I Play Porn Games For The Story // 08.04.2012

Yo guys! This is my weekly blog about videogames and visual novels! Well, mostly weekly. Last week real life kicked me in the face and, due to my rule of not talking about my real life problems; I really had nothing to talk about. If you want to know what happened, this happened, and that’s all I’m going to say on the issue.

SO ANYWAY, back to regular gaming and... novelling? I guess that works, sort of.

Half Minute Hero

So Half Minute Hero is a game I’ve been meaning to play for quite some time now. I don’t know why I never actually picked it up, but I managed to steal a copy from a friend of mine, so yay videogames!

So for people who don’t know, Half Minute Hero is an RPG game in which each adventure is 30 seconds long. At the start of each level you have a pretty clear goal and also a few bonus objectives to do. Walking around the map can trigger random encounters and causes the timer to go down, while chilling in towns pauses the timer, and there you can buy stuff like new weapons or heal your health or pray to the time goddess to reset the time back to 30 seconds. The levels are, rather predictably, really short, but super addicting, causing me to blast through 20 or so without even realising how much time I was spending playing the game.

In each level you get graded on how fast you beat the level, which usually just boils down to how many times you had to reset the timer, but it’s the other objectives that give you a surprising amount of choice on how to tackle the level. For instance, in an early level you can easily just grind for a little bit to get your level greater than the bosses level (which the game kindly points out to you as soon as it happens) or you can go find bug swatter that will kill the boss in one hit. There are several different people you can recruit or help along the way that will be added to your ‘party’ for that one level, which also has its benefits.

I haven’t checked out the other modes just yet but I’m enjoying myself so far, it’s a great game for just playing in small bursts, even if those small bursts turn into huge bursts and eat up entire days at a time oh well!

Jetpack Joyride

In an attempt to keep up with everything that current with iOS gaming, I decided to play Jetpack Joyride. That’s what everyone’s into right now, right?

Jetpack Joyride is one of those one button games, you press and hold the screen to activate the jetpack and fly upwards, and then everything after that is just simply avoiding lasers and electricity and shit like that. You collect coins that can buy upgrades and you can get vehicles which operate slightly differently (such as a Gravity Suit in which the one button tap flips gravity).

The game is incredibly basic with the only real goal being how long can you survive. The game is one hit kill when you’re not in a vehicle, and one hit to get from vehicle back to the jetpack, much akin to a Mario mushroom in that regard. Though on top of the ‘how far can you do’ there are mini objectives, some as ‘get this far without collecting any coins’ or ‘high five scientists’ and stuff like that. These mini objectives are what give the game a lot of life for me, as it’s a lot of fun trying to achieve as many as possible in a single run, even if the end result is just simply more coins to buy different outfits.

Again this is another one of those games that you can just play for a few minutes at a time, yet it can eat up a lot of time without you really realising it, and therefore it was relegated to the game what I play when I was bored in university lectures for a while. It’s a lot of fun and, much like Half Minute Hero, it’s weird that I waited this long to actually try it out. Like, with this one I’ve actually had it installed on my phone for months but never bothered to actually load it up. Then again I guess a lot of my iPhone games are regulated to that fate.

Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

This week I played the rather recently translated Hoshizora no Memoria. I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite some time now an absolutely had to jump on it as soon as the fan patch was released. So hey, I’m being slightly relevant for once in my visual novel selection, and not just “hey this game from 12 years ago doesn’t have the best art you guys”. Well, more relevant, I guess, they are still porn games after all.

This game stars You, Kogasaka You that is, who returns to his hometown. He and his sister left his hometown seven years prior to the start of the game thanks to his mother getting a job transfer, and moves back after her death. He has fond memories of watching the stars at night with a girl who he promised to that they’d meet again. However, he has no means of contacting her, and therefore the only way he keeps hope of meeting her is returning to the observation platform they hung out at as kids. When he gets there, he meets a girl who looks like the girl from his memory who calls herself Mare, a grim reaper who reaps nightmares. After several interactions with Mare, she reaps his nightmare of remembering the name of the girl from his past. And now with even less knowledge of who he’s looking for, he joins the Astronomy Club to continue his love for watching the stars, and hopes that that will help him in his journey.

I forgot to take screenshots so here's some Japanese shots of probably important parts of the game.

