Operation Backlog Completion 2017
May 242017

A Kickstarter is currently running for the translation of a visual novel called Chuusotsu – 1st Graduation: Time After Time. They released a demo, so I decided to give it a try.

It was… really weird. But interesting!

In this visual novel, everyone gets an “Authorization Seal” that determines their job, strength, intelligence, etc.

When the main character, a girl named Arue, is unable to meet the requirements for her Authorization Seal after middle school, she becomes a “chuusotsu,” a person with the lowest possible power level.

Determined to gain a seal, Arue signs up for a program where she will need to room with two other chuusotsu, and… work on philosophy?

It’s hard to explain how weird this demo was. The basic premise for the setting is so bizarre. As a chuusotsu, Arue is weaker than even children. She can’t read maps or do addition anymore. I’ve never seen a world setup quite like it, and it made me interested in learning more.

Arue also loves anime and manga, and she has a tendency to start talking strangely and referencing RPGs when she gets really nervous. The other characters in the demo were also strange, especially Ahara, who rambles about saving the world from dark forces.

Even Chuusotsu’s narration was odd, with occasional commentary from the narrator outside of Arue’s own descriptions.

Before I played the demo, I saw the Kickstarter, but I couldn’t get a good grasp on what the visual novel really was. Three girls who didn’t get past middle school sharing an apartment and asking existential questions? What? Why is it so well-regarded?

Now that I have played the demo, I’m still not entirely sure how to describe what this visual novel is, but it left me intrigued by its premise and the characters. So take a look at the Kickstarter and try the demo, and let me know your own thoughts on Chuusotsu – 1st Graduation: Time After Time.

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Mar 152017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for almost two weeks now, and I still can’t decide if I want to get it or not.

On one hand, it’s a Legend of Zelda game. While I never got into the older Zelda games (except for Link’s Awakening), I’ve enjoyed the newer ones.

On the other hand, it’s an open world game. Open world games are not my preferred type. I like a more structured approach, with separate areas to unlock and progress through.

And yet, I loved Xenoblade Chronicles X. Monolith Soft, the Xenoblade developer, helped with Breath of the Wild’s open world. If XCX won my heart despite its open style, maybe Breath of the Wild will, too.

But at the same time, when I hear praise for Breath of the Wild, it’s usually focused on how much freedom there is and how many different things there are to do. Those aren’t bad things, but the emphasis on those parts makes it sound again like the sorts of open world RPGs I usually avoid.

Still, other people have said Breath of the Wild has enough structure that I could play it like a semi-linear game if I wanted to, while still haven’t the option to explore.

As you can see, I’m conflicted about this game. (It’s not the only one. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to give Paper Mario: Color Splash a chance.) I don’t have a Nintendo Switch, but if Breath of the Wild was structured more like the past few Zelda games, I’d have probably picked it up for my Wii U by now.

Maybe I should finally get around to playing Majora’s Mask instead.

What do you think? Do you recommend The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild even to someone who doesn’t often enjoy open world games?

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Mar 082017

The Kickstarter for Ascendant Hearts, the romantic comedy visual novel about a young man who finds himself in a world that follows JRPG rules, is almost over.

Yesterday, we finally met our base goal of $4065. Ascendant Hearts will be completed and released for the PC, Mac, and Linux.

However, there’s still time to support the campaign and make Ascendant Hearts even better! If we reach $6000 by the end of the campaign, we’ll be able to add character routes to the story.

In the base story, the player has a chance through dialogue options and actions to pursue a romance with Shiori, the mage who first helps him when he awakens in this strange world. The Character Routes stretch goal will add the other two main characters, Aiko (the green-haired healer) and Chise (the purple-haired rogue) as alternate romance options.

So if you love Aiko and/or Chise, or if you just want a longer story with greater replay value due to the alternate paths, support Ascendant Hearts on Kickstarter and push us closer to the stretch goal!

(I’d hoped we could reach the $10,000 Expanded Story stretch goal, but that seems unlikely now.)

Since the start of the campaign, we’ve:

  • Added beta access and your name in the credits to the second tier (Steam Key + OST) onward.
  • Updated the CG art to better match the quality and style of the sprites. However, the original CG art we already have done will still be viewable in the in-game gallery.

I’d also like to mention that there are choices and additional scenes not present in the demo.

There are less than 24 hours left in the Ascendant Hearts crowd-funding campaign! If you’re interested in a romance visual novel that parodies JRPG and MMORPG tropes, head over to the Kickstarter page and show us your support!

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