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Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

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Do you think the quality of otome games has been declining?

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default Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 11/02/14, 12:40 pm

Examples of otome games released within the last year which have negative-to-mixed reviews:

~ Arabians Doubt ~The engagement on the desert~
~ Houkago Colorful*Step ~Undou-bu~
~ NORN9
~ Shiratsuyu no Kai
~ Solomon's Ring

My opinion? Yes, the games that have been coming out in the last year have been quite "meh", with spots of notably bad ones. I realise that what is considered a "bad game" is highly subjective, so maybe I've just become a pickier gamer. While I can't help but call on out on lazy premises, giving the protagonist undue significance for an easy way out, cardboard characters and various other markers of poor quality, I still roll with a majority of the stuff that comes out. I guess you could say I'm quite whimsical.

If the game isn't a money-grubbing port, fandisc, prequel or sequel (Amnesia, Hakuouki and Starry Sky, you're officially on notice!), its theme has a high chance of being about past Japan or high school. The second-most common theme/setting is an "adaptation" of a fairytale.

Whatever happened to even TRYING to be original? Do Japanese otome fans have low standards? Do WE have low standards?

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by kyuuichii on 11/02/14, 12:57 pm

Hmm.. you right... trying to original, nee maybe the creator only want to make a game which will be sell well in market, and not bother about the story itself sad  It's sad... but why don't we give them (creator like otomate, brocolli, etc) a suggestion? (but I haven't try yet)

How about you? do you have something new idea, nee?

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 11/02/14, 02:15 pm

Yeah, it seems that as soon as one idea gets popular, everyone wants to follow suit so they can make some cash themselves. Depending on how long you've been in the fandom, you'd probably remember the big do-S boom, which then moved onto the yandere boom. Do-S has gotten a bit more popular again, recently.

I wonder how open they'd be to Western ideas? I figured they wouldn't want to listen to us because we're not the target market... :(I wonder if anybody here has experience with communicating with the big companies?

I have a few ideas:

~ Stop trying to force the plot to wrap everyone into one lazy package, such as clubs, classes, houses, etc. You could have a high school student heroine, but does everything have to take place at the school? What about places she visits in her life OUTSIDE of school? It's really lazy to just lump everyone into one place.

~ Cut it out with the lazy Mary Sue protagonists. The majority of otome gamers, both Japanese and international, don't actually imagine themselves as the protagonist when they play. This is just a bullshit excuse creators make so they don't have to make an effort with another main character. If you want the player to experience the game through their eyes only, don't provide your protagonist with any details, similar to what Dot Kareshi did. Giving half-assed personalities is still giving a personality... it interferes with the so-called "immersive" experience they want you to have. Either don't provide anything about the protagonist to maximise immersion, or work hard on your protagonist so that we can enjoy the story through her eyes.

~ Stop relying on tropes to build characters. If a character is just "the shota", "the do-S", "the prince", etc., it's very one dimensional. Think about the cat princes in Black Wolves Saga. You couldn't pigeonhole them and do their character descriptions justice. They're complex characters. Fine, you want a yandere character. BUILD ON THEM! Nobody just goes off on the deep end without good reasons. Just "loving the heroine" isn't a very good explanation. Extreme behaviour like that usually come from past experiences that make characters believe that's the only way things will work.

~ Set something in a university instead of a high school, if you're so insistent on a scholastic theme. It may sound "the same as high school but older". I don't agree with this. Maybe one hero could be a classmate, another could be a club member, one could be somebody from her part time job, maybe a professor. I think it's a good opportunity for maturer themes. For a lot of people, university is just as an interesting developmental stage as high school. If I were to hazard a guess, the average age of otome gamers is around the 20~22 area. Tertiary studies is much more relevant!

~ Creators should honestly try and read about other periods of history, mythology, literature, etc. if they're interested in creating a game further from modern realistic settings... instead of relying on the same popular periods, creatures, books, etc. all the time. Enough with Alice in Wonderland, the Taisho era and vampires! If you must choose a popular theme, do something different with it- and I mean HONESTLY take it to a new level. Slapping on new tropes that contradict the inspiration isn't really trying.

~ Not all otome fans are averse to "traditionally male-targeted genres". In fact, given the popularity of Shingeki no Kyojin and Gundam with even female viewers, a mecha or war-themed otome game would be interesting. War themes have a lot of opportunity to develop complex characters, the protagonist herself and have "deeper" storylines.

/end rant

I have more, but my post is getting ridiculous! :S

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by Akuni on 11/02/14, 05:40 pm

^I haven't avidly played any but I have been reading reviews on the ones I'm siting up on my 'To Play' list. Some of them after reading the reviews and watching Let's Plays I kinda got disinterested in. 

