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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
I’m sitting here watching Toki no Kizuna scroll by (almost done two characters and going to post after that), and I thought I’d post these vids as well.
Grimm the Bounty Hunter
I haven’t quite finished Adolf’s route yet, but it’s pretty fun.
Issho ni Gohan
This is really cute, too bad it’s unfocused.
I’m really hoping this is good, although recent games have lowered my expectations…I just love the character designs.
Yay! It’s as fun as I remember, and the new art is definitely nicer. For me it strikes a nice balance between gameplay and story.
Toki no Kizuna
Going through this now – as you can see the art is gorgeous. And I love the voice cast.
This is actually available through the PlayStation Network! If you’re in Japan, that is.
Edit: The Butterfly vid was removed, so here’s another treat – a preview of Hana Awase!
One route per game, I hope it’s worth it. It seems to be targeting a more mature crowd, maybe there’ll be lots of adult drama.
24ji no Cinderella
I got 12ji just to play this, and I really enjoyed it, so I can’t wait for this one! Already orderd the deluxe set.
Oh, one last link to a vid – the VitaminZ fandisk!
And that’s it for now!
I couldn’t get these up yesterday as I had important things to do *cough*Assassin’sCreed2*cough*, but here are some videos for upcoming games. OH, and I found out that Diabolik Lovers, the vampire drama CD series, is being made into a game by Rejet and Otomate.
Midnight Bells & Cinderella
Hakuouki Bakumatsu Musouroku
This one is pretty good for showing the action gameplay, although it doesn’t seem as if there’s any otome stuff in it unfortunately. You do get to play “What if” scenarios where historical enemies like the Shinsengumi and Joui Shishi team up, or the Shinsengumi and Chikage (not historical but enemies in the original) join forces.
At the end of the vid they show what you get with the limited edition, and it includes a little fake katana! Or maybe it’s a wakizashi, I can’t tell the difference.
Uh, I found a PV of this and thought it would be great to have some gameplay info, but this looks like any visual novel PV, there’s no gameplay shown at all. I hope some comes out soon…
Ouma ga Toki
It’s a visual novel, but I’m excited about it because the characters and setting sound really good (high school = ok, supernatural high school = much better!). Look at the homepage, right up in the left corner there’s a girl holding her own head.
Harutoki 5 Fandisk
I wish #4 had gotten a proper fandisk, but oh well. I’m sure I’ll get this sometime.
And lastly, I never put a Strobe Mania vid up, so here’s one – looks like there’s a bit of detective gameplay and I just ordered it, yay!
Kimi ni Todoke – I was catching up on the manga a few days ago (how can it be so long and not feel like it’s dragging yet??) and wondered what the game was like so I found this vid – it looks like you can get events, and maybe endings?, with not just Kazehaya but Ryuu and Kento too. I wonder if it would feel wrong not going for Kazehaya.
I’ve been playing through several heavy story games on the PSP and got a bit burned out, so for something a bit more casual I put in Storm Lover. It’s great during times when I only have a few minutes, because there’s no huge plot you have to remember, you can play a few days quickly, and you really don’t need to use a guide. It does take a while to get through a year, but overall it’s great. It’s kind of like Tokimemo, but less random in who you encounter, and easier in general (no need to figure out what subjects or datespots your guy likes!)
After finally getting Kyousuke’s (CV: Terajima Takuma) best ending (I think), I thought I’d try the fandisk, Storm Lover Natsukoi!! It plays pretty much like the original, except compressed into a few days of a beach field trip, with no need to study and higher limits on texting, as well as a little minigame to choose who you sit beside on the bus to and from the beach. There are two different modes, you can choose to start either already dating one of the guys or single. I don’t know what happens in the first mode, but I think you can build up someone else’s affections like in the original and have some love triangle drama. I believe that you can also get endings with two side characters, Takashi (CV:Kimura Ryouhei) and the school nurse Inuzuka (CV: Onosaka Masaya, or Momoshiro, for any PoT fans out there), and a totally new character Shiina (CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko). So far it’s a lot of frothy casual fun, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who liked Storm Lover and wants some more.
B’s Log will probably get here tomorrow or Friday, but I got the Girls Style and Cool-B.
Apparently 2012 is the year of police and detective games! There’s the Detective VitaminX game (in Feb), and Karin’s new game Eikoku Tantei Mysteria (with the son of Lupin III as a master cat thief!), and the new Tiny Machine Gun from Rejet, with the first CD coming in February and a game in September.
