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Dating Sim Community Game-Along: A waifu for you, A husbando for me!

RyougaSaotome

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Mar 25, 2010
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Since February is the somewhat official month of romance, what better way to celebrate than with some dating sim games? The dating sim genre hasn't ever had its time in the limelight outside of Japan, where it's actually quite popular with both men and women. In fact, the term "dating sim" isn't even really correct, as it only encompasses romance games that have simulation elements (usually meters for stats that you have to raise to get the girl/guy you're pursuing). The Japanese term ren'ai, meaning romance, is generally used to refer to any games that focus on the romantic pursuit of one of usually a number of selectable men or women, but since "dating sim" is more the well-known term in English, I'll be using it for the purposes of this event to refer to any game with romance elements, be it simulation, visual novel, or otherwise.

The "otherwise" is important here, too, since there many games such as the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory series that incorporate romance. It should also go without saying that romance games aimed at anyone are fair game, be they catering to a predominately male audience (bishōjo) or female (otome).
It's easy to participate in the February Dating Sim Game-Along – all you have to do is play and write about dating sims in some form, be it on your blog, Twitter, or elsewhere! If you're using Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram (or some other newfangled social media that also uses hashtags), please use #DatingSiMonth so that I can keep track of your submissions and include them in my weekly compilation posts. Of course, you're also welcome to submit podcasts or any other critical work to the Game-Along – as long as you're talking about dating sims, virtually anything goes!
http://www.chic-pixel.com/2014/01/introducing-dating-sim-community-game.html

Last month, GAF poster Apricot held a community gaming event in which lots of people played Falcom games and wrote about. This month? She's tackling dating sims/visual novels with a heavy focus on romance! As you can see above, stuff like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are totally included in this, so feel free to get your game on with those as well. She's a poster here but I figured I'd make the thread.

Make sure to hit the link above for some various options if you're a little lost about what you should be playing. Remember, this is a chance to dabble in a genre that you otherwise might have never tried, so let's go crazy!

Tokimeki Memorial, Hakuoki, Love Plus, Katawa Shoujo, and a helluva lot more. GO WILD.

For what it's worth, I'm finally going to pick up an otome game and go crazy. I know a fair amount of people have been waiting for me to finally make the jump >_>.

LET'S ENJOY LOVING FUN TIME HAPPY WOOOO. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
 

L~A

Member
Jan 19, 2013
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Ha, just finished playing Hakuoki : Memories of the Shinsengumi the other day. Really good game, though I was surprised at how little romance there actually is in this game (well, it's more like there's not much romance going on until Chapter 5, in general). Hope Idea Factory is gonna port that High-school "spin-off" on 12 different platforms again :p
 

kuroneko0509

Member
Oct 14, 2012
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Last month, GAF poster Apricotsushi held a community gaming event in which lots of people played Falcom games and wrote about. This month? She's tackling dating sims/visual novels with a heavy focus on romance! As you can see above, stuff like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are totally included in this, so feel free to get your game on with those as well. She's a poster here but I figured I'd make the thread.
I'm in... Might be a good push for me to play my untouched Rune Factory 4
 

RyougaSaotome

Member
Mar 25, 2010
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Might be a good opportunity to play more Photo Kano on PSP and download that f2p Dream Club on PS4.

Also, that 'If I were in a sealed room with a girl' 3DS game...that counts as romance, right?
I'm actually pretty surprised you didn't pick up Amagami for the Vita.

Related note to everybody: Amagami is a great dating sim that plays by Tokimeki Memorial rules. IE, you're building stats to date girls. In some ways, it's the closest to Konami's first dating sim than most modern romance games.

I'll be too busy romancing dreamy dudes though. HAH.
 

Toki767

Member
May 8, 2009
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Is the hashtag #DatingSiMonth or #DatingSimMonth?

I'd totally participate if I had gaming sim games other than Harvest Moon. What are some good ones on Steam? I might see how things go there.
 
