Dating sims are great, but dating sims in VR are even greater. We are not talking rated R games with booby and booty. We are talking games like LovePlus (ラブプラス), where it offers a pure romantic experience beginning from subtle hints to the sweet dates after school. This kind of games often let millions of guys experience something nostalgic, something young, or something they have never experienced before. This is where the worth of LovePlus lies in, and why it took us 80 minutes to wait for LovePlus Every mobile VR at the very beginning of the first day of Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2017.
Ever since Konami announced LovePlus Every for mobile, fans worldwide have gone wild over the three “Japanese national girlfriends” again. Every, like the previous LovePlus titles for console, features Manaka Tanake (CV: Saori Hayami), Rinko Kobayakawa (CV: Sakura Tange), and Nene Anegasaki (CV: Yuko Minaguchi). Player meets the three girls at high school, and after one of them professes their love for him, enjoys a life of romance with his new girlfriend.
The booth was set up to imitate Towano High School, which is the major background of the franchise. All the pretty female staff was dressed in school uniforms. The whole set up must be an eye candy to LovePlus fans.
Upon entering the school, a “school girl” led us to our own individual classrooms. On the school table we found a LovePlus Every goggle, a headphone and a LovePlus Every plastic bag for visitors to take their goggles home. So sweet of Konami to let people take the beautiful goggle away for free!
Unfortunately we were unable to take picture of what we saw in the VR experience, but we were able to tell everyone that it was damn awesome! We chose Manaka to be our heroine because why not? She is pretty, fun and brave enough to take the initiative.
Rinko Kobayakawa (left), Manaka Tanake (mid), Nene Anegasaki (right)
When our character first opened his eye, he found himself sitting in a classroom after school. Action prompts appeared around the classroom, which could be seen in 360°. In order to proceed, players were required to move their heads often to check for prompts. To initiate a prompt, we had to stare at it until the indication bar was filled. Every transition between prompts was smooth, giving us a feeling of being inside a high-quality anime. The character was unable to move, but that’s okay, because the system has already encouraged us to move our heads often, which is the high level of activity that any VR game should have.
The graphics had no flaw. It didn’t have any of those weird VR glitches, such as an arm detached from the body when moving. It didn’t have any of those lifeless, robotic movements, such as an NPC stopping for a few seconds before it could carry on the next movement. As mentioned before, LovePlus Every VR is like an high-quality anime. When Manaka moved, her skirt and even hair flipped slightly, naturally. It was extremely possible that Konami did some motion capture just for this 10 minute experience. Props to Konami!
Story-wise, we hated it but also loved it. When we were about to kiss the girl, the school bell rang! And Manaka said she had to hurry up! While leaving us hanging was disappointing (after all the time we spent on waiting), that made us wonder if there was a continuation in the future where we could kissed her for real in VR.
There may be a lot of VR “girls” out there in the market, but LovePlus as a long running popular franchise in the industry, and with the VR technology Konami demonstrated this time, it should have no problem being the most competitive one. We are begging Konami to release LovePlus Every in VR as soon as possible. We don’t care if it takes like several thousand yen. We don’t care if it means a year of production.
We just want to finish the kiss. Please.
LovePlus Every will be available on mobile this Winter.