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Posts tagged ‘love story’

Review of [110128]+[110820]Damamuko Series

Foreword: Remember how I finished a game called “Natsu no Ame” within 4 days and was bragging about it? Well, I finished “Damamuko” in less than 2, so that’s probably my personal record so far. I really didn’t have anything else to do, so I just thought… Why not?

Damamuko, which was a game that attracted me recently with the “Otome-tachi no Koi Monogatari (Maiden’s Love Story)” set, is a very decent game. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the routes, and I appreciate that many routes are connected to each other in the first place (Reona and Yurie).

For your information, the August 20, 2011 release is the “Reona After” story only available to the players who input their serial code at a specific given time. I barely managed to get a copy myself, but it’s not available on the interwebs freely. If enough people ask me for the copy, I’ll consider uploading mine.

Title: 黙って私のムコになれ! (Damatte watashi no muko ni nare!) [Lit. Trans: Shut up and be my groom!]
Producers: Ensemble
Release Date:  January 28, 2011
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v5289
Game Type: Harem Novel

Summary: Naoki loves his peaceful life, but is uncomfortable with his fiance, who treated him like trash for as long as he can remember. Nonetheless, his life changes one day. Walking to school with his usual group of friends, Naoki protects his fiance, Reona, from an out-of-control car, that crashes into the walls of the sidewalk. Approaching the crash carefully, Naoki is surprised to see a beautiful girl in a dress walk out. However, he can’t stare too long, because men in black suit will soon surround the group and force the girl into another car.

Naoki will not tolerate this, and attacks the men. However, he is only a student, while facing several men trained for combat. He is pitifully immobilized, but Reona, Fumyuko (his little sister), and Haruka (his friend) helps Naoki escape with the girl. They are soon rescued by another butler, who seems to be on the girl’s side.

When everything seemed all settled, the girl orders the butler to pull out a “fake” grenade launcher and shoot the kidnappers, which he does without hesitation. Feeling that involving further in this matter is a bad idea, Naoki runs from them.

Soon, the girl he saved, Rin, will attempt to find out more about Naoki and make approaches to him, trying to make him her groom.

—–

Reona After is… Reona’s after story! LOL. This separate game contains a short story about Naoki suddenly changing in behavior after being engaged to Reona.

This is Reona, Naoki’s “fiance” and the student council president. Readers will see that she has a rather sad story as well.

Story Length: Moderate (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderately difficult.
Comments: The major split happens when Naoki is “forced” to choose between his Astrology Club, or the Student Council (Actually “星人会” but can’t really translate it properly… Meeting of the Star People…?). Astrology Club’s route has the heroines Rin, Kotori, and Yoriko, while the Student Council route has the heroines Reona, Haruka, and Yurie. In each “split”, the following characters “split off” even further: Yoriko and Haruka. For the remaining characters, there’s a love triangle, where the reader is forced to choose between one or the other.

Reona After has a fixed story.

Shit just got serious… O_O;;

Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 6/10
Rating Comments: A rare game, where the character design rating is lower (quite a bit too) than its story rating. As stated in the foreword, Rin’s story was extremely intriguing, and well done. I would compare such a plot to any love story that’s out there, because it was really that good. Other routes were significantly inferior, but still okay. The character design rating gets hit HARD because of the reasons I’ll list in the comments section.

Sexual Content: Moderately low

Comments: In general, this game had little to no humor. The “love comedy” scenes had very little impact, and usually involved Rin and Reona fighting over Naoki in a pretty weird way. I also personally didn”t like how the other four characters seemingly “got involved” in this “battle for Naoki”, using background stories that were hidden all the way until their route.

Yurie is a mysterious character, whose identity is revealed completely in her own route. I would suggest completing her route before Reona’s, so you can save yourself the anger of wanting to punch the living daylights out of this girl.

But yes. Character Design. Kay.

Holy shit, these characters are all spineless cowards.

That’s all I can say. All of these characters (Naoki +6 heroines) are essentially wimps that can’t do the right thing when they’re supposed to. Naoki is obviously one of them, but this includes all six heroines. I somewhat want to think that the title “be my groom!” is more of an imperative statement, while the characters themselves are very indecisive, and this creates an irony of itself. Really, if the characters are THAT much of a chicken to express themselves, then there’s a problem with them. Yes, their actions are understandable if one knows of their past, but in the end, all the characters are doing is running away from reality by clinging onto their past. I really hope that none of the readers are like this, and I guarantee that if you’re reading this story, you will want to shout, “Why the FUCK are you so hesitating about that?!”

This element is why the story rating was dropped from 8~9 to a 5. In this sense, I would rate the Reona fandisk much higher, because Naoki in the fandisc is actually proactive and decisive, unlike his partner who becomes nervous about Naoki’s behavior.

The other character’s routes, including Kotori’s, is… meh. Not too good, but still not trash.

One last thing: Fumyuko’s background is not revealed, and that hurt the story rating again. Fumyuko plays an important part in one of the routes, but her behavior is not explained, nor about why she acts that way. Again, this “hole” is another minus factor.

Affection for the Characters: Low

Yoriko’s route is the only time when Naoki is confronted by both Reona and Rin about not choosing either of them.

