The Top 10 Worst Otome Game Systems I’ve Ever Played

regret

I figured I’ve got enough games under my belt to start doing these top 10 posts. I shall begin this series with the worst otome game systems I’ve ever sat through. I’d like to give a shout out to Broccoli and KamiAso Infinite (for having annoying quizzes that affect my trophy collection) to inspire me to write this post. (゚∀゚) Remember, none of these games should ever be attempted without a walkthrough ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)✨.

I can't believe I got the limited edition of this 💩
I can’t believe I got the limited edition of this 💩

10. Isshouni Gohan

For the cooking bit, the mini games were REALLY DUMB. Only maybe 2 of them were challenging but the rest were just stupid and a waste of time. When I say waste of time, I mean I failed one of Daito’s annoying games and still got his happy ending. The worst game being the egg one because 1. I had to hear Yonaga screaming UUUNNN! 7 times each route and 2. all you do is wait for him to go UUUNNN! and you press O. That’s it. That’s the whole game. (ಠ_ಠ)

I don’t even know why they put mini games into this if they weren’t going to affect the outcome anyway. Not that there as any saving grace to this god awful game that has probably been buried & forgotten in most people’s minds.

I still listen to the OP theme which is pretty catchy
I still listen to the OP theme which is pretty catchy

9. Natsuzora no Monologue

This game uses the same vn style as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni where the entire screen is covered in text. I’m sorry but that completely ruined the game for me. I couldn’t even pay attention to half the time because I’d just be drowning in text and it would cover up all the beautiful CGs and backgrounds and just make me zone out.

Ugly text window aside, the game also had a “random event” system. In order to get all the CGs and events, you had to load/save in every route to make sure that the “event” you got was one you’ve not gotten before. I’m glad Otomate ditched this crap and the text window and never used it again. This COULD have potentially been a great game but I think it just has a cult following that replays the game every summer. Oh btw there IS a web demo so you can actually see what the text complaint I’m having is.

Another limited box down the drain
Another limited box down the drain

8. Reine des Fleurs

Hohoho oh Otomate I thought you were over horrid game systems but you come back with a vengeance in this one!

For the most part, in Ravir it’s like FORCED conversation for the sake of conversing. It’s like a feeling of  where you have to “mingle with the commoners” and by being a majestic goddess of course you just OUTSPEAK them and “win” your LE COMBAT.🙄 In the beginning, it wasn’t as bad because you had to actually get to know the guys so whatever. As you get further into the game, you know all those romantic scenes with the guy alone where he confesses and shit…..all somehow ENCLOSED WITHIN LE COMBAT. WTF. It’s like…I am having a battle of wits with him while the both of us fumble with our feelings like 2 horny teenagers. ( ´_ゝ`)

It also became a nightmare if you were trying to get the platinum trophy since you needed to intentionally fail certain Ravirs to collect all the events. Let’s also not forget the 40 bad endings (and 10 good ones). Please Otomate, no more le combats for me.

Fact: I had a shirtless Alvaro wallpaper on my desktop for 9 months.
Fact: I had a shirtless Alvaro wallpaper on my desktop for 9 months.

7. Wand of Fortune II

The worst part of this game is YOU CAN ONLY CRAFT 1 STONE AT A TIME. 1 FUCKING STONE AT A TIME. 50 TIMES X 7 CHARACTERS + ANOTHER 80 TIMES IN THE TRUE END YOU GOTTA FUCKING CRAFT 430 STONES 1 AT A TIME OTOMATE ARE YOU HIGH (I probably made like 500 though cause I was too lazy to count orz.)

Needless to say, I’m not sure if I’d ever get this game even if they port it to Vita….unless maybe they let you just auto-craft stones 200 at once 😂

Ah yes Clover Alice, the game with the shittiest Elliot route to date
Ah yes Clover Alice, the game with the shittiest Elliot route to date

6. Clover no Kuni no Alice (PSP)

Mostly the CGs missing were from the STUPID AS ALL FUCK Hearts & Clovers mini game. That was probably the most idiotic and irritating part of Clover Alice that I hope to NEVER SEE AGAIN. ┻━┻ ︵╰(ಠ益ಠ)╯︵ ┻━┻

Thank god this had no trophies or I would have gone insane from all the CG holes because I couldn’t be assed to continuously play the stupid card mini game against all the characters. Oh also the game had like 200 turns or maybe it was 300?  I forget. It was annoying and I still needed a guide to make sure I didn’t miss any of the events. I believe quin rose ported it to straight VN format for the Vita but good luck finding that anywhere.

