We got four – three and a half new otome games!
Three and a half?
Because the first is the switch port of Norn 9, which was already released on the vita some years ago. Followed by the new localisation of the FD! Probably in a separate release – but who knows, maybe they are so nice as to bundle these games.
In Norn9 the three voiced MCs with their three respective love interests, so 9 in total, find themselves on an airship. Because all of them have kind of psychedelic powers and are warped back in time after a world war occured and now need to search for a way to return to their own time, while discovering the secrets around their mission.
The biggest complaint about this game is that the story is all over the place, very confusing and with some plot holes. but it’s very dramatic, romantic and bitter-sweet, thereby open-ended. And all three heroines and LIs tell their own story to shed a different light in the overall plot.
All characters are vastly different and especially for us trash lovers, Norn has a special LI to offer, who earns this game a violence against women trigger warning!
The three voiced heroines are the innocent Koharu, the tsundere Mikoto and shy Nanami, all going through their own character development together with their LIs
Koharu can date Kakeru, Senri and Toya:
Kakeru Kaji Yuuki梶 裕貴 is a bright guy, who seems easy to be with, except when he playfully bullies others and his power is to manipulate plants.
Senri Shimono Hiro下野 紘(Nayuta VariBarri) withdrawn, prefers to stay in his room, is pessimistic often being bullied and socially awkward. His power is the manipulation of water.
Masamune Satou Takuya佐藤 拓也 (Genjuuro in Kimi yuki) the protective older brother, who is smart, but not very skillful. His power is to see back in time.
Nanami can date Akito Ron and Heishi:
Aito Sugiyama Noriaki杉山 紀彰(Tyirl in Even if Tempest) severe yelling tsundere , bad mouth, angry, but good cook, who also manipulates water
Ron Sugita Tomokazu杉田 智和 (Kuroba OS) suspicious at first glance, but when talking to him he seems surprisingly friendly, does he…
Otomaru Yoshino Hiroyuki吉野 裕行(Helvetica in Bustafellows) energetic, lively, friendly, reliable, can see through people but is bad at hiding secrets himself, as his power is telepathy
Mikoto can date Azuma, Sakuya and Itsuki:
Sakuya Saiga Mitsuki斎賀 みつき(a female VA!) soft childhood friend, who might enter a triangle relationship with another character, but is entirely devoted to Mikoto. His power is to look in the future.
Itskui Yusa Kouji遊佐 浩二(Sanouske in Hakuouki) the frivolous flirt, with a tragic story behind his charming smile. His power is dream manipulation.
Azuma Ono Daisuke小野 大輔(Hades in Kami Aso) friend or foe? Attacks the ship, enemies to lovers trope? Seems like the cold researcher, but might actually have a soft heart.
This game also has an anime adaptation, but as always it’s recommended to play the game first, to get the most out of both.
The FD thankfully can close some of the plot holes, but still isn’t the most romantic.
It features a prelude, explaining how everyone got onto the ship.
A section about the story of the main game from the LI’s point of view , as well as mini games.
And of course the after stories, some sweeter, some more action packed, but overall similar to the first game, with a mixture of sci fi plot and romance.
Shuuen no Virche
The more surprising announcement was the localisation of Shuuen no Virche.
The hype was real in October 2021- even in the west-, when it was released in Japan, and ever since the western audience has been wishing for a localisation.
And Aksys gave it to us – thank you!!!
Shuuen no Virche is set on an island where everyone dies at the age of 23. And if that wasn’t tragic enough the heroine also seems to be cursed by the god of death, eventually ending up killing the people around her. This dire fate makes her to try to commit suicide, but she’s stopped by a guy who introduces himself as the sentinel of death and suggests a pact. He will help her lift her curse and she will help him with the strange death or rather murder incidents that have been haunting the town. So together with the LIs she starts investigating these incidents. But what she’ll find out is more shocking and gruesome than what she could ever have imagined.
And the same might go for you. You might be like me: yes a story about death and despair, sounds fun! I liked Piofiore and Collar x Malice, I’m gonna like Virche too!
There is a big understatement going on.
Virche is sader and crueller than these games combined!
This game’s main theme is despair and it fully delivers on it!
On top of the trigger warning for suicide, mental abuse and torture,
take the setting, everyone is doomed to die soon or be revived and lose the ability to love.
Take the route order, you first have to play the bad endings of the characters, until you are allowed to play the good endings. But most of the good endings, are just alternative sad endings – because you will die soon or were that much tormented during the route, there isn’t much of life to enjoy anymore! Believe me!
That doesn’t mean it’s not a good game, it’s just cruel. But more details in my review of Shuuen no Virche.
And lastly an announcement that didn’t really surprise me, as this game had the most successful launch a game of otomate had in a long time. And that is Radiant Tale, the complete opposite of Shuuen no Virche.
You set out on a mission to make flowers of joy bloom by making people laugh with your magical circus show. Because the prince of the country froze his heart 10 years ago and these magical flowers have the power to melt his heart and bring back joy to the country.
But there also are shadows born from sorrow threatening the peace and each of the quirky circus members has their own reason to participate in this show, some of them might not be as happy as they seem.
In my review I described the game as a disney otome game, because overall its fluffy and cheerful, from the settings and characters and the sweet lessons you learn in each chapter, seem like straight out of a children’s book.
