Archive for the ‘Visual Novels’ Category

If you look at the most successful people in the world today they would mostly be businessmen of every sort. It has always been that way ever since merchants and traders started buying and selling goods in ancient history.

Skip to the modern era and you will find that many countries are run on a system, this system that increases wealth is called capitalism,basically it’s the same system that gets gaming companies to sell lots and lots of games. Sometimes these games are either great ones that are worth bang for your buck and sometimes its the bad kind that make you think why the hell did they made this crap?!

Thorughout the years, I myself have experienced the good, bad and ugly in games. Every year was either a good or bad one, and ever since most gaming companies did it for the money, it was not good news for us gamers who wanted our dreams to be held in more capable hands.

The good news is that indie games made it into existence and former game developers from big companies are shifting their jobs to make better games. It’s better to be your own boss than to slave from some corporate sleazeball.

Not to say that every company is generally greedy or corrupt, but they gotta survive too, such is also the tale of a particular item shop called Recettear.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-11-48-27

I accidentally stumbled on this game with Steam, it’s preview images made me nostalgic of older games on the PSP, Nintendo DS, I had to find it since I was also a sucker for anime games.

Recettear was unique in its gameplay in that it gives you the role of an item shop seller, quite different from the role of a loot-collecting adventurer, but your initial impression of a shop merchant won’t be a disappointment.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-12-05-69

Recettear follows the story of Recette, she’s a typical good and cute girl whose ditziness you will sure to love, Wondering why a girl her age is running an item shop then? That’s when the story starts…recettear 2014-07-09 10-14-24-66

One morning a fairy named Tear wakes her up to tell her that her father (an wanna-be adventurer) has mysteriously gone missing and that he has acquired a massive amount of debt and that if no payment is given then the house will be given over to the authorities.

Recette could not handle the shock and does not know what to do… Tear has a suggestion however and helps Recette to pay off the debt by turning part of the house into a business, and in a town of adventurers the most profitable venture is…an item shop.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-42-09-43

The game runs just as a visual novel/simulation/rpg game. From the very start I got hooked with it. The colorful anime art and music will satisfy that craving for anime-themed games. The characters themselves are full of personality and the japanese voice-overs are sure to delight your cuteness needs.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-12-43-40

As much as the game is liken to a slice of life in a medieval fantasy realm, the chunk of the game is based on running the item shop or Recettear (I bet you can guess the name now). If you have run games that involve shopping,trading,mercantile systems then this game will latch on you like a leech. You will learn how to haggle, barter, and deal with each customer you get.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-45-25-96

If this seems overwhelming then don’t worry Tear will guide you via tutorial so read and understand. You might not be certain on how to start the running the shop at first but once you get used to item prices on the market and selling your stuff to your customers, then you will get the pattern once you buy better items later. The main tip is to BUY LOW and SELL HIGH.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-47-39-72

recettear 2014-07-09 10-50-49-25

At the end of each day (4 timeframes) Tear will assess your work. Don’t get too comfortable selling though, remember you have debt to pay at the end of each week. It’s handy to keep spare notes around for item prices. (I did not consult any wiki on this).

Sometimes, you might find yourself lacking on items or money to buy them. This calls for some dungeon crawling, head on to the adventurers guild and get someone to hunt items on you, you start out with Louie a poor swordsman who survives on a daily basis. He has skills though and sometimes buys form your store. There are alot of adventureres you will meet though, from a know-it-all mage, to an aloof woman with no sense of direction you meet at a dungeon. All sorts await at Recettear.

recettear 2014-07-09 10-13-07-32   recettear 2014-07-09 10-13-31-89

At almost every 5 stages or so, are the boss stages, most are nostalgic of earlier rpg games and it’s up to you to find their weaknesses. Mostly their behaviors are patterned on a certain attack basis so pack up some food to defeat them.

Overall Recettear gets a 9/10. 9 being the game is “ubber fantastic”, and while the game does present some difficulty, it still is addicting as ever.

What does happen if you don’t pay the debt? well… that’s for you to find out. Hopefully you won’t allow that to happen to Recette, right?

And now for gaming morals. I actually learned alot from the game especially on entrepreneurship. I am experiencing it first hand working for a cosplay shop named Sugarfluff, and this game is a reference point to help improve the shop too. I will write about that later but for now here is what I have learned from Recettear.

-Buy Low,Sell High, but not to the point that greed takes over your main objective.

-Debt can be bad, but if you pay it as consistenly as you can then it helps you to get back up when life pushes you down.

-Sometimes life will force you to do things that you are not prepared to do, don’t be afraid to ask help from others.

-Running a business is hard, but when you do it and imagine it as a game you need to win or reach the high score, then you are bound to succeed.

-Start small, you don’t need millions of money to make a business, the most successful and richest ones in the world started from a simple idea or they rode the ones that were trending.

-Business is war, prepare thyself for if you are not competing with others, then you compete with yourself.

-If ever you are thinking of making a video game, why not make one based on road’s less travelled? Recettear took a route that was diffferent from all those other games with big sword wielding heroes or scantily clad healer stereotypes.

-Take care of your friends and they will take care of you.

-Life can actually be a good RPG, but it still depends on how you play it.

-Indie games are video game promises fulfilled.

