Visual Novel Cafe

No one comes around this part anymore except the few of us I guess...

Makes sense...looking back that's the same pattern in 2019 for E-School Life and ISuki too.

Only one scenario writer, Sakuraki Nao...involved in several previous games including PriministAr, TravelingStars, Amenity's Life and IxSheTell...wonder how this will turn out...
 
I would hope for a standard, non ultra-popular protagonist for 思い出抱えてアイにコイ!! but given the track record of the writer you mention, that seems pretty unlikely. We'll see.

In other news, Tech Gian, the eroge magazine that has been publishing for around 25 years, will stop with its September issue. End of an era for sure, I remember quite a lot of scoops and early game info from that magazine. I know the written press has been in pretty bad shape for a while so that's not really a surprise for a magazine that doesn't really have any online presence otherwise, but still it's kinda sad to see another veteran of the eroge golden age going away.

It does feel kinda lonely in here, there's never been too many participants but it looks like we lost some of our regulars as well. I wonder what happened to [MENTION=50434]Mahou[/MENTION], I imagine [MENTION=36284]Kri[/MENTION] is still too busy to play anything, and [MENTION=78566]amaimono[/MENTION] made a comeback a few months ago but not much since. Not that I can fault anyone, looking back at my recent comments I've been lazy too compared to what I've written in the past, or maybe there just aren't that many games worth talking about any more. This month should be a little better with ハジラブ -Making*Lovers- (return of SMEE to goodness?), 星織ユメミライ Perfect Edition (an already huge game with even more content?), and 年下彼女 (porori + Azarashi, quite a mismatch in styles but could work).
 
I can't think of anything to write as a prelude so let's get right to it:

ハジラブ -Making*Lovers- (Hatsuho) : Where even to begin... a small description I guess? This was sold as a remake of Making*Lovers, one of SMEE biggest successes of late, with similar concept and environment but in a high-school setting this time. Making*Lovers concept and main appeal was two-fold : young adult characters, and a relationship that develops while the characters are dating, eschewing the typical clumsy and sudden eroge transition that switches heroines from normal to "in love" after the confession. On the environment part, this is definitely reminiscent of Making*Lovers, mostly thanks to a recycling of most of the background CGs and locations. Unfortunately, we don't get to meet a single reoccurring character, even while visiting iconic locations like the flower shop (Karen) or boat restaurant (Mashiro). As far as concept goes... it's pretty much all gone. Characters are back in typical high-school, and one excepted, are all fairly stereotypical to boot. Relationships don't really progress gradually, but suddenly as the heroines fall completely in love with the protagonist early (if they don't start the game in love already), for rather shallow reasons, and the only one to have a transition of sorts is the protagonist.

Speaking of the protagonist, he shall not be named because... he actually has no name! It's not rare for eroge to offer the choice to name the main character, but I think it's the first time a default name was not even an option, just random ones. I think this speak loudly about his own character development, which is rather limited. Our guy is good looking, pretty smart and quick on the retort, but other than that he's just a pretty normal random dude, except for his views on romantic relationships. While he's oblivious to the affection directed toward him by his childhood friend (cooking for him every day) and kouhai (despite aggressive skinship), he's not averse to getting a girlfriend but wants his romance to be "grand" and feel "real" and "fateful". For that reason, he hasn't been interested in getting in a relationship but a series of happening during a festival makes him re-evaluate his views somewhat, although he's still looking for his "fated one". Now, Making*Lovers's protagonist also starts like that, but the game is quick to demonstrate how dumb that is, and he changed his mind rather quickly. In this one our dude doesn't, at least in the one route of it I played.

Going further into the structure of the game, we have a quick prologue/common route (about 2 hours) that is constituted of one scene per heroine serving as introductions, then another scene per heroine where we get to know a bit more about them (including random useless lucky sukebe...) and get introduced to this game's "hajirai moment" gimmick. Basically, during some scenes a special effect will play out and the heroine's will blush and be embarrassed about whatever the protagonist is doing/saying, culminating into a heart meter overflowing to signify an increase in affection... or so it would seem, but as a player you have no control at all on these scenes so what's even the point of a meter, and the only thing this gimmick managed to achieve for me is completely detach myself emotionnaly from the moment as soon as the marker appeared. Anyway, it's then time to decide the heroine of the day, which is followed by a few quick "progress" chapters (3 in Hatsuho, around one hour) ending in first ecchi and the start of the "lovers" chapters (9 chapters + epilogue) which make up most of the game. Do note that the heroine was already won over at the beginning of the "progress" part and the only one hesitating was the protagonist. Wasn't the concept to "Fall in love as they spend time together, date and get to know each other better"? I just don't see it. The lovers chapters are spent with the occasional date and lots of icha-icha, tons of sex scenes (8) although most only use one CG, and some rather questionable plot developments for a SMEE game.

It's pretty obvious the writing staff is mostly entirely new to the company (not to eroge writing but in other genres), and Hayase Yuu, the only veteran still on board, is mostly in a supervisory role and not too directly involved. Did you like the typical joking idiot but likeable protagonist? He's not really here anymore, replaced by a standard tsukkomi machine. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it's definitely not feeling like a SMEE game. The humor is also seriously toned down, especially when comparing similar heroines and situations (Kouta and Moemin from Pure x Connect), in favor of more icha-icha and hajirai times, but as often with games that rush the early parts of a relationship I just couldn't get any feeling out of it. Maybe it's the painkillers numbing my emotions also... Finally, most of SMEE games tend to be anchored in a somewhat close-to-reality setting, while here we're messing with some more supernatural elements that feel completely out of place. That last point is maybe only true for Hatsuho, I can only hope so because it actually managed to pique my interest (Kitami Rikka!), making me rush the stagnant lovey-dovey days (skipping all the pointless sex scenes), only to fail to even deliver a proper answer in the end. Disappointing.

