When I first started this game up, it was more just to get an idea of it, as I didn’t have much time. I was still in Japan and in the midst of shopping heaven, but I couldn’t wait to see what it was like.
The first thing I thought was, ooh pretty! It has a distinct art style, partially in the characters but even more in the menus and dialogue boxes, with little details like a rose indicating the end of each sentence which is depetaled when you click for the next statement. the dialogue boxes are also vertical, besides the characters, which I feel makes a lot of sense on the widescreen PSP. The character art as well is very pretty, with wispy hair and shading that fades from light to dark on each character.
At the beginning, Nazuna is living almost alone while her parents work long hours and her older brother is away at a boarding school. She’s very focused on grades, especially after being dumped a while ago, and is at the top of her class.
Then her parents move away and she’s sent to board at the same school as her older brother. When she gets there she’s the object of attention from a select group of students in the ‘date club’, which sounds like a host club but even more sketchy since you go on dates potentially to secluded areas where you can do pretty much anything. They trick her so that she owes them money for dates (which she didn`t want), and a huge amount at that – over $10,000 by my estimate. She doesn’t want to pay, and I really liked her for this. If she had been alone she would have resisted to the last, but her brother is vulnerable since these students are all very powerful, so she agrees to a bet for the money: she’ll go on dates with them, and if she doesn’t fall for one of them, she wins and the debt is waived. If not, her brother has to join the club and pay the debt back 300Y per date at a time (this after saying their fee is 300,000Y each time). Also, until they decide the game is over, her brother joins the club as collateral.
Interesting, no? What’s also interesting is the whole feeling of this group being totally corrupted and generally immoral, which they really play up. I remember this being marketed as a very dark story, which aligns with this feeling. One other thing I loved is that Nazuna doesn’t just give up at this point, but tries to go to the authorities! She realizes that yeah, having a brothel openly operate on campus (not sure whether it goes that far, but they definitely try to give the feeling it does) should be way against school policy, and she goes to a teacher. Unfortunately, the date club students and their parents pay a ton of money for the school to overlook everything they do, so unless they’re caught doing something really illegal, the club is allowed.
This is the intro part, before you choose who you want to go on dates with, but it’s really long in-game. The first time I played I barely got to when Nazuna transfers schools.
However, once you get past the establishment of the bet, it goes fairly quickly. I’m almost done Fuji’s route now, and will have a review of that up soon.
So I’ve totally finished Musketeer, and Rita, like you said, I loved it!
There’s actually a LOT of this game that you don’t see the first time through, and even up to the third time and maybe the fourth route I was getting new mini scenes between characters who I barely even saw the first time around. It also takes a few times to really understand what side each person is on, and who is “good” and “bad”. Several of the characters are neither, which really makes the characters interesting.
I can’t say too much about the plot because it’s too easy to spoil things, but I will say I like all of the routes you can get, even the school president! Several of them are bittersweet, especially that of the whole story’s ‘ringmaster’, but I never felt cheated at the end.
As for my favourite route, that’s tough – I still like Porthos just because he’s my type (and his little…problem cracks me up). I like Athos’ route, though he’s still a little bland in other people’s storylines. And I really enjoyed the ‘hidden’ character, whose route opens up after all the six regular characters are finished once. I think each route is well-done, so your favourite might depend on what character or plotline you like best (if you like bittersweet, go for the older guys).
OK, let’s see what kids they got to play the sixth-graders!
Heh, yeah, no, of course it’s all seiyuu we know and love in Otomate’s new game Clock Zero, set to release this November for the PS2.
Clockwise from the top left:
Kanou Riichirou CV: Maeno Tomoaki
Past roles: Chisato in VitaminZ, Oswell in Kazeiro Surf, Rouichi in STEAL
Hanabusa Madoka CV: Toriumi Kousuke
Past roles: Oreldo in Pumpkin Scissors, Shun in VitaminX, Sengoku in Prince of Tennis
Kaidou Takato CV: Namikawa Daisuke
Past roles: Ohtori in Prince of Tennis, Kazahaya in Kimi ni Todoke, Italy in Hetalia, Ayato in Love Revo, Yuuichi in Hiiro no Kakera
Tokita Shuuya CV: Ishida Akira
Past roles: Katsura in Gintama, Yasuaki/Yasutsugu/LizVaan/Ashvin in Harutoki series, Mizuki in PoT, Aslan in Gundam Seed, Sakuya in Tokimemo GS, Rinto in Himehibi, Katsuhiko in HnK2
Hanabusa Nakaba CV: Sudou Shou
Past roles: Kougaiji in SYK, Young England in Hetalia
Saionji Toranosuke CV: Sugiyama Noriaki
Past roles: Sasuke in Naruto, Uryuu in Bleach, Boris in the Alice series, Johan in Last Escort Club Katze, England in Hetalia
The ‘adult’ cast is still a secret. Here are two newish characters, the Dreamland guys, Bishop and Rook.
