Recommend a VN

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X_Bacon
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Re: Tips to other games like Katawa Shoujo.

Post by X_Bacon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:19 pm

Nooodz wrote:Also, you guys got me GREATLY interested in fate/stay night. Is there a fan translation of this?
Yes there is.
http://mirrormoon.org/

I'd also recommend you install this patch, for added awesomeness: http://rnpatch.blogspot.com/

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Yukimi
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Yukimi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:31 pm

School Days HQ is going to come out in english in early 2012 and it's relatively cheap with pre-order (also only half of the shipment costs out of US) and it would be a good way to tell the american companies that there is a market out of Japan. Although there are better written visual novels, I have a sweet spot for SD XP so I certainly recommend it. A small warning, don't expect more form it than what it is: a game with a shitload of paths (and H scenes) with no more plot than what you can get from a normal high school setting (issues like bullying and teenage sexuality). It's great if you like trying to get a path without relying in walkthroughs since there are 20+ endings: some happy, some pretty gore-y and a pair of harem endings. The sex is over abundant (and not the best written in the world precisely) but I find it good and the fact that it wasn'0t just an static image, specially arousing. The protagonist can be a cheating bastard in many of the routes (with all the girls jumping to your arms) but you can make him behave well if that's an issue for you (although you'll miss on some very creepy endings <3). Most choices are logical or at least easily deducible except for a pair of them ("give a walk" or sth similar makes you cheat on your gf in the festival O_o). Most people critisize SD for being filled with sex but for what it's worth, if I ahd the money to spare, I'd be pre-ordering right now XP
Shizune=Akira > Lilly > Emi > Hanako > Rin (but all of them have a place in my heart and some other more interesting locations XP).

gromulke
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by gromulke » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:25 am

I think it was mentionned earlier, but i'm currently playing Kara no Shoujo, and it's awesome *_*

A mystery VN based in 1950 in japan (though i wonder if the depiction of post-war japan is accurate... No clue, i'm not that versed in japanese culture), many investigation parts, not too much "slice of life" elements (which i'm not really fond of), the ero is not too overwhelming, and the story managed to fool me more than once, which I consider important for a mystery VN.

This is one of the few VNs where i ACTUALLY thought: "What, another sex scene? Let's skip to the plot, shall we..."

A few things that you might not like though:
-Reaaaaaally gore. Dismembered corpses, lots of blood, while I personnaly don't mind I understand that some would.
-The story is really sad. Many characters get killed off when you start to like them.
-The game is kinda hard. At first i tried to figure out things on my own, but since the consequences of your choices are far in the story, sometimes you get killed off for a wrong choice you made two hours earlier. After a peek at the walkthrough, i realised I had to play the game all over again after about 10 hours. (And there's no advice corner/tiger dojo)

Maybe i'll be disappointed by the end, but as it is now I think it's definitely worth a shot. Available on mangagamer.

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Galandar
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Galandar » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:48 am

So I got my hands on Kara No Shoujo too recently, now I wanted to share my review with you...

Kara No Shoujo, set in post-WWII-Tokyo, deals with strange murders that occur obviously connected to an all-girls-school and they seem to be influenced by a strange work of art made by a now disappeared painter. The dismemberments show similarities to a series of murders a few years ago, where the protagonist, Reiji, an ex-cop now turned private eye, lost his fiancee and quit his job. His goal is to stop the serial killer responsible, but the death toll continues to rise...

Although I have not played that many VNs, KNS stands out of them. When I started playing the game, I wasn't exactly gripped at first, thought of it as a standard, a bit generic crime plot with average storywriting. But as the game developed, the atmosphere thickened and the story improved. I was very impressed by the occurring plot twists and new events and clues which sometimes changed the situation completely. In the end, I was only able to guess 2 of the involved culprits correctly (with about 40+ characters to choose from) after changing my guess of who could be the murderer about 3 times - normally, I'd guess wrong once at most. :)
The atmosphere was outstanding, beautifully drawn backgrounds and (unlike other reviewers pointed out) IMHO not-that-generic background music added up, but what was the most intense thing, the scenes where you enter the mind of the murderer committing his dreadful acts...at some point I caught myself trying to hide behind my fingers not wanting to see what happened next on the screen while reading the VN...something I never experienced before, I admit it, i was freaked out. :D That to say, yes, there is a lot of gore in the game, also descriptions of despicable acts and psychological violence as well as disturbing images - if you can't take that, you should not play KNS.
On the other hand, it's not all guts and gore, most of the time the VN is actually an interesting, open, beautiful world of its own, the setting is quite original and well recherched (or so I think), I couldn't see many serious factual errors but was on the contrary impressed which level of special knowledge the story contained. And...the story is that well written, I couldn't get myself off the screen for 2 days in a row (sleep, goodbye *wave*) - I like to write myself and if I'll be able to write a story that complex and fitting myself one day, I would be proud.
Well, the gameplay needs definitely improvement, because, although it fits the detective story, most passages involve travelling to certain places on a map, not knowing why it is that important to be there at the exact time, but regretting it (real-time) hours later when it turned out to be the wrong decision. Without a walkthrough, KNS would have been a pain in the ass, honestly. But use one and see the VN as a novel, not as an interactive game and enjoy what develops. :)

