TYPE-MOON reviews: Tsukihime

NeutralDrow

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Mar 23, 2009
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<Img_Inline Caption="Blue blue glass moon,
under the crimson air" Align="Center">http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/3715/680291-tsukihime.jpg
<color=white>Line Break!​

"Can you understand what I am saying, Shiki-kun?"
"...no. Why am I in a hospital?"
"You don't remember, do you? You were involved in a car accident while you were walking. Your chest was stabbed by a shard of glass, and it was unlikely that you would survive."
Very unbefitting of what a doctor would say, yet he says it while still smiling cheerfully.

...terrible. I feel terrible.

"I'm tired. Can I go to sleep?"
"Yes, you should rest. You must focus on recuperating, and not push yourself."
The doctor is still smiling. To be honest, I can't stand that smile anymore...
"Can I ask you something, doctor?"
"What is it, Shiki-kun?"

"Why are there scribbles all over your body? And there are cracks, all over the walls...why are there cracks in the walls?"

_________________________________________________


Nine year-old Shiki Tohno would have had a bad enough day just waking up in the hospital with only vague memories of what happened, but seeing jagged black lines over everything and everyone upon waking up was right out. After an alarming experiment with a plastic knife and his bed, Shiki realizes that these lines are like stiches or cracks in the objects and people around him, places where things broke apart easily.

Naturally, the perception that the entire world could fall apart at your very touch isn't conducive to sanity, and it's only Shiki's coincidental meeting with a wandering self-described Sorceress that keeps him from going hopelessly insane. From her, Shiki receives not only details on his "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception," but also specially-treated glasses that hide the death lines from his sight, giving him a second chance at a normal life after leaving the hospital...when his father uses Shiki's continued health problems as an excuse to disinherit him, and Shiki is sent to live with relatives from a branch family, leaving behind his little sister and a pair of girls he knew only vaguely.

Cut to eight years later. Shiki, after living many years with the Arima family, learns of his father's death. What's more, he is called back to live at the Tohno mansion by the new head of the family: his younger sister, Akiha. But moving back only opens a slew of questions. Why did Akiha call him back, and after kicking out the relatives and dismissing all but two servants? Why do the two remaining maids at the mansion seem so familiar, but Shiki's own room doesn't? And outside the mansion grounds, what is happening with the serial murders, where all the victims have been found drained of blood? Why does Shiki suddenly get the uncontrollable urge to follow a strange-looking woman to her apartment and slice her to pieces?

And how is she walking around the next day?
________________________________________________

Tsukihime

Ah, Tsukihime. The doujin circle TYPE-MOON's second released work, and their breakout hit. As the Escapist's resident open TYPE-MOON fan, I decided I may as well review this, partly out of obligation, but mostly out of genuine love for the game. But, lest I fall into meaningless, self-indulgent, and above all boring reminices and praises, let's get started.

GAMEPLAY

Tsukihime is a visual novel. You read, and are occasionally presented with a decision. Your decision can influence your relationship with other characters, decide the presence or order of events later in the story, provide exposition, or lead to your ignoble demise. Basically, it's like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, except complex, coherent, and vastly more entertaining.

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/4003/s2023.jpg
Luckily, the game's first decision doesn't lead to instant death.
<color=white>Line break

STORY

Given the simplicity of the "gameplay," visual novels are made or broken by their stories. And in this category, Tsukihime shines. The game is told from the eyes of Shiki Tohno, 17 year-old high school student, fairly normal in every aspect - aside from occasional bouts of anemia, the life-loving mindset of one who's survived a near-death experience, and the aforementioned ability to kill things with frightening ease - who over the course of two weeks gets caught up in the supernatural weirdness happening in his city.

The story is mainly in very well-written dialogue and Shiki's own mostly stream-of-consciousness perspective (only twice in the game do we get another character's direct point of view). It's more coherent than it sounds. Usually. One of the two major complaints about Kinoko Nasu's writing style is that he can get rather verbose at times (I'll get to the other complaint later), typically showing up when Shiki mentally waxes philosophical, or when world-building exposition is involved.

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/5228/cittsukihimevisualnovel.jpg
Or when something is clearly not right in Shiki's head.

The story itself is divided into five routes, each focusing on one of the game's heroines (in the recommended order of play: Arcueid, Ciel, Akiha, Hisui, and Kohaku), which fit into two overarching storylines. Arcueid's and Ciel's paths form the Near Side of the Moon, the "external" story which deals with the source of the serial murders in the city, the presence of the two forces opposed to it and to each other, and the supernatural world of vampires. Akiha's, Hisui's, and Kohaku's paths form the Far Side of the Moon, the "internal" story which focuses instead on Shiki's past and the secrets of the Tohno family. Each route but one (Kohaku) has two endings. All the women have a True ending, while Arcueid, Hisui, and Ciel also have Good endings, and Akiha has a Normal ending.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/7492/cittsukihimesacchinsadn.png
And Satsuki gets jack.

As an aside, I'm still not entirely sure what "True" is supposed to mean. It's not canonical status; with the nature of the Nasuverse (the world of TYPE-MOON's works), all of them are canon. It's not in emotional content, like the Good endings or the (extremely depressing) Normal Ending; they run the gamut from heartbreakingly tragic to heartmendingly happy. Odd.

<color=white>Line break

CHARACTERS

Nebulous as the phrase may be, I would definitely describe this game as "character-driven." To start with, there's the immensely relatable protagonist, Shiki; he's fairly normal, with a worldview (influenced by his near-death experience) that can be summed as "hey, it's great being alive." He's also occasionally a weirdo and a mild perv (part of his charm, really), and, when the situation calls for it, a remarkable badass.

