- Genre: Otome, Fantasy, Comedy
- Visual Novel
- Developer: Rejet
Our lovely (I assume) protagonist is finally done with her finals at Local University and can get back to her beloved video games but before she has the chance to really enjoy into some well-deserved rest, she finds herself transported into the world of one of her favourite RPGs and greeted by her valiant party of heroes who seem to have gone through some changes…. It seems our MC was not exactly the most benevolent player, subjecting her digital soldiers to endless hours of grinding rather than bothering to actually read through plot narratives and quest messages, skipping character building side quests, dropping the game all together right before the end boss and worst of all – giving her hero a ridiculous name! Having had to endure such insidious hardships, the companions have becomes a little, disillusioned, a little hardened, a little twisted…. Can MC (that’s you by the way), find a way to make it up to them – or at least, make it home?
Dot Kareshi is a funny little VN/Dating sim based on the seemingly very trendy “getting sucked into an rpg” premise. It has the traditional common route that splits into distinct character routes with multiple possible endings per route. The gameplay, such as it is, is limited to the the classic: pick you answer, and choosing your route is extremely straight forward as the game will basically ask you to name which character you wish to pursue. If you don’t want to be spoiled in any way you can skip to the end for my general thoughts on this “game”– I’ll try to make it obvious or something.
The common route starts off with a basic explanation of the premise. It plays heavily on gamer stereotypes. I could recognize myself in some but my completionist tendencies made me literally itch at the idea of abandoning a game just before the last boss. Completely shattered my suspension of disbelief…You immediately know that this isn’t going to be serious or deep in any way but it had my laughing straight from the start. From there on you can choose a character whose personal quest you will do, thereby setting you on that character’s route. A second common scene plays after the quests and it’s the classic hot springs episode from every single harem anime you’ve ever seen – well reverse harem ;). Finally you get an alone in your room with your guy scene that I have some ***issues*** with and either a good or great end. There are no bad ends here – this game is just for smiling. I realize that last sentence leaves something to be desired but I’m leaving it.
Our unnamed, mostly unseen, silent heroine was a nice departure from the usual air headed brunettes. The only dialogue she has is through your choices so she can end up being a sarcastic shrew or an innocent angel depending on gameplay but she tends to be not too painfully idiotic no matter what. and a big round of applause for that!
But let’s face it, who cares about that chick, what we really what to know is what them boys be like
He is the tank of the team, fighter type and more or less your reliable big brother character. He is very miffed at the fact that you gave him, and only him, a stupid name and has been teased about it nonstop but otherwise he’s generally forgiving. He’s the most no nonsense one, very quest oriented and has a – well – **hero complex**. You know the type, he talks in brave inspiring speeches, does the right thing and values honor, loyalty, all that cr*p.
He is the …wizard… you know – range dps with all that implies. (Yup he’s a bit whiny and all about gear ;P) He is also the Tsundere serious megane character and – and has the hottest CG in the game. I have very mixed feeling about tsunderes in general but he is more the snotty/ignores you Tsun type than the emotionally abusive type and he melts into deredere pretty quickly so he was the best iteration of the trope. Of course his arrogant persona is only covering up his deep insecurities which come from the fact that you skipped the quests that were supposed to give him his ultimate spell so now he feels underpowered and ignore. Cute right?
Yeah you guessed it he’s a rogue (hah) and melee deeps. He’s pretty deredere and fun loving to begin with so he was my first choice. Your classic flirty, genki character, always quick with a joke and an easy smile. He is very easy going and never blamed us for anything really, so he is the one that made **me** feel safe when all the other ones were all calling me a jerk…
Healer – I have a feeling you would have figured these out by yourselves. He seems to have gotten the worst of it and is pretty creepy/rapey. Although, well you know, rapey creepy priests aren’t exactly unheard of. He’s that dark mysterious bad boy character I guess. It’s one of those otome archetypes that appear in almost every game. As the MC is the only girl in the universe there aren’t really any jealousy problems but I think this would normally be the playah – leaves you hangin while he explores his options – type. This says something about me but I don’t hate these guys.
Basically, you have the option of doing every character’s specific side quest and the route will directly depend on the chosen quest.
Hero’s quest is to retrieve a legendary sword. It looks and feels exactly like what an RPG quest would be and the little status ailments and close call oom moments were so familiar to me I could picture everything in detail. This was clearly meant for someone that has indeed played RPGs.
So after the hot springs interlude we get a one on one scene in the MC’s room where hero gets all serious and sad cause we’re leaving tomorrow and he wants to protect people and protect us and he can’t and he’s all sad and heroey – then he gets a bit all handsy like I wanna hold you forever, and we run away… lol… In the good end which is basically the same for everyone we end up forgiving hero and staying in rpg world and he teaches us to adventure . Yay and cute cg. In the great ending he ends up getting thrown back in the real world with us and moves into our room. Like literally our bedroom. He is a little bummed cause he can’t just go around swinging his sword all hero like all the time, but then we see him in a park teaching kids to sword fight with sticks and it’s uber dawwwww. Kissy cg. I’m not sure if we call him pickled radish but I like to imagine we do.