Let's pull out my rating board:

Kara No Shoujo

Graphics
+ beautiful backgrounds and intermissions
+ rarely any effects, but very effectice indeed then
+ characters are well drawn...
- ...but become pixelated when shown in close-up
(9/10)

Sound
+ every NPC with text is narrated
+ the fitting music ranges from encouraging/bright to otherworldy beautiful to outright terrifying
- some of the themes get used too much when you play for a long time
- no great variety of sound effects
(8/10)

Gameplay & Balance
+ clues are logically combined to evolve the plot
+ the game gives you a whole lot of choices and possibilities...
- ...and on the other hand does not give you any hints and lets you regret it a whole lot later
- level of difficulty due to complexity too high, hardly solveable without a walkthrough
(3/10)

Atmosphere
+ original setting
+ different lighting and seasons for many scenes and places
+ mood can change between happy-go-lucky and downright gruesome in a second, but finds a good balance
- most h-scenes are totally out of place
(9/10)

Handling
+ free saving with enough slots and skipping read passages
+ notebook-inventory well thought-out and practical...
- ...while hardly in use
- auto-read a lot too fast, even on the slowest levels
(6/10)

Content
+ huge game with elaborate story to keep you busy for a long time
+ many characters, nearly everyone of them with a detailed background
- questionable replay value, except for 100% cg and the true ending
(8/10)

Story
+ complex and thrilling, intense to keep you on the edge
+ highly intelligent storywriting
+ loose ends get tied together in different endings
- some stereotypical elements
(9/10)

Riddles
+ investigation and evidence selection scenes
+ logical consequences of proof found
- no help or hint when concluding wrong
- frustrating consequence of wrong decisions (mostly: replaying the last few hours)
(5/10)

Dialogues
+ partly quick-witted and well-thought
+ when approaching the end, an incredible series of conclusions happen
- partly lame and generic, especially in the beginning
- stereotypical smalltalk in between
(6/10)

Characters
+ every character has his background story and is well-placed in this world
+ hard-to-guess culprits
+ deep psychological problems within many of them
- some stereotypical characters that tend to slow the story down
(8/10)

that concludes to...
71/100 points

Kara No Shoujo may have its weaknesses in some aspects, but if you can see through them you will discover an immensely well-written story that will impress you on quite the level...one of my all-time-favourite VNs now. :wink:

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:40 am

Just finished watching Exodus Guilty.
I can't really call it either playing or reading, since it feels more like watching an Anime with still pictures than reading a VN.
Also I can't in good conscience recommend it to anyone. While the basic story is intrigueing and I was kind of hooked after part one, this has far too many shortcomings to be considered good.
First there's the "choices" you get to make. I don't really mind static novels if the story is good, but the choices you get to make here are all kind of stupid. An example: "You are in a dark room. Do you want to use a) your flashlight b) your aqualung or c) your pistol?" They could have done away with the choices altogether and the story would have been better.
What's worse is the incredibly poor script. Honestly, I facepaled so often during that VN that I lost count.
- You open up a secret passage using a key you found in a millenia old ruin and the first thing you run into when you come out the other side is a local fisherman.
- The only key to a gate is locked away in a room half a continent away.
- You climb down a cliff and make your way through a magical forest to get to some temple, only to simply walk a few steps from there to a place you've visited several times before.
I could keep on like that for a while but you probably get the picture.
Like I said the concept of the story, interweaving three timelines, is really interesting, but the implementation is so bad it's scary. And it probably wouldn't have been all that hard to fix most of the stupid.
To top it off, the ending is a bit of Deus ex Machina. Not horribly bad, but I had hoped for more.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

3pies

Re: Recommend a VN

Post by 3pies » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:31 am

Just to build onto this thread, I have just completed Shikkoku no Sharnoth; while Sekien no Inganock had a fantastic steampunk setting, with moderately in-depth characterization and pretty swell art, Sharnoth just blows it out of the water. While Inganock and Sharnoth both suffer from plot copypasta, as well as being partially voiced, they're both able to draw the reader into their respective worlds if read for a period of time. IMO, Inganock's story was pretty weak, with little plot actually compelling Gii to follow it through (besides that he's the main character), but Sharnoth's well-driven plot is great.

The art and music in Sharnoth is wonderful as well; while Inganock had slightly generic-ish BGM, Sharnoth's sets the atmosphere whether it be a dismal city street or deep in the recesses of the Engine Corridor. Sharnoth's art assets are handled by AKIRA; while Inganock's art was already at a pretty high level, Sharnoth's art is somewhere further up there (Agatha Christie moe~). The depiction of a steampunk-esque combined with a Victorian (?) society sets a pretty moody atmosphere for the game, supported by the stunning character portraits and cut-ins (they even have random streetlamps and tea sets and Mary's face and blah blah blah).