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/1199/s30521.jpg
He's also a really heavy sleeper.

The heroines are all pretty fun characters. Whether it's Arcueid, the ditzy and childlike True Ancestor vampire (and titular Tsukihime, "Moon Princess"), Ciel, the doting sempai with a passion for curry and an intriguing nighttime job, Akiha, the upper-class tsundere with some interesting habits and a weakness where her brother is concerned, or the twin maids, the cold and emotionally distant Hisui or the ever-smiling and cheerful Kohaku, it's mostly their personalities and situations that shape the game's five stories.

Given that the game is, at its heart, a suspense title, the 3-4+ villains get comparatively little screentime, even assuming they appear in any given route; Nero Chaos, millenium-old beast-controlling uber vampire, for instance shows up exclusively in Arcueid's and Ciel's paths, while his role is replaced in the Far Side routes by a certain much younger, much more tragic monster. Even Roa, the game's "main" villain, is notable for having more-or-less completely different roles in each of the game's five routes! Despite this, the ramifications of their presence are felt frequently throughout the story, and their actual appearances are always signs that shit just got real.

And always keep in mind that very few people are what they immediately seem...

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6576/s5731.jpg
Except Arihiko. Shine on, you crazy bastion of normality, you!

<color=white>Line break!

TECHNICAL

Tsukihime is a pretty simple game. The imagery style is as seen here, with photorealistic backdrops and drawn character sprites (in addition to fully drawn CGs, which each heroine has a gallery dedicated to), with the text gradually scrolling, sentence by sentence. There's also a save function and an option to skip previously-read scenes.

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/8958/s51202.jpg
There's also an in-game hint function for when you screw up royally.

The game's soundtrack is a mere ten tracks deep, but those tracks tend to do a wonderful job setting ambience for a variety of situations...except, ironically, the game's <url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0neKiun8HQ8>ending theme, which after the majority of the game's endings is extremely jarring. There's nothing really noteworthy about the game's sound effects, except that they mesh well enough that I can't remember more than two or three (clink, bonk, and maybe splorch).

<color=white>I'm invisible! You can't see me!

ERO

Welcome to the second complaint about Kinoko Nasu's writing. Yes, Tsukihime is technically an H-game, and in each of the routes is one or two sex scenes. Unlike a lot of eroge I've heard of and/or played, all of Tsukihime's sex scenes make perfect thematic sense, have an understandable buildup, never lack for emotional appeal, and offer a bit of insight and foreshadowing into the relationship between Shiki and whichever heroine is the story focus at the time.


"Wait", you might be asking. "Aren't those all commendable storytelling aspects? What's the complaint, then?"

Well...the writing during the actual scenes is typically pretty terrible. Nasu's got some writing chops, to be sure, but his skill with romanticism has a distressing tendency to not carry over into erotica. In particular, it's his decidedly unerotic turns-of-phrase and love of rather mood-inappropriate metaphor that can drive one to uncomfortable laughter or madness (in the worst cases). On the other hand, in a fit of irony, Nasu's skill returns with certain types of sex scenes. The deliberately disturbing scenes - three of the possible erotic dreams and all two-and-a-half rape scenes (the two of which lead to Shiki's very karmic death) - tend to be incredibly creepy.

...is one perspective. Personally, I never found anything wrong with them (except the nonconsensual ones, obviously), until I happened to read a scene out of context. I'm a sucker for pathos, much less inhibited when I'm sleepy, and very enamored of the scenes' music, so I never noticed (or notice) anything wrong while actually playing the game.

It's a moot point, either way, since the English translation patch has the option of <url=http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/Tsukihime/Update%202/install.jpg>installing without the ero scenes.

<color=white>Argh...damn your sharp eyes!

VERDICT

It's difficult delivering a verdict when I'm certain no one will like Tsukihime as much as I did. Even aside from all the compliments I pay it here, <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.118041>the situation I was in when first playing the game undoubtedly had a huge role in determining my love for the game.

I was living and studying in Japan about a year ago when I started playing the visual novel Tsukihime, and that's easily my biggest example. It's actually kind of strange how that game affected me. I only found it (and got it to work) 2 months before I had to come back home.

My time in Japan was something of a mixed bag, and though I could never regret living there, I'm not nostalgic enough to forget having at least two nervous breakdowns and dealing with moderate depression, even after getting over the initial culture shock. I'm fairly certain it was almost exclusively school-related (and almost certainly my own damn fault), but since I was in school seven out of ten months I spent there...eh. I wasn't doing too well, let's say.

It's odd how quite a lot of my good feeling towards my studying abroad started over halfway through my time (coinciding with cherry blossom season, no less), and when I remember my time there, my flashbacks strongly tend to be from the summer months. Since Yokohama has the same summer climate as, say, Wisconsin or Washington D.C. (80 degrees Faranheit and 80% humidity), and I was missing San Diego's more reasonable 95 degrees and 5-10%, that's kind of strange. I can probably attribute it to several things. Including this game.

When I finally got Tsukihime to work exactly one year ago (judging by my first save file), I was ecstatic, since acquiring it was one of the three specific things I came to Japan hoping to do (and the only one I succeeded at). I spent the night hours for the next two and a half months in the same way each night, playing/reading Tsukihime (or, later, Kagetsu Tohya; or, after that, downloaded doujinshi). Because during the daylight hours I knew I had responsibilities to take care of, the night was the only time I could truly escape. I can't work while I'm in bed, after all, so it was almost the only time I didn't feel guilty about not working. And it helped that the game was extremely good, so I had something to look forward to and, if all else failed, carry me through each day.

