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Friday, May 20, 2016

Harvest OverRay(ハーヴェストオーバーレイ)

My first galge '&' wasn't exactly one of the best games I've ever played, to put it mildly. Of course, what better way to utilize the valuable experience of trudging through one of the biggest waste of time ever by following it up immediately with another game in the exact same genre: Harvest OverRay.

Fool me once... shame on... shame on... fuck it, here we go again

In my defense, I bought it during a PSN sale and well, what can I say, I'm a sucker for "sales". On the positive side, while '&' took a painful year and 7 months to stomach, I found reading this one seemed to go much faster and was actually kinda interesting for the most part. It still took a bit longer than the 2 hours and 6 minutes that seems to be shortest amount of time it takes for losers to hold R1 for 2 hours to fast forward to a platinum trophy.

Loser hall of fame, yeah I'm talking about you paul... or ed linex?
I'm cautiously optimistic that "OverRay" with an "R" is a play on words instead of an embarrassing "lip my stockings" typo though misspelling "plot" in the end credits doesn't give me much confidence that it was intentional.

PREASE spell check
However, the correctly spelled "overlay" might be referring to the heavy use of AR (augmented reality) in the game's setting. In the not so far away future, technology has matured to the point where a contact lens device allows you to seamlessly see the "overlay" of a digital display on the real world (AR).

It's not exactly a revolutionary view of the future as say serial experiments lain, which came out during a time when we were cursing out Win98 BSODs and still using modems. After all, the big companies are already working on AR with Google Glass, MS Hololens, etc. Still, it's interesting to imagine what the world would be like if VR and AR are fully matured and seamless.

Is that a Sony Personal 3D viewer I see on the left? SO FUTURISTIC!
Whatever, who care about all that shit? It's IMOUTO TAIMUUUU!!! Remember I mentioned a game about chasing your little sister would be very different nowadays? Well, here, we finally have a game that takes all the innuendos of shows such as oreimo, oniai, and imocho and brings things to their natural conclusion. Unfortunately, given that this is the censored consumer port, you don't actually see anything and the game does throw in a cheap, "oh they're not related by blood" loophole. Even though the story does NOTHING to explain why they're not related.

Oniichan has a special dessert for you after dinner. Hehehe... what? It's ice cream!
As for the rest of the characters, Komachi was my favorite due to her voice being the least annoying and has absolutely NOTHING to do with her lolicon character design. Speaking of character design, the boob geometry was a bit umm... I dunno, maybe there's an artificial gravity bra in the year 2045? Yeah...

Tamaki, who has the most annoying voice, is the route for the true ending after you go through the other 3 girls and have censored implied consumer port sex. Lilia's route was pretty good but Sumi's was just totally unrealistic, oniichan-obsessed imouto incest stuff. Overall, I didn't really like how all four girls like you right out the gate with pretty much no effort. Yeah sure, who wouldn't like to be surrounded by 4 girls that are into you for no reason but unfortunately, it's too unrealistic for nerds like umm... not me! Ahaha, what you talking about? Girls CONSTANTLY be all up in my business.

Yet another galge OP... I guess this game was aight.

Score: 2.5 Incest? Loli? Weirdly shaped boobs? SURE, WHY NOT? out of 5

Overall, I enjoyed this game way more than '&'. Unlike '&', it didn't have a bunch of crazy, random choices that had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome and it was extremely easy to go through without a guide. All you had to do was just choose the girl you wanted in like 4 dialogue choices. The story was interesting mostly because I like the technological aspect. It has nothing to do with the fact that the main character is a 24x7 gamer as I can't imagine being so uncool.

Games, games, games (ゲーム、ゲーム、ゲーム) Not me, I'm talking about the main character, silly!
The Vita port was done poorly with a number of audio issues, including one glaring bug for every line that combined voices. It played only one track unless you replayed it in the history. The audio quality was pretty bad overall so minus 0.5 for the subpar port quality.

Yes, that is literally a TODO left in the game.

Some bonus screenshots for umm... archival purposes. You may want to skip to avoid spoilers.

Well, it IS Cero C after all. What were you expecting??

Cero C sure but English is totally not studied in Japan (at least not well apparently). Whoneedsspacesafterall?

Apparently that sweater comes with boob pockets...

There's even a free theme on PSN! Hey, don't judge my Vita library!


0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Friday, May 6, 2016


TRUE REMEMBRANCE (yes, all caps once again) is a sound novel for the PC that is pretty good for being totally free. Feel free to download away to your heart's content from the author's website, no shady torrent site needed (you know who you are).

Personally, since I'm made of money, I decided to plunk down some serious change (500 yen) to get the 3DS version on the eShop for the convenience of a handheld. It features new art and some extra scenarios with chibi characters and whatnot.

The non-free 3DS art style. Yeah, I'm RICH BITCH!!
While the art is new, there is no voice acting nor any branching paths. So it's actually like reading what us old dinosaurs refer to as "books". I'm sure there's a kid's react video online somewhere if you're unfamiliar with the concept.

Anyhoos, the main character in this game is Kurome, who works in a town setup by the government to treat some new form of depression. The treatment for the disease is to seal the bad memories away, a process which is not really described in depth. Not that it really matters. This is a simple story about the two main characters and how we deal with life shit (or more often, how we don't deal with it). It's definitely going for that melancholy vibe.

I played this game several years ago and as my first visual novel, I thought it was pretty darn long. Of course, now that I've slogged through hours and hours of some monster-size games (*cough* higurashi *cough*), it does seem to be a fairly short story. It took me less than 10 hours to finish.

Given the premise of erasing your memories to deal with life's hurdles, you can probably guess at some of the themes and plot points that are presented, much like how you can expect certain things from a time traveling or robots (ugh Asimov law AGAIN?) story. There's nothing mind blowing here, just a melancholy story that is done fairly decently. I personally did not shed a tear but maybe you will.

Music was not bad, very sound novelesque?

Score: 2.5 man I totally forgot what this game was about, maybe somebody sealed my memory of it? out of 5 (9 hours to beat)

For the entry price, I thought this game had a pretty good story and presentation. It has atmosphere and might be a good entry point if you want some reading material for your Japanese studies. That or the Jhipster wannabes can go check out the fan translated English version. Ultimately however, putting aside the price, the game itself is ironically forgettable. Definitely worth checking (cause FREE!!!) but I wouldn't exactly call it a masterpiece.

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely