hate plus

Back in 2012, Christine Love, a Toronto-based game developer released her first commercial game in the form of Analogue: A Hate Story.1 She had made some games before then, like don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story and Digital: A Love Story, but these were free to download. You may remember me mentioning Analogue before. Indeed I enjoyed it quite a lot. It seems like a lot of people, who enjoyed Analogue, were also curious to learn the story of how the society on the Mugungwha had degraded to such an extend, which sparked the sequel, Hate Plus. The sequel delivered on that front and it was definitely an interesting ride seeing how Love envisioned the erosion would go.

I won’t, however, linger on how I found the game nor my thoughts on said erosion. Maybe I will at some point write a review of it to discuss those elements. For now, though, I wish to discuss a very specific part in the game that takes place during Hyun-ae’s route. During the third and final day of the game, when the player boots up the computer again to continue his or her journey with Hyun-ae through the newly discovered logs, Hyun-ae begins by asking whether the player will bake a cake to share with her. The previous day had ended with the player and Hyun-ae discovering the ultimate fate of *Mute during Year 0. Hyun-ae wishes to lighten the atmosphere with cake as she is still in shock over what she had learned. (more…)

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I know I haven’t made a post since April, but I really want to continue my tradition of thinking about all the games I’ve finish in the ending year, so here I am making my first post in a very long while. Hopefully this gets me out of my slump and I can try and write more posts from now on. Overall 2013 was a pretty good year for me as I’ve increased the amount of games I’ve finished to 28 (including everything I beat and completed)! Which is another step up from 2012’s 22! Granted I finished more short games this year as well, but still I’m quite proud. :D Like with last year’s Year End Musings, I will add a little title to each game to make it a bit more colourful and to avoid making this into a top 10 list. (Really how can people pick and choose? I love all my games for different reasons). As with previous years, this list includes games I’ve finished in 2013 and not just the ones that were released last year. With such a big backlog, I honestly only end up playing a handful of games (sometimes less!) from the same year. Anyways, onto the list~

fea mini bannerThe Sequel Which Managed to Exceed My Hype
Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)

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I’m not sure if everyone has heard, but Steam has started up a greenlight project where fans can vote on what sorts of games they would like to see on Steam. Some of the games I’ve seen in the greenlight section include a few Japanese Visual Novels and unfortunately, browsing a few comments, I noticed a few people still held common misconceptions about these very misunderstood game/novel hybrids. As a fan of the genre, I feel like doing my little part here by addressing common misconceptions about Visual Novels that I personally have come across.

1. Japanese VNs are glorified porn games

This is probably the most common misconception I’ve seen people have against the genre and I’m sure anime fans are very much aware of this as well since it wasn’t so long ago that anime fans had to wrestle with the same sort of misconception. Just like with anime, there is a subsections of Visual Novels that are just porn. But, and this is what most people unfamiliar with the genre fail to understand, that doesn’t mean all Visual Novels are porn, just like not all anime is porn. This is especially frustrating because everyone should know that Steam does not allow any adult games onto the service, so any visual novel in the greenlight program has no pornographic scenes. Yet still people have called Go Go Nippon “this porn game” on it’s Steam greenlight page. (more…)

One of the few otome games available to English players: Hakuoki for the PSP, published by Aksys.

It’s no mystery that Japanese otome games are one of the most under-represented video game genres in English. Off the top of my head, I only know of 3 localized titles available to English players and all of these are fairly recent too. I’ve noticed there has been some iOS otome games available recently as well, but I worry about the quality of these free applications. Thankfully I discovered this neat little database for otome game fans. It neatly categorizes all otome games based on platform and the best part is that it only has info on English otome games, so I know I will be able to pick up the games listed if I want. The interesting thing about this site is that is includes otome games made by western developers and for this I’m actually quite thankful because there are a few titles that look quite interesting. (more…)

It’s been quite some time since my last impression featuring Shizune’s route. I sort of got burnt out mid-way through Lilly’s route, which caused finishing her route to drag. *sweat drop* That said, I still do want to play through the last two routes left (Hanako and Rin), so my impressions of those will happen, it’s just a matter of when. Hopefully I’ll be able to pace myself better now and avoid getting burnt out again. Well with that out of the way, I’ll dive into my impressions of this route and like always expect major spoilers beyond this point. Also, I will mention Emi’s route a lot, so spoilers on her route as well.

Lilly has the typical high class lady, or ojou-sama look.

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I’m back with my impressions of another route in Katawa Shoujo. This time I tried Shizune’s route, which is probably one of the least liked routes. I can see where others are coming from, but I do think the route did a lot of interesting things as well. Shizune was my favourite girl, design-wise; I liked the glasses and short hair immediately and I thought her in-game personality was charming enough. So even amid the negativity, I decided to do her route on my second playthrough. While not as good as Emi’s by any means, I still found the route a rather interesting specimen. Like last time, I shall be discussing the entire route, so major spoilers beyond this point.

Confident and nerdy. What’s not to like about her design?

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So I heard about Katawa Shoujo and how a group of people from 4chan (yes that 4chan) got together and made a dating sim featuring disabled girls. My first reaction was to think this was going to be horrible horrible stuff. I mean 4chan isn’t exactly sensitivity and thoughtfulness central. Then I heard it wasn’t that bad and actually handled the topic with care from fellow online gamers. Yes, I was intrigued. However I only got around to trying it recently as I was waiting for the official site to post a direct download link (sorry I don’t trust torrents, I had enough problems using one before (¬__¬)). Hence the delay in my own post compared to the rest of the gaming blogosphere. But nonetheless I want to share my thoughts, so here they are~

Before I delve into Emi’s route though, I do want to point out to those unfamiliar with the game that each route had its own writer and artist so my thoughts here pertain exclusively to Emi’s route and do not extend to the rest of the routes (which I have yet to play). Also major spoilers from this point on. You have been warned.

Just a cute bubbly girl, right?

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