A few pages on Black Wolves Saga, which as I thought has the artist from Gekka Ryouran, and will be released in two segments – one, Last Hope, for the PSP, and the other, Bloody Nightmare, on the PC! In Last Hope you’re with Russ Bogard, a wolf boy, and in Bloody Nightmare you’re with two cat boys, Mejojo (pronounce the j’s as y’s) and Uuger (pronounced Ooje) von Garibaldi. LH is supposed to be a story of true love, whereas BN will show twisted love. Taking advantage of being on the PC, apparently there will be several ‘shocking’ scenes (it’s not R18 though, so I think they mean disturbing/violent). Now, is this actually an otome game? It actually sounds more like a visual/light novel.
New game from ASCII Mediaworks and Vridge, Koi wa Rule ni Shibararenai, for the PSP. In this game the heroine is suddenly appointed as the president of her school (not of the student council but the school!) She can change school events and rules, but the student council has a say as well and can either agree or oppose her decisions. Part of this game is trying to make the student council acknowledge you as the president. Next issue will have the cast, so I might do a post on it then.
Custom Drive is a different sort of otome game coming from D3P – you can customize your boyfriend, not only with accessories, hairstyles, and clothes, but even change their personalities! The producer says players shouldn’t worry too much about playing ‘correctly’, but just play how you want and enjoy the game. Each of the three characters introduced have their own short story up on the website that you can access through a QR code – I’ll have to see if mine works. They also have English descriptions (in SHOUTY CAPS, hehe):
Riito Touma (CV: Toyonaga Toshiyuki from Durarara!!): HE IS YOUR CHILDHOOD BOYFRIEND. Ok then!
Ruka Mayuzumi (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa): HE SEEMS TO LOVE YOU, BUT…? Sounds ominous!
Shion Kannagi (CV: Kimura Ryouhei): YOU WILL COME TO KNOW HIS SECRET. I hope it’s good!
More info on Koisentai Love & Peace for the PSP. I still haven’t listened to my drama CD of it, so when I do that I’ll post on it.
Sangokuren Senki is coming ot the PSP! (I don’t remember hearing about this but it may be old news) New events and CGs will be added, and an ‘episode’ for Genjou as well.
A new game from Takuyo – Kami-sama to Koigokoro for the PSP, where the heroine is training to be a nun and three of the guys are priests-in-training. Another love interest is a priest!
A new character will be available in Harutoki 5’s fandisk Kazahanaki. Rindou is a totally new character, an onmyouji who helps the heroine but acts cold to her, telling her to give up on being a miko. I thought they were missing something and I just realized – Harutoki 5 had no purple-haired bishounen! Rindou is a totally necessary addition. And Sou will also have a route!
Fandisk for Amnesia coming in March -= it’s called Amnesia Clatter.
And finally, there’s a teaser for a new game from Otomate, Hakuouki and Hiirno No Kakera’s producer and miko, the artist from Beastmaster and Prince. Not much is shown, but it’s set in the Sengoku period and apparently about oni. It looks very cool, I love miko’s art.
That’s all for now, more to come on Friday with B’s Log!
Juuzaengi – Only a teaser site up right now from Otomate/Red, nice art though! And catpeople!
Anyone know what the title means? 十三支演技？Thirteen supporting commentaries/adaptations?
Strobe Mania, from D3, has a story and characters up.
I’m finally getting around to playing Storm Lover thoroughly, which I mostly missed last year when I got it because 1) the first guy whose route I got into didn’t interest me, and 2) so many games were coming out that once I put it down, I never really picked it up again.
However, since I haven’t gotten games in a while (I’m trying to save up money for my trip to Japan in October), I finally put it back in my PSP and am really enjoying it. I always thought it was an interesting premise, and once I decided to just start over and go for a different guy, things worked great. And the fandisk, Storm Lover Natsukoi!!, is out this summer, so perhaps this will be useful for anyone who’s seen it and hasn’t played the original yet.
For anyone who’s not familiar with Storm Lover, it looks like a standard high school otome game, no fantasy or mystery plots really. What makes it different from others in the genre is that you’re never locked into one route, as in most visual novels. Usually, you have a certain amount of story before your previous choices bring you to a certain storyline, and from there your choices only decide whether you split betweeen a couple stories (or fail entirely).
In Storm Lover, which goes through a year of high school by day, as far as I’ve played (I’m only up to October so far, with about 5 months to go), your relationships are never set in stone.
At pretty much anytime you can:
Right now I’m on my second relationship, after deciding once to stay with my first boyfriend when someone else confessed, and then dumping him for another guy (I felt so guilty! but I wanted to see what would happen), and I’m trying to decide whether or not I should stay with the same guy again, or start a new relationship again.
It’s quite fun, and to be honest, I find it kind of refreshing to not have characters in high school locked into one relationship forever and ever.
To make this review complete, I should probably comment on other aspects of the game. The art is very good, I like the character designs (same artist as Little Anchor), it’s interesting that they’re obviously drawn (like, the shadows of their necks etc. are clearly drawn in as opposed to CG shading), voices are of course great, the music is pretty forgettable, and the scenery is fine but fairly generic city/school type backgrounds.
