Posts Tagged ‘PSP’

Tokimemo GS3 – Skinship/Approach Mode/Date Communication

November 28th, 2012

That’s a few words meaning similar things.

Fans of Tokimemo 1 and 2 DS will probably recognize skinship as the extra minigame added to use the DS touchpad and stylus.
Since the PSP doesn’t have those, they adjusted it. Now when you’re on a date and the guy is talking, you’ll see something like this:

Seiji date in Tokimemo GS3

The little flower in the top right corner means you can ‘approach’ him, by pushing the analog stick up (the heart shows how tokimeki he is). Once you do that, you’ll see the following:
Kouichi date - approach mode Tokimemo GS3
As you can see, from the left there’s a square, triangle, and a white circle button. Also, you see a heart in the top left corner, and it will be ‘beating’. What you want to do is choose an action and have it go off at the moment that big heart is at its largest (this helps get a ‘critical’). This will then increase the number at the top right, which is pretty much a tokimeki meter.

Now it took me an amazingly long time to realize that in order to be able to use the square and triangle button in addition to the circle, you have to keep pushing the analog stick up and you’ll slowly move closer. And you can choose to either push a button once, or hold it down, changing the action (circle changes from nikkori to mitsumeru (from smile to look at), triangle from fureru to te wo tsunagu (from touch to hold hands), and square from itazura to ijiwaru (from tease to ‘mean’). When you first start on dates, guys often won’t let you get any closer than the circle range, and the square range takes a while to get to.

If you do this enough, eventually (it will take several dates) you’ll go into Date Communication Mode. These arelittle ‘vignette’ extra stories where you have to pick the right approaches to keep the scene going. It looks like the pic below, with screen bars and no text window.

Not too much happens (at least that I’ve experienced), but you get extra dialogue and it shows that your relationship is progressing. Date Comm can also happen at certain spots/times when you see a square button onscreen, like at cherry blossom viewing.

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Tokimemo GS 3 – Preferences

November 23rd, 2012

Each guy has their preferred clothing style, date spots, parameters, clubs, and/or part-time jobs where you can work with them. If you wear their preferred clothing on a date, they’ll mention it and you’ll get extra tokimeki points (unless there’s an event like being hit on, or it’s too warm or cold for the season). Though apparently if you wear a particular style enough and they like you, their tastes will change! Pretty neat.

Ruka and Kouichi
These two brothers are the first two fellow students you meet, and they’re also friends from your childhood. Ruka is a playful daredevil, and Kouichi is a scary-looking tough guy who’s a quintessential big brother. Raka works at a flower shop, while Kouichi works at a gas station.

Ruka Preferences:
Clothes: Natural, Ultra Natural and Girly (Cute and Natural)
Places: game centre, amusement park, aquarium
Gifts: Hotcakes, Dolphin stuff, Gacchi Red Ranger mask, santa boot of candy
Valentine’s: Use the dolphin topper
Colour: Aqua

Kouichi Preferences:
Clothes: Vivid, Ultra Vivid, and Wild (Vivid and Sexy)
Places: amusement park, bowling, the farm, the motorcycle show at the museum
Gifts: a dartboard, antique radio, motorcycle B-movie poster, tiger object
Valentine’s: Use the candy cane or whiskey bonbon
Colour: Orange

Fujiyama Arashi
Arashi is a classmate that you meet once your fitness is over 60. He recruits you to be the manager of the judo club (of which he’s the only member), and he’s extremely tennen – he says exactly what he thinks, hides nothing, and is a little dense. If you want him you should really join judo. He works as a lifeguard.
Clothes: Activ,e Ultra Active, and Sporty (Active and Vivid)
Places: Physical activity (swimming, skating, skiing, etc), the balcony of the old castle
Gifts: Carved wooden (bearcat? raccoon?), Protein, a lily, an old scroll 書軸, alpaca stuffed animal
Valentine’s: Use the cookie #1
Colour: Blue

