Dreamy Days in West Tokyo: Ryuzo Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The seventeen-year-old main character moves back to the town and friends she left ten years ago.

Positives

  • Ryuzo and his family are peculiar and funny.  He’s dense, short-tempered, hard-working, and protective; his father acts more like a competitive brother, and his sisters are adorable.
  • The MC’s memories with the guys are told through flash-back sections, not long sections of dialog where character A recounts what she did with character B in excruciating detail.
  • Takeshi’s deadpan dialog always entertains.

Negatives

  • The MC makes some fairly stupid decisions.
  • The plot moves in fits and starts.  I’ve certainly read worse, but this one does not flow well.
  • It doesn’t feel like a believable romance or friendship to me.  At the end it felt like they were together because everyone told Ryu he should be with the MC, not because he liked her in particular.

Quotes

  • Ryu: “If you keep staring at me, I swear I’m going to bite you.  Starting with the head…”
  • Tak: “Did you want to give this (lunch) to Ryu?”
  • Ryu: “Well then, you should’ve given it to me and not Tak.”
  • Tak: “Do you want me to throw up what I just ate?”
  • MC: “No, we can do without that, thank you!”
  • Ryu: “Shut up. I’m giving you a compliment.”
  • Tak: “Don’t worry.  If he keeps on refusing your lunches, I will eat them every day.  So, just keep making them every day until Ryu does start accepting them.”
  • Johji: “Well, even if I tease Ryu, it’s not much fun on account of him being so dense.”
  • Ryu: “If you don’t like what I’m going to do…punch me.”
  • Me: What a romantic.

Overall: Mostly this route makes me want a route focused on Ryu’s family.  As a relationship story, it just doesn’t gel for me.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.

In Your Arms Tonight Ritsu Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Ritsu: “You are such a weirdo.”

MC: “You’re weirder.”

In Your Arms Tonight‘s Ritsu main route has a very different structure and feel than the other routes. It’s not cutesy or passionate or titillating. It barely contains any romance, yet it’s now tied with Soji’s main route as my favorite.  Ritsu and Koichi have been friends much longer than either of them have known the main character which changes the dynamic.

Positives

  • The writing gives the reader credit. Some routes I’ve read bashed me over the head with grand gestures and constant reminders about how the MC feels or how cute the hero is. This route trusts the reader to draw inferences from quiet, believable conversations and small actions.

  • Ritsu’s detached observation and bluntness strike many as odd (both in setting and out), but I have known/know a few people exactly like this. The author captures this personality almost perfectly. Also, ignore the character description screen. It describes him as “sercastic” which, besides being misspelled, is incorrect. He never once utters a sarcastic remark.

  • Ritsu and the main character may be in a weird situation, but they are honorable adults. They don’t become overly familiar or needle each other to get a reaction. They give Koichi every opportunity to get his act together .

  • Ritsu and the MC become genuine friends, interested in each other’s work and personal lives without being pushy or doing it for personal gain.

  • Ritsu’s family history is executed so well. It informs his personality and actions, but it’s not a large focus of the story. He doesn’t over-react when he addresses it, and the MC never feels the need to “fix” him.

  • The MC isn’t as decisive here as she in Soji’s route (where she’s dumped Koichi at the very beginning), but she isn’t as wishy-washy as some of the others. She works hard at her first independent professional assignment and takes care of others without becoming a doormat.

  • The MC moves into her own apartment at the story’s end. I like seeing that independence.

Negatives

  • I still don’t understand why Koichi asked Ritsu for a particular favor.

Overall: I adore this route. Recommended to those who want a unique, quiet story.

Voltage’s In Your Arms Tonight is available on iOS and Android.

Speakeasy Tonight Vince POV Impressions and Review

This review assumes you have already played Vince’s main route (review found here) and makes no attempt to keep the plot unspoiled.

Positives

  • Vince’s voice fits perfectly with the main route. His personality and know-how dealing with the MC is just plain fun.

  • In the original route, a couple of the chapters felt padded by the MC’s relationship waffling. Here the shorter length and Vince’s perspective make it more snappy.

  • The MC’s arrival outfit is suitably appalling.

  • Editing is spot-on.

