It’s pretty late now, I have to update my favorite vn list too.
What if you really liked godhand’s combat, and what if instead of a dumb fun story, there’s decently written over the top plot. That’s baldr sky.
And boy does it have some issues, but I ignore them because it’s a blast overall, and I’m starting to assume that’s just Giga in general.
In short, if you like mecha combat, combos and want to remember 90s anime, give this a try.
There’s some difficulty spikes that can be annoying.
How they indexed scenes was really annoying(ie. if a new scene in a different route has 90% same lines, the whole scene is still considered unread so you can’t skip the plot). This happens multiple times, but mostly in sky 1. And there’s at least one route where you just hate the girl.
In 2, there’s a mode called reminiscence, which you’re forced to read, and around 70% of that is content from the first one. I’ve heard huge complaints so it kind of curbed my experience, and it honestly wasn’t that bad. But I can see it being a huge pain if you’re not aware.
Some of the characters you’re most likely not going to like, but put it all together and it was a fun ride. If you played Duel Saviors and liked the last 1/5 of it, then you’d like this one too.
Also, some were put off from the 50 dollar price tag when it was released. But it’s two games alongside having extra combat after you finish the plot that can go for quite awhile. It’s kind of cheap when you think about it. Though I guess it might’ve sold better if it was released as two parts of 25 each, who knows.
Totono/You and me and her
I find it a love letter to Liebestraum #3, it’s the title ost after all. It’s well written yet doesn’t feel artsy and smug about it. It’s a love story, but are you the center of it all?
Overall quite fun. I didn’t like the MC, but you’re not really supposed to. I also didn’t like Aoi’s sections much but they still improve Miyuki’s sections(Miyuki’s sections are good on their own as well). Out of all the ones I’ve read this year, I feel this has the most thought put into their tracks.
I actually wrote something about it here
It’s a mix of murder mystery and chuuni, I wrote about this one too
A lot of the delusions could have been removed, it took me out of it more often than chaos;head. And there’s an awful transition between 2/3 of the way through the plot. But it’s also something I didn’t have to power through, even though chapter 1 was getting close to it. Overall, I think it’s a pretty well written outside most of the subroutes and a few things that could be a deal breaker for some.
I wrote about this one too
An angel loses her strings on her guitar that she needs to do her job. The main character begrudgingly helps her out while they find how to fix it.
This is from overdrive, and overdrive is my jam. They made Kira Kira and Dengeki Stryker, alongside some other good titles but I felt were lower than these two. Outside of edelweiss(because I never read it), this one is probably the one I liked the least, and it’s still kind of good. There’s just parts that didn’t make sense to me, alongside a route or two that would do better with a rework alongside some chapters that I felt were better off just removed.
On the other hand, I really like how they handled the ending. The tracks are still topnotch, and the lyrics do more justice than some of the routes themselves. Too bad they only show up in the credits
This one has a couple of pet peeves but the main issue was just that I saw people praising it here and there and I just couldn’t see it. A huge frontloading of porn that then gets reused in later chapters aside, it does handle character endings well but it doesn’t really amount to anything breathtaking. And the true ending is kind of laughable to the point it felt like this one jrpg that if said kind of spoils the mood of this one alongside probably not wanting to read it anymore.
I’m not putting in some of the titles because they ended up being either nukige titles or evns that I thought were going to be bad but I was curious. Sometimes they end up being pretty good but not the one this year.
Clannad Side Stories
It’s the most fandisk I’ve seen in awhile where it’s a bunch of side stories of specific characters. And it’s not all that bad, there’s a mix of really good ones and some I question what they were thinking. It’s here solely for the last story where holy shit these two get an award for bad parenting decisions.
They tried an idea of going back and forth from the present and their memories years ago but they ultimately failed. It’s just hard to do when you’re also trying to make a branching path. I felt a lot of it was really dumb and the best route was the first one. There’s a strong moment near the end but also fucks it up pretty soon after that. I wrote about this one here
Weird ones out
Angel Beats First Beat
Adapted from the anime, pretty rare for that to happen. I think it’s better than the anime, but at least the anime ends even if I think is completely rushed in the last two episodes.
This one will most likely never get finished. They also use the route from the anime in here. They had too much ambition and tried to plan out too much. This could have been a two parter but I think it was going to be 6 of them? The amount of choices this vn has is just on the first episode is already daunting. Some of the jokes don’t really land well compared to the anime, but it also has like five times the amount of jokes and most of them are fine. There’s even small side routes for Noda and Hisako, alongside some better world building that Key usually adds in to hint what’s actually going on. But the options, holy shit. Even the guide I was using felt like I was reading an instruction manual to build a laptop.
I was actually writing about it and it never panned out, maybe I’ll try it again one day.
Just a dude who has a weird standard for love, removes some of the shackles and gets together with one of the girls.
Generally I don’t give much credit to pure moege, because it’s junk food to me. But while it has its moments, the two smee titles I read(it’s 3 now in 2021), they’re more like dumb comedy than anything else. Fureraba kind of lost the comedy aspect once you hit a route, but since ML doesn’t really have a common route, the comedy never really ended. So it wasn’t a vn about cute looking characters that do cute things but just random people do stupid shit to each other with a couple of sweet moments in each route.
Kami no Rhapsody
A different eushully game. It respects your time a lot more than Kamidori did, but there’s a lot less to do and also a lot more braindead. A lot of the side objectives can and probably should be ignored after awhile. You do get stat bonuses once you complete a whole section but it’s not overly necessary, maybe only for the ng+ boss. The plot isn’t as great as Kamidori, but it still has a vast variety of the characters and they’re interesting more often than not.
I think the largest nitpick I had with it outside of gameplay was that I thought the weapons also being instruments would have a larger point throughout the story and combat instead of just here and there.
Some evn, nothing really remarkable in there. It was kind of supposed to be a joke I was doing where I’d read what looks like really dumb vns and it kind of stopped after one. But it wasn’t that it was so terrible that I quit the joke, it just stopped being funny to me.
Another Yuzusoft title, it’s not my favorite but I liked it more than Sanoba Witch. The common route actually goes somewhere and the side routes are still pretty good. Surprisingly Lena was my favorite route, it had the most plot going on. My favorite design was Mako but it kind of got thrown into the trash when I hit the route.
Real Life Plus
It’s one of those start from childhood to adulthood. It’s not well done, but the weeb route was pretty funny at least.
Location Love 1
It’s a kinetic moege. It’s not bad but it kind of feels like a nukige to me. Frontwing is becoming a really hit or miss company for me. I feel like they have some pretty cool titles they can bring over but maybe only these sell well enough.
Koi ga Saku Koro Sakura Doki
Another moege. It’s kind of middling, I think the art is the best thing about it. It’s pretty cute but a lot of plots are kind of whatever to the point where I found a lot of the side characters to be more interesting. An and Tina were the better of the bunch since it hits back to the main character.
Catgirl & Doggirl Cafe
A nukige title. I try to put in one a year, I didn’t see the developer. I really don’t like Norn, lol. The MC is just a guy that got isekai’d and asked to be a chef.
I honestly don’t like Tsubame’s character. I guess a lot of people didn’t(?) because there’s she has two routes where she’s really submissive for some reason.
Stacy and Lee were funny though. I’m kind of looking forward for A4 because of Homura, she and the rest of the 10 warriors were pretty cool in S but not brought up much.