VN of the Month January 1997 - Rookies

Ryouki no Ori Dai 2 Shou and Rookies are the masterpieces of January. But Rookies is a more traditional story-focused visual novel with charming characters and lots of kind humor. Rookies is VN of January 1997.

1. Watashi 私 ~わたし~ [970110] Pearl Soft
Shizu is a shy high school student girl who wishes to change herself. One day day she gathers her will and starts acting. What she's gonna do?
Well, there are lots of branches in the game depending of who you choose to be with and at what circumstances. There are 24 endings overall, but a great majority of them are wasteful insulting ones. There is also a happy ending somewhere, but it won't be that easy to track.

2. Ryouki no Ori Dai 2 Shou 猟奇の檻 第2章 [970117] Nihon Plantech 1 2 3
A mysterious game that centered in a theme park. An accident happened three years ago has caused the theme park to be shut down (But is it truly an accident or a murder? You will find out as you go deeper into the game). Now the theme park reopens, and you are hired by Amano Miyukias (Fantagen's director) as one of the security guy that patrols around the park. Before you start working, you will be introduced to the theme park. There are six major areas around the park and one central area. In every area, there will be one girl that is in charge of the area. After the brief introduction, you will be able to meet all these girls around the park. Next day, you came into the park and patrols around the park. Everything just seemed to be fine, but you realized there are something wrong. You realized these girls are trying to hide something from you. You began to search what is going on in this mysterious theme park.
There are two English reviews for this game (one is actually for remastered version but still).

3. Jorou Gumo 女郎蜘蛛 [970124] PIL
A guy got a part time job with a very strange family. During the daytime, he can explore the house or sort documents. During the evenings, he gets to play rope tricks with the mother and two daughters. If he can survive and find out what's going on, he might end up happy with one of the girls.
Another H training SIM, this time with bondage as main theme... I could say, but actually it's a command selection ADV with SIM part only about bondage itself. So systems are simplified here. Moving on...

4. Shinsetsu Kamiya Ukyou ~Zouge no Tou~ 真説 神谷右京 ~象牙の塔~ [970124] Altacia
In 1985 fund regulation law was enforced and there are many companies that fall under its jurisdiction. You need to gain consent from one of such funds.
Yet another work in the series and there's nothing new to say, actualy. Work based on a true case and has lots of lawyer terminology in it. There's little drama in here - just professionalism in handling a case. This is an alternative version of part 2 of the series. The author stopped writing leaving series discontinued so these alternative versions appeared.

5. Viper-CTR ~Asuka~ VIPER-CTR ~あすか~ [970124] Sogna 1 2
The sequel to the short VIPER-V10 story, Northern Lights, subtitled Asuka. The budding romance between Asuka and Captain is put to the test when Captain's sultry cousin Miki moves in with him. Captain's focus wavers...
There is an English review. CTR is the first Windows Viper game and it's a paradise for an eye - nearly every scene is animated and the flow goes without choices nearly till the end. There are three endings and the branches are very clearly drawn. I liked the game and only short length (50 minutes) prevents me from calling it a masterpiece.

6. Mix Candy 2 みっくすキャンディ2 [970131] Cocktail Soft
Fandisc containing screensavers, wallpapers and a short erotic story そして。。。as a part of the Erotic Baka Novel series.
Story is too short to remember.

7. Rookies ルーキーズ [970131] Umitsuki Production
Tsuyushi Kusabe describes himself as a detective. But he never got a request so he's been working on part-time jobs. On his 30th birthday he got a request to investigate narcotics circulation in an all-girls school. His girlfriend makes him promise that this is going to be the last case if he fails.
One of the last masterpieces of pc-98 era. Game has many cute girls and it's fun interacting with them, but this is hardly a gal game. The game is mostly about the 30-year looser protagonist and his rivalry with another similar looser who also got a request. The game has lots of animation and feels like a movie. It's not a coincidence that this company later spawned Jellyfish that's famous for fully animated works. The game has a catch phrase "dreams pave the way to the future" which belongs to hero's girlfriend at the time when she allows this immature looser to follow this investigation which feels very supportive and nice. Happy ending is difficult to reach even though story is a one-way road. Game has warm pleasant palette, good drawing, lots of fun scenes, but unfortunately can not be hooked.

8. Exciting Milk Dai 2 Wa エキサイティングみるく第 2 話 [97] Silence
Amon transfers to the same class as Kurumi. He's very moved by the fact that seaweed still exists in 20th century and is going to liberate it by animating it.
I got the impression that second part got even shorter, hardly reaching 10 minutes at all. Basically there's nothing in it but school lunch and then fighting the seaweed mutant. The story pretty much stays unfinished, but the direction is clearly seen now - our usual magic girl fighting beasts.

9. Last Message ~Saraba Itoshiki Hito Yo.~ ラストメッセージ ~さらば愛しき女よ。~ [97] FAB Communications

"Last Message" is a romance simulation of sorts with an odd twist: you love the girl, the girl loves you, and you have to dump her. 'You' in this case is a salaryman in his thirties rapidly climbing a corporate ladder, three months away from ending an assignment at the Kyoto office. Back home in Tokyo is a wife and kids; in Kyoto is a colleague/girlfriend with whom you started a passionate affair a year ago. The object of the game is to "break up with the love of your life beautifully."
No info, but there is a video showing the gameplay.

10. Last Message ~Sayounara Watashi no Aishita Hito~ ラストメッセージ ~さようなら私の愛した男~ [97] FAB Communications
"Last Message" is a romance simulation of sorts with an odd twist: you love the guy, the guy loves you, and you have to dump him. 'You' in this case is young professional woman born with a silver spoon in her mouth, three months away from marrying a rich, good-looking heir to a major fortune. The only snag in this convenient turn of events is a beloved boyfriend/colleague of one year, who loves you with his heart and soul. The object of the game is to "break up with the love of your life beautifully."
No info.

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