No idea if I’ll continue this onto the next month, probably not. Also, I don’t think I need to mention this after all of these posts but there’s really no regard for spoilers in this blog. You are advised to only read the posts after you finish the game or if you do not intend to play the game at all.
I’ve just finished programming so I’m in a good mood and combined with a slight surge in visits thanks to Micchi, I decided to make a brief summary of what I played and what I liked during the April releases. Since by the time I started the blog, all I had left to play was Monobeno. Full reviews won’t be done because I imagine it’d be too time consuming, along with the personal preference to write about something only soon after finishing it and more importantly, for some I would prefer if the reader played it themselves.
The first game I played was none other than Soukoku no Arterial by Eushully. With the precedent of Kamidori I came into Soukoku with similar expectations. For the most part I was just expecting a fun game with a storyline that you probably shouldn’t think too deeply into.
What I got instead, however, was something a little different from my expectations. The gameplay was decent, I would still prefer Kamidori over it but perhaps it has to do with the part that I’ve barely played any card games at all. In addition to the fact that after the first play, I found it incredibly easy to abuse the system to make myself essentially impossible to beat as long as my luck with card drawing wasn’t terrible. That part somewhat ruined any challenge the game posed to me.
That’s not the part I was surprised by though, I was more surprised by the twists of the story. The writing is comparable to Kamidori (which doesn’t say much) but I was expecting a nice and gentle story like Kamidori as well. The truth was different though, as Eushully took a step back to its roots with rape here and there. Not that I’m complaining, in fact I’m all for it. Instead of heroine routes, you are given human/angel/devil routes which contain a certain set of heroine routes within them. It was very entertaining going through Sayane route and watching as the protagonist, Shuuya, turn to the dark side. What can I say, I enjoyed watching how Shuuya changed overtime until the finale where he essentially became the wirepuller who controls both worlds.
On the other hand in the angel route, the only real notable part about the story was that it vaguely felt more serious than the other routes since there was more blood and life or death dangers. Angel route had Mehisha and that alone made it worth it for me however. It’s probably not hard to guess that she’s more or less my favorite character in the game with Sayane following close behind.
Human route didn’t offer anything of interest and was easily the weakest route to me but oh well I guess.
Overall I didn’t find Soukoku no Arterial’s gameplay as good as Kamidori’s but I found the story much more entertaining than Kamidori’s. Then again perhaps I’m just easily satisfied.
After Soukoku no Arterial I decided to play a more normal game to get a breather before plunging into what was ahead of me.
Initially I intended to play Monobeno at that point but as I was looking through the releases of April again to see if anything fell off my radar, something caught my eye. On EGS Harumade, Kururu was getting fairly good ratings. I was initially under the impression that it was just some average moege or so but then upon reading the comments I found some interesting tidbits.
Finally after looking at vndb my train of thought went along the lines of: Good world building you say? Genre shift you say? Harem route you say? Adding in the summary and I’m sold.
And thus Monobeno was thrown out of my schedule until a later date.
And let me be frank here. Harumade is very damn likely the best story-wise VN of all the releases in April. It starts off as a usual nukige with a seemingly endless amount of hscenes but as soon as the common route ends, everything kicks into gear and all of a sudden everything that made it a nukige disappears as if it never existed.
Instead what you get is a very Cross Channel like story. I imagine that people who enjoyed Cross Channel may enjoy this story just as much. That’s the most I’ll spoil about the story, for everything else you should go play the game yourself. Personally I enjoyed this far more than Cross Channel although I barely have any memory left of Cross Channel from when I played it but anyway returning to the subject now.
All I can say is that it’s highly recommendable for anyone looking for a good story in VN for April releases and you should go read it if you haven’t. A lesson learned from this is that you shouldn’t judge a game by its cover, quite literally in this case.
By the time I finished Harumade I was pretty much done with the main meat of the month. Following that I attempted to play Demonion but failed as I couldn’t bring myself to be interested in the story and more importantly, the gameplay. And after that I moved onto the next game on my list, being Venus Blood ~FRONTIER~.
The gameplay in Frontier was essentially a refined version of Empire so fans of that game will likely enjoy the gameplay here just as much, if not more. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the story as I felt like I enjoyed Abyss and Empire more in that area. For hscenes I’ll probably leave that judgment up to the player.
Regardless of it all, I enjoyed Frontier a fair bit and even went in for a second playthrough before leaving it alone.
Finishing up the month, I started Monobeno simultaneous to starting up this blog and you can already find a review of that on this site.
Overall April was a very enjoyable month for me. For story there was Harumade and for gameplay there was Soukoku and Frontier. Win on all sides, it’s unfortunate that May is shaping up to be a fairly boring month.