Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom Review

Title: Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom
Original title: 薄桜鬼 新選組奇譚
Alias: Hakuouki ~Shinsengumi Kitan~
Release date: 2008-09-18
English release date: 2012-02-14 (both as a Standard and a Limited edition)
Developer: IDEA FACTORY & Otomate
English publisher: Aksys Games
Platform: PSP

I can’t claim that I have played many otome games, because that simply wouldn’t be true. Up to now I have only read “The Second Reproduction” and I liked it quite a bit. It stands to reason that I would then try “Hakuouki” – probably the most famous otome game released in the West. Not that there are much hardships to become the most famous, when there are only two games of this ilk released commercially for the gaijin audience (the other one being “Yo-Jin-Bo”, of course).


A guide how to emulate Hakuouki on a PC

Yeah, you probably know Hakuoki (or Hakuouki), one of the very few otome VNs commercially available in the West. You might also know that it was only released on PSP (and PSVita as a downloadable title). What you might not know, though, is that a PSP emulator has already advanced so much, that you can play the game with almost no problems on a personal computer.


The Space Adventure Review

Title: The Space Adventure
Alias: Cobra: The Legendary Bandit
Original title: コブラII―伝説の男― 寺沢武
Release date: 1991-06-07
English release date: 1994 (NA) / 1995 (EU)
Developer: Hudson Soft
English publisher: Hudson Soft (NA) / Virgin Interactive (EU)
Platform: Sega CD / Sega Mega-CD

"The Space Adventure"  is actually the second part of a duology of video games based on famous manga/anime series about an uncatchable space pirate known only by his alias Cobra. Sadly, the first game never made it's way to the Occidental part of the world and thus "Cobra II: The Legendary Bandit" got renamed "The Space Adventure". Luckily the storyline is self-contained and you are not required to play the first part to understand everything, even if some small references to the events a few years back are made in the beginning.


Lunatic Fantasy Review

Title: Lunatic Fantasy
Release date: 1992? (2012-05-18 in English)
Developer: Studio Light Cross
English publisher: Stardust Crusaders & Eien Ni Hen (as a fan-patch)
Platform: Sharp X68000

I just love emulation. I have played countless of games through ePSXe or Zsnes, but I admit that this is the first time for me when I tried to play an X68000 game.


Nichiei Taiyaku Deathtopia Review

Title: Nichiei Taiyaku Deathtopia
Original title: 日英対訳デストピア
Release date: 2001-02-09 (original version) / 2004-03-26 (dual language re-release)
Developer: Gaia & Vega
Publisher: Gaia

Oh, how I love in-house translations of eroge! They manage to invoke such unintentional comedy that I internally dubbed it Uwe Boll effect. "Deathtopia", on the other hand, is not hilarious but simply sad, as it is a fundamentally broken game.


Adrift Review

Title: Adrift
Release date: 2011-12-25
Developer: Tall Tales Productions
Publisher: Tall Tales Productions

At the moment I’m still squeezing the lifeblood from “Baldur’s Gate”, which I can’t seem to finish, so I decided to play a short VN I would be able to review on my blog in the meantime. And what would be a better choice than a futuristic sci-fi story set in an underwater amusement... er, the wrong game; I meant in an underwater city, where some terrible things have been happening recently.


Baldur's Gate modding using EasyTuTu

Now for something a bit different. Let's have a break from visual novels and enjoy some oldies goldies...

I know that there are a shitload of guides how to mod your Baldur's Gate to hell and back for a better modern experience, but majority of them deal with BGT or BWP. I have never played BG before and before starting the game I ascertained, that I want nothing to do with the previously mentioned three letter combinations. Instead I chose EasyTuTu and this guide is based on that.


Juniper's Knot Review

Title: Juniper's Knot
Release date: 2012-04-12
Developer: Dischan Media
Publisher: Dischan Media

A short review for a short game. Of course, short doesn't mean it's bad. Not necessarily it's good either. Luckily in this case it's mostly the latter.


Monster Girl Quest! -Part 2- Review

Title: Monmusu Quest! Chuushou ~Makereba Youjo ni Okasareru~
Original title: もんむす・くえすと!中章 ~負ければ妖女に犯される~
Alias: Monster Girl Quest! -Part 2-
Release date: 2011-12-17
English release date: 2012-03-31
Developer: Torotoro Resistance
English publisher: Rogue Translator (as a fan-patch)

"Monster Girl Quest" was a huge hit of the yesteryear and for all the right reasons, as it managed to combine compelling gameplay, adequate plot and perverted sex scenes into one package. I myself liked it a lot, but only now did I managed to get to playing the second part of the trilogy.


