December 2015, the dumping ground for PSV ports. The drought of decent (at least, in my opinion) games continues even into the Christmas season. Well, Christmas isn’t nearly as significant to the Japanese like it is to the Western world, so… but the bright side is that I’ll be able to save money. Maybe some of the numerous ports may interest you, which in my case is Getsuei no Kusari’s one.
From here on out, I’ll do my best to cover the doujin scene as well. Based on my poll results, it looks like there is notable interest in me doing so:
|Taishou x Alice Epilogue||PC|
|Blind Prism ~Melty Snow~ [R18+] [Doujin]||Package edition: 30-12-2015
|Love:Quiz ~Koi Suru Otome no Final Answer~||Mobile → PSV [Port]|
|Angelique Retour||SNES → PC-FX → PC → PS → SS → GBA → NDS → PSP/PSV [Remake]|
|Gakuen K -Wonderful School Days- V Edition||17-12-2015||PSP → PSV [Port]|
|Arcana Famiglia Ancora||23-12-2015||PSP → PSV [Port]|
|Getsuei no Kusari -Sakuran Paranoia-||23-12-2015||PSP → PSV [Port]|
|Storm Lover V||23-12-2015||PSP → PSV [Port]|
|Walpurgis no Uta ~Walpurgisgedichte~||23-12-2015||PC → PSP/PSV [Port]|
Release date: 17-12-2015
Age rating: CERO B [12+]
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Artist: Kojima Kiichi
Official website: http://www.d3p.co.jp/believer/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v17286
Song title: Makkou (真っ向) (“Directly Opposite”)
Composition and arrangement: Miyahara Shin’ya
Lyrics: Ayumi of Zwei
* Cast *
+ Main Characters +
~ Kamishiro Kai – Saitou Souma
~ Teshigawara Ren – Ishikawa Kaito
~ Maikawa Omi – Aoi Shouta
~ Takanashi Kyou – Suzuki Yuuto
~ Inami You – Umehara Yuuichirou
+ Supporting Characters +
~ Suquet – Morikubo Shoutarou
~ McCalla –Kishio Daisuke
~ Kureisis –Nakai Kazuya
~ Rueed –Suzumura Ken’ichi
~ Mad –Tsuda Kenjirou
~ Effenato – Koyasu Takehito
* Plot Summary *
“Every 1,000 years, the door to parallel universe opens and strange beings appear. However, when the world verges on peril, the miko (shrine maiden) of legend and her bodyguards will save it.”
Just as the legend- which has been passed down for thousands of years- had foretold, the door to the parallel universe had suddenly opened. The strange beings appeared before the high schoolers who had been leading peaceful lives.
The high schoolers accepted their destiny as the miko and her bodyguards. In order to save the world, they vow to fight.
“There’s no need to worry. It’s our mission to protect you.”
* My Thoughts *
Nice art, a good mix of newer and older seiyuu, but that doesn’t make up for how cliché and boring the plot sounds. What is it with Japan’s raging hard-on for making immature, hormonal twits like teenagers so important? C’mon, really, how likely are a bunch of normal kids with no training in combat likely to succeed? Oh well… Perhaps I should be thankful that the setting hasn’t sunk to the stupidity of including a “SPESHUL HIGH SKOOL FOR MIKOS AND BODYGUARDS LOLOL”.
Speaking of the setting… Seriously, you can find a story like this that is executed better without having to pay for an overpriced otome game to experience it. Also, the whole “bodyguards protecting the special otome protagonist” thing is reminding me of Reine des Fleurs.
I mean, at best, I think this will be a mildly enjoyable experience, but will it be remembered long after being released? Definitely not. In spite of my negativity, I wouldn’t say it’s terrible per se… but the extremely boring protagonist, guys that don’t interest me and of course, the super stale plot does absolutely nothing for me, so I’ll pass.
Taishou x Alice Epilogue
Release date: 25-12-2015
Age rating: All ages
Developer and publisher: Primula
Official website: http://www.primula.jpn.com/taishoalice/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v16032
Song title: some song i forgot ~ carillon carino ver.
Vocals: Ayano Eiri of love solfege
Composition and arrangement: Matsumoto Shin’ichirou of love solfege
Lyrics: Konno Hinako of love solfege
* Cast *
+ Main Character +
~ Alice – Matsuoka Yoshitsugu
+ Supporting Characters +
~ Cinderella – Hirakawa Daisuke
~ Red Riding Hood – Maeno Tomoaki
~ Kaguya – Masuda Toshiki
~ Gretel – Eguchi Takuya
~ Snow White – Aoi Shouta
~ Magician – Hatano Wataru
~ Wolf – Hanae Natsuki
~ Hunter – Hashizume Tomohisa
~ Mother – Shimamura Yuu
* Plot Summary *
When you came to, you became lost wandering around in a pitch black world.
You had lost your memories.
You have no idea what you are.
You don’t even know your own name.
In this pitch black world, not a single person other than yourself is present. Loneliness and unease fills your heart.
It was at this moment, you come across a young man.
Possessing shiny blond hair and beautiful blue eyes, the boy offers you a hand as you’re all alone.
He calls you “Arisu”.
You ask for this boy’s name- the boy who knows things about you even though you know nothing about yourself. However, for some reason, he won’t give you his name.
Moreover, he suddenly lets go of your hand and runs off ahead.
You call out to the boy as you chase him.
“If you want me to tell you, try and catch me!”
Having said that, the boy ran through a crystal mirror.
Still chasing him, you also run through the crystal mirror.
When you do, you enter a world in which everything is on the contrary.
