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.
The sequel to KLab’s smash hit Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars takes it to the next level with fully animated Live2D characters that dance around on the screen.
Like its predecessor, Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars is a card collecting rhythm game with cute anime girls to collect.
The new installment in Love Live has a few key differences from the original, most notably is the animation. There’s also costumes you can unlock for your girls to wear and a new voltage gameplay system that allows you to score more points.
The key elements are the same with perhaps more focus on story this time around. You play through the story to unlock new songs. You train your girls and level them up and unlock new skills with a branching skill path for each character.
The girls are back and cuter than ever with the addition of the full body animated dance routines and new cards to collect.
As always the game is fully voiced and the focus is on singing. I could be wrong but I think each voice actress records each song because it sounds like the vocals changed when I had different girls in the center, especially on solo songs. That’s a lot of dedication if that’s correct and it adds some new variation on some of our favorite love live songs. Again could be wrong but sounded that way to me unless it’s my imagination.
The enhanced visuals and enhanced voice acting and addition of costumes and a skill tree for your characters really adds a lot to the new game.
Who’s your favorite waifu? Mine is still Kotori but my best card right now is Mari.
Overall Score: 82/90 91% A- Excellent Game For Girls
Geeky: 5/5 – geeks will love the enhanced visuals and more challenging game play with additions like skill unlocking and branching skill trees
Sweetie: 5/5 – Girls will love the adorable characters and colorful graphics and enhanced focus on story
Overview: 10/10 – All stars retains much of what made LLSIF such a success and enhances it with all new animation and gameplay elements.
Story: 4/10 – Although there is more focus on the story, it’s still not really very interesting – I read the first 2 chapters and now just skip through all of the stories.
Characters: 10/10 – all of your favorite idols from U’s and Aquours return joined by an all new group of girls from Nijigasaki High School. And now they’re cuter than ever
Gameplay: 8/10 – Gameplay is enhanced by letting you train your idols in new ways, with special ability slots that force you to pick and choose which skills to allow your girls to lean, and a branching skill tree that allows you to control how your girls grow. There’s also new dressup elements and a few new gameplay elements within the live shows, like the new voltage gauge. Gameplay however at times does still become very repetitive. I go through phases of wanting to play every day and then not touching it for weeks.
Music: 10/10 – many of your favorite songs return plus a few new songs have been added as well.
Voice acting 10/10 – all of the girls voices are so cute, and I think that perhaps the vocals of the songs change depending who you have equipped in your center stage. Or it seemed that way to me. If true, that’s a lot of time spent recording different versions of each song, plus all of the story dialogue.
Kawaii 10/10: Love Live is one of the cutest games/anime out there and my personal favorite game characters to cosplay as because they’re just so cute
Replay Value: 10/10 – There are many events with limited release cards and really no end to this game which gives it great replay value.
Overall Score: 82/90 91% A- Excellent Game For Girls
I just started playing Sweet Dance, a pretty cute mobile game with a variety of music hits from around the world. Songs include English hits from the US and Europe as well as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese tracks.
The game has several different dance modes. In the first dance mode, bubble mode, you must simply tap the bubbles on the screen. In Trail mode you must tap left, right, or both sides of your screen depending on the colors of the bubbles. Pink is Right. Blue is left. Yellow is both. The beginning mandatory tutorial only makes you play Bubble mode so I was confused when I played Trail mode but eventually figured it out. There’s also a beat mode which is like DDR for your fingers. In beat mode you must quickly punch in a sequence of arrow movements and then lock in your sequence at the right time with the beat button (The right time is when the red dot is near the white line).
You can dance alone or with friends or random people. There’s also a couples dance mode where your score is combined with a partner.
It’s a very social game too with features like a guild and global chat rooms and private messaging. There’s even a marriage system in the game.
Most of the players seem quite young. Ive seen the majority seem to be 12-16. I’m 38 and I haven’t seen many other 30 year olds lol. It makes me feel a little awkward lol. If you’re 30 plus send me a message let’s be dance friends lol .
So I saved the best part for last, it’s also a kawaii Dressup game. Some items are temporary lasting only days, but others are permanent and it’s not that hard to get permanent items. I played only one day and never spent real money and already have permanent shoes, hair, and my sweet dress with wings. All permanent. And totally free to play.
There’s lots of events and ways to get free items by completing quests or exchange tickets for egg plumes or weekly free wishes in the fountains that grant rare items too.
I’ve been playing a new mobile Dressup game called CocoPPa Dolls. As its name suggests it is by the creator of CocoPPa Play although this new title plays a lot more like Love Nikki or Romantic Diary than CocoPPa Play.
The gameplay is simple. You play Gacha to get new items for your avatar to wear. Some Gacha are time limited and some have rare items and others are always available with less rare items.
Ok so I know what you’re thinking. That sounds just like CocoPPa Play but that’s about when the similarities end.
From here you have a few different unique features… Let’s look at them briefly. Pictures may not be related to the text here I’m just sharing cute screenshots I took while playing.
The game progresses through a story mode. The basics of the story are that you are a model known as a CocoPPa Doll and your performances help bring Tokimeki back into the world which was lost when a meteor shower struck the earth killing a large population of people including special princesses whose Tokimeki kept the world balance and people happy. You are a pure hearted novice girl who has a recurring dream about someone calling her to become such a princess. Only the best models can become Princesses. And so your training begins. You travel to various planets and each planet is ruled by its own princess.
Each chapter of the story has you perform a fashion check where you are asked to wear items focusing on 2 attributes. Items have attributes like cute, pure, sexy, gorgeous, just to name a few. There are many item types such as face, hair, earrings, necklace, shirts, bottoms (pants or skirts), dresses, shoes, hats, backgrounds, frames, etc. just to name a few.
As you clear each chapter you unlock new items. Some are given as rewards, while others are just added to the store or atelier. In the store you can purchase new items and at the Atelier you can combine items and recipes to craft new items.
Some chapters are locked and require a specific amount of Tokimeki to continue. You earn Tokimeki by performing on stage. Fans come to the stage as you progress through the story. You can repeat previously cleared chapters to find more items and attract more fans.
You also have the ability to create or join a unit, which is like a guild and take place in special unit missions and events.
Each day you will be placed in a random team for the Stage, the stage theme is reset every three hours and you can select your outfit with an option to automatically choose the best scoring items. The higher your score the more Tokimeki you have and you can help your team mates cheer for fans; if you do well you earn ranking coins that can be used for special item redemption. I’m not clear yet if these items are always available or sometimes cycled out with different rewards.
Of course there are special cash only items too. I’ve bought two of them but they’re completely optional. You don’t need to spend money on this game. I just wanted them because they were cute.
The game is absolutely adorable and I’m hooked. It doesn’t take much time, 15 minutes a day maybe. The characters are fully animated and there are so many endless possibilities for dressing up. If you love games like Helix Waltz, Love Nikki, or Romantic Diary, you will love CocoPPa Dolls too!
Happy New Years! I thought it’d be fun to celebrate the new year by counting down the 20 best girl games released between 2000 – 2020. Before we can start the countdown we need to talk about what makes a good girl game anyways? I have talked about this before on my site, but incase you are new to my site, here’s a recap.
First let me start by saying, I target a niche audience, girls (and guys) who like a certain type of games – In general, young females prefer these types of games more than men, but there are men who play these games too, and likewise, there are girls who don’t enjoy these games and prefer more violent action games that we see a lot of young men playing. My website kinda over generalizes things, because it’s just simpler for me to focus a very small target audience.
So what is a girl game? Yes, there are “Otome Games” which literally means “Games for Girls” these are visual novels where the protagonist is a female and pursues male love interests. There are also Yuri games where the protagonist is female and pursues female love interests. But that’s only one small – very small – type of games that I write about on my site.
In my opinion most girls want the following things from their games:
Story is king – girls want to stimulate their minds, more than their reflexes. We want to feel an emotional connection to the characters, we want a story full of mystery, drama, romance, fantasy, and likable and interesting characters.