Yes, disappointing, I think that sums up my feelings about the game so far. Maybe things are better in the other routes, but given the remaining heroines I'm not sure I'm up for it. We have a childhood friend that cooks for him every day (except she disappears completely in Hatsuho's route...), a kouhai all over him playing the gyaru of the day because that's selling I guess (I had enough with Yubisaki Connection), and a rehash of Moemi in a younger, clumsy, much more clueless version (spoon feeding in open all-ok, getting in bath together no problem), complete with associated family of younger brother and sister that want her to find a boyfriend (but much less funny). I'll probably err onto another route just to confirm that the structure is the same for all, as in that the relationship doesn't actually develop during the dating but is already set in stone at the beginning, but I really don't know who I'd pick without wishing to close the game and do something else entirely pretty quickly, considering this was already happening during the short prologue... We'll see.
 
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Parallel Universe or same city nothing ever happened hunh? Well, Kouta's VA did voiced Saki the weather lady...Recycling of towns and stuff happens so often there's no point in doing so I suppose...If I'm not mistaken, the school looks so familiar it'd make a good surprise if the chairwoman appears with her Lovely Smile hijinks.................

Don't miko/shrine maidens and the supernatural come hand-in-hand? I can't seem to remember any time that the supernatural do not seep in under the presence of such a heroine...(heck, often said supernatural elements are central to the entire plot) If the stories are self-contained I wouldn't expect such thing elsewhere...

Bizarre disappearance striking again hunh, and this time more bizarre than ever? Hmmmm.............
 
The school's inside does look kinda familiar indeed. Let's compare a bit shall we? Can you tell which is which?
lq-hml.jpg



I suppose it's pretty standard for a miko heroine route to also feature some supernatural elements, but not necessarily, there's no such thing in Sayuki's route in Amakano for example. I wouldn't say the supernatural are central to her plot, at least certainly not so in terms of screen time, but there is a bit of a mystery surrounding her and the protagonist. More below if you don't mind being spoiled.

-A mysterious clearing/waterfall that can only be reached by people "chosen by fate", granting the wishes of people if they pray together while jumping on stepping stones
-Hatsuho disappeared for around a year at age 10 and came back completely changed with no memory of her past. While the protagonist helps her overcome her trauma surrounding this ("am I really me?" kind of thing) there is no explanation as to what happened
-Hatsuho's mother has a strange condition that makes her body weaken the further she goes from the shrine. Since her husband is an internationally renown magician (performer) constantly on tour that leads to some family issues.
-The protagonist sees someone looking like Hatsuho in his dream, an apparent childhood memory of his first love (with dramatic encounter) which explains why he's so stuck up on his ideals. Except the person in his dream isn't Hatsuho but is apparently his and Hatsuho's daughter (according to the ending/epilogue), who somehow is jealous of Hatsuho and wants her daddy's love (and dick for some reason..?). I can't even begin to understand what this even means, if even I understood it correctly, all I can say is that was distracting enough to completely overshadow the otherwise bland slice-of-life.
The childhood friend actually shows up twice in Hatsuho's route, so it's not a total disappearance, but the fact that she cooks for him, wakes him up in the morning, does housework for him is never mentioned again. Stories seem fairly self-contained, Yui (Natsuho v2) never showed up again, and Kouta (Moemi v2) only briefly if her restaurant is chosen during one of the dates.
 
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Second game of the month, and once again another look into Azarashi Soft's low-price offerings, let's talk this time about :

年下彼女 : I was both anxious and eager to try this game out, and the mean reason for this being that it is written by none other than porori. porori, to quickly recap, is the sole writer behind the 夜のひつじ circle, well-known in particular for its Lolita series, but also other games that I tend to prefer. His writing is quite particular, I would say rather difficult to get used to due to its difference with most other writers, but is well constructed, often philosophical and poetic, and it's clear he's well versed in literature. He, to my knowledge, rarely writes for other brands which makes this game quite a rarity among the Azarashi Soft offering. When he does, it can turn out pretty strange even for a standard relationship, and even for a nukige. Now, I'll note that I only read the first game of the Lolita series, having mixed feelings about it, which is stopping me from delving too deep or too fast into his work, but he's certainly one of the few writers I take notice of. Nevertheless, one thing can be said for sure: porori is well versed in and has matured the topic of romance with a large age-gap, which is what this current game is about.

The age-gap is actually not that big, or rather not as big as previous porori works. Ayane, the heroine of the game, is in her last year of high school, while our protagonist Yuusuku is a newly appointed literature/japanese teacher returning home after a few years of teaching in the capital. This makes the age difference about 7 to 8 years, but more importantly, both characters are adults, well past age-of-consent, which is something that has always bothered me about the Lolita series. The difference in status is still a pretty big part of the game, amplified by the fact that it so happens that our protagonist was appointed to Ayane's school and so is her teacher. For the most part, the story is about how Ayane, who has loved him for a long time now, even since their meeting in family gatherings, slowly crawls her way into his life and makes him fall completely and totally for her. She is quite good at this, with a mix of provocations, forcing out the man (beast?) hiding behind the suit, sometimes teasing, playing with his feelings only for him to notice and confirm them, and never fails to make use of the weapons at her disposal (her cuteness, her talent with cooking, etc...) to make sure he keeps noticing her. It doesn't take long for Yuusuke to fall for her, but for a game in a low-price format, it actually takes a decent amount of time for her to completely break any restraint or hesitation he may have towards getting into a relationship with her.

