Amaterasu Blog

24Nov/0967

Poll #3 Results

http://amaterasu.tindabox.net/poll/

We are convinced that the results of the poll do not accurately represent the will of the VN community, therefore we will decide between the top candidates ourselves after I've played them.

22Nov/0936

Project #3 Update Regarding Finalists (yes, another one)

A project for Swan Song has now also materialized out of thin air...so yeah, new list:
*edit*
Oh yeah, and Osadai staff finally decided they wanted to denominate it, so...

11eyes
Baldr Sky Dive1 "LostMemory"
Eden* They Were Only Two, On The Planet
France Shoujo ~Une Fille Blanche~
I/O
Katahane
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
MuvLuv Alternative
Narcissu Side 2nd and Narcissu 3rd Die Dritte Welt
Rui wa Tomo wo Yobu

21Nov/093

Project #3 Final Poll Date

I finally made up my damn mind, so...

The final poll will start on November 23rd at 6:00 PM US Pacific Time and last for 24 hours.

Same url as the prelims: http://amaterasu.tindabox.net/poll/

20Nov/096

Project #3 Update Regarding Finalists

A project for Kara no Shoujo has materialized out of thin air. Thus, the finalists have changed.

Kara no Shoujo will be dropped from the finals, and the candidate which used to be 11th place will now become a finalist.

The new list of finalists is as follows:

11eyes
Baldr Sky Dive1 "LostMemory"
Eden* They Were Only Two, On The Planet
France Shoujo ~Une Fille Blanche~
I/O
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
MuvLuv Alternative
My girlfriend is the PRESIDENT
Rui wa Tomo wo Yobu
Swan Song

More detailed results will not be posted until after the finals, which will take place in a few weeks after we finish reediting all of Inganock.

Also, the Osadai staff has been asked, and they did not want to disqualify the project, so it remains eligible.

19Nov/0924

Project #3 Preliminary Voting Results

The ten finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

11eyes
Baldr Sky Dive1 "LostMemory"
Eden* They Were Only Two, On The Planet
France Shoujo ~Une Fille Blanche~
I/O
Kara no Shoujo
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
MuvLuv Alternative
Rui wa Tomo wo Yobu
Swan Song

17Nov/095

Project #3 Selection Prelims Update

Official statement: Preliminary polls will begin at 6:00 PM US Pacific Time on Wednesday November 18th (ie, tomorrow) and last for exactly 24 hours.

http://amaterasu.tindabox.net/poll/

11Nov/095

Saya no Uta Review

Saya is an interesting mix of horror and romance, perhaps best described as a Lovecraftian fairy tale in visual novel form.

The premise is great, and the early scenes introducing it are simply wonderful. The production values persist throughout the entire story, in the form of a great soundtrack, far more cgs and backgrounds than I'd expect in something this short, and skilled use of immersive sound effects. The characters are consistently believable and in the endings are very capable of touching you in some way.

Unfortunately, everything between the beginning and ending is rather predictable. Though well-told, the story makes use of so many horror cliches you almost want to start keeping track of how long it's been since the last plot twist you didn't see coming. The fact that all of the characters are pretty much ordinary does little to alleviate this (arguably Saya and Ryouko are at least unusual, but their personalities are nonetheless unoriginal). Still, since the plot does move at a decent pace, never stretches suspension of disbelief, and in no way fails to set up the great endings, a lot of it's forgivable.

Score: 8/10

Polarization: Mild (+1/-2)

As with most games that have distinctly different qualities at different parts, some people will find the best parts or the worst parts redeem/condemn the entirety of the work. Also, being a short game means less opportunity for polarization to occur. Those two forces more or less balance out in this case.