Some other things I liked: after you dump or refuse someone, the next few times you see them it’s awkward and you can’t talk to them. However if you persist, they’ll come around and you can be friends again. I haven’t tried to see if you can get up the affection levels to confessing again.
Apparently, you even get a special ending if you go out with ALL 6 guys, heheh. I don’t think I’ll go for that now, but it actually sounds pretty fun to do at a gaming party…
Well, I’m getting magazines on Saturday and will probably do a post on Sunday with all the news, but for now (and since I uh, kinda missed last week) here is a selection of some of the upcoming otome games’ promo videos!
From Quinrose, Mother Goose’s Secret House (Himitsu no Yakata):
Coming out June 23rd for the PSP!
Another from Quinrose, Iza! Shutsujin Koi Ikusa
Coming out next week!
From Otomate, Musketeer
Scheduled for July 7, I know a lot of people are waiting for this one!
And from Snapdragon, Tsubasa no Oka no Hime [R18]
Already out, but so gorgeous!
And from D3, Storm Lover
The PV for the fandisk, Natsukoi!! isn’t on Youtube, so that’s the original PV. It’s scheduled for August 8.
And finally, a Korean BL R18 game that my Korean friend was nice enough to play and translate for a group of us, Oops! My Prince （I can’t find a link for it unfortunately)
It is hilariously weird, which you can see a bit of in the PV.
I got the August mags a few days ago, and there are comments from the VitaminX cast about working on the new release. I thought I’d (roughly!) translate their answers for any fans:
1. How was it going back and working on VitX again?
2. What do you think would be fun to do at the VitaminX event?
3. Message to the fans
Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Tsubasa):
Tsubasa has new expressions that weren’t seen in either X or Z
1. “Tsubasa in high school was set on getting his own way no matter what. But four years later, his leadership had developed, and he can take things as they are. This time, going back and playing the high school Tsubasa again, I kept being pulled into the adult Tsubasa, so sweeping that away was my assignment this time.”
2. “It was the first time I was able to attend an event as the lead character with a sense of responsibility, supported by sempai whom I admire, and I’m very grateful for that. For the next event, I’d like to make several different things. If it was on stage, I’d even like to do the same script, but make it even more dazzling. Also…it’s been a while since the B6 were all together, so I’d like to let loose.” (laugh)
3. “To the DS users, I’m sorry! It’s now become a PSP game. And it’s also gotten more voiceovers. It’s a game that anyone can enjoy, so please enjoy it however you want!”
Ono Daisuke (Hajime):
“I was reminded again that Hajime is an important role to me”
1. “When you do things like additional voice lines, you have to bring that character back into you. With Hajime, it feels like that happens very naturally. This time as well, he came back to me smoothly, and it left me with that same impression.”
2. “Memories of the event – it was the first time I’d done an auction, and it was very exciting. The energy level was high. At this year’s event…if it’s a plan for Hajime, I’m ok with anything. The B6 are all good at different things, so it might be interesting for us to try them out. I’m also looking forward to performing with the Z members.”
3. “Having it sold as a portable game mans that more people can experience the work, and they can do so in more ways. It’s fun to play Hajime for all those, and I’m happy to think that with this PSP version, another bond with the user has been created.”
Toriume Kousuke (Shun):
“I think Shun has grown into a great older brother”
1. “In Z, I play Shun as more adult than his actual years. In high school he was pretty impulsive, but in Z, for example, he’s stopped saying, “殺すぞ” (I’ll kill you!). This time, saying that line for the first time in a while, I felt kind of nostalgic. In that way, perhaps Shun has grown up the most of all the B6? In my opinion anyways.”
2. “At the very least, for VitaminX, even if I leave it alone, I’m not worried because someone will do something (laugh). The B6 combination works without saying anything, so I know what each person will act like even without planning together. I trust them a lot. This time as well as a railway worker, I want to accomplish Shun’s role and position.”(laugh) Lijaka: I don’t know what he means here! Maybe it’s a role Shun plays somewhere??
3. “Personally, it was fun playing Shun in VitaminX again after so long, and I’m sure that the PSP version will be the first time some people encounter ‘X’, so I would like them to please enjoy the world of ‘X’. Goodbye.”
Kishio Daisuke (Gorou):
“Gorou is a dangerous character in several ways”
1. “It’s been a while since I played Gorou as a student in drag, and he has quiet scenes, and dramatic scenes, and I had to use my top register, and go to my limit with his tones. Such a tough role is pretty rare, and I thought that this job is pretty hard as I was recording.” (laughs)
2. “For me, the VitaminX event was memorable in several ways. What I’d like to do for it in the future…you know, seriously doing something that brings Gorou’s special features to life. Calling in a professional hair and makeup artist and transforming fans into the B6, maybe having a Vitamin print club.”
