Flashback to reviews of 2014/15. Happy New Year 2016!

2015 was a lot of things to a lot of people on this forum (animeforum), but to me, it was the year after I first stepped into visual novels and reviewing them, and the beginning of a new hobby of mine.
Thanks to everyone who visited my reviews respective threads, as of December 30th 2015, they have accumulated 17,957 (and another 19,410 for a guide on getting Katawa Shoujo on android devices) here on animeforum ALONE, which personally for me, thank you is not enough to express my gratitude.

Today I would like to take a retrospective of what I have reviewed in 2014/15, as well as a special release in 2015 that I unfortunately did not get around to but I will have something special for it in 2016. Think of it as a tl;dr collection of the reviews as well as a peek of what's to come.

November 2014. Sepia Tears and Katawa Shoujo

The birth of my hobby began with these two gems. One that I found through google play (Ironically not being a paywall free-to-play-for-two-minutes VN), though I can't recall how I learned about it. Katawa Shoujo and Sepia Tears are both very worthwhile visual novels that may make you cry, but will certainly make you feel.

Katawa Shoujo is pretty famous as being "the" free gateway visual novel. Development began in the beginning of 2007 on the most unlikely of places, being 4chan's /a/ board. As the ideas and hearts of many were spilled into the thread and the characters, scenarios, and ideas piled up, and entire game and coherent story began to unfold and was finally released in 2012. It underwent many changes on the way (mostly from changedcharacters, story ideas and drastically different, and some rather depressing endings in the beta/alpha builds).

Katawa Shoujo is able to take sensitive subject matter, and make a Genuine and Sensitive approach accordingly. While the subject matter may be off-putting it’s definitely worth giving a try. With good Replayability, Unlockable Galleries, a touching heartfelt story, good character development, and at no cost. Katawa Shoujo deserves a spot in anyone’s game folder, but it’s more recommended to mature audiences to fully enjoy, otherwise play with mature scenes off. Katawa Shoujo is available free of cost, along with a Soundtrack, and an Unofficial Android Port available as well. This is the VN that inspired me to begin reviewing VNs and I have had fun with them since then.

You can read the full review here; http://www.animeforum.com/showthread...-Katawa-Shoujo

Sepia Tears is a VN that deserves a lot more recognition and exposure, and thanks to their greenlit status on steam, they may get just that. Sepia Tears was released as a free visual novel by Team NEET on Christmas Eve 2013.

Its one of the first I ever played and It’s a great visual novel. I could relate to Mark and I enjoyed Myra’s character, Honestly (and not in a bad way) the art style could be inspiring people who want to try something like visual novel art without any superb skill. This story is definitely worth your time, and if you have a google device, is a great diamond in a sea of rough paywall or generally bad visual novels on the Google Play Store.

you can read the full review here; http://www.animeforum.com/showthread...ew-Sepia-Tears

December 2014. De"capital i"z.

DeIz is a visual novel that really caught me by surprise, it looks innocent. It is but at the same time its definitely not. I don’t recommend this one for kids or younger teens due to the themes. However play as you will. While this story for the most part is okay, the endings, however vary from good and heartfelt to cruel and just plain wierd. At one point in the development cycle, DeIz was at one point going to be a yandere type visual novel, but took some of the non life threatening ideas to carry on in the final story.

This visual novel was made by a one man team of Mike Inel, who is famously known on the internet for his work as an artist on Katawa Shoujo among others, but what we got from his efforts was a visual novel that felt forced. many of the stories made no sense and happened too fast, or were just too bizarre to even fit if it tried. The VN as whole is just "okay". its not good, but its not horrible. I would definitely say discretion is advised, as some of the themes may disturb younger readers.

You can read the full review here; http://www.animeforum.com/showthread...el-Review-DeIz

January 2015. A Great Start to a New Year. If My Heart Had Wings.

If My Heart Had Wings can be quoted by Moenovel, its developer, as "What should truly be called “Visual Novel HD”". In late 2014 it caught my eye on steam after it was released there after gaining great success from the initial sales on its website. Achievements, Trading Cards, Emoticons, and More are available on steam through its online services.

If My Heart Had Wings is truly an amazing visual novel. It is everything that those who love romance, friendship, and slice of life could want in one story. The music and art is great and is paired with full japanese voice acting. Aside from the twins each character is well developed. The added steam support just enhances an already amazing experience. This visual novel was so good that I even had a small give away and rewarded it my first perfect 10.

you can read the full review here; http://www.animeforum.com/showthread...eart-Had-Wings

March 2015. Go Go Nippon! A true mixed bag.

Go Go Nippon! is an interesting story that had potential to be something great, but tried to spread its wings a bit too far by trying to do more than just a standard VN, but thats not a bad thing. Go Go Nippon! is available on steam, and has a sequel in production as of this post.

Personally, it felt like Go Go Nippon! tried too hard trying to incorporate educational value to the game, which feels, while not forced, that it takes away from what could have been more character development, more fleshed out story, and just, more of the three days in japan the game takes place in. Its not bad, but I wouldnt say its worth the fairly high price for its quality, though to some the Steam support with achievements, trading cards, and more make up for it.

You can read the full review here; http://www.animeforum.com/showthread...w-Go!Go!Nippon!

Now and the Future. Going into 2016.

You may notice there was a huge skip from my previous review on animeforum and now. I took quite a long break, but i'm slowly coming out of hibernation and cracking those stories back open with notepad tabbed to the side. Recently, I became a probationary Moderator on the forum "yay!" and I expect some good times to be had with the fellow mods. That said, expect me to be more active on the forum, and I hope to get along well with everyone and help the community grow.

For the future of my reviews, there is one visual novel that is well known across the world for its pure quality, and for how many feelings both it and its anime adaptations it gave its viewers. Clannad's visual novel, which started its legacy, recently released for the first time in English on Steam, though unfortunately I have not been able to get it for myself quite yet, though expect something a little special for it down the road sometime in 2016.

As for plans in 2016 unrelated to my guilt of not doing a good Clannad review in time,
How about in April, in light of a new entry being released, I'll be paying some feathered friends a long overdue visit, as I promised several people in the past I would. (It was actually meant to be an april 2015 review, but due to constraints, was never finished.) To kick off 2016, I remember I haven't given Nekopara Vol. 0 and Vol. 1 some attention and given their popularity in the steam community I think its time that I gave them a good look.

Do you have any visual novels that you are looking forward to this year? How about visual novels that you would like to see a review of on animeforum? Feel free to post a comment, and why not drop some reputation if you enjoyed my reviews in the past, or are enjoying this retrospective tl;dr now?

See you guys in 2016