First Love Diaries [Mitsuru Sanada Route]

When I first saw Mitsuru in the prologue I did not want to own him. Recently, I bought him on a whim thinking ‘what can it hurt? It might be fun watching him be a jerk’. Ladies and gentlemen, my freaking husband.

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This route is my favorite in the game. Freaking stupid amazing megane guy! I had you and your PERFECTION. YOU’RE PERFECTION. /frames Mitsuru’s face/ I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS ROUTE! Normally there is at least one thing boring me about a route that I have to slog through in order to get back to the good stuff. Nope! I love every moment of this smarmy dork bunny loving bastard’s route. I love him so much I can’t stand it! I’m seriously fangirling over here, ugh!

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This guy is such a dork, and I do not say that just because he is a study hard type of guy. No, this guy is adorable. He has no idea of love or relationships and is harsh on the concept, but once you get to him he’s just adorbs. I think he wants to hate those things but given he is too young, he doesnt have the experience necessary to just push away a girl he actually likes. One of my favorite scenes is when he forces you to study because ‘his girlfriend has to have a degree of intelligence’ and then he turns around later and is like. . . “omg. . .see bunnies with me.”

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I shit you not! He uses you to get to pet bunnies! He is the most awkwardly amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Not once while playing this route did I feel bored or uninterested. He teases you, taunts you, forces you to study, drags you to places with bunnies, and deep down he is a softy who wants to become a vet. His father disapproves and wants him to inherit the hospital he owns, but he knows only one thing will make him happy.

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I will say I feel the main character is a wibbling waifu. Her main existence is to help support him through to his decisions. I will say a lot of games have that, but I don’t know if it’s bad? You do think about your future, you just aren’t sure. I can’t judge Voltage for making their characters act like real people are, few teenagers are sure of what they want. Not to mention that they do usually give women careers and have them think on what they want to do- it is nice to see someone support their love interest and also consider their future because of them.

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Mitsuru is such a good route, I hate to explain it all away. He develops a lot from start to finish and his beginning is absolutely adorable. Gah, everything about this dork is completely enthralling. You sleep with him faster than the others, his atmosphere is more sensual and mature, he still maintains his age and develops and grows with you, he is a sweety who loves DOGS AND BUNNIES AND EVERYTHING!!! He makes you study, he is standoffish and so fun to win over. All I can do about this guy is GUSH!

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I cannot recommend this route ENOUGH. If you like otome games and sweet romances, Mitsuru will piss you off only to turn your heart into jello. He LOVES PUPPIES! AND BUNNIES! AND YOU, HE REALLY LIKES YOU!

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Route comes built in with paternal approval, steamy scenes, heart breaking puppies, and an enormously big dork who loves you.

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Oki

Queen’s Gambit [Dating Sim First Look]

This week we have a special treat, a first look at Queen’s Gambit by Voltage USA. For those who don’t know, these are games designed to an American base. What does this mean? Usually stories unique to Japan are adapted to America, and some brand new releases made just for us exist. But how well does the company hold up? It’s rare for there to be US inspired games with dating! We have harlequin novels, cheesy teen books, even some games but in general we always tend to fall behind. Can this game catch the interest of both the romantic US genre, and the anime fandom the company bases it’s original games off of? I’m here to give a first look and help you decide.

don't be a dick emmett

don’t be a dick emmett

Well, I have access to two route prologues: Joao and Emmett. Emmett looks like a cutie so I want to try him more, but let’s start with Joao to see what kind of surprises he has in store!

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I can say for certain this game is very unique. First off, congratulations Voltage! Nobody is a pastry chef! No, instead the main character is a member of an Organization who do covert operations. From the prologue alone it’s hard to completely grasp their entire goal or what they want, but they’re basically good guys doing shady business for a high stakes game. You can feel right away how American the influence is and never once did I think, this is not how an American would be behave.

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The main character, you can once again name her, has a really interesting personality. And for once Voltage did away with that ‘don’t ever see the main characters face and when you do her eyes are hidden’ crap. Most of the prologue was obviously to set up, but I got to hand it to them. 5 minutes in and I was genuinely curious, like the main character, who Joao was. I was also grateful the new guy, the fish out of water meant to make things easier for players to understand, was stumbling around a bit so I could understand the game myself.

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Technically speaking the game has some handy stuff. No longer must you slog through entire scenarios if your game shuts down, they actually have checkpoints! The length is done differently, the character’s presented in a new way, and the choices even seem more consistently meaningful. Did I mention Joao is a cutie? Not to mention I’m pretty sure the MC, who I have named Rachel, can kick everyone’s ass in this story. It’s really fun and refreshing to see that! By the end of Joao’s prologue I was incredibly interested in continuing. I can’t give you the full run down until I see more, but so far it’s promising and looks really entertaining.

he's hot that's who

he’s hot that’s who

Emmett kind of wore on me a bit in Joao’s prologue, but his story is one we have all heard. Best friend romance, guys! Sadly most of the missions specs and in general that route don’t catch my attention, as it’s a political bit. For some reason being a spy is so much more interesting when you have a bigger stake- not that politics aren’t a big stake, they just never feel like it until you get into some really heavy territory. It’s also now more of a pain to skip things because it’s under a second menu.

Emmett is interesting, and Joao’s REALLY interesting. I think with their new approach they are taking a much needed step to make it about a character who is most certainly doing their own thing while still having some really cool love interests. It takes a new approach with it’s own prologues and it’s own set up that is definitely unique from the softer type of woman that Voltage usually represents.

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You’ll find in their Japanese made games they tend to rely on a subset of women who are either doing much more vocational work. The best example is two games in their own have you featured as a pastry chef, one an assistant museum curator, one a random villager who is just nice to people, one a designer, and the one that really stands out is one where you are a doctor who wants to murder her potential love interests. For the most part Voltage tends to pick less serious roles for the women involved. The only credit I can give them is the roles really matter to the women involved and that makes it really interesting. Now you can’t argue anything because the main character in this game very clearly is self sufficient and capable.