Niina Junpei
Junpei is a year younger than you, so he doesn’t enter Habataki High School until the second year. However because his hobby is picking up girls, you can meet him earlier when you’re out shopping if your fashion is high enough. He wants to be a playboy and admires Hazuki Kei. He works at a convenience store, and you can make him join the judo club if you’re in it.
Clothes: Sexy, Ultra Sexy, and Koakuma (Sexy and Cute) (also Wild)
Places: pretty much anywhere other than dark or high places (no planetarium!)
Gifts: a poster of Kei, lava light, sparkly strap, Ko-Nami elephant toy
Valentine’s: Use the sexy girl topping
Colour: Pink

Konnou Tamao:
The student president who’s always serious, nice and polite, and has a bit of an inferiority complex. He’s a year older so he graduates after your second year, but you can still go on dates. He’s in the student council but has no part-time job.
Clothes: Cute, Ultra Cute, and Older Sister (Cute and Chic)
Places: skiing, amusement park, farm
Gifts: Steam engine (ブリキの蒸気機関車), mini globe, a head mark (no idea what this actually is), alarm clock, scale model of Habataki Castle
Valentine’s: Use the cupid topping
Colour: Green

Shitara Seiji
A rich kid student one year older than you who’s a bit famous for his piano skills. He’s pretty rude and doesn’t have much common sense, but he’s got amazing hair and I find him kind of hilarious. Of course, he doesn’t have a job.
Clothes: Chic, Ultra Chic, and Mode (Chic and Vivid)
Places: Planetarium, aquarium, nowhere he has to exercise unless he already likes you
Gifts: Magic lamp teapot, tiki doll, old sheet music, sand picture, toy termin (qu’est-ce que c’est? I dunno)
Valentine’s: The music note, duh.
Colour: Purple

In addition to the regular six guys, there are three (or four) hidden characters which require specific events/stats/actions for them to appear, and are pretty hard to get endings with.

Tomorrow or Sunday, magazine news!!

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Tokimemo Premium Girls Side 3 – Basics

November 11th, 2012

The basic goal of Tokimemo GS is to have the guy you like confess to you at your high school graduation.
Each guy will require different stats to get his ‘best’ ending, and other endings.

Roughly, in Tokimemo GS3, the most strict requirements are:
Ruka: Studying 150 Athletics 150 Consideration 150
Kouichi: Art 150 Consideration 150 Charm 70
Arashi: Athletics 200 Consideration 150
Niina: Fashion 200 Studying 150
Konno : Studying 200 Consideration 150
Shitara: Art 200 Charm 150

There are several things that can reduce these stats requirements. Going on lots of dates (more than 40) will reduce them by 20. The guy being at ‘tokimeki’ level of affection will reduce it by another 20.

The basic screen of Tokimemo Girls Side 3, and all the Tokimemo GS games, is the following:


In the background you see your room (you can choose the style and it will affect your starting stats). On the left you see your current stats, they are:

Stress Money
Studying Art
Athletics Consideration
Fashion Charm

On the right, in blue and green, are the actions you can do that day/week, which will raise some stats and lower others. On a Sunday or holiday there will be two more buttons for calling someone and going shopping (or going on a date if you’ve set one up).

From the left, the blue buttons are:

Rest Study Art Club
Exercise Fashion Charm Miyo

You can guess what these do. You can only join one club, and it will raise different stats depending on which one you pick.
Hanging out with Miyo will raise consideration and (I think) studying), and hanging out with Karen will raise consideration and fashion.

The orange buttons don’t take time away when you choose them. They are:

Outfit Internet Settings
Calendar Messages Save/Load

One of the most important things to do all the time is check your horoscope on the internet. The other important things to do all the time is save.

When you choose the computer and go to the horoscope page, this is what you’ll see:

The left is just a table of contents for your report, and the right shows what you’ll have the most and least luck in doing for the next four weeks. From the top, they are: Studying (this includes Art), Fun (covers Fashion and I think Miyo and Karen), Health (Exercise and Sports clubs), and Love (Charm and maybe asking guys on dates). At the bottom it also lists your lucky item for the season (in this case, a sun visor).

Using the horoscope will make raising stats much easier. When your desired stats are hard to get, that’s probably a good time to rest and reduce your stress.
Also, don’t be afraid to reload and try a week over – I’ve had weeks where I failed three days, then reloaded and got it perfect on the next try.

This is the basic setup of the game, but there is SO much more to it. Next time I’ll cover each guy’s preferences and talk about fashion styles, clubs, and part-time jobs.

