Random Discussion Topic - Redux

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User Info: NeutralDrow

NeutralDrow
3 years ago#1
"Even with the very comment of thy soul observe mine uncle. If his occulted guilt do not itself unkennel in one speech, it is a damned ghost that we have seen, and my imaginations are as foul as Vulcan's smithy."
- Hamlet, Hamlet: Act 3


Let the record show that I am unwilling to let a thing die unless convinced that it has lived its life to the fullest.

...and given where we are, that sentiment is suddenly hitting uncomfortably close to home. >_>



So, how 'bout that news that Clannad's getting an official English release?
"Oh man, we're in trouble!"
"Don't worry. The worst that can happen is we all die."

User Info: Zap0

Zap0
3 years ago#2
I'm happy to see you opening this thread. Fears of abandonment and dissolving groups on the internet had already poisoned my mind. Of course it's been months since I posted last as well, but I haven't forgotten this little corner :-)

Clannad is pretty high on my "to play" list, given all the nice things I've read about it. An official, professional release has the chance to invest more resources and deliver a better experience, I suppose? Unless it's going to come out 2019, I think I'll wait for it.

There were a couple VN's I've enjoyed over the summer, partly chosen on last threads recommendations.
The other day, however, I had somewhat of a Kana flashback. I was browsing some old thread on this board (not daring to open a new one) and got hit right back in the feels. The next day in school I came across an article about organ donations. Had to put it away with tears welling up in my eyes again, for some reason.
Most people I know don't seem to give this topic much thought, but I believe I should clarify my thoughts on this some day in the future. This game has affected me, for better or for worse.

User Info: NeutralDrow

NeutralDrow
3 years ago#3
Ouch. I still get those flashbacks every so often...not as much after finding out a few months ago that my uncle has stage 5 chronic kidney disease, though. Feels kind of terrible to admit, but I'm not that close to him and he's fairly old, so it's more an uncomfortable recognition-inducing than flashbacky.

I really need to stop being distracted and keep playing at least the visual novel I'm currently on (Air). It really does help with the stress, as long as I don't lose too much sleep over it. I think I'm working off a half-decade debt at this point...

And yeah. Funny thing is, I already have Clannad on my computer, and I was ready to dance when I actually got it to work. Unfortunately, I already had five other VNs started and uncompleted at that time, and I kinda promised someone else I would play Muv-Luv before Clannad (totally going to break that promise now, though, since the thing that apparently makes Muv-Luv good is precisely what I don't want now). With an official release coming out, I don't feel as bad about not getting around to it.
"Oh man, we're in trouble!"
"Don't worry. The worst that can happen is we all die."

User Info: Zap0

Zap0
3 years ago#4
Looks like there isn't much going on here. Let me talk about my adventures, then.
I have taken it to vndb.org to keep track of what VN's I've played and, more importantly, may want to play in the future. It's especially hard to distinguish between Japanese names since you can't associate anything with them.
Currently, my "have yet to play" list is longer then the "finished" list :-)

So far I've talked about pretty much every VN I played on this board. So, almost three months ago, at the start of summer holidays, I was sick in bed and started Cross Channel. I'd seen recommendations on the Katawa Shoujo board here on Gamefaqs and the Top 10 list that was linked here a while back.
The described game/storytelling mechanic I read about was fascinating, and it seems that this was the third of three VN's that the author of Kana had worked on. Turned out both the recommendation and the list were written by the same guy, BDSM, but at that point I was already well into the game.
My memory isn't all that fresh anymore with the details, but this game took me on quite a ride. I was a bit at odds with the main character from the start because of just how panty-focused he was, and every time I thought I found a redeeming quality my hope was squashed soon after. It was similar with my impression of the game in general. I wasn't a fan of the slapstick type humor often displayed, but the plot was interesting and may well have been the strongest point for me. The characters in general weren't terribly interesting, except for the ninja girl. I loved that ninja girl :D
The game was longer than I thought originally. The looping nature of the stages (and time itself) was pretty clever. I never got the feeling that I was on somebodies route in particular, while playing through it all, I was on everybodies route.
I'm not really certain exactly why I ended up liking the game in the end, but I did nonetheless. It's difficult to put in some sort of ranking at any rate.

