I’m actually having no trouble getting through Bakudan Handan – my first playthrough I was wondering if I could last, because I was really tired and had a hard time paying attention to the mystery and puzzles. But I got through it quite well (no guide!) and am now on my fifth character.
Let me step back and explain the plot a bit. The heroine, Saki, is a normal, intelligent high school student, who’s looking forward to the opening of a new amusement park, Blossom Land, which her uncle designed/produced/something. Her uncle is the well-known game producer Inafune Keiji (who also did most of the art for Mega Man.) She’s going to the exclusive opening party, which for some reason is only open to close family and the press (this confused me; since amusement parks are pretty much the biggest venue you can have, why not let people bring as many friends as possible??) Anyways, she has to go alone to the opening. During the opening ceremony, her uncle is making a speech when suddenly the mike goes dead, and the stage is hijacked by someone in a weird pig suit, calling himself World Boo. His minions take the people on stage hostage, and he announces that he’s starting a game for the hostages’ survival. At first the crowd thinks it’s part of the show, but when an explosion brings down the ferris wheel, they panic and start to flee. World Boo says he’s going to pick 7 ‘heroes’ to try and clear the ‘game’ and save the hostages, and Saki volunteers to save her uncle.
One thing that’s good is that the prologue/intro isn’t too long – you jump right into the ‘7 days of life-threatening puzzles’. You get minimal dialogue of Saki getting ready to go to the amusement park and then the action starts with the opening ceremony.
Every day, the 7 heroes have to visit a certain attraction and ‘clear’ it – usually with two or three stages each. They’re all really different, and all based on fictional video games. One of the characters is a game otaku who explains the background of the game, which sometimes help them figure out what to do. And there’s an interesting gameplay feature, where often they’ll have to figure out what they missed, and Saki has to review the game explanation and point out what was missed. It’s pretty simple – you can choose up to three things from about 8 possibilities, and as long as the right one is chosen it’s all good. There’s one other bit of gameplay that’s different from a normal visual novel – at certain point during the storyline one character or another (even World Boo sometimes) will say something that’s so wrong and/or harmful that Saki will get mad. At this point, you can choose to tell the character off or hold in your feelings. I always tell them off, it often results in an affection increase (they appreciate your setting them straight, I like that in a man ^_-), and it never seems to be a bad choice. And it feels like I’m playing Phoenix Wright – it has a scene like the ‘Objection’ scene, where Saki poses and huge text of “Donna handan da!?” (What kind of decision is that!?) appears against an exploding background. It might just be for fun, but I like it.
Other than that, though, it’s just a visual novel. I was really hoping for more gameplay, especially since several of the games they have to clear are literally videogames – there’s a shooting aliens game, a go-kart driving game, and an avoid zombies game, among others. It would have been fantastic if they put in minigames for these – although I’d want them to be easy However, compared to most otome games Bakudan Handan has more gameplay than usual already, so I won’t fault it too much.
Then there are the characters. The art in this game is not pretty otome/shoujo. It’s clean and attractive, but the character designs are far from typical otoge. Subaru is the only character I could see as the typical hero, and maybe the idol Wakasa, although even his design is far from the normal ‘cute younger guy’ look. But they definitely stand out, and after playing through Subaru’s route, I was quite happy to jump into Ryuusei’s route (yay, a host who looks like an MMA fighter, with long pink hair!). Their personalities are all well-developed, but there’s not much romance, which I’m not sure how I feel about.
Overall, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. A lot of the plot is about the group working together and growing as a team, and finding out the background of this whole situation. If you’re feeling a bit of overkill from otome romance melodrama, this might be just the game for you.
I saw this game when I was wandering around Japanese mobile websites, and I was really excited to get a press release for the English version from the company!! I’m big-time, guys! Haha.
Shall We Date? Ninja Love for GREE is set in the Warring States period in Japan, and I don’t believe it’s voiced, but in addition to visual novel gameplay, it has a few interesting elements compared to the original version, like being able to connect with other players, and getting accomplishments. Plus, ninjas! You know I love ninjas.
I just read the press release and bummer, right now for Android it’s only available in the USA. But if you have an iphone, you can play it in all these countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, the Republic of Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, the USA, Cyprus
Jealousy! Oh well, guess a review from me will have to wait.
School Wars is coming out by Quinrose for the PSP November 29, and they announced the seiyuu so it’s time for a post! (Wow, I just checked my news post and I used pretty much the exact same words there.)
Ichijou Shiori is a student at Seiran High School, and the head of the morality club (why can I never remember the better translation of Fuuki??) A case of arson at their rival school, Suzushiro, results in Suzushiro students attending Seiran. Shiori investigates the arson while trying to keep the two groups of students from killing each other.
Ujiie Itsuki (CV: Namikawa Daisuke) – a second-year at Suzushiro who’s fairly quiet but always up for a fight, he’s strong and it shows.
Kurobe Daigo (CV: Fujiwara Keiji) – a big third-year at Suzushiro who looks intimidating and though he’s a ‘banchou’ (gangleader) type, he has a pretty serious personality.
