This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
Lunar is one of my all-time favorite videogame series still to this day. I love pretty much anything by Working Designs really. Originally I was invited by a friend to go to a convention and cosplay together, but they couldn’t make the convention, so I actually haven’t gotten to wear this yet, aside from trying it on for photos. Hoping to wear it to Tekko in March 2017. This costume was commissioned and designed by Kathy’s Creations in Greenville, PA. My Boots still have not arrived, will add more/new pics when boots arrive, or when at a convention. Thanks for looking and have a great day <3.
This is just a very quick photoshoot, I didn’t take time to pin back my own hair before applying the wig, and am wearing absolutely no makeup. Wig also probably could have used a bit of spray and detangling – also later realized I should have tucked in the shirt to look more like the character, but well these are things that I will remember to do next time 🙂 Hopefully when it counts, like at a convention.
Lots of Pics!!
Click to enlarge:
Lunar Eternal Blue is the 2nd game in the Lunar series. Both Lunar Eternal Blue, and Lunar Silver Star have been remade numerous times. Their first appearance was on Sega CD back in the 90s. That is when I fell in love with the franchise. After that, they were remade for Sega Saturn (but not brought to the USA), and later ported to PSOne. Since PSOne, Eternal Blue has NOT been remade, while Silver Star has been remade numerous times for PSP, GBA, IPAD, and more. I don’t know why this is, since Lunar Eternal Blue, in my opinion has a much better storyline, characters, etc. Both games are love stories at heart, both set in a medieval fantasy type setting. The worlds in Lunar are rich with lore and very detailed.
If you’ve not played Lunar, you should play it yourself, but if you’re curious as to who this character is, there is a brief synopsis below in the Spoiler Tags:
The basic story of Lunar Eternal Blue focuses on the love story between Hiro and Lucia. Hiro is a young wannabe adventurer / treasure hunter who spends his time exploring ancient ruins. While Lucia is a mysterious girl who “awakens” in one such ruin, bearing urgent news and a message for the goddess, however, the time for her awakening is not yet near, and the goddess has long since left the mortal world. Lucia must learn to trust in humanity. She begins to evolve from a stoic quiet personality to a warm, carefree, and even vulnerable young woman. However it is a struggle for Lucia to let go and trust in humans, because she views them as weaker beings. In the end, she is unable to fully trust the humans and thus decides to return back to her own world, however, the power of their love helps to reunite them.
Update: My boots finally came so here are some more Pics. Also tried another wig I had which is more blue and less aqua colored.
Also there’s 2 fun phone apps that can be neat for cosplay. YouCam lets you put on makeup without changing your face or features very much (may change eyebrows with some makeups, and theres also a few fun animal-face filters). YouCam has hundreds of filters AND you can go “off the map” by creating your own makeup without use of the filters. Making the possibilities almost endless. The second app is BeautyCam which turns your pics into anime characters (it doesnt have many filters and there may be better/similar apps)
Pusheen Box is a quarterly subscription crate that contains tons of exclusive officially licensed Pusheen merchandise. I’ve posted other Box openings on my blog for the Spring Pusheen Box and Summer Pusheen Box.
My fall 2016 Pusheen Box arrived this week and has a lot of cute fall and halloween themed Pusheen items. It’s back to school season for a lot of folks, and Pusheen Box even has some stuff to help you get ready for the new school year too!
Whether fall means warm apple cider, sweater weather, halloween festivities, or back to school — The Fall 2016 Pusheen Box has got you covered!
Woah the box looks different this month – Pusheen is purple and even has little bat wings – how cute! And he matches our existing Halloween decor here at home too lol.
Packed so nice and neat and full to the very top of the box, a very appealing presentation which makes opening the box even more exciting.
The first item is a Pusheen sweatshirt folded neatly on top.
When we carefully remove the sweater we see more wearable goodies – a pair of Pusheen ears (hair barrettes) and a tail with a clip that you could clip onto the back of said sweater. And a notebook for back to school.
With the costume and sweater out of the way, you can see further into the box, and the next large item is the exclusive Pusheen vinyl figure. This time it’s a cute pink bat (why is he pink though? lol. That’s my fave color, but it’s not very halloween-y? He may have looked better being purple like the box. Still cute though!)
Upon removing the next two large items, we see that the big blue box is a kawaii cup and saucer. I was disappointed to learn that the cup is not microwave safe as it would have been awesome for those cold winter days, but I cook cocoa on the stove and can pour from the sauce pan into the cup so not a big deal.
That’s it for this month 🙂 I still love Pusheen Box — this is not a sponsored review — just love sharing pics of all the kawaii things inside. 🙂 If you’re looking to get your own Pusheen Box you can sign up at http://pusheenbox.com/ — Don’t forget to check out my Spring and Summer Pusheen Box Openings too! and as always you can see more pics on my instagram at http://instagram.com/xenokitten
I leave you with a photo of the fall leaves around here 🙂 Always such a pretty time!
Genre: Visual Novel / Idol Simulation / Rhythm Game / Photography Simulation / Dating Sim / Raising Sim
Where to Buy:Jlist – use Coupon Code: MOE-22Y-E8BNV5 to get 5% off!
Geeky: 4/5 – High quality anime style graphics. This version of Sonicomi is the original PC version; however, for the US release, they integrated the new improved graphics from the Playstation version which adds a lot more visual appeal to the game. Sonicomi comes to life with fully animated and expressive movements. Unlike other visual novels which show only static images, the graphics in Sonicomi definitely do impress. There are multiple game modes and tons of achievements to unlock as well. Like most visual novels, this game is light on gameplay, however, there is some challenge to see how high you can score each photoshoot, and the appeal of unlocking new outfits for Sonico. There’s also 18 different endings and a surprisingly touching story.
Sweetie: 5/5 – Sonicomi is very cute! And the ability to customize her with hundreds of different pieces of outfit and tens of thousands of combinations for those outfits, makes this a game that girls are sure to love, just as much as guys who like the busty and sexy appeal of the pink haired gravure idol.
Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 As I mentioned when I announced the preorder bonuses for the game here, this game basically is like combining Princess Maker (which I reviewed here) with Pokemon Snap (a game in which you photograph pokemon). Of course, Sonico’s lusty and busty figure make this game a lot more “Ecchi” or perverted than those games, but the game mechanics are like a perfect mashup of these two gaming gems. You determine Sonico’s fate and what direction her career will take (similar to Princess Maker), while the gameplay itself is a visual novel with about a dozen different “levels” each defined by a photo shoot. On these photo shoots your client will request different images, from sexy to sweet and innocent, or even weird. You must try to recommend different locations, outfits, and poses to meet the needs of your client. At different points in the story you will be presented opportunities to respond to Sonico in different ways (hence the name of the game), your responses, as well as choices made and how well you perform the various photo shoots will lead you to one of 18 different endings. Each time you play the game, you keep any outfits you unlock and continue to add new items to use to dress up Sonico however you’d like. There’s different difficulty modes, and even a free play mode where you can just photograph Sonico without worrying about a timer or any requests from your clients. You can save and share these images to show off how cute Sonico has become.
