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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Visual Novels

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:50 am

Can't help you unfortunately. I've avoided that game due to its rarity and price.

I made a small inquiry about it on Reddit once, and some dude responded by sending me an entire pre-patched pirated version lol.

You're sure you have the correct "version" of the game to match the patch, right? There was the original release and then the "Realta Nua" variant.

These VN patches are a colossal pain in the ass. I (just) managed to get Chaos;Head to patch on the first try, but last year I struggled with Steins;Gate Hen'i Kuukan no Octet. I indeed only had luck when I switched to a different (Windows XP) computer.

Good luck!
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Re: Visual Novels

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:46 am

I'm about halfway through Chaos;Head. Halfway through the first route, that is. Though I don't think the subsequent routes will be especially massive (unlike Chaos;Child).

I like the game so far. Some random thoughts.

-- I wish I had played this before Chaos;Child and even Steins;Gate. One doesn't need to, much as one doesn't need to play Shining in the Darkness before playing Shining Force, but had I experienced Chaos;Head first I would have understood all the weird passing references made in the other Science Adventure titles.
-- The visuals here are interesting. The game's a bit too dark -- as in, there's quite a lot of literal blackness. There's a persistent black bar across the top of the game window, the text box is black, and the game displays in 4:3 so if you go fullscreen there are two vertical black bars on the side. The backgrounds are sufficiently spooky and mostly decent. The character designs are alright. Most of the characters are (surprise surprise) female and it's like they took one basic "anime girl" design and made small edits to hair color and hair style. Also, everyone wears the same school uniform, which makes things doubly confusing. Steins;Gate, in contrast, looks much better in this regard, as everyone stands out distinctly from one another.
-- The sound design is great. The true "songs" are sparse and spooky. Meanwhile, the atmosphere is often enhanced by dropping the tunes altogether in favor of unsettling background noises or dead silence. Altogether, a fantastic atmosphere.
-- Compared to Chaos;Child, the "delusion system" (ie: the choice system) is quite underdeveloped. For starters, the pop-up icons are way to tiny and easy missed against all the black. And the delusions are often weak; many times they aren't especially different from the "main" path. I actually reloaded some saves as I thought my delusions weren't activating correctly, but no, many are just really mild and insignificant.
-- Many reviewers have complained about the protagonist. He sucks, but I like him. To clarify, he makes for an awful human being but a very interesting lead. He's an antisocial shut-in, a total weeb, a hikikomori. He's unintentionally funny many respects. For instance, he hates school and thus crafts an elaborate schedule detailing how much (or how little) he must attend to pass his classes -- it's the classic paradoxical George Costanza method, where significantly more effort is put in to avoid doing work vs. just actually getting it done. In any event, this Takumi dude is presented in a slightly better light as the game chugs along, which is typical for VNs.
-- So a random observation about the Science Adventure series: I don't think any protagonist is granted a normal dwelling. In Steins;Gate, the protagonist basically just lives in his makeshift science lab. In Chaos;Child, the protagonist lives in a van. In Chaos;Head, Takumi lives in a metal shipping container. You love to see it.
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Re: Visual Novels

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Mar 07, 2021 10:38 pm

I'm salivating to dive in to Muv-Luv The Day After....but I'm making myself wait until I finish Trails of Cold Steel 3 and 4. T.T I need more Muv-Luv in my life.
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Re: Visual Novels

by chupon Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:44 pm

On chapter 10 of Muv Luv Unlimited. Sooo close!
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ZRofel
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Re: Visual Novels

by ZRofel Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:49 pm

I just started playing Raging Loop a few days ago, and I'm already kicking myself for playing Our World Is Ended instead of this a month or two back. This has an excellently creepy tone (as in "scary" not "these characters are all sexual predators and it's played for laughs" like Our World Is Ended), well-written characters, and a genuinely engaging story with an interesting premise. Hell, I stayed up until almost 3am last night playing it just so I could find out what happened next. I think I've finished the first run through, so now I have to go through and start unlocking the alternate routes (literally, because they give you keys whenever you die so you can take alternate paths) to get the true ending. The only thing that's been a little bit of a stumbling block for me, and this is really not a criticism, just an observation, is that the game is incredibly Japanese. And I don't mean that it's super anime influenced, but that a lot of the character interactions hinge on having a very clear understanding of the intricate social interactions between people of different social classes in Japanese society. I feel like I've consumed enough Japanese pop culture in my life and spent enough time in and around Japan itself that I have a reasonably decent understanding of some of this, but even still I sometimes will get a little lost in the text when different characters will refer to someone by drastically different names due to their relationship or influence from their honorific. And a lot of the narrative (at least so far) does seem to hinge on understanding why people occupy different spots in the social hierarchy. Again, I feel like I'm picking up on most of it, but occasionally something will throw me for a bit of a (raging) loop. It's a little disappointing, because I've been enjoying this so much I want to recommend it to my friends who like creepy/scary stories, but I feel like if they're not fairly versed in traditional Japanese culture some of the characters' actions will come across as weird and confusing. And since so much of the game is attempting to puzzle out who the secret murderers are, I feel like this might accidentally muddle the plot.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Visual Novels

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:56 pm

Raging Loop is tight. Haru is my favorite character.
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ZRofel
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Re: Visual Novels

by ZRofel Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:59 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Raging Loop is tight. Haru is my favorite character.


