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The End of a SIF Era

Saturday, February 4, 2023 / No Comments


Hello everyone, and I'll start off my post with a big welcome into the new year! I hope that all of you will have a fruitful year ahead~

Anyway, Bushiroad has announced recently that they'll be terminating the Love Live! School Idol Festival app, a well-loved rhythm game that has stuck around with Love Live! fans for close to ten years. Its last day will be on March 31st, 2023.

I saw this notice the moment I opened up my SIF app *tears*

I'm sure most of us are devastated, but with sad news also comes bigger news: the upcoming release of SIF 2! Miracle Live, sort of like a sequel to the original game but with some changes to the UI, gacha system and possibly some enhanced gameplay mechanics.  

Now even though change is always a good thing, I'll have to admit that I still felt a huge wave of heartbreaking nostalgia when I heard about the news. As a die-hard Love Live! fan (especially during the OG era with the lovely μ's girls), it's always hard to see something you've grown attached to go. But that also means staying even more connected with the friends I've made throughout my SIF journey, and bonding through memories of the game together before we move on to the next one. Maybe this time, we'll team up to save the game instead of the school? Heheh. 

On another note, I also managed to see some sneak previews of the game. 

I'm glad to see that most portions of the gameplay is the same, retaining the circle beat area.

I'll be sure to look out for more sneak previews in the coming months leading up to the release of the game!

Here's a trailer if you haven't seen it yet (hearing Heart to Heart by μ's playing in the background brought a smile to my face): 

With that, I'll continue to enjoy the rest of time in SIF, until it terminates its service in March 31st~ 愛してるばんざーい!

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Nintendo Switch: Nightshade

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 / No Comments

My nuggets!!!!!!!!!

I have ascended to heaven!!! Nightshade is ridiculous, I love it so much. As usual, first play is my own, and I managed to get on Hanzo's route. I love this old man so much it's ridiculous. Ok it felt a little weird when Hanzo said he was a close friend of MC's mother, but if I closed my eyes and pretended MC is my age.. 

so soft!!!!!

Anyway! Let's start off real quick with plot. Spoilers as usual, so beware. Depending on the route, the plot does expand a bit, but basically, after a war started by Nobunaga, the last of the Iga were taken in by the Kouga, and MC's mother marries the head of Kouga. This bit expands more depending on the route you're on.

MC and co are tasked to capture Goemon, MC knocks Goemon out, she's asked to Hideyoshi's room alone to get rewarded, Hideoyoshi ends up getting murdered, and MC is framed for that murder. She gets thrown in jail, and depending on your choices up till then, different people will break MC out, and now you're trying to both stay alive and kiss kiss fall in love.  

Right, now that we've got that covered, Gekkamaru is Mr Poster Boy, so his is the true route. His route is obviously the most plot heavy, covering more on MC's father and the clan business. 

Frankly, while the plot is really engaging, it was a little hard to find the romance between Gekkamaru and MC, considering they're a little like childhood friends + the bodyguard troupe. Gekkamaru is such a stickler for details and rules, and I'm quite glad he turned out more endearing than annoying. I'd say play him or Kuroyuki last.

Kuroyuki's route is also very plot heavy, and also covers more on MC's family, but his is a complete 180 to Gekkamaru's. Kuroyuki's covers his own past, and why he was sent away for so long. 

In that respect, I felt it was kind of weird why he was so fixated on MC, and how they ended up forming a romance, but I guess, after going through his route, I can see how this becomes a 'light in a dark tunnel' sort of ending. I played Kuroyuki last, simply because I liked him the least.

Chojiro's is the big brother troupe, and on his route we see a mix on both Hideyoshi and MC's father, and how they come together. Chojiro's route was more of the family vs loyalty dilemma, in my opinion, and honestly I felt bad for him, having to make the decision to pick a side and getting flak for it either way. 

Their interactions are honestly quite cute and I really wish they had a better ending. I was so sad when they ended up facing off against each other because man, could you ever fight to the death when your opponent is your lover?? Anyway, his route starts to get a little deeper, and is a bit of a build up to Gekkamaru's and Kuroyuki's so I'd say play him third.

Goemon's was a little weird, but then he's always been a little weird. His route was always a bit ambiguous, and frankly, I didn't quite like the way the bad ending was. Geomon's route covers his own past and leans more towards the Hideyoshi side, which makes sense since he's not with MC's family. 

He's usually flirty and easygoing, but his personality darkens when you've reached about the halfway point of his route. His good ending ties in nicely with his "thief" persona though. Overall, Goemon's is a little weird, but mild, so play either him or Hanzo first.

Hanzo! This old man is my absolute favorite and in so many ways! I played him first simply because I liked him best, but his route has the least spoilers, so yeah, it was a good choice. He turns out a little cold at first, because he's simply following his master's orders to keep you safe, but over time he gradually warms to you. 

