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Thread: Visual Novel Cafe

  1. #3341
    Kri
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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    I'm still here as well, just cant find any time to play eroges because of the fucking work but definitely not missing any of you guys' posts. Well things started to slow down a bit so I'll probably be able to play some eroges at this weekend, most likely 桜花裁き or some january releases like Aikagi or Seiyuu no tsukurikata.

    I'll wait some kind of walkthrough before jumping into 桜花裁き tho, and hope it wont go full nukigeish developments just as kzel feared.

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    Senior Member Mahou's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    February didn't really have any must-haves for me, so I finally finished the old-ish Izumo 3 with Kayano's ending. The final boss was with Level 54 not that hard, especially with 白兎 in the active armor slot. The background story around Orihime was quite sad. I'm glad to have chosen a route where Maya received positive outcome (which happens in only two "routes", sort of =/ ), even though it felt quite rushed. The epilogue was short, but I'm glad that Takeru finally made up with Yayoi. That took a looong time. So yeah, not much had happend VN-wise for me.

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    Senior Member kzel's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Kri View Post
    I'll wait some kind of walkthrough before jumping into 桜花裁き tho, and hope it wont go full nukigeish developments just as kzel feared.
    It doesn't. In fact, apart from a few bathing CGs, there's practically no ero content in the main portion of the game. It's all reserved for the heroines' routes that, for what I played so far, felt more like an omake that an actual part of the game. More details further.



    I've been playing 桜花裁き lately, and I'm happy to say my fears turned out to be unfounded. After finishing the main game (common route) and two of the heroines (Koume and Ayaka) routes, I have to say the game is actually pretty nice, pleasant to read and occasionally funny. The story is roughly divided in two parts, the first part being the common route with the trials and deduction game, and the second one being the heroines routes in a very typical eroge fashion.

    Let's start with the first part then. The game reminded me a lot of the earlier Phoenix Wright games in its presentation, characters and cases. The humor is less funny, but it being fully voiced is certainly a plus. In fact, giving the MC a voice as well would have certainly made the main game better. Chapters are divided between short ADV parts in which the characters are introduced or go on their daily lives, investigations in which you examine screens to collect evidence and testimonies from a variety of people involved, and finally trials. All of this works exactly the same as a Phoenix Wright game. Sure, a magistrate is not the same as a lawyer, but mechanically it works the exact same way : you point out contradictions in people's testimony by presenting evidence, or pick the right answer to the question asked. Overall, the game isn't too difficult, and the ability to quick save anytime removes any kind of pressure and makes perfecting the trials (to unlock some bonus CGs) something easily doable on a first run. There are a few jumps in logic here and there, but it's enjoyable all the same. I was a little disappointed by the sound design though. Music is fine, but the trials suffer from a lack of punch, especially when presenting evidence. There's no "Igi ari" or "Sore wa chigau yo", just a short rumbling as a CG passes through, it's much less satisfying.

    Cases themselves vary in quality, with a very good introduction to the game in its first chapter, a rather weak second one that suffered from the most gaps in logic, a third one that felt a little hard on poor Sakura and with an out-of-nowhere conclusion, and a fourth one that was very intriguing until the last boss finally got revealed in all its twisted vision of society. The voice acting really shines in the game with a very diverse cast that makes for easily identifiable characters, and there's no shortage of CGs to illustrate the cases and rare actions sequences. In fact, roughly 66% of the CGs are devoted to the deduction game alone, which is a surprise considering it is being sold as an eroge. That's not to say the ero content is weak though, as heroines can have up to five ecchi scenes (some of them having more than one CG). I wouldn't put it past Irodori to have plans for an all-age version without the ero content at some point, if the game does well. It wouldn't be a difficult task : blur the boobs of the few bathing CGs, and cut out the second part of the game, and you've got a shortish, but pretty decent Phoenix Wright clone set in medieval Japan.

    On to the second part of the game then, the heroine's routes. I haven't finished all of them yet, but I'll say that they vary greatly in both content and interesting events. I finished Koume's route first, in which Shimei decides to help her out. The two get closer, there are gently pushes to get the MC to confess, they end up together and then have sex to their heart's content, and that's pretty much it. It... wasn't thrilling, to say the least. After the main game, I had some affection for the characters so I read on, but it did feel very flat, as nothing of note really happens apart from Koume revealing a side of herself that clashes with her quiet and reserved image. I fear that Rimu and Sakura's route will be similar to Koume as they both start from the same position as hers, but I'll read through them and update the post when I have.

    Ayaka's route however (unlocked only after beating the game, don't rush it!) was a clear departure from the rest of the game, and I loved it. It's used to show a much darker, less idealistic world to the relatively sheltered MC, and dispenses some nice messages about bonds and family. It has the least sex scenes and they only happen rather late, and it's not overly long either, but it also helps put the actions of some of the character in a perspective that was difficult to grasp with only the peaceful context of the City of Cherry-Blossoms. Here's hoping Shino's route turns out to be as interesting.

    It's difficult to give a recommendation for the game. The deduction part is nice but if that's what you're looking for, Phoenix Wright and Danganronpa do it better. The ero is completely separated, and treated mostly as an omake, so I remain unconvinced it's possible to elegantly mix the two types of games together. I'll update the post when I've read more of the characters' routes and seen if they're all as worth going through as Ayaka's route was.



    Quick words on キミの瞳にヒットミー, that I played about half of (Hitomi and Maou routes completed). For a Giga title, it's actually not that bad. It doesn't reinvent the wheel and certainly won't win any originality contests, but if you're looking for a short charage with odd characters (MC expected, he's just your standard nice guy), or just want to listen to Kiritani Hana crack lame jokes, that's not the worst pick you could make.
    Last edited by kzel; March 3rd, 2017 at 07:39 PM.

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    Senior Member Mahou's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    There's actually a VN I started playing: リターニアの精霊使い -迷宮を征く者, mainly for its rpg elements as its story seems to be very basic (or rather more like a reason to send you dungeon crawling). Random loot, a skill tree and a classic tank, healer, support, attacker, magic attacker, allrounder (MC) approach. While I'm usually quite terrible in making skill point decisions, it somehow worked out so far and there's an uncommon-ish item which lets you reset your points. Game over in boss battles lead to monster rape >_<, so obviously I reset once I'm near losing (those painful magic attacks!). So yeah, pretty simple game but nice enough to play in an on-and-off fashion.

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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    Guys could you help me please? I got this game https://vndb.org/v19640 and the text seems kinda werid with some symbols i´ve never seen before Attachment 14659Attachment 14660Attachment 14661. Why could this be happening? I have my PC on japanese locale and i boot the game with admin. I would appreaciate ur help

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    Senior Member Mahou's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by jczs97 View Post
    Guys could you help me please? I got this game https://vndb.org/v19640 and the text seems kinda werid with some symbols i´ve never seen before Attachment 14659Attachment 14660Attachment 14661. Why could this be happening? I have my PC on japanese locale and i boot the game with admin. I would appreaciate ur help
    I don't know the reason but that's a pretty common issue - probably intended - with some eroge companies. In this case, use ntleas (https://ntlea.codeplex.com/releases/view/616587) to run the VN. If you haven't used it before: After unzipping the .rar file start ntleasWin.exe and and click on the "..." under AppPath. Navigate to the VN folder, select kimino.exe > "Save & Run"

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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Mahou View Post
    I don't know the reason but that's a pretty common issue - probably intended - with some eroge companies. In this case, use ntleas (https://ntlea.codeplex.com/releases/view/616587) to run the VN. If you haven't used it before: After unzipping the .rar file start ntleasWin.exe and and click on the "..." under AppPath. Navigate to the VN folder, select kimino.exe > "Save & Run"
    Thanks dude

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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by kzel View Post
    Is Shiratama famous as an artist? The only game I've played in which he participated was 恋×シンアイ彼女, the art was nice but not to the point I'd play a game just to see more of it. Looking at the game's official site gallery, I find the eyes a little too spaced-out, and that last picture... no thanks.
    Not sure about his popularity actually. Although I have already met a few random people online that knew him so I guess he is getting there.

