November 2018 Eroge Releases

November 26, 2018 at 5:15 am 9 comments

It may be a little early for Christmas, but there’s already Cabbage Soft’s Amazing Grace -What color is your attribute?-, where the month of December keeps repeating for some reason. Eushully’s latest title Fuukan no Grasesta features a rags-to-riches story, while Argonauts’ Uchi no Imouto is bound to please fellow imouto lovers out there.

Thank god it’s not Christmas, or this month would have been eroge coal. Well perhaps a few might still reach diamond-hood, but nothing practically guaranteed to be above average. I am praying that Eushully will land a hit with their gameplay this time in the hopes of that whole genre improving.



Haruka Drive!

Company: まふぃん (Muffin)
Game site: はるかどらいぶ!
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
This all-ages title is the debut work for Muffin. Yuuya has a childhood friend named Haruka who is innately frail and has been hospitalized since she was young. Other than that, she was a normal girl who loved to write novels. Even though she has her way with him, he treasures her as a trusted friend.

One time, she told him not to visit her until she finished writing her book. He reluctantly agreed and was restless for the next week while looking forward to meeting her again. But one week later, he was welcomed by the sight of a fantasy world. Next to him was a girl who looked just like Haruka. What happened to him and what does the future hold?

This is a fantasy story written by Morisato Ryouto (Suisei Ginka) and Tamasara Tsubura (Hitotsu Yane no, Tsubasa no Shita de), with art by Hinoue Itaru. It seems a little second rate to me in all facets of the game.

Whenever Micchi feels negative about one of the releases I can’t help but feel anything I could say pales in comparison. Of course I agree completely here, boring and low quality.

Amazing Grace -What color is your attribute?-

Company: きゃべつそふと (Cabbage Soft)
Game site: アメイジング・グレイス -What color is your attribute?-
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
Shuu woke up in a snowy town with no recollection of his past. He thought it was a strange place with an antique feel of Europe in the Middle Ages and a deep appreciation of the arts. There was also a towering wall known as ‘Aurora’ which surrounded by the town and sealed it off from the outside. However, he was taken in by the townspeople and eventually attended Saint Aleia Academy and enjoyed his time with the other students there.

However, this newfound happiness was snatched in an instant when a mysterious fire destroyed the town on Christmas Day. Yune loved the town more than anyone and vowed from the bottom of her heart to change the town’s fate, turning back time to the December 2nd, the first day of Advent.

Why did the disaster occur? Why did the town’s fate remain unchanged no matter how many times they turned back time? Why were they able to turn back time in the first place?

I guess this counts as a Christmas game? Just like Owaru Sekai to Birthday and Higurashi, our cast tries to avoid an impending disaster while trying to figure out its cause. The story is by Fuyuakane Tom (Magicha, Sainokoro), while the art is of course by Korie Riko. Since it’s a moe-ge at heart, all the heroines are likeable. I have no complaints about the pacing of the story and dialogue after playing the trial, so it should be a safe and enjoyable pick this month.

Lazy setting and story. The fact drama is built into a closed setting is instant cringe. No halfway decent writer would do such a thing to any story they felt pride in without a gun to their head. In other words would have been better had they stripped away on all extra gimmicky chaff and focused on making the characters development and interactions fun. Not saying there is nothing to see in the characters should you find them likable, just putting more focus on it instead of the useless crap would have made things infinitely better.

To be clear there is nothing fundamentally wrong with having dramatic events, wishes, or even enclosed settings. The problem instead lies with how eroge authors make use of them. These themes should not be used as a writing crutch to bring in deus ex machina endings or dramatic moments, but treated as a light sprinkling of spice on top of a solid foundation. When a story focuses on hiding behind this silly glitter it just makes the characters, their relationships, and the whole story feel cheap. Because it is.

For those who may recall older eroge, they rarely had such a strong focus on these elements, instead focusing more on the characters themselves. Even in the case of one of the worst offenders of the time, Da Capo. What made it so popular was not the dumb tree but rather the constant focus on developing the relationships, over and over and over and over and over again though it may have been used… Returning to the point, could have taken away the tree and series would have been just as popular, something many forget these days.

Also probably close enough to count as a Christmas game.

Even if the tree isn’t mandatory and could’ve been removed or replaced at that time, it has now been used to the point that it is part of our conscience. Just seeing it triggers immediate nostalgia.

Maybe that was their sinister plan all along! Subliminally compel us to uh… erm.. eh. Wish at trees? Although I do feel that nostalgia is stronger for certain people who ate up every scrap of tree bark Circus threw at them. *Cough*

Kokoro ga Tsunagu Renbyou

Company: KATE
Game site: ココロが繋ぐ恋標
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
Lately Kouki has felt like he was being followed whenever he went. It was as if he was possessed by a spirit. He discussed it with his childhood friend Hinata and she didn’t really take him seriously. He wondered if it really was all his imagination, but then his peaceful days began to change. Even though he was asocial and never dealt much with girls, the energetic class rep Himeno invited him to a purification ceremony and the school’s famous mysterious girl Mashiro also invited him to her club. Suddenly, he was living a new life surrounded by girls.

One day on his way home, the strange presence that he had been sensing all this time suddenly became visible before him. He planned to shake the mysterious spirit (?) Kokoro off, but she continued to follow him around.

The heroines are cute (including the innocent and curious Kokoro), but I’m worried about the story as KATE’s first work Koimofu wasn’t that well-received. While it may sound like a harem, the protagonist isn’t particularly likeable and the relationships between some heroines aren’t so rosy.

While I am perfectly fine with heroines solving matters in a battle royale cage match for a lame and useless generic eroge protagonist no real human could ever be attracted to for the sake of my amusement; I am less fine about it when I don’t particularly care about the heroines or story. Have to agree with Micchi here, not likely to be anything other than a sub par experience. Though like always when I say this, I do hope I am wrong along with wishing the company all the best if I am. Should things turn out as we predicted however I hope this is the final time I bear witness to this company on a monthly release.

Hello Lady! -Superior Entelecheia-

Company: 暁WORKS (Akatsuki WORKS)
Game site: ハロー・レディ! -Superior Entelecheia-
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
This is the a remake of the Hello Lady! PSV port Superior Dynamis. There is also a new route, plus 10 new CGs. It is considered as the full version of the game.

I do not remember much in detail as after awhile many eroge start to blur together, especially the mediocre ones. I do however recall dropping this game because it was rather silly and boring. Thus I cannot help but be surprised at seeing this one pop up again.

Love Coordination!

Company: しばそふと (Shiba Soft)
Game site: ラブコーディネーション!
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
This is the debut title by Shiba Soft. Yuuto’s family runs the tea house Larimar Bell which is known for its delicious black tea. He helps out at the shop while chatting with his childhood friend Nao about what to do during the upcoming summer vacation.

However, when he returned one day, his parents were nowhere to be found. They left behind a letter indicating that they were leaving on a journey in search of rare tea leaves. So instead of his usual leisurely summer vacation, he was suddenly thrust into the task of running the shop until his parents’ return. It was impossible for him to do it alone, and Nao gladly offered to help… but there was one thing she wouldn’t do: wear such a girly outfit!

Together with the overly serious student council president Hijiri and cheeky kouhai Inori, his ordinary life becomes extraordinary.

A pretty standard concept for a debut title. Their selling point is the variety in outfits that the girls wear, so if you like that (and balloons), why not check it out?

One of these days someone will make a comedy eroge about a protagonist who sacrifices his parents to the eroge gods to live the dream.

Simple sums things up rather nicely. Not a bad call for a first game should the writing hold up. While I would normally criticize them for the handling of the parents I feel in this case it does somewhat set the tone properly and clearly. So whether or not things work out will all come down to the writing itself and if they can make it a fun and enjoyable read.

