What was that?
The first G-Collections title I got my hands on is
a whimsical wish-fulfillment tale with a twist. Out of the
Ah! My Goddess mold, Tottemo Pheromone casts the player as
Takuya Sakuragi, a university student lodging with his brother
Takashi. Having little or no money with which to pay his way,
Takashi requests his services in his cake shop, simply called
'Sakuragi'. Cue the Goddess-esqe arrival of Silk, a strange
girl who has been traveling from world to world during the
past 500 years, trying to find her way back home. She tells
the startled Takuya that he can help her go home by collecting
four elemental powers from pretty young girls... but this
can only be achieved by bringing them to orgasm. In order
to help him (damn he needs it), Silk casts a spell on Takuya,
thereby increasing his attraction to the opposite sex. But
will you use the girls to help Silk, or fall in love with
one of them? Choice is yours.
Bright and bold, Tottemo isn't outstanding graphically, but
it's certainly very appealing. There are eighty-one CG's to
unlock in the game, and each one is lovingly rendered (though
around half of the penetration scenes are depicted with a
gigantic translucent penis). Special mention goes to the music,
which manages to capture moods quite succinctly, particularly
the cheesy, smiley pop of the main theme and the evocative
piano-led bad/sad end theme. Tottemo Pheromone also features
almost full voice acting, with only Takuya and incidental
characters neglected. The girls who you pursue have distinctive
personalities - as their different elemental powers suggest
- and spectrum-raiding hairstyles. There are a couple funny
moments during the game too (I never thought an old man taking
a whizz could be funny, but it is here).
For the most part, the game is genuinely fun to play. More
a choose-your-own story than a sim, those familiar with Tokimeki
Check-in and Snow Drop
should know what to expect from the game engine. However,
there really isn't a great deal of challenge involved in winning
the girls over; most decisions the player is presented with
have fairly obvious outcomes. Tottemo Pheromone requires little
thinking to achieve any of the six endings, which may be a
blessing to those who found the seemingly random nature of
decision making in the aforementioned games frustrating. If
you do get stuck there is a handy hint feature that serves
as either a nudge in the right direction or straightforward
guide for every decision you encounter.
The characterization of Takuya was my biggest problem with
Tottemo Pheromone. There is an element of role-playing in
Bishojo games that is totally lost on me when the main character
is so devoid of any sense of humor, is dull, bland, lifeless
and muses over things that are so totally obvious. Takuya
frequently blurts out eloquent phrases such as 'huh?', 'ah?',
'hmm?' 'eh?' and 'ummm...'? when posed anything remotely challenging
(for Takuya). One painfully typical example; Sana suggested
to Takuya that they have a quick cup of tea while they weren't
too busy at work, to which our thick hero replies, 'huh'?
Ain't it cute? No, actually, not when I have to endure Sana
ever-so-slightly rephrase her suggestion so that Professor
Takuya can get it into his thick skull.
To conclude: Tottemo Pheromone is a fun, pleasant game with
pretty graphics, albeit a little easy. And let's just say
that Takuya was very lucky to have had the 'gift of charm'
bestowed upon him by Silk. Otherwise this drab, overcast Monday
morning of a 'hero' wouldn't have had a look-in with those
girls. Oh, and the hands-free mode is a dream come true (uh,
I suffer from arthritis, see...).