Gameplay: 8/10 The story unfolds like a visual novel at different points you can talk to, or even touch Sonico in various ways which raises her affection or changes her mood or even changes how the public views her as an idol. The main gameplay however comes in the form of photoshoots. You start by choosing an outfit for Sonico by combining different pieces and parts, such as a jacket, top, pants, skirt, jewelry, handbag, shoes, socks, hair, skin tone, etc. In these shoots, you must complete all “takes” (ranging from 1 to 3) without wearing any duplicate items from the previous takes, all while taking into account the client request. Once on set, you’ll see Sonico frolicking around and soon begin to see blue and pink “rings” on your screen. It’s your job to mouse over these rings and click them right as they turn pink. Clicking too soon or too late will lower your score. Clicking at just the right time will allow you to “chain” “perfects” which gives a large boost to your score. Getting perfects will also begin to fill up a gauge on the screen which when full, left clicking will open a number of options such as Communication, where you ask Sonico how she’s doing – she may tell you she’s tired, thirsty, nervous, fired up/excited, or able to still go on. Another option is to give Sonico a break which will help refill her stamina, and if executed correctly will extend the time you have in the photoshoot. If you let Sonico get too exhausted you will fail the photoshoot so you must be careful. The remaining options let you change Sonico’s pose and position from standing, sitting, or lying down. If Sonico is “excited and fired up” and you select Communication, you will activate a special mode with new poses and bigger chances for bonuses. After each take you’ll see your score, and after completing all takes, you’ll receive a letter grade which you need to pass to move on to the next scene.
I deducted a few points because this game is impossible to play without a mouse or game controller. I bought a mouse just to play this game. I think a lot of casual gamers, especially those on laptop devices may not have a mouse? I didn’t because I played in bed anyways so where would I put a mouse? (Hint: I ended up putting it on the wrist/rest area near the touchpad, below the keyboard.) The touchpad on my laptop was totally laggy/nonresponsive – which was something weird caused only when playing this game. I couldn’t even get past the tutorial and it wasn’t from a lack of skill, my pointer on screen would not move where I wanted it, and even when it did, I found I couldn’t “snap” the photo, just nothing would happen when I clicked the “mouse button” (built into my touchpad). This seems like a weird glitch or bug? But now that I’m using a mouse, there’s no problem 🙂 And I’ve used the mouse in some other more actiony games too so it’s all good. Mice are cheap enough anyways *under 10 bucks* but I just can’t help thinking that the touchpad should have worked, or my touch screen on my laptop, but both were very laggy and made it impossible to play. Bad controls = bad gameplay. So you’ll want to make sure you have a mouse or steam controller or similar input device.
However, the gameplay is very engaging, and the hunt for new outfit pieces (all of which carry over into any new games you begin) as well as unlocking the achievements and all 18 different endings keeps you playing over and over. The in depth tutorial at the beginning of the game lets anyone just pick up and play the game, but some of the higher difficulty settings offer a large challenge even for more seasoned rhythm game players. The free play mode is really cute and fun too, especially with the ability to take and share steam screenshots, or collect the images in an in-game photo album.
Story: 5/10 I get the feeling that there’s only “illusion of choice” for very much of this game. Yes, there are 18 different endings, but it seems to me that they are determined more in how you do on photoshoots than how you respond to the story prompts. Although those DO impact the game also. I only suspect this, because on multiple play throughs, when I skip “previously read text” I’m skipping about 75-85% of the story. There is a decision later in the game to take Sonico’s career in different directions, such as being a commercial model or a high fashion model, but even that seemingly important decision does little to change the story – though it does change several of the different photo shoots in the later part of the game.
The story itself is pretty cute, but way too short and simplistic to really rank this score any higher than “mediocre” – but it’s a Gravure Idol Sim, people don’t really play this for story. — The story isn’t bad, actually I was pleasantly surprised that it’s very touching and hits close to the heart at times, but that’s mostly attributed to the strong character interaction which I’m scoring separately below. The story has a lot of comedic moments and some truly wtf moments as well which makes it highly entertaining. Perhaps my biggest complaint against the story is that it starts strong, but just as it’s taking off, the game comes to an abrupt and unexpected end, and that’s not from getting a “bad end” but instead it just feels like the second half of the game is rushed, and that more could have been done which could have added not only more story, but more photoshoots and more gameplay too.
Characters: 10/10 The biggest and most pleasant surprise to me was how endearing and likable all of the characters were, especially Sonico. I had heard of Sonico, and seen cameo appearances in other games, but I honestly knew very little about her. As I played, I couldn’t help but think, OMG Sonico is JUST LIKE ME!! Since I related to her, it increased my enjoyment of the game and story and made her even cuter to me. She loves cats, I love cats (like REALLY love cats), She loves her grandma – I love my grandma, we’re like best friends. She loves sweets, I love sweets. She loves shopping, I love shopping. She’s really really naive and ditzy… I’m sadly also really naive and ditzy. She’s clumsy and hurts herself often, I’m clumsy too! It was like seeing myself as an anime character. Of course I’m not as cute or sexy as Sonico, but her pure heart and bubbly happy go lucky and laid back personality are very similar to my own personality and attitude.
Sonico wasn’t the only character who I found likable either. I also really liked Cutie Q who mysteriously turns up and gives you advice throughout the game, and Pandagawa, an idol manager who’s also a cute (and perverted) panda. And Sonico’s rival Angie, who is pretty much like Sonico’s exact polar opposite (and who I think should have her own game, right? she’s pretty amazing). All of the characters are really unique and quirky. Even Danny choo and his Smart Doll Mirai makes an appearance in the game which was a huge plus since I’m such a huge Smartdoll / Dollfie Dream / ABJD fan.
Graphics: 8/10 It’s already been said how cute and sexy Sonico is, and already been said that there’s literally tens of thousands of different outfit combinations possible to make Sonico look however you’d like. The environments and poses and background art is all very lovely. In the photoshoots it’s all 3D, and in free mode you can even adjust lighting and other touches to make the environment look as you please. In the visual novel, the backgrounds are done in an a more anime style. Sonico is a full body and fully animated figure. Her expressions and movements are just like a real person, which makes this visual novel stand out from others that just use static sprites or images. However, and where the game loses some points, is that Sonico is the only character who we ever “see” in the game or any of the photoshoots. There’s at least two occasions where you’re “supposedly” photographing another model with Sonico – and it would have been cute, awesome and AMAZING to have both models in the photoshoot at the same time, playing together, dancing, and frolicking around. — But okay, maybe that’s asking too much, but it would’ve been nice to see some better sprites for the other characters. In true visual novel fashion, every other character in this game, is just like every character in every other visual novel, just a chest and face with a few different expressions, and always over some background, like out of a comic book, which I guess is kinda cool in a stylistic way, but it definitely makes them seem less “alive” or “real” than Sonico. Also the clients and Sonico’s manager always have a mask on, which is just weird to me and makes them kinda unlikable honestly to me even though it also does add humor and make them memorable in a way too.
Music: 7/10 – The soundtrack, while being actually pretty good and not at all irritating, even on multiple playthroughs, just frankly, doesn’t have enough tracks or variation in it to score much higher than this. Each photoshoot has the same soundtrack, regardless of location selected for the shoot. Or if they were in fact different, it wasn’t noticeable enough for me to remember. The music is good, but you will hear the same tracks over and over when walking Sonico home, or at different key moments in the game.
