Ever since I saw the demo a this tumblr, and played the demo (twice - got bad end the first time), I was waiting for this game to be released. I was in school waiting for my classes to start on Nov 30, 2012 when I saw it out. Of course, I had the end of semester stuff to do AND my finals, so I had to postpone this game later. But then after my exams, I was in the middle of other otome games like Heartstring Bugs, My Sweet Bodyguard, Be My Princess and Love Letter from Thief X. :P
But then, two days ago, I finally started to play this game. But before starting it, I surfed around about this game to see people's thoughts. And boy, lots of feels and some funny scenes. Plus, it was difficult to get a good end. So I made sure to read some tips and prepared myself mentally.
Dandelion -Wishes Brought to You- is a Korean, otome game made with Ren'py by Cheritz. It's also a stat-raiser, but they handled it very well.
The site is a http://dl.cheritz.com/en/home
The story Heejung Kim, the main character who we are controlling, is living by herself after moving away from her mom's house, hoping to get away from all the expectations/nagging of her mom and become independent. It's been 3 years now, and she still doesn't know what she's doing with her life. University graduation is near. One day, after she wakes up, she finds a basket with 3 rabbits and 2 cats next to her bed. After deciding to take care of them, her life seems more brighter and less lonely.
Of course, things don't go normally in these otome games, if you get one of the pets to like you (have hearts), everyone turn into human (males, of course)! Heejung has a lot of crazy things going on her life, on top of her busy life style. Now it's time for you to help Heejung find what is missing in her life and become happy! Of course, with the help of her new friends. And of course, get to know the the 5 mysterious guys and maybe help one and fall in love.
Yeah, I'm kind of bad of summarizing the game without spoilering too much. I really suggest playing the demo if you haven't. Giving it a try doesn't harm you.
I don't really want to tell you how to play the game or what happens in the game; you can find that out at the site or do a Google search, but I will tell you about my thoughts on the game. Keep in mind, I've only played one path, and that's Jieun's good ending.
The game is somewhat similar to Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side, where you raise stats, go on dates and interact with the guy of your choice. The game spans one year. What I like about the gameplay is that it's fresh and doesn't go stale too fast. Even when choosing an activity to raise stats, you can bump into one of the guys and interact with them to raise their affection for Heejung. Plus, each activity have Heejung's narration and there are a lot of things she can say for each activity. Plus, the things the guys' say changes the stronger the feelings they have for her. As well as, the dates at the different date spots. Sometimes I just reload just to see another reaction. :)
To me, the game wasn't hard at all. But maybe I'm just used to stat-raisers. I suggest leveling up Heejung's pressure and stress stats so she doesn't get pressured/stressed as much. Also, quick-save and quick-load helps a lot if you want to bump into a guy and successfully interact/talk/rub/gift him. Also, go for one guy only, or else you will get a bad end. Don't get hearts with other guys. An exception, I read, is Jieun and Jihae, since they are close. For Jieun's route, I had 1 heart for Jihae. But Jieun doesn't have any bad ends, so I'm not sure if it was necessary. That's just what I read. Anyway, raising Heejung stats to meet the guys' requirements wasn't hard at all. After the common route, my stats were also above everyone's requirements. Even increasing their affection for Heejung is easy once you understand what to do when meeting them when doing activities. Dates help, too.
Oh yeah. The stamps you get when you look around during dates are for the concept art stuff in the Special section of the title screen. I suggest getting the eye medicine thing at the store for $200 to raise Heejung's sight so you can see more. 1.2 was the max, I think. I over bought and over collected the Jieun's stamps since you only need 30, and I got over 50. Whoops!
What makes the game fresh as you play it are the cutscenes. There are a lot of them for each character. Whenever the loading screen appears, I just take my hand away from my mouse because... well, I don't know. It was exciting to see these cutscenes. Getting to know the guys and Heejung is always interesting. There are many CGs for each character, and cutscenes, but only after you complete the ending do you get to view the CGs in the Extra section of the title screen. Same for the art in the Special section.
The artwork is really pretty, too. I'm not much of an art-buff like Heejung, but I can tell they are high quality. The music fits nicely with the game, too. And the voice acting was of high quality, too. Even though I don't know any Korean, it was nice to hear them talk because it adds life into the characters. The voice acting happens during cutscenes, though, not day-to-day interaction. But that's fine. There are tons of cutscenes. The design of the guys are otherworldly. It took me some time to get use to them, and I still don't think I'm used to Jieun's design despite me going through his path. But I don't think that's a bad thing. They are unique characters after all. Heejung is the only one that looks plain. I guess so we can associate with her. Though, I think she is pretty. *o* She's around the same age as me, too, so I really can associate with her. All the pressure, expectations, nagging, and not sure what to do in life. Heejung is a strong girl, despite everything that has happened to her. She's amazing.
I went on a tangent there. Hehe.
Anyway, even though I played one route, I had a lot of fun so far, and this game is definitely worth my $30~. Though, the Christmas drama CD seems too expensive when I add $20+ shipping, making it around $40 for 2 CDs. (I can't seem to part that much money just for CDs D:) I recommend this game if you are into otome games like me. Support the otome community and play it.
It's like the 2nd Korean game I've played (1st is Star Project). I'm happy to try out even more Korean games in the future if they suit my tastes. :)