Home (Horror Game) Review

Title: Home
Release date: 2012-06-01
Developer: Benjamin Rivers
English publisher: Benjamin Rivers

So, ehem... Benjamin Rivers decided to create a unique horror adventure experience without any combat or enemies and even without any way to die ingame. The game relies solely on an atmosphere. Did he succeed in his goal? I'd say: Partially.


Captive Market Review

Title: Captive Market (虜囚市場~罠に嵌められたエルフの女将校)
Alias: Ryoshuu Shijou ~Wana ni Hamerareta Elf no Joshoukou~
Release date: 2011-03-25 (2012-06-19 in English)
Developer: Black Lilith
English publisher: thetsuuyaku (as a fan-patch)

I have a love/hate relationship with Lilith and all it's brands. On one hand, I like dark and twisted stories with lots of rape that they dish out. On the other one, their games are really hit or miss for me and that depends on various factors.


Witches & Woodlands 3.5 Review

Title: Witches & Woodlands 3.5
Release date: 2011-12-30
Developer: Jan-Poo
Publisher: Jan-Poo

"Witches & Woodlands" or W&W is the second of the two "Umineko" fan-made games in English known to me. I have played and reviewed "Seacats" and so it's time to conclude everything "Umineko" related and review this game.

When the Seacats Cry review

Title: When the Seacats Cry
Release date: 2011-12-30
Developer: Kinjo (a.k.a. SeagullCrazy)
Publisher: Kinjo (a.k.a. SeagullCrazy)

It's really not that strange that with "Umineko no Naku Koro ni" series being so popular, there are fan-games created based on the saga. What's actually strange, that those games are proper visual novels and not just short parody works. Many probably have heard of "Higurashi no naku Koro ni Fun" - a 5 minute comedy short of the "Cicada" series. If you are expecting the same from "When the Seacats Cry" then you will be in for a surprise.


Umineko no Naku Koro ni Tsubasa Review

Title: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Tsubasa (うみねこのなく頃に翼)
Alias: When the Seagulls Cry: Wing
Release date: 2010-12-31 (2011-01-30 in English)
Developer: 07th Expansion
English publisher: various translators (as a partial fan-patch)

Just days ago I reviewed one of the fandiscs for "Umineko", known as "Hane". "Hane" was a disappointing release and included only two short stories that weren't even enough to whet my appetite. The second fandisc - "Tsubasa" contains whooping fifteen stories. Let's rip their guts and see the insides.


Umineko no Naku Koro ni Hane Review

Title: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Hane (うみねこのなく頃に羽)
Alias: When the Seagulls Cry: Feathers
Release date: 2011-12-31 (2012-05-23 in English)
Developer: 07th Expansion
English publisher: Ars Magica (as a fan-patch)

In my review of “Umineko Chiru” I have mentioned the two fandiscs that are also available. One of them – “Tsubasa” – is just a regular fandisk that was sold separately. “Hane” on the other hand was never sold in stores by itself and was only available in a bundle with “Higanbana the 2nd Night” and the fighting game “Ougon Musou Kyoku”. This time I’m gonna review “Hane”.


Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru Review

Title: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru (うみねこのなく頃に散)
Alias: When the Seagulls Cry: Breakdown
Release date: 2010-12-31 (2011-12-17 in English)
Developer: 07th Expansion
English publisher: Witch Hunt (as a fan-patch)

"Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru" is the second half of Ryuukishi07's "When the Seagulls Cry" saga and contains the four remaining chapters that finish the tale. Well, I'll concede that there are two more fandiscs for this specific tale - as I said in my review of the first game, Ryuukishi07 just loves making money out of additional material. Still, I cannot fault him for monopolizing of the doujin scene. He is a very prolific writer that does his own art too. In a short period of time he did "Umineko", finished "Higanbana" and started onto "Rose Guns Days" and I barely managed to follow his progress. It's time to rectify my sloppiness and finish the Seagull tale that I started last year already.


Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia

Title: Edelweiss (エーデルワイス 詠伝ファンタジア)
Release date: 2008-08-29 (2010-03-20 in English)
Developer: Overdrive
English publisher: MangaGamer

Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia is a fandisc to the parent game Edelweiss, released almost two years after the latter. As you have probably already read, I found the original game to be quite a funny little time waster, that wasn't particularly great, but kept me entertained nonetheless. However, there was a big oversight made during the production of Edelweiss (or an ingenious business decision) - two charming girls, Sakura and Rin, didn't have their individual routes. This fandisc fixes that and provides us with more of the shenanigans courtesy of Haruma Kazushi. Let's see how it fares in comparison to the original story.


Edelweiss Review

Title: Edelweiss (エーデルワイス) 
Release date: 2006-12-15 (2008-07-10 in English; Version v2.0 in 2011-09-02)
Developer: Overdrive
English publisher: MangaGamer

Edelweiss is probably MangaGamer's most infamous title and for all the wrong reasons. It was the first title released by MG then still in its infancy stage. It's enough to say that the title was ushered out in a broken form. Localized by native Japanese speakers with not enough English skills it suffered from Blind Idiot Translation and tarnished MG's name for quite a while. Even when the company got their act together and started to produce adequate translations many people still felt distrustful due to this and other first efforts.

Fans demanded a retranslation for a long time and more than three years after the original release it finally happened. I haven't played more than an hour of the original as I felt no desire to ruin my first impression of the game and thus I heartily dove straight into this updated version. Let's see what it's all about...


We Love Master! Review

Title: We Love Master! (ご主人様だーいすき)  
Alias: Goshujin-sama Daisuki
Release date: 2008-01-25 (2011-08-01 in English)
Developer: Score
English publisher: MangaGamer

Wooohooo, sexytime! Another post and another nukige. This time with maids and as Yuuki said maid's outfit is one of ten sexiest outfits for a girl. Let's see if this title is any good as my previous run in with a Score title (Cosplay Alien) was not very successful.


Violated Hero Review

Title: Violated Hero -I Wanted to Chivalrously Save the World- (犯され勇者~凛々しく世界を救うハズだったボク)
Release date: 2011-12-16 (2012-02-29 in English)
Developer: Dieselmine
English publisher: Dargoth (as a fan-patch)

"Violated Hero" is a monster girl femdom dungeon crawling RPG nukige. My... that was a lot of big worlds for such a small game. I wonder if the game can live up to them. Short answer - no; long answer - read below.


The Second Reproduction Review

Title: The Second Reproduction
Release date: 2008-12-28 (2012-02-20 in English)
Developer: Heterodoxy
English publisher: Ate the Moon Translations (as a fan-patch)

So... "The Second Reproduction" is my first commercial otome game that I have played. That is to say, you play as a girl seeking to romance various boys. Holding a position, that genderbending is both fun and healthy I happily dove into it. My previous forays into the genre were in the form of various OELVNs, that were mostly of very low quality with the exception of "Frozen Essence" - the only game of this kind to impress me. I'm happy to say, that TSR didn't disappoint me, however it didn't amaze me either. But let's talk about everything from the beginning.


Katawa Shoujo Review

Title: Katawa Shoujo
Release date: 2012-01-04
Developer: Four Leaf Studios
Publisher: Four Leaf Studios

So, yeah... I wonder if there is a single person right now who hasn't at least heard of Katawa Shoujo (Disability Girl) - an OELVN developed by an international team over a period of about five years and finally released on this January. The history of the concept is probably known as well: inspired by Raita blah blah blah started on 4chan blah blah blah but no association with them anymore blah blah blah it's free... yes, that is the only thing you should know. Go play it and I will review it in the meantime.


Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o Series Review

Title of the series: Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o
Original title: その花びらにくちづけを
Alias: SonoHana
Developer: Fuguriya
English publisher: SH1: Count Pacula (as a fan-patch)
                              SH2/3/4/5: AXYPB World (as a fan patch)
                              SH6/8: Petals' Garden (formerly AXYPB World) & Yuri Project (as a fan patch)
                              SH7: AXYPB World & Hanabira-kun (as a fan patch)

In my previous review of "Yuukuri Panic" I said that all-girl schools are the places for pure lesbian love to blossom and this time it is true. SonoHana series are known for their fluffy stories filled with girl-on-girl lovemaking. At the time of writing there already are 10 games in the series with more than half of them translated into English.