Oddly enough, it's Western developers rather than localization teams who seem to be leading the charge for gradually changing thanks to titles like the excellent Sweet Fuse.
(Aside: I was actually tempted to write about Sweet Fuse today, but I've said most of the things I want to say in my review, so be sure to check that out if you're interested.) The game I've had on my mind for today's column is Hanako Games' Magical Diary.
No, in other pathways it explores concepts such as the blurred lines between close, intimate friendships and romantic relationships, and what to do when cultural rules and regulations force you in a direction you might not expect.
At heart, it's a story about growing up and coming of age, and of the friendships and relationships you build that help to define the person you'll become later in life.
After all, looking down on a person for playing dating sims is just like looking down on someone for liking romance films or reading romance novels -- hell, a dating sim basically Frankly, this mindset is hurting gaming as a whole.
As it stands now, the overwhelming majority of big budget games are adventures -- the interactive equivalent of action movies, so to speak.
game -- a game where you play a female protagonist and, in this case, pursue relationships with people of both genders.
We're slowly starting to get more of these in the West, but for the most part relationship-themed games that get localized from Japan are still largely of the variety, where a heterosexual male protagonist pursues relationships with one (or, occasionally, more than one) of the impossibly attractive female cast members.Eventually, you'll find yourself on one of several different paths to the game's ending, each of which explores your character's relationship with a very different type of person.None of the paths are a particularly easy ride, however; relationships are complex affairs, and this is something that author Georgina Bensley clearly understands intimately. Games have been a part of my life since I was four years old and they have become both my hobby and my career.Yet, I still feel embarrassed to admit I enjoy a good dating sim from time to time.It may not be a Japanese game in itself, but Hanako Games' Magical Diary is a great example of not only a traditional dating sim model, but also of "otome games" aimed specifically at female players.