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Okay, I'm going to actual put the review up that I kept going on about. Yes, DRAMAtical: Murder.

And I'm surprised that there's people who rank this game lower than Lamento and Togainu no Chi. Like wtf? Is it because the game has a more 'ligher' plot???? Or am I missing something???

Like, look, I get it, TnC had a dark plot. A lot of Nitro games in general lean more to dark plots. Chaos; Head was my first official Nitro game and I was not disappointed. I read summaries of Sweet Pool, and I will read it when it comes out (Though the meat monster thing is.. um, barf?). I also played Saya no Uta as well (I do NOT recommend it at all though, I can see some people liking it, it was not up my alley of dark stories). I love dark plots in my fiction, I mean fuck, I was part of Yami no Matsuei fandom for a long time. But the problem with TnC is that the routes themselves were terribly done and full of rape. Rape =! good dark story.

Anyways, enough with ranting and on to the review! Sadly, this review is full of damn spoilers. I tried hard to avoid spoilers for the main plotline, but I do somewhat spoil the other routes, so be warned.

Title: DRAMAtical: Murder
Company: Nitro+Chiral
Translation done by: Kick ass people from Aarinfantasy
Rating: E
Genre: Future Earth/Cyberpunk/Yaoi
Warnings: Violence, angst, dark themes, drug use, rape, gore, physical abuse, incest?, cannibalism, Amputation, beastility, sadism (Quite a few of these warnings only apply to the bad ends and a certain bad end)

Graphics: 10/10 - I absolutely love the artwork in this game. It's colorful and bright when it needs to be. And it can be dark and edgy too. I love all the character's art design. Aoba himself is cute to look at. All the love interests I liked their character design. I love the different expressions that Aoba makes and the other characters as well. And I love Ren to mother fucking pieces, that cute little puppy!

When you first start the game too, you'll notice a little 8 bit Aoba sprite walking across the game. As you finish people's paths, the sprites that come on the screen are 8 bit characters of the pathes you finished. I thought that was a small but really nice touch.

Also, don't rush the text. Because sometimes, the characters change their expressions while they're talking! Yeah, sometimes while you're reading, the face changes depending on the text. It's not totally important or mind blowing, but it does add some flavor to the story, like the characters are reacting to what they say.

Plot: 7.5/10 - Ho boy, I'm going to try my hardest to avoid major spoilers. And like the last VN, I'm going to cover the routes because the routes are so different from each other and one of them is VERY story heavy to the main overall plot. All together, there are 5 routes. Including a 'bad end', there's 6.

Basically, the game takes place WAY in the future. Our main protag, Aoba, lives on the island of Midorijima with his Grandmother and his cute All-Mate, Ren (machines that people own that act like a cellphone/laptop/GPS/anything you want. They come in many different shapes and models). He works in a 'Junk shop', just living his life the best he can. He seems to show no interest in 'Rib' (Basically street gangs) or 'Rhyme' (A virtual fighting game). It's more along the lines of pokemon since people use their All-Mates to do battle.

I just realized there's a ton of fucking jargon in this game, but Aoba does a damn well good job explaining in game.

Anyways, one day while working, he receives a weird email that downloads a game to his Coil system (Coils are sort of like portable laptops that fit on your wrist). The game is very Dragon Quest 8 bit style (In fact, the cave part I'm pretty sure is ripped right from DQ1, lmfao). The next day, he gets a headache while working, which apparently, he's had for most of his life. We also find out about people mysteriously disappearing (Rumor has it that Morphine, a legendary team, is behind it). Turns out that this isn't just a rumor and one day, Aoba finds out that Dry Juice is completely wiped out and Morphine's 'logo' is plastered all over their hideout. He's rightfully pissed and now he's out to find out the 'who, what, where, when, why' of what happened.

To sum it up, shit happens to Aoba's friend, and he decides to go find out why with his merry band of LIs. Honestly, I really can't say anymore because the game would be spoiled. Some people that show up:

Ren - Aoba's All-Mate, he's a cute blue puppy dog. Aoba deeply cares for him, despite him being a very out-dated model.

Koujaku - Aoba's childhood friend, he's a hairdresser and a huge Lady's man. He's really obsessed with Aoba's hair. He owns a red bird All-Mate named Beni.

Mizuki - A friend of Aoba's who is part of the Rib gang called Dry Juice. He's into tattoos.

Virus and Trip - The 'Not Twins' that work for the Yakuza that were aquainted with Aoba back in his 'teenage punk' stage. They call themselves Aoba's 'fans'. They also have their own All Mates but you don't see them until a certain point later on.

Tae - Aoba's Grandmother, who won't hesitate to lay the verbal and physical smackdown on people who deserve it. XD Aoba deeply cares for her.

