Gochi-Show! for Girls -How To Learn Japanese Cooking Game-Snapshot Review

To get myself out of my writing funk, I’m going to briefly talk about a game that’s kind of otome-Gochi-Show! for Girls. Disclaimer: I  have not finished the game so this will be about first impressions.

Steam Store Link

Gochi-Show! for Girls was released on Steam in Sept. 2016 and on mobile at some point, which surprised me that it blew past me. Developed and published by Creative Freaks, who also brought us “Burn Your Fat With Me” (exercise otome-lite game), Gochi Show is an otome-lite game. It gives us a background story of you, a college student working with her mother and Kanata, a fellow classmate/part-time worker, at the family’s cafe while her father works overseas. But suddenly your mother is going overseas to stay with your dad! And you insist on being acting manager. Problem is, you have zero idea how to cook! Customers are disgusted by your monstrous dishes and leave. Thankfully, Kanata is going to show you the ropes so you don’t destroy your family’s precious business! As you unlock more of the story, you will get some other guys, Ayato and Reo, to work at the cafe who will show you even more recipes.

Wait, why isn’t Kanata doing all the cooking if he knows how and already works there? Well, then I guess there wouldn’t be a game!

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There is a story mode and a recipe section. You unlock three recipes after the prologue, and have to earn points by “making” the food (really you just have to go through the recipes and tell the game you made it). An annoying thing is that you don’t earn points when you go through a recipe in story mode. So you have to review it again in the recipe section to get points. But you can review the same recipe over and over and accumulate points.

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The story mode is divided into four sections, the beginning where you meet all the guys, then three other sections for each guy. Each section has several chapters to show you a recipe. The game will show you Japanese, Western, and Chinese dishes as you continue to unlock the story.

What makes this an otome-ish kind of game is that you do get to choose responses to the guys and the game makes a happy ping or disgruntled EH depending on your choice. And the guys seem to gain more affection for you as the story goes on. As I have not completed the game, I am not sure if you get any endings.

This really is a game for someone who wants to learn how to cook Japanese food. If you’re looking solely for otome, this is not going to do it for you.

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As for the cooking itself, I haven’t tried to cook anything as I need to track down some of the Japanese spices, but the instructions are clear and the guys will also give you advice the very basics, like how to chop things in different ways and heat up the pans. They assume you know nothing because the MC knows nothing. It can be helpful for the novice cook who has no idea how to grease a pan, roughly chunk, grate, and julienne things (I always forget what this means). So the game has some extra value there with the basic cooking hints. At the end, you can get additional advice if your dish had an issue, like being too sweet or spicy.

At $4.99 on Steam, if you don’t know how to cook at all and/or want to learn Japanese cooking in particular, I’d say this is an entertaining and pretty cheap way to do it. And if you have made something with the recipes, I’d love to see it!

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Why You Should Play Period Cube (It’s because of hot guys, and a good story.)

Official Site.

You know, there is nothing better to be wrapped up in a great game. What’s even better is to be taken by surprise by a game’s twists and turns. And I am happy to say Period Cube is one of those games.

Period Cube was localized by Aksys Games in April 2017 and developed by Idea Factory’s Otomate division for the Playstation Vita. You play as the heroine, Kazuha (re-namable as usual), who is a high school student looking for her brother, Shiki. Her childhood friend Hiroya, thinks his disappearance has something to do with the RPG game called Arcadia. With his help, you create your character, enter the new server called World V, and off you go. You get onto your suitor of choice’s route very quickly, based on how you handle the first few battles (See my guide here if you are stuck.)

There are seven routes altogether and each suitor has a good and “merry bad end”. There’s quite a diversity among the personalities of the suitors and each one is more or less a different type. Rather than going route by route, I’m just going to talk about my top three guys, Astrum, Radius, and Poyo-poyo, and why I liked them.

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Look how happy he is to slay monsters.

Astrum is just an all around good guy. Reminiscence of Kent of Amnesia: Memories, though he is much sweeter and more bitter at the same time. He has a hilarious scream when he’s frustrated. It’s just…easy to relate to him. He’s sweet in World V but very aloof in the real world. He’s resentful of certain things, and his bad end is, well, crazy.

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He works alone, and does it with style.

I was very hesitant to start Radius‘ route as I heard he was a just a basic tsundere, and that type just isn’t my thing. But I feel Radius has a ton of kuudere mixed in, he is mean at first, but it thankfully tapers off quickly and he is more distant and hesitant. He is an idol in real life, but does not seem interested in attention, which was a great relief for me as I don’t like the “player” stereotype in otome games. He also admits that the way he treated you in the beginning was mean, which doesn’t always happen with the nasty guys, and that’s soften my cold heart towards him. Plus, he’s hot. When he uses that shadow’s edge, *swoons*. His bad end is also very swoon worthy.

And my final favorite is Poyo-poyo. Major Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Why You Should Play Period Cube (It’s because of hot guys, and a good story.)”

