Amaterasu Blog

First Time Visitors – Please Read This

The vast majority of the posts on this blog fall into three categories.
1) announcements regarding Amaterasu translation projects
2) visual novel reviews
3) miscellaneous stuff
- Amaterasu Announcements

These are all in the "Amaterasu" category, and they are guaranteed to contain all "need-to-know" information regarding what we're currently working on. Most of these are written by me (Ixrec), and briefly discussed with the rest of the group before being published.

If you want more frequent updates on our progress, either stalk the stats page or follow me on Twitter (@Ixrec).

- Visual Novel Reviews

These are all written by me, and express only my own opinions, not those of anyone else at Amaterasu. In addition to helping people decide which VNs are worth reading, the reviews also tell you which VNs I might want to translate in the future. Specifically, any VN I rate an 8/10 or higher is a potential candidate for translation. So far the only exception has been MuvLuv (7.0), because I decided it was important enough to MuvLuv Alternative (9.5) to indirectly justify its own translation.

To see a complete list of every VN I've ever read/reviewed, with scores and links to each individual review, visit the My VN Review List page.
To see a list of what VNs I plan to read in the near future, and several lists of VNs I'm considering reading after that, visit the My VN Reading List/Wishlist page.
I personally update these pages every time I finish reading a VN and a writing a review for it, so there's no reason for either to be out of date.

What follows is a list of several important facts about my review style.

I like short reviews. Everything that's really worth saying can be said in a few paragraphs, and anything else (especially plot summaries and character descriptions >_>) would be just cathartic ranting you don't really need.

For most VNs, I use the standard 10-point rating system. Since everyone's definitions of the 10 points vary, here are mine:
・10 - Flawless; beyond objective criticism; potentially life-changing
・9 - Awesome; must-read; unforgettable
・8 - Excellent; well worth your time; worthy of translation
・7 - Good; if you want to read it, you should
・6 - Meh, no real point in reading it
・5 - Bleh, do not read
・1-4 - since I have standards, I'm probably incapable of reading anything this bad

I handle fandiscs differently. First off, I'll define "fandisc" as a VN which is almost completely worthless if you haven't read the VN(s) it's based on (some so-called "fandiscs" don't fit this description, and some so-called "sequels"/"spinoffs" do). The "scores" I give to fandiscs are:
・Must-Read - Adds something significant (and good) enough to the story/characters/setting that it would be fair to say you "missed out" if you didn't read it.
・Good - If you qualify as a "fan" of the original work, you will enjoy it, though you wouldn't be "missing out" if you chose not to read it.
・Okay - Even if you qualify as a "fan" of the original work, you may or may not enjoy it.
・Bad - Even if you qualify as a "fan" of the original work, you will not enjoy it.
I don't bother with polarization scores for fandiscs. Also, since fandiscs often consist of separate chunks you can pick and choose from, the score will refer only to the best chunks (the review will of course tell you which ones these are).

Story, writing and characters will always be the most important to me, although hopefully this is no surprise whatsoever. If the other parts of the game (art/voice/music/gameplay if any/etc) made any impression on me, they will be mentioned, but they often don't. In my mind, if those elements are more important than the story/writing/characters, then it's not really a VN and is probably some other medium, like a video game.

Since opinions vary wildly, simply giving a flat score doesn't seem nearly as useful to me as giving a range of scores. So each of my reviews will have a "polarization subscore" under the main score. This represents the degree of variation in perceived quality which I would consider rational. For example, if I give a game 8.5 (+1/-2), that means you should feel the game to be somewhere between 6.5 and 9.5, barring some form of irrational bias.
After stating the score and polarization range, I'll always make a brief effort to describe reasons why your opinion may differ significantly from mine, so you should be able to get a feel for where in this range you will personally fall before reading the VN yourself.

I always read VNs/eroge in the original Japanese when possible. So if you're reading a bad translation of something I review, don't be surprised if it's not as good as I say it is. The sole exception thus far is Hatoful Boyfriend, and that was only because I couldn't get the full version in Japanese.

I will often throw in links to screenshots I've taken or TV tropes articles, either for fun or to help elaborate/clarify/justify the points I'm making.

I rarely go for 100% completion in VNs where it's nontrivial to get, so each review will list the routes and endings I felt like playing at the bottom. I may go back, play more routes and rewrite a review if given a compelling reason to do so (the only case of this so far is Never7, which I will eventually play more routes of when I feel like doing an Infinity Marathon).

Also, check out Tinfoil's Ixrec Review Generator for some lulz.

- Other Stuff

I wrote a guide on buying downloadable editions of certain VNs from a Japanese site called NetRide. The "certain VNs" are listed at the top of that post, so if you're interested go check if there's one you want. In the future I hope to add more guides like this.

Also, some time ago I did a Translation Quality Experiment to prove a number of points about translation quality that non-translators seem completely oblivious to. In particular, I wanted to make it clear why machine translations should never be considered acceptable.

Finally, for fun I translated the lyrics to every track on Mosaic.wav's Superluminal album, because that's one of the few artists I really like, isn't popular enough to have been translated already, and has enough going on in the lyrics that it's actually worth understanding them.

Comments (5) Trackbacks (0)
  1. How do I submit a VN for review? We just released a independent visual Novel on 8/23 at the local Matsuricon in Columbus Ohio. Some facts about it: Set in a teaching hospital, contains secondary world characters, 21 possible endings, with over 80k words of dialog.

    Please let me know if there is any additional information that you would like.
    A free copy is giving to all reviewers as well.

    Will D.

  2. I don’t have any time to read VNs as it is so even if I offered to review yours I’d probably never get around to it.

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