Noiz - The 'Tsundere' teaser guy who is pretty obsessed with Rhyme. And Aoba for some reason. He has a shit ton of body piercngs and a cube rabbit-like All-Mate.

Clear - A very weird bubbly guy who is always wearing a gas mask and calling Aoba 'Master'. Like wtf, a gas mask!? He also likes Jellyfish (I don't get it but meh).

Mink - The Leader of a gang called 'Scratch' (Which consists of mostly criminals, joy), his first order of biz being his gang thugs to rape Aoba. ~_~ He throws off 'GOAWAYOMG!' vibes. His All-Mate is a pink Parrot. Like da fark?

There's more characters like Toue, a mysterious dark haired boy, the brat brigade, Aoba's boss, the crazy cop guy who abuses his powers, the big lady who has an all mate that has a crush on Ren, the crazy chick but actually a d00d all mate (Least his voice is) that looks over the Rhyme battles, and other characters that show up on other routes, but I'll try to cover them later on.

Holy shit, I realize there's a TON of characters in this story on top of a lot of Jargon. Like a lot to even keep track of. I don't think I can even name a game that has as many characters as this one has. It kind of blows my mind now that I think about it. Also, when the characters are introduced, the game says their name, gives their b-days, hobbies, positions, etc (I can't tell what else, because it flashes by so fucking fast). It's kind of funny how detailed this game is.

There's not much to say about the plot, because the plot is really this game's biggest weakness. The overall plot being who Aoba is and where he came from, isn't covered until Ren's route. The other routes focus on Aoba's Love interest rather than him. Which isn't a bad thing, but it does hurt the overall story itself.

I think one good thing about this game is that it's in First person PoV for the most part. Most VNs usually go the third person pov, so we can flipflip between the Main protag and the LI or other characters. Here though, we get in Aoba's head and we can get a clear feel on his thoughts and emotions. So we can connect to Aoba a lot better than we could with Akira and Konoe. The ONLY bad thing is we can't get into the minds of the LIs, and honestly, I don't even think that's a bad thing, because the focus of the routes is on the LIs from Aoba's PoV. It works really well here, believe it or not.

I also think the characters make up for the so-so plot. The characters are what really bring this game to life, and you feel drawn to them. They're all different and complex from one another. Aoba is probably the most likable main male lead for a BL game. And he's easily in my top 5 for most likable main protag of all VNs I read. For the others, I was drawn to Koujaku and Noiz pretty strongly. I was really curious about Clear as well (Mostly wondering how he knows Aoba. And why a gas mask!?). As for Mink, urgh. We'll get to this route.

Anyways, I would highly suggest you do the routes in the order I review them: Koujaku > Mink > Noiz > Clear > Ren. You can't do Ren's till the end regardless because he's the 'true route'. Yes, Aoba's All-Mate gets his own route too! I'd suggest doing Mink's route second because of all the routes, it's one of the more controversal routes (aka rapey and abusive route) and you should get it out of the way asap. I recommend doing it second though, because I feel doing Koujaku's route first is the better one to start out (It's not full of feels, but it's not controversal. It's the perfect 'in the middle' route). Also, take the warnings I give to that route seriously too.

Koujaku, spoilers! )

Mink spoilers )

Noiz spoilers )

Clear, massive spoilers )

Ren, massive spoilers )

Bad Ends/Virus and Trip Ending )

Overall 8.8/10 - Cept for one route, every route was solid and kept my interest to the very end. The story itself was so-so, but the characters FAR make up for it and Aoba is super likable.

Of all the routes, Noiz's is my favorite. I really thought Clear would grab me, but the big problem was the tone of the route took a 180 just randomly. Noiz's route could get angsty at points, but it was balanced, while with Clear's, I felt it went down a slope more and didn't go back to being fluffy till the end. In the end, it comes down to my personal taste. Though to be really honest, it's sort of hard for me to choose. >.> But if you're not a completionist, those are the two routes that MUST be played.

Music/sound 9/10 - Again, I loved every track in this game and all the characters have their own theme songs when you finish their routes. I think if I had to pick one, Clear's song would be the best. And a certain 8 bit song to a certain 8 bit ending. >.> Actually, I liked most of the tunes and I kept humming the main theme to myself a lot.

Gameplay NA - Again, visual novel. You have choices to get to people's routes, you have choices along the way that decide what ends you get. Again, warning, choose wisely, the Bad Ends are seriously no fucking joke.

Overall 9.3/10 - A VN that needs to be played. It has a couple of kinks in it, but it's a must play, moreso if you're looking for a BL game with an above average plot and complex characters. It's a little bit lighter compared to Lamento and Togainu, but it's much more polished and well written.

