Tag: review

Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk Otome Review

I just finished my first playthrough of Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and I’d like to get my initial thoughts about the game down before I get any deeper into the story, because my God was this game intense. I played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly awhile ago and I didn’t really like it all that much, so I went into Ashen Hawk expecting it to be much the same as its predecessor… thankfully I was wrong! Ashen Hawk is a marked improvement over Black Butterfly in almost every way and one has to wonder what the hell happened between the production of the first game and this one to cause such a huge difference in quality… Technically Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk isn’t a sequel to Black Butterfly, though it is set in the same world as the first game, but with a completely different story and characters.

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Now I say that, but there were QUITE A FEW Easter Eggs and callbacks to PBB in Ashen Hawk, that you’ll only truly get if you’ve played through the first game, but it’s not a requirement to enjoy the game. That said, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!! I know I literally just said you don’t have to play Black Butterfly before playing Ashen Hawk, but boy does playing the first game pay off in a big way in this one!! It’s no secret that I didn’t particularly care for Black Butterfly, but damnit if Ashen Hawk didn’t make slugging through the mess of the first game worth it. But, what I love most is that the connection between the two games isn’t overly in your face, the reveals work well within the context of their respective stories while also expanding on the preexisting lore of both games.

Game Details

Spoiler Warning

Since folks are really hung up on spoiler warnings, this post will contain some minor spoilers for the game, so if you haven’t played either Ashen Hawk or Black Butterfly, maybe hold off on reading this review.

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Memories on the Shoreline Game Review

I was first introduced to indie developer Mikomi Kisomi through her urban fantasy visual novel, That Which Binds Us. It’s been a little over a year since that release and Mikomi Games, now re-branded as Crystal Game Works just released their newest title, Memories on the Shoreline—a supernatural romance. I am a sucker for supernatural fantasy, and the prospect of dating a hot merman was just too good to pass up, so when Mikomi sent me a review copy of the game… I made time to play it.

Melody wanted a break from her stressful med classes— so when spring break came around, she dragged her best friend Shion with her to the beach. However, things don’t go quite so smoothly when they meet Brennan, a local fisherman, and Crylis… a mermaid?!

Official Summary

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 2 pursuable characters (male)
  • 5 Endings
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $5.99
  • Gameplay Length: 5 hours
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First day of vacation, and you’ve already secured a hot tour guide… good on you!

The premise is simple, Melody and her best friend Shion are spending their spring break in sunny Florida, in hopes of getting some much needed down time before falling back into the academic grind. While there Melody meets a handsome fisherman named Brennan, who hints that all is not as it seems in the quiet beach-side town. Later that night, Melody discovers that sirens exist, when she encounters a runaway merman, Crylis. What should have been a normal relaxing vacation is soon made much more exciting with two handsome men vying for Melody’s affections.

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Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love Kingdom Film Review – Did I Just Fall for an Anime Idol Group?

Uta no Prince Sama or UtaPri as it’s called by fans is a multi media phenomenon, that has been enjoying over 9 years of popularity from its beginnings as an otome game back in 2010 to the newest film, Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love Kingdom. The series has been going strong for years with multiple fandiscs, spin-offs, and sequels. It is a powerhouse of a franchise with fans the world over, so you can bet there was a lot of hype surrounding the release of Maji Love Kingdom! The film debuted on June 14, 2019 in Japan, with the English subtitled version of the film premiering at Anime Expo 2019. But, there was also another pre-screening event here on the East Coast in Washington, DC at Otakon 2019, which is where I saw the film. And while it was a much more humble affair, when compared with the much more publicized Promare premiere, Otakon attendees were eager to see the film before it’s official theatrical release!!

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Chess of Blades BL Game Review – Danger Lurks Around Every Corner

Indie developer Argent Games is known for their inventive BL visual novels. Where most games from the genre focus on getting their characters into the bedroom, Dovah and Gamma, the dynamic duo behind Argent Games, tend to focus on creating games with stories and characters that subvert the usual cliche Boys Love tropes. I’ve been following their works for quite some time, but I will admit that despite having their games recommended to me quite a few times, Chess of Blades is the first of their games I’ve had the chance to play.

Chess of Blades is the studio’s second title and follows Rivian Varrison, the son of a high ranking military strategist, who is attending a celebration at the King’s residence. While there he must navigate the complexities of the aristocracy and the political intrigue of court life. But, the King’s court is full of dangers, and soon Rivian finds himself being drawn into the tangled web of secrets that could prove fatal for not just him but everyone he holds dear. With enemies all around, Rivian will have to be careful, lest he meet a grisly end…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam | Google Play
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 9 Endings
  • Full English Voice Acting
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $24.99
  • Gameplay Length: 12+ hours

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Doki Doki Literature Club Game Review – Horror With a Dash of Moe

There is no way to talk about Doki Doki Literature Club without spoiling it, so if you haven’t already played this game, go do so before reading this review. Trust me, you want to go into this game blind. 

Right, so I’ve seen Team Salvato’s Doki Doki Literature Club floating around, but I wrote it off as one of those cutesy anime styled harem romances and let it fade into the dark recesses of my backlog. I probably would have continued on blissfully unaware about the horrors of this game, had it not been for a friend mentioning it to me in passing:

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Calling Doki Doki Literature Club ‘crazy’ is the understatement of the century

Game Details

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The Doll Shop Review – A Slow Atmospheric Horror

The horror genre has always been about telling good stories. Made up campfire stories, urban legends, and folk tales… there’s something thrilling about a good scary story. But more often than not it seems like most big budget horror media is more concerned with hashing out the same old played out cliches and tropes, than they are with telling a good story. Jump scares and predictable characters are the norm, to the point that it’s rare to come across anything that feels genuine, let alone telling a good spooky story.

