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pokeninja90

I'm a blerd who just so happens to love anime, manga, and games (especially Pokemon and Otome Games).

Enchanted in the Moonlight Review – Spirited Away by Ayakashi Hotties

The Japanese mobile otome games company Voltage Inc. is the latest publisher to jump on the Nintendo Switch bandwagon. Earlier this year the company announced that a few of their mobile Otome Romance titles would be made available on the Nintendo Switch and the first game to make the move is their supernatural romance, Enchanted in the Moonlight. Rather than release one game with all of the characters, the Switch version of the game is split into two titles: Enchanted in the Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga, & Samon and Enchanted in the Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage, & Yukinojo and comprises of all the season 1 to season 3 main stories from the mobile app Love 365. 

Enchanted in the Moonlight was released as a standalone mobile app for Android and IOS back in 2014  and even after the termination of the app in 2018 has experienced a revival as one of the titles on the new Love 365 portal app. In the game you play as a young woman who finds her life turned upside down when she is attacked by malevolent Ayakashi drawn to her unique blood. A group of handsome Ayakashi come to your aid, but there protection comes at a price: they’ll protect you from evil Ayakashi that lust for your blood, but in exchange you must bear their child. With dangerous Ayakashi after your life who will you choose as your defender?


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Collar x Malice Otome Review – How Do You Define Justice?

These last few years have been pretty good to otome games fans, with tons of new English language releases of Japanese otome titles and two upcoming otome anime adaptations. One of the games that has been getting the most attention lately is Idea Factory’s mystery/detective visual novel, Collar x Malice. Within the span of a month fans were treated to an upcoming anime announcement and at Anime Expo 2019, Aksys Games announced that they would be releasing both Collar x Malice and it’s new fandisk, Collar x Malice: Unlimited for the Nintendo Switch in 2020. So, after dragging my feet for two years, I finally carved out some time for the game and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to jump on the Collar x Malice hype train. This is by far my favorite localization release to date!

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Collar x Malice was published in Japan by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand of games in 2016 and release exclusively for the PS Vita handheld. In 2017 Aksys Games released an English language edition of the game. 2017 was a huge year for western otome games fans, with a ton of great titles making their way stateside, but of all of them Collar x Malice stood out the most for me. The game follows a rookie police officer, Ichika Hoshino living in Shinjuku. The city is currently under a mass quarantine after the terrorist organization, Adonis commits a series of violent crimes known collectively as the X-Day Incidents. One night while on patrol, Ichika is kidnapped and fitted with a collar set to dispense a lethal dose of poison into her neck. A voice from the collar instructs her to investigate the X-Day Incidents and uncover the “truth” behind Adonis and their plans for Shinjuku. With her life and the fate of the city on the line, Ichika must rely on the help of five strangers, each with their own reasons for wanting to solve the X-Day cases. Together, they might be able to remove Ichika’s collar and liberate Shinjuku from Adonis’s grip.

Game Details

  • Genre: Detective, Mystery, Romance
  • Available for PS Vita | Nintendo Switch (2020)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 5-7 hours first play through/ 30-50 hours Total
  • Cost: $34.99
  • 5 male romance options
    • Suggested Play Order: Mineo → Takeru → Kei → Shiraishi → Yanagi
  • Similar Games: 7’scarlet, Steam Prison 

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Beyond Eden BL Game Review – A Steamy Victorian Revenge VN

Once again I am diving head first into another period drama BL visual novel. I loved Ertal Games’s debut title A Hand in the Darknessso I was excited to discover that another developer, Studio Pieplus had released a similar title back in 2017. Beyond Eden was just what I needed. The game trades in the posh private school setting for an out of the way country estate of Ashgrove, home to the Baron William Edenic and his sons. But, behind closed doors, the Edenic family is hiding dark secrets that could prove detrimental to the Baron and his family if the public were to learn of their past misdeeds. Alex Wake, the former ward of the Edenic family has been biding his time and amassing wealth of his own and now he is on his way back to Ashgrove in order to exact revenge against the Baron and his family! He has been holding a grudge for 10 long years and he won’t be satisfied until all the Edenics are brought to their knees.

*Moderate NSFW images*

Game Details

  • Available for Steam
  • 5 romantic partners & 1 friendship route
  • 17 unique endings
  • Voice Acting: Korean
  • Cost: $34.99
  • Gameplay Length: 15-25 hours

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5 Otome Games I Just Can’t Seem To Finish

I’m a collector of sorts… Okay, I’m more of a hoarder… I tend to buy games faster than I can play them, so the vast majority of them wind up sitting in my backlog for months if not years collecting dust. I’m not exactly proud of this, but I suppose I can never truly complain that I don’t have any games to play… However, there are some games in my backlog that will most likely never see the light of day again, because I just can’t bring myself to play them again.

There are just some games I can’t finish. I’ve been playing otome games for a long time now, so I more or less know which games I’ll like and which ones I won’t. But, there are times when I come across a game that I just can’t seem to see through to the end. Weeks… Months… Years of failed attempts and forgotten save files… Every so often I’ll load up my old save files and try to give these neglected games another go, but all my attempts end the same way; with the games back in the box and safely tucked back into the ol’ backlog. I’m ashamed to admit that there are actually some really popular games on this list too….


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #29

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

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This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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Silver:Line – Demo Review

I usually have a hard time writing reviews about demos, since unlike completed games, they don’t always have all the finalized assets that you’d expect from a full blown release. If you’re lucky, a demo will cover the common route or the prologue, which at least gives you a fairly good feel of the game’s concept and characters. But, if you’re not, a demo is more of a teaser trailer of ideas that doesn’t really stand up to much scrutiny, which doesn’t allow much for me as a reviewer to write about. So I tend to be very particular about which demos I review.

Recently Code V Productions released a demo for their upcoming fantasy visual novel, Silver:Line and I was impressed not only with the quality, but the execution. A fully realized world with an inventive premise and unique characters, Silver:Line is by far one of the best demos I have played this year!

Recruited as an imperial scholar serving the crown of Lucarene, you lead a peaceful life at the castle, responsible for researching, tracking, and recording everything there is to know about the royal city. Living a life you once thought you could only ever dream of, you wouldn’t change anything for the world. But as fate would have it, you’re thrown into a turmoil of events where you’re pinned as a scapegoat and forced to flee the country, running for your very life. You set off on a journey, featuring a colourful cast and new horizons.

Official Synopsis 

Demo Details


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Melanin Friendly Otome Games & Visual Novels

I’ve written about the importance of representation in media quite a few times in the past, I even have a post series dedicated to talking about inclusion and diversity in nerd culture. Most recently, I wrote a post about diversity (or the lack there of) in otome games and after penning the post an indie developer friend of mine reached out to me about the topic. We had an awesome discussion about the depiction of people of color in visual novels and the importance of wholesome representation. She even gave me some insight into the difficulties some content creators have when crafting characters of color in their games, a perspective I hadn’t considered. I’ve seen quite a few polls and surveys floating around about the content of western otome games and visual novels, many of which have sections dedicated to gauging player interests in diverse characters.

I love that there is an open dialogue about diversity in games, especially in romance themed games since there is a noticeable disparity in the number of otome games that feature black and brown characters in major roles. However, I’ve heard through the grapevine that there are a handful of developers that have been saying that they don’t include darker skinned characters in their games because they “look bad” or aren’t as attractive as non black and brown characters. Some people have stated that it’s harder to create characters with darker complexions using the anime art style common in otome games… and hearing that is really heartbreaking. On some level, I feel like this is just a carryover of colorism, and the notion that dark skinned individuals are not as attractive as lighter skinned individuals (which is not the case at all). But, on other levels, it’s less an issue with darker characters looking bad and more a case of an artist needing more experience depicting characters of color.

There is a demand for more diverse games, heck, this past weekend someone used the search term ‘otome games black girl friendly’ to get to my site and I’m gonna be honest with you guys, it made my whole weekend! As more people start playing otome games (and romance visual novels) the demand for more inclusive characters and narratives will only rise and those who stay stuck in their ways are really limiting themselves. So, for the person that searched for black girl friendly otome games and for the folks that think “darker characters look bad” here are a few Melanin Friendly Otome Games and Visual Novels!!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #28

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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My Only Sunshine Review – A Romance VN That’s Out Of This World!

I absolutely love NaNoRenO because it gives up and coming developers the opportunity to make their debut in the game development world and bring their own unique ideas to life. These are usually smaller projects put together by a much smaller team, however, I’ve played quite a few NaNoRenO games in the past that are on par (if not better than) some bigger name commercial releases. You never quite know what you’re going to get with a NaNorenO title, but you can always be sure it will be a one of a kind experience.

So, when Yoshibb reached out to me about their NaNoRenO 2019 entry, My Only Sunshine I was more than happy to give the game a look since the premise was quite unlike anything I have ever seen before: A romance fantasy visual novel involving humanoid versions of the planets. I was intrigued. I’ve played otome games where you date representatives of astrological signs, gods and goddess, but never planets.

Once every millennium, Sun holds a huge gathering of the planetary spirits. While Sun has found herself down in the dumps recently — including a relationship with Terra (Earth) that is on the rocks and what she now considers a largely mundane, solitary existence — she hopes that the get together will brighten things up. However, after Terra ruins her event with his reckless behavior, Sun decides it’s time to play the field and chooses a new planetary partner.

-Synopsis

Game Details

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Let’s Show Our Support for Silver:Line!!

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

This time around, I’m covering an upcoming fantasy romance visual novel, Silver:Line! I played through the demo this weekend and I am hooked!! It has such an interesting premise and the art is gorgeous and don’t get me started on the characters!! Code V Productions is really giving it their all with Silver:Line and if the demo is any indication, you won’t want to miss out on supporting this amazing upcoming title now!

