Tag Archives: MangaGamer

Rance VI: An Epic for Adults

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Whew. Sorry for the somewhat delayed appearance of this article, but as you will know if you’re a regular reader, I like to beat at the very least the main story of games before I write about them in detail.

Rance VI’s main story is a substantial, ambitious affair — and there’s a whole bunch of post-game stuff to do once you’ve cleared it, too, if you really want to ensure you’ve got the most out of the game. Beating it to my satisfaction before penning this article took a little longer than anticipated!

In fact, Rance VI as a complete package is a substantial, ambitious affair, not just from a narrative perspective. There’s a whole lot to talk about, so the best way to go about this is going to be to tackle it a bit at a time. Make sure you visit the toilet before we set off… this is going to be a long journey!

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Rance 5D: Roulette, Role-Playing and RNG

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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2002’s Rance 5D (finally localised into English in 2017) is probably one of the most unusual RPGs you will ever play.

At least part of its rather distinctive nature is due to the fact that it is actually developer Alicesoft’s fourth attempt at a fifth Rance game, hence the “D” on the end of the title — A, B and C were all failed attempts that never saw the light of day.

Thankfully, Rance 5D did, however, and it’s nothing if not a memorable experience, both from a narrative and mechanical perspective — and from the perspective of its rather troubled development history, too.

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Waifu Wednesday: Alice Kamishiro

It’s the last Waifu Wednesday before Halloween, so who better to explore this week than an honest to goodness witch?

Alice Kamishiro is one of the central characters of minori’s Supipara, a proposed five-part series of visual novels of which we’ve seen the first in the West so far, thanks to MangaGamer. Although the first chapter isn’t Alice’s “route”, instead focusing on the protagonist’s second cousin Sakura, she still plays an important part in the story as a whole — and is a mysterious, intriguing character in her own right.

As the series continues to unfold, we’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this rather odd girl and her remarkable powers.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Alice Kamishiro

Space Live: Flawless Fanservice

Sometimes a good palate-cleanser is just what the doctor ordered, and that’s exactly what Space Live: Advent of the Net Idols provides.

Developed as a West-first release by a collaborative effort between Da Capo creator Circus and localisation specialists MangaGamer, Space Live markets itself as a “short and sweet visual novel that will add some kick into your step for the week” — an eminently accurate description.

It’s not a visual novel that’s attempting to say anything deep and meaningful, nor is it attempting to wow you with its technical proficiency, big budget and days-long play time. It’s simply a bit of fun, aimed with a laser-sharp focus at Western fans of Japanese popular media, and it succeeds admirably at what it does.

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My Earliest Visual Novel Memories

Although it was quite a few years ago, I have some vivid and fond memories of my first experiences with what I now know to be visual novels.

I commonly attribute my present love of visual novels to 2012’s Katawa Shoujo, but in fact my earliest encounter with the medium was some years earlier. This was back when I first discovered an interest in Japanese popular media in general thanks to a combination of promotional Manga Video VHS cassettes my brother brought home on one occasion, and the discovery that I really liked JRPGs thanks to Final Fantasy VII.

Those early visual novels had a pretty strong impact on me, and I was delighted to discover that there are ways to play them once again on modern machines — more on that later.

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From the Archives: Kira Kira Hikaru

Today I’d like to talk specifically about one of the narrative paths of Overdrive’s visual novel Kira Kira.

Specifically, I’d like to discuss Chie-nee’s path. There are spoilers ahead, so be warned if you’re planning on playing this. (And you should — it’s really rather good.)

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

Continue reading From the Archives: Kira Kira Hikaru

From the Archives: Meaning in the Madness

With a lot of the games I’ve played over the last few years — including many of the visual novels that I’ve read — I’ve found myself thinking “gosh, I really wish I had this when I was a teenager.”

Not just from a technical standpoint — though naturally the games of today look and sound considerably better than those of 15 years ago — but from the perspective of subject matter and the willingness to tackle issues that simply would have been unthinkable to see in a video game of the ’90s.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

Continue reading From the Archives: Meaning in the Madness

From the Archives: Twinkle, Twinkle

Back when I first started reading it, it became clear that the visual novel Kira Kira was something special.

It raised a bunch of interesting things to talk about, even before I’d seen the whole story. So with that in mind, here are my reflections from my early hours with Kira Kira, with more to follow in the coming weeks regarding the specific narrative routes through the game.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

Continue reading From the Archives: Twinkle, Twinkle

Negligee: Pretty Girls in Sexy Pants

With a title like “Negligee”, you probably think you know what you’re getting — and in this case, you’d probably be right. Mostly.

Negligee is a short visual novel from the UK-based (but heavily Japan-inspired) developer Dharker Studio, whose previous work has included Beach Bounce, Summer Fling and Club Life, among others. To date, the team has put out works encompassing both “slice of life” romance stories and more fantastic, outlandish tales incorporating magic and sci-fi. Negligee falls very much into the former category by being about as down-to-earth as you can get.

But is it just an excuse to depict its heroines in a variety of revealing lingerie, or is there something more to it? Read on, and let’s take a closer look.

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Supipara: A Tale of the Greatest of Smiles

[Editor’s note: as of February 2019, it appears that unfortunately minori is ceasing operations. This article has been left in its original form as published in October 2016 to preserve the original intention behind the series, even if it will likely never happen now.]

minori’s Supipara, a collection of five visual novels, the first of which has been localised by MangaGamer, is in an interesting situation. It’s a series that doesn’t quite exist yet.

As the series microsite notes, Supipara is an ambitious undertaking for both developer minori and localiser MangaGamer; while the first two chapters currently exist in Japan (albeit as a single game), and the first of these has already been localised into English, the future of the series is largely up to visual novel enthusiasts.

Rather than relying on crowdfunding as developers such as Frontwing and localisation outfits such as Sekai Project have done in the past, minori and MangaGamer are instead ploughing the combined profits from Supipara’s first chapter and science fiction love story eden* directly back into the series, with various milestones allowing the companies to continue their collaboration and — hopefully, anyway — see the Supipara project finally brought to complete fruition.

Having finished reading the first chapter of Supipara last night, I would very much like to see the remaining chapters become a reality. And if you’re a fan of visual novels, checking out Supipara’s first chapter is an eminently pleasing way to spend twelve or so hours of your life.

Why? Read on.

Continue reading Supipara: A Tale of the Greatest of Smiles