[Announcement]: Recommendations Lists (Anime, OELVN, Visual Novels) and Social Media Plug

Muv Luv Yay

Just a quick note that i’ve gone over The Geek Clinic’s Recommendations Lists with a fine-toothed comb, re-jigging some positions and completely removing some titles. They should now accurately represent the anime and visual novels I would recommend to just about anyone.

Anime Recommendations List

Visual Novel Recommendations List

OELVN Recommendations List

Additionally i’d like to add a quick reminder that you can follow The Geek Clinic on Facebook or Twitter to receive updates on posts, ask questions and generally chat. There’s also ask.fm for asking questions anonymously.

The Geek Clinic Facebook

The Geek Clinic Twitter

The Geek Clinic ask.fm

Finally, it looks like the majority demand on the recent poll is for an Anime/Visual Novel Hall of Shame (because I don’t already have enough people disagreeing with me over their favorite titles), so you can expect that to be up within the next wee while!

[Edit]: The Hall of Shame is now live!

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[Visual Novel Review]: Memory’s Dogma

 

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Developer – LizArts

Translator – Sekai Project

Length – 2-10 Hours

[A review copy was kindly provided by Sekai Project]

[Sekai Project has had no input into the content of this review]

In many of my reviews I talk about the concept of a story as opposed to the story itself. Some productions shine a spotlight on fantastic ideas with huge amounts of potential, and Memory’s Dogma is one of those. Some productions don’t take full advantage of the concepts they’ve started to explore and, unfortunately, Memory’s Dogma is one of those too. However, it’s also the very first visual novel released by LizArts and I think they’ve accomplished enough to keep them on my radar for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, Memory’s Dogma is a well presented, if misguided, title that may well be worth your time for the introduction alone.

Digital Immortality. The ability to record one’s memories in a digital format is one of the most ground-breaking technologies to ever see the light of day…but it was abused, and its use forbidden to all but the government itself, and then only on the recently deceased. From that development, however, came the Connect Centers. These high-tech public facilities allow family members to communicate with their loved ones for a set period of time before they are lost forever. Kusuhara Hiroki’s life hasn’t been as bright since he lost his friend Sorano. He simply can’t see any reason to carry on when someone so brilliant and so innocent can be lost in an instant. He has four days left to go and see her. He’s just not sure he can bring himself to do it.

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[Video Game / Visual Novel Review]: Root Letter

 

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Developer – Kadokawa Games

Publisher – Pqube Ltd.

Platforms – PS4, PSVita

[A review copy was kindly provided by Pqube]

[Pqube has had no input into the content of this review]

For me this is a particularly exciting review, as it marks the first title for which The Geek Clinic has received a review copy that is not on the PC. Because of this, please note that this review concerns the PS4 version of Root Letter.

Visual Novels are commonplace on handhelds in the West and have been for a reasonable amount of time, so I jumped at the opportunity to see what might be done with a VN on a more powerful console. Root Letter is a tad different from the norm, and that’s good, with enough polish to feel like a worthwhile addition to the PS4 lineup. It’s relatively down-to-earth concept and strong characterization show a lot of promise but, unfortunately, the overall package fails to deliver more than the sum of its other bland components.

Aya Fumino. She was your penpal way back when, during a time where exams and the other trials of teenage life made a lifeline of the correspondence you exchanged. 15 years on, you stumble upon the letters you kept as a reminder, and realize that an unstamped additional envelope has joined their ranks, the message within containing an apology and an admission to murder. Troubled but curious, you head to the city of Matsue in the Shimane Prefecture to try to get to the bottom of this mystery. By tracking down the friends Aya mentioned in her letters, you might just find out what became of her…and why everyone is certain she died long before you ever knew her.

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Posted in Reviews, Video Game Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews | 4 Comments

[Visual Novel Review]: Angel in the Dark

 

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Developer – Philip Aldous

Length – <2 Hours

A little while ago I received a message on Twitter reading “How exactly do you market a Visual Novel, if it doesn’t have any visuals?”, with a link to a product page for Angel in the Dark . To be honest, I thought that was a pretty good way to go about it. The novel is short and sweet, so this review won’t be overly long either, but it was an interesting distraction that might be worth checking out if the gimmick catches your eye (or doesn’t, as the case may be). Perhaps the best feature should become apparent if you visit the novel’s page: It’s free.

The story features you, as the protagonist, waking up in what appears to be a cave devoid of light. You feel terrible, with a pounding head and battered body, and the only consolation is that another person appears to be trapped with you so that you are not quite alone in the dark. As the two of you stumble through the cavern the mystery of who or what might have brought you there weighs heavily on your mind.

