CW: Mentions of Nazism, pedophilia, incest, antisemitism, and kidnapping
It seems as if the games I play are constantly trying to push the envelope for different ways to be absolutely fucking awful. I am at the point where if someone asked me the worst game I ever played, I’d ask what criteria they are basing them on. I could go with the game that was so disgusting and scarring that it made me suicidal, I could go with the no-budget “experimental” game that included real life gore in it, I could go with the RPG Maker game with no battles, levels, dialogue, or ending, or I could go with the game that required you to manually rename the game’s exe file to even play it.
Games&Girls is now among those games as “the visual novel that I almost didn’t review because I didn’t think I could review it without insulting the developer.” And even approaching this review is difficult because I’m not sure if I should do what I usually do and start describing the story, writing, presentation, or open with the fact that the 4th episode has you trying to seduce a fucking Nazi?
A Kiss for the Petals: Remembering How we Met is the first game in the long running Sono Hanabira/A Kiss for the Petals series to receive an official English localization. Sono Hanabira is a series of yuri eroge that has had yearly releases from 2006 to 2016, and hasn’t had anything since then… probably because that tends to happen when you milk a series too quickly. A lot of them seem to be on the shorter side (or at least the ones I looked up on VNDB) so I guess I can at least see why they got them out so quickly. Also I’m not making any judgement on the quality of these games, it’s just… damn, over 20 installments in 10 years.
This particular installment, Remembering How we Met, is actually one of the more recent entries in the series, having come out in Japan on March 13th of 2015 and getting released in English in September of the same year. It’s also one of the few entries in the series that doesn’t have any erotic content, which is likely why it was the first to be localized. It should be noted that this game DID get a PC remake with added ero content in 2016, but that version hasn’t been localized.
CW: Transphobia, parental abuse, gaslighting, depression, violence, and suicide.
So here we are at another Trans Day of Rememberence, the day where cis people can bitch about trans social justice warriors and bathrooms while trans people mourn their friends and family who were murdered by cis people, or who killed themselves because cis people felt inconvenienced by their desire to, you know, live.
I’ve used Trans Day of Rememberence as a framing device for my work in the past. Two years ago, I used it for a highly emotional piece where I let my anger and disgust front and center. This time, I’m going to do something a bit different. It just so happened that the next game on my schedule for a review is also very much relevant to Trans Day of Rememberance. Not only is Secret Little Haven made by a trans developer, but it is also a trans centered title with a lot of highly relevant subject matter. It’s also an absolute masterpiece that comes strongly recommended even if you aren’t trans.
CW: References to rape and slavery as plot devices.
Sometimes, the games I review make me answer some unexpected questions. Given that my reviews of eroge always end up among the most viewed of my work, I knew I would be taking a look at this series eventually, and I always knew that I would have some difficulties with it. In this case, I don’t mean “difficulty” as in it being hard to play, but more so hard for me to review.
I’m sure that most of you are well aware that I’m a feminist, and that my feminist views have largely impacted how I perceive the world around me. If I’m being honest, I’m usually hesitant to bring it up with most normies because they either know next to nothing about it and thus don’t grasp the significance, or they are one of the many who have been groomed by right wingers to believe that feminism amounts to what they see on Buzzfeed or Youtube cringe compilations.
Asphyxia is a rather conflicting game for me. It, at first, seems like a recipe for a hit given its odd premise of being a yuri dating sim where the girls are based off of British authors from the 1800s and early 1900s (which is going to be lost on anyone who is not an English major, so I’m not going to be talking about it much). It also tells what by all means should be a very engrossing and compelling storyline with deep characters and mature themes. There is a lot to like about Asphyxia, but for once the problem with a story is not that it is shallow or amateurishly written.
Instead, much like those works of “classic” literature that we we’re forced to plow through in school, Asphyxia’s writing is plodding and stuffy. The characters do not talk like real people, there is an unnecessary amount of description put into insignificant details, and I just found myself trying to speed read through as much as I could in order to finish the game. In the end, I was curious enough about the storyline to get every ending, but it is not a game I plan to replay nor is it one I can recommend. Read more
CW: Incest, pedophilia.
I seem to have been having terrible luck with titles from Jast USA. Thus far, the Jast USA titles I have played are Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise, Saya no Uta, Lightning Warrior Raidy III, Do You Like Horny Bunnies!?, and Amayakase – Spoiling My Silver-Haired Girlfriend. Of these five, the only one I thought was good was Saya no Uta, although I am planning on giving Raidy another go at some point which is why I do not plan on re-posting my old GameFAQs review of it any time soon.
I’ve recently come to the realization that if my end goal is views and popularity, then I could stick to reviewing eroge. My eroge reviews almost always seem to be disproportionately popular compared to my other work. One could dismiss that as people just being horny perverts, but If that were the case then Read more
Aozora Meikyuu is a short and brief ecchi visual novel by developer Yume Creations, a team name that I’m not sure exists because Dream Creations was taken by a rhinestone trimming company or if the devs were just total weebs. One can definitely get the impression that it is the latter since Yume Creation’s other games are also short ecchi visual novels with anime girls. I want to make it clear I have nothing against anime tiddies and actually kinda liked Aozora Meikyuu, but it’s not a good game.
Aozora Meikyuu, which means “Blue Sky” in Japanese and leaves me once again unsure if the name was left in Japanese to avoid confusion with the similarly titled visual novel “Always the Same Blue Sky” that I also reviewed or if the devs are just total nerds, is something that I enjoyed in a “so bad its good” kind of way. More specifically, it is a poorly written and overall stupid mess, but it also has a unique charm that appeals to me as an otaku turned feminazi. Read more
I’d say I’m surprised it took me as long to get around to Nekopara Extra as I did, but I’m really not. This is just what happens when you not only have a ton of games to play AND write reviews for, but also are busy in several other areas of your life. I’m also so backed up on reviews that I’m basically writing this review a month after completing the game so my memory may be a little bit fuzzy in regards to the specific plot events, especially since Nekopara Extra is a pretty short game.
While Nekopara Extra is longer than Vol. 0, it is still pretty brief and doesn’t really feel like a full game. Then again, I don’t think Nekopara Extra was intended as anything rather than a brief prequel to each of the remaining entries. Nekopara Extra was a game offered as stretch goal of the Kickstarter campaign for the OVA based on Vol. 1. There was actually an additional stretch goal to make an additional animation based on the then non-existent prequel… a stretch goal for a stretch goal. The campaign fell short of the $1,000,000 dollars needed for that stretch goal, but the fact that a series of visual novels about catgirls reached $963,376 to begin with is quite remarkable. I doubt you’d see that kind of support for a Sakura Spirit OVA. Read more
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
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