Monday, September 29, 2014
"I will exchange your younger brother back to you in return for your homemade chocolate." With these words, Komachi finds herself forced into a meeting with Takaomi, all in an attempt to rescue her kidnapped little brother.
Honestly, I had been trying to download and play this game for a long time. It took forever for me to understand what I had to do to get the game to work and I ultimately realized something after finishing all the endings to this game: it wasn't worth it.
While this was originally a free Japanese game, it was translated into English and patched, but you can still see strong Japanese sensibilities, especially with how big of a deal Valentines Day chocolate is. I didn't mind that, really. No, where my problems came in were the two characters.
Komachi was a total tsundere, always over-reacting and punching Takaomi for the littlest thing. First of all, I hate violent tsundere characters, when the girl beats up the guy over every little thing, including things that are her own fault, I immediately take a strong dislike of her. Takaomi, really didn't fair much better for me. He has no idea of any social conventions. While that could be entertaining and possibly endearing, he didn't even understand basic things that a ten year old would (and probably plenty of kinds younger than that) and he kept being needlessly oblivious.
The romance of the game was pretty much none existent - even on the 'couple end'. Or maybe, I was just left so cold because of their personalities that I didn't care at all about the romance by that point. As extra fun, you have to complete certain ends before you can unlock the others. For example, on my first playthrough, I unlocked ending number one. Even if I had changed certain answers, I still could not have gotten the fourth ending on that playthrough.
Anyway, the game is short and, if you either like or can ignore violent tsunderes, a somewhat enjoyable to pass an hour or two
Monday, September 22, 2014
You are a very talented teacher, nationally famous for your work. One day, you receive a phone call from a very powerful businessman, requesting your immediate aid. Because of the importance of the client, you rush to meet him personally in his office in the city. He then introduces you to his 4 EXTREMELY handsome sons (each having a different mother) and says, "One of these boys will be the next CEO of this company, but none of them are ready. They all still act like children. I ask that you train one of them with the best of your ability to become a mature adult, ready for my position." Problem is, you only get 3 days to do this. Are you ready to take on your greatest challenge yet?
First of all, I gotta admit that I love the idea behind this game. I was really taken with the idea and I liked how each of the guys had a pretty obvious problem and it was just left to you to figure out how best to help him become the man to take over his father's company.
The art was nice and I loved the choices you got to make.
However, the writing was kind of awful. Not to say that there were a lot of mistakes, because I honestly don't remember many, but the writing was almost identical on each path. The guys all talked the same, had the same questions and the same fears about taking over the company.
There were only two differences in each playthough. The first was what was talked about during their 'quite time' together at the end of the first day (I believe) and the other was exactly what problems the guys had to overcome. Otherwise, the writing was practically copy/paste from each path.
I thought this was a real shame because, while the guys were mostly good looking, I'm the sort of girl that much prefers diverse personalities over diverse looks. On that count, this game wasn't very good. It was a fairly fun and simply way to while away a lazy Saturday.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Yukina is a normal 17-year-old girl.
She lives a seemingly ordinary life with her boyfriend, Youji, beside her.
But just like anyone else, she also has a secret.
A deep secret… down in the underground lab…
To call this a demo is not fair. The entire story is there, just truncated. I kind of view this as the teaser or preview to whet your interest for the commercial, longer and more involved version of the game. And it worked wonderfully for me.
Honestly, before I played this game, I wasn't too sure about it. But, once I started playing it, I found it very interesting. Even this obviously shortened version was enough to make me curious about the rest of the story and to see how the plot and characters could be fleshed out more. Even though I got one of the so called 'bad' ends the first time through. I really don't think it was though, it just wasn't overly happy.
Anyway, as this game is free shareware, I would highly recommend it if you like light mystery/sci-fi with your romance.
I don't know how good the commercial version is, because I haven't bought it yet. Once I get some of the other games cleared off my computer, I'll be buying it though.
Monday, September 8, 2014
(Japanese with Fan English Translation Patch)
They've been best friends for years. Just the three of them. They even study astronomy at the same school together. But, when and old friend from her past shows up, proclaiming his love for her, friendships change in ways they never expected. Perhaps even growing into romance.
This is the first ever Japanese original game I've played. I found the fan translated patch and considering how desperately I had been wanting to play this game... Well. First I must say: buy the game. If it's at all possible for you to, please, please, please buy the game. Not only will you have your hardcopy available all the time, but you will also be supporting the otome game industry. I think the game's about $35 at amazon, but it is totally worth it.
If you couldn't guess by that last paragraph, I love this game. Pretty much everything about it is just awesome. The characters are all likable and the art is so pretty. This is a voices game and thankfully none of the voices are annoying (unlike some games I've played). I don't know much Japanese, but I think the translators did an amazing job.
My favorite thing about this game is how, even while you're romancing one guy, the other two still are there. They're still friends and, usually, being general pains in the butt. I love that aspect of the game. It really left me feeling that these were four friends that were so close and... Honestly, is it bad that the friendship aspect of the game overrode the romance for me?
It really did though, as much as I like each of the guys, I loved them even more when they're interacting with each other. I also thought the girl, before she started getting bogged down by romantic feelings, fit in with them perfectly.
No links this time, as I'm sure any search will reveal the English Patch and how-to instructions. And I refuse to enable piracy.
Monday, September 1, 2014
($20 - Free Demo - from Winter Wolves)
Nicole is just starting her first year at her first choice college. She's got wonderful plans for her future. But, almost as soon as she arrives she starts hearing about girls going missing only to turn up three days later - with no memory of what happened to them. Nicole, a big fan of mystery novels, takes it upon herself to investigate. It isn't long, however, before she catches the kidnapper's eye.
