And so this blog has turned 13 years old. Not much has changed on the otome games side: Otome games are still a dying genre in Japan. They’re so dead that I actually only finished 9 otome games this year. The majority of the games I finished this year were actually JRPGs because I’m slowly getting back to the games I truly enjoy playing. Many people associate this blog with otome games, because when I first began posting about them, nobody was really blogging about otome games. A lot of people who have been reading for years know that otome game blogs pop up and die within a couple years and I’m one of the few left standing from the old era. Obviously there’s a lot more newer blogs because of all the English localizations, but there are very few blogs who still post about Japanese releases. It’s sad but it’s the reality of otome games because basically mobile has taken over. People want a quick fix that’s “free” (barring gacha gambling) to see the dude say I love you within the first 5 minutes of the game.
Anyway enough of my otome boomer rambling I’d like to bring to attention a couple changes that happened in the last half of the year. I got back into streaming on my twitch channel this summer and with the whole vtuber boom I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Using Vroid to create a model for myself I learned all about Unity, and VRM and VseeFace, VUP, Vmagicmirror, OBS, Streamlabs (lol) and even upgraded my headset and microphone. Obviously, I never made any money back to cover the costs of any of this because ultimately it’s still a hobby. I do appreciate anyone who ever subscribed to my channel and maybe one day I’ll actually reach the $100 threshold for twitch to actually pay me. 🥺 I realized looking back at my VOD and clips that it’s actually fun to see my reactions to stuff I played. So even though I don’t get a huge viewership especially since I don’t really stream otome games (what otome games?) anymore it’s something I’m going to keep going with from now on for some time. On that note, in order to make things less confusing, I’ve changed my posting name on this blog from Hinano to Yurika, the name of my Vtuber character based off my FFXIV character. I know it may sound weird to many of you who have known me as Hinano all these years, but nowdays a lot of people just refer to me as ‘breadmasterlee’ anyway 😂 so I figured it wouldn’t be a huge deal.
Some other stuff that happened this year:
- IFI surprise licensed Cupid Parasite after many years of ignoring otome games and pooping out Neptunia releases.
- PQube’s huge Bustafellows release even after Extend said that they could never localize it.
- I changed my blog layout after many years and decided to stop using otome game graphics opting out to use screenshots from FFXIV instead lol.
And now it’s time for the …..actually no we will not be having otome game awards this year because I literally played 9 otome games, most of which I didn’t even like. ┐(´д`)┌ So instead here’s a brief summary of my otome game experience this year:
Games I Liked:
- Tlicolity Eyes – An excellent cute and pop romance game with 3 different heroines and 3P routes. What more could you ask for?
- Hyakka Hyakuro (Nightshade) – An oldie I picked up on a steam sale that was surprisingly decent for a D3P game. The copy pasta was kinda lame though but the awesome heroine made up for it.
- Spade no Kuni no Alice – Yea a lot of people didn’t like it but you know what I actually kinda enjoyed it for what it’s worth. The art was much better and well…I got a mini Peter ending (´；д；`) I didn’t mind the new voice actors either.
Games I wish I didn’t waste my time with:
- Shuen no Virche – Aside the fact that this made a bunch of people on Amazon Japan extremely mad because there was “badly implied BL from a side character”, the game was stupidly trying too hard to be edgy and sad while using violence to move the plot along. The fact that it forces you into playing bad ends for no good reason is already a red flag for me anyway. It gained a cult following though, and those who just love seeing their favorite characters be miserable are living for it.
- Spiral Memoria – I don’t know this was some shitty mobage port they put on the switch that I bought on sale and it was some fake Code Realize wannabe that I’ve wiped from my memoria.
- HimeHibi 3 – I always praise Takuyo games but that’s because my mind is stuck in the good old days of Kaeru Batake and Sweet Clown. In fact all their recent games have been terrible, including this one. I am looking forward to their port of Shinigami to Shoujo, since that’s still from the “good ol’ days”.
- Beast Darling – Yet another shitty low quality mobile game port put on the switch with nothing memorable about it except Kaji Yuki yelling.
- Lover pretend – You’d think it would be so easy to do a game where you pretend to be lovers, but then fall in love for real right? Well apparently it should be called Liar Pretend because the premise is constantly lying about anything and everything regarding the love interests. I was especially put off when you had to lie about the one guy’s anime otaku hobbies and pretend you’re the weeb in his place. How the hell do you even fall in love with that after the fact?
- Nekopara Catboy Paradise – Low quality April fool’s joke that should have never gone beyond a single jpeg.
- Kimi wa Yukima ni Koinegau – Does anyone have some coffee cause I need it to get through 90% of this game. Also everyone but Yoichi was forgettable and he wasn’t even voiced by a prominent seiyuu, go figure.
