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What Is Love Plus?
Love Plus is actually a virtual dating game for your Nintendo DS that is currently only available in Japan. While we all know that Japanese games for the DS are sometimes a hit and miss, it seems that this one is really starting to take off due to the hype it's getting around the net. Would you really woo and marry a virtual girlfriend in real time, no matter where you were? Would you answer her every beck and call? Obviously some men are doing it.
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Well, I'm not sure how to explain this weird story line in this Nintendo DS game. Basically, you play this like any other virtual dating game, by choosing a girl, dating her, and getting her to like you and fall in love with you. You do have to do things that keep her happy, such as bring her gifts and take her out to dinner. And, the really odd thing is that all of this is done in real time with your virtual girlfriend. So, you can be at work and she'll holler at you, you can be asleep and she'll wake you, you can be out with the guys and she's crying wondering where you are... oh, wait, is that real life or a virtual dating game... Wow, I guess Konami really hit the nail on the head with Love Plus.
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Game Play Part One: Wooing The Girls
There are actually two different parts to playing Love Plus and wooing your virtual girlfriend. The first part of this virtual dating game is just that - dating. Here's the kicker with this part, you only have 100 days to start your virtual dating game up or you lose. You have to actually work at building up your character's stats so that the virtual girlfriend choices in the game want to date you. (Wow, just like in real life.) There are only three different girls that you will meet at school in Love Plus: Nene Anegasaki (a mature girlfriend), Rinko Kobayakawa (cold hearted chick), and of course, Miss Perfect, Manaka Takane.
So, you work out (as your character), you build your charm skills up, and you start to woo the girls. Since this virtual dating game starts off in school, you will have to do school activities, but you can only do a certain number of them in one day. Each one will help, or hurt, your stats, so you have to choose your moves wisely. Once you get one of the girls to like you, then the second part of Love Plus begins - virtual dating.
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Game Play Part Two: Virtual Dating Game
Now comes the fun - hey, just like in real life again! You actually play Love Plus in real time (because if you skip time ahead you can really pay for it later), so you have to take the time to really woo your virtual girlfriend into falling in love with you in this virtual dating game. Most anime games for adults aren't quite this focused on virtual dating and virtual girlfriends... but this one, well, is.
You have to go through holidays with her, festivals, activities - just like real life dating. Everything you do adds up activity points for you and your virtual girlfriend. As you go on "dates" with your new virtual girlfriend, you have to talk with her, hold her hand and even help her pick out what kind of outfit she should wear... wow. (Really?)
If you've done well, she'll want to hold your hand or even get a kiss. You'll have to learn how to read her (again, just like a real girlfriend) to see when you can touch her hand, kiss her, and so on. Because if she gets mad, well, you'll know. After each virtual date, you'll find out how well you did and then get to start all over the next day with your virtual dating game stats.
The game play goes on and on like this, virtual dating game style, until you can actually marry your virtual girlfriend. After that, well, I'm not sure I want to know what happens.
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As you can see, the graphics in Love Plus are completely anime games style. Of course, the game is a japanese games creation, so if you were really expecting something more, well, I'm not sure what to tell you. There is something a bit cute about these virtual girlfriends, but well - something creepy too. And not a good creepy, but like middle of the night, wake you up staring at you creepy. You can judge for yourself what type of japanese games virtual girlfriend you'd like to have.
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Sounds and Audio
Now, here is yet one more aspect to this virtual dating game that is really just odd and weird to me. Not only will your virtual girlfriend tell you what to do, and normally how to do it, but you can really talk to her. While you can't say anything too complex, you can talk into the mic on your Nintendo DS with simple questions like what her favorite color is, and she will answer you. To me, this is pretty cool (even if it's weird) as it's a completely interactive experience - sound, visual, and motion.
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Well, I'm really not sure what to make of Love Plus for the Nintendo DS. I am interested to see if they do create an English version of this virtual dating game and I think I'd like to see how to play it... I'm still not sure about that. I find it extremely interesting that there are so many men in Japan playing this one virtual dating game and allowing their virtual girlfriends to become such a major part of their real lives that they actually get married to them.
What happens if your DS runs out of power?