I'm sure while I was playing I had lots of things on my mind which I'd have liked to discuss. Maybe I should have gotten around to posting about this earlier. I will strive to do so in the future.
When adding Cross Channel to my list on vndb, I noticed that there was a patch (Tower of Friends), that includes two extra scenes. The other night I played through them, but I feel I may have gotten more out of that if I'd played it after/during my original playthrough. It certainly reminded me of the slightly off feeling the game conveyed.


The only other VN I've played since then was Fate/Stay Night and various related things, given the discussion around that in the previous thread, but that is a thing to write about another day.

User Info: NeutralDrow

NeutralDrow
3 years ago#5
Cross Channel has been on my list for a while, but I haven't even come close to playing it. I just knew it was Romeo Tanaka's work, and came with the recommendation of someone in the Escapist VN group.

Currently, my "have yet to play" list is longer then the "finished" list :-)
You have my heartfelt empathy. I might even be worse, I think I've only completed one VN since I graduated three years ago...wait, no, two, Katawa Shoujo and Da Capo. Either way, I'm occasionally surprised I've even broken double-digits in the "finished" category, with my schedule.

Luckily, though, I've stalled in all my other games (just finished a two-week Terraria binge), so I'll have some time for VNs again. But I don't know which one I should pick back up...Snow Sakura, Grisaia no Kajitsu, Air, Family Project, Higurashi, hell, even Go Go Nippon?

...guess I'll default to Air for now.

The only other VN I've played since then was Fate/Stay Night and various related things, given the discussion around that in the previous thread, but that is a thing to write about another day.

I'd be interested. If nothing else, it would help me keep my perspective, since my experience was unendingly positive. Hell, writing my review on the Escapist, I had to borrow other peoples' complaints.
"Oh man, we're in trouble!"
"Don't worry. The worst that can happen is we all die."

User Info: virumor

virumor
3 years ago#6
A lot gets lost in translation with Cross Channel and Kazoku Keikaku, apparently. Tanaka has a writing style that is difficult to translate.

I wanted to read something light-hearted and gave Come see me tonight a try. So far nothing rubs me the wrong way. It's basically the game Sagara Family should have been. That game really robbed me the wrong way with its incestuous ménage-à-trois routes.

User Info: Zap0

Zap0
3 years ago#7
The translation of Cross Channel I got was Amaterasus, which had many additional comments to explain some of the details that get lost - but of course there is no way of knowing just what still is amiss without having read the original.
I wonder if the translations of KLS and Crescendo worked better or if he used a different style for those.

As a student I still have lots of time on hand and I like to devote large chunks of time to a single thing, marathoning for as long as I want or until the alarm rings. Experiencing stuff this way can be quite intense for me, but as a result I may not remember details as well later on compared to something episodic, where you have to recall and are reminded time and time again.
Describing the feelings you get while playing through something is very hard to begin with, and this doesn't make it easier. At times I wonder just how much of what I remember is me trying to put in words what I thought about a game/story or what I felt while playing it. The line gets fuzzy, but that's probably not a bad thing. In any case, I like coming here to talk about stuff :-)