Negatives

  • The MC’s surprised face still looks like a fish.

  • Voltage Entertainment USA doesn’t illustrate guns well. The Tommy Guns throw pistol shadows. Worse still, Vince holds the Colt at the bottom of the grip. Between two fingers. Angled towards his best friend. *headdesk*

  • Admittedly a YMMV aspect, but it seemed like every physical encounter from the main route was detailed again. About the third time, I was wishing for more time spent interacting with secondary characters instead.

Wait-a-Minute Moments

  • In other routes, the MC is the middle of three sisters. In this one, she’s the eldest of two.  She is now the middle of three once again.

  • What’s the book on Vince’s nightstand? I dearly hope it’s something like Don Quixote or Principles of Philosophy.

Favorite Quotes

  • Vince: “C’mon, doll…it’s dinner! Ain’t like I’m expecting more than I already got.”

  • Vince: “What says ‘I love ya’ more than a nickel-plated revolver and a box of shells?”

  • Me: Word.

  • Vince: It was a stall an’ he knew it. I knew he knew an’ he knew I knew he knew. We was a very knowledgeable pair.

Overall: Recommended.  It’s funny and sweet without being saccharine.

Voltage Entertainment USA’s Speakeasy Tonight is available on iOS.

In Your Arms Tonight Koichi Sequel Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The main character and her husband face work and relationship challenges one year after his affair.

Positives

  • The plot and characters felt grounded.  Without giving away the main plot: the few “yeah, right” moments that I didn’t buy the MC also didn’t buy and was later vindicated.
  • I understood and empathised with both sides in the main relationship conflict – very rare in a sequel.
  • The writer portrays Koichi’s mother much more sympathetically in this route than in many of the others.  Her part may be small, but she’s more a person than a shrewish plot convenience.
  • The MC’s entire conversation at Koichi’s work function is fantastic.

Negatives

  • The first nine chapters of the route are so quiet and straightforward that the best ending gave me cavities.  The normal one, while still sweet, better fit the tone of the previous chapters.

Overall: Recommended.  Both the characters evolve believably, and I hope there will be future installments.

Voltage’s In Your Arms Tonight is available on iOS and Android.

Technical Difficulties

Well, Hatoful Boyfriend and Shadowrun Returns reviews will have to wait.  After more than four years of constant use, my computer groaned its last.  With my options thus limited, I decided to try Speakeasy Tonight‘s Vince POV for a review.  I downloaded it…and now receive an error message before I even reach the main menu.  Raa-raa.

I’ll publish new reviews when I have access to my friend’s laptop.  Given my spectacular tech track record today, this may require serious bribery…

So Excited!

Bioware According to Mom is not dead!  For the uninitiated, the blog records the gaming commentary of a retired dental hygienist to her daughter.  If you’ve played any of the recent Bioware titles, it’s hysterical.  Seriously.  Go read and spend the next three hours in fits of giggles.

I think I’m looking forward to her commentary on Dragon Age: Inquisition as much as the actual game.

In Your Arms Tonight Koichi POV Impressions and Review

This review assumes you have already played Koichi’s main route and will make no attempt to keep the plot unspoiled.

Basic Premise: You see Koichi’s thought processes as he tries to puzzle out his wife’s motivations and refusal to abandon him.

Pros

  • Koichi is not softened; he’s still a gruff, closed-off adulterer. At the same time, he does not come across as a mustache-twirling villain. He hurts the main character in many ways, yet he’s never malicious.
  • I love the main character’s quiet commitment and stubbornness in holding to her belief of what a relationship and marriage can and should be – both for her sake and Koichi’s.
  • The latter part of the story shows Koichi and the MC as two equals supporting each other with both professional concerns and extended family concerns. It’s frank, a little awkward, sweet, and fit the tone of the previous chapters.

Cons

  • I still don’t understand how Koichi and Ai first got together. Koichi focuses so much on professional advancement. Why would he risk sleeping with his boss’s wife whom he met a year into her marriage if he doesn’t have some kind of feelings for her? If he wants just sex, there are less risky ways to get it.

Overall: I really like this route. I haven’t found another character or plot like Koichi’s. Still, Koichi rubs many players the wrong way. If you hated him in the main game, his POV route won’t change your mind.

