The premise is essentially Battle Royale: A bunch of ordinary people get kidnapped, wake up with explosive collars around their necks, and the evil kidnappers make them play a game that requires killing each other if they want to survive.
Thankfully, unlike Battle Royale, Killer Queen has good enough execution to be taken seriously, which was a welcome surprise for me. The rules are more complex but thoroughly explained, so there's a lot of interesting strategy and mind games. None of the characters ever do something stupid for no good reason. And there's quite a few unexpected twists beyond the obligatory "X killed Y in some clever way". For much of the story there's a genuine sense of tension because there really could be a trap or an ambush around any corner, and it's usually not at all obvious who's going to die next (if anyone). It also benefits from being short: There's basically no padding, and it wraps everything up before it runs out of ideas.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest issue with KQ is that it's following an obvious formula, so there's some inevitable predictably and plot armor involved (eg, we know the main antagonist can't die at the beginning). The relationship in the second route also felt unnatural and even a bit creepy to me at times, so I'd say the first route was better.
Largely depends on how interested you are in this particular kind of story.
Routes/Endings Played: Both routes, none of the omake stuff.
Download the patch from the usual place.
Finally, we've released a complete patch translating all routes of Comyu. This means all the routes from the previous patch plus Kagome's route.
As before, the images for these routes are fully translated (I checked this time, they really are!), and this patch includes an h-scene enable/disable option in Comyu's config menu.
Download the patch from the usual place.
This patch translates the Common, Benio, Hisoka, Mayuki and Ayaya routes, ie everyone's except Kagome's. You must read Benio first, but you can read Hisoka, Mayuki and Ayaya in any order. To help you decide what order: Hisoka's is the most "real deal" and relevant to the main plot, Mayuki's is largely a side plot, and Ayaya's is arguably a joke route (in a good way).
As before, the images for these routes are fully translated, and this patch includes an h-scene enable/disable option in Comyu's config menu.
Supposedly this is Shumon Yuu's masterpiece. We begin with a typical donkan protag reuniting with his osananajimis at an elite high school for budding artists sequestered away in some picturesque mountains with nice background music.
And for chapter 1 that's all we ever get. The slice of life is consistently dull and cliche, the comedy falls flat most of the time, and all the things that seem potentially interesting at first (eg, actual plot threads) stubbornly refuse to go anywhere. Pretty much everyone seems to agree this chapter is a total dud.
Then there's chapter 2―the lion's share of the VN. Sadly, a huge chunk of it is just the same mediocre slice of life and comedy from chapter 1 all over again. Fortunately, there's also a series of flashbacks that tell various backstories which are actually quite engaging and detailed, sometimes even moving. Then there's the main story, which had an irritating habit of using a very arbitrary/forced plot twist or utterly nonsensical character decision every time I was on the verge of liking it. Overall the chapter feels like a big waste of potential.
The good news is chapters 3 and 4 lack almost all of those problems. They have a coherent, focused narrative with legitimate momentum that builds to a surprisingly satisfying finale, especially considering the mess they had to work with. Since this is the shortest part of the VN by a big margin (chapter 4 is basically an epilogue), it's hard to say it really "makes up" for chapters 1 and 2, but at least it partially redeems them.
Polarization: Mild (-1.5)
Your tolerance for mediocre slice-of-life/comedy/school life/etc is going to be a big factor, as well as your ability to soldier through the early boring parts of a VN to get to the good stuff later on.
Routes/Endings Played: Linear, and I think I got all the bad ends.
P.S.: For the record, having the other heroines constantly mock protag for being the most donkan character in the history of anything does not make his idiocy any less infuriating.
As some of you already know, I'll be moving to the UK for my first job in the very near future. In theory I could attempt to continue translating right up until the day I get on the plane, but that would be a very bad idea for obvious reasons. Plus, I've already been quite slow lately, partly because all the things I have to worry about in real life are weakening my focus. So now that there are only a few weeks left before I should be moving, I'm going to officially pause translation until I've finished settling in to my new living arrangements.
Since I've never moved to a foreign country for work before, I can't claim to know how much time I'll need to settle. But I do know my job starts at the beginning of November, and my gut feeling is that I should be translating again a month or so from today.
Just to be clear: Everything I promised to translate (Comyu, Rewrite:Hf, Valusia, Sona-Nyl) I will still translate. This is just a temporary hiatus until I get settled.
Download the patch from the usual place.
The images for these routes are fully translated, so you shouldn't be able to find any Japanese unless you start going into the other routes.
I apologize for the huge delays on this patch. There's no specific reason for it other than a hell of a lot of bad luck, the biggest of which was my laptop breaking and me being unable to replace it for over a month.