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Fangirl Moment: Wistful Summer (Webcomic)

TGIF!! This has been a long time coming, but I’m finally bringing back Fangirl Friday!! I’ve been slowly getting back into my blogging stride and I’m going to be honest, these are my favorite posts to write since I’m really just fangirling about random stuff I’ve come across be they movies, webcomics, anime, books, dramas… I even wrote one about Barack Obama. So, this is one segment I’m excited to bring back from the dead! Since this is the first post in a while, I wanted to make this one really special, so I decided to go with something that combines two of my loves: Boys Love and Webcomics… Don’t believe me? See for yourself, most of my previous Fangirl Moment posts are either BL related, Webcomics, or BL Webcomics… I have my vices and BL is at the top of the list most days.

Wistful Summer.jpeg

So, for this week’s post I wanted to cover MunZi’s ongoing BL webcomic Wistful Summer. It’s a drama filled comic about a guy who spent most of his life crushing on his best friend, but just when he starts to get over his crush a handsome stranger appears. Things only get more complicated when the best friend divorces his wife and starts hinting that maybe he’s been harboring some unrequited feelings of his own… O_O

First. First lie, first kiss, first love. When Henry and Sam first met that summer long ago, Henry learned the power of first love. But…time goes on, people part, summer ends and so too did their blink of a relationship. All but a distant memory now, when Henry and Sam gradually become close again, Henry finds himself feeling those fiery emotions for the first time since that wistful summer.

-Synopsis

The comic was first published online in 2018 by Kakao, a Korean webcomic site, but you can read the comic in English over on Tapas. This is a paid release, but you can read the first couple of chapters for free. In order to read the non-free chapters you’ll need to use Ink, which is just Tapas’s internal currency. Tapas also has weekly free episode rotations, so if you plan accordingly, you can read the whole thing for free. I am not that patient, so I broke down and bought enough Ink to binge the available chapters… and it was worth every damn penny! 

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D.N. Angel is the Reason I have Commitment Issues with Ongoing Series

So, it was recently brought to my attention that Yukiru Sugisaki would start reviving her long running fantasy romance manga series D.N. Angel this year. This is the first mention of anything new from the series since the author went on hiatus 8 YEARS AGO! Yes, you read that right, it has been 8 years since the release of volume 15 back in 2011 and what’s worse, this isn’t even the first time the series has been on hiatus and I’m pretty damn sure it won’t be the last… so, forgive me if I’m not shouting from the rooftops at the announcement that the series is finally back from the dead.

Some context… 

D.N. Angel follows Daisuke Niwa a 13 year old boy who is descended from a long line of phantom thieves. Daisuke is kinda shy and pretty average, despite having been put through a rigorous training regimen by his mother and grandfather. Other than that life is pretty normal! On his 14th birthday he finally plucks up the courage to confess to the girl of his dreams, Risa Harada, but homegirl turns him down hard! Full of teen angst and fueld by his broken heart, Daisuke goes home to mope a bit, thats when he gets hit with magical puberty. His body transforms into that of the handsome phantom thief Dark Mousy (my first anime crush). Daisuke freaks the fuck out, thankfully his mom is around to explain that the transformation is completely normal, having affected all of the Niwa men for generations. The change she explains is triggered by the host’s romantic feelings of love, and will keep happening until Daisuke finds someone who can love him and Dark. The rest of the story focuses on Daisuke’s attempts to balance his normal life with that of his secret phantom thief alter ego. To make matters worse, Dark has his own consciousness within Daisuke which often gets him into trouble as they both struggle to coexist. Then Daisuke goes and falls in love with Risa’s twin sister, Riku who absolutely hates Dark after he stole her first kiss… yeah, and I thought I had problems…

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OWLS June “Vulnerable” Blog Tour – Inspiring Hope and Strength in Others: Making a Case for the Vulnerability of Otome Heroines 

Hey Hey Owlets!! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. 

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Last month during our Happiness Blog Tour we looked at the things in our lives that bring us joy, from our hobbies to families and friend, and everything in between. This month we’re redefining our weaknesses in the  June Vulnerable Blog Tour!

In the month of June, we will be discussing what it means to be vulnerable. To some individuals, being vulnerable could be seen as a sign of weakness, but in fact, vulnerability is actually a sign of strength. In this month’s posts, we will explore what it means to be vulnerable and how certain characters in pop culture glamorize vulnerability. When do we show our vulnerability? How do we express vulnerability? Why should we show vulnerability? These are questions that we will be discussing in our posts featuring characters that show vulnerability and/or sensitivity and what we can learn from them or even our own personal stories. 

June 2019 Vulnerable Blog Tour Prompt

I thought long and hard about what I’d write about for this month’s tour. Since this is an otome games blog, I figured I’d go with something related to that rather than the usual anime and manga topics I usually pick. Otome heroines get a pretty bad rap since they are typically seen as self insert characters with little to no agency within the context of their respective games. But, there has been a shift in recent years towards more self sufficient heroine characters, especially in English otome games where protagonists tend to have a more well defined personalities and motivations. Though, generally speaking heroines are still arguably the weakest characters despite having the most important role in otome games. So, I wanted to look at the roles otome heroines play in otome game narratives through the lens of the heroine, Ichika Hoshino in the otome game Collar x Malice.  

Continue reading “OWLS June “Vulnerable” Blog Tour – Inspiring Hope and Strength in Others: Making a Case for the Vulnerability of Otome Heroines “

Missed Messages Review – How Will You Spend Your Time?

I’m no stranger to Angela He’s unique brand of games, having played I Woke Up Next to You Again and He Beat Her previously. Unlike most of the games I cover here, Angela’s games focus on more thought provoking themes and subjects, that attempt to replicate some aspect of human nature. Her games are less about the outcome and more about the experience, dropping us head first into narratives that challenge not just our realities, but our perceptions of others. Each of her games is an experience.

Earlier this month Angela He released a brand new title, Missed Messages and she is in full form with this new game. Equally haunting and thought provoking, Missed Messages doesn’t just tell a story, it takes you on a journey. There are four distinct endings with each playthrough taking between 15 – 30 minutes. Point and click through environments for clues while also making meaningful in-game choices that help advance the plot. Warning this game contains mentions of suicide and self-harm, which may be triggering for some players.

“goth gf’s iPhone” airdrops you a photo.

Accept or decline?

A romance / horror story about life, death, and memes.

How will you spend time?

– Synopsis (Game Site)

Game Details

  • Genre: Psychological, slice-of-life
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) |Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh:15 – 30 minutes per playthrough
  • Cost: Free

Continue reading “Missed Messages Review – How Will You Spend Your Time?”

Let’s Show Our Support for Sci-Fi BL VN – Synthetic Lover!!

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

This time around, I’m covering an upcoming Sci-Fi 18+ BL visual novel Synthetic Lover! BL games are starting to crop up left and right, but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a sci-fi boys love title in the works. It’s been a few years since Starfighter and Break Chance Memento, so it’s about time we get another sci-fi boys love game!

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A Beginners Guide to Otome Games: Part 3 – Common Character Archetypes

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been a while since the last ‘A Beginners Guide to Otome Games’ post. I’ve been slowly working on bringing this blog back where it was before I took a break, so expect more of my post segments to start cropping back up… eventually. Since its been so long since the last post, I figured this is as good a time as any to explain what these posts are…

A Beginners Guide to Otome Games post series is a crash course on all things otome games, but in a way that’s easy to understand for newbies and folks unfamiliar with the genre. When I started playing otome games I pretty much just spent most of my time figuring things out as I went along and even then I had a lot of questions. So, I wanted to create a series of posts that answers some of the basic otome question to kind of give you guys a feel for different aspects of otome games. This series is for you guys, so at the end of each A Beginners Guide post I’ll have a poll where you, the reader, can vote on the next topic I cover! Last post, you guys voted and I listened, so for Part 3, I’m going to cover  Common Character Archetypes!

*Also, if there is something in this post that you think should be expanded or needs more clarification, please let me know and I will update this post accordingly!


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5 Otome Games Like Steam Prison

In an effort to give you guys more of an active role on the content on this blog, I’ll run polls for certain posts. A few weeks ago I gave you guys the chance to vote on the game for this week’s post. You guys got to choose from four games (Steam Prison, Bad Apple Wars, 7’scarlet, and OZMAFIA) and 33% of you guys picked Steam Prison

 

In the last post I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like London Detective Mysteria and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 otome games like Steam Prison. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Steam Prison is a steampunk otome game developed by HuneX. This is the second English language otome localization from video game publisher, MangaGamer. Steam Prison follows Cyrus Tistella, a young woman from a well to do family, who is accused of murdering her parents. As a result she finds herself stripped of her titles and taken from her comfortable life in the affluent Heights and sent to the underground prison known only as the Depths, where the worst criminals are sent to atone for their crimes. With life as she knows it changed for ever, Cyrus must learn to navigate this new hostile environment, where every day is a struggle for survival. While Steam Prison is an otome, it does deal with some complex themes that add a bit of realism to the game’s fantasy setting. Delve into the complex relationship between those living in the Depths and those living in the Heights, as you interact with various characters and explore unique locales.

So, if you’re like me and you’re looking for games similar to Steam Prison, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Steam Prison and not so much a play by play clone of the game. So, they’re not exactly the same, but, they definitely capture the spirit of Steam Prison. 


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[Pride Month 2019] 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs,  LGBT Pride Monththe annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community!! Last year I celebrated with a list of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels, I highly recommend giving that list a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I wanted to compile another list with even more LGBTQ positive VNs!

Representation matters, so I did my best to come up with a list of games that gave a positive look at members of the LGBTQ community, whether that meant shedding light on an often overlooked group of people or offering a positive portrayal of members of the LGBTQ community. Like last year, I will include links to each of the games and I’ll even spotlight which aspects of the LGBTQ community is referenced. As always, this is not an end all list, there are plenty of great games out there, so if you have some suggestions definitely feel free to drop them down in the comments section!