I guess my point I'm laboriously building towards is that I'm ripe for a rereading...but I'm afraid to. So many of my happy memories of Japan, for whatever reason, seem to tie into this game that I'm honestly afraid to play it again. The few various times I've opened it or its sequel up since I've come back to the U.S., I immediately started to remember where and how I read a scene or heard a song last. I start feeling like I'm lying in a sorta stiff dormitory bed on a warm, humid night, feeling even warmer since I have a laptop open and laying on me, while a small amount of light from the lamps outside my third-floor dorm room goes through the blinds on my window and splay out on the wall in front of me.

I'm scared that when I play the game again, I might start to forget all of that...

That said, I'll cop out and let the review speak for itself. I think it's a good game, in other words.

Side note: the game itself is actually out of circulation (it was released in 2000), so it's pretty much only available by torrent...until the remake, anyway. The fan group Mirror Moon has a <url=http://mirrormoon.org/projects/tsukihime>translation patch, if you don't happen to speak Japanese.

____________________

TYPE-MOON reviews:
___________________

<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.128851-TYPE-MOON-reviews-Tsukihime>Tsukihime
--- <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.142352-TYPE-MOON-reviews-Shingetsutan-Tsukihime-anime>Shingetsutan Tsukihime (anime)
--- <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.145022-TYPE-MOON-reviews-Lunar-Legend-Tsukihime-manga>Lunar Legend Tsukihime (manga)
- <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.139628-TYPE-MOON-reviews-Kagetsu-Tohya>Kagetsu Tohya
- <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.230960-TYPE-MOON-Reviews-Melty-Blood>Melty Blood
--- Re-Act/Act Cadenza
--- Actress Again

<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.223721-TYPE-MOON-Review-anniversary-Fate-Stay-Night>Fate/Stay Night
--- Fate/Stay Night (anime)
----- Unlimited Blade Works
--- Fate/Stay Night (manga)
- Fate/Unlimited Codes
- Fate/Zero

<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.304952-TYPE-MOON-Review-Anniversary-Kara-no-Kyoukai>Kara no Kyokai

Speculative: Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, Fate/Extra, Notes, DDD.

___________________________________

Neutral Drow reviews:
___________________________________

<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.130703-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Xchange>Xchange
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.135672-Neutral-Drow-reviews-A-Drug-That-Makes-You-Dream>A Drug That Makes You Dream
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.146260-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Heart-de-Roommate>Heart de Roommate
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.163769-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Kanon>Kanon
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.148564-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Little-My-Maid>Little My Maid
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.206764-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Kana-Little-Sister>Kana: Little Sister
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.252998-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Princess-Waltz>Princess Waltz
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.237875-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Crescendo>Crescendo
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.308335-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Symphonic-Rain>Symphonic Rain
Hourglass of Summer
Tokimeki Check-in
Casual Romance Club
True Love
Clannad
Family Project
Snow Sakura
The Sagara Family
Snow Drop
Brave Soul
Doushin - Same Heart
Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo
Da Capo
Da Capo II
Kira Kira
Yo-Jin-Bo
Sekien no Inganock
Wanko to Kuroso
My Girlfriend is the President
Sharin no Kuni
Cross Channel
Wind: A Breath of Heart
Brass Restoration
Ever17
Remember11
Ori Ochi Onoe
Shuffle
One
G-Senjou no Maou
Gadget Trail
Swan Song
Eien no Aselia
Phantom of Inferno
Kikokugai
River Trap
Autumn
Sengoku Rance
Daibanchou
ef
Neko Kawaigari
Adam: The Double Factor
Edelweiss
AoiShiro


Speculative: Air, Galaxy Angel, Yu-No, Sumaga, Suika, Shimai Donburi, 11eyes, Ashita no Kimi to Au Tami ni

___________________________________

Kinetic reviews:
___________________________________

Narcissu
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Umineko no Naku Koro ni
True Remembrance
Leaves
The Dandelion Girl
Tokoyo no Hoshizora

___________________________________

Off-Topic reviews:
___________________________________

<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.151706-Lightning-Warrior-Raidy-a-Lordlee-and-Neutral-Drow-review>Lightning Warrior Raidy (collab. w/Lordlee)
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.158447-Off-Topic-Reviews-Devil-May-Cry-series>Devil May Cry series
- Devil May Cry 4 addendum
- DMC addendum
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.178061-Off-Topic-Reviews-Soulbringer>Soulbringer
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.194259-Off-Topic-Reviews-Ragnarok>Ragnarok
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.272426-Off-Topic-Reviews-Suguri>Suguri
<url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.385549-Off-Topic-Reviews-Ristar>Ristar
????
????
 

pigeon_of_doom

Vice-Captain Hammer
Feb 9, 2008
1,174
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I've always wanted to play this game, as apparently the storyline is phenomenal. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the damn thing to work at all.

I'm not quite sure how visual novels work, so I can't judge if you've missed anything but this seemed a decent, quite well written review. Not a fan of sub-sectioning in reviews, but this did alright despite them. The 'technical' section seemed a bit poorly defined though, and just seemed a bit like an excuse to chuck in whatever didn't fit into the other sections.

Dammit, now I want to try and play this again.
 

A random person

New member
Apr 20, 2009
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I'll want to play it once I get my PC (borrowing a laptop and an older PC at the moment) back, though I'm more interested in Fate/Stay Night. Also, once I play that, I'll see if we could review it together.
 

PsykoDragon

New member
Aug 19, 2008
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pigeon_of_doom said:
I've always wanted to play this game, as apparently the storyline is phenomenal. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the damn thing to work at all.