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Tokimemo Girls Side Premium 3rd Story

November 3rd, 2012

One of the reasons I haven’t been blogging much lately is that I’ve been sucked back into Tokimemo GS3 for the PSP, and though it’s really fun it takes a looonnng time! I don’t know if anyone’s interested, but I might do some short posts on tips I’ve learned, since there are so many seemingly random parts that aren’t, and so many things to keep in mind. Even though there are great wiki guides for the games, they’re in Japanese and I think they might be hard to navigate for the average English-speaking player? If not just let me know.

I think I might first do an intro post on the PSP version and what’s different from the DS games, and maybe show the guys and their basic info. I’ve posted a bit on that before so I might link back to that as well.

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24ji Cinderella!

October 6th, 2012

So, 24ji no Cinderella, yeah? (pretend that’s in a cockney accent) Or its official title, 24ji no Kane to Cinderella ~Halloween Wedding~. Even though I worked overtime a bunch this week, I went through all the characters! Only the best endings though (and one ‘good’ ending). Each character has a pivotal point where you can choose to stop investigating the central mystery of the game, and if you do, you don’t end up as lovers, though the one good ending I did, there was still a possibility.

As I said in the preview, Rosaria is Odette’s older stepsister (from 12ji no Cinderella), who in this game, is shown to be much more unsure and worried about Odette than she appears in 12ji. It all fits with her actions from the previous game, but Quinrose is really good at showing a new perspective and it really changes how Rosaria (and Odette, when you don’t see her inner thoughts) comes across. You also get a new viewpoint on Sirius, who I like just as much, but he seems much more mysterious and magician-like herel. Overall, I was really impressed by how they went through the same time period as 12ji but without retconning anything (of course, they were planning this game already, but they did a good job anyhow), and without boring us, even though we’ve seen all the major events already.

I liked all the routes, although I felt that Rosaria’s fiance’s, Linus, route was the weakest. It felt like it needed more story to explain how they fell in love with each other. At the start I wasn’t sure if I would like Linus at all, and I did like him in the end, but I think it could have been much better with a little more showing of both of them developing romantic feelings.

My favourite character…is hard to pick. I was biased towards Oswell because, well, Tsuda Kenjirou, but I also really liked both Feather and Damian’s routes (the monsters). Rosaria’s childhood friend Luis was also really good, but it’s bittersweet to play Linus’s route after him because you know he likes Rosaria (although really, you think he could have pushed a little harder over the years and years they’ve been friends, because she really has no idea).

Rosaria herself is pretty awesome, though I liked her less in Linus’s route – at times she felt unworthy of his high rank, and I felt like she seemed more helpless.
Looking back, the routes all seemed fairly short once you play through once because there is quite a bit of overlap, but while I was playing it only bothered me during Linus’s route.

One more note, though I love Quinrose enough to get their deluxe editions, I gotta say that I prefer Otomate’s pre-order and limited edition drama CDs. The Quinrose ones are fun but I don’t think they add much to the characters, and since the relationships are totally unrelated to those in-game you don’t get any fun rivalries (I like jealousy events in games, what can I say).

Overall, I enjoyed this a lot and definitely recommend it for anyone who enjoys Quinrose games.

Oh, and if Quinrose doesn’t make one more game with Elise, the oldest stepsister, as the heroine, and having Halloween as one of the heroes, I will be very disappointed.

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24ji no Cinderella Preview

September 20th, 2012

So, my 24ji no Cinderella shipped early this morning, and now I wish I had paid for express shipping. Oh well, in the meantime I thought I’d go over the characters and setup (which will make me want it more, but I’ll just have to be patient).

The heroine is the older stepsister, Rosalia Scarlet, of the heroine from 12ji no Cinderella, Odette Scarlet. Odette was cynical and cool, while Rosalia is warm and impulsive, but they’re both Quinrose heroines, so they’re smart and independent. Rosalia is really protective of Odette and shows her affection a lot (in fact Girl’s Style has a gag comic where the heroes are worried she’ll never love them as much as she loves Odette), as well as the rest of their family, Rosalia’s mother Fatima, and her older sister (yeah I can’t remember her name).