'Discover the true identity of the culprit. Careful, you could be dating him!' - WW website
Okay, first let me say that this game was just amazing. I was definitely looking forward to this game, but I didn't expect it to be as awesome as it was. I've played enough of Winter Wolves' games to be able to notice the increase in quality and there were several things that took a step up in this game.
For one thing, having a mystery plot was great. It lessened the focus on the romance and made the relationship seem much more organic. I won't say that the culprit was exactly a surprise to me because…well… It wasn't. But I will say that, without a doubt, it added a little something to the story. And, it was a wonderful decision on the creator's part to make the culprit one of the guys you can actually date. That ending had me enthralled - even more so than the rest - and I must give kudos to the writer. Some pretty powerful stuff there and I will say it was handled remarkably. They had to be extremely gutsy to try something like that and I hope it pays off. The romance was also handled really well. What I found so great about it was the gradual increase of the character's affection for each other. They was certainly enough scenes for it, and none of them went to waste.
Now, let's talk about the other thing that makes this game stand out: characters. Nicole herself is up first. She certainly has the same basic personality type as most leading lady's in these games (outgoing, cheerful, ect.) but with a strong streak of independence that you don't always see. I do think she'd be a great friend to have and it was a lot of fun putting myself in her shoes for awhile as she is quite different from me.
I usually am a pretty good judge of characters, being able to usually point at the guy that'll be my favorite after just a few moments of gameplay. Knowing the type I usually (at least in theory) like, I thought I knew which of the guys it was going to be even before I started playing. Let's just say…I was wrong. Through no fault of my own. Usually, when I first play a game like this, I go through a meeting or two with each of the guys (if they're not introduced in the main storyline, which in this game, they were) and then decide which one I want to pursue first. With this game however, first meeting of a certain guy and I could have pointed at the computer screen and said 'him, he's going to be my favorite' with almost complete certainty and I wouldn't have been entirely wrong. However, he did get quite a bit of competition in my heart from a very unexpected source. Know what I said earlier about being a good judge of characters? This is one time it failed me beautifully. I mean, seriously, what do you do when you have a knee-jerk first impression of a guy that leaves you almost hating him? Seriously, I kind of did hate one of the guys when I first met him. And then, the way the story is constructed, I had to run into him several more times before the romances fully diverged - and, wouldn't you know it, each and every time I wound up liking him more and more and being extremely curious about him. I already had a strange feeling that I'd probably actually like him - doubtlessly more than I should considering my opinion of him at first. And, what do you know, I did. So much so that he became a very close second favorite. (For those curious, the guys I'm talking about are Ted and Jeff.)
I will say, at times there was some serious mood whiplash between the romance and the mystery, but the characters carried the day.
There is also currently a yuri (GxG) version of this game in production. It's going slowly, but it is going.
Monday, August 25, 2014
($14.99 - Per Character - Free Demo - from Winter Wolves)
In this game you play as either Max or Anne (purchased separately) as they take on their first year in college. Sharing dorm life with four other tenants, you must make sure they still make time for their studies and all those fun extra-curricular activities. And, maybe, even have a little time for romance.
To the best of my knowledge, this is WW's first foray into the comedic side of romance. And, really, this game was a lot of fun. For the most part. I did, however, have a few issues. First though, the good things.
I loved the characters. Almost universally, I thought they were all awesome. In fact, there was only one that I didn't much care for - and that was really from more of a romance based perspective, because she'd probably be an awesome friend.
I also really like the stat raising format for this game. You don't choose one even for the whole week - but schedule a full week, with three events for each day, at a time. This screen shot will give you an idea. I thought that was really great and I loved how the characters all lived together and were (somewhat unwilling as the case may be) friends.
However, I didn't like the way you get 'events' for several people at once. It's really difficult to explain, but say you're romancing Person E - unless you choose to skip all events without them, you're going to get too much information about Person G when you're not romancing them. Basically, there is no character/story arc that you can only see if you romance the character. If you go through the game watching all the events, the only new information you'll see is the Winter Break and the Spring Break scenes. Plus a couple of dates that play out very much the same no matter who you're dating.
Now this is just personal preference, but I much prefer games that give you more information about the character you are actually dating as opposed to those you might just be only friends with.
Also, with this game, you see right away if the character you're romancing likes the choice you made or not while in one of the events. This lead me to quit roleplaying (as I much prefer to do which is why I like VN's more) and start making the choices that I knew the character would like. I don't know if there's a way tis could be changed, but this was the first time I felt this displeased with this setup while playing a Winter Wolves game.
Final note: The humor in this game was merely okay for me. While there was a few funny instances, most of it fit quite well in the realm of sitcoms, which I've never found very amusing.
Now, although this wasn't my cup of tea - as they say - this is Winter Wolves most popular dating sim and one of their most popular game, period.
Monday, August 18, 2014
After the death of the mighty Emperor Osirus, the nation of Tyraca is in turmoil. The former 'princess', a young angel that acted as second in command for the Emperor, must make a choice. Will she stay in the palace, fighting against the new ruler - Osirus' younger brother, Nefferon - from inside, or will she leave to start a revolution?
Honestly, this game had a lot of potential - unfortunately, mostly failed potential. That is the major reason that I am so looking forward to the remake of this game. Anyhow, the storyline sounded good, but a lot of things were not explained very well.
The characters were all interesting enough, but each romance started to feel very forced at the end. And rather stereotypical. To be honest with you, I fond myself the most interested in the path with the so called 'villain' because his path was, at least, interesting and somewhat emotional. The others felt short and a bit nonsensical at times.
The story was rather short, itself. I liked the idea behind it, but the actual writing needed to be fleshed out a lot.
I really look forward to the remake as I think it will be amazing.
On lemmasoft forums