So, without further ado, here are 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!


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Steam Prison Review – A Deep and Immersive Steampunk Romance

Steam Prison is the newest otome game localization from MangaGamer, following their release of Poni-Patchet’s OZMAFIA in 2016 and the R18 otome, Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome. There is always a lot of hype surrounding new otome localizations, but, Steam Prison was the first big otome release of 2019, not associated with Idea Factory. Steam Prison, was originally released in 2016 by HuneX for PC as both an all-ages 17+ release (the MangaGamer release of the 17+ version). A Vita port was released in 2017, that added an extra route for the MC’s partner, Finn.

In the game you play as an 18 year old police officer named, Cyrus Tistella, living in the raised utopian city known as the Heights. Everything is coming up roses for our heroine, with a new promotion and her upcoming marriage into the high ranking Evans family. Things take a turn for the worst, when Cyrus is accused of murdering her parents. Unable to prove her innocence, Cyrus is banished to the Depths a place where the most brutal criminals are sent to atone for their crimes. But, when she arrives, Cyrus finds that the Depths is not the primitive wasteland she once believed it to be, she soon learns that all is not as it seems as the things she once held to be true start to fall apart.

Steam Prison Murder

Game Details

  • Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) |Steam
  • Gameplay Lengh: 5-7 hours first play through/ 25-30 hours Total
  • Cost: $39.99
  • 5 male romance options
    • Suggested Play Order: Eltcreed → Ulrik → Adage → Ines → Yune → Grand Ending
  • Similar Games: Code Realize, Cinderella Phenomenon, and Confines of the Crown

Spoiler Warning


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Dangerous Fellows Review – Nothing Says Romance Like A Zombie Apocalypse

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of free to play otome games, but the premise of an otome game set amidst a zombie apocalypse was so bizarre I found myself putting aside my biases about freemium mobile games. Dangerous Fellows is a 2018 mobile otome game published by Korean game developer Lucy Dream. Dangerous Fellows is the first Lucy Dream title that has been made available in English, their second title, Mystic Code was released in May 2019.

A sudden outbreak of an unknown virus has destroyed the entire world.
Most of the people has turned into horrendous, blood-seeking zombies……….

As I was trying to escape from a deadly attack by the zombie,
I was miraculously saved by some strangers-five attractive fellows.

They’ve been concealing themselves safely in a school building with other survivors.

……But, is this place really safe for us?

Can we all survive from this bizarre catastrophe?

Find out the shocking ending of a romance thriller
that you’ve never experienced before!

Synopsis (Game Site)

Game Details

  • Genre: Supernatural, Horror, Romance
  • Available for Android and IOS
  • 25 Chapters and 7 Endings
    • 5 character endings, 1 normal, and 1 alternate ending
  • 5 Male Love interests
    • Suggested Play Order: Normal Ending ⇒ Ethan ⇒ Harry ⇒ Zion ⇒ Eugene ⇒ Lawrence ⇒ Alternate Ending
  • Free (optional micro-transactions)

Continue reading “Dangerous Fellows Review – Nothing Says Romance Like A Zombie Apocalypse”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #27

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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Behind the Games: RoseVeRte Games

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Ertal from the BL games developer, Ertal Gamesso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Chu-3, the person behind the otome game developer, RoseVeRte Games!

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RoseVeRte Games started out as a small circle of independent developers and has since become a one person operation helmed by Chu-3. The team got their start back in 2010 with the otome game Duplicity and has since grown to to produce a number of wonderful game titles. RoseVeRte specializes in romance themed visual novels, that are known for their imaginative settings and unique characters. Their most recent Eroolia series has achieved great success, and currently consists of three games: How to Take Off Your Mask (2015), How To Fool A Liar King (2017), and How To Sing Open Your Heart (2019). But, enough from me, let’s turn things over to Chu-3…

 


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Otome Games I Wish Had an Anime Adaptation

On the heels of the Collar X Malice Unlimited fandisk announcement, Idea Factory and Otomate revealed through their twitter account that Collar X Malice is also getting an anime adaptation in the near future. This is not the first otome game to get an anime adaptation, with Hakuoki, Amnesia Memories, OZMAFIA, and Code Realize to name a few all getting the anime treatment.

For those of you not familiar with Collar X Malice, it’s a mystery, suspense, thriller otome game originally developed by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand in 2016 for PS Vita. The game was later localized by Aksys Games in 2017 for an English language release. The game follows Ichika Hoshino a young police officer in Shinjuku, Tokyo after she becomes the unwitting victim of a mysterious terrorist organization that have been terrorizing the city with several large scale attacks. Ichika is captured by the organization and fitted with a collar set to dispense poison into her neck unless she uncovers the truth behind the attacks. With her life on the line and the fate of the city hanging in the balance, Ichika is approached by five mysterious strangers who offer to help her get to the bottom of the crimes and hopefully save the people of Shinjuku and herself in the process.

The premise alone has everything you need for a great story; action, suspense, mystery, romance… I can’t wait to see what the anime has in store for us (and I sincerely hope they do the story justice). But, that got me thinking, what other otome games would I like to see get an anime adaptation? I mean, really, everyone assumes that otome games are just a lot of romance and that’s it. But, the truth is, otome games have some of the best stories that cover a wide range of subjects and genres that would make for amazing anime series. So, I wracked my brain a bit and came up with a list of otome games I think really deserve to have an anime adaptation.


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Prophecies, Teen Angst, and Robots… Oh My – Revisions Anime Review

I am not a huge mecha fan, in fact, I can honestly say there are two maybe three mecha series that have managed to hold my interest for longer than a few episodes. So, I wasn’t chomping at the bit for Winter 2019’s revisions, the brain child of veteran director Goro Taniguchi. Of course, this wasn’t Taniguchi’s first foray into the mecha genre, he’s been associated with a number of critically acclaimed mecha series since the early 90’s and it’s safe to say that he brings his years of experience with him into this sci-fi epic.

Revisions.jpgrevisions has a lot going on in its rather short, 12 episode run, equal parts human drama and sci-fi adventure, the series draws from a lot of preexisting anime tropes, while also bringing with it a few unique ideas. The series follows high schooler, Daisuke Doujima, a guy who is convinced that he is god’s greatest gift to mankind. After being rescued from an attempted kidnapping as a child, he was told by his rescuer that he was destined to save the world. With these words in his heart, Daisuke spent the better part of his life preparing to do just that, his years of “training” pay off when he, his friends, and the entire city of Shibuya are mysteriously transported from present day (2017) to the year 2388. The future is a veritable wasteland, populated by beings known as Revisions who use monstrous mecha abominations to terrorize the inhabitants of Shibuya, their only hope is the secretive organization AHRV and their agent, Milo, a mysterious young woman from the future who shares a strong resemblance to someone from Daisuke’s past. She arms Daisuke and his friends with their own mecha, String Puppets, the only things capable of taking down the Revisions and protecting the people of Shibuya. Now, Daisuke and his friends must defeat the Revisions if they have any hope of returning to the past, or they’ll risk staying in the future forever.


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Behind the Games: Ertal Games

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Esh and Sprocket, the creators of the supernatural romance visual novel Changelingso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Ertal, the from the BL game developer Ertal Games!

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Ertal Games is a one person indie developer that specializes in bringing unique Boys Love games to an English speaking audience. I covered their first game, A Hand in the Darkness a little while ago and I was enamored with detailed storytelling and inventive characters. They have since followed it up with the steampunk fantasy, Chasing the Stars which was released earlier this year. Ertal Games has a whole host of great stories to tell and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this amazing BL developer!

But, enough from me, let’s turn things over to Ertal…


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When the Night Comes Review – A Devilishly Addictive Supernatural Mystery

When the Night Comes is an episodic supernatural fantasy otome game from indie team, Lunaris Games. I’ve played my fair share of supernatural otome games, each promising a fresh take on an already over-saturated genre, but, When the Night Comes is truly something special.

Each new chapter builds on the momentum of its predecessor drawing you into the complex world of magic and mystery. In the game, you are a hunter that has been called to the quiet town of Lunaris to assist with an ongoing investigation into a series of grisly murders. But, there’s more to this case than your superiors are letting on, delve into the world of Witches, Vampires, Demons, and Lycans to slowly uncover the secrets of the town. The closer you get to the truth the more dangerous things become, forcing you to rely on the very creatures you’ve been tasked with hunting. But, with more sinister forces at work, you will need all the help you can get and maybe you’ll discover a little romance along the way.

Game Details

  • Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance, 18+
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) 
  • 6 Chapters (ongoing)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 2-3 hours per chapter
  • Cost: Free
  • Male, Female, and Poly Romance Options
  • Similar Games: Changeling, Spirit Parade, and Love Ritual

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Behind the Games: Steamberry Studios

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party, Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Jaime Scribbles, the creator of the post apocalyptic visual novel As We Know Itso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Esh and Sprocket, the dynamic duo behind Steamberry Studios!

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Steamberry Studios is the name of  a brand new indie game developer, founded by two very special individuals, Esh and Sprocket. I have had the opportunity to get to know these two pretty well over the past couple of years and I am absolutely in love with their debut visual novel, Changeling. If you’re in the mood for a supernatural romance game, I highly recommend giving Changeling a try, you won’t be disappointed. This is only the beginning for this dynamic duo and given the success of Changeling I am excited to see where these two end up in the future! But, enough of my yammering, let’s turn things over to Esh and Sprocket…


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A World With(out) You – Saku Fukazawa Main Story Review

So, Voltage Inc aka Otome Romance (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) released a brand new title on their Love 365 portal app, a supernatural fantasy slice of life game titled, A World With(out) You. In the game you play a young woman whose boyfriend dies unexpectedly leaving you to face the world without him, but, your love is so strong that he comes back as a ghost to help you find happiness without him… *cue the Korean pop ballads* Cus this sounds like something straight out of a Korean drama.