Balloons are always better than the vast and empty void. One should set their hopes and dreams on reaching for the clouds after all. Balloons are inspirational.

I wonder if part of the reason why parents are usually MIA in eroge is because this was the setting that games in the past had used all the time and now those players back then are writers of this generation of eroge and they just kept using it.

Probably part of it as once something is successful Japan is notorious for never again leaving that comfort zone. Much like when they use adventurers in fantasy settings, they take advantage of what is widely known and accepted to simplify the process rather than try and have it make sense. Which is what bothers me about things like parents or adventurers, the laziness of it all. Rather than give the characters parents to increase the complexity and feel of the setting they just toss it aside for simplicity’s sake because its an eroge, and well all know the protagonist don’t have parents around.

Akuma Seijo ~Demon Girl Step~

Company: ソフトハウスキャラ (SofthouseChara)
Game site: 悪魔聖女 ~デーモンガール・ステップ~
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
Ruti is a demon who was vanquished a long time ago and a part of him was sealed away. Now in the present, he was resurrected by the pitiful Kyouka who mistakened him for a sex toy. He hatched a plan to train her as the evil mahou shoujo Dark Cherry and collect magical energy to fully regain his form. However, three figures of justice stood in their way: mahou shoujos Melody Queen, Lionel and Aya.

This is not a serious story by any means, and the battle system is also pretty simple by SofthouseChara standards. I’m not sure what a SLG-centric company like them are doing making a game like this…

Feels rather low budget in all aspects. Especially the character designs, they all feel wrong, missing something, or just plain half-assed. Story is dumb too. Far too many ways this could have been improved but since there was clearly little to no effort put into making the game itself I feel it doesn’t even deserve the scorn so much as apathy.

Otome ga Musubu Tsukiyo no Kirameki

Company: ensemble
Game site: 乙女が結ぶ月夜の煌めき
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
Touya works at the residence of the Shijou family, one of the most prominent zaibatsu in the country, keeping an eye on and being of assistance to the lone daughter Ran. One day, it was decided that the free-spirited Ran will temporarily transfer to the Akitsuki Girls’ School. Since everyone at the school, from its students to the staff, are female, it would be impossible for a boy like Touya to enter on a moment’s notice.

“Well, I will be taking care of other duties while you are there then.”
“… What are you saying? You’re coming along too”
“Eh? But, it’s a girls’ school where boys are forbidden…”
“So you’ll be coming with me, as a girl”

Not only would he have to cross-dress, but she wanted him to take her place in some situations. Despite his protests, he was ultimately defeated by her tears and unwillingly consented to entering the school as Yuuki. Will he be able to continue helping her there without having his cover blown?

Ensemble. Cross-dressing game. Well-known seiyuus. Mix of artists and writers. Pretty much everything is the same except for there’s no imouto this time. Hope you last through the whole game Touya. You’ll get your chance to vent with the other protagonists at a later date.

Standard boring Ensemble game. As Micchi suggested, good luck making it through the story without falling asleep.

Uchi no Imouto

Company: Argonauts
Game site: 家の妹
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
This is the second of Argonauts’ Uchikano series, focusing on imouto Riho. Keisuke started working this year and is satisfied with his life, since he found a job in his desired field, even though it’s for a small company. However, despite the motivation and satisfaction of living alone for the first time, he did feel a bit tired from it and wondered if he should find a girlfriend.

Then one day, his imouto Riho came to his place. Their parents had come down with the norovirus, so they suggested that she stay over at his place temporarily while studying for her exams. She had always liked him as more than just her older brother and now that they were living under the same roof, that feeling started to become even stronger. At the same time, he also was charmed by her and viewed her as a girl.

And here’s the imouto!! Just like in Ayame in the previous game, the parents are conveniently moved out of the picture and their feelings are mutual. Well, of course that’s bound to happen between siblings, especially when she’s so cute like Riho! Hau~ omochikaeri~! It’s just a low-priced game, but I’ll be fully enjoying every moment of it.

