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.
This doesn’t happen often – a game released for the SAME platform twice – and two companies are doing it almost at the same time.
Otomate and Furyu are releasing a new, improved version of Aoiza Kaika Bunmei this year, with scenes and stories that ‘couldn’t get told’ in the original. I don’t know if they mean that they ran out of time on the original, or that they were added. I’ve been playing Aoiza recently, and it’s true that there are many questions that aren’t answered fully in this version, so it might be the former case.
D3 is also releasing a powered-up version of Storm Lover called Storm Lover *Kai*. It will be about 2 years after the original release date. This one will also have extra scenes and events.
But I have to say, I think it’s kind of unfair to release the same game twice on the same platform, fairly close together. There have been a few cases of this – Hisui no Shizuku Hiiro no Kakera 2 was re-released with significant changes as Shin•Hisui no Shizuku after the original did poorly, and Quinrose re-released Wizard and Master. However, Wizard and Master was after five years with totally new art and voices、I don’t consider it the same at all really.
Since these are both on the PSP, couldn’t they make the extra stuff available as a download on the PSN? Why make people buy it all over again if they want the new material?
Another game that did something similarly annoying was Harutoki 4 – its “fandisk” was more of an extended version, except the extra material was all in flashback-type screens; I don’t even think there were more CGs. I thought that was a bit much as well (though I bought it because I was hoping for more).
Though I’d like to play the new material, I don’t think I’ll get these – I just checked, and Aoiza was released in August, and the new one comes out in May. 9 months between the original and the ‘improved’ version…no.
I know we often complain about companies emptying our wallets, but has there ever been a game that you REALLY felt ripped off by? I might add Love Root Zero to my list, as I found it had unacceptably low production values.
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.
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…
I caved and ordered VitZ Revo, and got it a couple days ago. I’ve done Tendou’s normal route, and am in the middle of his dream route. Aa, Vitamin wa tanoshii na~!
I must say though, it looks great on the PSP – very clean and crisp. I also got Dear Girl Stories ~Hibiki~ at the same time, so I’m kind of comparing it to the DS as well. By the way, apparently DGS doesn’t really have any romance in it – d’oh! It’s just a stat-raising game with some almost-romantic-but-not-quite moments in it.
I also got some new magazines, and ooh good stuff in them! Girl’s Style came with an 8-page book about Kazukiyone and Hakuouki, as well as Hakuouki bookmarks and Starry Sky stickers! It’s probably because there’s no CD or DVD-ROM.
I didn’t even realize that Starry Sky got animated, but um yeah, it is! Haha. Girl’s Style also had info on the PSP versions, which will have several additional scenes, backgrounds, and other changes (one is that you can choose to show the heroine’s face, which is good, but sounds creepy that she didn’t have one before :P)
Storm Lover had some info as well, it will not only have routes leading up to a relationship, but will be about maintaining the romance or breaking up if you fail, and maybe even getting back together later! Interesting.
There’s also an article on the game system and some of the scenes in Xechs, it seems kinda complicated so I think I’ll post on that later.
Oh, and Mahoutsukai to Goshujin-sama has a release date! It’s set for July 31.
Just a little cast, character and story summary to tide you over. I was hoping to get Corda 3 today but no luck Should be here on Monday though! Since all my recent posts got erased, I’ll be doing some updates on games that I may have already mentioned (not that I can remember because my memory is like a sieve!)
Scheduled for Summer 2010 release on the PSP by D3P
Set at St. Louis High School, the heroine transfers here because of her father’s work. The school is pretty liberal, and perhaps because of this, she meets lots of people with very individual styles and some quirky personalities.
Uzuki Yuuto CV: Hatano Wataru
The confident, charismatic student president. He’s a bit arrogant, and tends to view anyone who stands out or is more popular than him as a rival. His family is rich, so he doesn’t really understand regular folk.
Mikoshiba Kyousuke CV: Terajima Takuma
Though he’s hot-tempered, Kyousuke has the top grades in the heroine’s class, and can’t leave people in trouble without helping them. He hangs out with Yuuto a lot and their nickname is the KY Combi, though he dislikes it.
Toratani Rikka CV: Kaji Yuuki
A younger student who uses his innocent looks to get away with pranks and teasing. However, he doesn’t deal well with being teased himself. He’s popular but hasn’t dated anyone, apparently he’s quite shy about the topic of girls.
Mishiro Takumi CV: Miura Hiroaki
A classmate who is repeating the grade. He’s hard to figure out, and seems to enjoy confusing people. He’s rumoured to be involved with a bad crowd.
Tatsuhara Souya CV: Miyano Mamoru
Dedicated to music, Souya is alive. He loves surfing and biking. Not great at school, but his open personality makes him popular with everyone. He sings for a popular indie band.
Ikawa Mio CV: Namikawa Daisuke
Even more puzzling than Takumi. He talks at his own pace, and is often told that people can’t understand him. He sometimes forgets to eat, but when he does start, it’s impossible to stop him. He uses polite language with everyone but doesn’t like it being used with him.