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StarTopic Visual Novels |ST| Let’s-a-read!

SirArthur

Koopa
Pronouns
He/Him

There are some deep discounts here for anyone on the fence. Ill post the list:

Plus some other SC games.

For my part, both AI games are top notch. Ill grab Robotics for the holidays.
 

xghost777

King B00 Fan #TeamJRPG

There are some deep discounts here for anyone on the fence. Ill post the list:

Plus some other SC games.

For my part, both AI games are top notch. Ill grab Robotics for the holidays.
Ooh might jump on the Danganronpas to have them on Switch. Best Buy never delivered my preorder and I gave up then (they didn't charge me to be clear).

Thanks for sharing!
 

JoshuaJSlone

Like Like
Pronouns
he / him

There are some deep discounts here for anyone on the fence. Ill post the list:
The article claims these are good for November 17-30, but they all seem regular price to me still on the 18th?

Checking now I see the discounts seem active in Europe, but not U.S. (yet).
 

fortuna

Rattata
Hey guys! I just spent half the afternoon sneakily reading this thread, when I could, and everybody's opinions were really interesting. I'm definitely picking up Gnosia and Raging Loop now, since this thread had so much fun with them! Not to mention the often recommended Ace Attorney series, though I've at least already started the trilogy.

VNs are actually a pretty intense case of "favorite genre I've rarely ever played" for me right now hahaha.

I'm a heavy reader and was first attracted to games as "another way to experience a story". And VNs are basically a newer, quickly evolving method to tell stories! So uhh I haven't had a lot of time to play a lot of them yet, but I... sorta hyperfixated on the subject and did a ton of research instead...

(I did find some pretty interesting stuff, such as The Case of YU-NO. It seems it was a truly groundbreaking game in its time, but hasn't aged well at all. Really cool to read about and piece together, but I get why the few of you who played it found it much harder to appreciate. Still gotta thank it for, well, basically -- revolutionarizing methods of VN storytelling, establishing the currently most favored formula, and forcing every other contemporary VN to step up its game.)

Anyway a few people here wondered about otome -- I see @Appelsider even mentioned a few titles, in the beginning of the year? -- and since I ended up researching the currently translated titles for those as well, I thought I might share what I found? I see the criteria was "is there more romance or is there more plot", so, from what I've been able to find out:

Code:Realize is much more plotty than romantic (and more "found family" than romance). It has themes it wants to discuss and a plot it wants to deal with. Apparently there was then too little romance. Said romance (and therefore relationship development) was added into the sequels. Setting is victorian steampunk.

Piofore seems to be mostly about relationships, with background plot. Most notable for playing around with its mafia theme and the verosimilitude/romance book divide: the good endings play into the fantasy of earning the affection of a ruthless man, while the bad endings draw into the male lead's backgrounds with a more realistic outlook. Setting is mafia twenties.

Olympia Soiree has a lot of worldbuilding and a lot of vibes. Otherwise, it's mostly romance, though it does have themes it enjoys exploring. It's been praised for a good portrayal and discussion of racism, but likes playing around with sexism in a shakier way, too. Setting is caste based fantasy.

Bustafellows cares more about its plot. It seems to draw a lot of inspiration from movies or series -- over the top, unrealistic, suspenseful and fun, with a good amount of drama and shocking angst. Setting is criminal do gooders/heist.

CollarxMalice has a pretty strong plot. Therefore, the most annoying thing about said plot, seems to be that the heroine is the least useful member of the team. Still a very well liked VN, and the heroine is paradoxically praised for not being passive. Setting is cops solving crimes.

Cafe Enchante is an interesting case here, but I guess I'll come down on saying it has more romance. It's a very "daily life" story anyway, and each route has its own plot and worldbuilding, but they're both in service of advancing the relationship between the characters. Notable for being bittersweet and melancholic. Setting is urban fantasy.

Cupid Parasite is outright romcom with emphasis on comedy. It does have a plot, but it apparently doesn't even show up until midway through the romances. Setting is... romcom fantasy is a pretty good description here.

Final analysis is that people who'd like to try otome, but don't want to deal with too much mush, might want to try Code:Realize or Bustafellows. Code:Realize seems to have the better writing, but is also slower and more feelgoody.
 

MSnap

Paratroopa
Pronouns
He/Him
(I did find some pretty interesting stuff, such as The Case of YU-NO. It seems it was a truly groundbreaking game in its time, but hasn't aged well at all. Really cool to read about and piece together, but I get why the few of you who played it found it much harder to appreciate. Still gotta thank it for, well, basically -- revolutionarizing methods of VN storytelling, establishing the currently most favored formula, and forcing every other contemporary VN to step up its game.)
I don’t think I’ve talked about YU-NO in this thread but it’s easily one of my favorite video games of all time, despite it being… a 90s eroge.
 

