January 2015 Eroge Releases
Another year means more promises and dreams. I’m hoping that MOONSTONE’s Natsu no Iro no Nostalgia and Insync’s Mousou Complete! will help the year start off on a good note. There’s also an assortment of sequels, including UnisonShift Blossom’s Tokeijikake no Ley-Line -Asagiri ni Chiru Hana- finale. What future lies ahead for us in this eroge world?
Another year also means we get to start off on the lazy foot of lackluster eroge in continuation of the last year’s tradition. Not a great month to be honest, A few games with some potential in theory were ruined by the writers yet again.
Kimihane: Kanojo to Kanojo no Koisuru 1kagetsu
Company: BaseSon Light
Game site: きみはね 彼女と彼女の恋する1ヶ月
Release date: January 23, 2015
This low-priced download game is the first title by BaseSon Light. Hina, Rin and Fumi are new roommates at Seiba Girls’ School. Even though they had different personalities and upbringings, they had one thing in common: they recall seeing an angel when they were small. They each suspected that one of the other girls was actually an angel.
This yuri story is written like a 4koma, depicting their casual lives together as well as their growing relationships. There are three separate couplings and it doesn’t ignore the third person when a coupling has been decided, which is a refreshing change. It costs under ￥3000 and has decent art, so it’s probably worth getting if you like sweet yuri or girls doing girly things.
This has to be one of the most painfully contrived means of bringing a same sex based plot together I have seen in a long time. Throw three girls together, add in arbitrary angel crap where they all find each other absolutely angelic, and yuri happens. Sounds like a winner to me.
1/7 no Mahoutsukai
Game site: 1/7の魔法使い
Release date: January 30, 2015
This is the debut title for Regulus. When he was very small, Yuuji made a promise with a girl to become a magician and save the world. They parted ways soon after and the promise also gradually changed its meaning until all that remained was a ring which they had exchanged at that time.
Many years later, with the world trembling at the impending return of the “witch”, he decided to enrol in a magic school to fulfill his promise. However, even though he had top grades in the written and practical exams, he was failed for the simple reason that he had no training as a magician. He was recognized as a special case in a follow-up exam and entered Maialens Magic Academy half a year later. It is where youths with excellent magic ability train in anticipation of the witch’s revival.
While he was touring the school, he suddenly heard a familiar sound and was witness to a battle. In front of him stood a girl in colourful clothing, wielding a giant weapon that’s too big for her and with a shimmering ring on her right hand. She was the girl who he had made the promise with, Ema. She looked at the ring on his hand and declared that he wasn’t the Yuuji that she had hoped for. He didn’t understand what she meant, but she continued: “I will be waiting ahead for you.”
Afterwards, he discovered that he had been placed into a class of students with low grades. Unless all of them show qualities of a magician within a month, then they will be forced to drop out. So, Yuuji still had not been recognized as a proper student at the school. This is the first step in fulfilling his promise and to save the world.
It’s always so easy to find the one you made your childhood promise with even if it’s been years and you don’t remember anything. That’s because you’re destined to become the greatest magician and saviour of the world. Not sure what this witch is, but the theme seems very similar to Koiken, which scenario writer Tatsuki was director for. If the stories are similar, then should we expect the witch to be a cute loli? The rest of the cast is already pretty loli to begin with (no complaints here!).
I also found the plot to be kinda pointless since even when they succeed, they find out that there’s more obstacles in their way, and some tournament was introduced for this purpose. I think it’s just an excuse to add battles. There’ll be battles aplenty, but don’t expect it to much more than a chara-ge.