In the Mirror Country, the gender-swapped fairytale characters welcome you as a “Heroine”.
The blond boy appears before you once again, amidst your perplextion. He passes through one mirror to the next as though he were trying to ridicule you.
What will happen at the end of this tale?
* My Thoughts *
This is the final game of Primula’s debut otome title. In Epilogue, it appears the only hero that you can romance is Alice, who looks to be the main guy of the entire series. I’ve mentioned this in previous monthly posts that contained my opinions on the other Taishou x Alice games- as I quite enjoyed the first game and have vowed to complete the series, I’m very much looking forward to the last game in particular; partly because I love Alice and partly because it’d provide answers and closure to the tale.
Take a look at him in action!
While I get plenty entertained as is by Alice’s channer-like rage rants, it’d be interesting to see why he’s such a cynical wanker. He’s so unfriendly, (often) pointlessly snarky and rude that it feels like it’s a calculated effort on his part to piss off everyone he meets as much as he’s able to. Alice looks like he values being alone and seems to have a low opinion of relationships in general. Is this a façade of some kind, or is Alice desperately lacking in social graces?
While I still think nobody deserves
my Waifu the Princess in Shining Armour, Arisu Yurika-sama, I’ll deal with it and definitely play this game.
Blind Prism ~Melty Snow~ [R18+] [Doujin]
Release date [EDIT 13/12/2015]: Package edition: 30-12-2015, Download edition: 2016
Age rating: R18+
Developer and publisher: Ka*Ku
Artist: 緋織 (likely romanised as “Hiori”.)
Official website: http://mascatfes.wix.com/kaku#!melty-snow/c1n5a
DL Site link: http://www.dlsite.com/girls/announce/=/product_id/RJ157342.html
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v16671
* Plot Summary *
The protagonist, Kuronagi Mikoto, is such a hardcore brocon that her friends often make fun of her for it. In particular, she has special feelings for her oldest brother, Soushi.
On Christmas Eve, Mikoto happens to see Soushi walking along with a lady whom appeared to be his lover and gets quite the shock. Soushi’s lover, Tatsumi Rinko, studies in the same university laboratory as him.
Since Rinko has an “adult” air about her that Mikoto doesn’t, Mikoto becomes restles and jealous of her. She then realises that the feelings she have for Soushi isn’t simple brotherly love. Even though she knows that he’s her biological older brother, her taboo feelings keep on growing…
Also, Mikoto’s other older brother, Wakazumi’s feelings for her are also growing stronger and…?
Where will the three’s entangled feelings lead them?
* My Thoughts *
NOTE: I think ~Melty Snow~ is likely to get delayed. It’s currently listed on DL Site as scheduled for release “within the last 10 days of December 2015”.
Long-time readers may remember my review of the second game, ~Rainy Season~. It’s a thorough review, so if you’re particularly interested in what to expect, it may be worth your time- though it contains many spoilers.
To the uninitiated, Blind Prism is a series of doujin otome ADV games that began with its first title, ~Before sweets~, released in January 2013. Ever since, three other titles have been created (in order of release): ~Rainy Season~, which was in August 2013, ~First Love~ in August 2014 and this one, ~Melty Snow~.
Even though all of the games are set in the same universe with the same characters, you don’t need to play them in order, nor do you need to play one to better understand the others. The differences between the titles have more to do with whose route you can access. The smaller differences are thematic and tonal- basically, ~Before sweets~ and ~First Love~ seem to be lighter tales, whereas ~Rainy Season~ and ~Melty Snow~ are darker and more serious. Some characters are capturable in multiple titles, whereas others can only be accessed in specific entries.
Anyway, ~Melty Snow~ will be chiefly focusing on Mikoto’s oldest brother, Soushi, with Wakazumi being a sub-character with his own route and ending. As far as I’m aware, ~Melty Snow~ is not only the first game in which Soushi has a route, but also Ka*Ku’s first R18+ entry. To be honest, I don’t think the Blind Prism games really need to be R18+ (nor do I want them to be). Is Ka*Ku trying to pander to the horny Girl’s Maniax audience? Could their survey results have lead them to this choice? Is it a genuine creative exploration by the devs? I can’t say… but so far, I’m not entirely convinced that the author’s immature writing will be fixed by the Big Bad R18+ label.
You see, I don’t even know why Ka*Ku bothers with sticking to the same characters and setting when there is no point in them doing so. There may have been a point if it’s the same set of characters who have routes, because it could have been interesting to see a “lighter” and a “darker” take on the same characters. That being said, it may not have been terribly interesting because Blind Prism’s main characters are incredibly generic shoujo manga tropes. I could give three descriptors to each one and that’s all you’d need to know about them. The supporting characters are cardboard cutouts that have somehow learned to communicate with humans. Even the plots themselves are shitty shoujo manga-like with seemingly no interest to be innovative or at least fun to read.
It makes me think they’re being lazy or too stuck in their comfort zone. The whole appeal of the doujin scene is the fact that people come up with their own stuff without being meddled by publishers, whipped by their editors or puppeted by marketing survey results. Yeah, the aesthetic quality is 9/10 lower than commercial otome games (it’s rare to encounter quality artwork like Tetrascope’s games or the beautiful Ai no Uta), but even if it’s just averagely executed, I still enjoy playing the games that are likely to be much closer to what the devs wanted to express.
Yeah, the artwork has definitely improved… but so what? Given that I don’t care for incest themes (though good on Ka*Ku for not chickening out with contrived excuses for not being blood-related), didn’t enjoy ~Rainy Season~ at all and Ka*Ku have given me no reason to believe the writing has improved, I’ll give this one a miss.