In a stunning turn of events today, the omake comes first. I’ve tacked a bunch of words in brackets  to the end of each entry below in the hopes of describing game content in a way that is both brief and of use as a reference in choosing whether or not to proceed with clicking upon the associated link. Entries typically have two terms attached that describe the game’s tone and setting respectively; in the cases where there are three words the first two describe the tone. The lexicon I’ve arbitrarily chosen is as follows:
- Light: generally happy or comical, buoyant and feel-good without themes of serious violence or strong sexual deviance.
- Dark: contains themes of sadism, violence, extreme fetishes or strong sexual deviance in a non-humorous setting.
- Dramatic: contains interpersonal relationships as a strong theme and an overall serious tone, but without venturing into extremely deviant territory.
- Epic: contains themes that extend far beyond the scope of the individual protagonists – good and evil, apocalypse, the nature of humanity. Visually, contains images that portray the characters as small, dwarfed by panoramic surroundings.
- Modern: occurs within a loosely defined modern or historical period. May contain highly improbable elements, but is more or less rooted in reality.
- Fantasy: includes medieval fantasy, science fiction, or otherwise supernatural elements as a defining component of game visuals and plot. Note that supernatural artifacts or events used in deus ex machina fashion may not qualify a setting for the “fantasy” category if the game’s scenario is otherwise generically modern (I’m looking at you, XCA2).
These categories by no means do justice to the wide and colorful array of games out there, but specificity isn’t what we’re about here; more of just a vague, fuzzy “I’m gonna click this” sort of thing. Or not. Anyway, without further ado, the list (in handy release date / brand / title / category form):
RECENT HD ACQUISITIONS
12/22 Le Chocolat’s Moe Ero Oni-chan [light fantasy]
Comment: I haven’t started this yet, but it’s very high on my list. I missed it at the initial release date, and finally gave in and bought it used a few weeks ago as it seems it’s not going to be reprinted any time soon. Hikikomori otaku demons, suicidal futanari, speed dieting nuns, sock-puppet wielding maids, and military otaku fairies banzai!
02/02 Lilith’s Hitozuma Dorei Keikaku [dark modern]
Comment: bought for Zundarepon art; haven’t played yet. Looks like typical Black Lilith.
02/09 Waffle’s Shirudaku Settai [dark modern]
Comment: bought for the art, and regretting it. A bit too vile a protagonist for my tastes, and the girls don’t seem like they’re having much fun either. The game has gone through a major patch already, and an expansion is in the works; something I missed during the initial perusal of the site was the figure busts + lotion (scroll down) they were offering in a package deal with the game. Wacky stuff.
02/23 Under Moon’s Ayatsuri Haramase Dream Note [dark modern]
Comment: when I looked for this two days after release it was sold out of every store in Akihabara. Surprising for a second tier title like this; I’m guessing people were caught by the Death Note reference and the decent art. It was in stock the last time I was in town, so I picked it up; haven’t had a chance to play yet.
02/23 Silky’s’ Hime Kishi Angelica [dark fantasy]
Comment: I’ve spent several hours of quality time with this game so far, and it’s a good ‘un. The art is superb and plentiful, the protagonist isn’t an extreme abomination and apparently the scenarios enter absurd territory toward the end that I tend to like in this sort of game. Not one that’s gripping me such that I can’t put it down (there’s no real plot to speak of), but a good game to pick up for 20-30 minutes on a nightly basis. Silky’s’ best title since Jokei Kazoku ~Inbou~.
03/02 Lilith’s Boku ga Kowashita Ojou-sama [dark modern]
Comment: picked up for the art, and because it’s Black Lilith, and because it was cheap… I am so weak. Haven’t played yet.
03/16 Crossnet Pie’s Resort Boin [light modern]
Comment: picked up the day after it was released, started playing shortly thereafter. As expected from Happobi Jin the art is gorgeous, and surprisingly plentiful; those are the best things I can say for the title, unfortunately. For a wacky love comedy the humor generally fails, and the characters range from formulaic to shallow to mildly annoying. I pursued the surfer girl for awhile, thinking she showed some promise; not much, alas. I may finish the game, eventually. Maybe.
