Tag: Games

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #40

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs it’s that special time of the week—Thrifty Thursday!

In a world where it’s all about the almighty dollar, sometimes it’s a little tough to make our pennies stretch enough to accommodate our hobbies. But, there are plenty of ways to balance your budget while still enjoying the things you love, you just have to be a little thrifty about it. So, I created Thrifty Gaming in order to spotlight some lesser known indie titles that are both entertaining an affordable.

If you’re a new follower or someone who has been following since my Nice Job Breaking It Hero days who’s been gone for awhile, here’s a refresher… Thrifty Gaming, is a weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels that are under $10.00. These can be mobile games, PC games, and a few times I have found some nice indie console titles too. The list used to focus on just otome games and romance visual novels, but after requests from a few readers I have since expanded to other gaming genres. I don’t include sales or limited time offers, each title has to be consistently priced at $10.00 or less without any promotions to be included in this line up.

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Note, these are not reviews, rather recommendations so your mileage may vary with some of these titles. This week’s post will include a brief synopsis and links to each game so you can add them to your gaming library! You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your hobbies, so save a little bread and check this week’s thrifty gaming picks!

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Bite-Sized Review – Nightshade

Where to Get the Game: Steam

A little while ago I went on a recovery mission into my backlog and I “rescued” a few titles from the depths. One of those titles was Nightshade. When this game was originally released I didn’t have the money to purchase it, so a friend of mine from an otome group I’m in gifted it to me on Steam. Even then, I didn’t immediately play the game, and I have to wonder that if I had played it back then when the entire otome games community was hyped as hell for this game, maybe, just maybe my opinion might have been different. But, I didn’t and I’m gonna be upfront with you guys, I did not enjoy this game and the only reason I even finished the game was out of a moral obligation to the friend who bought it for me the game.

I went in expecting Nightshade to be this epic historical fantasy on par with the much beloved otome darling Hakuoki, but what I got was a bland and largely forgettable gaming experience. Everything was just so meh, it just didn’t WOW me the way I thought it would. The premise was okay, the characters were okay, and the story itself was just… you guessed it, okay. It just didn’t stand out at all. Everything was just so predictable and unoriginal, HELL if you’re looking for a better game with shinobi, I highly recommend the mobile game Destiny Ninja it has its moments, but at least it’s FUN. Nightshade just played it too safe.

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #39

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs it’s 2020 and how about we start the year off right with some thrifty game buys!! It’s been awhile since the last one of these, but I definitely want to keep this going, because I know what it’s like to be ballin’ on a budget and it’s even harder when there are all these great games out there just begging to be bought. So, I created Thrifty Gaming in order to spotlight some lesser known indie titles that are both entertaining an affordable.

If you’re a new follower or someone who has been following since my Nice Job Breaking It Hero days who’s been gone for awhile, here’s a refresher… Thrifty Gaming, is a weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels that are under $10.00. These can be mobile games, PC games, and a few times I have found some nice indie console titles too. The list used to focus on just otome games and romance visual novels, but after requests from a few readers I have since expanded to other gaming genres. I don’t include sales or limited time offers, each title has to be consistently priced at $10.00 or less without any promotions to be included in this line up. 

Broke.gif

Note, these are not reviews, rather recommendations so your mileage may vary with some of these titles. This week’s post will include a brief synopsis and links to each game so you can add them to your gaming library! You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your hobbies, so save a little bread and check this week’s thrifty gaming picks!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #39”

Love Brings You Home – Arata Yuki Main Story Review

With all the flashier titles in their catalog, Love Calls You Home is one of their underrated gems. It doesn’t come with all the gimmicks and angst of some of their more popular Otome Romance titles, so it’s pretty easy to overlook this unassuming slice-of-life romance. An overworked young woman finds herself in close quarters with a handsome and supportive guy, and while the circumstances for their cohabitation differ by route, the romance between the MC and her chosen love interest remains largely grounded in reality. The only “gimmick” is that a majority of the guys are secretly famous or have lucrative careers. I kind of got the impression that this was what Voltage was going for with their older title, Serendipity Next Door, which has a similar premise.