Graphics are important but in a different way than “guy games” – Girls want to play “cute” games, probably with anime graphics, while most guys want photo-realistic 3D. Most girls actually prefer 2D, especially with newer technologies like cell shading or Live2D which can make a 3D character look like a 2D character. Girls don’t want to play an ugly game. Girls want cute characters – especially if they can customize the characters – which is another point later – they want beautiful environments, not drab grey, brown, green, blah blah looking landscapes. We prefer cute colors, either bright, or pastel, feminine colors that look cute, fanciful, and vibrant.
Gameplay is still important – a game is only good if it has great gameplay – which is why I say visual novels and the like are only a small percentage of games girls play, because unless you’re just in the mood to read a book, they aren’t that engaging. Girls still care about gameplay, but maybe in a different way than guys. We want games that offer a variety of experiences.
For example, one of the new games I got for Christmas is Fire Emblem Three Houses, and I can also compare this to an old game series called Suikoden. What is similar? Well outside of combat, there are many, many, many activities, from cooking, to dating, to recruiting team members, to training new skills, to talking to various characters.
Each also offers some additional gameplay perks. In suikoden you can build a castle, and in Fire Emblem Three Houses, you’re a teacher, and set a lesson plan, and go to things like choir practice, or attend seminars hosted by other teachers, etc.
It has like these “Life Simulation” elements, along side some hard battles – traditionally in Fire Emblem if a character dies in a fight, like reaches zero HP – that’s it, they are gone forever, even main characters / story characters – but in this version, there is an option to turn off the perma death if you choose.
The fights are grid based, and require a lot of strategy. There are many, many classes your characters can become, each with distinct tactical advantages and disadvantages. A lot of mental stimulation here, even in the combat.
Like I said, girls still care about gameplay, and a game with great gameplay AND a great story, is going to trump a game, that just has one or the other.
Girls want games that allow them to express themselves somehow. The more various ways of self expression the better. Some examples include, extensive character creation tools, character customization, dressup / fashion options, costumes, etc, games that let you choose the gender of the character, things like skin color, hair style and color, eye color, sliders to adjust everything from body size, to how far the eyes are from each other, to lip size, to hair length, chin shape, cheekbone height, etc. But it goes beyond just characters too – Girls like games that let them build and play in the world in which they live, building a town, a city, or even just decorating a room.
This brings us to the next point, Girls want a game where decisions matter. Girls want to be able to influence the story and what happens to the characters. This makes us feel that we are actually part of the game, and not just watching from the side lines. It also increases replay value, which I think can be universally valued by both guys and girls.
This can be done in a number of ways, like the visual novels and Otome games which drive story with prompts that ask you to respond to certain characters, or through gameplay such as chronotrigger, where your choices – even minor ones – led to different outcomes – like eating the old man’s chicken, etc. Or games like Torment, Dragon Age, and Witcher that focus on freedom of choice and create a game where almost no two playthrus are ever the same.
Lastly, girls care about music and voice acting. We want an immersive experience, and music and well cast voice actors can help draw you further into the world. It can convey emotions, create suspense, create calm, or sadness. Music is a universal language and just takes that game to the next level.
Ok, now that you know what I feel is important in a good “girl’s game” – here’s my 20 favorite girl games, of the past 2 decades.
Catherine Full Body – PS4
This game is a remake of Catherine on PS3 – which also fits this list as it was released in 2011. There is going to be some head scratching as to why this is given the number one spot on our list. Especially since it deals with some suggestive themes and sexual content. I am no feminist, and I don’t really mind seeing sexual or suggestive content in my games. I don’t find it demeaning or offensive to women, but I know there are women who would be offended by this game or some of the other games on this list because of this. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this game has all of the ear marks of what makes a good girls game. It has a great story, it has choice and consequence, it has cute/beautiful anime graphics, it has good gameplay – although there’s other games on this list that trump one or another aspect here, but when viewed in whole, this game does not miss a single mark. Other games may have better story, or better gameplay, but then they may lack in another area, which lowers their overall score. Catherine – the first one – I haven’t gotten around to finishing and reviewing Full Body yet – anyways the first one is the highest scoring game on my site so far. It has a 96% A. “Excellent Game For Girls!” rating – almost a perfect 100! Read my review of Catherine here.
2. School Days HQ
Alright, I know this is weird, because this is a hentai game – flat out, porn game. But actually, it’s a pretty damn good game! Like Catherine, it has the great cell-shaded anime graphics that is like PLAYING an “anime” more than “watching an anime” or “playing a game” – and Yes, it has sex, and kink, and perversion – but…. not that much? This is a long ass game. And there’s like probably 80+ hours of gameplay/story, of which the sex scenes – ALL added together equal MAYBE 4 hours? or less? of that 80 hours. The story is actually really good. The graphics aren’t quite as good as Catherine, and the game is a fair bit older – from 2005 – HQ was maybe a few years later, around same time as Catherine maybe like 2012? – Either way still eligible for this list. And most of all – it is admittedly lacking any gameplay whatsoever aside from choice and consequence, because it is a visual novel. Whereas Catherine has the awesome puzzles and side scrolling type gameplay, in addition to minigames and the visual novel elements. School Days HQ is really lacking any gameplay – but it is just… this weird… interactive anime experience. There’s even opening and ending songs between chapters – wtf? lol. If you love anime, then you’re gonna love School Days HQ – if you hate porn or are easily offended though then obviously skip this one. The characters are likable, the story is sad, dramatic, suspenseful. Like Catherine, it’s a love triangle at heart. Now one of the weird things about this game are all of the bad endings – so many bad endings – that’s kinda what this game is famous for. But maybe it’s because I’m a girl and I know how to treat a girl, and just play it how I’d want a guy to treat me, but come on!!! It’s not THAT hard. Don’t be a dick and you’ll be fine LOL. There are numerous happy endings too!! In fact, I played multiple times and never saw those bad endings – I forget how many endings there are – but it’s like some INSANE amount – there are many many happy endings – for EACH girl – instead of just one “good ending” there’s also like I said many bad endings – I don’t think I’ve finished all of the endings – It’s good – it’s not the best visual novel story wise, but that anime experience – with the opening and ending songs, and how it’s like fully animated and not just still images – it’s so different from most visual novels…. Really if you like visual novels and don’t mind some hentai scenes – really it’s worth playing. I know it’s weird to be on my list – but there’s just nothing else like it. Check it out if you want – you can always kinda just click past all the porn scenes too if you want. The game is cute, the story’s good, characters good, your choices actually have a lot of impact on the game – oh and you’re timed too, sometimes choosing nothing is the “correct” choice, in that way I guess it does have some gameplay, but yeah that’s the only flaw really is no gameplay. You can read my review of School Days HQ here.
3. Detroit Become Human
I am absolutely in love with this game. I am fascinated by androids and such stories in general. Like most tales of androids, the game presents a story about what rights if any, should artificial intelligence have, and if artificial intelligence is capable of free thought and human emotion – and obviously right now today in the year 2020, that answer is still a hard no. But who knows what the future will bring? This game is set just a few years in the future, in a world where androids are ubiquitous in human society. They work, or run errands, while their human owners, enjoy more engaging activities. But there’s this one old man, who treats his robot as if it was his own son. He encourages his robot to explore arts, from painting, to music, to other things that typically only humans do. It seems the robot also lovingly takes care of the man whose health is failing. They really seem like a family. While at the opposite end of that spectrum, a man has several robot servants who he mistreats and abuses, to the point of being akin to domestic violence, he beats the hell out of one of the robots, to where it has to go back to the factory for repairs. Across the city, the people are divided, but most feel threatened by the robots who have taken their jobs, and a revolution is about to happen pitting robot vs human as robots take a stand for human rights… I love this story – but ultimately what happens in the story is up to YOU! whose side will you take, robot or man? Your choices determine the fate of the characters, including permadeath, who lives or dies, will they have equal rights, or be deemed not human enough for equality. I sided with robots, because I love robots, but you don’t have to – you can choose to help squash the robot rebellion. Your choices determine everything in this game. You can also choose pacifism or aggression with different good and bad endings. I chose pacifism and love. But you can pick your own path. The graphics are good, and freedom of choice, exploration, and story, also great. This is my favorite game of the last few years for sure. Absolutely love this game. With all my heart! The game is now only like $14 oh and it’s also coming out on PC soon – so if you haven’t played it yet – please check it out – it’s such a great game. I have never cared more for another character or felt so involved in a story. It’s so emotional and beautiful. A great game! Check out my review of Detroit Become Human here.