The weird thing about the story is that entire set up is sort of brushed away for the majority of the time playing, and is instead focused on Kogasaka interacting with the members of the Astronomy Club and making new friends in the usual high school environment. These friends include his sister, Chimani, who has a habit in talking in third person, Asuho, a friend from Kogasaka’s primary school, Isuzu, Kogasaka’s neighbour, and the twins Komomo and Kosame, who are complete polar opposites. The characters themselves work really well and all integrate into the story, all building up toward a rather interesting plot twist and revelation. And then the game continues for another like 5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the next 5 hours, but the game is structured weird. You’re introduced to the characters, and then that all play into a big story in which things happen, and then the main character is all “yeah it’s cool brah” and you get launched into whatever route you triggered flags for. Sure a lot of other games do this too, but here it just feels a little bit weird considering how big of a twist the common route takes near its conclusion. It also doesn’t help that when replaying the game to see the other routes (which are good, don’t get me wrong) you have to go through the entire common route again, which is incredibly long.

Something funny is probably happening here.

The routes are pretty standard, some being better than others. They all follow a rather simple structure of helping the selected girl’s ‘nightmare’ (some of them being more literal than others), but at the same time that can result in interesting story arcs. Each route you complete adds a little bit more to the common route too, eventually culminating in a ‘true’ route, which is predictably where the initial set up of the game comes into play, you know, 50 hours in.

Then again, the complaint of “there’s too much good content here” is a strange complaint to have, I really enjoyed my time with this game and I’d recommend it, just know if you want to see everything you have to be incredibly committed due to the sheer quantity of story that exists in this game. It’s worth it though, as the true route at the end of the game easily outdoes the rest of the routes in terms of quality.

And I guess that’s this thing over with! Hopefully I’ll be here again next week, so look forward to that I guess! Or don’t, whatever, I’ll just be here watching Adventure Time from start to finish.

20 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by Psycosis

Yo guys! This is my weekly blog about videogames and visual novels! Well, mostly weekly. Last week real life kicked me in the face and, due to my rule of not talking about my real life problems; I really had nothing to talk about. If you want to know what happened, this happened, and that’s all I’m going to say on the issue.

SO ANYWAY, back to regular gaming and... novelling? I guess that works, sort of.

Half Minute Hero

So Half Minute Hero is a game I’ve been meaning to play for quite some time now. I don’t know why I never actually picked it up, but I managed to steal a copy from a friend of mine, so yay videogames!

So for people who don’t know, Half Minute Hero is an RPG game in which each adventure is 30 seconds long. At the start of each level you have a pretty clear goal and also a few bonus objectives to do. Walking around the map can trigger random encounters and causes the timer to go down, while chilling in towns pauses the timer, and there you can buy stuff like new weapons or heal your health or pray to the time goddess to reset the time back to 30 seconds. The levels are, rather predictably, really short, but super addicting, causing me to blast through 20 or so without even realising how much time I was spending playing the game.

In each level you get graded on how fast you beat the level, which usually just boils down to how many times you had to reset the timer, but it’s the other objectives that give you a surprising amount of choice on how to tackle the level. For instance, in an early level you can easily just grind for a little bit to get your level greater than the bosses level (which the game kindly points out to you as soon as it happens) or you can go find bug swatter that will kill the boss in one hit. There are several different people you can recruit or help along the way that will be added to your ‘party’ for that one level, which also has its benefits.

I haven’t checked out the other modes just yet but I’m enjoying myself so far, it’s a great game for just playing in small bursts, even if those small bursts turn into huge bursts and eat up entire days at a time oh well!

Jetpack Joyride

In an attempt to keep up with everything that current with iOS gaming, I decided to play Jetpack Joyride. That’s what everyone’s into right now, right?

Jetpack Joyride is one of those one button games, you press and hold the screen to activate the jetpack and fly upwards, and then everything after that is just simply avoiding lasers and electricity and shit like that. You collect coins that can buy upgrades and you can get vehicles which operate slightly differently (such as a Gravity Suit in which the one button tap flips gravity).

The game is incredibly basic with the only real goal being how long can you survive. The game is one hit kill when you’re not in a vehicle, and one hit to get from vehicle back to the jetpack, much akin to a Mario mushroom in that regard. Though on top of the ‘how far can you do’ there are mini objectives, some as ‘get this far without collecting any coins’ or ‘high five scientists’ and stuff like that. These mini objectives are what give the game a lot of life for me, as it’s a lot of fun trying to achieve as many as possible in a single run, even if the end result is just simply more coins to buy different outfits.

Again this is another one of those games that you can just play for a few minutes at a time, yet it can eat up a lot of time without you really realising it, and therefore it was relegated to the game what I play when I was bored in university lectures for a while. It’s a lot of fun and, much like Half Minute Hero, it’s weird that I waited this long to actually try it out. Like, with this one I’ve actually had it installed on my phone for months but never bothered to actually load it up. Then again I guess a lot of my iPhone games are regulated to that fate.

Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

This week I played the rather recently translated Hoshizora no Memoria. I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite some time now an absolutely had to jump on it as soon as the fan patch was released. So hey, I’m being slightly relevant for once in my visual novel selection, and not just “hey this game from 12 years ago doesn’t have the best art you guys”. Well, more relevant, I guess, they are still porn games after all.

