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 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.
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.
Well, I’m almost done at least the normal routes of everyone. That means that I can finally finish the ‘ura’ or back route that involves the GTR, Bear-6, Kamijou, and the president guy. Each time you finish a character you can see one chapter of that story, and I’m near the end of Yakumo!
Who knows how long it will take me to really finish, since there’s so much extras – I’ll probably finish everyone’s dream and perfect routes soon, but getting all the extra scenes (especially the ones you get with perfect test scores) may never happen – I haven’t even finished all of them from VitaminX still…
There’s a Hakuouki PSP adaptation in the works, as well as another PS2 title called Hakuouki Zuisouroku (roughly translated as Notes on Hakuouki).
Also, the mysterious project from HuneX and 5pb is being slowly revealed. The title is Lucian Bee’s, and the tagline translates into something like, “Project Start: Global Makeover of Totally Hopeless Guys”. Sounds like fun!
Now back to Vitamin Z – I’ve been slow the past few days (trying to get all four endings takes time!), but I’m partially through Houjou Kei’s story, and have one of Fuwa’s endings as well (just the normal one). I usually do the normal ending first, since it means I don’t have to try too hard about getting all the tsukkomi/throughs, but it is definitely not as fun as the other endings! Plus, I haven’t found a guide yet for it, so it’s all trial and error! I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of how you HAVE to pass the last quiz (in Chapter 11) to continue – and I think you need 7/10 as well! Sometimes that takes a few tries. On the other hand, you can redo just the quiz, so it’s not horrible.
Yay, I got VitaminZ in the mail today!! I’m playing it right now, but I pretty much just started, so these are just my first impressions:
OK, not much, but I’ll have more in a couple days hopefully if I get enough time to play it!
Or so says a mysterious countdown clock with only four names on it.
5pb, HuneX, Hirotaka Maeda (Vitamin’s artist), and Daisuke Iwasaki (director) are listed at this page, counting down to Vitamin Z’s release date.
What it means? Hmm, well wasn’t D3 bought out by someone? Maybe the otome games are moving over to 5pb?? I guess we’ll find out soon enough…
Less than a month…can’t wait!
Sorry this has been SO long in coming, it’s year-end at my job and I have been really busy – plus (to be completely honest) I have been playing WoW whenever I have downtime to get ready for its new expansion.
So I’ve had these pics waiting for a long time, but better late than never, right??
OK, first up, the rest of the students Kita has to worry about – the Perfect Twins, or P2.
CV: Irino Miyu – this seiyuu is new to me, but it looks like he did Sora’s voice in Kingdom Hearts II as well as Daisuke’s voice in DN Angel!
Uh-huh, this guy is much better than the old student president! His name is Houjou Kei, he’s good at every subject and wants to be a detective like his father.
and his twin brother Houjou Nachi.
CV: Nojima Kenji
More approachable than his twin brother, he’s the student vice-president. Supposedly though they’re ‘perfect’, these twins are totally inept in their own way – guess we’ll have to wait to find out how!
Now for the staff! Only three teachers (so far?), but they’ve changed the school principal and vice-principal and thy are much better than that old bald guy!
The Big Cheese and his Second-in-Command (does anyone else think the principal looks like a crazy vampire version of Tsubasa?):
Principal (on the left, bien sûr): Saeki Kagetora, CV: Koyama Rikiya (ZOMG, this is Basch from FFXII!! <3!)
Vice-Principal: Kamijou Motochika, CV: Kusao Takeshi
Young and fashionable!
Kagami Ranmaru (CV: Suwabe Junichi)
Cool and mature!
Kirioka Rintarou (CV: Hanawa Eiji)
Charming and debonair!
Tendou Ruriya (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi)
And I can’t believe I forgot the seiyuu for the A4! Here they are:
Chisato: Maeno Tomoaki
Arata: Morikubou Shoutarou
Yakumo: Yonaga Tsubasa
Wow, lots of new seiyuu! Well, I’ve hardly ever disliked a seiyuu in an otome game, so I have high hopes for these guys. And Trick Shot Princess, I agree with you, I’m totally going for Chisato first! Unless I can go for Kirioka-sensei, love the shibui type
That’s pretty much all the pics I have for VitaminZ, but I’ll keep posting any info I find – next spring seems a very long way away!