Also, I'm not going to review Re: Connect, there's no point to, because if you enjoyed the original and want an 'epilogue' to all the routes, you should go pick up Re: Connect. Yes, Dramatical spawned a sequel, but it's really just expands on the endings, and adds in a side story to Mizuki and Aoba's parents. The bad ends are expanded on and like I said in the review, the only one worth reading of that mess is Clear's, the others are there for shock/gore/rape torture. The good endings for the others are just pure kinky fap material. Even with that in mind, if you wanna see what Aoba and whatever LI is doing post game, it's a must read.

As for the anime, I didn't finish it, but really, pick up the VN before the anime, regardless. 99% of all animes based on VNs, the VN is almost always the better choice. Seriously, go read this!

Anyways, I think I'm going to take a long deserved break from VNs, replaying this one took a lot out of me. Maybe back to fanfiction. And holy shit, this review is long as hell. X_X
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Well, trying to purge the shitness of TnC out of my system, I moved to Nitro+'s next game, Lamento. Which... revolves around Cat boys. I'm sorry, but Cat boys are just not my thing at all. However, a good story and good characters can actually convince me to give it a chance. And I'm actually REALLY glad I did so.

I'm also shocked I'm in the minority, a lot of people think Togainu no Chi is better than Lamento. Like, uh? I can understand not being into Cat boys, but you come up to me and tell me that Togainu no Chi is better than this one, I'm going to laugh right in your face. And if it's because of the 'draggy plot'? May I remind you of the FUCKING SCREWDRIVER SCENE!? Or almost EVERY fucking route in TnC has rape in it. God, I will not let that go, will I?

If you're gonna bitch about it not being dark enough, go with Chaos; Head or wait for the translation of Sweet Pool if you want a darker yaoi story. This story can get dark in it's own way, but not to the levels of say, Corpse Party.

Also, again, I had a lot of problems running this game. Mostly the save/load function constantly freezing the game (Usually after a minute, we were back in business, but I had to reset it during Rai's route twice cause it wouldn't unfreeze); I had to run this as admin and even then, sometimes, it still freezes when saving. These games do not like Windows 7 and beyond at all.

Title: Lamento -Beyong the Void-
Company: Nitro+Chiral
Translation done by: Kick ass people from Aarinfantasy I linked them again, cause I can't find if they have a team name!
Rating: E
Genre: Dark/Fantasy/Alternate Earth setting/Cat people/Yaoi
Warnings: Gore, violence, angst, dark themes, light bondage, cannibalism, rape

Graphics: 9/10 - I'm going to admit, the artstyle in this game actually appealed to me, despite the game being about humanoid cats. I like every character's looks; from the cats to the devils to the backgrounds and just about everything. It ranges from being colorful to dark and then goes right for the middle. I also love how the characters move around on the scene and they have full body sprites and face sprites too, and I have to admit, I giggled when I saw their tails swish across the screen as they were darting away in some scenes. Very well done.

Plot: 7/10 - Again, like Togainu, gonna split this between overall plot and the routes. You're introduced to the world of Sisa. All human life is basically non existant and the race called Ribika (They're basically humans with cat ears, tails and claw-like fingers and hands, aka humanoid fucking cats!) live peaceful lives. Until some 'evil voodoo' thing called the Void shows up. It reminded me of the 'Nothing' from Neverending Story to some degree. Anyways, the Void makes it where plants and even animals cause great pain to the Ribika if they're touched. So something as simple as grass can cause cuts and even kill the cat people.

On top of that, a disease called 'Sickness' is going around, basically causing body parts to just vanish out of thin air (No joke, one day you're fine, and the next day, finding your arm just suddenly gone, scary as shit). Sadly, the Sickness is more commonly caught by females rather than males. So basically, the kitties are on the verge of going extinct. And some villages, the Void is so bad (Cause they can't gather and hunt), that they resort to eating each other.

So enter our main character, Konoe. He lives in Karou, well, not exactly, he basically lives by himself in a secluded area away from the village. One day, he starts having really vivid and dark nightmares (I won't spoil it, but it's really cringy near the end moreso), and one day, he wakes up with his ears and tail now black and weird markings on his arm. Which happens to fit the markings of a 'legendary curse' passed down. So pretty much, he's done fucked and now he sets off to find out why he's been cursed.

Along the way, he meets a bounty hunter named Rai, another loner cat named Asato, and a tiger cat innkeeper named Bardo, who seems to know about Rai's 'dark and angsty past'. There's other characters that show up, like the 4 devils, Konoe's BFF that like gets forgotten later on (I almost thought he was going to be a LI), Firi (Is it EVER explained why he has a lizard tail!?), our main baddie, a poet who likes playing the lute...

Holy shit, lemme say, this story is fucking LONG. Rai's route, which is the longest route, took me a good 20+ hours, and I'm underestimating it. Also, consider the fact that I can plow through 700+ length novels in a day if I want to. Basically, if you're a medium to slow reader, this game is going to take you maybe a week, if not more, of constantly reading it.

