March 2013 Eroge Releases
This month is quite uninteresting as it seems like many companies are settling for an April release date instead. If it wasn’t for delays for games like COSMIC CUTE’s LOVESICK PUPPIES and UnisonShift Blossom’s Ryuusei☆Kiseki, we’d only be left with makura’s Himawari no Kyoukai to Nagai Natsuyasumi. Fandisks, adaptations and remakes round out the rest of this month’s titles.
The sheer number of titles delayed from previous months padded out the scanty ten or so actual releases just enough to make a list that can actually be called such. Not much of interest this month but that just gives us an extra month to work through all the February releases, yay.
Pocket ni Koi o Tsumete
Company: 青空ビスケット (Aozora Biscuit)
Game site: ポケットに恋をつめて
Release date: March 15, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from February. This is the debut title for Aozora Biscuit. The gender split in Sayahama-chou’s Kouchourinkai Gakuen is greatly imbalanced, with 2 boys for every 8 girls. However, it’s not like a harem situation for the boys since they are treated as nobodies. Faced with a dimming future, the boys decided to create an unofficial ‘hero club’ with the aim to become people that everyone will want to have around.
Pokekoi uses the same Live2D animation system as Latte’s Imosen. From the CGs, it seems like this is closer to a nukige and the setting sure does allow for it (every boy gets 4 girls based on the gender split!). Obviously Mau is my type of heroine (berets make everything better), but I’m undecided if that’s enough for me to even consider playing this. And oh god, that denpa OP.
When a game does so little to properly establish the setting in a way that makes explaining the situation at least plausible if not completely logical you know there is very little emphasis on the writing and story. What is left then typically comes down to characters and H scenes. Sadly these days we have a label for sub par games that need a word to hide behind so they can excuse themselves from writing anything halfway decent because hey the characters look cute, ya know those things called charage? While this leans more towards the nuki side of games my point is that even if you like the way the characters in games like these look, why bother when their stories and development are so poorly written?
LOVESICK PUPPIES -Bokura wa Koi Suru Tame ni Umarete Kita-
Company: COSMIC CUTE
Game site: LOVESICK PUPPIES -僕らは恋するために生まれてきた-
Release date: March 22, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from February. This is the first game by COSMIC CUTE. Kotarou is a normal student at Hatao Gakuen who is a member of the ‘counselling room’. The ‘counselling room’ was viewed by many as a place for complaints and random requests. Even though he was pitied by them for being part of some a troublesome place, he didn’t mind it since he naturally liked helping out with other people’s problems.
One day, he was entrusted with a girl named Orie, who had committed a crime which almost got her expelled from the school. Even though her attitude was difficult to deal with, she earnestly completed all the tasks which he assigned to her. When she found out that he was living in an apartment, she implored him to let her stay there. After finding out the reason why she was so insistent, he agreed to take her in.
But not soon thereafter, his uncle informed him that the apartment will be demolished. He didn’t want to lose his home filled with memories, while she didn’t want to lose her newly found place where she could restart her life. With the mascot-like Maruna and transfer student Sonya moving in, and classmate Isami and trusted osananajimi Yuuki’s also showing up often, the apartment became more lively. Even if only for a limited time, their ‘family’ bonds strengthen.
Happy happy puppy♪ Wow wow♪ Set in the same world as WLO and written by the same scenario writer Andou Kotatsu, the heroines are like puppies which you wish to care for. I look forward to many puppy eyes and shirt tugs. I particularly want to look after Maruna and Sonya~ Can I keep them? The trial was pretty slow to start off, but it got better once everyone was in the same house. I’m not really sure why they’re including the PDA use (Soralis) other than it being the newest fad. Ayano is quite the amusing imouto, while I haven’t seen an osananajimi like the Kiritani Hana-voiced Yuuki. She just gives off the osananajimi vibe perfectly (it’s almost like she’s been friend-zoned from the start). It should be worth looking forward to this.
Happy happy puppy♪ Wow wow♪ Damn, this OP is too catchy.
