This review and editorial is for Girlish Love Revo (Otometeki Koi Kakumei * Love Revo!!), a dating sim, otome, and weight loss management simulation game on the Nintendo DS.
Note: This game has never been released “officially” in English, but it has been fan translated. You can grab the fan translation patch AND the handy walkthru from this site here: https://sites.google.com/site/loverevoguide/translation-project/download They also tell you how to patch your copy of the game.
The game can be purchased from sites like Yes! Asia or Play Asia or occasionally found on Amazon It’s currently only $8 bucks on amazon with 34 copies available, so that’s the one I recommend buying from (at time of this review).
For $8 bucks PLEASE help support the industry and send a message LOUD AND CLEAR that English speaking gamers WANT otome games like this by choosing to BUY the game instead of downloading a rom of it online. (You know, especially since Idea Factory right now IS listening to us American fans and bringing us many of their Otome games, because, this is in fact, also an Idea Factory game too! So chances are good, if they hear us say we want it, they’ll release an official English version.)
Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Otometeki-Kakumei-DS-Japan-Import-Nintendo/dp/B0013D98Q0
So the past few days I’ve been playing this game again. I had tried to play the game a few years ago when the fan translation came out. But it kinda offended me. I’m overweight myself. And the message that it sends to young girls just sucks to be honest. The main problem I have is that all of the characters except for one of them, treat the girl (that’s you by the way) like sheer crap. Like she’s less than human. But the main character is so dumb that she wants their love and affection anyways and so she decides to lose weight to impress these assholes. Okay, fine, if you want to lose weight, that’s cool. I want to lose weight too; but you know, for the right reasons, like not getting diabetes, and being able to keep up with more fit friends and family when they want to go outdoors and be active and well to look and feel better for myself. I mean fuck everyone else. My weight has never been an issue for any of the guys I dated, except for one, and he was an abusive asshole and not worth all the time and effort I put into things. BUT enough about me — Let’s get back to discussing Love Revo.
I began again, because, man there’s a lot of people online who LOVE this game…. I think I must be missing something here…. and I kinda was…. I think when I first played it a few years ago I was confused about how large the girl actually was. The measurements are in Kilograms. I’m like what the fuck she’s only 100 lbs. But no, actually she’s 220 lbs because she’s 100 KG when the game starts, about the same or close to my weight, so yeah, my bad. She is obese. (and so am I) And actually… once you get your weight down to 89 KG or less, the guys begin to be nice to you… which is still PRETTY DAMN BIG…. ESPECIALLY… considering the fact that this game is ONLY available for sale in asian markets — 89 KG is 196 lbs…. Which is HUGE for an asian. Now before you get all mad and butthurt, I’m not trying to stereotype (or body shame anyone for that matter), I’m just saying that over there, with body shaming and stuff, and the peer pressure to fit in, o they would typically be a laughing stock at that weight because you know, that’s just how their society rolls over there. That’s all. Everyone is like a size 2. And if you aren’t a size 2, you’re ostracized by your students, peers, and even your family. SOOOOOO On that note…. Well this game isn’t that bad. Hell. 196 lbs is still Obese by a doctor’s definition, even in America, land of the fat. But it’s a lot healthier than 220 lbs. I’d like to lose 30 lbs like that too LOL. So on that note… This game is not REALLY about body shaming, but about just being healthier. But it’s STILL about losing weight for the WRONG reasons. which upsets me. 🙁
That said, as I continued to play the game, I began to think about losing weight myself. I hate exercise, like most geeky gamer girls probably out there. And I already don’t eat much and eat clean and healthy, lots of veg, etc, so I know for me, the whole obstacle, is I need to exercise dammit. I’m sedentary at work and in my leisure time. Playing this game made me feel like I should start exercising, and that exercising might be fun, and that wow look at her weight drop off, I want to lose weight like that too! I got kinda motivated by it I guess is what I’m trying to say. There are better games out there, that actually you know, help you to burn calories, such as “Walk it Off” or “Dance Dance Revolution” or “Just Dance!”; but still, any game that can make a fat girl want to exercise, has some merit I guess.