Some would say she is quite manipulative, and I would agree, but this is all in the service of her one and only goal, fulfilling her one and only wish. And this is where the game starts to feel a little strange, as it often does with other games written by porori. Ayane's goal is to marry and have a life with the protagonist, and that's pretty much it. She's clearly brilliant, a very good actress, is very friendly to others, but to see her dedicate her life and efforts so utterly towards the protagonist seems a little much. I won't deny that there's actually some grounds for her feelings, most of it expressed in a quickly skimmed-about past but not only, but it seems to lack that special something that would push her towards this edge. This is something that I had also noticed about most other porori works, in which many heroine just live for, and only find satisfaction in fulfilling the protagonist desires. The ideal of the "good wife", supporting and loving in everything her husband does, but never overbearing or demanding, which seems to appeal to many but feels rather artificial to me.

Anyway, I think I've said enough about the writing already, but as a last comment I find porori's ecchi scenes to be both disturbing and fascinating at the same time. There is a strange disconnect between the acts and the internal monologue, as the protagonist feels the appeals and temptations of his inner, dark thoughts while being mostly gentle in action. Unfortunately for him, Ayane is always quick to notice and push him over the edge with a few chosen words, and make him do acts he would later regrets (but never learns as he repeats them again...). It's nothing violent, nor that dark or anything, at least given eroge standards, but still something to keep in mind. It's not a style for everyone, and certainly not the style Azarashi Soft is used to in either its main or low-price series, but it's something to experience I think.

I feel bad spending so long on the text and so little on the rest of the game, but both the art and the voice-acting serve very well to enhance the experience, especially given how relatively questionable these can be in porori's other works. The art is generally pretty good, with 18 CGs, 7 actually dedicated to the story and 11 for the ecchi scenes, of which there are 6. There are some odd body proportions here and there, mostly in the exaggeration of Ayane's chest, and with the size and pose of her legs, but I particularly appreciated her facial expressions. The voice-acting is very good, Yanagi Hitomi doesn't do many roles but I tend to always like her performances, and her tone matches perfectly the kind of heroine Ayane is trying to be: young, playful, provocative and teasing. The music is rather generic but doesn't get in the way of the rest which is good enough for me.

TLDR : as expected, quite different from the standard Azarashi Soft offering, but very familiar for a porori work, and an association that actually works pretty well overall. I'm hoping there will be more cooperation between the two in the future, as the game is far and wide above most of what Azarashi Soft's low-price brand has offered so far.
 
>only find satisfaction in fulfilling the protagonist desires
Oh geez, I thought most of eroge releasing nowadays shares the same vision.

Still thanks to you who are writing here every month and saying opinion about new games (because I don't have a time to play them at all, even in English). I am checking for new eroge every month and often browsering Getchu site, official game sites etc, but usually it's enough with my free time, uh...

But I'm still interested with this, so many years passed, and I'm still here. Eroge industry is still alive, still enough games releasing each month, but of course, most of them are low-price or "partial" full-price eroge.
 
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Did anyone read Hoshi Ori Perfect Edition? How good is the Vita ported content?

The frequent yet unpredictable swings between super busy days and super dull days in these Covid times are killing me. Hardly had any time to devour eroges.

Some impressions of the titles I had a brief look at:
  • Sex Underworld: Introduce common sense to a world unbound by logic and things start to fall apart. It does have a lot more kissing during scenes, which I really like. Exploration is still very limited and half-assed, as if the writer is teasing for another sequel.

  • Bokuone: Gotta say, jumping straight to sex from the start wasn't that good of an idea after all, but the real deal breaker was the shotacon (tbf, I was dumb enough to not notice the implied meaning of the word "boku"). Very special titles could make me read something I'm not a fan of. This isn't one of them.

  • Yubisaki Connection: Effectively a SMEE title with toned down humour, which is actually nice. The heroine I was looking forward to (the bartender) has the wrong VA. Haven't touched it since. Maybe when things aren't as chaotic as now.
 
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Good to see you back! Hopefully things will calm down on your end and you'll have more time for some games.

Did anyone read Hoshi Ori Perfect Edition? How good is the Vita ported content?
I have played one route of it so far, arguably the shortest : Natsuki. I was waiting to do a couple more before writing about it but I can give my overall opinion on it early. I'd say the additional content is pretty nice, 3 more event CGs added compared to the original game. One of these involves an event that clearly was added near the end of the school days, but still pretty nice. The latter two I honestly couldn't have told you they weren't in the original game if I hadn't opened the original to compare. Length-wise it doesn't add too much I think, so the new CGs in the adult days are more here to strengthen the already-in events rather than add completely new ones. It's nothing overwhelming though, which explains why I'm not rushing to play the other routes, but it can be a nice motivation to replay the game, especially for characters you liked.
 
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Aww, so the adult part have shorter added scenes than the school part? That's a bit unfortunate since I think the adult part is where most of Hoshi Ori's heroines truly shine.
 
Aww, so the adult part have shorter added scenes than the school part? That's a bit unfortunate since I think the adult part is where most of Hoshi Ori's heroines truly shine.
Either that, or the additional adult part scenes are better integrated into the story. Most of Hoshi Ori's adult sections tend to more calm and less dramatic than the school days, which makes noticing brand new events a little bit harder. I did play the game more than 5 years ago, never finishing or replaying any of it in the meantime except for a short attempt at Misa's route (stopped halfway through school days), so my memory of what was and wasn't in the game isn't too clear either. In Natsuki's case :
Do you remember going to the festival with her (school)?
Do you remember going to the beach and getting interviewed (adult)?
Do you remember long talk sessions relaxing in the bathtub (adult)?
I definitely didn't remember the first, kinda remember the second, and I'm not sure about the third at all, I think it was in but maybe confusing it with another game. There also may, or may not be additional content that doesn't involve new CG, honestly at this point I'd need to re-read the original (not skim) to make sure but... not right now.
 
