Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in review

Time for another one of these, I will limit myself to only otome visual novels as per usual.

Played:
Ken ga Kimi Momoyo Tsuzuri.
Harukanaru toki no naka de 6 gentou rondo.
Getsuei no Kusari Kyouran Moratorium.
Geten no Hana Yume Akari (vita port)
Hana Oboro Sengoku Den Ranki.
Hyakka Hyakurou Sengoku Ninponchou.
Harukanaru toki no naka de 3.
Wand of Fortune R2.
 Black Wolves Saga Weib und Schwarz.
Charming Empire.
Gakuen Club.
 SideKicks!
Shiro to Kuro no Alice.
Tsumikui.
Utsusemi no Meguri.
Re:vice[D].
Moujuutachi to ohime-sama FD.
Shinobi, koi utsutsu FD.
Yuukyuu no Tierblade FD.
S.Y.K Shinsetsu Saiyuuki.
Bad Apple Wars.
HimeHibi.
Usotsuki Shangri-la.

Have but not yet played:
Chouchou Jiken.
TaiAli FD.
Code Realize Shirogane no Kiseki.
Himehibi 2.

💩Worst:💩
Harukanaru toki no naka de 6 Gentou Rondo.
Okay, while I enjoyed going through most every route, overall I think it wasn't that good
 of a sequel(yes it is not a FD). This heavily relied on dues ex machina to the point I went whatever
at the end of it all like part of it doesn't even make sense, yeah sometimes a bad sequel is better
 than no sequel at all but still. The only good thing that came out of this was Wan-chan.
 This sequel was literally a cross between code:realize and clock zero like the whole
ruined future and the mysterious doll/robotic-like Man. >_>
 There was little point to it all, Ludo's new route was pretty enjoyable but I personally
just wanted a FD with after stories not a sequel which resets the relationships!
The original guys routes here are just new version... a new chance
but it didn't work out like KOEI's other work geten no hana.
Darius suffered the most and I don't like it when my fav character goes down the drain especially
after a near perfect route in the previous game, to the point i wish this didn't exist the worse part
the whole time slip thing hurt my head and his confession never happened here. T~T
I think I am done here, its clear they rushed this to please the fans
and I truly have no energy to discuss this dues ex machina trainwreck further.
 
The Charming Empire.
While I think it was decent for being a mobage but there's so many things that make me say
 it wasn't all that great compared to other otomege nor was it that memorable
and I have no incentive to pay 6000 yen for additional content in the vita port
if you want to try give the english version on steam a spin please try but don't expect much
because this truly was of mobage quality, hehe atleast I can admit Sera was a cute.

Gakuen Club.
From the same makers as Charming Empire it also was a mobage and I wasn't
surprised at the quality that I got which was inconsistent, the only
route I really enjoyed was Saku's and everything else followed after that.
Its nice if you want something simple really but veteran otome gamers should stay away
because the endings aren't worth your time like most don't even give proper conclusion
not to mention the whole secret club thing felt childish nor did it felt like it was that secret. -_-

Tsumikui ~Sen no Noroi, Sen no Inori~ for V.
An otome game focusing on reincarnation, sin and morality... also TL;DR.
Mediocre at best, interesting story and most of the guys are likeable, now for the bad parts...
Its a little slow at parts and drags on the early slice of life parts, it also loves to throw
internal monologues at you even in action scenes which totally ruins the moment
the character interaction? not fun but sometimes its gold but it just doesn't happen a lot
because the story doesn't allow it which most of the time was gloomy and dreary (2serious).
I don't mind serious type of otome games but there's so many reason why I just couldn't like it.
I don't know if all operetta games are like this but I sure have no incentive to buy their other games.
This was a mixed bag and the story never reaches full potential, I only really liked one or two routes
plus the side characters most of them are underdeveloped, all in all it could've been better
so there it just goes on my shit list because it has no place in my neutral or positive sections.
 ~
Moujuu-tachi to Ohime-sama ~in blossom~.
Oh otomate must've planned to release this FD... all you need to know is
its as lacklustre as the original, why did I bother? characters/seiyuu thats why...
but honestly I learned my lesson here no matter how great a setting may sound sometimes things
are too good to be true and characters/seiyuu won't save a paper thin story not even my love
for fantasy settings saved this lacklustre entry set in the same world as ye olde moujuutsukai
which honestly was a whole lot better than this new series in the same world. -_-
Otomate next time get the original staff to work on your sequels but I guess
they're too busy with tierblade which I actually managed to enjoy.

