Thursday, November 28, 2013
One of the longest VN series that i have read so far and most likely even longer than Clannad. While it is not my personal favorite VN, i can see why Umineko got so many hype over the net and i can say the quality of the VN is very high. Umineko is the second Naku koro ni series after Higurashi(which i should give a read) and the appeal of the series is the mystery itself. I use the tweak patch for Umineko which makes the PC VN got voice acting as well as redrawn sprite which gives the best experience of the Umineko journey. The VN series itself divided into 2 VN with 4 chapters and each chapters roughly will take 16-20 hours to read which just show how enormous Umineko as a series.
I won't dwell much about storyline but basically Umineko revolves around the mystery of incident in an island called Rokkenjima where all members of the members of renowned family of Ushiromiya disappeared in bizarre circumstances in 1986 during their family reunion. And the theme of the series is the fantasy interpretation of the incident which basically involve Witches and Magics. The 8 chapters of the Umineko represent possible scenarios of the incident and as the story goes on the world umineko is expanded steadily. And unlike most conventional VNs, there is no true interpretation of the Rokkenjima incident but each chapters hold some fragments of truth.
The main appeal of Umineko is the journey itself rather than the end destination. Expect lots of mind games throughout the VN and plenty of nasty twists here and there. Mystery fans will really enjoy this series but it is still good for normal VN readers as long as you don't try to dwell too much about some parts. Out of 8 Chapters of Umineko the 6th is my personal favorite as the mutual romance feelings of the protagonist and heroine finally reached to each other. Though personally i still find Umineko could help for some more romance for Battler and Beatrice. Lastly music of Umineko is really good and expect lots of good trance considering one of the major contributor for the music did some works on DJ Max. My suggestion if you are getting into umineko, savor it slowly because the journey through the series is one of a kind and i regretted that i marathon the VN in a week. There is also fighting game based on Umineko which is quite interesting though unfortunately my Laptop is pretty much dead to run the game.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I have never talked about this before but i used to play N-Gage games alot and believes it was a good gaming platform. The ngage i referred about is the first generation one where Nokia tried to wrestle against Nintendo's portable market and in the end failed to do so and the 2nd gen Ngage is just a former shell of this once promising platform. The main reason why i believe Ngage failed is not because of the games which are actually better than your average GBA games but due to lack of exposures of the platform to the public, moreover the Ngage itself comes in the wrong time where 3G networks are not widely used and have rather weak specs which is a problem for mobile phone. Probably the release of NDS and PSP drove the nail into the coffin which is quite a sad thing to see. If Ngage were to compete against GBA, i think it will have some chance to survive but unfortunately the fate is cruel and proved otherwise. At this point i doubt Ngage will ever resurrect again considering the 2nd failure but with the recent acquisition by Microsoft, with proper planning i would say Nokia could possibly release a worthy platform of Mobile gaming.
While not all Ngage games are really good, in this platform there are some hidden Gems that worth playing. Here are some of those titles that i find to be great title
- Rifts: Promise of Power
- Pocket Kingdom
- Pathway to Glory
- Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Island
- High Seize
- Asphalt 2
I wished there were some emulators for Ngage for Android because those games represent the best moment of my mobile gaming and never released to other platform. It is rather sad to see that Nokia has abandoned this platform not once but twice and i wished they made these Ngage games available to their mobile phone.
Does anyone played Ngage before and what is your favorite title?
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
First of all i will apologize for bad quality pictures in advance since i am unable to take screenshots from my Vita for this game since it has protected lock for taking screenshots which is a dumb idea by Winkysoft as it is a waste of those beautiful CGs. Firstly, Pride of Justice is probably the weakest entry of Masoukishin series so far mainly due to the gameplay issue and the storyline did not really progress anywhere and did not have the same appeal from the first game. Though as follower of Masoukishin fans i suppose the story is still passable.
The changes from the previous game are that Fang and Rosary gets new attire to make them look less retro and in addition Antillas team got two new members joining their team. One is Remia who is Zash older sister and the other one is Treis a reverse trap who Gido rescued early in the first route split. Also each character now got their unique themesong which are mixed bag but some of them are quite decent. Each route got their own secrets and one combination attack for specific pair of characters which are really cool.
As always there are 3 routes in this game which are quite simple as you branch off early in the game when you got the first choice. Each route covers totally different story and focused on different characters. Pride of Justice route are divided into Fang, Eran and Tyutti which are ordered from easiest to hardest. The reason why Tyutti is the hardest one is because at the last stage you will fight around 20 Gatswo+ which got 40k HP each, a really hard stage by Masoukishin standard
The main issue of the gameplay is that the 3rd game difficulty is much harder than any previous Masoukishin in a bad way. Probably this is one of the few game that the Grunt units are actually more threatening than the Boss unit itself. As you progress through the game the Grunt unit obviously gets stronger but that's not it, around middle of the game they can one shot your unupgraded units and around last 10 chapters some of them are able to kill your fully upgraded unit in 1-2 hits. To make it worse, the AI in this game is badly programmed since the enemy will only aim at your weakest unit non stop until they are dead and probably you will soft reset lots of times if you make silly mistakes. The most dangerous grunts in this game are the Nimbus which looks like FA Gundam and the Radat kingdom grunts and also the Pink Volkruss grunts. The difficulty spike is mainly due to Winky soft trying to push DLC mission which will gives you upgrade parts when you finish the games.
