VNs I read in 2018: Retrospective

Retrospectives are good. Posting on Reddit is not my style though and besides this is too fucking long. The Reddit tradition of describing things as boxes I am more ambivalent about, but I’ll do a few entries in that style I guess.

Jisatsusha x Yuusha First Connect
I found this vn in a MEGA archive with lots of now-unavailable doujin games. I think I got the link from moogy’s ask.fm a few million years ago. Curated by 2ch anons or some shit. Either way I was just casually browsing the catalogue and the name of this vn appealed to me for some reason, so I decided to try it out. I don’t regret it but it was, uh, mostly of meme value. The story has several fairly random 中略’s but basically involves the female main character biking, sort of dying in a traffic accident (wait did she kill herself? fuck the title certainly implies it but), then some UNIMPORTANT coming back to life thing I can’t fuckign remember and I think maybe there was some prophecy or some shit, then she wakes up again and is in an isekai with a VERY CUTE SHOTA THAT WILL SAVE THE WORLD and there’s this raising sim-ish? interface with a few interaction choices and stuff. Did I mention that oneechan lusts for shota boi very hard? Yes. 5/10
03/26

Soundless
already reviewed on this very blog. 8.1/10 read it god damn you
03/30

Sugar And Massacre demo
Cool but the prose is not close to strong enough compared to all the other elements. Would still read a full version god damn. These are some serious production values. That said the Kickstarter failed hard so it’s probably dead rip

An Octave Higher
Indonesian developer Kidalang builds a fantasy world, decides to take some inspiration from local history and mixes in some perspectives on communism with veiled crystallized version of the memes of production in mana potions, then adds some sprinkles of programmer humor and a decidedly nerdy magic system including university lectures that made me feel right at home actually. Kidalang writes it in English in the typical Indonesian prose fashion: somewhat poorly. Especially weird is how the whole thing opens with a battle scene since that scene is so badly written holy shit they really can’t do that well. But I suppose I’ve seen much worse. At its best it gave me a similar feeling to Discworld books; I’m somewhat reminded of Monstrous Regiment. Do make sure you read the second half of the game as the first half is a meme in comparison, especially the extremely extraneous character endings which I hope were added to satisfy kickstarter goals or something. 7.9/10
05/14

One Small Fire at a Time
A vn set in the same world as An Octave Higher but with a fairly different tone and focus. Protag-chan lives in a madhouse despite being rather sane, since she can’t use magic, which is unfortunate in a world where work involves repetitively casting spells at things. Basically it’s the old, memeier kind of sanatorium, but we should mention that it is not run cruelly or anything. Well, there is the whole thing where people disappear into the other building on the property when they get old enough though. How mysterious. A dark, tragic story, a few somewhat interesting philosophical ramblings from the characters that I had seen expressed before but nevertheless appreciated, a kinda sweet, kinda bittersweet end. I very much enjoyed it.
The writing is slightly better than in An Octave Higher, possibly thanks to the modest efforts of the editor, Ryechu. Not exactly well written prose wise though, still. Modest efforts. I guess it’s possible the original text was horrible, of course. 8.0/10
05/15 because I really wanted more from the dev after An Octave Higher

Who is Mike?
I picked this fairly small box up because Tay recced 3 million years ago it or some shit. It’s box in which how you open some boxes determines how you opened other boxes and in fact what your box opening tool even is. Rather out of the box. Horror/mystery, kind of cool, but not more than kind of. Also the official walkthrough is rubbish get something more detailed. 7/10
08/05

I picked up Cupid by the same dev because they seemed to have potential but i didn’t really get hooked and I while it was unusual and interesting I didn’t like the way the choices were done, I guess.

Evenicle
Evenicle is a JRPG, not a visual novel. It will thus not be discussed in this visual novel retrospective or given a vote on vndb, much like how I treat Ace Attorney. However I did more or less complete it this year.

Winter’s Symphonies demo
Leafcascade is not a good enough writer to consistently pull off this kind of prose. Otherwise interesting, I guess. Reminds me that I want to read Anomie but paying for things is not generally my thing when I could spend it on snacks so w/e. Well maybe it’s on certain sites… I should check

Yugami Kairou
A middling-sized box that when you open it contains a few other small boxes and a small piece of ribbon. The small boxes all contain their own small ribbon pieces and seem to have some conspicuous holes to stick the ribbon through. Eventually you get to the last box, but its piece of ribbon isn’t really long enough to satisfyingly tie all the boxes together. Realizing that you’re not going to have closure, you look at the small boxes again as more isolated beasts, and they are still kind of entertaining, really, but you kind of wanted something more. At least the use of ero cgs was unconventional in an unfappable but cool way. 6.8/10 but I didn’t read the addition yugami garou yet so if that changes things consider me beaned. Definitely got me interested in the creator though and I’ve got 鉢の底 downloaded for reading some time later. Download, along with other geemus from the dev: here.
11/29