Review: Matches & Matrimony-A Jane Austen Dating Sim

Are you a Jane Austen fan and have always wanted to date Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, steal Mr. Bingley from Elizabeth’s sister Jane, or just die alone while doing needlepoint? Well, now you can with Matches & Matrimony: A Pride & Prejudice Tale!

Official Website

Matches & Matrimony is a Jane Austen dating sim developed by Reflexive Entertainment in 2011. There are 6 gentlemen you can pursue and three of Jane Austen’s novels are represented: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. The game starts off as if you are Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, but depending on your choices, you can branch off into the other book’s stories. You may date not only the main love interest from each of those novels, but a few other characters as well. The game starts with your mother, Mrs. Bennet telling Mr. Bennet how a single rich man has purchased the local estate Netherfield. If you have read Pride and Prejudice, this is like seeing the novel come to life. The dialogue nearly word for word from the book, though mostly condensed and the narrative is now in the first person. You will play as Elizabeth Bennett, the middle sister of the Bennett family, or whatever you would like to name her.

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Why not be as immature as you like?

This is a stat raising dating sim, so to pursue the man of your dreams you must plan your week’s activities accordingly. The game gives you a detailed tutorial at the start to help you understand the stats and how it affects future events.You also have an energy bar so make sure to rest once in awhile. The stat raising is not difficult once you get a hang of it, but there are key points in the game where other routes will be closed off to you if you did not raise a certain stat. If there is a certain gentleman you have in mind, you may want to look up what stats those are. Also, you will need to make friends with certain people to gain access to routes i.e. you aren’t going to be invited to visit Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte later in the game if you told her she’s old at the beginning.

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A little too bitchy there, Lorelai BitchFace

At the end of each chapter, you can check on potential suitors affection and as well as friends and allies.  Darcy is the only suitor that you can’t see if you increased or decreased affection with him until the very end of each chapter where you can check on everyone’s affection level by clicking on their portraits. The top row portraits in blue are potential suitors and the bottom are potential friends who will help “guide” you to certain gentlemen.

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There’s a cute affect of the character either smiling or grimacing depending on how they feel about you.

It is easy to offend people and not work on the right skills, so if you’re not careful, you will get the old maid ending, or worse-Mrs. Collins! The game has a built in hint system once you complete an ending to help you reach each guy. There’s also a single and happy ending, but I won’t spoil how to get that ending. I believe there is only one way to do so.

The Suitors

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First, we have Mr. Collins. Like it or not, he will propose to you no matter what you do! A hint, on matter what route you want, work on willpower no matter what otherwise you will end up as Mrs. Collins. But that was a nice touch of the game; that everyone needs a certain degree of willpower to get what they want in life. Like not marrying this boring guy.

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Mr. Bingley is the “new” option, as Elizabeth certainly never had any designs on him in the book. He is very kind, and as you learn, very shy. His route wasn’t too different from the other suitors that you meet in London.

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They made Mr. Darcy the hardest to get onto for a reason: he’s the most popular and most kundere. His route follows the book, with some things dropped. I’ve gotten onto his route before this replay for reviewing, but was not able to get sufficient stats and had to restart at an earlier point. But I enjoyed his route the most, it was long and I love the tense confrontations you have in his route.

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I have actually never read Sense and Sensibility, but I saw the movie many years ago. Colonel Brandon is the older suitor, who is also kind of a kuudere. But if you pursue him, you’ll find out that he’s very sweet! He was one of my favorite routes.

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Mr. Wickeby is a combination of Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. He is quite the snake in grass but if you are really that insistent on pursuing him, you will follow the Sense and Sensibility plot line. He does not offer too much new content based on my knowledge of the book.

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Mr. Wenworth is the suitor from Persuation, and it is also difficult to get onto his route. If any other man likes you, he will refuse to meet you! Not only are your stats important, but how you respond when others ask you your opinions on love will determine if you get to be Mrs. Wenworth.

If you haven’t read any Jane Austen novels, you will feel lost at first at the significance of certain characters and may not appreciate some of the line for line dialogue. But worry not, the game tells you to save often and use the scroll up on your mouse if you need to redo an answer.

A note-this game was designed for Windows 7, and I just replayed this on Windows 10. It was too stretched out on my flat-screen monitor for me to properly play the game, but once I set it in compatibility mode and got it in windowed mode (by initially running it in 640×480 screen resolution), the game ran smoothly.

Overall, I’d recommend this game to any Jane Austen fan, even if you have never played a dating sim before. The game gives tons of explanations on what to do and was actually one of my first dating sims. While it doesn’t offer a lot of new content, what it does offer is fun. It’s great to see the characters come to life and have a hand at Elizabeth’s future. The game is about $7 as an Amazon download, so enter the regency life and get a husband or grow old and grey trying today!

Guide: Period Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ Getting Onto Routes COMPLETE

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To get onto a certain characters route in Period Cube, you need to select certain ways of dealing with the monsters you meet and say certain things.