Imouto game. Honestly if anything I fault it for being too easy. The relationship is basically already there so kind of missing a lot of the point as the fun in the sibling route is the path it takes to develop past the taboo. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Taboo? What taboo?

My only possible response is handing you a mirror.

Iegami Nyoubou ~Nanashi Nekomata wa KamiTuber~

Company: Casket
Game site: 家神女房-イエガミニョウボウ- ~名無し猫又は神Tuber~
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
Atsuki visited the remote countryside village of Toshimasu where his late grandmother once lived to carry out the sale of her estate. He thought that he might be able to meet a well-endowed bishoujo there, but surely that wouldn’t be the case, right? While he stood by the bus stop, a voice called out to him from below.

“Nn… Onii-san, could you be from the city?”

Looking down at the cardboard box, he found a nekomata iegami (protector of the home) who called herself Neko. She introduced herself as a ‘KamiTuber’ who uploads videos to the video sharing site ‘KamiTube’. She used to be protector of his grandmother’s home, but…

“Neko is currently looking for a master. Will you take Neko in?”

This was the start of his life together with a slovenly and spoiled, yet doting nekomata.

I’m surprised it took so long for the virtual Youtuber rage to hit the eroge scene, although it’s just one of many ‘charm’ traits (nekomimi is still the driving force here). This one is much more up my alley than the previous Iegami Nyoubou work. Maybe I’ll check it out since it’s short after all.

While it is what it is for the catgirl thing the whole Youtuber bit makes me cringe hard. It’s just so pointless and random. Just think of how taking it out would change the story. Not to any significant degree right? A gimmick for the sake of a gimmick. Can’t expect much from such a haphazard setup, will likely have a story that meanders all over without much purpose. Suggest avoiding at all costs unless you absolutely need a dose of cat ears this month and can ignore the rest.

Fuukan no Grasesta

Company: エウシュリー (Eushully)
Game site: 封緘のグラセスタ
Release date: November 30, 2018
Comments:
Judar was born in the slums of the Kingdom of Belgarad and enlisted as a mercenary in the war. When it was defeated, he was taken as prisoner by the enemy and sold to the far eastern Kingdom of Gotia. He arrived in the capital of Grasesta, the City of Interception, built upon an extensive underground labyrinth known as the ‘Black Pit’, which contained the remnants of the Demonic Land of Samara. The city consisted predominantly of mercenaries and slaves, who fight in an everlasting battle against the demons.

“In this country, you can become king by defeating demons.”

It may sound like a lie, the current king of nation was a slave who elevated his social position by his own two hands, fighting through numerous battles and ultimately gaining the highest honour and being hailed as a hero.

Even if you become a slave, you should still not lose hope.

Judar was about to take the first step towards freedom by entering the labyrinth when he met a Lilica, a girl from the nobility who normally looks like a small doll due to special circumstances. She was looking for someone to bring her to the depths of the labyrinth. He would be able to moved around easier with someone from an upper social status in tow, so he agreed to take her along out of his own self-interest. Together they set out to explore the uncharted areas of the labyrinth and to uncover the secrets and darkness that lie hidden below.

This is a RPG that’s reminiscent of the Ikusa Megami series, albeit with mobage elements. You start with nothing and have to work hard to get money and friends. There’s a new chain battle system, as well as a sealed item system. I much prefer RPGs over SLGs, so I might actually check this one out.

My problem with any gameplay in an eroge is the same no matter the type of game (Though I do agree about RPGs being better). Most of the time the gameplay feels rather like a stop sign that requires you to waste some time before proceeding with the story. This is due to few ever having fun or even decent mechanics and gameplay systems. Eushully often is one of the worst offenders in this regard as they tend to overly complicate really simple and rather boring combat mechanics which makes the tedium and time wasting hit even harder. What makes things even worse is how eroge are designed, multiple routes means multiple playthroughs. When you have to sit through the same fights many times to see a different ending is where what was merely tedious turns into finding better uses for my time.