Himawari (日廻り, the one that’s not on vndb)
Short, damn good graphics, why is the font randomly missing strokes, unhookable which made the engine dev actually contact me about hookability lol, wew that ending, very bimyou geemu but I respect it. 7.5/10 I guess
comp’d around the 20th of december I think

Uso to Makoto ni Oshioki wo
A short “ero-drama” from 10mile, packaged with another similar style of story by the same writer. As an “ero-drama” it skirts the line between nukige and not by sort of having a plot. Also the ero scenes are written with humor in mind and include some amusing fails like the girl being too short for 69 to work properly. Kami tier ending that should be an inspiration to us all. 7.5/10
12/26

Unfinished business

Being zaka, most of the things I started or played some of this year I did not complete:

Amairo Islenauts
I read some more of Yune’s route during various times of the year. She’s pretty kwi. I haven’t gotten the first scene of them actually fucking yet. Last screen I can find is from chapter 11-1… Masaki route remains stalled.

Hakusen
Read like the first 200 lines or something. Too high level for me rn really holy god the vocab. I mean I could read it if I tried, textractor can hook the text. I’d rather read easier chuunige like Sanzen first though.

Sanzen Sekai Yuugi
Otome R-18 chuunige, it said on the box. Intrigued, I picked it up. Kind of interesting, amusing protagonist for sure. We’ll see when I pick it up again.

Trans!
I’m just reading this for better tlc, honest, nothing to do with it being a hot nukige at all. Have to say I don’t particularly identify with the female perspective thing I guess, but I can still fap to it so /shrug

Ie no Kagi
Picked up because some people said it wasn’t as pedo as it looked. As far as I can tell right now, they are correct. There are definitely elements and yes, the mc is literally a pedophile (though limited in his current crimes to clandestinely taping girls peeing). However, it’s mostly focused on a suspense / thriller plot driven by the devilishly clever kami I want my daughter to be like this but I’m not going to have children though Sakuma Rika. Was unhookable, might be hookable with the newest version of nexthooker, though holy god there are a lot of threads to look through.

Kodoku no Yurikago (link nsfw, not on vndb lul)
Picked up because their next work, Himawari, was promising and also Kiri was memeing it. Denpage. Chopin is kami actually. My music drivers bugged out and started playing only scattered bits of pieces and I thought it was the game doing it. Damb.

Kotonoha Amrilato
Read again from the start, stalled, kinda kwi, fun, learning esperanto is realdeal dot org.

Umi Kara Kuru Mono
Cool suspense/denpage thingy I read some of. Some lines literally have 250 moji, though at least they’re not 1 sentence. No voice replay is baka (I think there might be some way of doing it hidden in the year 2003 interface somewhere but fuck). Literally moogy approved though so we know it’s bound to be shit /s

Sukisuki (eop so not worth linking)
Yuuki is cute and I’m happy I applied the first patch by Yuukianon because not properly marking vowel elongation in Japanese names bothers me way more than it should. BGM is kinda subpar. Did not get that far tho

Exit/Corners
For once this is unfinished because the actual geemu is unfinished. Cool mystery to the tune of 999. Final eps to cum out in february next year or something. Maybe then people I rec it to will actually fucking play it. Also maybe he’ll release it in something that’s not a fucking browser, all browser shit is a terrible engine for vns stop the text displays unsmoothly and shit and the saves disappear and and and stop

Wagahigh (eop)
I finished Kaoruko’s route. It was surprising to me that people found it disappointing as it just seemed like moege 101 to me, which is exactly what they should have expected. Started a bit on Ashe’s route, didn’t get far.

Re;lord 1 ( eop)
Fairly entertaining. With my touchpad curently broken due to my swelling battery unseating it from its proper position I don’t think I can actually do it the way I want it though since the combat controls are extremely hostile to non mouse users holy shit the touchpad made things hard but now I’m having to use a ps4 controller and wow.

Iroseka
Started it up, eventually got through the common route, got some distance into Mio’s route, stalled. At least I actually got some h scenes wwwwwww

Shinsetsu Mahou Shoujo
Seems fun from the like 4 chapters I read. Sci-fi magical girls through spinal injection. I’ll read this when it’s hookable okay

Haruka Kanata
Did common route. Verdict: meme
Did precisely the amount of Haruka’s route that wasn’t yet the cool part according to the guy that recced harukana to me. Sucks, mate.
I’ll get back to this one day, totally.

Toushin Toshi II
JRPG. See Evenicle.

Y;N / Yin
Actually an adventure game, so no comments on contents if I can avoid it. Quit because I get too scared by horror, and stuff.

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