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Yu-No – a girl who chants love at the bound of this world Review (for Nintendo Switch)

Image result for yuno a girl who chants love

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: ELF Corporation (original) / 5pb (remake)
Release: Dec 26, 1996 (original) / Oct 1, 2019 (remake)
Price: $60 USD

So I guess I’m now a regular reviewer of visual novels. Heh, well I just got another good one to add to my review collection. 

Yu-No: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world (unwieldy title, I know) is a classic game that originally came out for the beloved NEC PC-98 in Japan back in the mid 90s. It was originally an Eroge game that got the sex scenes removed and re-released as a just a regular visual novel with a lot of perverted dialogue and scenes still intact. Yeah, similar to how Muv-Luv also turned from an Eroge into a beloved visual novel series I guess. This game has now been remade and released in Japan in 2015 and now released here in the West this year 2019.

But man, there are still alot of perverted scenes left in. I don’t mind it too much – but some people might take offense to it. It’s literally just the sex scenes removed and the rest of the Eroge dialogue remains intact – and yes the boobs/skirt/legs are almost always clickable on a woman.

One such perverted scene still in the game
One such perverted scene still in the game

But other than that, it’s a great game. A pioneering time travel / sci-fi visual novel that must have been the inspiration for Steins;Gate and so many others. 

Plot: So the plot is that your father Koudai Arima is reported dead – but you, Takuya Arima ‘the walking libido’, soon receive a package containing a time travel device called the Reflector. You suspect that your father is not really dead at all and he’s somewhere – but you must find him. 

The main goal of the game is to collect 6 different jewels in different timelines – you already start out with 4 jewels in the device – making 10 total. Each jewel can be used at any point to essentially ‘save’ the game so that you can come back to it later. But you have to make sure you don’t use up all the jewels – if all jewels are used then you are stuck and you can’t power the Reflector device anymore. Loading up a jewel frees up that jewel so that you can use it again. So there’s essentially a limited number of save slots and you have to be careful with where you save. Using the Reflector device was a little confusing at first but then I figured out how to use it and man it must have been pretty revolutionary at the time for visual novels to have such a feature. 

Similar to Steins;Gate you can essentially time travel between different parallel worlds – there’s a certain time limit that you have before you get ‘chaos corrected’ back to the beginning of the game – but you retain your items from each timeline – this is essential because there are parts in one timeline that might require items from another timeline. There are multiple endings within each route. You need to go through all the endings in order to get all the items you need to get all the jewels which are hidden within each route. Once you get all 10 jewels – you are transported to the Epilogue – which is another lengthy playthrough in itself but its quite a different experience from the main game – so this game definitely has a lot of replay value to it.

Gameplay: It’s a point and click adventure style game, similar to Root Letter and other mystery / investigation type games, so its more interactive than the typical visual novel.

One such interactive scene
One such interactive scene

Characters: Well, similar to Muv-Luv this was originally an Eroge – so obviously its full of women wearing short skirts and school uniforms. But you knew that right? There’s also your obligatory annoying ‘best friend’ guy character that’s there as well. The girls are your typical tropes: a tsundere, a ‘mysterious’ girl, a ‘hot’ teacher, a ‘hot’ stepmom, etc but that’s expected given this genre. 

A nice candid moment
A nice candid moment

Graphics: I’m torn. The original graphics from 1996 just scream 80s/90s Japan. the NEC PC-98 is famous for these kinds of graphics. I am a 90s anime lover so naturally I prefer the old look better. It has such a nostalgic charm to it. But the remake isn’t bad either – it’s done in a more modern style and you can take a look side by side to see which you prefer. I wish there was an option to use the old graphics though.

the original PC98 graphics compared to the remake
the original PC98 graphics compared to the remake

Music: Amazing. You can choose between the remade soundtrack and the original soundtrack from 1996. I prefer the original – but the remake is done pretty well. It perfectly fits with the mystery / sci-fi style of the game. 

Conclusion: This game is a 10/10 from me. I literally could not put it down since I started it. I am a sci-fi visual novel lover and a big fan of Steins;Gate so its obvious that this game would peak my interest as well. This was the original sci-fi visual novel that was very influential on subsequent visual novels. I wish there was an option to use the original graphics but the remake does pretty well recreating all the characters and scenes, the music is awesome, the gameplay has a lot of replay value and the characters – while not super original – you have to remember it was originally an eroge title – are ok for what they are which is bringing the story together. There’s a lot of perverted dialogue and scenes – but if you are comfortable with that, it’s not that bad. A solid game that will take you a while to reach 100% completion (and a bonus if you do!).

 

 

Categories
Asia

Why is KakaoTalk more popular in Korea than in Japan?

You’ll notice the messenger apps used around the world have a rather nationalistic slant to it. China uses WeChat (and blocks Kakao and LINE) because WeChat is developed by a Chinese company, Tencent, and the Chinese government wants to monitor all the messages on its platforms – WeChat complied hence it has a strong national interest to keep WeChat in use by mainland Chinese people.

Taiwanese and Japanese people use LINE – which is by Naver (actually a korean company who expanded to Japan) – LINE is dominant in Japan as it is made by Naver Japan and has a strong presence in Japan. Taiwanese has a strong historical connection to Japan and naturally they use the same chat software.

KakaoTalk is by Kakao Corp a Korean company and because of its domestic heritage is heavily advertised and very popular in Korea. Koreans do not use WeChat or LINE because among other reasons, national security (Chinese government spy on WeChat, Japanese government spy on LINE) and nationalistic reasons (Korean government spy on Kakao so it has national interests to push it to Koreans).

KakaoTalk is not as well known outside of Korea as WeChat and LINE and the reason for this is simply because WeChat has a lot more users (way more Chinese people) and LINE being from a bigger company has more resources to expand abroad. KakaoTalk has to compete with not only WeChat and LINE but also Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber abroad, and it just doesn’t have the resources to beat those companies.

Categories
Asia

Why have Chinese lost more of their traditions, values, culture, social customs, traditional courtesy and habit compared with other East Asian nations like Japan, Korea and Taiwan?

Ancient Chinese customs (including clothing styles) probably died after the Ming Dynasty was taken over by the Qing Dynasty – the Qing Dynasty was a Manchurian led dynasty that forced Manchurian customs and habits on its people.

But it was really the ending of the Qing Dynasty, the establishment of the ROC and finally the PRC, who finally did away with a lot of old Chinese customs, traditions and religions. The PRC, being a communist party, wanted to eliminate all the bourgeois and old imperial influence, purged a lot of Confucian and religious traditions and destroyed many temples and artifacts during the Cultural Revolution.

Japan and Korea and to a lesser extent Taiwan have never suffered such massive changes (revolutions) to their government.

I’m glad that I’m not the only one who traveled to Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and then back to China and thought “damn, why does Korea/Japan/Taiwan seem more traditionally Chinese than China does?” I think its the deep Confucian culture influence that still lingers in Japan/Korea/Taiwan (but less so in China) that is a big factor