Written By: JP
Developer: Love Conquers All Games
Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux
Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Political Thriller
Release Date: Aug. 19, 2013
Well it’s been a year. A full year since Christine Love broke into my office, tied me to a chair and made me play Analogue: A Hate Story. I didn’t want to my friends; really! It was all done by force and any concurrent fandom is clearly Stockholm syndrome. I’m just glad I have a Y chromosome…mainly because I’d make an incredibly ugly chick. But also because my respect and admiration for young Miss Love could be construed in a way that would make my rock solid defense of Stockholm syndrome suspect.
…not working on anyone huh? Yeah I kinda figured.
Along with being on my Most Wanted EVNs of 2013 list, Analogue: A Hate Story also won my EVN of the Year for 2012. I said in January that the game didn’t have an easy task in front of it, as it couldn’t mirror its predecessor, but at the same time if Love tried to do the same things she did in Analogue, then it would falter. What we get in Hate Plus not only executes its own story well, it brings the overarching tale to a mostly peaceful end.
I know I've been promising a solid thrashing of Mitsumata for a week now and I promise that autopsy is coming. But there are some site changes and backroom, administrative shifts coming that I wanted to give you a heads up though. I seriously have a massive backlog of reviews to do here and I appreciate not only you guys but the developers of these projects being so patient with me. As you know I just don't play things and throw up a review. I do try and give my take some substance because, as was shown to me this Saturday, any idiot can write a review and have it taken seriously. But we knocked out two that I've been working on for most of last week and more are coming. The backlog is pretty stiff, but it isn't anything that can't be cracked!
Luckily this part will be quick. Starting with Episode 10 at the end of the week (groundbreaking, I know) the podcast will change on several fronts. The first is that it won't just be an audio program on its first upload. It will first be uploaded to Blip.TV, which means I will be joining the other hacks who uses a video service to host a podcast. I'm actually a little ashamed of myself, but there will be adequate production time put into the episodes so that it won't be too rough. This is due to the fact that I keep promising to put stuff on Blip, but I never actually get around to it. Since I've managed to do a weekly show for a month, I think this is the best way for me to start doing videos again. I'll talk more about that in a future vlog or something, but just know that A) any video I do will be done with a newcomer to EVNs in mind and B) There is a solid reason for A.
Now, within 24 hours of the show's release the podcast version will be available on a few different platforms. Right now the ones I have lined up is iTunes and Stitcher Radio. We just got approved for Stitcher and I'm waiting now on iTunes but that should come in sometime at the end of the week. The important thing is that for those who like audio but don't like to always come to the site, your boy's got you covered. This is a part of a lot of behind-the-scenes talk that demands that your humble host spread outside of the site. See? I do listen from time to time.
These changes are sort of the tip of the spear that is the next few months here at the HQ. I have set out a long list of goals here in a blog post a few months ago and I didn't just do that to hear myself talk...I can live-tweet BroCon again for that (ZING!). I'm trying to hammer out the logistics of my second most ambitious idea so many of you are about to get e-mails from me in the next few days that seem to be just a bunch of dumb questions. They are not.
I hope I can pull this off because, as I said, I don't ask for anything from you guys but time. More details will probably be out in October as by then everything that needs to be hammered down should be. Until then, look for the return of Sound Off in a few more days! JP3: OUT!
Ladies, Gentlemen and Children of All Ages...Welcome to YAFI! Also known as, YOU ASKED FOR IT! Somewhere along the way in this crazy journey, people believe me to be some sort of reliable and honest source for critiques. Setting aside the fact that peer pressure made me watch Queen's Blade and Brother's Conflict, I am humbled by your trust. Now to abuse the ever living hell out of it because, as the title said, YOU ASKED FOR IT.
This is a special feature here on the site where potential EVN developers come to me with their ware and I dig through it like a vulture digs through a baby deer flattened by a F-150. Either it'll sink or swim and if it swims know that doesn't mean it's a full review, but it is worth your attention and potentially investment if it is in the middle of a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. So, before we beginning, better stock up on some good old Coca-Cola. Trust me, you'll want the caffeine...LET'S GET STARTED!
...I believe this will only work if I'm upfront here...
I'm not even going to pretend to have the most enlightened view on the subject of sexuality. I'm pretty sure someone who neither cares nor is curious about exploring their own lack of romantic and/or sexual urges isn't in a good position to judge. And if anyone from my past ever found out about this site, I'm sure they would have a great time regaling you all with my 'jokes'. However, there is no denying that the EVN community, at least in comparison to other gaming communities, is very progressive. I know that because, again, I FOLLOW ALL OF YOU ON TWITTER. The lack of representation in the mass gaming market, and even some of the more unsightly elements of misanthropy and homophobia, are usually given a full hearing on my feed even if I say nothing. However, in the larger gaming market I can honestly understand the hesitancy to include gay characters or combat homophobic actions.
Despite it's growth, gaming's fortune doesn't come from taking the high road. Because many of its critics aren't active gamers, the developers decides to glorify in what their critics hate and focus on the money spot: the young male machismo. Yes my friends: even in 2013 there is a very definite idea of what is masculine...which would explain a great deal of the outrage last year over the male Commander Shepard's romance options.
So do I suddenly expect a character to be built up like Nathan Drake only with a male version of Chloe Frazier (no you cannot draw this, so shaddup) to reenact some of the scenes in Uncharted 2? Not anytime soon. But in the English Visual Novel world, the rules are different. Here the powerhouses of the community not only sympathize with those who are underrepresented in mainstream gaming but often champion their cause! So surely when given a chance they will gladly show the big boys how it can be done right?
When I think about my childhood, it's hard to visualize it without the above 8-bit. In fact, I'm not sure I know anyone who don't know the most iconic Italian not named Corleone or Balboa. And without Mario M. Mario, I would argue that gaming would not have reached the zenith it now sits at. Every industry has its own iconography; that symbol or person brings back a feeling of nostalgia so strong it defines entire generations and in every gaming console generation, there have been efforts to recreate that great icon that would define the times.
With that said, I think it's time for this long-time, console gamer to ask what clearly isn't an obvious question: who is the Mario of English Visual Novels?
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Volume 1 COMPLETE!