With the pandemic going on and my rocky financial situation, I cancelled all but two orders this year: Animal Crossing New Leaf and Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. I mainly played titles from my backlog and the birthday gifts I received from my brother (thank you very much!). Luckily I have plenty of otome games to get through next year from said backlog. I also tried my hand at translating one when I had time to do so, which I’ll talk about below in addition to the most recent controversy surrounding Aksys’ localized otome games.
Collar x Malice: Unlimited’s English localization came under fire after customers began tweeting about it’s innumerable mistakes. Both professional translators and paying customers spoke up about the game’s translation quality, wondering why it was released in the state it was. The game was so poorly localized that many of the company’s own customers did the hard work of correcting these issues for free in the hopes that something would be done about it. Aksys announced that a patch would be released in response.
I have no idea when this patch should release. I also have no idea if Aksys is going to copy/paste these corrections into this “patch” or if they’ll go back and fix it all themselves or even whether they’ll credit the people who did the work for them. Sadly, this isn’t just a one-time occurrence. This has been happening as far back as Norn9‘s localization.
To add to the cherry on top, Piofiore and Cafe Enchanted were also filled with similar grammatical and translation mistakes. One of the dictionary terms in Cafe Enchanted, (Hako Oshi/箱推し), was translated so badly that it became a running gag on twitter about “pushing boxes.”
Considering my current financial situation and how horribly translated these expensive games are, I cancelled my preorders and put that money toward groceries instead. I’m upset about how the otome genre is consistently treated by this company and completely understand the backlash and criticism they’ve garnered over the years. Though they’ve addressed this controversy regarding Collar x Malice: Unlimited, I have to wonder if they did only because so many people did all of the work for them for free… I guess we’ll see if things improve in the future.
I unlocked a new achievement with Carpal Tunnel! This, on top of other health complications, got in the way of totally completing the otome game I’ve been translating this year, but I should be done with it early 2021. I’ve also had an exceedingly frustrating time learning the new block editor for wordpress and it’s made everything a huge mess. Which is why my posts take forever to come out now. Anyway, I hope my health improves next year. Thankfully I’m cancer-free, but everything has continued to fall apart and I’ve not been as active on social media as I normally am. All in all…I’m not doing too hot. The hardest thing I’ve had to learn is that it’s okay to not be okay. I’m getting the help I need and I’m lucky to have an amazing support system, so I’m hopeful that things will get better. With that out of the way, here’s a look at what I thought of the games I played in the cursed year of 2020.
A Pale Imitation: Pokemon Sword
I don’t usually harp on Pokemon games. I’m a huge fan of the franchise but I didn’t enjoy Sword and Shield. Challenging gym leaders while in competition with the other contestants was neat in concept, but it didn’t feel like I was actually in a competition with anyone in practice. The player barely had a part in the story, which is saying a lot considering there isn’t much of one to begin with in Pokemon games. And don’t get me started on the villain’s plan. At least we got an asshat rival this time… If you want a more extensive look into why this game didn’t hit the mark for me, RadicalSoda’s video series pretty much sums up how I felt about it.
What I Enjoyed
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I adore Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons so I thought I’d like Animal Crossing too. It’s cute…but it wasn’t for me. I sunk a lot of time into it so I certainly got my money’s worth. It’s a quality game with many frequent updates and new content to keep the game fresh, and I can definitely see why people might enjoy it. Perhaps this genre isn’t for me? Please let me know why you love this franchise. I’m not sure why this one didn’t click for me and I would love to become a fan some day.
Finish Him: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
With the recent announcement of Sephiroth’s addition to the roster of fighters, my interest in Super Smash Bros has been reignited. I burnt out on this game after I finished the main story campaign earlier this year, so I’m excited to reach for this one again. My main fighters were Sheik, Leaf and Zelda.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
We can walk on our crops and have same-sex relationships now! Sadly, they removed the rival events because the Japanese fanbase didn’t like the idea of leaving a lot of the characters forever-alone. We do get to see two rival scenes per marriage candidate, though, and two new characters were added. One of them is the freeloader pictured above. I’m also not a fan of the mobile art style they chose but I got used to it. There’s a noticeable blur on the edges of the screen and the frame rate drops significantly at times. The sound affects are atrocious and you can’t mute them in the game’s settings. Still, it beats Natsume’s copycat any day and the game is really cute and easy to chill out with.