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@Natsuki's route: Festival? Erm, maybe or maybe not. The beach event was in the school part, and there's no interview either. So that one is indeed an added scene. The bathroom event??? I remember her having loads of bedroom events but I don't remember any bathroom event.

@Misa's route: Her school part is so dull because of her lack of personality (not as bad as Touko's though). Fortunately, her character really grows in the adult part where she lives up to the title of a bombshell.
 
星織ユメミライ Perfect Edition continued, with Marika's route next. This time I also played the route in parallel in the old game as well, advancing the text as the days go by to be more conscious of changes. It's not a perfect comparison but good enough to at least still enjoy the route without having to juggle two windows and click twice to advance the text each time. As far as additional content goes, there's not much for a very long time, apart from some added short pillow-talk scenes after most of the ecchi scenes, presumably to make up for their absence in the portable, all ages version. The end of the adult part sees two more CGs used to enhance already existing scenes, I think some text was added in these scenes as well but don't expect some entirely new happenings in the route. Overall Marika's route is okay, it's not the best but it still has its high points (the wedding), and the additional content puts a little more focus towards the end of the route which is nice as it was somewhat rushed in the original.

@Misa: I think I was mostly disappointed with the way the relationship evolved, too easily and too fast. I will try to read it next and reach the adult part this time.
 
I should write something, just to give this thread at least a post this month... Unfortunately due to circumstances I haven't been able to play much (more on that later), so this will be rather short as far as game comments as concerned.

フユキス (Mito completed, Yuki to confession/first H) : This game seemed nice on the lookout. Sure it's Giga which is known for its generic productions, but it had a flair of Amakano with its winter theme and focus on romance without any distraction. It helped build my expectations that Masaki Jiino, the writer for this game, also worked on Yui's route in Koikake (my favorite of the game) and Yuzuki's route in Ginharu (also my favorite of the game). I also read some of his earlier work with Giga with Full Kiss (+S), about a route of each and they were okay but nothing extraordinary either. So which is it for this game then, a new favorite or another generic schooldays romance? Unfortunately it's the latter, and to make matters worse, it's missing a crucial element as far as romance stories are concerned : any semblance of effort from the protagonist. All three of the heroines start or take a liking for the protagonist very early, including the very socially active Mito (gravure idol) and Touka (student council president), and multiply approaches to catch his interest which largely remains unanswered or at least, ignored. To the point that even Mito, who says she hates proactive persons in romance, is driven to complain about his clueless and passive attitude. The one mystery of the game, the identity of the mysterious sender of SMS messages, has an extremely obvious answer and an anticlimactic reveal that only matches it in its blandness. If the protagonist is not in the driving seat of the story, the maybe the heroines make up for that in their aggressiveness? Not really either, it's mostly down to chance encounters, the protagonist would go somewhere (like the leisure pool) and boom, the heroine he was just thinking of just happened to be there for a nice swimsuit event (in a winter game...) without requiring agency from either of the participants. Once in character routes things develop very quickly (expect first H minutes from the confession) and, from what I've seen, with an absence of any significant hardship or major plot point. The same can be said from Amakano so it's not necessarily a bad thing, but without a proper buildup of the romantic relationship just following the couple along their daily lives quickly lost interest for me. The game had one possible saving grace in the form of Kanna's character, waiting for her prince to show up, which would require some amount of effort from the protagonist to try and live up to her standards (kinda like Kurumi's route in SuGirly Wish), but unfortunately Kanna is relegated to sub-character and doesn't get a route. The character animations are pretty nice and the game makes an overall good use of the emote system, but CG (both normal and H) are completely static which is quite the letdown. I can't say I recommend the game, and I probably won't play it any further.

星織ユメミライ Perfect Edition (Rikka School Part) : Rikka is arguably the best route of the game, and it remained very enjoyable to experience it once more. The additional content of the perfect edition felt very shallow though, not even a scene but just a quick CG that flashes by and is forgotten just as quickly. I appreciate that the route implements, after the first H scenes, additional choices that allow to skip the sex scenes and experience the alternate text that was in the all-ages version. It's not much but I remember that my main complaint about Rikka's route was the orientation of the 18+ content, quickly veering towards light SM/teasing which is not my thing (at least with the S being the protagonist).

That's it for what I played. Upcoming August games are a rare batch in that there's absolutely nothing that interests me, so I don't know when the next post will be.

Anyway, on to the circumstances I mentioned at the beginning of this post. A few months back I had the misfortune to hurt my back pretty badly, which was followed by a leg, shoulder and ankle injury in quick succession. So far it hasn't been getting much better, though I'm still due some doctor visits in the near future. I'll spare you the details but the end-result is that I can't quite sit down on my couch and read VNs for extended amounts of time, as my body begins hurting like hell and prompting me to either get up or lie down. I've had to adapt, and I've settled with a mix of remote desktop tools on my phone to be able to play while standing up or lying down on my bed, but I haven't really been too satisfied with any of the tools so far. Teamviewer is okay but the LAN connection has no sound, I don't want to broadcast my desktop over the internet, and the free version's nagging messages are quickly getting annoying. Chrome Remote Desktop works pretty well but makes my phone heat up significantly, and I'm not too keen on giving Google, of all companies, access to my desktop either. Microsoft Remote Desktop doesn't work since I have a home version. So far Splashtop (free in LAN mode) has been the most effective, I remember using it way back to do some light gaming with small latency when my computer was stuck in a closet far from any screen, but the phone app is not perfect either : sometimes mouse clicks are not registering and the mouse-mode has the bad habit of panning the screen even in-full zoom, hiding half of it when going for the lower edge, which is problematic considering most of a VN's controls are located there. I'm still looking for a better solution, preferably self-hosted as I would only use it on LAN anyway.

