Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 092024

Steins;Gate is not only one of the first true visual novels I’ve ever played, but also one of my all-time favorites. I absolutely loved it.

Despite that, I never got around to playing Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace, a lighthearted spin-off/fandisc with more of a romantic comedy approach.

So what better time than now, during Celebrating All Things Romantic?

If you’re at all familiar with Steins;Gate, you know that the basic premise kicks off when the main character Okabe and his friends learn they can send emails into the past (which they then refer to as D-Mails) and change the timeline through these messages. My Darling’s Embrace begins with Okabe finding himself at the other end of a D-Mail change where they’ve begun to develop new gadgets to sell… although he sent so many D-Mails that he doesn’t quite know what one caused this.

Things quickly spiral out of control when he and Kurisu end up stuck wearing a new gadget that shocks them whenever they argue. They prepare to send a D-Mail into the past to change it… and your choice there determines which route you end up on.

There are six routes, and each takes the story in a different direction focused on one of the characters. A couple of the routes (mainly Suzuha’s) hint at romance more than showing it, but most have the growing relationship as a core part of the route. They’re all sweet and funny, an entertaining look at how Okabe’s relationships could develop under other circumstances.

I especially enjoyed Moeka’s route, which was so wholesome and nice to see.

Click for Steins;Gate spoilers
And unlike in the main game, Luka is still a guy for his route this time.

Above everything else, My Darling’s Embrace reminded me of how much I love the Steins;Gate story and its characters. While the main story might become an intense thriller, and that’s still one of its biggest draws, it was nice to relax and read some lighthearted rom-com antics with this cast.

So if you’re a fan of Steins;Gate and want to some more romance-focused routes with its characters, check out Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace!

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Feb 052024

Its been over two years since we discussed 9-nine-, the thriller romance visual novel about a group of teenagers who awaken to special powers.

In the time since then, a fifth episode was released that contains after stories for the main game’s routes, which makes it a perfect choice for our romance celebration.

9-nine: New Episode begins by wrapping up the one branch that was left unresolved in the original, with a satisfactory conclusion, and then an after story is unlocked for each heroine.

Don’t expect these to be fandisc-length stories or have the same high stakes as the full game; rather, they are short epilogues that have a little plot resolution but mainly focus on telling a cute story between the protagonist and that route’s heroine.

They’re sweet, funny, and a pleasant way to follow up 9-nine- if you want to see the characters in a more peaceful situation.

While each after story is quite short and the whole thing only lasts a few hours, I was pleasantly surprised that they don’t all follow the same formula. Although they have the same starting structure (immediate aftermath of the route, followed by a short timeskip), they develop differently from there.

To be honest, you could get by just fine reading the original visual novel without ever seeing these epilogues, but if you enjoyed 9-nine- and want more of the romance side of things, 9-nine-: New Episode is enjoyable enough.

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Jan 312024

Half a year ago, I said, “Who knows, one of these days we could be discussing an official Fate/Stay Night localization,” and now the time has come.

Yesterday, Type-Moon announced that Fate/stay night Realta Nua is being remastered for PC and Switch, with English and Chinese translations available for the first time.

No PS4/PS5 version was announced, oddly enough, even though Witch on the Holy Night did and the upcoming Tsukihime remake will as well. I prefer to play visual novels on the Switch whenever possible, so that’s fine for me.

If you’re asking yourself “What is Realta Nua,” because the Fate franchise has so many entries a title like that could easily be mistaken for a spin-off, it’s the later version of the original Fate/stay night, which removed the sex scenes and replaced them with new content.

(So anyone asking if the sex scenes will be censored or cut should know that this is a remaster of the version that had already removed them.)

I’ve been interested in the Fate series for a while, since I’ve played a couple of spin-offs as well as Witch on the Holy Night from the same universe, so I’ll definitely be getting this! I know a lot of fans were hoping for a full remake, but I’m happy enough with a remaster.

It only has a 2024 release window so far, which I believe is the same for the English release of Tsukihime. Presumably Tsukihime will come out first.

So here we are, yet another “will never be localized” game being localized. It’s gotta be Bandai Namco’s turn with the untranslated Tales games one of these days!

And don’t forget, we have a State of Play tonight and an Aksys showcase tomorrow. This could be a great week for exciting game announcements! Are you interested in playing Fate/stay night Remastered?

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