Subarashiki Hibi Review

yande.re 147233 sample (1)To say that university life and life in general has made vn reviews a lot priority of mine is something of an understatement, but what is also true is that it’s been a long, long time since any vn really stirred up something inside me without leaving me feeling empty at the end. Looking back on the past year, I certainly enjoyed Baldr sky and Sou Akki Muramasa, but there has just been something missing. Even stories from studios that I really liked, such as Forest and Irotoridori no Sekai, didn’t make things better (as a side note I thought both games were a little disappointing, mainly due to the very high hopes I had for them). Whatever was missing made me kind of sigh and uninstall after I reached the final ending, rather than write up ridiculously long reviews that I used to do. At one point, I came to the conclusion that for a bit over a year, I was using this blog to use up my free time to fill up some kind of hole in my heart, if you’ll pardon this horrendously clichéd expression. And so, as I grew older, there was less of an urge, less of a need to write my shallow teenaged view on life (not that growing physically older necessitated me to leave a teenaged view behind, I’m still quite attached to it).

However.

Holy flying buckets of cheese I really love Subarashiki Hibi.

When I first heard the announcement of this vn, I wasn’t particularly impressed. The biggest impression I had of Sca-ji was getting his artbook and reading H2O -footprints in the sand-, neither of which are all that good. Yuri isn’t something that’s very interesting to me. The art looked pretty good, but the coloring that comes from KeroQ and its related companies always looked kind of blank and cold in my eyes. After the game’s release, I took a look at the CG pack, and some of the h-CGs were… well… really disturbing. The one bestiality scene alone hardened my resolve to never go near this game with a 10ft pole. Then, all these positive, raving reviews came in, and my curiosity was piqued. What on earth is making all of these people say such good things?  This is a seriously long-ass intro, but please read on to find out.

Premise:

Subarashiki Hibi is a story about a small group of people, and their lives as they progress through the first 3 weeks of July, 2012. The story is told through multiple perspectives, and finishing each chunk of the perspectives unlocks the next part.

The beginning of the story is told from the perspectives of Minakami Yuki, a tomboy with a bad memory and a habit of skipping classes, much to the chagrin of her childhood friends, Kagami and Tsukasa (if this sounds somewhat familiar, just bear with it and don’t focus too much). One day, she meets a mysterious girl named Takashima Zakuro, who seems oddly familiar with her. Through some plot twist straight out of an eroge (wait what), all four girls end up living together, and so they lived on in their fun, lovely and misunderstanding filled lives. But there is something missing. There are bits and pieces of the story which seems to be hinting at something more, something ominous. And should Yuki choose to pursue the truth, she will wake up near the end of the chapter, then go to school only to hear that Zakuro has committed suicide. This event propels her to search for the truth of what happened, racing before the prophesied end of the world on July 20th, a little over a week after Zakuro’s death.

Continue reading

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Natsuzora Kanata review

If I had to name a few games that really piqued my interests in Visual Novels early on, Natsuzora Kanata would definitely be near the top of the list (alongside Toheart 2 and Aster). The moment I saw the promo art I went “WHOAAAAAA I GOTTA SEE MOAR OF THIS”. Serendipitously, a Chinese patch got released JUST as I made myself promise to not open Baldr Sky until my exams are over. So of course, I set out to play it immediately. Overall, I’d say that this is a pretty good game, as far as these types of heroine-centered games go, and at the very least I like it more than Tenshin Ranman (I played Sana’s route, got bored, skipped around a bit, got to the ending, and then deleted the game. Sana’s fans can try to murder me now).  Continue reading

Aster review

Technically, summer vacation has started for me. So, unless my summer courses kill me or something, I should be able to post on a more regular basis, maybe even… *gasp, blog anime….

Aster is the latest game released by Rusk, a company which, since then, seems to have disappeared off the radar. Which is rather unfortunate, since Aster isn’t bad at all.

Premise (stolen from VNDB, as always):

Aster tells the story of four young men, which lives are connected by one incident.

