Archive for August, 2014


Summer Release Overview

August 12th, 2014

I didn’t get any games for a couple months, and I feel really out of the loop! I got caught up in some old-ish PC RPGs (I didn’t really expect to spend that long in Skyrim…) But I’m waiting for a couple games right now that I’m excited for, and there are a bunch coming over the next few weeks, let’s take a look!

July releases:

RE:VICE [D] (Otomate) (PS Vita)

Heroine: Aika
Using the power of ice, she’s one of the Four Heavenly Kings. She’s usually cool, but likes cute Earth things. She attends high school undercover to find the next Demon Lord.

Yukine (CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko)
One of the nominees for Demon Lord. Hard to understand and always popping up unexpectedly, he enjoys teasing people, especially the heroine. He never talks about himself and his private life is a complete mystery.

Iroha (CV: Kimura Ryouhei)
Another nominee. The top student at his school, and so good at sports, he’s brought a weak school team all the way to national championships, and his good looks make him seem perfect.
However his personality is awful and he’s lazy, he has no team spirit and skips school all the time. Even when he comes to school he mostly sleeps in the back garden.

Ryouga (CV: Maeno Tomoaki)

Another nominee. His good looks combined with his extreme friendliness make him popular, but for some reason, as a host at the club MAOH, he never gets asked for a second time, so he’s the bottom-ranked host at his club. Because of this, he’s nicknamed the guard dog of MAOH, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

Hinatsu (CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu)
The last nominee. The shut-in son of very rich parents. He has a weak constitution, and is in and out of the hospital. Because of his shyness and general meekness, he has trouble making friends.
He’s learned most of his ‘commonsense’ from books. He’s very wary of people, and doesn’t like talking to them much.

Enkeltbillet (Otomate) (PSP)

Heroine – Okazawa Midori
A second-year college student on her first international trip after graduating. She gets lost in the airport after arriving in Europe, getting separated from her friends.

Nakatani Megumi (CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu)
HE dislikes Japan and Japanese people, though he’s a Japanese exchange student himself. He tends to cut himself off from experiences. He’s rude to people when he first meets them.

Chris Albert (CV: Takahashi Hiroki)
A warm and friendly tour guide who’s good at taking care of people. He speaks in an old-fashioned Kansai-ben in Japanese but normally in English. He left his family home for certain reasons.

Alexander Nielsen (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa)
The son and heir to the hotel, he’s loud and somewhat obnoxious. He’s lived on his own for several years since fighting with his father, and seems to have a sketchy part-time job.

Shuhei Takashina (CV: Takeuchi Ryouta)
The president of a big company, usually he’s calm, but he can become passionate about his work. He’s not interested in anything but his work, has no hobbies, and takes no vacation, but he doesn’t mind. The reasons for him being president and his trip are complicated.

Emil Herrmann (CV: Kawashima Tokuyoshi)
A supermodel who breaks all electronics but his cell phone. He’s superstitious and believes in fortunetelling, and has a habit of impulse buying. Because he’s so mercurial, it’s hard to pin him down. Sometimes he enjoys pretending to be a girl and fooling people.

Majoou (Quinrose) (PSP)
Heroine: Rose Dinoire, the only daughter of the Demon King. After her father leaves, she rules in his place. She tries to be a suitable Demon King for her subjects, but feels conflicted that she can’t kill the humans trying to kill demons.

Atlas Leavis (CV: Maeno Tomoaki) A hero who fights with four others, he hates all demons and is merciless with them, but to humans he’s very kind. He was childhood friends with Edgar and Rose, but for some reason can’t remember that.

Edgar Lang (CV: Tachiki Fumihiko)
A warrior in Atlas’s party. He’s like a big older brother, is good at cooking, and has mixed feelings about Rose, who hid that she was a demon when they were kids.

Drop Rust (CV: Yonaga Tsubasa)
The party’s magician. He studied hard to learn magic, and has a wide range of knowledge. Because of his name, face and short stature, he’s sometimes treated as a child, which he hates.

Melvin (CV: Kakihara Tetsuya)
The party’s merchant and fortuneteller. He’s cheerful and somewhat bold, especially with women, but no one knows what he really thinks.

Leonhard Rosenhain (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru)
The prince of Rizenbard who’s beautiful as a princess. He’s imprisoned in the Demon King castle (as tribute I think). He has a soothing demeanour, and often makes odd remarks.