What I am interested to see is the comparison. It’s so different seeing Voltage take on this kind of game, even their American subset company. I think when the whole game comes out it will be a very interesting thing to compare Voltage USA to it’s Japanese counterpart- their styles are different but underneath you can still feel the pull and appeal of a Voltage game. Without a doubt the love and care put into the game makes it a must to try out.

I will say this: while the art can be funky, it’s actually much better than some of the other games. Still, try softening your art Voltage. You’re blending the art a bit and making it smooth, but the faces themselves seem rigid and painted starkly. The best faces were done for the main character, but the art on the cover photo is a lot weaker than in game!

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Color me interested. Fans of Japanese Voltage fans might find this new release to be an all around attention grabber thanks to it’s strong plot, dynamic characters, and interesting new game layout. (but someone please wipe that smirk off Emmett’s face? He’s starting to seem like a sleaze ball)

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Oki

Be my Princess 2 [Ivan Route]

As soon as Be my Princess 2 came out I watched the prologue and went, OH I WANT THAT GUY! low and behold, he wasn’t available for forever. By the time he came out I was broke, but recently I finally had the money to purchase this wondrous route. No regrets this guy is super hawt.

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From the getgo Ivan pretty much chooses you. And why? You’re a sturdy wife who can make him babies. I can’t with this guy. So much . . . straightforwardness is kind of hot. He basically says he won’t love you and as long as you perform the duties of a wife he won’t care, so I’m just sitting here going. . . . I will make you love me you little shit.

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His whole shtick along with the butlers is tricking you to come to his nation thinking it’s an invitation to be a bride candidate. Lol you liar I’m the only bride. We also see right off the bat this place is constant war and terror. Come on Ivan let me warm you up with my sweet swe- I can’t finish that sentence. The amount of shame Ivan makes me want to bring on myself is ridiculous. Why won’t he love me?!

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Ivan goes off to war almost immediately. Why do I foresee you taking care of injured Ivan? Because that’s amazing that’s why I foresee it. You end up going to see him once, and already I can tell this Ice Queen is letting it go. Shut up Ivan with your stupid hair and your stupid face and your stupid sexist country where women aren’t supposed to work at all which is dumb because women would get bored dontcha think? I am a strong independent pastry chef dammit! Let me cover your country in potato donuts ya dork!

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One thing I will say though: Please get an offline version, Voltage. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to enjoy a game and having to download an update, waste data, all for stuff I’ve already downloaded! If I’m not buying a new route there is no reason to force an impromptu update on me. I much prefer having to download manual updates rather than being forced to download automatic ones. I play the game usually during my downtime at school, or on my breaks at work- that’s the best part about them! But if you force me to download updates, it eats up my breaks and I end up angry and upset I couldn’t play rather than happily playing. Even worse, when your phone has to be online simply to play. Let me play my game without having to connect, Voltage! This is your biggest flaw! I seriously had to download a 20 minute update during my freetime because I wasn’t at home with wifi, all to play Ivan’s route which was completely up to date! sobs deeply. Why did I put this in? It happened to me three times and held up this review for weeks.

Anyway, you know what ends up happening in this route? The true conflict? Ivan is an idiot. There you go. He says something thinking it means something completely different and you end up leaving him. WOOPS. He basically tells you you can be replaced, when he meant you could be replaced at your job and you should stay with him. Even that was insensitive so you return home and to your job. Eventually you catch a cold and go to answer the door in a haze only to find. . . moe moe adorable Ivan who is in love with you and wants to take care of you.

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It’s all perfect as you return to Sanct sybil. And then you get kidnapped.

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Ladies and gentlemen, one of the more badass stories, where you get kidnapped. You do your best to stay alive but ultimately it is Ivan who saves you, and the plot twists involved in that part of the story are just amazing. Suffice it to say that it’s definitely worth your time to invest in the magnificence of this story, I can’t bring myself to ruin the ending for you but it involves Ivan seemingly dying and a lot of other really cool things. Can I just say this? Favorite Princess route, 1 and 2 included, because I can’t get over this stupid dork of a prince who loves me (I told you I’d make him love me!)

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You can’t go wrong on this one. Every flaw Voltage games have was able to be overlooked for me in order to make this dork my prince. Do it everybody. Make this dork your prince!

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Oki

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo: Ichigo’s Routes [Including Living With Him!]

Guys, when I first saw this game I knew one thing. I had to have Ichigo Sato in my life. When his story finally came out I played about half before life interferred. Recently a whole slew of sequels and bonus content came out. . . so I got them all! Yes, everyone, this is a review and compilation post for every single addition of the main storyline for Ichigo Sato. Hey Ichy. . . .how you doin’?

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Ichigo is my fabled anime love type, the male tsundere who is very obvious. The closest to him is Momoi since well, as is Voltage’s favorite, pastries. Ichigo’s family runs a sweets shop so you’ll be getting some of that fine patisserie action. His main route is basically what you think it would be. You were friends with Ichigo since you were a kid and it’s heavily implied, much to your ignorance, the two of you have always liked each other. For being the ‘default’ choice, as in the one the game uses for advertisements, it sure took a long time to release his routes. . .

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Ichigo spends much of the first route picking on you, but it never bothers me because my character never seems to take it seriously. As long as the character isn’t bothered by it, I don’t think it’s a problem. For her, it’s what they’ve always done and she cherishes it. I think the worst thing about the route is you have some kind of selective amnesia. Wouldn’t it have been more fun for her to keep thinking ‘I wonder if he thinks I’m worth that promise at all. . .’? They do weird things in these games sometimes and I’ve learned to accept it.