Does Saya no Uta count?
Oooh, good one! Just out of curiosity, I Googled it in Japanese, and it's classified as an "adult game" (very specific Japan lol), which is considered a subset of ren'ai games... so... YOU'RE GOOD

I really don't think anyone's going to be picky about what you play, so as long as it's got a heavy focus on romance, I say go for it!

As a side note, this may be the push I need to finally buy Saya no Uta

Is the hashtag #DatingSiMonth or #DatingSimMonth?

I'd totally participate if I had gaming sim games other than Harvest Moon. What are some good ones on Steam? I might see how things go there.
Just one M &#8211; #DatingSiMonth &#8211; because I'm a dork who thinks she's being witty (the hashtag for Falcom Month was... WAIT FOR IT... #Falcomonth)

As for Steam romance games... I'd have to think about that some more, but off the top of my head, Analogue: A Hate Story and its sequel, Hate Plus, would fit the bill!
 

RyougaSaotome

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Mar 25, 2010
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Is the hashtag #DatingSiMonth or #DatingSimMonth?

I'd totally participate if I had gaming sim games other than Harvest Moon. What are some good ones on Steam? I might see how things go there.
It's #DatingSiMonth. Showrunner Apricot can correct me if I'm wrong.

As for dating sims on Steam, I know there definitely are some VNs on there, they're just kind of buried a bit.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Sep 10, 2007
61,792
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It's too bad that the only big English options are basically Katawa Shoujo, Sweet Fuse, or Hakuoki.

Tokimemo Girl's Side and Love Plus are fan-lated, but of course, you need to do "things" to play them.

It's #DatingSiMonth. Showrunner Apricot can correct me if I'm wrong.

As for dating sims on Steam, I know there definitely are some VNs on there, they're just kind of buried a bit.
It depends if you count Christine Love's games as "dating sims".
 

Itsuki

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Oct 1, 2013
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I'm going to complete all the routes of Amnesia V and maybe I'll play Rune Factory 4.
This month, I finished most of the otome games that I had and I can't play Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side because my PS2 Memory Card died last week.
 
It's too bad that the only big English options are basically Katawa Shoujo, Sweet Fuse, or Hakuoki.
Don't forget HATOFUL BOYFRIEND

There are a lot of not-so-big options in English, though! If you want to go the hentai route, there's a fair bit of that... There's also the Cheritz (a Korean developer) otome games, Dandelion and Nameless, which both look pretty solid. Western developer Winter Wolves has done a lot of dating sim-type stuff as well.

Then there's also the classic Yo-Jin-Bo on PC...

EDIT: Maybe read the original post? We're using "dating sim" as a very loose term...

In fact, the term "dating sim" isn't even really correct, as it only encompasses romance games that have simulation elements (usually meters for stats that you have to raise to get the girl/guy you're pursuing). The Japanese term ren'ai, meaning romance, is generally used to refer to any games that focus on the romantic pursuit of one of usually a number of selectable men or women, but since "dating sim" is more the well-known term in English, I'll be using it for the purposes of this event to refer to any game with romance elements, be it simulation, visual novel, or otherwise.
 

RyougaSaotome

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Mar 25, 2010
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Guys pls read the details yo.

In fact, the term "dating sim" isn't even really correct, as it only encompasses romance games that have simulation elements (usually meters for stats that you have to raise to get the girl/guy you're pursuing). The Japanese term ren'ai, meaning romance, is generally used to refer to any games that focus on the romantic pursuit of one of usually a number of selectable men or women, but since "dating sim" is more the well-known term in English, I'll be using it for the purposes of this event to refer to any game with romance elements, be it simulation, visual novel, or otherwise.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Sep 10, 2007
61,792
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Toronto/Guelph
Don't forget HATOFUL BOYFRIEND

There are a lot of not-so-big options in English, though! If you want to go the hentai route, there's a fair bit of that... There's also the Cheritz (a Korean developer) otome games, Dandelion and Nameless, which both look pretty solid. Western developer Winter Wolves has done a lot of dating sim-type stuff as well.

Then there's also the classic Yo-Jin-Bo on PC...
Porn opens up a whole new world, I suppose. lol

I forgot about Winter Wolves. I actually have a lot of their games since they had a bundle a while ago, but never got fair in any of them.

