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March 14, 2016

Strawberry Vinegar Review

Title: Strawberry Vinegar Developer: ebi-hime Publisher: Sekai Project Played on: PC Price: $9.99

A review copy of this game was provided by the publisher for this review.

Visual novels are unique among video games, if one wishes to consider them such at all, in that without gameplay, they must rely on their story, music, and art to captivate the player and immerse themselves in the story’s world. This, in particular, is what Strawberry Vinegar fails to do even from the outset.

Regarding narrative, Strawberry Vinegar spins a tale that anime and manga fans have heard many many times before. Our heroine, a girl, named Chiri, suddenly finds a cute [...]

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October 29, 2015

Gaming on a Budget: Steam Edition 10/29/2015

Nicole Seraphita here, bringing you the best and brightest in the world of budget gaming for the last week of October, 2015. This week we’ll be focusing on Steam, and showcasing a collection of games both spooky and not so scary that should scratch your gaming itch for many weeks to come.

Alien Isolation

Normally priced at $49.99, this atmospheric survival horror game clocks can be yours this week for a mere $24.99. For more on this latest entry in the classic Aliens franchise, check out our review from late last year here.

D4: Dark Dream Don’t Die -Season 1-

If you like your [...]

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September 17, 2015

Sakura Swim Club Review

Title: Sakura Swim Club Developer: Winged Cloud Publisher: Sekai Project Played on: PC

A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of this review.

I’ll preface this review by saying that Sakura Swim Club is quite possibly the worst visual novel I’ve ever played. That sentiment is coming from someone who has been playing these sort of games for over fifteen years now. While I had gone into reading Sakura Swim Club with literally no expectations, it somehow still somehow managed to disappoint on a myriad of levels. The game is poorly written and formatted, the music is uninspired, and the characters shallow and unlikable even for a game that only exists [...]

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September 14, 2015

Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Review

Title: Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Developer: Front Wing Publisher: Sekai Project Release Date: August 8th Price: $19.99 Reviewed On: PC

The publisher provided a copy of this title for the purpose of review.

Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru takes us back to a simpler time, one where a variety of anime and visual novels had magical girl spin-offs that logically made no sense but were beloved anyway. Tenchi Muyo had Magical Girl Pretty Sammy. Triangle Hearts had Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. And now, in the modern era, the visual novel Fruits of Grisaia has Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru. Like the spin-offs that came before it, Michiru is a title that [...]

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August 18, 2015

Release Date Set For Ryukishi07’s Iwaihime Visual Novel

It was announced earlier this week, that Ryukishi07’s new solo project Iwahime will launch in Japan on November 27th. The visual novel — which Ryukishi07 first teased at Anime Central in May — will be available in both physical and downloadable forms through publisher DMM Games. The title was previously stated to be released only via digital download when it was first announced at the end of June.

A horror novel, Iwaihime tells the story of a young boy who transfers to a new school only to meet a mysterious young girl with features like those of a traditional Japanese doll. Iwahime will feature the character art of Kina Kazuharu, and will be written in its [...]

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July 10, 2015

Death Is Adorable In Undead Darlings: ~no cure for love~, now on Kickstarter

Zombie loving gamers everywhere will have reason to rejoice this summer as Mr. Tired Games has unleashed Undead Darlings: ~no cure for love~ on Kickstarter. In this tale that takes nods from both old school RPGs  and modern visual novels, Undead Darlings lands players in the role of Reginald Happenstance, or “Reggie” for short, who awakens from a coma only to find that the world has been overrun with the undead during the time he had been napping. This being a title inspired by Japanese romance games, Reggie must not only team up with the game’s six adorably dead heroines to battle the zombie menace, but also win their hearts through visual novel style dialogue [...]

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June 23, 2015

Love At First Sight Review

Title: Love At First Sight Publisher: Sekai Project Developer: Creepy Cute Release Date: May 18th, 2015

Visual novels are an interesting lot, and cover genres as wide and varied as romance, mystery, horror, and more. The game I will be reviewing today fits firmly into the first of those categories as a typical game in which a boy meets a girl, they awkwardly get to know one another, then begin dating after a period of prolonged blushing and hand holding. The key difference that sets Love at First Sight apart from other visual novels about faceless teenage boys pursuing teenage girls is the fact that the girl in question here is a cyclops.

Above you see Sachi, [...]

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May 29, 2015

Higurashi Onikakushi Review

Game: Higurashi Onikakushi Developer: 07th Expansion Publisher: Mangagamer Release Date: 5/5/2015

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review.

Despite being over ten years old, Higurashi is a story that has nevertheless stood the test of time. From its incredibly atmospheric music, to the intense sense of paranoia that permeates every corner of the game’s lengthy story, there is simply something timeless about this tale of murder, vengeful gods, and the insular nature of small-town life. What has lent Higurashi this longevity while many of the other visual novels from the same era have fallen into obscurity? That is the question [...]

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May 22, 2015

PQube Games Reveals Steins;Gate Character Trailer

UK-based publisher PQube games has released a trailer for the English Playstation 3 and Vita version of Nitro+’s science-adventure game, Steins;Gate. The trailer features a brief introduction to the visual novel’s colorful cast of characters and shows off a bit of the excellent music Nitro+’s visual novels are known for. You can view the trailer in its entirety below.

Previously released in English last year for the PC via publisher JAST, Steins;Gate places players in the shoes of wanna-be mad scientist Okabe Rintaro as he and his group of geeky friends becomes embroiled in a plot involving time travel, murder, and gelatinous bananas. Things only grow from [...]

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January 29, 2015

Say It In Red! An Interview with Ryukishi07

Today we have a very special interview for you all, as I sat down with Ryukishi07 to talk about his works, how a visual novel becomes an anime, and what it takes to become a successful writer.

But before we get to the core of the interview, I’d like to share with you all a bit about Ryukishi07 and his work. One of the founders of the doujin circle 07th Expansion, Ryukishi07 first rose to prominence for his work on the 2002 visual novel Higurashi, a tale in which a small town in 1980’s Japan is plagued by a mysterious disease, for which he not only wrote the the scenario, but also drew and designed most of the game’s characters [...]

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