Voice Acting: 9/10 I’m actually surprised how close the English voice for Sonico comes to capturing the original Japanese voice actress’ same “personality”. A bubbly, cute, and somewhat ditzy / brainless type of voice. The English voice actress for Sonico really put a lot of emotion into delivering her lines, which you can tell from how she enunciates or emphasizes different words or phrases. Even her laugh and other mannerisms are quite similar. I thought she did such a good job that I’ve played in English every time except for twice now. The Japanese voice actress is of course cute and adorable and does an excellent job, but that’s usually just a “given” when it comes to Japanese voice acting. They’re all pretty much amazing right? But that’s not the case (typically) with English dubs. (sorry to dubbed anime fans out there). While I think everyone should play the game at least once in it’s native language, you really in this case don’t miss much by playing it in English. I’ve gotten used to the English Sonico now, and actually, surprisingly, prefer her voice over the original Japanese one now. Also I’ve heard that this same voice actress does the Sonico in the anime (which I’ve never watched). But the good thing is, that no matter what you prefer, English or Japanese, they left both tracks in the game for you to choose! — It’d be nice if you could switch this option while playing the game but I think you have to save, exit, and select the option when starting back up. Also if I remember correctly, Sonico is the only character who’s voiced in this game, which is a little disappointing (and why I deducted 1 point).
Replay Value: 10/10 This game is super addictive! As if 18 endings weren’t enough to keep you playing, there’s also achievements, and new outfits to unlock through multiple playthroughs (which carry over into any new games you start), and sonicoins to earn which unlock even more outfits, and a free play mode that lets you enjoy uninterrupted time with Sonico in any location or outfit or pose that you’ve previously unlocked. You can then add the freeplay images into an album in game, or use the steam shortcut (F12 by default) to take pictures and share via steam or social media so you can spam your friends and share Sonico’s charm. There’s also different difficulty modes which let you challenge yourself as you become more familiar with the game. With so much to do and so many different dressup combinations and such a cute and charming idol to control, this is a game that will keep you hooked!
I began playing Smite with a friend last week. It’s my first time playing a MOBA game. I’ve avoided them because I heard how competitive they can be, such as league of legends. I’ve been playing it for a few weeks, but only last week for any real length of time or effort. Sorry if you played with me the last few weeks; I’m sure that I cost you to lose some matches, because I had no idea how to play for the first few weeks. I still don’t really, but I’m getting at least a little better. It does have a kinda steep learning curve, well for me at least. You have to understand, I typically go for “artistic” games which emphasize story over action – in fact some have no action at all, while others have “turn based combat” – so for me to be in real time combat and have to be “situationally aware” also known as “standing in stuff is bad” lol, well it takes some getting used to!
But eventually, you do get used to these things. And when I stopped dying every five seconds, and learned how to play, and also, bought a mouse (I was playing only with keyboard at first), well then I began doing better, and having fun.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbone
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios (they’re also the publisher of this game)
Geeky: 5/5 – High marks for achievement systems, variety of characters, classes, game modes, UI system, fluid controls, skill system, items and inventory, and production values.
Sweetie: 3/5 – High marks for character customization and “cute” graphics and characters. Loses a few points for no story (not that games like this need one).
Overall: 69/90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 After about “20 hours” of play time, here are my initial thoughts on this game. First off, it’s free which is great! There’s lots of different game modes which makes it fun. You can play with people online, which could mean, you can group up with your friends, or join a search to get matched with random users online, and then also either play against friends, random users, or even AI computer controlled opponents. There are a ton of different characters, fitting different “roles” such as tanks (called guardians), mages, rangers, assassins, melee DPS, or hybrid roles. Not only are the roles diverse, but so are the characters’ appearances, and made even more diverse by unlocking or purchasing dozens of different “skins” for each character. There are achievements, both within the game, as well as steam trading cards, and different ways to progress through the game. You get rewards even just for logging in every day (like a lot of free or mobile games give to their players), so you could unlock different characters and/or costumes without having to purchase from the cash shop if you wanted.
Gameplay: 8/10 – As I mentioned, there is a tiny bit of a learning curve if you’ve never played a MOBA, or if you’re not used to fast paced competitive and action oriented gameplay. However, through trial and error, you’ll quickly learn to play (and not stand in stuff) (and learn when to run back to base to heal lol).
In the game’s defense, there is a really nice tutorial that walks you through many different game modes. I should have spent more time in the tutorial before rushing out to play with other people online, but let’s be honest, playing with other people is more fun.
There are different game modes including Arena, where you kill gods and minions or escort your minions to the other team’s “goal” (which is a giant portal), while defending your own portal. The other game modes all involve pushing past the enemy defenses by destroying their towers and defending your towers. The other game modes differ in how many “lanes” each map has. Some only have one lane, while others have 2, or 3 lanes.
Some game modes allow you to choose which character you want to play as, while others randomly assign a character to you. You have to be fast to select your character, for one thing, you’re timed, but more importantly, if someone else chooses that god, it becomes unavailable to you for that match, first come, first served.
The different characters all have different abilities and different strengths and weaknesses, so finding one that matches your play style, can be a bit of trial and error at first. I prefer rangers because I can attack and be mobile at the same time, and I can let others take the brunt of the damage.
Anyways, gameplay typically consists of dividing up who to go where in the “lane style” games. You’ll likely be asked to help defend and push through one of the different lanes. Since most matches have more players than lanes, you might have another player to assist you, but not always. The game however, will spawn minions for you (as well as for your opponent), and you can let them charge ahead to take the damage from the enemy towers while you help destroy their towers, gods, and minions.
If at any time, you find yourself overwhelmed, your minions defeated, or low on mana or health, you can return back to your base to heal and also to purchase items, equipment, or upgrade your skills (you can also upgrade skills outside of the base too but inside the base you can take a few minutes to plan your next move.). You can also set skill and item purchases to “auto” which is the default setting. This allows you to not have to worry about remembering to spend skill points or gold, but forces you to give up the customization aspects of building your own character. Because of the fast action nature of this game, I find it easier to just leave everything on auto which lets me focus on the action instead of worrying about the particulars of my character.
These “lane style” games end whenever one team’s “Titan” has been destroyed. To reach the titan you must focus on defeating towers and phoenixes. There are also smaller camps of monsters that award various buffs to your team members.
Arena is much more “free for all” – it’s a small map with no lanes, no towers, no phoenixes, etc, just you against the other team, in an almost olympic sport like event as you try to feed minions into the opponent’s portal while keeping minions out of your own, and killing as many enemy players as possible to earn more points. The arena matches end whenever one team’s point total is taken to zero. The team who still has points remaining is the victor.
In all game modes, your character will always start at level 1 and then quickly gain experience and gold. As you gain levels your character becomes stronger and you can spend skill points to upgrade their abilities or use the money you’ve earned to buy new gear.
There are ranked matches and “tournament seasons” as well for more competitive players – I’ve not tried these features yet.
As mentioned, the game lets you play online with friends, with random users, or with, or against, artificial intelligent “bots”.
There are also special in-game events that unlock gods for you to play temporarily or award you with new skins, icons, and achievements.
Story: 1/10 – There’s really no story, which is no surprise given the nature of the MOBA genre. There is some loose overarching theme and a bit of backstory for each character – the main idea being that they are all different gods from different cultural mythology, ranging from African, Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, and many more. This concept is rather interesting, but by no means has any real impact on the game.
Characters: 8/10 – Although there is no story (aside from a brief blurb about the mythos that your character represents), so no character driven dialogue or much personality here (aside from each character being voiced and having numerous taunts and sayings that they will repeat as you play), there are a ton of characters.
Character customization is also fascinatingly high in this game, both from a visual standpoint (if willing to spend money in cash shop or work to unlock skins), but also from a technical standpoint by allowing you to choose your characters’ skills and progression as well as equipment each game.
There are dozens of different character classes as I mentioned above, ranging from melee, to tanky types, to ranged or magical DPS. Each one, although maybe similar to some of the others within their “class”, also displays it’s own unique abilities and strengths and weaknesses.