You cannot read a route in one sitting, end of story. To be honest, this part lost points because it really drags a lot and I ended up taking so many breaks due to the overall length of the game. I feel like the game could've ended sooner, but I also think some of the scenes are needed, because it creates some nice quiet and tender moments between Konoe and whoever you choose.

Rai, minor spoilers )

Bardo, spoilers )

Asato, minor spoilers )

Bad Ends )

Overall 8.4/10 - Besides the actual story being really draggy, the routes themselves were wonderfully done. It's very rare for me to like every love interest in a VN. I ended up liking them all.

I will also say, the overall climax of the game was... rather weak. The villian's motives were really weak themselves, and to be honest, I was really disappointed. SPOILER MAJOR! ) Despite the weak ass ending to the overall story, the routes and characters make up for this little blunder.

I think my overall favorite would flip flop between Asato and Rai. I feel like Rai and Konoe really belong with each other, the whole Touga/Sanga deal (Also, from a story perspective, it makes the most sense). But I also love Asato's route and how just well done it was (Probably the route that actually gave me the most mixed emotional feelings, from being really happy to shockingly sad). When I want to see Konoe being teased a lot and want more fun times, I'd go for Bardo's route, for sure (Though this route has it's darker moments).

Music/sound: 9/10 - I loved pretty much every track in this game and found myself humming it randomly. Since 'songs' are a theme in this game, the music is going to play a big factor and it works wonderfully here, fitting the tone of the scene, whether it's a fight scene, the devils making an appearance, goofiness just happening, or 'shit is gonna go down!' type of situation. I think my favorite song would actually be the one near the end with the final confrontation in Rai's route. And the song that plays when the Devils are on the scene too.

Gameplay NA - Again, a visual novel. There are some choices that affect the bad ends, but there's not too many of them and most will affect the route you're gonna go on. There's a few that actually change some dialogue, but it's flavor mostly. At least I get some choices in the damn routes though, unlike freaking Togainu. And all the routes too have their own bad ends.

Overall: 8.8/10 - Overall, a huge improvement over freaking Togainu no Chi. The only bad thing I can say about this game is that the story REALLY fucking drags to where you just want to get it over and done with. The good thing is that the story is actually really good. If you can handle a long length VN and can tolerate Cat boys, I'd highly recommend this over Togainu no Chi.

Next up, maybe DRAMAitcal: Murder. Or maybe back to fanfiction. Or maybe I get sucked back into the pit of death known as Warcraft, who knows? >.>
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Let's take a break from fanfiction for once and talk about Visual Novels. Togainu no Chi, I actually picked up around the time WoD came out back in 2014 and started reading it because 6 hour queues, at the time for WoW, sucked monkey balls. I never got really into it and when the queues vanished, so did my interest in reading further. However, since WoW is yet again becoming boring to me, I decided to pick it back up.

I really expected better from the people who made DRAMAtical Murder and Chaos; Head. But then again, it's a really old game. Unlike my other reviews, I'm going to cover my feelings on the routes in the Plot section, mostly because the main character is very different in each of them and really, I should do this with VNs from now on.

Also, I had a lot of problems getting this fucking thing to run. I had to redownload something because of a Windows 7 update not being compatible with the game. And save/load freezing the game too, I found a fix for it, but it's really annoying to do when you want to use saves to go back and get bad ends and whatnot. This game does not like Windows 7 and above.

Title: Togainu no Chi
Company: Nitro+Chiral
Translation done by: Kick ass people from Aarinfantasy Seriously, I just linked the forum patch. I don't know if the people went by an original team name, will update if I find the info
Rating: E
Genre: Dark/Post WW3 Japan/Yaoi/angst
Warnings: Gore, violence, sexual violence, sadism, rape (PLEASED take note of these warnings!)

Graphics: 7/10 - The art is pretty hit and miss in this. Sometimes the art is perfectly okay, and sometimes, in some of the CGs, it looks like Akira's hair is a different color than what it should be or sometimes, the characters look very different from the previous CG. It's an older game, so I'm giving it a pass to some degree. The artwork is definitely pretty to look at and Akira is definitely a pretty boy when you come down to it.

Plot: Unlike what I normally do, I'm going to give a basic run down of the overall plot, score that, and score the average of all the routes together. Which will work against the game.

Overall - 7/10 - The overall story is really interesting. Basically, we're thrown post WW3 Japan. During the war, children were basically taught how to fight and survive in combat instead of a proper education. When the war ended, those children, who knew nothing but fighting and surivival techniques, were thrown back into society and expected to just 'adapt'. Yeah, of course that doesn't go well...

