applemons's list


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Vote dateVoteTitle
2021-04-177.4Sekien no Inganock -What a Beautiful People-It's bloated by a lot of subplots and fight scenes which all play out the same way, but there's a good core mystery to be had, with a unique setting and characters that are (most of the time) engaging.
2021-03-127Koshotengai 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.
2021-03-036Those Without NamesShort and quaint; it's not exactly thought-provoking or anything that'll leave a lasting impression, but it's a nice palette cleanser to read in-between longer VNs.
2021-02-287Cross†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.
2021-02-276Remember11 -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.
2021-02-185.5Planetarian ~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.
2021-02-117.6NarcissuShort 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.
2021-02-118.5Narcissu 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.
2021-01-173ClannadIf 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.
2021-01-087.7ForestA 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).
2020-12-015.5Read 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.
2020-11-276Stay! Stay! Democratic People's Republic of Korea!It's exactly what you'd expect it to be - for better and worse.
2020-11-276.5√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.
2020-11-276Don'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.
2020-11-276Aviary AttorneyA neat little game with an endearing aesthetic; unfortunately, some of the routes are pretty boring and it's never particularly difficult.
2020-11-276.3Flower, 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.
2020-11-277.1Silver Jiken 25 KuIt's fun to look at and fun to be in the moment due to inheriting the style of the work before it, even if it can't live up to said work. Sometimes deliberately being obtuse works in a game's favour, but in this case, you'll need a walkthrough for EVERYTHING.
2020-11-279Silver 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.
2020-11-278Kyokugen 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?!
2020-11-277.3Kyokugen 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.
2020-11-277Layton 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.
2020-11-276Muv-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.
2020-11-276.5Doki 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.
2020-11-277.5Hatoful 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.
2020-11-275.5Hatoful Kareshi HolidayStarA good brain-off read, but unless you got VERY into the original, there are better stories to spend your time on.
2020-11-276.6Chaos;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.
2020-11-276.7Cartagra ~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.
2020-11-276Gyakuten 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.
2020-11-272Gyakuten Saiban 5Is there any bigger sign that the writers were creatively bankrupt than them choosing to bring back the series's original protagonist?
2020-11-277.3Gyakuten Saiban 4Possibly the peak of the franchise - a shift in protagonist works wonders for building upon past themes and conventions.
2020-11-279.5World End EconomicaA few hiccups each episode betray what is otherwise an excellent and unique "economic thriller" - taking into account a whole range of factors other money-centric works usually leave out.
2020-11-277.1I/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.
2020-11-276Gyakuten Saiban 2The game that put forth a franchise's formula. It nails its final case, but other than that is fairly unremarkable.
2020-11-276Dai 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.
2020-11-277.1Dai 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.
2020-11-278.1Katawa 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.
2020-11-276.6Dangan 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.
2020-11-274AI: 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.
2020-11-278.3Root 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.
2020-11-276.5VA-11 HALL-AA very comfy read, and that's about all that can be said. As long as you don't hype yourself up too much, it won't leave you particularly wanting.
2020-11-278.8Kimi 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.
2020-11-278.7Kara 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.
2020-11-276New 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.
2020-11-275Grisaia 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.
2020-11-276.5Grisaia 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.
2020-11-277Gyakuten 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.
2020-11-277.4Kono 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.
2020-11-278.5Super Dangan Ronpa 2 Sayonara Zetsubou GakuenPerfect sequel material - does just about everything better than its predecessor while having some of the most memorable murders in terms of their solutions and their resolutions.
2020-11-277Gyakuten 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.
2020-11-275.5Kara 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.