    Yeah that scene seems really out of place. But having played a bit of the game I can see why they went there since the heroine is portrayed as a dog-type girl.




    As I mentioned in my last post, I have started playing しゅがてん. Currently somewhere in Kouri's route and would have waited with the post after having played a bit more if only the game did not have one element that really infuriated me:
    This VN has by far the worst sound effects of any VN I have ever read by far. Seriously, when you take someone's hand it really should not sound like you are beating them with a hammer. If you are considering picking up this VN just start with sound effects off and thank me later.
    Apart from that its nice and relaxing as expected, with a splash of mystery in the setting (with a memory-loss MC because of course).

  11. #3349
    Senior Member kzel's Avatar
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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    Not much going on for me lately VN-wise, just slowly continuing ongoing games.

    桜花裁き : Unfortunately as I feared both Sakura and Rimu's routes were very lacking in both feeling and content. Just like Koume's, the MC just works with the chosen one, develops feelings, gets friendly advice from the rest of the cast, confesses, has sex and that's about it. Still, I liked Rimu's aggressiveness in her route, it was cute. Shino's route was much better, at least for the first half of it. It touches on something that is otherwise glanced over very quickly in the main game : dealing with the death of people that had a pretty big importance in the characters' life. The main part had its share of deaths but I always felt characters related recovered too quickly. Shino's route second half isn't that great as her character breaks apart in a effort to make her appear cuter, but I found her former personality (cold and straight-to-the-point) more appealing. Finally, the main game's "bad end" introduces the only 3P but honestly it was extremely short and awful. It's a bad end so who cares but still, I feel bad for the characters involved. As it is, only Ayaka's and the first half of Shino's route were worth reading, the rest felt more like fanfic than an integral part of a story.

    キミの瞳にヒットミー : I ended up finishing all the routes, as the game is relatively short. Shiina's route was probably the worst, and also the shortest. It started alright but the later chapters are really rushed and last less than a couple minutes each... Miko in contrast had more development than the other three, and was easily the most entertaining of the four given her personality.

    Ciel Nosurge : I ended up buying it after completing the first two chapters included with the game originally. I went for the Offline version as it's much less expensive than getting all the DLCs, and it has all the outfits included as well. However I kinda regret buying this version as the experience with the Offline version is a little less immersive. For people who don't know, most of the game is spent "living" with Ion and guiding her daily efforts, but in the offline version the player has much more control, including the immersion-breaking ability to skip time to speed up the item creation process and relationship progress. I feel that breaks the spell of the game a little, and so do the little loading screens between activities instead of the original's lengthy, but smooth animations of Ion walking around her room. I'm also starting to feel the limits of the scripts as the discussion with Ion tend to repeat themselves, but the dates, memories and item creation comments are still fresh so I keep going. I can only hope more talk topics will unlock when Ion's love meter raises one step further.

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    Re: Visual Novel Cafe

    I've been looking for a light baka-ge lately so I've tried a few games before I finally settled down to one.

    恋愛0キロメートル : Baka-ge and Asa Project usually go hand-in-hand, so I tried this one first as it seemed to be the studio's highly rated game. The game is indeed funny and characters all have their particularities, but what drove me away was the creepy obstination of the MC in making his temporary sisters recognize him as their brother. Dude, you're NOT their brother, and it's only a few weeks temporary arrangement. Just like with another Asa Project game, プラマイウォーズ, I really have a hard time accepting the staff's views on family and its ends up ruining the mood and therefore ruining the laughs. I quit before even entering any heroine's route.