Enter Akira, our protagonist. He is, sadly, one of those children who only skills are fighting and surviving. So no wonder why he's drawn to a fighting competition called 'Bl@ster' (Yes, that is how it is spelt) and he ends up at the top. However, it's not long lived, as he's falsely accused of murder. Enter two mysterious figures named Emma and Gwen, who basically make a deal with him: face life imprisonment, or travel to Toshima (Formally Tokyo) to take part in a 'life or death' game of survival, Igura, to defeat the strongest man, Il re.

Sadly, the backstory is probably more interesting than the actual plot, which is Akira's travels through Toshima. Which is why the overall story gets high marks. The story has a lot of potential, but it never really realizes it's potential.

It's also kind of hard to nail down Akira's personality, because it changes depending on what route you choose. He comes off cold and aloof in some routes, and in others, you see he has some really deep issues and why he's the way he is. He reminds me of Squall from Final Fantasy 8 (And what a shock, they actually look alike too!). So I'm going to cover him in the routes.

Dead end/bad routes )

Keisuke )

Motomi )

Rin )

Shiki )

True Route, no spoilers )

Overall score: 6.5/10 - While some routes are saved by story, you can't really ignore the flaws of all of them. Out of the routes, I'd go with Motomi, only because it's one of the few routes that's non-rapey. I shouldn't be picking a favorite route because of it's non-rapey elements. ~_~;; Ignoring the rape, True End was probably the best of them all.

Music/sound: 6/10 - Most of the themes are forgetable and while I did enjoy 1-2 tracks, I didn't care much for it. It fits the theme of the story, and does it's job.
Gameplay: N/A - It's a typical VN. It does suck that of the routes, only 2 have bad ends, which means when you're on a route, you're on it till the end, and you only have control over the Common route. Yeah, age isn't kind to some VNs, and that's this one right here.

Overall: 6.5/10 - This isn't a VN I would really recommend, more so if you have issues with any warnings I said at the beginning. It's a shame that of all the Yaoi VNs to get translated, it's one of the more mediorc ones. The fact of the matter is this: the game has great potential to be something really good and dark, but it falls flat. Having your main protag being raped constantly does not make a good dark story, it just makes us feel uncomfortable and unclean, more so when it goes the 'oh, he was resisting at first, but now he likes it!' route. My suggestion? Go read DRAMAtical Murder instead of this. While there's rape in that one too, the story, characters, and theme well make up for it.

I MAY do a review of DRAMAtical Murder but I'd have to replay the game to give it a fair review (I forgot a lot of what happens), so we'll see. Up next, maybe back to fanfiction. Who knows? I make these promises and I end up getting swept up in WoW. >.>
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Okay, time to do another Visual Novel. I will say, while I don't care much for the artwork on this one, the story blew me away. And for a freeware visual novel, I can actually let the so-so artwork fly by because the story is awesome.

Title: Frozen Essence
Company: Unbroken Hours
Rating: PG-13/13+
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Graphics: 6/10 - Like I said, the artwork is very hit and miss. Some of the CGs are really nice, and at other times, the bodies don't really look right. For the most part, it's okay (And the artist has gotten better obviously with the new VN), but it could be a bit more polished.

Plot: 10/10 - This is where the VN shines, and is probably more important than the story. Basically, the world is balanced by 'essence', or you can think of it as elements to some degree. Mina, a young girl, is awakened from a long slumber inside a crystal, with no memories of her past. A strange character by the name of Oracle, guides her away and promises to protect her along with 3 other mysterous bodyguards.

The story also changes based on who's path you go down. We have 4 eligible guys and 1 'mystery' character, along with an 'alone' path as well. Depending on what path you go down will change the story, learning about that particular character's past or even Mina's own past.

It's really well down and it shocks me that this kind of story is FREE, because it's better than most commerical games. And the story itself is pretty long on top of it.

Music/sound: 9/10 - The music fits to the scenes perfectly from light-hearted music to battle-esque like music. The only thing distracting is the constant 'slapping' noise that happens a lot in the game, but that can be turned off from the menu scene.

Gameplay: N/A - It's a pure visual novel here.

Overall: 8.3/10 - A must-read visual novel. Despite the so-so artwork, the story well makes up for it. And it's FREE, you cannot beat that, period.
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Yeah, another one from Key. :D

Title: Little Busters! (All Ages version)
Company: Visual Arts/Key
Translation done by: TLWiki
Genre: Romance/comedy/angst

Graphics: 10/10 - I thought Clannad had some nice visuals, but Little Busters! is even better. Seriously, the Main Character, Riki, is freaking ADORABLE, in the 'I want to glomp him!' type of way. The girls are all pretty as well and the guys are drawn very well too. I really wish there were more CGs with Riki in it, but what we got was nice.