Bad apple wars.
Well if I had to nominate something as Kusoge of the year it would be this.
I DID NOT ENJOY THIS GAME... the protag is an empty shell whom in
the bad apple routes whines and complains more than I could count without trying to fix
her own issues because all development went to the guys and the sub characters.
Granted she was tolerable in the disciplinary routes and if anything I liked her development
in Higa's but its not much, like I said in the original post she's no Cardia Beckford.
Which side you choose it doesn't make a difference in the end story wise its the same no matter
which character you pick not to mention the forced copy pasta in every route is very sigh.
The only thing it had going for it was the characters sad past... but for a supposed Nakige
it overall wasn't that sad, if only the heroine had some sord of backstory other than I haz nothing.
Most the romance was rushed and then there's Shikishima :eyeroll:
Atleast I managed to enjoy Higa and Watase's routes and to some extend Satoru
but this was such a miss for me, I regretted buying it so much why did this even get localized?
clearly there was bias towards it but I don't see what makes it that special.
Maybe just maybe if you're not familiar with angel beats one might enjoy it...
but if you are you just better off skipping it, I constantly compared
this to angel beats to the point i'd say this is the poor man's version of it.
~

Neutral/so-so:
Getsuei no Kusari Kyouran Moratorium. (Vita port)
Decent FD of a not so typical otome game, vita port has added features that make it
so much more worth the price, all in all I cannot complain even tho its still depressing
but don't expect much fluff its still as dark and dreary as its predecessor.
If you like your coffee black and bitter you may enjoy the original (and this FD).

Black Wolves Saga Weib und Schwarz.
A dark fantasy otome game which a decent story, good art and amazing music
however as an otome its a little lacking so I can't help but say it ain't that great
if you want more romance and well finish the game once the rest will fly by
cuz its 90% common and 10% individual. >_>
Well the characters were interesting, the plot, art and music was good
and overall despite drawbacks its worth it, however it definitely need an acquired taste.

Wand of Fortune R2.
Sequel to the first WoF, the system is more straight-forward but still has some annoying tidbits.
Its recommended for those looking for character development, I managed to enjoy most of it even
if part of the overall plot was a little meh but we all know the best thing about WoF is still the
characters, everything else comes after it which makes the journey through it all the more worth it
even if the system just plain sucks, honestly if you manage to fully complete this it just means
you enjoyed it despite system woes because the characters save it for you (probably).
Its also a little sad Lulu is less cheerful and that's all Bilal's fault!(kidding) the true end was meh
since Lulu had to be told a simple thing by Ami that she might've known all along :eyeroll:
The only downside is that this does not come with the FD kimi sasageru epilogue
which in my opinion would've made up for the bad parts in the main game. :(

Sidekicks!
Let's be honest here... its an improvement compared to Oumagatoki~Kakuriyo no Enishi~
as the core story was actually good but I feel its a bit overhyped I only found the last two routes
(which were locked) actually good as a whole. Also the heroine Inori didn't really stand out.
 What did she do before she joined sidekicks? this is important! not even her family
was mentioned all we know is she lives alone and that she was probably born with
 her precognition which again they do not go into she basically just joins sidekicks
because she saved their asses and could be of use. That aside she wasn't that bad or annoying.
Other flaws like some chara episodes(routes) in the game feel like filler like you get in detective
drama and imo some are good and other are bad and then there's one character entire purpose
 literally exists to only narrate certain chapters... sigh I guess they wanted to give Morikubo a role.
I could only be surprised by a small amount of revelations outside of Nora's route and another
story. Some routes(Chika) still exist for the sake of having one but in some case like Hibari
it not bad it got better by my fourth route and Nora(best boy) didn't disappoint
. At the end of the day I can still recommended this if you like otome detective stories
like Eikoku tantei mysteria, collar x malice or similair.

Shiro to Kuro no Alice.
Another otome game that's Alice themed, I haven't played much with it
but it was surprisingly enjoyable despite some stuff, sadly this would've benefited
from an enforced playorder, I really can't stress that fact enough because the story is too
scattered and without proper order you'll be lost and probably confused if you do X chara first.
That aside I think most people may find something to their liking here not everything but something.
In my opinion black side was the only worthwhile thing, Luna's just an adorable heroine but white
side on the other hand was just typical stuff... of a meek heroine having to put up with crap.>_>
Keep in mind this is no substitute to any other alice related work, All I can say
if you want to get this, do it for Luna I really did find black side to be most enjoyable
but don't look at this as a replacement for a certain other alice-themed work.

Utsusemi no Meguri.
Honestly I can say this was neither particularly amazing or that it downright sucked
so my opinion is truly neutral, the feel of the game is nice and the chara's are interesting
but overall I am just meh as it just never stood out in what it tried to do
except in the true route of the game which is fine in a sense.
Its nice to discover darker sides to the guys in the kyouran endings but with half of them
 I was like ENOUGH, please stop. もういいよ
 If you like extremely japanese and old timey stuff this might be for you though.

