January 2012 Eroge Releases
It may be the beginning of a new year, but things seem awfully familiar. Fandisks are out for Twinkle☆Crusaders, LoverAble, Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, BUNNYBLACK and every single UnisonShift Blossom/Accent game. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing as the ultimate crossover game Prismatic Princess☆Unison Stars is going to be a blast!
Were this month to actually have games to write about I may have ended up being a few days late, so thankfully there isn’t much here to write about. With only one game to bother playing this may be the month for me to recover from playing Skyrim and play some VNs instead..
Company: ソフトハウスキャラ (SofthouseChara)
Game site: BUNNYBLACK 2
Release date: January 27, 2012
This is the sequel to SofthouseChara’s RPG BUNNYBLACK, focusing on attacking instead of defending like in the previous title. The adventurer Dachs had been bestowed great magical power and eternal life by the maou, and in return he serves as her underling. However, he was dragged into a revolt by the maou’s army and ended up becoming the new maou. He made the previous maou his wife and brought peace to the labyrinth known as the ‘maou’s forest’… but it was soon shattered by some unknown troops who quickly took over half of the forest. After he found out through captured warriors that they were under the command of a group of three women from the heavens, he gathers his troops to launch a counterattack at the angels’ base.
A similar system from the previous game is used, although this time dungeon exploration is an important aspect since you’ll be conquering enemy territory instead of just defending your lands. It seems lately that angels are viewed as bad guys now. Then again with such a cute daughter like Cozelotte, why wouldn’t you side with the maou?
I have never understood the need to turn such games into H scene fests. Perhaps were the focus to be more on gameplay, story, and character development I would have more interest as some of them have a retro and nostalgic feel to their outdated gameplay which makes me want to recapture some of my past enjoyment. The problem is that every single time I try a new one it ends up being more about the H content and less about the story so I lose all motivation to keep playing along a plot line devoid of any means to entice me to uncover what the writers have hidden in their settings and characters. This all leads me to the conclude that these games are treated as a picture book of H scenes with some minigames to entertain the reader along the way. Until someone makes a game that either makes use of good gameplay or has a story worth putting up with the hassle I am going to continue to shy away from these games.
I’d think other games are more like (mature) picture books than an RPG, even if it’s not that great.
Still most rpgs invariably go down the same route, the few that do not end up being sub par in other ways anyway.
Game site: すたどる！
Release date: January 27, 2012
New release date after being pushed back from November. Tatsuya is the producer of the 5-person idol group ‘Cinq Doll’ and anticipated great success for them, however the group’s popularity remained low. He was convinced that this was because there was no clear leader among the group, so he decided on a leadership competition where they will tour the country and the girl with the most fans will become the leader of the group.
Let’s ignore the obvious similarities to ChuxChu Idol and The idolm@ster and focus on what new things this game brings to the table. There’s… a rhythm game where your idol practices sucking on a banana. Actually, never mind. The PV feels like something from the 90s.
Yet another game about pimping out teenage idols. I do have to admit the sea cucumber and banana BJ DDR made me chuckle, in a bad way. I suppose people who actually like idol games may rejoice over something coming out this month, but this is even more shallow than most in a genre that already scrapes the bottom of the barrel. There is little worse than a game that is just so bad that it doesn’t even warrant scorn.
After playing the trial, I just wanted to say that the system got boring real fast. You can train your idols by getting them to suck on phallic objects, spend money on promoting her or spreading rumours about rivals, and battle other idols, where for some reason breasts jiggle and laser-like lines flash across the screen. I guess they’re supposed to be her charisma or something. If the presentation was better and the system felt like less of a chore, maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more.
Company: イグジット (Ex-iT)
Game site: ひよこストライク！
Release date: January 27, 2012
New release date after being pushed back from December. The usual classroom. The usual boring lesson. Shin stared outside blankly and then suddenly a girl appeared… outside the 2nd floor window! She jumped in from the window and introduced herself as Utakata. Everything else was just as illogical: taking her clothes off while standing on the desk, sticking her finger up his nose, and having things that look like animal ears and tail. His head hurt from all this, but at the same time he was also a bit excited since the world that he knew became more vivid.
A random but cute game. I don’t think it intends to take itself seriously since one of the heroines is called ‘Classmate A’ since Shin never remembers her name. Shin’s blood-related imouto Hina looks like she could be a good amaenbou type. One thing I noticed is that the illustrator sure loves using glow effects. I don’t think it’s natural for a girl to be glowing like a firefly at night.
