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…
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 Daysa 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.
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…
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, & Samonand Enchanted in the Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage, & Yukinojoand comprises of all the season 1 to season 3 main stories from the mobile app Love 365.
Enchanted in the Moonlightwas 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?
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.
Blerdy Otome is an otome games and visual novel review site that runs on Black Girl Magic and Dreams. While I mostly focus on romance themed games, I’ve been known to cover a wide range of nerdy and otaku themed topics.
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