I'm not quite sure how visual novels work, so I can't judge if you've missed anything but this seemed a decent, quite well written review. Not a fan of sub-sectioning in reviews, but this did alright despite them. The 'technical' section seemed a bit poorly defined though, and just seemed a bit like an excuse to chuck in whatever didn't fit into the other sections.

Dammit, now I want to try and play this again.
Hmmm, I'm sure there was a guide on how to do it online. Basically it told me to install the game while all of Windows was in Japanese mode (install the language & make it the system language), then you can go ahead & install the fan-made language patch & return to plain old English.

Just look for Tsukihime english install/setup guide.
 

NeutralDrow

New member
Mar 23, 2009
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pigeon_of_doom said:
I've always wanted to play this game, as apparently the storyline is phenomenal. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the damn thing to work at all.
Took me four months to figure it out.

I finally got it by burning the game to a CD and running the Mirror Moon patch. I didn't realize that it actually installs the game for you, provided it can find the CD. And it comes with a readme file with instructions on making the music work...

I'm not quite sure how visual novels work, so I can't judge if you've missed anything but this seemed a decent, quite well written review. Not a fan of sub-sectioning in reviews, but this did alright despite them. The 'technical' section seemed a bit poorly defined though, and just seemed a bit like an excuse to chuck in whatever didn't fit into the other sections.
Thanks!

With more extensive writing, especially a game review, the sub-division makes me feel more organized (even with paragraph separation, I felt like I was writing a text wall without it). I doubt I'll use it when I write about the anime and manga adaptations, and have much less to talk about.

As for the technical...yeah, you hit the nail on the head, pretty much. I wanted to talk about Ciel-sensei (didn't fit right in Gameplay) and the soundtrack (didn't have enough for its own sub-section), and I wanted to establish a baseline for when I eventually rave about how much Fate/Stay Night improved the programming. I took the "lazy, but easy on my own eyes" route and just threw them in the same section...

Dammit, now I want to try and play this again.
My work here is done!

A random person said:
I'll want to play it once I get my PC (borrowing a laptop and an older PC at the moment) back, though I'm more interested in Fate/Stay Night. Also, once I play that, I'll see if we could review it together.
That'd be cool. It would help having another perspective, especially to keep me from reviewing the thing like <url=http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/bum-reviews/369-kung-fu-panda>Chester A. Bum...or doubling up the Bum Review, as the case may be.
 

pigeon_of_doom

Vice-Captain Hammer
Feb 9, 2008
1,174
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Update: managed to get the game working now, turns out all I had to do was install east Asian languages support. Thanks for reigniting my interest in game enough to actually get it working, NeutralDrow.
 

NeutralDrow

New member
Mar 23, 2009
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pigeon_of_doom said:
Update: managed to get the game working now, turns out all I had to do was install east Asian languages support. Thanks for reigniting my interest in game enough to actually get it working, NeutralDrow.
That worked? For some reason, the language support on my computer doesn't extend to programs (beyond Word)...well, good to hear, anyway! Here's hoping you like it.
 

HentMas

The Loneliest Jedi
Apr 17, 2009
2,650
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0
NeutralDrow said:
all of Tsukihime's sex scenes make perfect thematic sense, have an understandable buildup, never lack for emotional appeal, and offer a bit of insight and foreshadowing into the relationship between Shiki and whichever heroine is the story focus at the time.

the writing during the actual scenes is typically pretty terrible. Nasu's got some writing chops, to be sure, but his skill with romanticism has a distressing tendency to not carry over into erotica. In particular, it's his decidedly unerotic turns-of-phrase and love of rather mood-inappropriate metaphor that can drive one to uncomfortable laughter or madness (in the worst cases). On the other hand, in a fit of irony, Nasu's skill returns with certain types of sex scenes. The deliberately disturbing scenes - three of the possible erotic dreams and all two-and-a-half rape scenes (the two of which lead to Shiki's very karmic death) - tend to be incredibly creepy.
well, i´m sorry if i am ignorant of this topic, but it is my understanding that "translated eroge games" are not always faitfull to the original in one bit, i dont know if you know japanese, but the "context" of some of the words written in Japanese whent translated to english lose their meaning, i found a guide that explained "exactly" what they ment with some of the phrases and looking at the context they made soo much more sense than what was translated to, you have to keep in mind that you are looking at a different culture trough the eyes of a third party translator, and in the "sex scenes" there are a lot of convinations of phraces that enhance that diference, thats probably why you found the sex scenes out of "tune" with the previous writing.

well, thats what i have understood from the guide.

i love hentai, perhaps one day i will get this game its sounds rather interesting
 

NeutralDrow

New member
Mar 23, 2009
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HentMas said:
NeutralDrow said:
all of Tsukihime's sex scenes make perfect thematic sense, have an understandable buildup, never lack for emotional appeal, and offer a bit of insight and foreshadowing into the relationship between Shiki and whichever heroine is the story focus at the time.

the writing during the actual scenes is typically pretty terrible. Nasu's got some writing chops, to be sure, but his skill with romanticism has a distressing tendency to not carry over into erotica. In particular, it's his decidedly unerotic turns-of-phrase and love of rather mood-inappropriate metaphor that can drive one to uncomfortable laughter or madness (in the worst cases). On the other hand, in a fit of irony, Nasu's skill returns with certain types of sex scenes. The deliberately disturbing scenes - three of the possible erotic dreams and all two-and-a-half rape scenes (the two of which lead to Shiki's very karmic death) - tend to be incredibly creepy.
Well, I'm sorry if i am ignorant of this topic, but it is my understanding that "translated eroge games" are not always faithful to the original in one bit, i don't know if you know Japanese, but the "context" of some of the words written in Japanese when translated to English lose their meaning, i found a guide that explained "exactly" what they meant with some of the phrases and looking at the context they made so much more sense than what was translated to, you have to keep in mind that you are looking at a different culture trough the eyes of a third party translator, and in the "sex scenes" there are a lot of combinations of phrases that enhance that difference, that's probably why you found the sex scenes out of "tune" with the previous writing.
Hm? That's a possibility, though from what I understand, Nasu's apparently infamous among Japanese-speaking fans, too. Here's a hint: go to any Type-Moon fandom website, and mention "mollusks." (The context: lesbian frottage)

