January 2014 Eroge Releases
Happy new eroge year! This year starts off with new company piriri’s Kimi to Boku to no Kishi no Hibi and a sequel in TENCO’s Eiyuu＊Senki GOLD. Akatsuki Works tries to promote the serious battle ADV genre with Bradyon Veda. It’s also Rakko-san’s last title, HOOKSOFT’s MeltyMoment. Don’t you love those tender moments?
So begins a new year, a Happy New Year to everyone, may we all hope for a better eroge year than last. Unfortunately for those of us who like a good game the year is off to a poor start with a set of games made more to copy the likeness whatever game from the previous years tickled the writers fancy. Sooner or later a new company will have to make something good, so good that it breaks the stale state of eroge these days.
Company: 暁WORKS (Akatsuki Works)
Game site: Bradyon Veda -ブラディオン ベーダ-
Release date: January 24, 2014
It’s been three years since the end of the tragic Great War. In the midst of the central city of Moloch in defeated Japan appeared a man, Naoto, bearing the rusted badge of Nephilim. Nephilim was the 10-man experimental elite special corps who possessed the powers of the gods and annihilated tens of thousands of enemy units. The immense powers which they held scared not only their enemies, but also themselves. Realizing this, their leader Komoe disbanded the group, but an internal struggle arose, leading to her death and Naoto suffering a serious injury. With the purpose of carrying on her intentions, Naoto stood up to seal those powers which should not remain in this world. What lies ahead in the future? Will it be sovereignty, harmony or destruction?
A new scenario writer (Ajishio Rockets) with a new artist (zunta). Akatsuki Works’ concept for this game is to create a work in the battle ADV genre which has starkly diminished with the recent popularity of cheerful relatively drama-free moe-ges. That being said, I personally don’t find there being a decrease in these chuuni type of games, and in the end, they’re created to satisfy those types of players. The artist seems to be hand picked to fit the ambiance, but it’s definitely not an artistic style I like. Maybe you’ll like it more. Pass.
This kind of reminds me of Dies Irae, a little different but similar in structure, plot, and characters. While unlike Micchi I have no qualms about the art style, I do feel they have already failed at what they wanted to accomplish. The entire game oozes lazy mediocrity, rather than making things interesting they aspired to create the most generic possible game for this genre. As the equivalent of yet another high school romance moege I find it rather difficult to find something likable here, as much as I enjoy creative stories that take the setting outside of cliche high schools, this time the attempt ended in failure.
Kimi to Boku to no Kishi no Hibi -Rakuen no Chevalier-
Game site: きみと僕との騎士の日々 -楽園のシュバリエ-
Release date: January 24, 2014
This is the first title by piriri!, a sister brand of UnisonShift, Hearts and Qoobrand, under the AMUSE CRAFT company. It is said that one who graduates from the famous private school Kamishiro Gakuen will definitely become successful in life. The best students at the school are called ‘knights’ and are admired by all. This year, five good childhood friends were selected as the ‘knights': sourpuss Yukitaka, serious Kei, cheerful Ruruka, timid Asuna and cool Touri. Even though he had some feelings for all of them, he spent his days without pursuing any deeper relationships. That was until he found out about a secret ‘duel game’ which only the knights can participate in.
Seems quite similar to Effordomsoft’s Kishi series (the main heroine is always the serious type who used to fight with the protagonist during childhood). There’s no harm in checking it up, especially with the nice seiyuu lineup. Even Ruruka reminds me of Akari. Gotta be careful of those pink haired ones…
The first thought that entered my mind upon seeing this game was how much it looked like KoiKishi, and the second was how terrible that game turned out to be. Why anyone would draw inspiration from a failure is beyond me but then again it is UnisonShift, not a company who cares about good stories or quality writing when there is moe to sell. Basically a standard moege that labels the girls as knights in the hope that word makes invading their virtual panties all that much more interesting.
12 no Tsuki no Eve
Game site: 12の月のイヴ
Release date: January 31, 2014
At the end of the year, even though everyone has different feelings, they all spend the last days of the year in a busy fashion. This spirit is also present in a new town Megumishi, close to the city. On Christmas Eve, an extremely ordinary boy, Naoto, met a strange girl. Even though she hadn’t met him before, she had a sense of déjà vu. This was when the story of Naoto and three girls begins. One wished to protect her happy time. One unconsciously tried to obtain something. One strove to achieve a precious goal.