Also, I just noticed that this site (anime-sharing) is now flagged as child-porn in my country. I don't know since when since I can still access it just fine with DNS over HTTPS and I swear I could access it too on my phone (on which DNS over HTTPS just doesn't seem to work) at the beginning of the month, but no longer, instead getting a big scary government warning page. I'm not going to play dumb and pretend this is a false-claim, especially considering the amount of lolicon manga posted here, and I was always aware of the risks of coming here and downloading games in the first place, but I have to admit this is a little scary as the amount of scrutiny between illegal game download and child-porn is quite different. This will probably limit my visits here for when I can have a secure VPN connection from here on out (using Proton free for now, maybe switching to first paying tier, I don't know yet, taking suggestions). Maybe it's also a good time to quit altogether and find a new, safer and healthier hobby, I haven't decided yet. I will probably still play HOOKSOFT's next release but beyond that is a mystery.
 
Looks like the time is starting to catching up to us in more than one ways and the time only gets darker...alas, to all things come an end.
There are so many things to do these days I don't have much interest in reading any more...unless Super Robot Taisen counts. The one thing on radar would be Hooksoft's next title indeed.

Get well soon, and best wishes for your future endeavors if you can't come here any longer...
 
I haven't posted here since quite a long-ish time. I haven't actually read all that many VNs and just skimmed through CGs/h-scenes in the last couple of years and focused more on jrpgs and FF14/GW2. However, I eventually sat down and finished my first run of Amayui Labyrinth Master yesterday as I quite liked the prequel. Apparently, you are locked into the first ending on your first playthrough, and (fortunately?) the ending isn't a downer ending lol. I did feel sad for the final boss. Many JP sites labeled the 2nd ending as a "true" one, unlocked by doing something parents should not do
as in reading the picture dairy of your daughter after each chapter :P
. Otherwise? The main villain is just as annoying as Castle Meister's just more evil I guess. Most of the core concept has remained the same, except the town building. On 1st playhthrough, 2 new playable character from the beginning and 2 others a bit before the last dungeon appears. The union system is quite neat imo, but you ultimately won't be able to dispatch all units at once.
In good Eushully tradition, they thought it was fun to have a final boss with a huge-@ss long ranged attack and double move ability.
 
@kzel: Lately, my lower back hurts whenever I sprint uphill. It's pretty debilitating despite being nowhere near your condition, so I feel for you. As for the screen mirroring solution... I'm not sure, I'd rather buy an extension cord and put the PC near or even on my bed.


Thoughts on last month's eroges:

  • After the high of Mama x Holic, Bare & Bunny served up one of their worst ever title in Nee Nee Nee. Over-used story & characters, over-used VAs, uninspiring mechanic... The only interesting thing was the MC being a cousin of Ero Semi's MC.

  • SMEE's jokes <----- 10 years -----> my age <----- 10 years -----> Elf no Oyome-san's jokes.
 
I finished 魔法少女消耗戦線(DeadΩAEGIS)'s Angel root.
It was story for all girls, I understood why this game were popular a sort of OTAKU girls.
 
Hi, I'm still around lurking.

So, I managed to get more free time lately, so I start trying out some old games I didn't have a chance to play. I feel like I came to the future from 2010s or something. Time really flies.

I started by randomly picking one of Yuzusoft's titles I haven't played yet. It was Noble Works.

The game sucked. =\

Riddle Joker is still my favorite Yuzusoft's title, but according to people it's only average to above average. I guess I still haven't explored enough of their older games.

(I've played other games too but I will write about them later.)
 
Riddle Joker is still my favorite Yuzusoft's title, but according to people it's only average to above average.
Many regard Hatsukoi 1/1, one of my all time favorite titles, as the worst among tone work's releases. Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi is widely regarded as inferior to Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka, yet I preferred the former.

There are many factors to this, including one's own taste. One's mood and condition when reading also matters. Reading a universally acclaimed title when in poor health/bad mood may make one's brain associate the said title with bad experience. Sometimes you just can't help it, but I try not to read new stuff unless my mood's neutral.
 
Started Tomefure Second.
Conversation is realistic, Vivid and funny.
I like this one for example.

Sanae "You know? Kiss is not usual custom in Japan!"
Sera "Yeah, I know. It's Stereo type of Foreigner in Anime "
 
Here's my review of Omoide Kakaete Ai ni Koi. Contains spoiler.

First of all, I hate the engine. Well, I don't know if it's the engine or Hooksoft never bothers to fix it, but this game still doesn't have the jump forward button. This is a basic function that has been around for several years already but for some reason their games never have it. And it's much more annoying in this game because this game is a long series of 20-30+ unavoidable meaningless choices from end to end. These choices don't affect which heroine you end up with but you're forced to go through all of them anyway. (The only choice that matter on each day is which heroine you want to go home with. Even the talk card system is wholly gimmicky, because the locked card is another meaningless choice that requires no condition to unlock.) It's not so bad in the first playthrough, but in subsequent ones it's a huge pain.

Onto the story, this game is surprisingly long by Hooksoft's standards. The game is divided into two parts, the childhood part and the high school part. I like it that they have the childhood part for earlier buildup, instead of slapping an osananajimi tag on a heroine, throwing in max affection from the start and showing occasional convenient flashbacks later. This part is about 1/3 of the whole playthrough or so I think. We starts with 3 girls, Tomari, Chisato and Iku, already in our original gang. Then Yuuna and Shizuru join our little group of friends later. After that, due to circumtances, the protagonist, Haruki, has to move away from the town, but each girl makes a promise to him that she'll change herself and wait for Haruki's return. Those promises are the main thing that drive the story of the game.

Then we continue with the high school part, when Haruki comes back and is reunited with them. This part is mostly the (re)introduction of the osananajimi and is the more slice-of-life part which consists of most of the above-mentioned meaningless choices. After that, our decision leads to the confession scene, and we enter the individual route. By the way, the confession in this game feels almost too casual. There's no "floodgate of emotion" moment and those who expect it to be more romantic might be disappointed.

