The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page, September 10, 2021 – Variable quality

The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page

Good afternoon everybody, and congratulations — you’ve made it to the last stretch of yet another week! Ahead of you — hopefully, anyway — is a weekend filled with some combination of gaming, erotic literature, tasty things to eat and the opportunity to pet soft things, but before that, there’s one thing we need to do. The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

That’s right; if you’re new ’round ‘ere, every Friday we collect together all the correspondence submitted by our fine readers via that shiny “Write to Rice!” widget over on the right-hand side of every page, and we reply to it. If you want to join the fun, all you’ve gotta do is click that little blue thing, come up with a pen name for yourself and submit a message. No personal info required!

This week the messages have been of somewhat… variable quality, with a few top-notch posts and a few… less good. This week we include them all for your delectation.

Let us begin!

A simple request

Dear Rice,

Pls 1 video

Girls no dress


Well, we’re off to a fine start with this Rice Digital Friday Letters Page, aren’t we? All right then, you want one video? Here:

If that is not to your liking, I invite you to use actual words next time. Have a lovely weekend!

Straightforward desires

Dear Rice,

I want to play

Anik


Anik’s letter here was posted via the “Top 10 Sexy Games for Perverts” article that we published a long time ago, suggesting that he wants to play something that makes him want to play with himself.

May I recommend the thoroughly excellent (and exceedingly NSFW) visual novel Love³ -Love Cube- from Neko Work H? I found that game particularly satisfying from an erotic perspective (by that I mean it gave me a raging boner for a very long time indeed) — and the actual story side of things was fun, too. Plus art from Ishikei and E-Mote animation from Sayori? Can’t go wrong with that. Play away!

Letters Page: Love Cube

Some actual substance

Dear Rice,

As we all know, anime and manga have brought us the joy that is monster girls and monster boys.

If monster girls and monster boys were to become a reality through whatever means, what would be your reaction to them, other than confused or panicked screaming?

LethalJoke


Finally, an actual letter with something to it! Thank you, LethalJoke; the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page appreciates you greatly.

This is doubtless something that any anime and manga fan has thought about to one degree or another — because for all our fantasies about monster girls and whatnot, the first actual sighting of one would almost certainly be absolutely terrifying. The nice thing about anime and manga, after all, is that the things they depict resemble reality enough to be recognisable, but they often file off the rough edges and make things that would be unthinkable in reality a lot more palatable.

For example, when Monster Musume aired a while back, a lot of people I know went absolutely crazy for Rachnera, but can you imagine what a “real” spiderwoman would look like? Utterly horrifying, I’m sure — at least initially. And while the more open-minded among us would surely find a means of coming to terms with the more monstrous elements of monster girls’ and boys’ appearances over time — and perhaps we could end up living in harmony — the current state of the world doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that demihumans would be entirely… accepted.

Letters page: Monster Musume

I’d like to think I’d be one of those more open-minded people, particularly because I (like many people) have a thing for monster girls in anime and manga, but I guess it’s one of those things you’d never really know until it actually happened. And it would probably depend a great deal on exactly how “monstrous” we’re talking.

Human top half with snake tail? Probably fine. Top half featuring more explicitly, obviously “snakey” bits, fangs, scales and venom? Not so sure. And as a lifelong arachnophobe, a spider lady would have to have a thoroughly lovely personality for me to get past hairy (spider) legs and dribbling pincers.

If we’re fantasising, though, I guess we could just picture ourselves entering the anime and manga world rather than monster girls and boys becoming real; we’d live alongside anime and manga-style depictions of monster girls and boys rather than more “realistic” versions. In those circumstances, I would absolutely be completely happy, I’m certain!

Not sure if serious

Dear Rice,

Where can I download the game?

Rin


Rin’s letter here came to us via our recent article on “5 of the best little sisters in video games“, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and provide some helpful download and purchase links rather than assuming this letter was spam.

Nekopara’s various volumes are available on pretty much everything, so just search your favourite storefront for “Nekopara” to grab them. If you want the original adults-only versions, head on over to Denpasoft, where they have a complete collection of not only the games but also some merchandise, artbooks and music selections. Note that Nekopara vol. 0 does not have an adults-only version.

Likewise, the Senran Kagura games are available on a variety of platforms. Estival Versus, which features Ryoubi, who appeared in the article, is available on PS4 and PC. You can also get it for Vita, but you’ll need to either buy a physical version (quite hard to find of late) or download it directly on the Vita in that case, since Sony no longer has a web-based Vita store.

There are a bunch of Neptunia games in which Nepgear appears. The artwork in the article (seen above) is from Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online, which is available for PS4 and PC, while Nepgear’s first appearance can be relived through Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: Sisters Generation on PC or Vita. In the latter case, again, you’ll need to hunt down a physical copy (good luck with that these days) or go digital via the Vita itself.

Akiba’s Trip is available for PS3, Vita, PS4 and PC. The former two options will need you to search on the system themselves or seek out physical copies, while the latter can both be had digitally.

Finally, Atelier Firis is available for PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC. Our friends at Play-Asia do a physical Nintendo Switch cart containing all three Atelier Mysterious games, including Firis.

Now please don’t say I wasted my time responding to a bot! Hope that you are real, Rin, and that this helped!

Another proper one

Dear Rice,

I’ve been in a bit of a down tide for the past few weeks. Are you familiar with the “healing games” concept? It’s something I can’t really define and can’t think of anything like that in particular on PC other than maybe Mystia Izakaya.

All I know is that I’m willing to try.

Shaddox


Hi Shaddox, and sorry you’re feeling down — depression and anxiety can be a real pisser if you’re trying to get anything done. As you say, though, there are games out there than do a great job of lifting your mood and remind you that life isn’t all a load of old toss.

I’m not sure if “healing games” has a formal definition or description, but from a cursory glance at the Mystia Izakaya game you mentioned (which I assume is this?) then it sounds like you need more Atelier in your life!

Gust’s series has been running for a very long time now, and a lot of its most popular installments are available on PC. At the time of writing, you’ve got the Arland trilogy (which is actually four games, since Atelier Lulua was later added to it), the Dusk trilogy, the Mysterious trilogy and the two Ryza games; there’ll almost certainly be a third Ryza at some point, too.

Letters page: Atelier Firis

The nice thing about Atelier is that you can jump in anywhere, even the middle of a trilogy — though if you start at the beginning of a trilogy you’ll generally observe a gradual evolution of both narrative and mechanics as things proceed. Each game has its own distinct mechanics and structure, and all are a little bit different from one another. One of my personal favourites is Atelier Firis, which combines the Atelier format of gathering ingredients and crafting with an open-world structure, but every installment in the series is worth your time.

The Dusk trilogy is probably the most beloved by fans, but its somewhat melancholy post-apocalyptic setting may not be quite what you need or want if you’re feeling a bit down. Atelier Ayesha’s final boss theme brings me to tears with its first chord if I’m feeling a bit delicate.

If you’re not in the mood for Atelier — or perhaps you’ve already played ’em all — a recent release you might find of interest is Kitaria Fables, which combines Stardew Valley-style farming with hack-and-slash action RPG gameplay. You can even play it cooperatively with a friend if there’s someone willing to join you — but even solo there’s plenty of wholesome floof to enjoy here. You can find out more about it and pick yourself up a copy here.

Maybe steer clear of Tormented Souls for a week or two, though.

Hope that helps!


And we’re done and dusted for another week. Thank you, as always, for your contributions, such as they were this time around — and have a thoroughly lovely weekend!

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