Euphoria: A Feminist Analysis – Sadistic Torture Porn, Or Brutal Allegory? (NSFW)

Euphoria | Nemu and Keisuke

Disclaimer: Rather than putting up a usual content warning at the start, I’m just going to say that if you are sensitive to any strong content and will be negatively affected, then I would not advise reading this article. I briefly talked about the content of the game in my original review, but this article is about to go a lot further into detail. There will also be far more elaboration on the plot related and thematic concepts present, which really just makes everything ever more disturbing.

If you read further on and end up seriously scarred by the content, I will not be paying for your therapy bills, but I will feel very bad about it. Also, there will be spoilers for every major plot event in Euphoria.

Ever since I completed Euphoria, I have thought about it over and over. My review was over 5k words  but I still left a lot of stuff untouched. I have been considering writing more analytical pieces referring to more philosophical and abstract aspects of games rather than straight up reviews. I say this because I have the tendency to notice a lot of tiny details that most don’t. Furthermore, these types of analyses are typically reserved for more mainstream titles and not niche Japanese shit (especially in the eroge category).

I briefly mentioned in my review of Euphoria how well it portrayed a mentally ill protagonist in a way that most western games will never even attempt. The reason is likely because the Japanese are much more lax on sexuality than westerners are and are less likely to write off an entire game because it has sexual content. The truth is that Japanese eroge have significantly more attempts at being more than fap fuel than what most westerners are accustomed to. Allow me to talk for a second about why pornography has the reputation it does. Read more

Saya no Uta (PC): Between Two Worlds (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Saya no Uta | Boxart

How many of us have looked at another person and thought “this person is seriously fucked up?” One would assume that us all being human would mean we have a single common thread that unites us; that all of us can relate to and feel comfortable living among each other. In an ideal world this would be the case, but in reality we are often divided and thus alone.

We judge our comfort with other people based on how similar they are to ourselves and we distrust those who have fundamental differences in how we view the world. We all have different backgrounds, different experiences, and different belief sets that determine just how we see the universe, the people, and the experiences around us. Saya no Uta is a game about these differences; a game about how we are all different, and how we are not so different.

Just to give people a heads up, Saya no Uta is a dark game with some disturbing themes and subject matter. While Saya no Uta is an eroge with some dark content, I would not place it in the same category of sex focused eroge as Euphoria or Starless. There are some graphic and disturbing scenes in Saya no Uta, but I would classify it more as a psychological horror story than a nukige. Despite this, I would advise similar caution before playing this game as I would with Euphoria as it is NOT for the faint of heart.

CW: Violence, Gore, Rape, Pedophilia, Cannibalism, Suicide, Ableism. Also SPOILERS! Read more

Standard Review: Love at first Sight (PC)

Love at First sight | logo

Love at First Sight is a visual novel created by first time developer Creepy Cute, which actually only consists of one person know as Ray-kbys. He has stated that his reason for deciding to make Love at First Sight a visual novel instead of a doujinshi was due to the fact that it is much harder to get a doujinshi published in the US than in Japan (which he has knowledge of due to being born in Japan but living in America). However he did end up realizing that creating a game is not an easy task and even saying that he may have bit off a bit more than he could chew (though that isn’t a direct quote mind you).

Love at First Sight is made to feature an original character Ray created through Deviantart submissions before he ever considered the idea of the game. Said character was a shy girl named Sachi Usui who has only one eye and lot of scars (which he admits in the game’s extra features was because he had a fetish for both Cyclops and scars). The story is not told from her perspective however. It is instead told from the point of view of Mamoru, a boy who falls for her moe charm. Read more

Mutiny!! (PC): All Hands on Dick! (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Mutiny!! | Cast

When you are a game like Mutiny!!, you pretty much have people sold on the premise alone. I mean, who wouldn’t want to delve into a visual novel about a lesbian sex worker who inherits a role as a ship captain of a bunch of lesbian monster girls? Most of my expectations were met with Mutiny!! but there were some areas where it kinda fell short and I don’t feel as enthusiastic about it as i am writing this as when I initially completed it. Don’t get me wrong, this game is great, but I do feel there are some ways it could have been better. It may be difficult to explain how though.

Criticizing Mutiny!! makes me feel similar to when I need to call out a close friend of mine on something I believe they are doing wrong. There is a bit of hesitance put forward because I hold this game in quite high regard, enough that I worry about second guessing myself given my criticism pertains to so rather subtle aspects. I mean sure, there are obvious criticisms to make that only half the routes are available with the initial purchase and the rest are DLC, some of which has still not even been released, but I do admit I was kinda relieved when this game was over and that I didn’t need to redo the same 7 ship battles and puzzles just to see a few extra conversations that Grace has with her first mate. Read more

Bottom 5 Games Reviewed on Guardian Acorn in its First Year

I have covered the best games reviewed on this site in its first year and now it is time to look at the opposite side of the coin. The bottom of the barrel, the cream of the crap, the digitized disasters, etc. While I tend to focus more on the critical analysis of games that are remotely decent or substantive, I certainly have not been any stranger to tearing terrible games a new one. Hell that’s basically the entire point of my  Steam Greenlight Landfill series.

