Otome Games part 2 (bonus: new art!)
Why, yes, I do like more than three otome games! In fact, I enjoy quite a few, so I figured I'd share more.
If you haven't read my first post here, it also gives an overview of what otome games are, the pitfalls, and the enjoyable aspects - as well as three of my favorites.
But there's more.
So much more.
Continuing from the last list...
6. Amnesia: Memories (Steam)
Why I like this game: It's probably the one otome that opened up how complex the genre can truly get, and it's difficult to explain without spoilers. Suffice to say, you want to play all four routes presented to you in the beginning, and then go back for a fifth round. The story therein is amazing and really helps tie everything together. I do very much like it, to the point I almost wish there had been one or two more routes. The art is beautiful.
Favorite route(s): Shin and surprise route
Shin is just my fictional type - a bit abrasive, maybe a touch overbearing, but earnest. His story, Heart World, has a great mystery going on that works super well if you play it before any of the others. It's definitely the most plot-dense route aside from the Joker World, aka the surprise route, but carries fairly well. The Joker World does a magnificent job of tying up all loose ends and making every story cohesive as one. It's also really hard to get a good ending - a legit challenge.
Least favorite route: Ikki
Admittedly, I'm not usually a fan of playboys, even if Ikki isn't technically (and only technically) that stereotype. One of his bad endings did pique my interest, but for the most part I found his reasonings for why he does what he does left a sour taste in my mouth. He appears to be fairly popular, though, so I'm a definite outlier on this.
Would I recommend? Yes! As I said, it was the first otome that truly showed me how great an otome narrative can be. Loads of fun, really not that pricey, and Steam does have fairly regular discounts on the game. Also, your manager in the game is one of the most... interesting... characters in all worlds, and the only one who changes drastically. It makes for good humor on the side.
5. Dangerous Fellows (Android store)
Why I love this game: While not technically an otome, it toes the line. It's actually more of a zombie horror story with routes involving different guys in the zombie apocalypse. Very intense, but also very much story-driven. It can get repetitive, but the story is seriously just so good. I'm not a fan of zombie stories, but I love this one.
Favorite route(s): Zion and Eugene
Both are cute in their own ways. Eugene's a bit of a tougher nut to crack, but there's something endearing about short guys who aren't super insecure about their height. Zion's good ending is also heartbreaking, which I love.
Least favorite route: The retcon
Funnily enough, I enjoyed all the routes except one. I'm not a fan of retcon or super happy endings in otherwise dark stories. This one tied things up in a bit too neat of a bow for my tastes.
Would I recommend? Sure! It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and calling it an otome is a bit of a stretch, but the story is intense and one particular route has a creepy surprise waiting for you.
4. Mr Love: Queen's Choice (Android store)
Why I love this game: The story. I've heard complaints about the MC, but really, compared to Amnesia (and several others, but Amnesia is definitely the most egregious with the "blank slate girl" because... well... amnesia), she's got spunk. The Mr Love MC does talk back fairly often, though can backtrack on her own words. But oh, man, I just finished the more recent chapter releases and my jaw was on the floor. This game knows how to build tension slowly - and it can feel very slow - but once you hit chapter 10, it's nonstop twist after turn after twist. The characters are well-realized, the voice acting is good - and it offers the Japanese voice actors as well, which is a nice bonus! The only downside is that it can be very difficult to play without paying at times. But if you're patient, you are well rewarded by the story.
The routes aren't actually "routes" like in most otomes - Mr Love has an overarching story that ties all four of the love interests into your world. It's not possible for the main storyline to veer in one direction. But the side stories kind of count, I suppose? A lot of them are cute, some are sweet, and 99% of them are heavily building up romance with whichever LI you prefer. Aside from that damn near pay-to-play model (though it doesn't have to be, you just advance much slower without), I almost consider it a perfect otome game.
Favorite "route": Victor
Hands down, it's Victor. Again, I certainly have a type. I just find him unendingly compelling, and his side stories are incredibly satisfying. I'll admit I do get irked when he treats the MC too much like a child (though that's in part the MC's writing, so not exclusively a Victor route problem), but when he lets down his guard, I get that rush of giddiness I get with most tsundere routes.
Least favorite "route": Lucien
I say this reluctantly after finishing chapter 14 - because wow did they make his story wildly interesting in this latest update - but he's the type of character that always rubbed me the wrong way and felt off. Still, his story is satisfying in the main route... I'm just not a fan of the side stories. Unfortunately, I can't extrapolate after this latest update, because all of my earlier sneaking suspicions could now be seen as spoilers.
Would I recommend? If you can be patient, yes. The story is so, so good, and I can't say that enough. The art is stunning. The gameplay with videos is cute and actually kind of challenging sometimes, so you do need to level up some cards, but I find it difficult to put the game down after I've run through my daily stamina. At the very least, it's a feast of eye candy - not just because the guys are drawn well, but the backgrounds, the small details, the story (have I mentioned that yet?), everything. I love, love, love this otome. Just be careful with your wallet!
Got a favorite otome game? Let me know in the comments!
And don't forget to check my art page. I've added a few drawings and doodles since last week.