03/23 A.S.S.’s Mesudoreitachi no Inya [dark modern]
Comment: I’m not quite sure why I bought this. Installed, played through the first part of the first scene, stopped.
RECENT RELEASES OF INTEREST
02/23 Pink Hatena’s Mahou Shoujo Nayuta [dark fantasy]
Comment: a tentaclefest in the vein of Touchable’s Shinshoku and Mahou Shoujo Mana; while the art is merely passable the content is a formula that’s been good to me in the past. Erogamescape thinks it does the job admirably, so this is one I’ll be looking into soon.
03/23 Front Wing’s Kimihagu [light modern]
Comment: Ino–sensei strikes again, this time in a love comedy about a “renai club” which mysteriously only has one male member. I can’t get enough of Ino’s art, and this would have been a no-brainer for me if the protagonist didn’t look like such a milquetoast. As is I think I’ll give it a miss, and hope for a critical mass of bosomage in his next game to outweigh the wuss factor. Or a hero with a beard.
03/30 Lilith’s Kangoku Senkan [dark fantasy]
Comment: Lilith’s next title marks the return of circle Utility-Pole Spirit‘s Kagami to the brand, in his first game collaboration since last October’s Taimanin Asagi 2. It looks like some sort of SF thing, but the art is so good that the details of the game are irrelevant. Perhaps the fact that I buy games on this basis is worrisome…
03/30 Sky Fish’s Shirogane no Soleil [dramatic fantasy]
Comment: I’m not interested enough in this to buy it, but it’s been serialized in Tech Gian for the past several months so there’s a passing interest factor there. The art is crisp and the game design is impressive enough. What’s it about? Fighting SF Valkyrie-type girls in modern Japan… I guess.
04/05 Anim’s Gyakushuu Ni ~Miko no Saidan~ [dark fantasy]
Comment: the sequel to 2004’s Gyakushuu, this time with 100% more miko and designs by bbsacon. A recipe for total awesomeness? I think so! Preordered for great justice and the limited edition artbook that comes with it. Tentacle haters need not apply.
04/06 Stronger’s Figurehead [epic fantasy]
Comment: I admire companies that will risk it all on an epic maiden release, and hope Stronger is the stronger for it after all is said and done. That said, this space opera doesn’t have quite the character designs to push me into the must-purchase camp. I hope I’m in the minority, for their sake. Seems they’re nominally affiliated with Hobibox, but don’t all starfleets need a corporate parent to give them a little shove out the door?
04/13 Black Package Try’s Taijoku no Ori [dark modern]
Comment: the first of two games out on Friday the 13th that involve unhappy pregnant women. At some point over the past couple of years Black Package has gotten really good at the coloring gig, and though I’ve patronized the company enough to know that I don’t really like their games I may be tempted here yet again.
04/13 Ail Team Fun2’s Ryoubo – Maternity Insult [dark modern]
Comment: I don’t know what a Fun2 is, but this is the second of two pregnancy-themed games to come out on this most inauspicious of days. It’s Ail and not anally fixated, so it’s tempting… seriously, what the hell is a Fun2?
04/13 Yellowpig’s Wakazuma Bankakyou (complete edition) [dark modern]
Comment: “Young wife kaleidoscope”, huh. I like the art, but I’m not quite sure what to make of this without supplementary visual evidence. It’s a remake so the price is right; might be worth looking at down the road.
04/20 Kurohime’s Seido Kaichou [dark modern]
Comment: First Friday the 13th, now 4/20… a random 2,000 yen title for a random day. Nothing to see here other than a bit of student council bondage, move along…
04/20 Dual Mage’s Venus Blood [dark fantasy]
Comment: next in line in the Nayuta / Touchable tentaclefest camp, only with slightly worse art. Some of the scenarios could be promising… the jury is still out on this one, though it seems to be leaning toward a purchase.
04/27 Lilith’s Shion ~Zankoku na Mahou no Tenshi~ [dark fantasy]
Comment: Lilith’s newest title (no official page yet) is from their Mist subdivision, and will be designed by Tana. Yes, that Tana. I pity the fools assigned to coloring duty for this game, but holy crap is it going to be awesome… anticipation ++.
