I have never been a hugely into otome games (games/visual novels for girls, usually with a girl as the protagonist). My impression of them have been that most of them consist of the main character wading through hordes of cliché bishies, just as many BxG games consist of the main character wading through hordes of moe-blobs. Or rather, it’s not that I didn’t like them, they just never really appealed to me.
But lately I have taken greater interest in them, and decided to try out a few to change my mind. Two games that caught my eye were Princess Nightmare and Heart no Kuni no Alice. Even though what I have tried of Heart no Alice looks very awesome indeed, I decided to go with Princess Nightmare first. It has the advantage of the heroine being voiced, which helps my understanding a lot, and then it’s not as insanely long as Heart no Alice is.
Anyway…. this game really surprised me in a good way. So far I have played through it once, and of course reached a bad ending, but I am enjoying this much more than I hoped I would. The characters in the game are a lot of fun once you really get into it, and the art is wonderful.
You play as “Little Dracula”, a vampire girl who wishes to go to school and try and live like an ordinary girl. Even though her brother Radou is set against it, her father (Dracula himself) gives her permission, and she starts attending a school that is very conveniently divided into day and night classes. Here she meets a human boy named Shinji, his classmates, and his good friend called Inukai (a werewolf).
Of course the vampires are hiding in Japan for a reason, and soon none other than Hellsing himself comes running after them, together with a crazy professor of sorts. I also managed to get a short glimpse of the mysterious “Prince” character before reaching the bad end.
The music in the game is great – especially the creepy tunes work well for me. The voice acting is fun to listen to as well, especially when the characters sometimes make some pretty funny personality changes. Especially a school play in the middle of the story makes me crack up – in spite of the theme being a bit cliché, that scene was just too funny.
It’s obvious that there is still much of the story in the game that I haven’t discovered yet, since I got the “sad” ending.
Unfortunately this game has a feature that seems to be in most Karin games (Yo-Jin-Bo and Animamundi has it as well) – when the game starts, you will be presented with a scene where you have to answer a row of short questions. These questions help determine your chances of getting different endings later in the game. I find it kind of annoying, since this most likely sets you up for a bad ending on your early playthroughs when you don’t know much about the characters. I will definitly end up doing the same thing I did in Yo-Jin-Bo, using a walkthrough for these first few questions, and then get through the rest on my own.
Also, every choice menu has a clock counting down, which makes it a little hard for someone with weak reading skills to make the right choices in time ^^; Thankfully none of the choices have been very complicated so far, so I have been able to read them without too much trouble.
Another thing that kind of put me off, especially at first, is a very strangely chosen standard pose for Inukai. In his standard pose, he’s giving you the finger. I mean, this fits well in some scenes, sure, but it’s strange to see him standing like that when he’s just speaking normally to someone, lol.
As some might know, Princess Nightmare is the game that was rumoured to be the next license by Hirameki before they went out of VN business. Because of this a small translation group by the name Otome Eternal has taken up the task of fan-translating this game. Unfortunately it looks like the project has stalled somewhat, but I do hope that they will succeed. This is a really good game after all.