61 CommentsVisual Novels / By Scamp /

The Devil on G String – Visual Novel Review

I was originally going to post about the last Break Blade movie, but my internet provider sent me a message complaining about how much I was downloading this month. Not sure if it would be particularly happy if, as soon as I got that message, I went off and downloaded a 1 gig video. So yeah, saving that video for next month when my internet usage resets, and instead posting about visual novels again.

Devil on G String, weeaboo name G Senjou no Maou  (while there’s no more weeaboo pastime than playing visual novels, when your English name is that awesome, why wouldn’t you use it?). It starts off a bit interesting. Some guy walks through a snowy town, philosophising about what have you. Another girl walks in the opposite direction, philosophising about what have you. It was all very Vague and Mysterious for about 2 minutes.

Then there was a scene change. The main character wakes up. His classmate, a braindead girl who is scarily interested in his every move, rings his doorbell and walks to school with him. There we meet the womanising wingman with a hilarious split personality, the irritating possessive little sister who desperately wants to bone the main character but it’s OK because she’s not blood related, and the Mysterious Transfer Student, whose only real mystery is how would we tell her apart from the other two girls without their various hairstyles due to how each character design looks the exact same.

And suddenly we’ve reached exactly the kind of material that turned me off visual novels in the first place.

I played this game for roughly 5 hours. Of that, about 3 hours were of pointless meandering about with the main character going through an average day in school. The main character is bland and personality less, which contrasts nicely with how painfully retarded each of the people he talks to are. Even the girl who is supposed to be a genius, the mysterious transfer student, comes off a special kind of socially retarded that is played as though it’s meant to be funny. The scenes frequently go nowhere, leading to a line with the main characters simply saying “just another day at school”, which he would have said several times over the course of the proceeding scene already anyway, because god does this game like to repeat the redundant. We get it, you fucking shitty game, that when a character says “I am angry with you” that she’s angry. You don’t need to then have the main character pointing out to us that she looks angry.

I understand that what the story was trying to portray was that this school life was an escape from the supposed dramatic underworld life the main character had. But so much nothing happens, and keeps happening, that it remains painfully boring throughout. So much of G String consists of nothing. Saya no Uta started off with us catching a glimpse of what appeared to be a fusion of an eyeball and a testicle, making a sound like the devil gargling his mouthwash. That’s introducing you into the story, not the 2 solid hours of pratting about doing fuck all that G String kicks off with. I know I shouldn’t compare every visual novel with Saya no Uta, seeing as it’s much shorter than your average VN. But I was under the impression that having a longer VN would mean a longer story, not that you had the same length story but with endless amounts of padding.

3 hours into Saya no Uta and we’d already had mysteries, deaths, character development and all sorts of crazy shit. The most dramatic thing that had happened in G String was the irritating little sister, who is not blood related so it’s OK for her to want your cock, breaking the main characters Bach CD. The music became all dramatic, so I figured the main character would do something interesting in return. So what did he decide to do? Hide the gym key so the sister wouldn’t be able to play her volleyball match later on that day. Whoop de fucking doo, that’s the big thing? That? I was expecting him to flip out, unleash his money-laundering, bribing powers to bring ruin upon their once peaceful lives. For him to fall into a frenzy, slice the head off each of the girls and fuck their decapitated bodies because at least then something would have fucking happened!

Even the parts of the story that are meant to be actual development of some sort of story are plagued with the same problems the braindead school setting scenes have. If a guy bluntly tells me to fuck his daughter while he leaves a subordinate bleeding to death by his dinner table, then I think I can gather for myself that he’s not a very nice father. You do not need for the main character to constantly monologue before and after the incident how evil he thinks this man is. Also, could someone tell me what is the point of having fully voiced characters in the narration if the text is going to point out that the man, who’s voice actor has a husky gravelly voice, spoke in a husky gravelly voice? Why do you bring in these famous voice actors if the writing makes their presence redundant? It couldn’t just be because people like listening to their voices and don’t give a shit about how it actually affects the story, right?

Mind you, I was gradually turning off each characters voice anyway as each one got more irritating as the game went on. I discovered the options section allowed me to speed up the dialogue, but the game still waited for each voice actor to finish their line before they went onto the next line. Removing their voice allowed the game to move by much faster. It’s funny how one of the selling points people touted for this game was that it had a character voiced by Jun Fukuyama, considering how I’ve frequently expressed my total disinterest in voice actors. Maybe it was more for the character he was voicing, in which even his opening scene of supposed badassery was totally botched by over-explanation of the rules of the game and for the person he was playing against to painstakingly point out how much of a badass he was after he did something badass.