4. Secret of Mana 3 – Trials of Mana
Ok so this is a little bit of a “trick” because the original game is too old for this list, but thanks to a new telling of Secret of Mana 3 on Nintendo Switch it was again released to a new generation of gamers. – I haven’t actually yet played Trials of Mana, but Secret of Mana 3 is my favorite Secret of mana game. The original release on Super Nintendo never made it over to North America – I imported it – even though I can’t read Japanese – which admittedly, with an RPG takes a huge amount of fun and purpose away from playing it – I imported a few other games back in the 90s as well – like Tales of Phantasia and Secret of Blue water (yes based on the anime) to name a few. – Anyways for whatever reason, Squaresoft decided not to bring Secret of Mana 3 to us back in the 90s – and instead we got a game that they did not get in Japan called Secret of Evermore – which I actually also really enjoy (even though for some reason it was a flop and a lot of people dislike it). – Anyways so all of these years, one of, if not THE, best title in the mana series has remained as a Japan only title – but it was eventually fan translated – and I played that years ago too and loved that!! But now — it finally like 2 decades later – has an official real english release by Squaresoft on the Nintendo Switch – I haven’t played it yet – I know it’s not a direct port – I don’t think so anyways? I think it’s been remastered and some changes made over the past 2 decades to bring it more “up to speed” so to speak for a new generation. So what made Secret of Mana 3 so great? It had high replay value, great characters, great story, and fun gameplay. You pick 3 characters and see the story told through their eyes, and which 3 you pick kinda influence some parts of the story, some pair together better than others, but there’s no wrong or right way to play. This is similar to some other squaresoft games that largely remained in Japan aside from a few releases here or there, such as Romance Saga and Live Alive. There’s also a class system like Final Fantasy 5. There are a total of 5 different classes for each character – maybe more in the new nintendo switch version. I haven’t even watched a video or looked at screenshots yet of this title, but I assume it has a number of enhancements over the 1995 SNES title. I think the new nintendo switch version has new graphics and additional story elements and other improvements too. It’s on my must buy list for sure after I finish some other games first. Check out my review of Secret of Mana 3 here.
5. Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side
For this, I’m lumping the whole series together – it is hands down my all time favorite Visual Novel / Otome Game / Dating Sim / Whatever you want to call it. – The first installment was from 2002 – which just barely qualifies it for our list – but still works – and there’s been additional installments since then. – NONE of which have ever been released outside of Japan – Come on Konami!!! Can’t you see there’s a market here??? All of your competitors are on board bringing Otome games, visual novels, dating sims, over seas. More and more and more lately – The past decade this genre has EXPLODED – thanks in part to smart phones – but also taking hold on PC and consoles too. – But the best ever Otome game still only remains in Japan.
But thanks to some really dedicated fans – you can play these games in English!!! – The patches have been around for a few years now – thankfully!
What I love about this game – let me count the ways lol. The customization, fashion dressup elements when you go out on dates. The characters, the cute anime art style, the life simulation elements, the story (all be it a lil bland / generic), just everything – not only do you date characters, but you have female friends, you have a job!! and you go to school, you join clubs, you have to take tests, you have to raise your stats – there’s more meat to this game, there’s holidays and special events, there’s all kinds of things, I love it soooo much because of the gameplay variety and it’s soooo much more than just clicking through a story and making some choices, and it’s not just about the romance, you’re living life as a school girl doing allllll the things that the school girls do. It’s much more than just a dating sim or just a visual novel. And your choices matter a lot! Everything from what your room looks like, how you dress, how you respond to characters, how you spend your free time, what clubs you join, what you study, who you hang out with. There are numerous endings and story paths, you can have jealous female friends, jealous male friends, you can have love triangles, just all kinds of delicious drama lol. And the story is cute, the cannon characters are usually like childhood friends, but there’s a huge variety of characters, from bad biker boys, to shy flower boys, to teacher pets, hell you can even date your teacher! lol. I am not even close to all of the endings or all of the routes on ANY of these games. I’ve gone for 2 or 3 characters on each one and that’s it. That makes me want to dig it out and play it again RIGHT NOW lol. It stands the test of time because of huge replay value. It is a long ass game though and I think it is lacking a skip function – so it has a few small flaws, but really – just play it. It’s the best. If you’re gonna play an Otome Game, might as well play this one, there aren’t any better Otome games out there!! Check out my review of Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side here.
6. Chrono Trigger
Ok so again this one is a bit of a “trick” – The original game was released in 1995 making it too old for our list here, – but it was ported to mobile and then to PC within the last few years – which technically qualifies it a spot here – and while millions of people are ENRAGED by this port and consider it to be the scum of the internet — I have to say… I disagree… Others also disagree because it’s rated “Very Positively” on steam – but I’ve read some people just SLAM this game and SLAM Squaresoft for this game so hard – and I am willing to say – I still love this game. And at time of this post, it is 50% off on Steam.
So yes, there are some obvious flaws. An ugly UI, some major pixel and texture issues going on, some hard to read text, etc…
But… needless to say… the game itself… is one of the greatest games of all time. With something like 16 endings – and where every choice counts – even when you aren’t aware you’re even making a choice – see that’s the beauty of it – it’s not like a visual novel – The game is more action packed and the way Chrono Trigger handles choice and consequence is with subtlety and Grace.
The story is one of the highlights of game. In this time travelling tale we encounter the butterfly effect. Changing something in the past, inevitably influences things in the present and future. And the more you go back to try to right what you may have wronged, the more messed up things tend to become.
The characters are memorable, the music is absolutely amazing, and the game is very unique. Despite the obvious flaws of the port, I would still recommend you play this game. If this was the ONLY way you had to experience the game — then I’d still say it’s better than 99% of any other games available on the market today — bad port and all. Check out my review of Chrono Trigger here.
7. Ever17 The Out of Infinity
This little obscure gem here is from 2002, just barely making it eligible for our list. The game was given an official English release – but it is now almost impossible to find because it was sadly before the days of digital distribution.
This visual novel is so great because it is a complete and utter mind fuck. So are the other games in this series – Remember11 and Never7. Those two titles never received an official English release but they have been fan translated by the visual novel community. I feel like Ever17 is the strongest of the 3.
You spend countless hours playing through each route – to unlock the true ending – a concept pretty familiar to those who play visual novels…
But… the true ending completely takes the game, turns it upside down on its head, and puts a whole new perspective on the last 120+ hours you’ve probably spent on the game… But in a good and unique and refreshing way I guess….
Coming in at number 8, we have the 2005 somewhat underground hit, Steambot Chronicles. – There was also going to be a sequel that was cancelled along with many other games due to the devastating Tokyo tsunami in 2011.
This is one of my favorite games for so many reasons. The music which is a highlight of the game, included several vocal tracks which were used as plot devices and directly related to the story. You could ride in giant mecha, you could customize said mech with new parts and upgrades, and you could directly influence the story, being good or evil if you so wished. There were dressup-game elements, and a personality quiz that determined some dialogue choices in the game. This game is just… everything. It has all of the ear markings of what I consider to be a great girl’s game. It has the story, it has the customization, it has the freedom of choice, it has the music, the gameplay. What more could you want? Highly recommend.
Ok so Lunar has forever been my all-time favorite game series. (Although Persona is such a close second that sometimes the two switch between favorite and second favorite). Working Designs will forever and always be my all-time favorite Game Publisher and I own nearly every single one of their works (except for the turbo graffix ones as I never owned that console).