Maybe one of these days I'll actually play Vitamin R??? ..maybe not
Maybe one of these days I’ll actually play Vitamin R???
..maybe not

5. Vitamin X

It’s not even the exams that are tiring but the constant having to manually go through the text to make sure you catch every ‘action line’. I wanted to do at least 6 chapters a day so I could at least finish each guy in 2 days but after 3 chapters I’d start missing action lines, getting test questions wrong and just generally wanting to rage quit the game while fall asleep at the same time.

All the Vitamin games had a system where you had to see if the guys said dumb shit, catch them and correct them. Back in that day, it was hard for me to do because my Japanese wasn’t as good. Without a guide I’d have no idea which lines are wrong or not, so it was a real struggle to read the text and be on the lookout for the next “line” to catch. Needless to say by the time I go to Z, it was a lot easier and I actually ended up fully completing that one and the Vitamin games that followed it. Still, the exams sucked, and with weaker Japanese sometimes it was a struggle just mentally translating the test question & answers before the timer ran out.

If only we could get all 3
If only we could get all 3

4. Last Escort

You cannot save anywhere you want. You can only save once a week while you plan your schedule or during any days off where you relax to clear Akari’s stress level. The lottery spam game got annoying quickly because if you didn’t win the 20million jackpot at least twice, you would not be able to afford buying the entire drink menu 3x a month for the guys after they became your permanent request. There was no auto skip or skip read dialogue. That means anytime you saw a dialogue you “think” you might have seen, you had to manually press and hold R1 and skip it.

I don’t know what drugs I was on to make me sit through this shit show. But clearly they worked well since I ended up then sitting through Last Escort 2 AND 3. Fortunately those last 2 had much better systems that didn’t want to make me throw my chair out the window.

Thank god for the remake
Thank god for the remake

3. Crimson Empire

You’re probably thinking wait a minute, I thought CE was a straight VN! Ahh but the original PC games a battle system type. I ended up ragequitting the moment they asked me to kill some wild raccoons. Fortunately fellow otome blogger Koori managed to make it through:

With 240 turns as the time limit, the main goal to get a good end (on top of the regular stalk the bishie) is to fill the ‘support’ meter of both nobles&civillians be 450+. A thing that might sound not that hard…if each turn didn’t do a -10 points reduction for both sides. Let said meter reach 0 by one of the sides? Congratulations, you get the Sheila gets assassinated bad end.

Needless to say I’m glad I ragequit and played the straight VN version 7 years later…since honestly I didn’t find the story that enjoyable and ultimately I would have thought the game is better than it really is thanks to the hellish stat/battle system.

Take your shitty system and go bugger yourselves
Take your shitty system and go bugger yourselves

2. Hanayoi Romanesque

The game works like this – you have to read dialogue sentences – and certain sentences act as a “stat” raiser. When a certain sentence comes up in the dialogue box you need to press X to collect that stat point. If you miss this sentence, have fun starting that entire chapter over (since it automatically asks you to save each time) or quicksave/save state after every single time you make a choice to make sure you don’t have to start from the beginning if you miss it. It’s irritating as hell because it’s not like an option that comes up on screen, it’s part of the dialogue.

It’s a similar system to the Vitamin games but the correct choices are much more vague. For example a sentence like “I went to get a drink in the bathroom” was considered something you have to “collect”. WTf?? Needless to say I ragequit that shit before I even made it out of the first chapter. Koori the brave soul decided to plow through 1 route but I think that was enough for her to kick this game into a black hole. Based on her review, it doesn’t seem like neither of us were missing out. Makes me wonder if Otomate took inspiration from this when making Reine 😂

Yes go ahead tease me with these cute Cgs that are impossible to get without the right combination of items!
Yes go ahead tease me with these cute Cgs that are impossible to get without the right combination of items!

1.  Custom Drive

You thought this was a fun dressup game? WRONG. If you want to see certain Cgs you must have the EXACT required hair style and clothing on and god forbid you put on a hat or take of glasses. NOPE NO CG FOR YOU. The scene will still play and you’ll have no idea you’re missing a CG unless you are sitting there following D3p’s CG guide like a hawk.