Misaki Shinya (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) – A third-year at Seiran, he’s very popular with the girls and comes from a rich family.
Hisa Masafumi (CV: Nojima Kenji) – A third-year at Suzushiro who’s a well-known idol, his public side is nice but his real personality is very cynical.
Tsukamoto Hisamitsu (CV: Hino Satoshi) – A second-year at Seiran who will likely be the next head of the morals club, he admires the heroine.
Miyakomaru Kyouhei (CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke) – A second-year at Seiran who has a wide network of information. He can`t always be trusted.
A couple of you asked for more info on Ozmafia, so I had a look through my mags and the websites. It’s a PC game by the new brand Poni Pachet. The heroine, Fuuka, has amnesia, and is picked up by the Oz Family. In this city(world?) there is also the Grimm Family, the Boots Family, the Heidi Family, the Anderson Family, the Oscar Wilde Brothel, and the Wolfgang…er, gang. Recently the cast was announced, and there are lots of seiyuu I’m not familiar with, very exciting!
One thing you probably noticed is that it’s by the same artist as Diabolik Lovers. It’s very cute, with shiny eyes and multicoloured hair. I think I’ll actually wait for this instead of getting Diabolik Lovers, since it seems a lot more romantic overall – less of the Do-S thing that is kinda annoying me lately.
Fuuka (the heroine): Hanamura Mitsuko
Caramia: The leader of the Oz Family, he’s good at taking care of people. Shingaki Tarusuke – Gunparade Orchestra Nagano Eitarou, Kite Eishirou in New Prince of Tennis (awesome, I loved that character), and Kabrakan in Bloody Call.
Kyrie: the Oz Family’s advisor. He acts nice but has a black heart (or stomach) and is calculating. Okitsu Kazuyuki – Shinobu in Shiki, Ruskinia Harvess in Last Exile, Gill in Will o Wisp, Setsuma in Kanuchi, Medishus in Death Connection, Don Fitch in Desert Kingdom (I wish they’d re-release that for the PSP, I can’t remember that character)
Axel: a leading member of the Oz Family, he doesn’t do much other than what he’s ordered to. He uses a pistol but it lacks accuracy. Kakehashi Atsushi – Susumu in WagaHana, Kinoshita Mahiro in Bara no Ki ni Bara no Hana Saku, and Kenneth in Suikoden IV
Dorian Gray: the owner of the Oscar Wilde brothel. He might have a route, but not an ending (not sure how that will work, but that sucks!). Honda Hiroyuki – Wild Arms Crossfire – Rupert Dandridge
Alfani: the most popular male prostitute at the Oscar Wilde brothel, he’s a masochist. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have an ending. Yamaguchi Kazuya – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Manboy (really?? really): the receptionist and jack of all trades for the Oscar Wilde brothel. He doesn’t have an ending. Awazu Takatsugu – nothing I recognize
Pashet: Fujii Kyouko – no Wikipedia entry that I can find. She has a route.
Robin Hood: the doctor who takes care of anyone without any bias. He has a route. Fujinami Satoru – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood): a leading member of the Grimm family, he’s cool, calm, and doesn’t like warfare. He uses a sniper rifle. He has a route. Ichiki Mitsuhiro – was also Haruo in Magikano, Naoya in Maid-sama, Rejetta in Desert Kingdom (yay!! I loved that game, it was really fun even though it was short), and OMG, the teacher in Tokimemo GS 3!! Daihakuryoku!!
Caesar: the leader of *ahem* the WolfGang. He has a route. Kirimoto Takuya – mostly has dubbing roles, although there are several minor anime roles like Iver in Naruto.
Sou: Caesar’s right-hand man. He has a route.Iguchi Yuuichi – Max Aroze in Fairy Tail, Yoshizawa Atsushi in Ookiku Furikabutte ~Summer Slam~, and Oosaka Shouri in Sket Dance
Hansel (Hansel & Gretel): Enomoto ??
Gretel (Hansel & Gretel): Nozuki Masami – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Andy (the little match girl): Uchiyama Yuki – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Aering: Kurumatani Eri – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Merisasu (Oyayubi Gentleman): Okamoto Mitsu – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Heidi (Heidi): Toyojima Muto – no Wikipedia entry that I can find
Wow, a lot of names I can’t find in Wikipedia! It will be nice to hear some unfamiliar voices. Check out their webpage for a bunch of nice pics, and check out the theme song on the Special page, it’s an English band! Article One, with “I Love You More”. It’s still supposed to come out in 2012, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s delayed. I haven’t seen anything about the overall plot, just some cute vignettes.
I finally got in a shipment of games, and Bakudan Handan is one of them! The only totally new game for me actually, so I’m going to play that first probably.
And someone sent me a very nice email yesterday that prompted me to post, thank you! I’ve mostly been playing FF6 lately and catching up on loose ends in stuff so not much news, although I might do some posts about them sometime. I’m mostly keeping a lookout for news on the upcoming games like Issho ni Gohan!