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Here is a guide to get onto all of the character’s routes:

Astrum: Run, Dodge, Harp

Zain: Run, Use Knife, Run or Crouch down, Run, Run

Hiroya: Knife, Knife, Say “Don’t attack Hiroya”

Libera: Knife, Knife, Say “I think this person is right”

Radius: Knife, run, use harp

Demento: Get onto Astrum’s route, keep affection with him low (I’m not sure that matters), In Chapter 5, say “You’ve already finished it” when you deal with Demento, in battle increase ally strength, then choose “Demento, stop!”

Poyo-poyo: Finish Hiroya’s and Libera’s routes, then Poyo-Poyo’s route will unlock. Use knife, use knife, and then a third option will appear when Hiroya and Libera are arguing. Do not agree with either of them. I recommend you save this route for the end.

 

Review: Don’t Take This Risk

This post discusses suicide and Toma from Amnesia: Memories.

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Don’t Take This Risk is a short visual novel developed by Poison Apple Tales. You play as a young woman who picks up the phone in the middle of the night and hears a hesitant man with a french accent ask you if this is the suicide hotline. Right from the start, the game fills you with tension and does not let up. You don’t want Unknown (who will be referred to as Blanket Guy in this review) to kill himself, right? But what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that doesn’t happen? And make sure you answer quickly, many answers are timed.

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You may pick from two actors who voice Blanket Guy (I personally like Cool and Alluring, but Fun and Charming has some better delivery). There are nine endings in total and they are all terrible, save one which is a tad less terrible but still creepy. Based on this description, you may think I hate the game, but that is far from the truth.

While I have been less than impressed with some Original English Language Visual Novels (OELVNs), who sometimes miss the mark on developing an intriguing plot, Don’t Take This Risk pushes all boundaries and sheds light on an important subject without being preachy or heavy handed.

Spoilers ahead:

Continue reading “Review: Don’t Take This Risk”

Retrospective: Phantasmagoria-Worth a look for Otome Fans

This post will briefly describe abuse and rape.

When it comes to otome fans looking for more games, they seem to gravitate toward other visual novels or RPGs. But what about classic adventure games? Some boast the same appealing qualities as the darker otome games- romance, horror, mystery, and the risk of death. In this post, I’ll be making a case for otome addicts to check out the iconic horror adventure game, Phantasmagoria.

Roberta Williams’ Phantasmagoria is a point and click adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line and released in 1995. You play as Adrienne Delaney, a bestselling (or at least kind of famous) novelist who somehow had enough money to purchase the extravagant Carnovasch Estate with her husband, also kind of famous photographer Don Gordon. The illustrious magician, Zoltan Carnovasch, owned the entire island the estate resides on in the 1800’s, and it is said that he and his some of his wives are buried underneath the mansion. There is uncertainty as to why all five of his wives either met some untimely death or were never seen again.

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The game is divided into 7 chapters and includes a censored mode should you not wish to see blood, gore, and the game’s infamous rape scene (more on that later). You are first treated to a prologue showing Don photographing the large estate and the scene morphs into a freaky nightmare. The nightmares continue as you awake in a fright and are comforted by your disheveled husband which quickly escalates into an awkward sex scene.

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Once you’ve had your fill of the prologue, you can move on to Chapter 1. You apparently bought the mansion unseen but fully furnished, and as you explore, you discover some odd things. A fortune telling machine with ominous messages, a weird cloud that floats over a crib, a large bed that won’t keep its hands to itself-there is something wrong with this house despite Don’s insistence that it’s just your imagination. While these are concerning enough, you soon discover a hidden chapel and a box that releases a green spirit that quickly possesses Don.

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The gentle and patient husband you once knew grows more quick tempered and nasty by the day. His outbursts and putdowns culminate into the game’s infamous rape scene. This scene was shocking at the time of the release, causing the game to be banned in Australia, CompUSA refused to sell it, and it was a part of the decision to introduce the ESRB, being the first game to receive the Mature rating. The game does not stop with the violence as you witness brutal deaths and begin to understand what happened to Carnovasch and his wives hundreds of years ago.

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It is up to you to figure out what exactly has possessed Don and the connection it has to the magician Zoltan. The final chapter has you fighting for your life in one of the best end game sequences I have ever played to date. The tension on whether or not you can save Don is heart pounding.

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After all has said and done, Phantasmagoria plays less like an adventure game and more like a visual novel. While there are a few objects to collect and puzzles to solve, they are few and far between and relatively easy. The game was designed for the novice gamer and is more focused on creating a dark atmosphere and an increasingly ominous mood, rather than difficult puzzles.

There are many FMV sequences and there is a slightly creepy skeleton with a booming voice in the bottom left corner that will give you pretty direct hints. The main criticism of the game is that there is more to look at than do. But while this is a drawback in an adventure game, watching things unfold is exactly what the visual novel player is looking for.

Now what makes this appealing to not only a visual novel gamer, but an otome fan? Well, if you like sweet stories and passionate romance, this isn’t the game for you. But if you are a fan of the dark otome games, say Toma from Amnesia: Memories, this is right up your alley.

Spoilers for Amnesia: Memories and Phantasmagoria below-This part is assuming you have already played Diamond World.

Continue reading “Retrospective: Phantasmagoria-Worth a look for Otome Fans”