And sow this blog has finally crawled to its 5th anniversary! A lot has happened in the last 5 years but since I do these posts every year I guess the usual focus will be on what happened in the past 12 months.
2013 Things of Note:
Otome Game Anime Adaptations – Well there was sure a lot of them this year. UtaPri 2000%, Diabolik Lovers, Amnesia, Brothers Conflict but they all have one thing in common: Heroine ends up with nobody. I guess in the end the anime is just the promo for the game and if you want to ship her with a certain dude, go play the game instead!
Otome Games Moving to PS Vita? – Not sure where Otomate is going with this but with 2 Vita exclusive releases could this be the push that will get other makers to switch? it won’t get me to switch but I’ll be keeping my eye out. Vita has a beautiful screen but due to hacking limitations, I wouldn’t be able to use programs like Remotejoy to broadcast any of my games. Not that I’m promoting hacking but at this point it’s the only viable method I have of broadcasting my games. I always enjoy chatting with my viewers so playing the games all alone again would be a disappointment.
Ports & Remakes – I noticed on my list of awesome games were a lot of stuff that was ported/remade from an older game. This is kind of bad because that just means that games in the past were good and new games are a shit. (；一_一) Also a few games announced for 2014 are ports/remakes of older games and while others may be happy I think I want to stick to buying new stuff from now on.
My PSP kicked the bucket – Well my 2 year old black PSP finally died (not technically but i refused to play UMDs properly so I consider that pretty much death.) Thanks to Baggage Forward I was able to import easily a nice new red PSP for myself. Me and Red-kun are doing fine. ( ఠ‿ఠ )
Forwarding Services FTW – Yea proxies are easy cause they do it all but when you want to save a lot of money forwarding services are a lot cheaper. Thanks to Baggage Forward I was able to import several PC games, and a new PSP. I’m happy that people found my shopping post useful!
Goodbye CD Japan – Your customer service was good except now it’s complete and utter shit and well you can all go fuck yourselves along with your bullshit fees.
MMO break & switch – Once Tartaros announced end of service last December (which we all saw coming) I figured I was done with MMOs. Then I found out about RO2 in May so I jumped on the bandwagon but that shit fell apart within a month so I thought I was REALLY done this time. But then YoshiP came out and threw FFXIV on me, and even though I’ve never played a single Final Fantasy game in my life, I was hooked. Now I can’t rip myself out of it. So much for that!
I was gonna do my yearly awards and shit and I actually did have a large list drafted but you know what fuck it, let’s just get to the point of what was good and what sucked this year! And by this year I really just mean from December 2012 – December 2013 in my play log. In the last 12 months I’ve completed 38 games. Now that’s 38 console and PC games, not including any OELVNs, or any mobile games like SmaKare or Love Academy etc. If you include those it’s probably over 50 :lol:. I haven’t actually touched any mobile games ever since FF14 came into my life though and god knows if I ever will though I do have a few sitting on my home screen to guilt trip myself into playing them.
Games that Were Awesome:
- School Wars – yes the original game was awesome I fucking loved it. Too bad they switched writers and teams and well I don’t even know what’s going on in QR land anymore
- L.G.S. – This game is soooo underrated but it was so good! Houshin Engi, with an awesome heroine! And a sexy Suwabe voice fox man! Why haven’t you played this yet?
- Glass Heart Princess – Aside from that horribly hard to figure out Shinnosuke route, the game is overall awesome. I never thought I’d love a Hatano Wataru voiced character this much.
- The Wand of Fortune Series – Yea the system in WOF2 made me wanna punch a baby but god damn I love Lulu and all her mans (well except Bilal and all that fucking wasted ero potential! (；ಠ益ಠ；)) Still can’t decide whether I’m doS for Lagi or doM for Alvaro 😆
- Arcana Famiglia Festa Regalo – This was mostly a mini game but it was a hell lot of fun. The chibis were so cute and I got to kick all the annoying people (including the dad) in the ending credits XDD
- Desert Kingdom Portable – Fuck yea this is like the best game ever. Ok not the best game ever but the best game I’ve played in such a long time that I shun anyone who hasn’t played this yet. ( ｰ`дｰ´)ｷﾘｯ I love Lulu from WOF but the heroine in this game, Aspacia, takes the no1 spot this year.