That’s it! I’ll try and keep an eye out for the rest of the cast being announced. Next up, Ishin Renka!!
I have to say, it is interesting to be in a city hosting the G20 summit! But it’s also a big pain in the butt, especially when you live downtown.
But elsewhere, life goes on normally, and otome game news happens, so here I am to announce it!
Two big new games are a new Renka game from D3 Publisher which I mentioned earlier, but now has a lot more info on it. Ishin Renka Sakamoto Ryouma Gaiden is set to release this fall for the PSP, with a story focusing on (big surprise) Sakamoto Ryouma, a key figure during the Bakumatsu period (1853-1867). There are new character designs from the last Renka game, Bakumatsu Renka Karyuu Kenshiden which was released in 2007 (which was a semi-sequel to the original Bakumatsu Renka from 2004). The main character apparently is an orphan who grew up in the Sakamoto household.
Seiyuu haven’t been announced; I’ll probably do a separate post when they are. The Renka series is quite popular even though several stories are quite tragic, it will be interesting to see if this game changes ‘accepted’ history enough to have mostly happy endings, especially since two main characters here, Sakamoto Ryouma and Okita Souji, supposedly died quite early in the Bakumatsu turmoil.
The other new new title is Armen Noir, announced by Otomate, for the PS2, scheduled for December. The character designer also did the designs for Hiiro no Kakera 4: Shin Tamayori-hime Denshou.
The story appears to be set in the neat future, in a corrupt city called Moebius (or Mevius?), where the gap between rich and poor is growing bigger and bigger.
The heroine is a ‘Hunter’, someone who has chosen to oppose the criminals who have sullied their hands with illegal deeds and have gained money as a result. Hunters work for ‘Bountia’, an organization that takes assignments to catch criminals in the city for rewards. Armen Noir is the heroine’s codename in Bountia, and her real name is Naska.
Some other news:
Other than that, there are tons of games being released right now, I’ve finally got Hakuouki (for the PS3, honto kirei da yo~!) and Meikyuu Grimm for the PSP, which is fun but looong. What are you playing?
Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku is the newest title for the PSP coming from Otomate (developer Vingt-et-un Systems) sometime in 2010. It’s set in Kyoto during the Taisho era. The heroine Haru grew up poor, and at the beginning of the game, has been hired into the Miyanomori household, a powerful zaibatsu (think Doumyouji’s family in Hana Yori Dango) as a maid. What she doesn’t know is that the head of Miyanomori has just stated that he is stepping down, and will choose a successor from his six sons, sending the whole family into disarray.
The six Miyanomori brothers:
Left: Tadashi, Right: Isami
Tadashi (34 years old): The oldest son, Tadashi always assumed that he’d inherit control of the Miyanomori concern, and he has a tendency to look down on others. He’s in charge of the family’s banking business, and is a workaholic.
Isami (31 years old): Isami has a high rank in the military, and only cares about his country. He thinks that if you’re not increasing the power of Japan, you’re useless.
Left: Shigeru, Right: Susumu
Shigeru (26 years old): As opposed to his older brothers, Shigeru hates rules and being controlled, and loves freedom. Though he’s part of a huge
zaibatsu, apparently he’s been seen performing in the city’s entertainment district.
Susumu (22 years old): As a police officer, he has a strong sense of duty and morals. He strongly respects his brothers and family.
Left: Hiroshi, Right: Masashi
Hiroshi (18 years old): Curious about everything, Hiroshi’s hobby is invention. He’s very friendly and often chats with Haru.
Masashi (16 years old): Masashi is immature and childish – he only does what what he wants to, and dislikes anyone who disobeys him. Sometimes he also shows a cruel side.
Haru is drawn into the sons’ power struggles. The time limit of the game is one year. The gameplay includes setting your schedule of chores (and I believe these affect parameters).