I have so many games to play, and there’s still lots of news coming out all the time, so I’m trying out a more frequent posting schedule. Mon-Wed-Fri every week, but some (like this post) might be short posts.
Also, the Love.101 website will be updated in December with content, and will continue to update at least monthly with teaser content, I hope you like it! All feedback and comments are welcome, I’d really like to hear what you think of what’s coming out for Love.101.
So right now, I’m in the middle of playing several games. Because I got so many at once, I would play a bit of one, then get excited about another and start that. So far I’ve started:
That’s all for now…just looking at that list makes me tired! And I’m waiting for Angelique Maren no Rokukishi, and I haven’t even started Wand of Fortune 2, or Sangokuren Senki, or Bloody Call, or Death Connection…Phew.
Anyways, I was wondering if anyone had a preference as to how I review these – I know lots of site do posts on one route, or parts of a game. Is that a good way, or would you rather I wait until I’ve finished most of a game before reviewing the whole thing in one long post? I’m not sure which way is better.
And if you want me to review a particular one first, let me know! I want to play them all, so anything that helps me pick from the list would be great.
The first game I installed and played on my PC once I got home from Japan was Gakuen Tokkyuu Hotokenser. This little gem from TWOFIVE is only $20 for the regular version(although I got the limited edition which Kureha is holding in that pic above), and it has full voice, great visuals, and a very fun story. Plus, if you’re a fan of slightly cheesy J-rock made for hero shows, some great music.
The heroine, Ootori Kureha, is transferred to a new high school on the recommendation of her ‘uncle’, a good family friend who’s the president of Hotoke Gakuen. On the way to school her first day, she encounters the members of the student council, who are all very popular – Kondou Ryuuichi (CV: Akabane Kenji), the student president, Sumeragi Rikuto (CV: Takagi Shun), the secretary, and Doujima Mitsuki (CV: Kimura Ryouhei), the vice-president. They all kind of get on her nerves, however, being respectively rude, overbearing, and just plain confusing.
She’s not too happy when her uncle calls her to his office and announces that she is part of the school’s own masked monster fighting force, Hotokenser (she keeps calling it Hotoken-man, which the other characters are amusingly offended by), which is made up of the student council. Unfortunately she doesn’t get any real information other than this, and when she goes to the student council room after school, no one even shows up. Part of the beginning story is just her trying to figure out how to transform, since her uncle tends to forget explanations.
After the intro, you choose which character route you want to try. This makes each route really different, and I’d recommend saving Roku (the green Hotokenser) for last, because I feel like his has the most ‘real’ ending. For characters, I’m a sucker for a good-natured jock type (i.e. Rikuto), but they’re all good, and each has three endings, none of which are really bad.
I saw a review of this in Japanese that said fans of shoujo manga would like this. At first I thought it was a bit of a strange thing to say, because to me otome games and shoujo manga are already very similar. But after playing, I totally get it. The plots are very much like a Betsuma or Hana to Yume comic, with all the guys indifferent to the heroine in the beginning, and with various plot twists and sudden changes of heart.
It is kind of short, and the romance is not that pronounced, but it’s a lot of fun, and refreshing if you’re tired of heavy or angsty games. Even the monsters (which are very like the monsters of the week in Power Ranger-type shows) all have distinct personalities in addition to being voiced by well-known seiyuu, and there’s a lot of humour throughout the game. The only part I thought was overdone on that was poor Gomukeshi-kun (the eraser); I thought Kureha was pretty hard on him sometimes.
And one other problem – it needs a fandisk! Once you play, you’ll know exactly who should be a ‘hidden’ character, except there’s no route for him! So please Twofive creators, if you’re reading this (I can dream right?), make a fandisk! I want more. Even after listening to both drama CDs I got with it…I still want more.
The heroine, Mikoto, and Iroha.
And, mark this historic day on your calendars, because for the first time in years (at least, I think it’s years), the top 3 favourite characters are not all from Hakuouki. #1 still is, though (Saitou Hajime, yeah he’s kind of adorable). #2 and #3 are from Uta no Prince-sama.
Cast for Bakudan Handan!
Ouma ga Toki is the newest game announced from Quinrose for the PSP, and it looks like a lot of fun! The name refers to the old word for dusk, and it was thought to be the time which it was more likely than usual to run into youkai.
It’s set in a high school at the border of the human and spirit worlds, so the students are youkai (supernatural beings). The heroine is a youkai named Suzue Shizuka. She’s a 2nd-year, and though she gets in trouble a lot(interesting!), she’s in the top 3 for marks within the school (awesome!!). She has a lot of spirit power and gets out of hand a lot, playing tricks and getting into fights at school. She’s also descended from some spirit princess, but can’t swim very well. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m very excited to play a heroine like this.
From left-Atsurou, Shizuka, and Hisoka
式部 密 Shikibu Hisoka (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru): A good friend of Shizuka and a fellow troublemaker, he’s really good at curses. He seems lighthearted, but has a dark side. He’s related to shinigami, and is the best at hexes in school.
