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1  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: August 30, 2013, 02:34:13 PM
The game is released.  The gameplay section of the official website is also complete, which gives a quick overview of the battle system.

Give the free trial a try if you're on the fence: http://www.jastusa.com/yumina/downloads.html
2  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: August 25, 2013, 09:41:37 PM
That aligns pretty well with my own impressions.  I'm not generally a fan of comedy, but the dialogue drew me in and kept me interested.  The amount of gameplay is pretty low in the trial, lower than I expect in the rest of the game once the dungeon element gets introduced.  Compared to Aselia the Eternal, the battle system seems to have more potential to challenge the player strategically.  Also, this time around you actually choose how the players develop along an ability tree.  Likewise, the events you choose to engage in determine the skills you unlock.  Character customization options are therefore greatly increased.

The free trial took me about 9 hours to finish.  I expect it'll take most players about 5 hours.

Here's English gameplay footage from the free trial.
Tutorial
First fight
3  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: August 09, 2013, 04:56:29 PM
JAST just released a major website update, including a free trial of the entire first chapter (!), an image gallery, a prominently displayed official OP (sadly without subtitles), the manual (which discusses the gameplay mechanics), and system requirements. The website layout is completely redesigned: visually it's very appealing. The system section is still under construction.

The free trial includes the entire first chapter of the game, clocking in at a whopping 1.4GB.  The website is really looking good now; I recommend that everyone interested in the game check it out.  The manual provides some new details on the combat system.
http://www.jastusa.com/yumina/downloads.html

The new release date is August 30th.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 18, 2013, 11:00:49 PM
Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes transition from slice-of-life to more serious sci-fi storylines.  Toradora and Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo transition from slice of life comedy to serious romantic drama.  Star Ocean 3 transitions fairly sharply from fantasy to sci-fi genre.  Duel Savior is primarily a chara-ge early in, but later develops a pretty compelling sci-fi/fantasy plot.  Even Sengoku Rance has its "serious business" moments later in the game once the arch villain shows up.  I think there are plenty of examples of successful transitions.

While I can't guarantee Yumina the Ethereal's plot will blow you away (players usually emphasize the comedy over the plot), VN players tend to set a fairly high bar for story (and they're the ones rating this game on VNDB and Erogamescape).  On the other hand, many JRPGs and anime are targeted at younger audiences, so it's really no surprise the writing doesn't always meet expectations.

Myself, I was pretty disappointed with Agarest War.  I bought it expecting a VN / RPG hybrid.  I got a grindfest with hardly any character interaction--basically, the VN element was almost absent.  For those similarly disappointed, I think there will be a lot to like in Yumina the Ethereal.
5  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 18, 2013, 06:26:11 PM
The game is a moe romantic comedy, which transitions into a more serious sci-fi style story later in the game.  This should be a familiar pattern to those who play JRPGs and watch anime.
6  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 18, 2013, 06:18:55 PM
Aselia the Eternal had an animation skip option.  I imagine this game will have a similar option.  I should probably dive into the Japanese demo and see for myself.

I found a description of the battle system here: http://tenka.seiha.org/2008/10/now-eating-yumina-the-ethereal-combat-trial/

Note that this was a pre-release demo from over 4 years ago, so the mechanics may have changed since then.  As the demo was a simple battle system demonstration, the story segments were stripped out. The overall impression of the combat mechanics seems to be "Seinarukana with added layers of strategy", with Seinarukana itself being an evolution of Aselia the Eternal's relatively simple combat system.
7  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 18, 2013, 03:50:17 PM
Here's one of the boss battles from the Japanese version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDU6fgLkoLc
8  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 11, 2013, 09:53:54 AM
Re: JAST USA and the game itself.  The one thing that I've repeatedly complained about the most regarding Aselia: The Eternal was that there was no playable demo available.  That's a terrible oversight to me in this day and age.  Aselia piqued my interest, but the lack of a "try before you buy" option was a dealbreaker for me.  A PC game without an available demo, especially when nowadays console game release playable demos?  Unacceptable.  Okay, someone could argue that I could just watch YouTube videos of gameplay, but that's not the same as a hands-on experience.  

Hopefully Yumina will learn from that mistake and have a playable demo available.  


I absolutely agree.  I actually wrote a blog post expressing my disappointment with JAST's marketing of this title to date, and calling for those who care about this title to go knock on JAST's door.  If the merely curious want to join in, that would only help get the message across.
http://visualnovelaer.fuwanovel.org/2013/07/yumina-the-ethereal-the-first-high-profile-official-h-rpg-release-in-english-but-will-jast-drop-the-ball-and-forget-to-market-it/
9  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 09:39:57 PM
However due to my genetic HSDD the AO content is an absolute deal breaker.
In their Wisdom, the Founding Fathers of visual novels created a feature known as "message skip", which is now ubiquitous in modern VNs.  Rather than being limited to just AO content, this versatile feature allows you to leap through ANY textual content that doesn't interest you.  It's a very useful feature and I highly recommend it for you and likeminded individuals.
10  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 09:17:10 PM
You'd buy the game if there was a menu option to disable or skip the adult content?  Also, you should use the "less than" sign (<).
11  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 09:02:06 PM
And for every good eroge like Crescendo, there are hundreds or really bad and/or disgustingly degenerate ones.  If I were to review Crescendo, then we'd have to review something like Water Closet
You review every title that someone sends your way?  I never argued you're not allowed to have standards, or to draw the line somewhere.  I'd argue that this title is more relevant to your core goals (reviewing RPGs) than reviewing a title like Crescendo.  Also, I never stopped by to promote the Raidy series, because I don't think it's worthy of promotion.  It's not worth your time, and probably not worth your readers' time either!

As for having to age-restrict your site, I'm not sure why that would be necessary just to review an adult title.  You don't have to post adult content in the review.  You just review the title.  Assuming the reviewer is 18 or over, I don't see the problem.
12  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 08:52:17 PM
But I genuinely believe that people who liked Agarest War and bought it because of the silly advertisements would be interested in this game.  I don't have the resources or the talent to create trailers like that.  But if I did, I would!
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 08:42:07 PM
I'm perfectly capable of handling constructive criticism.  And actually, in this scene there's no such thing as bad publicity.  Except if you're MoeNovel.  But that's a tale for another time.
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 08:14:54 PM
I doubt there have been any officially released ecchi RPGs to date that even bordered on the sort of quality RPGFan expects.  This will be the first.  It won't be the last.

Actually, I'd say Utawarerumono. There's even a no porn English version of it =/
Point me to the official English release of Utawarerumono.

My point was that such debate has probably never occurred, because it never needed to occur.  Am I willing to debate it?  Sure.  Am I content not debating it?  Absolutely.  The fans of RPGFan are perfectly capable of voicing what content they want to see without me telling them what to think.
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Yumina the Ethereal: A new ecchi JRPG for Agarest War fans on: July 10, 2013, 07:38:55 PM
You asked a question.  I answered.  Why should I quote your entire post?

I'm actually not here to start a debate about RPGFan's reviewing policies.  I'm perfectly fine just discussing the game with the community here and potentially stirring up interest.  If the staff here *want* to debate their policy with me, well I'm willing to do that too.  I doubt there's any precedent for this, as I doubt there have been any officially released ecchi RPGs to date that even bordered on the sort of quality RPGFan expects.  This will be the first.  It won't be the last.
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