The main problem with this game is there is not enough direction to the story. So a strange girl comes along and brightens up his otherwise dull life is fairly standard, however where do we go from there? Sure I can think of plenty of outcomes, but it is sorely lacking a driving force behind the story and characters to make things interesting enough for people to want to buy this game. Still there is a lingering desire to fill in that huge blank, so given how boring this month is I may see what it has to offer, can’t be any worse than the rest of the monotonous high school based eroge.
I disagree with Micchi on the glow effects, i didn’t see any abusive use of glow effects beyond the illustrator paying attention to light sources and shades far more than the usual lazy or inept artists. Well that said I can’t say I agree with the style itself, as it does not suit my taste and I feel that the inking, lineart, and shading all seem to contradict and contrast each other.
Twinkle☆Crusaders -Passion Star Stream-
Game site: ティンクル☆くるせいだーす -Passion Star Stream-
Release date: January 27, 2012 Delayed to February 10, 2012
Passion Star Stream is the sequel to Lillian’s popular PC and PSP title Twinkle☆Crusaders and it is composed of 4 parts. “Twinkle☆Crusaders Venus Embryo” is the ending chapter to Kurukuru where new character Illear takes Synn away with her with the intention of destroying the world and remaking it as a world just for the two of them. In the crossover story “The Queen of Witches”, they travel to the witches’ world and meet the cast from Pajamas Soft’s Princess Witches. However, the only way they can return is to defeat the queen. There is also an ero-comedic ‘if’ story, “Ku RUKU-ru!” and icharabu after stories.
For a small extra cost, you can also get Twinkle☆Crusaders Starlit Brave Xtream!!, the PC port of PSP game’s battle royale. It features characters from other companies, such as Yoake‘s Feena, Flyable Heart‘s Yui, Tenshin Ranman‘s Sakuya and Koisora‘s Kayoko.
Entertaining game with a powered up battle system featuring more characters and skills. The story is pretty much slapstick comedy, so even if you haven’t played the original, you can easily dive into this one right away. The battle is kinda chaotic and it takes a bit of getting used to, but I love all the shiny effects and combo attacks ^^
Do I care? Not bloody likely.
Mmm… see-through camisoles…
Prismatic Princess☆Unison Stars
Company: ユニゾンシフト (UnisonShift)
Game site: プリズマティックプリンセス☆ユニゾンスターズ
Release date: January 27, 2012
This is the belated 10th anniversary title from UnisonShift, featuring 33 characters from all their games (both Accent and Blossom), from Peace@Pieces to ChuxChu Idol2. One day, the heroines were suddenly taken into an unknown world. In front of them was a mascot Uni, who told them that in order to return to their proper worlds they must reach maximum ‘unison power’ by singing together in unison. At ChuChu’s suggestion, they decide to form an idol group to this end.
The main system is a card battle by which you can increase the number of friends in your party. It’s basically Uno with character-specific special cards. Another main point is Uni’s delusional H doujinshi, which are used to promote the idols. See? All mascots have ulterior motives. Considering how enjoyable the crossover route was in Flyable CandyHeart, I’m definitely going to be playing this. How could you say no to Suzuno, Funny, Sumomo and Flora together? Suzuno looks stunning in that black idol outfit ><
Characters based around alternate dimensions going to even more alternate dimensions randomly makes my head hurt, not from the concept but because once they start involving these things their writing takes a nosedive. Even more than that the whole idol group basis for this is pretty terrible, both in my opinion and as a business decision. I cannot see many fans other than the few who actually like that ChuxChu junk actually enjoying the inclusion of such a theme. Add in the random card game to make things even worse, sure minigames can be fun and the inclusion as a separate optional entertainment would have been a great idea, but does anyone really want to sit there and play Uno by themselves? Of course when a company randomly changes everything to suit what they envision as popular even going so far as to completely redefine existing characters for a quick buck I would expect no less than a moe moe bomb title that not even beer goggles could make appealing.
I don’t care for the idol motif, but the character interactions are genuinely enjoyable. I love Uno and I wouldn’t mind playing it (as a 2D bishoujo) against 2D bishoujos. In the end, this is a fandisk, I’m a fan and it caters exactly to what I want from it. I’m not expecting any deep story from this nor do I wish for one from a pure comedic title.
