Otome Games

Catch42, in Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side: English patches
Catch42 avatar

This is probably a good time for me to lay out a piracy policy:

If the game does not have a legitimate English version and it's older than 5 years, direct piracy links are allowed.

If a game did have a legitimate English version but is on a system that is no longer supported, that specific version is ok to post. For example, Hakuoki on the 3DS is allowed because the eshop is closed, but Hakuoki on the Vita isn't because the Vita store is still running.

I personally think that piracy makes it more difficult for creators to be fairly paid, but also that it is necessary for game preservation under current copyright laws.

Catch42, in Worst route you’ve played?
Catch42 avatar

Shu's route in Dairoku. He's basically a child. He looks and acts like a child. He's technically thousands of years old, but I think we all know that's just a "clever" way to skirt laws. This trope appears all the time in harem anime and I was disappointed to see it in reverse in Dairoku. His appearance is around 12-15 and the MC is in her mid-20's. Even if he was drawn to look like an adult, it's super uncomfortable to date someone who's mentally a child.

Additionally, there's a whole mystery surrounding Shu. He appears in other routes as an aloof figure with unknown motives. When you finally play his route and uncover the mystery, it's lame. It's a lame mystery with a lame conclusion imo.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

Oh ya, that was my issue with Yune in Steam Prison. I don't care if you're 1000 years old immortal person, you look like a little boy. At least there was zero spice in the route so it didn't get awkward.

Elevator7009,

Always thought it would be interesting to have a character who looks 5 but is actually 1000 and acts their true age. Not a way to skirt laws, an honestly interesting problem where people will perceive you one way and place all these restrictions on you “for your own good” when you really don’t need most of them because of your true age and experience. (You’ll still need the child safety seat in a car though!)

Just guessing that this might show up in some vampire media.

Catch42, (edited ) in Mobile Otoge: Yay or Nay?
Catch42 avatar

@kehtea
I find that the way they use currency makes the gameplay worse too. I don't want to reward microtransactions so I usually only buy things if it's a flat fee unlock a whole route. So when they use an in game currency, I find myself waiting to accumulate it for free which makes the gameplay worse. Even when I like a character most of their personalities are well "2D" XD, and don't hold up to being interacted with for small bits over a long time.

kehtea,
kehtea avatar

You'll get like 5 minutes with a character and then the game wants you to commit to spending real money. Like I don't even know this character and they expect me to spend money so my character will wear an expensive dress instead of a basic dress just so a romantic interest will like me more? Why would I spend money for poor character development??? Plus I hardly know this character, how would I know if I want to commit to them now??

I feel like games should charge for routes instead of choices. Plus make it so you can earn with ads. Watching ads still generates income. There is a magic number out there for money to free interaction that would make it profitable. Plus it stops people from actively uninstalling due to greed. I know I've straight up uninstalled games after seeing the costs and practices.

I don't spend money on a game unless I feel like it has already earned that amount.

kehtea, in Mobile Otoge: Yay or Nay?
kehtea avatar

My issue with mobile Otome games (and sometimes otome games in general) is I feel like they missed the mark for what I'm looking for.

-Either there isn't a character I feel drawn to and they all kind of are blah to me (tired of the evil/mean = personality)
-They use some sort of currency to a greedy extent that makes it so you don't actually have a choice in front of you, but a paid and free option. I don't mind if something has currency but when it is impossible to earn currency, and things are expensive it makes me want to spend/earn less.
-If there is combat/gameplay it feels tedious instead.

One mobile game I actually really like was Arcana Twilight. The gameplay was interesting enough and I liked the characters enough to get invested. However it didn't feel like it had much support and later on the grind to get through the main story was incredibly long. (In order to move on I would do all the new levels only to have to grind on past levels for enough experience for my account to go up a few levels. I feel like I shouldn't have to grind that much, levels should give enough experience to only need maybe 1 more account level to continue the story).

I also tried Tears of Themis which seemed interesting at first, but it felt like the mechanics inspired from Ace Attorney wasn't done well, and the combat had no substance to it. I also felt a disconnect from the cast, so the other downsides made it harder to play until I felt more investment.

The most I played through was Mystic Messenger years ago. It was cute for the time, but when I had completed the routes I was ready to move on. Most of the characters I felt were interesting actually lost my interest in their routes most of the time. I remember being specifically disappointed with Jumin's route.

