February 13th, 2014

Quick Review – Halloween Otome

Halloween Otome Title

Halloween Otome Title

I’ll make this one short and sweet as I couldn’t put up with the blatant misogyny in this “otome game”.
First off the MC (Main Character) and her friend both look like they were referenced from a “bishoujo game” basically a for male audience game, thus the skimpy outfits, broken uncomfortable arm anatomy to show off breasts etc. This is supposed to be an otome game, I am playing this to get away from bishoujoge bullshit. Yet.. there it is!!

These next ones speak for themselves. Let’s to say Mr. Misogyny was sure that I was hitting the kill switch on this game fast.

Firstly the “FEEEEMALES!!” one… He refers to old men as MEN.. not “Old males”, but women are clearly FEMALES. A dehumanizing term.

Next is the “Excuse me this is NO JOB FOR A LADY” bullshit. Yeah seriously, GTFO of otome games Mr. Misogyny.

Lest to say I hit the exit button and didn’t look back. It MIGHT have been a better game except for this bullshit. I am NOT going to sit through this crap.

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.

Story:

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]

[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.

August 16th, 2013

Review – Dysfunctional Systems

Title screen of Dysfunctional Systems

Title screen of Dysfunctional Systems

Dysfunctional systems was a game who’s execution is nice and the opening is awesome and the music is awesome, however it disappoints in a lot of minor ways that add up to a lot of papercuts that bleed and hurt.

The main flaw of this game lies in the characters, which for a visual novel is crucial. You have the two main characters Winter and Cyrus. Winter is 14 and Cyrus is a misogynistic asshole. Cyrus is also Winter’s mentor so she had to jump whenever he says to. This power dynamic is terrible.

When you start off with him he treats her like a pet than a human being. Constantly calls her “girl” and dismisses anything she has to say. There a scene where she is going to punch him and the creators decided that since she’s a girl she has absolutely zero force behind it, where in Cyrus just pats her on her head. They obviously know shit about fourteen year old girls. I though this would just be his character as terrible as writers feel the need to keep using these shitty characters. Later towards the end of the game however I see that other shittiness peek out.
The main thing that first killed me on this is when they get to Sule and Cyrus is forcing Winter to drink. Winter over and over says she doesn’t want to, so Cyrus overrides her bodily autonomy and forcefully coerces her to drink in the bar using both his status as a mentor and his supposed knowledge. You find out his oh so great experience is a pile of beans. This is where I was shaking my head. Here we have a male character forcing a female character to do something against their will, I might add she’s 14 and considered underage to be drinking here in the real world, there on Earthen and even on Sule. So now her morals are compromised too, all so the writer could sneak in her having him do something for her. Whoop de doo. In stead of writing a good character and a good plot in Cyrus, they chose to write a shitty one. I seriously wanted him to be pulled off the mission. Seriously, the time it comes up for you to use that bit, it could be solved different ways.. like oohhh.. him finally being convinced to do things her way. No she basically has to be mentally assaulted to resolve that.

I did my best to try and ignore that glaring garbage, and was about to write a somewhat better review, then I decided to try for the other ending……. That’s when we get into the fat shaming, gender shaming and homophobia. Oh they also make fun of a characters accent too, because that’s always funny. I would say it’s racist, but the character Irie isn’t described in any detail and the accent to me seemed Irish. I should not that Earthen is constantly being described as a “Utopian/Egalitarian Society”
Anyway, here’s a screen of the dialogue, Waverly (Winter’s Roomate) and Irie (Random Person):

Waverly "She's not gaunt."
Her smile vanishes.
Irie "Aye, you're right, V: ‘er thighs..."
Her smile returns.
Irie "What does she do to fill those thighs, V? Hath she let you give ‘em a
squeeze, yet?"
Waverly "'Y-Yet'!?"
Irie "She's a mess of a girl-'ardly e'en looks a girl-but those legs..."
Irie "Who gave ‘er the idea to wear those stockings of 'ers? Goodness!"
Waverly "You sound like a lesbian."
Irie "V, I'm just admiring another beau'iful woman, as a beautiful woman
m'self. Nothin' lezzy about tha'."
Her lips twist a little, and she looks right into my eyes.
Irie "Tell me, who here would think of another girl with lustful eyes? Who's the
man, Waverly?"
Waverly "..."
Irie but I digress! Winnie could stand to be much more beautiful, eh
right?

