Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With – Part III

Getting more and more busier with real life obligations, my time with visual novels is gradually getting lesser and lesser everyday, what’s more with my new interest in reading light novels, my visual novels just had to stay down, though through careful time management, or more like multi-tasking spam, I was able to make some progress with my visual novels playthroughs still, if not slightly. Here are some quick impressions for all the ones I played over the months..

Dies Irae Also Sprach Zarathustra
Remember seeing those awesome visual novels with very intriguing synopsis and visually nomlicious CGs? These kinds of visual novels would no doubt be in very high quality, but no matter how much you wish for it, it will NEVER have an English translation. Veteran players should stumble upon visual novels of these kinds once in a while, and to me, Dies Irae is the biggest tease.

Dies Irae’s main settings deal with a certain organization, LDO, and their objectives for obtaining Eternal Life. Ren Fuji, the protagonist who only desires an ordinary life, got caught up and battles between them ensues. All in all, the plot can be seen as a bit generic, however, the best part of the VN are the battles. Coupled with skillful scriptwriting and eye-catching CGs, Dies Irae’s battle scenes are as great as Type-Moon’s or Nitroplus’s. The character cast is huge too, and although huge, each of them plays an important role, which enables them to drive the plot forward. Though I wasn’t able to enjoy it to the fullest, since I wasn’t playing the more complete release (Acta est Fabula), finishing Marie’s route is already more then satisfying.

Deus Machina Demonbane
Demonbane is set in Arkham City, a fictional American City, and revolves Daijuuji Kurou, a third-rate detective, who stumbles upon a mysterious girl and a Deus Machina (Demonbane’s version of robots) which became known to all us “Demonbane.” Of cause, with mecha comes battles, and the battle scenes are really unexpectedly good. Since the general artwork of Demonbane is quite dull, Demonbane’s 3D mecha battles more or less made up for it.

Robots, alchemy and science, Demonbane’s script is full of surprises, and the way they are executed really brings out dark-like atmospheres, which fits quite well I would say. As Demonbane’s plot is based on Cthulhu Mythos by H.P Lovecraft, there are some minor and major references, though even non Lovecraft reader would come to love it too. You can read here for a more complete review.

Little Busters!
Little Busters is one of Key’s major works, and definitely live up to it’s name. Using key-style humors and drama, Little Buster is still as good as ones like Kanon and Clannad and the likes. Each route deals with each heroine’s respective problem, some ordinary, and some a bit magical. As usual, the game wants you to finish all the routes of the heroines before finally having access to the true route. However it’s well worth the trouble, and the true end is nothing short of epic, making the other routes insignificant and even irrelevant as a whole.

Characters are fun and cute, which is certainly important with a theme such as this. And Masato deserves an honorable mention, the muscle idiot is so hilarious he definitely ranks top in the list of “Harem Lead’s Best Friend” characters. Anyhow, you can read here for a more complete and thorough review.

Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o: Amakute Hoshikute Torokeru Chuu
I played this months back, and this one can be seen as a second season, in anime terms that is. None of the old pairings are back. We are dealt with a completely new school, new characters and new settings. However, the atmospheres are pretty much the same, cute girls loving each other to the fullest. Simplicity at it’s best, no special plots, no twist, no nothing.

This Sono Hanabira, the 7th installment in the series (I’ll just call it Sono Hanabira 7 for now to keep things simple) stars Suminoe Takako, a new teacher at St. Michael All-Girl School, and Houraisen Runa, one of her student who always seem to overwhelm her easily. What I like about this new pairing is that there are hints of S&M, not to the point of being disturbing of cause, this is Sono Hanabira we are talking about here. Throughout the game, I really enjoyed Runa’s countless teasing, targeted at her love interest, Takako, who gets embarrassed just as easily as Kaede from Sono Hanabira 2. Ultimately, Sono Hanabira 7 is a “new season” and even though it’s new, nothing is changed, the fluffiness, the cuteness.. it is able to make us feel hnnnngggg, which is an important factor in all of Sono Hanabira installments.

Escalation ~Kuruai no Fugue~
Although Escalation is a yuri visual novel as well, it differs a lot. If Sono Hanabira’s softcore, then this game’s pretty much hardcore. While it may seem like it has the same atmospheres as Sono Hanabira at first, I don’t feel much genuine feelings from the characters and their emotional standstill turns into an outburst by the end of the game. Try playing it constantly and you shall see, the horror of this game. Whips, chains, rapes and even surprise buttsecks… gah.. Nothing much for me to say about this game, if I were to choose between this and Sono Hanabira, I would choose the latter anytime.

All Entries:
Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With – Part I
Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With – Part II
Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With – Part III
Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With – Part IV

This entry was posted by Kai.

22 thoughts on “Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With – Part III

  1. Feal I think you were supposed to say Kai plays a ton of awesome games.

    Is the Japanese in Dies Irae hard? Am I going to struggle? I find Applique games difficult to read .

