Busy busy!

Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned this blog yet! I’m just busy playing games instead of writing about them, but once I get some downtime (read: once I stop playing Harvest Moon: Twin Villages), I’ll write a few posts on what I’ve been doing since I last wrote. Later!

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story – Konno GET!

Konno-sempai is mine at last, tra la la la! I thought he would be harder than that, but I just used my usual method and it worked out fine. I identified Academics as his most important stat and raised it like crazy, and then I raised all the other stats normally and got him in the end. I had something like Ac – 238, Sp – 160, Soc – 260 etc, etc by the end, but since I didn’t raise my Charm that high, I wasn’t elected Rose Queen. Doesn’t matter though, ‘cos I got to be in the school play twice, first with Konno as my prince and then with Miyo and Karen (who looks super spiffy as a prince).

My verdict on Konno? His route actually blew me away. The guy himself is on the dull side, but he’s a kind, decent, hardworking and respectful character without being a complete milquetoast like Sakuya in Girl’s Side 1. Even on the worst of dates he never gets nasty or snippy with you or tries to order you around. I mean, this is a guy who spends his Christmas Eve playing Santa for little kids in hospital! He’s like the model boyfriend, right?

Even better, his route appeals to the overachiever in me because even in games I hate getting bad results in exams. On Konno’s route you can study like crazy and get praised for it. Remember how Madoka in GS1 would get all cool towards you if you were too smart? I hated that. Konno’s end is good too: you both go to a first class university and keep dating, and with a stable guy like that, you might as well vote this “Ending most likely to end in a Wedding and Four Kids.” It’s an ending with a future, catch my drift?

More importantly, for some reason all his CGs are really easy to unlock. I mean, really easy, you just walk around town, bump into someone and bam, new CG. Or you go on a date, pick a certain store and bam, new CG. For most other guys you often need a FAQ: “Spring, Year 2, Affection must be XYZ, Go to store X and do YYY while holding ZZZ”, obscure stuff like that. I got all his school CGs except one, all his love CGs except one and all his (that other one) CGs, again except one. And I love getting CGs, so Konno’s path was the most satisfying for me so far.

On the minus side, he really is a bit of a bore. I mean, just a bit. They went a little overboard on the Mr. Perfect Guy thing (did I mention he’s totally hot without the glasses?), so even his attempts at angst and depth – the whole “nobody sees me for who I really am” bit – come across as a bit shallow and empty. And since he’s your senior you don’t get to compete with him on grades and you don’t get to go on the school trip with him, which is a bit sad. But he’s still a breath of fresh air from gruff old Kouichi or weird Ruka or playboy Junpei so I’ll take him any day.

What’s next? I’m trying to find some detailed Girl’s Side 3rd Story FAQs or walkthroughs because I want those secret characters! I ran into one at the bookstore, some old-looking guy, I’m sure there’s at least one or two others. And I hear you can date your teacher, which I do NOT want to do. I mean, that’s just wrong on so many levels! And he’s not even cute. Anyway, the search continues!

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story – Kouichi GET!

Nyeheheheh! Dun-dun-dun, another one bites the dust! I must say about Kouichi, if he wasn’t supposed to be one of the ‘main’ guys, he might be one of my favorites. It’s just that I have higher expectations of the “face of the game,” so to speak, so the idea that the game developers thought a rude, ugly, brusque, lazy, violent underachiever is enough to set my heart on fire really gets my goat.

Having said all that, Kouichi isn’t that bad. I mean, he stops being mean to you pretty quickly, and he doesn’t hit you like Saeki used to. The last few months of his game are really sweet, especially the part where he thanks you for making his three years of high school so wonderful, d’awww!

He’s really easy to get, too. I used a second-year save left over from when I dated Fujiyama. Digression: there seems to be a bug in this game. You know the picture frame on your desk? It looks like once a guy’s picture goes in there, it never goes out again, so I had to deal with Fujiyama’s mug staring at me all day even after I’d friendzoned him, and even now that I’ve started a brand new game to go after Konno-senpai (ZOMG, he’s such a bore), he’s still on my desk even though I haven’t even met him yet! Weird.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, Kouichi. His requirements are really low. He likes the planetarium, the vintage motorbikes exhibition, go-carts at the amusement park, the Tongari Boys event at the Event Hall, the bowling alley, the medal games at the arcade, etc etc. Nothing you wouldn’t expect. For stats, I went overboard and had all my stats high enough to get elected Rose Queen by the end of 3rd year (all you get is a spiffy red robe), but later I checked some sites and someone’s stats for getting him: 【学力】137【美術】135【運動】128【気配り】206【流行】163【魅力】137.

I want to play something else to keep Girls’ Side 3rd Story fresh a little longer while tiding me over until Harvest Moon: Twin Villages comes out, but I keep coming to this again and again and again. Heeeelp!