Mind you that Winter is sleeping and under the covers so they have basically invaded her privacy here.
They start off with the fat shaming, the move on to going “She’s not a girl because I’m a girl and pass judgement on what girls should look like!” then onto “Your a lesbian how terrible!”, “I’m not a lesbian, that’s a terrible thing to be”, finished with “You are a MAN if you look at women like this!” Because… lesbians are bad, if you look on a woman a certain way your sexuality changes JUST LIKE THAT aaaand you must be a dude becausee… heterosexism? Seriously were they trying to say, if she’s a lesbian she must be the ‘man’ in that relationship?
If you are in the kind of society they seem to keep alluding to I doubt people would go “Your a lesbo!” like that and would just accept what the person was saying without judgement and would be like “She likes to pass judgement on women’s bodies…..” which in that kind of society WOULDN’T BE HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE. (Shit Cyrus wouldn’t be happenigin the first place.)
This dialogue is just all kinds of fucked up and made me just finally table flip on this whole visual novel. Cyrus was terrible then with this…

The final “paper cut” (really these are more like knife wounds) is finding out ALL the mentors are older men and the proteges are girls. C R E E P Yand truly sexist.
In one of the ending Waverly’s mentor even rubs her shoulder. DX!!!

So the overall: Music was good, art/style execution was good, overall plot was good, story and characters were all sorts of bigoted garbage that I’m tired of seeing in gaming.

August 9th, 2013

Review – Rei

Snap 2013-08-09 at 00.35.06Rei is a short Visual Novel made by Sonnet009 in three days for the Pulse Pounding Heart Stopping Dating Sim Jam 2013.  It’s about Aya, who is forced to go ghost hunting with her friend and finds Rei, a ghost that can’t move on thanks to his fuzzy memory. Of course you get to help him and in that you can find romance.

There are I supposed technically two guys you can romance, however they are the same person, just past and present. I’ve only gotten two out of four endings so I don’t know how all of them end up.

The Story:

Overall the story is unique, it’s got a few moments in it that are sexist, like when you say you don’t believe in love you get told “How can you even call yourself a girl” and your going to be an old cat lady, but overall the experience was nice. The story is solid and short and didn’t leave a lot of loose ends to tie up. For a game made in three days, that’s saying a lot that it has a beginning, middle, end and no dangling story.

I can see the story being expanded to include more ghost histories and trying to save them all or only a special one, and a possible harem ending. :D

Characters:

There are only three major character and one minor character.
Risa, Aya and Rei and the minor Taka.
Risa is mostly there as a catalyst to drag you to school and act as a check when your character completes some routes.
Rei is of course the main target in the game. Both the present and past Rei. He’s the jerk type, but if you pick the right options he’s not that much of one. Not like the typical verbal abusing assholes of other otome games.
Taka, well, his character is more of a spoiler than anything, but he’s involved with Rei somehow.
Aya is a nice character and not a doormat. So that is awesome, and most of her choices are given to you so you can basically guide her character how you want. Which is another nice thing.

Art:

This is going to be short because all the art of the game comes from 3rd parties.
Tokudaya and +cube+ specifically. Which means it super nice art, but you might recognize some of the characters or backgrounds.

Music/Sound:

This is where I felt it needed major improvement. There is only ONE sound, and that’s the school bell. Either some more spooky ambient sounds to set the mood or some music or something would have been nice. Maybe have added those at the end and again from a free materials source.

Overall:

Overall Rei is a nice quick game to kill some time and offers 4 routes to play for some replay value. The story can certainly branch out into a fuller game if the author wanted and it could use some more sounds.