First Impressions | ‘Wanted: Son-in-law!’ (OKKO)

The Premise

You’re an ordinary working girl when your less-than-optimistic wish for a boyfriend is answered by your estranged gramps via his almost-magical butler.

Twenty-four hours is all it takes between Genie Butler bringing you to your ultra-rich grandfather in a limo, and said relative asking you to choose your fiancé in front of a ballroom of strangers.

The Candidates

Taiga Takajo

Company president and heir to the Takajo Group, he displays a thoughtfulness that belies his forceful and blunt manner.

Taiga Takajo, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

Iori Nijo

The president of Nijo Industries appears to have a shared past with you. The heir to the Nijo Group is just like your prince in shining armor, always looking out for you.

Iori Nijo, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

Eiji Kyogoku

A tech mogul whose crass demeanor towards you is at odds with his rather superior attitude.

Eiji Kyogoku, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

Rei Mido

Descended from a noble house, he seems focused on his marriage obligations.

Rei Mido, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

Tsukasa Ijuin

Genie Butler is not listed in the Son-in-law Shortlist, but is featured prominently in the game’s top page, so he might end up stealing your heart, anyway.

Tsukasa Ijuin, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

Currently NPCs, but I’m Hopeful

Yuuto Sanada

Your sweet and handsome friend from uni who is now also your colleague in the editorial team.

Yuuto Sanada, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

Kiyoto Domon

Your former college professor who’s now a contributor to your publication.

Kiyoto Domon, 'Wanted: Son-in-law!' ©OKKO

First Impressions

The Good

I LOVE THE ART. I’m particularly fond of OKKO‘s BGs, which look like a cool mix of very realistic CGs and more traditional hand-drawn images. (I’m not at all versed in art, so kindly pardon the awkward description. I welcome anyone who can help me with the terminology! 😅)

The guys are also handsome as hell — well-proportioned and very nicely drawn.

Ritsu Tachibana, is that you? The uncanny similarity between Mido (LEFT) and Tachibana (OL2, RIGHT). ©OKKO

I also commend OKKO for having done fairly good translation work on the game so far. The dialogue sounded fresh and updated, as well.

The Bad

I just can’t buy into the premise. We all know that these otoge are wish fulfillment devices, but with the quality of interactive romance games/VNs improving all around, I had expected this to be more sophisticated and make it easier for me to suspend my disbelief. Even among the older otoge titles, the way all the different pieces of this story were hurriedly strung together in the prologue made the formula it was using too glaringly obvious (and so crudely satisfied, at that), it made me cringe.

Final Thoughts

The prologue has made it difficult for me to get fully on board this game, but the guys are all interesting enough in themselves (and, no, I’m not talking about their looks, believe it or not — tho’ that doesn’t hurt!) that I’m willing to give it a go when the first route (Taiga’s) is released. (I can say, though, that I’m really NOT looking forward to Eiji’s — he makes me want to throat punch someone for the first time in my life. 😅)

Want to read the Prologue for yourself? Download Honey Magazine now.


About the Dev

©OKKO logo

OKKO is a top otome game/visual novel provider from Japan.

For more information about their apps, check them out on:

The Web • OKKO Sweet Romance, Honey Magazine
Twitter • @okko_eng, @PlayHoneyMagEN
Tumblr • okkosweetromance
IG • okko.sweet.romance
Facebook • okkosweetromance.eng, Playhoneymagazine
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Review | The SITS Ikemen: Kyohei Rikudoh (Voltage)

Kyohei Rikudoh ©Voltage, Inc.The Story

KYOHEI takes charge of you while you ghostwrite for Ryo, Revance’s missing lyricist. You assume the title of assistant manager as cover story for your presence, as well as gain insight that will help you write song lyrics worthy of their 10th anniversary.

In the beginning, the handsome and charismatic frontman appears to live up to his sexy image, teasing you to your maiden wits’ end. As you shadow the band in your new role, however, you come to know a man of contradiction whom your heart cannot escape.

