estearisa’s Top 10 Otome Games (as of 2020)

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This is different from what I normally post but I’ve always wanted to do a sort of ‘Top 10 Otome Games’ I’ve played, but never got a around to it (plus I wasn’t sure what my top 10 even was). But after much thought about it, I finally came up with my own top 10. Obviously, this is my own top 10, and rightfully so its my own opinion and you don’t have to agree with it! My criteria is mostly based on how much I enjoyed it, not necessarily how good it is plot-wise (but a good plot is certainly a factor with enjoyment). This list will probably change over time too. I’ve played quite a few otome games and there are still games I’d like to play but haven’t had a chance or Otomate just hasn’t ported it to a current gen console yet. Also, these are based on the Japanese version of the games, but some of them are available in English. and I’ll make sure to say which ones are and aren’t!

heilnouta10

hafdsfg no uta cover EDIT

Heiligenstadt no Uta is an otome game by eXtend that came out September 28th 2017 for Playstation Vita. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

The heroine named Lied lives in a musical but also magical city called Shall ( シャル) where objects or even animals can speak. She grew up in a orphanage with her one and only family, Soprano. After a series of “lost sound” occurrences, because Lied isn’t affected by it, she ends up as a member of the Royal Orchestra and lives there with people who play instruments and have a power called “färga”. During the incident of the “lost sound” everyone in the audience suffered some sort of damage and amnesia except for Lied who also remembered everything about the incident.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to add this game to my list but it had such a unique charm about it that made me realize that albeit flawed, this was actually quite an enjoyable game for me. It’s not super plot heavy, but has a lot of fun interactions with the characters and the setting is really cute and classic music themed. It’s definitely one of the more underrated titles, especially with eXtend’s titles, but I really liked it. While the theme in this game is music, its more classic music, rather than modern idol music (that I personally grow bored of and find it overused). I’m sure not a lot of people even heard or played this game since its not very popular nor is it available in English, but its one of those games that I wish had more content or expanded on what it had, because I really liked the setting and characters.

Let me just say, I had a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted this on a top 10 list because there were other games that maybe were technically “better” than this one in a lot of other people’s eyes (say, Code: Realize for example which I’ll say now that I don’t have on my list) but this game had a charm about it that I personally enjoyed so I really wanted to have it on my list! This game is not currently on any other system aside from Playstation Vita and with eXtend being a smaller company (and with the way that they do things), I highly doubt this game will ever get a port or a sequel unfortunately. This game is currently not available in English but if you’re curious about the game, here’s my review / summary of it.


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Nil Admirari no Tenbin is an otome game by Otomate that came out April 21st 2016 for Playstation Vita but is also available for Nintendo Switch which includes the sequel Nil Admirari no Tenbin: Kuroyuri En’youtan. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

Tsugumi is a sheltered girl who witnesses an accident with her brother where he attempts to commit suicide due to a cursed book. From there, she joins this group known as the “Fukuro/Owls” in order to uncover the mystery of these cursed books (maremono) and her journey starts there. So this is a story which takes place around 1913, I believe. Basically a Taisho era story of mystery and suspense.

I’m sure a lot of people have heard of this game or played it. It’s definitely fairly popular in Japan and even received an anime adaption a few years back. I have the Switch cover displayed, but mainly because this series is best if you play the original and the fandisk because it feels more like a sequel that ties loose ends of certain routes. That being said, anyone who likes trashy romances would probably like something like this anyway. I can’t say the plot is amazingly written and there are definitely flaws of Tsugumi I wish I could fix (albeit she’s better in the sequel) but overall this is an enjoyable otome game in my opinion. Truthfully, if this game wasn’t ported into an all-in-one, I can’t say I would add just the original game in my top 10 due to the fact the game felt slightly unfinished without the FD.

Truthfully, I used to have mixed feelings about this game and wasn’t sure I necessarily liked it all that much, but if you play this game and the fandisk combined, it actually has a well-written plot with a good balance of romance. That being said, I originally played the Playstation Vita version along with the FD of that as well. However, it is now ported to Switch with both the original game and the FD. For that reason I never played the Switch version (and probably never will since I have the games already) but I highly recommend that version since you get the whole series on one game. Unfortunately, this game is not available in English, but if you’re curious about this game here is my summary / review of the original game and the FD.


gensou kissa enchante 8

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Gensou Kissa Enchante (Cafe Enchante) is an otome game by Otomate that came out October 10th 2019 for Switch. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

The heroine is a girl named Kotone inherits her grandfather’s cafe after he dies. Upon entering it, she has nostalgia after coming back to the cafe from when she was young and lived with her grandfather. She then finds a strange room with “staff only” on it. When she enters it, she finds a huge extravagant door that has a “closed” plate next to it. After changing it to “open”, other-worldly men appear in front of her as customers of the cafe.

