Ore No Imouto Ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai (a.k.a. oreimo) is one of the most famous light novel series, but since the recent end of the original novel and the anime adaptation, it was very unexpected to see that Bandai Namco was still interested enough to once more hire Guyzware to make a final game for the PS3.
Just the fact this is the 3rd game released is impressive because, since tie-ins are normally not made with new fans in mind, it is very hard for someone not familiar with the original work to understand what is going on the story. Therefore, those games don’t usually have good sales. It was not particularly different with the case of oreimo games for the PSP. Even so, the game had such a high quality that it was the best seller on many sale charts in Japan, which has made the title get a sequel, something even more rare to happen with titles like this. Since the 2nd game sales were even better, Guyzware was summoned again for this “Happy End”. But since almost every heroine got married and gave birth to at least one child, what more the fans could expect from a new title?
The answer was to make something very different from the other games. While it still keeps some of the “love-simulation” aspects, it has much in common with games like “Princess Maker” or the now much more famous “Idol M@ster”.
This game, like many others Galge spin-offs, is an alternative tale that takes place from a certain point in the original series. In this case it starts off somewhere after volume 8 of the light novels or episode 9 of the anime’s second season. There is not even a basic character introduction this time, so those who are new to the series will probably get very confused.
A certain day, when returning from school, Kousaka Kyousuke finds his little sister Kirino playing IdolM@aster while having nothing less than an orgasmic attack. Questioning his sister’s sanity he instead gets her very pissed by his lack of understanding about the charm of idols, this suddenly develops in a argument about who among his sister and friends would be more fitted as an idol. Since they all are (somehow) attracted to him, they also fight for the right to have him as a manager.
It is very unlikely that someone that is not already a fan of the series would be reading this. Therefore, I will not waste time introducing each character. Instead I will only explain how they were used or developed for this particular story. Even though the events for this game were to take place chronologically after Kyousuke and Kuroneko broke up (about 2/3 of the series) all characters development received a “Reset”, making their personalities being exactly the same from their first appearances. Kirino is specially affected by this, since it seems they got just her worst aspects since she was never so annoying and cocky in the original story, not even in doujinshis or fan-fics! The only one who seems to have escaped from this “personality-reboot” was Kuroneko, who behaves the way she should by the end of the series.
Overall, each girl in the series still fits better for a specific taste or fetishes, so one could choose the type of story that wants to watch based on the character. Kirino is for those who like “Tsundere” girls; Kuroneko is for ULTRA-DERE-DERE lovers; Ayase is for masochists; Manami has a slow-paced silly romance and finally Kanako, who got a story full of comedy.
The Many Faces of Kyosuke
One interesting thing is that Kyosuke got a different personality for each girl he interacts with, resulting in many different Kyosukes: Kirino’s Kyosuke is dumb and spineless; Ayase’s Kyosuke is a pervert child with a damaged brain; Manami’s Kyosuke is very calm and a bit more mature; Kanako’s Kyosuke is a bit smater, thus is able to do some comebacks against her (which makes him kind of an asshole sometimes); Until now, one could say he is only acting a bit different around each girl, which is very normal, but then there is Kuroneko’s Kyosuke, who is very smart, reliable, mature and talented. In fact, when a girl appears during the route of another heroine, Kyosuke is suddenly able to do what was impossible for him before, like making Kirino look stupid and childish, for example. This is pretty normal for most Galges because of its multiple writers. However, this is an aspect that came from the light novels, which are written by just one person.
Since the 3D models make everything more complicated to create, Saori has fallen from her status as a full-fledge heroine and became just a support character, while poor Senna don’t even get to make an appearance (only appearing during comments on the twitter), but this is what she gets for not being pure anymore, I guess…
Since the type of setting changed drastically to that of an idol story, the themes used previously in the series are not used anymore. It’s not based around Kyosuke giving “life counseling” for the heroines and eventually doing the impossible to solve a very difficult situation. Instead of this, we get very standard developments for an idol story, like: Rumors about the idol dating someone, trolls ruining the idol’s reputation on the internet, the idol that has to look for a new visual to get more popular, etc…
Not only the story got less interesting, but it got predictable as well. There are many routes where the heroines solve their own problems alone, which makes Kyosuke looks useless.