To start with cats are better than dogs, puppy or not. Next the use of a club like setting to introduce a means for the protagonist to be forced into interaction with heroines is sloppy. A new teacher, social worker, counselor, or at least meddlesome student, perhaps a class representative or something could have been used in its place to better effect with a more natural feeling. It would have even been preferable to use an existing connection such as a childhood friend or younger sister to establish the point the connections to other heroines can branch out from. Creating a form of responsibility that the protagonist would have towards the heroines via a made up setting detail meant to allow the writer to be lazy about setting up the initial character connections and development is a common form of cop out in the eroge world. While the very beginning of a game is not as important as what comes later it does set the stage and while perhaps not significantly negative to just throw everyone together immediately via a contrived setting with that explicit purpose, a large amount of potential positive character development and attachment is ignored by using this approach. In a game with emphasis on heroines being dependent on the protagonist this is an oversight that hampers the depth that can be achieved with their characters throughout the story. Even more so when writers resort to such means I find it hard to trust that the rest of the game wont follow suit, opting for tried cliches instead of unique and fulfilling circumstances.
Sakura Sakura Festival!
Company: ハイクオソフト (Haikuo Soft)
Game site: さくらさくら FESTIVAL！
March 29, 2013 Delayed to April 26, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from January. This is the fandisk for love triangle ADV Sakura Sakura. Tooru was still undecided between Nanako and Sakura, but it had gotten to the point not only for him, but for everyone else around too, that he make a decision. A girl who said she did not have long to live told him about a legend that eternal love would be blessed upon those who confess at the Rintoku Gakuen culture festival, and that she wished to confess to the one she loved too. He decided to help her out and at the same time vowed to choose his true love on that special day.
Let’s see if it’ll end up coming out this year. It isn’t required that you play the original game since there’ll be a summary of past events at the beginning of the fandisk… which is a good thing since even those who played the original might have forgotten the story after so long. Not particularly fond of either main heroine (I prefer Kurumi), so I’ll pass.
Maybe the incentive I need to finish this game, I never could get past the point where the protagonist switches. Though not really sure what the value is for a fandisk with this game.
Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o ~Atelier no Koibito-tachi~
Company: ゆりんゆりん (YurinYurin)
Game site: その花びらにくちづけを アトリエの恋人たち
Release date: March 29, 2013
This is the after story fandisk for Michael no Otome-tachi‘s lead couple Risa and Miya. Risa’s days are now back to normal after the boisterous best couple poll had ended and the 3rd year students had graduated. Miya still skips classes, but they’ve become a lovey-dovey couple and every day is full of happiness for them. The old school building’s attic had become their secret atelier and the earnest Risa felt a bit guilty for using it as if it was her own place. But after hearing Miya’s story of how she found this place, she found out that it had a history of sweet romances.
They’ve turned from tsundere to full-on deredere, and the game features lots of amaicha scenes. As expected of YurinYurin/Fuguriya, they continue to make what they’re well-known for.
Fandisk for a game I have nothing to do with surprise surprise.
Chiisana Kanojo no Serenade
Company: フォン (feng)
Game site: ちいさな彼女の小夜曲
March 29, 2013 Delayed to June 28, 2013
The ‘ningyo matsuri’ (mermaid festival) is held every year in the village of Suminoe-chou, which faces the Pacific Ocean. Takumi helps out with his family’s popular cafe Mermaid with his osananajimi Mizuka and his mother Isana.
On the night of the festival, Takumi came upon a girl with a beautiful voice. She was surprised at the unexpected visitor and accidentally slipped into the sea. He saved her and since he couldn’t let her be in her drenched state, he invited the mysterious girl Shione to his house. When Isana decided that Shione would stay in their house and Matsuri, who he had met at the festival, transferred into his school, his days gradually began to change.
This title is misleading. I thought that they would all be little girls like in OTA-MA!, but there’s only just one. Well, Shione is really cute and I’d wanna take her home. I like the way Takumi thinks.
She is too small, he should have thrown her back like any honorable fisherman would. Obviously Micchi likes to break all kinds of laws related to the size of his catch both above and below the waves. Otherwise standard fare other than the fishy theme.