Earlier this week I was feeling kinda down and started ef - the first tale. The selection was made pureley because I already had it on my drive as a friend had given me a copy. I finished it in three sessions and wasn't terribly impressed with it. Not entirely sure why, because I was looking for the kind of light story that it is. Some parts of the game were slightly irritating, there were still CG's but animated mouths for the characters and halfway through your main character changes to someone who has before not been described as someone you'd identify with. While that aspect of the story was neat, it was confusing at first. I liked how that allowed the story to progress and not make a large what-if scenario out of the whole story based on player choices.
There were some choices in it, but those seemed largely irrelevant to me. They did throw me back to the main menu twice after my character gave up on, yes, what exactly? I don't know. This is the first game in which I didn't pursue other choices to get "100% completion" since the choices seemed to do only minor scene changes to a linear story and they were unpredictable to me anyway.
In the end I may have missed some scenes as made evident by the CG viewer (there were lots of individual scene CG's).
The story was okay, I was neither bored nor overly engaged in it. I wonder if my expectations have been screwed after reading more action and drama driven stuff like Fate and Cross Channel?
The ending hinted on a sequel (the latter tale) for which I have yet to find a download. It's listed as a different release of the same game on vndb. I better look into it before I move on.
There also seems to be an anime. I think I like the format of VN's more, but I'd take a look after I find the sequel to avoid spoilers and so I get all the references.

I'd be interested. If nothing else, it would help me keep my perspective, since my experience was unendingly positive. Hell, writing my review on the Escapist, I had to borrow other peoples' complaints.

I'm afraid my experience was similar to yours, so It'll probably only serve to reinforce the "unendingly positive" part. I also went and read your review. I like it, I had no idea such things were on the Escapist. Also, your forum avatar is really slick!

For now I'll play Hourglass of Summer or Phantom of Inferno. The idea of using an interactive DVD as format for a VN intrigued me. I think I read someone here mentioning one of those too, so I'll report back here soon.

User Info: NeutralDrow

NeutralDrow
3 years ago#8
I wanted to read something light-hearted and gave Come see me tonight a try. So far nothing rubs me the wrong way. It's basically the game Sagara Family should have been. That game really robbed me the wrong way with its incestuous ménage-à-trois routes.

I might try that, since I was definitely looking for something specific when I pickd The Sagara Family. I haven't actually gotten to most of the threesomes yet, but if they're all as bad as Arisa/Sanae...actually, pretty much everything involving Arisa has been disappointing so far. Her involvement has so far indicated parts where the story devolves into porn logic.

And yet, Sanae has so far become my favorite character. I would not have guessed that from the beginning.
Experiencing stuff this way can be quite intense for me, but as a result I may not remember details as well later on compared to something episodic, where you have to recall and are reminded time and time again. Describing the feelings you get while playing through something is very hard to begin with, and this doesn't make it easier. At times I wonder just how much of what I remember is me trying to put in words what I thought about a game/story or what I felt while playing it. The line gets fuzzy, but that's probably not a bad thing. In any case, I like coming here to talk about stuff :-)

Funny story about that, from my perspective...I actually take notes while I play. Started doing that while playing A Drug That Makes You Dream, partly because I'd resolved to start reviewing VNs and wanted to make sure I had my initial impressions on hand. I also started taking screenshots while actually playing, so I'd have a good selection to choose from for reviews without having to scour the game afterward.

And then at some point I realized that my notes were turning out novella length, and my screenshots were numbering in the hundreds. And together they turned out to be pure stream-of-consciousness narratives of my experiences playing, for most of the visual novels I've played.

Earlier this week I was feeling kinda down and started ef - the first tale.

That one's in my playlist. If it's the one I'm thinking of, I watched one episode of the anime one year, involving a girl with anti-retrograde amnesia who can only store, like, 16 hours worth of memories, or something. Still gonna have to play it, myself, there's always the chance I'll like it more.

Not entirely sure why, because I was looking for the kind of light story that it is.

You should try Symphonic Rain, if you haven't already. I was looking for something light and lighthearted when I first picked it up. Because irony is a *****.

I'm afraid my experience was similar to yours, so It'll probably only serve to reinforce the "unendingly positive" part. I also went and read your review. I like it, I had no idea such things were on the Escapist. Also, your forum avatar is really slick!

