Love 365 is a library app released by Voltage Inc. that, from now on, houses all title releases that have been ported to smartphone and released in English. Players old and new have had many opinions on this move, ranging from delight at having the convenience of all the apps in one to anger from having lost purchases due to the Transfer Data time limits (many of which were away for a while and were not aware of Love 365 and the eventual removal of all standalone apps).
After playing around with Love 365, though, there are still things in it that make it difficult as a player now that all 40 (as of right now) titles are combined into one app. So in no particular order….
5. Bring Back Character E-mails
One of the things that really stood out with playing Voltage games was the ability to sign up for character e-mails. At the end of most chapters of the games, you would automatically be sent an e-mail from the in-game characters. Topics of the e-mails were different depending on what was going on in that moment in the story and who was sending them. For instance, some e-mails at the beginning would be of one of the side characters introducing themselves and giving you well wishes, while later e-mails would be more personal or private from the guy whose route you’re playing.
For older games such as Dreamy Days in West Tokyo and My Forged Wedding, some of the content of the e-mails were even used in the story. I can’t tell how many times I’ve played through Main Stories and end up confused about something in them that was never mentioned before, only to read about it later when checking through the e-mails. There’s also the final e-mail you receive from each Main Story, which typically has the romancible guy expressing his love and devotion to the heroine. They hold something more personal that we would otherwise not be able to see in the Main Story. One example would be one of Prince Keith’s final e-mails where he tells of how his father was kicked out of the bedroom after Keith’s sister, Catherine, was born. Keith expressly rejects the idea of allowing this with his own wife and child, simply because he wouldn’t want to be apart from them. Nowhere do we hear of this in any of the playable stories, so we’re missing out on a lot of tidbits that anyone would want to know about their favorite characters.
A large portion, if not all, of players loved this feature, and I’m sure that everyone would love to have this back in Love 365, even if it’s just with an in-app Inbox option.
4. Give the Option to Apply a Different Name for the Heroine on Each Title
Okay, so this is a personal thing for me.
I know most players tend to use the same name across all apps, but I’m someone who likes to give the heroine of each game a different name, mainly because I don’t see them as being the same person. This is what gave me issues with Sweet Cafe, which only allowed for one name across all stories within the app. Love 365 follows this, so each time I want to play a different title, I have to go through having to change the in-game name every single time.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who does this. While we’re not sacrificing an arm and a leg to go and change the name each time ourselves, it would be more convenient to at least have the option to change names before going into a story.
3. Let Us Know in What Timeline Each Sub Story Takes Place
One thing I hated about Scandal in the Spotlight Sub Stories was having bought one and playing it only to find out within a few lines that the story takes place in Season 2. The problem? I’ve only played Season 1. I don’t know who the Ena brothers are. I don’t know why REVANCE is in L.A., in America. I don’t know why the heroine is even living with the Ena brothers instead of with REVANCE or how any of this even happened. But too bad, too late! I already bought the story.
For someone like me, who hasn’t played the majority of stories released for any title, there needs to be some type of indication in the Sub Story descriptions giving me an idea of just how far into the Main Story timeline it is recommended for me to have played in order to enjoy the Sub Stories. Preferably, without any kind of confusion. Instead, Voltage just assumes I’ve played everything up to that point.
And this goes for all titles. So not only did I buy a Sub Story that was interesting enough for me to want to play then and there, now I have to wait to play it because I’m someone who’d rather play Season 2 before getting into any Season 2 Sub Stories. At least with some sign that the stories take place after Season 1, it would allow players to be able to choose Sub Stories that are within the timeline that they have played instead of finding out only after they’ve thrown money at the app. Now I’m afraid of buying a Sub Story and finding it takes place in Season 3. Great!
2. Recommend Stories That Should Actually Be Recommended
Each time you finish a story in Love 365, you are given a pop-up with three recommended stories to play. The thing is, the stories recommended have nothing to do with the story you just played. How is this a problem? Well, the above stories were recommended to me after having played Sho Kiriya’s route in Celebrity Darling. If you’ve played that route, then you see the problem. Off the top of my head, things I can say had to do with Sho’s route are
- Sho being a celebrity
- becoming a celebrity and falling in love with Sho
- dealing with not being able to see the person you like
- first love and childhood meetings
- reunions with childhood friends
- amnesia due to trauma
So why am I being recommended Shunichiro’s Main Story from Irresistible Mistakes? Celebrity Darling doesn’t carry the mature themes that Irresistible Mistakes does, and other than having (a very different kind of) amnesia, I don’t see what the route has in common with Sho’s. Masaomi is closer considering he’s a celebrity himself, but as someone who hasn’t played his route, I’ve had other players tell me that his route doesn’t really delve into him being a celebrity. Everything usually happens at home or domestically. I haven’t played When Destiny Comes Knocking, but just going by the character profiles, I can see how at least three of the guys can be considered celebrities. So why not recommend those Main Stories instead of the In Demand Route? Yes, you have to pay for it, but if someone really wants to play any of the Main Stories without missing anything, they’d be willing to buy it. And recommending the In Demand Route is the same as recommending a game’s Prologue instead of any of the actual stories, so why do it? Some stories that would work better being recommended, off the top of my head, are
- Glenn J. Casiraghi
- Ayato Hidaka
- Yuzuki Kitaoji
There. That’s three. You can also pretty much use… any story in Dreamy Days in West Tokyo, Seduced in the Sleepless City, Scandal in the Spotlight… oh hey, maybe even Taki Kozaki from Kings of Paradise would work?!
1. Get Rid of Love Choice or Make a P2P Alternative
GTFO with this Lovestruck/The Arcana BS.
Either get rid of it or make a pay-to-play alternative. Not everyone has the time to wait hours in between every chapter, or the money to pay for all the Heart choices. There’s a reason they’re not already playing F2P games, some of which use this exact same system.
It’d be one thing to have Heart choices if only to give a special scene or something for making the choice, but it’s a completely different thing when Heart choices are necessary to get the best ending and the story CG. Because yes, we are very much aware that the price of playing the whole story with Heart choices costs a lot more than the standard P2P Main Story. We’re not idiots. Even Voltage’s social games don’t force you to choose the premium stories to get the better ending, and buying those premium stories can still cost you more than $12 a route! Be My Princess: PARTY stories alone are about $20 for each route just to buy the premium stories, which come with a CG and a different story than the free stories. But at least in the social games (sans My Forged Wedding: PARTY), we get the opportunity to get in-game premium currency for free either from lotteries, campaigns, friend visits, and bonuses. In Love 365, our only options are to slowly get them through the Login Bonus wheel or to buy them outright.
Voltage’s main selling point for their non-social games was the P2P aspect: you pay for a story and you own it for as long as Voltage allows it to exist, playing it at your own convenience. We understand that Voltage is trying to bring in the F2P audience by using Love Choice, but how about doing it in a way that doesn’t screw over the majority, if not the entire, customer base that they’ve built? Because I can say right now that I am not touching anything stamped “Love Choice” with a 50-foot pole. I’d say that you’d have to pay me to play them, but the money would just go into making those Heart choices anyways. I’m not that much of a masochist.
(PFWAH This was supposed to be a joke post but uh I may have gone a bit overboard…………………….)