Review by The Manx

"Divine artifacts for sale in second hand stores? Kidnappers with BB guns? It must be True Love '95!"

It's hard to find H-games that qualify as actual games. Mostly you just click along doing what the game wants you to do, and what's in your hands is usually not control of your fate. Some games like Tokimeki Check-in and Season of the Sakura give you some control, but some go even further and include elements of actual gameplay.

Enter: True Love '95. You're living on your own, in your final year of college. You meet many eligible young women, like your childhood friend Mikae, gentle artist Remi, or even your teacher, who of course is only a couple years older and hotter than Hell in July. But it's not as simple as just meeting them and then doing the nasty. You've got a variety of skills and stats you need to manage to impress the particular girls into paying any attention to you. And there's only so much you can do per day.

Each game day is divided into three sections; usually morning will be set to going to school. You can't skip, sorry guys. For the afternoon and night, you can either work out, go to your part-time job (dating girls costs money, you know), study, work on personal hygiene (which, to tell you the truth, only seems to matter if you let it zero out), or go shopping. The things you work on go up, while the things you don't work on go down, so the name of the game is gearing your habits toward the girls you want to impress, because Remi only likes smart guys, and Chiemi only likes guys who are into physical fitness the way she is, and so on. What you do in a particular slot on a particular day often determines if you'll have an event with a girl which serves to further, and eventually consummate, your relationship with her.

The gameplay is actually pretty well integrated into an event-based dating sim, as opposed to the likes of the Maid's Story where the gameplay and simulation took the game over completely.

The art was below par for what I'm used to from these sorts of games, although I feel more safe blaming that on the limited palette of colors utilized by Tru Luv than the graphics themselves. The music was okay, with each girl having their own distinct theme song, but I only liked one or two of those.

So if you've played a bunch of H-games and want to play one that gives yo actual visible control over what happens, True Love is one of the best choices you could make. I would've liked it if the visuals were a little more impressive, but the simulations, the events and its tongue-in-cheek attitude about itself make it one of the top entries in its field.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/25/04, Updated 09/02/04

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