Many characters will be locked and unavailable to you unless a special event is going on, or you choose to purchase the character via the cash shop or with special in-game currency.
Graphics: 9/10 I’m giving this high marks due to the different skins, also the animations and effects are cute and clever. The graphics aren’t amazing by any means, but they’re not bad either, about average, or what would be expected of “next gen” games these days. The graphics show a lot of personality and endear the characters to the players.
Music: 8/10 The music is actually pretty good! But I have to deduct a few points just for a lack of variety in the soundtrack, either through a low number of tracks available, or a general feeling of “sameness” between a lot of the music. However, the music is fitting well with the theme, of mythology and gods and mystery. It has a large and vibrant feeling like you might expect when walking through temple halls dedicated to Zeus or Ra or some other long forgotten god.
Voice Acting: 7/10 The characters are all uniquely voiced and it adds more personality and charm (something this game has in spades). Your characters will spout off short one-liners when you take down an enemy, when they get defeated, or when using different abilities. There’s not a ton of voice acting, and there aren’t any deep, emotionally driven lines delivered here, but the charm that it adds to the game makes it that much more fun and unique.
Replay Value: 10/10 – This is a game that you pick up and play for 20 minutes, or easily sink several hours into at once. There are so many different characters to try, as well as different ways in which to customize the abilities and equipment of those characters. Combine that with the several different game modes and the ability to unlock achievements, skins, and new characters as you continue to play. This keeps the game fresh, exciting, and accessible which makes replaying the game very enjoyable.
Genre: Otome Visual Novel Dating Sim (With Stat-Raising Sim elements)
Publisher: NGames Interactive
Geeky: 3/5 – Technically speaking, this game is more advanced than about 95% of other Otome Dating Sims. It uses Live 2D to make the characters fully animated on dates, like Ensemble Stars or NekoPara. It also has much more to offer than just “dating” or “just dressup”.
Sweetie: 5/5 – One of the cutest games you’ll ever play.
Overall: 78 / 90 87% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
Concept: 10/10 This is fast becoming one of my favorite mobile games because of the wide variety of things to do from dressing up yourself, or one of several boys. It has full voice acting, and uses Live 2D to bring the characters “to life” – It has sky high production values. But not only that, but it’s a ton of fun. You can cook sweets to give to the boys to boost their affection, or plan a date by selecting different locations. You can work part time to earn in game currency, or study different subjects to boost your stats which helps unlock new event scenes, jobs, or even new guys to meet. There’s TONS of in game events too, which makes you want to keep playing, and an interesting story too.
Gameplay: 10/10 This game is unlike any of the other “dressup” games out there – it’s also equally different than some of the voltage/ntt solomare/kyonplete etc visual novels which have “dressup” components to them. This is more like a brand new genre of gaming that balances both dressup challenge type gameplay, with otome multiple ending/branching plot gameplay, as well as throwing in “Stat-Raising” gameplay ala Princess Maker or Tokimeki Memorial. It really captures several of my favorite genres here.
The basics of gameplay begin in “Story Mode” – here each “level” will present a new dressup challenge. You’re given hints at each level as to what to wear to pass to the next stage. For example you might be asked to wear “Pretty and Pure” clothes or “Mature and Sexy” or “Casual Streetwear” or “vintage” just to name a few. The different items you can get in the game all have these different traits (Once again like Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side), and when combined, you can create different looks. At the end you’re scored on how well you met the requirements. As you progress, you learn more about the strange fantasy world and explore deeper the character backgrounds and story.
But Gameplay doesn’t stop in story mode, it’s only beginning. From the main menu you have many different options, from cooking sweets, to tailoring or upgrading your own clothes, to dating, to playing various daily minigames to earn free items.
Story Mode helps you unlock new recipes for cooking or tailoring your clothes. (PS: the cooking and tailoring modes don’t open until later in story mode). Story mode is also how you meet new guys to date. As you play you keep unlocking new ways to play the game, making it an exciting and fresh experience on multiple playthroughs.
It even has a Skinship feature on the dates. If you don’t know what Skinship is, you might’ve heard about the recent controversy and removal of Skinship from Fire Emblem Fates which I covered in a news article here. But if you haven’t heard, Skinship is a concept common in many Japanese dating games, in which as your affection grows between you and the characters, you can “try your luck” at “petting” them in different parts of their body, stomach, arms, hair, face, lips, ear, etc. But if you are too bold or too forward, the affection will decrease, but if you are “petting” appropriately, it helps you bond with the character and thus, your affection will increase.
There is really a lot of things to do! You could play this game for hours a day, or devote as little as 20 minutes a day to collect your login bonus and free items for the day. It’s up to you.
Story: 7/10 – I think the story is cute, and SURPRISINGLY the translation is NOT terrible – I say surprisingly because if you look at their googleplay or itunes app store page…. their English is VERY poor. They must have outsourced the game’s translation or hired an editor though because there is little beyond minor typos which you see in almost all games with heavy text.
The story itself is about a girl (you) who is summoned into another world. When she first arrives, she can’t speak the language or understand what is happening. A young man casts a spell on her so that she may understand the native language of the world, and another young man begins helping her collect emblems as she begins life in the new world a “transfer student” in a magical school.
You learn that by helping others with their problems or concerns, you can extract magic shards from them which are causing their anxiety (and also which are valuable in this new world.) The events in the story focus on helping others and learning about why you’ve been summoned to the strange magic world.
Characters: 7/10 The characters are cute, both how they are drawn, as well as their personalities. There’s also ample character depth and progression as you increase affection with the different guys and turn that Tsundere or Shy boy into hopeless romantics for you lol. The characters also have unique fantasy elements to them, such as the main “cannon” character being an “elf” which is similar to a “druid” in that he can shapeshift – and sometimes not always “at will” similar to anime such as Fruits Basket or Ranma 1/2.
Graphics: 10/10 — I love this game’s graphics. Dozens of dressup options, high customization, you can make your own makeup, and combine different pieces of clothing, from dresses, to stockings, shoes, hair styles, hats, purses, jewelry, and more. Things have a soft, sweet, “dreamlike” vibe, and lots of pinks are used making it super cute and girly. Plus, as I mentioned, when you enter the dates, the game uses Live 2D which is a relatively new technology that can create fully animated models which appear 2D or anime like. — This sets it apart from other games which just use still images, which still, unfortunately, is the norm for almost all games of this type.
Music: 7/10: There’s a lot of cute and catchy tunes in this app, but a lot of them do get reused pretty often.
Voice Acting: 9/10 The game has the original voice acting in tact. I could be wrong, but I think it’s Chinese voice acting? It’s definitely not Japanese. It may be Korean, I dunno — That said, regardless of what it is, it’s highly expressive and further helps bring the characters to life. I deducted a point (maybe somewhat unfairly) because I didn’t like a few of the voices, but I’m not overly used to hearing Chinese (or whatever language this is). I just felt some of the voices were a little “jarring” on my nerves. Might just take some getting used to though. At least they kept the voice acting in so yay. Similar games such as Hello Nikki were originally fully voiced, and the voices removed for US release, so I really appreciate that this game kept the voices in tact.
Replay Value: 10/10 – I’ve said throughout this review, but the multitude of different things to do, from cooking, crafting, dating, minigames, dressup, questing, and in game limited time events, and of course exploring the story, keeps you wanting to play each day. This game is a huge time sink, but an enjoyable one!