- Tokyo Yamanote Boys Dark Cherry Portable – Dark Cherry will always be my fav TYB game but I loved all the extra additions and voices in the portable version. It makes me sad that nobody bought this because it’s like dirt cheap on CD Japan now so if you have like $30 to spare you can pick up all 3 limited editions cheap!
- Hatsu*Kare! – Ah youth! Ah cute school romance! Ah blushing deliquent boys! Ah cutie gamer boys! Ahh cute 3D CG Chibis~. This is one of the best school type games of the year so if you’re looking for a fluffy romance game this is a must play.
- Tomoyo After -its a wonderful life- – There’s nothing wonderful about this story but boy is it so damn well written. (´；ω；｀)ｳｯ…
- Tiny x Machinegun The Game – FUUUCKKKK YEA NEW YORK CIIITAAYY. Ok yea the game had a lot more guro than I expected but the story kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time. The lack of voices in the first half kinda blew especially since there were a lot of great scenes but it still didn’t take away from the overall story. I felt like some loose ends could have been closed better but I still enjoyed it overall. Heinz is my waifu.
- Norn 9 – Ok just wanna say the story in this game is BAD BAAAADDD BUT I LOVED the characters. Seriously the individual stories of some character routes made me cry and break out the tissue box. If you can successfully do this with your plot being swiss cheese then you are awesome. Could have been more awesome if they had a better story though but still worth playing!
- The Dot Kareshi Series – Props to Rejet on the idea for this. Though I gotta say the CDs were eyebrow raising. Why change personalities in the drama CD when they were already awesome in the game???
- Koibana Days – Basically see Hatsukare. The only thing is, YOU GOTTA PLANT LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF FLOWERS. Some people might burn out from this but I enjoyed my garden and the 20 pools I put inside of it 😆 Also hrnnggngngn Tsubaki and Tsukasa （*´▽｀*）萌え
- Danzai no Maria Complete Edition – I remember being all sad I couldn’t play DnM on PC cause I had Windows 7 but now I’m glad cause man those old endings are terrible! Terrible! If i wasn’t for the new ends I’d think this game is awful! Thankfully the old ends are just now basically the bad ends of the game.
Games That Were Shit:
- School Wars FD – I like my guns to not look like hair dryers pls.
- Kussoni Gohan – As coined by my friend, Isshoni Gohan was so fucking dull and stupid and a shitty excuse for a cooking game. The mini games were either absurdly easy or ridiculously hard but whether you passed or failed them made no difference. The only saving grace is the lunch set that I actually use for when I bring lunch to work now 😆
- Tasogaredoki ~Kaidan Romance~ – Fuck u and ur NTR Quin Rose. Also fuck you and your dumb relationship resets in your FDs lol.
- Amnesia Crowd – Otomate stahp. I said stahp. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. (；ಠ益ಠ；)(And they didn’t stop and now we have another dead horse to beat in 2014.)
- Hiiro no Kakera 3 FD – See above. But at least they stopped. Maybe. ( ´_ゝ｀)
- OZMAFIA!! – Hi I don’t like NTR and prostitution, bye. Also god damn that fucking eye catch….（#^ω^）
- Shirapooyu no Kai – Unlike Norn 9 which at least had enjoyable character stories, this game had mostly hateable characters, a hateable heroine and a plot that was pulled out of a horse’s ass. No otomate, throwing in slurpy kissing noises isn’t going to be a saving grace in anything but D grade eroge.
- UtaPri Music 2 – ホモォ┌（┌ ^o^）┐ Also some songs being too fucking hard for any average person to complete.
- Diabolik Lovers: More Fanfiction – I hope Rejet fires whoever the fuck wrote this game cause seriously what the actual fuck. It’s not even about the degree of abuse but more on the sense of shit just coming outta nowhere, characters doing things for no reason, and endings that for the most part were pulled outta someone’s ass. I didn’t have HIGH expectations but god damn I didn’t think the writing would be this awful. The seiyuus deserve gold medals for all the moaning and screaming they did (especially Hirakawa & Kaji orz).
