Amaterasu Blog

30Aug/1019

Souten no Celenaria ~What a beautiful world~

Steampunk. Catgirls. Evil Empire. Evil Geniuses. Bright Colors (especially blue). Assorted Fantasy Races. Exploration Minigame. What could go wrong? As it turns out, more than I'd hoped.

First, Celenaria is fun. All the characters are amusing, the writing is stylish, the mythos is sufficiently complex, there are a lot of nice random events during the minigame, and the pacing is varied but never annoying. There are even genuinely cool moments, clever twists and intriguing revelations on a regular basis.

There are a long list of miniscule problems though, from that scene being a bit trite to that one being predictable or that character being a bit dense or that piece of art falling flat or that sex scene being totally unnecessary. Overall, they all manage to add up to a significant nuisance, but nothing more.

The real problem is that what could have been an impressive if not awesome plot is undermined by a laundry list of unanswered questions, seemingly outnumbering the ones that did get answered. While it's okay to leave some things up to the reader's imagination, if you never explain the very catalyst/premise of the story, it's hard to feel satisfied by any ending. The silver lining is that, despite the huge list of hints and details, there were no apparent contradictions, so I remain convinced that the answers I wanted do at least exist and it never felt like the writer was improvising.

Score: 7/10

Polarization: Mild (+1/-2)

Pretty much entirely depends on the unanswered questions issue. If you lack my faith that the writer wasn't making it up as she went, this game will suck. If you flat out don't care about explanations and are just in it for the proverbial journey, you might love it anyway.

Routes/Endings Played: Linear (also read the fandisc and webnovels)

See this post for my opinion of the fandisc.

22Aug/106

Tapestry -you will meet yourself-

Two words: "simple pleasures."

So here we have another of your typical moege. This one, thankfully, is consistently pleasant and fun. The characters are nothing new, but they're all consistent and fun, sometimes even hilarious. There are also a lot of sprites/facial expressions which border on memorable, and they even manage to be surprisingly interesting during their routes after the drama beings. As long as you're not after depth/complexity/originality in the common route, there's absolutely no reason not to enjoy all of it. Character routes manage to add a respectable amount of all three on top of that.

The big flaw, to no one's surprise, is predictability. Pretty much everything (except some of the routes) comes straight out of the tome of school life cliches or the dying protagonist addendum to said tome, and thus can be seen coming miles away. As for character routes after the drama begins: despite being interesting, they seem to be primarily driven by some rather bad decisions on both sides, which at times stretch suspension of disbelief.

So, although there's absolutely nothing in here to impress you or defy your expectations, you should be perfectly fine with that.

Score: 7/10

Polarization: Low (+/-1)

Unlike Shuffle!, Tapestry does not revel in the extremes of the genre cliches, but rather plays everything safe and straight.

Routes/Endings Played: Hikari and Harumi

14Aug/1014

Kazoku Keikaku Review

So you throw together some random strangers in the same house, each with their own issues and lack of preexisting people to rely on, and see if they can form a cohesive "family" to solve all of their problems.

Which, thanks to a long and thorough setup, is actually very plausible, and almost feels like the obvious move when you get to it. Thus begins a lengthy series of well-written comedy and slice of life scenes.

Good stuff first: the writing, to no one's surprise, is great. Romeo doesn't do quite as well as he did in Cross Channel, but the style is evident, and succeeds at being hilarious or deep whenever it needs to. All of the interaction is believable, characters are strange and interesting, comedy asides are funny, and choices are engaging.

Unfortunately, it isn't nearly as good as it could've been, and for two main reasons. First, the aforementioned lengthy series of comedy/slice-of-life goes on for a very long time without accomplishing anything. Perhaps even a third of the game could be excised while doing insubstantial harm to the rest of it. Second, the characters are not actually that complex, which results in short routes. Though the routes themselves are interesting, even a little surprising and satisfying, there's just not enough there to be considered impressive.

Still, the lion's share of the game is thoroughly enjoyable, and likely interesting enough to pull you through to the end. It just lost its momentum halfway through, which is a real shame.

Score: 7.5/10

Polarization: High (+1/-2.5)

How much you enjoy the game as a whole largely depends on how fatigued you get with the nearly-inconsequential middle of it. And of course, not everyone likes Romeo's kind of humor.

Routes/Endings Played: All

4Aug/100

Superluminal 13. Futari no Kiss

Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP Track 13

ふたりのKiss
Our Kiss

いつか二人で歩いた道
振り返ればたくさんの記憶
木漏れ日の中 輝いてるね
一つ一つの大切なキス全部覚えているよ
The path we once walked along.
When I look behind me, I see lots of memories.
The light flowing through the trees makes them glimmer.
I remember each and every one of our precious kisses.

4Aug/100

Superluminal 12. Mousou-mou Superliminal

Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP Track 12

妄想網 Ж Superluminal
Delusion Net Ж Superluminal

 超光速 超光速 キラリキュルリラ 超速通信
 妄想網 妄想網 1・2・4・8・・・∞!
 Faster than light, faster than light, twinkle twinkly, high-speed communication!
 Delusion net, delusion net, 1, 2, 4, 8...infinity!

いつの間にこんなに 大きくなったの
妄想力学 見えないパワー
机の上から生まれた命が
ワールドワイドなコンテンツ
When did it all get so big?
The study of delusions, the unseen power.
The lives born from thoughts and doodles
make up our worldwide content.

4Aug/100

Superluminal 11. LOCAL JESUS

Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP Track 11

LOCAL JESUS

こいごころいまもきみにむけて
いつもいつまでもゆるがぬおもい
たとえいくねんたとうともかわからぬきみの
すがたおもいだけばゆめみごこちゆめみごこち
My love is still aimed toward you.
This feeling never ever wavers.
I don't know how many years it'll last,
but just thinking about you makes me feel dreamy.

4Aug/100

Superluminal 10. Yuriseijin Naoko-san

Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP Track 10

百合星人ナオコサン
Naoko-san the Yurian

ゆりゆりゆり ゆりゆりりりー
ゆりはいいね いいよねー(もぴゅーん)
Yuri-yuri-yuri, yuri-yuri-ri-ri~
Yuri is nice, isn't it nice? (mopyuun)

いたるところでナオコサン
かって気ままにナオコサン
軟弱者は有無を言わずばばっばーん
アナがあくほどナオコサン
アナーキーだねナオコサン
見つめ返されたら性癖だってゆがむよ
Everywhere you go, Naoko-san.
Willful and selfish, Naoko-san.
Weaklings don't get to talk back, ba-ba-bam~
Can't help but stare, Naoko-san.
It's total anarchy, Naoko-san.
If she gazes back at you, your personality could change.