Plot: 9.5/10 - Man, the plot starts out really simple, but then throws a curveball at you. The story starts out like this: Our main character, named Riki, lost his parents when he was very young. He became very depressed until one day, he meets Kyousuke, his sister Rin, Masto, and Kengo. They end up forming a very powerful bond and, together, they form the Little Busters!

The game takes place in their second year in High School. Kyousuke decides on his usual whim to form a baseball team. Why!? Well, why not?

The game basically revolves around you forming a baseball team and on the way, you form bonds with certain girls.

Seems like a very simple plot? Yeah right... SPOILERS! )

Also, the translation is top notch, now with the word wrap patch. Kudos for the translation team and good luck to them translating the three routes for the EX version.

Music/sound: 10/10 - I loved all the music in the game. I didn't play with the VAing on, so I won't comment about the VAing, but the music and sound standard is up to par.

Gameplay: 9.5/10 - It's unusual for me to give a VN a score here, but I did, because there's actual game play here. In your quest to making your baseball team, you have to, well, practice! This mini-game, shockingly enough, is really fun too, and the reactions from the characters if you hit the ball in their direction, or if you have the misfortune to hit too many of Rin's cats on the field, is funny as well.

There's also a 'pokemon' like mini game where characters will fight each other in a duel with some... odd choices of weapons, which are funny. Even more amusing is the titles they give to everyone else. :D

The mini games fit very well with the story, and are actually fun. And if you're not into mini-games in your VNs, you have the option to turn them off completely.

Overall: 9.75/10 - If I had to pick a perfect VN, Little Busters! would be it. As of now, I'm writing this for the all Ages version. There is a EX version that features 3 different paths and hentai scenes, which I have no idea would add or take away from the novel. The one I read had a couple of panty/booby shots, but nothing beyond that. This VN is really long, it took me twice as long as to get through it as Clannad. Seriously, why aren't you reading this NOW!? :D
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Cause I did nothing but talk about it on my regular journal, here's a review for it! One warning, once you read this Visual Novel, others just don't really measure up to this one.

Title: Clannad
Company: Visual Arts/Key
Translation done by: Drama club (?)
Rating: PG/10+
Genre: Romance/comedy

Graphics: 9/10 - This is actually a really old game that had multiple releases. I'm going by the full voiced version which was released around 2008.

The art style in this game is really pretty. The school looks like a typical school and it's funny to see the differences in the room, like Sunohara's room being clean or when he puts the TV in there. There's also some really pretty looking CGI's and the Illusionary World gives the feel of being really sad as well.

Plot: 9/10 - The plots range from being happy to sometimes downright angsty and some plots which seem really light-hearted suddenly take a dark twist and go down the route of angst. So if angst isn't your cup of tea, you may not like this.

The basic of the game is this: This is about a young man named Tomoya Okazaki . He lost his mother at a young age and his father drown himself in alcohol and gambling. One night before him going to HS, Tomoya and his father get into a physical fight, and Tomoya ends up hurting his right shoulder. This results in a gulf between Tomoya and his father, thus causing him to become resentful and a 'troubled student', aka delinquent. While on his way to school in his senior year, he comes across a young girl looking up the path to school...

Basically, the game is kinda like a 'dating sim' where you follow a path and in the end, most of the time, results in the main character, aka Tomoya, getting hooked up with one of the girls. Sometimes, though, this isn't the case.

On the other hand, there's a 'side story' being told of a young girl living in a apocolypic world by herself. One day, she makes something out of the junk she collects while a being of some kind watches this. The being inhabits the body made out of junk. Throughout the story, you see the hardships the girl has to go through through the eyes of the being.

Basically, depending on your choices, you can go down the young girl's, who is Nagisa, path or you can meet someone else within the school and go down their path. Like the two Fujibayashi sisters or the strange girl in the library named Kotomi. Or maybe the strange little girl carving weird stars made out of wood named Fuuko. Or maybe you'll help the mysterious underclassman named Tomoyo. Or maybe you'll want to help your best friend, Youhei, out instead. Or maybe that strange young man you bumped into on your way to school. All have their individual stories, though some intertwine.

The only nitpick I have here is the main character is referred to as Tomoya a lot, while there's another character named Tomoyo. Yeah, this could get really confusing at times, especially in her path. The only way around it really is to name the main character something else, but still...

After you meet certain conditions, another part called 'After Story' is unlocked, which follows the aftermath of Nagisa's storyline, so it's recommended if you read this VN to do her path last, mostly so it's fresh in your mind when you continue After Story. Not going to say what happens in this one, read it for yourself, it's heartbreaking.

Also, the underlining theme in this VN is family. Clannad actually translates into 'family' I believe, and that's what the entire VN revolves around.