Now Regulus, I know how often I am forced to berate new companies for their profound aspirations towards mediocrity, usually a few times a month these days. However this does not mean you can just shove random themes into a high school setting like fifty kilos of stuffing in ten of turkey. The normal problem with new companies of sticking to more proven copy paste games is that they have no clear way to decide on whether it is good or bad, aside from the writing and story. Which in most cases is sub par and thus the games end up looking as appealing as roadkill barbeque. Regulus on the other hand decided to rebel against the norm by taking the standard high school romance and making it unique! Well by unique I mean pretty much the exact same just with some magic and a witch with world ending significance poorly written into the plot. Honestly I have to wonder where these ideas come from, do they copy their 8 year old children’s writing homework because they are so at a loss of what to do? Well I suppose I do have to thank them for coming full circle here and proving that a well written game in a humdrum setting is a thousand times better than an uncoordinated orchestra of kazoos and whistles.
Himegoto Union Last Secret
Company: SEVEN WONDER
Game site: ひめごとユニオン Last Secret
Release date: January 30, 2015
This is a compilation of the four mini fandiscs released over the past year, plus a finale for
imouto protection star beast starship traveller imouto Nanoka. I thought they were done last time, but they had more H up their sleeve.
When in doubt over what to make, just make a bunch of fandisks in rapid succession, seems to work well enough these days.
Magical Canan 2 ~Hiiro no Bergamot~
Game site: まじかるカナン2 ～緋色のベルガモット～
Release date: January 30, 2015
This is the sequel to Magical Canan. One year after the Dark Materia incident, contact was lost with the unit monitoring the human world. Natsuki once again headed to the human world on the orders of Tsuyuha, the Queen of the magic world Evergreen. He immediately went to meet up with Chihaya, but he was attacked by a black magic warrior named Crimson. However, he can’t fight by himself; he only had the power to bestow magical powers to his partner, transforming her into a magic warrior.
He ran around looking for Chihaya and bumped into Misaki, kissing her on the lips and turning her into Magical Warrior Machalite. They were able to fight off Crimson, but Natsuki was perplexed at how he was able to give his powers to someone other than Chihaya. After he found Chihaya, he discovered that she could no longer turn into Magic Warrior Carmein. Will he be able to overcome the dangers and bring back peace to the human world?
It’s a blast from the past, as suggested from the plot and artwork. I remember watching the H OVA a long long time ago. I’m surprised that Terios still exists. Even though this is a sequel, it’ll be written by a different scenario writer (Ki-tan). This will likely end up mostly being H-centric like the first. Pass.
If hell was a personal realm of the absolute worst horrors you can imagine, my hell would be magical girls. I loathe the fact they exist almost as much as I loathe the male fanbase for these things. If a five year old girl likes it, fine, nothing wrong with that, she is the target demographic. When an older male becomes obsessed with both the series and the quest to find justification for it in a higher meaning I am forced to fondly recall the end of Old Yeller. Why these have a place in the eroge market will forever baffle me.
Company: 戯画 (GIGA)
Game site: ハルキス
Release date: January 30, 2015
This is the latest title in GIGA’s school love ADV Kiss series. Shuuji’s grades have taken a hit since he played around too much, so his cousin Tsubame decides to take him in to keep an eye on him. But since she’s usually busy with work, he ends up taking care of the house along with younger cousin Aoi. He wishes to become independent soon. At this time, he helped his classmate Itsuki and became pretend lovers with her. Then his imouto Konomi came to see him, along with the daughter of his judo teacher and his osananajimi, Amane. What future awaits him?
All the Kiss games up to this point kinda melded into one since I couldn’t tell the heroines apart. This time they seem a little bit more distinct! Maybe it’s cuz there’s an imouto in the mix. Konomi is pretty darn cute and she even followed him all the way to his new home! So cute! >w< Although I think her voice didn’t quite fit; I expected it to be higher pitched. The trial wasn’t good nor bad, but I wasn’t bored while playing it. It could be worth a try.
