Hello everyone! It’s already been 3 years since I started this blog…wow. Time really flies! Be that as it may, I noticed recently that I’ve never made any posts regarding Otome Tantei’s birthdays anniversaries, so I’ve decided to start making them from 2019 onwards (with this one being the first)!
Without further ado, let’s begin! (*＾▽＾)／
Back in 2016, I needed something to pass the time and I’ve always enjoyed making (mental) analyses and reviews of things I’ve seen, read or played; much in the same way the blogs I read (and still read) did. So I figured, ‘why don’t I make one myself?’ Dumping all of my thoughts on (virtual) paper was also something I found exciting, so I thought about what could my blog focus on and, thus, Otome Tantei was born.
This blog has gone through a series of transformations over the years, but something that’s never changed is the prevailing focus on games. Since I’m not a frequent uploader, I tried coming up with different ways to post more often only to end up…not really doing so 😆 but I’m confident that this will slowly change. It’s one of my goals for 2019! Right now, Otome Tantei is mostly an otome blog but, little by little, I want to start including more anime-related posts (first impressions and full reviews, mainly) and resume writing more mystery and other types of games’ reviews. Still, Otome Tantei’s main focus is and always will be video games.
A really positive change that began over the past year, is that I’ve been getting more feedback. As a non-frequent uploader, this has encouraged me to start posting more so that my blog is more active and doesn’t have a mere 1 or 2 posts per month (or every 3 months lmao). And when I say feedback, I don’t only mean comments but also emails I receive. Some people take their time to send me an email to thank me for a post they liked or even because they want to get to know me better…which is really sweet and makes me smile every single time 😊 . To all the people who gave me feedback either by commenting, writing me an email or messaging me on twitter this past 2018, I want to say: thank you very much ❤ I really appreciate it.
The positive change doesn’t end there, I’ve also started receiving messages from companies that want me to play their commercial games (meaning they give me the key) in exchange for a review! That, as a blogger, is one of the most flattering things that has ever happened to me. The fact that there are people requesting and willing to see my writing, encourages me a whole lot to post more often. And, believe it or not, being requested to make a review for someone’s game in exchange for their game has been a little dream of mine ever since I started blogging; so, when I received the first message, I was over the moon. So far, Kitty Love is the only game I’ve reviewed on request; but I’ve also been asked to review Dead Wishes, so expect a review for that one in the near future 😀
Well, technically, Kitty Love and Dead Wishes aren’t the only games I’ve been requested to review. I still have to do a demo review for Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August, an otome game that had a successful Kickstarter (I’m sorry it’s taking so long!), and I did a small first impressions’ post on First Love Story. However, I don’t think I’ll keep doing review requests for free games after these two (unless I really want to) because writing takes a lot of time and effort and, well, I have a lot of posts I want to write myself so, unless I get commissioned, I won’t accept requests on non-commercial game reviews anymore. Sorry!
Another thing this past year has brought me thanks to this blog is a freelance job opportunity. In the last few months, I’ve translated a route for a mobile otome game from English into Spanish and am currently translating another game from the same company that has more routes available. I promise I’ll make a more detailed post about this when the first game is available in Spanish. Prometo escribirlo en Español también 😉 Hopefully this decreases the amount of 1-star ratings just because the game isn’t in their mothertongue. * Sigh * People should seriously stop doing that; it’s unfair and hurts developers a lot, especially when they’re indie.
So! Let’s talk about the blog’s posts themselves. How many post have I made over the past year? Ten. Eleven if we count the previous to this one since it’s before Otome Tantei’s anniversary. That’s not much, really, but I won’t sell myself short since most of them were pretty long and this number is an incentive to better myself. Besides, the blog went from 3,892 views in 2017 to 12,856 in 2018!! That’s quite an improvement!! And, non-surprisingly, Otome Tantei’s most viewed post in 2018 was Why I’m done with Voltage with 2,658 views (followed by Bad Apple Wars’ review with 1,767 views and 7’scarlet’s review with 794 views). Even though it’s been several months since I made that post, a lot of people still feel the same way I do regarding Voltage Inc’s unfair ways. Many left comments or sent me an email sharing similar experiences they had with the story transferring-issue and how Voltage simply didn’t care about their complaints and/or didn’t even give them an answer. Like I mentioned at the end of that post, I still buy stories from Voltage from time to time, but only with the free coins they provide in each login. I don’t spend money on them anymore and won’t do it ever again. What is more, I actually don’t play much of their games anymore either except for a select few that catch my interest and my favorite guy’s stories (Rin from My Last First Kiss). Other than that…I just don’t bother. I’m still angry as hell for all the bullshit they pulled and, to be honest, their stories have sooooo much copy pasta (only with different characters) that they started to feel insipid to me; plus, I don’t know, they’re just not as engaging as they used to be. This combined with their awful customer service doesn’t really stimulate me to play their games as much as before. You don’t screw with customers, Voltage, you just don’t.
