VN of the Month February 1997 - Yatsu no Na wa Diamond

The only masterpiece game of February is Yatsu no Na wa Diamond

1. Let's! Pirates Trouble Vacances Let’s!パイレーツ とらぶる・ばかんす [970207] ZyX
Two female pirates earned lots of money and are came to a resort. They get interested in rumors of a mad scientist experimenting with monsters creation and look into the matter only to get caught themselves.
Les SM H bakage story. The interaction between the main heroines is pretty fun, but rather short. Windows version has a nice 3 minutes intro animated video and seems to have more animated scenes, but I failed to launch it on modern pc.

2. Seiyoku Gakuen Seraphita 聖翼学園セラフィタ [970207] Space Project
Futanari Rei transfers to an all-girl school to seduce all the pretty girls in the local student dormitory.
First of all, game is from Space Project that only produced really trashy works to the moment. But this time they initially create a supertrashy environment to stir up the craziness. Second part of the game is mostly erotic, but first part is quite enjoyable as there are many strange jokes and dialogues. Some lines are voiced, so atmosphere is relayed all right. It has some charm, but second part quickly hit all the enthusiasm out of me.

3. Yaku Tsuu ~Noroi no Game~ 厄痛 ~呪いのゲーム~ [970207] Idea Factory Co., Ltd. 1 2
A game company has released a title only for it to be received coldly by the press. The company's president disappears soon after, and mysterious deaths begin to occur.
For all those very small number of people who liked the prequel - here's the awaited (?) sequel. At least they have the guts to joke about the curse of the game company after releasing a bad game. Graphics are so weird and scary that this game received one of the worst ratings everywhere - probably from people who never played it. Game is quite short, hardly reaching two hours. You start just as before, in the group of five. It's also a sound novel, but the story is much more impressive than in the prequel and it tackles some deep themes.

4. BS Tantei Club ~Yuki ni Kieta Kako~ BS探偵倶楽部 ~雪に消えた過去~ [970209] Nintendo R&D1 1 2 3
Ayumi Tachibana returns to her parents home in Ochitani village over vacation to visit her mother, Toshie, who is recovering from illness. She meets with her mother and her old friend Reiko for the first time in years, hoping to ease her fatigue by relaxing at her childhood home. However, Gozo Kusano, the former mayor of Ochitani village, is found dead the next morning in a secluded area outside his house. Toshie was the discoverer of the dead body, and she is apprehended by the police as a suspect because her footprints were the only ones found in the snow near the crime scene. While waiting for her mother to return from the police station, Ayumi learns of a long-lasting feud existing between the Tachibana family and Kusano family. An ochimusha legend passed on in the village, an investigation from 18 years ago, and this new murder all tie into a set of serial killings which Ayumi must solve before it is too late.
Quite famous NES detective series. There is an English review.

5. Amagi Shien 天城紫苑 [970214] Clip House
Kimido Fumi is a popular mystery writer. But she also solves incidents in real life. In a local ryokan she is asked to investigate the death of a man.
The main feature of the work is live action and two famous former AV actresses playing the main roles. There seems to be a 18+ PC version, but Saturn one is much more widespread. Content is quite specialized and aimed at detective dorama viewers.

6. Ekudorado ~Kagami no Naka no Oukoku~ エクドラード ~鏡の中の王国~ [970214] Black Package 1 2
A young high-school student named Seirou has a normal, boring life: days resemble each other, and so do the nights: every night he sees the same strange dream: two girls talking to each other, one of them saying something about a coming darkness... One day, he and his female classmates find a mirror in an abandoned house; when they touch the mirror, they are transported into the magical medieval land of Ekudorado. The hero must first find his classmates, who are scattered around this world, and then find a way to return to our reality...
RPG and card battles mix. Story is one-way road and there aren't grinding opportunities, but if you lose, you're transported to the closest town and can gain some more exp on the way. Cards balance is not the best and some elements are just better. There's no real connection between the battles and H-scenes. There's very little justification for inventing the whole parallel world rather than just start in it. There's no story behind using cards. Game feels like its elements are gathered randomly and it does not encourage to explore its world.

7. In Days 淫DAYS [970214] Lunar Soft
Collection of five short stories:
1. Over the Dream
2. 罠
3. TU. I. SI
4. 究極解決因果マン
5. あたしはあたし
Stories are of erotic nature and end in 5 minutes each.

8. Roommate ~Inoue Ryouko~ ROOMMATE~井上涼子~ [970214] Datam Polystar 1
Ryoko is seventeen, her family has moved from Tokyo to New York, and she is staying behind to finish school. Her father (a friend of your father's) has asked that she move in with you in your apartment (where you have a spare room) so she can complete her studies. But Ryoko misses her family and is emotionally vulnerable - so it's time to for you to do some moving in of your own.
In Roommate Ryoko you have three years to develop a relationship with her. Using a truly innovative real-time feature, the Saturn's internal clock affects how the game plays out.
There is an English review.