Every so often I come across a good scary story, one that renews my faith in the horror genre and Atelier Sentô’s The Doll Shop is one of those hidden horror gems. The Doll Shop is a slow tale that ditches the usual horror cliches in favor of telling a truly unsettling story. In a secluded Japanese village, there lives a quiet doll maker, who is content to spend his days with his dolls. Each one is more beautiful than the last, and so he spends his days in isolation, until his childhood friend, a beautiful young woman from the city arrives. She’s unlike anyone he’s ever met before, and suddenly his dolls aren’t enough to fill his lonely existence. But, he has a secret… he’s just waiting for the right person to share it with…

Game Details

  • Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) 
  • Gameplay Lengh: 2-3 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • 3 Endings

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One Thousand and One Days Game Review – An Enchanting Fantasy VN

For someone that shies away from incomplete series, I’ve been really getting into episodic visual novels. Rather than blazing through a game in one sitting, the plot unfolds over a series of chapters/episodes and because there is usually a bit of a wait between new releases, this gap in new content gives you a chance to really dig down and fully explore the different story elements and scenarios in the interim. It’s a much more comprehensive gaming experience than I’m used to, but one that definitely allows for a much more immersive experience overall.

Recently I had the chance to give Asif G.’s Arabian Nights inspired fantasy visual novel, One Thousand and One Days a try and I was blown away by what I played so far. The game borrows heavily from ancient Persian mythology and Islamic lore AND features an all POC cast that draw inspiration from Middle Eastern, North African, and Mongolian cultures. On top of that, the game is LGBTQ+ friendly, with love interests with differing gender identities and sexual orientation. There are even poly romance options in addition to the standard one on one romances choices.

Game Details

  • Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) 
  • 4 Chapters (ongoing)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 30 mins – 1 hour per chapter
  • Cost: Free
  • 4 Love Interests (Male and Female); Poly Romance Options

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Misadventures of Laura Silver Chapter I Game Review – Silver Bullets Are A Girl’s Best Friend

I am a huge fan of detective/investigative games like the Ace Attorney series and the Hotel Dusk series, they’re the games that sparked my love of visual novels in the first place. With their immersive stories and intriguing mysteries there’s always something new to discover. So, when indie developer Studio Attic Salt emailed me about their supernatural detective mystery visual novel, Misadventures of Laura Silver, I made sure to add the game to the top of my play list!

Set in 1935, Misadventures of Laura Silver follows paranormal detective Laura Silver and her assistant Orewell Cooper as they traverse the globe on a quest to catalog the mythical creatures they encounter. Along the way they come across a series of unexpected events that have them questioning the intentions of their bureau as they find themselves drawn into a web of murder, lies, and corruption.

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Currently, Laura and Cooper are on assignment in Czechoslovakia, in search the Vodnik, a sea beast that has been terrorizing one of the local towns. But, when the agent already on site is found murdered in his hotel room, Laura must determine whether his death was the work of the supernatural or something much more sinister.

Misadventures of Laura Silver is an episodic visual novel, however, as of this writing only Chapter I is available (Chapter II is scheduled for a Summer 2020 release). Chapter one is a bit on the short side with roughly 8-10 hours of gameplay, but with over 100 choices for players to make in addition to the interactive investigative gameplay features, there’s plenty of content to explore in Misadventures of Laura Silver.

  • Where to Play: Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • Genre: Detective, Supernatural, Investigative
  • Gameplay Length: 8 -10 hours total
  • Cost: $7.99 USD

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Chasing the Stars BL Game Review – A Cyberpunk Fantasy That’s Out Of This World

I absolutely loved Ertal Games’s debut BL visual novel, A Hand in the Darkness, so you can bet I was super excited to get my hands on their sophomore title, steampunk sci-fi visual novel, Chasing the Stars. I’ve said this before, but Ertal Games has a knack for storytelling, with their intriguing characters and immersive narratives, each of their games is a rare treat. This time around Ertal Games delivers a rich cyberpunk fantasy that is out of this world! 

Follow Tirs Abril a young college student who has always dreamed of going into space and helping usher in a new age of colonization on one of humanities satellite cities. When Alaya, a new planet is discovered and proven to have the right conditions for human colonization, Tirs’s dreams are suddenly much more attainable. After getting dumped by his longtime boyfriend there is nothing holding Tirs back from pursuing his dreams and he decides to take position as a scholarship researcher in the lab of his professor and renowned Environmental Engineer, Marc Rossell, who is currently heading the team working on the Alaya terraforming project. However, Tirs soon discovers that things are much more complicated than he ever imagined forcing him to decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to follow his dreams…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • Partial English Voice Acting
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 10 hours

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The Seven Districts of Sin: The Tail Makes The Fox Episode 1 Review

Seven Districts of Sin: The Tail Makes the Fox takes us on a journey into the depths of Hell with Lilim (name changeable) an ambitious (and naive) two-tailed gumiho working as an auditor under the most illustrious one, Lucifer. Loyal to a fault, Lilim is over the moon when her exulted leader of hell gives her a special assignment- investigate allegations of soul laundering in the district of Kumonoito. If she does a good job, maybe Lucifer will finally give her the recognition she deserves… But what awaits our naive heroine in the house of Anzu, the governess of Kumonoito will be anything but a cake walk. Will she be survive her mission? Or will she fall prey to the secrets of Anzu’s palace?

The Tail Makes the Fox is the first episode in a series of collaborations between Reine Works and Top Hat Studios (though Episodes 2 and 3 have yet to be released). Each episode is meant to be a self contained story, that follows the same cast of characters.

Game Details

  • Genre: Parody, Comedy, Romance
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux | Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh: 4-6 Hours; 9 Endings
  • Cost: $9.99 USD
  • 2 male and 2 female romance options
  • Full English Voice Acting

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