CG Quality: Low
Music Quality: Moderate

Addictiveness: Moderate.

Conclusion: A decent ensemble game where the story rating may compete with the games that received higher rating, but the poor and even unfavorable character design tends to kill it entirely. Not a game for humorous plotline, and contains themes of love triangle and indecisiveness.

Strange girl that pops out randomly (and often frequently) from nowhere to give Naoki a love letter. If you know her name, you’d laugh.

Review of [111222]White Album 2 -Introduction + Closing-

Foreword: An extremely high rating game, which will definitely surprise all readers. Contrary to the popular belief, this game is extremely unpredictable; don’t try to determine what happens in the later parts of the story, because 90% of the time, you’ll be wrong. Despite this, I correctly predicted the outcomes when this game was announced, in my previews. 

However, you’ll definitely find this game worth your time, regardless of your experience with eroge. Yes, this game is actually pretty difficult to understand. Yes, this game has a lot of psychological traits that a normal person wouldn’t understand “Why would she do that?!” But, you’ll find that the heroines below, as well as subcharacters that interact in a very complex manner, and create various dramatic ironies (This term means that the readers are shown what the characters have no ideas about).

I will try to not give any part of the storyline in this review. This is mainly because this game is so good, it is a definite must for any player, just like how Ever17 was a must for any English players. Please also note that this game is EXTREMELY inciting. You really must resist your urge to punch your computer, because some of the characters will make you VERY MAD. In addition, make sure you have a box of tissues nearby, because this game will also make you CRY.

In general, this game was a sad game, and there are very little comical scenes. Keep this in mind as you continue down to the review, or think about playing this game.

Title: White Album 2

Producers: Leaf

Release Date: December 22, 2011

VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v7771

Game Type: Novel

Summary: This is the after story to White Album 2 introductory chapter. The story takes place 3 years after the introductory chapter, and features stories of 5 characters: Setsuna and Touma is definitely coming back, but the story can wander towards heroines Chiaki, Mari, and Koharu.

The game itself includes the introductory chapter, so for the players who have already seen the beginning of the story can simply change the skip option to “All” and watch as the text flies by.

The white snow falls gently on to the ground, covering everything with white. However, when spring comes, the snow will melt, and reveal everything that was hidden.

 White Album - Anime

Story Length: FRIGGING LONG (50+ hours)

Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Extremely Hard

Comments: I had trouble several times within the game trying to find the right routes, and finally went to a Korean player’s walkthrough after countless hours of struggling. Even then I got lost because some of the choices were repeated several times. Without that walkthrough, I would’ve given up this game a long time ago. Please note that you SHOULD use a walkthrough, because without it, it’s extremely hard to find the correct routes, and considering that this story is extremely long in the first place, it will be a wise decision.

Character Design Rating: 8/10

Story Rating: 12/10

Game Quality: High

Overall Rating: 11/10

Rating Comments: Disagree with my ratings? Laugh while you can. Closing Chapter is arguably better than the introductory chapter, as it contains quick plot twists and beautiful stories that connect with events and plot within the game. All of the plot line is extremely unexpected, and there will be lots of “Holy Shit” moments for the reader that will make this game certainly a memorable one. Even for myself, it has been at least a year since I’ve played this game, and through that year, I have played many games. Despite this, White Album 2’s plotline is engraved firmly into my memory.

This is one of the scenes that made me cry. Avoiding spoilers, Setsuna plays a very crucial role in all of these stories, and perhaps because of this, I felt the most affection for this poor girl, who suffered for so long.

Sexual Content: High. This was quite a surprise. While there was little 18+ content in the introductory chapter, you’ll be able to find that there is actually lots of sexual content within the concluding chapter. Perhaps this was because of the long story…? Nonetheless, I skipped most of them.

Translations: There are none… However, from day 1 of this release, there has been translators working on a patch. Team Utamaru is working on a Korean patch, and I believe there’s an English Patch that’s being progressed somewhere around.

Hooking Recommendations: I highly recommend AGTH. ITH will not pick up the processes, and while AGTH isn’t perfect, it will be good enough.

Affection for the Characters: Extremely High

This character’s name is “Chiaki”. She is arguably the most significant from the three heroines, because she has a very strange role, even in her route, but in other routes as well. Another spoiler is that the reader will be EXTREMELY angry at this girl in one of her routes.

CG Quality: Moderate. Despite that it was a good game, Leaf’s CGs were never of the best quality.
Music Quality: Very High. Do note that the introductory chapter’s theme is “music”. Including songs like “White Album” and “Todokanai Koi”, this game is filled to the brim with great BGMs and insert songs.

Addictiveness: Very High. Despite being over 7 gb in size, even when archived, this game is well protected and preserved for when the Korean Patch is released, so I can spend another 40-50 hours playing it.

This is Haruki’s boss, Mari, who is also a heroine herself. I guarantee the readers will be surprised at  how their story works out.

Comments: Wow. Simply an awesome game. I’ve had high hopes for this game because it’s Leaf we’re talking about, but Leaf overcame that expectation easily. From the very first moment I opened this game, I saw the great movie design, and the high-quality movie-like scenes that captured my heart. When the opening movie came along, I was hooked for GOOD.

