hiram.jpg Continuing the previously in-force semi-obsession with U.S. dating-centric Japanese 'visual novel' importers Hirameki International, RPGFan has posted dual reviews of recent Hirameki titles Tea Society Of A Witch and Exodus Guilty Vol. 1: Present, the latter of which amazingly "involves the past, present, and future" - all at once!

Exodus Guilty is apparently a lush title in which "religion (particularly eschatological theories), morality, and the values of mankind are strong themes in the narrative", but reviewer Neal Chandran notes: "Visual novels are not a genre based around gameplay, but the gameplay offered in Exodus Guilty is more limited than in other visual novels I've played. There are extremely few decisions to be made in the game and even if you make an incorrect decision, you get a do-over until you make the correct decision the game wants you to make."

As for the review of Tea Society, it's explained delightedly: "If you are looking for a love adventure that is serious-minded and features a deep and very thoughtful romance, then stop reading right now and go pick up Hourglass of Summer. If you want to experience silly romatic hijinks with a bevy of silly anime girls, then Tea Society of a Witch just may be up your alley." [RPGFan also has a review of Hirameki's Ever 17, for the intrigued.]