This is a newer title by Otomate and actually written by the same staff as Code: Realize. In many ways, I was pleasantly surprised by this game and it ended up being an otome game I genuinely enjoyed. Don’t let the title and synopsis fool you though, this is a rather dark game at times and there is blood / violence (albeit not to the extreme but it’s not super lighthearted either). This is an isekai game, but it takes itself more seriously than you’d expect.  I think a lot of people (myself included) who saw this game for the first time had the impression this was a slice-of-life, humorous isekai game, but it can get rather dark and has a lot of lore behind some of the different worlds that the heroine and everyone visit. Also I want to mention the heroine, Kotone, is also well-written and (surprisingly) doesn’t make stupid choices.

Now for the good news, this game is indeed, releasing for English by Aksys Games. It’s not currently out yet, but it’ll probably release sometime around Fall this year. So if you are interested in this game and want to play it in English this year, I do highly recommend it when it finally releases. Code: Realize seems to be one of the more popular titles in NA, but I actually enjoyed this game more. The fantasy genre is more my taste anyway and it’s definitely one of the better Switch titles I’ve played in 2019. Anyway, I’m really hoping it gets a FD because I really liked the story and characters. Here’s my review / summary of the game.


Collar x Malice 7

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Collar x Malice is an otome game by Otomate that came out August 18th for Playstation Vita and is currently planned for Nintendo Switch to release March 12th 2020 in Japan, with an English release around Summer 2020. The Japanese Switch version will include both Collar x Malice and Collar x Malice -Unlimited- while the English versions will be separated. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

The protagonist is a woman named Hoshino Ichika. She works as a police officer in Shinjuku, while various terrorist attacks known as “X-Day incidents” have been occurring. One day, she’s attacked and a collar filled with poison is placed upon her neck. It’s then a man named Aiji Yanagi finds her along with a group of men that were former police. With her unable to contact the police and joining their private detective agency, she becomes a vital key into solving this on-going case.

Now, I’m sure most (if not all) otome game fanatics have heard or played this game before. And it should come to no surprise (I’m sure) that it’s in my top 10 games. Now I’m also sure some people are wondering, “how are there games better than this one!?”. Well, to me, I think this game is great, but there are things I wish it could’ve done better. That being said, there’s no doubt this isn’t a great game. It’s full of suspense, mystery, and danger. And if you love detective / crime related stories, you’re bound to love this game no matter what. And the angst sometimes, I mean, who doesn’t love angst? (most bad ends in a nutshell). Anyway, this is such a great genre for otome, so I honestly wish Otomate did it more? eXtend seems to love it (Sidekicks & Bustafellows for example) but it’s not so common with Otomate.

I did use the Switch cover for this game (even though its not out in Japan yet) but mainly because it includes both Collar x Malice and Collar x Malice -Unlimited-. And good news, the original game is available in English for Playstation Vita. With that being said, Collar x Malice AND Collar x Malice -Unlimited- will also be available in English for Nintendo Switch in Summer 2020. Unfortunately, the Switch version is split in English, so you’ll have to buy them separately when they release. But, don’t let that stop you from playing these games if you’re interested. I highly recommend both the original game and the FD since both games are great. Here’s my review / summary of the games if you’re interested.


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Kokuchou no Psychedelica (Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly) is an otome game by Otomate that came out January 29th 2015 for Playstation Vita. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

The story starts out with the heroine (Beniyuri) waking up in a mysterious mansion not knowing who she is, where she is, or what she was doing before. Suddenly a girl, or rather a monster, appears and starts chasing her. She encounters a boy who’s in the same situation as her and helps her out. From there, they encounter more people who don’t know how they ended up there and are told by a young girl named “Usagi” that the master of the house tells them they must collect “kaleidoscope shards” that the monsters possess.

Honestly, considering how long ago this game came out and the fact that it already has a sequel and whatnot, just… where is my Switch version?! Anyway, this has been one of my favorite otome games for a while now and it would feel so wrong to not include it. This game used to be higher on my top game list, but after playing quite a few games after it, I realized it’s one of my favorites, but not among my absolute favorites. However, it is a really good game in a lot of ways. This is one game Otomate took a different approach in terms of the story and the use of the flowchart. Now one of my biggest gripes was that damn flowchart. Honestly, if they just had a more straightforward way of unlocking certain events and scenes I think the flow of this game would’ve worked better. That being said, I really think this game did a good job of showing the despair of the characters and the tragic aspect of this game was super heart-wrenching. Heck, even the atmosphere and setting gives off such a mysterious yet–ominous vibe.

