First, a quick update:
I started this counter with seventy games on my list. Today, I can proudly say that it's now down to twenty! At the rate I'm going, I should be caught up before the end of the year. In theory, of course. Most of games remaining on my list will take more than a week or two to complete, thanks to sheer length.
I could try pushing myself to work through the visual novels faster, but I don't know how effective that will really be. Either way, I plan on easing up a bit once I'm in that final stretch (last ten games or so), and prepare myself for Shin Megami Tensei 5. For that, I need to beat some of the games currently downloaded on my Switch Lite. Although it's much smaller (around eight games or so), I've got a backlog there to deal with!
Anyway, to the meat of today's blog:
Saya no Uta - Or "The Song of Saya". I remember picking this one up for the Lovecraftian themes, but forgot it was technically a romance and not just straight up horror.
I liked the game as a whole, especially the creepy images and how well paced it was. I actually had a hard time putting it down, because every stopping point read like a cliffhanger! And you could slowly see Funamori descending into madness, by way of his Eldritch abomination of a girlfriend. Who is also...a literal child (yikes!).
I'm aware that the entity isn't even remotely human, despite appearing as such to Funamori. It was just...really off-putting and made it harder for me to sympathize with them. Instead, I found myself prioritizing Funamori's friend, Koji, and his doctor, Ryoko. I'm rather fond of Ryoko, actually. She played the kind of role I would prefer in a setting such as this, though I can't say what without spoiling the game!
Flaws aside (including unnecessary rape scenes and the pedo elephant in the room), it's a decent game, and thankfully censored on Steam. I wouldn't recommend it if you're sensitive to graphic content or scare easily.
Scar of the Doll - An older visual novel, it has a few flaws but none I can apply to the story itself. I would've greatly appreciated an auto advance or skip option, but it wasn't that bad.
Now, for the story itself...
I greatly enjoyed this game and would recommend it to anyone seeking a cozy mystery game! It's short, around five hours, and they don't waste time dragging things out with excessive exposition or multiple perspectives. It's very simple: you're young woman looking for your sister at a research facility in Tokyo. It sounds rather straightforward, but as you go deeper into the story, begin to realize that there's much more behind the scenes.
I had an idea of what one of the main twists were, but the rest caught me off guard and left me wanting more. The ending was satisfying, though gave me something new to ponder.
Vampyre - They took a unique concept and made it beyond boring. The controls felt clunky, and while the story was intriguing, was not enough to make me play through more of it. It's something I would've enjoyed more as a Let's Play.