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You’re in high school in this game but there is a significant difference in this and First Love Diaries. There’s hardly any sexual tension but it still keeps you wrapped up, mostly because you’ve all been friends and it’s fun to deal with all the different friendship elements. I’d say a game that can succesfully re use tropes without reminding you it’s doing so is a good game, so Ichigo’s first route keeps a place in my heart. I was actually going to skip right to the sequels 3 years later and Moving in, but I played the free chapter and Ichigo made a perverted comment, so this happened:

Ichigo: well you’ve already given me everything

Me: they fucked didn’t they

MC: W-what’s that mean?!

Ichigo: Oh, what were you thinking of?

Me: they fucked. Gotta go play first season sequel.

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While the sequels, the first ones anyway, tend to be lacking and filled with bland drama, this one wasn’t so bad. After the first five you get into some fun things and Ichigo has decided to move away so he can deserve to inherit the shop. You’re trying to figure out what you want and you go with social work. You know, I’d be really surprised if for once people could seem to want their own unique things even if they overlap. Social work is a better option, but it seems like a safe story option. Couldn’t the MC have a more interesting choice? Then again, sometimes people who can’t choose do pick that. As a person who had a hard time choosing I did not end up going with nursing, so I find it hard to relate. Then again, they didn’t cheap out and go pastry chef.

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The whole first sequel was WORTH because Ichigo actually cries over the decision. Stoic, tsundere Ichigo is like “I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS OKAY?!” and it was worth it. Not to mention even though you guys don’t talk about it often, you kind of bring up and decide to have sex and it feels pretty natural. How can I pass up a sequel with this face on it??

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Then. . .oh boy. Guys. Then Ichigo goes off to Paris and becomes the beautiful butterfly we all know and love. Ladies and gentlemen, perfection:

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You and Ichigo are back together now but it seems that after all this time, you’re both working way too hard! The whole thing is you trying to squeeze in time for him during your Practicum’s. I gotta give Voltage this, the more they developed her role and made her go for the job of nurse it was better.

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Add on that Ichy’s boss is a jackass who yells at him and you’d kind of miss Ringo. Ichigo is, as I see it, basically only working here to learn how to be a true pastry chef until one day he can inherit the shop. It’s really funny comparing Ichigo with Momoi from Finally in Love Again, as Momoi is probably one of the best pastry chefs ever and doesn’t have much to learn. Ichigo is what, 6 years his junior and working his ass off to be good? It’s really nice to see Ichigo work hard.

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Your parents have also come to town and it’s all about them trying to meet Ichig-

holy crap, hold the phone. THESE are your parents? No wonder 6 guys want to get into your pants. . . they’re. . .they’re beautiful. Do you guys see this crap?

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I must be BEAUTIFUL. Damn! I bet Ichigo is coughing inwardly and going “…….I guess this family ages well”. Jeez. I had to say something. Your family is just. . . super pretty. As a song I like quotes, “This family is stupid attractive.” Just. . .wow. When Ichigo does meet them they are impressed by him but your mother is sure to remind you to stick to your studies. Hey mom, come on, I’ve been ditching my boyfriend this entire route to be responsible!

ichigos mom knows where its at, encouraging me to do it with her son

ichigos mom knows where its at, encouraging me to do it with her son

The ending to the three years route is very very cute. He has been saying this whole time he wants to marry you, so I’d believe it if he does it in the next route. That being said, I am reviewing every single one, even the brand new just came out ‘Living with him’ route, so here we go on that one. (One last note though, there is a glitch in the 3 years route that has the lights in his house off the entire time. I thought it was just the art until a scene later had you asking him to turn off the lights, and when he did, they turned on! lol)

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Most of the tension in the Living with him route comes from his own fears, He wants to settle down with you but doesn’t he need a stable job for that? It’s really sweet to watch him push himself. Not to mention the both of you realize: you’ll do anything to be with each other. Ichigo will take a job he doesn’t want to secure your life, and you’d follow him and lengthen your education for it. I have done these things! I personally have made these sacrifices and feel a lot of personal connection to this. They love each other and it’s. . .it’s so freaking cute.

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Its so hard to put into words just how awesome it all becomes. You’re cute, you’re happy, you’re a real relationship and you can feel those years of development build it all up into an amazing thing. Ichigo loves living with you, you buy groceries. Just, look at this! look at the cute!

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How can I even describe it?! This relationship is all in this post. You see it all. All I’m missing is getting married and having perfect patisserie babies. I need this to be happy! This whole route run down was just . . .amazing. You met him as a child, and you had a crush on him from the start, you move back and it happens that the two of you would fall in love. He goes away, but you stay strong and eventually live together. This route is a love story after my own heart.

None of you can appreciate it until you play it. . .and with the new bundles, you’ll save money..SO FREAKIN DO IT

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Oki

First Love Diaries [Yuya Route]

Wahaha, the delicious older senpai who will almost assuredly consume you with his passionate hormones and deep seated desires. I am sure this will be the most tempting and sensuous route in this enti- what’s that? It’s about surfing, sweets, and jealousy? It’s comparatively tame despite the fact that he’s older and has the senpai appeal? Well, touche. The sweets thing is getting a little old. Maybe his family could own a burger shop, Voltage? No? Salt is evil? Grease is monstrous? Fine, continue on with your pastry fetish and I’ll keep throwing my money at you.

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Yuya’s route. . . has a lot of issues. For the first part his route is quickly mired in unnecessary drama. There isn’t time for me to connect with him before suddenly his ex shows up, his dream of surfing is in danger, and on the other end of that his father is having health issues which puts his family business into danger. This all piles on top of each other fairly quickly, and leaves a sense of frustration for me. I wanted to see the older guy kind of show his spark here. But I’ll tell you this, the route does one thing for me that made my life perfection.

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This. Freakin’. Teacher.

Voltage will never give me what I want and make this a route. But I want to seduce this teacher. Not have him seduce me, that’s creepy (it’s not creepy I’d buy that too sobs), I want this teacher guys. You see him for a few minutes and he is perfection. An Adorkable mess and I think his brother or something is a route, I could not care less about that guy, I want this guy. Yuya’s route has opened my heart to the unattainable. Love me sensei, my senpai is too busy crying over his surf board!

im so breaking up with you

im so breaking up with you

Don’t get me wrong, Yuya’s route is endearing! He is a cutie who has issues and wants to be understood. His dream interferes with his reality and that is something I really get. Add on that it’s satisfying to slap his unpleasant and disgusting ex, and that’s all epic. Yet I feel like the writing could have been reversed? Shouldn’t his family have been a prelude to his weakness? Wouldn’t it be more fitting to have the story be “We’ve just gone through all of this stuff, oh no, can I really doubt Yuya’s feelings for me after that?!” I can live with it though. The big problem is it lacks steam. There is some really attractive stuff but I sometimes find it unbelievable Yuya views me as anything but a sister. His love scenes sometimes feel tacked on and I felt this way for much of the game even when I really wanted to like him.

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I don’t know what it is about sweets and this company, but as soon as you’re making sweets with Yuya things start to reverse a little. I emphasize making because even beforehand it lacked something. Then…what the crap! It’s like Voltage HEARD me and decided “no no, you think this is tame? I will now make him feed you a strawberry with his mouth!” Touche Voltage. Touche. Saori even begins teasing you about ‘staying the night’. Okay, okay Voltage-senpai, I won’t ever doubt you! Now let me love the teacher.

yeah she was a thing

yeah she was a thing

The best part is Yuya’s mom is like…trying to hook you up. It’s…it’s hilarious! But at this point Yuya is making it subtle how much he seems to really want to go all the way. To do it. To bang. To make babies without making babies. To have SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. This boy….has been suppressing this for 14 chapters? Touche Voltage. Yuya for MVP, he isn’t pressuring his younger girlfriend into having sex with him. (Wouldn’t have hurt to stop angsting over your surf board though..) Not to mention his girlfriend offers to work at his family’s shop for free to help, so maybe she is the MVP? This is just the MVP couple.

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So Yuya has decided he will quit surfing if he doesn’t win a contest….and he does! I won’t spoil the details of it since. .. . he is actually funny during it, but it does have moments of forced drama. In any case, he wins, and then takes you to a rooftop at the school to have a party. My god. . .he blindfolds you and makes out with you. I take it back senpai, you’re a total perv I swear!!!

he's also a thing

he’s also a thing

He seriously pervs out on you in the finale and it’s glorious. Deep intense glorious perversion. It took you freakin’ long enough Yuya! Mizuko, the cute button name I planted on the pc, gets scared out of her mind. Yet he remains a perfect frackin gentleman. Dis guy. MVP boyfriend. Okay, in the end, Yuya turns out to be a pretty good route. The wait is pretty long but it’s enjoyable, so I’d say if you want to get into a story and really dig in – this might be a solid choice. Whew, the steam off the last chapter. Still, the finale of it is not as steamy as the finale of Nao. Oh my sweet Nao….you couldn’t resist me you dork. And be my I mean a much peppier, prettier, Japanese girl with a completely different appearance. Haha…yeaaah.

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This route was solid. Not perfect, not my favorite, but if you’re into the build up and you don’t mind surfing as well as the voltage favorite of sweets, it’s very endearing. The end is pretty great except for the poor pacing. The game can’t decide if the MC is ready or isn’t, a problem Nao’s route didn’t have. You knew when she was sure and when she wasn’t, and her finally saying yes was pretty rewarding. I don’t regret the purchase but Yuya isn’t really my type, sadly.

....ok he is sometimes...

….ok he is sometimes…

Seriously though, where is my teacher? (I have a problem). Wait…SOTA IS AVAILABLE NOW? MY GOD, EVERYONE GO BUY SOTA!!!(I have a problem for stoic guys too…)

Oki

First Love Diaries: Nao Route

You’d think a love story about teenagers would be chaste and innocent. HAHAHAHAHA. Hah. Hah. NEVER has a voltage game been SO GEARED TOWARDS SEX as this BEAUTIFUL creature ‘First Love Diaries’. And this route. . .is the cutest. . .sweetest thing I’ve ever seen in my freaking life. VIRGINS IN LOVE GUYS, VIRGINS IN LOVE!

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Seriously, this story starts out pretty simple. Nao really likes you and wants to go out with you. He is the cutest thing I have ever seen. And did I mention he wants you SO BAD? Let me reiterate -HE SPENDS MOST OF THIS GAME TRIPPING OVER HIS AWKWARD BOY EMOTIONS AND NOT KNOWING HOW TO ASK TO HAVE SEX AND NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO. This guy is such a teenage boy and you know what? It’s freakin refreshing. It’s wonderful to see the story unfold and see how genuinely he feels everything he does.

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I’ve always found honesty about sex refreshing. As an American girl the differences in sex between this culture and theirs is up and down for me. I DO know the sex education is far superior there. Let me explain: where I went to school, if you ever had sex before marriage it would end badly and if you considered abortion you were evil and going to become sterile and no one was ever happy having sex before marriage and if they were they were lying to themselves because men only ever used them. This is not an open debate about sex politics, everyone, but instead a message: this girl in this game was aware what sex led to and how to prevent it. And she was as shy as a button. I wanted to hug her. But she was educated and that made it so much easier to swallow.

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It’s. .. nice to see a game where sexuality exists and is completely feasible and is given the weight it needs. Be safe, be ready, check your emotions. It was so nicely done I could actually sit through the game and enjoy the concept of this because I wasn’t shaking my head at the virgins. I was proud of these kids. . . .not to say I am much older, this game still appeals to older audiences because you spend most of your time going oh it’s so cute!!!! I played Yuya’s route and was sorely disappointed that they just kind of skimmed over sex as a topic (doesn’t really come up despite his maturity which, wouldnt that be the main appeal?) so in comparison, Nao’s route is ..genuine.

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I got the impression the whole game they could be real. Their feelings were real. Their struggles were real. The MC has trouble doing naughty things and Nao has problems realizing, but once he does he is considerate of her and pulls back. Not to mention his basketball stuff kept me interested despite my intense hatred of sports. I wanted more but I also wanted less, I wanted the epilogue but I couldn’t buy it! And the summaries for the epilogues always suck. Voltage, please take my advice: Stop giving the epilogues drama, they are perfectly fine as they are. I almost rolled my eyes out of my head at some of the epilogues in ‘Finally in Love again’ but hopefully when I finally get these? They will be much better.

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Nao sold me on this game and honestly, I had been weary. As a young adult I worry they won’t breach topics I like. But I loved these kids, and I ship them. The MC is adorable, I just want to hug her close and tell her she is moast best girlfriend. In fact, as I review other routes you’ll see what I mean. This girl is just so considerate and loving of her boyfriends no matter who she picks. I’d put her on the high end of the MC list, right up there with the protag of In Your Arms Tonight (which is my favorite Voltage Game, hgnghghgn i need ALL THE ROUTES OKAY?@!?!NFDJGHDKJH)

photo 2

So? If you want a sickly sweet romance with an unexpected sexy twist, get this. Despite being young Nao manages to be attractive and you route for him and the MC to move forward, be happy, have sweet sweet lovins, and maybe grow up in a sequel so I don’t feel like a damn creeper enjoying this route. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION SEQUEL, PLEASE???

photo 5

But no seriously, squee.

Oki

Finally in Love Again: Momoi Shuichiro Route [Prince of OH GOD YES]

I should start off by saying that this route, despite it’s flaws, is one of my favorite Voltage routes. I was waiting for Momoi the moment he came out, and that I was prevented from outright devouring his route made me want to throw cake in someone’s face. I also have to say that whoever writes these routes secretly loves sweets because all the games end up with an affinity for sweets and baked goods. Some of the GREE routes of games have even MORE sweets! This, Be my Princess. . .what’s with the sweets? I didn’t notice until I played several routes in a row but. . my goodness, the sweets. I feel overweight. . .someone buy me cake. . . In any case, Momoi Shuichiro everyone, THE BIGGEST TSUNDERE THAT THIS GAME HAS TO OFFER.

photo 3(1)

Normally tsunderes have issues quite convincing me they’re really in love. Keith was the best example up until this point because he’s like “wait…wait……..come back I love you stupid commoner omg” but this game had me starting with “How the hell is he going to fall in love with me, he is so mean!” He is constantly calling you old and picking on you when he hits on you and you fall for it. It’s like a game of cat and mouse and the cat has a serious love of playing with it’s food.

photo 1(1)

Most of the issues in the story stem from your desire to enter a contest with l’Arme which features a cake meant for young lovers. You spend much of the early route trying to make a good cake but failing since you haven’t been in love in ten years. Of course Momoi decides that you can’t ruin the shops reputation and pretends to date you in order to get you to feel emotions. THEN HE TEASES YOU ABOUT FALLING FOR HIM! IF YOU WANT GENUINE EMOTIONS THEN YOU’LL OBVIOUSLY MAKE ME LOVE YOU! You tsundere bastard!

photo 2(1)

The fun thing about this route is it brings back Sakurako, who I despise and want to see shamed. Momoi and I feel the same way about her as she forces her way on a double date with Momoi. Funny, he kind of likes the endearing dorkiness of the MC (who I named Kinoue). He runs off with the MC in the middle of the double date and then later explains. . . he can’t date fellow pastry chefs. His heart was broken by a girl whose dream was to become a pastry chef, and he outdid her and she made a show of leaving him.

smile momoi

I have to say that the way they make the romance is really fun. But I get so sick of the Mc’s attitude about her own age! Maybe in Japan it’s different, but to care so much about being 34 is really funny. Add on that most girls reading this are probably my age or younger (I am 22 years old) and it becomes an unrelated issue. I found it much more fun to watch the pastry stuff, but of course then the inevitable problems happen…as soon as you perfect the cake and end your ‘dating’ it turns out Sakurako took an old design you let her borrow for help and used it to enter the contest. Of course this means you have to make a new one, but Momo offers to help! hooray! Romantic boyfriend cake adventure!

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And he’s such a nice guy. His affection for you is the most adorable thing ever. What you eventually come up with is a star themed cake. Now excuse me as I commence in the dorky artist related criticism. This is the cake they come up with:

momoi route cake

Here is my big complaint with this cake, the premise of it was for them to make a cake that made the two pieces feel like they were needed an inseperable. So they made a mango cream as the focus. I think the big issue here is it was meant to be a symbol of love and beat the other cake which was ALSO a symbol of Momo and the MC’s love, but if they wanted to do it then it needed to blow it out of the water. Like, the syrup on the bottom would probably make it soggy by the time judging was over and make it look unappealing. Furthermore it was supposed to be about a star! the second cake needed to have a star shape, not a square! They should have made the bottom layer a small spongecake similar to petite fours with a mango jelly in between the thing layers. Then have a chocolate fondant layer with the same star garnishes they had in the syrup. Make it the size of a petite four and the petite sponge cake won’t be too heavy even if it’s too large! Then they could use, get this, a complimentary pineapple cream on the star smaller cake so combined you have a soft pineapple mango flavor combo that makes you think of the yellow and orange of stars and BURNING LOVE and people will remember the bottom chocolate fondant BRINGS THEM TOGETHER AND YOUNG LOVE IS SUCH A SUBTLE HOT AND DELIGHTFUL THING IT’S DESTINED TO HAPPEN TO EVERYONE ACROSS THE STARS BECAUSE STARS anyway the way they made the cake was kind of bland. But they win. Their idea wins the appreciation of the person who inspired both of them to become pastry chefs and they share a romantic kiss as Momoi reaffirms through all of this that he loves her!