While there is some kissing and cuddling here and there, there's no hentai and actually, if the game did have hentai, it would feel so incrediably out of place. This is one of those games where hentai would derail from the story a lot more than anything.

You'll see Tomoya in different lights too. In some paths, you want to smack him while in others you want to give him a hug, more so in After Story. It's interesting to see how different he acts in one path compared to another.

Music/sound: 10/10 - Nothing wrong with the music or sound. Music fits perfectly from the angsty moments to the Illusionary world moments to it's light-hearted and goofy moments. And the VAing is spot on, as always.

Gameplay: N/A - It's a visual novel, so there is no real gameplay. There are some easter eggs, as in there's a dating sim you can play, and I guess if you want to count Tomoyo's combo as a mini-game, you can too.

There is a goal to the game, which will unlock the 'After story' and the 'True Ending' to the game too.

Spoiler alert! )

Overall: 9.3/10 - A near perfect VN. If you like romance with some comedy and a dash of angst on the side, you will love this game. Even if you don't like that combo, I would still recommend it.
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The next one up also has an anime by it, but I have yet to watch it yet. I will warn though, unlike the previous game, this one is much bigger (It's about the size of BC-WoW) and has a... sloppier translation, due to it being a beta patch. I haven't found a non-buggy fully translated patch yet.

Also be warned, this VN is graphic, while it has no sexual content in it (Pervy moments, and a few bra/panty scenes), there's a lot of violence and very gory situations. I would also advise to try to play this game in spread hours instead of sitting down for one reading too, because it may be too much info to take in or the graphic nature may be too much to handle.

And this review is MAD long, think it's the longest one here yet!

Title: Chaos;Head
Company: Nitro+ and 5pb
Translation done by: Assembla (Not sure if that's how they refer themselves to)
Rating: R/17+
Genre: Horror/Sci-fi/psychological (Classified officially as a Delusional Science Novel)

Graphics: 9/10 - Compared to Tsukihime... there really is no comparing the two because Chaos is so different from Tsukihime.

First of all, there's not only anime-like art, but there's actually an anime opening. The room of the main character, Takumi, is completely 3D. There's tons of CGI's which had to be translated (For example, the chat room scenes and the webpages), the backgrounds are actually 3D and while it doesn't completely mesh with the anime, it doesn't distract like how it does with Tsukihime. The characters, when they speak, they actually move their lips.

Everything is so colorful and alive and creepy that it really gives to the story more than it should.

Plot: 7/10 - There's a good reason why I said to read this story in lumps instead of one sitting and there's two reasons for this. One, there's a lot of stuff to intake per chapter that it can get a little overwhelming at times that you may need to sit back and digest what you just read. And two, the game gets more and more bizarre as you go on.

The basic plot of the story is this: The main character, Takumi Nishijo, is your average Otaku. Aka, the type who is obsessed with anime and hentai (ero) games. He's also deeply involved in an online game called 'Ensue' (Think WoW here). He skips school (He only goes the bare minimum so he can graduate, even though he's making a living already by RMT or 'Real Money Trade' from his online game he plays obsessively) and lives alone in a shed on the roof of a building, secluded from everything and everyone. Basically, he's really not your typical main character, which can be a love/hate relationship depending on your viewpoint. You either find him very interesting because he breaks the norms or you find him so absolutely creepy that you want to stab him in the head.

While talking to a friend in a chatroom about the recent murder cases called 'New Gen', a mysterious guy name Shogun appears, which doesn't seem out of the normal since people lurk in chatrooms a lot. After Takumi's friend leaves, Shogun starts linking random pictures to Takumi. By accident, Takumi clicks on a picture only to see a 'guro' artwork piece and he pretty much brushes it off. However, Shogun leaves Takumi with the phrase, 'Whose eyes are those eyes?', a phrase really only having meaning to Takumi himself...

One night walking home, he walks into a scene of a brutal murder that resembles the picture that was linked to him. Later, he then realizes that the murder scene he stumbled upon was another episode in the 'Next Gen' case. But how could a picture of what happened existed before it happened? Who was that strange girl at the scene covered in blood? Who is 'Shogun'?

Basically the plot goes from there, and there's no way I could cover the entire game even in an entire post, let alone a review without spoiling it.

There's a few things I'm sort of 'meh' about this game.

Couple of spoilers/nitpicks )

Music/sound: 8/10 - Unlike Tsukihime, this game is fully voice acted and you can turn off the VAs. You also have music which fit the surroundings well enough. The only problem is again, Takumi, who stutters a lot and can get on your nerves after a while (Which really isn't the fault of the VA). And the music will pause at the end of it's play and then loop again.