I guess going broader with indies, there's also Choice Of Games:
http://www.choiceofgames.com/category/our-games/

Their stuff DOES have RPG/stat mechanics, but it's all text based.
 

RyougaSaotome

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Mar 25, 2010
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For those of you who are willing to dabble with JP only games, I totally recommend the first Sakura Taisen game. You can get the PSP version off of Japanese PSN, and it's not a long game at all.

There are also tons of full translation guides as well if you wanna challenge yourself and enjoy a fairly simple SRPG.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Sep 10, 2007
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It always does

Not familiar with them! Do you know which of their games have romance elements?
Choice of Romance is their big "epic", but I think most, if not all of their games feature romance. They also have a policy of allowing the player to be any gender/sexual orientation, which gives a lot more freedom for the player. Although, my understanding is that gay-male romances are just straight-female romances tweaked a bit. But hey, at least they have the choice!
 

Jintor

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Oct 22, 2009
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Guess I'll finally boot up hatoful boyfriend.

For anybody looking for a first look at the gene, a harvest moon is a good bet. But katawa shoujo should rate a mention as well
 

FataIChoice

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May 13, 2011
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Does Saya no Uta count?
Might finally get around to playing this and I have been recommended it a number of times.

Truthfully, I want to play Steins;Gate the most, but the English release I pre-ordered may not be released for a while.

Also, I don't think I have really played any full on visual novels, closest stuff probably being 999 or Ace Attorney, so this will be a relatively new experience to me.
 

OceanBlue

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Feb 2, 2011
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Guess I'll finally boot up hatoful boyfriend.

For anybody looking for a first look at the gene, a harvest moon is a good bet. But katawa shoujo should rate a mention as well
I played Sengoku Rance as my first "dating sim" game. I think it's a great first game as long as you don't mind hentai. The gameplay is way too addicting.

Actually I think I played Fate/Stay Night, Tsukihime, and Kagetsu Tohya first, but I'd rather recommend Sengoku Rance over those lol.
 

Kirie

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Aug 2, 2013
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Ahh, super excited about this topic! Maybe this will give me a push to actually finish a few routes in Diabolik Lovers: More Blood before the month is done lol

Currently playing through Ken ga Kimi (tough kanji for a beginner, but I'm slowly making my way through it) and it's probably up there with my top picks for favorite otomes ever. Also really looking forward to Geten no Hana: Yumeakari coming out late February since I adored the first one.

Aaaand the new Harvest Moon comes out on the 27th as well, and the bachelor choices this time look amazing. Will be coming along with my Geten treasure box.. only difficulty is seeing which to play first lol

Thanks so much for making this topic!
 

sensui-tomo

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Sep 14, 2011
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I played Sengoku Rance as my first "dating sim" game. I think it's a great first game as long as you don't mind hentai. The gameplay is way too addicting.

Actually I think I played Fate/Stay Night, Tsukihime, and Kagetsu Tohya first, but I'd rather recommend Sengoku Rance over those lol.
since i've finally seen someone else play this game i've been wondering, is there any game that has similar gameplay(the actual combat and take over a region or just plain combat) since that was a fun thing to just mindlessly play back in the day for that game.(i really should try the other translated Rance games considering its japan's oldest going eroge game series
 

fek

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Apr 24, 2013
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since i've finally seen someone else play this game i've been wondering, is there any game that has similar gameplay(the actual combat and take over a region or just plain combat) since that was a fun thing to just mindlessly play back in the day for that game.(i really should try the other translated Rance games considering its japan's oldest going eroge game series
I believe Daibanchou is translated, the gameplay is similar but the story is more serious. There's a bit of romance too so I think it would suit the thread.
 

Zenaku

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Feb 20, 2007
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I'm actually pretty surprised you didn't pick up Amagami for the Vita.

Related note to everybody: Amagami is a great dating sim that plays by Tokimeki Memorial rules. IE, you're building stats to date girls. In some ways, it's the closest to Konami's first dating sim than most modern romance games.