S.Y.K Shinsetsu Saiyuuki.
I managed to finish a PSP otome game! this was an otome based on journey to the west
and it was pretty fun but I never looked forward to doing another route due to
the common route and how much filler that had(call back to certain anime?)
hench why it took me forever like 4/5 months since I only played once in a blue moon.
The characters are fun but I felt that most of this game focused on the lore part
and the romance was lacking especially in routes such as Gyokuryuu it was
not interesting to watch a moeblob fiddle around over his feelings for his past
 and present master :eyeroll: atleast the rest of the routes were great especially Ranfan
but its clear the main guy is Gokuu, his route was the most well rounded in terms of story/romance.
Its was a decent otomege for its time but it doesn't hold up all that well today, I do look
forward to the FD which i'll get to eventually not to long from now.

 Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu FD.
In all honesty this FD was fine however it just came too late for me(like almost two years)
and I was no longer invested, I didn't even remember much of the original so go figure.
I think they did try but the charm was no longer there for me and well some of the art looked weird
and I figured this is another case where otomate used tracers instead of the original artist.
I enjoyed what I could but... I feel like most of it was wasted on me and the general writing bored me
because too many characters, I liked Yuri, Daisuke and Garaiya the most this time
around. I wish they didn't advertise this as a fandisk because it was a sequel in disguise
with all the maturing stuff  not to mention everything I liked about the original
such as fanservice and shenanigans was watered down.

HimeHibi ~princess days~.
For what its worth I enjoyed my time with it but it didn't leave that big of an impression on me.
Himehibi had a stellar cast, a good dose of comedy and a decent plot but that's it
open ended and there weren't much romantic scenes with Aizaki and the guy.
Not to mention most of the cg's are either solo shots or with another guy which is fine
since they looked great but still... the otome part left to be desired and the best way to put it
is that its very pure in what it tried to do. I found this to be a perfect otome game for beginners
who don't expect much out of otome games there's nothing else I can add on it
if you haven't played much and want to test your japanese.

 Usotsuki Shangri-la.
I didn't thought it was particularly bad or good... some of the art was weird
and only one route truly made everything come together which might be great but I never felt
attached to any character due to the lack of volume I still think it rushed it self even if
it tried to pace it well. In the end this felt like an apology for the disaster that was moshikami.
~

🏆Best:🏆
Ken ga Kimi Momoyo Tsuzuri.
This is probably the best FD a KgK fan could ask for, so much content via side stories
that went deeper into matters of the original game while also giving us after stories
its seriously more than anyone could ask for even if not every side story was as interesting.
Other than that to me this series is finished, they could prolly make more but...
I feel everything needs to end someday even if you really like it and want more.

Hana Oboro Sengoku Den Ranki.
A historic fantasy otome game and for the most part it was alright aside from the poster boys routes
being lackluster(to me), its also sad how Alan who was supposedly the 6th romanceable character
gets the shaft so hard, sequel/FD? maybe but I can only recommend if old timey games
are your thing but this isn't a jyuuza engi, you definitely have to accept certain characters fate
which despite other flaws makes it a whole lot better to me, this ain't a kusoge that's for sure
because some routes were great especially Katsuie, the poster boys aside who cares?
Hanbei and Shingen were still good but overall I suppose it was a little convoluted.

Geten no Hana Yume Akari.
 Unlike Harutoki6 GR this was actually enjoyable and the story additions made sense
like hanbei's route explained even more about the setting and background of hotaru's village.
A decent sequel to a stellar otome game and even if most of the original characters routes
in this game feel like alternative takes I still enjoyed most route even tho it was still short.
 Sadly the shining stars of yume akari really are Hanbei and Kanbei but its oh so worth it and
I fully recommend to buy the vita port since it comes with both games, definitely a hidden gem
and I was always motivated to find out more about the cast <3 even though
the original casts routes felt like a new version.

Hyakka Hyakurou Sengoku Ninponchou.
After 3 kusoges who would have thought that D3P could release something decent?
Guess what D3P was only the publisher for this and RED entertainment saved the day.
Enju was a great heroine despite being naive at first and well after being on the run
she learned a great deal and in turn helped some of the guys too, every route was interesting too
but Gekkamaru's had me on the edge of my seat, is out in english as Nightshade so please do
buy it if you haven't already, the story is the same in every route with the ninjas on the run thing
but atleast they kept it interesting every route was another side of the story.
However if you don't like ninjas and morality stuff it might be better to pass...