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But, I was intrigued, a romance game where the love interest is already dead at the start of the game can either go one of two ways: Either he stays dead and the MC finds love with someone else OR the power of love brings dude back to life, at least that’s how it works in Korean dramas.

Love Choice: A Cliffnotes Crash Course 

Unlike their usual paid format, A World With(out) You is one of their Love Choice stories, so you can read the entire story for free. But, you need hearts, which can be purchased through microtransactions, to unlock premium choices and endings, also there is a 5 hour delay between chapters, which is annoying as fuck. I’m not a big fan of the move to Love Choice stories, because I’m not a fan of freemium games. But, during the initial release of Love Choice routes, Voltage gets rid of the 5 hour wait time and you can unlock new chapters immediately. Which is the main reason I even picked up the game in the first place, until 5/27 Saku Fukazawa’s Main Story is available without the 5 hour delay!! Yay!

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Love Choice premium choices

So I’ve played through a few chapters of his route and I have some thoughts that’d like to get out… Usually I edit my reviews, but, this time I kind of like how my notes sound so other than some minor edits for structure, here are my unfiltered thoughts on A World With(out) You and Saku Fukuzawa’s route so far… I’m going to take my time with this one because, hearts cost money and I did the math, it would cost me like $20 bucks to finish it in one go and I’m not about that life.

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5 Otome Games Like London Detective Mysteria

I ran a poll over on Twitter asking for help choosing a game for a post and SURPRISE, this is it! You guys got to choose between two game titles, Bad Apple Wars and London Detective Mysteria and 60% of you guys picked the latter. Thanks to everyone who participated!!

Last week I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like Hakuoki and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 games like London Detective Mysteria. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, London Detective Mysteria is a Victorian-era otome game developed by Karin Entertainment and the first localized otome game title from XSeed. Originally published as Eikoku Tantei Mysteria: The CrownLondon Detective Mysteria follows Lady Emily Whiteley, heir to House Whiteley, upon her debut into high society, she receives a letter from the Queen of England inviting her to attend a famous detective finishing school, Harrington Academy. Explore London and investigate a series of mysteries, while interacting with characters inspired by famous historical and fictional figures, like, famed detective Sherlock Holmes, infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, master thief Jean Lupin and more…

So, if you’ve finished London Detective Mysteria and are looking for something to satisfy your inner super sleuth, I have five games just for you. Each of these games captures a little bit of the magic of London Detective Mysteria whether you’re solving cases or romancing hot ikemen versions of historical figures, these titles are a must play.

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Changeling Review – An Imaginative Supernatural Romance VN

Newbie developer Steamberry Studios delivers a magical adventure in their debut supernatural fantasy visual novel, Changeling. The game follows Nora, a high school senior who finds herself drawn into the world of the paranormal after moving back to her childhood hometown of Pine Hollow. A community of Cryptics (supernatural beings) operates in the shadows of Pine Hollow, each with their own secrets… After experiencing a number of strange occurrences, Nora discovers that she is also a Cryptic and the revelation sends her world into a tailspin. But, unlike her friends and fellow member of the Supernatural Club, her supernatural origins might be darker than anyone could have anticipated. With danger around every corner, Nora must rely on one of six guys, to uncover the secrets of her past while also helping them deal with their own supernatural issues.

I’ve been following Changeling‘s production for a very long time now, from the kickstarter campaign to tumblr dev updates to the beta testing and I’ve talked with the devs at length about the game on a number of occasions. So, I suppose you could say I am really invested in this game.

Game Details


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Rose in the Embers – Takahisa Togo Main Story Review

It’s been awhile since I last played a Voltage game, before the switch from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app. One of the first games introduced in the new Love 365 app was Rose in Embers a Cinderella-esque historical romance set in the Taisho Era. I checked out the prologue a long time ago, but never got around to playing any of the routes until now. At the time of its release only two guys had been released: Kyosuke Takatsukasa and Takahisa Togo. Since I usually don’t care much for the suave alpha male types, I went with Takahisa as my first choice pick. I mean come on a man in uniform, what’s not to love?!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #26

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

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This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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Behind the Games: Jaime Scribbles

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party,  Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Dovah and Gamma from Argent Games, the dynamic twosome behind Argent Gamesso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Jaime Scribbles of Jaime Scribbles Games!

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Jaime is the brains behind the indie game studio, Jaime Scribbles Games! She’s a single mom who made her debut in 2017 with a horror romance visual novel, Pinewood Island. Two years later, she’s showing no signs off slowing down, with two games under her belt and one in development Jaime is a force to be reckoned with in the indie scene. But, what really sets her games apart from the rest is her dedication to creating titles with diverse love interests and deep narrative heavy stories. But, without further ado, let’s turn things over to Jaime…


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5 Otome Games Like Hakuoki

The Hakuoki franchise is one of the most successful otome game series, spanning several main series games, spin-offs, a 2010 Studio Deen anime series, manga, and two films. Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossoms was one of my first introductions to the world of “mainstream” otome games, and with Idea Factory cranking out a new game every few years there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. The most recent English localizations being Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms. 

If you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, Hakuoki is the name of a historical romance otome game series that takes place in the Bakumatsu Era ( final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended) and follows the members of the special police force known as the Shinsengumi. Since I absolutely suck at history, I’ll just leave a link to the Shinsengumi wiki, here. Like you’d expect from an otome game, you get to romance the members of the Shinsengumi while helping them defend the shogunate. There’s more historical details, but, the long and short of it is you get to romance hot swordsmen.

The Hakuoki franchise remains one of my favorite otome game series, I mean come on good looking swordsmen, battles, historical references!! But, after finishing Edo Blossoms there was this void left that I absolutely needed to fill, so I compiled a list of five otome games like Hakuoki. Each of these games either A) focuses on the Shinsengumi or B) is set in the Bakumatsu Period. So, for those of you wishing for more time with Hijikata, Saito, Okita, and the rest of the Shinsengumi crew, look no further, I’ve done all the hard work for you!!

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OWLS May “Happiness” Blog Tour: Finding Happiness in the Little Things

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s May and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Masculinity Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our May Happiness Blog Tour! If you haven’t already be sure to check out Karandi’s and Jack’s posts from earlier this monthon their blogs!

Happiness is subjective. We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us and we also feel happiness in varying degrees. This month we will be exploring several questions describing our happiness in our fandoms, communities, and hobbies. Why do we find enjoyment watching anime or reading manga? Why did we decide to join the anime or pop culture communities?  Why do we blog about our hobbies or cosplay as our favorite characters? This topic is all about the passions we have for our interests and why they are important to us.

May 2019 Happiness Blog Tour Prompt

I was unsure of how I was going to tackle this month’s blog tour topic, like the prompt states, ‘happiness’ is a subjective concept that takes on different meanings for each person. For some, happiness is being surrounded by friends and family, while for others happiness is the solitude of a quiet nook with warm blankets and a good book. But, what does happiness mean to me? If you ask me one day it’s successfully completing a crochet project or getting a new blazer. Other days, happiness is being able to pay my rent on time or just having a seat on a train.

So, rather than doing my usual OWLS post, I wanted to talk about three moments of happiness I’ve experienced this year.

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As We Know It Review – A Diverse Post-Apocalyptic Visual Novel

Jaime Scribbles Games just released their newest game, a dystopian life-sim visual novel As We Know It. Set in the distant future, where the world has been plagued by climate shifts that have turned the surface into a veritable wasteland, people have taken refuge in underground sanctuaries. One such subterranean town, Camden offers a safe haven for a those select few lucky enough to secure an invitation to the exclusive oasis. You (default name Ashlynn Phillips) and your mother are given the opportunity to escape the surface for the safety and security of Camden. The mayor, Rick Davidson and the people of the city welcome you with open arms, and the abundance of resources are a welcome change from scarcity of the surface. But, all is not as it seems in Camden, as seeds of descent spread the social order of the city starts to deteriorate and you must decide where your allegiances lie. Do you stand with the Mayor and protect your new home or do you rebel? The choice is yours.

Game Details

  • Genre: Life simulator, Romance, Drama
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 30 Endings (4 romance routes, 3 potential friendships)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 3-5 hours per playthrough
  • Cost: $19.99 USD
  • Life-Sim Gameplay
  • Customizable MC
  • Similar Games: Aloners, Who We Are Now

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[Melanin Monday] Why Blackface in Cosplay is NOT Okay

With con season in full swing in most places, anime fans across the country are gearing up for weekends full of otaku fellowship. But, for many one of the highlights of any con are the cosplayers, who dedicate months, sometimes years into carefully crafting their costumes and props in order to pay homage to the media and characters they love.

Cosplay 

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A portmanteau of the words ‘costume play’, is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially characters from Japanese media.

Amateurs and professionals alike flock to these otaku meccas in hopes of showing off their hard work, strutting their stuff among the throngs of anime fans eager to share in their love of Japanese culture. Cosplay is a way for fans to express their creativity while also showing their appreciation for the media they love. Some cosplayers strive for accuracy, with carefully constructed costumes that perfectly capture the original source material, while others let their imaginations fly with unique alternative takes on popular characters.


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Blog Update: It’s Time for a Change!