In fact I think the last time I played any kind of eroge with actual gameplay that I could sit and play all the way through, and even multiple times was Valkyrie Complex. Which I think was by Circus? Or Leaf? I believe it was Circus though. Irony and maybe reason for that being the story was garbage, while the combat mechanics didn’t feel as intrusive. Not saying there wasn’t room for improvement, just the ease of leveling, level design, newgame+ system, and overpowered protagonist (So any combination of characters worked) made things much easier. I guess Eien no Aselia and Seinarukana work as examples too, though their gameplay was more just setup ahead of time and let it run which did get on my nerves after awhile as it still wasted your time. Point of this rant being they can do it when they try just too many insist on sticking to really terrible gameplay so I have no patience for those who don’t even make the attempt.

Story is whatever. It’s just an excuse to throw the characters into a stereotypical game “Dungeon”. Though I give them points for not going the cliche and retarded adventurer route which always triggers me.

Whether or not to play it will come down to how fun the gameplay is after a few hours. Should it still be enjoyable then worth the time, if it becomes a hassle, drop and forget as Eushully games tend to be rather long.

Personally I’m looking forward to Evenicle 2 more, and it’s not for the story or ero. If the gameplay is easy to pick up and fun enough to keep up with, then the game will be a success. I understand there’s those who enjoy the extensive preparation or complex systems, but for me that’s more than enough.

Which is where the problem lies I feel. If it is just the gameplay that is fun, why even bother with writing out a long story when simple background and setting would do, or even include ero? When its possible to play games that are similar or in most cases better without those getting in the way. Or on the other side if the gameplay isn’t fun why not just read a VN, LN, or WN instead? Should it just be the ero, plenty of hentai to go around in any form without the need to waste your time on story or gameplay. By involving all elements together to make a good game out of it they must blend and work together otherwise just focus on making one or two better.

I don’t mind complexity, or simplicity in gameplay as long as the effort is put in to do it well and make it work. My problem with Eushully complexity is their systems are rather simple at heart, lacking the depth that would require all the extra work. Makes it feel like an extra time sink for the sake of appearances. In other words, if you make a simple game, go simple. If you make a complex game go complex. Don’t try to mix both as it will just wear thin after all the time you have to put in to play multiple routes.

Micchi’s Top 3 for This Month

  1. Amazing Grace -What color is your attribute?-
  2. Uchi no Imouto
  3. Fuukan no Grasesta

Zen’s Top 3 for This Month

  1. Fuukan no Grasesta
  2. Love Coordination!
  3. Uchi no Imouto – Yep, that is how lacking November is.

I wonder if there’s any virtual Youtubers that play eroge?

No.

Entry filed under: Monthly Releases. Tags: , , , .

When You Just Need More… Follow→Your Heart

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rez  |  November 26, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I have to disagree with zen on Eushully having boring game-play. Among eroge they’re the only ones that are even remotely worth playing in terms of game-play and the accompanying stories albeit standard fantasy fare are a nice extension to that. In comparison we have:

    SHChara – same boring dungeon crawlers or management sims. Writing is generic AF.
    Alicesoft’s Evenicle – boring generic RPGmaker-tier stuff. Writing can be witty at times. They should stick to making wife-eater games.
    Leaf – Utaware etc. pathetic bland TRPGs inheriting the worst of the genre
    Eternal – Alpharide, Yumina etc. – one word: DISGUSTING.
    BaldrSky – spent 500 hours. Nuff said. No comment on sequels.

    Eushully on the other hand rather than “over-complicating” are actually providing some worthwhile game-play. Examples are:
    Alchemy meister – great tactical-lite RPG with a ton of variety.
    Kami no rhapsody – their full tactical RPG with all the bells and whistles.
    Soukoku no Arterial – awesome card battle system. Great branching.
    Madou Koukaku was a gimmicky pseudo-RTS thing – probably their weakest one gameplay-wise. It made up for that with all the possible outcomes when going with the different alliances.