Anyway, this game is available in English, but on Playstation Vita and Steam as well. I think it’s rather unfortunate this game isn’t for Switch yet, but maybe (just maybe) Otomate could be planning a sort of port along with a new game? (in my dreams). I feel like most people (well, most English players) wouldn’t agree to this game being better than Collar x Malice. But again, this isn’t about plot per-se, it’s mostly based off of the enjoyment I felt playing and my personal preference. But man, I love the ending song of this game. Like, Otomate, can you please get Shimamiya Eiko to sing more for your games? I love her voice so much. If you want to learn more about this game here’s my review / summary.


Variable Barricade5
variable barricade vita coverEDIT

Variable Barricade is an otome game by Otomate that came out April 4th 2019 for Playstation Vita. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

Hibari lives in a rich household and is close with her butler who is basically her caretaker. She starts her first day of school at an all girl’s academy. After school, she encounters four mysterious men that all ask her to marry them. Super confused, Hibari is sent back home with her butler, Kasuga. She talks to her strict grandfather who tells her that he decided on these marriage candidates for her so that they have a man worthy of taking over the Tojo name. Hibari is completely against it but her grandfather is relentless and tells her she needs to face reality. So she’s taken to a villa where the four men are staying and is to live with them until she’s able to choose a candidate.

I can’t emphasize enough how fun this otome game is. It’s definitely one of my favorite otome games I’ve played from Otomate. This game made me laugh so much and the fact the guys are trying to win Hibari’s heart while she’s super uninterested is such an interesting change to the typical otome game format. Did you ever want a heroine who is tsundere, doesn’t take shit, voiced, and adorable? Well, look no more because Hibari is literally all of that and more. Not only that, but the characters… I just can’t with these guys. Taiga was my favorite, but Nayuta is so hilarious. Otome games NEED more Do-M characters I cannot emphasize this enough (seriously). I didn’t care much for Shion, but Ichiya was such a hilarious character and I was practically dying by the end of his route (it was funny, cute, and ridiculous). There was something that was a bit of a turn off in the true route, but beyond that, this game was nearly perfect. I just absolutely adored it and I am on my hands and knees begging Otomate to give us a proper FD.

So this game is unfortunately not available in English. However, it is getting a Switch port that comes out June 18th. It comes with some extra scenarios, but I really hope that we get a FD announcement because I need more of this game. If only more companies were interested in more light-hearted funny games, this would be such a great game to localize. Unfortunately, Aksys is the type of company that will only choose games that focuses on plot to cater to a wider audience. This is why I think a game like this is more likely to come from IFI’s international branch. Unfortunately, who knows when they plan to release anymore otome games in English. Feels like forever since they even released Hakuouki for a 4th time. Heck, Amnesia came out like, 5 years ago? Which is pretty crazy. Anyway, if you want more info on this game, check out my review / summary here.


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Kenka Bancho Otome is an otome game by Spike Chunsoft that came out May 19th 2016 for Playstation Vita. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

Hinako Nakayama lived as an orphan and never met her biological parents. One day while trying to make it to her entrance ceremony, she runs into her own twin brother she’d only coincidentally met. He claimed he hurt his foot when running into her, so he wants her to go to his entrance ceremony as him. His school is known as Shishiku and his name is Onigashima Hikaru–the brother of the top fighter named Onigashima Houou. Due to his constant blackmail, Hinako agrees to pose as him at the entrance ceremony.

Oh look, a game not by Otomate or by eXtend! Funnily enough there’s a lot of other otome games by other companies but I guess the main companies I enjoy otome games from are eXtend and Otomate. I doubt many people don’t know what Kenka Bancho Otome is, I mean at this point its almost infamous for the poll that Spike Chunsoft posted but never came through with localizing it.

