The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page, April 1, 2022 – A new golden age?

The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page

Good afternoon everyone! The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page took a quick break last week as there wasn’t much in our mailbag, but we’ve made up for that this week with some interesting letters to take a look at!

Don’t forget that, as always, you can write to us via the main Letters Page on the site, via the form at the bottom of this page or by replying to the Rice Digital Weekly Digest, which you can sign up to get in your inbox once a week here.

Without any further faffing around, then, let’s jump right in and see what you’ve had to say for yourselves this week!

Art by Santa Matsuri. Source: Dengeki Moeoh, June 2012

New developments

Dear Rice,

It’s been a while since I decided to try writing to the publication. Also, a bit exciting to write to the Friday letters again. Gotta keep it pertinent to the subject!

I was watching Hentai Live Expo yesterday, and I feel like we’re on the bring of a new golden age for adult games! New publishers coming around or old ones re-calculating their strategies, new games. All that’s missing is someone to lead the way by example. Will Rice say a few words about the event?

Speaking of which, have you heard of the Dokyusei Remake? There’s an international version handled by Shiravune which will be distributed by Steam and Johren. I’ve been aching for a rosy-cheeked romance for a while. Maybe I should be trying out the original for nostalgia’s sake.

That’s all from me.

Shaddox


Hi Shaddox, good to see you writing in to the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page once again. Thanks for the heads-up on the Hentai Live Expo — sounds like there’s a lot worth going over there, so I’ll pencil in some proper coverage for that next week.

Oddly enough I follow DLSite on Twitter and have been exploring some of their catalogue recently (mainly ASMR hentai, which I absolutely do not have a mild addiction to) and somehow missed that this was going on, which is a pity! It’s right up our street!

I don’t have time to watch the whole livestream right now but I’ll make sure I do before next week, as just from a quick browse of the event’s social media feed, it appears that there was a lot of enthusiasm for what was going on, and a lot of adult game developers keen to show off what they’ve been working on.

Letters page: Hentai Live Expo

As a commenter on the Twitter feed noted, there seem to be a lot of lewd game developers and publishers out there keen to get some exposure (if you’ll pardon the pun) and simply not getting it. I mean, we’ve all known for a long time that mainstream publications won’t touch 18+ stuff with a barge pole — likely due to advertisers getting sniffy about what content their ads might be seen alongside — but that just makes it all the more important for smaller and more specialist sites to step up. So we’ll make sure we do just that!

It’s been really exciting to see the growth in adult gaming over the course of the last 20 years or so. I remember being absolutely fascinated by the existence of hentai games back when I first discovered them in the late ’90s, but there was a real stigma attached to anything adult-oriented back then — even more so than there is right now, by quite a considerable degree. These days, I can happily talk openly about 18+ stuff online and there are people who want to know more — so it’s important to celebrate events like this.

Letters page: Doukyuusei

I don’t believe I’m familiar with Dokyusei, but I absolutely love the art, and I’m always up for a remake of a classic ’90s eroge. Shiravune have been very active of late, so they’re definitely a company to keep an eye on, I think — I’ll see if we can find some time to squeeze a look in to the new game, as those are some super-cute girls that I’m very much up for getting to know a little better!

Cars are expensive

Dear Rice,

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the recent microtransaction controversies surrounding Chocobo Racing and Gran Turismo 7?

GhostWaffle


Hi GhostWaffle, and thanks for your letter. I’ve actually been meaning to look further into Gran Turismo 7 as I was having a blast with it the week after launch (my copy arrived a bit late!) and I haven’t actually tried it since the update that upset everyone. I’ll be making some time over the weekend to do just that.

From the sound of things, it appears that people were unhappy it would take longer to grind your way to the best cars in the game, and my initial reaction to that is “well, it’s supposed to be hard to get the best cars in the game” — that, and just getting those best cars right away makes the best of the game super-boring anyway!

I remember playing… Gran Turismo 3, I think? I spent an afternoon just doing the most boring endurance race in the game to get enough money to afford the most expensive ride in the game. When I acquired it, it was lovely, sure, but there was absolutely no challenge left, because it was simply so much better than everything else in the events.

Letters page: Gran Turismo 7

I was initially a bit skeptical about GT7’s “Menu Book” thing, but after playing through a number of those up until this point, I’ve found myself quite liking the excuse to try out different types of cars, cars from different regions and suchlike. I’m in no hurry to nab the priciest cars in the game because, like a real racing driver’s career, that’s something you’re supposed to work your way up to over the long term. It’s all about the journey rather than the destination.

That’s my initial reaction without having tried playing after the update, anyway — we’ll see if I feel the same after this weekend.

As for Chocobo Racing, the fact that the game’s main menu looks like the most hideously obnoxious mobile game ever designed should be more than enough to put anyone with half a brain off. Supposedly the racing action is pretty decent, but honestly if a game is that aggressive about trying to sell things to me up-front, I lose interest in it almost immediately. At least in Gran Turismo’s case the microtransactions are subtly hidden away — indeed, I spoke to several people who actually had no idea they’d been in there since launch, not just since the controversial update!

Way ahead of ya

Dear Rice,

I know you’ve been enjoying the Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki light novel series for a while, and it’s not long to wait until the next volume’s out in English. Do you have any plans to cover the spin-off manga series about Mimimi?

nanashi


Hi nanashi, and for transparency’s sake I’ll just mention that we received this message on Tuesday this week — because hopefully if you’ve been paying attention to the site today you’ll have noticed that we already covered the first volume of Minami Nanami Wants to Shine!

I’m intrigued to see what the long-term plan — if any — there is for that series, because it seems to diverge quite noticeably from the main “canon” of Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki towards the end of the first volume. As such, it very much has the feel of a “what if?” story rather than necessarily being a companion piece to the light novels. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I hasten to add, but I think its intentions will become clearer with subsequent volumes.

In the meantime, you’re right; volume 8 of the mainline series is out on April 19, so I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck in to that. As the first real light novel series that I’ve spent any substantial time with, I suspect Tomozaki will always be special to me in a certain way — but it’s also a cracking good read, too. Yuki Yaku has a real talent for telling lovely stories, creating fantastic characters and, of course, perving out about them in his afterwords. Count on us to continue following the series as soon as we get our mucky hands on the next volume!


And that’s your lot for this week. On that note, it’s time to bid farewell for the day and wish you all a thoroughly lovely weekend. The sun’s started to come out here, so I might even go outside for a bit. On the other hand, I might just lock myself in my house and play video games all weekend. It could go either way at this point, but I suspect the latter is more likely.

Anyway. We here at Rice all hope you’ve enjoyed our work this week, and we’ll see you again on Monday!

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