Other Dating sims and Visual Novels

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Taleweaver
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Other Dating sims and Visual Novels

#1 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Nov 13, 2003 4:25 pm

Right from my Review thread in the ToL1 forum comes a new topic which has popped up there: Which other Dating Sims and Visual Novels have you played, and what are your opinions about them?

For me, Dating Sims started with "True Love" (ouch, unabriged Hentai), which gave me a kickstart into a genre I had mostly ignored before. Soon, I spent a few Deutschmarks (yes, it was that early) on the PC version of Tokimeki Memorial, got a translated script from the 'net, and off I was into the wide world of dating sims. And still today, I consider Tokimemo the best dating-sim I've ever played. Unfortunately, that doesn't account for much because the only other "true" DS I played (besides True Love and Tokimemo) was Sentimental Graffiti, which was pretty cool but didn't quite have the same replay effect.

My first Visual Novel was "XChange" (even more Hentai), and well... I wasn't really impressed. Even Tokimemo, which didn't have a real story at all, had more plot than this sorry excuse for a perverted comedy. Virtually no choices that made any difference, and all endings depended on what teacher you chose for help. Way too short... I played all six endings in two hours, and that was that.

Then came "Snow Drop" (hentai) and my first experience with GOOD Visual Novels. At first, I didn't think of Snow Drop of something special; even the fourth or fifth time I played it, I got the same ending, which was a rather unexcited nice final to the skiing holiday you take and a lot of hints at what the history behind your holiday site was. Then I accidentally did everything right for the first three days and the REAL story unfolded... and I was totally overrun by the great writing. True, it was a bit predictable, but the sheer DEPTH of the story impressed me, and I really liked the full voice acting.

Next came "Kana: Little Sister"... and I wept. It was the first time a computer game actually made me weep. If there was only one Visual Novel I had ever played, it should have been "Kana"... it was an absolutely stunning experience, and no way am I going to give anything away about the game except for "it's worth every single buck". My work on LoveRevo... no, my work as a writer altogether is probably more inspired by "Kana" than by any other game or book I've ever played or read.

Then there was "Tokimeki Check-In" (you guess it, hentai) - once again, full voice acting, a HUGE cast of characters and beautiful graphics... well, and at least some of the storylines were moderately interesting. Unfortunately, TCI also featured a few of the silliest choices in Visual Novels ever: Sweep the floor or mop the floor? Greet the guests inside the hotel or outside the hotel? The worst part is that these choices all influence which girl you're gonna get... choose the "wrong" answer and you won't be able to get the Best Ending for the girl you've wooed perfectly for the rest of the game. The girl won't even appear in the "wrong" segment of the game... but there's no way for you to know that sweeping the floor will also sweep away all your chances... All in all, TCI was a mixed blessing.

The latest Visual Novel I've played was "XChange 2" (yup, hentai). Call me a fool but I hadn't learned my lesson from XC1, plus I was also intrigued by more full voice acting and a way longer gameplay. This time, there were no goofy choices I could find (except for one where you have three possible reactions to being "caught in the act" by your girlfriend and none of the choices actually helps), and there was a heap of datable characters... but was it REALLY necessary to be forced into not one, not two but THREE rape scenes during the course of the game? Nothing you do will prevent these from happening, and a few of your choices add more rape scenes to the game. I was not amused.

...well, that's MY experience in the large field of Visual Novels and Dating Sims. What are yours?

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#2 Post by Blue Lemma » Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:52 pm

The only ones I've really played are Tokimeki Memorial and Graduation Vacaction. Oh, and Phantom of Inferno, too. Need more english/engrish ones! :?

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#3 Post by Taleweaver » Fri Nov 14, 2003 5:07 am

Hmm.... "Graduation" is more of a Raising Sim, right? If you liked it, there's Princess Maker 2 (a GREAT piece of abandonware you can easily find on the net; try Underdogs), and there's also the (hentai) The Maid's Story.

In PM2, you get to raise a young girl from the age of 11 to the age of 18 - you plan her daily duties, you buy her stuff, you send her on part-time jobs... heck, you may even allow her to become a hero and go on quests. If you do well, your girl will grow up into a fine woman and become an artisan, a hero, a knight, a sorceress, a judge, an innkeeper... hey, even a bricklayer. Do not so well and she becomes a divorced wife, a nightclub dancer or a criminal... or she'll die before she reaches the age of 18. Oh, by the way, there is also a reason why the game is named "Princess Maker"...

TMS is about teaching three young women how to become perfect maids so that they find employment after learning how to take care for an old inn. You teach them skills like cleaning, washing and shopping... and during the nights, you teach them more... well... intimate skills. (Hey, this is a Japanese game; a good maid is apparently supposed to be able to fulfill her employer's every wish...)

Never heard about "Phantom of Inferno". Is it any good?

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#4 Post by BlackSpider » Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:37 am

Just a few older dating sims, visual novels and raising sims I can remember right now that are worth mentioning (some games are not worth to even talk about them). They're all hentai (except PM2 which is for all).


These should be found on good abandonware sites (not warez sites!):

True Love (DS) - The best dating sim I've ever played (probably because I didn't play many). I finally got all the girls that were available :).
3 SISTERS (VN), SEASONS OF THE SAKURA (VN), RUNAWAY CITY (VN) - Great stories and many beautiful girls. Old DOS versions will not work on XP. Those with Windows XP should buy the JAST memorial collection.
PM2 (RS), TMS (RS) - Good raising sims. I found TMS a little weird though :).