I also don't like the calls feature some games have, as I usually have no volume on my phone. If they also have text so I'm not forced to listen I don't mind, but I feel like I don't need that level of immersion that some others may enjoy.

I feel like I have a love hate relationship with otome games at this point haha

fluffybun, in What was your first Otome game?

My first otome (without really knowing what a otome game was) was Princess Debut on the DS. I was intrigued but got too busy so I’m not sure if I finished it. I do remember the “dancing” part.

My first otome that I did finish was… Hatoful Boyfriend, because I’d heard of its hilarity (and Shuu specifically). The BBL (not brazilian butt lift) route made me interested in visual novels as a whole (only other exposure was Phoenix Wright) and I then picked up Hakuouki for 3DS… the rest is history. (And my enduring love for Okita and hoping he’ll be okay.)

I was very surprised and impressed at the quality of Cinderella Phenomenon when I played it.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

I wish there had been more visual novels on the DS and 3DS! I would have gotten into them earlier.

fluffybun,

There were more but sadly not localized in English. There are some fan patches for Tokimeki Girls’ Side, the Prince of Tennis otome games (2 of them), and Love Revo and recently the Vampire Knight otome (for DS). All other English translated otome sadly went to PS Vita/PC at the time (my reason for getting a PS Vita other than Danganronpa lol). I would have loved more English localizations for DS/3DS…

Elevator7009, in Alaris: Demo

No, but I keep checking out the pages of the games you’re submitting and my backlog keeps expanding. Including for this game.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Elevator7009

My backlog has like 60 things in it. I make myself feel better by reminding myself that probably most of them are less than 2 hours

But I am pleased I seem to keep making such good recommendations 😌 I'm used to r/otomegames only wanting to play and talk about Asian/Eastern visual novels I haven't read. Although I put a few on my list during the switch sale. But I've been focusing on the Steam Summer Sale that ends the 13th, trying out all the demos and pulling the trigger on some I've been waiting for.

Elevator7009,

Nice to see someone else who likes OELVNs! Or OELO, for “otome” instead of any visual novel lol, since this is the otome subreddit.

I prefer otome originally made in English. Maybe because it reflects my Western values better. Funnily enough I still basically require an anime artstyle.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Elevator7009

I haven't required any certain art style. I'm not really open to like, animal people or full blown monsters or unique block art that represent people ... Or birds! Like, I want them to look human and look enough like reality 😜

Elevator7009,

Oh yeah, Dandelion seemed really cool but I just… can’t vibe with the animal boys. Cool for people who like that sort of thing.

I can handle supernatural creatures, the “humans + wings or horns” deal, and a lot of the animal boys honestly at least look like “human + tail and ears” so I’m not sure why the animal boys tip me over to the “no thank you” reaction.

Unique block art that represent people—curious if you’re referencing an actual game, or if it’s just an example. My brain went here when you said that.

Hey, also not sure if you’re tagging me to make sure I see the reply. I have notifications on for replies to comments I make in threads, so no need to tag me. Would you like me to tag you when I reply?

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

When I hit reply it automatically puts you as an @ but I can delete it it bothers you. I think I'd rather be tagged because I'm still new to Kbin and wouldn't want to miss someone talking at me.

When I brought up the squares, I was thinking of a VN dev who talked about making a short VN where they used squares for their sprites. And that they were still very successful about connecting to players emotionally because we're so good at anthropomorphism inherently. But it wasn't a romance. But still, there is a romance about birds 🐦 so I'm guessing it clearly stays true.

Animal lover, the boys were sometimes animals because of a curse, but they would transform into 100% human males with a platonic peck from the protagonist. Also good with guys + ears/tails/wings... Eyes I'm on the fence about, but no full blown furry situation.

But I was thinking about some blocky cartoon art like hmmm if we were using Minecraft or Lego graphic styles for romance. I'd be like, Pass.

Elevator7009,

@phorayz

I don’t mind getting tagged, just figured I’d ask about it since I don’t usually see people tag the person they reply to.

What do you mean you’re on the fence about eyes? Do these characters have very nonhuman eyes? I’m not sure I’ve actually seen that, now I’m curious.

Elevator7009, in What should the rules and customs of m/otomegames be?

It’s pretty nice here right now, but most communities have a rule about being respectful and not being bigoted for a reason.

We probably also want a spoiler policy.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Elevator7009

@Catch42

I've gone looking for spoiler tags and I wasn't successful. So I've just been italicizing spoilers.

