The English Otome Game Guide for Beginners Part Five : Recommendations – Handheld

Welcome back to the English Otome game guide! Today we are going to be making a brief sojourn into the world of handheld (meaning in this case psp/vita and ds/3ds) otome games. Actually not just otome games (because to my knowledge there are only two proper english otome games released for handheld) but otome-adjacent games. Meaning games that have some of the same elements and might be fun for people who like otome games to play.

(Part One) (Part Two) (Part Three) (Part Four)

Once again, before we jump into the recommendations, a few disclaimers. First, opinions (no matter how awesome mine are) are always subjective, so like with anything take mine with a grain of salt. Most of these games will come with a free demo, so you can try the game before purchasing, and if you are unsure, I recommend taking them out for a spin. Second, I haven’t played every game out there, I probably haven’t even heard of them all. There are definitely going to be awesome games I miss. (If you think I’m missing a great game, tell us in the comments!)

Aksys Games has translated, localized and released two otome games in English for the PSP/Vita (both games are also available on the PlayStation Network Store):

Hakuoki: Demon of The Fleeting Blossom

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Platform: PSP/Vita

Price: $18.50

Genre: Visual Novel (Historical Fantasy)

It’s hard to easily explain the plot of Hakouki, at least for me, especially without spoiling it. It’s set in a real period of Japan’s history, where the age of the Samurai was coming to an end. Against the background of a lot of strife and war, it’s the story of a girl looking for her missing father. On top of the mystery, the story also has many supernatural twists.

There are lots of routes and characters, the art, atmosphere are story are really well done. For me, like Scarlet Fate, the stories tend to start a little slowly and end up taking more tragic/angsty turns than I like, even in the happiest endings. It’s still a very good game.

mf_4stars

So four out of five Monkey flowers.

Sweet Fuse: at your side

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Platform: PSP/Vita

Price: $19.99

Genre: Visual Novel (Mystery/Thriller/Adventure)

Sweet Fuse is a rather bizarre story, which actually, in my opinion, adds a lot to it’s charm. The main character is visiting the grand opening of a video game themed theme park when a pig mascot turned terrorist takes over the park, taking guests as hostages. You, as the MC, must join a mixed group who might have more in common than they think to solve mysteries and puzzles to get out of the park alive and save your uncle.

There’s a puzzle solving element that makes the game more difficult than a standard visual novel. The story and puzzles are well done and there is an overarching mystery that you get to learn more about in each route. I found it a really enjoyable game with lots of moments of real tension and surprise.

mf_5stars

Five out of five monkey flowers.

The following games have otome elements but are actually a different kind of game. Some of them have great stories and are really amazing to play, but they aren’t for the casual gamer, so keep that in mind 🙂

Rune Factory 4

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Platform: 3ds

Genre: RPG/Life Simulation

The Rune Factory series is sort of hard to explain. A spin off series from the super popular Harvest Moon games, it’s an open ended game where you fight monsters, make equipment and level up at the same time you are cooking, farming, and building relationships. Both aspects of the game are equally important. In 4 you can play as either a girl or a boy and there is an overarching story, as well as a lot of random events.

The art is adorable the characters are great and the gameplay is addictive. My only problem (which is the same problem I have with the Harvest Moon series) is that the open ended nature/random events set up often ends up in me stopping playing before I’ve reached the ‘goals’ I am aiming for (like marriage or having a baby) because it takes too long doing other things to get there.

mf_4stars

 Still a super fun fun game, highly recommended. Four out of five Monkey Flowers.

Harvest Moon Games

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Platform: 3ds

Genre: Life Simulation

In the Harvest Moon series you take the role of a farmer (only some games allow you to play as a female character, so make sure you check before buying if this is important to you,) generally new to town. You build your farm, raise animals, help the town, build relationships with the townspeople and pursue bachelor(ette)s.

These games tend to end up super addictive, but like Rune Factory, the loose story telling and random events usually mean I drop the game before ‘beating’ it (you can’t really beat the game, but there are lots of things to achieve.)

mf_4stars

Adorable and addictive, the Harvest Moon series is a lot of fun to play. Four out of Five Monkey Flowers.

Persona 3 Portable

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Platform: 3ds

Genre: RPG/Life Simulation

The Persona series is probably my favorite JRPG series of all time. The importance of building relationships and learning more and interesting things with people is built into the game play. The ‘day’ sections involve going to school, improving your stats and building relationships (sound like an otome game here? That’s because it sort of is like one.) While the ‘night’ sections involve fusing strong summons and climbing up increasingly difficult levels of a large dungeon.  The persona series is also known for having really well done over-arching storylines filled with surprises and tension that really make you care. The combat and fusing can be a bit intimidating, especially to RPG newcomers, but the other aspects make it worth it if you can tolerate rpg’s at all.

Despite this, the fact that I (usually) have to play as a boy who happens to make every girl he gets to know fall in love with him kept me from feeling OMG LOVE towards the series. Then the PSP remake came out and I got to play as a girl…

mf_5stars

SO GOOD. PLAY NOW. FIVE MONKEY FLOWERS.

Fire Emblem: Awakening

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Platform: 3ds

Genre: Tactical RPG

Fire Emblem Awakening is the last game (as in most recently) that I got really obsessed with. The combat (large tactical battles) is not for the faint of heart (even on easy, where I played) and there is a lot of fighting- especially since the only way to build affection between characters is through fighting together. But you get to create your own customizable avatar (of either gender) with lots of different variations which not only shows up in a 3d model but in a pretty pretty 2d art of your face also. You also not only get to marry just about any opposite gender character in the game (and have a Future!kid) BUT YOU GET TO MARRY OFF JUST ABOUT ALL THE REST OF THE CAST TO EACH OTHER ALSO.

As part of the story, you also get to see FUTURE!KIDS from the marriages you create. SO BASICALLY YOU GET TO BREED AND MATCHMAKE YOUR OWN ARMY OF CHARACTERS. And you can get the kids married to one another, too. So cool!

The story was well done and I really enjoyed getting to know all the different characters, especially watching as my MC built relationships with them (in funny and adorable cut-scenes) and watching them get to know each other better to.

So the time spend in combat is long and intensive, but the story is great and DID I MENTION ALL THE MATCHMAKING/CHILD CREATING?

mf_5starsFive out of five alternate future children Monkey Flowers.

That’s the last of my recommendations, stay tuned for a very otome interview with Librarian Mommy ™.

Until next time,

Happy matchmaking,

-Aly

 

6 responses

  1. Pingback: The English Otome Guide for Beginners (Part Two: What the heck is an otome game?!) | Aly Thompson HQ

  2. Pingback: The English Otome Guide for Beginners Part Three: Recommendations – PC | Aly Thompson HQ

  3. Pingback: The English Otome Game Guide for Beginners Part Four: Recommendations – Mobile | Aly Thompson HQ

  4. I love Fire Emblem: Awakening, and the Harvest Moon series has always been a favorite! I may buy that game, since you gave it four monkey flowers. x) Thanks for the guide!

    August 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    • Isn’t Fire Emblem: Awakening amazingly fun? You are super welcome! If you end up getting the game, I hope you like it 🙂

      August 27, 2014 at 6:58 pm

  5. Omg you played two of my fav games, P3P and FE:A too!

    March 7, 2015 at 6:12 am

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