Many of you already know this story, but if you’re new here I figured this was as good a time as any to tell it again. I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero back when I was in my last year of grad school. I was working on a Capstone Research project about unintended injury rates among middle school aged adolescents in four South American countries, and I was getting burned out on all the literature reviews and methodology drafting and all the other riveting aspects of academic writing. So, on a whim I opened up WordPress with the intention of starting a blog, mind you, I’d tried starting a blog before (over on Blogger), but I never could manage to keep up with it. So, I figured this would be about the same. I’d write for a week or two and then my blog would fall to the wayside forgotten and abandoned in some dark corner of the internet. I wasn’t thinking long term, I just needed something to take my mind off the stuffy research paper I was working on, and I figured writing about anything other than broken bones and accidental falls was a welcome change.

So, on August 11, 2015 I wrote my very first post, all 92 words of it… my statement to the big wide internet. An introduction, short sweet and to the point, but it was mine. I’m not gonna lie, those first couple of posts were rough. I’ve read through them a few times and there are so many things I want to go back and change, but, I won’t, those posts as cringeworthy as they seem are a memorial of sorts to the me of the past. It’s kind of nice to look back on those older posts and remember just how much fun I had writing them. I didn’t have a lot of followers and my view counts rarely ever hit double digits, but, I still took pride in what I wrote. I still do.

It’s been four years since I started this blog and it’s still mind boggling to me how far Nice Job Breaking It, Hero has come since then. I’ve grown as a writer, as reviewer, and as a person and this site has grown along with me. Through all the ups and downs, the hiatuses, big life events, this has been one of the biggest mainstays. Despite taking a lot of time off from it in these later years, I truly love blogging. I love sharing my thoughts on things that I love and engaging with everyone in the WordPress community. I’ve made some great friends and fellow allies over the years and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the world. But, I will admit that Nice Job Breaking It, Hero has outgrown the basic free domain and it’s name.

Yes, after giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided to make some changes. The first being upgrading the site from the Basic WordPress plan to one of the Paid plans. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers take the plunge and I figure it’s been a long time coming, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. But, with it comes the second and by far the most important change (at least in my opinion)… I’m changing the name of the blog from Nice Job Breaking It, Hero to Blerdy Otome, the domain will also be changing as well, but, I’ll update that when I take the plunge the new address is blerdyotome.com! This isn’t something I’m doing on a whim, I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time. When I was first considering a name for my blog I was really into TV Tropes, so of course I pilfered one of my favorite tropes for the title of my blog, because I suck at titles. But, more than that, the trope ‘Nice Job Breaking It, Hero’ kind of fit where I was in my life at the time.

The hero has accomplished their goal; they’ve killed the Big Bad, or defeated them forever, or at least scored a major blow against the antagonist. They’ve done what they set out to do…

…but not so fast! It turns out that by the very act of success, they’ve unwittingly made things worse.

TV Tropes

I was still kind of getting my bearings with this whole adulting thing and more times than not I wound up making more mistakes than I’d care to admit. And, it still kind of fits, since I’m still just kind of making things up as I go along, sometimes I make it and sometimes I break it, so that even with the name changing, this blog will still kind of embody the spirit of the old Nice Job Breaking It, Hero name.

So, the new name… Blerdy Otome

I think the new name perfectly defines who I am, I’m a Black nerd and I’m a woman… pretty simple. My focus will still be on otome games and visual novels, like it has been in the past, but, I want to expand my horizons a bit to encompass a wider range of Japanese culture topics and nerdy exploits. So expect more diverse topics in the near future.

thank you

Thank you for sticking it out with me this long. I know I have been a little hectic and erratic lately, but your kind words and comments and things have really meant a lot to me. This blog would not be what it is without you guys and I can’t thank you enough. I’m always trying to improve myself and this sight so if you have any suggestions or want to talk or anything, feel free to reach out to me, I’m def down for it. I’m also going to make a conscious effort to be more active on my social media channels and in commenting on others blogs and things, so expect to see a lot of comments from me coming at you real soon. Like A LOT. Thanks for being super special awesome and I’m excited to share this new phase of my journey with you all. Thank you!!

*I’ll be making the change tomorrow, May 4th, 2019 (EST)!!*

Carole & Tuesday a Music Anime with Soul – Episodes 1-3 Review

These past few seasons have me falling in love with music anime, and with Piano no Mori finally done, I’ve been looking for another series to fill the void and along came Spring 2019’s Carole & Tuesday. Created through a collaboration between critically acclaimed anime studio Bones and Japanese record label, Flying Dog, for their 20th and 10th Anniversaries, respectively, Carole & Tuesday utilizes their combined resources to create something truly amazing. Not to mention, acclaimed director Shinichiro Watanabe is also serving as the series’s supervising director, so you know this series sure to be a hit. 

Carole and Tuesday

Plot

Set in the near distant future where mankind is now living on Mars and most media is produced by AI and people have become little more than passive consumers. Carole & Tuesday offers a heartwarming story of two girls from very different walks of life, connected by their love of music.

Carole, a young girl living in the thriving metropolis of Alba City, scratching out a living as she bounces from one part-time job to the next while trying to make some coin as a street musician.

Tuesday is a wealthy girl from the provincial town of Herschel City, she dreams of becoming a musician like her idol Cyndi Lauper. So she packs up her guitar and runs away to the city in hopes of making it big.

A chance meeting brings these two very different girls together, each finding something special in the other and decide to embark on a musical journey that will change their lives forever!

Two girls from very different backgrounds meet in the most unexpected way. Together, they embark on a musical journey that will change their lives forever!

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One Night, Hot Spring – Game Review

I’ve played many games over the years, but none has so perfectly captured the human experience as poignantly as the short visual novel One Night, Hot Spring. This thought provoking title, gives players the opportunity to step into the shoes of Haru, a 19 year old transgender Japanese woman who has just been invited for an overnight trip to a local hot spring by her oldest friend Manami. While Haru is initially reluctant to attend, she eventually give in to the request. But, what would normally be a simple night out with friends is made much more difficult for Haru, who is still legally male must contend with the rigid gender structures of the Japanese hot spring. As the night wears on and Haru’s anxieties rise the player must decide how Haru reacts to the various obstacles she encounters. 

One Night Hot Spring 4.jpg

npckc‘s short visual novel One Night, Hot Spring does that and more, by giving players the unique opportunity to experience life through the eyes of a transgender woman in Japan. I originally included the game in a list of ten LGBTQ positive visual novels in celebration of Pride Month and of all the titles on that list, One Night, Hot Spring was by far my favorite. The game was developed by indie developer npckc for the 2018 Trans Gal Jam.

Game Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android
  • Gameplay Length: 30 mins – 1 hour
  • 7 unique endings
  • Cost: FREE

Continue reading “One Night, Hot Spring – Game Review”

Sexy Mermen, Political Intrigue, and Magic – Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure – Game Review

Originally developed by Seven Submarines in 2018 for the annual game jam NaNoRenO, Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure is a short fantasy visual novel that takes us on a journey into the deep. Gabrielle Freedman embarks on a journey into the sea to find Nauticus, Crown Prince of Atlas in hopes of securing his aid in an ongoing political struggle on the surface. Unbeknownst to her, Nauticus has his hands full with an ongoing civil war over control of the throne. Exiled alongside his royal guard, Zeppelin, Nauticus is desperate to reclaim his throne and reluctantly agrees to a tenuous alliance with Gabrielle. Together the trio devise a plan that could be mutually beneficial to both their causes, but, it involves confronting an evil sea witch. With everything on the line Gabrielle, Nauticus, and Zeppelin gear up for fight that will determine the fate of their very different worlds.

Game Details

  • Genre: Adventure, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
  • 7 Endings
  • Gameplay Lengh: ≈45 mins – 1 hr
  • Cost: Free
  • Partial Voice Acting
  • RPG Style Battle System
  • Similar Games: The Blind Griffin, A Foretold Affair 

Continue reading “Sexy Mermen, Political Intrigue, and Magic – Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure – Game Review”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #25

 

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #25”

Let’s Show Our Support for The Divine Speaker!!

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

This time around, I’m covering Two and a Half Studio’s upcoming fantasy BL visual novel The Divine Speaker! We’ve been getting quite a few BL games in recent years and this debut title from Two and a Half Studios checks off quite a few boxes for me. With its gorgeous visuals and unique fantasy premise, The Divine Speaker promises to be a fun addition to the genre.

Continue reading “Let’s Show Our Support for The Divine Speaker!!”

[Melanin Monday] Diversity in Otome Games

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! I know its been awhile since my last Melanin Monday post (I’ve been slacking off), but, for those of you just joining the party, here’s a little refresher. Melanin Monday is a bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it! This week, I’m looking at diversity in otome games!

Otome games promise a player driven gaming experience, giving players the opportunity to romance a diverse group of characters. But, really how diverse are otome games? Sure they feature characters from a wide range of character archetypes, but when it comes to their appearance, they all seem to fall into the same generic bishounen category. What’s more, mainstream otome games tend to have a distinct lack of racial diversity among their romance options. Western otome games have been more successful at integrating more diverse romance options in their games, with characters from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicity, but, Japanese otome games are much more restrictive in the types of romance options they offer. But, given that otome games are created with a Japanese audience in mind, this is not wholly unexpected.

However, with an increasing number of Western gamers playing otome games, this lack of diversity could alienate individuals looking for games featuring characters that share similar characteristics to themselves. In recent years, Western otome games and Original English Language Visual Novels (OELVNs) have stepped up to provide a solution by offering games with more diverse romance options that are more reflective of their target audiences. As a woman of color, I appreciate the efforts of Western developers to incorporate diverse characters into their narratives, because it creates an opportunity for representation that may have otherwise not existed.

Continue reading “[Melanin Monday] Diversity in Otome Games”

[OWLS Blog Tour] Real Men Spread Love: Masculinity in Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s April and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Feminine Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our April Masculinity Blog Tour!

Last month, we explored the meanings behind the terms, “feminine” and “feminism.” This month the OWLS bloggers will explore the concept of masculinity. We each have our own definition of what it means to be masculine and we will explore our definitions using “masculine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “masculine” or show signs of a masculine persona. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing men that supported us in our lives as well as sharing some of our experiences growing up as a man or knowing men who struggled with the masculine identity.

