Dat Wombat and Visual Novels!
Arcana: Heat and Cold. Season 1
Though Arcana: Heat and Cold. Season 1 doesn’t play like a traditional visual novel, I think I can make an exception. This game features twists and turns fit for a television show, and a cast of sexy monster girls (and a jaded magic student caught in a web of deceit and lies.) If you’re a fan of fantasy kinetic VNs, this game is definitely worth a shot!
A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986
I didn’t install the adult-patch correctly, but I hear there’s some saucy content in A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986. This visual novel follows a pair of women with vastly different upbringings, one of whom a lesbian and the other a foreigner to love altogether. This is a wholesome tale between lovers, and worth a buy if you’re not on the prowl for senseless nudity or sexual content.
Following a chubby know-it-all and a dumb-as-bricks hottie, Lessons with Chii-chan follows a typical plotline; the hot girl needs “help” from the loser-boy, and he gets a little “help” in return. However, there’s a little more than what meets the eye, and the artwork is mmph! I found the female lead to be absolutely insufferable, but she gives a mean blowjob!
My thoughts on Visual Novels
I strongly dislike visual novels, and they are probably one of my least favorite games to play and write about. I don’t enjoy reading, and visual novels are effectively books — writing a playthrough or review on a visual novel feels like writing an essay. It’s hard for me to stay engaged when playing these games, and I find myself reaching for the “skip” button almost every time.
On the plus side, there’s no grinding in visual novels!
Visual novels are the third-longest category of games for me to review, due to the sheer amount of reading I have to do. They are only bested by point-‘n-clickers, which are not nearly as straightforward to write about. However, I much the prefer the latter, which feel less like school assignments and more like actual games.
Did somebody say shot’s fired?
What I look for in Visual Novels
As visual novels are particularly text-heavy, the writing must absolutely, necessarily be entertaining — a bad visual novel is the difference between a poor fan-fiction and uh, the Great Gatsby of erotica. In addition, as visual novel games are not eBooks, I also consider it necessary for them to have serviceable visuals. Since VNs are sold on the same stores that offer videogames, I value player-agency, or the ability to cause outcomes by actions. . . though a lack of player agency isn’t necessarily damning.
Dat Wombat and Action-RPGs!
~Azur Ring~virgin and slave’s phylacteries
I had a blast playing this game! Once I started playing it, I had a hard time putting it down. Unfortunately, the English is awful and there’s censorship. . . but the gameplay is addicting. It’s a bit like Borderlands in the sense that you collect and manage hundreds of items, and create “builds” using rare items to alter your playstyle. The story is hard to follow, but if you can it’s rather satisfying to complete.
Guilty Hell: White Goddess and the City of Zombies
Though rough the edges, Guilty Hell: White Goddess and the City of Zombies is a fun side-scroller RPG with an impressive amount of lewd content. It must have taken ages to animate the hundreds of animations this game has to offer. The game ends on a cliffhanger, and the story is. . . eh. But I still had fun playing through the game, and unlocking all the content it has to offer. If you’re okay with censorship, this title is worth a try!
It’s been a long time since I last played this game. . . it was long before I created the Wombat Trap. However, Hakoniwa Explorer Plus is an absolute treat. The visuals are wonderful, and my only complaint is the lack of nudity and sexual content. This game features a lot of item management and rogue-like elements, so it’s not going to be for everyone. Still, I’d happily recommend this game to anyone that wants meaningful gameplay, gratuitous fanservice, and no sexual content to take away from the core game.
My thoughts on Action-RPGs
I love these games. These games are so much fun to playthrough, even if totally unbalanced. Though I consider lack of balance to be a good thing, it’s fun to playthrough the flaws and figure out ways to exploit the game. I don’t get to enjoy very many action-RPGs, but they often warrant somewhat substantial write-ups (more so than turn-based RPGs). This is because I don’t only have to write about the story, but I also have to discuss the gameplay itself (which often takes an article in itself.
But writing about gameplay is a refreshing break from writing pages of story.
What I look for in Action-RPGs
A good action-RPG needs to have some balance. As much as I enjoy exploiting bad mechanics, there should be many “metas” for players to try out, encouraging new gameplay and subsequent playthroughs. I expect them to provide the player with a variety of useful abilities, enemies and weapons, to keep gameplay fresh. One thing I hate are action-RPGs that force backtracking or wild goose-hunts onto the player, artificially bloating playtime.