Schoolwork strikes back… _(´ཀ`」 ∠)_ Exams steal away the time I have to write things up, but they’re nearly over! I’ve been playing a few things on and off, I’ll be updating with Jewelic Nightmare (Alen’s route), Houkago Colorful Step (both sides), and Shinobi Koi Utsutsu. Anyway:
Love Heaven is an otome game application for both iOS and Android. ‘You’ are walking home one day when ‘you’ encounter a strange black cat. Following its lead, ‘you’ fall into a world overrun with strange creatures with nary a soul in sight. This Alice in Wonderland setting is blown to smithereens when the cat opens its mouth and graciously informs ‘you’ that it’s time to bust out the chops. ‘You’ are tasked with gathering a posse of famous historical/fictional figures that have slipped in too, journeying around this strange new world in order to find ‘your’ way out – and romancing them while we’re at it. The game is said to contain over 200 obtainable characters.
Given the scope of the game, it goes without saying that its highlight is the joy of catching ‘em all. Like Pokemon, the player’s goal is to get as far into the storyline as possible, while collecting as many available men as possible. It’s highly based on individual interest. (๑´ڡ`๑) The thought of amassing these famous guys is really exciting, especially since the game updates weekly with new characters! It gets me excited wondering who’s going to be the next one, if I can recognize who so-and-so is, and how the artists decide to interpret their characters.
You’re assigned a set team of characters once you join. Diversify later if you wish (you should, 3 out of 4 of the starting cast are pretty weak) but stick with these fellas for now. There’s Oda Nobunaga aka the biggest dude on the promo picture up there. He’s the arrogant jerk with a shit-eating grin who’s secretly a softie and a huge loner with no friends. He’s actually a really sad character here… (´;ω;｀) Sen no Rikyuu who is a master of the tea ceremony and the token mature old man. Lastly, the Wright brothers! Airplane children! Orville is the noisy little pipsqueak who knows he’s got it, while Wilbur is the Blue Oni to Orville’s Red Oni. Orville and Oda fight all the time because they’re both the noisy and stubborn type, and he calls Oda ‘old man’ (LOL).
The story proceeds with these guys and you play through the game’s plot chapter by chapter. Each chapter is further broken down into 10 smaller parts, which are again broken down further into around 5 smaller chapters. So…each ‘chapter’ is technically 50 small chapters bundled into one. At the beginning and end of each chapter, a new stage of the plot’s storyline will be unlocked!
How the heck does one play Love Heaven? I described it to a friend as “DDR with the fingers”. Bash away at the 8 gray buttons at the bottom of the screen, and match each ball to a ball with a corresponding color. Doing so successfully within the time limit earns you a bonus of +50% attack to all party members for that turn. The number hovering over the enemy is an indicator of how many turns you have left until it whacks you. When facing event bosses, this is useful. Enemy mobs also have a chance of dropping gold upon defeat, which you can use in various ways (explained later).
Characters all have their special skills that can be used pre-battle by tapping on them and going “okay”. When they glow, they’re ready to be used! Oda, for example, gets a +50% to his own attack for 3 turns. Compounding it with the DDR bonus, that’s double of his original attack for that turn! Sadly, you can’t use two guys with the same skill together at once. ｡ﾟ(ﾟ＾ਊ＾ํ )ﾟ｡Characters also have special abilities and bonuses that activate if you bring in an ally with the relevant character as party leader. A conversation also activates when the correct character has been selected as an ally.
“Yoshitsune! You hid my fan somewhere again, didn’t you?”
“Eh~ I don’t know anything about that~ Maybe it’s just another prank by the tengu-? Ehehe~”
Here, I brought in a friend using Minamoto Yoshitsune. Older brother Minamoto Yoritomo (left) is mine and Yoshitsune (right) is my friend’s. You select your allies pre-battle. Yoshitomo can hit the opponent with a kamehameha x5 his attack. Yoshitsune heals your HP to 100%. Together, their party bonus is insane: x1.5 attack and HP to the entire party. Compound it with other characters’ boosts and you have a pretty solid team.
One of my favorites to use – Napoleon Bonaparte. In LH he is a complete dork, and acts 100% like the Conqueror he is – proud, flashy, arrogant to a fault but always forward-looking and really charismatic. His skill on the field is insanely strong. Not only is his attack high, Napoleon has the ability to stall the enemy for 3 turns, giving you time to rest and heal yourself. This is REALLY USEFUL for bosses on Hard Mode which are ABSOLUTELY INSANE TO BEAT SOMETIMES. (´;ω;｀)
Which brings me to the topic of bosses. These are characters whose dungeons are released weekly, one at a time, like this guy (Kimura Shigenari). It’s fun trying to guess who’s up next through the event name. You usually only have a week to collect 10 puzzle pieces to redeem each character. Of course, Hard Mode has a really high drop rate, but the mobs and the boss hits especially hard. Their attack and HP can be insanely high, and it takes quite a lot of force to wrestle their pieces into your pocket. Napoleon my eternal lifesaver, fishing me out of tight pinches.
You can only obtain him through the gacha, where a fee of 5 jewels must be paid to spin it once to call out a new Heroic Spirit – I mean. (⊙‿⊙✿) Upon joining, you get to spin the Gacha about twice for free! I got Hattori Hanzo first, then the old-man-in-young-boy’s-body Prince Shotoku on the second spin. Shotoku is really cute!
