VN of the Month January 1999 - Ikusa Megami

Refrain Love 2 and Ikusa Megami are masterpieces of the month, but my preference goes to Ikusa Megami

1. Another ONE [990101] APPLE Project

Short story collection based on ONE visual novel. Stories depict feelings of girls after Kouhei Orihara leaves.
Main feature of this work is a music cd disk and nice illustrations. Stories deal with depiction of feelings rather than events.

2. DEBAG GAME 1-2-3 DEBAG GAME 1-2-3 [990101] LANGuex
A collection of three short stories created just to test vertical text layout and some some experimental features.
Really? It's worse than doujin.

3. Tutorial Game チュートリアルゲーム [990101] LANGuex
Short scenario that works as a tutorial of how the nbook engine differs from other game systems.
A student ends up teaching a young female teacher how to use computers. She has her own past to get over, though. Also, there's another teacher with his eyes on her.
Same as DEBAG GAME, but an attempt to make a bit longer story.

4. Ai-chan for Me ~Maid Choukyou Hen~ あいちゃん for Me~メイド調教編~ [990113] Ume Soft

Hero receives a letter from his friend inviting him to apply for a job in a mansion. There he meets three newly employed maids and chooses one of them to take care of his needs as man. The next day he is tasked by the mansion owner to train the same maid and he takes the job since he cares for the girl. Each girl has mental shackles and it depends on the main character whether the shackles are to be lifted or tightened.
Girl can be trained either in obedience or in love. Concept is same as SEEK, but realization is much weaker.

5. Higeki ~Nightmare Come True~ 悲劇 ~NIGHTMARE COME TRUE~ [990114] Saint

Hero is a medical student, the son of a hospital manager. One day he receives a letter with instructions how to insult each of his girl acquaintances. He attacks the girls one after another. What's the truth behind insult instructions?
Game progresses by choosing destination on the map. First insult is mandatory, next there are three girls to choose from - and depending on the order the story changes slightly. Game's also full of bugs which makes it a 100% kusoge.


6. Hotaru Mau Yoru 螢舞う夜 [990114] Aquarium

A girl left this world in an accident without confessing her true feelings. The following morning Yui Uchiura and his childhood friend witnessed the Poltergeist phenomenon and consulted with the shrine maiden. She suggested that they lived at the shrine till she found the way to release the spirit.
Instead of horror it turns out to be love comedy with two heroines. Game is very short and there are only three choices throughout it. Events take place during several days which follows by ending. There are multiple endings here. Even though the game is called night of fireflies it's a bit severe to show fireflies in the mids of the winter. Quite a crappy work.

7. Hunter [990114] Ast
New anti-cancer drugs raise metabolic abilities of human beings.
Although it is an effective medicine, it is difficult to control and experiments are being held on animals only. The experiment on a monkey finally showed good results, but it escaped the laboratory and now hero with a partner need need to find the species within a day.
There are three girl partners available to choose from. Game's about making tough decisions and surviving since you're constantly given choice of two options. Operation is mouse only which is very painful and text rendering is slow even on highest speed.

8. Jumoku Hime 樹木姫 [990114] Desire

While picking fruit and herb in a forest with his maid, our guy got hit on the head and tied under a sacred tree. When his secretary/bodyguard/wife found him, he had lost some of past two months memory. His first assassin suspects are his secretary and three maids. Later on, he found that either there is an assassin hiding in the forest or something strange is going on. Can he find out what in 10 days while loving one of the girls?
Multiple scenario suspense adventure. Quite engaging as long as intrigue persists. Graphics are nice, but nothing special. BGM is nice, but there's no voicing. Story is ok, but pales in comparison with better representatives of the genre.

9. Mori no Nyanko 森のにゃんこ [990114] Segue Laboratory

Cat-girl Kyoku Ran lives in the forest together with her mother. One day she gets on a tree in search of bird eggs and discovers a girl with wings on a tree. The girl does not remember her name, so Kyoku gives her name Kotori-chan. They start to explore this forest together.
The story has a lot of choices that lead to H events and bad endings as a result. And the image of forest inhabitants who violate other species is really scary. The work is mostly to enjoy clean cute pictures and full voicing.