Anyway, back to the game itself; it was honestly one of the most fun and interesting games I’ve played before. I have a weakness for the girl-dresses-as-a-guy trope because seeing the reactions of the guys when they find out and also just having “bromance” all around is just super fun (I mean, Hana-Kimi fans probably get me, right? I was also a big fan of the W Juliet manga). Anyway, I have no knowledge of the original Kenka Bancho series but I’m perfectly fine with these being the new set “Bancho”.  Hinako was such a great heroine and there were so many hilarious scenes in this game (plus LITERALLY all the guys are likeable). Now, this game two–not one–but two games that came after this one. The first one was Kenka Bancho Otome ~Kanzen Muketsu no My Honey~ (what a title lol) and the second one was Kenka Banchou Otome 2nd Rumble!! which were both released for Playstation Vita. The first one was actually a FD that continued the guys’ after story romances, while the 3rd game was an actual sequel to the first game but without romancing any of the guys (doing so in the game while Hinako is in her 3rd year). The FD was actually good (albeit Kira’s route was crap but got made up for in the 3rd game) but the 3rd game overall was pretty mediocre. Do I still have hopes for another game? Yes, but I hope its like a sort of finale game that takes place in Hinako’s final year of high school.

ANYWAY, I’m mostly pointing fingers at the first game being the best. While you can get the best out of the series by playing the 2nd and 3rd game, nothing beats the original game with a literal kickass heroine and her kickass suitors. I’m sure I don’t have to say it but this game is not available in English much to most people’s dismay. It’s such a bummer that Spike Chunsoft can release pretty much every other game they have in their line-up (literally I’m not kidding) except for the one single otome visual novel they have because it’s an otome game and apparently most companies are allergic to things geared towards females. And while you can say it’s because the game is for Vita only, Spike Chunsoft’s International branch can and has released games that were released on other consoles for Steam AND Switch but apparently to them this game can just gtfo. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  If you want to read my review / summaries for any KBO games, here you are.


Sidekicks3
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Side Kicks! is an otome game by eXtend that came out March 23rd 2017 for Playstation Vita. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

Set in the USA in California, a city called Sakurada. The heroine, Inori, is scouted into a special investigation called SideKicks with an ability to see visions of the future. It’s within the SPD (Sakurada Police Department) and a group with members of unique skills. An addictive drug known as ‘Ripcord’ has been related to a series of cases. For the sake of maintaining order in the city, SideKicks was created.

When I first played this game, I was shocked by how far eXtend took it. It really was a crime solving otome game filled with action and suspense. And the shock factors were so good in this game. If there’s one thing that Side Kicks! did better than Bustafellows, it was definitely that. There is so much to unravel in this game and I think it’s done very well. It’s because of this game that Bustafellows even exists after all. But man, if only Inori was voiced and had more personality. I mean, she wasn’t terrible, but sometimes she didn’t seem to fit in all that well with the other characters because of how naive she was. Regardless, I absolutely loved this game and the aesthetic it had. I just love how this takes place in a fictional city in California. Maybe its because I live in North America, but the setting is just super appealing because of it.

This game is currently only available for Playstation Vita and is not in English. I think it would be a great idea for eXtend to port this game to Switch (and Android / iOS I guess?) because its such a missed opportunity for those who didn’t get a chance to play this and played Bustafellows (especially with the easter eggs). Unfortunately, I’m not sure if eXtend would ever port it since they’ve never ported anything yet (they don’t exactly have a huge selection to begin with) but I mean I guess you never know? Bustafellows seemed to do very well for them so maybe they’ve made enough money to make more games. This was definitely always one of my personal favorite games and I would highly recommend it. If you want to learn more about it here’s my review / summary.


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Bustafellows is an otome game by eXtend (that takes place in the same world as Side Kicks!) that came out for Switch and iOS / Android on December 19th 2019. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

In the fictional city called New Seig (inspired by New York City) we have our heroine Teuta who is a freelance journalist and has the power to go back in time in the body of another person. She tries to convince Limbo (known as a corrupted lawyer) in the body of someone else in the past that he’s going to die and she witnessed it herself. This is in this same world as the game Sidekicks! and even has cameos here and there.

Aaaaaand another great game by eXtend! This game is actually in the same world as Side Kicks! but with a completely different cast. I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time thinking which I liked more, Side Kicks! or Bustafellows? Well, while Side Kicks! definitely did some things better, Bustafellows was definitely overall a better experience for me. I do wish the game itself was a bit longer, but its still definitely a suspenseful crime otome that is great if you love plot-focused games. I think what really takes the cake is the heroine, Teuta. She is a much better heroine than Inori (sorry, girl) mainly because she’s not only voiced but has a pretty relatable personality (a broke city girl looking for work). Her being a journalist definitely gave her more depth and she meshed well with all of the love interests (which made for interesting routes that felt natural). But man, I really loved the characters in this game. There was definitely some lose ends that needed tying so I really hope the success of this game means a sequel or FD.