For those who haven’t played 12ji, Odette’s father, a fairly high nobleman, and Fatima, a low-level noblewoman, get married and the family lives fairly happily for a couple months until the father dies in a carriage accident. Then it’s discovered that he had lots of debts, and the four women have to sell the house and move to a creaky apartment downtown, working to live. The city they live in is a strange mix of 19th-century Europe and fairytales, where the king shares power with Hallowe’en, a ‘monster’. Monsters are kind of supernatural animals that live as humanoids (but I think they can all turn into their animal forms as well). The humans of the town don’t really trust the monsters so they don’t deal with each other much, but the Scarlet family don’t care – in fact their only neighbour in the apartment building, Feather, is a pigeon monster, and they’re all very good friends.

Rosalia finds some strange papers one day, one with the emblem of the royal family, and the other the emblem of the Scarlet family. The game is partly trying to find out the meaning behind this.

Along with other characters she meets along the way, here are the main heroes:

Louis Reed (CV: Suzumura Kenichi)  – Rosalia’s childhood friend who’s training to be a knight. He has a strong sense of justice and has a crush on Rosalia.

Feather (CV: Shimono Hiro) – The lovely neighbour who can not only talk to and get help from the city pigeons (a great spy network), but can change gender! She/he is pretty great, and always fashionable, and has a weakness for beans.

Linus Randor (CV: Yusa Kouji) – Rosalia’s fiance, he’s kind of oblivious and it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking.

Oswell Savaray (CV: Tsuda Kenjirou) – The prince’s tutor who wants to learn through experience instead of books. He travels when and where he likes, and doesn’t like getting involved with people.

Damian (CV: Morita Masakazu) – A mouse monster who works in the city doing various odd jobs. He’s a bit of a pushover, but is very versatile. He meets Rosalia when she saves him from a rat-catcher. Oh, and he loves cheese.

And two more characters who I’m not sure if they have routes or not:

Sirius Bradley (CV: Takahashi Hiroki) – A kindly but weird magician who knew Odette’s parents. He had a route in 12ji, I kind of thought it was the true route but I guess not…?

Spencer Hendrick (CV: Nakata Jouji – he was in Escaflowne as Farnel!!! He’s also Serizawa in Hakuouki and will be in Double Score) – A retainer of the prince.

I have no idea what the plot about the emblems will be like, but I’m really looking forward to playing a Quinrose game again, especially because when I played 12ji I really liked Rosalia. I guess I can finish Grimm the Bounty Hunter while I wait…

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12ji no Kane to Cinderella Halloween Wedding

September 12th, 2012

Man, I had almost this whole post written up and never posted. ages ago.

I still haven’t started playing Brothers Conflict, but I just got 12ji Cinderella and Abunai Koi and started playing Cinderella – I felt like I needed some good Quinrose storytelling.

At the beginning, I got a little impatient because it takes a while to set the story before introducing any of the love interests. It starts with Odette and her father only, and then introduces her stepfamily, and goes through the whole event of her father dying and them becoming poor.

Now I’m finally getting to the part where you meet the guys (not there yet!) and I didn’t easily find a guide, so for anyone playing I thought I’d put one up. For the intro I just chose the most welcoming options, like agree to meet Fatima, invite them over, that kind of thing. The ones that matter for which route you’ll enter are when you’re talking to Feather.
Her first question is what kind of guy you like, and it’s shown which one represents your answer so that’s easy. Then later at night, you’re contemplating love and ‘meetings’, and wonder where would be a good meeting place. For these, here are the places for each character:
Hiroba (Square): Chance
Ichiba (Market): Roy Diefenthal
Rojiura (Alley): Gilbert Kroisu
Kutsuya (Shoeshop): Glass Walker
Jitaku (Home): Sirius Bradley

I still haven’t gotten to a route yet, but I’m going for Chance first – for some reason he interests me (maybe it’s the salamander thing?)

Before I took 12ji out of my PSP, I finished all but one route, Glass. I really liked 12ji a lot, and the long intro actually makes the rest of the routes better, because Odette’s family relationships are pretty great, and she has to work through some issues about her mom and dad as well, which wouldn’t be as engaging without having the intro with her dad and his remarriage.