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story – First impressions

Bwahahaha! All your Fujiyama Arashi are belong to me! Mwaha!

He was a piece of cake. Since there were no guides or wikis out when I started Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story, I had to go with my gut, and my gut told me that the sporty guys are always the easiest to get. You just work your sports stat up as high as it will go, keep the rest of your stats up (everything was at least 130 by the end) and date him regularly until he’s all over you. Oh, and join the judo club when he asks you to. I also chose to work at the Habataki Pool where he also works, which was kind of fun.

Sad thing is, unlike Shiba from Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 2nd Season, Arashi didn’t do it for me at all. I don’t like his stupid hair or his dorky face, his voice is blah, almost nothing happens with the sports club, you almost never get to see him blush, his sense of fashion is boring and repetitive, etc, etc, over and over again. I got him because he was easy, but I’m not satisfied!

Unfortunately I’m also not satisfied with most of the rest of the game either. Most of it is because I replayed TMGS1 extensively last year, so a lot of the locations and events in the game are very familiar to me. I should have let at least two years pass between replays, because after the first year the whole thing was one giant snoozefest.

Much has been made of the two princes you get to woo in this game, but in my humble opinion…they’re both pricks. When I compare their assholish lines and behaviors to dear, sweet Kei Hazuki in the first game, ahh, what a difference. He was a little cold in the beginning, but he was a really cool, decent character. Saeki Teru was a jerk too, but at least he wasn’t a borderline crook like Kouichi and Ruka in this game. These guys are slimeballs.

Having said that, I can kind of see myself going for Kou. He reminds me a lot of Shiba in terms of being mean-looking but probably sweet when you soften him up. Near the end of my game I somehow found him liking me (gotta pinpoint the stats he’s attracted to and go for him), plus I know his tastes are rock-and-roll and motorbikes, so it shouldn’t be too hard to date him. He showed up three whole times at my workplace to sneer at me and by the end I was thinking “Oooh, just wait till I get my hands on you!!” Ruka’s just a creep though, so forget about him. Sakuraaaaaiiii!

Other last impressions: I really like what they did with the girl friends in this game. I hated the two-faced, backstabbing cows in the previous two installments. “Hey, we’re friends, right?” “Right, until I want to get my sticky hands on your man that is.” I really hated them. In my game I got to be friends with Miyo and Karen and you get to hang out with them and have sleepovers and stuff, call them on the phone, make Valentine’s chocolate together, etc, etc. It’s a lot of fun and they seem to genuinely like you, which is really cool. I just wish there was a second pair of friends you could get, that would be even better. Btw, Room #6 is really cool, I want it.

Last thought: Your class teacher is GROSS. Even his name is gross, Oosako Chikara. Sounds like a fish or something. He looks all of 12 years old, his voice is weird and you don’t even get to date him (or do you?) so I don’t know what he’s in the story for. What were the Japanese thinking?! I can’t wrap my mind around this one.

Gotta go, I’m going to play something else for a while and then come back to get Kou later on. He WILL be mine!

ASH – Archaic Sealed Heat

More like Archaic S–t Heat. I only made it through an hour or so of this game before giving up, a new record for me. It’s sad because I really wanted to like this game, based on who made it (Mistwalker). But the controls are just, just too clunky and annoying.

Everything has to be done with the stylus control, not using any of the buttons. I’ve never played a game where this was comfortable and ASH wasn’t the game to buck the trend.

The character portraits are tiny, tiny, tiny.

The story is…hmm. From what little I played, you’re Aishya, the Princess of Millinear, and your whole kingdom is leveled by a fiery dragon on your 17th birthday. But then your retainers, who had been turned to ash, start coming back to life and fighting with you. Creepy… so anyway, your mission is to figure out WTF is going on, stop the fire dragon from killing any more people, and generally just run away in the worst battle outfit since Lusso in FFTA2.

The gameplay is hard to describe. I’ve seen something similar in Shining Force Feather and Stella Deus: it takes a certain number of points to do anything, whether to move or to attack. In this game it’s called AP. So if you start the battle with 40 AP, you can either hold still and gather more AP, move (reducing AP), or Battle, which takes a whopping 50 AP to commence. Apart from your loyal retainer Bullneq, all the other characters appear to be generics: white mage, black mage, fighter, etc. I presume you’ll learn some new classes as you go along.

See, it doesn’t look so bad on paper, but when it comes to actual execution on the field, it’s sloooow, clunky and boring, and the first few stages being made up of nothing but tutorials does NOT help. Furthermore, you attack in teams, right? So if they had made it like in Revenant Wings or something, where, say, Aishya can have a team of black mages under her, and Bullneq can have a team of fighters under him, etc, etc, that would be okay. But it doesn’t seem to work that way, it’s just…messed up. Well, after 1 hour anyway. I don’t know if I’m ever going to continue Archaic Sealed Heat because it’s really dull, but we’ll see.