I am having fun blogging again everyone, till the next post 🙂

 

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Anti Stress Gaming

Posted: September 12, 2013 in Visual Novels

I know I am starting this blog in a time of crisis in our city, but it’s better to get some work going rather than be stagnant. We support the soldiers in the field defending our fair city from harm.

My first review however is something unexpected. I’d rather do my first review not on a FPS game like CoD or Counter-Strike but on a hidden gem in my PC. This is my first review.

1st review

The Flower Shop is a visual novel, For those of you who have never played one then its gameplay features more reading and certain points of decision making, usually these decisions involve in going to certain places or interacting with certain characters thus changing the plots. I do not know of anyone else here in Zamboanga that plays this game. But it’s a good start.

Released in February 1, 2010 and with a sequel (we might cover later) this game is interesting in that it features gameplay that is different from other visual novels. I spent some time tinkering that feature which is covered below.

ugh work

To get things started however,You play as Steve, a typical city-slicker adolescent who spends his time  doing what the other teens do. He is immature, irritable and lazy. As the main protagonist of the story his role is to basically improve his life as the events of the game unfold. Throughout the game his character develops from being a lazy teenager to a more responsible man. I enjoy his tale as I can relate and am on the journey myself.

The game features 4 girls whom Steve’s has relations with is up to you as this is the one of the main components of the game. Meet Jill, Steve’s girlfriend, she’s pretty on the eyes and is the first girl you meet in the game.

Jill is a responsible student who is more mature than our protagonist. She is caring and looks to the future on her promising career in politics.

jill

Due to a certain incident however the two lovers break up, Steve’s fault for oogling on other girls in the park. Because of this Steve sinks to depression for some time.

steves dad

Steve’s father, concerned at Steve’s flunking grades becomes irritated and they go on a trip to Uncle Sam’s place. Tough love bro.

choices

The first choices in the game look easy enough and with this screenshot, the questions might give you an idea on the destination. This brings to mind an imaginary road trip with my dad and asking him the same thing.

uncle sam

Ah here we are, Uncle Sam’s Place, that’s his cat Orpheus, An old man alone in a farm must be tough, and with a rebellious teenager around it might not help that much. But when you are given the work, expect some memories from a certain facebook game.

farmville

farming

Yep that’s right, Farming, This is the bulk of the game which gives you Money which in turn buys more seeds. I was expecting to buy gifts for the women in the game but turns out money is not a main thing here in Flower Shop, Farming does matter as it adds to stats but be warned as certain stats get subtracted.

Untitled

As you meet the women in the game and as you go on through this novel you will be brought up to a menu planner. This is triggered every week. Steve’s stats are important for relationship progression but certain factors matter. Work too hard and your health decreases which is a bad thing, Off from work might not get you brownie points with a certain girl.You have 10 weeks to get the most out of this game so one tip if you want 100% completion is to SAVE GAME SAVE GAME SAVE GAME, having played lots of visual novels, saving at every conversation before a choice comes up is essential.

So lets meet the rest of the girls. First up is Susanna, she owns a flower shop in town which you procure the seeds from which you also sell to her. She is a kind girl who believes in everything organic. When Steve first met her they debated over the use of synthetic medicine, she has good points though.

susana

Next is Clara, like Steve she’s a city slicker too and like him she is bored of the farm and wants to go back to the urban jungle. Clara likes sports and fitness. Steve first meets her as she is jogging and depending on your choices makes her instantly like Steve.

Clara

Marian the Librarian, She’s a woman whom instantly recognizes Steve for being Sam’s Nephew since she is good friends with Sam, she is an aspiring poet and loves books.From one of the choices I learned more about the books that Steve reads.

Marian

Finally Jill again, Her and Steve are exes now but treats Steve as a friend. She is the only girl not present in town and is only reachable by the phone in Sam’s house. Hopefully things will end well for them both.

jill 2

Hopefully I did not spoil the story much. Since this is my first review we are going to set criteria by Graphics, Sound, Gameplay and Overall

town

Graphics:

The animated character designs are well drawn and colored, each complimenting their personalities. The environment themselves are pleasing to the eyes varying from bright summer colors. Backgrounds look like a mix of real locations and watercolor paintings.

Sound:

The Music from this game is pleasant to the ears and compliments the rural countryside life. the music also changes according to the mood of the scenes from happy, sad, romantic and pleasant.

Gameplay:

As a visual novel it delivers simplicity. The farming mini-game is a delight along with the several choices make replay value high. Overall difficulty is easy. Gameplay amounts to a few hours for a simple game scenario, 5 or more for 100% completion. The skip message feature is a welcome addition after the first playthrough.

Overall:

The Flower Shop: Summer in Fairbrook is a charming game for those who want to get away from the usual run and guns or tower defenses. It is a simple game with a story that warms the heart. This might possibly be a game for most girls or lonely guys. A demo is available at google. Overall it gets a 8 out of 10

Finally here at Zambogamer we want to give a different kind of content from all the other video game reviews and that is the moral of the game. We believe that every game can teach us something.

For Flower Shop the lesson involving Steve is maturity at the right time. We don’t need to go to a farm just to learn life changing values, this game can offer that while you play through it. This game is a rare gem indeed.

Tell me what you guys think. I welcome more recommendations for more game reviews. I already got a request to do Dota 2, but I might save that for later. Till the next Zambogamer 😀