There’s also a new recently released, unrelated but similar Otome IOS Iphone Ipad game that helps you work out. I think I might download it (and review it at some point). Which is called, Burn your fat with me girls! which you can grab here for IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/burn-your-fat-me!!-for-girls/id657192163?mt=8 and here for android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.funsolution.nensho_eng&hl=en
Actually the news of the release of the above Otome weight loss IOS app is what prompted me to want to replay Love Revo.
I spent 3 days with Love Revo this week and this is what I discovered:
1.) It’s not as “bad” as I thought in terms of body shaming and making the character “throw herself” at these men.
2.) Not all of the characters are assholes. (Though some of them are and I still don’t like that they only get “nicer” when you lose weight.)
3.) It’s actually really educational and fairly accurate
a. It focuses on weight loss from different core muscle groups such as arms, legs, abs, face, whole body, etc.
b. There are a huge number of different exercises that target the different muscle groups and you get better results by mixing up your workout routine
c. You have to cheat occasionally on your diet, like when going out with guys, or friends and family, food is part of social interaction. Also, when you’re alone, if you’re stressed, you can lower your stress by eating snacks, but if you do this too much, you will gain weight. There are numerous snacks available and you can minimize your weight gain by choosing highly filling foods with lower calories. (Also just like in real life, eating healthy costs more money. Oh and also the food expires and you have to buy new food.) When you do go off your diet by overeating you can correct it by working out harder and eating better the next day(s)
d. You have to keep your studies up and also devote time to developing relationships so you have to be “well rounded” not just “smoking hot”
4.) This game is hard as balls. I have yet, either this time, or years ago, to ever get a guy’s ending!!! I have all of the stats at the right level (circle within a circle in the “dear sister” report and “You make my heart throb” when asking what they think of me… but they have NEVER once asked me out on Christmas OR accepted my Valentines Day chocolate. FOREVER ALONE LOL. I think I failed to go on enough dates with them. But to be fair a lot of times when I asked, they turned me down or were busy, and UNLIKE Tokimeki Memorial, the times they will turn you down are RANDOM in Girlish Love Revolution. Where in Tokimeki you’ll only get turned down if they have club or work and you can memorize their schedules to maximize use of your time. In Girlish Love Revo, if they turn you down it’s just pure coincidence. They recommend that you save before you ask the guy out and reload until he says yes. I’m too lazy to save/reload that often though.
5.) There’s a “good ending” in which you can fail to get any of the guys but just decide that you’re happy with yourself and decide to focus on your career instead of dating. I like this ending because it sorta addresses my main complaint with the game having a rather negative message for young girls.
6.) The game is actually pretty fun. But not as good in terms of story and character development as some other Otome games out there, but perhaps more fun than them in terms of gameplay and variety of things to do within the game.
With my thoughts on this game out of the way, let’s move on to the review!
Title: Otometeki Koi Kakumei * Love Revo!! (Girlish Love Revolution)
Genre: Otome Stat Raising Sim with Visual Novel and Dating Sim elements
Publisher: Idea Factory
Release Date: January 2006 (Japan only)
Platform: Nintendo DS (It was also later ported to windows PCs but there’s no english translation patch for that version)
Where to Buy: $8 bucks on Amazon at time of this review. Click here to Buy on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Otometeki-Kakumei-DS-Japan-Import-Nintendo/dp/B0013D98Q0
Overall: 53 / 80 66% D. Average Game for Girls.
Concept: 7/10 The concept of the game rubs me the wrong way a bit, as mentioned; most of the guys are assholes and only treat you like an actual human being when you begin to lose weight. However, despite the sort of “bad message” that this sends to girls, this is still an entertaining, fun, and very unique concept with cute anime art and quirky characters. The game is basically a weight loss “simulation”. You have to juggle losing weight with studying, and dating boys, and keep your stress low. It uses realistic workouts which target different muscle groups and offers a large variety of things to do including mini-games, dating the guys, studying, shopping, and working out.