Like I said, though, I personally never actually noticed anything wrong while I was playing, and still don't think they're that bad.

well, thats what i have understood from the guide.

i love hentai, perhaps one day i will get this game its sounds rather interesting
Mission Accomplished! *plays Fire Emblem victory music from SSBM*

Though I must warn you, the ero is only a small part of the game overall...if that was what you're interested in.
 

HentMas

The Loneliest Jedi
Apr 17, 2009
2,650
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NeutralDrow said:
Though I must warn you, the ero is only a small part of the game overall...if that was what you're interested in.
oh, come on, i didn´t earned the title "Hentai Master" by only looking at guro or hardcore hentai, i apreciate any kind of hentai, and from what i have heard in your review this seem like a perfect blend in a grafic novel with fantastic story and erotic content :D
 

Silver Scribbler

New member
Aug 5, 2009
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I am just going to say straight off that I have almost no experience of this genre of game/storytelling. However, your review was incredibly well written and informative, and the captions below many of the images were genuinely amusing. Top notch user review.

As for the game, I am always looking to try new things, so if the game is re-made or re-released, I would urge you to post download and general info regarding this game and genre, it seems like something I could really get in to. (Especially how to get happy endings, I am a complete sucker for a romantic happy ending!)
 

razer17

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Feb 3, 2009
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This review is incredibly well written. Very informative.
I have polayed this game now, and I will back up the fact that it's a great game. I have so far only played one of the routes, Arcuid's true ending, and the story was superb. I'm replaying it now to get the rest of the routes.
 

NeutralDrow

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Mar 23, 2009
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EDIT: Huh. Considering how much I raved over A Drug That Makes You Dream, I suddenly don't feel I communicated in this review how much I love this game. I guess that was the point, since doing so would be kind of flow-breaking, but...eh. Spoiler bars are my friend, I guess. *adds it in*

razer17 said:
This review is incredibly well written. Very informative.
I have polayed this game now, and I will back up the fact that it's a great game. I have so far only played one of the routes, Arcuid's true ending, and the story was superb. I'm replaying it now to get the rest of the routes.
You've barely begun, then! Just wait 'till the Far Side routes...
 

Mekado

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NeutralDrow said:
EDIT: Huh. Considering how much I raved over A Drug That Makes You Dream, I suddenly don't feel I communicated in this review how much I love this game. I guess that was the point, since doing so would be kind of flow-breaking, but...eh. Spoiler bars are my friend, I guess. *adds it in*

razer17 said:
This review is incredibly well written. Very informative.
I have polayed this game now, and I will back up the fact that it's a great game. I have so far only played one of the routes, Arcuid's true ending, and the story was superb. I'm replaying it now to get the rest of the routes.
You've barely begun, then! Just wait 'till the Far Side routes...
Another very nice game :) i like Tsukihime better than a drug that makes you dream though (they were both excellent hgames however) the story was very well done imo :)

P.S. we need more reviews! get to work! :p hahaha
 

NeutralDrow

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Mekado said:
NeutralDrow said:
EDIT: Huh. Considering how much I raved over A Drug That Makes You Dream, I suddenly don't feel I communicated in this review how much I love this game. I guess that was the point, since doing so would be kind of flow-breaking, but...eh. Spoiler bars are my friend, I guess. *adds it in*

razer17 said:
This review is incredibly well written. Very informative.
I have polayed this game now, and I will back up the fact that it's a great game. I have so far only played one of the routes, Arcuid's true ending, and the story was superb. I'm replaying it now to get the rest of the routes.
You've barely begun, then! Just wait 'till the Far Side routes...
Another very nice game :) i like Tsukihime better than a drug that makes you dream though (they were both excellent hgames however) the story was very well done imo :)
Oh, I agree. Tsukihime is still my favorite (Aeka's scenario notwithstanding); I was just lamenting that I allowed myself to gush at the end of that review, but I was so paranoid about this one that I restrained myself a ton.

That's why I edited in that long, rambling explanation at the end. Too late to rave, but enough time to embarrass myself... >_>

P.S. we need more reviews! get to work! :p hahaha
I'm working, I'm working! I'm still only a fifth of the way through Kanon (if that), and then I'll move on to True Love, and then either finish Hourglass of Summer or start Princess Waltz.

Trust me, that list at the end of every review? I will get to all of the list items and most of the speculative ones. Besides, of course, Fate/Hollow Ataraxia...barring some miraculous translation popping up on the internet.
 

Mekado

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NeutralDrow said:
You've barely begun, then! Just wait 'till the Far Side routes...
That's so right, just finished all the Far Side routes and (OMG WTF Kohaku???)it adds a whole new dimension to the story.

Note : This is definitely not a game for the ADHD out there, there is a lot of text ;)
 

NeutralDrow

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Mekado said:
NeutralDrow said:
You've barely begun, then! Just wait 'till the Far Side routes...
That's so right, just finished all the Far Side routes and (OMG WTF Kohaku???)it adds a whole new dimension to the story.
You have no idea how hard it was to hold all of that in while I was writing this. Especially since she's my favorite character...something I realized at the worst possible moment (<color=white>Hisui's True Ending).