This game stars You, Kogasaka You that is, who returns to his hometown. He and his sister left his hometown seven years prior to the start of the game thanks to his mother getting a job transfer, and moves back after her death. He has fond memories of watching the stars at night with a girl who he promised to that they’d meet again. However, he has no means of contacting her, and therefore the only way he keeps hope of meeting her is returning to the observation platform they hung out at as kids. When he gets there, he meets a girl who looks like the girl from his memory who calls herself Mare, a grim reaper who reaps nightmares. After several interactions with Mare, she reaps his nightmare of remembering the name of the girl from his past. And now with even less knowledge of who he’s looking for, he joins the Astronomy Club to continue his love for watching the stars, and hopes that that will help him in his journey.

I forgot to take screenshots so here's some Japanese shots of probably important parts of the game.

The weird thing about the story is that entire set up is sort of brushed away for the majority of the time playing, and is instead focused on Kogasaka interacting with the members of the Astronomy Club and making new friends in the usual high school environment. These friends include his sister, Chimani, who has a habit in talking in third person, Asuho, a friend from Kogasaka’s primary school, Isuzu, Kogasaka’s neighbour, and the twins Komomo and Kosame, who are complete polar opposites. The characters themselves work really well and all integrate into the story, all building up toward a rather interesting plot twist and revelation. And then the game continues for another like 5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the next 5 hours, but the game is structured weird. You’re introduced to the characters, and then that all play into a big story in which things happen, and then the main character is all “yeah it’s cool brah” and you get launched into whatever route you triggered flags for. Sure a lot of other games do this too, but here it just feels a little bit weird considering how big of a twist the common route takes near its conclusion. It also doesn’t help that when replaying the game to see the other routes (which are good, don’t get me wrong) you have to go through the entire common route again, which is incredibly long.

Something funny is probably happening here.

The routes are pretty standard, some being better than others. They all follow a rather simple structure of helping the selected girl’s ‘nightmare’ (some of them being more literal than others), but at the same time that can result in interesting story arcs. Each route you complete adds a little bit more to the common route too, eventually culminating in a ‘true’ route, which is predictably where the initial set up of the game comes into play, you know, 50 hours in.

Then again, the complaint of “there’s too much good content here” is a strange complaint to have, I really enjoyed my time with this game and I’d recommend it, just know if you want to see everything you have to be incredibly committed due to the sheer quantity of story that exists in this game. It’s worth it though, as the true route at the end of the game easily outdoes the rest of the routes in terms of quality.

And I guess that’s this thing over with! Hopefully I’ll be here again next week, so look forward to that I guess! Or don’t, whatever, I’ll just be here watching Adventure Time from start to finish.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Psycosis said:

So hey, I’m being slightly relevant for once in my visual novel selection, and not just “hey this game from 12 years ago doesn’t have the best art you guys”.

Story of about 80% of my blogs, only with Japanese games instead of porn. Speaking of Japanese, this may be the one time that my utterly meager skills with the language could be of some use! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! The first screenshot says something about how the Death God won't take something. I have no idea what that something is, and I'm not sure if it's because of that "utterly meager" part or because the font is so thick that it turned that one part I couldn't read into an amorphous blob. The second screenshot, on the other hand, I can read, and I imagine the meaning would be obvious to anybody who knows what the word "hiragana" maens.

Posted by Jay444111

@Video_Game_King: But most of us don't know what 'hiragana' is though!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Jay444111:

I remember you, at one point, saying that you wanted to learn Japanese. How the hell are you going to learn it without knowing what hiragana is?

Posted by Jay444111

@Video_Game_King said:

@Jay444111:

I remember you, at one point, saying that you wanted to learn Japanese. How the hell are you going to learn it without knowing what hiragana is?

No one to help teach Japanese up here and more tutorials online already expect you to know a textbook worth of info before going in... much like trying to figure out how to program... can there be a channel on youtube just for dumbasses to literally tell you the most simple ways things are? Because that would be awesome.

But anyways, what does it mean?

(oh, and PS, which version of OoT was with a Red blood coughing Ganandorf and the Arabic chants? I thought you would know so I thought I should ask.)

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Jay444111:

You mean like this? I'd say that there are quite a few good guides out there, but that's getting into a separate discussion. But before I get into a separate discussion, hiragana's one of three or four alphabet systems in Japanese. Hiragana's the standard one (in that most words use), katakana's the specialized one (FOR WHEN FOREIGNERS ARE YELLING OR WHEN YOU'RE USING SOUND-BASED WORDS), and kanji....kanji are like Latin roots in English, only far more necessary to know. The Latin alphabet's also used, but only for a few non-Japanese words, as far as I know. (There's romaji, but wean yourself off that shit as soon as possible. Get to the point where you can't read romaji. That's where you want to be.)