I'll be too busy romancing dreamy dudes though. HAH.
I was wondering why you said Vita for a second, and then found out a Vita version launched yesterday. >>

I actually looked for it a week or two ago on the PS Store, having played one or two character routes on the PSP version, but ended up getting PhotoKano Kiss instead.

Anyway, nice set of characters, especially the main; she was surprising, in a good way.
 

Jawmuncher

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Sep 2, 2010
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Isla Nublar
Which of these games will fit for this thread?
Also which of these games even if they don't fit are worth playing?

Grisaia no Kajitsu
G-senjnou no Maou
Little Busters
Muv-Luv Alternative
Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo
Swan Song
Tsukihime
Umineko Chiru
Utawarerumono
YU-NO
 

Raggie

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As you can see above, stuff like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are totally included in this, so feel free to get your game on with those as well.
I suppose Bioware games count in too, then?

I'm just playing Mass Effect 2. Garrus romance, here I come!
 

sensui-tomo

Member
Sep 14, 2011
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Which of these games will fit for this thread?
Also which of these games even if they don't fit are worth playing?

Grisaia no Kajitsu
G-senjnou no Maou
Little Busters
Muv-Luv Alternative
Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo
Swan Song
Tsukihime
Umineko Chiru
Utawarerumono
YU-NO
muv-luv alternative for a dating sim doesnt fit but the muv luv extra fits the dating sim... in a way, muv luv unlimited/alternative however is a fun(maybe over rated by some) VN regardless and you should play(if not for the mecha in it XD)
and for the only other game i've played on that list.. YU-NO is going to take you a long time to complete.. i spent a long time on a route that wasnt even close to being the main story so that might be fun(wouldnt know how the romance in that is but hey its got a great OST and has multiple endings and a fun mechanic that i wont spoil (i dont know how to spoil on here so bleh))
Now i'm not sure if i can put this here as a romance/dating sim game but the only game to make me feel sad more or less would be Kana~little sister and yeah... please dont be put off by the name of the game.. it has some light incest themes but the story is a Great read.
 

Diebuster

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Jul 17, 2009
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This sounds like as good of an excuse as any to wrap up my remaining routes in Grisaia. I'm in.
 

Estellise

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Dec 9, 2013
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Ah, thank you for this thread! I have a huge passion for visual novels, otomes, ect.

As for english games I almost finished Hakuoki for 3DS. Lately I haven't been playing it though. I've played the PSP version a year ago. If only the PS3 version was coming out this month it'd be nice timing. Steins;Gate is going to be out in english in like 2 months or so too.

As for Japanese I somewhat recently had been playing Brothers Conflict (PSP). I've played through most of the Starry Sky series too. They're great but just more school life and not the best story if you're looking for plot.

I love Amnesia (PSP) too, it has a nice fantasy like story so I have hopes for the Vita version getting a localizing maybe. So many otome games for PSP so I know only the Vita versions will have a chance at localization this time around.

Aside from otomes or bishoujo what about BLs? Dramatical Murder is one of my favorites. It has a great plot, nice characters, and perfect music.
 

Jawmuncher

Member
Sep 2, 2010
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790
Isla Nublar
muv-luv alternative for a dating sim doesnt fit but the muv luv extra fits the dating sim... in a way, muv luv unlimited/alternative however is a fun(maybe over rated by some) VN regardless and you should play(if not for the mecha in it XD)
and for the only other game i've played on that list.. YU-NO is going to take you a long time to complete.. i spent a long time on a route that wasnt even close to being the main story so that might be fun(wouldnt know how the romance in that is but hey its got a great OST and has multiple endings and a fun mechanic that i wont spoil (i dont know how to spoil on here so bleh))
Now i'm not sure if i can put this here as a romance/dating sim game but the only game to make me feel sad more or less would be Kana~little sister and yeah... please dont be put off by the name of the game.. it has some light incest themes but the story is a Great read.
Thanks for the impressions.
Think I might have to stay away from YU-NO though if it's that long. Reminds me of If my Heart Had Wings which took me like 20 hours for one route (At least felt that much).