I would rather my fandisks give me more character interaction and enjoyment from what made the original great rather than a crossover spinoff using the same characters in an out of place and limiting setting. Even more so when it is beyond comedic and just plain stupid in the setup, setting, and story.
To each their own. I’ll send you lots of pics of an off-personality Mayuri.
I’ll just have to reply with pictures of abused imoutos, fair trade really.
Gaku☆Ou -The Royal Seven Stars-
Company: Lump of Sugar
Game site: 学☆王 -THE ROYAL SEVEN STARS-
Release date: January 27, 2012
Hiroto is a prince from the Kingdom of Eleutheria on the small far-away planet of Fadenfrus. He was tired of spending his days in the royal palace and yearned for a school life like those on Earth, where his mother had once attended. His wish came true when he was allowed to attend Konoegahara Gakuen in Junesis, a country well known for its superior education system. However, the school only had 7 students (including himself) and was on the cusp of closure since it was being targeted by officials. He decided to oppose the country to save the school and protect the school life that he had longed for… but moreover, the ulterior motive for him being sent to Earth was to take over Junesis!
The characters are definitely the main draw of this gya~gya~ school comedy title, especially Hina-chan-sensei and ganbariya Maruru. Even the male subchars (‘guitarist’ Shou and ero-Ken) are amusing. At first in the trial, I was a bit apprehensive with all the too-convenient fanservice used to introduce the characters, but the charas grew on me. I hope the game doesn’t turn too serious and sticks to comedy, since it does a relatively good job at it. You really shouldn’t be able to screw it up when the main chara is an alien who doesn’t know much about Earth or human behaviour. Swiss exchange-student Maruru (Annemarie) is really cute! As expected of an imouto! Hau~ omochikaeri~! Also: finally a game with a badminton scene! I don’t even recall any other game that featured badminton in a CG.
If you don’t mind trying out a chara-ge that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, then go right ahead, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling that this will be a landmine.
What the..? Did they run out of ideas for plots so decided to pull random plot elements out of a hat? We have a prince, a high school, a harem, and of course some sinister plot behind the scenes to give a sense of importance to the characters actions. Another thing, why are there only seven students? Could that be any more blatant a harem setup, I can see maybe seventy, but seven? At least try to make sense and give us some background not just a ready made harem to go and nothing else. I know I have said this before but hey what the hell I’ll say it again, characters and even comedy need a background to drive them and give them meaning, without such an enhancement I find such games entertaining in the first half hour to maybe two hours at most then they begin to get old until I drop them. Lets just face it, Micchi called this game a landmine, how often does that happen? Is there even any need for me to be negative about a game that could call for such an appraisal from our resident moe loving writer who cares for little save the inclusion of imoutos or imouto like characters? I think not.
It’s a bit hard to have high expectations from a story where the heroine introductions are through: 1) walking in on her in the ofuro; 2) walking in on her changing; 3) bumping into her in the hallway and seeing her pantsu; and, 4) walking in on her in the washroom. Imouto or no imouto.
For once I have to agree that you make a good point.
Shinigami no Testament ~menuet of epistula~
Game site: 死神のテスタメント ～menuet of epistula～
Release date: January 27, 2012 Delayed to February 24, 2012
A long time ago, there was a magic book called the ‘epistula’ which was able to grant any wish, whether it be great wealth or eternal life. However, a sudden mysterious death befell all who had their wishes granted. It was believed that a shinigami came to take their lives. Over time, this tale gradually disappeared from people’s memories. Now, there are reports of a mysterious serial hunter and whispers of an urban legend around town. Rui watched as a student from his school disappeared in a back alley. Standing there illuminated by the moonlight was a shinigami.
Rui has the ability to see through people’s lies, so he ends up not trusting anyone and doing everything he can to avoid being with others. The characters and setting are definitely there, whether or not 3rdEye can take advantage of this setup to improve from BLOODY†RONDO remains to be seen. The BGM on the game site is quite nice. Might be an interesting pick up if you like your games with a dose of battle action.
So out of sheer morbid curiosity I looked up what epistula meant, turns out in latin it means “Letter”. Now I know Japan is notoriously bad at using other languages but letter.. really now. Names for their magic books (At least it’s not the played out necronomicon I suppose) aside the theme vaguely reminds me of one of the worst series of all time, Death Note. The connection between death gods and a book that takes lives, somewhat reversed but still reminiscent of the basis for that series. While the seeing through lies bit for the protagonist is interesting it does remind me of Iris Zero so I suspect through interaction part of the basis of the story will be the distinction between good and bad lies. After Bloody Rondo I do have my misgivings about their ability to make use of their own concepts, this is even more of a tightrope in terms of plot than Bloody Rondo was so I sure hope they can pull it off.