Routes/Endings Played: All

9Nov/0932

Project #3 Selection Update

As far as I can tell, nominations are finished, and the fifty candidates are as follows:

ABYSS -Satsujin Club-
Atlach-Nacha
Ayakashibito
Baldr Sky Dive1 "LostMemory"
Blue Blaster
Bullet Butlers
Cannon Ball ~Neko Neko Machine Rage Race!~
CARNIVAL
Coμ - Kuroi Ryuu To Yasashii Oukoku
Eden* They Were Only Two, On The Planet
Extravaganza
11eyes
Flyable Heart
FOREST
Fortune Arterial
France Shoujo ~Une Fille Blanche~
Gunjou no Sora wo Koete
Gun Katana
Hikari no Valcia ~What a beautiful hopes~
H2O: Footprints in the Sand
Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a shooting star-
Ikusa Megami Zero
I/O
Itsuka, Todoku, Ano Sora ni
Kara no Shoujo
Katahane
Killer Queen
Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
Kizuato
Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~
Mai-HiME: Unmei no Keitouju - Shura
Moshimo Ashita ga Harenaraba
Mugen Kairou
MuvLuv Alternative
Mushitsukai
My girlfriend is the PRESIDENT
Narcissu Side 2nd & Narcissu 3rd Die Dritte Welt
Omega no Shikai -Shiki no Hajimari / Mikaifuu no Hakoniha-
Parfait ~Second Brew~
Reika Mesuinu Choukyou
12Riven
Rui wa Tomo wo Yobu
Saihate no Ima
Sayonara wo oshiete ~Comment te Dire Adieu~
Shikkoku no Sharnoth ~what a beautiful tomorrow~
Shoujo Mahou Gaku Little Witch Romanesque
Sorairo
Swan Song
Tsuyokiss

Since the rules have changed a bit, I will reiterate the basics: for the prelim poll you will vote for up to three separate candidates, there will be no downvotes, it will last exactly 24 hours, and the top 10 (guaranteed to be exactly ten this time) will become the finalists. It will not be in the forums this time, but done with custom software much like the final poll last time.

The actual date has yet to be set, since we're not done with Inganock yet, but expect it within a week of that project reaching completion, so probably the third or fourth week of November.

5Nov/0922

Kono Yu no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO review

Many awesome games give you a sense of epic scale, making you feel like you actually did just save an entire planet from catastrophes millenia in the making. On the other hand, YU-NO will make you feel the size and scope of each and every extant universe from the beginning of time to unforseeable futures.

To review the game in one sentence: YU-NO does for plot what Cross Channel did for character. The intricacy and subtlety of the story is truly mind-boggling, and almost impossible to comprehend on a first playthrough. Part of why it can do this is the clever gameplay system in which, not only do you get to go through seemingly endless route permutations, but you literally get an in-game map of all the permutations and tools to warp around it practically at will (though you need to carefully plan out how to use them, which is cool in and of itself), allowing you to do truly awesome things like borrow objects and knowledge from other universes in order to unlock an alternate ending in an earlier one. Even today, this system feels incredibly innovative and immaculately designed.

And of course, the cast and writing are absolutely integral to pulling this off. Never have I played a game in which the conversations felt so human and so natural so consistently that for all I know these really are real people and real events and I've just been stalking them all for the past few weeks. Even the slut and the asshole were incredibly fun to listen to (partly since protag-kun is also great), not to mention all of the actual heroines, most of whom are instantly lovable. Each and every branch really did feel like a real alternate retelling of a real event, and not just a different set of tricks the author came up with to make everyone show up in time for the finale. On top of that, the actual subplots in each route are awesome all on their own (contrast with E17), partly since the metaplot justifies copious foreshadowing, twists and character development.

The only things that come close to being flaws: First, the plethora of superfluous upskirts (especially in the first route) severely annoyed me for a while. Second, in the beginning I totally sucked at the gameplay interface and got myself stuck in some elaborately retarded ways. Third, some events border on being predictable, but this is just an inevitable consequence of having played through the same couple days over a dozen times and it never felt the least bit unjustified (all things considered, it's actually amazing how little does overlap).

Score: 10/10

Polarization: Mild (-2)

Arguably, one could find some of the game's earlier reveals to be a bit predictable. Plus, the gameplay interface and old graphics are likely to turn off many despite their flawless implementation. Also, you need to be able to understand fictional multiverse physics on some level in order to stand any chance of fully comprehending the plot.

Routes/Endings Played: All endings required to finish the game, and one of the true ends unlocked after getting 100% map completion