A Look At – Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei – A Non-Traditional Romance

Hikomaro is a doctor.
He is also a pervert.
One day, Sakimi, a construction worker, arrived at his office inquiring about a minor abdominal pain. Over time he gained her trust and began giving her advice about marriage life, eventually talking her into revealing her future plans of having children.
But being the pervert that he is, he soon takes advantage of that trust…

(Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei is a Netori Visual Novel, released by Elf in 2013)

Marosewaterlongname was a game that I picked up on a recommendation, and given the brand that I’ve seem to have built in modern day… well there’s basically only one reason anyone ever recommends me anything, so you can basically expect some fairly specific tags on this post.

The game’s name translates to “Maro’s patient is a blue-collar worker”, though I suppose in terms of cultural meaning I would probably translate that last bit to “tomboy”.

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Ramble Ral – Abaddon: Princess of the Decay

Here’s something for the Halloween season… I said, missing the deadline by a year when the game was still relevant… anyways!

Keeping it short, it’s an RPGMaker horror game inspired by Sweet Home for the NES, which, to be honest, is mostly known for being the inspiration for the President Evil series, rather than a game people actually played, but I digress.

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Ramble Ral – Frail Hearts: Versicorae Domlion

(Articles in the Ramble Ral section are presented “as is” with minor editing. For more information please see its section page. They will probably contain spoilers for the game in question)

In between niche RPGMaker games of a specific nature, quite a few of which I play for vaguely questionable reasons (such as “Amateur attempts at art is really fascinating to me”), I find myself weaving in those from a different background that are short, but hopefully interesting ones. Coming across Frail Hearts by chance and being attracted by a bite-sized experience, my opinion is that it’s actually fairly solid, though there are some strong flaws.

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SRW DB ENGAGE Rerelease!

To coincide with the Live a Live Remake, a new version of SRW DB, the premiere SRW Fangame (lie) featuring the Near Future scenario, now has a rerelease!

This version of the game now has a significantly improved English support, with many UI elements and text that were previously Japanese-only now translated into English.

Enjoy this blast from the past by downloading the game, right over at the SRW DB Page!

Posted in Mecha, RPG, Simulation | Leave a comment

A Look At – Re;Lord

This is a story where demons lived among the denizens of the world. And it’s the demon realm that was about to face an unprecented crisis when three “Witches of Ruin” suddenly appeared and invaded the demon country of Saarland.

Possessing power beyond what the demon kingdom could muster a defense against, Saarland had no choice but to surrender the region of Groessen to these invaders. The witches were not content to stop there as they also decided to make an example out of the demons by transforming them into stuffed animals to further rob them of their dignity.

Half a year has passed since the appearance of the witches. As if straight out of a fairy tale, the majority of the people of Groessen have been transformed into stuffed animals and live under the rule of the Witches of Ruin. It is up to Wilfried, son of the governor of Groessen, to lead his ragtag army into battle with the witches and liberate Groessen.

(This Article has been made possible by a kind backers on my Patreon!
Thank you DanKunX for your kind support)

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A Look At – Succubus Academia

Due to the sudden appearance of the seductive Succubi, the Academy begins to collapse due to the influence of the Dream World, becoming a dream-like setting where fantastic “monsters” roam for their prey. If unstopped, the “real” world will soon become nothing but a distant memory.

With no real means to battle them, the only hope for the Academy is for a human to satisfy them, in hopes of them leaving after devouring their fill. However, the only way to satisfy a succubus… is to be drained to death.

This is the story of the Chosen Sacrifices…

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Fire Emblem Fangame Roundup: Part 1

A Friendly Easygoing Guy

Hello and welcome to another installment of rounding up fangames. However, today we shall move on from the world of Super Robot Wars and set our sights on fairer shores for a change of pace: The Fire Emblem community.

