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My thoughts

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:37 pm
by Sajomir
I intend to add to this thread as I notice things in the future. As I get into each path there will likely be spoilers, so be warned if you haven't read the whole game before reading this thread.

I haven't had a chance to even break out of act 1 territory yet, but I've noticed a couple things so far that I'd like to comment on.

-I like how Emi's sprites have had small updates to unify the art style. Most noticeably to me is her eyes have all been redone, and I think her hair has been updated a little to have uniform highlights with the rest of the girls.

-Emi's eyes are at different heights. Her right eye (our left) is consistently higher than the other. This is especially noticeable in the first scene Hisao goes down to the track. Emi is doing her pose where she leans in towards Hisao, winking. Then both eyes close as she smiles, but the body does not change. Her left eye MOVES and it is really weird. Her right eye does not appear to change height.
Ironically, having both eyes closed is the only sprite where her eyes seem to match.

-One of the music tracks doesn't seem to be behaving properly. I think the track name is General Happy Song, and it plays with Misha + Shizune a lot. A little bit into the loop, a guitar comes in with a fun little melody, but during its course, the guitar track seems to skip 3 times. Each time it happens, the guitar is going from a dotted-8th into a 16th note as it starts a run. The syncopation is just off. It sounds weird because this pattern is a very prominent one in the guitar part, and these few instances are very distracting from the rest of the tune.

And Lelouch got taken out!!! whyyyyyyy T_T

Re: General feedback

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:36 am
by Sajomir
I think I'll make a reply for each thread and edit that, if it works out. Otherwise if there's a limit as to how long I can edit a post, I'll just be more conservative with the replies :)

Hanako path, where Lilly takes Hisao into the city shopping for a birthday present, there are two lines that don't really match well.

Lilly: Very well. I might like to suggest having something to eat, first.
Hisao: I haven't either, so that sounds like a good plan.

I looked around, and I don't see any line where Lilly states she hasn't eaten yet, so Hisao's reply is out of place.

Re: General feedback

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:52 pm
by Sajomir
Final Hanako thoughts:

Yay finished first route! Plan to enjoy KS nice and slow over the next week or so. :)

The fact there was a movie at the start of act 2 made my jaw drop YOU DEVS HELD OUT ON US BIG TIME! XD
Can't wait to see the others.

I have to say, the H-scene totally puts anything by Type-moon to shame. Both in taste and art quality. It felt more "real" and less "otaku fantasy."

I loved the story, it kept me guessing the entire time. Will they have a happy get together? Will they separate? Edge of my seat at the very end.
Thank you for making her a much more fleshed out girl with hobbies beyond books.

The length was satisfying. After Chapter 2 I was kind of worried the rest would be on the short side, but 3 and 4 were sufficiently long. I think I agree with a post I saw somewhere that Hanako's ending is a little sudden, but you have to end a story somewhere. I think it did a good job of resolving what needed resolution, and left the reader with plenty to imagine (in a good way).

I think I'll join the student council next :3

I didn't catch any other technical errors, so that's all I have for this one now.

I can't believe I forgot this.
Hanako's panic attack in the classroom was unlike anything I've ever read. I know this really happens to people. The moment everyone realized what was happening to her, I got WORRIED for a video game character. Seriously. At that moment, being outside the 4th wall, I felt exactly as powerless as the students realized they were. All any of us could do was just wait and hope.

I have no words to describe my specific feeling towards this scene. Well done.

My thoughts

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:20 pm
by Sajomir
I'm actually happy that the focus of this story turned out to be around the three-way relationship fans had so much fun anticipating. I didn't expect the object of Misha's affection to turn out to be Shizune! That twist really made her attempt to seduce Hisao that much more significant. This overall storyline was well written, and I enjoyed it. I wish I could say the same about all of it, though...

The entire subplot of Shizune's family visit was pointless. Honestly, it was boring, and made me worry about how the rest of the path would be. It had no significant impact on the story, only a few superficial details, such as the opportunity to see their out-of-school outfits and Misha to cut her hair. The H-scene here was REALLY forced and felt out of character. There was no point to it, and it doesn't even feel like it belongs in the story. (yes, "gagging" Hisao by cuffing him is a good addition to Shizune's path, but that's just fanservice)
The fact that Shizune and Lilly are related is actually interesting. Their fighting makes a lot more sense now, and I can somewhat relate to it with how I act with my brother a lot of the time.
I hated Shizune's dad. Don't like him as a character, don't like his art (seriously, DBZ hair and a sword in an otherwise realistic bishoujo game????). I think what the biggest problem is is that he doesn't fit with ANYTHING else in the story. He's a complete stylistic break. He's also a flat character and has no development other than deciding to come to the school. Even then it wasn't emphasized in any way to show he was making a change.
Hideaki also feels pretty boring, though it's clear that he's a side character. He doesn't feel as intrusive, and fits the rest of the cast much better.