Older VN/DS that could be interesting :

NOCTURNAL ILLUSION (VN) - One of the best VN's out there. 10/10 for the story. But it's definitely too perverted. Surely not for all those under 18.
MAY CLUB (DS) - Typical hentai dating sim with many endings.


Freeware flash Dating Sims :

SimGirl (DS) - Yeah, that's the Newgrounds flash DS. IMO it's much better than Ganguro girl, but still silly enough. Mainly because the chat with the girl you want to _score_ with is only limited to answering some stupid questions like her phone number, her blood type, her three sizes, the day when you kissed her for the first time, and so on. Then you take her on another date and she's asking all those questions again. Worth playing because of the beautiful pictures and the kissing scene.

Minami DS - French DS someone mentioned a month ago at the MT forums. Although you can _score_ with only one girl it's much better than all those Newgrounds DS. Here the girl has her own profile. You have to learn what she likes and try to please her. I found the game a bit repetitive at times, but it was very amusing. The main objective of the game is to get Minami before February the 14th (Valentine's day), otherwise you lose the bet you made with your friends.

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#5 Post by chronoluminaire » Fri Nov 14, 2003 11:36 am

As it happens I've already written a page about this on the web, here:
http://www.toothycat.net/wiki/wiki.pl?D ... mendations

But in summary, my favourites are:
Season of the Sakura * Kana Little Sister * Mizuiro * Casual Romance Club

I also liked Princess Maker 2, True Love and May Club.

I would dearly love to play Tokimeki Memorial or Sentimental Graffiti. I don't think my Japanese is up to it yet, though. I do own a Japanese Dreamcast with Japanese discs of Air and Sakura Taisen, both of which are well known, but I've not tried painstakingly translating my way through them yet.

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#6 Post by Taleweaver » Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:47 pm

There is at least one completely translated script to Tokimemo available on the 'net (I think I got mine frome Gamefaqs) which is sorted by girl and situation and offers both Japanese on-screen text and sufficient translation. I can only call it "sufficient" because I didn't think it captured any of the drama of the game; the only well-written part were the endings.

I also remember seeing at least one translation project for "Sentimental Graffiti" (also got a script) at a fansite which also offered a few "spoof games" like my beloved "Sentimental Shooting". Unfortunately, the site has been shut down about five months ago for some legal reasons.

"Air" and its predecessor "Kanon" are the two games I'd like to get gold of most at the moment (though I've already seen the "Kanon" anime). Both are infamous for heart-wrenching stories - unfortunately, I have no idea how I would understand them as I have never found any translations, anywhere. "Sakura Taisen"... heard about it; that mecha-piloting/dating sim thing, though I have no idea about the story.

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Sakura Taisen

#7 Post by Anemone » Fri Nov 14, 2003 11:05 pm

"Sakura Taisen"... heard about it; that mecha-piloting/dating sim thing, though I have no idea about the story.
From what I understand, it isn't a dating sim, but a strategy RPG with an integrated dating sim component (from what I hear, neither portion is particularly strong. However, the combination of the two is supposedly quite good).

The same company tried a similar formula with Thousand Arms (traditional RPG with a dating portion; most players trashed it, citing weak gameplay mechanics), which was indeed released in the US.

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#8 Post by Ecchi Tiff » Sat Nov 15, 2003 4:52 am

SimGirl (DS) - Yeah, that's the Newgrounds flash DS. IMO it's much better than Ganguro girl, but still silly enough. Mainly because the chat with the girl you want to _score_ with is only limited to answering some stupid questions like her phone number, her blood type, her three sizes, the day when you kissed her for the first time, and so on. Then you take her on another date and she's asking all those questions again. Worth playing because of the beautiful pictures and the kissing scene.
I ran through the old version on Ebaumsworld - for some reason, she never told me her hip size, which I had to figure out by trial and error. Seeing as how that's the only dating sim I've ever played (which was more of a bored whim than anything else), all I can say is that I'm glad I was able to play it with one hand and do something constructive with the other :D
The newer version is definitely more advanced, but a lot more frustrating - the fight club is sort of interesting, though. Shoryuken!
Kyra: "You can kiss my acetabulum!"
Lord Pathos: "Hmm, tempting offer, coming from a cute girl like you."
Kyra: "Ug, I think I'm gonna be sick. Tom, let's get this quy, quick!"

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#9 Post by CopJohnson » Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:18 am

Taleweaver wrote:There is at least one completely translated script to Tokimemo available on the 'net (I think I got mine frome Gamefaqs) which is sorted by girl and situation and offers both Japanese on-screen text and sufficient translation. I can only call it "sufficient" because I didn't think it captured any of the drama of the game; the only well-written part were the endings.

"Air" and its predecessor "Kanon" are the two games I'd like to get gold of most at the moment.
1. can you tell how to get the script? PLZ! On Gamefaqs there's only a good walkthru, no real dialogue transcripts

2. AFAIK there's one Kanon translation project which is doing a good job, there is the 25% patch and soon the 40% will be out. Check http://www.haeleth.net/

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#10 Post by Taleweaver » Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:55 pm

As I said, that script was on gamefaqs.com... unfortunately, when I checked a few minutes ago, I couldn't find it. All that is left in a manual of game tips that includes the translated endings... and it looks as though whoever wrote that manual got these ending translations from the same script I had.

Unfortunately, I don't have that script any longer... lost it together with many other files which were very dear to me when my last computer broke down. :cry:

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