My Thoughts (Why I Liked It)

The Perfect Man, Perfectly Real

Kyohei seems to be a god among men, his sheer presence commanding awe and obedience from fangirls and industry execs alike. MC is at the same time terrified and drawn to him because of this. (Of course, that face and body doesn’t exactly hurt, either.)

SITS_Kyohei_idol

Kyohei Rikudoh ©Voltage, Inc.

His tragic backstory is relatable and adds another layer to a man who is so much more than just an idol. And yet, the way his character is written refuses to make this a hangup (despite what other characters may say) or an excuse.

'Scandal in the Spotlight' ©Voltage, Inc.

In fact, this only makes him try harder to become a better person, and support anyone willing to put in the work for their own dreams — including MC. At the end of the day, he’s just a regular guy with incredible talent and even greater determination.

'Scandal in the Spotlight' ©Voltage, Inc.

A Regular Girl I Could Get Behind

I liked this MC. As a wanna-be writer (AND all-around fangirl) myself, I could totally relate to her struggles and motivations. She isn’t annoyingly prim, nor a pushover; neither is she overconfident as to be a turn-off. She is understandably overwhelmed by her extraordinary circumstances and the larger-than-life people suddenly surrounding her, but she also rises to the challenge, making her a good match for Kyohei.

'Scandal in the Spotlight' ©Voltage, Inc.

She thinks out loud and likes eating. The SITS MC — a girl after my own heart. ‘Scandal in the Spotlight’ ©Voltage, Inc.

A Fantasy I Could Believe

The premise is a real-life impossibility, but the story itself is quite believable. Because the writers successfully portrayed Kyohei as a person — over and above his being an idol, and despite everyone’s adulation — with highs and lows just like any other, it was very easy for me to buy into his romance with Average Jane MC. IMHO what makes him extraordinary is his groundedness and work ethic despite being an idol, and his ability to respond positively and proactively to negative situations.

Love 365_2018-12-04-14-37-01.png

The other characters were also written as interesting in their own right, and not just as token figures. The band are hilarious and behave just like any group of close guy friends.

And Mr. Sasayama, Shinya Takagi, heck — even Rina, are interesting enough for me to wish they had side stories. (I know a lot of people want a Shinya x MC story, but I personally wanted a Mr. Sasayama x MC one from the get-go 😅)

My Rating

Apart from the tired, unlocked shared-bathroom trope (although I think this is cultural), the writing was just lovely. The pacing was good and created just enough tension; the banter and verbal confrontations, priceless. The characters were interesting, likable, and redeemable (yes, even the bad guy!).

This is actually the second time I’m playing his route, but I’ve come to appreciate it even more than I did the first time around. (I mean, how can you not? Just look at this guy!)

Love 365_2018-12-06-21-14-36.png

NEVER! NEVER – EVER! ‘Scandal in the Spotlight’ ©Voltage, Inc.

It’s 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸/5 for me!

Check out my first impressions of the game, as well as my review of Kota’s S1 main story.

Ready to find love ‘in the spotlight’? Look for the Revance members in Love 365: Find Your Story.


Is it just me?

Or does Kyohei bring to mind Jang Geun Suk in You’re Beautiful?

Jang Geun Suk


About the Dev

©Voltage, Inc. logo

Voltage Inc. is a leading interactive mobile game developer from Japan, focusing on visual novels and otome games.

Get the latest updates on their apps via:

The Web • Voltage Otome R♥mance
Twitter • @VisualR_NOVEL, @VisualR_PARTY
IG • voltagevisualromanceapps
Facebook • VoltageVisualRomanceAppsNOVEL, VoltageVisualRomanceAppsPARTY
Tumblr • Official Voltage Inc. Otome, voltageparty

Review | The ‘First Love Story’ of Chitose and Asahi (Favary)

I was extremely excited for this game to come out. Fresh from playing False Vows, True Love (another EN release from Favary), I knew I could expect a great story featuring well-thought out characters. To be honest, I REALLY wanted there to be a Chitose x Sou option, but I’ll have to write to Santa (or Favary 😅) about that!

