Harem 201X beta

Better late than never. After everyone else made their list, it’s time for my own since I don’t want anyone else stealing my favorite bishoujos. *grabs Kagome from warum*

The four commandments handed down by God m3rry will be followed.

-Harem size is up to six eight bishoujos. and one household meido.
-Only one bishoujo in an eroge unless she is a twin.
-Eroges with their own anime adaptions are not allowed.
-Each bishoujo must have it’s own individual seiyuu.

Now it’s time for the list in no particular order.

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Xbox 360 Rin faceplate: Round 2

Some of you may remember how disappointed I was with my first Rin 360 faceplate. The colors were off. The details were lacking. The faceplate felt really cheap.

Ed over at Faceplate Addict agreed it was low quality when he got his first faceplates from Subcostume. He worked with Subcostume to improve the quality and offered me a replacement. Well, here it is.

Left: official original faceplate, middle: first custom faceplate, right: replacement faceplate

I encourage you to click the picture and look at it in a bigger size. The colors on the replacement faceplate are much better. The faceplate itself is white, unlike the beige of the original. The colors are more vibrant and the details in the picture actually make it to the faceplate. Compare Rin’s hand, foot, and skirt.

Photo taken using flash. Loss of color accuracy, but you can see the differences in detail better.

The faceplate itself is also better. The doors feel more solid, though nowhere near the quality of the original. The IR thing is black, like the original, and actually stays on the faceplate now. I already lost the one on the first faceplate since it was loose.

Same order as before.

As you (might) be able to see, the back of the new faceplate is a lot more like the official faceplate. Everything has sharper and more defined edges, making it seem like like a cheap impression like the first one. Ironically, the new one weighs in at even less. 54.4 g

Though the faceplate is much better now, it’s still hard to excuse Subcostume’s customer service. They advertised a discount and never gave it to me. They ignored all my inquiries about it. They promised to refund my friend but never gave it to him. These are all signs of a company you should normally avoid dealing with.

The only reason I got a replacement is because of Ed’s dedication, and he doesn’t even work for Subcostume. Maybe they should learn a thing or two about communication and customer satisfaction from him.

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Little Busters! Ecstasy review

Since most eroge blogs I follow seem to be pretty quiet right now, I decided that I should try to fill in the gaps.

I’ve been meaning to do this review for a long, long time. I’ve had tons of material ready for this review, but I never got around to it since I never got around to completely finishing the game. And I still haven’t. This review is basically for the material in the original Little Busters! + Saya since I never got around to playing all of the new routes. It’s been at least 6 months since I’ve played the original routes, so my description for most of them will be on the short side.

Warning: Spoilers in this review are actual massive spoilers. Do not read them if you don’t want the game potentially ruined. I don’t think the spoiler function works correctly in a feedreader, so I advise you to visit the actual site if you’re reading this on something like Google Reader and don’t want the game spoiled.

Game: リトルバスターズ!エクスタシー
Company: Key
Release date: July 25, 2008
Related links: Getchu


Such a great OP

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April 2010 eroge releases

It’s time again to usurp supplement Micchi’s monthly eroge preview, just like last month with m3rry. 2010 has been a pretty mediocre year for eroge so far. Let’s see if April can save it.

Akatsuki no Goei ~Tsumibukaki Shuumatsuron~

Website: 暁の護衛 ~罪深き終末論~ (foreign access blocked)
Company: しゃんぐりら
Release date: April 22, 2010

This is a continuation of their Akatsuki no Goei series, and now the subheroines have leveled up to  heroines.

The story is about some forbidden zone in a city where the people inside aren’t recognized as humans. One day, police surround the place to execute a plan to capture and deport all of them. The protagonist and his friends live in that forbidden zone, and they’re trying to fight for their lives or something.

The story description is kinda vague, so I don’t really know what to expect, but it doesn’t look too bad. The story sounds different enough and could be interesting. The art is decent and the characters seem sorta interesting.

We start this month off with some hope! Someone who played the previous game(s) can tell me what to expect.

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Hoshizora no Memoria Eternal Heart review

The fan disk for the well received Hoshizora no Memoria has finally been released. I’m going to assume everyone who’s reading this review has already played the original game. Now let’s return to the group and join the club in some stargazing.

I don’t really know how to review a fan disk, but let’s give it a try.

And for people who haven’t been following my reviews, spoiler tags hide ero content. There are no significant spoilers unless I give immediate advance warning.

Game:  星空のメモリア Eternal Heart
Developer: FAVORITE
Release date: January 29, 2010
Related links: Getchu


OP

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Thoughts: “Playing” vs. “reading” eroge

I’ve noticed there seems to be a group of people who say they read eroge and another group who say they play them. I wanted to do a quick comparison between potential reasoning for people using each term and decide which fits the genre best.

Let’s just ignore the fact that the -ge stands for game since a lot of people in the English translated community call them visual novels. I’m going to focus on their properties, not their names.

