Yeah! That's right! Carve it into your soul! tsupertsundere’s profile
Update Two Hundred and Ninety: 16 March 2019
In a word, Fumiko! is ambitious. A platformer that takes the word ‘platformer’ to new heights, you play as the eponymous Fumiko, an AI trapped in a compartmentalized network and struggling to bust out. Fumiko gets jerked around, given abilities that all too soon are taken away, until she grabs shit for herself and struggles against homeworld-ending forces. Those that help Fumiko are punished for it, and it constantly feels like she’s one step away from total annihilation.
Overall, it’s a really fun game, though it sometimes gets in its own way. Once you’re able to let loose, flying and jumping around the huge maps is a joy. It feels cool as fuck to just fly around. Then, the downside: Fumiko!’s distinctive style is lovely to look at… but at times makes it completely MYSTIFYING as to what exactly I’m looking at. It certainly pushes the envelope and takes full opportunity about ‘representing an abstract 3D virtual space,’ but when it runs afoul of making it difficult to see what’s where, what can I walk on, just bombarding with virtual noise it just becomes frustrating.
Some of the gameplay is frustrating, too, particularly the hard difficulty jump in the very very last area. Some parts are quite easy, other parts much much much moreso.
Regardless, I enjoyed my time with this game, even if it was with a week-long split in between it. If you’re interested in some avant-garde platforming with a pretty interesting story, pick it up!
Next up: My first Challenge Me! in a very long time! Thank you, BLAEO User Neku, for picking my games!
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine: 8 March 2019
This game made me feel so old. Cryptkeeper old. Three straight years of therapy old. I graduated a little under three years ago from college, and last lived in a dorm four years ago. It doesn’t SOUND that far away when you say it out loud, but playing this game… yeesh. Feels like forever ago.
So, in this game, you help Samantha make oatmeal in a mug.
Yes, that is the game.
The challenge comes from Samantha, putting it bluntly, being a huge fuckup. There are about 9 ways for you to fail at making the oatmeal, all of which revolve around Samantha overthinking things, wrapping herself up into knots, and then fucking up something really basic because she’s panicking. It’s a little… a LOT… where at the same time, like, yes, as the kids say these days, it’s #relatable, I also just want to lay my hands on her shoulders and gently murmur, ‘hon, it really IS just oatmeal, please go to therapy, it doesn’t have to be this hard.’
There’s a lot of good art up in this bitch, each scene its own CG, and I like the touch of always having Samantha’s face obscured. Otherwise, it’s kind of just okay!
In other news: the recent spate of kind of meh-to-pretty bad games made me realize I need to crank my standards WAY up, so I took a couple of hours today (postponing this review!) to really clean out my wishlist. I can’t do anything about the state of my backlog now, mostly, but I can preserve its quality for the future. And I’m proud of the difference it made—I went from 504 games on my wishlist all the way down to 431. That’s SEVENTY-THREE whole games I saved myself from having to play one day!
Next up: Hear that, RNGesus? Get with the feckin’ program, huh?
Ha! Haven’t played a Dogenzaka game in a LONG ass time! This is the oldest VN in my backlog.
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Eight: 7 March 2019
Oh my goddddd I knew this wouldn’t be worth it when I saw abysmal ratings on vndb and they were riiiight.
Let me use an illustrative example. Please direct your eyes to the image above. See how the title of the game is written in a deliberately cockeyed and confusing way, for no apparent reason? The readability is disrupted and it’s just goofy and poorly thought out?
Yeah, that’s this game.
It’s bad. Not even good bad. Bad bad. The-skip-button-doesn’t-work-bad. These-art-assets-are-almost-certainly-shop-bought bad. The-writing-is-plodding-and-unwieldy-like-a-toddler-holding-a-zweihander bad. Having-representation-but-in-the-most-unnuanced-of-ways bad.
I’d recount the plot but even that is too much fucking effort for this game. There are a ton of bullshit ‘routes’, but they are nearly identical except for a different sprite, name, and a handful of personal lines. Avoid avoid avoid!