9. Yatsu no Na wa Diamond 男の名はダイヤモンド [970214] Pis-Ton Soft 1 2
In the beginning of 21th century, technology has evolved in unprecedented ways. But so did crime. Huge corporations, which were in fact criminal organizations, came to control the world. Finally, a mega-corporation known as Connection has taken the power in its hands. Everything was sponsored with its money; the governments and the law were silent. Only vigilante groups called "Connection-Killers" still tried to resist. In 2015, in Detroit, one of those people, nicknamed DD, witnessed the death of his comrades...
A year has passed. DD moves to Brain City - a highly developed, modern city, the center of scientific research. It was built on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, which appeared after a volcano eruption. It is controlled by Connection. DD opens an investigation office in the city, trying to get to the heart of Connection and defeat his old nemesis, despite the hostile atmosphere and the grave dangers that await him there...
Gameplay is walking around the town and encountering enemies beating them, so not too intriguing. But game is chaotic in a good way - it uses all kind of weird enemies and lots of gags. A work with lots of charm, but it came for PC-98 when the tides already turned for Windows and romance games.

10. Hizumi 歪み [970220] MBS Truth 1
Hizumi is Japanese word that literary means "warp" in English. Like the word "warp" implies, the whole game is so twisted that it is [almost] impossible to happen. Basically, the game is about you, the main character, doing the same twisted thing everyday. You're constantly having sex with the girls in your class, teachers, mother, and friends. Having sex with girl is just like a normal exercise in game. Hizumi first starts with the main character [I don't know how to translate his name] having "fun" with his stepmother and ended next day still having fun with his stepmother. After the special "treatment" from your stepmother, who is no longer living with her husband or your father, you went to school and have more fun with your classmates and teacher. During the break of each class, you will walk around the campus and talk to many people (mainly girls). If you went to the correct place at the right time, H-scene will follow afterward. After you got home from school, you will find yourself reading adult novel and all the sudden your stepmother came in and night excercising with you.
Hizumi is a game filled with twisted fantasy. Every event happened in the game is twisted. You would have fun with an OL (Office Lady) while taking the subway to school. You would get special couching from your teacher in her office. You would be invited to a "special group basketball training" from your friend. You would play a doctor-patient game with a girl you grow up with. And, the most twisted part of game is that you would have fun with your stepmother every day and night.
There is an English review.

11. Tasogare no Kyoukai 黄昏の境界 [970220] Tiare 1 2
This is a horror-adventure about a high school student who is a treasure hunter. You'll need to explore some horrifying dungeons to investigate a mysterious sequence of murders.
Hero lands hands on one of five manuscripts stolen from mysterious village shrine. When all five are gathered, it's rumored to be possible to summon a demon. This is ... an exploration game, sort of. You see the dungeons from first person view like in old rpgs and have to watch your lamp and draw maps to get through the maze. Events are generated on moving through the map. There are ghosts encountered on the way but they are mere obstacles - if you fight them you die. Game deliberately tries to confuse leaving lots of things hanging in the air. For example, the meaning of the title is not clear at all or the conclusion that this demon is involved with the murder. There's a lot of torture in map drawing and getting through the maze. Probably the best part of it is that we get an ending with one of three female characters once we deal with the demon.

12. M Hard [970221] Aaru 1
You're a normal college student. Your mother needs a heart transplant. Your father's mechanics shop can't pull in nearly enough money to pay for the surgery. Just then, this rich sadistic woman shows up and makes you an offer. She'll get the best doctors and pay for the operation, IF you become her slave.
There is an English review.

13. Ningen Konchuu ~Nozoki~ 人間昆虫~覗き~ [970221] Poison Breath
When the guy was a child, he killed a lot of insects, about 100 a day. Now, as their revenge, he got turned into insects and has to live as a mantis, bee, spider and beetle. Will he ever be able to return to human form? He will never view insects the same way again.
Poison Breath games are always nauseating and dark, but this time they surpassed themselves. The vision of two humanoid insects with insect attributes having sex is not that easy to sweep away. But since the second title relates to peeping, most of the time this disgusting insect just peeps.

14. Boku wa Keiichi Onna Janshi no Itazura 僕は圭一 女雀師の悪戯 [970228] Segue Laboratory
Hero arrives to the dormitory only to find that no good rooms left. He decides to challenge his female sempai in a stripping card game to get the room.
Very short straightforward game. Game uses some specific BGM handler so it only launched with BGM off for me.

15. Taxi Genmutan ~Strange World Act. 2~ TAXI幻夢譚 ~ストレンジ・ワールド Act. 2~ [970228] Sorciere 1
Hero is a taxi driver. He chooses which passenger to take on a ride and can opt to interfere in his client's affairs at any moment.
Same as prequel, some uncommon entourage is chosen for the stage. Lots of different stories can originate from the taxi and game provides lots of variants for development. Total number of branches is 42, but stories are very short.

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