Before I start talking about this VN, I just want to say that I never played the first 3 Tokimeki VNs. It’s because Those 3 existed way before my Otaku self was awakened and the fact that the first 3 of the series is hard to find other than searching the PSX roms. So, i’m just gonna talk about the 1st Tokimeki VN that I played.
Tokimeki Memorial 4, as its name implies is the 4th game of the famous dating sim series “Tokimeki Memorial. It’s developed by KONAMI and released exclusively for the PSP on December 9th, 2009. This game also celebrates the 15th Anniversary of the Tokimeki series. This is the the newest main Tokimeki series, after Konami has been focusing on the “Girl’s Side Tokimeki” for the Nintendo DS. Tokimeki Memorial 4 also goes back to the roots of it’s original, by returning back to the same school from the first series and the coming back of the Legendary Tree, which has been parodied in many animes and mangas. The Special 15th Anniversary limited package aslo comes with an OVA, which is more of an introductory episode that introduces all the main heroines of the game.
The Main story (goal) of this VN is simple get one of the heroines to confess her love to you under the Legendary Tree, which has said that to bring eternal happiness to the couples. But before that you must try to get close to one of the heroines and get to know them better. The Tokimeki series has always been a pure dating simulation series, in this case there’s no “closed heroine routes” and you can approach any heroines in any way you like, but since it’s a pure dating sim, each girl has their own criteria and prerequisite before finally reaching your goal. In this game you also need to build your character status. These status will be those criteria that is needed to get the heroines to be interested in talking to you. After you get close to one heroine, she will start opening herself to you, and their main heroine story will start.
You’ll start playing this from the first time you enter the school till the time you graduate. Then you need to plan out daily activities to raise your stats. There are many stats to raise, from human studies, to science, from arts to physical strength. You will also be given a chance to join school extra curricular clubs. These stats and clubs are the ones to determine which girl will you meet and which girl will be close to you. Also, at each new year you’ll be given the chance to buy skills to help you raise your stats, or help socially to get close to the heroines.
Besides raising stats and attending school, you’ll also need to maintain the relationships between each heroines that you get to know. This can be done by calling her and taking her to places. This has to be done carefully planned, because there’s a backlash for every action you do. Each girl that you get to know will remain permanent until graduation day, this mean that ignore her long enough ,she will start hating on you and ultimately spread bad rumors that will bother your focused relationship that you want. You can check out their conditions by calling your childhood friend, and their anger can be reduced with a simple call and probably a date later.
There are plenty of heroines that you can get to know, and each has their own personal background and stereotypes. There are 9 main heroines that you’ll naturally get to know with the growth of your stats, and there are 3 secret heroines that needs a certain action to be done before you get to start to date them.
Why do I like this Visual Novel?
As a VN Player my favorite genre was always the Pure romance genre. so this is pretty much qualifies as something that I will like very much. Besides my personal preferences this also has high replayability due to large number of available heroines, much larger than some of it’s predecessor. The Illustrations are also nice and simple, the story is also not too shallow but still good enough as a pure romance story. This is for you who wants to feel that “fluffy” high school love life although a bit unrealistic but that’s where the magic of this VN is located. This VN is recommended for those who just wants to unwind and enjoy, the game part itself is pretty easy, but each heroines have their own set of difficulty, so proper planning is a must.
Currently it’s only available for the PSP, and there are no plans to port it into any other console, and if you’re a female like I said early in the post, there is a counterpart of this series, which is the “Girl’s Side” with a female main character and many male characters to choose from. It’s not a must play, but it is a VN worth trying at least once in your life since this series is the roots of many modern VN today.