momoi kiss

momoi sweet face

But aside from the pastry buffs, the odd moments of age insecurity. . . Momoi pretty clearly falls in love with you. I was so happy thinking about them as they got together I didn’t even notice the flaws with the game. I’ll definitely play the route over. He’s a sarcastic, mean, over talented, angsty, but genuine and GHIBLI loving guy. This route. . . all of you play it! It was so good I bought the sequel. I was feeling pretty bad about my weight so it made me feel bad, but as the story went on I just laughed my ass off. You fantasize about making Momoi your love slave. It’s pretty much the funniest thing ever.

momoi hot spring

Even better? All the NPCs this time around feel much more in place. Miho isn’t overbearing and is instead fun. Your family is cute. Guys aren’t being shoved onto you for dramatic effect, sans the one double date which was literally shoved on BOTH of you. Momoi is moved by your humble ability to admit when someone is better, then he is soooo into you. Also he’s hot. Really hot. WAY HOTTER THAN AKI.

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I just.. . .perf. . . .perfection. . .play him. . . play his epilogue…I will review his sequel when I have money cause DAMN this guy. THIS GUY. I LOVE THIS GUY! I HAVE SO MANY ISSUES!!!! he’s perf HAVE SOME OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS

photo 4 photo 4(1) photo 3 Momoimomoi shuichiro flirts with the main character

Oki

Hourglass of Summer (Kaho’s Route)

All right everyone. Here we are. We finally made it to the 5th and final route of the game, Kaho. Have I saved the best for last? No, not really, but, this is what the makers of the game definitely defined as the “Main love interest”. If you haven’t read my past 4 other posts on this game, I recommend you do that now. If you’re far too lazy to do that, I’ll just sit here and glare at you as I retell you what the premise of the game is.

You (Kotaro) are in love with this girl Kaho. However, she’s extremely popular and doesn’t really notice you.

Apparently every time you see this girl you get

Apparently every time you see this girl you get “Deer in the headlights” syndrome.

You declare that you’re going to get her to notice you and you go home on your bike a random day in mid-july. On the way home you’re covered in a weird powder and you wake up on September 1st. You learn that you and Kaho had recently started going out, but then she died yesterday (August 31st). You fall unconscious and that’s when you start your crazy time travel jumping in this two month time period, and are informed by a time cop that she needs your help to save her life.

The Kaho route then really begins. As you hop around you try to give Kaho a love letter. She rejects it, but when you jump again, you learn that she warmed up to you because she saw you save a baby bird and therefore are not a jerk. You learn she’s actually a very talented actress despite her normal shyness.

Wait a minute guy in the background..you're NOT ME! get the hell out of here!

Wait a minute guy in the background..you’re NOT ME! get the hell out of here!

As you hang around her more you notice that she seems extremely unwilling to go home to her father, the artist. And you’re not sure why. So you decide to spy on her to find out. So you peer in the window and ….

It's not creepy at all! it's ART!

It’s not creepy at all! it’s ART!

Oh…oh my. yeah apparently the father is very controlling of his daughter. So without his knowledge, you decide to sneak to the balcony ala Romeo and Juliet style. ( i see what they were going for as early on they let you know that Kaho loves Shakespeare. yeah yeah writers we get it ya clever bastards)

Kotaro Kotaro wherefore art thou- you know what? this is much better than Romeo and Juliet anyway.

Kotaro Kotaro wherefore art thou- you know what? this is much better than Romeo and Juliet anyway.

Eventually you end up hopping to the day when there’s going to be a festival. And you decide to pick Kaho of course because in this route you never stop having the world’s biggest boner for her. By now Kaho’s beginning to feel the “I really want his dick but am too nervous to show it phase” of the dating sim relationship. Eventually you sit down and talk to her.

kaho 1

This is a very sad moment as you Kaho basically tells you she wishes this moment could never end because she’s too afraid to go home to her father. After a discussion with her you finally do the thing we’ve been waiting for the whole game. you f-

kaho 14

oh shit! i mean um… you kiss!

kaho 11

Yes! Exactly! You kiss! (coughs into hand) Um…. So yes. Eventually, you can’t take how much of a jerkoff asshole her father is and basically tell him he should go fuck himself.

As we reach the climax of the game you make it to the 31st of August. The day Kaho dies. As her waiting for you was the reason she died in the first place, you run to try to catch her before the accident. Unfortunately as she sees you, she’s so happy that she takes this as an opportunity to run across the street without looking both ways.

Because street safety is for CHUMPS

Because street safety is for CHUMPS

This is the basically the point where you’re like “Fuck.” She’s too far away and you see a car coming. There’s nothing you can do. As you get ready to lose her again, something INCREDIBLY unexpected happens. She’s saved. Not by you or the time cop…. but by her dad.

touche creepy father...touche

touche creepy father…touche

Apparently your talking to the father convinced him that he needed to treat his daughter more like a person and less like an object and just love her for who she is. Running after to find her, he ended up saving her.

Finally the two of you can be together as the crisis is averted and you embrace.

kaho 5

The game ends with a flash forward to a couple years when you see that indeed, Kotaro and Kaho are going to get married and live happily ever after.

And apparently her art is going to look slightly off when she's in her wedding dress.

And apparently her art is going to look slightly off when she’s in her wedding dress.

So what is there to say about Kaho? She is a the average shy, demure Japanese girl. However, she’s also underneath that there’s a strong person wanting to come out as shown by her strong acting abilities. She really doesn’t trust many people deeply as the only man really in her life (her father) is abusive. Out of all the five girls, Kaho’s story is definitely the heaviest, and most detailed. You basically learn all there is to know about Kaho.

Of course, most people might like this idea, but at this point i did her route more out of obligation than any actual care for her character. See, when people normally say their “least favorite” of something, they’re basically trying to be polite. Because the alternative is saying “the one you hate the most”. However, in this situation “Least favorite” is ACTUALLY pretty apropos. I don’t dislike her, Kaho just happens to actually be “my least favorite.”