遠野 篤郎 Toono Atsurou (CV: Suwabe Junichi): The leader of the school gang, he doesn’t beat up weaklings but has a rival kind of relationship with Shizuka. Apparently he’s descended from oni.
日比谷 京極 Hibiya Kyougoku (CV: Yusa Kouji): The serious leader of the school’s moral team. He used to be human, but was stolen away as a child by spirits (I dunno whether he’s still human or not). He has the top marks in school overall.
和泉 零次 Izumi Reiji (CV: Toriumi Kousuke): A descendent of kitsune, he loves playing tricks but has low spiritual power and little stamina. His kitsune is blood is strong and so he loves abura-age (deep-fried bean curd).
由良城 閨悟 Yurajou Keigo (CV: Namikawa Daisuke): A second year who helps in the infirmary. He’s the third child in a big family, and his marks are pretty good. He has a secret crush on Shizuka, who helps him out with studying, but it’s obvious to everyone what his feelings are. He’s from a line of dog spirits.
飛浦 萌葱 Tobiura Moegi (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki): A third-year student from a family of tengu, he coolly watches everything and enjoys seeing other people’s troubles.
There’s also Hibiya Mitsugu (CV: Hino Satoshi), who I didn’t get a good pic of. I’m already looking forward to this; the setting is interesting and Shizuka sounds like a really fun character to play.
The last few days in Tokyo were kind of a blur, but I did get out a few more times to buy most of what was left on my list.
A bunch of games from Bookoff, like the shounen ones, as well as Pandora and maybe Armen Noir? At animate I bought Wand of Fortune II, they only had the limited edition and it didn’t come with any store extras, too bad. And then at K Books I bought Clock Zero, Anniversary Alice, Grimm Director’s Cut, and Bloody Call. I found Takuyo Mix Box in a Bic Camera store, which was great as I had given up hope (Bic and Yodobashi Camera have enormous stores, they’re more like Best Buy than camera stores).
And I also spent some time frantically looking for Alice x Cross cards, since my friends and I want to try playing it. I had thought that I could find them easily at an animate, especially in Otome Road, but they actually only had one (ONE) booster pack, of Junjou Romantica, so I bought that (yay five cards!) I bought most of the following in the K Books Anime store on their second level, where they have all the cool furoku and special random merchandise. I spent at least half an hour standing there going through two boxes of cards (really only one because one was just Hakuouki), and ended up buying the following:
I actually did buy quite a few Hakuouki cards, since that was the only otome game-based series that was plentiful. I found a couple VitaminX cards which I bought up, and then as many Kichiku Megane ones as they had for my friend (BL uber fan) as well as a bunch of Togainu no Chi since they had a ton of those. A girl (junior high? high school maybe?) chatted to me about how cute Akira was, I wish I had been able to do more than just agree, since I’ve never played it.
Apart from that, my last shopping spree was at the airport, when I went a bit crazy after realizing I’d left all my manga in the checked luggage. I bought the new Jump, and a bunch of random volumes of shounen manga (they didn’t have much if any shoujo: Gintama 41, Hunter Hunter 29, Bakuman 14, Bleach 52, and Embalming 6. Well, they probably weren’t random, but since the only one I was familiar with was Gintama they felt that way. I only got through Gintama and some of Bleach.
Waah, I thought I posted this! I’m back from Japan now…Oh well.
Delayed: Today I wandered around some more, went back to the animate and also went to a store in between animate and K Books, Lashinbang. It had some bargain games out in a rack outside, and inside is pretty busy but has some good deals, all focusing on otome stuff of course. I got VitaminX Addiction Vol. 1 for only Y2500! I saw it before in a Mandarake, but it was still Y4900, which is just way too much for a 30-minute anime.
Also picked up Aoiza, which I had totally forgot about so it was lucky they had it, heh, Kaminaru Kimi, and the new Wizard and Master. I think that was the first time I saw the new version available, though some used places had had the old one (which is really old)!
I went to Mandarake again, but didn’t get much, just the newest Toraware Gokko and the Ayashino Miya comic. After reading a couple of the game-based comics, some of them are just rehashes of the game and don’t add much, so I might not bother bringing some back, but I just can’t help buying them.
And finally, I realized that there was another K Books store even further down the street that I hadn’t been to, K Doujin, so I went there. Of course they had tons of doujinshi, but I was almost out of time, so in browsing, I found the corner (really a small shelf) they had of doujin games!! I was hoping to find these in other places, since the shopping guide said that animate had some too, but uh…when I asked they seemed to only have guy-oriented ones (lots of hentai). I didn’t buy that many, though now I wish I had, because most of them were Hakuouki. I just bought the best-looking one of that, and the two Harutoki 3 games I found, and then one original game.
Only one (or was it two) days left to catalogue, I’ll do it all in post.