Operation Backlog Completion 2018
Jan 192018
 

Remember, Ascendant Hearts, the romantic comedy visual novel funded through Kickstarter that I wrote the script for?

It is now out on Steam!

Ascendant Hearts tells the story of a young man named Hayato who is mysterious transported to a world where the tropes and mechanics you find in JRPGs (and MMORPGs) are how life actually works.

It’s a lighthearted parody filled with romantic hijinks and nods to the JRPG genre as Hayato joins Shiori, Aiko, and Chise in a quest to stop unexplained monster attacks.

Plus there’s a mad scientist! You know how much I love mad scientists.

Ascendant Hearts has multiple endings in addition to the possible romance outcomes, and it should take around 5 hours or so to complete, depending on how fast you read and whether or not you go through it multiple times. It normally costs $9.99, but it is on sale for $7.99 until January 25.

I had fun writing this visual novel, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions about it, and if it sounds interesting to you, check out Ascendant Hearts now on Steam!

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Dec 132017
 

2017 is nearing an end, my video game backlog is more or less under control (blatant lies), and to assist my attempt at eventually completing it, I’ve been avoiding sales and…

What’s this? Another visual novel Humble Bundle?!

Humble Bundle has once again sabotaged my backlog efforts with a bundle I can’t resist. The MangaGamer and Friends Bundle includes:

  • Pay $1 or more
    • eden*
    • Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch.1 Onikakushi
    • Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch.2 Watanagashi
    • A Kiss For the Petals – Remembering How We Met
  • Beat the average
    • If My Heart Had Wings
    • LoveKami -Divinity Stage-
    • Go! Go! Nippon! Complete Collection
    • Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch.3 Tatarigoroshi
    • Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch.4 Himatsubushi
  • Pay at least $10
    • Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch. 5 Meakashi
    • LoveKami -Useless Goddess-
    • Princess Evangile (All Ages)

Soundtracks for the two LoveKami games and If My Heart Had Wings are also included.

I’d get this for the Higurashi collection alone, so my backlog is doomed. RIP backlog completion, maybe next year will be your year…

Are you interested in this visual novel Humble Bundle? Have you played/read any of the included visual novels? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Dec 042017
 

Over the weekend, I finished Muv-Luv Alternative, a visual novel I’d been looking forward to ever since playing Muv-Luv Extra and Unlimited last year.

Muv-Luv Alternative is considered by many fans to be one of the greatest visual novels of all time, and I definitely enjoyed my time with it, although it wasn’t perfect.

First, let’s talk about its good points. Muv-Luv Alternative is intense and exciting. I really grew to like the cast of Muv-Luv, and it was wonderful to watch them grow and change.

That applies to the main character more than anyone. In Muv-Luv Extra, Takeru wasn’t the most likable protagonist in the world, but Unlimited and Alternative really helped him shape up into a character I could root for.

Muv-Luv Alternative has a reputation for some hard-hitting scenes, and those scenes did hit very hard. There was one point in particular (you can probably guess which) when I had to take a break and told everyone who would listen to me that this visual novel had gotten very dark and upsetting.

Click for Muv-Luv Alternative spoiler

Another thing Muv-Luv Alternative does well is handle discussions of responsibility, sacrifice, and human nature. It’s a grim world where people are still fighting each other even though humanity is on the brink of extinction. And you know, whenever someone claims an alien invasion would make everyone forget their differences and unite, I have to wonder if it would really be like that. Muv-Luv says no.

It’s not happy, but it’s realistic, and Muv-Luv Alternative deals with this idea well.

Overall, it was great. I felt some of the action scenes could drag on a little longer than they had to, but I always wanted to see what was coming next.

And that actually ties into the major thing I disliked about Muv-Luv Alternative: when I finished, I still wanted to see what was coming next. The ending felt abrupt, not a satisfactory conclusion so much as a story wrapped up before it was really over.

I didn’t mind the ending itself, like some fans do. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought it was a pretty good conclusion… it just didn’t feel like it was time yet.

To explain in a little more detail without any spoilers, if it had ended the way it did, but without the epilogue scene, it would have felt like perfect ending to lead into another sequel. With the epilogue, however, it’s clearly a conclusion, but without actually being done.

Click for Muv-Luv Alternative spoiler

Still, it’s pretty positive when the worst criticism you have a of a story is that there should have been more. I don’t consider Muv-Luv Alternative’s ending to be a satisfying conclusion to the saga, but I did enjoy my overall journey with this visual novel. Overall, I felt a lot like I did when I finished Steins;Gate 0: a great story that didn’t come together as tightly as I’d hoped.

If you’ve played/read Muv-Luv Alternative, how did you feel about the ending? Are there any side stories that expand on the part in my spoiler tags? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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