Overall: 78 / 90 87% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
I just discovered a great new website for Geeky Tees. The prices start at just $11 – although they do charge more for some designs, or for plus sized clothing. They offer both men and womens, and even youth clothing. They also have hoodies and lots of other goodies. Here are a few of my favorite designs. You can click on any of the pictures to go to the Ript Apparel website where you can see how the shirts look on an actual live model.
They have a really cool Exclusive Deadpool X The Walking Dead T-shirt. Deadpool is so hot right now.
The one thing I noticed is that their selection of sizes could use some improvement. If you’re a man – they’ve got you covered with sizes going all the way to 5XL. However, if you’re a woman, the sizes only go to 2XL. I’ve seen other sites that go to Women’s 3x or even 4x. And on the opposite end of the body diversity scale – they do not offer Extra Small which many of their competitors have. Luckily I can fit within the range of sizes they offer – but if you’re larger – or smaller – you might have better luck else where.
Despite that one small snaffu – the site has a lot of appeal. Their prices are far more competitive than similar sites, and they have new designs every day.
Today they have an awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tee. Which also happens to be exclusive. (Among a lot of other awesome designs – but being born in the 80s, I found this design the most appealing myself.)
Some of their other designs totally speak to 90s kids (like myself). They have cool Mashups like DBZ (or Deadpool) and Fresh Prince of Bellaire or Minions and Dr Who. They also have childhood favorites such as AH! Real Monsters.
I think my favorite one though is this ADORABLE (KAWAII!!!) Lego Deadpool Chimichunga Tshirt!! I’m totally buying this one when I get paid. I Love, love, love the color and how cute it is! OMG!.
While going through their site – I also noticed they have completely different designs for Women and Men’s tees – including their Exclusive line up. Both of the Deadpool shirts featured in my blog post here are available only in Women’s. – I kinda like this fact 🙂 I feel like they’re aiming designs and characters directly to us geeky girls. I haven’t seen this approach used on other graphic tee sites so it’s just an extra layer of awesome. Of course though it’s a double edged sword as some of the men’s designs I wish were also available as women’s and there may be men who want the designs on the women’s tee, like the first Deadpool X The Walking Dead shirt in my post – or heck – even the Lego one. Who says Men can’t be Kawaii? LOL. And men definitely love Legos and Deadpool and chimichungas.
Still, the neat, exclusivity of their tshirt designs is really awesome. Some designs only stay available for one day. This makes me want to buy more! It’s definitely worth checking out each day to see what their new designs are. You can jump to any of the shirts pictured here by clicking on their picture, or browse their whole collection at www.riptapparel.com
As you should know by now – I’m no stranger to these types of apps having already reviewed countless others such as Dream Girlfriend, CocoPPAPlay, Pokecolo (Formerly Pokemini), Animal Boyfriend, and also an avid fan and long time player of LinePlay. The concept, which is essentially dressup an avatar and decorate a room, is nothing new. But Somehow, Nintendo’s new Miitomo app manages to stand out in a very crowded marketplace. I stayed up til 2am saturday night playing this game. And stayed up until midnight lastnight playing (after also playing it 10+ hours throughout both days) – only because I knew I had to be up for work today. (otherwise I would’ve stayed up later – I cannot put this app down!)
I think what makes Miitomo so successful is the social aspect of the app. It allows you to answer questions similar to the dating site OKCupid, and read your friends’ responses. This results in some hilarious conversations. For example, the funniest one I saw was simply about cereal and had over 90 comments. I started laughing so hard that I was snorting, and I’m still smirking from it now remembering the conversation. (Trust me you just had to be there . I know cereal might not sound funny, but it was.)
For someone shy like me, Miitomo encourages me to interact with my online friends (It uses your twitter and/or facebook friends). It encourages me to reach out to new people too – both via social media and also in the game. It brings me out of my shell – from lurker – to contributor by rewarding you for having conversations with your friends and amassing new friends and followers.
Also the artificial robot voices make for some really entertaining things. One guy on my friendslist has a “greeting” when they leave the room that says “It ain’t no lie, baby, bye, bye, bye” and it is SOOOOOO funny in the robotic voices of the miis.
The third point that makes Miitomo so successful is the customization. It uses your camera to make your mii (or optionally lets you create one looking however you wish you looked, or like any fictional character you can imagine). But where’s the fun in that, the camera feature is where it’s at. It will take 20-30 images (in a matter of seconds) and let you choose which one you want – And you can tweak it a bit afterwards. I left mine alone though because it does look quite a bit like me, and it’s cute in its own way.
You can customize EVERY thing – from the way it looks, to the way it sounds – to it’s personality traits.
Once your avatar is created, you can win prizes (outfits) to dress up in by earning coin or tickets to use Miidrop – which cycles in limited time outfits. Miidrop is strangely satisfying and addicting, you drop your friends onto a giant “Plinko” style board and try to get them to land on the prize that you want to win. The fact that the items are limited and retired pretty quickly, makes it very exciting. Rather or not those items will reappear is unknown – but I can tell you that in similar games such as those linked to above, they do not – once limited items are done, they’re gone for good (though sometimes they do get recolored variations). Some items in Miitomo even let YOU select the colors you want.
I find it’s best to save your coins – because in addition to Miidrop – there’s a time limited shop that rotates in and out new items each day and if you blow all your coins playing Miidrop you might miss out on an item here (unlike Miidrop though, I’m pretty sure that these items DO rotate back into the shop.) I have a lot of Miidrop tickets because two of the Miidrop “events” ended already and the currently active ones do not appeal to me – I am just hoarding my tickets right now for when new items become available via Miidrop.
There’s an item in the store that I want today, but it’s 1,760 coins and I only have about 1,120 – so I dunno if I will get it before it poofs. Which makes me wish I hadn’t spent coins when I first joined on playing Miidrop – because now I have tons of tickets and find coins harder to come by than tickets.
But you do get coins for interacting with your friends, replying to their responses to questions, answering questions yourself, visiting or adding new friends, etc.
Honestly, I’d like to see coins instead of – or in addition to candy – being added to Miidrop.
Beyond that, the fact that it’s Nintendo makes it “Too Big to Fail” While people have likely never heard of the EXTREMELY similar apps which I mentioned at the beginning of my review, chances are, they will download Miitomo because of the name behind it “Nintendo” and the marketing budget that Nintendo can pour into promoting their new app.
A word of caution “This is the Internet” – while Nintendo is INFAMOUS for censorship and child protection — the same has NOT yet been applied to Miitomo (though I suspect soon – very soon – we will see language/word filters and other annoying things because a few people think it’s funny to swear or write sexually explicit things in the app. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS YOU GUYS. lol.) So if you are a parent, you really probably don’t want your kid playing this game right now until they “fix” this issue. There is ZERO censorship – yes you can report inappropriate responses, but by then the damage is done and your kid’s already been exposed to whatever it was that you did not want him to see. So yeah I would say Miitomo should be for users 16 and up.
So now that I’m done hyping over the game, let’s give it a proper review below.
Concept: 10/10 As mentioned above, Miitomo is a dressup game which also lets you meet new friends and have conversations with your social network. While it does little to innovate over other similar apps, the app is addicting due to the increased social element and simplistic “nintendo charm”. New items are available every day which keeps you wanting to play to get new items to dressup in, and customization options are quite impressive.
Gameplay: 7/10 The gameplay itself is pretty minimal / simplistic. It’s more of a social network / chat app more than a game – but yet somehow, it’s SO much fun, so many funny conversations happen and it’s the MOST SOCIAL of ANY of these “dressup games”. This makes the gameplay super addictive and rewarding. However, the gameplay itself is in fact a bit thin when compared to very similar apps like Lineplay which have pets, fishing, farming, and the ability to have more than one friend in your room simultaneously and more of a “chat” based instead of “forums” based method of communication. (Although, ironically, I prefer the forum method more, as the chat is only good if you’re all on at the same time really.)