10. Prostudent Good ぷろすちゅ★でんとGood [990114] Alice Soft 1

The time is 2005 in Japan. The world has received word that aliens shall invade Earth. Therefore, Japan set up a robot group called Yugoku to fend off the aliens when they come. However, eventually the aliens did not come, so Yugoku was all for nothing. Meanwhile, the Japanese government was totally corrupted, and Yugoku decided to use their robot army to overthrow the government.
There is an English review of the game.

11. Roommate W ~Futari~ ルームメイトW ~ふたり~ [990114] Datam Polystar
You've got a new roommate and not just one, but two! Greetings and salutations to Kaori and Yamaguchi.
This is a side-kick of the series. For the first time there is no Ryoko, but your roommate visits the same school as Ryoko did and she's referred to as "legendary sempai". This work also was only released for Saturn and has lower production values. One girl studies at school and the other one works as a nurse and thus she has night shifts all the time. Basically, you need to choose between them since you can't possible stay up 24 hours a day. This game feels inferior to prequels.

12. Seiiki ~Nageki no Usagi~ 聖域 ~嘆きのウサギ~ [990114] Mesa
Hero is invited to an isolated island prison camp to analyze a girl's psyche. The six prisoners who he is in charge for start to disappear one after another. Hero has to go through temptation and traps to unravel the mystery of the isolated island campus.
Exploration game moving around the same locations, gathering items and triggering events. There are hints when you get stuck and two big endings await as a prize. Every little mistake leads to a premature death. Story is ok if you like dark suspense.

13. Sweet Summer Dreamin' -Kono Natsu Yume Miru Musume-tachi- Sweet Summer Dreamin’ -この夏・夢みる娘たち- [990114] Shicchinmanpou

Hero gives a ride to gentleman walking across the bridge and gets an offer to work for him as a driver as a result. The gentleman turns out to be an enterprise chief, and working for him will get hero acquainted with many women from chief's entourage.
There are several fork choices determining whether we set up with some girl or move on with the story to discover new girls. Girl types vary a lot - there is a hostess, chief's wife, chief's daughter, daughter's friend etc. 


14. Custom Reido カスタム隷奴 [990121] Kiss 1

Arisugawa high school is a prestigious girls' school well known around the world. Hero inherits from his uncle as the director of this school. The school turns out to be a slave training organization on a nationwide scale with a deep connections to the political and financial world. And it's main character's job to fulfill all kind of custom slave requests.
Just the SEEK training type, but game series has become very famous because it allowed user extensions. That's really all I care to know about this series.


15. True Love Story 2 トゥルーラブストーリー2 [990121] ASCII Corporation
The protagonist has just been moved with his sister Kimiko to a new town, due to the sudden transfer of their parents. Suddenly, a bunch of girls arrive in his life: his childhood friend, a tomboy, a clumsy junior, a silent classmate... Love has arrived to his life.
Prequel was mostly notable by "walking home" sideview system and that remains intact. Instead for seasons now there are three semesters and each semester has its own cd, so the number of events increased greatly. Number of heroines decreased to four main and two limited time ones. Heroines characters are quite realistic. One play-through is about 4 hours, but replay-ability is great.


16. Hiiragi Sou ~Onaji Yane no Shita de~ ひいらぎ荘~同じ屋根の下で~ [990122] Pias 1
The story is actually about you the player trying to take the deed of the house for this "mysterious boss" guy. The only way to gain the deed and have the girls move out is to go undercover. And this is where your job comes in...
There is an English review for this game.


17. Yureru Omoi ~Triangle Love Story~ ゆれる想い~Triangle Love Story~ [990122] Air Field

Kotaro Hito is a student who left Kobe for Tokyo alone to enter university. He has left the girl of his love interest in Kobe but in Tokyo there even more temptations. The love story over two cities begins now.
Fresh feature is that we get to choose our university specialization but that usually only affects the ending. Game takes a period of three months and we should take decisions for each day of it. There are 8 heroines and as many as 52 endings (basically each heroine multiplied for each occupation). Events are placed loosely and there can be the time that there's a whole month without events. Even though the game is called "love triangle" there is no special emphasis on two main heroines - everyone is equal. So it's a very painful, cheap, generic game with opening theme being its strongest side.

