The Inclusive Visual Novel Romance | First Love Story Review

The Inclusive Visual Novel Romance | First Love Story Review
3C Category

Hello everyone and welcome to our place!

Favari, Inc. is a Japanese company which is known by works such as “Ephemeral Dreams, Eternal Love”, “False Vows, True Love” and “DEAD or LOVE”. They approached me not so long ago and asked if I was open to play the last otome game they have released and review it. Well, I can’t express how happy I was πŸ™‚ It’s really something when a company asks you to do something like this!

However, just to make things straight, I’ll be reviewing this game in the honest way I always do. Don’t think just because they asked me to do it I will say the game is perfect πŸ™‚ Also, it’s important to disclose that I’m not being paid whatsoever for doing this… I tried the game and felt it was interesting enough to write about it!

The game is for mobile and it’s available for both Android and IOS.

Gameplay

first love story favary inc.

First Love Story is a Romance Visual Novel / Otome game. This way, as this type of games usually are, you will follow one of the stories you pick and make decisions along the line.

Depending on the choices you pick you will get more (or less) favor which then, in specific moments of the game will determine if you can proceed to the happy path (ending) or just the normal one.

As a mobile game, you will have 5 points of energy that will refill every single day. Each energy point is used to play a section of the story chapter. Each story has around 10 chapters and each chapter has around 10 sections, which means, in total, each story has around 100 sections.

Parallel to that, you also have what they call a mini-game. This mini-game is just you going to different parts of the school and meeting someone which will give you trust. This trust is needed to proceed into further chapters. As in the story, you will get 5 points each day for you to use.

The game has a gem system (you can get them by buying or by watching ads). A gem will give you 1 energy point for the story or 5 points for you to do the mini-games.

Things That I Loved The Most

An Inclusive Otome Game

first love story chitosexasahi cute

From my knowledge, otome games normally tend to go in a specific direction. Meaning, they will normally focus on a specific type of relationship. First Love Story does not do this and you will have 4 different stories you can play:

    • Straight relationship where you play the girl
    • Straight relationship where you play the guy
    • BoyxBoy (Shounen-Ai) relationship
  • GirlxGirl (Shoujo-Ai) relationship

It’s really nice to have the possibility to partake different sexual orientation relationships. Moreover, these stories are always with the same characters making very interesting to see these characters behaving in different ways depending on the story while never breaking character or losing their personality.

Lovely Plot

I’m a sucker for romance, so of course, I would like the plot, right? I’ve played the girl in a straight relationship story and the gay relationship story. I have to say that I liked much more the latter.

For the straight relationship story, you play Chitose, your regular and typical Japanese girl in this kind of games. She starts to fall in love for the quiet and detached guy of the class, Asahi. To be honest, the story didn’t bring nothing new to the table and most of it was just Chitose having difficulties in coming forward and say what she thinks/feels. Nevertheless, both characters are cute and I saw myself wanting to see more.

first love story favary inc. souxasahi

Now, in a contrary note, the gay relationship where you play with Sou, a popular boy which changes his personality to fit the best depending on the situation, is very well executed. Here, Sou also falls in love with Asahi. Although the same general events happen as in with Chitose, the story couldn’t be more different. Here, the story has way more depth since both Sou and Asahi have never realized they were gay. Basically, more than a love story, it is also about one accepting himself and accepting his sexual orientation. I really loved the story and I would love to have an Anime adaptation of it! πŸ™‚

Nice Characters

first love story favary inc. akarixchitose

To be honest, there is no character that I don’t like in the First Love Story world. I would say my favorite one is Sou who seems to me to be the one who has more deepness showing both faults and strengths in his personality.

Nevertheless, even if the others may feel a little more “standard” all of them end up having some kind of traits which makes them different from other similar characters. In the end, all 4 are very present in my memory and I liked them all.

Things That I Don’t Mind But May Grind Your Gears

first love story favary inc. asahi nagamine

Spelling Mistakes

Favary, Inc. is a Japanese company. This way, English is not their fortΓ©. There are some translation mistakes. There is even a scene where Asahi’s cat changes name randomly. To be honest, I don’t really mind. However, if you are a grammar Nazi, it may irritate you a little bit.

Advertisement

As a free game, First Love Story has ads as a way of making money. If you play the game at a slow pace and just do a couple of sections every single day it won’t really bother you. However, if like me, you try to play the game in one go, then I would advise you to pay the 3€ so you don’t get so many ads…

Choices Given

I’m not the best Otome player around here! I think my straightforward, western attitude is not really what you are supposed to do in these kinds of games xD This way, there were a couple of times where I had to use gems to get to the happy ending.

However, I have to say that there are some choices which I didn’t really understand what they meant and why one was better than the other. But, again, that may be because I’m just way too straightforward when it comes to romance πŸ˜€

Things That Need To Be Fixed

Trust System

first love story favary inc. souxasahi cute

The Trust System just does not work for me. In the game, they call it a “mini-game”. But, the truth is that you will only tap in the place you want to go, read a phrase of a random character and that’s it. You don’t really do much.

I think this may have worked very well when they released the game and while waiting for the next chapter people would just log in every single day to get trust so they would then advance to the next chapter at the moment it was released.

However, now that the stories are complete it’s just a pain in the ass. Again, if you play at a low pace you probably won’t even notice this. But, for someone who played the game in one go, it just felt that the trust was there for you to use gems.

Overall Review

If you like Otome games, then you should download First Love Story. Even if it has some minor problems, the game is pretty fun and I found myself wanting to know more about the story I was playing.

Since the game is completely free, I say, give it a go and try it for yourself! πŸ™‚ Here’s where you can download it: IOS here, Android here.

first love story favary inc. asahi
See You Soon! πŸ˜€

4 thoughts on “The Inclusive Visual Novel Romance | First Love Story Review

  1. I really don’t like it when VN devs try to shoehorn in standard mobile game monetisation systems like energy bars and premium currency. Those monetisation systems are pretty skeezy and manipulative at the best of times, and they’re really obtrusive when the game is nothing but story.

    If you think your game is worth people paying for, charge people for it. Once. Put out a free demo that people can upgrade to the free version if you want to hook in some of those free-to-play users.

    Realistically, VNs are such a niche interest that ad revenue will be miniscule, so they’re better off charging a fair price up front rather than trying to nickel-and-dime consumers. They’ll probably make more money, particularly with how vocal otome game fans are about the lack of good localised games — they’re more than happy to put their money where their mouth is if they feel the game is worth it!

    Despite all this, the art looks nice and a big thumbs up for the variety of sexuality/gender options. That sort of thing can so easily feel tokenistic, but it sounds like they’ve handled it quite well here.

    1. Yeah, I understand what you are saying. But, it just seems to be the way to go when it comes to mobile games nowadays :/ I think when it comes to the business model, they will make a larger profit by using Freemium versus just having the full game with a price.

      To be honest, it’s not something that bothers me. I just got used to it I think. And, I do think if well done, it will make players interested in the game! For example, I’ve been playing Dream Piano and their advertisement strategy is very intelligent where the 30 seconds you lose are actually worth your while πŸ™‚

      But, I understand your point of view and I think the having a free demo would be a nice way to do it πŸ™‚

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