TL;DR, Recommend both Sharnoth and Inganock, both suffer somewhat from same flaws while sharing similar strengths (as to be expected from games in the same series by the same writer rant rant rant)

Qaenyin
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Qaenyin » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:41 am

3pies wrote:Just to build onto this thread, I have just completed Shikkoku no Sharnoth
I enjoyed Sharnoth quite a bit, it felt less repetitive than Inganock mostly, and the art quality felt a lot less recycled. That having been said the gameplay segments felt unnecessarily long and tedious, I can't help but feel they'd have been better done without.

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Xuan
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Xuan » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:06 am

Katahane.

Yuri (Well mixed, but more yuri heavy), but the story is quality enough that you'd be compelled to read. It lacks a LOT of content (Too much Kurohane, not enough Shirohane); starting up really well but fell short in the end, but its music and the one star character Coco somewhat makes up for its massive flaws. Without her the story would've fell apart horribly, honestly, but could still make an epic read.

Sigh, up till now the ONLY game+VN that has awesome gameplay and epic story is Baldr Sky; been hunting around but all of them are disappointing.
" It would be hard to believe I was nearly killed by a love confession."

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encrypted12345
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by encrypted12345 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:49 pm

Xuan wrote:Katahane.

Yuri (Well mixed, but more yuri heavy), but the story is quality enough that you'd be compelled to read. It lacks a LOT of content (Too much Kurohane, not enough Shirohane); starting up really well but fell short in the end, but its music and the one star character Coco somewhat makes up for its massive flaws. Without her the story would've fell apart horribly, honestly, but could still make an epic read.

Sigh, up till now the ONLY game+VN that has awesome gameplay and epic story is Baldr Sky; been hunting around but all of them are disappointing.
Have you played Sengoku Rance? It does have comedic rape, but it also has a epic story and great characters. Plus, the gameplay is just so damn addicting. The game itself is easy to learn, but so hard (Fortunately, the game is nice enough to give you a fighting chance if you take too long or if a boss battle is too hard.)The main character is a bastard, but you'll eventually end up liking him.

Utawaresumono is also a good strategy RPG+ VN. It's linear, but worth a read. The gameplay isn't that complex, but it keeps you entertained well enough. The real selling point is the story.

Eien No Aselia has very good gameplay though the prologue is almost unbearably long. It's also a bit hard so save whenever you can. The story is good if a bit flawed.

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Xuan
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Xuan » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:52 am

encrypted12345 wrote:
Xuan wrote:Katahane.

Yuri (Well mixed, but more yuri heavy), but the story is quality enough that you'd be compelled to read. It lacks a LOT of content (Too much Kurohane, not enough Shirohane); starting up really well but fell short in the end, but its music and the one star character Coco somewhat makes up for its massive flaws. Without her the story would've fell apart horribly, honestly, but could still make an epic read.

Sigh, up till now the ONLY game+VN that has awesome gameplay and epic story is Baldr Sky; been hunting around but all of them are disappointing.
Have you played Sengoku Rance? It does have comedic rape, but it also has a epic story and great characters. Plus, the gameplay is just so damn addicting. The game itself is easy to learn, but so hard (Fortunately, the game is nice enough to give you a fighting chance if you take too long or if a boss battle is too hard.)The main character is a bastard, but you'll eventually end up liking him.

Utawaresumono is also a good strategy RPG+ VN. It's linear, but worth a read. The gameplay isn't that complex, but it keeps you entertained well enough. The real selling point is the story.

Eien No Aselia has very good gameplay though the prologue is almost unbearably long. It's also a bit hard so save whenever you can. The story is good if a bit flawed.
All of the games you've mentioned I've played them before. Sengoku Rance has the best gameplay of all, but it's story doesn't really stand out that much. Ein No Aselia is tedious to replay and Utawaresumono is just okay. Few VNs ever reached the Baldr Sky's depth and epicness, though that's just my opinion.
" It would be hard to believe I was nearly killed by a love confession."

Censuur

Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Censuur » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:44 pm

Is there actually a translation for Baldr sky? I looked it up a bit and am very interested, but I cant find a translation anywhere :(

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encrypted12345
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by encrypted12345 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:00 pm

Censuur wrote:Is there actually a translation for Baldr sky? I looked it up a bit and am very interested, but I cant find a translation anywhere :(
I looked for it too, but no, there is not.

darthgizka

Re: Recommend a VN

Post by darthgizka » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:54 am

Just finished everything in Koihime Musou (MG version). If nothing else, the game's long. Kinda dull though. Wish somebody translated the sequel, which is totally better.

Duncan Idaho
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by Duncan Idaho » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:30 am

I'm still trying to get caught up on VNs, only played what's available so far on KS, F/SN, and a handful of smaller ones that I can't remember at the moment. I feel like the process would go a lot smoother, though, if vndb had a tag for "causes soul crushing despair" that way I could easily avoid about 70% of them.
I fight for the users

Also:
Shizune = Lilly > Emi > Misha > ... > Rin = Hanako

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OneMore
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Re: Recommend a VN

Post by OneMore » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:49 am

That would be Utsuge/Nakige tags.

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