Anyways, this is definitely a game I would recommend to anyone who is able to play in Japanese. While this game is currently not in English, eXtend did sort of show interest to localizing it. They sort of dismissed it being possible after receiving messages from oversea fans, but I recently found out through Aksys’ livestream that Aksys downloaded the Bustafellows demo. I can only assume this means that they have interest in the game and if possible they probably want to reach out to eXtend to localize it. I’m guessing rather than self-publishing, eXtend would probably be more likely to release their games in English via an actual localization company (since it would be easier on their end). Anyway, that’s the only possibility of localization I can see happening at this point. Here’s my review / summary if you want to know more about it.


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Haitaka no Psychedelica (Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk) is an otome game by Otomate that came out September 29th 2016 for Playstation Vita. Here’s a short synopsis from my review:

The story begins with a heroine named Eiar, who wakes up from a dream of flames engulfing and people shouting “die!” having been burned like a witch. Apparently she has a so called “witch eye” in which her eye turns red when he feels strong emotions. It’s because a woman would be a witch, she has lived her life as a man with the name Jed. So she lives in a tower far from town and disguises herself as a boy. She lives with a man who is the lord of the tower (Haitaka). When a precious treasure is stolen, she takes upon the task to find it and bring together the clan of the Wolves and the Hawks.

Okay, you can say what you want but this is my favorite otome game, okay!? Even when I initially made this list back like a year ago, Haitaka no Psychedelica continues to stay as my favorite #1 otome game that I’ve played thus far. The only reasoning I can really give is that when I first played this game, I was super invested and sucked into the story (to the point I just didn’t sleep and literally played for hours straight). I’ll admit, this game starts off pretty slow, and if you’re not into whats going on, it can be somewhat of a bore. But when it picks up, it really picks up. It’s definitely more plot focused than PBB in my opinion. I just really have a weakness for these types of settings. I really like the medieval–house vs house setting (I think this is why I love Fire Emblem so much… hmm…). BUT DAMMIT I JUST LOVE THIS GAME AND I LOVE JED SO MUCH I WOULD DIE FOR HER. Honestly, Jed is probably my favorite heroine ever. She’s so sly and badass and I just love her so much. Not to mention the references to PBB and that one ending that blew my mind. But you know what else is charming about this game? The side characters!! I just love how much work was put into the side characters’ backstories and overall I just felt so much effort was put into writing these characters. I do wish some things were elaborated on (especially the characters clearly related to certain characters in Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly) but alas maybe in a sequel if Otomate ever decides to do one.

This game is available in English for Playstation Vita. BUT, it is also available on Steam as well so I recommend buying it there if you want a bigger screen and maybe (?) a better experience. This is probably one of the only otome games (aside from Hakuouki I guess?) that I replayed more than once (on Steam). I could go on forever as to why I love this game so much but I think its better to just play it yourself and get your own opinion. It’s not like I expect everyone to agree with me, but I do think you should give this game a chance if you haven’t already. I really hope Otomate ports this game to Switch (I’d definitely buy it again) and in addition to that, we need a sequel! I feel like the Psychedelica series in general feels like it should end with a 3rd game as a trilogy. I don’t know how popular this game truly was in Japan, it seemed to be somewhat overlooked in NA (It didn’t exactly get a whole lot of exposure when it released in English) but I’m still hoping for another game. I want to delve into a another story like this one. Anyway, here’s my review / summary of this game.


And there you have it, my top 10 otome games (as of now lol). Yes, there are probably games that you’re thinking should be on this list or wonder why one is and another isn’t but I mean, I made this list for the sake of listing my own personal favorites. You don’t have to agree with my list and I completely understand everyone has different tastes. These are just games that I found I really enjoyed. Games like Code: Realize, Amnesia, Hakouki, I did like those games but they never really… stuck with me? I actually used to be obsessed with Amnesia but found after playing other games it just didn’t stick as an all time favorite. Hakuouki is… good… but yeah that game I’ve seen and played too much of. I think after playing like 3 ports I just got sick of it. And Code: Realize, I really did debate whether or not to put it on this list but I find I’m not the biggest fan of that game. I like it a lot, and I had it on my list prior to playing Cafe Enchante. But then I played Cafe Enchante and replaced it with that instead, haha. I think its just more up my alley.

Special mentions I guess are: Code: Realize, Ayakashi Gohan, Taisho x Alice. Some PC games were rather good, but these are the games that had the biggest impression on me. Anyways, thanks for reading.

 

 

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