Harukanaru toki no naka de 3,
Otomege set in the heian period and well it had a surprisingly proactive heroine
willing to fight to protect the things she cares about, Nozomi isn't all bark and no bite
that much is made clear, the overall story was okay its not too heavy but I wish they would've
given everyone epilogues and not just a handful while giving others side stories that took place
during the journey but we never saw those to begin with till the extra scene, oh well whatever.
Even without knowledge of the time period, its not hard to understand as long as you read up on
tale of the heike, you may even learn a few facts about this specific period!
Nozomi does become a little too perfect after god knows how many loops
but you know practice makes perfect so please don't hate on her too much
because she just had a convenient scale and used it to her liking (which is amazing)
like thats better than being ignorant and not doing a thing right.
Either way I had loads of fun, the guys were all great in their own way could never hate anyone
even if they are the equivalent of garbage(yooo Benkei), most importantly RPG part was
fine sure battling weak mobs got redundant but eh thats normal.
 The gameplay really isn't that annoying but it doesn't hold your hand, a good guide is recommended.
If you want an otome RPG look no further! because Haruka3's pretty much the closest right now.

Kenka Bancho Otome FD.
Honestly this was a fun fandisk with plenty of fun but much like the code:realize FD they tried
to still put some weight to some after stories which in my opinion only two
of the bachelors got enjoyable after stories: love comedies for (Totomaru/Konparu) another
gets stuck with i'll be back ™ (Houo) and fades into the background(Rintarou) or
idol dramatique(Mirako), Rintarou was literally a waste of space he barely said anything
and at times I was like hey he's there... maybe its because of his seiyuu being on hiatus
but still its like they planned lines for him but they couldn't get his VA to voice them. :(
I understand not everything should be the same but Rintarou fans will be majorly disappointed
I enjoyed Totomaru and Konparu the most, followed by Mirako even though I loath idols.
Most of the content I come to expect of normal FD delivered, others did not
but I still think its a solid fandisc that'll please its fans.

Re:vice[D].
Well this turned out to be better than I expected, its most definitely an overlooked gem.
I loved the character interaction and the story is unique for an otome game
most of the routes were good but its a bit on the short side, however I enjoyed it a lot.
This had such a stellar cast of characters... I mostly liked everyone cept Suou.
 Aika as a heroine is out there as well, she's awesome and won't take shit most of the time
but as an otome heroine she may not be what people want that aside she is still awesome.
This games value isn't high which may be good for your wallet?
It definitely was a fun otome and I have no regrets playing it but I can see why
 its just not popular because in some routes the romance itself left to be desired
to the point I only ever really liked two routes(Iroha and Ryouga).
Nothing against Yukine(he did nothing wrong) but... part of his route was off-putting
like it makes sense by the end but he felt like a stalker at first.

Yuukyuu no Tierblade -Fragments of Memory-.
This FD was more than I could ask for but it was rather short, had I not delayed finishing
the last two eclipse chapters I'd say it would've just flown by me.
Atleast it managed to be on point while still expanding upon the world of tierblade
much like KgK momoyo tsuzuri did its definitely in my top 3 of best FD this year
despite feeling a little lukewarm by the time I finished it.
Tierblade is by no means a perfect work but does that stop me from liking it? no.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
~special section~
 -Characters-

Most hated/disliked
~Auger - Black Wolves Saga~
This speaks for itself... the character is a complete nutjob and I doubt anyone could top him.

Surprise favorite (one per game)
Alan - Hana Oboro ~Sengoku Denranki~.
 Kanbei - ~Geten no Hana Yume Akari~
 Taira no Tomomori - ~Harutoki 3~.
 Hanzo - Hyakka Hyakurou.
 Nora - ~Sidekicks!~.
Solomon - ~Wand of Fortune r2~.
 Iroha - Revice[D].
Hiiragi - ~Utsusemi no Meguri~.
Rinto ~HimeHibi~.

Other characters I liked a lot.
 Atsumori/Benkei/Shirogane - ~Harutoki 3~
 Hanbei - ~Geten no Hana Yume Akari~
Jack - ~Shiro to Kuro no Alice~.
Shiou - ~Tsumikui~.
  
 aaand because I am bored...


Best Otomege I played this year -top 3-
Harukanaru 3.
Hana Oboro ~Sengoku Denranki~.
Re:vice[D].
Special mention: Geten no Hana with Yume Akari.

Best FD -top 3-
Ken ga Kimi Momoyo Tsuzuri.
Kenka Bancho Otome FD.
 Yuukyuu no Tierblade -Fragments of Memory-.

What's for next year?
Well I plan to atleast play WoF2FD and S.Y.K FD. As for new games I think I after
the 2017 left overs (TaiAli FD, Chouhou Jiken, Code:ReaFD2 and hime hibi2.)
I am really going to slow down, it feels like the more I play the less I like or maybe
its the quality of the games it might also be a little bit of a burn out.
I still plan to buy new otome games like Harukanaru port, Dorico no toshokan
 and Variable Barricade but I think I have seen the most of what otome games can offer.
I still like otome games and all but the more you play the higher your standards get(in terms
of writing) and sooner or later stuff you could stand at first just aren't all that great anymore.

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