Voltage’s In Your Arms Tonight is available on iOS and Android.

In Your Arms Tonight Ginnosuke Sequel Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The main character works on a foreign project with Ginnosuke.

Positives

  • The editing and translation are well-done.

  • The final CG is sweet.

Negatives

  • The plot line feels jumbled.

  • None of the characters act intelligently, consistently, or believably.

  • Many plot conveniences are utilized.

  • There’s less variety in the choices than usual.

  • Where’s the cat?

Quotes

  • *Mr. Ebihara walked off to the international departure gate*
  • Me: Take me with you, Kippei!
  • Saleswoman: “This was made in France at the end of the 19th century over a hundred years ago.”
  • Me: Thank you, Madame Redundancy.

Overall: I can’t recommend Ginnosuke’s sequel to anyone. There’s a kernel of a good plot and relationship evolution, but the execution left me incredibly frustrated.  If you really love the character, replay his main route and save yourself the grief.

Voltage’s In Your Arms Tonight is available on iOS and Android.

Mecha Ace: Heroes of the Vedrian War Impressions and Review

 

Mecha Ace

Basic Premise: In Mecha Ace: Heroes of the Vedrian War, you pilot a Space Robot of Doom and command your squad during a galactic war for independence.

Positives

  • Paul Wang, the author, has written a long, self-contained story with a proper denouement.

  • I’m not particularly drawn to robots, lasers, or militaristic science fiction, but the plot and the variety of attitudes your character can express absorbed me. My favorite play-through was an incredibly persuasive, rather violent commander who would fall to pieces when pressured.

  • All the stats impact the story. I was still surprised at some of the outcomes on the fourth play-through.

  • The secondary characters feel distinct. Each one has his/her own values and has no problem disagreeing with you and refusing a friendship or romance. Awesome. Also the commanding officer and other tertiary characters have some lovely lines if you ask idiotic questions. Role-play a moron and prepare to smirk.

Negatives

  • A few misspelled words and a couple of coding lines appear in the story.

Overall: Recommended. I played the game four times and still have choice combinations I want to explore.  Give the sample a try.

Choice of Games’ Mecha Ace: Heroes of the Vedrian War is available on iOS, Andriod, Kindle, and Google Chrome.

Impressions and review based on a provided iPad code.

Love Letter from Thief X – Kenshi Main Route Impressions and Review

Basic Premise: The main character is recruited/kidnapped into a gang of thieves.

Positives

  • I adore the main character. Every time I wanted her to stand up for herself, she does. She fights back when kidnapped, smacks characters who deserve it, calls out bullies for their behavior, and refuses to be brushed off when others need help.

  • Kenshi is too good to be true – he’s a firefighter, donates his time and money at an orphanage, is the only person taking care of his mom – but I can deal with it because no one goes on and on and on about how fantastic he is or how unworthy the main character feels.

  • The secondary characters feel like people. The “jealous girl,” “caring mom,” and “concerned friend” have dimension to them. I really hope Tatsuro keeps the same personality in his main route; he’s next on my list.

Negatives

  • Why would being scared make someone’s nose run?

  • Both Kenshi’s and the other thieves’ repeatedly pointing out “Kenshi must think of you as a friend rather than a girl” grates. What, has Kenshi NEVER before had a female friend?

    *SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD*

  • The set-up for the theft plot is stupid. “I have invented something incredibly dangerous and don’t want it used. What should I do? I know – rather than destroy it, I’ll involve a child in keeping it safe.” *headdesk*

Quotes

  • *MC punches attacker*

  • Kenshi: “Guess you can take care of yourself.”

  • Me: “Yes!”

  • Boss: “It’ll take about 25 hours and 40 minutes to tell you…want to hear it?”

  • MC: “….no thanks, I’ll pass.”

  • MC: “It’s no use trying to communicate with these people.”

  • Kenshi: “…that is so cute! But I guess I shouldn’t call you cute when you’re chained up like this.”

Overall: Highly recommended. This main character is sweet, intelligent, and proactive without going into Mary Sue territory.

Voltage’s Love Letter from Thief X is available on iOS and Android.