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Posts tagged ‘robots’

The Race to be the World’s Ruler! Review of [160226]World Election

Foreword: If you followed me and my eroge career so far, you’d know that I’ve played every single Whirlpool game with the exception of a game called “Ina Koi” which is their very first game and probably not that great (I say this based on 3rd-party reviews). I planned on keeping this “streak of completion” throughout, so it’s only natural that World Election, their 10th anniversary game, is next on my list. Honestly, I actually planned on writing this review MUCH sooner, but stuff happens and I’m currently in Orlando, Florida, so there’s that.

Oh well, right into the game. Long story short, World Election was unexpectedly good at least compared with the relatively lower expectations I had for the game. While obviously not up to par with older titles like Suzukaze no Melt, this game did have a colorful character design which I hope to discuss. As expected from a “10th anniversary game”, World Election did have more effort placed into creating a serious charage, which includes the presence of a “True Route”

I’ll try to go through with what I thought about the game overall!

Title: ワールド・エレクション (World Election)
Producers: Whirlpool
Release Date: February 26, 2016
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v18141
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=875507
Game Type: Fantasy Charage Novel

Summary: One day, five different worlds all with very different paradigms and thoughts, as well as the population all collapsed into one. This resulted in utter chaos as each world’s leaders struggled to find a good balance of each of their cultures as to not clash with others. As things settled down, a school was created for the bright youngsters of each of these five worlds to participate and learn about each other’s differences.

Kei is said student who actually has very little friends. His scary looks and his abilities as a a “Dummy Maker” placed fear in the hearts of all the students in the very first day of his school, and while he doesn’t like the school per se, he also doesn’t want to be dragged back home to his strict father.

This is why when his father does call and finds out that Kei wasn’t really getting anything from attending school, he enforces Kei’s return. Upon desperation, Kei promises his dad that he’ll become the next Student Council President to show him his passion!

Go ahead. Kururu is watching
(more…)

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.

Review of [130222]Komorebi no Nostalgica

Foreword: This was definitely a great find. Komorebi is filled to the brim with the theme of “Nostalgia”. Dictionary.com defines this word as “a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time“, and this story followed that definition quite strictly.

Overall, this was a great story. I recommend it to many people, especially the ones skilled in computer terms, as they would be able to understand many things.

Title: 木洩れ陽のノスタルジーカ (Komorebi no Nostalgica, Trans. The Nostalgia of Glimmering Sunlight). “Komorebi” refers to the incident where the person stands under a shade of a tree on a bright day, and the sunlight is partially covered by the tree’s leaves. However, the sunlight not “blocked” by this shade produces a glittering effect, which is called “Komorebi”.
Producers: Strega
Release Date: February 22, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v10958
Game Type: Sci-Fi Novel

The nostalgia theme is represented by this old mansion as the group leads Cinema into a forest to see the “Komorebi”.

Summary: The time is now in the 26th century, and Shouta enjoys his days with his group of friends. It has been 50 years after the 2-year war between the humans and machines that once wiped out the entire information technology system, but everything is now done with computers: many things are very comfortable, including the transfer of data, which can be done through a touch of a hand. Now, another race called “Metosera” (メトセラ) exists; they are simply robots with an AI, and a very long life span.

One day, when the usual members were returning to the school (with Akira hacking the school systems and ultimately forgetting her homework), Akira detected a signal that lead them to an abandoned room. Upon further research, the group realized that there was a hidden door behind a heavy shelf. They move the shelf to find a well-concealed door, and opening the door revealed a pitch-black room.

Upon entering, the group stumbles upon something amazing: a humanoid!! The group soon figures out that this humanoid is very old, probably before the 2-year war. Akira reports that the humanoid can be saved, and the group decides to revive this humanoid and take care of it.

Thus begins the story of the humanoid named “Cinema”, and the strong friendship between Shouta and his friends.

The theme of this game: Cinema! Isn’t she just the cutest? ^o^

Story Length: Slightly Short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: Okay so… My mind is currently thinking the following: Flou, who is a metosera (and thus a machine), is a main heroine while Cinema is not?! WHY!?!?! *TABLEFLIP* Yes, you heard me correctly. Cinema, who this story revolves around, is not a heroine. That’s rather cheap of Strega, and I really hope they come up with a sequel of some sort, to include Cinema as a main heroine this time >:|

Otherwise, the stories split with the first decision, so make sure to save! :)

Akira, the master hacker

Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: Very good! Artwork of characters is drawn by Norita, who you may all remember from Caramel Box. However, I would have to say that the artwork is better in this game. Regarding character personalities connecting to the actual story, the scenario is written very well: each character’s conflict is described clearly, and is solved in a very concise and explicit manner, by Cinema, and sometimes Shouta.  Kaya becomes decisive, Itsuki learns to become honest, Flou learns emotions, and Akira learns to depend on others.

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: The great thing about this story in any case, is that in all routes, the respective heroine learns something from Cinema. This is extremely ironic, since Cinema is a robot with only the knowledge of the past. This suggests that the term “nostalgia”, the reflection of the past, is actually beneficial in many cases, even in the real life.

Komorebi, as explained above, is the phenomenon when sunlight “glitters” under a shade; in this case, of a tree.

In addition, the readers will realize that despite Cinema being rather incompetent in some situations, she tries her best in all her work. This makes your own affections skyrocket for this character. Ironically, she is also the one who consults each character or helps them somehow in their conflicts.

In a sense, there was a theme of “friendship” within this story as well, similar to what I saw in Little Busters and even Oreaka. This was a huge plus in character affection, as well as character design as the plot revealed remained consistent with this “friendship”.

Affection for the Characters: High

Shouta performing “surgery” on Cinema. Within the group, he is arguably most skilled with hardware equipment.

CG Quality: Moderate. The quality was moderate, considering minimal details in most of them, and relatively less sprites than other games.
Music Quality: Very good. Most of the music is calm and soothing. I particularly like the Opening song, Eternal Wish, since its lyrics relates to the Nostalgia theme perfectly.

Addictiveness: Low. Despite the game being very good, it is a sci-fi genre that is often hard to come back to. Nonetheless, this title will be distinctively remembered for its smooth plotline and great character design.

Conclusion: A slice of life Sci-Fi novel, that would fit anyone’s tastes. While it may be hard to understand some of the factors of this story, there is an in-game glossary available for players who doesn’t understand its terms.

 

Spoilers to Komorebi no Nostalgia