Time to choose my Game of the Month February, and to be honest, I’m having a hard time with this. As I’ve told you in the review for Persona 4 Golden I’ve been plugging away at that game this month too, after it was already my Game of the Month January. It would be my game for this month too, if I hadn’t already promised myself that I can’t have the same chosen game twice. So, not Persona 4 Golden then.
Which one will it be then? Let’s look at what I played. First of all my iPhone saw some action. I dabbled a bit in Cinemoji, a game that I talked about in weeks’ 8 Cup of Coffee. It’s a fun little app game that you can play with friends in the GameCenter on iOS or against a random opponent. You have to guess the name of a tv show, movie or videogame while the description is purely given to you using emoji. It can be devilishly difficult I tell you, to guess the right title, but to make a good description in emoji too. Here’s one I got. Not sure yet what it is, maybe Haunted Mansion? Or a Night at the Museum? I’m glad I can get a hint by watching a commercial clip, I could ask for help on Facebook or Twitter too.
My European 3DS that had been in use by my daughter was confiscated by me to play Return to PopoloCrois, a Story of Seasons Fairytale. I had some experience already with the game playing it on my Japanese 3DS, but I’m glad I got to see the storyline in English. It’s such a sweet story! The game plays smoothly, but the combination between the RPG part and the farming part is a strange one. In a game like Rune Factory it blends together like it’s meant to be that way, but PopoloCrois isn’t able to do it quite as well. The farming experience is well rounded, there are animals to tend and lots of different seeds to sow. You can even cook and craft items. But when you are out fighting your way through hordes of enemies and following the story, it feels strange to be called back to the farm because your crops need water. It’s a good thing that the crops don’t wither like they do in Harvest Moon!
The other game I played was Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth on my PS Vita. It was a spur of the moment buy, knowing hardly anything about the game but it came highly recommended by some gaming friends. In fact, I know nothing about Digimon; not the earlier games, not the television series nor collectible cards or anything. And I did feel it impeded me in enjoying the game enough: the dungeons are so sterile, what you’re might expect from a digital world. The fan service, with detective Kyoko in an outfit no one would wear to work, is a bit of a pity. And it’s so new that I hardly have to level up my Digimon, because the main purpose seems to be to re-order the Digimon code to a new evolution form.
And still, the game has a lot going for it. I like the messages you get, I have yet to get to the bottom of the Digimon Farm. And though the requests that are posted in the notice board are a mix of nice and a bit boring, the storyline is a good one. The Digimon look so big running alongside with my character, it’s cool to watch. I feel I’m in a world that is so alien to me, that I want to know more before I give judgement.
So you see, I’m torn in choosing my Game of the Month February. Will it be PopoloCrois or Digimon Story? Did you play both, and which one would you choose? I’m leaning towards Digimon Story, but as I’m publishing this, I’m still in doubt…convince me!
Digimon i weird. The game has fan service, but the license holder is refusing to sell a $100 Digimon figure in Europe because the design is not child friendly.
I’m completely sure the fan service is more the influence of the artist than anything else. He also does the art for Devil Survivor, a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series, which by now after persona 4 you know it’s a rather tasteful series, and those games are full of fan service there too. Most of the fans, rather surprisingly, hate it and call him the “anti-gravity tits” guy. This is because beside the trashy (and many times completely impractical) outfits he dons his ladies in, with the few women he has to clothe tastefully he tends to make their breasts, big or small, so ridiculously perky that it’s like their breasts are helium filled balloons, ready to fly away at any second. Besides that, he also has the very annoying habit of copy pasting his character designs in every series he works in, earning more ire from the fans. Arata from this Digimon game, for example, is almost a carbon copy of the MC from Devil Survivor 2, only with a meaner face. The MC from Digimon Re Digitize is even worse, being so similar to the MC from the Devil Survivor 1 that most people mistake the two. And that design was already similar to the design of the MC of persona 3!
Can you tell I really dislike this artist? I wish he’d stop working on literally my two favourite franchises. Especially the Megami Tensei franchise, who already has many talented and tasteful artists.
As for your game of the month, I’d say go for Digimon. It is literally the game I most enjoyed playing in years, and it’s such a miracle that it was able to be localized at all. I hope it sold really well so we can get Digimon World: Next Order too.
Of course the artist will have a lot of influence, but clearly the developers of a game don’t mind. Well, it’s not like I really mind, but I do notice. And I can’t believe most women playing the games care for that sort of thing. It feels as if they don’t care for women playing, at least like they think they are developing their game for a totally different demographic. I think you’re right, there’s a reason Otome novels have become so popular. Women like to see the dashing characters that you only read about in romance novels depicted on the small screen too. Maybe we are not so different then after all, eh?
I’m leaning towards Digimon too, I do like the gameplay and all the online additions to it. I always like that, when I game tries out new features.
Yes, of course the developers have the final say, and obviously they don’t mind, but…you know they could at least pick a good designer. Senran Kagura is one of the most shameless fan service games ever (and I say this as a fan), but at least every girl there feels unique from each other. But I guess a lot of my anger is my personal pet peeve with the artist himself. I actually don’t know why he in particular pushes my buttons, since I genuinely don’t really mind fan service, I just wish there was more of it for the ladies.
But there is good news. Digimon World Next Order has a different artist and it already looks so much better. Characters look distinct and the clothes look much more sensible. The most you’ll see is a short skirt and short shorts, but it’s nothing real girls don’t wear everyday. No dresses open at the side in sight. The only character design I don’t like is a dlc one that was designed by the previous artist. So that’s a good point to know if Next Order is ever localized.
I’ve been playing Digimon on my daily commute this week, and I must say I’m enjoying it more now I’ve put some hours in. If Digimon Next Order is ever localized I will surely pay attention.
thanks for the nice chat, Kumiko!