Appelsider

OvO/ ✨
Pronouns
She/Her
Hey guys! I just spent half the afternoon sneakily reading this thread, when I could, and everybody's opinions were really interesting. I'm definitely picking up Gnosia and Raging Loop now, since this thread had so much fun with them! Not to mention the often recommended Ace Attorney series, though I've at least already started the trilogy.

VNs are actually a pretty intense case of "favorite genre I've rarely ever played" for me right now hahaha.


Anyway a few people here wondered about otome -- I see @Appelsider even mentioned a few titles, in the beginning of the year? -- and since I ended up researching the currently translated titles for those as well, I thought I might share what I found? I see the criteria was "is there more romance or is there more plot", so, from what I've been able to find out:

Code:Realize is much more plotty than romantic (and more "found family" than romance). It has themes it wants to discuss and a plot it wants to deal with. Apparently there was then too little romance. Said romance (and therefore relationship development) was added into the sequels. Setting is victorian steampunk.

Piofore seems to be mostly about relationships, with background plot. Most notable for playing around with its mafia theme and the verosimilitude/romance book divide: the good endings play into the fantasy of earning the affection of a ruthless man, while the bad endings draw into the male lead's backgrounds with a more realistic outlook. Setting is mafia twenties.

Olympia Soiree has a lot of worldbuilding and a lot of vibes. Otherwise, it's mostly romance, though it does have themes it enjoys exploring. It's been praised for a good portrayal and discussion of racism, but likes playing around with sexism in a shakier way, too. Setting is caste based fantasy.

Bustafellows cares more about its plot. It seems to draw a lot of inspiration from movies or series -- over the top, unrealistic, suspenseful and fun, with a good amount of drama and shocking angst. Setting is criminal do gooders/heist.

CollarxMalice has a pretty strong plot. Therefore, the most annoying thing about said plot, seems to be that the heroine is the least useful member of the team. Still a very well liked VN, and the heroine is paradoxically praised for not being passive. Setting is cops solving crimes.

Cafe Enchante is an interesting case here, but I guess I'll come down on saying it has more romance. It's a very "daily life" story anyway, and each route has its own plot and worldbuilding, but they're both in service of advancing the relationship between the characters. Notable for being bittersweet and melancholic. Setting is urban fantasy.

Cupid Parasite is outright romcom with emphasis on comedy. It does have a plot, but it apparently doesn't even show up until midway through the romances. Setting is... romcom fantasy is a pretty good description here.

Final analysis is that people who'd like to try otome, but don't want to deal with too much mush, might want to try Code:Realize or Bustafellows. Code:Realize seems to have the better writing, but is also slower and more feelgoody.

Nice, I'm glad you're enjoying the genre!!
And thank you sm for giving such a nice summary for the otomes!

It's funny because I indeed ended up getting Code:Realize and Bustafellows as I heared those were more plot focused!

I've seen the anime of C:R when it first aired and thought it was pretty good, so I always kept my eye on it. Haven't gotten to playing the vn yet though!
I did make a tiny start to Bustafellows and it seems interesting enough! I just still need to get used to the time gimmick and figure out which order to play in. XD
 

fortuna

Rattata
@MSnap I'm glad there's people who appreciate it! I guess, in many ways, its 90s-erogeness still works as intended: as I see it, YU-NO was written to completely pull the rug from under the reader's feet, by having a 90s eroge protagonist, and starting a 90s eroge scenario, and then going... the way it goes. The fact that we're no longer in the 90s, and eroge is no longer the only formula, does help with the complete whiplash, but it still works as intended!

Btw, since you've actually read it, I meant to ask for confirmation on one facet of it: as I understood it, YU-NO subtly changes genre and theme depending on which heroine's path the main character is pursuing. Does it really?

@Appelsider, thanks for the welcome! Haha it really is funny that we came to the same conclusions. I didn't even know C:R had an anime! That gives me hope, tho, since VN animes tend to be a fair bit worse than the actual VNs.

Hope you enjoy the games! And let us know about your impressions, when you get around to them!
 