Well, it’s a winter eroge for once. I was worried we wouldn’t see one this year. It’s kinda funny how minori used to known for their stories, but now it’s mostly about the ero. Their homepage is currently adorned with a girl licking a cucumber. Even the graphics has taken a bit of a hit. As for the trial, it wasn’t all that interesting, and none of the heroines really captured my heart. Please make us a game with a good story again, minori…
To be honest I was surprised at the lack of winter and general Christmas season eroge this year, even though I generally disapprove of games made to cash in on ambiance of a holiday. Seems there will be no games to acknowledge Christmas this year, feels a bit strange and not very festive to lack at least a token game where the lazy writers make their two bumbling clones destined for some pokemon day care action in front of numerous voyeurs meet each other in some destined twist of holiday fate. Without a perverted Santa to give long fleshy tube shaped presents it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. As far as the game itself though, I would suppose this presents a strong argument to show why no one should pick things off the street, be it gum, hobomoutos, or girls, all the more so when they are strange.
I think Christmas has taken on a different meaning among our circle…
Game site: ALIA’s CARNIVAL!
January 31, 2014 Delayed to March 28, 2014
The Sakumo ward is well known for its cherry blossoms. In recent years, as part of the redevelopment of the ward, an experimental education system was introduced where the students would govern themselves in the newly constructed Sakumodai Gakuin to improve the student life. Those students who are capable and work hard to improve the learning environment would receive various benefits. Also, it seemed that the one with the top results would get a special privilege.
Ren returned to Sakumo ward after a long time away and transferred into the school, reuniting with his timid imouto Karin and osananajimi Shiina, who had grown up to be very beautiful. On his first day at school, he was caught up in some trouble and ended up saving a girl. The girl Asuha asked him to join her club, aim for ALIA and change the school. He was puzzled over her sudden invitation, but was excited that his new school life will be surely be an exciting one.
Woohoo! More Mitha! More Nanao Naru! But why do they all have to be so big? The lowest is a D!? I don’t like where this trend is going… Also, don’t expect too much from the story, considering it’s the same staff from Yuyukana. I’m not sure what this ALIA thing is, maybe it’s a codename for harem.
Yet another club based game about giving students their own nation for the sake of entertaining the people who pay to watch them crash and burn because they pay more attention to their genitalia than their brains. In all fairness I am not inherently against the idea of the setting allowing students more control than normal, nor of clubs as a basis for meeting. However the problem with these games stems from how they use such matters to cluster everyone tightly together for ease of writing and interaction. Further distorting the stories are how these games push undue importance on the elected officials for their schools for the sake of creating drama. The whole pattern stems from most of the industry filling in the blanks of the same templates, this game being no exception.
Game site: MeltyMoment -メルティモーメント-
Release date: January 31, 2014
Takeru lives in a commuter town a few stations away from the busy city. There are not many tall buildings except for those around the station and the new apartments lining the river. One could easily tell the time of day just by the placement of the sun, which shines unblocked upon the town. Late in September, Takeru was walking along the embankment with his friends. It was a normal day just like every other day. However, just because of one little thing, his path home became a path to love.
These little events are scattered amongst our normal daily lives. That moment when our eyes meet. That moment when we touched each others’ hands when reaching for the same book. That moment when you first smiled at me. These moments colour our canvas of love.
The main concept is to showcase those moments which make people fall in love with each other! I’m sure we’ve seen them before in eroge, anime and other media: picking up a dropped eraser, talking with someone you admired for a long time, clinging close under the same umbrella to avoid the rain while walking home… Ahhh, this is just the game for me! The ‘girly talking’ system is back, along with a ‘real time’ map movement where the heroines may change locations, offering some variety in terms of events. There’s also the ‘real time click’ system, such as specifying when exactly you want to hold her hand, if at all. Do you wish to be aggressive or shy?
This is also Rakko-san’s final work, but I feel that HOOKSOFT is in good hands. I’m most interested in polite kouhai Misao and hamster-like kouhai Natsuki (who calls you oniichan!). Bring me all the kouhais! I’ll take them all home! Hau~ omochikaeri~!