A co-class leader who both cares too much and too little, ‘First Love Story’ ©Favary, Inc.

The Story

CHITOSE starts her sophomore year of high school in a new class, separated from her old friends. She’s worried about fitting in and falling in love (yes, because she’s at that age 😅).

Unfortunately (well, fortunately — at least, eventually), she gets paired up with ASAHI as class leader. He is late on the first day of school and is always dozing off. He doesn’t really make a good impression on her, which compounds her anxiety over being able to handle her new responsibilities with him as her partner. He also is quite unsociable, but she can’t help but find him intriguing, despite herself.

Working closely with him makes her realize that he is, in fact, more responsible and capable than the slacker she at first thought him to be. Seeing the gentle, caring person behind the yawns soon makes her fall for him (surprise! 😅), but they have to overcome certain obstacles both around them and within themselves before they (and you) can find their happy end together.

My Thoughts

I loved how they acted exactly like the 15 and 16-year-olds that they are.

Maybe it’s because I’m Asian (or because I’m an aging one, at that 😅), but I don’t like seeing teenagers behaving like adults. I liked seeing the characters do and enjoy things that I feel are developmentally-appropriate for their age (and I DON’T mean ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ here).

This is supposed to be a story of first love born from the innocence of youth. I enjoyed seeing how clueless and clumsy they were about it all, but not to the point of being ridiculous or unbelievable.

I loved how the main characters helped each other grow.

I would say that Chitose and Asahi saw their selfless and caring natures reflected in each other, despite Chitose being the more outgoing one. As these were clearly important values for both of them, the mutual attraction wasn’t so surprising.

And while Chitose taught the hopelessly clueless Asahi what romantic love was all about, he taught her to believe in him and that she was worthy of this love.

I loved the supporting characters.

I must confess, I developed some abbreviated version of SML Syndrome playing this route. Sou was such a GOOD – GUY. Quiet, cat personality-type guys aren’t my bias to begin with (yes, I’m talking about Asahi), but seeing Sou be this popular guy who was soo nice just made me want to tie him and Chitose to each other!

Chubby (you have to read the story to find out who they are!) was another gem of a character who made this couple possible, all by being themselves!

And, of course, I can’t not mention Asahi’s grandparents. Asahi is interesting and likable precisely because of how his grandparents have brought him up in the absence of his parents. It doesn’t hurt his romance with Chitose either that his elders low-key set them up every time they can! (Talk about support! And heaven knows this boy needs all of it that he can get! You’ll find out just how much when you play this route. 😂)

My Rating

I honestly could not possibly complain about the story or the characters. I may be long past my teen years, but I can appreciate a well-crafted game or VN about this theme when I see one.

Still, getting the little technical issues (see my first impressions of the game) out of the way would surely enhance players’ overall experience.

I give this 🌸🌸🌸🌸/5.


Update!

The iOS version of the game has just been launched! Check it out HERE.
You can also grab the Android version HERE.

About the Dev

Favary, Inc.

Favary Inc. is a Tokyo-based creator, developer, and re-publisher of otome games.

You can get more information about them and their titles on:

The Web • Favary Inc.
Twitter • @favaryotomegame
IG • otomegames_by_favary
Facebook • FavaryOtomeGames

First Impressions | ‘First Love Story’ (Favary)

Start Page, ‘First Love Story’ ©Favary, Inc.

The Premise

You start your sophomore year of high school apart from your old friends. Meeting new ones, it promises to be a year of many firsts — from new classes and responsibilities, to the exhilaration and challenges of new (and different kinds of) love.

The Characters

Currently Playable Characters (TOP Row)/NON-playable Characters (BOTTOM Row)

 

Four Stories of First Love

Chitose x Asahi (Review HERE.)

