Blog Anniversary: 2020 Games in Review

With the ongoing pandemic 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, which I’ll talk about below in addition to the most recent controversy surrounding a newly localized otome game. 

Collar x Malice: Unlimited’s English localization came under fire after fans 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. The company announced that a patch would be released in response.

I have no idea when this patch should release. I have no idea if the company is going to copy/paste these corrections into this “patch,” or whether they’ll credit the people who did the work for them. Sadly, this isn’t a one-time occurrence. This has been happening as far back as Norn9‘s localization. norn9

I’m sure we can all agree that getting more otome games localized is something we all want. I never thought the day would come when we’d be getting several a year. I’m forever grateful for all the titles that are brought over here and to this day I’ll always recommend Code Realize to anyone wondering where to start. That being said, I think it’s a little ridiculous that we can’t raise criticisms when these things continue to happen. A few typos here and there won’t break the “immersion” for me. But I saw the tweets and it was a rough time trying to piece together a lot of those sentences. 

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.” 

I cancelled my preorders and put that money toward groceries instead. These games are expensive and if I can’t even understand what I’m reading, I’m not going to enjoy them. 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.

sigh gif

That aside, 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 which is why my posts take forever to come out. 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. 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.


くそげ~


A Pale Imitation: Pokemon Sword 

Gigantamax intellion has a sniper rifle now : zerowondering

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

Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Game ...

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

Gallery:Super Smash Bros. Ultimate | Female pokemon trainers ...

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 TownBran FOMT

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.


My Favorites:


Bitch Can’t Even Swim: Resident Evil 3 Remake

1280x800 Resident Evil 3 Remake Characters 1280x800 Resolution ...

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

Death Stranding | Café com Geeks

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

1600x1200 px Final Fantasy X Tidus Yuna High Quality Wallpapers ...

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

Final Fantasy 14 Patch 5.4 is called Futures Rewritten | GamesRadar+

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

2020-07-03-202631

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. 


Upcoming Projects


Beastmaster and Prince Fandisc: Snow Bride

snowbridee

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

dance

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

aoharu

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

Gunka

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. 


Branching Out


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. 

sonna

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 ❤

cinderevermoreFrom 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

sonanyl

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

13sentinels

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

lamentoo

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

ff16

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

STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo  Game Details

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)


varia

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)
  • BUSTAFELLOWS 

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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16 thoughts on “Blog Anniversary: 2020 Games in Review

  1. Krystallina

    Visual novels are a lot of work, no doubt, especially since they’re unlikely to have a huge staff. But yeah, I wish Aksys Games would spread out their releases a little more, maybe have a few players apply to be a beta tester and just try to point out some of the obvious mistakes. Wouldn’t cost them much but a few game codes and then could release a better product.
    I enjoyed the heck out of Animal Crossing in the spring, as there were a lot of players and just general pandemic blues, but I haven’t played it months. Love all the free updates, but there’s just so much and even dropping in was starting to take up too much time.
    Anyway, hope 2021 is better for you!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Leafさんの夢が。。。 Post author

      Agreed. I understand there’s a lot more to localization than we see, but how it’s been handled thus far has been disappointing. You make a great point: spreading out releases would help a lot and I think there would be plenty of people who would love to help beta.

      Yeah! I def had fun in spring with AC, but I really disliked the online experience and everything started to feel almost overwhelming? I hope that makes sense xD

      Thank you, and I hope next year’s better for you too, Krystallina! Take care out there ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Krystallina

        Yeah, I completely get it — overwhelming is a good way to describe AC after a while. Part of me wants to pick it up now and then, but I know that I’ll just still get that nagging feeling to just do one more thing or come back just one more day again. Although I do miss hanging out with my cute village and villagers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. TwoHappyCats

    Happy Blog Anniversary!! I adored Animal Crossing this year as well, when it first came out i kept thinking “should I get it? Will I even like it?” I kept going back and forth for about a month and a half before finally picking it up and I just fell in love with it. I was very tempted to pick up Story of Seasons, but I ended up getting sucked into Rune Factory 4 instead.

    I’ve been wanting to play The House of Fata Morgana for ages, I heard earlier this year that there may be a Switch version coming out, so I’ve been holding out for that. Also that ever increasing backlog as stopped me from grabbing it right now for PC. Ahh, so many games, not enough time 😅 hope 2021 is a great year for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Leafさんの夢が。。。 Post author

      Thank you so much, Cats!! I’m so glad you loved AC 🙂 and good choice with RF4! It’s a wonderful game. Oh wow, didn’t hear about the Switch version of Fata! That’s great ❤ I would really look into the trigger warnings listed on the game's site though, because it tackles a lot of heavy and dark content. I personally thought it was handled very well, but it might not be something everyone wants to read about — especially during the pandemic. You can read all about it here: https://blog.mangagamer.org/2016/05/12/the-house-in-fata-morgana-content-advisory/

      Haha I feel you so much about the backlog! I'm glad I'm starting to get through some of it but it's gonna be a mountain to climb xD Thank you so much, I hope 2021 is a great one for you too! Take care ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Amy

    Happy Anniversay Leaf! 😀
    Glad to hear you’re okay, was worried about you for a while. I definitely understand the struggles of chronic pain so hope you’re doing better now & please remember to prioritise your health!

    I don’t really follow the English Otome game localisations but I’m genuinely heartbroken to hear that CxM & Piofiore receieved poor ones since they’re both very good games that I think a lot of English player would have enjoyed 😦 . For upcoming titles, I’d be worried about Olympia Soiree in particular since it’s more complex language-wise than any of their previously translated games (but again, really great!).

