Charge of the Otomes part 2!


Return of lame titles!

A while back I wrote a post about otome games making an appearance in the western VN market. It’s almost a year ago – and some more interesting stuff has happened since then, so I thought I’d make a follow-up post. I need to get this blog going again anyway, and what better way to procrastinate from the work I’m supposed to do?

First up is Dragon Academy, which is the game I wrote the most about back then. The first episode and a demo had come out at the time, and this original english web-based otome game seemed promising. Unfortunately, that’s all we ever saw of the game.
The promised second episode never turned up. After a while Go! Comi promised a re-vamp of their O-Play section that would bring new life to these games, but later the page went back to its old “coming soon” status, and the O-Play sub-forum has even been removed from their site. It doesn’t look too good.

But all is not lost! Where companies like Go! Comi have fallen behind, the indies are here to save the day.

As of my last post, the OEL game “Fatal Hearts” by Hanako Games was one of the only alternatives for english speaking fans. Since then a new indie developer has entered the scene and released two games aimed at a female audience – Heileen, a game that works mostly like a normal visual novels, and Spirited Heart, a game much like the Princess Maker raising sims.

I have played Spirited Heart quite a bit myself, and it is an addicting and challenging game where you can play as a human, demon or elf, and choose different jobs while havaing random encounters with guys that you may later end up marrying. While not as polished as the Princess Maker games, Spirited Heart is still a very nice game, and I suspect it will be even nicer when the upcoming premium edition gets released. (Premium edition… or was it special? I don’t remember).

And the indies aren’t the only ones who have been releasing games for us since last time.

A cute little game called Princess Debut has been released for DS in the US. In the game you play as a girl who ends up taking a princess’ place in another world, and then she has to practice dancing for an upcoming ball. Apart from that, she also has to choose one of the princes as her dancing partner.
The art is cute, and so is the story – but it’s generally something aimed at… much younger girls than me 😛 If you don’t mind some overly cute sillyness, princesses and tons of dancing, then you should give this game a shot and support the license. And then let’s hope something with a little more substance is up next!

I also mentioned a survey that Idea Factory had started on otome games in the US. Unfortunately not a lot of info on the results have come out yet. On the other hand it seems that the results of such surveys in a few different countries have ended in Idea Factory making a new brand called “Otome Forte”, which will release more gameplay focused games aimed at girls. The first title is “I will protect you” for the DS, a seemingly Castlevania inspired game. Whether these will stand a chance outside Japan is unknown.
Let’s hope that’s not all that comes out of it…

Last but not least is the Princess Nightmare translation project…. although it doesn’t look that way, it’s still alive, don’t worry. But don’t expect to see anything any time soon.

And what about that other guy in today’s banner? Well he’s just from an up-coming game that I am looking very much forward to, but hasn’t got anything to do with english releases (unfortunately). Let’s take this chance to end the post with some nice art!

Bunnies with wings? I'm sold...
Bunnies with wings? I'm sold...

Now back to work!