The format here is the same as other recent Hooksoft titles. 8 chapters of slice-of-life ichaicha, ero, dating, more ero, and the last chapter consisting of a pinch of drama in an attempt to add some moving moment and a happy ending. It's a charage after all so whether you like the route still relying mostly on the heroine, so you can count on me review to be subjective as well.

Individual routes:

Kuriyama Tomari:
I assume she's supposed to be the main heroine, seeing how her route has a special unlocking condition and has more chapters than other routes. Tomari as a kid was a crybaby. As a result, Haruki was reluctant to tell her that he was going to move away because he thought she wouldn't be able to accept it. This led her to promise him that she wasn't going to cry anymore.
Tomari as a character sounds boring and uninteresting, but then comes an unexpected twist. During the confession, she reveals a secret she hasn't told him before. After he moved away, she got into an accident and lost her memory of him, so the current Tomari isn't the original Tomari he knew from his childhood anymore. Despite that, he accepts her and states that he wants to be with the current Tomari, who he's been spending time with.
Even though they spend happy time together as a couple, Tomari gets into another accident. She loses consciousness but her original personality in the past resurfaces. Haruki is devastated to lose the Tomari he loves, but he doesn't want the original Tomari to disappear either. In the end, the original Tomari thanks him for having been thinking of her all this time and officially say "welcome back" to him one last time before letting the current Tomari taking over again.

Sugou Chisato:
An older sister type heroine with an S personality. She was a mischievous kid but also a reliable leader in time of need. When Haruki moved away, she promised him that she'd quit being a brat and become a proper girl the next time they met.
By the time he came back, she's changed so much that he barely remembers her, but her personality remains. At school, she has a public facade of being an ideal lady who's popular with everyone, but she's still dominant in front of her childhood friends. In the events that lead to the confession, because of the Haruki's donkanness, she has to be assertive and spell it out for him.
Evidently Chisato has already fulfilled her promise since the beginning of the common route, so the end drama now focuses on her dream of getting rich. It's revealed that she wants money not for personal gain but to preserve the place of her childhood friends' memory. The epilogue tells of her dream coming true and they live happily ever after. This is another of those Hooksoft's typical ending.

Tokorozawa Iku:
The youngest of the group. She is a pure, almost gullible girl who looks up to Haruki like her big brother and followed him around. She promised Haruki that she would train herself so that she could go on an adventure with everyone.
Iku is another girl that has changed so much Haruki can't remember her, and now she's the volleyball club's ace. In addition, influenced by shoujo manga, she's developed an ouji-sama personality and become popular with the girls (a gimmick that goes almost totally unused later).
For some reason, her route's drama focuses on her life as a volleyball player, why she didn't choose a school with prestigious volleyball club, and her view of volleyball which stands in contrast to her former teammate's. In the end, the promised adventure is not portrayed. The ending scene is that of Haruki and Iku, now a family, living together.

Harunohara Yuuna:
A girl who first met with the gang at a local candy shop where they usually hung out. She developed a friendly rivalry with Haruki after a game of card. She was saved by him from an incident so she looked at him as her hero, but it left her with a fear of men. Before he left, she made him promise that he would come back and have a game with her again.
In the present day, she's become very popular, but is still afraid of men. She starts seeing Haruki as a man and starts to avoid contact with him as well, but with the help of other friends, she manages to overcome it, and they officially become a couple.
She's also a member of the school chorus and has a very beautiful voice but is too shy to reveal it. A video of her singing was uploaded and was highly acclaimed, but it wasn't revealed it was her. In the end, she meets a girl who wishes to hear her voice once more before moving away from the town. Seeing that she's in the same situation as Haruki in the past, along with the desire to stand alongside him as a hero herself, she gathers the courage to come out to give a performance for her.

Nishitani Shizuru:
Shizuru in the past was a lonely girl who couldn't make any friend, until Haruki befriended her. Before Haruki moved away, she promised him she would make a lot of friends and she would introduce them to him.
Shizuru did her best to make new friends, but didn't get an amiable reaction that she expected, so she became a cold and quiet girl for fear of interacting with strangers, but was still kind at heart. She meets with Haruki again, and he eventually helps her open up to other classmates.
In the last chapter, she meets a lonely girl who resembles her past self. With Haruki's encouragement, she helps her with her newfound confidence and manages to makes her smile.

My personal heroine ranking:

Yuuna > Shizuru > Chisato > Tomari > Iku

Ironically, Iku and Tomari are the most and second most popular heroine according to the official site, but they're at the bottom of my list. In any case, Yuuna is best girl. Fight me.
I think she's the roundest heroine and has the best chemistry with Haruki. (It's very unfortunate how the writer suddenly drops the rivalry subplot; her promise is treated as only a thing in the past. I think the route could have been much, much better with it.) Her desire to overcome obstacles so that she can be with Haruki makes her a really lovable heroine. Her route's epilogue is the only one that doesn't recycle the go-to "10 years later time skip" template, and actually still provides more character development. The image change which symbolizes the breakaway from her former self is a good finishing touch to the story.
My personal favorite moment is the scene when she's overcome with joy after the first kiss.

Shizuru's route is one of those routes that you either love or hate. There's nothing interesting story-wise but vanilla, vanilla and more vanilla overdose. The tags on the official site are very misleading. We see very little of do-M or tsundere Shizuru. In reality, she's kind, considerate and plain deredere, and I have a very soft spot for deredere heroines that isn't annoying or possessive.
If you're just looking for a simple happy love story, you'll love this route.