Games that weren’t awesome but weren’t really that shitty… though I’ll probably forget about them by next year:
- Shinobutts 7 – Ok I’m being sarcastic but lol the cost of the fragmentation for what you got is absurd. The fact that only volumes 1, 3 and 5 had any romance is ridiculous. Volumes 2 and 4 were ホモォ┌（┌ ^o^）┐ and Volume 6 they completely bastardized and ruined my favorite character. The bonus volume for buying all of them was…incest. What a shame, I actually thought the original “personalities” of Amemakura were a million times better.
- Both Dia no Kuni no Alice Games – Ok after playing both games, I realized that the original “enjoyment” I had of the first Alice game I played was not there. No offense to the new characters and I love Sidney to death but there was a lot of dragging around. Changing of personalities for the twins & Elliot and all that horrid filler side character shit in Mirror World. Ugh, Quin Rose stahp.
- Double Score ~Cosmos x Camelia~ – Look I got nothing personal against double score but it never really broke out of the oh noes we’re too old for you template. The heroine was actually really great in this, but the guys just stayed within their templates and even though the CDs are randy as fuck the game felt like kindergarten in comparison. So with that, I was disappointed.
- Vitamin Z Graduation – I didn’t really expect much, but it was even more mediocre than I thought it would be. I kept telling myself not to buy it but when it was in front of me at Animate I couldn’t resist. Deep regrets about it now. 😦
- Okashi na Shima no Peter Pan – This game wasn’t bad, but you know now that I look back it wasn’t that great either. I really couldn’t stand Peter near the end (even though I love Ishida’s voice) and for the most part I really wanted to kick Wendy in the head. So I guess the negatives just ended up neutralizing the positives.
- Fuyuzakurasho -Sakuragatari- For an R-18 game it was surprisingly not that rage inducing. Most of the time the heroine was okay with what was going on so it didn’t feel like she was forced into rape in every other scene. That’s not to say there wasn’t any rape, there was, in a bad end, and it was bad. And there were tentacles. Still though I thought the overall story was interesting, but due to some system bugs and a terrible visual layout this game fell just a bit short of awesome for me.
- Uta no Prince Sama All Star – Well it was better than Debut, but it will still never be as good as Repeat. Also Ringo & Ryuuya’s routes really sucked and the princes’ routes really sucked too. Honestly my best memory is Ranmaru’s tsundereness & his nukos, Camus’ fabulous horse and Reiji’s randy as fuck hotel scene. Well Ai had a good story too but I just don’t like him, I think Aoi Shota’s voice grates my ears in an odd way.
- Black Wolves Saga Last Hope – I liked the game as a “story novel” but I think as an otome game it’s not really great. Most of the game is finished once you do the first run so you pretty much skip away until you see the “branched off endings” of all the other characters. Still, I laughed heartily watching Auger ballerina in the burning forest. Also Rath is a cutie pie.
- Storm Lover 2nd – Well this was just a disappointment. I expected the same level of quality as the first game but a lot of stuff just wasn’t funny and the random scene capturing made me flip a desk many times. Still the game had some great characters that were a saving grace enough that I didn’t put the game into my shit category (Javier!! :mrgreen:)
Landmines I managed to Avoid:
- Brothers Conflict Brilliant Blue – After a long wait it was finally released only to have it be a literal fill in the blank of Passion pink. That means everything is the same except for the individual brothers. So yea sure the brothers routes are new, but everything else is copy pasta. What was the point of delaying it all this time if you’re just gonna copy & paste chunks of scenario? 😐
- Seishun Hajimemashita – Apparently the story/characters in this game is great but the unresolved bugs (despite delays) pretty much make it unplayable. Things like sprites turning into black parts of your screen, using jump command jumps you into another route, save data disappearing…and the plethora of other issues pretty much ruin the whole gaming experience. My trust in honeybee is prettttyyy low.
- Solomon’s Ring – Holy shit reading all the reviews this game is shit. I mean I figured it was shit but it’s probably the shittiest shit that was ever shat out of a butt in 2013.
