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From my awareness of dating sim elements from role playing games such as "Persona 3" and "Persona 4," I had some idea of what to expect, and in the first hours of "Love Plus," I felt as if I was in familiar territory.
Your character goes to school, chooses his activities, and has a fair amount of control over which girls he interacts with and how often he chooses to spend time with them.
The three girls you can date are Manaka Takane, a sweet and innocent member of the tennis club, Nene Anegasaki, a mature girl one year your senior, and Rinko Kobayakawa, a less-than-personable library assistant roughly based on a character from Japanese author Haruki Murakami's "Dance, Dance, Dance." Each of these girls is a classic Japanese stereotype.
Takane embodies everything about cuteness that Japan finds so attractive, while Nene represents the slightly older and wise classmate, something that Americans can relate to as being sexy as well.
The first part of the game is standard fare: players court three girls, trying to get them to fall in love with the player.
That's where most dating sims end; Love Plus is just getting started. You've already got the girl, now what do you want to do?
If you've never played a dating sim, just know that there isn't much challenge, as it's more of an interactive movie than an actual video game.
I also realized that while I have often played my DS in public before, that I could never play this game in that setting without wondering how onlookers would react. It's especially interesting to contrast my reaction with that of the game's dedicated Japanese fanbase.In other words, while in our eyes, it may seem like madness to love a fictional character or even an inanimate object, in a society where loneliness is a louder noise than most, reaching for something familiar to love is not so strange after all - to any of us. When it comes to topics of interest to nerds, geeks, and superfans, we know how true that is. features stories from a nerd's perspective that you can still share with your "normal" friends and family.