The charge of the otomes!

Yeah, the title is lame….

Anyway, it looks like otome games are charging forward recently. Not only is a lot of BxG companies in Japan creating new otome game branches (making stuff like Circus’ new Da Capo for girls), but a lot of visual novel-style games for girls are popping up in english as well.

There was the indie game Fatal Hearts by Hanako Games, then Idea factory began a survey with interest in localising their otome games, I just read about a german “dating game” with a female lead yesterday, and then right afterwards I heard that “Dragon Academy” was finally released on Go! Comi‘s website…..

Dragon Academy looks like it could be interesting. So far there is a free prologue and the first episode up for download on their site. The episode costs $7.99, but I heard that it’s very short.
The art looks pretty good so far (I only tried the free, very short prologue), although I do feel like they didn’t make as much of an effort on the drawing the main character as they did on the male characters.
One of the features in the VN is that when you get to make choices, you have to choose the feelings that she responds with (Sad, angry, and so on). But when you hover your mouse over the expressions, you can read the corresponding sentences that she will say, so in general it’s not very different from how you usually play these kind of games.
I can’t say much about the story yet, though I do hope that there will be more to this game than just an excuse to hunt after hawt boys. We didn’t really get to see any of these boys in the prologue either, except for in the short movie clip in the end. On my computer that flash movie was very much out of synch, which kind of ruined it, by the way.
Looking on the Team page, you can see the three girls working on the game. Hmm, I wonder how they got into that business…..

As for the german game, Dating Day…. I heard about that about a year or so ago, but then forgot again. Looking at the website, it’s not something that appeals to me very much. Generally seems like a plain dating sim with minigames, and the art really puts me off. I’m not a very big fan of that kind of cartoon style.

On the other hand, if you’re not into otome games, there’s not much else than hentai games to go for on the visual novel front…..

And now, I’ll get back to the drawing board…. working on my BxG game…. 😉

9 thoughts on “The charge of the otomes!

  1. How’d they get their jobs? I hired them! 😉

    Thanks for the review. Early reviews like this are going to be a big help for us in planning upcoming episodes. (BTW, there is a ton of plot in the game, so it isn’t just about dating hawt boys, though that is one option you can focus on.)

    Regarding the sync issue, the credits/coming soon segments are streamed like a live video (otherwise, the load time would be insane) so the first time you play them, they can be out of sync if your connection is laggy. But it most cases, the browser should cache the video, so if you go back and play Prologue or Episode 1 again before closing the window or dumping the caches, it’s more likely to play in sync the second time. We’re hoping to figure out a workaround for keeping it in time with the music, but working with Flash can be tricky!

  2. Hehe I’m kind of envious of them 😛

    And no problem, I’m very interested in the entire project and hope that it will do well. Especially now that I’m sure that the plot will play a big part as well 🙂 I’ll keep the part about the video in mind, and try and watch it properly sometime.

    (And wow, I never expected anyone from Go! Comi would actually come here and reply to my post!)

  3. I’d heard of Dragon Academy before, but hadn’t taken a closer look at it, so I had no idea it was from a female perspective. Thanks so much for the news…!

    On a closer look, I can see how the main character does seem a little lacking compared to the male characters, and the prologue is pretty short to really say anything, but I’ll probably end up buying anyway to support otome games coming into the English market.
    And it’s nice to see someone from GoComi reading and responding to feedback :).

    I wonder if you’re required to have an online connection to play it, or if, once you purchase it, you can play it offline, similar to how Peach Princess does it?

    As for Da Capo otome game, I’m secretly hoping that MangaGamers will pick it up sometime in the future…

    Out of curiosity, was there a particular reason why you chose to create Angelic Orbs from the male perspective instead of through a female perspective? 🙂

    I’m sorry about the long comment. ><”

  4. Don’t worry, I don’t mind long comments 🙂

    It’s my impression that you have to play the games online, but I’m not sure. Would be nice if you could download them too, after buying them. I hope to be able to buy an episode and try it out soon…

    About AO, that’s actually a good question… I guess that mostly I just felt that it served the story better, and because I like writing about those particular characters. Somehow I also find it very hard to write a story the other way around ^^; But I may try it sometime. I actually have a couple of spare ideas in mind with female perspectives, so I hope to able to create something with that in the future.

  5. The main character is designed to be neutral, so that it will be easier for players to identify with her and turn her into the kind of person they want to play. We’re hoping to offer customization features in the future, such as taking her to a salon to get her haircut, so the player can take her personality in a visual direction, as well.

    It does require an online connection to play, because all of the decisions you make in the game have to be stored online. Our massive database keeps track of all that data so that three, four, or ten episodes from now, the game will still know every decision you made and saved in Episode 1. Also, by keeping it online, fixing bugs and errors becomes a simple matter. You’ll never have to download a patch or be stuck with a bad version of the game because we’ll be fixing any errors our users encounter invisibly online.

  6. Haha, the artist of Dating Day actually is one of my RL friends.. but I agree, the style of art is not my taste either and she does much more amazing things than that…

    Take a look at her DA account to see what I mean. :3

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