The fact of the matter here is the 3 games I enjoyed and 2 of them didn’t even come out in the year 2021. They were old games that came out years ago that I finally played this year. Word on the street is I’m this big old jaded otome gamer and everything sucks in my eyes but this is not true. In essence, all otome game reviews are going to be biased based on the person’s interests and game history but there’s clearly a criteria out there that made me enjoy games like Tlicolity and Nightshade. It just so happens this criteria isn’t being put into the games being released now because otome games companies are trying new things to get new players into the genre but at the same time it’s putting off old generation of players like me. I actually was really looking forward to both Virche and KimiYuki because of the writers and staff involved but it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I expected Code Realize and Cafe Enchante but I didn’t get that and that’s where I was left disappointed. Ultimately you should just play the games yourself and form your own opinion but if you’re trying to budget and save money and you find that generally your opinions usually align with mine, then yea you can go ahead and use my review to “guide” you on whether or not you should buy a certain game.
Now I would like to move on to talk about all the RPGs I played this year because actually I enjoyed a lot more of them than I did otome games 😂
Games I Liked:
- Tales of Vesperia – Yuri “moob shirt” Lowell. Enough said.
- Persona 4 Golden – EVERY DAY YOUNG LIFE JU★NE★SU.
- Tales of Arise – Fuck yea I get to ship not one but 3 canon couples in a JRPG.
- Scarlet Nexus – Ok so there’s no canon romance here but there’s definitely tons of room for shipping and man I will grind for those bond episodes. Also holy shit my absolute FAVORITE battle system in a JRPG of all time.
- Nier Reincarnation – Ok so it’s a mobile game but ehh I’ve been playing it for 8 months so that says something right?
- Final Fantasy 5 – My favorite pixel FF game to date. Gaaaluuuffff!!! 😭😭😭 Also Buttz.
- Final Fantasy 6 – Yoo I’m here for the Sigma references from FFXIV and shipping Locke and Celes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)✨
- Nier Replicant 1.224 – Nier Replicant remake? I’m here for it. I even learned the cursed fishing system in this game. Anyway Nier x Kaine aaalllll the way from start to finish, fuck yea Ending E!
- Final Fantasy 9 – I didn’t know what to expect from this game but I came out of it with a butt grabbing protagonist and some weird alien sci-fi plotline. But hey at least I was able to just 1 hit KO 9999 every enemy and save myself the grief! Vivi is best boy btw. (´；д；`)
- Final Fantasy 8 – The plot of FF8 was weird as hell, and the protagonist was well…whatever and the heroine liked to push and kick people off platforms. 😂 That said, the localization was so fucking funny I will never forget the phrase above as long as I live. P.S. The man with the machine gun.
Games I didn’t really like:
- Final Fantasy – Ok so it’s the first one in the series, no chocobos and Cids. I guess we can’t expect much from the first one but it’s definitely a “must play” for all FF fans.
- Final Fantasy 2 – Suffering from a backasswards leveling system I was only able to make it through because of tons of injected cheat codes lmao. That said, the parody video and the scene with the queen was my most memorable moment. P.S. Guy speak beaver.
- Final Fantasy 4 – Ok yea I know Endwalker is based from this game but this game was so bad in so many ways – except the developer room (which was stupidly removed from the pixel remaster making it inferior!) The fact that Golbez stole the crystals non stop, Kain got mind blasted non stop and Cecil had to put up with team members constantly taking his good gear and then dying. And then the final straw was despite injecting cheats, my entire party got nailed by Zeromus except Kain – who just cheated his way by jumping and avoiding every mechanic. 🤣🤣🤣
- Fxxx Me Royally -Horny Magical Princess- I played this last minute before my anniversary because I grabbed it on a steam sale and there was only 2 routes anyway. I expected it to be as funny as Fashioning Miss Lonesome but it was kinda boring and lame lol. The prologue made it seems like it was gonna be a funny game about a sexually confident heroine, but it basically devolved into a very boring typical otome game with male-centric ero scenes where the heroine was more naked than the guys were. 🙃 I could just play an eroge if I wanna see that lol. Because I no longer review R-18 games on this blog, I didn’t bother posting a full review for it here – but you can find my scathing review on Steam if you so desire. 😎
As usual a fanart from Nan!! Thank you for always drawing Lee for me (´；д；`)🙏
As you can see, I played more RPGs than otome games. The lack of console otome game releases and my interest in the rpg genre has kept me more on the JRPG side this year. For 2022, it doesn’t appear to be any different. There’s almost no new games even announced to begin with and I have an entire Tales backlog plus new FFXIV expac ahead of me.
Don’t get me wrong I still like otome games. I just liked otome games that were released years ago; I don’t really like the direction where they are headed now. Game makers have to try different things to attract a new audience cause most people who were playing around the time I started have all moved on to other things (or mobile). Anyway it’s ok, I get that mobile is the way to go in Japan, a country where desktop PCs aren’t more than “nerd things” or “things for work”. All it means for me is I just play less otome games and more rpgs. 😛 Maybe I can finally get the otome game association separated from my identity because after all, “bread master lee” didn’t come from an otome game. 🏌️♀️
And now for the yearly stats:
Top 5 Popular Posts the Past Year:
- Bustafellows Review
- Piofiore Review
- Cupid Parasite Review
- Olympia Review
- Dairoku Review
Aka basically every localized game people are searching for reviews before buying!