カレーまみれ勇者の冒険 Curry Chronicles

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It has been a cursed year so far, but I am slowly breaking that curse this summer and finally getting back to playing some games.

Gnosia is an extremely unconventional work that took a team of 4 people over 4 years to develop. The main concept is a game of single player werewolf, set in a stage fitting for a futuristic space opera, where you loop back to the beginning after every game of werewolf regardless of result. It’s also a download-only title released exclusively for the PS Vita in June 2019, a few months after the handheld’s end of production was announced. Worry not, the developers’ previous game Maison de Maou has been ported to every console available so I’m sure Gnosia will at the very least get a Switch or PS4 port. Far too much time and effort has been put into the game for it to be left alone on a handheld that has pretty much ended its life.

Edit: I forgot to mention the biggest gamebreaking flaw of the game. It has no backlog.

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428 -Fuusasareta Shibuya de-

I refuse to let a month go without a post, so I decided to go type that review I’ve been meaning to type as soon as I finished the game. A while back I wrote about a game called Time Travelers, which was kind of neat in its use of five different protagonists to advance the story, but ultimately fell short on plot and writing. Preceding it is 428, a sound novel from Spike Chunsoft that also uses the 5-protagonist system, but does it more skillfully. The emphasis on the “novel” part also means more in-depth character writing and a longer and more detailed story overall, as compared to Time Travelers’ movie-like approach.

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Boku no Natsuyasumi 4

My blog has no consistency control, which is why I end up writing about a children’s adventure game shortly after I gush about an ex-porn game chock full of elements appealing to those with eighth grade syndrome. Well, if you’d rather be a fourth grader than a teenager, then BokuNatsu might be worth checking out. It’s a leisurely game with no true goal and nice scenery.

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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Review

I completed one of the funnest non-ATLUS/NIS/Pokemon games I’ve ever played. My interest was held for 100% of the game, and I just couldn’t stop playing. I would have gotten it on or near release, but I was poor back in January and I finally got the chance to buy it on Sunday after hesitating for over a month. Now that I’ve completed the game, I want to band my head against the wall for not buying it sooner. How could I hesitate when it’s by the genius behind the Ace Attorney series? I had hope for that man ever since I first laid hands on Apollo Justice (bad case of breaking sequence on my part). Well, regrets aside, I will try my best to calm down after playing through a storyline truly satisfying for all its entirety.

The main character is already dead by the time you can control him. You play as a man who just died, Sissel, who discoveres his magical ghost powers that allow him to travel by possessing the cores of various objects and manipulating them. Immediate, you have to try and save a red-haired girl who is getting cornered by a hitman. So Sissel possesses various objects to distract the hitman, but he kills her anyways. Then it gets revealed that he has the power to rewind time to 4 minutes before the corpse he possesses’ death and try to prevent it, but that only works on someone killed within the last 24 hours. Our hero also has amnesia, and spirits disappear by dawn so he has only this night to figure out who he was and solve a giant mystery.

The gameplay consists of possessing and manipulating objects to either reach a place or avert someone’s death. So there’s the normal world, where you can watch people’s actions and manipulate (perform tricks with) the object you’re currently possesing. When you press R (or tap the Ghost button) the screen will swithc to the ghost world where time is paused and you can possess nearby items. The items will have the “trick” it can perform listed and some items can’t do anything. Ultimately, you’ll have to find a way to use the objects to avert the deaths of other characters. The puzzles (I guess that’s the most appropriate term?) are actually quite fun and goes with the story well. They gameplay was fun enough for me to not say “fuck it, get on with the plot!!” even though it’s a story-centered game. If you fail to avert a character’s fate, you have to try again. There aren’t any game overs since you can rewind time to 4 minutes before a corpse’s death as many times as you want.

Most of the puzzles were easy enough to figure out in a few tries, but Chapter 14 really got me as That One Level. Overall, I’d say the gameplay is strong enough to compliment the story. They know how to balance story and gameplay in an adventure game, as expected of the people behind Ace Attorney.

I don’t think I have to tell you that the story is great, since I’ve probably said it before. There’s a really Ace Attorney-like vibe from Ghost Trick, despite the fact that investigation happens in cutscenes most of the time and you’re more involved in saving people rather than looking for evidence. The mystery unfolds at a good pace, and the ending was extremely satisfying. If you liked the Ace Attorney series, this game is a no-brainer…Actually, the chances are, if you like the Ace Attorney series you probably already played/bought this game.