First love between Girl x Boy told from the girl’s POV, ‘First Love Story’ ©Favary, Inc.

Sou x Akira

First love between Girl x Boy told from the guy’s POV, ‘First Love Story’ ©Favary, Inc.

Chitose x Akira

A friendship that turns into a Girl x Girl romance, ‘First Love Story’ ©Favary, Inc.

Sou x Asahi

A friendship that turns into a Boy x Boy romance, ‘First Love Story’ ©Favary, Inc.

First Impressions

The Good

Favary released this highly-anticipated otome game back in November. It features not just your typical boy x girl pairings, but yaoi (BL) and yuri (GL) stories, as well — something that many otoge fans welcomed with much excitement. As far as my gaming experience has gone, this is the first time I am playing such routes, although I know there are quite a few other games with the same themes already out there. This is also the first time I am asked to choose a pairing, instead of a single partner for the MC I am playing.

The art/CG and the overall UI have a sleeker, more modern feel, setting the game apart from Favary’s other (recently re-released) EN-language title, False Vows, True Love. I also enjoyed the BGM, which is light, upbeat, and appropriate to the setting.

There were a few language errors here and there, and the translation is a bit awkward, but these don’t really impede understanding or detract from the overall game experience.

As in FVTL, the BEST thing about this game is that it gives you the option to watch ads in exchange for additional gems that will further your game play. Favary have also introduced mini-games as another means for you to increase your Trust level.

The Bad

I found it refreshing to have pairings presented as choices (instead of individual romanceable options), but some people may feel constrained by this.

The new UX also comes at a cost — the app will eventually require a whopping 300 to 500-something MB of memory to play (after the initial download). It may be normal for some mobile games to start at 1GB of memory, but FLS is definitely a memory hog compared to those from competitors Voltage, OKKO, and Cybird, among others. (I can only really think of Cybird’s Ikemen Revolution and its now-800 something MB to top this; FLS, at least, gives you the option to save it in your device’s SD card.) Needless to say, you also need a very stable network connection to download and play the game.

That it does not have a Back/Back to Home or Menu/Quit button is a bit bothersome for me, as well. (Neither will it allow my phone’s own Back button to do the job.) As I mentioned in my review of FVTL, I often have to go back to the beginning of a chapter or episode because I want to review previous segments. Especially since, accidentally sliding my finger across the screen also fast-forwards the game — sometimes to the very end of that chapter!

Additionally, I found the amount of Trust and Favorable Impression points needed for the HE a bit restrictive — that if you didn’t invest heavily in actual purchases of gems or tickets, it might take you too long to progress in the game to sustain your interest.

Final Thoughts

For the record… I actually want a Chitose x Sou route! 😂 I’m also hoping to see the other (currently non-playable) characters introduced soon!

After finishing my first route in the game (Chitose x Asahi), I found First Love Story to be enjoyable on the whole. Putting MB and gems requirements aside, as well as the little text and UI issues, the characters and their stories are remarkably well-developed. They may be teenagers, but they are portrayed sympathetically and with stories as valid as that of any adult. In fact, I loved how their words, thoughts, and actions all reflected their age. That being said, the game may not be for everyone; some may find the characters and stories too juvenile for their tastes. Also, the game choices are cultural; you have to think like a Japanese teen to get the right one.

I would recommend this game to anyone who can appreciate young teen romances and Japanese culture, and who would be willing to spend time playing the mini-games or actual money for gems.

Are you ready to find YOUR First Love Story? Or maybe, relive it? [Currently only available on Android, but the iOS version is only DAYS AWAY.]

Looking for a more mature romance? Check out Favary’s other EN title, False Vows, True Love.

 


About the Dev

Favary, Inc.

Favary Inc. is a Tokyo-based creator, developer, and re-publisher of otome games.

You can get more information about them and their titles on:

The Web • Favary Inc.
Twitter • @favaryotomegame
IG • otomegames_by_favary
Facebook • FavaryOtomeGames