Miyazaki recently stated that the anime world is overrun by Otakus who are basically just regurgitating the things and themes they like, without really being creative - I'm not surprised that it might've poured over into the gaming industry too.

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by Guest on 11/02/14, 06:37 pm

Laramie Castiel wrote:Yeah, it seems that as soon as one idea gets popular, everyone wants to follow suit so they can make some cash themselves. Depending on how long you've been in the fandom, you'd probably remember the big do-S boom, which then moved onto the yandere boom. Do-S has gotten a bit more popular again, recently.

I wonder how open they'd be to Western ideas? I figured they wouldn't want to listen to us because we're not the target market... :(I wonder if anybody here has experience with communicating with the big companies?

I have a few ideas:

~ Stop trying to force the plot to wrap everyone into one lazy package, such as clubs, classes, houses, etc. You could have a high school student heroine, but does everything have to take place at the school? What about places she visits in her life OUTSIDE of school? It's really lazy to just lump everyone into one place.

~ Cut it out with the lazy Mary Sue protagonists. The majority of otome gamers, both Japanese and international, don't actually imagine themselves as the protagonist when they play. This is just a bullshit excuse creators make so they don't have to make an effort with another main character. If you want the player to experience the game through their eyes only, don't provide your protagonist with any details, similar to what Dot Kareshi did. Giving half-assed personalities is still giving a personality... it interferes with the so-called "immersive" experience they want you to have. Either don't provide anything about the protagonist to maximise immersion, or work hard on your protagonist so that we can enjoy the story through her eyes.

~ Stop relying on tropes to build characters. If a character is just "the shota", "the do-S", "the prince", etc., it's very one dimensional. Think about the cat princes in Black Wolves Saga. You couldn't pigeonhole them and do their character descriptions justice. They're complex characters. Fine, you want a yandere character. BUILD ON THEM! Nobody just goes off on the deep end without good reasons. Just "loving the heroine" isn't a very good explanation. Extreme behaviour like that usually come from past experiences that make characters believe that's the only way things will work.

~ Set something in a university instead of a high school, if you're so insistent on a scholastic theme. It may sound "the same as high school but older". I don't agree with this. Maybe one hero could be a classmate, another could be a club member, one could be somebody from her part time job, maybe a professor. I think it's a good opportunity for maturer themes. For a lot of people, university is just as an interesting developmental stage as high school. If I were to hazard a guess, the average age of otome gamers is around the 20~22 area. Tertiary studies is much more relevant!

~ Creators should honestly try and read about other periods of history, mythology, literature, etc. if they're interested in creating a game further from modern realistic settings... instead of relying on the same popular periods, creatures, books, etc. all the time. Enough with Alice in Wonderland, the Taisho era and vampires! If you must choose a popular theme, do something different with it- and I mean HONESTLY take it to a new level. Slapping on new tropes that contradict the inspiration isn't really trying.

~ Not all otome fans are averse to "traditionally male-targeted genres". In fact, given the popularity of Shingeki no Kyojin and Gundam with even female viewers, a mecha or war-themed otome game would be interesting. War themes have a lot of opportunity to develop complex characters, the protagonist herself and have "deeper" storylines.

/end rant

I have more, but my post is getting ridiculous! :S
I don't necessarily think otome games are declining.


1. i do agree about the clubs and schools in plots sometimes make a game a pain in the butt (depending) because its focus is too much on the club or in the school,argh! I know a lot of games start that way and it's completely fine sometimes. I love games from the Starry Sky series (with different opinions on each but I wish it would show the heroines life more outside school.


But It's hard to put together an VN/otome game. (i tried once and i took a break for a long time because of Ren'py maybe i'll go back to it someday)


4 Years ago i had the idea of a VN about a headstrong fox girl/alien with magical powers. those powers were starting to deteriorate because of loneliness and her pride.she then fell from the sky. with the shock from her fall she forgot who she was and becomes an opposite character. one day a young man finds this  girl (in the form of a human) laying unconscious in a field and  carries her to his apartment, he nurses her back to health.suddenly he notices shes developed a set of fox ears and a tail. then yet another day since she can't remember anything she can't control her powers and accidentally ruins everything she touches .i know not too interesting anyways ...Bleh 

2.I actually imagine myself as the heroine in most otome games I play >.>
 im one of those silly people -hides-. there are some that i'd never imagine myself in though.I don't mind at all if the heroine has eyes or not unless it's a huge detailed game.because to me a face that's not drawn correctly drives me nuts o.o it does take courage to put out art but thats my opinion anyways.


3. I like characters with labels but occasionally i prefer them with a little mystery.I do agree a description like "the loving heroine" is very tacky..maybe some things are mistranslated/said.