Currently, four out of the five love interests are available—Taiyo, Arata, Liam, and Hazuki. Because, I’m biased towards kuudere and tsundere, I picked Arata’s route as my first conquest of the game.

Also, because folks (myself included) are fussy about spoilers. Here’s your one and only spoiler warning. This review will have minor spoilers for Arata’s route and Love Brings You Home.

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It’s All In a Smile: 5 Otome Game Genki Guys

These posts are a complement to my Beginners Guide to Otome Games posts, particularly the one on Common Character Archetypes in Otome GamesThere I give a very general rundown of the most common character archetypes that appear in otome games with a few examples of characters that fit each trope. But, I kinda wanted to do individual posts on each archetype and now here we are with the second post in this series. Last time around I covered one of my favorite character archetype, the hot and cold, Tsundere. Which you can check out by clicking the link: ‘I Won’t Say I’m In Love: 5 Otome Game Tsundere’.

This time around I’m covering a character archetype that I initially didn’t really care all that much for, but has since become one of my new favs—the genki character archetype.

The Basics: What Are Genki Characters?

Genki (元気) means healthy/energetic in Japanese and these types of characters are a seeming well of good-natured playfulness and joy.  These lively, animated, and bombastic guys are always the life of the party, quick to laugh and ever optimistic. You’re bound to have a good time when you’re with a genki guy! Beneath their upbeat personality these characters tend to hide deep traumas and dark pasts, however these rarely affect their cheerful attitudes as they’d much rather look on the bright side of life. Also, most genki guys tend to have red hair to match their fiery personalities.

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This is where it always starts with genki characters

These types of guys are much more approachable than the other love interests and are usually the easiest for the Heroine to befriend. There’s a very thin line between friendship and romance in routes/stories featuring genki characters, since they tend to be friendly with everyone. Genki characters can be prone to pulling practical jokes and are often the token jokesters of the group (or the butt of jokes) and have been known to rope the Heroine into their hijinks.


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I Finally Finished My First Route in Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth~

I’ve been playing Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth ~ off and on for the past five or so years and despite the overwhelming love for the game I could just never seem to make much headway with it. So in 2019 I made a bit of an unofficial resolution to finish at least one route before the end of the year and at long last I was able to complete my playthrough of Impey’s route! Took me five long years, but I can finally say I’ve at the very least played Code Realize and I’m not gonna lie, I have some mixed feelings about it. This won’t be so much a review as some thoughts I’ve had about the game over the years—and after five years I’ve amassed quite a few.

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Code Realize was one of the first major otome game releases to make its way stateside. Developed by Otomate for the PS Vita in 2014, Code Realize is a steampunk fantasy, featuring a cast of characters based on famous literary and historical figures. The game follows Cardia—a young woman whose body produces a deadly poison that melts anything she touches—spends her days in an abandoned mansion to protect others from her affliction. Labeled as a monster by the locals, Cardia resigns herself to a life of loneliness until Royal Guards break into the mansion and attempt to capture her. She is saved by infamous gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, who promises to help her find her father, the only person who might be able to remove the poison coursing through her veins.

Game Details

  • Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Action, Romance
  • Available for PS Vita | Nintendo Switch (Feb 2020)
  • Full Voiced
  • Gameplay Lengh: 30-35 hours
  • Cost: $39.99
  • 5 male romance options
  • Similar Games: Steam Prison, London Detective Mysteria

Spoiler Warning

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5 Reasons You Should Give Indie Games A Try

In recent years indie games have started to surpass their mainstream counterparts, in popularity. Once a niche genre only talked about among small circles on the internet, indie games are now regular features on most popular gaming outlets, with some even dedicating whole segments to spotlighting the rising stars of the indie gaming scene. And, what’s more, we’re starting to see even more indie games make the jump to consoles, which in the past were reserved for big budget releases. Indie games are becoming a much more viable avenue for gamers and a lot of that has to do with a marked improvement in the caliber of indie games being released. Gone are the days of hastily thrown together titles that barely offer an hour of solid gameplay and maybe a small reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now, games like Gris, Minecraft, and the most recent viral hit, The Untitled Goose Game are proving that even with a smaller budget, indie games can also make a splash in the gaming industry.

