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Old 2012-12-11, 23:20   Link #3801
Balzac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So yeah, basically... I think buying by brand isn't necessarily going to be any sort of guarantee. You pretty much have to play the trials to see if you like the story.
As my friend so passionately tries to defend though, the trial doesn't necessarily reflect the whole route. I can sort of see his point, as I'd imagine trial programs only showcase the first parts of a route, and there have been many games through the years that had a "slow start" so to speak. There is also the case of the fantastical/cliched premise becoming much more deep or expansive later on, as I've seen in some cases. On the other extreme, a company may go to such lengths as making as much impact with the trial as much as possible, only to lag in the middle and flounder at the end. And so while I agree that trials are a decent way to gauge a product one is interested in, they're not entirely truthful in showing the depths of a particular work.

One workaround, impressions from other people, has been the one I've used consistently, though it's not without its own weaknesses. But I find it being the more useful, especially if the other knows your preferences intimately. In the case of the Alcot collection I'd bought, a friend of mine had recommended the game Onigokko and I'd taken a gander at the brand name, making me realize there'd been a lot of games from the company I'd neglected to read since Rhapsody (which was so below average I'd ceased to trust the company) and so I made a gamble.
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Old 2012-12-11, 23:28   Link #3802
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Balzac View Post
As my friend so passionately tries to defend though, the trial doesn't necessarily reflect the whole route. I can sort of see his point, as I'd imagine trial programs only showcase the first parts of a route, and there have been many games through the years that had a "slow start" so to speak. There is also the case of the fantastical/cliched premise becoming much more deep or expansive later on, as I've seen in some cases. On the other extreme, a company may go to such lengths as making as much impact with the trial as much as possible, only to lag in the middle and flounder at the end. And so while I agree that trials are a decent way to gauge a product one is interested in, they're not entirely truthful in showing the depths of a particular work.
This is true, but it's at least better than relying on brand alone. I also try to look at the staff involved as well to help make a determination. Of course I too have been "bitten" as it were by trials that seemed more interesting than the actual game itself ended up being when it went beyond that point. But I think that is just part of the nature of this industry, particularly if you want to be an early adopter and not wait to hear what others think (which is the way I make my purchases these days). If you are willing to wait for impressions from others (and so miss out on pre-order bonuses and the like) that would probably be the safer route.

In the end, though, I find it isn't too easy to find good, reliable impressions in this medium, because most of the people writing reviews don't really take the time to go in-depth into the material. Sometimes I question how well they even understood the story, or how much they paid attention when reading. Then again, I suppose I shouldn't complain, as I haven't taken the time to write these sorts of reviews myself either most of the time. It's a lot of work, and I tend to rather play a different game instead of writing about the last one...
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Old 2012-12-12, 02:37   Link #3803
Mahou
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Going by impression can also be risky because of different tastes among the (sub)genres, story or humour. Take someone like me who can simply be happy as long as the characters are enjoyable (the "hnnghhh"-factor), the couple moments are there in a sufficent amount (i. e. more than just showing it in h-scenes) and the drama (if there has to be any) happens in a non-forced way without being dragged out for too long. Should I find a review I'll read it, but won't rely on it 100 %.

@brands: I have one brand where I have mostly "positive" experiences with, but other wise my decision making goes simply by CG/character looks nice, synopsis seems okay -> let's try it" for newly released ones. For older titles I check the vndb-tags if there are tags which tend to make my alarm bell ring Not the most fail-safe way, but it worked for me most of the time

Anyway: I completed Witch Garden and it was well worth it. The spoiler route had a few twists I didn't expect - if only because I'm bad at predicting the maybe obvious - (including the final outcome), but was all in all nicely done IMHO.
Imouto lovers will be disappointed.
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Old 2012-12-12, 06:33   Link #3804
hyl
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Eventhough my recent eroge purchases are rather limited when it comes to brands , i don't think you should always buy games based on which companies made them. Because having a big name does not warrent a good game (Sphere's Imouto no Katachi or Lump of Sugar's Hanairo no Heptagram were disappointing and even this year's Dracu-Riot made by Yuzusoft didn't live up to all the hype and very high sales that it got. Also Pallete hasn't made any games after Mashiro iro Symphony that i liked). This also applies to regular game companies (like in my case Square Enix) or animation studios (J.C. staff's current Little Busters adaptation comes into my mind) as well.
Smaller and newer companies can sometimes make suprisingly decent games to read, like Ex-one's Manatsu no Yoru no Yuki Monogatari and Futsu no Fantasy.