4. I have this big thing for Alice In Wonderland i'm obsessed with it. 
Alice in Wonderland theme is a childhood love that lasts forever in my heart xD 


5. I am a big Gundam fan but I  most likely wouldn't like mecha and stuff mixed with my otome games No / shakes head 

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 11/02/14, 07:58 pm

@Akuni: I haven't been avidly playing as usual (partially BECAUSE of I think the quality has been declining), myself. So many games have disappointed me in recent months that I don't pre-order 95% of the games I'm interested in anymore. I wait for the reviews, and then play. I read up on all the reviews available (after a month or so that the game came out) and make my decision to purchase the game. While I believe you can only really know how much you'd like a game by actually playing it, if a game has mostly negative reviews, I doubt that happened with warrant.

Ah, I remember reading an article about that comment Miyazaki made. For those interested, you can read it here. Yeah, I definitely agree that it's not just the anime industry. Which leads me to wonder exactly how much influence female otaku and fujoshi really have on the BL and otome industries... Some games seem to be made by request, pretty much, rather than the creator wanting to make something for the fans.

@otaku17: Thanks for the really detailed response... it's nice to have a serious discussion every now and then. :)It's also good to talk with someone about this with different views from mine.

1. I like Starry Sky too. :DThe thing about Starry Sky is that it doesn't pretend to be more than it is. It picked a high school setting in modern Japan, and actually stuck to its slice-of-life theme without lame attempts at including ghosts, vampires, magic, etc. in a lame effort to make the setting "more interesting". I do agree that it would have been nice to know more about Tsukiko's life outside of school. They were half-assed with her. If they really wanted to keep that "adapted from a drama CD immersiveness", they shouldn't even give Tsukiko artwork, or a name. That's just my opinion, though. Anyway, I'm not saying that a game can't have magic and be set in high school. However, more often than not, it comes across as "wanting to put magical peoplez in an environment perfect for makin' da dramas" rather than a school where the magic is just as significant as the high school.

It is hard to come up with a decent plot for a game, yes... but that doesn't justify shitty writing. I didn't find your example about your game uninteresting.

2. I don't think you're silly at all! I just don't agree with it and can't do it 99% of the time because I don't often agree with the heroine's choices and our personalities are too different for me to be able to immerse.

5. I don't think I've ever met a fellow otome gamer that likes Gundam before! :DI still think the first series is the best! Anyway, I can see where you're coming from. I suppose the appeal of otome games is the "girlier" aspect. However, I'm still dreaming of an otome game where the protagonist is a mecha pilot!

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by kyuuichii on 12/02/14, 06:18 am

~ Stop trying to force the plot to wrap everyone into one lazy package
Agreed, about the school and club themes. Maybe they should make a plot like Heroine was lost nowhere and must join a competition to back home with some natives people (the boys XD). Or how about in restaurant or hotel? heroine is a new employee there. And, about heroine with mecha... that's a brilliant idea  :p  huft~ I wish there will be otoge like that soon.




~ Cut it out with the lazy Mary Sue protagonists.
I've noticed, the heroine commonly act with no expression in her choice, only yes, or no, or okay I follow you, etc, like that. Maybe from the beginning we can choose heroine's personality XD



~ Not all otome fans are averse to "traditionally male-targeted genres"
I am a big fan of Gundam and robots too smile  I also playing SRW a lot too :D
About war themes, it's good for character development but I also think it will be no good cause many politic theme also include in war theme (I didn't like politic such in gundam wing, gundam seed  mou~  but I like the mecha XD)

it will be great if anybody has experience with communicating with the big companies, just tell us :)Sadly I didn't has experienced with that

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

Post by Blue_Star on 21/02/14, 07:28 pm

I haven't played too many otome games (other than free ones), but I've read a lot of synopsis's!  And from what I've read about, I agree, the quality seems to be declining.  Sure, a lot look prettier, but it sounds like a lot suffer in bad story telling and in bad characterization.  Expanding on some of Laramie's points:

Laramie Castiel wrote:
~ Stop trying to force the plot to wrap everyone into one lazy package, such as clubs, classes, houses, etc. You could have a high school student heroine, but does everything have to take place at the school? What about places she visits in her life OUTSIDE of school? It's really lazy to just lump everyone into one place.
It is really lazy to lump them all in one setting the way most otome/vns do, but it's also relatively natural.  You're surrounded by peers, both strangers and acquaintances, that you're stuck with for 5 (6 in Japan?) days of the week, 7-9 hours of the day.  Romance ensues.  It's lazy and typical, but it's a setting that most readers can get into easily.  
So my bottom line is that it doesn't really bother me too much, as long as the rest of the game is good.  But then we come to some of your other points:
 
