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4FinishedAI: The Somnium FilesThe gameplay is an amusing novelty, but the story is bogged down in tropey anime bullshit that lacks any strong moments to make you forgive its lowest points.2020-11-27
6FinishedAviary AttorneyA neat little game with an endearing aesthetic; unfortunately, some of the routes are pretty boring and it's never particularly difficult.2020-11-27
6.7FinishedCartagra ~Tsuki Kurui no Yamai~I was tempted to give this a higher rating based on how well it sets up its sequel, but that's just unfair. A thoroughly middle-of-the-road read that at the very least manages to stay entertaining (whether entertainingly good or bad) throughout.2020-11-27
7.1FinishedChaos;ChildOne of those sequels you never knew you wanted until you got it. A little all over the place from ending to ending, but the common route at the very least doesn't disappoint.2020-11-27
6.6FinishedChaos;HeadA thoroughly wild high-energy ride - great in the moment, but even some of the major twists I don't remember nowadays. At the very least, the serial killings are gruesome enough that they're hard to forget.2020-11-27
3FinishedClannadIf ANYONE thinks of making a single VN this long, they better have some serious twists along the way to back it up. I suffered around 50 hours of drunken staggering between mediocre fantasies and meaningless messages only to have learned two real lessons that stuck with me: Tomoyo is attractive, and some writers have the audacity to stick a meaningless 5-minute deus ex machina at the end of a painfully long read to resolve their drawn-out mediocre plots.2021-01-17
7FinishedCross†ChannelA VN that annoyingly marches to the beat of its own drum - filled with questionable moments which barely flow into each other. However, if you can match it in the right places, there's some powerful events and a satisfying conclusion to be had here.2021-02-28
6FinishedDai Gyakuten Saiban 2 -Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Kakugo-Has some great peaks, but it does come with its fair share of valleys (mostly near the end). It can't quite live up to that which came before it, but at least that much is only due to inconsistency.2020-11-27
7.1FinishedDai Gyakuten Saiban -Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken-Much like Apollo Justice before it, a protagonist switch is used to great thematic effect here. Uniquely, a historical/political focus makes it an entry into the series that differs from all its peers.2020-11-27
6.6FinishedDangan Ronpa Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no KoukouseiMuch like the Gyakuten Saiban/Ace Attorney franchise it's often compared to, the first in the series is just good, not special. Worth reading for the second game, at the very least.2020-11-27
6.5FinishedDoki Doki Literature Club!An easy recommendation as a quick read for anybody who's into the medium, so long as they haven't heard the slightest thing about it. Unfortunately, it seems like that demographic is nearly extinct at this point - it was practically made to have people overhype it.2020-11-27
6FinishedDon't Take it Personally, Babe, it Just ain't Your StoryMemories are vague on this one, but the concept is used well enough to support itself for the short length it is.2020-11-27
7FinishedEver17 -The Out of Infinity-It's very good, it's very bad, but above all, it's a truly one-of-a-kind read in the strongest terms possible. Its spirit is so divorced from reality that it might be a must-read on sheer uniqueness alone.2020-11-27
3FinishedFate/Stay NightShounen at its most egregious. You'll be rooting for the villains the vast majority of the time because they're at least kind of cool and they fight using their brains as opposed to their hormones.2020-11-27
6.3FinishedFlower, Sun, and RainIf this was a game you only had to watch and not play, I'd be tempted to rate it higher. An endearingly surreal story is simultaneously supported and hampered by its deliberately obtuse gameplay.2020-11-27
7.7FinishedForestA work that delights in the present with its amusing prose and stream-of-consciousness writing. Feels like a playful dream (minus the *really* uncomfortable scenes), but much like one, you'll hate waking up (the ending's not great).2021-01-08