This is another “trick” obviously as Lunar was released way back in the early 90s. But — It was remade… again and again and again and again… With the most recent one in 2010. Even after Working Designs – the publisher of the North American version – sadly heart breakingly shuttered their doors – other Publishers have stepped up to bring us these fine new entries into the world of Lunar.
I think I prefer Lunar Eternal Blue – ever so slightly – over Lunar Silver Star – although Ghaleon is my favorite fictional character of all time – and he has a bigger role in Silver Star – but the key for me – is Lucia and Hiro’s sweet love story – although Alex and Luna’s love story is also pretty darn great. Lucia and Hiro however stand out more in my mind – especially in the epilogue – stay until after the credits people for like an additional 6 hours of gameplay – not just a quick video clip – lol. The epilogue changes the story completely – I think most people are well aware of the epilogue now – but maybe some people may not realize it and just shut their console off after reaching the credits.
The only reason this isn’t higher on my list is I try and look at flaws – and rank games, not based on my personal enjoyment or how great they are – but based on what – if anything – they are lacking – and sadly, the gameplay is…. not great? I mean it was normal back in the 90s – but this game is turn based, rpg combat, no customization, no classes, no freedom, linear, no branching plot, just, super vanilla…
Story wise and character wise – Lunar reigns supreme – and probably always will for me – maybe in part to nostalgia or some other factors – but no – seriously – really…. the story is….. just so incredible. It’s emotional, it’s engaging, it’s surprising, it’s shocking, it’s funny, it’s witty, it’s charming. I think the story and characters for me – make it my fave game. And the world is so damn detailed, full of so much lore, back story, they really went all out, on the history of the world, and created almost a whole mythological society, with religion and culture, and traditions, all crafted just as a setting and backdrop to the real story.
I still want to see a game some day about the original 4 heroes where you play as Dyne, Ghaleon, Mel, (and forgive me I’ve forgotten the last one, pretty sure it was a female).
I’m pretty sure we’ll never get that game now – I don’t even know if it ever crossed their mind to make such a game but I always had this desire to see a game like that and I can’t be the only one whose thought that would make a great game – but sadly I don’t think we’ll see a Lunar 3 ever now – as I’m pretty sure Game Arts went out of business long ago. The last Game Arts game I’m aware of was Grandia II back in 2015. You can read my review of Lunar here.
10. Norn9 Var Commons
This was one of the very first commercially available English Otome Games on the market. It’s still one of the best. It has some major gameplay flaws though. Visual Novels as a whole lack any gameplay beyond like reading a goosebumps book and turning to the page matching your answer. But Idea Factory games seems to dumb down the gameplay even further by having you lock into a route and making every choice wrong or right, if you don’t answer every single minute tiny question exactly right – well you’re screwed and get the bad ending.
I still never fully finished Norn9 Var Commons. It is a long game, with 3 different female protagnists to play as and several guys to romance, and you have to get all of the good endings to unlock the true ending.
The concepts of time travel and mystery and suspense I think really set the game apart from most other Otome games that focus more on just slice of life stuff.
I enjoyed the story – and still want to play more to answer some burning questions and suspicions that I still have.
So Persona has been around for a long time with the first installment actually back on PS1 – and still with new installments in the works like Persona 5 S – which has not been given an official release date yet but which will be available on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
These games are great in terms of story and characters – and also equally great in terms of gameplay – you forge bonds with monsters you fight in dungeons to recruit them as Personas, you can then mix Personas together to create new Personas, with hundreds of different combinations.
Similar to other games on our top 10 list, you go to school, join clubs, participate in activities, and go on dates, the bonds you forge and choices you make sometimes cause you to see different parts of the game, and you can never see it all in a single play through, like if you choose to join one club, you lose access to the others, and you only have so many “game days” in which to spend your time. What you do with said time is up to you – will you go fight in the dungeons, will you work a part time job, will you go to club activities, or even go on a date. There’s holidays and special events too.
The story is more or less linear with a few different scenes changing based on your choices. Your choices don’t influence much, but they do influence some, how the characters respond to you, and what little cutscenes you will see.
The last “real” Suikoden game was back in 2006… almost 15 years ago now… There were a few spinoffs but the gameplay was vastly different ranging from puzzle games to visual novels, and not the typical gameplay we’ve come to love of Suikoden.
Konami makes a lot of bad decisions…. and I do not think we will ever see Suikoden 6… although fan rumors persist everywhere – even as recently as a few months ago.
I think Suikoden 2 was my favorite, but I have really enjoyed them all. As I mentioned way back at the begining of this long post – I have been playing Fire Emblem 3 Houses – I have not played (m)any Fire Emblem Games (for some reason – I dunno why, hmm, just never really got into the series I guess). – But as I’m playing this one – I’m feeling all kinds of nostalgia and keep reminiscing about Suikoden for some reason – as the two games bear a lot of similarities.
In Suikoden you can cook, you can build your own city, you can fish, gamble, play various mini games, and yeah, there are some characters that die. I cried. I laughed. I loved all of the characters – and damn there’s a lot of them… 108 stars of destiny.
You can only take like 6 of them with you into combat at a time, but there’s also massive huge scale wars, once again like Fire Emblem, where you need everyone to be kinda leveled up to defend your castle.
So yeah, if you like Suikoden, you’ll probably like Fire Emblem, because the gameplay is pretty darn similar in a lot of ways! I have surprisingly, not reviewed this game yet. Or at least I can’t find it – I swear I reviewed Suikoden 2… lol. I’ll do a review soon – but I’ll probably review Fire Emblem 3 Houses first because that’s what I’m playing currently.
13. Fire Emblem
So I guess if I’m gonna include Suikoden, I might as well include Fire Emblem. I’m really loving this game so far – I’m only 6 hours in. I’d only ever played one other Fire Emblem game – on a handheld device – it was not the immensely hugely popular successful Fire Emblem Awakening nor was it Fates – It may have been Shadow Dragon, – I dunno. Whatever one it was before it was not for me – I played maybe 2 hours and that was it. When Awakening got so much attention – be it good (such as glowing reviews, high sales, popularity) – or bad (an example of the bad is heavy censorship) – I admit I did begin to want to play the series then – But I had a lot going on in real life, and a lot of other hobbies and games and things vying for my attention – so here I am just now, almost a year after its release, playing the first Nintendo Switch entry into Fire Emblem – and it’s great. It really is.
There is a really great story, with freedom of choice (although it’s somewhat debatable how much choice you actually have – at least there’s some choice, the largest being which house you will teach.) And very strategic combat with a lot of options for how to build your characters into different classes – but also very fun slice of life activities – that make it a great girls game too. You’re a teacher in this newest installment and you create lesson plans and can do things like choir practice or eating lunch with your students. Neat! Gameplay shines, Story shines, If I was further into this it might even rank higher up my list.
14. Atelier Series
The Atelier series is one of my faves. I love crafting, and the cute anime graphics. Each one has unique characters and different stories. Gameplay is largely the same in each version – however, there was one on Nintendo DS, that everyone seemed to hate and I really really enjoyed that had completely different gameplay. – There are a ton of Atelier games – and I’ve only played maybe 4? of them. There’s probably like 20+ of them. I feel like they’re running it into the ground, but also, always happy to hear another one has been released, I sometimes feel the story is slow, and that’s the only reason I don’t buy more / play more / or rank this game higher – however, just making our top 20 list proves it’s one of the best games for girls in the world.
15. Animal Crossing
Who here’s excited for new horizons?! I see COUNTLESS people getting Nintendo Switch JUST for this game – seriously over christmas, the animal crossing groups on Facebook were exploding with kids bragging about getting a switch – and others asking if they should get a switch, for the game. Meanwhile, it is a popular mobile game, and also popular retro game – we have people who still play the old installments because the game NEVER ends – ever… you can always sit down and play in the open word, crafting, designing, fishing, hunting (bugs), gardening, gathering and collecting items, dressing your character, and all of the cute characters, bright colors, and adorable graphics make it the perfect game for girls. This game is zen, it’s about relaxation, and there’s no time limits, or any real concept that you have to do something or should do something, it’s just about enjoying your life in the game. This makes it unlike really any other game out there – except maybe something like Minecraft – which isn’t nearly as cute or colorful as this. You can check out my review of the mobile game version of Animal Crossing here.