Now I say he's my fav not only because he's voiced by Kenjiro Tsuda, but throughout his route, MC actually gets to grow on her own. It was nice and different. I feel like both Hanzo and MC grew in his route, and it was great to be a part of that experience. The good ending was very very soft, and perfect. To me, Hanzo's route felt the most fleshed out, and had the most vibrancy. 

I'd give Nightshade a 10/10 and if I had to choose only one otome to recommend, I'd definitely pick Nightshade. 

Written by: ninetylives

NIntendo Switch: Collar X Malice

Thursday, February 3, 2022 / No Comments
Hello my nuggets~

I've been inhaling my otomes at the speed Naruto inhales his ramen and man! I was not expecting Collar X Malice to be SO GOOD. (Major Spoilers ahead!!)

So, plot. MC is a policewoman, who is kidnapped and wakes with a poison-filled collar around her neck. She is then blackmailed into investigating the X-day cases, a series of mass murders committed by a terrorist group, Adonis. She ends up joining a detective agency conducting their own investigations, and therein begins your story. 

In my opinion, the plot is incredibly thought provoking. How exactly do you define good and bad? More than once I could definitely understand the thought process leading up to the final decision of taking revenge by murder, even though murder is inherently bad. 

Depending on your route, you might not go that deep into the storyline. Yanagi is the canon route, and with him you'll explore the full extent of Adonis. Shiraishi comes a close second, and my dudes, his tragic end was TRAGIC. It was DMMD levels of tragic to me and I didn't even know how to feel after that.

The rest of the LIs are pretty mild, so I'd say play them first, then Shiraishi. Yanagi unlocks after you finish the rest of them, so you'll definitely play him last. 

sasazuka bad end

As always, first playthrough are my own decisions without a walkthrough, and I was definitely not surprised to end up with Sasazuka in the end. I didn't get the good ending though, I ended up with the tragic ending which was not as heartbreaking as the other routes, but still made me sad nonetheless. 

While I had a very clear preference of route in Code Realize, each LI in Collar x Malice had their own endearing point, and their individual routes were equally captivating. I actually spent time going through each route instead of skipping like with Code Realize.

this dude got me mad mad

Personality and character growth wise, I think I was the most disappointed with Shiraishi's. He was consistently switching between being warm and caring to being cold and pushing MC away and I got so frustrated. 

Shiraishi has a mad sad backstory (with Adonis) and while I could see how it related to his past but it was kinda way too drastic of a switch. 

MC loses her memory in a shoot-out with Zero (Adonis), and Shiraishi takes care of her for a year underground. After which he brings her to the detective agency for Christmas and she suddenly miraculously regains all her memories?? And then he turns himself in to the police and she says she'll wait for him?? 

I-??? What???? This is the good ending??? This is more like the tragic end?? The actual tragic end though, I had to stop the game and go take a rest, I was so traumatized. I liked him, and then I disliked him, and then I liked him, and the cycle continued till the end where I just gave up.

Yanagi, obviously, is the poster boy of the game, but I found it really hard to romance him. Not in the sense that it was difficult, but he felt more brotherly than anything. He didn't particularly have any bad sides to him either, which made him rather bland to me. 
Yanagi was just.. flawless? He isn't bad, but to me he isn't great either. He's just there, you know?

bad ending

good ending

Sasazuka is a bastard, but ends up becoming less prickly, which is really all I can expect from a tsun. His good ending and bad ending are pretty similar as well I'd think, good ending equals both in a relationship, bad ending equals not in a relationship but still very close friends? His route doesn't delve that deep into Adonis as well, so it's not too plot heavy. He's a good starter. 

Enomoto is rather immature, but grows as a person overall. A lot of game time was spent covering his backstory (if i remember correctly), and not too much on Adonis as well, so he's a pretty good starter too. I spent the least time on his route simply because he really wasn't my type of energy, but I have to admit he grew on me as the game went on. His endings are pretty mild as well.

Okazaki, man, this guy needs some serious therapy. Actually, I think they all need therapy but Okazaki right here needs it the most. He has some major 'I need a reason to live' vibes that was a bit too literal for my liking. There's a sad backstory to him as well, and he ends up finding a reason to live in MC, which, good for him, but not too good on my mental state going through his route. I'd say play him third.

me after i finished the game

Nitpicking aside, I think Collar x Malice is a really really amazing game. I was blown away by the art, the music, the storyline, and I actually really liked how most of the NPCs had their own character and personality. 

Anyhoo, here's some extra CGs!

he's too funny!

i really really really really like this two

I'm definitely getting Collar x Malice Unlimited, I need it.

Written by: ninetylives