The story eventually reached a scene that was supposed to come off as a Death Note esque battle of wits, where the mysterious transfer student followed the trail of clues left by Jun Fukuyama. I was so drained by that stage that I barely paid attention to what the mystery was. Perhaps the visual novel could have used the strength of its medium to involve the reader in the mystery themselves? Well, perhaps not, because the scene was supposed to show us what a genius the transfer student was. The only involvement I had, apart from shutting off the characters voices in a desperate attempt to speed this accursed story up somewhat, was some completely arbitrary choices that had no apparent effect on the story. From what I read about the game, the only purpose these choices had was whether you were able to get the women naked later on in the game. In fact, I would have welcomed such a scene, if only to break up the monotony.

Oh, and what was the purpose of this battle of wits scene? After 5 hours of playing, did we finally get some story? It was for the female to Prove Her Worth and that the story could actually begin now. Cue flashy sequence of still images of the characters shooting across the screen before jumping to the title screen, proudly announcing that I could move onto the next chapter. You know what G string? No. Fuck your next chapter. If that proceeding 5 hours of fuck all was a test of our patience before we could get into the real story, then I’ve failed. I don’t care what you have to tell after this point. You do not get better I swear. You just do the same damn thing, except this time your shitty redundant writing and your painfully stupid characters are inserted into Plot instead of bland school life settings.

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  1. derp
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    If you thought G-Senjou was bad, don’t even think of downloading Ever17. You will literally be bored to tears and have to suffer through about thirty hours of redundancy until it all pays off.

    • Posted July 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      That is only to the players lacking attention. Those observing players can even deduct most of Coco’s arc with only the first four. What makes Ever17 a masterpiece is not just the fact that the final arc is amazing, but the fact that the first four arcs are just as expertly written, incredibly cohesive, weaving in a abundance of clues and hints while not giving its hand away.

      • Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        They all still have tons of padding, philosophical monologues that are way too long, occasionally braindead main characters who need everything explained to them in excruciating detail, etc. It’s not as bad as he made Devil on G-string sound, but my complaints about Ever17’s writing are pretty similar. Unfortunately, very few visual novels have writing as concise as Saya no Uta.

      • Random
        Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:13 am | Permalink

        You should REALLY read PHANTOM
        It has no shitty daily life sequences, only epic action with tangling relationships. Greatest work of Urobuchi.

  2. Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I lol’d so hard.

  3. Posted July 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Visual novels require a lot of patience to play and G-Senjou no Maou is one that precisely needs more than 20 hours before the story actually kicks in. That’s why I never recommended this one to you in the first place. As good as it is, I know you wouldn’t have enough patience to last that long yet.

    You should just stick with shorter ones like Planeterian before hoping into these biggies. Ever17, which is doubtlessly a masterpiece takes even longer before the plot kicks in for those who are not observing.

  4. Goresome
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    And yes, there is a joy in collecting all endings and CG’s…

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    hehehehehehe, angry Scamp is best Scamp. When i was playing One, I shut off the voices as quick as possible. Except for sex scenes. Hearing Nanase whimper was the highlight of the entire game~


  6. Scamp
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink


    It’s tagged as nakige. I am not playing anything tagged as nakige

    • luffyluffy
      Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      I won’t stop until you actually watch it.



    • Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      That’s because you have no heart to play to. :P

      Also, Planetarian is actually labelled as a ‘Kinetic Novel’ rather than a Visual Novel, as there are literally no choices for you to make, and no story branches to play through. It’s pretty much a book with pretty pictures and a soundtrack, and compared to many mainline VNs, VERY SHORT.

      • Scamp
        Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        The term ‘kinetic novel’ always amuses me. It puts to image a book you can only read if you jump up and down while holding it

    • Lewin
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      If it helps it didn’t succeed in invoking emotions in my so you can ignore that nakige tag.

  7. Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I would rather watch you ranting at Mawaru Penguindrum or No.6 if you have the time for playing 5 visual novel hours -___-

    • mcm38
      Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Idem! Damn who were the folks who vote for him to rant about VN.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      I have this Baccano post planned but The Public Have Spoken, so it will have to be put back for now :P

      • luffyluffy
        Posted July 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Post it anyway.