16. Stardew Valley
So Stardew Valley is kinda sorta like an Indie Harvest Moon – while Harvest Moon has generally been on the decline, Stardew Valley is a huge success. I played it quite a bit, but ultimately I got kinda bored because the dialogue is rather bland and repeats a lot and the characters just aren’t really very likable to me – but the gameplay is really great especially if you’re a fan of Harvest Moon. You take care of a farm, and different seasons allow you to work with different crops or different livestock, you take care of your house, upgrade your farm tools, and eventually yes you get married, and maybe even have some kids. You can cook, and there are festivals, and all of that. Like I said, it’s basically like Harvest Moon. – Because of that, 16 and 17 are pretty interchangeable on my list here. Stardew Valley now has multiplayer and the fact that Stardew Valley was made by just ONE person, and is still constantly receiving updates – makes it slightly more impressive than Harvest Moon. You Can Read My Review Of Stardew Valley Here.
17. Harvest Moon
If we’re going to give props to Stardew Valley, we have to give respect to Harvest Moon – in fact, I find the dialogue in Harvest Moon and characters to be a little bit more interesting than Stardew Valley, but that varries from Game to Game. Harvest Moon has had several installments over the years, and some are definitely better than others – but all and all – each one has that unique fun farming simulation gameplay. Harvest Moon was the first to create this type of game.
The sims is one of my favorite games – but only when I have cc (custom content) made by other players – because the base game is so friggin ugly — but with custom content – of which there’s hundreds if not thousands of things – from hair styles, to skin tones, to dresses, to eyes, makeup, toys, furniture, etc. – the game becomes beautiful and fun and exciting. It’s another one of those super open ended relaxing games – with so much freedom of choice, freedom of self expression – you can date, marry, have children, who inherit your traits, both physical, and personality wise, you can have jobs, have parties, have pets, the pets can breed and have babies, you can have roommates, have friends, go on vacation, explore the city, go to night clubs, go to restaurants, go to university – just my god, the possibilities are endless. But for some reason, after a bit, they get boring, I haven’t played a Sims game in 2+ years now. but I also ALWAYS end up going back to them time and time again. I would only ever recommend playing these on the PC and with lots of custom content. Otherwise the choices for character customization are ugly and not nearly as diverse.
19. Dragon Age
One of my favorite PC games of all times, lots of things to do, and your choices definitely matter. From different starting characters/stories, to different plot points, the choices you make have a great influence on how the story plays out. I find this game to be much more fun than traditional visual novels and other choice based games. Witcher is another good example of these types of games – I prefer Dragon Age a bit more – but Witcher is good too – but not good enough to get my next spot on my top 20 list. If I had to squeeze it in though it’d probably go right about here with Dragon Age, the two games are very similar, and which one you like more is just a matter of preference.
Pokemon has to get a spot on our list somewhere. Although the games get repetitive and boring fast due to really any sense of story – the cute characters and fun “gotta catch em all” mentality make for a great addictive gaming experience. Most of the recent forays into the series include the ability to play as a female and many dressup and character customization options as well. The cute graphics and adorable pokemon continue to steal the hearts of new generations of gamers each year.
So there you have it – that’s my top 20 games of the past 20 years – did your favorites make my list? If not then what’s your favorite game of the past 20 years?
There’s been so many great games – but my favorite decade for gaming is still the 90s – although in the last 5-10 years especially we’ve seen a lot of otome games and visual novels come out and for that I’m grateful.
There’s been a lot of other really really great games for girls on console, PC and mobile, but unfortunately my list only included an in depth look at my top 20.
In no particular order, here’s a list of some honorable mentions:
Torment – yes the original was before 2000, by one year, but there has been remastered versions and even sequels released since then
Rune Factory – a spin off of Harvest Moon
Zelda – my favorite Zelda is still a link to the past from back in the 90s, but the newer installments are great too
Clannad – and other visual novels by KEY – my favorite KEY novel is AIR.
Tsukihime – my first and probably favorite visual novel – it had horrible artwork but great characters and a great story – to my knowledge, the remake is still in works – but it’s been in works for like 6+ years and not much news is ever shared of it. The story is the best of any visual novel I’ve played – I have never seen the anime and I hear it’s garbage – but the novel was great. Super thankful to the fan translators who tackled such a huge script.
Life is Strange – I have not played the sequel yet – but the original game is one of my faves.
Shout Out To some of my favorite mobile games (dressup games, otome games, visual novels) In no particular order:
Mr Love Queen’s Choice
Anything by NTT Solmare – love you guys – keep giving us more please – my favorite is Wizardess Heart.
Anything by Voltage – even though you have to pay for most of their stuff
Anything by Ciagram – another great publisher of English Otome games
Idol M@ster – wish they’d bring it out in English
Ensemble Stars – also wish it was in English
Show By Rock – again wish it was in English
Bang Dream Girls
Dream Girlfriend / Dream Boyfriend / Animal Boyfriend / Fairy Doll – some of the best dressup games / gacha games around – lots of limited events and special items.
With that long list of shout outs I think we’ll end there – there are many many more games that couldn’t make the list for brevity’s sake. 🙂
These past 20 years of gaming have been great – where will the next 20 years take us?
Overview: 10/10 Helix Waltz is very similar to Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary with a few differences. It has a slightly more detailed / less “cutesy” artstyle, and more focus on story. In fact, before getting the meat of the game, you must go through a very lengthy tutorial, that for a mobile/casual gamer will probably take more than a few days to complete. In this tutorial you learn a lot about the story and setting of Helix Waltz. This is where we see the majority of the differences that set Helix Waltz apart from other similar Dressup Games.
Story: 10/10 Helix Waltz puts you in role of a young orphan adopted by a (former) noble lady, and being groomed for a life of royalty. A strange visitor also enlists your help as a spy amongst the noble court. Your job is to chat with other nobles, gather intel as a spy, and impress them with your fashion to work your way back as a noble family. There is definitely more backstory than found in most dressup games, and that story is tied to the gameplay too.
Gameplay: 9/10 Like Love Nikki Dressup Queen and Romance Diary, you compete in Fashion Battles with NPCs to advance through various story stages. You collect various items which you layer and equip together to create unique looks. Each level requires certain styles or colors of clothing to get the best score possible. Such as equipping a dress, or tops and bottoms, along with shoes, stockings, jewelry, necklaces, rings, bracelets, hairstyles, makeup, and so on.
Unlike Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary, the majority of the game is focused on navigating through the story and playing against NPCs. Until you reach at least level 19 when you finally complete the lengthy tutorial. Playing 2-3 hours a day, it will still take a few days to complete all of the tutorial missions to get to the free play mode. I have yet to complete the tutorial so I’m not sure if Helix Waltz allows you to compete against other human players as well.
Also unlike Love Nikki Dressup Queen, but similar to Romance Diary, Helix Waltz focuses more on Otome aspects, but not so much on romance. Instead it has a very interesting story of intrigue and deceit. At the waltzes, you can search for specific NPCs or you can wander about and bump into random NPCs, you can select various things to chat about and choose your responses which will affect the NPC’s moods and overall opinion of you. You can also challenge the NPCs to a fashion battle, or you can eavesdrop on NPCs to gain valuable intel.
I enjoyed the unique approach in both story and gameplay to focus more on infiltrating the noble court and gathering intel. I didn’t enjoy the linear nature of the game in the early levels and lengthy tutorial.
Artwork: 4/5 – The artwork is very detailed, but to me it isn’t as cute as similar games like Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary. This may just be down to personal tastes. I’m sure some of my readers prefer the art style of Helix Waltz over the other games as well.
Music: 4/5 – The classical music fits the game’s theme very well. You also have the option to change the music later in the game.
Geeky: 2/5 – Although the aspects of infiltration and espionage add a new exciting twist to the traditional gameplay and story mechanics of most dressup games, this game is still for casual female gamers and not likely to appeal to a wider audience.