As a reminder, the entries on this list are only including games I reviewed between January 1st of 2017 to May 6th of 2018. The reason for this specific time frame is to include the titles I reviewed for Brash Games before starting up this blog in the running since I like having more material to work with. However I also prefer to be working with stuff I actually reviewed remotely recently as opposed to four year old GameFAQs edits. Anyway,, without further delay, let’s revisit five terrible Steam releases you never heard of an will promptly forget about after you finish reading this! Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP (Vita): Producing Far From Perfection (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP | cover

To say that I am a fan of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series would be an understatement. My very first review was of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, and in that review, I stated that it was one of the greatest JRPGs released this generation despite it possessing only a fraction of the budget of most of its competition. Since then the only regret I have is that I have not praised it enough. Otherwise I still stand by every word of that review and I probably will until my dying breath. So to alleviate anyone’s concerns, I am not one in the same boat as the various critics who slammed the previous games based solely on the fact that they were low budget, had scantily clad female characters, and were JRPGs that did not have Final Fantasy in the title. In fact, it should come as no surprise that I despise most of the “professional” reviewers so much that one of my key reasons to start writing reviews was to put my money where my mouth is and review things the way I think they should be done. Read more

Amazing VGM: Memento Mori (Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise)

Starless: Nymphomaniac's Paradise | title screen

TW: Mentions of suicide, murder, and the 1%. Thankfully I didn’t describe any of the sexual stuff this time.

I hate this game. I hate it with every fiber of my being, so much so that I don’t even feel like giving a melodramatic speech about how much I hate it (but I proceeded to do so anyway for some reason). Plenty of games have been unfun or annoying, but none have come close to being as much of a sickening black void from which any and all positive emotions are sucked away from you. Disgracing my computer’s disk tray with this horrific disgrace of a game for even 1/16th of a second more than I already have is up there with detransitioning on the list of things I am least likely to ever do.

Yes it’s just a porn game but the images, the sounds, the words… this game is the only thing I’ve played to ever make me legit suicidal and to regret every single life choice of mine. It’s damaged my soul in a way that should NEVER have been possible by a work of entertainment.

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Standard Review: Silenced: The House (PC)

Silenced: The House | Title screen

CW: Gore and violent imagery, murder, death, misogyny, ableism.

Welcome to another edition of “obscure indie visual novels that only eight people on planet earth have heard of and only three including me care about.” I am your host Annie Gallagher and today we are taking a look at Silenced: The House on Steam and Itch.io. I actually may have never even heard of this game myself if it were not for the fact that this game’s developer followed me on Twitter and this game came up in conversation. I was initially planning to ask for a review copy, but after seeing that the game was only $2.00 at full price AND on sale since it just launched I figured I wouldn’t be losing that much by doing so. In hindsight this was a bit of a mistake on my part since

Gotcha!

This game is actually pretty damn good.
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Nekopara Vol. 3 (PC): A Step Up in Story, a Step Down in Sexiness (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Nekopara Vol. 3 | Maymon on stage

It’s been a few years since I reviewed the first Nekopara title. For those reading this immediately after the ones for the previous three games in the series (counting Vol. 0) then I feel I should note for disclosure’s sake that some of my perspectives have changed in the last few years. Namely I am referring to my newly found radical feminist beliefs. While I am still FAR from sex negative, I tend to be far more critical with erotica than I used to be.

Namely the issue I have is that I enjoy hentai, but I enjoy it for different reasons than most. Eroge tends to have FAR more emotion and genuine artistic expression involved then 99% of western pornography and thus I am able to become more engaged with it. Unfortunately I have very different sexual standards than most do when it comes to porn, and by that I mean I have standards. Read more

Amazing VGM: Tranquility (Sakura Spirit)

Sakura Spirit | kimonos

I’ve made my opinion on Sakura Spirit pretty clear in the past; I don’t like it. As much as I exaggerate my own sexual deviancy for comedic effect… you know where this is going. Having nice… scenery… can only get you so far if you are vapid and uninspired. But enough about Katy Perry!

No that’s not the song, that’s just an attempt to convey a sound effect even though that shit does not work in text. Thankfully there are no air horns in Sakura Spirits OST as the game’s music as actually pretty good… Read more