18. Tokimeki Check-in! ときめきCheck in! [990124] Crowd 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Takayuki Yamano is a boy who simply wishes to break away from his family's tradition, running Yamano Inn, which is a hot spring resort where the most beautiful girls come from miles around for vacation time. One could easily question his sanity, as did his employers. Being rejected for the millionth time, he sadly returns to Yamano Inn to work as manager/butler. You've got three days to choose to follow and woo the girl of your choice.
Game is localized and has English reviews.


19. Refrain Love 2 リフレインラブ2 [990128] Riverhill Soft inc.
In April hero decided to move to Sakurazaki Town to enter university there. He rents a room in Scarlet Hall apartments. These several months he will spend together with his university colleagues and other boarding house members.
Another quality species among galge. One distinctive feature is that age is set much higher than usual. Another one is that standing sprites are animated... that's a very refreshing view. Unlike first old work SIM elements are excluded so can play without restraint. That all and lovely heroines create lots of charm for this work.

20. Chiruhana ~Kindan no Ketsuzoku~ 散櫻 ~禁断の血族~ [990129] 1                                       

Your uncle dies, and you investigate his mysterious manor.
I've prepared a full review.                             


21. Datenshi 堕天使 [990129] Noise

Minoru Nagata is hit by a car and regains consciousness at the edge of hell. The mysterious voice tells him to obtain the "proof of life" that an angel has if he wants to return to the Earth. However, the maze of hell is inhabited by strange monsters and and the angel would not surrender without a fight as well...
We start in front of several portals containing various monsters, but eventually find the portal to the apartment where some girl lives. She jumps to the hell portal trying to run away from the hero and their weird adventures at hell begin. Apart of that it's very close to the previous game Daite. Wrong moves lead to premature game over, right moves bring continuation with new weird situations.

22. Ikusa Megami 戦女神 [990129] Eushully 1 2 3 4 5
Celica Sylphil obtained the body of a goddess by slaying her. As a result, he was chased by gods and nations, and hunted by assassins until the ‘water miko’, the guardian saint of the holy nation of Rewinia. During the Battle of Dounel, he lost almost all of his divine power while defeating the evil dragon Aracale. Rewinia was saved, but he had become a soul-less female body.
Before he had time to recover his wounds, the ‘water miko’ requested that he head to the Rerun area to investigate the disappearance of the princess of Rewinia 18 years ago. Following the Rewinian order of knights who had left before him, he arrived to find a giant labyrinth. Will he be able to uncover the truth and regain his lost power?
Game has English reviews.

23. Mahjong Mokushiroku まあじゃん黙視録 [990129] West Gate

Shinichi Sakurai is the protector of justice of mahjong world. One day the general of mahjong world is overthrown by a group of assassins, and the Mahjong Federation announces the world mahjong martial arts festival as a retaliatory measure in order to eliminate the soldiers of the back mahjong world. Of course hero gets an invitation letter as well. 
What a pile of crap of a plot. As usual, there is story mode and just mahjong mode. The reviews are very displeasing. That's as far as my investigation goes.

24. Zenjidou Saishuu Shori Ningyou Kururu-chan 全自動最終処理人形クルルちゃん [990129] A2
Near future. Inventor created three automatic muppet dolls. There story starts as a boy and a girl find them.
This is a bakage with 15 patterns of scenarios to unfold. Stories are vertical text and rakugo style, so that's an amusing read, but hard to do sequentially. There's lots of H-events as well.

25. Gray Judge [990130] Sorciere
Near future where security structures are privatized. Sakura Genichiro works for a microscopic police company. He will resolve incidents together with his female companions.
There are four different cases to resolve. There is an ending for each of five heroines, but not all of them are available from the beginning. Story tries to be hard boiled, but lacks tension for it. There is no integral line, so after four different cases it's an abrupt end - very disappointing.

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