Just as a warning: possible spoilers, TMI about my personal life, and oversharing. This is also going to end up being a review of sorts for every game I’ve played in the Otome Game Category, so I have a feeling this is going to eat up a big part of my life for the next week or so.
My absolute favorite, of all the games I’ve played so far, has to be Nameless: The One Thing You Must Recall. Now, I know that I’ve mostly been reblogging Mystic Messenger art and headcanons like crazy, and that Mystic Messenger seems to be my favorite, but I have some really good reasons why I chose Nameless as my #1.
Nameless is an otome game that is entirely choice-dependent, meaning there’s no grinding for stats or anything that can influence the outcome of your endings aside from some very very important choices. I personally love these kinds of games, as every decision I make brings me closer to the people I care about instead of stats, and each decision opens up a new dimension to that character without wasting my time. I also love the fact that I can blast through Nameless at my own pace, which is definitely something that I struggled with in Mystic Messenger.
Nameless opened new doors inside of me that I never knew were there. I felt deeply for all of the characters, and while my heart belongs primarily to Lance and Tei, I was heavily attached to all the others. To be completely honest, I have a fear of Yandere characters, primarily because I’m very sensitive to abusive relationships after being psychologically abused by my mother (sorry, TMI, right?). Nameless brought forth a cast of characters that I felt deeply for, not only in their main “dateable cast”, but also in their secondary characters. I fell hard for Soi and Shinbi (the MC’s best friends) and treasured the appearances of other characters like the Principal, Yujin, Zion, and Hobin. I went so far as to call Soi and Shinbi my wives, which was the first time I’d ever really felt so much for characters to call them by those titles.
Lance was by far my favorite in this story although he’s technically part of the “common route”. I liked Tei too, of course, but something about Lance just broke me. This is a very vague spoiler, since I still hope that this list does convince some people to play this game, but I really connected to Lance’s fear of abandonment, of not being good enough. I definitely have anxiety about being left behind or being replaced, and he has an extremely deep relationship with the MC if his route is pursued. To be honest, I’m a wholehearted monogamist, so his possessiveness does speak to me, but even more so, the realization that this cynical, rational person trusted me enough to open up his heart to me was mindblowing.
Lance taught me that even if I don’t consider myself special, there are people in my lives who definitely do. And this idea of your significant other becoming your world…well, that’s just a philosophy that I live by.
Those aside, in regards to the more technical parts of Nameless: the skipping mechanic has always been accurate and easy for me to use. I did have some difficulty with the volume of everything, as the voices tend to be pretty quiet in comparison to the background music, so I had to do a bit of adjusting before I felt comfortable. The soundtrack, however, is fantastic. The light-hearted tunes really made me relax and the creepy, music-box tracks always made my spine tingle. The voices are also amazingly soothing and I personally have a weakness for the way that Yuri says “Darling”.
The secondary characters are also amazing; they’ve made me laugh and feel wholeheartedly accepted in so many different instances that I’m amazed by how immersed I felt in this game. Soi and Shinbi were often times more considerate and accepting than some of the friends that I had made in my life, and there’s an overall feeling of warmth from all the characters despite their quirks and weird moments.
For a breakdown (out of 10):
MC = 8. The MC for Nameless was definitely sassier than most of the MCs that I’ve had the privilege to play as, and she’s made me laugh a couple of times with how innocent she can be. But I’ve had to dock a couple of points off primarily because she is almost distracting innocent. There were a couple of points where her sassiness was definitely on my level, but she didn’t really feel like a “strong, independent” protagonist to me. There were many times where she fell into the stereotype of “innocent, quiet, and gullible” that I see a lot in Otome MCs.
Dateable Cast = 9. Pretty amazing, both in their own routes and others. I did feel some romance kindle in routes that I had originally no interest in and I still felt appreciative of characters’ roles in routes that didn’t belong in.
Secondary Cast = 10. I loved all of the secondary characters; they added tension where I needed it, broke the ice when it was necessary, and were wholesomely loveable on their own. Soi and Shinbi earn a standing ovation from me because of how appreciative I was of their warmth and overall kindness toward my MC, as well as their adorable relationship dynamic.
OST = 10. The soundtrack felt fitting where it needed to be. I’m honestly in love with the music from Nameless, and since I’m a sucker for nostalgia, I loved the moments where the main theme (which is a beautiful music box-esque piece) would come out and imbue me with a sense of nostalgia.
Mechanics = 10. I’ve never had this game crash on me, never had any stuck screens, nada. This game has always run smoothly for me.
CGs = 9. The CGs are beautiful and consistent. Of course there are a few here and there that I didn’t like as much (the way the hair was drawn was a little weird, or it felt like some characters got nicer backgrounds than others), but overall, the CGs were stunning.
Overall Score = 56/60. Bravo Cheritz! You made an amazing story that has me drowning in nostalgia, learning more about myself, and feeling honored to know all the characters you have created.
Oooh, 2 new characters and…Yayoi! Hmm, idk how I feel about that short hair. I mean it looks good but I always liked his ponytail. Oh and that red head looks cool! I can’t wait to find out more about the new characters and what Yayoi is doing with them.
(Holding a broken Coffee Machine) Who broke it? I’m not mad, I just want to know.
I did. I broke it.
No. No, you didn’t. Shiroya?
Don’t look at me, look at Ran.
What?! I didn’t break it!
Huh, that’s weird. How’d you even know it was broken?
Because it’s sitting right in front of us and it’s broken!
No, it’s not!
If it matters, probably not but… Kikyo was the last one to use it.
Liar! I don’t even drink that crap!
Oh really? Then what were you doing by the coffee cart earlier?
I use the wooden stirrers to push back my cuticles. Everyone knows that, Kaito!
Let’s not fight, I broke it. Let me pay for it, Yayoi.
No. Who broke it?
Yayoi, Kiku’s been awfully quiet…
(I broke it. It burned my hand so I punched it. I predict ten minutes from now they’ll be at each other’s throats with warpaint on their faces and a pig head on a stick. Good. It was getting a little chummy around here.)