    • And you’re awesome to understand :D

      Kinda hard, I just use my dictionary and translator, lol. And if you’re going to play, I suggest playing the Acta est Fabula version, don’t be like me and play the oldest version D:

  2. After reading several reviews which ranked the anime of Kanon and Clannad so highly, I finally downloaded Little Busters. I used to avoid Key’s works like the plague. The reason was… pretty stupid. Everyone was talking about how they always cry while reading them. It sort of gave me an impression that they’re melodramatic beings which will deliberately play with my feelings and left me scarred for life. =D

    • And so what’s your intake after you played Little Busters? :D It’s great isn’t it? xD And judging from what you said, I think you probably haven’t watch Kanon or Clannad yet, which you should certainly do, they are both awesome. I still need to find some time to marathon Air..

      • No, I haven’t… Only skimmed to the first choice to check if it’s working. I can already tell it’s different from what I imagined though.

        The only one I completed from your list was Demonbane. I have Hanachirasu and all 6 translated SonoHana games on my backlog. I ctrl-ed and deleted Escalation and most of the nukiges for disk space. wtfuuuiswiththatspikystrapon@#$%^&*!?

        I had my eyes set on Little Busters first is because the art seemed cleaner than Key’s other works. Pretty shallow, I know. Also, the heroines in Key’s games used to creep me out. I don’t know why, those eyes kind of remind me of Chucky. Air, Clannad and Kanon are on my vndb wishlist. The main reason I haven’t got around to Clannad, despite the universal acclaim… is it true it takes 300+ hours to finish it? Hype always tend to blow things out of proportion.

      • Ahh I see~ Yea, it does feels a bit different

        Ooh Hanachirasu, I completed that on my “Visual Novels I Had Been Messing Around With Part I” (stupidly long blog title.. I blame my lack of uncreativity). All 6 SonoHana!? :D And indeed @ Escalation, the horrrroorrrrrr.

        LB’s character designs are indeed surprisingly decent. Ooh it’s because of the eyes that turns you away? D: And that’s some scary comparison.. Hmmm probably, because like LB, you need to finish every heroines route before achieving the true end route. Though… I didn’t play Clannad though ;p I’m satisfied with just the anime, lol.

        • Let’s see… out of the all the others visual novels you posted on your blog, I read Fate/Stay Night, Devil on the G-String, and… umm yeah thats bout it. As for backlog, I have ef, Saya no Uta, Sharin, Ever17.

          I’ll probably delete SonoHana once I’m done with them. That’s how I deal with crap like nukiges. *puts on sunglasses* YEEAAAHHHH~ oh wait, its actually just coz of small disk space. such a sorry excuse i fail as a human being

          I’ve been getting into anime lately, which has made me delayed playing the 26 visual novels on my laptop. T_T Actually, it’s also because I tend to grow attached fairly easily to the characters and settings, making me unable or unwilling to throw myself at another title shortly after, some sort of mourning I guess? God… I still recall the feeling of being akin to a lifeless soul floating around after finishing MLA. It’s mainly restricted to novels though.

        • Ooh those are pretty mainstream titles, I played most of them :D Some of my pending one which I really need to play is katawa no shoujo, I haven’t play it ever since it’s initial release.

          Nukiges are not uncommon though I rarely play any of them too :p And I delete them too ;p And I even fast forward most of them when I play..

          Ohh I can relate to that. I can switch to another one if I get a day’s break. But 26 VNs eh? That’s one huge backlog D: I had been watching anime these days too, with a bit of gaming in between. Currently, I’m trying to watch some old anime I missed out, the new weekly anime will have to wait for a bit.

          • I only play english translated ones. Not too long ago, I finally decided to try the chinese translated Parfait ~Chocolate Second Brew~. My internet speed is probably slow compared to most and the file is about 2.64GB. The only links I can find online are on fileserve, which is freaking slow and constantly drops my connection. When all is said and done, the chinese patch has issues. The japanese one works just fine, but the chinese executable file for some reason has a incompatible CRC. I can’t find a single solution anywhere and no one else seems to have my problem either. <_< I'm scared of chinese translation patches now.

            Back to topic, I just obtained Katawa Shoujo recently and skimmed through a little portion of it. The system is pretty easy, all that is necessary are there. They even provide a manual for the keyboard shortcuts, so just about anybody should be fine. The artwork seem decent. Difference is a portion of it gives off a painting vibe. Some of the backgrounds just looks like someone using a brush to colour a photograph. Some CGs I saw is amazing though, like a work straight out of a professional painter's hand. Oh, and I absolutely love the main menu theme.

            Oh, and question time! =D I read that you read untranslated japanese titles too, using what exactly? Did you have a basic japanese foundation? What about your internet speed? The reason I can actually start to watch anime lately was because I found small encoding sites like ONS Team and Mini Theater. I tried downloading Fate/Zero and a few movies in HD and it's just too much for me. For now, downloading HD anime series is just a fleeting dream to me.

      • Chinese patches eh.. I try not to play them even though I’m a Chinese :D It’s quite easy to get virus with Chinese patches, be it fake or not fake, I dare not.. D: Fileserve eh? It’s not going to be easy to actually find working FS links since during the megaupload outbreak, FS is one of the file hosts mass deleting their own files. And indeed, raw Japanese versions always work fine for no damn reason….

