there are many factors for this character. One is that she LOVES An-donuts. “An” refers to the red-bean paste that is often in the snack items in Japanese snacks, including Taiyaki or Red-Bean Sundae. However, this particular snack has an extreme detriment; it’s very fattening. This is why Renka often finds herself going on diets, and continuously teased by Genji (and even Seiji) about her weight. Despite this, Renka always carries around this snack with her; she actually shows signs of addiction according to the game.

Renka’s route is largely uninteresting; her role is more fitting for a support character, since there’s not much of what I could call “drama” within her route. In addition to this, her “affection” towards Seiji is rather strange. She is highly attracted to Seiji’s “manly” moments. (I’ll try to not get too detailed into this) Despite this, I found myself unable to hate her route; this is because her route is filled with symbolism, as well as various elements such as friendship, loyalty, and trust that’s actually the theme of the game in general. Another element that she had was that she is actually an “ojou-sama”, or a high-class lady. This element, however, does not play a big role in any of the routes.

As readers will also quickly realize, it is also suggested that Renka is a masochist. As her hairstyle also suggests, she often fantasizes being Seiji’s “pet”.

Another character with a highly contradicting personality, it is rather unfortunate that characters like Amane are the ones that usually annoy me the most. As the Student Council President, she is well known for her abilities and even looks (that attract Genji), but is actually “in love” with Seiji from a past event, and is considered to be very frail and cowardly to a certain extent.

Seiji DOES mention that this is actually an attractive trait in this “tsundere” character, but I would disagree; Amane’s normal actions, which includes her sadistic teasing and later her words that explain her actions, cannot be properly categorized as “tsun”, and this girl really pushes the limits to see how far she can go.

Despite this, Amane is a character that ultimately supports the group of friends, and even faces against her own older sister Haruna. This sub-character is a member of the local government to attract visitors to the town, and immediately “falls in love” with Yarusenaizer at first sight; thinking that a theme-park of him as the mascot would bring great business. Like the other characters that try to kidnap Yarusenaizer, Haruna does everything she can to get this giant robot.

One of the things I really like about Amane’s route in the fandisk is not only the event that tie her story together (the death of Shiro), but also the fact that the relationship between Haruna and Yarusenaizer is clarified; Haruna is still in love (in a romantic manner) to Yarusenaizer, but the giant robot is confused about how to return her affection. While short, the after story shows the two being very close; even to the point it is possible to see them as lovers.

Haruna, standing on Yarusenaizer’s hand

Probably my favorite character even over Shannon, I swear that this isn’t because she’s loli, but because there’s an element that I find extremely pleasing within her route.

While it is true that Hatoko is small (in physical size), she is an extreme genius who creates various inventions. She’s the homeroom teacher for Seiji, but is often ridiculed because of her quick temper and childish personality. Hatoko also has a large complex about her physical properties, and genuinely dislikes Haruna (who is actually a former school-mate) for being the same age but being so different in body size.

Hatoko’s original affection for Seiji comes from the fact that it was only Seiji that gave her the respect as a teacher. Despite being bossy or selfish, Seiji was very helpful to Hatoko, who soon fell in love with her own student.

Here’s where I get to the plus of Hatoko. She actually does look rather unattractive (I refer to her sprite in game) when she has the glasses and the labcoat on. However, when she actually changes her hairstyle, takes off her glasses, and wears casual clothing, Hatoko actually looks really pretty, and it’s probably not the difference in artist that causes this difference.

In her route, she is seen smiling more often, and despite being “small”, she also has the knowledge of an adult. This is why even outside of her routes, Hatoko can be seen to give advice to the other heroines, who are struggling with problems of their own. It is also hinted that Hatoko possesses large amounts of affection for Seiji in ALL of the routes presented, which creates a dramatic irony between the readers and the characters; only Seiji is unaware of such affection. Perhaps because of this, as well as scenes that show that Hatoko still likes Seiji, is the main reason why my affection for this character is highest for me (even more than Shannon’s); in all three other routes, Hatoko advises each respective heroine on how to act towards Seiji.

This is a CG from Renka’s route (of the Fandisc). I’m sure I don’t need to explain what’s going on here

Hatoko’s after story was even better (at least in my opinion). Because of her physical properties, Hatoko finally snaps. However, the heartwarming element of this anger is that she is angry for the judgement of others on SEIJI; not herself. She is frustrated that Seiji is looked upon with a cold eye because of her size.

This finally gets her to look for a solution. Being the genius scientist she is, there’s no knowing of what she can do.

Ooh, this is cool :D

Fandisk Main Story: Introduction of Nimomo and Berarutuaides

This “last” story is actually the first one you come across in the fandisk. It is actually slightly long, but well worth the time reading it. This portion features sprites for many additional characters, which includes Grace (Shuraudia’s Sub-computer), the Gardening Club’s 3-upperclassman (where Asagao frequently breaks the fourth-wall), and the hands of the three robots.

The route is all about the crew being sent to Africa, where the last and 3rd giant robot is located. From signals, the sub-computer who identified herself as Nimomo were desperately calling out for help, so the crew immediately prepares for rescue while going on their vacation. Little did they know, what will be waiting for them will be far from what a vacation is supposed to be!

Personally, I found it rather disappointing that there were no additional scenes for Nimomo, Grace, or Janette. Sprites were created for the upperclassmen of the Gardening Club, but they were only used for weak humor which had the same pattern over and over again.

Nonetheless, the main story was enjoyable, due to the large cast that all played an important role in solving a “big” (?) problem that was plaguing the last giant robot for over 2 years.

Aw… Why are you crying, Seiji? D:

Sexual Content: Low

Comments: A great game with various “mini-stories” that relate back to the main theme, which is arguably “friendship”. I also enjoy that some characters are polar opposites of each other (Seiji vs Genji), yet the two are related somehow. Evenmoreso that they’re friends in this situation. It’s always a relief to see a form of poetic justice as well, seeing how Genji is always being used as a punching bag in some way.

Contrary to its summary and first impressions, many of the battle scenes, as I’ve mentioned, are very well done. I’m not sure about the Gund*m fans out there, but I can state that I’m not one; yet I still enjoyed these scenes greatly. It also helps that these “giant robots” also has a personality, of which you may find a correlation with its each sub-computer counterpart.

Shannon is cute! I love blue hair

Nimomo is cute too, but in a different way :3

Despite all my compliments, I still must complain that the final portion of Shannon’s storyline has one of those “everything-revealed-at-once” patterns that I dislike. I would’ve appreciated it if the story somewhat suggested what would happen before it was presented, but… that’s generally really hard to do, so no biggie :P

Finally, a last compliment I have is that many of the elements are connected. From past events appearing to take on different roles in each route (aka, Seiji’s past refers to something different in Renka’s and Amane’s routes).

Affection for the Characters: High

CG Quality: Above Average
Music Quality: Good

Addictiveness: Moderately Low

Conclusion: A very well designed Akabeisoft 2 game, which is a must if you enjoyed either Gensou Maou or Himawari no Shoujo. This story is very light compared to the two previous games, but rest assured that if you want some serious story involving morality, friendship, and sacrifice, you’re looking at the right game.