The sound effects sound so real that when I heard the computer buzz fan, I almost mistook it for my own. :X

Gameplay: N/A - It's a text novel? But unlike Tsukihime which has straight choices, your choices are watching Takumi's delusions or not. Basically, at certain parts of the game, on the top screen, you'll see two dots, a green one to the left and a red one to your right. You can choose either dots or not choose either and continue on as is with the game. So you have 3 choices:

-Green - You see a delusion that is 'happy'. In other words, Takumi will daydream a perverted or rather silly scenario.

-Red - You see a delusion that is 'violent'. In other words, Takumi will daydream a gory or violent scenario.

-No choice - If you don't select a choice by a certain amount of lines, you won't see any sort of daydream and the game pretty much progresses on as normal.

Some spoilers )

Overall: 8/10 - Overall, it's worth one read through, and as of right now, until a final patch is released, you should only really go through it once. If you're not a fan of gory games, you WILL want to stay away from it. But if you like psychological horror stories or are a fan of Higurashi, you may want to give this one a read.
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Okay, we're going to take a step away from fanfiction for a moment to cover something else I've been getting myself into lately.

Why the question mark? Because really, the next few reviews aren't really 'games' to me. They're classified as 'Visual Novels', but they require the player to make choices, so hence why it's still a 'video game'.

And don't classify 'Visual Novels' to only hentai games, while they do have some hentai scenes in them, the focus is the plot itself, and it saddens me that these games aren't liscensed over the crappy hentai games that get published out there.

These games are going to be a bit hard to score, since the focus is the plot and not really 'gameplay'.

Genre is going to be more in-tune with fanfiction/book genre rather than 'shooter', 'Adventure-ala-Zelda', etc.

Graphics are judged on the artwork and pictures that are found throughout the story.

Also note, all these VNs I'm about to review have anime counterparts. I've seen 2 out of the 3 as I'm revieiwing this VN, and I will say, the anime pales in comparision to the VNs.

Title: Tsukihime
Company: TYPE-MOON
Translation done by: Mirror Moon
Rating: R/17+
Genre: Action/Horror/Romance

Graphics: 7/10 - Honestly, I'm kinda so-so on the artstyle for this game. The artwork for all the girls is good enough and is pleasing on the eyes for the most part. The only problem is the backgrounds are designed with more of a 'real life' feel and it doesn't really mesh too well with the anime artwork. It's really hard to explain this, but it looks oddish to the eye.

The few times you see the main character, Shiki, he looks very out of place, and I think that's mainly due to the fact that when you see his face, his eyes are completely covered by his bangs. If you look at him in the anime or the bonus 'sequel' of the game, his bangs aren't nearly as long (And actually, I like how he looks in the 'sequel').

Plot: 10/10 - This is where the most important part to a Visual Novel takes place, and let me tell you, I found myself wanting to read this over some of the books I have on my shelf. And the ironic part is that I prefer fantasy/medieval like stories over sci-fi and horror stories, and I'd pick reading this again.

The plot involves a boy named Shiki Tohno. Due to a strange near-death accident when he was a kid, his eyes can see the 'lines' on objects and people. He then discovers if he traces those lines, he can 'kill' them. The only way for him to not see these lines is a pair of glasses that were given to him when he was young. Because of his accident, his body has become frail and he is sent away from the Tohno house. Years later, near the end of his Junior year, Shiki discovers that his father is dead and his little sister, Akiha, who is now the head of the house, has ordered him to return to the mansion...

From this point on, depending on your choices, you can play the 'Far Side of the Moon' which revolves around a woman named Arcueid and the mysterious upperclassman, Ciel. Or you can play the 'Near Side of the Moon' scenario which revolves more around the Tohno family and the two maids, Hisui and Kohaku.

I won't spoil the paths, because I'd be typing this review forever if I did, but both paths are completely different from one another and while Arcueid and Ciel's paths do have some similiarities (A certain guy you fight no matter what happens for example), there are plot points that you could never discover unless you played the other. The Near side is completely different from the Far side and while there are some similiarities (You end up confronting a certain classmate in each path), there are some important points you wouldn't be able to find in the other scenarios.

Five times reading through this may seem like a daunting task. But the intensive plot keeps you glued to your seat and you'll just find yourself going through the game again.

I will add, save 2 endings, all the characters have a 'true' and 'good' ending. One character has a 'true' and 'normal' ending while one has a 'true' ending. And you can die a lot if you make the wrong choices, so be sure to save a lot.

The only real complaint I have is the hentai scenes, they aren't written too well. But they don't distract from the plot and you can get rid of them all together via a patch if you're really don't want to see them.

Music/sound: N/A - For some reason, I couldn't get the music to function properly, so I'm going to skip this section all together.

Gameplay: N/A - It's a text novel?

Overall: 8.5/10 - Definitely worth at least one read. I would say complete the game if you want to learn everything there is about all the characters themselves.


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