Game Review: Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 2nd Season
And here I thought my former addiction to Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 1st Love Plus was bad. I think I’ve finished this game ten times already, and I’ve got one of the character’s theme songs permanently stuck in my head.
I admit it: I’m a sucker for otome games (female-oriented Japanese dating sim games). If they were ever officially released in English, I would probably be broke because of them
Romance for All Ages
The target audience for these games are teenagers, and I’m definitely not a teenager…but there are other fangirls out there who are about my age (or a little older, even) and still enjoy games like Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side (TMGS). I guess for some, it’s fun to relive the old excitement of having a crush on an upperclassman, or falling in love with your best friend.
Personally, I’m just ecstatic about hearing some of my favorite voice actors providing the voices for the characters you get to romance in TMGS. The first game had a bunch of voice actors that are more familiar to my generation in it, like Midorikawa Hikaru, Hiyama Nobuyuki, and Ryoutaro Okiayu.
I’m not all that familiar with the voice actors in the second game, but I did recognize one particular voice: Nakai Kazuya. (Hint: PUT YA GUNS ON!)
More of the Same, but Better
I found Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 2nd Season (TMGS2) to be more fun to play than the first game. The TMGS2 characters are just more appealing to me than ones in the first game, plus the relationship developments seemed more believable (especially for the hidden characters). The in-game artwork seems to be much more polished in this game, too.
There aren’t a lot of differences between the first and second games with regards to general gameplay, though; the silly Sports Day and Valentine’s Day mini-games are still in here, you still need to build up the heroine’s parameters (Fitness, Style, etc.) to get the guy you want, and, of course, who can forget about dating?
Going Further with Accidental Kisses and Leveled-Up Skinship
The addition of the “accidental kiss” event in this game also makes life much easier when pursuing a specific guy. This event involves the heroine accidentally kissing one of the guys (who the heroine winds up kissing depends on the choices you make in an in-game quiz). Sharing an accidental kiss with a guy reduces the number of times the heroine has to date him to get his ending (15 instead of 25), which makes things much easier all around.
Another major difference gameplay-wise is that “skinship” (that’s the term used in-game to refer to when you use your stylus to poke/touch your guy) is much more complex. Not only do you get to “poke” your guy with the stylus, but you get to rub or stroke him too (yes, I am aware of just how wrong that sounds, thanks). To see just how far Konami has taken skinship in this game, you can check out the demo on their official site.
Final Verdict: In Love All Over Again
TMGS2 takes everything about TMGS1 and makes it better. From writing to artwork to interaction, it’s just more enjoyable as a whole. I just really wish they’d do something about those annoying mini-games, but maybe that’s just me.
Additional note: If you’re interested in playing this game in English, there’s a TMGS2 translation patch available from the good folks over at Gokusaishiki. Please don’t ask me where you can get the ROM of the actual game, though – you’re on your own with that.
El Santos is a marketing & advertising professional by day and gamer/bookworm/tarot reader by night. She’s prone to sudden fits of fangirling over her varied interests: video games, fiction, art, folkore, anime, and tarot. She currently lives with her husband and 2 rescue cats.