This is also a very atypical Love-simulation game, because it has very few romantic situations, being mostly about the idol’s career.
Each route and event is very short, you will actually spend more time messing with Twiter and doing photo sessions than seeing story development.
At first I got all excited to play this game, but noticed there was no walktrought anywhere in the internet, not even on Japanese sites, which creeped me out, how such a popular franchise would not get a walkthrough in Japan? So I assumed the game could be so easy that no one thought it was necessary to explain it. It was when I got my ass-kicked in less than an hour of gameplay by getting a bad ending. This was because the game is actually very complicated. So I had to buy this big guy here.
It was just then that I learned how complex this game really is.
The game have some elements directly taken from Idol M@ster (which worth many references during the story), but being much more limited. For instance, there is no audition mini-games, musical parts, lessons or schedule management. You cannot produce more than one idol.
The game starts by giving some very easy-to-understand questions to decide which girl you will get. Once you choose a girl you immediately enter in her route, making interactions with other characters (even other heroines) very rare. From this point on there are 2 phases until the end of the game. The first one has you managing your idol’s SNS so it gets more views (which is necessary to advance to the final chapters of the route). Each heroine has 3 attributes that receive more points by having their tweets answered. Each tweet raises one of those attributes, and you can get additional points depending on your answers. But how do you know which attribute will be raised and how to answer it right? It’s very simple: YOU DON’T! Which means you have to constantly load you save file many times in order to get anything right, which is pretty annoying. Unless you have a complete guide like the one I own.
Since there are three attributes, it means each heroine gets three different routes, each with a good and true end. This sounds like a lot, but it takes more than 70% of a playthrough to get to a point where there is any change to events.
It’s not wise to raise more than one attribute since you will need to get a certain number of points to get to an end, and it’s pretty impossible to do so in the first playthrough. Thankfully, the game has a “New Game+” feature. Unfortunately, each heroine gets just one save file, making it even more difficult to complete a route without a guide. This also makes very difficult to watch your favorite events again, specially since the Extra Menu do not let you replay events.
The tweeter thing could be interesting if the heroines didn’t talk only about trivial subjects such as the weather or food (which actually are very realistic tweets). Some tweets can also send you to some events where you choose between three answers to raise the heroine’s affection for Kyosuke (which determines if you will get the good or true ending). Some events have photo sessions and a photo with a good score will also give you more views.
The second phase is where the main story happens. It gets voiced once it changes for the 3D models and the events are much longer than those from the first phase. After raising the heroine’s affection with a multiple-choice question, it ends with a photo session.
There is no specific order or special condition to reach an ending (except for some short tweet events) and, technically, there is no “True Route”, even though some of the “good endings” are just plain bad. Even some of the True endings can make you feel like something is missing.
Nothing impressive here, but at least Guyzware made some decent 3D models, which makes me happy to see they are prepared for the next generations (at least to make PS Vita games). I got very pleased to see that mouths are part of the 3D model (with tongue and teethes inside).
Characters move very smoothly and have many different animations (even though some poses are shared between some heroines). There is a good variety of clothes for each heroine, some that are even used in only one scene.
The music is good, some tracks are nice, but most are just remixes of the same music. The opening theme is the same used in the second season of the anime and uses the same scenes from it too. There is a new ending theme sang by Kirino’s Seyuu Ayana Taketatsu called “Morning Morning!!”, which is terrible and unskippable when seeing for the first time! There is also a track that plays during an epilogue that sounds suspiciously like “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel!
The cast is exactly the same from the anime series, and they still do a perfect job. However, like mentioned before, many events are undub.
I highly recommend this game for fans, but it’s probably not very good for those not interested in the original series. Even though the second PSP game was to be the final game, this one came out to promote the final season of the anime and the end of the light novel, but now I think it’s very unlikely for a new Oreimo game. Wich is kind of sad in more ways than one.While this is a good game, it really is not nearly as good as the second one for the PSP.