I finished that Tokimeki Memorial Tim Rogers Action Button review. In the Bottom Line segment he talks tantalizingly about the sequel, Tokimeki Memorial 2, and it sounds incredible. I hope he reviews that someday, it sounds even more ambitious than the original, which I didn’t think was possible.
Honestly, it’s kind of blowing my mind that this game exists. I remember talking at Qt3 and before that on other forums about this nebulous game, as in “wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a game in which shooting and killing was not a verb, and you could play through a detailed story depending on your choices”. There is such a game! We have discussed “wouldn’t it be amazing if the scope of the game is so big that an average user playing through the game once would only see a small fraction of the game’s content? Yes, but I understand that’s not practical, a studio can’t justify the expense of such a game.” Well, guess what? There is such a game! It’s Tokimeki Memorial.
Now, the part that throws this all off a little bit, of course, is the fact that Tokimeki Memorial is a PG rated game about talking to girls. That’s definitely not part of that “fantasy game” that I was always envisioning above. But putting that aside, it’s still so cool that someone has already made games of such ambition and scope, and it blows my mind that I’ve been hanging out on a gaming forum for decades now, and we talk about games every day and I never even knew this game existed. A game with so many of the qualities I would have wished for, and I didn’t even know it was out there.
Anyway, there was an interview I heard a few years back with a guy who fancied himself an explorer, and he said that we happen to be born in a time when the earth has already been explored for the most part. Maybe not the deepest seas, but most of the rest of the planet has been mapped completely by satellites and such, and so what does a modern explorer do? He looks for things that are a little deeper, a little off the beaten path, a little harder to find. In his case, it was things like Blue Zones, areas of the world where people live to be over 100 years old, and that was just one example. I feel like this discovery and detailed exploration of Tokimeki Memorial was part of a deeper layered exploration of the world and gaming culture in a way, because it was there all along for some many years, but I never knew about it, so it’s a pretty thrilling event for me.