Laramie Castiel wrote:
~ Cut it out with the lazy Mary Sue protagonists. The majority of otome gamers, both Japanese and international, don't actually imagine themselves as the protagonist when they play. This is just a bullshit excuse creators make so they don't have to make an effort with another main character. If you want the player to experience the game through their eyes only, don't provide your protagonist with any details, similar to what Dot Kareshi did. Giving half-assed personalities is still giving a personality... it interferes with the so-called "immersive" experience they want you to have. Either don't provide anything about the protagonist to maximise immersion, or work hard on your protagonist so that we can enjoy the story through her eyes.
The Mary-Sue protagonist is probably one of the biggest irritations in otome gaming for me.  It's not even that they have no personality--sometimes it's just that the boys fall in love with her for no reason other than the fact that she exists.  Why wouldn't in fall in love with some other girl?  The boys in otome games are usually pretty popular, unless they're those specific archetypes that have no friends, but the heroine is for some reason an exception.  Whether it be the popular guy that falls for the heroine or the loner that falls for her, many times I feel that the relationship seems a little too convenient.

Laramie Castiel wrote:
~ Stop relying on tropes to build characters. If a character is just "the shota", "the do-S", "the prince", etc., it's very one dimensional. Think about the cat princes in Black Wolves Saga. You couldn't pigeonhole them and do their character descriptions justice. They're complex characters. Fine, you want a yandere character. BUILD ON THEM! Nobody just goes off on the deep end without good reasons. Just "loving the heroine" isn't a very good explanation. Extreme behaviour like that usually come from past experiences that make characters believe that's the only way things will work.
I totally agree with this.  It feels like many of the characters in otome games aren't so much as "characters" as "1-D archetypes".  Sometimes, that's all we need.  But it gets tiresome.  

Laramie Castiel wrote:
~ Set something in a university instead of a high school, if you're so insistent on a scholastic theme. It may sound "the same as high school but older". I don't agree with this. Maybe one hero could be a classmate, another could be a club member, one could be somebody from her part time job, maybe a professor. I think it's a good opportunity for maturer themes. For a lot of people, university is just as an interesting developmental stage as high school. If I were to hazard a guess, the average age of otome gamers is around the 20~22 area. Tertiary studies is much more relevant!
In addition to the different setting, it'd be nice to have a slightly older cast too (including the heroine).  Now that I'm older, I look back on my high school days and go, "What the hell was wrong with me?!"  Even when I look back on my early college days, "What the hell was wrong with me?!"  

Laramie Castiel wrote:
~ Creators should honestly try and read about other periods of history, mythology, literature, etc. if they're interested in creating a game further from modern realistic settings... instead of relying on the same popular periods, creatures, books, etc. all the time. Enough with Alice in Wonderland, the Taisho era and vampires! If you must choose a popular theme, do something different with it- and I mean HONESTLY take it to a new level. Slapping on new tropes that contradict the inspiration isn't really trying.
Yeah, as much as I love the Alice lore, give us something else.  I'll admit that I'm a sucker for fairy tales though. :p

I personally dislike the vampire lore in otome/shojo stuff.  Living corpses sucking your blood and torturing you--Mmm... sexy. :S

Laramie Castiel wrote:
~ Not all otome fans are averse to "traditionally male-targeted genres". In fact, given the popularity of Shingeki no Kyojin and Gundam with even female viewers, a mecha or war-themed otome game would be interesting. War themes have a lot of opportunity to develop complex characters, the protagonist herself and have "deeper" storylines.
So much yes on this point.  I'm not a Gundam fan, but I could see myself liking a mech otome.  Look at Escaflowne--that anime has shojo elements and still manages to be a kick-ass anime.  I'm not a huge war fan either, but it offers high stakes and decision making that you wouldn't see in, say, a high school setting.  

I love shonen series, and I, weirdly, thought a lot of boys in the shonen series are more appealing than the boys in the shojo series.  Maybe it's because we get to see the boys fight.  Maybe it's because there's more at stake than relationships.  I'd like to see some shonen implemented in otome.  But that'd probably be a deal breaker for a lot of otome fans.  

In general, it'd be nice if otome games focused on more than just fluff--most otome games' plots sound forgettable, if not just downright angering with plot holes and the like.

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default Not really but not sure

Post by shale160 on 03/03/14, 08:12 am

I used to think that way sometime ago, but I don't completely agree with that statement now. Quality may be declining, but just a bit.

1. There were a lot of bad games in the past as well, but those tend to LOOK bad as well and did not garner much attention from otome fans.

2. There are too many games now, just happens to be a lot bad ones too with good art and lots of hype. 

3. There are a lot of good games from 2013 that have been somewhat overlooked by the 'fandom'. eg. Hanasaku Manimani, Meiji Tokyo Renka, Geten no Hana, Eigoku tantei mysteria.

This is just my opinion, so I hope I don't make someone rage... ^^;;

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default Re: Do you think the quality of otome games have been declining?

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