More than a decade after the release of Fire Emblem 7 for the Gameboy Advance, this unassuming game spawned a dedicated community of fangames through modification of the original, with the game code being deeply dissected it’s only rivaled by Final Fantasy Tactics as an engine for fangame creation.

With how long the community has been around, so too has the attitudes towards strategy game design changed as experience in the hobby grows. While early attempts were rough due to major limitations such as the inability to change certain cutscenes, today FE fangame creators have access to many features such as mechanics from FE games both past and present and full control over the script, allowing them to easily build their dream game… if they’re dedicated enough.

Of course, with so many of them available, it might be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. The tastes of FE fans have changed, and I can safely say that simply slapping a smattering of underleveled, underequipped brigands on a wide open plain is no longer considered the pinnacle of game design. As usual, I hope this series will help bring attention to some that you might choose to consider, rather than be paralyzed by the wide spread in front of you.

Justice and Pride

Traditionally, going from the official Fire Emblem games to fangames tends to be a bit of a cultural shock. As fangames tend to be created by dedicated longtime fans of the series, there is a tendency towards a higher difficulty level overall, due to the expectations that anyone going into the field is already familiar with the concepts such as commonly accepted long-term strategic decisions – using the Jeigan rather than benching him, early promoting choice units (especially healers) in order to acquire more early powerhouse units, proper enemy baiting tactics and much more.

Justice and Pride is thus our starter introduction to the scene, as it refreshingly aims for a difficulty curve more similar to games like FE7, allowing players to enjoy themselves casually… without being a complete cakewalk like certain other games (Sacred Stones joke here)

J&P is also a good showcase to witness the QoL improvements that are now considered the de facto standards for GBA FE Fangames, especially for players coming in from the 3DS games with their massive breakthrough in that department. Some examples of such features are being able to press Select to view the total range of all enemies at once, view character Growth Rates and finally, the addition of a Fates-like skill system, perhaps the most impressive of the bunch, as only the final GBA game had implemented a rather rudimentary version of that feature.

The story of J&P does not end with this game, however, as additional games in the same universe such as J&P Gaiden has since been developed after the release of the original. Due to a change in design philosophy, I hesitate to recommend these games at this moment, but mostly due to the fact that I’m recommending J&P as a beginner’s game where the other games in the series lean more towards the “Experienced” side that’s usually the norm for FE Fangames. Feel free to check them out if you’re into that though.

The Four Kings

While new features are cool and exciting, not all fangames should feel obligated to use them, especially if they run counter to their personal design philosophy. While a very popular mechanic, some people consider FE’s skill learning mechanics to take away from the elegant simplicity of earlier games in the franchise.

One such fangame that eschews this feature in favor of its own take on character uniqueness is The Four Kings. And just what is its answer to the question of how to differentiate characters from each other without the sheer potential that having access to character skills gives you?

Unique weapons for each and every single one of the characters in the game.

Whether it’s Cielo’s Skyshot, a bow with an oddball 4 Range, Zachary’s Restrainer which deals half of the enemy’s HP on hit, Max’s Claymore, a massive blade that leaves the opponent no chance to counterattack or just the basic simplicity of Lionel’s Sabre, a sword effective against other Sword users, each character has a unique tool available only to them that grants them an edge over the competition.

Unit differentiation has always been something that Fire Emblem has struggled with, especially in earlier games where characters can start to blend in together and feel redundant due to the necessities of balancing around permadeath.

With that in mind, the standout feature of Four Kings fits snugly with the rest of the design in order to bring out the strength of its characters – due to the set-up of the game, most of the cast will see play in some form or another, with changes made to the standard FE mechanics to facilitate seeing your units as more than interchangeable pawns, such as an improved form of the Relationship mechanic where characters can get bonuses by being in close proximity with each other – in 4K, units are able to attain bonuses from a radius of 3 rather than 1, making it significantly easier to utilize them.