- Shinigami Kagyou Kaidan Romance – This was an easy one to avoid. Anything Kaidan Romance from Quin Rose is by default a visible landmine. Actually by not buying anymore Quin Rose games I think I’m already avoiding majority of the minefield. ( ´_ゝ`)
- Getsuyou no Kusari – Even though I love the artist of Kaeru Batake, I just can’t stand any kind of mob bullying in a game – particularly bullying the heroine. If I played this I get the feeling my previous PSP would have been smashed to pieces from the built up rage.
- Urakata Hakuoki – Not that it’s surprising that any Hakuoki milking is going to be bad but I guess fans of Hakuoki were probably extra heartbroken. I hope for their sake SSL isn’t as terrible?
- Hyaku Monogatari Kaidan Romance – As I mentioned with the other game, 1. lol kaidan romance 2. lol Quin Rose fandisks.
- Dousei Kareshi – After the original artist ran away and the game was delayed a million times I decided to give up on it. Good thing I did since apparently the focus of the game is really the whole NTR part rather than “living with a dude” part. Whew dodged a big one there cause after Ozmafia more NTR was the last thing I needed.
And now while we’re at it here’s my thoughts on otome game companies over the past year:
Otomate: Well what can I say, their delays on games were okay in the first half of the year but as we got to the 2nd half, multiple things I had preordered/was going to preorder got delayed. Strangely enough they finally managed to release Brilliant Blue only for everyone to find out that it’s a template of the first game with only the individual brothers’ stories being different. ( ´_ゝ｀) And with them moving stuff to Vita I think it’s great but choosing to milk Hakuoki and Amnesia as the first game is a really terrible idea – in my eyes anyway. I definitely don’t want to upgrade to a Vita for either of those. Also now that Idea Factory opened up a US branch maybe they will consider importing more titles because the fact that the English version of Hakuoki costs like $50 less than Japanese version is absurdly amazing.
D3P: I had high standards for D3P last year but with Vitamin Z Graduation and Storm Lover 2nd being major disappointments (and the horrible pain of Custom Drive last year) I’m rather wary of anything they produce now. With this in mind I chose not to play Vitamin R even though I love the original X cast. Maybe someday I’ll forgive them…maybe.
QuinRose: Quin Rose thinks it’s more profitable to push out shitty games every month than to push out a good game every 4-5 months. Maybe it’s profitable for them to sell 2000-3000 copies every month, I don’t know but their decline in quality has broken my trust for them as a loyal fan. I can’t see myself buying much of their upcoming games anymore….
Takuyo: I love Takuyo’s silly games but lately they’ve just been pumping out serious depressing games. That is until Rakuen Danshi! I love this game! I hope within their games about nuns and taisho bullying, they continue to release at least one game with goofy jokes and lighthearted scenarios.
Broccoli – I’ve conluded that all of Broccoli’s original games are gonna be ホモォ┌（┌ ^o^）┐. MeiKoi was a phone port so it doesn’t count but I think the sequel/FD will be original right? I expect more ホモォ┌（┌ ^o^）┐ in that one. Honestly Broccoli just go make a god damn yaoi game, I can tell you really REALLY want to.
MEAD – Well I thought Sakuragatari was ok but due to the poor programming we’ll probably never hear from them again. Oh well such is the life of 1 hit wonder R-18 brands.
Rejet – Wow I can’t believe I forgot you! Maybe because you had more good games than bad games this year! I enjoyed Dot Kare and Tiny x Machinegun and hell even BWS Last Hope for what it was. However I don’t know what happened with More Blood. Perhaps next time you won’t hand the writing responsibilities over to Otomate?
The 2D Mans who Made my 2013 Awesome (*´д｀*)ﾊｧﾊｧ :
- Itsuki from School Wars
- Sou Dakki from L.G.S
- Tenma Sensei from Glass Heart Princess
- Alvaro and Lagi from Wand of Fortune
- Ash & Luca from Arcana Famiglia
- Sera & Yismar from Desert Kingdom
- Jesus from Tokyo Yamanote Boys
- Yuuji from HatsuKare
- Heinz from Tiny x Machinegun
- Akito and Natsuhiko from Norn9
- Tsubaki & Tsukasa from Koibana Days
- Klaus from Danzai no Maria
- Axel from Ozmafia (the only saving grace)
- Subaru from Diabolik Fanfiction
As you can see, I am not chained to any 2D husbandos (。≖ˇ∀ˇ≖。). I want them all bwahahaha!