04/27 Skunkworks Nano’s Ayakashi no Maki [dark fantasy]
Comment: featuring the signature artistic stylings of Hazuki (known most recently for his work on Extry’s Yomibito Shirazu and various other Extry and Marry Bell games), Skunkworks Nano’s flagship budget title looks like a bunch of delicious ninja nonsense. At that price point it’s probably worth picking up, especially if it supports the Skunkworks Sei Shoujo game rumored to be currently in production…
04/27 Mini-Mam’s Okami Shizuka [dark modern]
Comment: the heroine has to work to pay off the debts of her dead husband. Not my favorite theme, but the unique artistic style is captivating.
04/27 Root’s Momoka Tsukitan [light dramatic fantasy]
Comment: I’m not interested in this as a game (Carnelian isn’t really my thing), but it is significant for the fact that it seems to be the first 18+ game to be produced in tandem with an all-ages anime series, with both set for launch in the same month. In an industry where the ero and non-ero components tend to keep a gentlemanly distance from each other this could become an interesting precident.
04/27 Escude’s Figure@Carnival (gorgeous limited edition) [light modern]
Comment: a fan disc for Escude’s Figure@Mate, listed here because it looks kinda pretty. I don’t know.
04/27 Light’s R.U.R.U.R [light epic fantasy]
Comment: another great-looking game I’ll probably pass on due to the shota protagonist. He’s the last surviving member of the human race, surrounded by a harem of androids who are there to show him the wonders of the universe. Not a bad concept, but get a new protagonist already…
04/27 Boot Up’s Aneimo 2 [light modern]
Comment: how do you spell romantic comedy? Looks to be a pretty straightforward entry into the genre with a double pair of sisters twist.
04/27 Atelier Kaguya’s Deãƒ»Ruãƒ»Ta! [light fantasy]
Comment: The same game as Light’s R.U.R.U.R, only less epic. More angels, less extinction of the human race, same shota protagonist. Breasts?
04/27 Clock Up’s Zwei Worter [epic fantasy]
Comment: Clock Up has a history of making games that look incredibly epic from their promotional materials and turn out to be less so on closer inspection. Whether Zwei Worter will fit into this category is hard to say; despite the amazing art I probably won’t be playing it unless Erogamescape ranks it an unqualified success.
04/?? Warukyuure’s Chichi-chichi (chichichichichi)! ~Milk Mamire Cafe~ [light modern]
Comment:downloading purchasing doujinshi in the late nineties should be familiar with artist Koutarou and his meticulously lined and impeccably colored Girl Power series. Now, for the first time, he lends his formidable talent to game design – and this one is looking to be a beauty (for us [bb] fans, at least). Tanoshimi~
05/18 Kichiku-Yaro’s Hissatsu Shigokijin [dark modern]
Comment: Kichiku-Yaro’s flagship title is predictable based on the brand name; its mediocre art would normally mean dismissal from consideration, except that from the site design it’s hard to believe that this isn’t the dark side of the -Hina brands. If they port some of their better illustrators over to Kichiku something interesting might come out of the mix.
05/18 Trust’s Fuhou Sounyuu -Ikesu no Juunin- [dark modern]
Comment: I was wavering on listing this one as it’s yet another along the general blackmail theme, and though I like the artist it seems he’s slipping here (or at least the coloring team is). Meh. This is what tipped the scales, but I’m probably not going for the purchase.
05/25 Lovecherry’s Mama to Imouto to Boku to Sensei [dark modern]
Comment: an original release from a brand normally known for its DVD-PG remakes. The frustratingly small sample CG thumbnails don’t do it any favors, but it looks like there could be some promise here.
05/25 Lusterise’s Shoku ~Gakuen Youfuredan~ [dark fantasy]
Comment: another tentaclefest in the vein of Venus Blood and Nayuta. WYSIWYG.
06/01 Xuse’s Seinarukana – The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2 [epic fantasy]
Comment: sequel to the highly acclaimed Eien no Aselia, those looking for an epic fantasy RPG this summer need look no further. If I feel like playing a game that’s actually a game around the time when it comes out I might actually pick this one up.
06/?? Puzzlebox’s Shutter Chance Love [light modern]
Comment: I love Suzuki Mei‘s art, and seeing as it’s from Puzzlebox and not a different Janis brand it’ll probably be more of a romantic comedy than anything. If the ecchi factor is high enough this will be a serious contender among the June releases.