Coupled with strong mission design which require you to have a strong grasp of your units’ individual strengths and weaknesses, Four Kings is definitely a very solid fangame overall which really showcases its designer’s ethos and tastes when it comes to the Fire Emblem series. Just like J&P, Four Kings has additional games in its universe, such as the short prequel Deposition that you can check out after the main game if you are thus interested.

Void’s Blitzarre Adventure

Out of the games covered here today, this is by far the most “non-traditional” one, which also paradoxically requires one to be quite familiar with the general tropes of Fire Emblem to fully comprehend what it’s trying to do, and thus I have saved this for last.

VBA was created as part of a project known as a “Blitz”, a collaborative project where a group of interested creators team up in order to create a fangame under a very limited amount of time (to prevent schedule slippage and perfectionism), which is an original concept which I totally was not inspired by at all.

Due to the nature of the project, Blitz doesn’t have a plot to speak of, outside of the memetic “The Demon King killed my family!” line, which has become a running gag as the sole motivation of our heroes in similar projects.

Rather, Void’s strength lies in playing with many of the common FE gameplay tropes. For example, while a questionable idea, you can literally promote the main Lord at level 1 if you wish, as she starts with her special promotion item right from the very beginning of the game, a contrast to the common GBA FE criticism where they could only do so very late in the game through forced story events.

Or how about the starter Paladin character Leeroy, usually an invincible powerhouse in many other FE games. In VBA, he does have the massive power part down… in exchange for having god awful defenses, together with the pictured skill that will ensure that everyone and their dogs will hunt him down as a No.1 priority.

VBA’s gameplay is just wild overall – buyable Stone scrolls, which delivers an attack that petrifies enemies that can be used by anyone (thus meaning the only character stat that matters is Accuracy), Ballistas as drops, weird character/skill combinations, the list goes on. From a pure gameplay perspective this fangame is just a topnotch take on the usual Fire Emblem formula. I highly recommend it once you have some familiarity with the core FE systems under your belt.

That’s all for the first installment of the Fire Emblem fangame round-up! With such a wide variety to choose from, I hope this helps in taking your first steps into the wide world. As always, til next time.

Posted in RPG, Strategy | 4 Comments

A Look At – No Tears Rebirth – A Revolution in the Republic

Theme of this Product – “Pure Love”

The hero rides on his adventure in order to prevent the revival of the lord of another dimension…

No Tears Rebirth is an indie/doujin RPGMaker by NoTearsProject released in 2017 (JP)

(This article will contain major spoilers past a certain point, please refrain from reading past the point if you wish to experience the game on your own)

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Posted in Eroge, NTR, RPG | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Dead & Buried – Netmonster – Shunt Over, Yokai Watch!

1998 – General PTO first became aware of NetMonster life while examining the HTML source of a broken web page. Working intensely to develop a way to communicate with the creature, in time, he was able to create a dialog with it.

NetMonsters – digital creatures which make their home within the Internet. While largely benign, the malicious ones are responsible for wreaking much havoc on the Internet, breaking links, corrupting images, crashing servers and much more. Their leader? The enigmatic Netmonster known only as Shade.

1999 – the NetMonster Resistance Corp is formed. Dedicated to keeping peace and order between humans and NetMonsters, they are the last line of defence against the enroaching spread of Shade and his minions.

NetMonster is a Monster Collection Battle Game released in 1999 by White Mask Productions.

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Wizard’s Climber – Fantranslation Release

Softhouse Chara is a company known for several simulation games, such as island survival simulator Nangoku Dominion, but outside of its native homeland, the company has been rather unknown due to the fact that none of their games have ever been made available in English

Seems like this changes today, as an anonymous group has now released a fantranslation of one of their more popular games – Wizard’s Climber.

Wizard’s Climber is a stat raising simulation game, somewhat similar to Gainax’s Princess Maker, where you play as a Wizard assisting the heroine Celes in her attempt to become a great Wizard and win a Magic Tournament.

Fans of such games may find this to be of interest. You can find Wizard’s Climber translation patch here

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