So far I think Sirius is my favourite, although they were all good. Gilbert reminds me of Curtis Nile but more confident in his relationship, and Chance (maybe Glass too) had the least amount of backstory plot. I got this more because I wanted to play it before getting 24ji (which I wanted first for Tsuda Kenjirou, my new fave seiyuu), but I don’t regret it at all. I wasn’t completely sure after being burned by the Mother Goose game (so unforgiving), but thankfully Quinrose came through and I trust them again. I do want to finish Glass’s route as well, he was just the least interesting to me because he shows up the latest and is the most rude.

I think I may have enjoyed this more than Ouma ga Toki even, although it’s hard to decide. I definitely recommend Cinderella – it’s not hugely long, but since I enjoyed all the characters, I feel like it’s a good value.

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Toki no Kizuna Review

August 21st, 2012

So Toki no Kizuna is totally supposed to be a historical prequel for Hakuouki. At first I didn’t believe it, because the artist is different and Otomate doesn’t usually link their games (of different titles), but yeah, once you play it it’s pretty obvious. I don’t know how I feel about that…I’m pretty tired of them milking Hakuouki, but it stands by itself at least.

The game starts out with the heroine, Yukina, scouting around the edge of the hidden oni Yase village, which is protected by barriers to keep out humans. She’s the chief of the Suzumori clan (none of her clan have shown up in two routes though, so I don’t know if she has one or is just alone), who protects the oni princess Yase, who’s supposed to be kind of a leader of all the oni clans. Yase-hime has called all the chiefs of the Ten Oni Clans to the village and Yukina runs into two of them, Chitose (CV: Itou Kentarou) and Kazuya (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi), who test her fighting skills out. Of course (can’t have a heroine be on par with the heroes right?) she fails, although the narration assures us that the chiefs of oni clans are even stronger than regular oni, who are much stronger than humans. But so far, I’ve never seen Yukina in a fight which she won.

Anyways, they all head back to the village and a couple other clan chiefs have  arrived as well, Kazutake (CV: Nomura Kenji) and Shin (CV: Hino Satoshi). It’s the first time Yukina has met any of them, and none of them seem very impressed by her. She knows almost nothing of what’s going on in the world outside, and they ask her mentors, three old oni chiefs, why they’ve ‘spoilt’ her so much. The old oni say she has no need to know about the outside world. In this scene Yukina comes off as very serious about trying to be a good clan chief and lacking a sense of humour (which is pretty much her personality throughout). I didn’t mind this so much; although she comes off as a little slow, I blame the old oni chiefs who want to keep her ‘innocent’ (read naive).

Though there are some southern clan chiefs missing, the princess decides there’s no time to wait for them. She comes out and asks if any of the chiefs have had contact with humans, which is strictly forbidden among oni. All of them say they unavoidably have some doings with humans, and she asks them not to get too involved in human affairs. Then she goes back to her room, leaving all the oni chiefs bewildered, and they declare they’re surprised she called them all here urgently just to say that. Yukina is concerned about the princess, and talks to her privately. The princess says she’s seen a vision of an oni chief, one of the ones in the next room, fighting in a human war and dying, and that she wants to stop that. (Why didn’t she just say that?? I don’t know). She asks Yukina to stop the oni chiefs from dealing with humans, and Yukina agrees.

Part of the reason I didn’t like the setup was that all the oni chiefs, even though they’re supposed to be incredibly loyal and dedicated to Yase-hime, they completely ignore what she says and pretty much act like they’re not part of a larger oni clan family at all. Why do they even bother to be part of the Ten Clans, when they seem to not care about them as a group at all? It made the whole intro seem fake and honestly cheapened the whole idea of Yase-hime being their leader, who only showed up for a few minutes near the beginning to tell them all not to get involved with humans (a rule all of them had already broken, by the way). Yase-hime as a character wasn’t great either, she’s basically a deus ex machina to get the oni to stay in the village for a while and give Yukina an excuse to get out of the village and chase her attackers.

The next day the princess is attacked by a mysterious figure, who Yukina catches in the princess’s room. She attacks him, but he stops her easily with an unknown force and is in the middle of attacking her when an Chitose arrives and drives him off (one more time that Yukina loses easily to someone). The princess is unconscious, and though she doesn’t seem injured, she’s in a deep coma-like sleep and won’t wake up. The old oni chiefs keep the young ones in the village for as long as possible to investigate, but after several months they all leave one way or another, saying they’ll come back after they clean things up in their areas.