The latest in Giga’s “We can’t do anything besides the Baldr series, but will keep trying anyway, hoping that banging our heads against a wall will produce results!” line of games. As a game that just screams poorly thought out and poorly written, along with the less than stellar record of Giga for games like these, I will go out on a limb here and say this is probably a poorly made game. As usual the biggest tip off here is the start of the game and how the setting forces the protagonist into the center of his orbiting heroines. A lazy approach to heroine situations, introductions, and relationships generally spells out disaster in the making.
Company: ヘクセンハウス (HexenHaus)
Game site: ラウテスアルタクス
Release date: January 30, 2015
Kisaragi was not able to find a job after graduation, so he has been reluctantly helping out his older sister Mutsuki at her café Kirschtorte since spring while continuing his job search. Located near the train station in a residential neighbourhood, it was often visited by students returning home. He did his shift every day with veteran part-timer Himari and osananajimi Sana, and business was generally quite good.
Summer soon turned to fall, and his employment situation didn’t change. One day, the manager Torie brought in a girl who had looked troubled on the street. They gathered to ask her questions, but she seemed hesitant in answering them. Himari remarked that it must be because she lost her memories. So, Mutsuki suggested that she live and work part-time at the café while regaining her memories. The girl, Nanase, reluctantly agreed and the everyday at Kirschtorte gradually changes.
This seems to be a relaxing slice-of-life café drama, with a focus on Nanase’s background (no, she didn’t actually lose her memories). I was surprised to find out in the trial that the game uses the E-mote system. It’s nothing really special, but the graphics page seem to be mostly ecchi scenes. Guess he’ll be in no hurry to get a new job.
Everything was well and good until the girl who achieved such a dumbass density that her brain imploded and she managed to forget herself showed up. The reason this is so silly, is due to how what could have been a relaxing and touching slow paced heartwarming story decided to hurl the awkward lost puppy gimmick into the fray. While this plotline tends to be focused on a cafe the majority of the time, probably because it is easier to write when the setting does everything for you, that does not mean they are any good. Sticking to a story of their lives, with the protagonist making different life choices based on who ends up being closest to him throughout their daily life in the cafe would have made for a good story. Having to pick up the lost and brainless hobo girl off the street to actually come up with something to write about is rather sad and tells the all too common eroge story of poor writing.
Natsu no Iro no Nostalgia
Game site: 夏の色のノスタルジア
Release date: January 30, 2015
When Ryouto awakened from his coma, the world seemed to have changed colour. This is because he gained a special ability which allows him to see people’s emotions as colours. For example, happiness shows as amber, sadness as sapphire, anger as ruby, and desire as emerald. Aside from that, he was like any other normal boy.
He returned to his hometown Kaido-chou with his imouto Miu for the first time in three years and transferred into Himawari Garden. They were surprised to see a field of large blossoming sunflowers for which the school was named after, even though it was only May. It was said that sunflowers which bloom outside of their normal periods are supposed to bring good luck to the students. However, there was not much excitement in the quiet classroom and he was also unable to notice any colour in his classmates.
He reunited with three girls whom he was friends with in the past. Their friendship which was thought to last forever had been shattered during that summer three years ago. As he picked up the broken fragments one by one, he felt both the darkness and love which they held in their hearts.
This is the title I’m most excited for this month. Even though it has pretty art by MOONSTONE staple Yamakaze Ran, the setting and plot by Kureichirou is quite promising. I almost feel like I’ve read a similar plot before (seeing colours in people), but I can’t quite place it. It makes me wonder how their hearts and relationships will be mended. I don’t want to spoil too much about the game, but you should play the trial since it’s not a standard school love comedy. What may be a labyrinth to one may be Eden to another. I like both the scenery and characters, especially Miu and Shouko. They’re both so cute (even if I know they have dark sides)! Hau~ omochikaeri~!