The fishing CG was cute, though! :)

Technical stuff:
The story mentions at one point that "Student Council" is one of the first words Hisao learned to sign. One of the times the word is used in this scene, it was misspelt "Student Coucilll."

I felt one of Shizune's lines very awkward.
"Like when you hear a song and dream of being a musician, or see a plane and wish you could be a pilot. Have you ever had a dream like that?"
Why would a deaf person use song/musician as the first thing in an analogy? She's never heard a song, and if she's ever wanted to be a musician, it probably was in a different context than this analogy is going for. The line would have been much smoother as something like:
"Like when you see a plane and wish you could be a pilot. Or... I suppose it might be like hearing a song and dreaming of being a musician. Have you ever had a dream like that?"

Final thoughts:
I was a little disappointed, but it may just be that I was expecting things a little differently. We've had so long to build up concepts of these girls in the community that it didn't play out exactly how I was hoping ;)
Even though I shouldn't be comparing the paths to each other and judging like that, it probably also doesn't help I just came off Hanako's path, which will be VERY hard to top.
The act 2 and 3 intro sketches were ADORABLE!!! I think Pimmy did all of those illustrations? Awesome job :D
Misha's short hair is cuuuute!

In the end, I enjoyed this path very much. Sorry I had so much criticism to give and not a ton of immediately vocal praise, but it was absolutely worth reading. Thank you for giving us an excellent story.

Ack, once again I forget something! I completely cracked up at the Kenji CG!!! And the "screeeech!" as it goes completely back to normal was just amazing XD

Re: My thoughts

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:47 am
by Sajomir

YOU BASTARD! First path that made me cry. I heard a whisper about a "music box" being important at the end, but luckily I totally forgot about it right up until the tune started playing.

I've always been a sucker for sappy romance stories, and this one does not disappoint. I really wish I hadn't also heard whispers of a "happy ending." Even then, I found myself thinking the entire time "but...but... HAPPY ENDING! How does this work out howhowhow... T_T"

OK, that stuff aside.

I do believe I caught that Hisao and Hanako are Dune fans? :3
Fun about "And Then There Were None" too. I've seen a play based on that book, and I'm aware that Agatha Christie was a big influence in Umineko. I like moments like these where I can briefly connect with the characters. I'd love to have been able to jump right into the conversation.

Something I loved very early on was the first time Lilly felt Hisao's face, and her remark that he was handsome. It seems so stupid that I never realized until now that of course a blind person has their own concept of "handsome."

Best flat "what" so far:
Kenji: I confirmed Lilly is in the Mafia.
Hisao: What.

Loved the CGs in this one! The train ride ones were really cool, the movement felt completely natural. The airport CG was perfect. It hit like a suckerpunch and looked like they were walking away forever, slipping out of his grasp.
I think the outdoor CGs were a little heavy on the blue, though, especially the one right before the ending credits.

Technical stuff:
Lilly takes a shower in... Hisao's dorm room? Then why the heck was Hisao standing naked with Kenji in a public shower? I seriously doubt he went there for the company... or the view XD

Personal reflection:
This one really hit home a few times. I've been in several long-distance relationships, and even now I'm seeing someone who lives two hours away. I want to propose to her this year, and she knows it. She's a teacher at the college level down there, and has a great career going. I knew from the start that I'd be the one to move. However, in the year and a half dating her, I've only made a few serious attempts to actually make the move.
Even before Lilly's departure, I had noticed all the stories have a theme of Hisao having to decide his future, and this is not something I'm good at myself. I've been kind of drifting along since I got out of college, working where I can and paying off student debt. I'm 25 and still live at home, I have no shame with that, since I'm pouring everything beyond monthly expenses into becoming debt free right now. However, I'm the first to say that I'm guilty in thinking these days can just go on forever.
I don't want them to. But starting to move again is so hard.
However, last night already I made up my mind to renew my search for work in the Milwaukee area. Job hunting sucks locally, it's even more awkward doing it from a distance. Still, I believe it will absolutely be worth it... and that I would feel like Hisao if I missed my chance. (besides, she's totally awesome! She's read two arcs of FS/N already and is a great casual gamer - as competitive as Shizune in board games >:3)

I didn't think a whole lot of Lilly's path when I started, but it just takes a bit to get into its groove, and has a fantastic finish. More importantly than that, it made me think.