So, with indie games killing it in the gaming industry, here are the 5 reasons you should give indie games a try!

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My 10 Otome Games of the Decade

The end of 2019 marks the end of a decade, and everyone seems to be reflecting on the past 10 years, with their various lists and videos. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon too and reflect on the past 10 years in otome games. Since I didn’t keep up with my Japanese language studies, I’m limited to English localizations (and fan patches), so I can’t speak for the JP only releases. But, I can honestly say that these last few years have been pretty good to Western otome fans, with tons of game releases and announcements coming out (fairly) regularly.

So, I wanted to go back and look at the otome games released between 2010 and 2019 and pick out my favorites. Some years were more fruitful than others for the western otome fandom, but I still stand by my picks for each year and it’s kind of fun to see how my tastes have changed in the past 10 or so years of playing otome games.

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Now Playing: Games I’m Currently Playing – November/December

Since last month I’ve finished Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and that’s about it… I’ve been trying to find a good fit for my next big game, so there’s been quite a bit of shuffling going on behind the scenes. But, lucky for me, my backlog is a treasure trove of hidden gems, so I’ll never truly run out of games to play.

I’ve kinda been dipping my toes into a number of games these past few months, while I try to find a game that I actually want to finish. I’ve said this before, but I’m not so much a completionist when it comes to games. Visual novels take awhile to get through and don’t believe in forcing myself to finish a game once my interest has waned. Every so often I come across a game that is so good I can’t help but finish it, but those are few and far between…

The Phantom of the Opera

MazM The Phantom of the Opera

I’ve been playing this one off and on during my commute to and from work, usually when I can’t get a seat since I usually have my phone in my hand anyway. It’s no secret that I am terrible at keeping up with mobile games, I lose interest in them fairly quickly and the pay walls and other story stop gates, like ads, don’t really make for the most enjoyable experience. That said, I really like MazM’s The Phantom of the Opera, it’s more of an interactive novel than a game, combining the point and click gameplay of an adventure game with the connected narrative of a visual novel.

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I Won’t Say I’m In Love: 5 Otome Game Tsundere

So, this is totally going to be a regular thing… I suppose these posts are a complement to my Beginners Guide to Otome Games posts, particularly the one on Common Character Archetypes in Otome GamesThere I give a very general rundown of the most common character archetypes that appear in otome games with a few examples of characters that fit each trope. But, I kinda wanted to do individual posts on each archetype and now here we are with the second post in this series. Last time around I covered my least favorite character archetype, the obsessive and possessive, Yandere. Which you can check out by clicking the link: ‘Crazy for You?: 5 Otome Game Yandere’.

This time around I wanted to shake things up and cover one of my favorite character archetypes, the delightfully hot and cold tsundere characters!!

The Basics: What is Tsundere?

Tsundere is a term derived from the terms tsun tsun (ツンツン), meaning to turn away in disgust, and dere dere (デレデレ) meaning to become ‘lovey dovey’. These characters tend to be cold and hostile towards the heroine at first, but gradually warms up to her, becoming much more affectionate as time passes. Tsundere characters are known to switch between their hot and cold personalities at the drop of a dime, most notably when embarrassed. However, when the heroine is able break down their walls, most tsunderes are sweethearts.

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A shy tsunbun after admitting his feelings

Part of the appeal of tsundere characters is slowly getting them to let their guard down and open up to the heroine. They are very similar to kuudere types, in that they can be a bit cold and aloof at first, and can come off as callous. Sometimes a tsundere will go too far and accidentally hurt their heroine’s feelings. However, when they realize how much their actions are hurting those around them, they are usually quick to apologize (even if their attempts are a bit clumsy/awkward). Most tsundere are inexperienced with love and have trouble fully expressing their newfound complicated emotions, which leads them to give off mixed messages. But when a tsundere does fall in love, they are very devoted to their heroine.

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