Story: 0/10 – Sorry, I know this hurts the score – but there’s no story. At all. Period – BUT that does not make this any less of an awesome app – just that for my readers specifically, story is the paramount feature they look for so I have to point this out. But really you guys should play this because it’s so fun / funny — If you’re expecting a serious game – look elsewhere. But if you want a FUN game – this is it!
Characters: 10/10 – The characters are you and your friends! You meet new people, you learn about your existing friends, and you have so many funny conversations. Also as mentioned below, the Mii is an iconic character for Nintendo that fans love.
Graphics: 8/10 The mii’s are not as detailed (or kawaii (cute)) as the other very similar apps which I mention above. However, the customization and ability to make a mii look like almost anyone, and the cute expressions and emotes and animations, make the graphics very charming. It’s also a very famillar character and icon for Nintendo which many fans have come to love. The dressup items range from strange, to ugly, to utterly adorable. Some have very smooth, almost like no texture at all, while others have a very tactile feel, like real clothing – it’s rather hit or miss. The level of detail that went into some of the outfits though is amazing considering how small the area they had to work with really is. Also Miitomo is the only dressup app that’s 3D – games like My Dream Girlfriend – actually ARE 3D – but they use an engine called Live 2D (which I love more than anything in this world) (But it makes the characters appear as if they’re 2D.) Also Miitomo is the only app where you can pinch and zoom and rotate and drag your screen to see different angles of your character. You can create really fun, cute, or funny images and share them with your friends. It’s really funny and charming. Good job Nintendo!
Music: 3/10 Is there music in this game? I really can’t remember lol. all I can remember are the funny mii voices. I will maybe adjust this if there actually is music in the game – I’m at work right now so obviously can’t check — If there is music though, it’s not very memorable since I’ve spent 20+ hours playing this game, and last logged in (with sound at least) less than 6 hours ago, and can’t remember if there’s music or not – that’s not a good sign or indication of an awesome music track – when I can remember music from games which I played 25+ years ago LOL.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – The robot voice acting — OMG it’s so funny – it’s not “good” by any means – but my god, it makes the game so much more fun — And I LOVE the amount of customization you can do with the voice and how different everyone’s mii’s sound. It just adds that extra layer of goodness!
Customization: 10/10 I’ve said it a couple times but the customization in Miitomo is awesome, from how you look, to voices, and even personality traits.
Social / Community: 10/10 I’ve made some new friends and had lots of fun – Miitomo is different from every other dressup game out there because you are rewarded for chatting with your friends, and it is set up in a very intuitive and engaging way which facilitates discussion. You can learn a lot more about your friends, and have funny conversations. Highly recommend it!
Replay Value: 10/10 – I can’t put this game down!!! — And I bet neither will you once you start to play! You have got to experience this game.
Overall: 86 / 110 78% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Note: If we don’t take into account the lack of story, it then becomes 86/100 or 86% B “Very Good Game for Girls” which more accurately reflects my own personal enjoyment of this app.
PS. Add me if you play Miitomo! You can scan my QR code below — OR follow me on twitter @Xenokitten and send me a note that you play Miitomo and I’ll follow you back so we can play!
It was not that long ago, that I reviewed Pokemini here, a cute anime dressup game that I’ve been playing for almost 2 years. – It all comes to an end next week as Pokemini will be shutting down. They are encouraging everyone to join Pokecolo – however, there’s one small problem … Pokemini was in English and Pokecolo is in Japanese! Pokecolo also has all kinds of “new” (to Players of Pokemini) features and can be confusing when you first start.
I’m new myself and I do not speak (or read) Japanese. This is just a quick rough guide that I’ve learned the last 2 or 3 days since joining – hope it proves helpful.
The other screen that you’ll most frequently use is the shopping screen. The easiest way I’ve found to get there is to simply hit the back button in top left corner while viewing any of the active gacha.
Left to Right: Top Row: Gacha, Clothes, VIP, Stickers
Left to Right 2nd Row: Scratch Card, Dressup, Room, Planet
Left to Right 3rd Row: Pets, Seeds, “Old Man” shop, Gumball Tickets
Left to Right Bottom Row: VIP Room, Market, and Cotton Candy (Duplicate Exchange)
You have a planet and room to decorate – But wait there’s more!! – Not only do you have one planet, but now you have THREE – these include a fishing / aquarium building mini game, and some type of minigame in which you give hearts and flowers and write messages to other players. You access these other planets by hitting the right arrow while viewing your home planet. Which brings you to this screen like so:
So I dunno if any of you had trouble, but it took me the longest time to figure out how to place my items in my room, planet, or even how to dress myself. Here’s how to do it! Click on your avatar. Then click on the suitcase – Then click on either the dress, or the planet with paintbrush (must be on your planet for icon to appear) – If you go inside your room, then repeat these steps, click on your mini, then the suitcase then the icon that used to be the planet with paintbrush is now a table with a teddybear – clicking that takes you to the menu to place the items in your room!
Alright, so we’ll start by talking about the fishing mini game – You are given a pole and some free bait upon your first visit. you can level up to get better fishing gear. To fish you have to keep the fish in the middle of the white circle. once you catch a fish you can add him to your aquarium (red left button), do something I haven’t figured out/unlocked yet (grey button to right), or beneath both of those, exchange the fish/let it go for fish points – which I’m assuming can be used to get new items later on. Your tank is limited on how much room it can hold. You can add more fish above this limit by spending donuts. Also while viewing your tank you can sell/release fish and/or click a fish to create bait from it every few minutes. Fishing costs 1 heart, as you level, you gain more hearts. Hearts also replenish over time. As you level your fishing you unlock new planets to fish on with new fish and new challenges.
That about covers the fishy-wishies so let’s take a look at the message in the bottle island. The objective here is to write short messages like twitter tweets and reply to other users’ messages that wash up on your island. If you really like what a mini has to say, try leaving them a heart or flower. The flowers will grow on their island, and I believe the hearts are used to send different styles of bottles. Big tip: You can leave FREE flowers – look for flowers with a text next to the donut symbol instead of a number. Also as far as I can tell leaving hearts is always free. Tap the ink bottle with feather to write your own message. Tap the bottles floating by and hit the black downward arrow inside a message to reply to that user.
Here are some screenshots to help explain the above points better.
You can also get your fortune told and test your compatibility with other users which I think may have some game complications such as increasing/decreasing donuts earned, energy refill rates, etc. To get here, click the horoscope sign of yourself or a mini you are visiting.
Some other features unique to Pokecolo include an “Old Man” shop with items coming in and out of stock at different times throughout the day. A scratch card mechanism that lets you get free or cheap limited time items. A trading system that lets you exchange your items with other players and bookmark items that you want via a wish list feature. A cotton candy machine that lets you combine duplicate items to create something new. and a market place which I haven’t used or figured out the details of just yet not to be confused with the trade function.
Other than that, it plays a lot like Pokemini – You add friends to your list (the pink button next to the green visit planet button will let you type up a friend request). You visit their planets, water their trees, slap their boards, and harvest their fruit. You cook to restore energy. You complete quests and level up. And most of all earn donuts to play the Gacha to get items to decorate your room, planet, and avatar.