I know he's saving her from falling debris but it REALLY looks like he's about to beat her up

I know he’s saving her from falling debris but it REALLY looks like he’s about to beat her up

There is no character or route I dislike in this game. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy this game so much. I enjoy every single love interest in this game. Just because I don’t think Kaho is the greatest path, it doesn’t mean I don’t like her, I just…like her least.

One of the main issues I have with Kotaro in this branch is that start to finish you are obsessed with Kaho and it only grows more and more as the story goes in. It feels like the story wants you to go in that direction very badly, and it almost felt a little creepy after a while. It gave out a sort of non-character developing stagnation for me with Kotaro. Granted he went from obsession to truly understanding her, but at the same time, that sort of thing doesn’t do it for me. It’s still a great route, and Kaho’s adorable, but I have to go with a 7.5 out of 10.

I'm watching you Kotaro. Always watching you

I’m watching you Kotaro. Always watching you

So there you have it. There’s the 5 routes of Hourglass of Summer. For all the jokes I make about it, it really is the BEST dating sim I’ve ever played. It is purely fantastic. The music, the voice acting, the character development, the story, the art, it’s all amazing. Overall I give this game a 10/10. For the flaws I pointed out in it, it’s still as close to perfection as anything’s going to get for me. There are VERY few things in my arsenal that get a 10/10, so this game should be proud. well guys, hope you enjoyed, and see you soon for the Fall 2014 season! (9-10 shows. oh boy let’s do this)

Yep. that's as close to hentai as you're getting in this review.

Yep. that’s as close to hentai as you’re getting in this review.

Hourglass of Summer (Ai’s Route)

And here we are once again with another Hourglass of Summer route. Since there are 5, if this were a week it would be Thursday! Oh wait..I hate Thursdays. Damn it. Oh well.

So for those of who who haven’t read my THREE other posts on this game, long story short. You’re a guy named Kotaro in high school. You have a crush on a girl named Kaho. You’re coming home one day from school on a random day in July. You get covered in a weird powder. You wake up September 1st, you find out that you had been in a relationship with Kaho and she died the day before. You pass out, and you begin traveling through time in that 2 month time span trying to stop her from dying.

That’s pretty much the long and short of it. But where does Ai fit in? Well if you’ll wait a minute I’ll tell you! All right. Here we go. Ai is your next door neighbor. She, you and Takeshi (the only other male student basically in the game) are best friends. You have been forever. And of course, she has the world’s biggest crush on you. But because this is a dating sim, you have absolutely no idea. Because you’re a derp.

Because...you know...she hides it so well

Because…you know…she hides it so well

Because you’re an idiot, since you have a crush on Kaho, you ask Ai for tips on how to woo her. And begrudgingly, Ai helps you out.

Once all the crazy time travel stuff happens, you begin hopping around trying to save Kaho. Unfortunately, Ai’s dad, who runs the fish store next door, collapses from overwork, and Ai starts living with you while he’s in the hospital.

Ai then takes it upon herself to become your personal alarm clock and wake you up every day…..with a pillow

I swear if Ai said

I swear if Ai said “Put it in me’ He’d think she meant to pass her a Snickers.

While jumping around, Ai begins to notice that you’re a bit odd as you’re different than the other days. Despite her being a total space case, she’s pretty much the only one out of the three student options to realize you’re not yourself when you time jump. So, Kudos on that.

Along the way events happen such as going to a festival, her cooking him dinner, all sorts of stuff that if you were a normal person you would get the feeling she was totally into you.

“Oh boy Ai! I love how we can do stuff as friends.”
“….You’re an idiot ko-chan”

In my first post I mentioned how there is two routes that make me feel really sad when you picked either one of them, and Ai is one of the two. Basically throughout the game, Ai and Kaho travel along a very similar path. Until you get a bit towards the end when you have to decide who you take with you to the festival. If you pick Ai, Kaho gets disappointed and vice versa .You can actually feel the pain in their voice. It’s kind of sad.

Regardless, you actually try to explain to Ai about your time traveling. She doesn’t really understand all that well, but she believes you in a heartbeat. When you save Kaho, you wake up in the nurse’s bed on September 1st, and Ai asks if it’s really you, and you tell her it is, and the game ends with her hugging you.

Can't think of anything funny so..... D'AWWWWW SO CUTE

Can’t think of anything funny so….. D’AWWWWW SO CUTE

However, there is ONE little additional thing i forgot to mention. there is indeed an epilogue. Fast forward a few years, and you see that you actually married Ai and you and her run the fish store, as happy as happy could be.

I love you fishy wife!

I love you fishy wife!

There is only one word for Ai, and that is adorable. She is clumsy, naive, and a little slow, but she has the most wonderful, accepting, loving hearts of anyone in the game. She always believes in you, never doubts you, and truly does love you with all her heart…..And she has a snaggletooth. What’s that? What does that have to do with ANYTHING? It looks like it’s time for another…….CLASSS WITHHHH HHIDEKKKKII!!!

class i forgot snaggle

Short class today. That is all. CLASS DISMISSED!

Ai tries to show herself off as a strong girl. Even though she may be clumsy and naive, she always puts on a smile and a brave face no matter what. Even when her father ends up hospitalized she does her best to keep a strong face. Finally though, when she goes into her empty house to get something and finds herself in the dark alone, she finally breaks down and shows you the scared girl underneath the smile. And it wrenches at your heartstrings.

Might I add, perfect height for comfort hugs

Might I add, perfect height for comfort hugs

She really is a wonderful character and it is a wonderful route. The only issue I could possibly have with this route is that it’s so closely linked to Kaho’s that whether you pick Kaho or Ai, one of them gets hurt. However, it IS heavily implied that if you don’t choose Ai, she ends with Takeshi as he loves her but never said anything because she was so obviously in love with YOU. Well…obvious to anyone that’s not a dating sim protagonist.