Wizard also has a defeat a beast to get epic artefact type quest and it’s just as exciting. Honestly this game got me nostalgic for an old school fantasy rpg. It’s been awhile since I came across a really good one. In the post bath scene he comes to our room and tries to be all super seductive and like: “you like me now that I’m big shot mage n stuff”, but he’s still insecure so it comes out derpy and a little emo. Basically he thought we never noticed him cause we skipped his quest.
And now he is all notice me senpai and all anxious and desperate to prove his worth then he gets handsy and we run away…hmmm. The good end essentially plays out like hero’s except we are learning rudimentary magic and wizard is searching for a way to open a portal to our world to send us both back. Awww. The great end has him crashing in our room but he actually got a job and is contributing…damn wizard yah tha man! We get omgsupahawtikntevn kissy cg.
Like I said, thief is a pretty laid back guy and he’s super nice to us right from the start which is something I always like in a 2d guy. And also – everyone! His quest is a basic fetch quest heavy on those thief skill requirements. Lots of disarm traps, hidden doors, sneakity sneaking and poisons. It was fine in VN form but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest, probably cause it looked like it would have been frustrating in an actual rpg.
His bedroom scene remains true to form, where he comes to see us all lovey dovey and cheerful and is super grateful we chose his quest but then he gets sad we are going back the next day (how does he know) and is all sweet trying to gently convince us to stay, then he gets handsy and we run away….yeah…..I should point out that thief is the only one who seems to feel bad about it. In his good end we end up back at the quest cave and he saves us and we stay together in rpg land and I guess become hardened criminals. In his great ending he gets stuck in our world with us and just bums around but he’s super excited about all the new stuff around him and duper happy all the time and that makes us happy too…
Priest is the coldest towards us. Although not openly tsun like wizard, he takes a long time to warm up to us and we never quite know if he’s forgiven us yet. His quest has you helping a small village where an epidemic seems to have broken out and defeating some pretty nasty mobs in the process. You get to see a very different side of priest during his quest which gave him a little more depth and betrays his heart of gold. Shucks
After hot springs shenanigans he’s back to his old self and is all sexy, aggressively flirty in your room but also really hot. He tells us all smooth and stuff that he doesn’t want us to leave then he gets all handsy and we run away…..to be fair the handsyness is pretty in character for him. In his good end you guessed it, you stay…adventure…yay…in his great end, he crashes in your room and gropes you all the time and you live a happy life full of sexy fun times.
If you somehow manage to get the “bad end” i.e. not suck up enough to any one guy to get their ending, instead they all stop you from leaving and you all continue your adventures together as a group which sounds like maybe the most fun, but no cg (booo)
I think it’s important to point out that this is a very short game, I would say roughly 2 to 5 hours to finish everything, depending on how quick you read. Some people may feel a little cheated by that but I found it was just perfect to happily round off a Sunday afternoon without getting into something that would devour me for the next few weeks. Apart from the length though, the rest of the production has obviously had a lot of work put into it. As you can see the sprites are beautiful and even have full speaking animations (a very rare perk). The game is fully voiced and very well acted. Every route offers up a unique quest cg, a two part bedroom cg, a different cg for each end (good and great) plus 4 common route cgs (that’s one every 10 to 15 minutes or so which is an awesome ratio). The art style is standard anime but I really liked it and details and angles stay perfect in every image.
As for the story, it was silly but for me extremely relatable and amusing. I was giggling the entire time. It’s unfortunate that they added that unwelcome groping scene to every route but in all fairness the MC kinda freaked out for no reason, which was weird cause we’d been taking being transported into our own self-aware video game real chill up until then. We could have easily just gone: “-yo, slow your roll dude – I’m trying to go for the harem ending”. I wish you had more heroines that just learned how to use their words/brains but whatta r u gonna do…. Other than that small caveat, I really enjoyed the storyline for what it was: light fluffy entertainment. I would say this is one of my top 10 otomes (there’s a distinction with visual novels for me but I won’t bore you – this time)
I had to jump through a few hoops to get this game and the English patch for it. Sadly I have not been able to get my hands on the second and third installments. I would be all over that! If you enjoy silly pg13 “dating” sims – I would say try and pick this one up, especially if you happen to have some RPG nostalgia to draw on.
Suggested drink: Enchanted
- Every time Wizard calls us stupid – take a shot
- Every time Piest is rapey – take a shot
- Every time Thief is flirty – take a shot
- Every time our emotions are portrayed through \\#!$ – take a shot
- Every time Hero talks of his trauma – take a shot
- Every time we are asked if we remember something – think back
- Every time someone mentions the real world – take a shot
- Every time you check a the status screen – take a hot
- Every time there’s a video game 4th wall break – take a shot
- Every time you get a new CG – cheer!