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.
Originally posted at my deceased IGN blog on May 31, 2005. Publishing this for the cheap PSP re-release (more details tomorrow)!
That’s the basic premise of Vitamin X
You’re a fairly new teacher (around 23) at a well-known middle school that’s part of an elevator campus (i.e. it has all levels of school up to university). You’re excited to be suddenly promoted to the high school, but shocked when the principal tells you your job is to be the homeroom teacher for the infamous Class X, and to take on one of the B6 (Baka 6) as a special student and make sure he graduates next year. The B6 is a group of really good-looking guys, who have atrocious grades and are all problem students in their own way. You can choose:
All of these guys have their own issues, but the first thing you notice is how they make lots of mistakes in their speech and basic knowledge – it’s actually quite funny. One of the ways you raise the guy’s stats – yes, in this game you raise their stats, not your own! – is to hit a button when you notice them making a mistake. You can choose to either correct them (Tsukkomi) or go along with it (Through), and the choice will raise either their Study level or their Love level. The other way you raise them is at the end of each chapter (there are 12, one for each month) when there’s a quiz. The questions are mostly real questions, and though I’m sure they’re fairly easy for Japanese high school students, it’s tough for a native English speaker! But you don’t have to score too high on them to advance.
One other thing about the game is the other teachers – 6 very good-looking men who you can get some extra stories for while ‘capturing’ the students.
At the end, depending on the final score in love and study, you’ll get one of three endings for the students, and then you have extra stories for them and the teachers. I haven’t gotten any of the extra stories yet, but I’m determined to – I like the teachers as much as the students! I almost wish they had their own game. (Ed. I got my wish with VitaminX Evolution!)
Lots of well-known voices here and some great unfamiliar ones:
Teacher CV: Miyata Kouki, Inoue Kazuhiko, Sugita Tomokazu, Miyake Kenta, Oda Yuusei, Sakaguchi Daisuke
The game itself is a lot of fun, and I actually laughed out loud a lot while playing.
Production is great, with quick and easy saves, lots of options to replay easily, and pretty fast load times. The music is only so-so (Edit: the OP is great though!), I usually turned it off and played the radio. The amount of CG’s is medium, I’d prefer more, and some of them aren’t that great in terms of subject (some are just of you the teacher – what’s the use in that!?) but overall, this is a really enjoyable game with lots of fun, and each guy has some great quirks that make them unique.
The heroine, Mikoto, and Iroha.
And, mark this historic day on your calendars, because for the first time in years (at least, I think it’s years), the top 3 favourite characters are not all from Hakuouki. #1 still is, though (Saitou Hajime, yeah he’s kind of adorable). #2 and #3 are from Uta no Prince-sama.
Cast for Bakudan Handan!
It’s been a while since I finished MOST of VitaminZ (still haven’t got those bonus events!), and I think I can finally do a kind of final review.
If you haven’t gotten VitaminZ OR X, go out and get one! They are both awesome. The system and story might seem boringly similar if you haven’t played both, so here’s my rundown on the differences:
The characters in both games are totally different. You might think that the student in Z with a certain teacher from X would be similar, but it’s only a surface thing. For example – Both Tenjuurou and Tsubasa are rich heirs to a conglomerate, but Tenjuurou, unlike Tsubasa, has a great family, and doesn’t care at all about “high-class” stuff like Tsubasa did. Their personalities are almost opposite.
I enjoyed all the characters in both X and Z. Even the two characters I wasn’t looking forward to, Yakumo and Arata, had me really liking them in the end. If there’s an overall difference to X, in Z they’re nicer to the heroine in the beginning, though they still don’t really trust her until later. I also liked this heroine better, she’s not as ditzy as X’s heroine.
Depending on who you liked, and what you liked about them, in X, you can probably find someone in Z that has that aspect. If you like Tsubasa’s arrogance mixed with cluelessness, you’ll probably love Kei. If you liked Hajime’s ‘bad boy’ aspect, you might go for Nachi. And of course, if you like cute boys like Gorou, Yakumo will definitely be your pick.
Apart from the A4/P2, there are of course the B6, GTR, and the president & VP. Personally I wish the GTR had had a little more airtime and the B6 a little less, but with the extra ‘ura’ route and the append chapters, if you do a full complete they still have a lot of material. I’m also hoping for an adaptation like VitaminX Evolution to flesh out their stories a bit Plus, if you’re a huge fan of one of the B6 then you’ll probably be quite happy. Another thing that I like is that there is no flirting or anything between the B6 and the heroine, they still all like X’s heroine.