One last note that may help you for completing quests. New quests are marked with the word “new” and completed quests have a small red chat bubble that appears over the quest giver’s head in the quest log (Q) on right hand of screen. You need to turn the quests in by clicking that red bubble. here is an example of a regular quest, a completed but not turned in quest, and a new quest to illustrate the points above:
Click the small red bubbles above quest givers’ heads seen here on second quest green frame middle screen – click red bubble left above head to turn in quests. These bubbles appear when you meet the conditions to complete the quests.
(The following review uses screenshots that I personally took while playing CocoPPaPlay. I wish I could give credit to all of the models which appear and the players who spent time creating their models – however, I did not make a note of the players’ names while taking my screenshots. I’m sorry. I started a new character, so I didn’t have many cute items to use for my own photos. Thanks for understanding! If you happen to recognize your character and either want credit, or for some reason don’t want me using their photo for my review, just leave me a comment below.)
I post a lot of photos of this game, and other games, on my Instagram account – check it out if you want to see more! But please note, I also post other non-gaming and more personal photos as well so only subscribe if you’re okay with that kinda stuff in your feed as well ^-^. Link: https://www.instagram.com/Xenokitten/
Title: CocoPPaPlay (the Android version is called Star Girl Fashion but it is the same game).
Or Here for Android: (For some reason, it’s called “Star Girl Fashion” here, but same game, even same icon that the Itunes version uses) You can pick it up here: https://play.google.com/…
Overall: 70 / 100 70% C- Good Game for Girls
Concept: 7/10 The concept of CocoPPaPlay is simple – play “gacha” machines or enter monthly events to win new outfits. Outfits consist of different layers, such as eyes(facial expresion), hair, clothes, shoes, hand accessories (purses, stuffed toys, swords, etc), hats, glasses, pets, backgrounds, and other items – This allows you to really fine-tune and make unique avatars. Similar to games like Pokemini (which I reviewed here) or Line Play (review coming soon). However, in my opinion, CocoPPaPlay has less robust features than these two games and operates on more of a pay-to-win model than either of the above games.
Gameplay: 7/10 I covered the basics above: There are a number of “lottery” style games (gacha machines) where you’re awarded an item for your outfit by paying or using a gacha ticket. Gacha tickets only work in a few gacha. Once a week you can use in-game currency (the free kind that you earn by playing) to play one Gacha. This resets on Sundays, so each Sunday, you could, in theory, get a free “paid” item. The problem however, is that it’s insanely expensive. You earn this free currency by “cheering” for people’s “fashion shows”. The problem is, the gacha cost 20,000 of this free currency and you only get 5 to 10 of the currency for each cheer you do. You’d have to cheer 2,000 – 4,000 times to get enough points to get a free item each week – this is insanely time consuming.
To give you an idea, I played it very heavily this past weekend, logging in about once an hour and using up all of my “energy” cheering – which took about 15-20 minutes each hour. I did this each hour from about 9am – 11pm each day Saturday and Sunday – and only earned around 8,000 “smile points” (the in-game, free currency). You’d have to keep this pace up for 4-5 days, without missing a day or hour/wasting your free energy refills, etc. – I also had some free “energy drinks” and since I started a new character (didn’t feel like digging out my ipad to transfer my data), I leveled up many, many, many times from level 1 to 24 within the 2 days, and each time you level up, your energy also refills – so I cheered lots and lots – but obviously, not even close to the amount needed to get to 20,000 smile points!!
I work (as I’m sure a lot of my readers do) so I can’t log in Monday-Friday. So realistically I can only play on weekends – which means I’ll probably take 2-3 weeks to reach the 20,000 smile points necessary. Other games, like Moe can Change and Animal Boyfriend (which I reviewed here) let you play EVERY gacha for free completely free one time – so you always have nice items! I don’t like that CocoPPaPlay forces you to feel like you HAVE to spend money – I spent money willingly one time in Moe can change to get a hairstyle I wanted – but I have thousands of cute clothes for free. Every game should let you get free stuff – Line Play’s gacha’s only cost one to three thousand gems not 20,000!! Making it much easier to earn tickets on the Gacha. I just feel that CocoPPaPlay is greedy in this regard.
Also, let it be known, that they don’t even make their own graphics, they use some type of “free to use” avatar system called “Selphie” which is used by A TON of other games (sadly none in English). There used to be a game called Tinier Me which was in English however, it went out of business some years ago. The “Japanese Tinier Me” still exists as “AtGames” and their “free items” are MUCH nicer than those in CocoPPaPlay which only puts like the worst garbage items in their “shops” For example, in the Japanese Tinier Me (or AtGames) you can get very nice high quality eyes for free/or in game currency. While in CocoPPaPlay you only get “closed eyes” like “n_n” and “^-^” and “x_x” etc for free. I only have 2 models on my new account right now because I’m still trying to win a face for my third model in the Gachas. And that’s another thing, although at level 10 you can dressup 3 characters at once, you can only use an item in your inventory once and can’t reuse it on another model unless you “unequip” it first. Just more evidence of wanting you to pay to play – they could have a default face that you could use/start with but nope.
Okay so I’m done ranting about the pay-to-win gamestyle – let’s move on to some other things now. There are numerous events – most recently they had an Easter event – but basically every event is the same – there will be multiple “quest givers” who request items from you – these items you can earn for free by cheering – you get “lucky tickets” in exchange (and sometimes other items like exclusive limited outfits, energy drinks, etc) – The lucky tickets can be used to try to play the lucky event gacha to win outfits/energy drinks, and/or used to raise your charm level for the event – I recommend trying to max your charm (similar to the events in Dream Girlfriend (which I reviewed here) having high charm lets you get event points and rewards much quicker! Therefore its best to max it out asap). To illustrate, I ranked in the top 5,000 (which is pretty low but in the scheme of things, with 40 million players according to their itunes profile, not bad) within just 2 days of playing, on a brand new account, at the very end of an event. So it’s fairly easy to rank – I think maybe a lot of that “40 million” is inactive or like me, hadn’t logged in in a long time, etc. Either way, it seems most don’t go for the event items, and/or don’t make good use of the charm boost, etc.
There’s also a club feature. You can at any level, any time, and for free, create (or join) a club. You can get bonuses in the events above by having club members where certain items or do certain tasks so clubs are really useful, you can also use them to chat and make friends which gives the game a nice social touch.
There’s a farming minigame, but it’s pretty lame, you sheer sheep. I dunno, I don’t find it that fun, you earn “wool points” and outfits when you discover a new sheep. You discover new sheep by spending wool points to improve your farm and buy new equipment to care for your sheep.
You also can take on quests from NPCs within the game, which when you complete, will add new items to their shops, and unlock new cities to explore, and grant you some free outfits. When a city “levels up” they have a sale with half priced items – but I never buy them – because I’m hoarding all my Smile Points to use in the “weekly free gacha”.
As a “bonus”, there’s another app by the makers of CocoPPaPlay, where you can customize your cellphone, with new icons, background images, wallpapers, lock screens, etc. This other app works best on android – because sadly, apple has a lot of bloatware that you cannot delete or modify – for example, the camera, you can’t change the icon for it on apple, the only work around is to download a 3rd party camera app, and hide your other icon in a folder somewhere. Email is another example, for example, you have to download Gmail, and hide the default mail app. You also can’t change the phone or text icons at all on the apple iphone. But it still makes your phone about 90% cuter – though it also makes your phone a little slower, as it adds an extra step whenever you click on one of the new icons it is only a shortcut to the actual program so you get prompted if you want to open the “page” with the following application. (At least on Iphone.) This other app also acts as a social media site, and if you link up your CocoPPa account to your CocoPPa Play account your avatar is carried over to both apps and appears on your social media wall – you earn some free items in both apps for linking, and can more easily login/retrieve your account by having both apps active.
