Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (Franchise) Review
Affiliate links within this post may be commissionable.
Note this series was never released outside of Japan, however, it has been fan translated by some great people in the otome community.
Check out the patch releases below.
Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 1 (Nintendo DS) Patch from https://sites.google.com/site/tokimemogs1/home
Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 2 (Nintendo DS) Patch from https://gokusaishiki.wordpress.com/
Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3 (Sony PSP) Patch from https://sites.google.com/site/otomeundercover/otome-projects/tmgs3-psp#TOC-Patch-Download
Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3 (Nintendo DS) Patch coming soon at https://gokusaishiki.wordpress.com/
For help patching your copy of the game please contact the patch providers above; they have written very helpful guides for patching your game on their respective websites.
The games can be purchased at sites such as play-asia.com and yesasia.com ; please do not pirate the games; we need to show konami and other developers that we are willing to spend money on these games and that there is a demand for Otome games in the US.
Title: Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (First Kiss, Second Kiss, and 3rd Story)
Genre: Otome, Dating Sim – also known as a Life Sim, Stat Raising Sim, or simply Raising Sim; It also contains visual novel elements such as multiple endings and branching plot.
Platform: The original game was a Playstation 2 release; since then, it’s appeared on Nintendo DS, PSP, and IOS
Release Date: The original game was released in 2002; however, the versions used in this review are from 2007 and after.
Overall: 90/100 A- “Excellent Game For Girls”
Concept: 10/10 Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side is a spin off series from the popular Tokimeki Memorial gaming series. In this spin off, the roles are reversed and you find yourself playing the role of a young female in her last year of highschool. You must juggle your studies, part time jobs, dating, male and female friendships, after school activities, clubs, and your own health and well being. Your stats determine which guys you end up with, what job or study you go into after graduation, and also what secrets you see within the game. There are fun mini games such as making chocolate or a 3 legged race, and standard visual novel branching plot and multiple ending style gameplay based on the choices and decisions you make within the games.
Gameplay: 10/10 Gameplay is divided into daily activities which you assign at the beginning of each new week. These activities affect your stats, and your stats determine which boys will be interested in you. You also are given the ability to join a club and take on a part time job both of which also affect your stats and open up special scenes and activities to do with your honey. There are also numerous in-game events such as valentines day, sports festival, field trips, school plays, school festivals, christmas, or special events going on in the town (you have to read the news to keep abreast on the latest happenings, such as star gazing or blossom viewing, or what bands are playing or movies are showing that week.) You can also check your horoscope and if you follow it’s advice your stat bonuses will be increased from it’s recommended activities. Certain guys like certain events and certain places to go on their dates more than others. They also like certain colors and styles of clothes. If you take the guy somewhere he likes and wear what he likes your date results will be more favorable; but the biggest indication of how a date will turn out is in what answers you give during the conversation with your sweetie on your dates. Not only do you have to please your “target” beau but you also must remember to spend time with other boys in your class as well or they will become jealous; and a “bomb” will go off. You can check with your little brother to see how each of the characters are feeling at any given time. There is also a dressup element as mentioned above, and lots and lots of clothing items to purchase. The clothing can be layered to create powerful combo effects and new styles. You always want to wear seasonally appropriate clothing as well as follow the latest fashion trends, or risk ridicule from the guys on your dates. The nintendo DS versions feature a “skinship” element to the dates, you can touch your date, and you must think carefully not to overtouch him or to touch inappropriately for the level of affection between you two. There are dozens of different date locations and tons of characters to date, including hidden unlockable characters as well. As you become closer to your date, he may also request to extend the date which presents new opportunities to get to know one another. He will also start calling you to ask you out instead of waiting for your call as well. If a date goes really well you will get a nice text message from him at the end of the date. The things the boys say in this game series are so amazingly sweet. They are like the perfect boyfriend(s). I have even swooned over the characters in these games lol. These games also all feature female best friends who also become your love rivals as well. It’s a well rounded experience that puts you in the life of a young highschool girl as she experiences her first love (hence the first game being titled first kiss). Each subsequent game features a new heroine and new romanceable men. Because it is a bit weak on story, it can drag at times which can make the lengthy game and repetitive gameplay elements a bit tiresome. However, it’s also strangely addictive and I find myself replaying these games more than any other games in my library.