On the bright side no matter how bad this may end up being it cannot possibly be worse than Death Note, see I can be nice once in a while.
Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! S
Company: みなとそふと (Minato Soft)
Game site: 真剣で私に恋しなさい！S
Release date: January 27, 2012
This is the fandisk to the popular Majikoi, consisting of after stories for the 5 main heroines as well as 5 new stories. The new stories can be accessed after the common route if you are not locked on to one of the 5 original heroines. Kawakami Gakuen 2nd year student Yamato has a group of close friends, to which two new members were added. While he didn’t have a girlfriend, he was fine with it since he enjoyed the time together with everyone. The Kuki corporation decided to hasten their ‘bushido plan’, where clones of many great individuals from the past would be used to solve the shortage of talent workers as well as stimulate the competitive spirit of everyday students. As part of the plan, Monshiro transferred into the school along with many others, causing quite the stir among the students and also raising the ire of fellow transfer student Tsubame.
In addition to Tsubame and the Kuki family’s youngest daughter Monshiro, subchars Kokoro, Tatsuko and Margit get routes as well. If you follow the 5 new routes, there will be many new characters introduced as part of the ‘bushido plan’. There are over 100 CGs for the huge cast. Pretty much if you played and liked the first game (which most people did), you’ve planned to play this already. The series is pretty entertaining and I enjoyed the trial even though I hadn’t played the original.
Silly. But in a good way for once. I enjoy games that don’t take themselves too seriously yet still know how to keep a reader interested and having a good time. Te original Majikoi was a surprisingly enjoyable game despite the rather questionable subject matter, with the well portrayed character interaction and development throughout the course of the story it was hard not to be charmed by the game. With the inclusion of some of the background characters who had fairly large roles in the game getting their well deserved routes this should be a game well worth playing.
I find it difficult to understand why you so easily put down Uni☆Stars when it also doesn’t take itself too seriously. Granted Majikoi does do comedy well and had more character development for its side charas than Koikishi had for its heroines, but the characters stay true to their personalities. Well, except for Mayuri…. Ohhhhhh… I see.
Well aside from Mayuri who still enrages me, the presentation of setting, comedy, and the silliness that results from both are mixed with a strong foundation of character interaction and development. Just being randomly goofy and nonsensical is not the same as properly binding your setting with your characters in a way that the reader can properly relate to. It is a difficult balance and Majikoi is one of the few games that managed to achieve it, and therein lies the distinction, I highly doubt Unisonshift will be capable of doing the same. They can’t even remain consistent with their own characters after all.
Game site: 同棲ラブラブル
Release date: January 27, 2012
More icharabu is to be expected from the fandisk to SMEE’s LoverAble. The focus for this game is on Haruki living together with the heroine that he fallen in love with. In each of the 5 after stories, it’ll just be the two of them – that means no affairs with other characters (including subheroines)! A new hairstyle is added for each heroine; of course, you can still choose the original ones if you prefer those.
Of course, I’ll be going with ‘oniichan ♥LOVE♥‘ imouto Kaho! Yes, they already live together, but now she goes to the same school as him too! Together during the day! Together during the night! Always together! That’s the destiny of an imouto and her oniichan!
Soreyuke! Burunyanman Hardcore!!!
Company: Digital Cute
Game site: それゆけ！ぶるにゃんマン HARDCORE!!!
Release date: January 27, 2012
This downloadable game will be available via DMM.com. It is the 18+ PC port of the PSP side-scroller shooting game based off the mini game in Musumaker and adds new playable characters Sukunyanman and Dark Burunyanman. If you defeat a boss, they get rewarded with an H scene. So hardcore it requires three exclamation marks!!!
Nothing like being rewarded for your efforts in a boss battle with an H scene I suppose. Obviously catering to the hormone driven teen demographic, and doing a good job of it at that.
Micchi’s Top 3 for This Month
- Prismatic Princess☆Unison Stars
- Dousei LoverAble
- Twinkle☆Crusaders -Passion Star Stream-
Zen’s Top 3 for This Month
- Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! S
- Thank you.
Lots of brainless comedic fun this month. Goes well with leftover eggnog.
There is good brainless such as Majikoi, and bad brainless such as everything else this month.