Next up: Madison told me to press on and be not afraid of RNGesus. Let’s see which one of them is more intimidating…
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Seven: 6 March 2019
Heyyyy it’s meeee again
Ceress and Orea isn’t a VN—it’s a straight RPGmaker title, though with lovely art and music. It’s a sweet little game that lacks a certain sumthin’ to really push it over the top, but as it stands now it’s a perfectly fine little romp.
You play as Ceress, a bodyguard cast down a waterfall to death for falling in love with the woman she was guarding. Ceress claws her way out of the purgatory she finds herself in to get back to her love. A sweet, uncomplicated story that made my gay little hard very happy.
The game is fairly straightforward, and the puzzles—such that they are—aren’t much. There are memories to collect that you can miss that show Ceress and Orea’s history together.
In all honesty, I wish the game was twice as long. The bones here are choice, there’s just not enough meat on them. As it stands now it’s not particularly filling, just decently nice. If you’re starved for genuine wlw content (like me!), though, it’ll go fine.
Next up: I also don’t want me to be posting as much as I’m posting. Will RNGesus give me a longer game?
…. “3 to 6 hours to beat depending on how you play.” Guess not!
See you soon… er than you might expect!
edit: Oh my god. I know. I know why it’s giving me all these short games to annoy the shit out of you guys, my friends.
It’s because I disobeyed the will of RNGesus back after I finished Seduce Me 2. It told me to play Demonheart, but I disobeyed. And now… I’m paying the price.
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Six: 5 March 2019
Oh man! What a pleasant surprise! This VN is mad good!!
Its beginnings aren’t terribly original—you awake in a decrepit hospital with no memories and with only an AI to help guide you out before the hospital loses oxygen. Everyone else you meet is dead. Everything is crumbling. Why?
Where the game goes after that is interesting, and tackles questions I see a decent amount in sci-fi about life without death in interesting ways. The writing is tight and punchy, and the rate at which information is revealed is the right one, with the right rhythm and pacing. Smaller substories end up feeding into the larger one in exactly the right way. Your AI companion, L, provides the perfect compliment to the dark tone by being a breath of fresh air, sharp and irreverent but never annoying.
This is one step shy of a point and click adventure game, and it’s rewarding navigating the world and exploring the map to find more information in the world and in messages you find. I loved the art style, and found that even though its loose, everything was easy to make out and navigate. The CGs in particular are great—there are several dozen of them, more than I’ve ever seen in a VN before, and they’re incredibly evocative. Major major kudos to the two women who made up the main art team! (It’s a shame, because the image they chose for the large banner above is one of the weaker pieces in the game)
I started and finished this in one day because I really wanted to find out what will come next, what will come after that, what else will I explore, and that’s a great feeling. Because of that feeling, I am more than happy to include it on my Visual Novel Masterlist!
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Five: 5 March 2019
I guess I’m early spring cleaning all of the micro VNs in my backlog that are about as good as they are long (AKA: not very).
BAPTISM was definitely promising, with its striking art style and its handling of religious themes (both of which reminded me of We Know the Devil.) Unfortunately, the game is just… things happen. More things happen. Things happen. The end. Why? Fuck you is why. All set up, zero payoff.
I think the issue I’m running into over and over again is that writing a short VN needs the same skills writing a short story does, and what makes a great short story is shit like tackling huge concepts and giving only the faintest brush so the reader is left chewing on it, engaging with it long after the story is over. It needs strong images and themes, to set up the question of the piece and the answer of the piece starkly for the reader to wrestle with, to get in and get out with something to say that echoes once it’s gone. The several short VNs I’ve read just is completely lacking in that kind of finesse, and it makes me sad.
Next up: Two black and white games in a row? Well, at least Fumiko! is colorful enough for the both of them—
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Four: 4 March 2019
In defiance of RNGesus, and with Marie Kondo and BLAEO user Giselle looking down on me and smiling in approval, I can heartily say, after four minutes of playing this game: Fuck this game.