Elevator7009,

There are two kbin issues requesting spoiler tags. One provides a temporary workaround using magazine CSS.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

I implemented that code into the magazine's css, but I think it would be reasonable to wait to require spoiler tags until an easier to use solution is available. I have no idea how to use it.

Elevator7009,

I’m going to give it a shot right now.

You should have had to click to see this text.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

It works!

What do you do to use it?

Elevator7009,

I typed [You should have had to click to see this text.](#spoiler)

I can still see the text without clicking on mobile.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Elevator7009

On desktop and mobile, I have to highlight, the clicking doesn't show it.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar
Elevator7009, (edited )

I am on mobile and the spoiler is not working for me. I am also viewing this from kbin.cafe. When I view your post on kbin.social, the spoiler works. @Catch42
I just rechecked this on my computer, and the spoiler still does not work when viewing from kbin.cafe.

phorayz, (edited ) in What should the rules and customs of m/otomegames be?
phorayz avatar

@Catch42

I am NOT saying we follow reddit otome games, but I'm bringing their definition here, and then I'll comment on it.

What are the requirements?

  • A clear romance must take place in the story and is a major part of the story progression.

  • Romance must be the central conflict or of equal importance to other plot elements.

  • It should ideally culminate in a confession scene or kiss scene.

  • Friendship routes are fine, provided that it does not make up to half of the available routes.

  • There has to be gameplay that affects the story or ending.

  • Choices do not have to be part of the main story.

  • In stat-raising games, raising certain stats can push the story towards the appropriate ending or unlock parts of the story.

  • Role playing games such as the Persona, Harvest Moon or Fire Emblem franchises are not otome games since the romance elements are not the main focus of the game.

  • The protagonist or Main Character (MC) needs to be female. This can include trans MtF. Games where you can choose to change the gender of the MC are fine, provided that female is an option.

  • There has to be mostly male Love Interests (LIs).

  • The number of male LIs must be greater than the other genders in total.

If there are more than 3 LIs, the number of male LIs can be equal to the other genders in total. There can be female LIs, but if they are equal amount or more to the male LIs, it will not be considered to be an otome game.

Examples of otome game LI gender distribution:
2 male LIs, 1 female LI and 1 non binary.
3 male LIs, 2 female (including trans MtF) LI and 1 genderfluid LI.
5 male LIs and 2 genderfluid LIs.
2 male LIs and 1 female LI.
It needs visuals (ie. character sprites, CGs, backgrounds, etc).

  • Character sprites should change expressions.

  • Protagonist sprites are optional.

  • Voice acting, music, background music, opening themes and sound effects are optional but preferred.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Catch42

So one sticky issue between reddit and your post for a game I'm looking forward to.

Touchstarved has an unseen protagonist. You can name and pick pronouns. So it's a gray area then, because there is no female or female presenting if you can't see them?

I think WTNC is also like this. An unseen protagonist with pronoun choice.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

It's worth noting that Touchstarved doesn't identify itself as an otome, but it certainly seems like otome to me. It should be easy to have a carve out for this situation.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Catch42 It probably wouldn't identify as an otome because otome is a different language word being used to kind of stand in stead of an unwieldy phrase.

Touchstarved is being made by Red Spring Studio. They have writers, producers, artists, programmers, content strategists from games like: Last Legacy, Apex Legends Mobile, the Walking Dead games, League of Legends, Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Dragon Prince, the KPOP group BTS, Arcana, Last Legacy, the Blue Rose TTRPG, Arcana and Destiny 2.

They got nearly a million buckaroos for their project with gems like those in their work history. this is this team's first project together and giving it an otome tag would actually close doors, not open them. And since the protagonist can be whatever they want, it wouldn't even really be true.

Like WTNC, neither of these are otome or aimed at maidens specifically. But they are romantic video games. But even on Reddit, indie and rainbow otome sub reddits lack activity. I feel like we should generally be more inclusive to be the open haven for all the users who are leaving, lest we have too few users to bother.

Maybe just require that the game allow a she/her person to be played and the love interests to be 50% or more male gendered

Elevator7009,

This makes me think about purely text-based games.

Say there’s a game aimed at women with a canonically female MC. It’s got a heavy focus on romancing men. There are also no sprites for anything. Not the LIs, not the MC. The extent of the graphics is GUI for reading text and making choices. Is this an otome game?

I’m admittedly super conditioned by seeing most things called “otome” be visual novels.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

I think that otome are traditionally visual novels, but we can be open to experimental forms. I think the important thing is that the purpose of the gameplay is to advance the romance. Your hypothetical game would be a non-typical otome with that definition.

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Elevator7009

@Catch42

There are interactable novels that lack visuals. I'd still keep the sprite/graphics requirements

phorayz, (edited ) in Otome Jam 2023 Reviews
phorayz avatar

The Villainess Just Wants To Eat: Demo

Another Isekai, it's hard to tell if this will be good or not. There is nothing wrong with what is there, there is just not enough there for me to tell if it's going to be good. Very short demo, less than 20 minutes, that gives you a sense of the art and partial voice acting. I found the built in definitions to be a bit too in one's face, I think they should be removed or put somewhere else.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

Just finished playing and agree with you on everything. I just want to add that I really like the character sprites.

phorayz, (edited ) in Otome Jam 2023 Reviews
phorayz avatar

Silhouette

MC transmigrates into an RPG Otome where the main plot is surrounded by tragedy and countless deaths. Since she's a side character, she figures the safest bet would be to romance and marry one of the NPCs that are guaranteed to survive until the end. Except she and everyone else that are an NPC are just a silhouette, so she doesn't know what the two guy options even look like. The concept of falling in love with a silhouette was creative once I realized there really was art for the guys and it wasn't just a way to save on sprite costs. It was short, like an hour per route. I really liked Derrick. I was grinning the whole time.

Spoilers

I wasn't willing to see what I thought was the bad end by saying she wanted to return to the real world until I finished Jack's happy ending. And then it turns out our love can Isekai our chosen man to us. ❤️

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

I really enjoyed this too! It's nice to play these complete games among all the demos put out during otome jam. I liked derrick too, but I really liked the voice actor for Jack.

Elevator7009, in Demo: Dual Chroma

Is female led an option?

God me too. I do want to be pursued but I also want to be able to self-insert, and in real life I usually do the pursuing of men. Have you played I Love You!?

phorayz,
phorayz avatar

@Elevator7009

I hadn't played it. I usually stay away from Highschool age MCs, being in my 30s at this point. Is it actually female pursues guy?

Saint Ceri is a femdom visual novel, 18+ content and poly options.

Monola19, in Sympathy Kiss | Announcement Trailer (NA) Nintendo Switch™
Monola19 avatar

Excited for the office romance. Haven’t played as a faceless self insert character in a while so not to excited for that but I know some people prefer this type of MC.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

I'm pretty psyched too for the office romance. I love games where the MC is not still in school.

Monola19,
Monola19 avatar

Same! I mean it’s so many of them in schools. It’s been years since I’ve been in school so it’s refreshing interacting with characters within my age range and experience level. Not that highschool otome are bad or unrelatable. Other settings are just more refreshing imo.

Monola19, in My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Pirates of the Disturbance | Teaser Trailer
Monola19 avatar

I stopped watching for the same reason but enjoyed the manga for a bit longer. Atleast this means bakarina can end up with the LI’s now!

Elevator7009, in My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Pirates of the Disturbance | Teaser Trailer

I’m a fan of My Next Life As a Villainess, so I’m happy to see this coming out. Especially because I know I already like the MC. She’s a harem protagonist done right, she actually is really nice and thus the “fell for them because they’re nice” trope you usually see actually feels somewhat believable. You can also justify her denseness with her hyperfocus on not dying in this world, and that as someone who is pretty sure she’s in the villainess role and not the otome game protagonist role of course she wouldn’t think people would go for her instead of the protagonist Maria. It’s not completely out of nowhere.

Although “not the otome game protagonist” thing is busted with this game now lol.

Turnip, in Charade Maniacs is out today for the switch
Turnip avatar

I‘m still so hung up on whether to get this game or not! On one hand I really love darker plots and mysteries to figure out, but on the other I heard that theres potentially jarring tone shifts and I‘m not a massive fan of everyone being highshool age either hmmm…
I saw someone compare it to psychedelica of the black butterfly and I really wanted to like that game but was rather lukewarm on it for those reasons.

Catch42,
Catch42 avatar

It's a hard decision, personally I'm waiting for a sale or to buy a used copy. I'll play it for the mystery, Like you, the romance doesn't do as much for me when they're high schoolers.

Turnip,
Turnip avatar

Yeah I think I‘ll do the same - let‘s hope we get some good switch sales this year!

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