Spring Illusion’s School Mate [light modern]
Comment: Illusion’s newest title features what they’re calling “anime-style cel shading”. I’d say it’s a step back from their recent work, and it gets the dubious distinction of being their first title to run like crap on my new (year-old) machine… where’s my Jinkou Shoujo 3 already?
Spring Light’s Dies Irae [dramatic fantasy]
Comment: is it just me, or are we in Nitro+ territory here? Not that I’m complaining, mind you – this looks like an incredibly kickass game. One of those titles that if I actually played good games I would play. I still might play it anyway – all of this work on Yume Miru Kusuri has been spoiling me with something called “good writing”. Didn’t know it existed… it doesn’t hurt that the character designs are S-rank, either.
Early Summer Ole’s Oppai Baka [light modern]
Comment: The game is called Oppai Baka, for crying out loud. It’s designed by Gunner-L. Is there anything else we really need to know? This is the closest thing to heaven, next to another Oshioki Sweetie sequel from Ino.
Summer 13cm’s Shimai Tsuma 3 [dramatic modern]
Comment: after a very long absence from the eroge scene, Ishihara Souka of circle Osaka Jumbomax returns with the third installment of his Shimai Tsuma series. I’m not expecting the writing to be amazing, but I’m contractually obligated (to myself) to buy anything he puts out… Anata to Mita Sakura is one of the few games I’ve cared enough about to fret that I still haven’t gotten the true end, which is recommendation enough in my book.
Summer Crowd’s X Change Alternative 2 [light modern]
Comment: not much news since the last scoop, though it seems there are a few new character profiles up as of the other day. I’m looking forward to this game, and it’s not just because I’ve inherited a bit of history with the product line recently.
Summer Black Cyc’s Gun Katana – Non Human Killer [dark fantasy]
Comment: Black Cyc games are still a bit too potent for me, though this one is worth noting as its genre is listed as AVG + FPS. The last eroge “FPS” I played was Illusion’s DesBlood4, which was about as crappy (and un-FPS-like) as they come; here’s hoping it’s not just a throwaway gimmick, though given the extreme niche fetish quality of the title I can’t imagine they’ll invest too many resources in development of the FPS side.
Summer Nitro+’s Tre Donne Crudeli [(?) fantasy]
Comment: this is a game that doesn’t look like it will fit neatly into the little categorization scheme I’ve built… perhaps I’ll add “action” to the list of tones, though that risks a slippery slope that ends with [epic cinematic space action hard-boiled fantasy SF spaghetti-western jazz adventure]. Regardless, it’s looking to be Hot Stuff.
2007 Unisonshift Blossom’s Alice Parade [light fantasy]
Comment: Itou Noiji‘s latest foray into the eroge sphere, and her first under her new pen name “Itou Zatsuon”. No, I’m not making that up. I’m generally not a fan of multi-colored hair, but the nekomimi maid with the pink forelock gets my moe vote… oh, and <> mouth is the new :3. Will be watching this casually as it develops.
A nod now to the various stirrings of the colossi, nay the veritable titans of the eroge universe:
- A To Heart 2 OVA is in mid-release
- A fully-voiced, all ages PS2 port of Fate entitled Fate / Realta Nua is coming out on April 19th. According to Kawasumi Ayako and Ueda Kana, the voice actresses for Saber and Rin, the script books were the size of dictionaries
- August’s new title, due out this year, is entitled Fortune Arterial
- A little maker called Key is coming out with a little game called Little Busters on July 27th
- The newest Navel title, Ne-PON? Rai-PON!, was announced yesterday
- Peach Princess / Ruf’s Yume Miru Kusuri has been MASTERED UP and is coming out “soon”
- G-Collections’ Bazooka Cafe and Pretty Soldier Wars A.D. 2048 are currently in production
For today’s last word in eroge, we have new brand Cait Sith:
Congradulations on a successful site launch, and catgirl fans the world over will be anticipating your flagship title!
…whew. More or less caught up on eroge news there, I think… further scoops to come in rather more bite-sized chunks, for the sanity of all concerned.
Just in time for the beginning of the new anime season, too. =_=;;