Bitch Can’t Even Swim: Resident Evil 3 Remake
My bro got me this for my birthday (thank you!!!) and while it has a lot of plot armor and bullet sponge enemies, it was very fun. RE 3 was originally meant to be a spin-off of the second game. This was significantly shorter than RE2 with only one campaign. One day I’d like to experience the original version and see what changes were made.
Princess Beach: Death Stranding
My first ever Kojima game was an experience. Death Stranding emphasizes the importance of connecting with others and maintaining those connections in order to survive. I related way too much to the protagonist because I’m a hermit, so having this theme beat over my skull as I amazon primed my way around America with a fetus strapped to my chest was a guilt-trip like no other. There were great moments and plenty of cringe to go around and someone please tell me why chapter 3’s last mission was allowed because holy shit was it bad. I enjoyed it despite how laughably pretentious it was and will hesitantly recommend it to anyone willing to overlook its shortcomings.
AHAHAHAHA: Final Fantasy X
Even preparing myself for the meme that was Tidus could not fully prepare me for what was to come. The guy is a ball of teenage angst and daddy issues, but I have to give him credit for trying to maintain his happy-go-lucky attitude, even if he was a lot. The voice acting is horrid at worst and passable at best (which is more a product of its time than anything), but the game shines the most in its world-building and themes. I’d love it if we could get the real Ultimania over here because I want to know more. Some of the trophies were GLITCHED in my copy of the game. It astounds me that this is an issue in the PS4 port at all — especially when they were UNMISSABLE and I had to replay every single one of these boss fights in precise ways in order to get the dang thing to unlock. I like Yuna a lot. Unfortunately, she repeatedly becomes a damsel in distress (which was beyond stupid when she can summon literal gods to do her bidding) and the Temple Puzzles didn’t make much sense narratively to me. I also thought Seymour’s backstory could have been better integrated into the story. X has a lot going for it and even has *le gasp* a decent romance. A healthy one built on respect and trust (minus some dumbass things Tidus did but alas). I’m also a sucker for turn-based combat systems and X knocked this one out of the park. Chef’s kiss.
I Ship It: Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.3 and 5.4
Words can’t begin to express how happy I was with 5.3’s patch. It was more than I could have ever dreamed of! 5.4 was a filler episode, but the ending was exciting and I can’t wait to get to the Eden quests so I can see Ryne and Gaia’s relationship bloom. Come on, Square, let them date already! In a similar vein lol, my WoL got married. I told myself I wouldn’t ever do it, but my partner’s proposal was too adorable to say no. I’ve also been dabbling in lore so that I can participate in lore-related RP events. Right when I think I’ve seen everything there is to see in this game, there’s a whole new community around the corner. This sub has been worth every cent and I’d place XIV in my top five Final Fantasy games if I ever make a list.
Translating An Otome Game: Beastmaster and Prince: Flower and Snow
Lord knows I have a long way to go as a shitty fan-translator, but I’ll take this win for now and stop beating myself up for not being fluent already. This is a personal project of mine for study purposes only. Everything about this game is a joy to play. It’s bright and whimsical and so unabashedly cute. I unfortunately began experiencing extreme needling pains and tingling throughout my hands and wrists, so I had to take a break shortly after I started translating Erik’s route. I’ve since recovered somewhat and am nearly finished with his route. I don’t think I’ll be able to post it before the year ends, so look forward to the last two next year.
Beastmaster and Prince Fandisc: Snow Bride
Yeah, I can’t believe I made it this far either. What happened to my lazy ass? I’ll treat myself to some sleep once I complete the first game.
Dance With Devils: Sans Musical
I loved the anime, as cheesy as it was, and picked the game up because of it. Ritsuka was resourceful and determined in her goals. I liked her dynamic with Rem and was happy to see a reverse harem with an established couple to root for. Please note that it will take me some time to get to this game.