Sweetie: 4/5 – Helix Waltz loses a point for slightly less appealing artwork (compared to similar dressup games). Otherwise, those who enjoy dressup games, and a good story, with strong female lead, are sure to enjoy Helix Waltz.
Overall Score: 43/50 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
Gameplay: 8/10 This is the last Princess Maker game in the series, aside from some online and mobile spin offs that were released later. As such, you can expect that the gameplay is much more advanced than previous Princess Maker games. Princess Maker 5 brings back the adventure system, previously seen in Princess Maker 2, allowing you to fight in simplistic rpg battles and search for treasure. It does not unlock until later in the game.
It is also the first time that you can select a female character to be the parent – Although if you play as a female, you cannot get the ending where the princess marries you (the parent).
You select a week’s worth of activities for your daughter. She will attend public school and have club activities but she will also have free time for you to schedule part time jobs or extra lessons to enhance her stats. On the weekends you will take your daughter out to try to reduce her stress or experience special seasonal events.
Like Tokimeki Memorial, you can see which events are happening by reading a paper that lists new events. You can have cube set a reminder on the day of the events so you don’t forget important dates. But the game will not automatically prompt/navigate you to the event so you still have to pay attention and remember when and where to go for the event.
Gameplay feels slow. Especially the first year. It feels repetitive and slow building your stats, and very few random encounters or events. But as I entered my 2nd year, that began to change. Suddenly, classmates/love interests began to invite my daughter out on dates, or suddenly teachers and employers invited my daughter to special events. Now it felt more interesting and exciting.
But still, ultimately, this game is long, and slow, and while this type of gameplay is best enjoyed in small bursts, because of the repetition and monotonous gameplay, it also is a game that doesn’t get interesting until several hours in. I spent over 6 hours in the first year… If like most princess maker games this one goes until the daughter’s 18th birthday, then this game has over 70 hours of gameplay, per playthrough, times 50 endings…. staggering… definitely a highlight of the game — but the gameplay is so monotonous that many people may never reach all 50 endings.
How could I give an 8/10 to a monotonous boring “dull” game? Well because of the added features the game presents, this game is the most realistic child rearing sim, and gives unprecedented freedom and control to the player. Your daughter grows in new ways never present in the previous princess maker games, and she grows more independent with her own hobbies and interests and desires and things become more complicated, it brings back the adventure system, and the new dating/events system seemingly borrowed from Tokimeki Memorial. All of these are an improvement over most of the gameplay features in previous princess maker games.
The game gives you unprecedented freedom to raise any kind of daughter you want, even if you want her to be a cosplaying anime fan who loves going to idol concerts. Seriously, she can become interested in just about anything you can imagine. lol.
Story: 5/10 I think part of the reason the game is so slow is that it has almost no story. You just literally keep clicking and waiting/hoping something changes/happens. Which doesn’t happen for several hours until you’ve been pumping up your stats. The opening movie is not translated or subtitled for the english release on steam. It seems that maybe it may have had at least an interesting introduction. I think from what I can tell, the daughter is a demon maybe. It says it began from bloody events that happened long ago. Seems to hint at a curse, and then from there I haven’t a clue as to what is going on, but you see cube fly away with the girl. The girl also has a special hair clip that lets her communicate with you and allows you to watch the girl while she’s away. Every once in awhile the girl talks about seeing spirits or fairies and other supernatural things. But I’m now about 10 hours into the game and there’s really no overall story, or direction, or plot, it’s basically an open ended sandbox game. Plot isn’t necessary in games like this, but since I play games for their stories, I think that’s why I feel bored while playing this game since it lacks an overarching plot of any kind.
Characters: 10/10 I really do like the characters. They are not strong from a story standpoint, but they feel very real, and their interactions and dialogues with each other are very cute. The independence of your daughter and new complex ways in which she can develop and grow make this the best daughter of all.
Graphics: 7/10 The artwork put me off at first, for years even before this official US release, I would see pictures of this game, compare it to 4 which was my favorite Princess Maker game, and just think YUCK!… But oddly… in the 10 hours I played the game, I now find it cute and charming. I’d played 4 years ago on my nintendo DS, even though I couldn’t read any of it. I loved that art style, and at first found this new art style for 5 to be a huge turn off. But after playing the game, I’ve changed my tune. I suggest if you like me, hate the way Princess Maker 5 looks, just give it a go, it’s a great game, and the artwork is strangely cute once you get used to it!
There’s this little fat boy, which normally would be like a blech, but I dunno there’s something sooo cute about him. He reminds me of the fat lil asian boy from Disney’s “Up” and there’s another little boy that looks like he could be straight outta card captor or some other sugary sweet shojo anime.
The daughter was what I found most unattractive, but watching her study, work, and play, I’ve realized she is the most “real” and endearing of any of the daughters in previous games. I love my little princess.
Music: 3/10 – I really dislike the opening song – it’s awful. blech. But the rest of the music is “OK” I guess. just kinda average to me really.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – the voice acting is very cute 🙂 I’m glad they kept the original Japanese voices in the game.
Replay Value: 10/10 – over 50 different endings and the variety of things to do within this game give it excellent replay value.
So today, while working on another project of mine, which I’m not quite ready to announce here just yet, I came across an old app I used to love and be so addicted to. That app is Campus Life by Pocket Gems. I was looking for a way to blog about the app on my new site, but hint: since the project only covers android apps, I couldn’t blog about Campus Life.
For some unknown reason, Pocket Gems removed Campus Life from the android store about 5 years ago. Meanwhile, the Itunes version is still going strong with new features, updates, special events, and content added frequently. I wonder why they would want to alienate a large percentage of their players and thus lose revenue. I have been an IOS user for about 3 years now. So I had no idea this app was no longer available in the Google Play store.
Anyways, Campus Life is a really great game!!! It allows you to customize your first character and move her into an empty sorority house. You have to get other girls to join your sorority by hosting events around campus and of course throwing parties. You can buy more land and expand and decorate your house. You can have pets, you can compete against other real players in fashion shows, and get limited time event rewards, including clothing, girls, and furnishings. There’s even boys you can date. You can also craft your own clothes too! Campus Life is jam packed full of features and content!
I haven’t played in about 6+ months now, but it’s still one of my favorite mobile games just because of the sheer amount of things you can do!
Genre: Dressup Game with City Building and Dating Sim aspects
Geeky: 5/5 – With so many different things to do, from designing your campus, to recruiting girls, dressing up, dating, making your own clothes, throwing parties, completing quests and events, collecting limited exclusive rewards, studying and improving your girls’ careers, virtual pets, and online multiplayer fashion showdowns, this game has it all. It’s far more than “just” a dressup game. Probably one of the most feature rich dressup games on the market, still to this day, and with a history of 4+ years and counting now.
Sweetie: 5/5 – The dresses and accessories in the game are very cute. There’s a huge variety of content, so you can be sexy, sweet, a bookworm, a jock, a goth, or anything in between. You can dye your hair, put on makeup, even select your skin tone. New content is added constantly. The art style is more westernized and not as anime-ish as I like, but it makes up for it in gameplay features and amount of items.
Gameplay: 7/10 Throughout this review I keep praising the vast array of activities built into this app. But we’ll list them one more time here. When the game starts you’re given your first girl for free. You select from a few options for hair/eyes/skin and clothing. You’re then thrust into a proceduraly generated game world. I know it’s proceduraly generated because I used to play on both IOS and Android back in the day and had 2 different accounts and 2 very different game worlds. Proximity to beaches, animals, forests, and other features were completely random. You could rescue the animals if you reached them, or build your house on the beach, etc.
You start with a pretty empty house and are walked through a tutorial where you buy your first clothing, furnishings, and recruit your first girl. Recruiting girls lets you meet new girls who move into your house and you can dressup these new girls as well which adds to the dressup fun.
But as I’ve said, Campus Life is much more than a dressup game. Your girls all have their own likes and dislikes, and to recruit them you have to interact with them and discover and talk about those interests. Certain furnishings can help boost the likely hood that a girl will want to join your sorority as well. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to stay in a nice place?