It all begins with Hiro Sakaki. He is a high school student, and enjoys his life with his old friends, Saki and Saya, twin sisters.
Under the summer sun, their relationships change little by little… “There is no miracle but hope…”. Continue reading

Para-sol review

Hurrah, an eroge review after FOREVER.

When I first heard of Para-sol, I thought “CARNELIAN ART YESYESYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!” Then I heard the story synopsis like this (my thanks to vndb):

“Now”, let’s talk about the future for a little bit.
In an SF world where cyborgs and androids are near reality, for some reason rumors of fantastic creatures such as werewolf and dragons started to spread.
That time, one girl silently sent a mail to an unknown someone.
A mail that’s unknown to reach someone.
Written inside is only one sentence.
“Save Our Ship”
But, by a stroke of luck the mail definitely reached somewhere.

And, the girl received a reply.

“wilco”

Makes very little sense, doesn’t it? Basically, there’s a whole convoluted backstory with sci-fi and maybe even fantasy elements, and I say maybe because everything is very confusing. There might be a dragon involved, or it might be a metaphor for something else… Anyway, the basic story is that there are werewolves , giant corporations, terrorist groups, and other bad things around, and there are two ojou-samas. The ojou-samas are sisters, and our protagonist has been sent to their house to make their lives better.

That doesn’t help much, does it? But that’s the setting of the story. Continue reading

Sisters~Natsu no Saigo no Hi~ mini review

Story summary: A guy wakes up in a house where a widow and her two daughters live. Stuff happens. 

This title, like School days, was delayed many times. This title, like School days, is animated. This title, unlike school days, is animated absolutely beautifully. That last one is the main reason I decided to play it. And I’m glad I did.

Ok, I admit it, the main reason that I’m glad that I played it is still due to the eye candy. That, and the glowing sense of accomplishment from having completed my very first game in Japanese. But still, there are many levels of eye candy, and this is definitely the cream of the crop. There is an undeniably large amount of stunning animation, which did not skimp on the budget, with minimal animation mistakes. I have no idea how they managed to create animation without using video (while still being in sync with the sound), but whatever it is they did, it works. The voice acting is also nice, and the BGM is definitely one of the better ones that I’ve heard. They even put a Hatsune Miku song at the end!

The only problem, therefore, is the story.

The beginning is interesting enough. We are introduced to the two sisters, Chika and Haruka, and see their everyday lives. Dotted throughout the story are flashbacks to the last winter, and the summer before, explaining the setting piece by piece.

Chika's sad at how the story turned out ~ (Isn't she adorable with a ponytail? Isn't she? Isn't she?)

The main problem is, there is a huge amount of h-scenes. It is not that unreasonable, if it wasn’t for the fact that this game is very linear and short. While there is a decent amount of plot and foreshadowing at the beginning (which was quite enjoyable), very few things are properly explained. Instead, we get “treated” to fapping material, fapping material, and more fapping material. I know that they probably spent a lot of money on that stuff and all, but some decent sense of conclusion would be nice, thank you very much. But in the end, I’d say that it’s worth it for the story before the end, nice atmosphere, and the eye candy scenes. The guitar scene is awesome. Yes.

Flyable Heart review

That was…really good. I have no idea why, but I really enjoyed this. I mean, nothing about this game should be fantastic, just look at my first impressions! I even half skipped through a lot of the story! But I still really like it! And I can’t stop using exclamation marks! There are already a few reviews out for this already, but I want to get my two cents in.

Premise:

Syo gets a letter saying that he got accepted to a prestigious school. He goes there because they have a really nice (and also free) cafeteria, and he loves to eat. In fact, the whole game starts with a fantasy dream involving bunny girls and food. No, it’s not what you think. Anyway, he goes over to the school, but is caught in an explosion. By the time he is found, he is told that he is already a day late for school. Not only that, there is no record of him in the school. However, because he holds the school’s admission papers, they allow him to stay, although it must be in the girl’s dorms since there is no space in the boy’s dorms.

…Oh wow, this premise is worse than I thought it would be… It’s more interesting than it looks, I swear! Continue reading