Note : This is definitely not a game for the ADHD out there, there is a lot of text ;)
Nasu is pretty darn verbose, to be sure. I grew up with Tolkien, though, so it worked perfectly for me!
 

Gregorius

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I haven't played this game in forever... I need to get back into this.
Also, Fate/Stay Night... damn it, is there anything TYPE-MOON has given us that wasn't amazing?

...oh, wait. "Shingetsusan Tsukihime". I forgot about that for a second...
...it was a good second, too. And now it's lost forever.
 

NeutralDrow

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Gregorius said:
...oh, wait. "Shingetsusan Tsukihime". I forgot about that for a second...
...it was a good second, too. And now it's lost forever.
Well, <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.142352>while that second is gone, anyway...
 

Gregorius

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Gregorius said:
...oh, wait. "Shingetsusan Tsukihime". I forgot about that for a second...
...it was a good second, too. And now it's lost forever.
Well, <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.142352>while that second is gone, anyway...
I love it. This review is actually as accurate as I remember the anime actually being.
Unfortunately, though... I don't remember a hell of a lot about the anime. Recently, the thoughts of watching TYPE-MOON's best work (read: Fate/Stay Night) again have filled my mind seeing as how I just got the full collection as of last week.

One thing I will say, though (that isn't related to the review): Please, please, please, do Fate/Stay Night and Melty Blood reviews as soon as possible... :3
I think that's the only thing that's going to keep me coming to this forum (see user column: 63 posts in 1-1/2 years) in the future.
 

A random person

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Gregorius said:
NeutralDrow said:
Gregorius said:
...oh, wait. "Shingetsusan Tsukihime". I forgot about that for a second...
...it was a good second, too. And now it's lost forever.
Well, <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.142352>while that second is gone, anyway...
I love it. This review is actually as accurate as I remember the anime actually being.
Unfortunately, though... I don't remember a hell of a lot about the anime. Recently, the thoughts of watching TYPE-MOON's best work (read: Fate/Stay Night) again have filled my mind seeing as how I just got the full collection as of last week.

One thing I will say, though (that isn't related to the review): Please, please, please, do Fate/Stay Night and Melty Blood reviews as soon as possible... :3
I think that's the only thing that's going to keep me coming to this forum (see user column: 63 posts in 1-1/2 years) in the future.
Unfortunately the plan for Fate/Stay Night is to review it with me, and I'm coming along rather slowly with it too (hooray for horribly slow reading). Sorry for holding it back.
 

NeutralDrow

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Gregorius said:
NeutralDrow said:
Gregorius said:
...oh, wait. "Shingetsusan Tsukihime". I forgot about that for a second...
...it was a good second, too. And now it's lost forever.
Well, <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.142352>while that second is gone, anyway...
I love it. This review is actually as accurate as I remember the anime actually being.
Unfortunately, though... I don't remember a hell of a lot about the anime. Recently, the thoughts of watching TYPE-MOON's best work (read: Fate/Stay Night) again have filled my mind seeing as how I just got the full collection as of last week.
Full collection? You mean the F/SN anime? I do plan to get to that one, too (it was much better than its Tsukihime counterpart).

One thing I will say, though (that isn't related to the review): Please, please, please, do Fate/Stay Night and Melty Blood reviews as soon as possible... :3
I think that's the only thing that's going to keep me coming to this forum (see user column: 63 posts in 1-1/2 years) in the future.
Fate/Stay Night will be a bit, but I will get to Melty Blood in a couple of reviews. I'm halfway through a Devil May Cry review, which is giving me time to finish and review Kanon. After Kanon, I'm going to be playing True Love, but I'll have a Melty Blood review out before I finish that.

And then I'll probably add an Actress Again corollary to it, once I have enough to import and play a copy of the game!

A random person said:
Unfortunately the plan for Fate/Stay Night is to review it with me, and I'm coming along rather slowly with it too (hooray for horribly slow reading). Sorry for holding it back.
Bah, don't worry about it. Took me three and half days to finish that game...as in, 84 hours. It's like reading Lord of the Rings, really, but through a less portable medium!
 

NeutralDrow

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Speaking of FSN reviews Drow, might I possibly worm my way into it? 3 perspectives should be interesting (I'm betting Random will like Fate the most, just because that'd be hilarious).
 

NeutralDrow

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lordlee said:
Speaking of FSN reviews Drow, might I possibly worm my way into it? 3 perspectives should be interesting (I'm betting Random will like Fate the most, just because that'd be hilarious).
Hmm. I...guess that'd be all right. Only if it's okay with Random, too, though.

Not sure about that one point, though. Wouldn't that require I talk down to Fate (which contradicts my huge fanboyism for Saber) and Unlimited Blade Works? I'm assuming my defense of the route and my somewhat-less-than-hidden lust for the sexy goddess who is Sakura Matou would lead me to do Heaven's Feel. Not sure...

EDIT: ...wait. Sheena?
 

A random person

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NeutralDrow said:
lordlee said:
Speaking of FSN reviews Drow, might I possibly worm my way into it? 3 perspectives should be interesting (I'm betting Random will like Fate the most, just because that'd be hilarious).
Hmm. I...guess that'd be all right. Only if it's okay with Random, too, though.

Not sure about that one point, though. Wouldn't that require I talk down to Fate (which contradicts my huge fanboyism for Saber) and Unlimited Blade Works? I'm assuming my defense of the route and my somewhat-less-than-hidden lust for the sexy goddess who is Sakura Matou would lead me to do Heaven's Feel. Not sure...