The point of most eroge that focus on story and character development, well as best as they are able anyway, is to gradually bring two people closer forming a deeper understanding and bond with each other. As a gimmick the ability to see emotions cheapens the entire process to the point of making it all pointless. This is due to how the protagonist and heroine usually begin a gradual process of coming to an understanding where they can read between the lines and comprehend the other person on a deeper level. Really this progression is the most effective way to convey the sense of bond between them. To give an easy example, it would make the entire all too popular tsundere archetype completely pointless as the protagonist would instantly understand what lies beneath the tsun tsun front. When Mr. emotion invader comes into play many of the normal protagonist excuses of block headed density which allow for multiple heroines to approach to the point the reader is able to pick the one they like best, become untenable and ridiculous. Even for a gimmicky charage this is a poor choice, as even the most Micchi of readers are likely to feel there is something missing the longer the story goes on.
Gakuen Butou no Folklore
Company: シアン (Chien)
Game site: 学園舞闘のフォークロア
Release date: January 30, 2015
This is another Japan in a world supported by people with fairy tale-like powers. Kouji was born with the extremely rare power (‘cast’) “roi jewel”, which can make one into a king. He transferred into Gokyou Gakuen with his attendant Tsubomi, and three girls with powerful casts were waiting for him. Their goal was to defeat him in the Butoukai tournament and to claim the position of future queen. They all ended up sharing a dormitory and he gradually began to fall for them.
At that time, there was a disappearance at the school. As they investigated the truth, they unexpectedly revealed the presence of a mastermind behind the incident. It was a test of whether he was worthy of becoming king and it would end up involving the entire school.
Ugh, another battle game. Chien’s writing leaves a lot to be desired and I didn’t even recall Miyamura Yuu’s latest works (Koikoi, Guardian Place). If I really had to play such a game, why not go for 1/7 no Mahoutsukai instead?
Writing a good eroge is hard, I recognize this. But no matter how hard it may be, when it is your job you should at least put some token effort in. Having the setting tell you the entire plot and motivation for characters along with forcing them into encounters in an attempt to progress their relationship is painfully bad. As terrible as 1/7 Mahoutsukai looked, I have to admit Micchi is right about choosing that instead. I would rather something be bad, than be bad plus treat the readers like they are either idiots or five years old.
Tokeijikake no Ley-Line -Asagiri ni Chiru Hana-
Company: ユニゾンシフト：ブロッサム (UnisonShift Blossom)
Game site: 時計仕掛けのレイライン -朝霧に散る花-
Release date: January 30, 2015
This is the third game and finale of UnisonShift Blossom’s magic mystery Ley-Line series. The ‘night world’ crumbled and their students vanished. Mitsuyoshi thought that the cause might have been a fire that happened at the school 20 years ago, and began to investigate this incident in order to reunite with his friend Kotarou who had disappeared as a ‘night school student’. Meanwhile, the school principal who had also vanished secretly planned to bring back the night world from the other side. All of the remaining mysteries of the school will finally be brought to light.
It’s nice to see the trilogy come to a proper conclusion even if I didn’t play the series.
Continuation , yada yada.
Mainichi ga Harem Sugite Ore wa Yome o Kimerarenai!
Game site: 毎日がハーレムすぎて王子（おれ）は姫（ヨメ）を決められないっ！
January 30, 2015 Delayed to February 27, 2015
Chiaki is the son of the Tenmyouji family, which runs the the leading zaibatsu in Japan. At his birthday party, his parents decided that he’ll marry Nina, the daughter of a famous Italian opera singer and a Japanese world-renowned pianist. However, he rejected their matchmaking, stating that he can’t marry someone who he just met. They reluctantly accepted his opinion and came up with a new set of conditions.
1. He must attend Tsukimiya Gakuen, where there are many girls from high-class families, and search for a bride while studying.