This was possibly the worst game I have ever played AND managed to complete. The above is only 1 of a handful of problems that made me have ACTUAL NIGHTMARES trying to complete all the CGs. What kind of “customization” game is it when your customizing ends up making you lose endings and Cgs? Whats is the point? It’s like waving a bone in front of a hungry dog and the moment he goes to bite it, you cruelly take it away! My rage and hatred for D3P somehow fueled my energy to actually complete and game and get all the CGs but maybe this is karma – since D3P’s otome releases now are mostly low rated shovelware garbage. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

jumpingoutwindow

And so this concludes my list. Perhaps I can make a positive version of this and post the top 10 games with the BEST systems I’ve ever played! 😂 What other top 10s would you be interested in seeing?

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53 thoughts on “The Top 10 Worst Otome Game Systems I’ve Ever Played

    1. haha top 10 bad ends sounds like it would be so much spoilers I think people would be afraid to read it XD top 10 heroines sounds kinda fun though!

  1. Thanks for the giggles! I still remember that glorious Custom Drive review… =’D

    In a frivolous attempt to play devil’s advocate for #9 (Natsuzora Prologue, which I haven’t played, so I can’t accurately guess the devs’ intentions), the NVL presentation is generally used to force players to focus their attention on the narration. That’s why some VNs mish-mash between NVL and ADV depending upon where the devs want the emphasis placed (e.g., NVL for monologues or past recollections, ADV for non-internal narration and/or present timeframe occurrences).

    Even so, I can see why most people still don’t like NVLs. I suppose NVLs work better for more verbose writers? =S

    1. I don’t mind when the dialogue is all over the screen if its trying to give a flash back thing in some games (like diabolik lovers did that at the end of all their chapters) but when the ENTIRE game is like that it really annoyed me lol. It feels very old style type of novel and I just can’t sit through that my eyes start glazing over.

  2. I’m curious, did you play Tokimeki Memorial? I think I saw you mention it a few times. It’s not that bad if you play casually but if you are a completionist you’re screwed, particularly in the first game. And stat raising is one thing, but stat raising + need to wear different clothes (therefore remember them) and mix up date spots every time to succeed on date is hell + having to pay attention to other guys…ugh.

    I’d have placed random-event games and need-to-win-minigame stuff like Clover and Jokes higher on list than Vitamin, at least with Vitamin you can get through it if you have the guide open. Thankfully I’ve managed to avoid most of the duds on here, the system is one thing I definitely check before bying the game.

    To me, it seems like either minigames are so easy there really isn’t any point to their existence, or so needlessly difficult/annoying you make you feel like dropping a game. I guess well-balanced logical puzzle solving or RPG mash would be the best, but I guess they would limit the audience? And I kind of liked Koibana’s gardening, though I wish they developed it a bit more, at least adding more new flowers and decorations in latter months so it didn’t get too dull halfway through.

    1. Yea I never actually picked up any Tokimeki memorial games for the exact reason you mentioned. After hearing about multiple personalities and tons of stat raising I nop’ed the fuck out XD

      There’s been a few games I enjoyed the mini games a lot in (like nin koi or beast master) so I think if done well, they can be fun. Unfortunately back in the day a lot of otome game systems were terrible probably cause makers were experimenting with what would and wouldn’t work. I actually also stupidly liked the koibana days gardening so I could write weird letters in my flower garden 😂

  3. I second the suggestion for top 10 best heroines, that’s definitely something I’d like to see. Also, maybe best limited edition/tokuten? Or best OP.

    1. yea I heard horrid things about it so I stayed away lol (;´・ω・) I guess my kusoge dar is trained after all of these games XD

  4. Aw yis Top/Worst 10 Lists. I’d love to see Top 10 Plots/Stories since you’ve been mentioning that plot in otome games has been shitty these days (or maybe they always were but we were blinged out by art and seiyuu), and that your tastes shifted over time.

    I think Worst 10 Seiyuu Miscasts would be interesting. Top 10 Husbandos? Worst 10 Kill-It-With-Fire Characters? Top 10 Useless Characters? Top 10 Mascot Characters? Top 10 Moeee Characters/Games?

    1. My only concern about the specific archetypes is spoilers I guess. It’s hard to describe reasons for why someone is cute/moe/yandere etc without specifying why xD Seiyuus miscasts sounds fun. I’d have to really think about that one.

  5. Reine des Fleurs, the first Alice game and Hakuoki SSL are the worst for me. It’s funny that I hate those systems when I’ve played games like Angelique, Tokimemo and Harukatoki.
    But worst game systems will be always those with a lot of bugs.