EDIT: ...wait. Sheena?
Hey, it's OK if lordee joins in. Just know that it's gonna be a while before I would have played enough to review (again, really slow reader, as in my dad suggested going to a therapist for it. I blame the standardized testing), and I think it should be a three-parter, one part for each arc. Also know that I'm mostly going to be the funny guy (think my Nanoha review), or at least try to be. It just fits my style best.
 

NeutralDrow

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NeutralDrow said:
lordlee said:
Speaking of FSN reviews Drow, might I possibly worm my way into it? 3 perspectives should be interesting (I'm betting Random will like Fate the most, just because that'd be hilarious).
Hmm. I...guess that'd be all right. Only if it's okay with Random, too, though.

Not sure about that one point, though. Wouldn't that require I talk down to Fate (which contradicts my huge fanboyism for Saber) and Unlimited Blade Works? I'm assuming my defense of the route and my somewhat-less-than-hidden lust for the sexy goddess who is Sakura Matou would lead me to do Heaven's Feel. Not sure...

EDIT: ...wait. Sheena?
Oh I suppose we could each do one route, I was thinking we all talk about the routes. We could write over a Skype conference or something on the subject, or just do the rather rough method used in the Raidy review.

And yes, Sheena. Historically I've liked her more, but what with my shift to the cake eating side of the force, Raine is my favorite now.
 

NeutralDrow

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A random person said:
Hey, it's OK if lordee joins in. Just know that it's gonna be a while before I would have played enough to review (again, really slow reader, as in my dad suggested going to a therapist for it. I blame the standardized testing), and I think it should be a three-parter, one part for each arc. Also know that I'm mostly going to be the funny guy (think my Nanoha review), or at least try to be. It just fits my style best.
lordlee said:
Oh I suppose we could each do one route, I was thinking we all talk about the routes. We could write over a Skype conference or something on the subject, or just do the rather rough method used in the Raidy review.
Hmm...personally, I'm more inclined to the "single review" idea. There's probably enough in each route to make an okay review, but how they all tie together is really the most impressive aspect of the story, and that's a lot easier to get across in one stroke. It'll likely be a long review, of course...but it's a long game, too. What else could it be?

But yeah, we'll figure it out when the time comes.

And yes, Sheena. Historically I've liked her more, but what with my shift to the cake eating side of the force, Raine is my favorite now.
Ah. Just caught me off-guard. Didn't realize you played that game, too (...you've probably mentioned it before, in which case it likely just slipped my mind). I'm used to associating that game with Random, Kuchinawa, and Kraken (in a different way).

I'm a Colette devotee, myself, though I'm 3/4 of the way through my second playthrough, with Raine.
 

NeutralDrow

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NeutralDrow said:
And yes, Sheena. Historically I've liked her more, but what with my shift to the cake eating side of the force, Raine is my favorite now.
Ah. Just caught me off-guard. Didn't realize you played that game, too (...you've probably mentioned it before, in which case it likely just slipped my mind). I'm used to associating that game with Random, Kuchinawa, and Kraken (in a different way).

I'm a Colette devotee, myself, though I'm 3/4 of the way through my second playthrough, with Raine.
Well Symphonia is my favorite, but I've yet to play a bad Tales game. Even Dawn of a New World was decent to me.

As for Colette... well it's the Sakura matter again. I don't HATE her, I just think she's vastly outclassed by all the other women.
 

A random person

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NeutralDrow said:
Ah. Just caught me off-guard. Didn't realize you played that game, too (...you've probably mentioned it before, in which case it likely just slipped my mind). I'm used to associating that game with Random, Kuchinawa, and Kraken (in a different way).

I'm a Colette devotee, myself, though I'm 3/4 of the way through my second playthrough, with Raine.
I didn't know you associated me with Tales of Symphonia, I'm not even that far in it (up to the point where the governor's daughter is working for the Desians, and I'm finding it hard since the combat makes me feel stupid). I most likely fit into the pro-Colette camp, though, unlike Kraken.

As for the review, I'll read more of Fate/Stay Night and start throwing ideas around in the Visual Novels group, which is effectively the clubhouse for us three.
 

NeutralDrow

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lordlee said:
NeutralDrow said:
And yes, Sheena. Historically I've liked her more, but what with my shift to the cake eating side of the force, Raine is my favorite now.
Ah. Just caught me off-guard. Didn't realize you played that game, too (...you've probably mentioned it before, in which case it likely just slipped my mind). I'm used to associating that game with Random, Kuchinawa, and Kraken (in a different way).

I'm a Colette devotee, myself, though I'm 3/4 of the way through my second playthrough, with Raine.
Well Symphonia is my favorite, but I've yet to play a bad Tales game. Even Dawn of a New World was decent to me.
Actually, I loved DotNW. I'm probably in the minority on that one, though...s'probably why I threw that into my "speculative" list on the reviews.

As for Colette... well it's the Sakura matter again. I don't HATE her, I just think she's vastly outclassed by all the other women.
I can get that. I sometimes get defensive about her (one of a very, very few characters I do), because she seems to have an anti-fanbase. Confused me immensely, since I was drawn to her immediately. Fun fact:

"During the first third of the game, the cutscenes after every boss battle, when it becomes increasingly obvious just how much Colette is suffering for her quest, all start to add up, culminating in her <color=white>losing her soul. This troper nearly cried...and only didn't because the next boss, <color=white>Remiel, made some highly disparaging comments about her, and humanity in general. As such, the emotional response <url=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnstoppableRage>shifted abruptly."
- <url=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TearJerker/TalesSeries>Video Game Tear Jerkers, Tales Series

Oftentimes, I'll curse at a game screen out of frustration. Very, very few times have I done so out of genuine anger. That was one of those times.