The overall goal is the same, but in VitaminZ the school president actually has a sinister motive in picking an inexperienced teacher, and so the overall plot is a little more complex and interesting. The events happen mostly the same way no matter whose route you’re in, but what you actually see as opposed to what goes on behind the scenes, and the details that you’re shown, are always different.
You have the same school events as in X, but in Z there are also assemblies where things happen (mostly in the P2’s routes), and there’s a summer ‘study camp’ (gotta have that kimodameshi doncha know!).
VitaminX was quite easy to play (in terms of saving etc) and VitaminZ is apparently even easier. The setup of tsukkomi/through and month-end quizzes is the same, but in VitaminZ you have to pass a special quiz in Chapter 11 to finish a route, so it might take a couple tries. The character designer’s style evolved since X; though it’s still obviously the same artist, I like the newer designs better (Chisato, マジでかっこいい!!)
I think VitaminZ has a little more romance than X, in that the characters all show in little ways that they like the heroine earlier, and (maybe) a little more obviously than in X. And though each route has some drama in it, I don’t think there’s quite as much angst as in X (not that it was huge there either).
So. If you loved X, I think you’ll love Z too. Which one you like more will probably depend on your favourite character. And if you didn’t like X, because of the gameplay or setup, you may not enjoy this either. And if you haven’t tried either, go check out the characters on the D3 site (Vitamin X / Vitamin Z) and try out whichever appeals to you most! Although, if possible, I’d recommend playing Vitamin X first, just because you’ll then understand the B6 interactions in Z more, and it makes Z even more fun ^_^
Oh, if you choose Vitamin Z, YesAsia, has the Limited Edition on sale for cheaper than the regular version! In addition to the limited edition box, you get a drama CD and a calendar.
OK, I’m still here!
I’m very excited about the Vitamin Z game scheduled for next spring, and the December B’s Log had a big spread on the characters.
It’s a whole new bunch of students and teachers, and they seem pretty original.
Let’s start with the main character, Kita Manami. She just got her teaching license when she got a job offer from Seitei. Then the ‘Aho 4′ or A4 start at Seitei and are put into her new class, Class Z. As before, she has to try and guide them towards successfully finishing high school and getting into college.
The Idiot 4:
Narumiya Tenjuurou – the charismatic leader of the A4, Tenjuurou is uncomplicated – he loves surfing and watching pro wrestling, and dislikes indecisive people. Though he’s also the son of a big company like Tsubasa, he has a good relationship with his family and is very loyal to people once he sees them as friends.
Fuwa Chisato – the most apathetic member of the A4, his family has been servants of the Narumiya family for a long time, and Chisato kind of takes care of Tenjuurou. He’s an expert in martial arts and likes cooking.
Mine Arata – Arata’s major goal in life is to be popular with women, and he spares no effort to achieve it. He plays tennis (to look cool), always takes care of his looks, and prefers French cuisine to gyoza (they smell too strong).
Tachibana Yakumo – a cute and slightly selfish idol, apparently there’s some secret about his family. He’s usually cheerful, but people say you should try not to make him really angry.
Next up, the Perfect Twins and the teachers!
Thanks to sonnakai, my burning curiosity about the new Vitamin game is satisfied – there will be TWO games; one is a compilation of mini-games and not a new full story, but it sounds like Vitamin Z will have new characters and a story! Yayyyy!! Ahem. I’m very tired and giddy, so please excuse me if I start rambling.
Now, the lowdown!
Apparently the games become available as you move through the main game. It’s school festival time, and though the class has decided on a café, Tsukasa announces that he’s getting his company to take over the whole festival and do everything.
Somehow you manage to convince him not to, but by the school festival, the B6 have still used Tsukasa’s resources to set up a bunch of attractions on school grounds.
Screencap shamelessly lifted from Gamewatch.
And I can’t believe, this was announced two weeks ago!! Gyaah, I could have been squeeing for two weeks already! I’ll just quote a Japanese blogger and say, “ギャー！買う、買います、全部下さい！！”
OH, and since I’ve been enjoying the gymnastics at the Olympics, some real-life pics (never thought you’d see any on here eh??) of some awesome athletes that I’m cheering for!
Uchimura Kohei – one of the young guys (19) on the Japanese team – the commentators are driving me CRAZY pronouncing his last name as Oocheemeree – c’mon guys, Japanese names are not hard!! That’s an A not a Y!
And some Canadian guys who are representing us in the all-around competition:
and Adam Wong.