April 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

Websters defines masculinity as ‘having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man’, but what does it mean to be “a man”? Is it physical strength? Fortitude? Having the anatomy of a man? With shifting gender norms, it’s difficult to ascribe a one size fits all definition to terms like masculinity and femininity, because there is no singular way to embody these terms. Roles that were traditionally held exclusively by men are now being taken up by women and visa versa. There simply isn’t a case for traditional masculinity or femininity in today’s evolving world, because what it means to be a man or a woman has changed. But, as a society we still adhere to a ridged gender coded system. Items associated with women and girls tend to have a pink, purple, or pastel color scheme, while items intended for men and boys tend to favor a darker color pallet. We have been conditioned to see associate masculinity with dominance, power, and strength, and femininity with beauty, grace, and poise.

The same exists in anime, shounen series like My Hero Academia, Black Clover, and Dragonball Z, with their action heavy storylines and characters, focus on more “masculine” topics, like overcoming adversity or proving one’s worth (usually through brute strength). Relationships are forged through combat or intense training, and feelings when featured are merely used to bolster a character’s drive to complete some predetermined goal. Shounen anime tend to focus on a character (or group of characters) striving to be the best at whatever it is they do, either through brute strength, dogged determination, or just plain old dumb luck. On the other side of things, you have shojo anime which tends to focus on more traditionally “feminine” topics, like romance and friendship. There usually isn’t a predetermined goal or even a “bad guy”, with the majority of these stories tackling more internal conflicts like self-doubt, finding love, or fostering relationships (romantic/platonic) with others.

But, even within these clearly gender specific genres, there is some crossover. There are plenty of shounen anime that focus on romance and dealing with more internal personal conflicts, just like there are shoujo anime that feature action and adventure storylines. These series challenge the status quo, giving us more relatable stories that speak to who we are as individuals and not so much what we are expected to be. So for this month’s Blog Tour, I went with a series that subverts the idea of masculinity, by parodying a traditionally ‘feminine’ magical girl anime genre. This time around, I’m looking at the magical boy anime, Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! and how despite it’s adherence to traditional magical girl anime tropes and overtly “feminine” themes, helps define a “new” masculine ideal.


Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Real Men Spread Love: Masculinity in Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!”

Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review

Pillow Fight adds a truly outrageous detective visual novel to their portfolio, big hair and even bigger cases will keep you captivated in Ghosts of Miami. I covered the demo back in the early stages of production and now that the full game is out, I just had to sit down and give this title a spin and it did not disappoint! Follow Chelo, an up and coming private investigator as she explores the beaches and back alleys of sunny Miami. Her stomping grounds, Dade County, is ground zero for the drug cartels and scores of undocumented immigrants all looking for a place to call home. With so much activity, it’s easy for a few lost souls to slip through the cracks… and when they do, you can count on Chelo to find the ghosts of Miami.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Adventure, Detective, Romance
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 5 love interests (2 female, 1 non-binary, and 2 male)
  • Gameplay Lengh: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $14.99
  • Similar Games: Ace Attorney, Love Ritual, and The Blind Griffin 

Continue reading “Big Hair and Even Bigger Cases: Ghosts of Miami – Game Review”

Knights of Alanoc Volume 1- Bara Comic Review

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, last year comic artist Aero Zero reached out to me about their poly positive fantasy bara comic, MEN+MONSTERS and I absolutely loved the gorgeous, vibrant art and unique premise. Well, Aero Zero hit me up again about another one of their Bara comics, Knights of Alanoc, a prequel to their action-adventure bara comic ACE OF BEASTS. I really enjoyed my first excursion into the MEN+MONSTERS/ACE OF BEASTS world, and I was excited to get my hand on this delightful standalone.

Knights of Alanoc Full

KNIGHTS OF ALANOC Volume 1 by Aero Zero

Title: KNIGHTS OF ALANOC Volume 1
Author / Artist: Aero Zero
Publisher: MEN PLUS MONSTERS
Genre: Bara / Fantasy / Mature / Graphic Novel
Released: 2018 (online), JAN 2019 (print)
Length: 60 pages

Summary: A ruthless lieutenant gives up on pursuing love… until a swordsman from a faraway land enters his life! Slow-burn romance SFW prequel to ACE OF BEASTS, with a NSFW epilogue.

Anyone that is familiar with Aero Zero’s works will recognize both Osric and Xerxes as main characters in their other long running series, ACE OF BEASTS. While this is a prequel series, you don’t need to have read BEASTS to understand what’s going on in KNIGHTS. However, this comic does provide some neat background on Osric and Xerxes and the origins of their relationship.

KNIGHTS OF ALANOC follows the exploits of Osric, a jaded lieutenant fresh off a recent break-up and Xerxes, a wandering swordsman who wants to train to become a knight. Though the pair are initially at odds, they soon strike up a friendship that quickly turns romantic. A slow-burn romance between two burly knights, unfolds against a beautiful fantasy backdrop. While this is a much more laid back Bara offering, the slow-burn romance and expressive characters make for a rather enjoyable read.


Continue reading “Knights of Alanoc Volume 1- Bara Comic Review”

Love Ritual – English Otome Game Review

Last week, Xand Arts released their debut title, Love Ritual, a richly imaginative detective fantasy that blends together the team’s seductive characters and designs with an immersive investigative narrative. Love Ritual follows Riilai, a young Ritualist hired on as a consultant for a local police investigation tasked with uncovering the truth behind an illegal summoning ritual. The police currently have two suspects in custody, a Necromancer and a Druid, both of whom have retained counsel to help prove their innocents. The two delegates, a suave Necromancer named Kalaseth, and a naïve good-natured Druid named Shanrae will do anything to get their clients off the hook. But, the deeper Riilai delves into the case the less black and white things become, and with two handsome advocates working so closely Riilai has a rough road ahead.

Xand Arts markets Love Ritual as an adult otome, and it’s easy to see why, with its captivating mystery adventure narrative and seductive character designs, Love Ritual delivers a sophisticated gaming experience.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Adult Content, Romance, GxB
  • Available for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 2 male love interests
  • Gameplay Length: ≈15 hours
  • Cost: $11.99
  • Similar Games: Mystic Destines: Serendipity of Aeons, Changeling

Continue reading “Love Ritual – English Otome Game Review”

Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet: Character & Route Thoughts (Part 2)

Originally this was a part of the main review, but the more I kept writing the more my thoughts on the characters kind of took on a life of their own. So, I’m trying something new and separating out my thoughts on the characters and their routes from the main review. I don’t know if I’ll do this again, but, I had some pretty strong feelings about some of the characters/routes and it just didn’t gel well with the rest of the review.

7 scarlet chara

If you want a general review of 7’scarlet check out my previous post, Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?! – 7’Scarlet Review (Part 1)If you’ve already given that a gander and you just want to know how I felt about the love interests and routes, you’re in the right place. A word of caution though, there are spoilers here, so if you haven’t finished the game perhaps you might want to hold off on reading this post until you do.

Continue reading “Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet: Character & Route Thoughts (Part 2)”

Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet Otome Game Review (Part 1)

7’scarlet is a mystery otome game and one of the most recent localizations to make its way Stateside. The game follows Ichiko Hanamaki, a college student whose brother disappeared a year prior to the start of the game while visiting the town of Okunezato. While investigating the town, Ichiko and her childhood friend Hino stumble upon a strange website detailing several mysteries surrounding the town and decide to participate in an online meetup hosted by a few of the site’s members. Once in Okunezato, Ichiko and Hino meet the rest of the Okunezato Supernatural Club and begin investigating the strange goings on in the town. But, when a series of mysterious deaths began to take place, the town’s dark past is slowly revealed.

7-scarlet

When I picked up 7’scarlet, I wasn’t expecting to stick with it as long as I did, let alone finish the damn thing. I fully intended on just playing one route and tucking the game safely back into my backlog. Sadly, the route I was most interested in playing is the second to last route in the game (I’m not including the True End or the Secret Route). Pro tip: A sure fire way to get me to play all the way through a game is to stick the megane routes at the end of the game. So, I powered through all the routes until I could finally romance the bespectacled hottie of my dreams and by that point I figured why not just go balls out and finish the game. Now that I have that coveted PSN 7’scarlet Completion trophy, I’m ready to give my thoughts on the game.

Game Details

  • Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, GxB
  • Available for PS Vita and Steam
  • 6 pursuable love interests (5 main, 1 secret)
  • 25 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $39.99
  • Similar Games: Code Realize, Psychadelica series

Continue reading “Mystery, Suspense and Zombies?!- 7’Scarlet Otome Game Review (Part 1)”

Let’s Show Our Support for Chromatose!!

 

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, here we are with another Kickstarter support post! For those of you new, here, Let’s Show Our Support posts highlight current crowdfunding campaigns for indie games (usually VNs and OELVNs). I give you guys the basic rundown of the game and the perks of supporting the game’s campaign, as well as links to all the relevant game related pages and sites.

This time around, I’m covering Akabaka’s upcoming 2D visual novel/RPG Chromatose! I played the demo a little while ago and I fell head over heels in love with the dynamic cast of colorful characters and immensely addictive mystery storyline. There is just so much more to discover in this delightfully entertaining visual novel, but, Akabaka needs our help!

Continue reading “Let’s Show Our Support for Chromatose!!”

Melanin Monday: Black Folks Killin’ It in the Oscars

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! I know its been awhile since my last Melanin Monday post (I’ve been slacking off), but, for those of you just joining the party, here’s a little refresher. Melanin Monday is a bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it!