Defense for “reading”: Eroge have a lot of emphasis on the text, and  basically the only thing the audience does is read. So they’re basically like books or manga — they’re read.

Defense for “playing”: Eroge have text, pictures, sound and usually at least some interactivity, therefore they’re akin to games and are played.

I’m part of the latter group. In case you haven’t read my previous “Thoughts” article, I wrote about the defining characteristics of eroge and why we play them. Voices, in particular, are a significant contribution to my enjoyment of the genre. So if we exclude interactivity for now, including voices, pictures, and text makes eroge close to foreign subtitled movies. Do people say they read them? No. They watch them.

So now let’s add interactivity — choices. If our baseline of text, voices, and pictures equals watching, we already eliminated reading as a potential verb. Adding interactivity would logically bring it closer to  traditional video games, which includes text, voices, pictures, and interactivity. We say that we play traditional video games, therefore it seems to me that we should also say we play eroge.

Some people may argue that the interactiveness is weak, but it’s still there. It’s still an important aspect of the genre. Most people probably want to decide which path they’re going to end up on and the order they play them in.

Yes, there are exceptions to every example I provided. There are movies and eroge without sound. There are eroge without choices. But in general, most modern eroge and movies fit my description. Instead of focusing on the outliers, focusing on the most common example makes sense. And from what I’ve argued, “playing” eroge makes more sense.

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Thoughts: Why we play eroge

I’ve been looking for new eroge to play, and the question of what I’m looking for in an eroge kept popping up. Why do I play them? What qualities do they have that make me choose a certain one over another? Why do I prefer eroge over other types of media?

I decided to look into what I think are potential reasons for why people play eroge, and then I’ll see where I fit.

Romance. One of the more obvious factors. People could play eroge because they like romantic stories or want a change of pace from typical games that usually feature war and stuff. Or maybe the girls in eroge represent an ideal that players want in real life but can’t obtain. This leads to the second point.

Alternate reality. People want to live a different life. Eroge provide a method to experience different worlds or new relationships. If romance is the key property, this could come from a lack of romance in real life, dissatisfaction with real life relationships, or simply a desire to try something new. Maybe Micchi the player wants a loud, jealous, energetic, and annoying brat imouto that they don’t have in real life. Or maybe the player wants a radically different world with magic and stuff, something that the real world can’t provide.

Story. Maybe romance isn’t your thing. Maybe the reason one plays eroge is for the story. Many eroge have epic stories that can be achieved due to the length of the game. The only other form of media that provide as much of a focus on story are books, which lack many properties of eroge, which I’ll discuss later. Another strength of eroge is providing a slice of life story.

Characters. This can be another part of an alternative reality. Players may find characters they like so much that they want to spend a lot of time with them. People who care mostly about characters enjoy the experience of daily life with a character they like. It’s not necessarily the story that they like, but the process of going through it with a character they really like.

Ero. This may sound self-explanatory, but I think it goes deeper than that. In other forms of media like anime and manga, relationships feel a bit underwhelming because they often move too slowly or don’t develop as much as real relationships do. In real life, people have sex. We wouldn’t be here otherwise. (Did I just make people think of something they didn’t want to? How about now?)  In most anime, you’d probably be lucky if characters ever kissed, let alone have sex. And don’t get me started about shounen romance manga. In eroge, relationships actually move forward, though not all of them do so realistically. Sometimes the ero is forced in the story, but if it’s done right, it can be satisfying and rewarding. Or some people just want sex. And lots of it.

Now let’s move on to the more technical aspects of eroge.

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Te to Te Try On! review

Yes, finally. Another review. The game this time will be Pulltop’s Te to Te Try On!.  Technically, this isn’t a full review because I skipped one path, but I played the majority of the game so I think I have a good enough idea of the game. One format change with this review is that NSFW images are now hidden in spoiler tags. There will not be any story spoilers without advance warning, so feel free to click away.

I was also too lazy to do an unboxing, but the first edition comes with a ~15 page full color art book with character art from other artists and the soundtrack.

Game: てとてトライオン!
Developer: PULLTOP
Release date: August 29, 2008
Related links: Galge, Getchu, Walkthrough


OP

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Sekien no Inganock -What a Beautiful People- unboxing

Well, it seems like people don’t completely ignore unboxings, so I’ll do some more for now. Today’s unboxing will be Sekien no Inganock to celebrate the recent completion of the English patch I guess. The game isn’t anywhere close to the top of my to play list.

Name: 赫炎のインガノック -What a beautiful people-
Developer: Liar Soft
Release date: November 22, 2007
Related links: Galge , Getchu, Walkthrough (Japanese)

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Custom Xbox 360 faceplate: Rin edition

Update: I got a replacement faceplate. Check out the comparison.

Just had to share my new custom faceplate.

Rin <3. Colors are a bit off though and it feels cheap. Compare the official faceplate with this one below.

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