I agree that a trial don't reflect the entire game but it might show if you like the writing or not. I loved the silly settings of NakaHito and Osadai and i ordered those games after playing through the trial.


As an Alcot and Alcot Honey Comb games fan i can say that their last few games were weak story wise but for me that was not the charm of those games. Nakahito relied (like Osadai) on the comedy, parodies (quite some tokusatsu and modern anime references) and the heroines rather than on the pretty basic story. So it's pretty understandable why there are people who won't like it, but there are also quite some people who did like it for those reasons like myself
1/2 summer primarily relied on the ichaicha of the heroines. Eventhough the parellel world was the core element of the pretty rushed "true route", it was quite obvious during the common route and the trial that the parallel worlds element was pretty much a gimmick for the ichaicha.
I already posted my impressions on Aete Mushisuru Kimi to no Mirai a week ago in this thread, so i don't need to further comment about it here

Also 1/2 summer's ost was released on august 31st and i am actually waiting for NakaHito's OST that is going to be released in this winter's comiket.

edit: speaking about Alcot Honey comb games, due to the stupid customs i ended up getting my legit copy of Aete Mushisuru Kimi to no Mirai in the mail just now

Last edited by hyl; 2012-12-12 at 07:11. Reason: minor edit
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Old 2012-12-12, 19:57   Link #3805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahou View Post
Going by impression can also be risky because of different tastes among the (sub)genres, story or humour. Take someone like me who can simply be happy as long as the characters are enjoyable (the "hnnghhh"-factor), the couple moments are there in a sufficent amount (i. e. more than just showing it in h-scenes) and the drama (if there has to be any) happens in a non-forced way without being dragged out for too long. Should I find a review I'll read it, but won't rely on it 100 %.
Well, as Balzac suggested, I think you have to know the tastes of the person giving the impressions, which is why good impressions (in my view) should convey what the person wanted in addition to what they got. It's no good just to say a game was "disappointing" if they don't say exactly what made it disappointing to them (because the same thing they found disappointing may not be as big of a deal to someone else).

I'm with you in the sense that I'll generally like a game if it has good characters, good romance, and a story that is rather well-executed. But I know this means that I enjoy games that a whole other audience would call "generic crap" (because they may prioritize having unique and complex stories, as opposed to solid execution of a known pattern).

At the end of the day, I'm not sure if there's really anything that can totally insulate you from being disappointed, but there are various steps that can be taken to try to mitigate the risk anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Eventhough my recent eroge purchases are rather limited when it comes to brands , i don't think you should always buy games based on which companies made them. Because having a big name does not warrent a good game [...] Smaller and newer companies can sometimes make suprisingly decent games to read, like Ex-one's Manatsu no Yoru no Yuki Monogatari and Futsu no Fantasy.
Yeah, for new brands, it's always useful to check out the staff. In this case, it was a brand formed by two experienced writers, so it's not quite the same as a brand that just appears out of nowhere with totally unknown staff. (They also went out of their way to provide more in the way of trials for their first game than what existing brands might do just because they knew people would be a bit apprehensive.)
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Old 2012-12-12, 20:16   Link #3806
hyl
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When picking games to try out trials, I only tend to care for the writer(s), artist(s) and the seiyuus (the last one is pretty strange criteria according to some people though XD). The rest of the staff (like for example the music composers) while probably overall relevant is not a main criteria of mine though
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Old 2012-12-12, 21:51   Link #3807
Balzac
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They've got a new one now too? Crud, it's the holidays already. Ah well, I'll probably wait and see if my friends recommend it: I certainly wouldn't want to peruse something that turns out to be mediocre.

On the subject of recommendations though, where do you guys get yours? I purely take recommendations from my real life circle, who each have our own tastes and know each other's intimately well. I've never been guided wrong about games recommended by them - and thus it's only the fallibility of my own instincts in picking out games that's netted me a veritable trove of "disappointments". As an aside the eroge market is so saturated with mediocrity in my eyes that one really has to stomach the so-called disappointments as they come. I look back on my binges of 2005-07 when I didn't care for brand nor content and just acquired what seemed nice - set me back quite a thousand quid.