Ore wa Shoujo Mangaka R
Game site: オレは少女漫画家R
Release date: March 29, 2013
This is the all-ages port of Giza10’s PSP title of the same name. It adds more CGs, including many panty shots. Kenji is not like any other male student at Tosai Gakuen. He is secretly a shoujo manga artist! He used to be very famous under his pen-name Ijuuin Alice, but now his manga serialization had been discontinued in the weekly shoujo manga magazine Comic Charm. But he won’t go quietly like this!
One day, his editor and older sister Chika devised a ‘wonderful idea’ so that his works would sell again: he would become the bishoujo mangaka Ijuuin Alice! Since his dream is to draw a manga that is read by everyone, he would be fine with doing anything to that end… including dressing up as a girl. Alice’s battle of becoming a zenjin (everyone) mangaka is only just beginning!
Giza10 is affiliated with MayBe Soft, if you hadn’t already guessed from the artwork. I always loved their slapstick comedy (coupled with their distinct CGs), although since I remember them most for their Henshin~! series, I probably wouldn’t be able to play this without imagining his pen turning into…
While there is some hope for comedy the game feels rather boring, following an amalgamation of some rather common manga style plots. Add in the crossdressing theme as something that doesn’t have any real relation to the manga artist theme gives the impression of an incomplete story. The game is thrown together more for the comedy value of individual scenes rather than any kind of memorable story or characters, so not something I could find entertaining for very long.
Mirai Sekai no Planeta
Company: りぷる (Libre)
Game site: ミライセカイのプラネッタ
Release date: March 29, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from January. In the near future, technology has progressed to a point where people can live both in reality and the internet world, Planeta. Satoru came to Planeta to enjoy a school life in the virtual world. But he was recruited to work for the detective team Sprites after meeting their leader Ayaka. At the same time, there was a terrorist attack in Planeta, caused by a hacker who went by Irurihito.
Never really liked Libre’s games much, but this is written by first-timer Umino Sachi, so maybe it’ll turn out differently. However, it doesn’t seem that appealing unless you like sci-fi stuff.
Best ending for this game? The girl you meet and have H scenes with is a guy in real life, with the ending being you meeting them in a dark alley in complete hard gay attire. Now that would be a realistic near future where you can live in both reality and the internet. In the interests of making things differently you could even have each heroine turn into a completely different type of guy in real life, one could be a fat, balding old man, another the stereotypical salary man, and yet another your typical mahou shoujo fan dressed up like sailor moon or madoka. Man I’m a genius I should totally write these games myself. I suppose in the interests of being a little serious I should point out the fact that while the idea does have some potential, its unlikely to be realized as there is little to nothing here that suggests anything beyond your average attempt at a near future sci fi.
Unmei ga Kimi no Oya o Erabu Kimi no Yuujin wa Kimi ga Erabu
Game site: 運命が君の親を選ぶ 君の友人は君が選ぶ
Release date: March 29, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from February. The quiet town of Tounoyama-chou was full of shrines and churches, stone circles and other ruins, as well as an underground labyrinth which was built during the war and other historical structures. It was known as a spiritual place, where many believed in fortune telling and miracles. The protagonist transferred into Tounoyama Gakuen and the fortune-telling deemed him as the ‘destined boy’ upon which the school’s future rested upon. However, a great uproar ensued when they found out that he was just a normal person. During that time, he met many girls and his osananajimi Riri revived the occult club as the ‘destiny research club’ and proposed to see their futures together.
From Schrödinger’s cat to the butterfly effect. WHITESOFT likes trying out other themes, even though I personally don’t find it that well done. Seeing and possibly changing the future isn’t that rare among eroge, but it’d be interesting to see what spin they can put on it.
Boring premise with no real purpose. Such silly setting elements make me physically cringe to think about. There are few games that go so far out of their way and put so much effort into avoiding any chance at having to put even the tiniest amount of effort into their story or setting. Most nukige manage better plots and settings than this, as you really have to try to make things this bad.