Speaking of otome games, I don’t know about you but I don’t think it’s been that great of a year for them in 2018. Can’t speak for the ones I haven’t played yet, but 7’scarlet was pretty mediocre, Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly shouldn’t even be an otome game because of how badly organized the romance scenarios were (and, frankly speaking, I just don’t like tragedy for the sake of getting a reaction out of you), Hakuouki is good but has been milked for the 1000000th time and London Detective Mysteria has an insanely long common route that, once you enter the actual routes, turns into “husbandos to the rescue” because Emily gets kidnapped more times than the number of stars in the sky DESPITE BEING A FUCKING DETECTIVE. So…yeah. Not very promising. I still haven’t bought Code: Realize’s first fandisk and am still wondering if I should after reading a lot of feedback that said it wasn’t quite satisfactory. The only ray of hope I have is for Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, for which I’ve heard marvellous things, especially regarding the heroine. Can’t wait to play it!! I should also stop procrastinating on Period Cube’s review (even though it was released a thousand years ago 😆 ). I have it mostly written but haven’t been willing to play Oniichan’s route for…reasons. Ehem! Anyway…I truly hope 2019 has better games stored up for us because, with the Vita’s imminent death, console otome games are now mostly left with only two alternatives for their ports: Nintendo Switch or Steam. Personally, I wouldn’t mind more otome games coming to the Switch. The console is lovely and has a lot of potential. In fact, I REALLY hope good localized otome start coming to the Switch because, so far, most of the available ones have HORRIBLE translations and/or proofreading.
As for other types of games, I’d say the most significant one I’ve played is Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu. Octopath Traveler was also a 2018 release but I’ve barely got it for Christmas so can’t really form an opinion yet. The demo, at least, was a lot of fun!! Right now, the games I’m looking forward to the most in 2019 are: the new Pokemon game, Long Gone Days (the full version), The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, XOXO Blood Droplets & Jenny LeClue. Maybe there’s a few that are slipping my mind, but these are the ones I’m really excited to play!!
Speaking of games, something I wanted to address is the role of women in video games. When otome games came into the picture for the west, many female gamers were delighted to find out that there was a type of game targeted towards them (I know I was). Even a bunch of RPGs started to add a female option among the protagonists you could play as, and that has certainly been an improvement from decades and decades of games targeted towards men only. What’s more, some games have solely female protagonists and are targeted to all genders!! This is great and all but, sadly, I and many other people still feel that the role of the woman in video games needs to change even further. In regards to otome games, for instance, I’ve lost count of all the chauvinistic traits I’ve encountered in them being passed off as “romantic”: heroines being stupefied (and sometimes being called stupid themselves) for the sake of their love interest solving a major conflict so as to be ‘more appealing to the player’, heroines being reduced to a damsel in distress or even a prize to be won (this also happens with other types of games, Mario Bros anyone?), among others. Not to mention other things among the game world like the utter bullshit Kodaka pulled with Kaede in Danganronpa V3 or the bullshit excuse Persona 5’s director gave to explain why he didn’t include a female protagonist. The role of women is not something solely reduced to games themselves but it also applies to the industry of video games as a whole. Hopefully, there is more awareness for these issues. Video games are not and should not be something reduced to “for men by men” anymore.
Apart from my blogging goals and the game translations I’ll be doing this year, I plan to keep working on my new game (an RPG maker game called Panacea) to see how it goes. I’m still a newbie indie dev so there’s a lot of room for improvement! In fact, I’m going to take a game design course of 9 months that starts in April so I’m hoping to learn a whole lot from it!! I’ll also continue studying Japanese in order to take the N4 exam in July, hopefully. A part-time/full-time job is another thing I’m still searching for, so I’ll do my best to get one this 2019!!
That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed the ride, feel free to comment and see you next post! (≧∇≦*)/