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[Video Game/Visual Novel Review]: Al Fine

 

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Developer – CrimsonRabbit

Publisher – Sekai Project

Platforms – PC

[A review copy was kindly provided by Sekai Project]

[Sekai Project has had no input into the content of this review]

Sometimes you just need something simple for entertainment. Something that’s easy to get into and doesn’t need a great deal of time or energy to derive fun from, and Al Fine fits that description fairly well. There’s an inevitable comparison to be made to a certain other game, which I’ll get into, but overall it makes for a pleasant experience that doesn’t try to break any moulds. It also happens to be the first release by developer Crimson Rabbit and it means that I’ll be interested to see what they delve into in the future.

Louis lives in the merchant town of Notte Luce, in the store his parents chose to abandon years ago. He himself has never aspired to be a merchant, but upon breaking the property of a wandering sprite he realizes it may be the best way to pay back his debt. Alongside the sprite in question, his childhood friend and a colorful cast of other acquaintances, Louis strikes forth into the wonderful world of commerce.

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[Visual Novel Review]: Dead End Junction

 

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Developer – Atelier773

Translator – Culture Select

Length – 2-10 Hours

[Review copy kindly provided by Culture Select]

[Culture Select has had no input into the content of this review]

Dead End Junction is the newest visual novel (or Digital Dime Novel, according to the title screen) brought to us by the developers of Cherry Tree High Comedy Club. While I have to admit that I haven’t read their earlier work, I remember it as being one of the first VNs available on Steam, which is an accomplishment in itself. So how does Dead End Junction hold up? I don’t want to use the word “boring”, but it was difficult to convince myself to finish the novel despite its unique visuals and arguably fun characters.

Josette is a cowgirl fit for any Western you might hope to see. Quick on the draw and talented on horseback, the only thing holding her back from being a star like the heroes in her dime novels is the dead-end town she’s stuck in. However, a letter from the president to the father that abandoned her might just change all that. With one of the beast-skinned Fuuro as her guide, Jo sets off on a journey that will soon reveal that other worlds exist outside of the tiny bubble she’s been stuck in.

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[Guest Visual Novel Review]: Requiescence

It’s a day for firsts it seems with The Geek Clinic’s first review that features a guest writer and also its first encounter with BL content. As I didn’t consider myself part of Requiescence’s target audience I turned to The Geek Clinic’s Editor, Cobizah, to ensure that we could present an appropriate review. So without further ado…

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Developer – Argent Games

Length – 10-30 Hours

Rating – PG-13 or R-18 (two versions)

[Review copy kindly provided by Argent Games]

[Argent Games have had no input into the content of this review]

Hello Geek Clinicers! Clinicees? Clinicians. I am Cobizah, an IRL friend of Silvachief’s and the editor of his blog. I’ve commandeered The Geek Clinic today because a while ago he got offered a review copy of a new OELVN called Requiescence, but as BL games aren’t his thing I have nobly stepped up and taken on the burden of playing a free game and then subjecting everyone to my opinion of it. And it only took me 2 months!  (Apologies to the creators, I was on my medical elective.)

(Before we begin, for anyone who’s not familiar with the initialism “BL” it stands for “Boys Love” and means that the game/anime etc depicts male-male romance, and is often but not always targeted at a female audience. If you don’t like reading about that, don’t let me keep you! Door’s in the wall.)

Requiescence is the first VN by Argent Games, a small group of game developers based in Indiana. Silvachief has talked before about the struggles OELVNs currently face compared to Japanese VNs in finding a budget and an audience in a small and new market, and this applies even more so for Requiescence, being a BL game as well. It was funded through Kickstarter and made on a shoestring budget, and when you compare it to a mainstream Japanese VN, it shows. However, the atmosphere and voice acting are excellent, and these factors, along with a very serviceable plot and characters,  make it worth playing and supporting.

Kymil is a young mage on a quest –  to find out more about the mysterious cathedral his uncle wrote about in his journal before he equally mysteriously died. Once inside, the doors lock behind him, leaving him no way out but forwards, into the depths of the maze of passages the cathedral hold within. He meets three men and forms a tenuous alliance in order to escape the cathedral alive. But who can he really trust, when everyone has a hidden agenda, himself included?

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[Guest Editorial]: Visual Novel Protagonists and Their Self-Insert Natures

This week I would like to present a post written by Kai of Deluscar, who has just celebrated his blog’s fifth anniversary! A massive Congratulations and Thank You to Kai!
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Greetings, Kai of Deluscar here, and today I’m on The Geek Clinic to analyze and dissect visual novel protagonists. But before I begin, I would like to point out what I say here doesn’t necessarily apply to ALL visual novels, but enough of them feature this type of protagonist to allow one to decipher a pattern.

A visual novel has a structure similar to reading a picture book, and is an incredibly immersive medium. But another one significant reason that contribute to it’s immersion is because of visual novel protagonists and their self-insert natures.

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