August 23rd, 2013

Review – Phenomeno

Phenomeno Title

Phenomeno is one of those game that I would have given a ten… IF it didn’t descend into objectification of the characters. Really there’s no need for it other than to tell me the main character is a misogynist to where the only thing he sees first and that matters on a woman is her breasts, followed by her looks. Especially the Krishna character that gets a dose fetish going on. Creepy rapist fetish too. It really took me out of the mood that was set up.
Otherwise the sounds effects and mood for this horror novel are really done well and not overdone to the point of sillyness. Another annoying fact is the translators changed the font from a Mincho font to more of a Gothic font which also kills some of the atmosphere.


The story is about a student who wants a cheap house so of course he buys the most out of the way, haunted looking house ever ‘the house that grants wishes’. Promptly the house starts creaking and making noise and numbers start appearing which leads him to want to get the house investigated. Enter Yoishi, Karasu and Krishna. Who if the story treated them as human would make the mood even more creepy.

Characters: All the characters are sexualized in some way to the point that the story suffers for it and you are wondering if they are even really needed. Yoishi is the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”, Karasu  is the skatily clad, large breasted beer drinker, and Krishna is the lolicon fetish with the distended and grotesque looking breasts. Seriously the artist needs to learn anatomy. None of these chracter really feel believable because of all that and in the end your hoping the main character dies a horrible death.

Music & Sound:  The music and sound fit really well and set a good mood for the whole game, it it wasn’t being destroyed by the horrible character designs.

Overall: If you really can’t stand characters to be given the misogyny snapshot, then give this one a pass. There a few other horror games out there that will probably set the same mood. Otherwise just try and ignore the silly designs and try to stay in the mood of the game.


August 23rd, 2013

Short Reviews – [text], The Noose

A list of short reviews for games that aren’t quite long enough to have established characters, but are nice little short distractions.



[text] is a short game that depending on the choice is either a slice of life, or a scary story. It’s nice and short and too the point. I only kind of wish the uncle was characterized a little more, but the game is that short. A nice little distraction for when you have some time to kill.

The Noose

The Noose is a game that takes about 3 hours to get through and the middle is filled with such over the top repetitive words and phrases it gets silly, so by the time the real scary stuff happens you are just tied. Also sound effects are used way too much in scenes to the point they just get annoying.

Also the story is confusing as fuck. I don’t know it it’s the translation that’s bad or really you just don’t quite get what’s going on, but by the end that diary entry still makes no sense.

January 19th, 2012

Review – Dusk

Dusk - Title Screen
If the title art isn’t any indication of what this novel is about, Dusk is another kinetic novel that I was drawn to because it seemed to be a good Twilight parody. While Twilight has been parodied to death, this one was in the form of a kinetic novel. The author of this is also the same one that did Lucky Rabbit Reflex, which is a visual novel with all the proper dialogue trees and the like.

The good: Overall I found the novel to be funny. I’m not familiar with the books having only seen the movie, but this does a good job of pointing out the blatant contradictions, such as Ephraim (Edward) going up to Angelica (Bella) just to tell her that she shouldn’t hang around him or that he shouldn’t hang around her before zipping off into the crowd and such. Other parts are about how smart she is, that there are only ten kids that go to the school and sometimes Angelica has friends show up. Even Jared (Jacob), with his russet cheeks, is succinctly both blatantly stereotyped and troped to point out the problems with Twilight. Passion and constipation await you!

The bad: There’s only one music track, which repeats throughout the whole novel. Having a variety more would have broken up the repetition. The character only have a few expressions too, then again in the movie they didn’t have a lot of expressions either. I guess in part two of this novel he will get a chance to sparkle.

The extra: NASA level string theory!

The nitpick: The novel cuts off in the middle of the “book”, at least compared to Twilight. It would have been nice to have a bit more story. Also we don’t get to see Ephraim’s hot and younger father.

January 15th, 2012

Review – That Cheap And Sacred Thing

The title screen

That Cheap and Sacred Thing is a kinetic visual novel, meaning if you bang on the enter key long enough, you’ll get to the ending. There are no branching paths, it’s like an electronic storybook.

What attracted me to this was the description of androids, male androids. I loves me some androids as they are uncommon compared to the gynoids that seem to populate everything. I can name very few pieces of art that have androids as a central character, but can name tons and tons of things with gynoids as a central character.

This novel didn’t disappoint me. Jude is the android in question and he’s a sex worker (or sex slave considering his status to serve humans) which is a double rarity. That’s what got me to download this as I don’t usually like kinetics.
The story is a simple one about robot love between Autumn and Elly, her MyPal that had to be destroyed. Jude comes in when her well meaning friends decide to buy her a sex toy (which is Jude’s function basically) for her seventeenth birthday.

The Good: The story was very emotional and the characters were well realized. The only one I felt that didn’t get too much of the spotlight was Rick. I liked his design the best :3 I also like the fact that nobody said anything disparaging against Nadiya and her love of AmorBots. The ending was satisfying and even the stinger wasn’t disappointing and added to the wrapping up of the story versus setting up a part two. The ending it should be noted, is quite emotional and might leave you crying or at least tearing up. So, don’t go into this novel if you want to feel happy/spunky afterwards.

The Bad: The world is very… sad. It seems even in the future men haven’t been taught to not rape people, thus women are assigned the MyPals and GuardBots. Even worse is that the male AmorBots are basically taught to rape women by coercing them into sex despite the fact they’ve already said no. Jude forcing the issue of sex. Jude does this to Autumn even go so far as to whining about it. If robots are to serve humans I would like to think that they’d program in the “No means no” and start to execute some other program. Maybe romantic cuddling, back massage or something else. It also seems the only reason Jude stops is because of the “error” that Autumn triggers in robots. This is stated in the “bonus” section of the novel. Bonus section stating that: Jude is concerned with romance and a good orgasm, so his love manifests by putting the moves on Autumn.
It’s something that seems to plague Sci-Fi novels and games, that humans can’t get over socially constructed behaviors such as that. (David Weber does it too and oh boy is it worse >.<)

The Extra: I’m wondering if the author knows about Phantasy Star Online and the CAst character :3 As CAsts are androids and TCAST and yes, my mind went there. Just an observation as I played a few CAsts in my day. (*sniff* Dannie ;^;)

The Nitpick: The music I felt wasn’t that good. At least one in particular I wanted to mute (Happy Mood). The rest were too short and the looping was a bit repetitive. Which some scenes can get a bit long. Having longer and more varied pieces would probably have been better. However the ending song was most appropriate. Another nitpick is that the sprites jump a couple pixels when they emote. I don’t know if that was intentional, but from other visual novels it seems that staying in place is the norm.