So, in this week’s Melanin Monday post, I wanted to talk about the Oscars… Yeah, I know, I’m not the only one talking about the Oscars, everybody is talking about the Oscars right now. But, after not one but two Black-led superhero films managed to not only snag quite a few Oscar nominations, but, also WIN awards… well, let’s just say that is grounds for celebration. But, that wasn’t all, the 2019 Oscars was a triumph for women and people of color as well, with films like Roma and BlackKklansman snagging quite a few awards last night.


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Sweet Pool – BL Game Review

Sweet Pool is the third Nitro+Chiral title and by far one of the more surreal titles from their lineup, which really isn’t saying much seeing as this is the same company that gave us Saya no Uta (under their Nitroplus branch) and Togainu no Chi. There is a degree of grotesque body horror in this game that is both unsettling and beautiful, Sweet Pool is Invasion of the Bodysnatchers if it where set in the omegaverse and it is just as twisted as you’re imagining. The game follows Youji Sakiyama a second year high school student after his last stint in the hospital. Youji’s hopes for a normal life are dashed when he is slowly drawn into a nightmare from which there is no escape. Strange symptoms and grotesque hallucinations begin to plague his body and mind, and the only people that may have answers are two classmates who are also harboring dark secrets of their own.

So color me surprised when JAST USA announced that they’d be kicking off their new BL brand, JAST BLUE with English localizations of titles from Nitro+Chiral’s lineup. First up on the docket is 2008’s sweet pool right on time for the series’s 10th anniversary.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 6 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: ≈30 hours
  • Cost: $20.00 (censored Steam version), $25.00 (uncensored digital)
  • Similar Games: Togainu no Chi and Chaos Child

*There is one NSFW image at the very end of the review, but, it’s one of the more tame CGs in the game. *

Continue reading “Sweet Pool – BL Game Review”

[OWLS Blog Tour] If I Can’t Have You No One Will – A Yandere’s Obsession

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s February and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Metamorphosis Blog Tour we looked at the many transformations characters have gone through for better or for worse. This month we’re celebrating love and romance with our February Adore Blog Tour!

In February, we will be exploring love and romance. The word selected is “adore” because it has two main connotations: to be loved and respected or to feel worshiped. We will analyze characters that give us a feeling of admiration and explain why we love those characters. We will also be exploring different forms of love (familial, friendship, and even self-love) and how those types of love influence our lives.

February 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

Love comes in many shapes and forms, but, in February, we tend to focus on the sweet rose colored, hearts and candy side of romantic love. Rather than focusing on romance and love in the traditional sense, I decided to take a crack at the darker side of love. What happens when love gets twisted into obsession? For this month’s Blog Tour, I’m going to be looking at obsessive love, the point where love becomes an oppressive compulsion that consumes the lover and the object of their affection.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] If I Can’t Have You No One Will – A Yandere’s Obsession”

Chromatose Beta Demo Review

Demos are a work in progress, meant to give you a taste of what to expect from the final release of a game. They’re incomplete works, but, if they do their job right, they’re more than enough to drum up interest in an upcoming game… Over the years, I’ve played my fair share of demos, some with fully realized assets, and others with just the barebones of what the developers hope to have in a fully realized version of their project. Now, usually, I’m fairly lenient on demos, because they aren’t full games, so I don’t hold them to the same level of scrutiny, but, every so often I stumble across a demo that completely blows everything else out of the water and that demo is Akabaka’s beta demo for their upcoming 2D visual novel/RPG Chromatose

The game follows Leroy, an EMT that awakens in a strange nightmarish world after taking a fall that should have ended in his death. The dreamworld is populated by a group of amnesiacs who are also trapped within their own unique nightmare worlds due to some flaw or error they committed in the real world. You have 12 hours to help the inhabitants reclaim their memories and escape their nightmares or else you’ll be trapped there forever. However, each world is guarded by strange creatures that will stop at nothing to stop you from reaching your goal.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • 2+ hours of Gameplay
  • RPG Gameplay: Turn-based Card Battle System
  • Genre: Mystery, RPG, Visual Novel, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Similar Games: Angels of DeathZero Escape, Persona series, Sweet Fuse, Danganronpa, Catherine

Continue reading “Chromatose Beta Demo Review”

Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers ~ The Legendary Maiden~ Otome Game Review

Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers! – The Legendary Maiden (ドットカレシ-We’re 8bit Lovers- でんせつのおとめ~) is a 2013 PC fantasy otome game from Rejet, and the first game in the Dot Kareshi series. There are two follow up games, Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers!- II Tenkuu no Kiss and Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers!- III ~Yami no Hanayome~. While the game doesn’t have an official English language release, fan translation team Golden Spirit released an English patch for the PC version of the game back in 2015.

This is a fairly short game with a pretty simple premise: a high school girl is magically transported into the world of her favorite RPG, Ultimate Quest. But, because she just grinded her way through the game, the members of her in-game party hold some serious grudges against her. So, now that she’s stuck in their world they hold her accountable for her actions and demand that she help them complete a character specific quest as retribution… Each of the potential love interests are based on common RPG character classes; the Hero, the Wizard, the Priest, and the Thief, and each have their own distinct personalities… and that’s pretty much the gist of it…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 12 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 2-10 hours

Continue reading “Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers ~ The Legendary Maiden~ Otome Game Review”

[OWLS Blog Tour] Live Fast, Die Young: The Limitations of Change in Banana Fish

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s January a time of new beginnings, change and of course a brand new year of OWLS Blog Tours. I’ve been through quite a few transitions in the past year, some good, some not so great, but, each one paved the way for some much needed growth. I’m not the same blogger I was when I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, I’ve learned and grown through my experiences, so when I saw this month’s blog tour I just knew that I had to kick myself into gear and whip something good up.

A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become.

January 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

metamorphosis, unlike change is more finite, it has a set beginning and end, where as change is an ongoing process. Change is the culmination of each and every one of our experiences, it’s how we adapt and grow from the person we were yesterday into the person we will become in the future. But, there is no limitation on change, however, that isn’t the case with a metamorphosis, when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly there is a very distinct limit on what it can and will become. There isn’t the same fluidity you find with change, since once you move from point A to point B there is no going back. There is an inevitability to a metamorphosis that to me makes it a bit more bittersweet and tragic. So, with that in mind, I decided to write about Ash Lynx aka Aslan Callenresse from Banana FishThis isn’t the first time I’ve written about this series and trust me, it won’t be the last, but there is something wonderfully tragic about Ash’s transitions throughout the series that both the anime and the manga capture beautifully.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Live Fast, Die Young: The Limitations of Change in Banana Fish”

[First Thoughts] Camp Buddy – 18+ BL Visual Novel

Despite the recent influx of indie BL visual novels and games, there are still very few developers dedicated to bringing BL gaming to western audiences. MangaGamer and more recently JAST BLUE have taken it upon themselves to localize more “mainstream” BL games, but before that there was Black Monkey ProIf you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with the now defunct BL media distributor. They released two full 18+ BL games, Sleepover (2014) and Bacchikoi (2014; Bacchikoi Expansion Pack 2015), and a standalone kinetic novel, Offscreen Scandal (2012).  And while I fully admit to loving BL media in all its (at times problematic) glory, I could not for the life of me enjoy BMP’s games. Despite their gorgeous art design and beautifully choreographed sexual content, the stories and plotlines were thin, barely enough to warrant spending 50 bucks on what amounted to glorified CG sets.

So, when BMP disbanded in 2015, I was not exactly shedding any tears, of course that wasn’t the last we’d heard of the company now branded under the new name, Herculionwith their upcoming title, Full Service still in development. And it was brought to my attention that one of the team’s former members (Mikkoukun) was also working on producing their own independent title, Camp Buddy, made possible by the collective support of over a thousand patrons on Patreon.

2018-11-12-3-e1547846656733.png

Camp Buddy follows the exploits of the ever optimistic protagonist, Keitaro Nagame as he and his childhood best friend explore the summer scout themed adventure camp aptly named, Camp Buddy. There he meets a colorful cast of characters, from eccentric scoutmasters to fellow scout mates, Keitaro is bound to make some great new friends and maybe even find love along the way. But, when the camp falls on hard times, it’s up to Keitaro to unite the campers and restore the camp’s reputation. Currently there are four pursuable love interests, with the potential for more in future updates of the game, though patrons have access to new content before the public.

*Since this is an 18+ game there will be some NSFW images though they are towards the end and censored… *

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 4 pursuable characters (male)
  • 18 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 60+ hours (15 hrs per route)
  • Partial Voice Acting

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] Camp Buddy – 18+ BL Visual Novel”

Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan – Otome Game Review

Ayakashi Gohan (あやかしごはん) is a 2014 supernatural fantasy otome game from Honeybee, with an updated Vita port of the game, Ayakashi Gohan ~Oomori~ being released a year later. While the game doesn’t have an official English language release, fan translation team Hanataba Translations released an English patch for the PC version of the game back in 2017.

Ayakashi Gohan follows a young girl, Rin Akane, as she adjusts to life in Momoji Village, a place where ayakashi and humans live peacefully with one another. Over the course of the game, Rin interacts with the various human and ayakashi residents of the town helping to bridge the gap between both races. It’s a lighthearted game about eating good food and romancing hot ayakashi… or so I thought…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux 
  • 6 pursuable characters (male)
  • 18 unique endings
  • Gameplay Length: 30+ hours

Continue reading “Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan – Otome Game Review”

I’m Still Kickin’

Hey Hey party people! I know it’s been awhile since my last post, let alone my last review. I was taking another break over the holidays, so I could relax and just spend time with family since I don’t get to see then very often.

On top of that I had a lot of last minute doll orders hit me at once and I managed to get hooked on a game that took entirely too long to finish…

So, the long and short of it:

This blog is not dead yet, I fully intend on coming back to it starting on Sunday, January 13th. I’ll kick things off with a look back post of 2018 and the return of some of my weekly series posts…

As for reviews, I’ve been sitting on some indie game reviews that caught my eye as well as some from my recent backlog dive.