A random person said:
I didn't know you associated me with Tales of Symphonia, I'm not even that far in it (up to the point where the governor's daughter is working for the Desians, and I'm finding it hard since the combat makes me feel stupid). I most likely fit into the pro-Colette camp, though, unlike Kraken.
I associate you because of that whole "pledge of support" thing, Kraken for our amicable disagreement (it's not Colette specifically he dislikes, it's the story and characters in general), and Kuchinawa for...obvious reasons.

As for the review, I'll read more of Fate/Stay Night and start throwing ideas around in the Visual Novels group, which is effectively the clubhouse for us three.
Works for me.
 

Omega NZ

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Another good review, will have to look into this one as well. At first I was a little put off by eroges because I figured it would be mainly about the hentai, but seeing as though your review for A Drug that makes you dream was so positive, I decided to give it a shot. I am thoroughly enjoying it and have since started looking into other ones. Was wondering if anyone has played either Kizuato or Shizuku? They look quite good...

Anyways just wanted to say thanks for introducing me to the genre.
 

Mekado

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Omega NZ said:
Another good review, will have to look into this one as well. At first I was a little put off by eroges because I figured it would be mainly about the hentai, but seeing as though your review for A Drug that makes you dream was so positive, I decided to give it a shot. I am thoroughly enjoying it and have since started looking into other ones. Was wondering if anyone has played either Kizuato or Shizuku? They look quite good...

Anyways just wanted to say thanks for introducing me to the genre.
Awesome! more blood for the blood god! :p hehehe

My personnal recommendation for a good one would probably be fate/stay night if you're more into visual novels, and maybe Castle fantasia 2 if you like "final fantasy tactics" style combat games
 

NeutralDrow

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Omega NZ said:
Another good review, will have to look into this one as well. At first I was a little put off by eroges because I figured it would be mainly about the hentai, but seeing as though your review for A Drug that makes you dream was so positive, I decided to give it a shot. I am thoroughly enjoying it and have since started looking into other ones. Was wondering if anyone has played either Kizuato or Shizuku? They look quite good...

Anyways just wanted to say thanks for introducing me to the genre.
Yay! Always good to hear that someone enjoyed something I recommended, especially as proof that I didn't accidentally con them out of their time or money. And good to hear that it piqued your interest, too. Like I said, this game in particular was what got me started! Though ironically, it was actually Tsukihime's fighting game spinoff, Melty Blood, that brought it to my attention in the first place...I'll be getting to that game before long.

As for those two titles, I'd never heard of them before you brought them up (though they're apparently connected to To Heart, which I have heard of). <url=http://vndb.org/v184>Their <url=http://vndb.org/v235>descriptions do sound kind of interesting. Doesn't look like either have English translations, though, and my Japanese isn't nearly good enough to manage one of these games...
 

Omega NZ

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NeutralDrow said:
Yay! Always good to hear that someone enjoyed something I recommended, especially as proof that I didn't accidentally con them out of their time or money. And good to hear that it piqued your interest, too. Like I said, this game in particular was what got me started! Though ironically, it was actually Tsukihime's fighting game spinoff, Melty Blood, that brought it to my attention in the first place...I'll be getting to that game before long.

As for those two titles, I'd never heard of them before you brought them up (though they're apparently connected to To Heart, which I have heard of). <url=http://vndb.org/v184>Their <url=http://vndb.org/v235>descriptions do sound kind of interesting. Doesn't look like either have English translations, though, and my Japanese isn't nearly good enough to manage one of these games...
Yeah I just saw them on the wikipedia page and I thought they looked interesting...but no english translations huh? That's unfortunate, seeing as though I know about two words from the japanese language. Ah well, still have to finish a "Drug that Makes You Dream" anyhow lol
 

Durxom

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NeutralDrow said:
-mega snip-
I just finished installing Melty Blood last night, and I'm loving it =D (has only done some training and versus so far), but would it be recommened to try this game out first before trying to understand Melty Blood's (heard that it also a decent story too)? Since you are the apparent TYPE-MOON master here o-o I thought I would ask your opinion about it...

...-wishes the ReAct patch would work for him- T_T
 

NeutralDrow

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Durxom said:
NeutralDrow said:
-mega snip-
I just finished installing Melty Blood last night, and I'm loving it =D (has only done some training and versus so far), but would it be recommened to try this game out first before trying to understand Melty Blood's (heard that it also a decent story too)? Since you are the apparent TYPE-MOON master here o-o I thought I would ask your opinion about it...

...-wishes the ReAct patch would work for him- T_T
Technically, no, you don't have to play this game first. Melty Blood (of which I'd have a review out already, were it not for the twin conditions of writer's block and World of Warcraft) has its own independent story, that supposedly follows events of a route not in the original Tsukihime. It's probably safe to assume that the only identical event is probably Nrvnqsr's death; Melty Blood already tells you more-or-less who Shiki, Arcueid, Ciel, and Akiha are, and doesn't go into Hisui or Kohaku.

In fact, probably the only things spoiled by Melty Blood are Ciel being a Catholic vampire hunter, Akiha being a <color=white>demon hybrid, and one giant thing about Satsuki.

...matter of fact, if you can't guess what that thing is, I recommend playing Tsukihime before moving on to Re-Act (should you get it to work). She's playable in that one, and it's impossible to miss what's strange about her.

This is all in addition to my recommendation for this game anyway, of course!