That about covers it for gameplay. There’s really not much to do – but the limited event items and limited gacha items can be enough to keep you playing (for awhile until you get so frustrated by how long it takes to get a free spin on the Gacha.)
Customization – 10/10 – going on 2 years (they’re having a 2nd anniversary event right now) – the number of items available is incredible, and many items have already retired, rising the demand (unfortunately there’s no trading system (which exists by the way in the Japanese Tinier me lol)) – you get “bragging rights” if you have a super rare/old/obscure item equipped and well, I see this game being around 2-3 years from now, so even if you start playing today, in 2-3 years you too will have those rare items everyone else wants and be admired. I like games like this where they retire items fairly quickly. Pokemini is another example of really time sensitive items. That to me really increases my drive to play these games.
Story: 2/10 – There’s really not much, if any, story – I think there was some type of story presented at the beginning, but it’s so bare bones I forgot it quickly. It’s mostly fetch quests and cheering and there’s also quite a few typos or improper grammar and awkward sentences thrown about in the game.
Characters: 6/10 – Characters get high marks for cuteness – but really have no purpose or substance, other than serving as mascots.
Graphics: 10/10 This game is super cute, the mascot girl who guides you through the story and quests is adorable, and the sheep mascot is also cute and he helps run your club. Your avatar and the items are very nicely drawn and large. a Good variety of items (though most are paid items) and different poses, and the ability to layer many items to create your avatar make this game very very appealing for anyone who loves cute things.
Music: 5/10 – Music is standard mobile type music. It’s cute and catchy, but ultimately only consists of 3 or 4 different tracks which means the more you play it, the more it starts to annoy the heck out of you lol.
Cuteness – 10/10 – to balance out all the negative things I have to say about this game, added this lil bonus in here – the main reason to play this game is because it’s so cute.
Replay Value: 8/10 – It gets repetitive, is super time consuming, and annoyingly “expensive” – but in the end, the lure of those time sensitive items keeps you wanting to press on to replay and get new items. It’s a very item-centric game.
You may want to read the review for Dark Cloud 1 first to get the fullest understanding of the Gameplay mechanics, as a lot of those same mechanics are carried over to Dark Cloud 2.
Dark Cloud 2, like it’s predecessor is an Action-RPG with real-time combat and unique weapon leveling system, procedurally generated dungeons and world and city building gameplay elements.
Title: Dark Cloud 2 (also sometimes referred to by the Japanese title, Dark Chronicle).
Publisher: Level 5
Where to Buy: Playstation Store has Dark Cloud 2 (digital version) for $14.99. Amazon has the physical disc with prices ranging from $32 to $92 at time of this review, depending on the game’s condition. http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Cloud-2… Amazon also has the digital version, the same as the Playstation Store, for $14.99 – accessible from the same amazon link above.
Overall: 77/90 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
Concept: 10/10 The concept of Dark Cloud 2 is very similar to that in Dark Cloud 1. It’s a Dungeon Crawler with randomly generated dungeons and real-time combat. There’s also multiple quick time events. The city and world building elements return in Dark Cloud 2. The weapon system, and the non-leveling characters also return. The game is enhanced with new features such as fishing and character customization through a unique costume system. Combat is improved, and the game is given a much needed makeover with adorable anime style cel-shaded artwork that looks like it came out of a painting or storybook. The Soundtrack is almost double the size of the original, and has some truly amazing tracks. It also adds voice acting to the game which helps highlight key events and scenes. Yep, in every single way, this game is much better than the original – which was already pretty darn great!
Gameplay: 10/10 Dark Cloud 2 takes everything that made Dark Cloud 1 so great, and then adds in some new features as I mentioned above, an improved combat system, a new fishing “minigame”, ability to customize your characters with different costumes, etc. But at the core, it’s still the Dark Cloud that we all know and love from the first game. You crawl through multiple procedurally generated dungeons, in which you will find artifacts called Geostones which when taken back to town, allow you to place objects, people, houses, even landscaping elements into your city. As you add more to your city, you will begin to recruit new npcs which will open new shops, give you new quests, and make your city come to life. The weapon system also makes a return in Dark Cloud 2. In the Dark Cloud series your characters do not level up or have any stats or abilities. Instead, it is their equipment which levels up during combat and can be refined back in town to add attributes and abilities directly into the Equipment. Also as in Dark Cloud 1, If you over-use the equipment and forget to repair it though you will permanently lose the items, which sucks for rare or high powered gear. However, this element of “risk” definitely makes Gameplay more fun and challenging.
Story: 6/10 Dark Cloud 2’s story is a significant improvement over the bare bones story of Dark Cloud 1. But to me it’s still just not “great”. I still think story is a weak point for this series overall. Dark Cloud 2’s story focuses on Time Travel. A Princess from the future is sent 100 years back in time to try to save her kingdom. To do so, she joins forces with our hero, who is able to also Time Travel (to the future). Using their powers combined they can freely go to the past, present, or future. As you make changes in your town, things begin to change in the future also. It’s a unique and fun concept. As the story progresses you travel between the past, present, and future re-writing certain events to prevent a terrible war from taking place while seeking help from the moon people. I just felt overall, the story lacked a lot of heart or emotion which prevents me from being able to score it higher. I enjoy the time travel concept, but just never felt as immersed or connected to the story as I have in many other JRPG.
Characters: 5/10 Here we have fewer playable characters, down to 2 from 6 in the original game. Also both characters are human looking in appearance and no where near as creative looking as in Dark Cloud 1 (a cat girl, moon person, etc). I just felt the characters themselves also, just like in Dark Cloud 1 were rather flat and didn’t engage me right away. I think maybe it’s the way they interact with other characters and overall a lack of character development that really hurt both games in this series.
Graphics: 8/10 The graphics are a tremendous step up from those in the first game. Gone are the grainy textures and poor lighting. Also gone is the more realistic art style. Instead we have adorable anime inspired cel-shaded artwork. I did deduct 2 points because the characters facial expressions and animations felt stiff as is often a problem with 3d games especially from this time period. Overall I feel Dark Cloud 2 is adorable, and beautiful to look at. Dark Cloud 1 looked more like a PS1 game, while Dark Cloud 2, clearly took full advantage of the PS2 Hardware. It’s not as beautiful and fluid as say, Dawn of Mana, which is another PS2 game that utilizes similar cel-shaded art styles, but it’s very attractive in it’s own right, and the added touch of being able to customize the characters with various costumes really made the game’s art stand out even more.
Music: 10/10 The soundtrack to Dark Cloud 2 has nearly 80 unique tracks (up from the 40-ish tracks in the original game.). Some of these tracks are amazing. It is really a hidden gem among retro JRPG soundtracks. The game is relatively obscure, but I’d rank Dark Cloud 2’s music right up there with other great JRPG such as Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger.
Voice Acting: 10/10 No expense was spared in localizing this game. Although I’m not really a fan of dubbed voice overs, most of the ones in Dark Cloud 2 are fairly decent. And it’s nice to have Voice Acting added to help highlight key scenes in the story. The game featured almost every high profile voice actor of the 90s.
Replay Value: 8/10 Still a linear (and not great) story, but with a plethora of new gameplay additions, enhanced combat, and already addictive and unique world/city building elements, the randomness of the dungeons, and great music score – this is a game that you will definitely want to replay.