For some reason, Tomari, who's supposed to be the archetypal loving, caring osananajimi, doesn't feel like one to me. She's more like a family. The crybaby Tomari just gives out an image of an imouto stronger(which is supposed to be Iku's role, who, in turn, doesn't have that younger sister aura at all.)
Her confession scene provides a nice twist. Although it defeats the purpose of the "childhood promise" theme, it turns a boring heroine into an interesting one and managed to pique my interest a bit. By the way, the ending of the route is uncharacteristically bittersweet for Hooksoft, and it hits you with the reality that you can't choose to have everything. If you've been too familiar with Hooksoft style, you might not be mentally prepared for it.

Chisato's route and Iku's route are pretty generic. There's nothing that interests me and nothing that you shouldn't have expected already.

This game is just another lighthearted, shallow, feel-good vanilla Hooksoft title, nothing different, though I'd rate it considerably higher than E-school Life or Houkago Cinderella.
Though not as conspicuous as a few games earlier, it still retains some of SMEE's influence. I truly hope some day they have the guts to start something new and original and stop reliving their successful past. Even going back to being old Hooksoft would be preferable.
Also please add the jump forward function.
 
Here's my review of Omoide Kakaete Ai ni Koi. Contains spoiler.

First of all, I hate the engine. Well, I don't know if it's the engine or Hooksoft never bothers to fix it, but this game still doesn't have the jump forward button. This is a basic function that has been around for several years already but for some reason their games never have it. And it's much more annoying in this game because this game is a long series of 20-30+ unavoidable meaningless choices from end to end. These choices don't affect which heroine you end up with but you're forced to go through all of them anyway. (The only choice that matter on each day is which heroine you want to go home with. Even the talk card system is wholly gimmicky, because the locked card is another meaningless choice that requires no condition to unlock.) It's not so bad in the first playthrough, but in subsequent ones it's a huge pain.

Onto the story, this game is surprisingly long by Hooksoft's standards. The game is divided into two parts, the childhood part and the high school part. I like it that they have the childhood part for earlier buildup, instead of slapping an osananajimi tag on a heroine, throwing in max affection from the start and showing occasional convenient flashbacks later. This part is about 1/3 of the whole playthrough or so I think. We starts with 3 girls, Tomari, Chisato and Iku, already in our original gang. Then Yuuna and Shizuru join our little group of friends later. After that, due to circumtances, the protagonist, Haruki, has to move away from the town, but each girl makes a promise to him that she'll change herself and wait for Haruki's return. Those promises are the main thing that drive the story of the game.

Then we continue with the high school part, when Haruki comes back and is reunited with them. This part is mostly the (re)introduction of the osananajimi and is the more slice-of-life part which consists of most of the above-mentioned meaningless choices. After that, our decision leads to the confession scene, and we enter the individual route. By the way, the confession in this game feels almost too casual. There's no "floodgate of emotion" moment and those who expect it to be more romantic might be disappointed.

The format here is the same as other recent Hooksoft titles. 8 chapters of slice-of-life ichaicha, ero, dating, more ero, and the last chapter consisting of a pinch of drama in an attempt to add some moving moment and a happy ending. It's a charage after all so whether you like the route still relying mostly on the heroine, so you can count on me review to be subjective as well.

Individual routes:

Kuriyama Tomari:
I assume she's supposed to be the main heroine, seeing how her route has a special unlocking condition and has more chapters than other routes. Tomari as a kid was a crybaby. As a result, Haruki was reluctant to tell her that he was going to move away because he thought she wouldn't be able to accept it. This led her to promise him that she wasn't going to cry anymore.
Tomari as a character sounds boring and uninteresting, but then comes an unexpected twist. During the confession, she reveals a secret she hasn't told him before. After he moved away, she got into an accident and lost her memory of him, so the current Tomari isn't the original Tomari he knew from his childhood anymore. Despite that, he accepts her and states that he wants to be with the current Tomari, who he's been spending time with.
Even though they spend happy time together as a couple, Tomari gets into another accident. She loses consciousness but her original personality in the past resurfaces. Haruki is devastated to lose the Tomari he loves, but he doesn't want the original Tomari to disappear either. In the end, the original Tomari thanks him for having been thinking of her all this time and officially say "welcome back" to him one last time before letting the current Tomari taking over again.

Sugou Chisato:
An older sister type heroine with an S personality. She was a mischievous kid but also a reliable leader in time of need. When Haruki moved away, she promised him that she'd quit being a brat and become a proper girl the next time they met.
By the time he came back, she's changed so much that he barely remembers her, but her personality remains. At school, she has a public facade of being an ideal lady who's popular with everyone, but she's still dominant in front of her childhood friends. In the events that lead to the confession, because of the Haruki's donkanness, she has to be assertive and spell it out for him.
Evidently Chisato has already fulfilled her promise since the beginning of the common route, so the end drama now focuses on her dream of getting rich. It's revealed that she wants money not for personal gain but to preserve the place of her childhood friends' memory. The epilogue tells of her dream coming true and they live happily ever after. This is another of those Hooksoft's typical ending.

Tokorozawa Iku:
The youngest of the group. She is a pure, almost gullible girl who looks up to Haruki like her big brother and followed him around. She promised Haruki that she would train herself so that she could go on an adventure with everyone.
Iku is another girl that has changed so much Haruki can't remember her, and now she's the volleyball club's ace. In addition, influenced by shoujo manga, she's developed an ouji-sama personality and become popular with the girls (a gimmick that goes almost totally unused later).
For some reason, her route's drama focuses on her life as a volleyball player, why she didn't choose a school with prestigious volleyball club, and her view of volleyball which stands in contrast to her former teammate's. In the end, the promised adventure is not portrayed. The ending scene is that of Haruki and Iku, now a family, living together.

