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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!).

 

 

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Review of [Our World Is Ended] (for Nintendo Switch)

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Red Entertainment
Release: Apr 18, 2019
Price: $60 USD

I just finished playing Our World is Ended and I would like to give my ending impressions of it.

The main members of Judgment 7 enjoying a BBQ

Plot

First off, there’s about 16 chapters and the total game takes around 20 hours to finish. The plot is sci-fi / mystery and deals with AR and VR, so it takes a lot of inspiration from The Matrix and Steins Gate. When you first start up this game, the perverted humor might turn off some. This game makes endless comparisons of breasts, breasts and more breasts. Just be aware of that. Yes it gets annoying, but if you throw that aside there’s actually a pretty interesting story behind here. The first half of the game is much more focused on this perverted humor, while the second half really picks up the pace on the plot so don’t feel discouraged about the humor. Also keep in mind that in Japan, the age of consent is 13 (not that this game has any really erotic scenes).

The main characters are game developers for a game company called Judgment 7. Pretty soon you find out that you, Reiji Gozen, are an assistant director for the company to replace a former director of the company called Reina Ichinose. The company’s next game called World End Heaven has been announced, but the main programmer Sekai Owari has developed an AR device that eventually thrusts everyone into a VR world dubbed the ‘New World Experience’. These VR adventures, along with the relationship between you and the six other characters of the company, as well as the mystery behind who Reina is and what happened to her, are central plot points.  There are a few notable plot twists in the story, and I’m going to spoil anything, but I will just say that I thought I got a ‘game over’ several times in the story but actually didn’t so make sure you keep going on no matter what.


Characters

The main characters of the game are the 7 main members of Judgment 7, and each of them fits an anime trope: the protagonist and assistant director Reiji Gozen is your typical ‘light novel’ plain everyday guy who tries too hard to be a nice guy, the airheaded Yuno who is an assistant script writer seems to be a cheerful outgoing girl (but is hiding a dark secret), her hot headed sister Asano is a tomboy and BGM composer who is inexplicably tone deaf and ‘unfortunate’ in many other ways, the dark brooding Natsumi who is the graphics designer and who is initially unfriendly and cold, Iruka is the delusional ‘man-pig’ who is an obese perverted script writer and has a tendency to yell crazy phrases, Owari is the main genius programmer of the group and an unbashed pervert, and finally the childish Tatiana who is a child prodigy and secondary programmer of the group. All of these characters, although stereotypical, have their own arcs in the plot and each of them are distinctly unique. I have to say that I am quite pleased with how the game distinctly separates them, even if they are unoriginal tropes

the Main members of Judgement 7


Gameplay

This is a visual novel so there’s minimal interaction. There’s specific points in the game where you will either have to pick an option from among several (less common), or choose a line to say to a character as it flashes by the screen (more common); if you miss a line or choose the wrong line it could affect who your character gets close with, although the only meaningful thing you get from that are different scenes and graphics for the gallery; this is also the main incentive for replay value. There’s nothing especially interactive like in Root Letter or Danganronpa. I have not come across any ‘game overs’ like I did in other visual novels – but there are several points where I thought I did – and thats why its important to keep going no matter what. This isn’t a dating sim so there’s no R rated stuff happening and besides the lewd jokes and a certain NPC at the beginning of the game, nothing too erotic. There is one particular violent scene that happens that shocked me, so watch out for that.


Presentation

The game is really colorful and makes use of lots of bright colors. Those of you who have been to Asakusa in Tokyo will see lots of familiar scenery. Some of the enemy designs are quite unique and disturbing even. The graphics are presented well here.

One of several lighthearted scenes in the game

Audio

The BGM is quite decent, and you’ll hear happy cheerful music, as well as tense music and sad music during the appropriate scenes. It’s not to dissimilar to what I heard on Steins Gate, so I’m satisfied with that. The voice acting is actually quite superb, especially Iruka and his crazy phrases.


Conclusion

Pros: Nice graphics, nice audio/voice acting, plot twists(!), characters all have their own arc and are distinct

Cons: Plot is a little derivative of Matrix/Steins Gate, characters follow typical anime tropes, perverted jokes/character traits seem very out of place sometimes and may turn off some , I wish there was more interaction.

I’d give it a solid 7/10 – its worth checking out if you are into sci-fi visual novels, but don’t expect anything that will blow your mind

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What is the best game on each console?

Atari 2600: Pitfall 2

NES: Super Mario Bros 3

Master System: Phantasy Star

SNES: Chrono Trigger

Genesis: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Turbographx-16: Super Street Fighter II

Gameboy: Pokemon Red & Blue

Game Gear: Sonic Chaos

Atari Jaguar: Doom

Nintendo 64: Zelda Ocarina of Time

PS1: Final Fantasy IX

Saturn: Virtua Fighter 2

Gamecube: Super Smash Bros Melee

Dreamcast: Soul Calibur

Xbox: Halo 2

PS2: Metal Gear Solid 2

Gameboy Advance: Golden Sun

Wii: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Nintendo DS: Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars

PSP: God of War Chains of Olympus

Xbox 360: Gears of War 2

PS3: Uncharted 2

3DS: Super Mario 3D Land

Vita: Persona 4 Golden

Xbox One: Red Dead Redemption 2

PS4: God of War

Switch: Zelda Breath of the Wild