        Baccano! is worth it.

      • Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. No Visual Novel can be more important than Baccano.

      • mcm38
        Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Rail Tracer ftw!

  8. Someone Else
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Seriously I can’t stand VNs. Reading 5 hours wall of text with still images? No way, I’m better off in anime with lots of action. But I do read some manga, but never stay at one page that long, because no matter how good an art is, staring at it doesn’t make sense, at least for me.

    I just downloaded saya no uta and lasted till the part of the first victim then skipped the whole thing for the H-scenes. I’ll never read VNs again

    • lostsage
      Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Ah, how tragic the death of imagination is.

      “What the fuck are these things covering up the pretty pictures? Words? Reading? Fuck that, I’ll just wait for the game or movie to come out because those are exciting!”

      Not to say that animation doesn’t portray action sequences better than text or stills can ever hope to, but dismissing an entire medium because it doesn’t have moving pictures to hold your attention is ridiculous.

      • mcm38
        Posted July 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        Eh? You both got a point there.

        First of all if you want to utilize your imagination reading novels with no pictures present is much more stimulating.

        On the other hand not enjoying the pictures is also being thickheaded.

        In the end there are people who enjoy VN’s and who don’t. All of them have reasons justifying enough for themselfves. Just like with everything else I guess.

      • Someone Else
        Posted July 30, 2011 at 5:20 am | Permalink

        Lol imagination?

        The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the idea that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.

        The problem with images is that it has fixed idea or angle depending on the artist. But if you are reading something with no basis of what the characters look like or what the place looks like, THAT’S IMAGINATION.

        Lets say there’s a picture of a slum, but if you instead read only something and tries to explain the place which is probably a slum, you don’t know how terrible the place already is or it might actually be not yet even a slum. Pictures are limited in a way that its just as it is. But it can get more complex by using words, and imagination

        That’s why if I’m going to watch anime, that means I’m going to sit back and relax and not think too much over it and just wait for things to unfold. This is the problem with VNs, or from how I see it, they were trying to show using images almost similar to how animes do, were rather than try the variety of mind stirring words, they only show images, but because of it too limiting in a sense that people would get weird ideas or to whatever is going on, they use words to explain the situation.

        I don’t read novels, but I was forced to because of my professor, and I’m amazed how words alone can make your imagination go wild, even poems, but if there’s a picture of mona lisa, it’s just well an image of her and nothing else. Lets use imagination! Words words words oh wow its no longer just a picture if I use words lol, there’s a different meaning, approaches and everything if I use words to explain it. So my point is, pictures and words not coming from your own idea and just words written and you read it is a bad idea if you are talking about imagination

        Hmm not sure if I’m making any sense, because I don’t get why I’m arguing myself, hell why you even commented and defended on VNs you love. VNs simply doesn’t appeal to me. I know I get biased, but that’s because I know what I want and even if there’s a majority of people who like it, then fine, go ahead, like it just don’t force me to it because majority isn’t always right.Think about it, majority votes? LOL

        hmm my ideas are all over the place

      • anon
        Posted July 30, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        majorities are all about anime actually, because not many people would sit through an entire VN, because you need a certain degree of patience. Also, what is so fun about just sitting back and waiting for everything to unfold? VNs are like books mostly because the main atraction is not the images in the background, but the story itself. In the case of it having good music, then that is actually very stimulating, imagine reading a book while listening to music that soothes each ocassion. I mean, of course, VNs that are beyond the “bang the girl” goal.

      • lostsage
        Posted August 1, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

        My post my have gotten a little dramatic about imagination and whatnot but my main point was that I’m slightly frustrated that people dismiss VNs with amazing stories (not saying Devil on G is one) simply because they don’t have the patience to read words.

        I loved reading books when I was little and imaging the characters and settings with just the cover art to go on. VNs go a step further and give you the characters facial expressions and give you the settings they’re in, along with music. But doesn’t give you enough to take away the immersion you can get with good books. You can argue VNs take away some of the imagination, but it gives the author more control on how they want you to experience the story, for better or worse.