The first KARAKARA was eyerolly enough, but this game starts HARD in the paint with trope-not-for-me after trope-not-for-me. After the end of the first game, BOTH of these little girls (but they’re over 18, we swear) are totally into the player character, fawn over him, are at once suggestive BUT ALSO completely innocent about the sexual implications of their actions, and remark about how he’s now the only young man left in their drying up little town. In fact, there’s almost no young men left, period! We’re bringing back polygamy - !
And it was at this point (again, at minute 4) that I realized I’d have to sit through not just this shit, but this shit plus TWO NEW sexy little girls to show up and eagerly join the choicest harem in the land: Perfectly Generic-kun’s. If I ain’t even getting achievements out of this shit, no way am I even pretending I’m sitting through it.
I really gotta stop keeping VNs I don’t care about from bundles I get.
Next up: IF YOU GIVE ME ANOTHER FUCKING DUD I SWEAR TO GOD—
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Three: 4 March 2019
Short game gets short review:
Voices from the Sea is a perfectly okay VN—just as many good points as bad points. I like the art, though some of it is lazy. The coloring is sumptuous, but there were corners cut when it comes to different expressions/positions of the head, which is distracting. The writing is fine, although the story—one of a young teenage boy coming across a strange girl on a beach and learning to be less of a jerk—isn’t anything special.
All in all, it is certainly A Way to spend forty-five minutes (if that), and at least I can say I played it!
Next up: Aaaaugh, you’re killin’ me, RNGesus!
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-Two: 3 March 2019
WAHEY, I was right! Here I am!
Microscopic game gets microscopic review: not worth the dollar admittance! My Lady has nothing to say and no time in which to say it. I would’ve listened with the voices on this time (being as it was so short I figured, you know, why not) but within the first two lines of the first voice I scrambled to mute it. It turns out the writer of the VN (who did that voice acting) has do an english accent just about as good as she can write. The chess metaphors are pointless and the constant ‘life gives you lemons/I want oranges’ callbacks were tedious.
This is the same dev who did Seduce Me, and her writing actually got WORSE for that installment—this was pointless but the writing was appropriately boring rather than ridiculously overwrought.
In other news: I am TWO achievements away from a smooth 10,000!
Next up: RNGesus offered up ANOTHER short VN, this one a freebie this time!
See you soon!
Update Two Hundred and Eighty-One: 3 March 2019
Are you for real, guys, two bait and switch games in a row?
Unfortunately, AIdol isn’t really about falling in love with a robot idol, much to my disappointment. In fact, said idol (Aiko) has VERY little actual screentime in the game! It’s a more personal journey about the main character (Hana) overcoming her shyness and helping Aiko from afar by intervening in some business trouble and making friends along the way.
Which… isn’t… bad, although a good two thirds of the plot threads in the game aren’t really compelling to me. It’s just not what drew me to this. It’s an interesting angle, to be sure—for once, people working at a megacorp aren’t seen as being completely evil, and this game is a big celebration of, like, idol culture and conventions and stuff, which is… cute…
But do I really care about two of the employees having a tryst when one is engaged to someone else? About the ultimate “main antagonist”’s daughter trying to be an idol? About the wacky friends Hana makes? God, saying it out loud comes off as VERY uncharitable, but I just felt like there was a glass wall between me and what was happening—almost certainly because I was waiting for something that never came.
It’s hard to judge it on its merits beyond that. It’s fine, just without a real spark. The art is cute, though the artist has a tic of having thing highlights of white in the corners of the character’s mouths, which is meant to be like lip gloss or something probably but instead just looks like spit has accumulated there that they’ve neglected to wipe off. The UI is cute but there’s SO much slow transitions between menu screens or even pulling the menu up…
Gah, I’m just going to be crotchety about this. I was really hoping for something else.
Next up: Oh man, this VN looks to be VERY short.
See you… probably later today!