    I totally understand everyone’s upset with Pokemon Sword and Shield but I actually enjoyed it still, haha. I thought the Gym Leaders played more of a part in the overall story & the lack of a Victory Road made me happy. Hop as a rival is one of my all-time favourites too but I’m totally bias, haha.
    You’ve definitely spurred me to actually get around to playing Animal Crossing & Story of Seasons, which I’ve had lying around for a while ^_^;;;;

    Good luck with the translations! I really admire your determination to finish them~

    I don’t know about other readers but I for sure would love to see reviews of other visual novels/games outside of the otome genre! The percieved “gap” between them all isn’t really as big as it’s made out to be, with people of all genders able to enjoy games with good stories and characters (in my opinion anyways!).

    Hope you have a Happy Holidays & great 2021~ 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Leafさんの夢が。。。 Post author

      Amy ❤ Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts, you're way too kind. I hope you've been well, too and I'm sorry you have to struggle with chronic illness. I'll keep you in my thoughts as well and will be hoping things get better for you ❤ I'll always be here if you need to talk.

      Oh no, Olympia's that advanced language-wise? I'll keep my fingers crossed things turn out good for it then.

      You have really good points about the Gym leaders in Sword/Shield! I think they did a fantastic job of making them into really cool characters I wanted to see more of. Hop was really cute and I liked his enthusiasm! I wish I'd liked the game more but I think I had a lot of expectations this time that fell flat for me. I'm really glad to see that these games have been such a hit with a lot of people though. Can't wait to see where the franchise goes!

      AC and SOS are super cute games and I think you'll really enjoy them! ^^

      Glad to see my branching out to other VNs isn't being poorly received haha. I was a little nervous about doing this but you're def right: there's not a huge gap between genres.

      Thank you for the well wishes and I hope you also have a great 2021 and Happy Holidays ❤ Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Eu

    Happy blog anniversary and happy holidays too!

    It’s good to hear that you’re doing better now. Your self is still the most important thing, after all.

    I love AC so much I bugged my friends to play it. It’s just a good laid-back game where you can go fishing, tree planting, and even just running around the island. Things have gotten a little tedious when I try to compare myself with completionists and those who have really beautiful designs, though. ;;;;

    Anyway, hope you’ll have a wonderful 2021!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Leafさんの夢が。。。 Post author

      Thank you, Eu, and Happy Holidays!

      So glad you love AC and thanks for sharing what you love about the game. I guess the appeal might be that you have the freedom to decide whatever you want to do and so it’s very relaxing. Haha, I feel you there. All the great island designs I’ve seen have been intimidating for someone like me who has no idea what I’m doing, but it sounds like you’re doing really good with your island. Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say, so don’t let it get to you! I’m sure your island is beautiful ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  5. minbento

    Happy blog anniversary!

    CxMU: Utter dumpster fire. I was highly anticipating the release and have barely touched it except after the patch was released. I’m still noticing a few errors but at least it’s manageable now 😦 I’m still hoping that when PQube enters the arena with BUSTAFELLOWS Aksys games gets it together and actually proofreads what they publish.

    Animal Crossing: I feel the same. I like the series but I felt the upkeep of the game was way too much for my liking and ended up dropping it.

    Story of Seasons: I was super excited for this release and the new one coming out in March! Haven’t played much of it but I’m hoping to soon!

    Beastmaster: I was actually looking at this game and am excited to see how your translation goes!

    Dance with Devils: Looking forward to your review of this!! 😀 (I am a horrible onii-chan shipper since Rejet loves to make them yandere and insane :’D)

    Sona Nyl: Super excited for this review. I’ve taken a look into the series but haven’t been able to find many reviews for all the games in the series.

    13 Sentinels: Loved previous works from Vanillaware. A bit sad that the gameplay wasn’t a side scroller like Odin Sphere but I might take a look into it when the price drops 🙂

    Hope you’re having a good start to the year and are staying safe! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more from you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Leafさんの夢が。。。 Post author

      Oof, that’s good that the CxM:U isn’t too bad, but I agree. The game and its fans honestly deserved more. Here’s to hoping future localizations are given proper localizations!

      It’s a relief to see other people share the same feelings for AC haha. I felt so guilty for not loving it. As for Beastmaster, I’m almost done with it! You can see where I’m currently at project-wise in the translation menu. Hopefully that helps! And eyyy, a Lindo x Ritsuka shipper? Awesome! I heard he got a pretty good route in the game!

      13 Sentinels was fantastic. I’ve not played Odin Sphere so I’m not sure what you’ll think, but if you like lots of plot twists and romance I think it’s a good story.

      Thank you for stopping by, minbento, and have a good year too!

      *I added your blog to my blogroll for others to check your site out. Hope you don’t mind!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. minbento

        Fingers crossed this year’s releases get the treatment they deserve when getting localized 🙂

        No worries! It was super hyped up this year so I can understand how you feel. I’m sure there’s many more like us who didn’t feel crazy about AC haha

        Yes I’ve been lurking around and checking out! I’ll try to read more when I get more time to 🙂

        YES! I absolutely loved his role in the anime and am excited to see how they fleshed out the story in the game.

        Great! I’ll put 13 on my wishlist for now 🙂

        Thanks for stopping by my blog as well, I’ve added you on to my list of following and can’t wait to chat soon !

        Take Care,
        Min.

        Liked by 1 person

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