    It could be the PC gamer in me but in most cases I find myself a lot more invested in a game if it has some sort of gameplay rather than fall asleep speed-reading some 100 million word novel. On the other hand no eroge can survive on gameplay alone so you need some sort of story as a system to reward you. If the outcome is tied to your performance all the better.

    If you’re going to whine about skipping gameplay in such game just use cheat engine or a savedata from sagaoz.

    List of the month:
    1. Fuukan no Grasesta [Eushully]
    2. Sainogami [Black Cyc]
    3. Uchi no imouto [Argonauts]

    Reply
    • 2. Da Best  |  November 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Gotta agree with Rez in this one, Eushully games have pretty good gameplay, however, the latest games had a somewhat weak story in my opinion (Specially Amayui Castle Meister), but the story from the demo of Fuukan no Grasesta seems interesting and the gameplay is pretty fun to experiment with, so it’s an instant try for me.

      Reply
    • 3. Micchi  |  November 26, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      Oh right, I never finished Arterial. That was pretty fun to play, but I’m not sure where my save file went…

      Reply
    • 4. saiko  |  November 26, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      not to agree or disagree with anyone here. I believe everyone have their own likes and dislikes and judgement on game pacing.

      just sharing from my experience as a script/creator. rpg elements in VN are entertainment not only for the players but also for the creators behind the game. unlike base form of unity/unreal engine, it’s quite a challenge to create such game play using VN engines. when we successfully make such an element (no matter how simple or complex) we would want to share it with the players.

      Reply
  • 5. Sang Guci  |  November 27, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Wait… I thought Hinoue Itaru already quit from bishoujo games industry? Or did I miss something?

    Reply
    • 6. Ursk  |  December 1, 2018 at 7:52 am

      She only quit making the character design for Key VN

      Reply
  • 7. joyjason  |  December 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    To input my two cents on the “gameplay” aspect in eroge, it really goes both ways. If done correctly said “gameplay” can show a lot of aspects of characters (such as how the Corona series from Eternal showcased how powerful the protagonist Touka was), but for the most part Zen’s really right about gameplay being more of a stop to the story.

    Eushully’s gameplay quite frankly was like this for the most part, where the exploration of maps or its “Civilization” gameplay was rather annoying than immersive. It’s definitely on the more creative side, but often takes too freaking long which is the main reason I avoid their games altogether. Gorgeous CGs though. Would definitely love to play more of their titles if they took out their gameplay.

    Though if you’re not going to be playing multiple games like Micchi/Zen or I, then I guess you could enjoy said gameplay… I’d rather enjoy some action-focused MMOs in that case to be honest.

    I’m remotely interested in Amazing Grace and if I have time I’ll look into the Eushully game. Kinda turned off by the fact it’s stated it’s more like a mobage because god I don’t need any more of those kinds of games

    Reply
  • 8. saotomekun97  |  December 5, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    …………………………………………….. The hell… someone dared to diss Ototsuki…!

    Fine if you’re tired of ensemble’s “Otome series”, just don’t try to color people’s opinions… if you can’t like it, at least try to be neutral…

    Reply
    • 9. joyjason  |  December 8, 2018 at 10:31 am

      I mean to be fair it’s not like ensemble’s been pumping out good games either. Feel like the best game they ever even had was Ojounana and even that had its flaws while most the rest of their games were so adamant about including ojousama heroines and/or trap protagonist that they just neglected almost everything else.

      As veterans, people like Micchi/Zen and I have every authority to diss games if they’re generic. Heck Micchi/Zen probably played the trial to be basing their opinions so unless you’re more experienced or knowledgeable about VNs than them I’d hardly be inclined to agree with you.

      I’d be interested in hearing why you’re so convinced this title will be good though. You obviously had something going on when you arbitrarily decided to like this game whether it was the CV cast or the artwork. You should be trying to convince us with rhetoric why this game is good instead of flat out demanding us to be silent with opinions

      Reply

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