Ao Haru Ride: Movie Novelization
I bought this book ages ago and it took me two years to get through it because someone didn’t know her kanji. (Still don’t lol) The prologue begins in first person and then switches to third for the remainder of the story. No idea if I want to post my translations here or create a new blog for books. Maybe I’ll just do a quick summary/review with samples of the text I translated? We’ll see.
Games I’ll Get Back To
Gunka wo Haita Neko: Puss in Combat Boots
Primula came out with a neko mimi otome game. Of course I got it xD. I have the PC version, which is a nightmare for someone like me who isn’t yet fluent in Japanese. I gave up after discovering that unless you’re given a quick save prompt, you can’t save your progress and must brute force your way through to one. Since I’m slow as molasses reading Japanese on a good day and the game is currently above my reading level, this wasn’t going to happen. The Switch port supposedly fixes this but I’m not too eager to double dip and get back to this right now. Gunka is about a princess named Tama who wants her Dad to recognize her hard work and be proud of her. When she was a kid, she went out late at night with her two best friends to look for humans. She overheard the court ladies saying that if you pass a test of theirs, the human will grant your wish. She’s set to marry to her cousin at the start of the game but then shit hits the fan.
I originally created this blog to talk exclusively about otome games but I’ve always wanted to review other kinds of visual novels. The House of Fata Morgana remains one of my all time favorites to this day and I find myself constantly yearning to review other genres on my blog.
So I’ll be reviewing visual novels as a whole in addition to whatever else tickles my fancy. If you only want to hear about otome games, don’t worry. They’ll continue to be a priority. If you have any recommendations, I’m all ears!
Games I’m Excited For
Cinderella Phenomenon: Evermore ❤
From Dicesuki, Cinderella Phenomenon‘s sequel is set to release this December 22nd. The first game is completely free and I can’t recommend it enough! The story is so well written and the heroine is a badass who plays an active role in changing her fate. I. Love. Her. Keep doing what you’re doing, Dicesuki!
Sona Nyl of the Violet Shadows
As far as I know, each game in Liarsoft’s steam punk series can be played on its own. Y’all have no idea how excited I am for this one. Reviews have all spoken very highly of the story, characters and world-building, which is everything I could ever want. The art is stunning and there’s a beautiful purple color scheme throughout, so they can have my money. If you’d like to hear more about the story, you can visit Mangagamer’s page here.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
I kept seeing ads for this during Black Friday and it sounded right up my alley. I don’t know too much about it other than it’s supposed to be a really good sci-fi mystery visual novel by Vanillaware (Dragon’s Crown and Odin Sphere) and that reviewers have cautioned against reading too much about it as there’s only so much that can be said without spoiling the twists. Hopefully it’s as good as everyone’s saying it is!
Lamento: Beyond the Void
Cat boys. BL. Fantasy setting. Need I say more? It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting this one for a while, but I’m ready.
Final Fantasy XVI
I think it’s safe to say I play every Final Fantasy title I can. Loving the darker turn it’s taking. No idea when I’ll get a PS5 but it’s not something I need right now anyway.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Comes out March 23, 2021. I don’t know what it is about these games but I adore them.
Confirmed English Otoge for 2021 (so far)
I don’t play mobage anymore (can’t get into them) so I have no idea if anything’s releasing on them.
- Variable Barricade (Nintendo Switch)
- Olympia Soiree (Nintendo Switch)
- Dairoku Ayakashi (Nintendo Switch)
And that’s all for this year! I’m currently playing Mangagamer’s, Fxxx Me Royally!! Horny Magical Princess 😂 and can’t wait for the rest of the Taisho x Alice episodes to drop so I can play them all together and finally review the game. 2020 has been awful and I hope things start getting better next year. Please stay safe out there and wear your masks when you head out. I’ll be uploading more translations for you all when I can and I’ll try to be more active on twitter, but for now I’m just trying to get better. Thanks so much as always for stopping by and I hope you found some new titles to enjoy.
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