Stats & Dumb Crap Only I care about 😆
Top 5 Referrals (excluding search engines):
- The blog of the Get Dumped creator (dayum girl ur game is awesome)
- My now defunct anime blog
- My otome gamer friend in Japan who plays games at the speed of light
Top 5 Search Keywords (not including breadmasterlee cause lol):
- amnesia otome game
- otome game review
- diabolik lovers
- amnesia later
- otome games
Top 5 Most Popular Posts:
- Diabolik Lovers review
- Amnesia Review
- Brothers Conflict Review
- Love Academy Review
- UtaPri All Star Review
So basically most of my traffic this year was because a bunch of games I reviewed got turned into animes and people wanted to know what actually happened (rather the half assery most of the animes have provided.)
Well after some unpleasant run-ins this year and last year my outlook on otome gaming and its fandom was pretty low. I decided to put it all behind me and just focus on my reviews – but then I get buried in a pile of terrible and mediocre games. Just then in July I discovered the beta for FFXIV and once service opened in August, I couldn’t rip myself out of it. I was having so much fun, making new friends, leveling up my character, crafting stuff…otome games seemed like a waste of time in comparison. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had a bunch of preordered stuff, I might have quit otome gaming cold turkey. However thanks to comments of encouragement here you guys really kept me going. It made me realize that if I stop reviewing that a lot of people would be disappointed because I know people do look forward to what I write (despite the vocal minority of haters.) I’m still playing FFXIV but I try to balance it out with my otome games since I’ve finished the main story and there’s no rush anymore.
I want to thank everyone who’s been reading all this time, and new readers alike. I want to thank those of you who were lurkers for a while but decided to de-lurk and come and post your first comment. I want to thank those who come bringing me different points of views and creating multi reply loong conversation threads that are always a pleasure to respond to. I want to thank those of you who link here from your blogs, twitters, tumblrs and do so because you found a review funny or informative. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing someone sincerely laugh at what I write because after all, this blog is supposed to entertain. It was never meant to be “serious” and I’m sorry that there are those who took it seriously and get extremely upset over it. When I started this blog it was just a place to let my thoughts out about the games I play, whether it be mmos or otome. When I realized most people enjoy my reviews, I made it a main part of the blog and cut my MMO babble to a minimum.
As far as the outlook for 2014 – I’m not sure what to do. At the moment only a few games I’m interested in that are coming out next year but that will of course change. Still though, it’s hard to imagine what will be good and what will be terrible anymore. There’s not much that’s “new” for me anymore. I think after 200+ games I’ve seen it all. The voice actors which I once have loved aren’t so “great” to me because I’ve heard them in so many similar roles. And while I used to force myself to sit through terrible games, when I have FFXIV as an alternative, it’s just hard to force myself to sit down and play these awful games. A lot of people suggested I take a break from otome gaming but for me once I drop something, it’s hard to look back. That’s why I always try to “finish” a game fully before I put it on the shelf because once it’s on the shelf, I’ll never come back to it (*looks at Miyako FD :roll:). That’s why even if it’s only 1 game per month I want to try to keep this hobby as active as I possibly can. Anyway we’ll see what happens next year.
One last thing is due to the vast amount of otome blogs that are…dead on my blog roll I’m officially instating a 1 year update policy. If your blog hasn’t been updated in over a year I will be removing you from the list. However, if you ever decide your passion for otome games is back please drop me a note and I’ll gladly add you back on again! Reason I’m doing this is I sometimes browse through my blogroll and makes me sad seeing all these blogs that are dead or have expired domain names etc. Blogging can be a pain sometimes and I can understand people losing interest but I’d like my blogroll to be less like a graveyard I guess 😆
Once again, thank you for reading, thank you for lurking and thank you for supporting and motivating me all these years!
P.S. Sorry I’m too busy to have a giveaway this year! 😦 If my work schedule and backlog calm down next year maybe I can have a random one or something later on!