I never thought they would make a game entirely about recreating mouthful of toast corners. Shows what I know. Fate may be nice and girly and all, but too much of it ruins the significance of the events, added to that this time is the focus on both the system, and approaches. When games focus on being gimmicky more than their story and characters they tend to wind up being forgettable no matter how fun those little bits of ingenuity are for the five minutes they stay fresh and new. What happened to the days when the theme was “Make a good game” instead of “Make a gimmicky theme out of what should be only one route”? One can only suppose they missed the memo that when everyone is fated, no one is fated, and it turns fate into a fickle bitch enslaved by the whims of a mouse click.
Company: 戯画 (GIGA)
Game site: キスアト
Release date: January 31, 2014
Makoto attends a local school which specializes in the arts, but he didn’t have much confidence in his ability. Nearing the end of his second year, he came to the workspace that was opened up to students to work on his year-end project. Sitting next to him was a girl from another class, Tsukuyo, who was famous for her art skills. After watching her work and seeing her art, he fell in love with her.
I can’t really tell the difference between this title and the two preceding it (Kissbell, Hotchkiss). They say it has more ichrabu scenes. I guess there’s a kouhai chara, but their personalities aren’t all too different. Well, it’s written by Morisaki Ryouto (Hapymaher), so it shouldn’t be bad, but hopefully not too boring.
So, take Canvas2, turn the protagonist into Elis, give them a gender swap, erase the age gap while watering down the art school theme, and you get? Wonder no more because Giga has provided the answer with Kiss Ato.
Hey, I’d play that.
Well lucky you, they made a game you would play!
Aisare Room Mate
Company: リオン (Reon)
Game site: 愛サレるームメイト
Release date: January 31, 2014
The boarding school which Kotarou attends, Rokujou Gakuen, has a slightly strange system called the ‘six étoiles’ (six stars). Students are assigned ranks of 1 to 6 stars based on their grades, and their dorms change depending on their rank. At the beginning of the second term, the boy’s dormitory collapsed and the principal declared that each boy would have to share a room with a girl. It was the first time that the girls had experienced such an intimate co-ed life. Will they fall in love being in such close quarters?
I really really dislike YU-TA’s art. Karen is the only reason I would even consider playing this. Next.
Before even worrying about any other issues with this clumsy collage dedicated to the underachiever in all of us, this principal is clearly insane. Did it never occur to this character responsible for the school they administer, or the writers responsible for the character, that the more logical solution would be to double up students of the same gender when splitting the dorms? After this colossal blunder that should have the PTA running a bombing campaign against the school administration there isn’t much left worth making fun of when the main pretext to get the protagonist in line for some 2D bedroom action requires one to subvert the intellect of a below average four year old.
All principals are whackos. Just look at Leyline.
Wackos sure, nonsensical in an over the top comedy? Also sure. But to think that a character reaching that conclusion is a good idea, well the writer responsible was clearly on something at the time.
Company: 天狐 (TENCO)
Game site: 英雄＊戦姫GOLD
January 31, 2014 Delayed to March 28, 2014
This is the powered-up version/sequel of Eiyuu＊Senki with additional heroines. It adds an item creation system, as well as achievement trophies and an infinite dungeon. The old Far East country of Zipang is ruled by the greatest hero Yamato Takeru and since it has secluded itself from other nations, it had developed its own unique culture. The hero of Oushuu, Masamune, starved for excitement in this time of peace. After finding a young man by the sea who had lost his memories, he concocted a plan to put him in charge and challenge Takeru. If he was able to defeat him, then Zipang would break its seclusion and take over other countries, leading to world domination!
World domination is a man’s romance. Especially when almost all of the generals are of the opposite sex. The original SLG was quite fun, so even if you haven’t played the first one, it’s worth checking out.
Why is it impossible for eroge to come up with decent gameplay, there have been others that flirted with improvements but in the end they always wind up back at mindless time consumption for little reward. These games would be more fun without the gameplay and more focus on the story and characters, at least to me. If I wanted to conquer the world via gameplay I would play a real game thanks.
Company: たぬきそふと (Tanuki Soft)
Game site: 少女教育
January 31, 2014 Delayed to February 28, 2014
The protagonist is in his thirties and is a teacher at a girl’s school. Not even having dated before and his dream of marriage being a distant memory, he only wished to train his students well and help them graduate successfully. It was at that time that he was transferred to another school as part of a school district reorganization brought about by the declining birthrate. He thought that things would like before, until he realized that there was a girl in his class which didn’t show up on the class roster. One day, due to a prank played by her, he was suspected of being a pervert by the rest of the students. Thus begins his relationship with three girls with communication problems who haven’t adjusted to the class and a ghost.