Himawari no Kyoukai to Nagai Natsuyasumi
Company: 枕 (makura)
Game site: 向日葵の教会と長い夏休み
Release date: March 29, 2013
Yousuke returned to his hometown of Oboshiro-mura after 8 years in Tokyo and Osaka. He had received a letter from Father Arakawa, who had raised him up as a child, telling him that the Oboshiro church will be closing and merged with a larger church in a neighbouring town, and inviting him back for one last summer together. He reunited with his childhood friends Yomi, Daiya and Ruka, and also met a little girl named Hina who reminded him of himself when he was a child. This is the beginning of a cheerful and refreshing, yet sometimes painful, summer tale.
The feeling I got from the trial was pretty nice: quite laid back and the characters are fine, especially Yomi (voiced by Natsuno Koori). At the same time, due to the slice-of-life pacing, this might not be for everyone. I’m sure the story will pick up when they delve into Hina’s relation to Yousuke. I want an osananajimi like Yomi…
Nothing special, though every once in awhile that can be just the thing you need. Whether the game is a nice relaxing down to earth read or a failed attempt at such remains to be seen but at least there is some hope for it.
Shukusai no Utahime -Kimi to Tsumugu Asu e no Uta-
Game site: 祝祭の歌姫 ―君と紡ぐ明日への歌―
Release date: March 29, 2013
This is the first title by MORE. Kaito spent peaceful days in the musical capital of Wolfburg with his childhood friends Rio and Graf. However, his wish for this to remain unchanged was shattered one day when he heard a girl cry for help in a corner of the old town. He brought the girl Yuina to his house and after talking to his father, allowed her to temporarily stay with them since she had no place to call home due to strife. Thus began his life together with Yuina, whose values were quite different from his.
One day, his friends and Yuina heard about a recruitment for performers at the music festival and decided to join it. They worked hard together to make the best memories of their youth, but there were sinister things which were creeping towards them: the late witch, the hidden treasure, and the problem of the eastern district.
The scenario is written by three first-timers: James Date, Yamaguchi Yuzuru and SOH!. At first glance, it seems quite disjointed as the magical elements seem to be randomly thrown in, but it’s hard to make a judgment with no trial out. Not sure if we should be giving the benefit of the doubt to a new company…
While I admire any attempt no matter how feeble to try something even slightly new, I can’t resolve the way they tried to shoddily weld two games together with what appears to be some cheap chewing gum. A story based in a European styled city that revolves around the culture and hardships of the times is one thing. Despite the unnecessary emphasis on building music into the setting this at least gives the impression of a game potentially worth a read. When all the supernatural and random fantasy like plot elements are thrown in however the game then feels like they just lost a game of Jenga as everything comes crashing down thanks to a single bad decision. I always say new companies have to stand out, but not only does this game not really stand out but it tries to bite off far more than it can chew.
Game site: 星継駅蒐集箱
Release date: March 29, 2013
This is a remake of raiL-soft’s downloadable game Astelite Jourantan. It details the past, present and future of a space terminal. Again with raiL-soft and Liar-soft’s games, the setting is key. If it interests you, then go check it out.
I don’t think there has been a single game by Rail that I did not find interesting or creative in some way. The saddening part however is that despite the creative mind or minds behind their games being some of the best left in the industry they lack a writer who can realize that imagination on paper. Should either Rail or Liar aquire someone capable of translating from their heads to paper I would be so happy to have games worth playing that I could kiss them.
Bokura no Ue ni Sora wa Mawaru
Game site: 僕らの頭上（うえ）に星空（そら）は廻る
Release date: March 29, 2013
This is the debut title for POLARSTAR. Hitoshi had been in Sakimihara Gakuen for three months and he still hadn’t joined a club. The astronomy club was in danger of disbanding due to the graduation of the third-year students and retirement of their advisor. He ended up being half-forced to join the club by the scheming of his older cousin and teacher Sakura. He met the other members of the club: energetic transfer student Supika, gentle neighbour Kano, shy senpai Sari, childish-looking but reliable Ayane. They were all new to astronomy as well, so their first outings were full of fumbles. However, as time progressed, they gradually began to change.
Hmm… astronomy club… that sounds similar. The staff for POLARSTAR is comprised of those from TRUMPLE, who were previously ABHAR. I wish they would settle on one brand (unless it’s their way of skirting bankruptcy). I can’t quite place it, but there’s something about the art that I don’t quite like. As for the story, I do like astronomy club stuff (I find stargazing and all the stories about them quite romantic and fascinating), so coupling it with a bunch of youths searching for their own way could end up being a nice read.
Too standard for a debut, astronomy clubs are overused as a cheap way to make settings romantic by using celestial tie-ins. Nary a month goes by without some form of save the club plot being used to round up all the heroines in a nice convenient location with a common goal that guides the protagonists progression on rails leading to H scenes. As much as I love astronomy I have yet to find any visual novel that deals with the subject matter in a moving way, it is always just some cheap and cheesy cliche used in place of quality writing as an attempt to manipulate the reader into feeling what the writer wishes to express. I’ll be the first to hop on the bandwagon for the first company that manages to pull of any setting related to the heavens without invoking my disdain towards their laziness.
Too bad unlike in Jenga, it’s not as interesting when it all falls down.
Maybe a meteor will hit someone?
That only happens in Russia.
Ryuusei☆Kiseki -SHOOTING PROBE-
Company: ユニゾンシフト・アクセント (UnisonShift Accent)
Game site: 流星☆キセキ ‐SHOOTING PROBE‐
Release date: March 29, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from February. Due to many satellite accidents, the world was littered with countless space debris. Space development had been suspended and people’s dreams of reaching the stars were stalled. Hayato decided that he could not wait such a long time for all the space debris to clear and development to resume, so he set out to build a model rocket which will be able to pierce through the debris. He continued to try despite repeated failures and the cool gaze from those around him.
On his 99th try, he thought he had finally attained success until his rocket collided with something. Running to the crash site, he found a naked girl holding a rocket. She opened her eyes and introduced herself as Twink, a space probe who had come to investigate Earth. However, she was unable to break away from Earth’s gravity due to the collision with his rocket. He promised to help her return to her home star.
UnisonShift Accent is trying to make a touching icharabu story that seems to be more suited for Blossom. The scenario is written by Hasegawa Ai (Koitate, Koiken) so I don’t really have too high hopes. Nothing wrong with the characters who are all in my strike zone. As a side note, I really don’t like the OP. The song is all over the place and what’s the point of showing the entire lyrics with kinetic typography? I feel like it totally detracts from the video and Ozawa Akifumi and osa’s artwork.
Oh Unisonshift will you ever learn to stay within the boundaries your feeble and uncreative minds can properly conceive and comprehend? I must say all Unisonshift brands seem to compete with each other on how much they can insult the intelligence of their reader base with each new release. On this point alone I will say they are becoming an adept and skillful company with their settings, stories, and even characters. That settled I think it might behoove me to explain in a more verbose fashion the exact problem I have with these companies. To start with given their style of writing (Mediocre standard eroge fare) there is no need to include all the unnecessary extra story and setting elements. In case of this game the alien stalker girl and debris field are completely worthless. They are in place not to add spice but to hide flaws in writing that would otherwise be plain as day and make the game difficult to receive positive consideration. Removing these elements leads to games that are excessively plain and downright boring. Which brings up the reason it is so intolerable for a company to rely on dishonest means and an ignorant fanbase, they do not have a clue what they are talking about with their own settings. If they at least understood the concepts and were able to incorporate that into their games, fine nothing wrong with trying to spice things up. Instead they throw together random words they quite obviously have no comprehension of to make their games more exotic while putting the burden of suspending disbelief upon the reader. For something they expect people to pay good money for this is downright insulting that they expect the reader to make concessions towards them being lazy at their job. I find it amusing how tolerant people are towards slacking off at such a job when gross incompetence at this level would result in immediate disposal anywhere else.
Micchi’s Top 3 for This Month
- Ryuusei☆Kiseki -SHOOTING PROBE-
- Himawari no Kyoukai to Nagai Natsuyasumi
- LOVESICK PUPPIES -Bokura wa Koi Suru Tame ni Umarete Kita-
Zen’s Top 3 for This Month
- Thank you.
- Asterite Shuushuubako
I need some puppies to keep me company.
Well, you’re in luck, we have a resident Wanko.