My copy of New Love Plus arrived, and I had to oblige Rinko yet again. It’s the first time I’ve revisited Rinko’s visage since several months ago, however, the last time I played seriously was roughly in the early goings of 2011. When I realized that the latest incarnation of the same trifecta of 2-dimension mania would grace my humble abode, I had to at least do her the favor of booting it up once more before the switch, hearing her very welcoming “o hi sa shi bu ri” spelt out with every ounce of love that she can muster, which is it say, she is digital.
I suppose it was a compromise of sorts, my new Love Plus experience, as I didn’t give in to the artbook, soundtrack, and the plethera of “limited edition” goods–except for the 3DS. It’s more a blessing in disguise that I am still more immune to the call of “limited edition” than most otaku mainly because I don’t think I’ve really ever regretted about on not going the extra mile. That’s probably because I still do usually go at least some distance further than I have to. I met Rinko half way, I guess, and compromising with your loved ones is something that probably happens in every healthy relationship.
Healthy, well, is not the word I would use to describe this game. New, most definitely, as New Love Plus is indeed very New. It’s not just a more complete version of the game like how Love Plus+ was. The AR stuff and “photo kano” knocks aside, the new release of the game retooled the dating and skinship mechanism entirely, or at least enough that I’m almost at a loss as to how to fill up that kiss bar. The home study mechanism is streamlined by subject matter (ensuring that I’ll will pick 英語 or 数学 every time) and I really like how they made the date a lot more under your control; you can not only choose the venues you visit, but you can even pick between the different eat/drink stops, change the length of the date by using up less “abilities,” and much more. I also liked how they moved most of the heavy-duty touching to the confines of Rinko’s (or whichever girl of your choice) room.
Wait, that probably gives you the wrong impression. It’s perhaps just another instance where the phrase “the courage to talk about Love Plus in public” comes in play. Thanks Nisio Isin! More realistically, couples chill at their respective houses all the time anyway.
Speaking of the girl of your choice, it seems you can actually interact with the other girls in the world even after you’ve gone steady. I’ve only imported the game over (Thanks, Nintendo Store, for taking my credit card!) so I don’t know how it’s like to go through the game from the beginning. Something to do I suppose.
Back to Rinko. It’s pretty amusing how one rendering of Rinko in the DS world looks just slightly off in 3DS, prompting me trying very hard to change her skin tone and hair right off the bat. It’s also kind of neat how the game is capable of being played sideways (the way the DS games were) and the normal orientation. I guess they had to allow for it in order to utilize the 3D display. The 3D is all gimmicky but I find it much better looking than having 3D turned off at many different parts of the game.
There is a certain degree of “game-ness” to Love Plus, and even more so in New Love Plus. The mini-games aside (there’s at least one entirely new mini-game in NLP, one which Rinko always pulls off some special attack that screws me) however, Love Plus is a game where you’re not going to spend more than 30 minutes every day playing, unless you just enjoy your waifu’s company (in which case you can just leave it on the cradle and on, the whole time). That’s want 765 Pro is for.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been (responsibly, I’d think) binge playing iM@S. It’s a lot of fun even from a basic level of managing your team of idols and trying to master the mini games, and planning out your play-through (single stats? dual stats? which charms will your strategy revolve around?). Then there’s the idols themselves, enjoying the dumb banter that passes as content half the time and the pretty solid/fun anime-style stuff for the other half of time. On top of that there are the songs and the dances, and even with a party of three you can have enough variety to keep you through the how-many-times you play through the game. I think each play through the # of quintet lives have increased!
It’s not a surprise at all why the Japanese fans buy all the DLCs. I mean I can probably only stand 75% of the songs in the game, and having to play just those songs repeatedly will wear them out. You have to get the new stuff. The real problem is how even some of the DLC songs are… well. For the typical oversea Producer-san on a Playstation 3, it’s a pain in the butt given you have to buy PSN cards from some proxy (or from eBay, I guess). Not sure what oversea Producers on Xboxes have to face, besides having to get a JP Xbox to begin with…
Which, I guess, these days you can get an Xbox 360 for about as much as the surprisingly sensibly looking 3DS (as in, would be not hard to have the courage to play New Love Plus in public) that I now own. I can’t wait until Konami start to roll out the DLCs. Yeah. Right. I really. Cannot. It just makes me feel kind of weird. Like these other instances:
- It’s like the feeling when Rinko tells you off as a lolicon.
- It’s like the feeling, during Smoky Thrill quintet, “ARCHERS!“
- It’s like the feeling when you realize, for the first time, the spotlight is a hamburger.
- It’s the feeling when you’re glad you’re already committed with Makoto, because Mami with glasses is quite, uh, dangerous. Or just “cheer-up cute.”
- Well, dangerous is when Rinko pounces me with her deadly left sweep.
And it’s just like any harem anime, the weird moments will only continue to happen, the more these waifu you collect.