  • Ayakashi Gohan– this one has been in my backlog for far too long. But, I had time over the holidays to power through it, so a full review is on the way.
  • 7’Scarlet– This is one that I finished quite a while ago, but the ending threw me for a loop so I decided to sit on it until I sorted through my feelings a bit… Expect a full review of the game in the near future.
  • Camp Buddy– I’ve been burned by Black Monkey Pro before, but this cute BL from one of the former members of the team managed to catch my eye… I’m still trucking along with it, but at the very least I want to do a preliminary assessment of the game so far.
  • Tales from Windy Meadow- the devs reached out to me about this one while I was on break, so I’ll be working my way through it this weekend.

I’m typing this from my phone so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I hope all of you had a great holiday and I really look forward to getting back into the swing of things again!

[OWLS Blog Tour] We All Live in a Pokemon World: An Ode to Pokemon III

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been awhile since I participated in one of these OWLS Blog Tours. But, when I read the prompt for this month’s tour, I just knew I had to participate.

Here at OWLS, we are pretty thankful that we are able to come together as a community and share a love and appreciation for anime and manga. This month we will be showcasing our appreciation by giving a shout out post to our favorite manga artists, creators, production companies, and writers who produced some of our favorite works. We will be discussing our favorite works by these creators and our reasons as to why we appreciate them.

November 2018 Blog Tour Prompt

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, each and every member of the OWLS team has been sharing things they are thankful for; from content creators to specific series to personal stories, each member has taken this month’s topic and made it their own. Just before me, Flow wrote about two visual novels that left a huge impact on their life, so check that out if you haven’t already! Next on the 28th is Scott, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that soon!

For my post, I’m going to write about a topic I have written about at length several times before, but is no less important to me… Pokemon!

pokemon title.jpg

I have been in love with the world of Pokemon since I was eleven years old when I received my first ever Pokemon game, Pokemon Crystal Versionmaybe even before that, since I have fond memories of watching the Pokemon anime on Kids WB when I was a kid… I never missed an episode, I was enamored with Ash’s Pokemon journey and the adventures he had each week with Misty, Brock, and his best friend Pikachu. I remember wishing I too could embark on my own Pokemon Journey one day, a dream I fear I have never quite given up hope of making a reality.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] We All Live in a Pokemon World: An Ode to Pokemon III”

[Bite-Sized Review] Kitty Love – Way to look for love

Kitty Love-Way to Look for Love is the latest otome game from DIGIMERCE, and among the first wave of otome games released for the Nintendo Switch. The game follows Honoka, a young shop clerk who is magically transformed into a cat. In order to break her curse, Honoka must lock lips with one of five eligible bachelors. There’s her sweetheart of a boss, Takuma Suguri; her childhood friend, Kohei Natsume; the stoic patrol cop, Shogo Fujimoto; the friendly neighborhood host, Kyosuke Kawahara; and finally the mysterious flower arrangement artist, Narumi Saijo. The love interests, were pretty by the book, checking off all of the usual otome tropes and cliches, but, they are still enjoyable enough. There isn’t a set play order, however, I highly recommend playing Narumi Saijo’s route last, lest you want game ruining spoilers, granted the “big reveal” was kind of obvious from the beginning.

Continue reading “[Bite-Sized Review] Kitty Love – Way to look for love”

Behind the Games: Dovah & Gamma (Argent Games)

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party,  Behind the Games is a new segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews I write, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

Last time around I spoke with Raikon Kitsune, the creator of the upcoming modern fantasy game, Reimei no Gakuenso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Dovah and Gamma, from Argent Games!

This phenomenal twosome are the brains behind Argent Games! Since their debut in 2016, they have been knocking it out of the park with their unique BL game titles, each game better than the last. Currently, they have four games under their belt and one, Red Embrace: Hollywoodstill in development and many more on the horizon.  So, without further ado, let’s turn things over to Dovah and Gamma…


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Super Special Awesome Giveaway 2 Winners!!!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs! The Super Special Awesome Giveaway has come to a close and all of the winners have been contacted! I want to thank everyone that participated in the giveaway, it’s because of you super special awesome people out there that Nice Job Breaking It, Hero is what it is today! So, thank you all!

For this particular giveaway, there were two parts and the potential for THREE winners:

Part 1 – First Prize Winner: Engel from Starry Miracle

Engel won the handmade crochet Totoro plushie!!

Part 1 – Second Prize Winner: Michel from Raistlin

Michel won his choice custom crochet doll, and he chose The Major from Ghost in the Shell!

Part 2 – Steam Code Giveaway Prize Winner: Solvaria

Now, this one took dedication! In order to win the Steam Code you had to be following me on twitter and collect all five code words that were released every Wednesday for a limited time only.

This winner was the only person to collect all five codes which were as follows:

  • 10/3: PEACH BLOSSOM
  • 10/10: NORWEGIAN RIDGEBACK
  • 10/17: HOLD IT
  • 10/24: KUROTSUKI OTP
  • 10/31: BANANA FISH

Each one is a reference to something I like in some way… but, for her efforts, Solvaria won a steam copy of the otome game, Nightshade!!


pikachu celebration

Well, that’s it! Congrats to all the winners and thank you guys for being so super special awesome!!

Five Spooky Horror Visual Novels to Keep You Up At Night

Happy Halloween!! It’s that special time of year where folks can really let their hair down and get into a little mischief! Or, you know, get a ton of free candy from strangers…  Who doesn’t like free candy?

For those of you that don’t know, I am a huge fan of all things horror, from slow building Gothic horror to heart pounding psychological thrillers to campy monster flicks, I love them all! So you can bet I am really getting into the spirit of the season with a month long celebration of all things creepy. All month, I’ve been bringing you guys lots of fun Halloween themed posts and reviews to get you in the mood for some good old fashioned scares!

I’ve already covered 13 simply terrifying horror manga to keep you up at night as well as a five step guide on how to survive a Junji Ito horror story, but for Halloween, I have something really special for you: A list of five super spooky horror VNs that are bound to give goosebumps!


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My Magical Demon Lover – BL Game Review

Spicy Ecchi Content + A Yaoi Fantasy Story + A Dash of Comedy = My Magical Demon Lover, a ‘mature players’ dating sim that puts the wannabe wizard Tristan with his choice of three hot demons. 

Earlier this year, Y Press Games released their fantasy BL visual novel, My Magical Demon Lover about an up and coming wizard that has to fuck one of three super mega foxy hot demons in order to gain “phenomenal cosmic powers”.

Fuck a demon → Become a wizard

That’s pretty much all you need to know going into My Magical Demon Lover. The game starts with Tristan fapping off in his bedroom, when he is suddenly summoned by his grandfather, a super powerful wizard. Thinking his dreams of becoming a wizard are about to come true, Tristan, flies off to meet his grandpa only discover he’s preparing to set off on a sexual romp in the Pleasure Realm. With no heirs to take up his role as village protector, Percival pushes all of his responsibilities onto Tristan, but, before he can do that, he must choose a demon mentor to help him with his task. Each demon will grant Tristan magical powers, but at a price… it’s sex. Tristan trades sex favors for magic powers…

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 10 unique endings
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 4 hours

Continue reading “My Magical Demon Lover – BL Game Review”

A Hand in the Darkness – BL Game Review

Join us in this little adventure following Alex through his first days at St. Michaels, an exclusive all-male boarding school during the British Edwardian era.


He will meet new friends, will face an unexpected danger and, who knows? Perhaps he will even find true love. It’s up to you whether Alex leaves St. Michaels with a happy ending or with a broken heart… or still worse.

Ertal Games’ debut title, offers a nice change of pace from some of the other BL/yaoi games on the market. Set in 1910 at an elite all-boys boarding school in Britain, A Hand in the Darkness follows Alex White as he attempts to acclimate himself to the rigid environment of St. Michaels, while also coming to terms with his budding feelings for one of his three male roommates. Amidst the confusion, Alex is also the target of a string of accidents that escalate as the school year goes on.

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 3 pursuable characters (male)
  • 9 unique endings
  • Languages: English and Spanish
  • Cost: $9.99
  • Gameplay Length: 10 hours

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[First Thoughts] The Arcana

Delve deep into the heart of intrigue, and uncover a murder mystery that still hangs over the city like a shroud.

Be careful what secrets you reveal and what choices you make… yours is not the only fate that hangs in the balance. Magic, romance and mystery await. Who will you choose to love and who will you choose to condemn? How will your story unravel?

The story follows an unnamed magician’s apprentice (you decide their gender/gender pronouns; he/she/they), with a gift for fortune telling. When your master, Asra, a renowned magician leaves on an unexpected trip, you are left to look after his shop. But, before he leaves, you with his prized Tarot deck. Not long after, you are visited by two mysterious strangers: the beautiful Countess, Nadia and the disgraced physician Julian. Each stranger has a request that will change the course of your life forever.

 

Inspired by the Major Arcana Tarot Cards, Nix Hydra’s fantasy romance The Arcana delivers equal parts mystery and intrigue in this wickedly addictive and visually stunning mobile visual novel. I’m usually pretty wary of mobile games, especially freemium visual novels, given the staccatoed pacing of their ticket based narratives and rather formulaic premises. However, The Arcana is anything but by the book, with it’s lively visuals and captivating premise, this game will have you on the edge of your seat as you delve deeper into this richly woven murder mystery… and if you play your cards right, a bit of romance too.

App Details

  • Genre: Fantasy, Romance
  • 3 Love interests
  • Available: Google Play | App Store
  • Cost: Free (optional micro-transactions)

Continue reading “[First Thoughts] The Arcana”

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