    1. Yea buggy systems are awful, but I was lenient and took into account that say we are “past” the bugs. Otherwise the list would be endless lol

    1. I’d have to think really hard about this haha….since sometimes games I played ages ago that I thought were the bomb are probably not as great now with my rose colored glasses off haha

  6. Haha, that was certainly fun to read 😂

    I’m sorry you had to go through all those horrible systems though OTL

    Maybe you could do a top 10 of your favorite otome games? Like, the ones you enjoyed the most for the story? Top 10 best heroines is also cool, I second that 😄

  7. LOL and my WOF just shipped 😛
    Thanks for sitting through these torture systems, hinano. So we didn’t have to www

    I’d love to see lists for those just starting out in Japanese. I’d love to see what you think since you have so much experience and knowledge in this and understand the trials it took to get where you are.

    For other lists:
    Your fav otoge that never got enough attention
    Otoge with really good plot/characters
    Top 10 fav otoge so far
    Top 10 worst otoge (not including the system)
    Otoge scenarios you’d like to see more of

    Thanks so much!! XD

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll think about some of those! And the WOF I was referring to is totally not the one you ordered lol

  8. OMG 100% agree on Custom Drive being the #1 worst game system…its aggravating and hell for players who likes to see 100% on their CG gallery status…..I didn’t even finish that blue haired dude’s route there >_ >

    1. haha god I actually finished everything and funny there wasn’t really a gallery since you had to change the outfits etc to take different “versions” of each CG lol

  9. Oh my god Custom Drive and Kusso ni Gohan made the list! ( ゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \ I didn’t know you got Issho ni Gohan LE that’s gotta be so annoying (unless the drama CDs are actually good). I actually gave up on collecting the CGs in Custom Drive and just played it for the LOLs of the osananajimi guy being ドS because he was all like “this so isn’t me!!”

    You should totally do the best 10 systems! I thought Arcana Famiglia and HatsuKare have interesting systems and they’re actually pretty fun so I wonder if you thought so too.

    1. lol my kussoni gohan sistah! XD and yea I got the ANIMATE set uguuuhhh I sold it to book off a while ago though. lol good riddance.

      My fav custom drive char was Puchi Ero Ruka lol XD

      I already made a list of my top 10 systems but I’m waiting out on Renai Bancho and Period Cube to see if those would be something amazing before posting it. I actually hated the original AF system tbh so I definitely didn’t add it to my list. The following games weren’t so bad but the original AF really irritated me :t

  10. (hi first time commenting!)
    That was absolutely hilarious but also I’m so sorry for your…suffering…

    For suggestions, I’d love to see Top 10 [insert character archetype here] though..! top 10 oniisans…top 10 tsunderes…top 10 kuuderes etc etc :D…

    1. thanks for commenting 😀

      I’m worried about the archeotype lists just because it would probably include the actual game spoilers (especially anything involving yanderes) so it would be hard to list without listing WHY XD

      1. Oh, you make a fair point. What about top 10 for [insert platform here]? For every terrible PC game I’m sure you’ve played a great one 😀

  11. Hello Hinano, thank you so much for this Top 10, it was so fun to read✨ !

    In any case, I feel your pain! These systems remind me my veryyy old games who were also a bit hardcore because of endless farming, all the “go and back” the hardness to kill the ennemies, make some jumps etc. Aaah~ what a good time 🎮 !

    I’m such a baby otome gamer, I’ve only experienced the Reine des Fleurs one!

    I don’t really know if we can say it’s a shitty system (because we can go back and change the selection), but sometimes, in Karin’s games, you must NOT pick a choice and let the time flow to be involved in some routes or ends. To be honest, without a guide, I’d never have known 😖 ! (And even if it was the case, where I’m supposed to do it @_@?!).

    I look forward to see your other Top 10; just share with us whatever pleases you ☺ !

    1. Yea Karin’s games are all timed but I guess I got used to them so it wasn’t a huge deal to me after the fact. It’s not enough to be rage inducing like it was for the games in my list lol.

  12. As for top ten suggestion, I would like to see a top ten of Unique Art styles. I finished playing Code Realize when it got licensed in the states and the art was really gorgeous~

    Since you’ve been playing for a long time, you probably came across some really good art styles from past games. Another suggestion I guess you can try is most useless CGs. As always, loved the post!

    1. Hm unique artstyles sounds good though in my head “unique” probably means the art styles you’re not gonna see anywhere else (which could range to some terribly drawn games but that could be fun in its own way!)