Again, thank you. (dammit my eyes are tearing up again! Doesn't help the main menu music is playing... I love this song)

Re: My thoughts

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:23 am
by Sajomir
Rin~ Yeah, this is kinda rambly. Oddly appropriate.

That's easy – you're the sky.
Very sweet :P

This was a very different kind of story than I expected. I was completely sure I had made the wrong decisions, but as I sit here after it's over, I realize that the entire story is about accepting that some things “just are.” Hisao couldn't make himself different, just like Rin couldn't. As such, the words you pick to say don't make any difference.

It's hard to describe why I couldn't put this story down. Heh, maybe it's not. I love stories about communication. There's so much muddle to sort through, and the writing does an amazing job of communicating that frustration, even if Rin can't find the words for it herself. But then every once in a while that moment of clarity goes through, and it feels like it was worth it.

I think the single thing that hooked me most was the “worried” and frowning sprites for Rin. She's so rarely expressive, and then one of those faces its, and you instantly regret whatever made her wear that frown.

Hisao's a dick in this one. Deserved to get punched a few times. It's sad though, because I can see myself in him. I don't get along with people who I can't communicate with, and that fact bothers me.\

Interesting to see a villian figure in the teacher in this one. I know he's not supposed to be the lovable teacher, but... wow

The ending surprised me a little. I wasn't expecting it to work out between them. Hisao... didn't deserve it. Rin is extraordinarily good at forgiving and/or forgetting, but... if it's JUST forgetting, that actually makes me very sad, for some reason.

Great ending line, though. Everything it needed to be.

I understand Rin being scared of Hisao in the way she was. That clarified a lot of her behavior... but to me, “scared of his kindness” is the wrong way to think about it. (then again, she IS Rin) Some of Hisao's actions were definitely kind and meant well... but so much of what he did was selfish and... he took advantage of her, twice, even though she said she wanted his physical attention.
Maybe I just really hate this side of Hisao.

Rin on cold mecidine = lolololol
Seeing as I actually take calls for a pharmaceutical company, though, it kinda had me worried something bad would happen ^^;

Didn't see any technical issues this time. Cheers.

Bouncy track girl! You're next!

Re: My thoughts

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:23 pm
by Sajomir
Here goes, the last one. :)

Yarrr! I have to admit, the moment Emi mentioned a pirate, “peg leg” is the first thing that popped into my head. XD

Poor Emi! The change of her expression on the picnic CG.... awwww!

Just watching Emi and Hisao interact is a blast. I got along just like that with a friend, and have a lot of fond memories that this story stirs up. :)
Some of my favorite moments with my girlfriend are very similar... especially whenever we're playing board/video games with each other!

Interesting note – the adults feel a little different in this arc. Yuuko and Mutou both seem to have slightly different personalities, like they're getting swept up in the upbeat mood Emi's path takes. It might just be the writer's style creeping in, kind of how this route is much more liberal with swearing. Not that either are an issue, it's just a noticeable difference from the rest of the paths.
I actually like it in some ways, too – while I'm working on my comic, I'm always “me,” even as a writer! The characters I come up with are all “my take” on whatever kind of person they are, and the story will probably sound like something I'd come up with.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is I appreciate that the writers are mostly consistent, but that their individual writing traits can still show. Yep. *nods* That sounds about right.

^point confirmed. I'm actually writing some of these as I play the paths, and Mutou's next line:
“Hang around after class, and we can either discuss it, or I can show you how to make explosives in the lab.” XD

I really liked the Nurse all throughout this one. He's a great role model while still being a friend to the students. Very cool with his past connections with Emi, too.

This path definitely had the best chemistry, and it really showed in the CGs. The expressions were hilarious, and I loved the old-school comic book sound effects!
I didn't like Hisao some of the time in this route, and I'm glad that Emi called him on it. The whole white knight thing got really annoying, and he said "help you help you help you help you" soooo many times.

It was nice insight to Emi in the graveyard scene, but it felt a tiny bit rushed, like the writer was trying to cram in a bunch of stuff at the very end. The ending cut off a little short, too... but that's more than forgivable. :)

Technical stuff: Way back in act 1, I'm not sure if I have a typo or not. A line in the narration goes:
I take the slip of paper he's offering and then make my leave as I can't think of anything else to say, nor even really want to.

Should that "make" be a "take?" Or maybe I'm just not used to the phrase going quite that way.

Still don't like how the level of Emi's eyes in her main sprites don't match the angle of her face.

One more post coming up to summarize the whole thing :)