Availability: Free, Online/browser
Format: Dating Sim
My Scores: (Writing: 2, Art: 2, Gameplay: 2) out of 5
Found at http://www.newgrounds.com/
In Rose Destiny 2, the sequel to Rose Destiny Dating Sim, you are still Rose. This time, your father has gone away and "forgotten" to take you and Adrain. But no worries; he has arranged for you to stay at an all-boys school for demons while he finishes "errands".
Wait...someone please tell me that the main character's last name isn't supposed to be Destiny...*sigh*.
Possible names aside, this game is a lot more cleaned up than its predecessor. Adrian's name is consistent, and we get more hints about what the heck is going on in this world. I actually found myself becoming interested in the suggested story.
In my review of the first game, I pointed out the oddness of a father wanting his daughter to find a boyfriend. In Rose Destiny 2, however, his motivation seems to be along the lines of wanting his daughter to marry into comfort. Much more plausible. Furthermore, I find it intriguing that they are broke and constantly moving while her father tries to wheel and deal. It makes me think exciting things are happening in the grand scheme.
That said, this game is still not perfect. For one thing, the spelling is horrible, and I want to fly into a violent rage every time someone discusses the prospect of "Marridge". M-A-R-R-I-A-G-E! Admittedly, I'm the last person who should be griping about spelling (For years, my attempts at "Scissors" caused pointing and laughing, and even now I still balk), but if *I* can tell that a lot of words are misspelled, then it's time to start using a dictionary.
Also, and this applies to both this game and the prequel, I feel that Adrian should be explained a little earlier on. If he is supposed to be the main character's adopted brother, then this information should be made fairly clear to the player at the beginning, as it is information that the main character knows. That's always a problem when it crops up in writing; how to convey to the audience information that the character already knows and thus has no practical reason to discuss. I think in this case, though, a few words in the intro would have covered it.
Finally, while there are some interesting possible plot threads, questions are not satisfactorily answered and too few explanations are given, leading me to wonder if there actually *is* a plot or if the author is just pulling things out of a hat (to use a polite form of the expression).
I still don't like the art, but at least it doesn't cause physical pain to look at, as in the first game. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes it better, but at least that awful font from the main page is replaced by something prettier, and that eye-straining "notebook style" intro is out. There also seems to be more in the way of backgrounds, and the characters aren't as short and squat as they were in the previous installment.
Also, it's time for me to adress a peeve that many artists are guilty of: If your character has hair covering an eye, we should not be able to see that eye. I think Aurelius from Frozen Essence has this problem, and I forget where else I've seen it, but it looks wrong and annoys me to no end. It's like the character had no eyes, combed their hair down, and then glued eyes onto their face. It's creepy, artists; please stop doing it.
Most of the bugs from the first game are gone, although there are still a couple, such as the fact that choosing "Date" for someone you can't date yet results in repeating the first dialog with that character.
Speaking of dialog, though, let us REJOICE, for the dialog tree has been improved with relevant responses to your choices! Now, when you choose poorly, the character will tell you why this response was inappropriate....sort of. While some of the responses cause me to see the logic at work, others just serve to highlight the arbitrary nature of some of the branches. To give a made-up example:
Choice: "I like pudding" vs. "I like Mustard"
You select: "I like Pudding."
Hottie Responds: "Yay! Me too."
...Nothing happens. Next turn:
You Select: "I like Mustard"
Hottie Responds: "OMG I love mustard too! It is my favorite condiment! <3" (+10 EXP)
So....Okay. Now that's out of the way, there was one thing I forgot to mention in the last review, and that's the 10 gold rent charged in both of these games. I actually find it to be an interesting mechanic; it forces you to pay attention to something other than the Talk button, and with some extrapolation and tweaking, could make for a nice balance sim.
To Sum It All Up, we get more story and better flow in this game, though too much is still left hanging. The art is more tolerable, but still needs some improvement. Also, the gameplay is much improved, but still a little buggy. The game and its author show much potential, though, and I think that if a third installment were to come out, I would be interested in playing it.
Do you agree?