When a new guy is called out successfully, you engage in a “Story of your First Meeting” segment with him, which is basically what it says on the tin. Pink-hair guy is Alexander Graham Bell, who is a complete sweetheart that mistakes you ‘calling him’ as a confession that you want to be together with him romantically, and proceeds to get all sheepish and flustered. No, bro, I’m just here to pick you up to join my gang. Graham has a really sweet smile too!
There’s also the Normal Gacha! Here, you pay 200FP or 1,000 gold to spin once. Collect 20 pieces of any one Normal ranked dude, and he’s basically yours. Those currently available can be seen on the banner up above. From left to right: Pablo Picasso, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edogawa Rampo. Not pictured is Kyokutei Bakin, author of Nansou Satomi Hakkenden. (=´∀`)人(´∀‘=) His face is just >:T it’s so cute.
As it goes on, there’s always the possibility of calling out someone you already have; it’s pretty tragic when that happens. So what happens? The repeat turns into bells. What the heck are bells?
See those golden things above the guy’s auburn head? Those are bells. They can be traded for a Gacha ticket if you choose, or affection points (I’ll get to this later). Notice how under that really handsome knight there is this “80 bells” thing. Once every month or so, Love Heaven will switch out these characters who are all obtainable only by trading in bells, and only during this specific bracket of time. Bells can also be obtained by trading in gold, which is 1k for 1 bell. That’s Lancelot by the way, he’s a huge flirt. The previous two bell guys were Mori Motonari and Yoshida Shoin.
So what are affection points? These are points you gain after every run in the dungeons (5 battles per run) that can be used to level up your army of guys. The higher the level the more attack and HP, obviously. At levels 10 and 20, side stories featuring the character will be unlocked. Read through them for more insight into their thoughts and general feelings about things. It’s kinda cute ohoho. Love Heaven also recently introduced this thing where you unlock different expressions for the sprites upon hitting levels 20 and 30. The second expression is an alternate one, but the third’s where it’s at – BLUSHING FACES. =͟͟͞͞ (۶•́ᴗ•̀)۶
LOOK AT THIS MAN. This is Mozart and he is cute as heck because he’s super flirty and practically bombs you with stupid nicknames like “chicken pie”. But this confident, sparkly cutie has the most “oh man why are you giving me real feels” blushing face. It’s hilarious. While we’re at it, here’s Napoleon’s. He looks so offended that you’re giving him the dokis.
Anyway. There’s one more way to obtain new guys – the Summon Box. Pay real cash for a bunch of in-game bonuses (gacha tickets, jewels, affection points etc.) and a special unit that can only be obtained through the Box.
Feast your eyes on Dazai Osamu, who is REALLY GORGEOUS and also REALLY EXPENSIVE. I love his design a lot and I want to collect all the writers and poets in this game, but 3k yen is beyond me. He don’t come cheap and I suppose it’s with good reason. Each character in Love Heaven possesses their own unique traits and design, which I think is pretty awesome because there are a ton of guys but somehow the designs are always really varied and really individual. It’s also funny how some famous figures turned out…
…Like Picasso, another one of my favorites, who is this slang-slurring thug life painter with no tact and pretty much does whatever the hell he wants. He can’t censor his mouth and runs it off when there’s something he wants to say, and is completely unapologetic when he thinks something is TASTELESS. ʅ( ՞ਊ՞)ʃ≡ ≡ʅ( ՞ਊ՞)ʃ He also says “Yuck!” in English a lot. Someone on Twitter commented that she thought his character seemed like a CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa, and I…would really like that!!!
Then there’s Lancelot as introduced above, who is like this super Fine and Proper knight who speaks in archaic formal language when you first meet him. And he drops the polite act completely and complains about being stuffy when you tell him it’s A-OK to let his hair down…and proceeds to flirt outrageously because ain’t you the best, letting him loose like this! I love this version of him, he’s just so pouty and silly.
Sadly there’s not much individual content on each character, but I suppose having a full route for each person (given that there’ll eventually be 200+) is a little much. So far collecting has been enjoyable, and I really like stuff based on all these famous figures, fictional or not. I’m really hoping for them to include generals from the Warring States period in China, or foreign novelists! There’s only the Grimm brothers so far…Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm are two shota traps by the way.
Other characters in Love Heaven also include: the entire Shinsengumi squad (see: Hakuouki), other painters like Hokusai and Van Gogh, musicians like Beethoven and Liszt and Schubert , also writers like Natsume Soseki and old guys like Christopher Columbus. It’s a really colorful cast. There’s also a bunch of Sengoku Era guys, and Date Masamune looks like he walked out of a viskei band. So does Oda, actually…
There’s a drama CD coming out! Shakespeare’s going to be the limited character whose DLC code comes with the CD…but. More importantly. Shakespeare is going to be voiced by Miki Shinichirou and Oda Nobunaga by Suzuki Tatsuhisa. (´◉◞⊖◟◉｀)
Overall: I’ve only been on Love Heaven for about 1-2 months and so far it’s been a pretty chill ride. No stress at all. I’m enjoying playing the game at my own pace and I’m looking forward to more updates! (Read: MORE WRITERS PLEASE)