    1. haha that’s too hard! I don’t particularly lean on to any seiyuus, I just like a seiyuu as long as I “like” a character they voiced (・∀・;)

  13. Hello Hinano,

    Thank you for this top 10, it was really fun to read, you did a great job sitting through these games ! I wish you won’t have to go through such annoying systems ever again though. xD

    As for the suggestions, what do you think about a top 10 most underrated games ? I’d personally like to see a top 10 of characters with the weirdest/funniest fetishes but… like you already mentionned in a few reply comments, it would probably contain spoilers on the actual game. I also second the top 10 best otoge heroines and top 10 easiest games for people starting japanese. 🙂

    Have a nice day,
    イズミ

    1. top 10 underrated games is a good one! I know a few things that probably fell under most people’s radars I could totally recommend.

      and yea you’re right stuff like fetishes would totally be spoilers XD the top 10 easy japanese games might be a good one, I get asked this question a lot so may as well make a list for it.

  14. Haha I stopped playing Reines cose the system also after I played 1 route I left with WTF moment, too bad the art and song is catchy orz. I should buy KLAP instead that lol.

    Lol omg Custom Drive, I remember people are complaining about the system at twitter when its out haha Luckily I haven’t touch it lol

  15. A top 10 Best game/best system list would be great! I want to see if there are games with great plotlines too, like a best stories list.

    1. i actually already made a top 10 best system list! Just waiting a bit before I post it hehe. best stories is a bit hard to do since what I may consider a good story someone may not (since I prefer certain elements over others).

  16. So…do you sell your special editions? Oh! You could kinda host a charity drive! Sell your special editions and send a percentage to a charity. Just a suggestion, since I’m sure someone would want them.

    Anyway, I wasn’t surprised to see Crimson Empire. I think that was on your rage quit list at one point. I was actually surprised NOT to see that one you played recently with the false world and yandere Onii-san. You sounded almost traumatized really.

    1. I do sometimes to book off if they take them but I don’t really sell anything through this blog anymore cause I’ve had some weirdo stalkers/people who sent me death threats so I don’t really trust in sending anything directly from myself anymore lol. I don’t have a PO Box to use either and don’t feel like paying for one just for that reason.

      MoshiKami was traumatizing but system wise it was mostly straight VN. Stuff like slow skip are annoying but not ground breaking.

  17. Fascinating. Your hell while playing these games at least made for a great blog post. XD

    I looked at the web demo. I totally see why the text all over the screen is annoying. seriously, I like that sort of thing for monologue sections, but damn not for the whole game! you can’t even see the artwork.

    I look forward to your best 10 list! its totally fine that the list will be about what you liked, but not necessarily what everyone likes. really, lists that prioritize what everyone likes are boring anyways cuz they just say the same ol’ safe opinion that’s been around forever. like yawn.

    and the thoughts on games like Vitamin X, I really appreciate that. Someday I will slog thru a Japanese game and try to half understand it, but it didn’t occur to me there’d be games with really hidden choices and stuff like timers to make things difficult. I’d better keep that in mind…

    1. i’m not sure if the psp version of the vitamin games made the gameplay easier or not but I imagine something had to be easier than the ps2 editions which is what I played.

      and I’ve already got a couple lists ready but I don’t wanna flood the blog so maybe I’ll do them once a week 🙂

  18. OH MY GOD.
    WOF is and will always be my favorite otome game but I can’t count how many times I fell asleep while playing the “let’s look for rocks!” and even the “let’s hang out together and raise my ○○属性!” part of the game. At least the FDs don’t really have much stat-raising and kinda-sorta just VN *coughcough*unlike QR *coughcough*

    As for CE… Well.. after I managed to finish ONE route in a WEEK, I said “screw this” and looked all around for a save data. I love stat-raising games, but stat-raising games with shitty systems should just eat shit and die.

    1. WOF2 was total shit yea lmao. I haven’t tried the WOF remake I got since I’ve been prioritizing newer games but I heard it’s easier? We’ll see I guess. I plan to do a comparison review over both lol.
      Yea CE is really long, even without the battle/money laundering it’s still pretty damn long lol. its rare that there’s a GOOD stat raising system. only one that comes to mind is probably storm lover.

  19. Hi there~ I would like to ask if you are planning to play Nameless -the one thing you must recall-, I would like to see your review

  20. I’ve been coming to your blog on and off for a few years for your otome game reviews, and this is really cool to see! A top 10 best otome games list would also be really great (Christmas isn’t that far away, right?), and I think so would a top 10 easiest to read otome games list, maybe? I really want to start getting into playing them in Japanese (being at like N3 level), but they all look really hard and I’ve got no idea where to start >-<
    Anyway, thank you for your continued excellent work with this blog!

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