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.
Continue reading “Love Brings You Home – Arata Yuki Main Story Review”
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.
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.
- 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
Continue reading “I Finally Finished My First Route in Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth~”
I just finished my first playthrough of Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and I’d like to get my initial thoughts about the game down before I get any deeper into the story, because my God was this game intense. I played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly awhile ago and I didn’t really like it all that much, so I went into Ashen Hawk expecting it to be much the same as its predecessor… thankfully I was wrong! Ashen Hawk is a marked improvement over Black Butterfly in almost every way and one has to wonder what the hell happened between the production of the first game and this one to cause such a huge difference in quality… Technically Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk isn’t a sequel to Black Butterfly, though it is set in the same world as the first game, but with a completely different story and characters.
Now I say that, but there were QUITE A FEW Easter Eggs and callbacks to PBB in Ashen Hawk, that you’ll only truly get if you’ve played through the first game, but it’s not a requirement to enjoy the game. That said, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!! I know I literally just said you don’t have to play Black Butterfly before playing Ashen Hawk, but boy does playing the first game pay off in a big way in this one!! It’s no secret that I didn’t particularly care for Black Butterfly, but damnit if Ashen Hawk didn’t make slugging through the mess of the first game worth it. But, what I love most is that the connection between the two games isn’t overly in your face, the reveals work well within the context of their respective stories while also expanding on the preexisting lore of both games.
Since folks are really hung up on spoiler warnings, this post will contain some minor spoilers for the game, so if you haven’t played either Ashen Hawk or Black Butterfly, maybe hold off on reading this review.
Continue reading “Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk Otome Review”
Voltage Inc. games make up about 45% of my gaming backlog. The company was my first introduction to the world of otome games and over the years I have amassed quite a few stories from each of the many, many Otome Romance titles they produce. Because I have so many stories I tend to have a hard time deciding which routes to play… So, rather than making the agonizing decision on my own, I ran a Twitter poll and let you guys decide for me. Unfortunately, that backfired since the poll ended in a tie between Diary of a Step Sister and Love Brings You Home, so I still had to choose in the end and I went with the latter.
Love Brings You Home is one of the “newer” Otome Romance titles, having been released exclusively on the Love 365 app and not as one of the standalone apps (at least here in the west). Given all the fantasy romance games I’ve been playing lately, I was looking forward to diving into something with a slice-of-life vibe and Love Brings You Home was exactly what I was looking for; something grounded in reality (at least for an otome game). If I had to sum this game up in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’, no gimmicks just a wholesome romance…
- Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
- 5 Love interests
- Available: Google Play | App Store | Amazon App Store
- Cost: Main Story: 400 Coin Each ($3.99USD)
POV Story: 300 Coin Each ($2.99USD)
Special Story: 100-200 Coin Each ($.99-$1.99USD)
- Similar Games: Finally in Love Again, Kiss Me on Clover Hill, Serendipity Next Door
Continue reading “[First Thoughts] Love Brings You Home”
For someone that shies away from incomplete series, I’ve been really getting into episodic visual novels. Rather than blazing through a game in one sitting, the plot unfolds over a series of chapters/episodes and because there is usually a bit of a wait between new releases, this gap in new content gives you a chance to really dig down and fully explore the different story elements and scenarios in the interim. It’s a much more comprehensive gaming experience than I’m used to, but one that definitely allows for a much more immersive experience overall.
Recently I had the chance to give Asif G.’s Arabian Nights inspired fantasy visual novel, One Thousand and One Days a try and I was blown away by what I played so far. The game borrows heavily from ancient Persian mythology and Islamic lore AND features an all POC cast that draw inspiration from Middle Eastern, North African, and Mongolian cultures. On top of that, the game is LGBTQ+ friendly, with love interests with differing gender identities and sexual orientation. There are even poly romance options in addition to the standard one on one romances choices.
- Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance
- Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux)
- 4 Chapters (ongoing)
- Gameplay Lengh: 30 mins – 1 hour per chapter
- Cost: Free
- 4 Love Interests (Male and Female); Poly Romance Options
Continue reading “One Thousand and One Days Game Review – An Enchanting Fantasy VN”
I am super late to the party with this one since Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly was the first game released as part of Aksys Games’s “Summer of Mystery” otome game releases, alongside 7’scarlet and Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. Of the three games Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly was the one that got the most hate and I’m not gonna lie, it’s not my favorite otome game in the world. In fact, like many others have said, the romance aspects of the game is one of the biggest shortcomings of the story and I honestly could have done without it. But, is Black Butterfly really the dumpster fire everyone seems to think it is?
No, not really… Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly has many, many flaws, some of which really bog the story down, however, there was some good in there too. I want to stress that this game isn’t for everyone and if you are looking for a standard by the book otome game, this is definitely not the game for you. But, if you’re looking for a short game with an interesting premise Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly will keep you entertained.
The game follows Beniyuri, a young girl who wakes up in a mysterious mansion with no memory or who she is or how she got there. But, she isn’t alone, gruesome monsters roam the halls attacking anyone they come into contact with… After a run in with said monsters, she is saved by a group of guys who are also in the same predicament as she is, and together they attempt to find a way out of the mansion. Behind the scenes the enigmatic master of the mansion promises to free them from the mansion and return their memories if they collect the missing pieces of a strange kaleidoscope. With no other leads, the group sets out to locate the lost pieces of the kaleidoscope, uncovering the secrets of the mansion and its elusive owner along the way…
- Genre: Detective, Mystery, Romance
- Available for PS Vita | Steam
- Gameplay Lengh: 1-2 hours first play through/ 15-20 hours Total
- Cost: $34.99
- 5 male romance options
- Suggested Play Order: Best/Main Ending→ Real World Ending → Kagiha → Hikage → Yamato → Monshiro → Karasuba → Summer Camp Ending
- Similar Games: 7’scarlet, Re: Birthday Song, Bad Apple Wars
Continue reading “Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly Otome Review – All Aboard the Feels Train”
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?
Continue reading “Enchanted in the Moonlight Review – Spirited Away by Ayakashi Hotties”
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!
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.
- 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
Continue reading “Collar x Malice Otome Review – How Do You Define Justice?”
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.
Continue reading “Silver:Line – Demo Review”
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.
Continue reading “My Only Sunshine Review – A Romance VN That’s Out Of This World!”