2. He must conceal his social status and use a false name.
3. The girl that he chooses must be sexually assertive. (← since they want lots of grandchildren)
He agreed to their conditions since he can choose his own bride. There, he met four girls: the friendly and cheerful Ayano who is great at cooking but seems to have a secret, the proud and dictator-like Tamaki who sets strict school rules on a whim, the rich Misuzu who’s always on a high horse, but is actually quite an idiot, and the extremely ecchi Nina who followed him to Tsukimiya Gakuen even though he had turned her down. Along with his expressionless sharp-tongued maid Chloe and his meddling imouto/maid Rurika, he begins his search for a bride. However, it seems like they are all either quite sadistic or masochistic. Will he be able to safely make a choice?
Good on Chiaki for taking charge of his future, but alas his only choices are all eccentric ones. Is it because they are ojousamas that they develop differently from us normal folk? If I really had to choose one of them, I’d go with Ayano or Nina. I’m not a do-M!
Alright you want to make a game about an expensive private school for classy girls, fair enough. Protagonist does not want to have an arranged marriage, not just fair enough, kind of a necessity to even have a story. False names and concealing your status, sounds like a good idea to me. The condition of the girl being “Sexually assertive” basically throws the whole thing out the window and into the dumpster. What could have been a natural flow where the protagonist finds himself aquainted with some of the more eccentric girls of the school, perhaps due to his lack of status or whatever reason would have been fine. By adding in this single condition the entire process is setup to be cheapened. Why is that? It’s simple, the entire plot is forced to go into a direction rather than letting it happen. From the perspective of writing it is the difference between taking the time to write out a steady and seamless progression of showing without telling, and slapping together an amorphous mass of telling without showing. Lets be honest, it is not as though we have a choice outside of the few heroines the game gives us, and H scenes are assumed in an eroge. So why would you need to openly force the heroine’s sexuality into the process. It speaks to poor writing and design. A little spice is nice, but too much is poison.
I think that condition was added to appease all those do-M and do-S folks out there. It’s true though that a good eroge shouldn’t have to force extremes to be interesting.
I agree that it is probably for a certain crowd, but the problem is that you could just as easily introduce the characters in say, the demo and hint at their characteristics without spelling it out. Gives the game an air of mystery and a sense of “Wow I want to know how things develop so I must play!” instead of having it all forcibly spelled out, and in this case set in stone as the rules of the universe.
Game site: 妄想コンプリート！
January 30, 2015 Delayed to March 27, 2015
This is the debut title by Insync. Seiji sees precognitive dreams from time to time. However, since it’s usually only fragments, he doesn’t pay much attention to them and just lives a normal life. One day, he saw a strange dream in which he was very intimate with a girl who he had never seen before. They were both naked and doing what lovers do. When he awoke the next morning, he was puzzled and wondered if it was a sign from the future. He had never dreamt about someone he had not seen before, so he dismissed it as only a delusion to avoid any weird expectations.
He got dressed, walked to school with his imouto Mari, entered his classroom and greeted his classmates. It was the start to another normal day at school… or so he thought. There was a new transfer student in his class, Erika, and she was the girl in his dreams. While he was still stunned, her gaze fell upon him.
“Ahhhh!!! N-No way… You must be joking…!?”
It seems that a strange love story has suddenly begun, with Seiji squarely in the middle of it.
I love the art by Azumi Kazuki! I wanna take both Mia and Mari home! This seems to be your standard love comedy and the writer Kobayashi Kouji came from Ex-iT (the patching problems in the latest games weren’t really his fault), so I won’t really expect too much. I’m still waiting for the trial to come out…
Nothing like starting out with the ending. Honestly a pretty weak concept whether it be comedic, charage, or standard eroge. Do try harder next time, maybe with a gimmick you didn’t buy from the eroge template bargin bin.
Micchi’s Top 3 for This Month
- Natsu no Iro no Nostalgia
- Mousou Complete!
- Haru Kiss
Zen’s Top 3 for This Month
- Alas my fair maiden
- I have no choice but to,
- Make you a knight.
Oh god, please not another game about knights… I hope there isn’t one next month too…
Can someone invent an eroge gun to make the Knight plots obsolete?