Harunohara Yuuna:
A girl who first met with the gang at a local candy shop where they usually hung out. She developed a friendly rivalry with Haruki after a game of card. She was saved by him from an incident so she looked at him as her hero, but it left her with a fear of men. Before he left, she made him promise that he would come back and have a game with her again.
In the present day, she's become very popular, but is still afraid of men. She starts seeing Haruki as a man and starts to avoid contact with him as well, but with the help of other friends, she manages to overcome it, and they officially become a couple.
She's also a member of the school chorus and has a very beautiful voice but is too shy to reveal it. A video of her singing was uploaded and was highly acclaimed, but it wasn't revealed it was her. In the end, she meets a girl who wishes to hear her voice once more before moving away from the town. Seeing that she's in the same situation as Haruki in the past, along with the desire to stand alongside him as a hero herself, she gathers the courage to come out to give a performance for her.

Nishitani Shizuru:
Shizuru in the past was a lonely girl who couldn't make any friend, until Haruki befriended her. Before Haruki moved away, she promised him she would make a lot of friends and she would introduce them to him.
Shizuru did her best to make new friends, but didn't get an amiable reaction that she expected, so she became a cold and quiet girl for fear of interacting with strangers, but was still kind at heart. She meets with Haruki again, and he eventually helps her open up to other classmates.
In the last chapter, she meets a lonely girl who resembles her past self. With Haruki's encouragement, she helps her with her newfound confidence and manages to makes her smile.

My personal heroine ranking:

Yuuna > Shizuru > Chisato > Tomari > Iku

Ironically, Iku and Tomari are the most and second most popular heroine according to the official site, but they're at the bottom of my list. In any case, Yuuna is best girl. Fight me.
I think she's the roundest heroine and has the best chemistry with Haruki. (It's very unfortunate how the writer suddenly drops the rivalry subplot; her promise is treated as only a thing in the past. I think the route could have been much, much better with it.) Her desire to overcome obstacles so that she can be with Haruki makes her a really lovable heroine. Her route's epilogue is the only one that doesn't recycle the go-to "10 years later time skip" template, and actually still provides more character development. The image change which symbolizes the breakaway from her former self is a good finishing touch to the story.
My personal favorite moment is the scene when she's overcome with joy after the first kiss.

Shizuru's route is one of those routes that you either love or hate. There's nothing interesting story-wise but vanilla, vanilla and more vanilla overdose. The tags on the official site are very misleading. We see very little of do-M or tsundere Shizuru. In reality, she's kind, considerate and plain deredere, and I have a very soft spot for deredere heroines that isn't annoying or possessive.
If you're just looking for a simple happy love story, you'll love this route.

For some reason, Tomari, who's supposed to be the archetypal loving, caring osananajimi, doesn't feel like one to me. She's more like a family. The crybaby Tomari just gives out an image of an imouto stronger(which is supposed to be Iku's role, who, in turn, doesn't have that younger sister aura at all.)
Her confession scene provides a nice twist. Although it defeats the purpose of the "childhood promise" theme, it turns a boring heroine into an interesting one and managed to pique my interest a bit. By the way, the ending of the route is uncharacteristically bittersweet for Hooksoft, and it hits you with the reality that you can't choose to have everything. If you've been too familiar with Hooksoft style, you might not be mentally prepared for it.

Chisato's route and Iku's route are pretty generic. There's nothing that interests me and nothing that you shouldn't have expected already.

This game is just another lighthearted, shallow, feel-good vanilla Hooksoft title, nothing different, though I'd rate it considerably higher than E-school Life or Houkago Cinderella.
Though not as conspicuous as a few games earlier, it still retains some of SMEE's influence. I truly hope some day they have the guts to start something new and original and stop reliving their successful past. Even going back to being old Hooksoft would be preferable.
Also please add the jump forward function.


Jump forward...you mean "jump to next choice"? I often leave games in background as I grind another game anyway so I don't usually use the jump to next choice; I can leave them on normal fast forward and back to choice in time.

I'm up to iKoi common route start myself. 14 parts (7 prologue, 2 reunion, and 5 "character introductions") before common route? That's like an entire route worth of parts of some older Hooksoft titles from the count alone. That sure as heck does well to keep one following...not.

...and they are recycling so hard this time it's the same town as iSuki. Must be the running theme of the abbreviated name that influenced the reuse of said town...Looking for recycled stuff became a little thing I do with these newer Hooksoft titles...so far, the same station, crossroad, and bookstore as iSuki...Hannah's school is referred to by name. Also, supermarket's from Amenity's Life and convenience store taken from IxSheTell...I think. I would be partial to cameos, but in this day and age funds are few and far in between I suppose, that or it has to be a god's power for them to even meet.

No meaningless sections will top Houkago Cinderalla for sure where the whole common route literally has no meaningful content at all outside of going home...I'll see soon if it is that bad...

SMEE manzai fest and SFX overuse per usual...it becomes jarring over time indeed. SMEE does feel like blight on Hooksoft if you had been following the latter for long enough... Will it be stuck under SMEE's shadow forever or will it find its mojo again...

StrawberryNauts getting Switch and PS4 release (that's third re-release, since HD Renewal and Vita releases) sure make it feels like it's Hooksoft's magnum opus, no? Then again, I just like Mikamo that much...
 
Does anyone have a completed save file for Tick! Tack! ? (MangaGamer EN version), I can only find the JP save file, which isn't compatible with the EN version.
 

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fartass wrote on Shine's profile.
is it possible to re-up version 24.02 update from this ?
this link should have the correct update https://ci-en.dlsite.com/creator/10022/article/1103527

sorry for the complicated request
dolaemongoxz wrote on Shine's profile.
Hi Shine,
Could you please re-upload RJ438225 Part 4 on Mexa? Thank you.
sikany wrote on Otokonoko's profile.
Hi Could you upload additional illustrations for RJ01174340?
vnimlove wrote on Otokonoko's profile.
reup please *click*