Gameplay 10/10: Gameplay is actually really fun in this game. You can workout at home, or go to the sports center, beauty salon, or buy new equipment to help with your workouts. In addition to working out, you can go play mini games in the arcade to win really helpful premium items and break up some of the gameplay a bit with games like whack a mole and concentration. There are certain events that occur such as sports festivals and field trips or holidays, in which you need to have your stats at a certain amount to trigger certain scenes. And of course, there’s dating. Lots and lots of dating. There are numerous dateable guys (most of which I don’t think I’ve unlocked yet, cuz why are there all these empty apartment rooms?) which means of course, high replay value to get all the different endings. I will say, that I miss the skinship and dressup type of elements found in similar games such as Konami’s Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side series. But I understand this is a different game by a different publisher, Idea Factory, and so I’m not going to deduct any points for that. Plus it makes up for what it lacks by what new elements it brings to the table, such as the weight loss and work outs. 🙂
Story: 3/10 There just isn’t much story here. To be fair, similar games such as Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side, also don’t have much story. HOWEVER…. TMGS presents the story in a more “compelling” way… The downfall here in Girlish Love Revo is that there’s only one or two “scenes” for each date spot; and not many questions to ask when walking guys home, and only one answer, and no new questions unlock etc as you grow closer to the guys. The events and scenes within the game also seem fewer and far-er in between compared to TMGS. For example, the club scenes, field trips, etc, all feel flat. I had a spirit of 99 in the drama club and they still put me backstage?! Is there even a scene in which I get a role in the play? I dunno, haven’t found it. Doubt that 1 point of spirit would have made a difference. In TMGS by contrast (it’s so hard not to compare because the games are so damn similar), there’s a lot of different scenes and events you can unlock during the festivals and trips. It’s not always “the same every time” like it is in Love Revo. There’s more to discover about each guy in TMGS, and it feels more natural through the conversations, and also, the fact that there’s more dating spots and more questions etc in TMGS. Love Revo gets VERY boring on dates. And as I mentioned above, the fact that if a guy accepts your date or not, is totally random, this also makes it hard to even get dates in the first place, and its ultimately not very rewarding. I still don’t feel like I really know the characters, even though, some things are revealed about them, etc, it just still feels like they’re not very well fleshed out. The story is just lacking. It makes up for it in Gameplay, but I would have liked to have seen more effort go into this with more scenes and more choices on the dates, and an actual schedule that made sense for when the guys worked or had club meetings.
Characters: 3/10 I covered a lot of this above under story, about the guys feeling kinda flat and robotic. There are only 2 or 3 different “scenes” at each date spot and so you hear the same things over, and over, and over. This doesn’t make the characters very likable to me. Also the fact that most of the guys are assholes (which I know I keep saying over and over) is really a huge turn off to me. The only one I liked was Souta-kun. He was nice right from the beginning. I also like Toru and Oniichan who accept me (the playable character) no matter how large she is. Each of the characters do have their own quirks, strengths and weaknesses, from clumsy characters, to elegant “princes”, to athletic stars, to lonely and childlike characters. But none of the characters are terribly original; we’ve seen them all before in other otome games, and in games where they spend more time making the characters feel “alive”.
Graphics: 8/10 I really like the graphics in this game, they are very colorful, and cute. The main character looks like she weighs 500 lbs instead of 220, but well, it’s anime, and anime has a tendency to over exaggerate these sorts of things. There are a number of different graphics that are used while training and studying and they are quite cute, especially when her workouts don’t go quite so well. The guys are cute too. hehe. I will say, for some reason, the character art doesn’t feel as “clean” to me as it should. It feels almost pixelated at times? Or not as detailed as I’d like it to be, especially their faces. However, this is only for the “standees” or “standing character art” not sure what you call it, I call it a “sprite” but I don’t think that’s right. Anyways, the special event scenes, and other artwork, are very nicely detailed which show better character art than the normal “portrait” type art when speaking to the guys in the game. But the sometimes “pixelly” looking artwork is still a distraction when other Otome games also on the Nintendo DS have very crisp “clean” art at all times.
Music: 7/10 I like the soundtrack to this game, especially the ending theme. The other tracks aren’t too memorable, but they do provide some nice background noise when focusing on repetitive tasks such as planning your schedule.
Replay Value 9/10: It lacks any kind of skip function for previously read text, however, like all otome visual novel styled games, the multiple endings and branching plot make replay value very high and rewarding.
Overall: 53 / 80 66% D. Average Game for Girls.