Story: 7/10 The stories in these games are a bit weak or bland and generic; It’s basically a slice of life tale with no action and little to no suspense or plot twists. The main mystery usually comes in the form of the “cannon” route who is usually a childhood friend however you two do not recognize each other initially since you’re both almost adults now. There’s usually a legend about the town; in the first game, it’s about a prince and princess, in the 2nd game it’s about a mermaid that fell in love with a human, etc; however, this bit of back story is never really fully explored; and you only hear bits and pieces of rumors, and the rumors vary widely from the school is mass producing robots, to if you go to the church with your true love you’ll always be together, etc. Aside from that bit of story presented there, most of the story simply follows the life and times of a highschool senior as she experiences her first love.
Characters: 7/10 The game series is full of stereotypical anime characters, the tsundere, the idol, the geek, the athlete, the student council members, etc. If you enjoy slice of life anime (which I do); you will already be familiar with many of the character types in the game. The neat thing about this series is that you’re not just limited to students, you can also date the teacher, and yes, even the principal which is creepy since he’s probably late 40s – 50s and you’re a highschool student lol…. The game is very G rated though and the most you’ll ever do is kiss; so I don’t think that’s really the reason it’s not been released outside of Asia yet. Although those types of relationships are much more common and acceptable over there. There’s also hidden characters in each game. The characters feel very real, they’re dealing with the same highschool struggles many of us face in our own daily lives and past experiences. However, the character stereotypes are basically rehashed for each installment in this series; so many characters could be cut/paste over one another, and ultimately, many of them are not memorable in the end due to their stereotypical nature and lack of much storyline.
Graphics: 10/10 This game is a beautiful sight to behold; both because of the oodles of hunky man eye-candy and also because of the beautiful detailed backgrounds and kawaii clothing and shopping elements. I dare say it’s one of the most visually appealing games on the Nintendo DS especially for anime lovers.
Music: 10/10 I only have good things to say about the soundtrack in these games. It has almost a Kpop feeling to it; using “boy bands” for the opening and ending themes and “peppy” background music throughout the game play. For example, here is the opening theme from TMGS 3rd Story. It starts with an accapella arrangement, and then evolves into a kpop-ish boy band that both features each singer in solo parts, as well as features the group harmonizing and their rhythm talent. http://www.tokimekimedia.net/files/theme/TMGS3-SHINE.mp3 The band known as Primrose appears to be very talented; I love the ending theme of TMGS3 – it’s hard to believe this is the same band as the opening theme, it has a very different feeling to it. I love it 🙂 http://www.tokimekimedia.net/files/theme/TMGS3-floweroflove.mp3
Voice Acting: 10/10 The “Love Plus” edition of these games is fully voiced (while the standard edition has a lot of voice acting as well but not “fully”) The ones I played were “Love Plus” and the voice acting is exceptional. It really helps you to bond with each of the boys in the game. I really hope if Konami ever does port the game to the US that they leave the Japanese voice actors in the US version; they are so good! They convey so much emotion, from happiness, to anger, fear, shyness, sternness, playfulness, confidence, goofyness, etc. They make the characters come alive.
Customization: 10/10 When the game starts you can name your heroine, pick a room (which determines who your best friend / rival will be), enter your blood type, birthdate, and other options. Then as mentioned above, throughout the game you must buy new outfits to impress your date, and you can layer items to create new looks and styles. You also determine your path through the game by joining a club, taking on a part time job, and raising your stats as you see fit which determine which boys fall for you and what events you see as well as your end result including career, love life, and more after you complete the game.
Replay Value: 10/10 You will definitely want to replay this; the story branches early and often depending on your stats and which guy you’re going after. Some guys are quite hard to obtain so save often!
Overall: /100 90/100 A- “Excellent Game For Girls”
At time of this review, this is the first game reviewed on the site to receive a 90 or above, or anything higher than a B+ rating, with nearly 50 reviews under our belt now. This alone is a testament to just how much fun, how addicting, and how engaging this game series is; not to mention the sky-high production values in terms of artwork, voice acting, music, and presentation.