One thing I didn’t like was that this period, between the princess being attacked and the oni chiefs leaving, is almost totally skipped over. This is a time when Yukina probably saw them almost everyday and I would’ve liked to see her get to know them during this time, but no, there was almost nothing. She goes out a couple times with a group to investigate, but it’s all just to see the human regions getting ready for war, and to bump into the mysterious figure (which they figure out is an oni) a couple more times and get beat up again.

Anyways, after the oni chiefs leave (all except one actually), there’s another month lapse until Yukina decides to go out after one of them and try to bring them back. This is where the routes diverge.

I did Chitose’s route first – I love Itou Kentarou, and Chitose seemed like the default choice (he’s the front guy on the nice pic above). Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like Chitose’s love story was believable. For half the story he treated Yukina like an annoying companion, and even when they met after being apart a month he didn’t show any hint of fondness. This scene was especially obvious because his childhood friend came back as well, and they had a very happy reunion. Compared to that, his reaction to seeing Yukina was lukewarm. And then, with no other development between the two of them, and just a few scenes where they’re again teased by his childhood friend and then fight all in a group, he suddenly cares deeply for her and wants her to stay safely in the village? No. It didn’t feel at all realistic to me.

The second part of the route was better, in that it had some moments showing that Chitose was falling for Yukina (Yukina doesn’t think about her own feelings much, and doesn’t recognize them when other people ask her). But the start of the love story wasn’t done well.

Now I’ve also finished Kazutake’s (far left in the top pic) route, and while I think it works much better, it’s more because I could believe in subtle developing feelings without Kazutake being obvious about it, because he’s much more mature than the others and is better at hiding things. It still wasn’t very romantic, but by the end it feels like Yukina and he have a strong bond and care deeply for one another. Also, Kazutake treats Yukina with respect right from the beginning, so Yukina doesn’t seem like a doormat when she runs after him and sticks with him no matter what. Kazutake’s and Yukina’s relationship held together better, but Chitose’s isn’t really bad, the romance just feels unnatural. I’m kind of afraid to do Kazuya and Shin’s routes – I might do the last one (Senkimaru) instead.

Overall, I think this game tries too hard to be like Hakuouki in aspects that I wasn’t crazy about – the lack of romance, the way the bonds between the heroes felt stronger than between the heroine and the hero for 90% of each route, and – oh yeah I forgot this – the battle descriptions. Lots of war strategy talk between side characters, and diagrams showing whose armies are where. Not too interesting to me honestly, I usually skipped right through these. Thankfully though, I don’t think the routes are as long as in Hakuouki.

I can’t say I dislike it though – the characters themselves are pretty good, and now that I don’t have to play through the long, annoying intro part, I can try to forget how jerky they act in the beginning. The art makes up for a lot too, even the side character designs are really nice, and the seiyuu cast is amazing – Hiyama Nobuyuki is Chitose’s friend!!! I so wish he had a route or sidestory or something. He was actually playing Cupid for Chitose and Yukina, halfway through I wished he would give up on Chitose and go for Yukina himself. Yukina herself got better by the end as well – stronger and more assured, although it was more obvious in Kazutake’s route. There are several other characters who seem like they would have interesting stories as well, but apparently only the five main chiefs have a route. Oh, the music is ok. Not as good as say, Nise no Chigiri (to compare it to another Sengoku game).

Anyways, this sounds like a big gripe session, but Toki no Kizuna isn’t a bad game – it’s just not what I was looking forward to. If you like the low level of romance that’s in Hakuouki, you’ll love this. And I’m sure Otomate will release a fandisk for this, so I’ll pin my romance hopes on that.

Now, I think I’ll go back and play another route in Sangokuren Senki ^_^

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Bakudan Handan – Halfway through!

July 23rd, 2012

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 :P However, compared to most otome games Bakudan Handan has more gameplay than usual already, so I won’t fault it too much.

Bakudan Handan art

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.

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School Wars

July 17th, 2012

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.)
School Wars - Quinrose

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.

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