Really? I must not be as far along as I thought, then, because I feel like she's been fairly background until now. The whole cast is pretty great, though, and a big part of that is because they work so well as an ensemble. The way their personalities play off of each other feels very authentic and natural. It's a nice change of pace from Our World Is Ended, where I hated almost everyone, to come into a game where I've really enjoyed the interactions with pretty much everyone. I stayed up until 3am again last night because I was so into the story.
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Re: Visual Novels

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:16 pm

I wrote this two months ago and now I feel vindicated:

BoneSnapDeez wrote:@ZRofel
Yeah I watched some video footage of Our World Is Ended and found it really off-putting. Plus, I think the art and character designs are rather ugly. Certainly one I'll pass on. You have a Switch? Get Raging Loop.


:lol: :lol:

Anyway, yeah, Haru has a great character arc. You're probably just not that far along yet.

I love the Raging Loop cast. They're all fascinating in their own ways. Plus, the art is superb, the CGs are some of the best seen in any VN, and it's so refreshing to have a protagonist who feels authentic and isn't a complete dolt or weeb or inexplicable ladies man.

The game isn't perfect. Some of the lore info-dumps are insanely long. And I'm not totally sold on the whole "time loop" aspect, though I love the flow chart concept. Vastly superior to the typical VN method of juggling multiple saves and fast-forwarding text and so on.

Are you familiar with Higurashi? It's another horror-mystery VN with a similar setting (spooooky Japanese hamlet), similar concepts, and an "outsider" protagonist. Completely different from Raging Loop in every other facet however (art, narrative, mechanics, etc.)....

Anyway, lemme know exactly where you are in Raging Loop. I wanna reminisce, haha.
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ZRofel
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Re: Visual Novels

by ZRofel Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:55 pm

You should feel vindicated, man. I'm explicitly playing this game because you told me too :P

Yeah, the protagonist might actually be my favorite character in the story. I like him for pretty much the same reason I liked Phoenix Wright in his series. They're totally different characters, but they're both competent adults, and their games treat them as such. Fusaishi is essentially an anti-horror-movie character, in that he confronts problems, even potentially supernatural problems, rationally, and attempts to resolve them logically. Not that he never gets emotional or makes mistakes, but when he does so it makes sense due to what you know about his character (or because the player is controlling him and makes a stupid choice). It makes sense why people (especially women) would be drawn to him because he's very smart, but also very emotionally intelligent. He actually makes an effort to understand people, albeit often for selfish reasons. Like you said, he's not just the the typical bland player stand-in that they stick in these games, who achieves victory and gets everything he wants despite exhibiting no useful skills or strength of character. Next to him, I think my other favorites so far are Rikako Uematsu, because I feel like she hits that sweet spot between being complicated and just being an outright weirdo, and Yudai Hashimoto, again because he comes across as a thoughtful, competent adult. But like I said, they're all pretty solid and serve an important role in the narrative.

As for where I am in the game, I'm in the early stages of the "Darkness" chapter, and I'll be honest, I'm not really liking it, for what I suspect are obvious reasons. However, I think I understand why the story had to take this turn, and I'm optimistic I'm not gonna have to spend too much time in this particular arch. I'm also guessing this is where Haru gets a lot of her arc, as that seems to be the direction the narrative is going.

Other than that, the only other thing that's been a little bit off is how a lot of the alternate routes in the game seem very, very short, but they force you to take them before you take the "correct" route. Some of the alternate routes have a decent amount of content in them, and it makes sense that when you "looped" you'd make a new decision that you wouldn't have made before because you have new information. But a lot of them just seem like pointless dead-ends that you can't avoid. It's far from game-breaking, but it does feel like it lacks some of the narrative tightness of something like a 999.

But overall, great game that I'm very much enjoying.

I haven't played Higurashi before. Is that a PC game, or is it available on consoles/handhelds too?
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Visual Novels

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:24 am

Good analysis. Have you purposefully been trying to trigger all the Game Overs? Like the multiple motorcycle crashes? I got a good laugh out of those.

My memory, as it turns out, is quite crappy and I can't exactly picture where you are in the story right now. I will say, my favorite parts of the tale are those that center around
either Haru or Yudai (aka Big Chungus).


Oh, and Higurashi is one of the most famous and top-rated VNs. It's by the same author/team as Umineko, if you happen to be familiar with that. It's available in English on Steam and GOG, though it's split into eight "chapters" which some will find irritating. It has many similarities to Raging Loop (though stating all of them goes deep into spoiler territory) but it's much different overall, being completely linear and having a cast of child characters.
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