But the character routes, are though not detailed, yet they touch upon sensitive topics, like torture or mental abuse, but do it in a much much ligher way than Virche – oh my god. Despite the hardships the characters in Radiant Tale are mostly happy and there mainly are happy endings in this game. But still I don’t want it to be mistaken as a mere light hearted and cheerful game, as it has its darker and more tragic moments.
A game for every taste
So the era and high of otome game localisations seems to continue to strive, and especially with these announcements, Aksys made so many wild otome dreams come true. And with such a variety of different game types. For sci-fi plot and nostalgia Norn, for dreadful despair Virche, for something more fluffy, yet tragic to some extent, the emotional Disney movie experience Radiant Tale.
The other games scheduled for 2023 are Winter’s Wish and Jack Jeanne
What on the other hand is awaiting the Japanese speaking audience? And in these wild good otome times, almost every game seems to have a chance for a localisation!
Most of the upcoming games I have already covered in this video.
But we do have small news about Sympathy Kiss set to release in 2022!
You work as an app designer at get assigned to a team to save a news app from failing.
And the first thing that stands out, is that the heroine doesn’t have a face!
The CGs in the BsLog, the monthly magazine with gaming news, show the MC has a sprite, just no face…I think we can trust the designers to still make beautiful CGs by showing her from the back or covered by the LI.
First and foremost you can date your mature colleagues
Saotome Mitsuki Kajiwara Gakuto梶原 岳人 who is the friendly and sweet head of the team, a talented developer, who already launched successful apps.
Minato Kouhei Umehara Yuuichirou梅原 裕一郎 (Paschalia in Radiant Tale, Benkei in Birushana) is relatively new to the company, seems cool and capable, yet not extraordinarily motivated.
Kobase Youji Okitsu Kazuyuki興津 和幸 (Ankou in Shuuen no Virche) is the head of the department and the one who put this group together. He’s such a workaholic that his private life is unknown. His stern face and strong tone make him feared in the company.
Yoshioki Rokurou Yamashita Seiichirou山下 誠一郎 (Hugo in Shuuen no Virche, Yoichi in Winter’s Wish) is the good looking and even rich flirt, but who is now more interested in work than romance
Tainaka Nori (KENN: Shelby in Cupid Parasite, Kintarou in Yunohana Spring) you one day find collapsed and tend to him. A carefree, yet eloquent fellow, you can’t quite figure out, but who always treats you nicely.
And lastly we have the LI I’m most excited for Usui Shuuya Uchida Yuuya内田 夕夜 , who is a calm and attentive bartender always listening to you with a smile on his face. And I think he is the one who makes other fans feel excited as well, as we have a slightly older guy finally again!
The genre is supposed to be dramatic love, so maybe more than a slight office romance, though so far the artist and director are the same as in Lover Pretend.
There are also three ports coming to the Switch this year
One is Shinigami to Shoujo, by the same team as Taisho Alice, where you look for the most beautiful word – really that’s the plot, as then every LI tells another story. This game is quite plot heavy and not so much romance focused, if you are a fan of visual novels though, Shinigami to Shoujo promises a uniquely deep story.
The other port is Juuza Engi 1+2 . In Juuza Engi you are part of a shunned cat-like clan during the han dynasty and get entangled in a conflict between the kingdom and rebels who you have to fight in order to prove your innocence. As you might guess, this is another historical and plot driven game, inspired by the records of the three kingdoms, with a sequel telling an alternative story line.
Another new announcement is the port of Uta no Prince sama All Star After Secret, with after stories plus 4 additional senior routes for December 2022.
Also there is Money Parasite waiting for us in 2022.
The MC has been fascinated with magic and always wanted to become a magician. But between her university and part time job, is not much time to enjoy some magic in her life. Until she gets invited to a magic show. But not as a spectator, but depending on her abilities – as a performer. Waiting for her are glorious men and a strange kitsune plushy, who wants her to perform a heist on these exact men…Turns out she’s been scammed, by this casino of the mafia and has to rob these men while working as a dealer in the casino.
Kou Haoren: He immediately wants the MC to leave. He himself doesn’t want to get close to others and prefers to stick to himself. He came to crush the casino Liar Princess Cuisine, which is part of the local mafia in order to take it over.
Jeremia Jenkins is a famous singer, who wanted to take a break in this casino from his busy idol life.
Amiru Saido is a prince from a country in the far east. Sent to exile by his family as he was about to become king, he now wanders the lands and is stranded at this casino.
Kagami Fuuma is the second son of a famous designer family. With a second identity as a famous live streamer, the MC is a fan of.
Tanaka san hobby is scriptwriting and giving in to delusions, but he’s never produced a real script. So why does this normal person also work as a dealer in this casino?
So far it kind of sounds interesting, though after Sweet Clown I can’t trust Takuyo plushies anymore.
I can’t really tell whether this is gonna be a messed up or a happy takuyo game, because I find that his company does either one or the other, but I think I would expect it to be rather funny and light hearted…but we’ll see. So far the CGs look good and the language easy enough ;D
Other than that we are still waiting for more information on Spade no Kuni no Alice Wonderful Black world, that Fortune Princess and Knights of Bad Luck game.