        Right, and it discusses a very realistic and interesting topic, I’m still not sure if there will be any “magical” moments like Key’s works but I’ll just read them at face value when those scenes appear I guess. Hmmm so that’s your opinion.. Actually imo, I think Katawa Shoujo’s artwork pretty good and professional despite being a fanmade VN.

        Yea.. and I read Dies Irae in pure Japanese ;D And no, I’m afraid I don’t have any Japanese knowledge, despite knowing a bit of hiragana/katakana (which I forgot everything by now). When playing Jap VNs, I just use AGTH and a translator. My internet speed kinda depends, we have a FS premium at my home so FS had been what I used mainly for a while… until the MU outbreak and ever since then, not much files are available on FS anymore, and I don’t think I wanna buy a premium for current file hosts like and freakshare and the likes. But my maximum speed can reach around 100kbps (when nobody’s downloading). When a lot of peple is downloading, my speed can reach as low as 20 kbps (my dad and sis are also heavy downloaders). And without premium, it can go as low as 2-5kbps and might even disconnect.

        • Katawa Shoujo doesn’t seem to have any fantasy elements. According to the reviews, it handles the topic pretty well too. The characters are being treated like “normal” people. There’s no angst despite the setting, which is one the main reason I decided to get it. Just too much titles rely on this nowadays. Also, I wasn’t criticizing the art.

          I heard how much of a pain reading moege with translation machines can be, so I haven’t tried yet.

          My maximum speed is about 130kbps, with my regular speed near the 90kbps mark. I use JDownloader and purposely search for Mediafire links. They allow simultaneous connections and are resume-able if the connection drops. The simultaneous connection is mainly the reason I get incredible speeds, it sucks on other file hosts.

          Disk space issues aside, I’m not an expert on encodes but based on my experience, 13 episodes of Fate/Zero by UTW reaches the size of 4.86GB. A 1GB file takes more than 2 hours to download at 100kbps. So, how? How can you watch anime in HD with that speed? Even if your speed is constantly at 100kbps, it will close to 8 hours to download a 12 episode anime. I’ve pretty much given up on HD and settled on mini encodes a while ago. Fansub groups like UTW are annoyingly obstinate about their quality. The biggest problem for me is that most of them use torrents which my accursed ISP throttles like the devil(the most you’ll get is 10+kbps). Somehow, Mediafire never crosses their minds fn the potential filehosts list. Mind if you tell me your resources? Please… PLEASE! I beg of you! =P

        • Sry for the late reply.
          It’s good to see that Katawa Shoujo’s a pretty “normal” looking visual novel then ;D I will try it just as soon as I finish up this VN of mine in my netbook…

          Using translation machines is always a pain. Mastering the Japanese language to a certain degree is the best choice..

          Almost same as me, my speed drops quick to around 5-20kbps whenever I’m not using the best file hosts though (non MF links or free file hosts).

          Well I watch most of my anime in HD and HDs are definitely not more then 1GB, that’s a BD already but to answer your question, it is NOT unusual for me to download a 10+ episodes anime for more then 8 hours, sometimes even more due to the fact that my dad/sis wants to download too. It’s not like I want to download and watch them straightaway, most of the time, I’m not in the rush (I can’t rush anyway), so I just plan. I download it while I go play some games or something. Once it’s finished, I immediately find another 10-episode anime to download while I watch the current one, while I finish the previous one, I watch the next downloaded ones. But if the downloading can’t catch up, I’ll just do more gaming/blogging/reading/visual novel-ing while I wait. For me, it’s all about planning. I can’t download/watch anime straightaway and even if I force myself to do it, it’s not too efficient for me.

          • Ah, I see. The method you watch anime reminds of how I watched youtube videos in an almost unusual way. I preferred HD on youtube but it’s sloooww. So I pick the first and second longest video and let it buffer first, moving on to the third and fourth while I watch the first two(because it’s that slow) and so on and so on.

            The question is, where do you find a 10+ episode anime in HD that doesn’t pass the 1GB mark? Everywhere I’ve looked, no such miracles came across me. Even small encodes always exceed 600MB. Kai-sama, can you please give me links to where the miracles are?

            By the way, Lelouch says hi – … not that I’ve seen the anime or anything.

          • Ahh that’s somewhat how I used to watch mine too, but I didn’t use youtube anymore, in fact, I hate streaming now, lol.

            Ohh I think I misunderstood. If you’re talking about 1GB+ for the whole anime, then that would be obviously true. I downloaded quite a few anime in HD and for the whole 10+ episodes, there are a whopping 1GB-4GB, depending on the size. Some of the HD can be as small as 250MB per episode, but some can be as big as 600MB per episode, so it’s quite impossible for the whole show to be in less than 1GB. If you’re talking about BD, it will be around 1GB per episode.

            And phail link, lol.

  3. Sono Hanabira and Escalation sound interesting, yuri ftw :)

    Unforunately, as I’ve said before, I really don’t have time for visual novels. I’m more for anime and blogging, with video games coming in third.

  4. Pingback: Spring 2012 Anime Watchlist « deluscar

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