8.1FinishedGrisaia no Kajitsu -Le Fruit de la Grisaia-An inconsistent but easily appreciated love letter to the harem genre - combining one-of-a-kind deconstruction with an eccentric cast of main characters whose dialogue is consistently amusing and unique.2020-11-27
6.5FinishedGrisaia no Meikyuu -Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia-The writers behind this series have a knack for living up to their own hype - the common route feels like a worthy backstory for a great protagonist. Unfortunately, the side content and "after stories" range from mediocre to garbage.2020-11-27
5FinishedGrisaia no Rakuen -Le Eden de la Grisaia-The story this time has become so far distanced from what the original wanted to do that it's difficult to like it on any thematic level. At least the overall ending to the trilogy does well for itself (missing as it may be in the censored version), and the general character interactions occasionally distract you from the mediocrity.2020-11-27
9FinishedG-senjou no MaouDespite a questionable twist and final arc, it's a consistently engaging story from start to finish, which can't be said about many VNs. Quality mystery-thriller with hands-down the best character introductions I've seen in fiction.2020-11-27
6FinishedGyakuten KenjiHas a lot of fresh ideas to break up how formulaic the main series can feel. Unfortunately, other than those, it's just average. Has an absolute GOLIATH of a last case.2020-11-27
7FinishedGyakuten Kenji 2A cast of unique characters and a great final mystery makes it among the best in its series. However, it can be easy to fall asleep near the middle.2020-11-27
7FinishedGyakuten SaibanThe grandfather of an enduring pillar of the "detective game" genre. It doesn't really do much wrong, though it's far from the peak of the series.2020-11-27
6FinishedGyakuten Saiban 2The game that put forth a franchise's formula. It nails its final case, but other than that is fairly unremarkable.2020-11-27
7.3FinishedGyakuten Saiban 3I feel like if this game didn't reach at least this standard of quality, people wouldn't refer to the first three games as a "trilogy". Solid cases all round, and a highly memorable ending - though it's more melodrama than courtroom drama.2020-11-27
7.3FinishedGyakuten Saiban 4Possibly the peak of the franchise - a shift in protagonist works wonders for building upon past themes and conventions.2020-11-27
2FinishedGyakuten Saiban 5Is there any bigger sign that the writers were creatively bankrupt than them choosing to bring back the series's original protagonist?2020-11-27
5.5FinishedHatoful Kareshi HolidayStarA good brain-off read, but unless you got VERY into the original, there are better stories to spend your time on.2020-11-27
7.5FinishedHatoful Kareshi ~Kibou no Gakuen to Shiroi Tsubasa~A work that lives in the present and doesn't overly rely on its premise. Excellent writing (no matter the mood it's going for) is only let down by the fact that the details will probably fall out of your head a few weeks after you're done with it.2020-11-27
7.1FinishedI/OOne of those works that needs to learn when to keep quiet. A stellar first half with themes that only feel more relevant as time goes on falls victim to a mostly confusing and pointless latter half. Without the "prime routes", this would be an easy 8 or 9 rating.2020-11-27
8.7FinishedKara no ShoujoNigh-impossible to beat without a walkthrough, but it's definitely worth looking one up. The best example of an iterative successor work I can think of - the story which came before it is the exact kind of story it critiques.2020-11-27
5.5FinishedKara no Shoujo - The Second EpisodeIt's better on a moment-to-moment basis than its predecessor (and doesn't require a walkthrough), but at what cost? You'll find far less to be said about this one, but it isn't necessarily terrible.2020-11-27
8.1FinishedKatawa ShoujoSome heroines get a worse deal than others, but nearly every corner of this labor of love is dripping with precise authorial intent. Genre-defining deconstructions will likely have you looking at many archetypal heroines in other stories differently.2020-11-27
8.8FinishedKimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi.Feels like a "complete" work which was made by people who know the tropes they discuss in-depth. Becomes incredibly captivating in its highly notable final act, but will fall flat on people unfamiliar with harem-related tropes and mentalities.2020-11-27