MSnap

Paratroopa
Pronouns
He/Him
Btw, since you've actually read it, I meant to ask for confirmation on one facet of it: as I understood it, YU-NO subtly changes genre and theme depending on which heroine's path the main character is pursuing. Does it really?
You could say that. All the heroines kinda have their own thing going on, and they rarely intersect. But YU-NO’s whole deal is that it’s kind of a giant puzzle box. It’s easier to see if you take a look at the flowchart, but in order to unlock the epilogue, you have to collect all the jewels on the map, which requires some time trickery. The epilogue itself is a whole other thing.
 

fortuna

Rattata
You could say that. All the heroines kinda have their own thing going on, and they rarely intersect.
Thank you! And I suppose that's another good trick to make them feel realer -- dragging the main character along into their issues. I'm really curious about the epilogue, too... I kind of want to play YU-NO, just to have the experience, but I have this weird impression that the remake wasn't made with as much care as it deserved, and the original is just too hard to deal with. So it's ended up on the backburner. (On the other hand... that remake opening song!)
 

MSnap

Paratroopa
Pronouns
He/Him
Thank you! And I suppose that's another good trick to make them feel realer -- dragging the main character along into their issues. I'm really curious about the epilogue, too... I kind of want to play YU-NO, just to have the experience, but I have this weird impression that the remake wasn't made with as much care as it deserved, and the original is just too hard to deal with. So it's ended up on the backburner. (On the other hand... that remake opening song!)
Having actually played both, the remake does its job just fine, and actually mostly cuts out my least favorite part of the game. While it doesn’t have the artwork of the original, it does have a good (not necessarily better or worse) voice cast, and it does include the original soundtrack as an option, which was like half the atmosphere. It also has a hint system if you need it.
 

fortuna

Rattata
Having actually played both, the remake does its job just fine, and actually mostly cuts out my least favorite part of the game. While it doesn’t have the artwork of the original, it does have a good (not necessarily better or worse) voice cast, and it does include the original soundtrack as an option, which was like half the atmosphere. It also has a hint system if you need it.
That's actually really convincing, I'll add it back on playing the list now!

Yeah I'd heard the voice cast did a worse job (less emotion, apparently, it's a relief to hear it's not so) and the new artwork just... doesn't have the soul the older one did, to me. (What did they do to the stepmother character's face... She now looks younger than the actual teenagers.)

Which was your least favorite part of the game?
 

MSnap

Paratroopa
Pronouns
He/Him
That's actually really convincing, I'll add it back on playing the list now!

Yeah I'd heard the voice cast did a worse job (less emotion, apparently, it's a relief to hear it's not so) and the new artwork just... doesn't have the soul the older one did, to me. (What did they do to the stepmother character's face... She now looks younger than the actual teenagers.)

Which was your least favorite part of the game?
Without going into serious spoiler territory, most of the more intimate scenes aren’t entirely cut out. While they never go into explicit detail, the game is still clearly an eroge. Having said that, there’s one scene in particular toward the end of the game that’s had more cut out than any of the other scenes, and I think it’s for the best, even if it’s still pretty obvious what’s going on there.
 

SirArthur

Koopa
Pronouns
He/Him

Great price. Its one of my fav games of the year. A chimera of a game with a odd cast and nice music. There is a demo and the progress carries over.
 

MSnap

Paratroopa
Pronouns
He/Him
Should be finishing Chaos;Head NoAH today, depending on how long these last 3 endings are.
 
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SirArthur

Koopa
Pronouns
He/Him

So they had a livestream today and this was the last (only game?) announcement. Hey, atleast Aquaplus is making switch games
 
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BlueKing

Piranha Plant
I saw Noisy Pixels review and they seem pretty high on the title. Tempted lol
I played the game and if you are someone that wants to get all the achievements and routes, then Buried Stars is a real slog. There is no flow chart to jump into, and the skip features skips everything including new dialogue.

Edit: also the translation is a bit...wonky, and thats being generous. There were several times when I wasn't even sure what was being said because of the phrasing, and some choices are both worded the same, and its only afterwards that you see the reaction if the answer was right or wrong.
 

SirArthur

Koopa
Pronouns
He/Him
I played the game and if you are someone that wants to get all the achievements and routes, then Buried Stars is a real slog. There is no flow chart to jump into, and the skip features skips everything including new dialogue.

Edit: also the translation is a bit...wonky, and thats being generous. There were several times when I wasn't even sure what was being said because of the phrasing, and some choices are both worded the same, and its only afterwards that you see the reaction if the answer was right or wrong.
Oh ok thanks. Yeah it seems that the translations is the biggest issue/complaint.
 

BlueKing

Piranha Plant
Oh ok thanks. Yeah it seems that the translations is the biggest issue/complaint.
I could look past the translation if there was an appropriate flowchart (like in Somnium Files or Raging Loop), but the wonky translation AND no flowchart is enough for me to not recommend the game.
 


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