Posted by: Ji-L87 | May 11, 2010

TokiMemo – Mass dating game

A week or so ago I finally got my first Sega Saturn game; Tokimeki Memorial – Forever with You. Shipped with it was also Tokimeki Memorial Drama vol. 1 – Nijiiro no Seishun (but I haven’t really played it yet), which was a pleasant surprise since I hadn’t ordered it. So, thank you guys over at Rising Stuff!

I’ve played a few visual novel-style games in the past, with varying degrees of actual gameplay elements. Surprisingly enough, Tokimemo doesn’t really play like any of them. While you are playing as high school student you don’t really get to experience much of the high school life, unlike in other games where you sort of “follow” your character through the day. The only time that happens is if some kind of event is triggered and one of the girls asks you out on a date or if it’s valentine day or something. Meeting girls after school is a more common occurrence, however.

Leveling up your stats controls which girls becomes interested in you, and since it is quite easy to reach an average score in most of the fields available, you sort of end up becoming a chick magnet later in the game, regardless if that was your intention or not. And this is where things start to get crazy as all the girls you’ve properly met at least once (being bumped into in the hallway does not count) can ask you out on a date and walk with you home after school. Girls that feel they are neglected might activate a “bomb”, meaning you have to show that girl proper attention or it will go off, reducing the hot feelings all girls have for you, I hear. I have not had a bomb go off yet but I guess I’ve been kinda close it stings pretty bad :p. This means that not only are you going on dates with the girl you are trying to win but also with everyone else to keep them happy. This game trains you to be a real player, I swear! :p
Well, this also happens because dating is the main way of interacting with any girl in the game. Calling them simply results in you asking them out on a date, simple as that.

There isn’t much of a story in the game, save for it’s premise (confess your love under a tree, become happy) so most of the time you are just managing your schedule and stats. My main gripe with the game is that it goes on for too long, since it doesn’t end until you’ve been through whole 3 years in high school. While time passes rather quickly, there is too little meat on the bones to keep things varied and interesting throughout the game.
There are some nifty minigames which can be found in the sports & culture festivals as well as during the school trip. These can be unlocked and you can then start them from main menu, which is nice. The best one I’ve unlocked so far is a version of Twinbee, a shmup series also from Konami. (I haven’t heard of it before I played Tokimemo but oh well :p )

At this point in time I’ve reached a happy ending with two girls (Saki Nijino and Yuuko Asahina) and I’m aiming for a third one (Yuina Himoo – the mad scientist) but after that I might have to take a break from all this stats grinding :p

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