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.
The podcast about Hakuoki and otome gaming in general is now up! Thanks so much to Anne from Video Game Writers for joining me on my first ever podcast, with all the hiccups that go along with it! It was lots of fun, we started discussing Hakuoki, went into voice actors a bit, mentioned Tokimemo, Harutoki, and Starry Sky, and then came back to Hakuoki. I’m sorry it took me a long time to edit – mostly because of noob mistakes. There are some moments where there’s static in the feed, I tried to get rid of most of them but some are right when we’re talking, so I had to leave them in.
You can either download it by right-clicking or left-click, and it will open in your browser. Let me know if you enjoy it!
Update: BTW, I saw this interview of the script rewriter that might explain Anne’s question about Hijikata.
Hakuouki‘s English release date is quickly approaching, and there are some exciting things to report! Hakuouki is pretty much the first big-name otome game to be released in English widely, and there are many good things about it: it’s freakin’ gorgeous, it is going to keep the original Japanese(THANK GOD), and look, it’s cheap!
Normal edition: $29.99! Holy cow, for someone like me used to Japanese prices this is amazing for a PSP game.
Limited Edition: Only $39.99! It includes a 72-page artbook (very nice, as the art for Hakuouki is freakin’ gorgeous), and a soundtrack CD. I don’t really remember what the music is like. I’d rather have a drama CD, but considering it would be in Japanese, I can understand why they didn’t include one.
Hakuouki is set for a Valentine’s Day release (very cute!) and I am seriously considering having a party for it, or a podcast or something.
That’s it for today, sorry it’s short!
Happy New Year a day early (or right on time for anyone over the date line)! The prequel for Ivan is up on the LOVE.101 site! This is the first of a series, one for each guy, and the next one will be in January for Raj. I hope it gives you an idea of what each guy is like. If you have comments, you can leave them here or feel free to email me! (lijakaca at yahoo dot com).
Yes, Rita just let me know that Aksys announced it at Anime Expo today, as hinted at on their webpage. They’re translating the PSP version. I’m not sure what the other one is, Rita if you hear give us a shout, and thanks very much for the scoop!!
OTOME GAMES IN ENGLISH, HERE WE GO!
Have you heard of Frozen Essence? It’s an indie English visual novel from Unbroken Hours, which is totally FREE and, I think, amazing quality for a free game. It doesn’t have voices, which I think is totally reasonable for a free VN. I’ll try to explain the plot without giving away too much, but there are spoilers here for a first playthrough.
The story is really good, it’s fantasy and set in another world where elemental orbs keep the balance of nature. Each orb has Guardians to protect them, but there is one orb, the Death Orb, that has been inactive for a thousand years but has just been reactivated. Many people have forgotten about the Death Orb, and there’s a group, the White Order, that is trying to seal the Death Orb because of its harmful power.
After a prologue where the heroine escapes imprisonment after waking up without memories, she’s brought to a castle by the Oracle.
The heroine in this game is related to the Death Orb, which is interesting because there’s this tension between the balance of the orbs, and how the Death Orb really does bring sickness and death to places around it. So it’s not a clear-cut story about you being on the good side and beating evil at all.
The characters are quite good and all have their own motivations and personalities:
Rune – one of the heroine’s guards, he seems to only want to hide from the world, and is very protective of Mina.
Aysel – another guard who was brought in by Rune, she’s nice and is devoted to Rune.
Caius – quite a jerk, he taunts the heroine a lot and doesn’t seem to care about anyone, in fact he talks about hurting people with enjoyment.
Oracle – the mysterious hooded figure who rescued Mina.
Varian – someone Mina meets outside when he saves her from the cold, but he’s very abrupt.
Aurelius – an outgoing ‘celebrity’ orb Guardian who meets Mina and takes a liking to her. He has a bit of a white knight complex.
Those are the most important characters, though several others are key to the story.
I was most impressed by the story of Frozen Essence; the plot is well thought-out, and each character has their own important backstory that’s related to the main plot. I would actually love for the stories to be more fleshed out, just to enjoy them for longer.
The art is good, much better than I thought of when I heard it was an indie VN, and the music is also quite good. This is a free game so understandably had a very limited (nonexistent??) budget, but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the backgrounds and art in general. And there are a lot of CGs, more than I expected.
The game doesn’t take too long once you’ve played through once, I’d estimate the main story to be an hour or two (depending on how fast you read of course), and then 30 min- 1 hour for the different routes.
One last thing that I appreciated a lot was the effects and transitions. Probably more because now that I’m working on LOVE.101 (yes I swear I am!!) I know how much work goes into each scene and all the special effects, movement etc.
Though it’s free, Frozen Essence has a donation button through Paypal, that I strongly encourage you to use if you play and enjoy it! It will help the creator, VenusEclipse, make more games, and I really think this is worth it. Unbroken Hours is also looking for artists and other talented folk for its next game, so if you’re interested, check it out!
If you know of other good indie otome games, please let me know in the comments – I stumbled on this one but I’m sure there are more.
But Dreamweaver is annoying me so much I’m contemplating just re-doing the site in Flash, or writing the code myself. SOO clunky. I’ll post as soon as I get it working the way I want it!
Of course I have non-LOVE.101 related posts ready too, I might post one in the interim…
But till then, some videos!
Who doesn’t love HnK? I just got #3 for the PSP, here’s the OP, which as usual is an amazing song, Unmei no Hito (Soulmate) by Fujita Maiko
And I also just ordered ~Motto!~ Gakuensai no Ouji-sama, which is the DS adaptation of the Prince of Tennis otome game, with the guys from Shitenhouji added! I somehow found this awesome fan video of PoT featuring Rikkai, which I believe parodies some other anime song.
And this one I’m just in awe of (3:20 to 4:10 is my favourite segment)!
Well, here we are, one week late (sorry miruki!) but I have finally put up my game’s website!
LOVE.101 will be a little otome game set in university. As the heroine, you’re trying to survive the first semester as best you can and see if you can meet someone special at the same time!
Several updates are still to come, and hopefully I can get that ugly link border away from the buttons (I should have just coded it in Flash), but it’s up!
More info on the characters, game system, and of course, release details, to come in the days to come!