Later in the game you unlock even more features. Guys start coming over and you can date them, pairing them off with one of the girls in your house.
But the funnest features are the fashion contests where you play with other players, or the ability to craft and wear clothing that you make from raw materials that you gather.
I do have to subtract a few points for the game’s performance. It is very very slow to load, especially once you have a lot of rooms in your house and/or a lot of girls or furniture, etc. Everything when you first import a saved game to a new device, is an hour glass for a very very long time, sometimes more than an hour, depending on your internet connection speed. This performance issue is a huge draw back because while items are hourglasses they cannot be equipped, worn, used, nor interacted with. Things aren’t quite as slow on subsequent plays because it keeps a lot of that information probably in the cache of your Iphone or Ipad.
If these performance issues were fixed, Gameplay would easily be a 10/10. As it stands right now though, the most I can offer it is a 7.
Story: 1/10 – There really is almost no story at all in this game. Sometimes the events or characters will try to present some type of story, but, meh, it’s not very good. There’s no overaching plot to drive the story forward. The lack of a story is probably why I go periods of months on end without wanting to play the game again.
Characters: 7/10 – While the characters have no value from a story perspective, it is interesting that there are many different styles of characters to recruit, and they each have their own personalities, such as sporty or geeky or girly, etc. After awhile though, many of the girls start to look alike, there aren’t enough variations or details to make the girls really unique.
Graphics: 10/10 – although it’s not anime, it is still bright and vivid with smooth animations and a fantastic style. While the girls are not very unique, they make up for it with a ton of unique furnishings, clothing items, and accessories that differentiate and define your unique sense of fashion.
Music: 5/10 – The music was just average. I would say it’s about what you could expect from a mobile game.
Overall: 40/60 67% D+ “Average Game for Girls”
Note: if you ignore the lack of story, it becomes a 49/60 which would make it an 82% or B- “Very Good Game for Girls”. So if you don’t mind games without a central story, please do check this one out. 🙂
Run the most fashionable sorority on campus!Recruit fashion geniuses, party superstars and student celebs to build the most stylish sorority around! Throw amazing events for your members, from fun study sessions to dazzling sorority formals. Live the campus life you’ve always dreamed of!Collect […]
With the 2018 Winter Olympics well under way, I’ve been thinking a lot about games and anime (such as Yuri on Ice which I reviewed here) that showcases the dedication that a skater must possess. I remembered fondly an NDS game from “a few” years ago that I played that allowed you to take on the life of a professional skater, competing in various events, training, dating, and dealing with drama.
This game, as it turns out, was Imagine: Figure Skater for the Nintendo DS. The game first came out in 2008 (at least in North America), making it “retro” by my definition (I consider anything greater than 10 years old to be retro.) I’m thinking about digging out my cartridge and playing it again this weekend. I’ve also been thinking about rewatching Yuri!! on Ice.
Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game
First, you might look at the box art for this game, and think it is for little girls. — Not true! The original boxart in Japan was much better – featuring anime style artwork. Why they went with a photograph of an iceskater on the US version, I dunno. They should have aimed it at anime/otome fans, but this was 10 years ago, before otome games had much foothold in the US.
Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game
These games were perhaps too ahead of their times – with the relatively recent popularity of Yuri!! on Ice, and increased representation of Otome Games in the United States, I wonder how a sequel for Nintendo Switch would fare these days, if marketed properly. Why try to forcefully create an audience, when there already exists a large audience begging publishers for such games. Do your research and understand your target audience better.
Most of us are 20+ years old, otaku/anime fans, and would rather buy the original box art on the right, than that which was designed for the US on the left. This alienated most of your “built in audience” while trying to build a new audience with younger girls.
Thankfully the art in the actual game is fully done in an anime and kawaii style which could appeal to either audience.
Now on to the review!!
Title: Imagine: Figure Skating
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Career/Life Simulation Game with Dressup Game, Dating Sim and Otome Game aspects
Where to Buy: Gamestop has both of these for about $0.79 and $1.99. Check out the links above.
Geeky: 5/5 – Gameplay is solid, the graphics are a little bit pixelated, but that’s probably just limitations of the software of the time ten years ago. Gameplay using the stylus to perform ice skating moves is both fun and challenging. It offered high replay value too with different girls to play as and different events and dialogue options. It gave a good look at what skaters go thru when training. If you enjoy watching the Winter Olympics, or enjoy anime such as Yuri!! On Ice, then you will enjoy this game!
Sweetie: 5/5 – This game has a little bit of everything, all in one very cute package! Ice Skating is beautiful and elegant and as you compete you unlock new areas to explore, new outfits to wear, and you interact with friends, lovers, and rivals. It has a good dose of comedy, slice of life, drama, and surprise.
Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review
Gameplay: 10/10 – Gameplay is where Imagine: Figure Skating really shines! When the game starts, you select one of three girls, each with her own strengths and weaknesses both on and off the ice. From there you’re whisked away to a tutorial where you get to try skating for the very first time.
Do well and advance through various qualifying rounds improving your skill and technique. You will earn money to buy new outfits and get to travel to compete in new arenas and unlock new events.
When not on the ice, you will go to school, work part time jobs, go on dates, or spend time with your friends. Rivals will show up both on and off the ice too which add to the story.
You skate by using the Nintendo DS stylus on the lower touch screen. You perform jumps and spins and get scored for each of your routines. As you play and complete your training, you will unlock more advanced moves to add to your routine.
You have complete control over designing your own ice skating routines. You select your outfits, music, and choreograph your routines to progress through the game and ultimately guide your character to the nationals.
Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls
Story: 7/10 This game, just like Yuri!! On Ice, does an excellent job portraying the struggles and triumphs of those training for life as a professional or Olympic figure skater. Just like Yuri!!! On Ice, Imagine: Figure skating has that tantalizing blend of romance and rivalry both on and off the ice. It also showcases themes such as platonic friendship, family, travel, adventure, and sportsmanship. Storywise though, this game comes no where close to generating the same emotions and reactions in its audience compared to the beloved Yuri!! On Ice, which has been countless praised by real figure skaters for its realistic portrayal of events and memorable characters.
Characters: 8/10 The characters are cute! I loved the dressup aspects and loved having multiple girls to choose from when starting the game. I loved how this game draws you into the life of the characters, showing you moments of their life both on and off the ice. I didn’t quite connect with them as emotionally and deeply as I had hoped to. This is also probably why the story felt a bit flat.
Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are a bit outdated, but there’s so many options for costumes and the ability to pick different girls is great. The girls are all so cute.
Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game
Music: 7/10 – I feel like almost everything about this game, is about a solid 7, it’s good, but not great. The great gameplay though makes up for the rather “average” other details. I’d say the music is fine, but ultimately far from memorable.
Replay Value: 10/10 – With different girls and different outcomes along with the ability to customize just about everything, this game has very high replay value.
Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
If you enjoyed Imagine: Figure Skating and Imagine: Champions on Ice, you may also like the other Imagine Games which you can view here. You may also like Princess Debut, which I love and plan to review shortly. There’s also a game called Princess on Ice that you may enjoy – I have not played that one just yet myself.
Bushiroad is bringing us yet another great anime rhythm game.
From the creators of Love Live School Idol Festival, and hot on the heels of the recent announcement of Klab’s English localization of Utapri Utano Princesama Shining Live, Bushiroads has recently announced plans to localize BanG Dream Girls Band Party.
I have not played the Japanese versions myself just yet. I’ve read that it is the highest grossing mobile game in Japan right now.
From what I have seen in the wikia and official website, the game features a lot of fun unique elements that make it a slight step up from Love Live School Idol Festival.
The feature I’m most excited about is the costumes. Each time you get a 3 or 4 star or higher card, you unlock a new costume for your characters that you can equip and see on their chibi or cameo appearances while playing the game.
Other differences between Love Live include “Multi-Lives” the ability to play online in real time with other players – I know Love Live School Idol Festival offers this ability during certain events, but in GBP, it is always available.