Marion Neithart (CV: Miki Shinichirou)
A dark knight of the demons who has protected Rose since she was a child. He’s completely loyal to her and doesn’t care about anyone else, so he doesn’t socialize much with other demons.

Samuel Barrett
(CV: Suwabe Junichi)
A demon in the service of the kingdom, he can use special healing magic. He obeys Rose but also thinks she’s not competent yet, so often makes fun of her.

Doris Murrill (CV: Igarashi Hiromi)
The chief maid at the castle, she’s very good at her job and all the maids trust her. She’s very good at cooking with magic and often serves Rose.

August releases:

Urakata Hakuoki ~Toki no Shirabe~ Fandisk (Otomate) (PSP)

Fandisk of Urakata Hakuoki, I still haven’t finished any routes in the original…

Ayakashi Gohan (honeybee) (PC) – this one looks pretty interesting, I’ll do a bigger post on that one.

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Otome games for cheap!

August 7th, 2014

There are some really well-priced re-releases of D3 Publisher PSP otome games (their brand is called Mune Kyun) that I found when browsing CDJapan, but they’re not a CDJapan sale so if you buy from somewhere else they should be there too. I almost always enjoy D3 games, they often have deep gameplay (for otome games) and are just well-rounded in story and characters. I think people don’t know them that well because they’re not marketed as much, but at these prices, they’re a great buy.

Here they are (FYI these are affiliate links to CDJapan), they’re each only 1800Y!! That’s like $20.



Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.1 VitaminX Evolution Plus
(PSP)
Interested in the Vitamin series? Here’s where it all began! This is the PSP version of VitaminX Evolution, so it has all the teachers’ routes as well as the guys.
Bonus: Here’s the DS OP because I love that opening – “Ore wo Aise!” ^_^


Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.2 VitaminX Detective B6
(PSP)
VitaminX AU where the heroine and the guys are all detectives in late Victorianish Britain. My memory’s hazy but I think there’s still the Tsukkomi/Through here. I haven’t finished any routes yet so I can’t comment much on the stories.



Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.3 Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.3 Vitamin X to Z
(PSP)
The combo fandisk for both VitaminX and VitaminZ, where you first pick which title to play in, and then go through a side story of the original game, one for each guy. Still has the Tsukkomi/Through game mechanic but no monthly quizzes, and they’re pretty much just fun romps.


Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.4 Last Escort Club Katze

Ever wondered what a host club is like? I’m sure this series is completely accurate in its portrayal of a high-end host club in Tokyo…or you could play it as a fun, slightly more adult otome game. Last Escort was unique when it began way back in 2006 – its setting is definitely more mature than most (though I”m sure real host clubs are much less glamorous than the game), and most otome games were focused on high school heroines (heck, they are even now). Otome games are kind of in the same industry as host clubs, so it’s an interesting challenge to present love stories where the heros are in the business of faking romance.


Ryouma Gaiden
Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.5 Ishin Renka Ryouma Gaiden
(PSP)
Do you like historical settings, but you’re a little tired of Hijikata, Saitou, and Okita Souji? This game focuses on the other side of the Bakumatsu conflict, with the Ishin rebels who were trying to reinstate the emperor’s power. D3 made the first Bakumatsu otome game ever, and this series has always been historically accurate enough to hurt – no convenient potions around to save someone from tuberculosis here.


Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.6 VitaminZ Revolution
(PSP)
Longtime readers know I love this game – LOVE IT. I even like it more than the original VitaminX, which is pretty rare for a series game. The guys are a little less mean in this one, and the stories a little more even. And overall, I like the character designs more. Oh and since it’s Revolution, it includes the teachers’ routes!! My favourite!
(some intro posts for VitaminZ: Heroine and A4 : P2 and Admin


Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.7 VitaminZ Graduation
(PSP)
A VitaminZ fandisk that attempts to insert more story into the days right before the endings of VitaminZ. I don’t know if it really works believably in terms of continuity, but it’s more VitaminZ so I’ll take it.

Strobe Mania
Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.8 Strobe Mania
(PSP)
Somewhat odd game IMO, heroine gets involved in a group of young men who are trying to steal something back from the school president/principal/I can never remember the proper term. The writing didn’t pull me in, the characters seemed flat (I think I picked the wrong one first), so I never got to see the final ending which I think would answer many questions.


Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.9 Custom Drive

I didn’t play this one much, not enough to really grasp whether I liked it or not. The hook is that you pick everything about one of three guys, down to his haircut, clothing, and even personality so there are literally thousands of ‘variations’. I thought it would be tough to pull off into a good story, and I didn’t finish any routes to decide whether they were successful or not. It seems like it might be fun as more of a dressup game though.


Storm Lover
Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.10 STORM LOVER Kai

Storm Lover, one of the few new otome game series that follows the Tokimemo model of stat-raising and semi-random events instead of being mostly visual novel. It’s fantastic for both those who love Tokimemo, and those who want to love it but don’t have the time/energy that it demands (OK, 3 wasn’t as bad but still! it takes a lot of dedication!) Storm Lover only covers one year, the stat raising is not as strict, and the event/stat-raising ratio is higher. Also excellent for being the first (?) otome game where you can break up with someone and date someone else *successfully*, heck you even get a special end if you date all six guys! I still haven’t gotten that, but it’s a longterm goal of mine :D (My Storm Lover review) Also, this is the Kai version, which is the expanded/improved version which I never got (until now, I can’t resist the price) And here’s the OP:


Mune Kyun Otome Collection Vol.11 STORM LOVER Natsu Koi

(PSP) (pic is the original) – The fandisk for the original Storm Lover with a couple new routes for former side characters (Tatsumi!! and the sukebe school nurse!) and a new character. You won’t get the background of the characters if you haven’t played the original, but it does give a really good idea of the gameplay, and it’s a lot shorter, so may be easier to handle for those with short attention spans like moi (here’s my mini-review from a while ago)

Lots of good games in there! I wish they’d do Little Anchor…and Kurayami no Hate de Kimi o Matsu…and Saikin Koi Shiteru? – I hope if these are successful they’ll do more. Looking back, I forgot they did the Vampire Knight game! And Hoshizora no Comic Garden…and Reijou Tantei, a game which traumatized me but also brought me to the light of Suwabe Junichi…lots of good games from the PS2 and DS era if they were doing adaptations.

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Archive: VitaminX – Tutor a cute but dumb guy for a year!

August 6th, 2014

Originally posted at my deceased IGN blog on May 31, 2005. Publishing this for the cheap PSP re-release (more details tomorrow)!
VitaminX
That’s the basic premise of Vitamin X
You’re a fairly new teacher (around 23) at a well-known middle school that’s part of an elevator campus (i.e. it has all levels of school up to university). You’re excited to be suddenly promoted to the high school, but shocked when the principal tells you your job is to be the homeroom teacher for the infamous Class X, and to take on one of the B6 (Baka 6) as a special student and make sure he graduates next year. The B6 is a group of really good-looking guys, who have atrocious grades and are all problem students in their own way. You can choose:

All of these guys have their own issues, but the first thing you notice is how they make lots of mistakes in their speech and basic knowledge – it’s actually quite funny. One of the ways you raise the guy’s stats – yes, in this game you raise their stats, not your own! – is to hit a button when you notice them making a mistake. You can choose to either correct them (Tsukkomi) or go along with it (Through), and the choice will raise either their Study level or their Love level. The other way you raise them is at the end of each chapter (there are 12, one for each month) when there’s a quiz. The questions are mostly real questions, and though I’m sure they’re fairly easy for Japanese high school students, it’s tough for a native English speaker! But you don’t have to score too high on them to advance.
One other thing about the game is the other teachers – 6 very good-looking men who you can get some extra stories for while ‘capturing’ the students.
At the end, depending on the final score in love and study, you’ll get one of three endings for the students, and then you have extra stories for them and the teachers. I haven’t gotten any of the extra stories yet, but I’m determined to – I like the teachers as much as the students! I almost wish they had their own game. (Ed. I got my wish with VitaminX Evolution!)
Lots of well-known voices here and some great unfamiliar ones:
Teacher CV: Miyata Kouki, Inoue Kazuhiko, Sugita Tomokazu, Miyake Kenta, Oda Yuusei, Sakaguchi Daisuke
The game itself is a lot of fun, and I actually laughed out loud a lot while playing.
Production is great, with quick and easy saves, lots of options to replay easily, and pretty fast load times. The music is only so-so (Edit: the OP is great though!), I usually turned it off and played the radio. The amount of CG’s is medium, I’d prefer more, and some of them aren’t that great in terms of subject (some are just of you the teacher – what’s the use in that!?) but overall, this is a really enjoyable game with lots of fun, and each guy has some great quirks that make them unique.

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