Amaterasu Blog

29Nov/105

Sono Yokogao wo Mitsumeteshimau ~a profile~ Review

Some of the best innocent-moege-turned-depressing-drama stories I've seen since KimiNozo.

The first half of it (on whichever route) is a bunch of comedy with a weak but steadily growing plot. Thankfully, most of it is actually very funny, to the point where you don't even mind waiting for the story to really get going.

But then it turns out everyone has a dark past or other side to them, at least one of which recently came back to bite everyone. A handful of these reveals are genuinely impressive shocks, and the stories themselves are rather clever, although a lot of the details are easy to figure out.

The part that matters: most of the drama in this game is very well-executed. There's a few things which may stretch belief suspension or drag on a little too long, but you always want to know how the situation will finally get resolved once and for all, and the route heroine is sure to get her fair share of character development. Also, a good portion of this was a refreshing deconstruction of the naive protag (you know, the one who'd never doubt his true friends), which stayed interesting the whole way through.

Probably the biggest reason this isn't getting as high a score as it might sound is the overall simplicity of it. There's certainly enough detail in the story and multi-dimensionality in the characters to fill three routes, but not a lot more. After a certain point in the game, you can start to see almost everything coming in advance. Fortunately, that doesn't stop what is there from being engaging.

Score: 8/10

Polarization: Low (-1)

Routes/Endings Played: All three routes, one of the alternate endings.

P.S.: Kaine should've had a route too.

20Nov/107

-atled- Review

Basically just a nice, fun doujin game. There was absolutely nothing exceptional about it, but also nothing bad, so it was still a decently enjoyable read.

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way. Most of it falls into the category of feeling like the game was indeed made by amateurs. For instance: blatant scripting errors, a handful of very badly drawn cgs, some sprites or cgs that don't fit the scene as well as they should, a persistent tendency for the main plot to get sidetracked, and a few developments which were made far too obvious in advance.

Still, I never once felt like ctrling any of it (unless you count skipping old text in alt endings), because despite all the flaws, it's really not bad at all. While half the plot is raw cliche, the other half is actually reasonably clever and not terribly easy to guess until very shortly before it happens. It also does a surprisingly good job of making all the details (including minor characters who appeared for about ten lines) come together plausibly at the end. While all of the characters are a bit too simple, they all show believable growth by the end of the story, and said growth is plot-relevant in each case, which is quite nice. Finally, although some scenes drag on longer than they should, it's never by much and there's no unnecessary text to speak of.

Score: 7/10

Polarization: Mild (+1/-1.5)

Reasons here should be pretty obvious. Either you don't care about the predictable stuff and really like it, or the laundry list of flaws mentioned above irritate the hell out of you.

Routes/Endings Played: All Three Endings

12Nov/1023

Translation Quality Experiment

Those of us who know Japanese, or work with someone who does, tend to care pretty deeply about "translation quality." But it's hard to convince a monolingual English speaker that translation quality is even an issue, much less a serious one. Thus we continue to see people trying to "translate" (lol) visual novels despite not knowing the language well enough, or worse yet, by using a machine. The only real way to prove that this does in fact matter would be to have them read an entire VN multiple times with different translation qualities, but of course this is unfeasible. Instead, I used some machines and asked a number of humans with varying skill levels to translate a pair of brief excerpts from MuvLuv Alternative. And the results do seem to convincingly show everything I wanted to show.

7Nov/1020

Project #3.2 Progress Announcement 2

A partial patch for the Coup d'etat Arc of Muv-Luv Alternative has been released.

Download at the usual place: http://amaterasu.tindabox.net/index.php?page=downloads

Just about every single image we plan on having translated for this arc has already been edited and inserted (and ofc editing and such are caught up as usual) so you may assume what's here is effectively the final product for this portion of the game. Remember that we have no access to images inside mech HUDs, but just about every other image is either tled or deliberately left untled (some of those decisions may be controversial, feel free to comment on it in the forums).

And as usual, make very sure you have the exact version of MLA specified in the readme, are using real Japanese local (applocale does not count), and are mounting the image with Daemon Tools, or we cannot guarantee anything will work.