The story also has lots of hilarious lines, so that was a big plus for me. It manages to remain light-hearted, even during serious and important moments. Then there’s also some very heartwarming scenes that we all love…And several hilarious deaths (and ways that you can fail to save them…).

One of the strongest points of the game is that it pays a large amount of attention to each character. You can feel the love that was put into each character, instead of just having all the focus on the main character. The creators clearly had fun making them. Even the little doggy (Missile!) that seemed annoying at the beginning ended up being extremely awesome. Sissel was, of course, a fitting main character. The large cast is colorful, and gives off a feel not unlike those from the Ace Attorney series.

Fitting, with many catchy tunes. The music also feels like AA too. Especially the investigation BGMs.

Damn, where to begin? First of all, the character sprites/models. I can’t really tell how they are made, but they seem to be cell-shaded 3D models. What amazed me was that the whole game was practically animated, right down to some very delicate and intricate movements. Climbing up ladders, typing, painting, walking, running, everything is so damn smooth and feels realistic. They put so much effort into the animations I can’t help but be extremely impressed. There are just so many unique animations, and they managed to make it all seem realistic and smooth.

The art style of the sprites is pretty nice too. It’s a combination of Anime and western cartoon style, with eye styles from the former and colors and exaggerated parts from the latter. Moe lolis exist.

Pretty fun gameplay, great story, lively characters, natural animations and fitting music. How can I not recommend this game (except to people who don’t like reading text/following a story)? The only complaint I have is the length, but a short game is better than a long one with loads of filler. I enjoyed it too much and it ended too fast. I kept on wanting to play more. Sequel please? I know the creators are fully capable of making non-crap sequels/spinoffs. Oh yeah, and try not to get spoiled.

Recommended for: People who liked Ace Attorney, people who like adventure games, people who like mysteries, people who like good stories in their games in general, etc.

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Review: Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors


999 is an adventure game developed by Chunsoft and published by Aksys for the DS. Written by the writer of Ever17, possibly the most well-known all ages visual novel that had an official English release (sadly the company is out of business now), 999 has a suspenseful story with numerous plot twists and 6 endings. The majority of the game consists of novel style narration on the bottom screen, and dialogue between characters appears on the top screen. Aside from the visual novel elements, there is also times where you must solve puzzles and escape a room. The best part about the game is the story, so it’s not a recommended buy if you’re looking for a purely room escape game. Prepare to do a lot of reading.

First Impressions:
I heard about this game through Siliconera or some other gaming news site a while back, and immediately got interested since it was an adventure game. First thing I noticed upon playing the game was that the text was slow. Really slow. Like, I read twice as fast as the text speed. I’ve always been the type to not wait for the text scrolling in visual novels. It’s a frustrating thing to get used to, the slow scrolling of text. Graphically, the backgrounds make the atmosphere really oppressive (dammit, I hate them metal doors and the creaks they make) except for the fancy looking rooms.

There isn’t that much gameplay to be honest, since 999 is more of a visual novel than anything else. The only gameplay you’ll get aside from door and dialogue choices is probably finding a way out of the room. The escape part basically consists of puzzles that you have to solve in order to find the key to the door that leads to the next part. It was pretty fun and exciting for me at first, but eventually they started to feel gradually easier. The difficulty of the puzzles don’t rise as you progress through the story, so later rooms are just as easy as earlier rooms. The puzzles overall are pretty easy, I never really got stuck much (unlike the Ace Attorney series). After the 2nd playthrough or so, I was willing to give anything for a “skip puzzles already done” function because playing through the same door multiple times isn’t fun. You pretty much know exactly what to do by then. 7/10 for gameplay, I didn’t really care about the puzzles when they just seem like an annoyance stopping the awesome plot.

Screw the gameplay. Screw the frustratingly slow text. Dammit, the story is probably one of the best I’ve seen in a while for a video game, with impressively spun together plots and many twists. The suspense is really effective; each time after solving a room, my heart pounds for more story and revelation. Every ending had me pumped up. Even after obtaining the true end, I still think about the story a lot, which proves the quality of the writing. Even in this twisted plot the characters are forced into, there is still hilarious moments that I always love in a game. There is a perfect balance of comedy, suspense, and touching moments in the true end, which concludes with a much-needed sense of satisfaction and peace. I’m usually harder on the story aspect for visual novels, but 999 gets a 10/10 from me.