You can also trade in your duplicate cards for seals which can be exchanged for limited event items
The biggest difference between GBP and LLSIF is that there are no song types currently, so it doesn’t matter which girls are in your party, even though each girl has her own attributes such as Powerful, Pure, Cool, and Happy. These attributes determine your score multipliers. But you no longer get the bonus of let’s say using a team with primarily high “Pure” cards in a “Pure Song”. However, to get the most out of your score multiplier, it is best to keep a team of same attribute idols. Such as “Pure” or Cool, because of the items you can equip that boost single attributes. You can also further maximize your score by keeping your team all within the same band such as Poppin Party or Pastel Pallets or Roselia. This is because you can buy special band equipment that enhances members’ stats from specific band groups and only 1 type of each item can be equipped at a time, forcing you to choose which band you want to focus on.
This may change, as the game is still relatively new at this time.
Hello Happy World
You can also, not only unlock songs by reading the main story and playing the game, but also unlock new songs by purchasing additional songs with special in-game currency.
There are areas you can explore and items you can place in these areas as well that will impact your band members’ stats as mentioned above.
GBP is a multi-media project, similar to Love Live School Idol Festival. It includes real bands comprised of the characters seiyuu’s (voice actresses), as well as an anime, card game, and mobile game, and various merchandising.
The announcement of an English version of Girls Band Party makes me so happy and excited. I still hold out hope that some day Bandai will release English versions of their Idolm@ster games – other than the $60 ones that they used to sell in the app stores. I mean, come on, just give us English versions of the free to play games, and collect money from us “dumb Americans” who want to spend $$$ on virtual “waifu” lol. Idolm@ster still remains my favorite idol game, mostly just because of the artwork, I mean, being able to see the girls actually performing on stage, like in Idolm@ster Theater Days is amazing!! Live 2D is the best thing to happen to anime games! 🙂
KLab sent me yet another new game announcement to share with all of you. This time, I think the game really fits in with my audience here as it is similar in many ways to various other mobile idol games I’ve reviewed such as Ensemble Stars, Idolish, IdolM@ster Theater Days, Aikatsu Photo on Stage, and of course Love Live School Idol Festival.
The new game is yet another rhythm idol collecting card game. The game is based on the hit visual novel and anime series, UtaPri, Utano Princesama. It will feature advanced Augmented Reality features that let you take pictures with your favorite idols, as well as story modes and rhythm game modes that you can play on various difficulties. You can interact with the idols in 2D Live, an exciting technology that brings anime games to life. No more static images. It even says their facial expressions and behaivors change as you get closer to them. I also see mention of different stage outfits, so it may also have some type of dressup element as well.
Klab is currently running several pre-launch events across Twitter and Facebook – by following either of their accounts you get an Ultra Rare card of your choice once the game starts, so it’s definitely worthwhile to check out the events before the game launches in early 2018.
This game looks so cute! I hope we see more Global releases of anime and idol games soon!
Check out the full press release from KLab below:
“Utano☆Princesama Shining Live”
Global Version Coming Soon!
Social Media Campaign Featuring Poster Giveaway Contest, In-Game Rewards and More!
Tokyo, Japan – January 10, 2018 – KLab Inc., a leader in online mobile games, together with BROCCOLI Co., Ltd., announced plans for the worldwide release of smartphone rhythm game Utano☆Princesama Shining Live in early 2018. The announcement was followed by the launch of the official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the global version of the game.
Utano Princesama Shining Live
Building on the success of the Japanese release, the global version of the game will be fully localized into English and Traditional Chinese, with a Simplified Chinese version planned for simultaneous release in Mainland China.
About Utano☆Princesama Shining Live
Utano☆Princesama Shining Live is a rhythm game for Android™ and iOS mobile devices based on BROCCOLI’s Utano☆Princesama series. With over 2 million downloads* in the domestic market, the Japanese version of the game has found success with fans across the country since launching on August 28, 2017.
Utano☆Princesama is a visual novel series that began as a portable console game. The series now spans multiple anime seasons, manga, drama CDs, live concerts, and much more.
Utano☆Princesama Shining Live features 11 idols from the groups ST☆RISH and QUARTET NIGHT. Players can set their favorite idol to appear on their home screen and tap him to see his various reactions and watch his affection go up, as well as form personalized teams to play songs in a rhythm game. The rhythm game component allows players to train their own original unit of idols as they play a suite of songs from the Utano☆Princesama series at multiple difficulty levels. Players can also unlock stories starring the characters. The game transcends the boundaries of traditional gaming with a special Camera Mode that takes advantage of AR technology, giving players the chance to take photos with their favorite pop stars whenever, wherever.
* Total includes players who have downloaded the game more than once.
Opening Act Social Media Campaign
A series of special events leading up to the launch of the game were unveiled along with the announcement. Players are encouraged to follow either the official Twitter or Facebook account (or both!) to participate in these events, as well as receive the latest updates on the upcoming title. The Opening Act Social Media Campaign is now being held worldwide, except in Japan where the game is already available and in Mainland China, where a separate series of events will be held. All players will receive increasingly extravagant gifts when the game is released based on the number of people who follow the game’s official accounts.
Details can be found below, as well as on the official website which opened earlier today.
Event Campaign Schedule
Starts on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 and lasts until the game’s release (UTC+9)
How to Sign Up
To participate in the pre-launch festivities for Utano☆Princesama Shining Live, players are simply asked to follow the official Twitter or Facebook account.
All players will receive a special ticket that guarantees them a UR character of their choice when the game is launched. Players will be able to obtain up to 300 Prisms by clearing the following pre-launch missions.
* Prisms are a type of in-game currency used in Utano☆Princesama Shining Live to acquire new characters, unlock new content, and more.
Shining Live Pre-Launch Missions
In addition to the choose your UR ticket prize, all players have the chance to receive up to 300 extra Prisms depending on the number of people who follow the game’s official accounts before launch.
– Step 1: 100 Prisms (achieved at a total of 5,000 followers across Twitter and Facebook)
– Step 2: 100 Prisms (achieved at a total of 10,000 followers across Twitter and Facebook)
– Step 3: 100 Prisms (achieved at a total of 25,000 followers across Twitter and Facebook)
Poster Giveaway Contest
As part of the excitement leading up to the global release of the game, fans will be given the opportunity to enter a contest to win one of 11 commemorative posters from the Utano☆Princesama Shining Countdown Live 2017-2018 campaign. To enter, fans are simply asked to follow the official Twitter and retweet the contest tweet. Each of the 11 posters will feature one idol, and the 11 lucky winners will receive one of these at random.
Features of Utano☆Princesama Shining Live
Multiple hits from the Utapri series! Turn your smartphone into a star-studded stage whenever you want!
Utano☆Princesama Shining Live is a rhythm game featuring simple, intuitive controls that gives players the chance to enjoy the greatest hits from the popular series. Create your own personalized idol unit and utilize their unique skills to rack up points and rewards
Watch stories and scenes starring your idols and their daily routines unfold before your eyes in vivid detail!
Check up on your idols and their idol lives via new stories and scenes updated regularly! Players can check up on the members of their group, or even transcend group boundaries to mix and mingle with the stars, as well as enjoy a variety of stage outfits that are sure to catch the eye of any watchful fashionista.
Interact and communicate with fully animated idols!
Meet your favorite idols whenever you want! The realistic appeal of these idols extends beyond simple scripts–a variety of facial expressions turns these idols into realistic communication partners. When you get close enough, you may start to notice certain changes in their behavior and what they say!
The game stars the original cast from the games and anime series, with fully voiced unlockable side stories and more aural surprises in store.
Headquartered in Tokyo and led by CEO Tomoharu Morita, BROCCOLI is one of Japan’s leading designers and producers of content based on the vast subculture stemming from the world of Japanese pop culture. BROCCOLI’s business covers a wide range of fields, including console games, trading card games, videos, and music. The company’s sphere of influence reaches beyond its own original content, extending into the design, production, and sale of character merchandise.
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