My suggestions if you are going to get this game is the same rule like previous series, always upgrade your Masoukishins since they will be your primary attacker especially Yanlong who can hit a whopping 100k damage with his Seiden Kafuu Seiun ken when it is fully upgraded along with Soul seishin. For each specific route you need to invest certain characters as they get quite powerful with their combination attacks. Lastly never invest on more than 10 units because by the end of the game non FUBd units are easily one shotted by the grunts.
I suppose the absurd difficulty along with bad DLC approach makes this niche SRW series even more unpopular which makes the preowned copy of the game are sold for dirt cheap in Japan. I think with Pride of Justice, Winkysoft need to reevaluate the direction they should go in particular the balance of their game. Personally i still find the game worth my money as i still clocked about 40 hours though i can't be bothered to get the Platinum trophy.
From this point on i will cover the story of each routes based from what i can comprehend and since it will be spoilerific by nature so tread on your own discretion.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Looks like another of my wish has been granted again yay! I have been waiting for a MG for Gundam X to come someday and at long last Bandai is eager enough to announce the release for it. Nothing much we know about the MG Gundam X other than it is scheduled to be released on January next year and will cost 3800 yen. I doubt the Divider unit is included in the MG kit and we will probably see a separate release for Gundam X Divider. I wonder if Air master or Leopard will got MG treatment as well but i hope it does because personally Gundam X series is one of my favorite AU Gundam titles other than G Gundam.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Over past 2 weeks, I have been marathoning VNs to make up the time when i left the VN world for almost a year. This time i completed Osananajimi wa Daitouryou or My girlfriend is president which should have been My childhood friend is president if it is properly translated but had to admit the former title does rings better. I saw this VN for the first time when i lurked sankaku years ago where there is an article about VN with female Putin as one of the heroine and the bad guy is the Pope which is not the exact thing in the game but close enough. Basically the story is about a guy who suddenly find himself as a Vice president and his childhood friend is the President of Japan herself due to some interference by Aliens and things happen from there.
Overall Osananajimi wa Daitouryou is your run of the mill slice of life VN with Alien as the theme and tiny doses of politics. The story is nothing particularly special but it does redeem itself with tons of references from popular games and anime here and there. There are 4 routes in this game and the paths selections are quite simple compared to other VNs. While I don't really have particular favorite character for this VN, if i have to pick one i would say Ezekiel or more known as Ell is the most adorable one while Yukino, the main character childhood friend is probably my least favorite though she kind of resemble Sumika from Muvluv save for terrible cooking skill. Despite Osananajimi wa Daitouryou is mediocre VN, by no means it is terrible but just don't expect anything outstanding from the reading experience. I may give fandisk a go as well just for a sake of completion.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
I think this is the time for me to discuss my own opinion about VNs as well as sharing some of my personal experience considering it has been 3 months after the poll that i put ended. But before that i just finished Miku Kisu - mirai no kimi to subete no uta ni which is a fanmade VN sold in comiket few years ago. As i expected this VN is not as good as the commercial VN in general but did quite good job in pandering Miku fans which unfortunately i am not. While i find the story cheesy, at least my perspective on Japanese VN broadened yet again.
So back to the topic, firstly from 33 polls from the polling that i put which for some reason reduced to 22 but anyway majority of the people who have polled at least play 1 VN title or more. I have played more than 30 VN titles up until now, which i don't know whether it is consider a lot or not but from this journey i have reached the conclusion that Visual Novels is one of the best medium for storytelling compared to other gaming genre. The first time i read a Visual Novel is when i was in grade 10 or 11 at high school which i did out of curiosity and that first title was Snow Drop which was mediocre but made me interested enough to keep going on. From there on i keep reading VN titles, some are really good some are mediocre and some are utterly terrible. But nevertheless i do find the experience of reading Visual Novels are really enjoyable. There are differing ways to judge a quality of Visual Novels, some people buy the VN just for the drawing but for me the most important thing for a VN is storyline without a doubt. From my observation the VN that have good storyline tend to have their story to be character driven because surprisingly Visual Novels allow some good character interactions in their medium.
There may have been general perception that VNs or Bishoujo games are only about pandering readers with pornographic material which are sad prejudice toward this gaming medium. While it is true majority of the Visual Novels will contain adult material as they are marketed toward young adults as main consumer base and it is inevitable for developers to put adult content as an incentive to attract the buyers. It is true that there are VNs that focused on adult content called Nukige which i have played some but tend to avoid them and 3D adult simulators like the ones from Illusion games perform better jobs. Anyway most of the VNs from my experience have good balance of story and adult contents. Nevertheless there are handful VN developers that make VN title with no adult content which their effort are commendable and back then Hirameki spearheaded to introduce VN Market to the west with these VNs but unfortunately they went down under (though i find it because they poorly execute the concepts and those interactive DVDs got too much problem). While most of the VNs are in japanese fortunately some of the good titles are translated and developers like Mangagamer try their best to bring more VN titles to the west.
