Name: Tokimeki Memorial (81.76% in 17 votes)
Release date: 1997
Reviewed by: Tabris
Hmm what can i say? Tokimeki Memorial have made such a big name for themselves ever since the PC-FX days. This game is everwhere you go practically now. They even made a movie about it over the summer of 97 and released it for WIN95. So the total number of platforms this game bridged is 6, from the original NEC PC engine to other platforms such as: Playstation, SNES, Saturn, Win95 and even Gameboy. As you can probably see by this, that this game is truly benefitting from a good amount of popularity. Why you might ask? Well I will try to explain as best as I can through this review why so many people fell in love with this game.
For starters, I will first explain the storyline behind the game. The game is set in 1995 or 1996 depending on which version you play. You, the player, is starting his 3 years in High school, and you noticed your neighbor and childhood friend Shiori Fujisaki also goes to Kirameki High School (your high school for the next three years in game play). A legend has it during your graduation, if a girl confesses her love for you underneath the legendary tree, the couple will live a happy and wonderful life. So you decide to try and win Shiori's heart by graduation. But during your three years in Kirameki High school, you also run into different girls and you have the freedom to date whomever you find to be most interesting. There are a total of 12 girls you can end with in the game thereby increasing the game's replay value. Also each girl have a little piece of their story and background to share. As for the gameplay, You have certain status to maintain throughout your high school life such as:Health, literature, science, art, sports, looks, perserverance, and stress levels. These stats are very crucial throughout the game. They reflect how well you do in school, clubs, and even affects how girls feels about you. For instance, Shiori likes guys that are good at everything, where as Mira (the class pretty girl) can careless about your academics and wants a guy with all looks. Managing your status comes from the action commands such as read, perform experiments, draw, run, socialize, grooming, and sleep, other action commands are make a phone call, date, and the club command which performs the club activities if you belonged to a certain club. The game follows that of a regular high school life in Japan. You have to pass quarterly exams, you can join clubs, go out and date girls at different spots around town, get sick and miss school, valentines day, christmas holidays, summer break, etc. The similarities of the high school life in japan academically is portrayed fluently through the game by having school holidays, festivals, and events that happen around town. But be careful, the game is not only to create a reputable academic or sport friendly life in High School. The main story still lies within taking girls out to dates and having them fall in love with you. There are many cheat codes and help file for strategies to win in this game but I believe it is best just to play your own game. The reason? Well basically this is a simulation of a high school life and you should set goals and try to familiarize yourself with the game. Whereas if you are having trouble meeting the status requirements for Shiori to fall in love with you at the end, then maybe you should try a cheat code or follow those walkthroughs. But overall, your highschool life is not that hard!!
As mentioned before, the main part of the game revolves around meeting, dating, and having the girl fall in love with you. So I will briefly go over the procedures of the game. First the way you can meet the different girls are either by random luck, joining a club, or performing a certain action command when your status reaches above their minimal meeting requirement. Then you would call your best guy friend Yoshino for the girl's information. This information contains their interest level in you, their size (I have no idea why), their birthday, their telephone number, and the club they belong to. The part in this i find the most interesting is that their size actually do increase throughout the years in High School (talk about realistic). One thing you need to pay attention to in the information is the notion of a bomb. A bomb exists when a girl is in bad relations with you and you should try to fix it. This can happen in ways such as ignoring her, did something bad on a date, or missed a date. Being bombed is not a good thing because if the bomb explode, all the girls interest level will drop. Also you will need to keep reading the quarterly magazine every two to three months. This will keep you up to date with dating spots and you will know what is showing in the theaters, concerts, and sports stadium.
Personally, i love the opening. The tokimeki theme song is really cheerful and the movie is really nice. This game was one of the first "love simulation" games and that many games that followed trends its path. If you liked this game, I suggest you play the arcade Tokimeki ~tell me your heart~. I played it in Tokyo, and enjoyed it. There are sections dedicated to just this game. I even saw girls playing this game. The photo at the end of the game is really nice too.
Pros - Called me biased, but I love everything in this game. From the gameplay which is a pure simulation of high school events, to the cute high school girls you meet, to the voice and music of the game. This game is simply a cult classic. There really is no reason why this game shouldn't be as popular as it is. I still play this game when I have free time and still enjoy every parts of it. The replay value of this game is very high due to the different girls and the mini games (ie. sport festivals and final fantasy type battles) are simply icing on the perfect cake.
Cons - Ok so I lied previously saying I liked every aspect of the game, but this is because of the evolution of the dating simulation industry and how it is so advanced that looking back at this game, there simply is no comparison. So the bad points of this game are mainly is comparions to other games such as its descdants: Tokimeki Memorial 2, their EVS system, their nice animation and also their cute girls. Tokimeki Memorial 3 and the whole picking what clothes to wear and using items on dates is a very nice idea and the reading about new topics to increase conversations with girls is true genius (Tokimeki Memorial 3's graphics sucks btw!!! such disappointment). The phone system for the Tokimeki Memorial series also is a bit depressing. I never understood why it takes one entire day to make one phone call. This is after playing Kakyusei where phone calls to girls are 15 minutes. Lastly, maybe I am being greedy, but Tokimeki Memorial's diversity in girls leaves so little room for special events. I say this because the special events for girls in both Tokimeki 1 and 2 are very minimal. Maybe around ten events per character. I say this is a bad point because I just want to see more Special CGs.
Recommended to - I think everyone should give this game a try. This game, as I have mentioned before, is a cult classic and if you like playing dating simulations now, you should try one of the original in the dating simulation genre.
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