You start your sophomore year of high school apart from your old friends. Meeting new ones, it promises to be a year of many firsts — from new classes and responsibilities, to the exhilaration and challenges of new (and different kinds of) love.
Currently Playable Characters (TOP Row)/NON-playable Characters (BOTTOM Row)
Four Stories of First Love
Chitose x Asahi (Review HERE.)
Sou x Akira
Chitose x Akira
Sou x Asahi
Favary released this highly-anticipated otome game back in November. It features not just your typical boy x girl pairings, but yaoi (BL) and yuri (GL) stories, as well — something that many otoge fans welcomed with much excitement. As far as my gaming experience has gone, this is the first time I am playing such routes, although I know there are quite a few other games with the same themes already out there. This is also the first time I am asked to choose a pairing, instead of a single partner for the MC I am playing.
The art/CG and the overall UI have a sleeker, more modern feel, setting the game apart from Favary’s other (recently re-released) EN-language title, False Vows, True Love. I also enjoyed the BGM, which is light, upbeat, and appropriate to the setting.
There were a few language errors here and there, and the translation is a bit awkward, but these don’t really impede understanding or detract from the overall game experience.
As in FVTL, the BEST thing about this game is that it gives you the option to watch ads in exchange for additional gems that will further your game play. Favary have also introduced mini-games as another means for you to increase your Trust level.
I found it refreshing to have pairings presented as choices (instead of individual romanceable options), but some people may feel constrained by this.
The new UX also comes at a cost — the app will eventually require a whopping 300 to 500-something MB of memory to play (after the initial download). It may be normal for some mobile games to start at 1GB of memory, but FLS is definitely a memory hog compared to those from competitors Voltage, OKKO, and Cybird, among others. (I can only really think of Cybird’s Ikemen Revolution and its now-800 something MB to top this; FLS, at least, gives you the option to save it in your device’s SD card.) Needless to say, you also need a very stable network connection to download and play the game.
That it does not have a Back/Back to Home or Menu/Quit button is a bit bothersome for me, as well. (Neither will it allow my phone’s own Back button to do the job.) As I mentioned in my review of FVTL, I often have to go back to the beginning of a chapter or episode because I want to review previous segments. Especially since, accidentally sliding my finger across the screen also fast-forwards the game — sometimes to the very end of that chapter!
Additionally, I found the amount of Trust and Favorable Impression points needed for the HE a bit restrictive — that if you didn’t invest heavily in actual purchases of gems or tickets, it might take you too long to progress in the game to sustain your interest.
For the record… I actually want a Chitose x Sou route! 😂 I’m also hoping to see the other (currently non-playable) characters introduced soon!
After finishing my first route in the game (Chitose x Asahi), I found First Love Story to be enjoyable on the whole. Putting MB and gems requirements aside, as well as the little text and UI issues, the characters and their stories are remarkably well-developed. They may be teenagers, but they are portrayed sympathetically and with stories as valid as that of any adult. In fact, I loved how their words, thoughts, and actions all reflected their age. That being said, the game may not be for everyone; some may find the characters and stories too juvenile for their tastes. Also, the game choices are cultural; you have to think like a Japanese teen to get the right one.
I would recommend this game to anyone who can appreciate young teen romances and Japanese culture, and who would be willing to spend time playing the mini-games or actual money for gems.
Are you ready to find YOUR First Love Story? Or maybe, relive it? [Currently only available on Android, but the iOS version is only DAYS AWAY.]
Looking for a more mature romance? Check out Favary’s other EN title, False Vows, True Love.
About the Dev
Favary Inc. is a Tokyo-based creator, developer, and re-publisher of otome games.
You can get more information about them and their titles on:
The Web • Favary Inc.
Twitter • @favaryotomegame
IG • otomegames_by_favary
Facebook • FavaryOtomeGames