Thanks! I need to go through my reviews again, since it looks like all my image links are now broken. Imageshack and I went through a breakup some time back. >_>

Thanks again! Probably going to be switching to something new for Halloween, then winter (always someone from Type-Moon).

For now I'll play Hourglass of Summer or Phantom of Inferno. The idea of using an interactive DVD as format for a VN intrigued me. I think I read someone here mentioning one of those too, so I'll report back here soon.

Maybe it was me? I may have mentioned something along the lines of "Hourglass of Summer has an absolutely fascinating premise, and a chillingly good prologue, which is the only reason I'm continuing playing on this incredibly irritating format."

Not terribly fond of the interactive DVD thing, myself. I prefer save files over passwords.
"Oh man, we're in trouble!"
"Don't worry. The worst that can happen is we all die."

User Info: Hikaru-Mamoru

Hikaru-Mamoru
3 years ago#9
I have to admit that I haven't played any VNs in a while. Do you guys have some recommendations for
me?

User Info: Zap0

Zap0
3 years ago#10
Recommendations? Since there is nothing to go on, the only newly translated thing I've played is Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, which was good. Prequesite to that is Fate/Stay Night.

I actually take notes while I play. [...] Together they turned out to be pure stream-of-consciousness narratives of my experiences playing, for most of the visual novels I've played.

It must be interesting to be able to revisit them this way. It makes sense to do this if you're writing reviews, but doesn't it take a long time? May that be part of the reason why you've not finished as many as you've started in the more recent past?

Maybe it was me? I may have mentioned something along the lines of "Hourglass of Summer has an absolutely fascinating premise, and a chillingly good prologue, which is the only reason I'm continuing playing on this incredibly irritating format."


Considering how many people there are here after all, it may well have been you. I didn't check, but I did notice that game in your completed/planned reviews section when I sat down to play after my last post and saw I still had the tab open from when I initially checked it out. Then I got somewhat derailed by also reading what you had to say about the other games I've played (How come reviews for stuff one knows seem to be so much more interesting, anyway?) and the comments. They linked me to tvtropes, where the remainder of the day was spent. There must definitely be an allure to reading about stuff you know and identifying yourself with it, because it seems one can spend a whole day doing it. http://xkcd.com/609/ is quite an accurate description. Accordingly, I haven't touched the games I mentioned yet.

I did however find the second part of ef - a fairy tale of the two, called the latter tale. Just got through the first half (and first route) of it, and I enjoyed it more than the two routes in the first tale. It was the route dealing with the girl that has the memory defect you mentioned.
The story wasn't groundbreaking, I (correctly) guessed the outcome from the start, but the girls unique circumstances put a new spin on things. I found myself actually attached to the characters and engaged in their story here, more so than previously. This one wasn't quite as happy too.

A thought that has crossed my mind a couple times is that it might be easier to generate attachment or a good story when you introduce an extreme element, be it a memory defect, a terminal illness, pregnancy, suicide or, you know, supernatural magic battles. Maybe it's something that's easier to understand and to relate to. Does it devalue these stories somehow for taking the easy route? I don't really think so. Does it make the others morally better? Do they overshadow a "tamer" plot with more "taste and color", making "regular" stories seem bland and not as enjoyable in comparison?
It's not like these things don't happen (except for the last one, maybe), but they're not likely to happen to you on a regular basis, if at all. I was going to mention Katawa Shoujo as a game that doesn't make use of these elements and is still popular and held in high regard, but it's in there too, just not quite as openly displayed. Earlier scripts seem to have dealt with pregnancy and suicide, but the writers have managed without in the end. I suppose a simple love story would be boring without a conflict to overcome, or have all the more impact because of it.
There is no specific point or conclusion I want to make with this, just sharing my thoughts.

You should try Symphonic Rain, if you haven't already. I was looking for something light and lighthearted when I first picked it up. Because irony is a *****.

Now I'm not quite sure what to make of this statement. Guess I'll have to find out! Moved it up from medium priority to high in my wishlist :-)
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