One of the most important elements of a good visual novel is the characters. Importance-wise, it is right up there with the story. I’m glad to say that 999 knows this and fleshed out their cast. I eventually got attatched to everyone. My personal favorite character is definitely Snake. He was alright at the beginning, giving the air of a blind Miles Edgeworth. However, it was during the ‘safe’ ending where he became totally badass. Damn, I almost shat bricks there. Too damn cool, man. My second favorite is probably Clover, because she is just so adorable in the True path. I didn’t play the axe ending where Clover goes batshit insane and kills everyone, but I don’t think I want to now…maybe I’ll do it later. Anyways, the cast is easy to get attatched to, and are part of the reason why 999’s story is so strong. 10/10 for characters too.

Since this is a visual novel, the graphics just consists of background illustrations and character sprites. Doesn’t exactly push the system to the limits, but the 2D art works just fine here. The character designs are all clean and unique, with a variety of poses and facial expressions. The backgrounds range from bright to depressing to just downright disturbing (I’m looking at you, torture room). I didn’t initially like the metal doors and wall backgrounds (I like my shiny trees and beautiful blue sky, usually) but I eventually got used to it. There are plenty of CG events that get the job done to make action scenes more interesting. 8/10 for graphics. Not exactly high-tech, but they’re pretty good looking in terms of design.

Does the job of setting the atmosphere, but not really memorable. No catchy Crowning Moment of Awesome BGM here. 6/10 for generally uninteresting music (lol after Persona series, Touhou, Ace Attorney, and even Sharin no Kuni’s “Keniichi is doing something awesome” song, my expectations for music have gone up a lot higher).

Gameplay – 7/10
Story – 10/10
Characters – 10/10
Art/Graphics – 8/10
Music – 6/10

Total – 41/50, or 8.2/10

Due to the puzzles I ended up rating it like a normal game. If it had been pure visual novel, I would’ve cut out the gameplay category completely.

I bought this game on Friday, and beat the True End this morning. Despite how busy I was over the weekend, I still played 999 every chance I had. It was difficult to put down, and I even sacrificed sleep for it. My mind told me that it’s time to take a break and sleep, but my hands refused to let me. When I did finally decide to go to bed, I found myself awake two hours later saying “Must…get…ending…” and played until morning. I’m probably not a good example of what a normal, healthy person is, but the game was really that gripping. Makes me want to try Ever17 and Remember11.

Oh yeah, and the most lol moment for me? The final puzzle. That sudoku that will save your lives suddenly pops up from the ground and nobody knows how to solve it rofl. I knew doing so many sudoku puzzles in class will help save my life more than history or English XD

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999: Damn it’s scary

I picked the game up today after school (and pre-ordered Radiant Historia with it), and did one playthrough tonight. I don’t regret dropping $40 here. I got a bad end where the main character got stabbed (wrong door choice?), but only getting stabbed is kinda reassuring in comparison to some of the graphic descriptions of gruesome character deaths early-mid game. If “only” getting stabbed is reassuring in this game, then I’ll definitely have nightmares tonight. Or I’ll stay up all night playing games (probably better than trying to sleep while seeing guts and blood in my head).

Anyways, word of warning, I think 999 legitly deserves the M rating. You don’t actually see the really gruesome murders, but the text describes it in detail, so think twice if you’ve got a weak stomach. Other than that, the rest of the game is pretty exciting, with the feeling that you’ll get stabbed or someone else will die or see blood with every step you take. The point-and-click gameplay is also addicting if that’s your type of thing. Most gameplay revolves around you and your group looking for objects to escape or move on from a certain room. Story is told in 3rd person narrative, in novel style where text covers up the entire bottom screen, but dialogue and character portraits show up on the top screen.

I haven’t solved many mysteries since I got a bad end (dammit, this is what happens when I don’t follow a choices guide in a visual novel), so I’ll give it another go! I’m liking how all the characters are useful and intelligent despite whichever character archetype they intitally seem to fit in. In this game, you truly feel that nothing can be done if everyone didn’t work together.

Ghost Trick, Radiant Historia, and Pokemon Black…I’ll be buying one game a month at the start of 2011, so I won’t go broke that quickly (I hope).