This patch includes an h-scene skip option. Unlike our a profile patch, we managed to add the option directly into Comyu's config menu, instead of making it a checkbox in the installer.
Also, we had significant difficulties getting Comyu's default font to change. We think it's completely fixed now, but if you see thick letters overlapping each other so much it's impossible to read some lines, please tell us.
This is how you do low fantasy.
The setting is fairly original and well-thought out, with several large and interesting parts of it getting explored. The plot does an excellent job of producing plausible, detailed conflicts and investing you in the outcome, and quite a few of the twists are genuinely shocking. The writing is thankfully devoid of unnecessary text, and although the pacing isn't very fast you quickly realize that the time it's spending developing the world and the people in it is completely worth it. Even things that appear overly convenient at first always seem to get a good explanation later.
In fact, the characters are probably the best part. Some of my favorite scenes in this VN were when two characters who strongly disagreed on something tried to explain themselves to each other. The result is lots of meaningful, believable development for most of the major characters. When combined with the good story and setting, that was more than enough to get me excited at every fight, happy at every triumph and sad at every loss. Once I even shed a tear for the death of spriteless minor character. The ending in particular is just about perfect, giving a completely satisfying resolution to everything that had built up to it.
My only serious complaints are that some of the major twists in the first half were pretty easy to predict, and in many chapters there's often a nagging sense that you're just waiting for lots of little things to finally add up to a certain big event you know has to happen eventually.
Not a lot to dislike here honestly. I think the biggest problem you might have is feeling that some of the character development happens implausibly fast.
Routes/Endings Played: All, including the omake stories.
P.S. The non-true endings and omakes are all very short, typically five minutes of fluff and an h-scene, so at first I'd recommend ignoring them all and focusing on the main story. It is good fluff though, so don't hesitate to read some or all of them afterward.
The ojou-sama of the family is off to study at a stunningly gorgeous all-girls academy, so as her servant and close friend you decide to dress like a girl so you can be of assistance to her there. Also, this academy is special because every year God chooses a single girl--referred to as μ--from among the student body and grants her one wish.
Much like its premise, this VN's quality is a mixed bag for the first couple routes. At its worst it's using lazy cliches to cram in fanservice/sex/rape scenes. At its best it's giving the interesting characters opportunity to develop in a fairly engaging way. Often it's somewhere in between, since the plot develops at a nice pace and the setting is cool, but it's a bit too forced or predictable to have any real tension and leaves a few too many nagging questions to be thoroughly satisfying.
The two true routes are a step above, since they lack the lazy cliches, actually succeed at creating dramatic tension, and have significantly more character development. In addition to that, the final route's revelations answer some of the nagging questions from earlier and provide a very intriguing take on the theological implications of a μ (and God in general), making the VN briefly verge on awesomeness. Even these routes leave some annoying questions, but overall they're far more satisfying.
There's no denying this VN has a mix of good and bad parts, so it'll probably depend on how good you are at ignoring the bad and focusing on enjoying the good. Also, the optional Ikoi route is the worst by far (it ends up being little more than a jumble of events from Hanene's route and some new things that never go anywhere) so skipping that should help.
Routes/Endings Played: All of them, including the YODAngel/むしろもっと踏んでっ bonus patch (that's also worth skipping imo).
This story revolves around several girls on Rokushiki Island, all from families teaching them martial arts, and the vast majority of the emphasis is on the fights that take place between them as the centerpiece of the island's traditional ceremonies.
The main appeal of this VN is the gratuitously badass action, since the very good fight scenes make up at least half of the total text. They all have a steady flow from initial face-off to final blow, plenty of cool CGs, several unrealistic but cool techniques, and badass music that doesn't get old. Plus every fight feels completely different from the others.
The story and setting are pretty cool and entirely coherent, but often predictable and not terribly complicated. The slice of life and comedy are mediocre, but thankfully they're also extremely brief. The exposition and protagonists' thoughts are good enough to set the stage for all the fights though not much more. Most of the characters are also fairly simple, though they fill their roles well, especially the protagonists. For me the final Tomoe/Kaina battle was a notable exception, since I found their conflict compelling enough that the fight was epic instead of just cool.
Overall, this is a perfect example of focusing on exactly one thing, doing it very well, and thereby producing a short, simple and highly enjoyable (though not amazing) experience.
The girls all seem to enjoy beating each other to a pulp more than we might consider healthy, which I found weird in a cool way, but others may find it weird in a bad way. Other than that, if you like lots of badass fights, you should enjoy this.
Routes/Endings Played: Linear
P.S. I read the iOS version of this during a recent plane flight. After talking to someone who read the PC version, it seems safe to assume they're the same.