Oh, and the red blood and Arabic chants are present in any version of the game before 1.2. I think 1.1 only changed some minor glitches, like using your sword on Epona (or something like that).

Posted by Jay444111

@Video_Game_King said:

@Jay444111:

You mean like this? I'd say that there are quite a few good guides out there, but that's getting into a separate discussion. But before I get into a separate discussion, hiragana's one of three or four alphabet systems in Japanese. Hiragana's the standard one (in that most words use), katakana's the specialized one (FOR WHEN FOREIGNERS ARE YELLING OR WHEN YOU'RE USING SOUND-BASED WORDS), and kanji....kanji are like Latin roots in English, only far more necessary to know. The Latin alphabet's also used, but only for a few non-Japanese words, as far as I know. (There's romaji, but wean yourself off that shit as soon as possible. Get to the point where you can't read romaji. That's where you want to be.)

Oh, and the red blood and Arabic chants are present in any version of the game before 1.2. I think 1.1 only changed some minor glitches, like using your sword on Epona (or something like that).

Thank you very much! That site is going to be quite useful for me!

Also thank you for answering my OoT question, I was searching for a copy on ebay to hopefully get a bit of the Nostalgia back into my hands again.

Posted by Lykos

You should try out Kamidori Alchemy Meister. It's like a mix of those Atelier games in terms of item creation and synthesis, mixed with turn based strategy, mixed with a lighter form of Recettear shop management. I've been playing it for 40 hours so far, and still haven't even finished one of the three routes in the game, but it's pretty addicting to just go to the dungeons and get materials to make stuff to sell or equip your guys, or expand your shop, or enhance your party member's armor, etc.

Posted by Bocam
@Psycosis: Hoshizora's a 3 year old game. Also from what I've seen of the translation, it's not that good.
 The best imouto.
Posted by Bocam
Posted by Video_Game_King

Can we just turn this into the site's Japanese learning thread? Because I'll just post this link of Japanese audio books and see if this trend takes off.

Edited by Bocam
@Video_Game_King: It will be kinda weird with the thread's title but どうでもいい...
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Bocam:

So we should just make a separate thread entirely?

Posted by Psycosis

@Bocam: Yeah I know it's a little old on Japanese release but relatively new for fan translation.

Also if I can get through early MangaGamer translations I can get through anything, the translation wasn't as bad as people kept saying but opinions differ I guess.

@Lykos: I actually have been playing that! I don't know when I'll cover it here (if I cover it here) because holy shit that game is long, probably one of the longest VNs I've played. But early impressions is "yeah it's awesome".

Posted by Bocam

@Video_Game_King: A new thread would have a better chance at taking off.

@Psycosis: It's more of because of weird Australian localization the used.

Edited by Bocam

@Psycosis: I just looked at some of the later scenes and the translation seems to get worse as the game goes on. Here are some mistakes I picked out.

Japanese line: 燃費が悪いって言いたいのお兄ちゃん!?

How the patch translates it: But consuming fuel is bad for you, Onii-chan!

How it should be translated: Are you trying to say I have bad mileage?

Japanese line: ここでバイト代もらえるにしろ、早くても来月なんだ。即金じゃないんだよ

How the patch translates it: Even if you work here, next month is coming soon, so you won't get paid fully.

How it should be translated: You won't get payed until next month, since they don't pay in cash.

Japanese line: ……核弾頭が爆発しても知らないからな

How the patch translates it:......But I don't know when the nuclear warhead will explode.

How it should be translated: Don't come crawling to me if this nuclear warhead explodes on you.

Japanese line: たぶんそうじゃないかと思うんです

How the patch translates it: That's probably not the case.

How it should be translated: That's what I was thinking

Posted by Psycosis

@Bocam: I dunno bro you seem to be mistaking me for someone who gives a shit.

I enjoyed it, and I didn't find the translation to be the worst thing in the world, sure there has been better but there has been a lot worse. If I really wanted to read the story exactly as intended I'd've learned Japanese.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Psycosis said:

If I really wanted to read the story exactly as intended I'd've learned Japanese.

You mean you would have read the comments in your own blog?

Posted by Poki3

How good is the skip feature?

That's a important point every time there's a lot of "common" story, or alternate branches that are worth checking out. If the skip stops at every line that's different and skips relatively fast then even a longer common story shouldn't be that big of a deal.

Posted by SexyToad

I play porn games for the porn. Just kidding... Or am I?

Posted by Bocam

@Poki3: The skip feature was completely busted in the Japanese release. I doubt it's been fixed.