Don’t stop there. The following video is a spoiler of the Introductory Chapter.

Conclusion: Personally, this is the #1 game from Leaf, and easily the top 5 favorite games I’ve ever played.

I guarantee you, dear reader, that even if you prefer comical games, this game will still occupy your “top favorite games”.

White Album is a story about love, trust, and betrayal. Who can you trust? Who can you love? and Who will you betray? The answers all depend on you, dear reader.

Please note that the following are spoilers. Please do not continue if you wish to find out the story for yourself.

Well, after you get all the happy ends for the three heroines and Setsuna, something happens…

An Ending Movie? Well, Touma didn’t appear, but that’s okay. Bring on the staff cred–

“WHITE ALBUM 2

LAST EPISODE”

Me: O_O…

… 30 minutes later…

Me: O_O;;…

WHAT THE FFFFFFF— *table flip*

==THIS IS THE BEST PART OF THIS GAME!==

What are you waiting for? Go play White Album 2!!

Review of [111125]Mashiro Summer (9/10)

Foreword: A game with lots of impact. The game proudly stands superior to its peers, mainly because of its well-designed characters and story. In a great sense, this game was very similar to the Visual Novel — Clannad. However, don’t expect Clannad’s static sprites or CG. You will find much more here.

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/1oHlH.jpg

Title: ましろサマー (Mashiro Summer, lit trans. Pure White Summer)
Producers: mana
Release Date: November 25th, 2011
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v7722
Game Type: Novel

Summary: 10 years ago, there was a time when snow fell during mid-summer. This event was in everyone’s minds, as it was so unreasonable. What could this event represent?

Keiji was abandoned by his parents, and was grown in the care of his grandfather on his mother’s side. In his grandfather’s house, he met his cousin, whose name was Chihiro, and they became like blood-related siblings. After their grandfather died, the two had to support each other.

Keiji, however, has good friends, including Masataka and Haruki. As he attends 2nd year of high school, he meets many other people as well. They are lead together by some force, but what could it be…?

As Keiji interacts with his friends and the people of the “Mystery Research Club”, he will find out the truth about the quiet, but gentle snow that covered the town on that summer day.

Story Length: Moderate (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Comments: I had to use a walkthrough for this, because I couldn’t waste anymore time after I met the bad end. The choices are actually pretty hard to recognize as well, so if you decide not to use walkthroughs, good luck!

Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 9/10
Game Quality: Moderately High
Overall Rating: 9/10
Rating Comments: Stated above, you will be greeted with bursts of laughter from the first hour of playing this game. Each character has a trait that was very attractive in their own way. In addition to heartwarming but unpredictable plot, it will not be surprising to find readers genuinely feeling affection for certain characters.

Sexual Content: Low. This actually gave room to more practical CGs, which was a big plus.

Comments: Great story. A large portion of it, even as a romance story, was completely unpredictable. In addition to the countless laughter you’ll express with this story, the heartwarming stories and attractive characters will surely steal your mind. Even for the most flamboyant characters, you will find that at some point in time, they will play an extremely important role in the stories.

Affection for the Characters: High

CG Quality: Moderate. The artist has a unique drawing style that I couldn’t judge very well. I still have to say that the characters themselves are pretty cute ;)
Music Quality: Highly Superior. From the Opening, you can see the great design of the melody of the entire game itself, and throughout the game, the reader will find that many of the tracks are very calming.

Addictiveness: Moderate.

My Personal Thoughts (INCLUDES SMALL SPOILERS): 

Mashiro Summer was definitely a good story, but it was bad in the sense that it allowed me to realize some of the biggest flaws in Visual Novels, contradiction of character personality.

Characters in such entertainment is always idealized. This trait in Visual novels and anime is what makes the general Asian Entertainment much more appealing than others.

However, as I’ve stated, these ideal traits are often contradictory. In a simpler sense, it can be rephrased as such: “If the character has personality A, they cannot have personality B”.

This is represented best through the character “Aki”, whose problem consists mainly of the fact that she fears being hated by people, and aims to treat everyone equally. This is the additional reason why she breaks up with the main character in her route, making an excuse that she is “scared that his love might fluctuate”.

In psychology, this kind of scenario is completely impossible to obtain, as anyone who is “unsure about others’ emotions” like Aki, do not allow people to enter their “comfort zone” in the first place. As a conclusion, Aki should NOT have fallen in love with Keiji in the first place, because her personality would have prevented him from being too close with her.

However, there’s always the exception. The only exception that could probably work is if Aki was flamboyant with her feelings when she went out with him, and lost her feelings for Keiji later on in the story. The possibility of this scenario is eliminated by the statement that Aki still loves him (Of course, this can be argued, but in either sense, the scenario still applies).

How do I know this? This is mainly because my own personality is like Aki’s, and I know how my mind works.

This is my suggestion to readers that you should enjoy Visual Novels and Anime, but NEVER. I repeat myself, NEVER aim to make it a part of your daily life.

1) It’s impossible.
2) Such people would be considered “weeaboos” (it has a negative viewpoint)