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.

January 15th, 2012

Let’s FabStyle! – Style Savvy03

Lots and lots of places where I don’t really say anything. HOWEVER I get my avatar at the end :D!

Continue–>

September 27th, 2011

Review – Otome Game: (P)lanets

Title screen with the images of the three main "gettable" men

Title screen with the images of the three main "gettable" men

Where to begin with this game? Well let’s get the positive out of the way, because it all goes downhill from there.

The positives, the music isn’t bad and the art is actually pretty good.

The neutral, the sound effects are a bit repetitive however get the job done.

The negative… well there’s the story. The story is about as sexist and misogynistic as you can get. The author goes out of her way to hate on women and she doesn’t even realize it. Yes I checked, sexism to her is an opinion. I submit however most of the major sexist things.

First we start off in the usual school setting and it’s come to our attention that the main character is SO SMART that she is bored of class. We then go

Haruhi the crossdresser

Haruhi the crossdresser

into the hallway after she is carrying papers and meet Haruhi. Haruhi (name probably taken from a certain OTHER crossdresser of anime fandom that involves a host club) is a crossdressing boy that “Wants to feel like a girl” by dressing in women’s clothing. While I have nothing against crossdressing this kind of borders on not understanding trans* issues than just a boy that dresses up in girl’s clothing as made confusing by the description in the game. Later in the game Haruhi raises his shirt to “prove he’s a boy” and wants the main characters affections. So it’s a bit confusing when he’s saying he wants to be a girl. I can’t make a final declaration on it, however it did bother me that we are to read this person as a girl and then “I’m not girl, I’m a boy!” In the anime that most likely inspired this character, THAT Haruhi always IDs as a girl (except when IN the club) and makes no sayings about “I’m have a boy’s mind, but I’m a girl” kind of thing going on.

 

Picture of the main characters mom saying "She'll never be a bride!"

Picture of the main characters mom saying "She'll never be a bride!"

Then we hit the “It gets worse!” mode, with the nugget the main character’s mom drops. “You’ll never be a bride!” because she can’t cook. I passed this off as a “Japanese Trope”, but no, the author really believes that women
MUST learn how to cook and MUST be brides. I can pass this off in a Japanese game because the culture over there is KNOWN for being sexist, so it’s a “well duh it’s a Japanese game”. Seeing in a game that isn’t Japanese however, I question it. I’m not going to say the Amero-UKo cultures are any better, however most of these tropes are indeed identified by the anime community and laughed at, even getting TVTropes pages.

“So” you think, “that’s it?” No that’s NOT it. Depending on the guy your after depends on the sexism you get. I’ll admit to only getting through two out of the three, because the third one is “No Boundaries Guy”. You have “Douchebag With a Heart of Gold”, “No Boundaries Guy”, “Almost Decent Man”.

All these paths will take you to an attempted rape scene. YES, attempted rape. For you see this is the “White Knight” moment where you either get saved by the school principal or one of the guys. Both of them will tell you of course that “It’s all YOUR fault for not keeping up, talking to random men, and walking around after dark.” Yes.. they really do, and we have a LOT of the main character crying and saying it’s all her fault with the guys telling her to “Be more careful” and that they will have to protect her.

In “Douchebag With A Heart of Gold”‘s path, we find out the main character’s brain has turned to mush and she’s as dumb as a brick, so dumb she needs a MAN to help her do her math, then she needs a MAN to copy her homework from. Basically all that smart stuff we were told about her in the beginning was just pure crap. It also get’s worse when she BARELY scrapes her knee and now can’t walk. YES, thus prompting the guy to carry her like a helpless damsel. It is stated that it’s “barely scratched”. If you can’t walk, your leg is broken. Which isn’t the case. If your leg is sprained you can kind of hobble-limp. That’s what crutches are for. Can’t walk, call 911.
Anyways the deal with this guy is that he has a power so awesome he can trash people with it and he’s hurt people in the past, blah blah tropey blah and he likes to feed kittens.

In “Almost Decent” guy, we get more info on the “Bitch Posse” because you know, women are always jealous of each other and LOVE to fight over guys and are bitches and don’t deserve to be taken seriously amirite? Well, let’s just say he brainwashes these women into liking him accidentally and wants to reverse it, so I give him points on that. Where he takes the sexist turn in when they are talking about being an item and he is going on and on about protecting her. You know because women are fragile creatures that ALWAYS need men protecting them. She however is going on about how she has to STOP DOING THINGS because it would UPSET HIM and MAKE HIM WORRY.   FUCK!    YOU!

“No Boundaries Guy” doesn’t warrant a play through considering well, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word consent. Going on about how he kissed the main character against her will through a sandwich. Which is all kinds of fucked up. He steals her sandwich, she doesn’t want it however he leaves a bite which he forces into her mouth and says they had an “indirect kiss”. Yeah, don’t want to go near this guy with a ten thousand foot pole.

Overall I really didn’t like playing the game and I really didn’t like the attitude of the creator when confronted with these issues. It’s a mark that the otome genre will constantly be filled with misogynistic crap like this if creators don’t take time to analyze what they are promoting when they copy paste Japanese culture.