7.4FinishedKono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NOA work with so much to get lost in - from the audiovisual aesthetic, to the sprawling plot, to the complicated timeline. Egregiously dependent on walkthroughs, and packed to the brim with meaningless sex scenes, but is definitely worth the suffering.2020-11-27
7FinishedKoshotengai no HashihimeA (sorta) mystery story with numerous plot twists both good and bad. Varying quality, sex scenes which can often detract from the plot, and occasional length issues that swing in both directions hamper what is otherwise a story with great payoffs.2021-03-12
7.3FinishedKyokugen Dasshutsu 9-Jikan 9-Nin 9 no TobiraMy memories of this game get hazier as time goes on, but the memories of the major twists have stuck tight even after many years. A tight and generally fun plot is paired with quality puzzles.2020-11-27
8FinishedKyokugen Dasshutsu ADV - Zennin Shibou DesuA delightful pseudoscience-laced mystery romp with a (mostly) solid cast. Doesn't offer much in the way of themes or deeper morals, but has enough going for it that you won't care. WHY COULDN'T IT HAVE GOTTEN A BETTER FOLLOW-UP?!2020-11-27
7FinishedLayton Brothers: Mystery RoomA short but quality experience which gets tied down a little too much by being branded as a Layton spinoff. Excellent, consistent, and self-contained, if not particularly outstanding in any way.2020-11-27
6.5Finished√LetterThe game here is just like its mystery - low-stakes. While piecing together the identities of an old circle of friends won't be as high-octane as a murder investigation, it's an occasionally intense but mostly tranquil low-risk read.2020-11-27
6FinishedMuv-LuvA work that is nice to think about but less nice to actually play through. Definitely too long, but achieves what it sets out to do.2020-11-27
4.5FinishedMuv-Luv AlternativeVery excellent moments blend with very awful moments here. I'd say it averages out into a so-so rating overall, but it still makes you wish they would just cut out a lot of the time-wasting garbage in this behemoth of a read.2020-11-27
7.6FinishedNarcissuShort and well-paced, though it's somewhat lacking in terms of moment-to-moment enjoyment. Many put the focus on the emotional side of things, but the themes and construction of the work deserve the most praise here.2021-02-11
8.5FinishedNarcissu Side 2ndA well-paced work with a great underlying mood that toes the line between sombre and mellow. Confusingly, you'll want to play this one before the original.2021-02-11
6FinishedNew Dangan Ronpa V3 Minna no Koroshiai ShingakkiI imagined a lot of awful directions they might take the series in. This one wasn't as bad as my imagination - the mysteries were fun to piece together, though it overall feels incredibly lacking. Ending-wise, it starts on a great note but does NOT nail the landing.2020-11-27
5.5FinishedPlanetarian ~Chiisana Hoshi no Yume~Short and somewhat predictable, but really isn't too bad from moment to moment. Relies very heavily on emotion that I couldn't muster up.2021-02-18
5.5FinishedRead Only MemoriesThere's some excellent recurring gags, plenty of nice details, and a great aesthetic here, but most things related to the overall plot and main story are pretty poor. And like with many stories that get updated versions, the extra content bloats rather than improves it.2020-12-01
6FinishedRemember11 -The Age of Infinity-I find this story way more amusing than it should be. It's not very coherent, it's confusing for no good reason, and it's a good deal different to the cult classic that came before it. But it is definitely pretty funny to think about.2020-11-27
8.3FinishedRoot Double -Before Crime * After Days-When VNs get deep into pseudoscience or fantasy, they can often feel disconnected from anything tangible. Not this one - its roots are in character conflicts, and it will never let you down on that front. Its choice-making system is unique, but necessitates a walkthrough.2020-11-27
9FinishedSilver JikenA work with a presentation and tone so jarringly different from its peers that I'd still love it even if the plot was mediocre (which it definitely isn't). Delivered in two sections - each with their own individual merits, but a walkthrough may be necessary at points.2020-11-27