Anyway, that was a good way to get back into things. I've been digging around for the next best thing since sliced bread, but have come up short due to what games have crossed paths with me. I am a bit bothered that I've strayed from my To Do list and picked up random things, but considering Astraythem pretty much revitalized my desire to play and review games, I think it'll balance out in the end.
Legend Seven: This one dragged me in more because of the subtitle to the game than anything else. Said subtitle being "Snow White and the Seven Heroes".
This is the first impression game for the studio NONSUGAR, with an obvious backdrop to the story Snow White...with some twists. The protagonist is Wakanae Yuu, a semi-hetare boy who starts out with a dream where he kills everyone in cold blood. He awakens to what he believes to be ten days prior to his supposed massacre and finds a mysterious girl in his class (that he doesn't remember ever meeting) as well as a huge tree that materialized in the outskirts of town.
It is eventually revealed that the girl is a princess, and her followers are heroes that have arrived to protect the world from creatures from a mirror world bent on destroying all life.
Despite the clever tie-ins to the story of Snow White and the seemingly complex setting, so far the game feels overly...wordy. Not so much in description and monologue, but more in dialogue. Characters stating and restating the same thing just feels odd. Aside from that, the pacing seems to better fit an anime TV series than an eroge. Then come the talking animals and giant robot...
Ore-sama no RagnaROCK: In another one of those bouts where I lost to my own curiosity, I decided to give this game by Akabe Soft a try. I'm not much of a buff for Norse mythology, but I did find the references well thought-out. The player takes the role of Njord, a demon lord who is forced to live in a city where he has to bear the singing and overly intrusive personalities of the Aesir (who make their living in the modern world as idol singers) while putting up with his sister Nerthus. After growing tired of living in a run-down apartment, he decides to start his own idol troupe to "conquer" the land and reclaim what he sees as his rightful throne.
The game is designed as a strategy-esque game reminiscent of Ogre Battle for the SNES: you send units to a city, defeat the enemy and thus conquer/liberate that city for your faction. Since this is an eroge, the difficulty curve is not set to very high (unlike games like Sengoku Lance and Daibanchou), and the strain on resources like money and personnel is nearly non-existent.
The more notable aspect of the game is obviously the characters, with many references to Norse myths as well as important events like the Vanir-Aesir war. Of course, some liberties were taken, to the point 90% of the pantheon of Norse gods was turned female, but oh well.
Final Fantasy XIV: Contrary to popular belief, I still partake in things outside of eroge. I haven't been playing much as of late, as my binge of Akiiro Renka => Astraythem => Legend Seven + Ore-sama + work + life have suddenly taken up all of my time. Considering that I'm waiting for 2.0 to come out and see how that affects the game, it's probably best I continue to bide my time.
Name: Nagi Kuurin - Present, 1999, 1996(?)
Designed by: Ginta
Voiced by: Kurata Mariya
Kuurin is introduced as the adopted daughter of the protagonist's benefactor in 1999, Nagi Kyouichirou.
To start, Kuurin is seen as a very intimidating girl at school, though this side of her seems to apply only to males in general. Most boys know to stay from Kuurin, and her "tools" (including pepper spray and a stun gun) make it seem like a very wise decision.
When dealing with girls, Kuurin takes on the air of an onee-sama character from a yuri novel, and as Tsukumo eventually discovers, has several girls that pine for her. She confesses that she also likes Natsuki "that way", but realizes that she can't really compete with the mystery boy her best friend has been waiting for over the past three years. She compares her view of Natsuki to the way a fan "loves" an idol singer or famous actor/actress.
Kuurin doesn't take well to Tsukumo at first, treating him with the same disdain that she treats all other males. She accepts his presence at the request of her father, and is kept in the dark as far as to why Tsukumo was allowed to stay in her home; in fact, she's skeptical of his cover story but does little to uncover the truth. She eventually starts taking jabs at our protagonist and seems to enjoy the fraternal relationship set up for them, as it gives her openings to embarrass and argue with Tsukumo.
What perhaps bothers Kuurin most is that she doesn't find Tsukumo instantly repulsing like she does other men. Even Kyouichirou notices that her reactions to him are very different, and ponders over the possibility of Kuurin having feelings for our protagonist (which she hotly denies).
The details on Kuurin's past are somewhat sketchy, as Kyouichirou mentions that he met her while both were interned in a field hospital after the big earthquake of 1996. He adopted her after seeing that no one had come to pick her up, giving her a new name and new life to go with it. He also mentions that she showed clear signs of abuse, but doesn't go into detail. The fact that Kuurin is prone to having nightmares where she asks for "the hurting to stop" clearly supports this. The nightmares themselves seem to be more subconscious than anything else, as she doesn't remember anything before the 1996 earthquake.
Chapter 3 hints that Kuurin may be related to our protagonist. A younger version of her is seen around near the beginning of the chapter, holding a familiar-looking baby. Tsukumo comments that she holds the baby as if it were her son, but "she looks too young to be the baby's mother". This version of Kuurin is last seen abandoning the baby at the pier, near the location of the Tanabata Festival. The fact that one of Kuurin's "girlfriends" and Natsuki comment that there is a slight resemblance between Kuurin and Tsukumo indirectly corroborates this.
Interestingly, Kuurin's ending has her try to convince Tsukumo to stay in 1999 to fulfill his promise of protecting Natsuki. At the same time, she decides to "try" to fall in love with him. Much to our protagonist's dismay, he ends up trapped in a three-way relationship with Natsuki and Kuurin tugging at him from both sides.
That's it for today.