Tanuki Soft: our saviour in combating the balloon disease. All these mischievous little girls. They need to be trained well.
Creepy game for creepy pedophiles.
Shin Shirogane no Soleil -ReANSWER-
Game site: 新・白銀のソレイユ -ReANSWER-
Release date: January 31, 2014
This title is the latest installment of SkyFish’s Soleil series, with a more serious focus. Hokuou Gakuen is located near the sea and encompasses a large area. One night, a young girl appeared on the nearby beach. Maybe she had descended from the overly large red moon or came up from the dim blue ocean. Afterwards, many strange rumours spread around the school, about a small goddess that could grant wishes and monsters which would eat humans.
Ryuuhei was a student with amnesia who was caught up in these incidents. A war maiden with crimson hair, Hagar, appeared before him. She crushed the monsters with her spear and held out her bloody right hand to him, inviting him to unleash Ragnarok again together.
It appears that Ryuuhei used to be grimoire of Valhalla before he lost his memories, and he possesses the special ability “ReANSWER”, where he is able to redo previous choices. Glancing at the CGs, it definitely has a dark side (HCGs included). If you like fighting heroines and fantasy, you probably are aware of this series already.
We all know that as long as arms are covered the rest of the body being naked or near naked matters not. Only the most dastardly of villains would even think to aim for the body, so our heroines are well protected, and this reassures me that they will not die prematurely for a tragedy ending.
Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de
Company: Lump of Sugar
Game site: 世界と世界の真ん中で
Release date: January 31, 2013
New release date after being pushed back from December. Gripping pain, numbing loneliness, burning one-sided love. These are feelings which stay with you all through your life. These intense feelings are what created the world we live in. One day, there was great commotion at the dormitory Erdõs at Kaginomori Gakusha. Renri’s imouto Kokoro was going to be released from hospital after an extended stay, and Minori suggested that they do a major cleaning of the dormitory before her arrival. While cleaning the attic, he found a notebook containing words which he did not know would change his peaceful days.
Moekibara Fumitake art and more kemonomimi… that’s enough reason to try this out. It seems like most of the characters are voiced by new seiyuus, unless they’re using pseudonyms. I feel like they’ve done a good job with the voicing, so it shouldn’t be a problem. The story reminds me a bit of Karumaruka since Renri, Minori, Aira and Haruka all have the same mysterious key, which opens a locked gate in a narrow passageway at the school. The mysterious phrases from the notebook were inscribed on a stone tablet nearby, and there’s a ritual involved too. So, essentially it’s a slice of life game with a mysterious side. The main heroine is the energetic and ever-positive Kokoro, who is not blood-related. With such a cute mascot chara by your side, it’s no wonder that Renri is a total siscon. I’m not letting any of you have her!!
Lump of Sugar is essentially the Adolf Hitler of the eroge world. Why is this you may ask? Because they do everything they can to commit genocide against everything that makes a game good. First of all their games usually have hints of something that may be enjoyable to play, then always find some way to ruin it or just be so silly and nonsensical that their own setting hardly matters, as they were clearly far too high on homemade hallucinogens to care about anything happening beneath them. Games that begin life as chara-ge with a slightly unique setting bloom into randomized events meant to achieve serious dramatic effect, yet for my part I am never quite sure whether I should laugh at it, or cry at how bad it all is. As the final nail in the coffin the writing itself is pompous to the point it makes you wonder if the company was formed by performance art majors under the impression that emulating the writing syntax of Nathaniel Hawthorne made them better writers and people, a distinction that would clearly carry over to anyone who read their works. The point being their writing has a poor pacing to it, lending itself to on the best of days be overly verbose to the point every scene feels bogged down in unneeded text. While it may be possible to soldier on and should you be inclined to do so you may find your Japanese language skills improving, I would rather not feel something I read for enjoyment is simply not enjoyable to read.
Micchi’s Top 3 for This Month
- Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de
- Kiss Ato
Zen’s Top 3 for This Month
- La la la la,
- I CANT HEAR YOUR EXISTENCE CRAPPY GAMES.
Not a promising start for the year, but there’s only 2 more months till D.C.III P.P.!!!
And only 4 months till D.C.III P.P. 2!!!