        I think that it is an amazing medium for telling stories without the constraints of a certain number of episodes to fill that sometimes plagues anime. I appreciate some people just don’t enjoy the medium that much but I just wish they wouldn’t dismiss VNs like “LOLWALLOFTEXT I didn’t take enough Riddalin to read all that crap. Gimme fighting scenes and walking in on chicks in the bath!!11” Not that more bewbs are ever bad

    • Random
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      You’re meant to stare at the TEXT, the picture is just a stimulant for your imagination

  9. Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    If I’ve learned anything from your VN posts it’s that they’re a good deal WORSE than I imagined. And I imagined them to be pretty damn boring.

    • Posted July 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Same here. Hooray! I can continue wasting my time doing other things!

      • Scamp
        Posted July 30, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        I was going to try defend them, until I remembered how tedious G String was

      • Posted July 31, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        Jeez, I lost so many hours to Tsukihime. My friend was even worse about Fate/Stay Night.

  10. Eternith
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    What’s the general opinion of True Remembrance?

    It was one of my first and few VNs finished and while it wasn’t any masterpiece, I loved it. It’s real short too, about 3 hours iirc.

  11. decadyn
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I hope you haven’t given up on VNs. As for recommendations, I hope you go with “Swan Song” next. It’s well produced, well written and doesn’t have school life tag or nakige tag.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      It does have both necrophilia and incest tags though o_0

      • decadyn
        Posted July 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Well it is a post massive earthquake world where societal order has broken down. Bad bad stuff happens. Maybe more disturbing than Saya no Uta depending on your stomach.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

        Scamp, do know what a Swan Song is?

    • Najica
      Posted July 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I was going to recommend this too. It’s, frankly said, quite interesting on “watching” how one character can change so much due to the fact of chaos and no-order. I’d say it’s “worse” than saya no uta in way. Unlike saya I actually went a bit “..what the hell?!” during a rape scene. Where saya was more of a “oh well.” kind of thing?

      Either way, just try it. It’s worth it, trust my visual novel/eroge sense :D

  12. Milfeulle
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Welp, that was a failure.

  13. mcm38
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I just noticed visual novels are the E-adult version of picture storys for children.

    • Lewin
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:00 am | Permalink

      Oh do picture books have varied and interesting dialog like this : “This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair”? Naturally I shortened the quote, the original is much longer, but you can’t deny that it’s the greatest monologue ever written!

      • mcm38
        Posted July 30, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        That’d be to hard for a one digit aged human to comprehend. Heck, even I don’t get wtf it’s going on about. All the lazy writers these days.

  14. 3242
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Don’t go play it!
    Play it!
    It leaves no impression! (to me)
    But manages to be slightly entertaining!
    Yet, its a kinetic novel!
    It is short and doesn’t pan things out so much!
    Self-conflict on to whether to ward you of it or recommend it!
    Darn you Scamp, is this unintentional payback for doubting yee for a moment!?

  15. Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    I’m amazed you survived even five hours. Every time I’ve tried a VN I give up within an hour, and I’m the kind of guy that can sink 150 hours into a game like Disgaea.

  16. Posted July 30, 2011 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    It seems that visual novels just ain’t your thing. As people have said, most of them require LOTS of patience. They’re not what a person who seeks a fast-paced story should be doing. I can’t blame you for finding G-String bad, though. It WAS boring at times.

    Personally, I liked The Devil on a G-String than Death Note for the sole reason that G-String’s mind games were a lot more realistic and believable than Death Note’s can ever hope to be, but that’s just me. Death Note was more fast-paced and provides a sort of instant gratification, while G-String is more of a “wait for the payoff” kind of thing, much like most high-profile VN’s out there.

    Oh, and if I remember correctly, the writer for the mind game sequences for G-String was the mangaka of Death Note.

    Lastly, go play Planetarian. Ignore the Nakige tag and just read it. Key games are all Nakige by default anyway, even if they’re not; just like this one. It doesn’t solely rely on your attachment to the character to be good (for me anyway), but the setting of the game and how it was presented is what really made Planetarian great, which is different from the usual Key formula of a mundane setting and an endearing set of characters. Did I mention how they portrayed humanity very well (I may be reading too much into it, but whatever)? Just… try it. It’s only about 3 hours long.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      I take issue with the idea that a story-telling medium might not be for me. It’s a medium. There may be aspects of a medium that I don’t like, but every medium has variety in what it has.

  17. seragnel
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    G-senjou drags, alot ruined it mostly for me. Though good ones that are decent lengt to try, Sharin no Kuni and Swan Song.