Some of the VN titles that i considered to be good are Ever17 which got really good story especially toward the end, then Yume miru kusuri while i tend to avoid slice of life in general the writer of the script is something else and finally Saya no Uta, it is short but it got some twisted yet beautiful story at the same time. But probably you will prefer to touch these titles after reading couple of VNs in general. Phoenix Wright and Kyle Hyde Saga are quite good game titles as well if you are interested to get into reading VNs despite both of them are not really considered to be VN. As a closing word i will keep on reading VNs in the future and someday probably mastered good command of japanese to play the game in their original language and probably i am going to write another similar post like this in the future.
So what is your first Visual Novel and your favorite one?
from this point on i will be listing the VN titles i have read
Monday, September 30, 2013
The Legend ends and history begins.
I think it has been 3 or 4 years since i finished my first run of LoGH, could have done it faster but at least i really enjoy this series more than ever. From my second run i come to appreciate the 4th season more but the pinnacle of the series are still the 2nd and 3rd season without doubt. It will take a while for me to finish the character quotes from the series but i will try my best not to procrastinate myself and i am planning the making the quotes segment divided into 2 parts, From this 3 years of time since i watched LoGH for the first time, no anime have been ever to reach the depth of the series when it comes to politics and philosophy which even make anime from nowadays a shameful display. Unfortunately the youtube videos of the series which the most accessible ones has been purged due to some stupid policies but if you really want to watch the series grab the torrent and Bluray treatment is the best.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Since Muvluv Alternative Chronicles 4 is coming up i think i should write a coverage about Muvluv Alternatives Chronicles 3 but more like the TDA segment since i haven't read the 2nd story of Alt Chronicles 3. I will also cover some part of the story in TDA 01 from Alt Chronicles 2 since i haven't covered them in my previous posts and it doesn't make any sense if i jumped straight through TDA 02. Overall TDA 02 is really weak story and the action sequence is subpar compared to Alternative but hopefully Alt Chronicles 4 would be less disappointing.
Please consider that this post will contain some spoiler and tread with your own discretion.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Another skeleton in my VN closet cleared(no pun intended)! I have finished all possible route in the VN and this is one of the few VN that i bothered to look at the bad ends. Took me a day to complete the series and i guess Kara no Shoujo is one of the more depressing VN title i have touched so far. My first impression from the series is that it is very gory as i saw the CGs but it is not as bad as it looks in the end. The story takes place in Post War Japan in 50s where the main character is Tokisaki Reiji a former police turned detective where in the VN he is investigating bizarre murder case which involve young female being mutilated that reminds himof incident that costs his lover's death. The plot of the story revolves around a painting of a woman(more like dutchwife) in a large egg shell which her appearance greatly resembles with the main heroine.
Kara no Shoujo is considered to be mystery VN and it has some investigating feature like Phoenix Wright or Hotel Dusk but don't expect it is not complex as these titles. Music and CG drawing is very solid though i find the music is rather lighthearted despite the story can be considered to rather grimdark. As for the story of the VN itself, the mystery aspect is great and expect some good plot twists along with lots of tragic moments. The villains in the VN is some guy that remind me of Hannibal lecter and a sissy boy with oedipus complex but yeah KnS shows how twisted a human can be to reach a perfection for art. As for romance, it is not the focus of Kara no Shoujo and i would suggest not to get really attached with the heroines(still surprised no imouto route). Overall Kara no Shoujo is decent mystery VN but better turn away if you are expecting some happy endings from the series. For me the gore of the VN is actually not too bad since there are worse stuffs compared to Kara no Shoujo but i find the story is really tragic especially the saddest part is how the tragedy repeats itself, what is it? go read the VN. I heard Kara no Shoujo 2 is coming to the west soon probably around next year and i definitely will support the VN although i heard it will be a kick to the shin/salt to the wound/arrow to the knee wtv.
Friday, August 30, 2013
I have been hoping a Gundam vs Gundam game with OG cast for years already and appears my dreams come sooner than expected! On November 28th this year, a new SRW game called SRW OG: Infinite Battles will be released for PS3. From the trailer that has been shown, there are 8 characters shown already and supposedly there will be 40 Playable units so most likely we will get to see all the units shown in the Ads cover. From what i see in the trailer, the game looks less promising since the gameplay appear to be sluggish especially the melee part but hope the game will be better than that. Since i don't have PS3 i won't be able to get a copy of the game but if it is ever coming to Vita, i will give my best to support the SRW series. I wonder how they will balance Super Robot units with the Real Robot one considering the Super Robots are 50m on average and some of them are capable to chop anything in two and will be any special team attacks with special unit? If you are ever going to play the game which unit that you wish to show up and will be maining? I would main Wildwurger with no doubt!