Quite unfortunately, my internet connection doesn't have the necessary capacity for handling trials - my own experience in those are things included in other games (like the Rewrite trial from Kud Wafter). And quite frankly, I don't like to "spoil" myself somewhat (I know one is not really spoiled from a trial but that's just me) by using them - my motto is get in big or get out!
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Old 2012-12-12, 22:19   Link #3808
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I've actually never played a trial, come to think of it. My tastes are pretty particular, so I don't get interested in that many games to begin with. If I'm on the fence about something, or I've never played anything by that company/writer before, I'll wait till a lot of reviews come out. I try not to spoil myself, but I go for in-depth reviews and mainly pay attention to the overall/summary sections. I find that when people put a lot of effort into writing a really thoughtful review, it exposes enough of their own preferences and quirks that I can tell how much my tastes align with theirs.

PS. About halfway through Dies Irae AA. It took me a while to get into it, but consider me seriously impressed. The writer sets himself ridiculous hurdles right off the bat--I mean, how could anything be as epic as the story claims it's going to be right from the start? I found the power levels hard to swallow for a while, but two routes in, it's almost completely won me over. Going to savor playing through the rest over the holidays.
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Old 2012-12-13, 01:18   Link #3809
Mahou
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Originally Posted by Balzac View Post
On the subject of recommendations though, where do you guys get yours? I purely take recommendations from my real life circle, who each have our own tastes and know each other's intimately well.
The internet: Impressions here on this thread, vndb, a few blogs. The latter for both reviews and to see what's on the list for new releases. In some rare cases the internet "made" me play a VN which was not really my taste (e. g. too dark-ish with a high risk of intense drama), but after trying and in turn completing it, it was enjoyable. The most (and only) notable example was Grisaia no Kajitsu.
In real life, I don'tk know anyone who's into visual novels.

Edit: I've started playing Kanojo to Ore to Koibito to. To have a super-early couple right at the beginning is a nice surprise. But, I really, really hope that it won't lead to some tearful heartbreaking when you choose to venture into another girl's route than Ayano. The way Anata no koto ni suki to iwasete handled it was in that aspect good (ignoring that the "inital" relation was just prentend-lovers)
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Old 2012-12-13, 08:30   Link #3810
Cosmic Eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagger View Post
I've actually never played a trial, come to think of it. My tastes are pretty particular, so I don't get interested in that many games to begin with. If I'm on the fence about something, or I've never played anything by that company/writer before, I'll wait till a lot of reviews come out. I try not to spoil myself, but I go for in-depth reviews and mainly pay attention to the overall/summary sections. I find that when people put a lot of effort into writing a really thoughtful review, it exposes enough of their own preferences and quirks that I can tell how much my tastes align with theirs.

PS. About halfway through Dies Irae AA. It took me a while to get into it, but consider me seriously impressed. The writer sets himself ridiculous hurdles right off the bat--I mean, how could anything be as epic as the story claims it's going to be right from the start? I found the power levels hard to swallow for a while, but two routes in, it's almost completely won me over. Going to savor playing through the rest over the holidays.
There's very good reason why Masada is known as the God of Chuunibyou and epic-scale power levels
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Old 2012-12-13, 08:34   Link #3811
hyl
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All of these C83 goods will a big impact my wallet ......
With merchandise such as this one
Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

it's pretty hard to resist
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Old 2012-12-13, 23:40   Link #3812
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With merchandise such as this one
Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

it's pretty hard to resist
It looks like, as with after last comiket, I'll be watching the website closely for the moment things are up for order there. (Last time I set my alarm, and it was a good thing, because many items were sold out within hours.)
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Old 2012-12-19, 13:19   Link #3813
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I just finished Koihime Musou, and I am wondering if there is an english release of shin koihime musou?
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Old 2012-12-20, 10:24   Link #3814
Mahou
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Mahou has played into each's route of giga's Kissbell. At first glance the female cast resembles a lot the cast of HotchKiss from the appearance (not VAs). Moving on to the first point of "evaluation" the main character: Grrr ... Their other games had similar meh-mcs so no surprise here: super extremly useless @school, apologist, in h-scenes: "gaman dekinai", otherwise very generic. The word "misunderstanding" is very, very common for him . All girls are likeable in their own ways and Tomoka as a side character is the trigger of all girl routes, i. e. in making Ichiou think about *insert girl* stronger.
Spoilers for each girl's route up to confession
Spoiler for Main heroines:

Personally I liked the OST of Kissbell. Some of the background tracks sound quite beautiful.
TLDR: I still see absolutely no merit in making the male lead useless in schools. It feels poor for comedy reasons and serves more as a /facepalm reasons for his friends. Heck, it's even more stupid than the more-donkan-than-usual symptoms of other MCs because I can accept the reason why the MC needs to be somewhat oblivious towards the opposite gender and can be fine with it as long as it's not shoved into your face at every possible moment.
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Old 2012-12-24, 10:51   Link #3815
Cosmic Eagle
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Playing through Ourai no N'gah-Kthun now....My god, Tesla's such a badass. I think this will easily be my favorite game in the Steampunk series to date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post

So yeah, basically... I think buying by brand isn't necessarily going to be any sort of guarantee. You pretty much have to play the trials to see if you like the story. There are some brands that have certain key elements that are generally common through all their works, but even that isn't always the case. In this day and age, it's also inescapably true that some brands are churning out works faster than ever because they're living from game-to-game, so that increases the variability of the output too. Not all brands can afford to be like August -- years between releases but extreme consistency in terms of their products (to the point that some have accused them of being too consistent and repetitive ).
Rather than brand, it's better to follow writers instead.
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Old 2012-12-24, 11:26   Link #3816
Dagger
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Playing through Ourai no N'gah-Kthun now....My god, Tesla's such a badass. I think this will easily be my favorite game in the Steampunk series to date.
Oh wow, that's exciting to hear. Can't wait to play it myself!
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Old 2012-12-24, 11:27   Link #3817
Cosmic Eagle
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Oh wow, that's exciting to hear. Can't wait to play it myself!
Speaking of which...apparently, Sona-Nyl will be released for PSP.

Masada's KKK will be Vita though, unlike Dies Irae Amantes Amentes
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Old 2012-12-24, 15:53   Link #3818
Mahou
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I'd like some impressions on minori's latest VN when possible. I loved Ef very much including the drama, but found in retrospec Winds only okay-ish. Hence, I'm a bit wary of Natsuzora no Perseus. 1) The vndb tag of dramatic love triangle. If it's dramatic, BUT doesn't get (or doesn't feel) dragged out too much it'll be acceptable. Same for the MC. If he's a total donkan (like in Winds during Minami's route) that's fine as long as it won't be pushed into one's face at every possible time. And I'd like to know if it has the Winds story structure of most of the game (comedy) school life and feeling-wise the last half to last quarter suddenly shifting to some dark-ish atmosphere witout (too much) of a warning.

Otherwise: I've played a bit Koiken Otome. It's also okay-ish with a theme (during the common route) of hard work > talent. Given that the MC has an exceptional special ability "power level", but can't use said ability at the beginning (him being a combat supporter is nice). Heroine 1 comes from a hero-ish legacy, but isn't very strong (hence her putting much effort into training) and heroine 2, who's the most talented of the class, but won't get serious in combat. Ironically the heroine from the rival school calling them "Hetare trio" is quite fitting Anyway, while the game has a few good ideas, I feel as if a something is missing somehow.
Still, Yuzu is adorable. Being the only non-fighter she's the main reason why the protagonist is able to survive in a battle by himself. Thanks to Yuzu's technical douryoku-support devices.
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Old 2012-12-24, 16:01   Link #3819
hyl
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Mixed feelings for Koiken otome. Overall it was good, but it doesn't seem to make full use of it's own settings. The whole backstory that people have powers was because of a war against some kind of monster almost 1000 years ago, was just an excuse to give everyone powers. Seiichi's magic power amping abilities also felt like an excuse to be surrounded by beautifull girls.
Lot's of extra characters felt pretty useless for the story (like the other "elite trio" of the school or the 2 in Eve's team).

The common route was very misleading if you thought that the story was going to be an action paced one (it was completely about an annual tournament) , because the character indivdual routes were more like a regular romance story.
Some routes had problems when it comes to needless drama, but it didn't bother me too much.
The art is good, but the music aside from some battle tracks didn't stand out for me.
Eve (or rather Yves according to the spelling in game) ended being my favorite heroine because she a decent written character and had a decent route, plus she is voiced by Misono Moriya

Time to start Natsuzora no Perseus.
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Old 2012-12-24, 20:13   Link #3820
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Is anyone looking forward to Totsuzen Kaijin 3?

Spoiler:

I know I am.
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