    らぶおぶ恋愛皇帝 of LOVE! : Next I gave Harukaze's first game a shot, since Noratoto was good at providing laughs most of the time. I didn't hate the game, but I stopped playing at the first confession event (chose Erika first because Kiritani Hana). While there are a lot of gags and jokes, the writing switches very brutally from one style to another. It's not at all unusual to have one scene go from comedy to poetic self-introspection, traumatic past recollection, drama then switch back, without a single line of transition, to comedy... The story's flow is very uneven which makes for a tiring read in which each line has to be read carefully, because there could be some important character development hidden in the middle of a joke battle between school council members. Since I've been looking for a light-hearted read, this is exactly what I don't want to do so I'm going to put this one on hold. Also, I really can't stand Rukina and the MC's attachment to her is very difficult to relate to.

    ひとつ飛ばし恋愛 : Back to Asa Project then, and this one was exactly what I was looking for. The concept itself is original and well made : the usual heroine stereotypes like sisters or childhood friends are present and very cute, but they're only sub-characters. Even better, in most route (one excepted) these characters don't have and don't develop any romantic feelings for the MC which is a nice change from all those games that start at maximum affection and insist on creating harem situations. Instead, it's these characters' friend that are the heroines. While they don't stray too far from other heroine stereotypes (school idol, cool senpai, genki kouhai), they have their particularities that set them apart, like being suspiciously close to one of the female friends, or being so extremely annoying that it actually ends up being funny.

    As usual with Asa Project the quality and tone varies a lot between different character routes. Risa's was probably the funniest but it was also pretty awful in terms of events and story. The MC can be quite mean to her but she can also be so stupid that it can be justified somewhat (for instance, why the couple actually got together initially). Aori's route was my least favorite because it crushed the MC's little sister's Kurenai's character in plot developments that weren't that funny. It also kinda breaks the game's concept. I liked Natsume's route, especially since Meg the MC's big sister's character remains the same in this one and her pranks are hilarious. Natsume herself was really cute in the usual 'cool senpai but innocent about love'. Add Toono Soyogi's cute voice on top for additional gap-moe. Finally, Sakura's route involved as expected a love triangle but not the usual kind, and it was treated with the minimum amount of drama and tears (none!). While playing her route I couldn't help but get reminded of Rina from Fureraba. They look alike so much, and they're both voiced by Aji Sanma. Here's a picture of both for comparison : Rina / Sakura.

    Easily the most entertaining Asa Project game I've played so far, with no intra-family bullshit and no obscure otaku meta-jokes. Just pure comedy and cute characters, and a concept that is mostly adhered to thoroughly, one I found pretty fresh for a moege. I'll probably try the other Asa Project games eventually, though unfortunately one of their better reviewed one, アッチむいて恋, involves a trap main character. No thank you.



    March releases are around the corner, so here's a quick review of what I might play and comment on later:

    水葬銀貨のイストリア : Uguisu Kagura made a very compelling mystery VN with their first title 紙の上の魔法使い, so I'll most likely give their second game a try. The presence of Akino Hana and Kusuhara Yui in the cast is certainly a plus.

    はるるみなもに! : Clochette's latest game. ここから夏のイノセンス! was a good charage even though I couldn't (and still can't) get myself to complete Iroha's route. Battle between deities is less interesting to me than summer vacation in the countryside but we'll see. Also, Kiritani Hana's in the cast.

    トリノライン : Will this be the game that introduces me to Minori? We'll see, it looks interesting but oh boy is it heavy : the MC's little sister died and is replaced years later by a look-alike android with her memories. Better get ready for some Drama and Tears before starting this one.

    こいのす☆イチャコライズ : Not much to expect from this one apart from some pure icha-icha, but I like that and Akino Hana (under her nukige alias, which is telling...) is in the cast, so why not. It seems there will be little common route which is plus for me, I really dislike games that drag on and try to create a harem situation before the heroine selection occurs.

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