Damn it Takeshi! the only one who gets a love interest in this game is ME!

Damn it Takeshi! the only one who gets a love interest in this game is ME!

Still, besides that one little thing, i LOVE this route. It is second only to Mana’s. I would recommend if you only wanted to do 2 of the routes, do Mana’s and this one. You seriously wish you could reach into your television and just squeeze Ai in a loving embrace. It’s actually hard to pick another route because Ai is so adorable. You can tell that this game wanted you to be with Kaho, but if there was a silver medal, this is the route the writers would have given it to. It’s just about as well developed, and it’s amazing.

All in all, Ai’s route gets a 9/10.

um…I wasn’t sure how to end this review so um……..here’s Ai in a maid outfit.

Yeah baby...you scrub that floor... it's so dirty

Yeah baby…you scrub that floor… it’s so dirty

And that’s as close to hentai as i’m going to give you for this. Because i’m an evil bastard.

Hourglass of Summer (Tomomi’s Route)

So here we are at the 3rd route in the lineup. Tomomi sensei. And yep, this the teacher. Is this the best route? Nah, nah it isn’t. but it’s still and incredibly solid story. Shall we begin? Oh please. Let’s.

Once again, if you didn’t read my last two posts on this game “Hourglass of Summer” I will rehash the plot for you once again. Because I’m awesome like that. You are Kotaro, a student in high school who is in love with a girl named Kaho. On the last day of school before summer vacation you ride your bike home and get covered in weird powder. You wake September 1st to find out that you and Kaho were together. But she died the day before. That’s when you start time hopping back and forth between the two month time span.

During this time, you think to yourself that you’re starting to go crazy. so you have to tell somebody. (You haven’t met Ligene for real yet). So you decide the best person to tell would be your sci-fi obsessed teacher Tomomi.

That time travel thing is nice and all, but your book report's still due tomorrow

That time travel thing is nice and all, but your book report’s still due tomorrow

At first she’s a little hesitant to believe you, but she eventually does, giving you whatever advice she can, and also not telling you about events that you haven’t come across yet in your time travel journey. She’s basically the only person who knows what’s going on besides you and Ligene the time cop.

If you decide you want to romance her she begins to have a problem with her stalker ex-boyfriend and you have to basically team up with her to stop him.

Remember kids, consent three years ago is not consent now. Also don't be a stalker.

Remember kids, consent three years ago is not consent now. Also don’t be a stalker.

Eventually after you end up saving her, you decide to go on a date with her. The date goes very well and Tomomi lets you know about how when she was little she had some kind of precognition that she would one day meet the perfect guy in which she’d be happy forever. But she waited through high school and college and the guy never showed up. She begins to get sad as she realizes that you’re that guy and she’s mad at herself for not waiting a bit longer. (aka being in a relationship with her crazy stalker ex-boyfriend).

You see she went to the Princess Diaries school of

You see she went to the Princess Diaries school of “Taking off your glasses and fixing your hair and you look totally different”

This is when Ligene comes and informs you of something. and to me, this is the most depressing part in the entire game. Ligene informs you (in this route only) that the only way to save Kaho is to do a hard reset of the timeline. Kaho will be saved…. but everyone will lose their memories of the events of this summer, including you and Tomomi. You and Tomo agree it’s the only way and you both lose all the memories of the time you spent together, but not before she kisses you on the forehead.

Thanks, you tugged at my heartstrings so much they snapped. thanks jackass.

Thanks, you tugged at my heartstrings so much they snapped. thanks jackass.

However, before you get out the hankies, I’ll tell you this.

After the timeline resets, you start having the same conversations you did in the beginning of the game with her, but for some reason, the two of you get extreme feelings of deja vu, and you’re not exactly sure why.

This route’s epilogue is cutting to a few years later with you in college in a relationship with Tomomi, and you couldn’t be happier.

I love this ending...but thanks for the man butt angle...

I love this ending…but thanks for the man butt angle…

Now i’m sure you noticed, this had a lot longer plot recap than Ligene’s. The reason is, there’s a LOT MORE PLOT than her route. The majority of this route is you gaining her trust, but also has that strange stalker mystery substory going on. It feels a LITTLE out of place, but, the tone, music, and voice acting carry it over well.

Tomomi is a bit….I’d guess the word you’d use is…eccentric.

And also apparently doesn't care what she looks like in public

And also apparently doesn’t care what she looks like in public

However, what saves it, is that once Tomomi lets you in, she is ADORABLE. Without her glasses and her hair down she looks like totally different person, and she lets her guard down, dropping her defenses, and shows you who she really is.

Here’s the funny thing about this route. When you start the game, the VERY FIRST CHOICE you have is your friend Takeshi saying “Boy, Tomomi-sensei isn’t very attractive.” your choices are “yeah, i bet she doesn’t have a boyfriend” and ” i don’t know, I think she might look cute without those glasses.”. If you do not pick the second option, her route will not open up and you CANNOT get her. Yes, you read that right. You can screw up her romance BEFORE THE OPENING THEME SONG.

As Zuko would saythatsrought

This is s a tough route. it’s definitely the darkest of the five, but at the same time, it’s also filled with hope. Tomomi is a hilarious, vibrant, yet soft personality. She’s trusting (shown as she’s the first one to believe your crazy story about time travel) but she’s also cynical. It’s an odd mixture to be sure, but the writers of this game knew exactly what they were doing. For some reason, it just works. The ending is bittersweet, but still good, and I enjoy the time I spend with Tomomi. she’s…fun to be around in the game. The only negative I’d give to this route is the stalker thing seems a bit..out of place from the other routes in the game. But still, incredibly enjoyable and i’d still recommend it to people.

Tomomi’s route? 8/10

Now come here and give daddy some sugar.

tomoko 9

Awwww yeeaaahhhhh

Hideki