3. “I gave 200% effort, and the game is fun enough for the passage of time not to matter at all. The B6 are still doing their best 3 years later! (laugh) I’d like it if this opportunity was used to cheer on Vitamin even more!”
Yoshino Toshiyuki (Kiyoharu):
“Kiyoharu’s ability to wrestle full on with anything in front of him is important to me”
1. “Kiyoharu blasts whatever’s in front of him with all his energy, and that doesn’t change whatever age he is or what he’s in. I think he’ll continue to have that energy his whole life, so I thought that was the important thing as I was performing.”
2. “During VitaminX I wanted to put Kiyoharu’s character out fully, so apart from the free talk, I performed as Kiyoharu as much as possible. In that way, the Vitamin events are special to me. As for ideas, how about making a vitamin drink for it?”
3. “I believe many people played VitaminX on the DS, but for those with a PSP, please try playing VitaminX EvoPlus as well. I think there will be several other extravagant things available as well, so please try those as well.” (laugh)
Suganuma Hisayoshi (Mizuki):
“I was happy to be able to play the beginning Mizuki”
1. “For VitaminX EvoPlus, I was able to keep some naivete and play Mizuki like the first game, which had been a while and that made me happy, it was fun. I might say this is the ‘true’ Mizuki, perhaps?” (laugh)
2. “VitaminX is fun because I never know what is going to happen, but, just as much, the performances have many surprises as well (laugh). Partly because of that, the VitaminX events have left a strong impression on me among all my work. And this time it will be together with ‘Z’, which I’m looking forward to. I really want to have ‘X’ and ‘Z’ compete somehow.”
3. “I think maybe this new PSP version has opened up possibilities for Vitamin. Also, even for fans who have played the game before, this PSP version will scratch that itch, so why don’t you give it a try?”
Set for this fall on the PSP, D3 Publisher’s Ishin Renka has a big cast of Bakumatsu characters! Here are the seiyuu, I may add pics if I have time latah…
Sakamoto Ryouma CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki:
Past roles: Sephiroth, Hideaki in Gakuen Heaven, Luciano in Death Connection, Wakaouji in Tokimemo GS2, Jin in Bloody Call, Yasuhide in MnS 2
Takasugi Shinsaku CV: Suzumura Kenichi
Past roles: Hikaru in Ouran Host Club, Okita in Gintama, Edward in Crimson Empire, Tsubasa in Starry Sky, Kounoshin in Tokimemo GS2, Kengo in Mizu no Senritsu
Okita Souji CV: Hino Satoshi
Past roles: Sai in Naruto, Kiriya/Reiji in Kiniro no Corda, Johan in Kazeiro Surf, Tooru in Sorayume, Angelica in Lucian Bee’s
(I love the Renka series, but does this pic remind anyone else of things totally unrelated to samurai? Like…1980’s glam rock bands or something?)
Nakaoka Shintarou CV: Hiyama Nobuyuki
Past roles: Chihiro in Last Escort, Hiei in Yu Yu Hakusho, Amaya in Houkago wa gin no Shirabe, Kazuma in Tokimemo GS, Jackal in PoT, Kouyuu in Saiunkoku Monogatari
Kawakami Gensai CV: Nojima Kenji
Past roles: Nachi in VitaminZ, Akira in HnK2, Liidii in Panic Palette, Keisaku in Shakugan no Shana, Tohru in Love Revo, Kazuyuki in TMGS2
Katsura Kogorou CV: Hirakawa Daisuke
Past roles: Bernard in Neo Angelique, Ace in the Alice series, Takashi in Love Revo, Kouichirou in Garnet Cradle, Hayato in Starry Sky, Suguru in HnK
Hijikata Toshizou CV: Maeno Tomoaki
Past roles: Chisato in VitaminZ, Oswell in Kazeiro Surf, Rouichi in STEAL
Itou Shunsuke CV: Kishio Daisuke
Past roles: Yunoki in Corda, Kaname in Vampire Knight, Sena in UtM, Nemu in LovexLoop, Frog Prince in Zettai Meikyuu Grimm
Itou Kashitarou CV: Suzuki Yuuto
Past roles: Shikigami Ichi in Miyako, Kouhei in DC Girl’s Symphony, Otome Banchou in Renai Banchou
Toudou Heisuke CV: Shimino Hiro
Past roles: Reiji in Last Escort 2, Kiyoharu in MnS 2, Tadashi in Special A, Shou in UtaPuri
Date Kojirou CV: Sakaguchi Shuuhei
Past roles: Tsunami Jousuke in Inazuma Eleven, Kyouhei in Saikin Koi Shiteru?, Akira in Kurayami no Hate de Kimi o Matsu