  18. seragnel
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    And a comment for Planetarian, if you don’t care for a thing that just focuses on two characters and how the react to each other then don’t read it. Me I really enjoyed it, but I tend to quite enjoy Key. Though if desire short can always try Kikokugai of Hanachirasu.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      If it helps you read Planetarian, Jun Maeda didn’t work on it. So no ~*MIRACLES*~ happen.

  19. anon
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Scamp you sound like you would enjoy Umineko if you would go through the introduction of the characters. Its more like a kinetic novel, but when i heard first of Umineko it was introduced to me as a “Sound Novel” because it focusses in the music, which is great btw. But I think you should give Umineko a try, the anime sucked but the novel is actually very entertaining and is truly a wit-battle which makes you pay close attention to wat goes on-screen. It also have some good action sequences later on

    • luffyluffy
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      I’ve got the first four Umineko novels already pre-patched. I can give them to you if you like.

  20. sarah
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    You should play Quartet.

    • decadyn
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Quartett’s art and direction is very polished and stylish, but the writing and story is pretty poor. Still, the “floating frames” style is the best VN technology I’ve seen and worth looking at.

    • anon
      Posted July 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Quartet was only worth it for the art. That, and that alone.

      • Najica
        Posted July 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        it took some time to get used to the art in Quartett! but yeah, the way they used it was nice… I mainly played it for
        glourious classical music and lack of other VNs to play lol.

  21. DarkEnergy
    Posted July 31, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    So Scamp, why did you play this shitty game in the first place? Why not play something better?

    Also, post more Baccano!

    • mcm38
      Posted July 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Because of democracy.

      • Scamp
        Posted July 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Also because I thought it would be good

  22. luffyluffy
    Posted July 31, 2011 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    You know Scamp, I had an idea that I’m just going to post here.

    Let’s use Tiger & Bunny and Steins;Gate as examples:

    Steins;Gate you’re watching weekly, and will blog each episode as they come out. But Tiger & Bunny you’re not. Why not, at the end Tiger & Bunny (and each show you didn’t blog but watched) write a blanket review? Like, spell out your thoughts, and maybe at the end of each season, make a “season in review” (though I suppose you already do that monthly, and on that note, I can’t wait for July’s review!) sorta thing where you say “Oh I wish I’d blogged X instead of Y” or something.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I had been planning on doing that a bit more often, which is where those Madoka posts came from. Problem is, I’m going to be away on holiday when these shows all wrap up, so I’ll be behind. I think I might just make a more detailed final year wrap up

  23. ubiquitial
    Posted July 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, this game isn’t the best. Characters are tedious as fuck. Told ya to go with Swan Song or some other serious shit.

    On the other hand, if you manage to sit through all of G-Sen you’ll be rewarded with an excellent albeit badly-thought out end so meh.

  24. Najica
    Posted July 31, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh, while I remember, you could also try out Kara no shoujo. It’s was quite recently released in english. While I havn’t finished it myself (except getting game-overs) it’s really good. And apart from being a VN it has some other game elements in it too.

    Give it or swan song a try as next VN :3

  25. wendeego
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    From what you’ve said, it actually sounds like you quit G Senjou no Maou at EXACTLY the moment that it starts getting interesting! Then again, I guess if you just aren’t feeling it then it probably isn’t worth playing.

    It is true that playing visual novels generally takes an almost saintly amount of patience to enjoy, though. Ever17, Umineko and even Cross Channel are really slow burners that don’t blossom into awesomeness for a couple of hours or so. That’s not even mentioning Muv Luv Alternative, which is arguably the best visual novel of all time (though I disagree) but which requires you to play through like six hours of cutesy harem comedy and five hours of mecha coolness that never legitimately becomes great in order to fully appreciate it. It’s pretty hardcore stuff.

    If you’re really having trouble with the drawn-out length and slow pacing of most visual novels, though, then I’d really recommend trying True Remembrance. It’s legally free, there’s no hilariously forced sex, and it’s probably one of the best written/translated visual novels I’ve played while at the same time being short and to the point. You actually might like Sharin no Kuni a bit better than G Senjou no Maou, too–it’s made by the same people, but it’s generally more consistent and takes less time to get good. Recommendations of Cross Channel and Sekien no Inganock still stand (though you might like Inganock more if you’ve liked Utena, since both use repetition stylistically in similar ways)

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