From our blog on the Shall we date? Story App series:
The Shall we date? story app series are very similar to those ‘Choose Your Own Path’ books that we loved as kids. The story in these story apps aren’t the adventure stories that those ‘Choose Your Own Path’ books were, though. Rather, as the name of the series suggests, the stories in the story apps of the Shall we date? series are in the romance genre. The main focus of the story in these story apps is romance and they ask for responses: ‘What will you say/How are you going to respond to his words?’ as opposed to ‘What will you do?’ Your choices don’t affect the story plot. It affects your relationship to the character you interact with.
A war is currently going on in the land. Oda Nobunaga is an evil warlord with a desire to wipe out all ninjas. You are the Kusunoki Princess who is the symbol of unity for all ninjas in the nation!
All story apps in the Shall we date? series have the same look and feel: it’s very busy with big buttons, a patterned background and a layout that can be quite overwhelming and confusing when you first play the story app. We had trouble figuring out how to begin playing the story, not being able to understand the navigation at all. We didn’t understand the difference between the ‘My Page’ and ‘Top’ navigation buttons at the bottom navigation menu bar and kept selecting ‘Top’ in the hopes of getting to the menu of the game. We also had difficulty spotting the game stats and data. We’ve since gotten used it, but it’s still hard spotting the game stats and data because it’s quite a scroll down to get to it. It would have been much more convenient near the top where the ads for other games in the series are positioned.
We find that loading and switching in and out of screens is lagged. When pushing a button to continue a story or play a mini-game checkpoint, you might be waiting there for a bit to have it register your actions.
When playing the story, we wished there was an option to view the last few lines of the story. Sometimes when trying to speed up the dialogue of the characters during short dialogue with tapping once on the dialogue area, it has you skipping it altogether, causing you to miss what was said.
The story is good. It caters well to developing the romance between you and your love interest. It is in the point of view of your character. The backstory for each of the love interests we’ve played so far are all interesting and good in developing the romance between you and your love interest.
We’ve played Saizo, Sasuke and Musashi’s character game so far.
Saizo’s character game is an awesome one. It provided a good balance of ninja action and romance. The story follows your character aiming to become a strong female ninja. You get trained by Kuma, a female ninja, as well as Saizo. You are seen being of some help in some of the battles the ninjas come across. During training, there are times you get injured and it brings in some aww-worthy moments between you and Saizo. These moments has Saizo slowly become less distant and closed off and start to become fond of you. The love rival in Saizo’s character game seems to be Sasuke and Goemon as both of them express interest. Saizo’s character game is our favourite out of the characters we’ve played.
Playing Sasuke’s character game, there is less action sequences and your character isn’t as in action as your character in Saizo’s character game. You don’t go into training to become a strong female ninja. Sasuke is very playful, hot-blooded and younger than you. Because he’s younger than you, your attitude towards Sasuke is like an older sister. This has Sasuke constantly trying to have you see him as a man and not a young hot-blooded guy who keeps taking you aback with his comments and actions. The love rival in Sasuke’s character game is Goemon. Sasuke is as cool as Saizo. We love Sasuke’s cheerfulness and fun-loving ways. But, Sasuke’s character game comes second to Saizo’s character game only because we do like that the female lead character in Saizo’s character game is in action and useful in battles.
We thought we’d try playing a character that’s outside of the group of ninjas. This led us to play Musashi’s character game. It’s indeed different. The scenes aren’t at all the same as the ninja characters we’ve played, not following the sequence we were used to in Saizo’s and Sasuke’s character games. We had expected a lot of action from Musashi’s character game with Musashi portrayed as a ronin hired by Oda Nobunaga in the character games of Saizo and Sasuke. However, that part about Musashi gets dealt with very early on in the story and the story comes to develop Musashi’s innocent and child-like character underneath that strong fighter exterior. We did wish that Musashi’s character game continued working with Oda Nobunaga or at least for a while so that the conflict of interests starts to come in and play a part in getting Musashi’s character to go from being on the enemy side to the good side due to his care and concern for the female lead character. Nevertheless, it was still very refreshing to have a different sequence in the story and we had fun reading this character game. The love rival in Musashi’s character game is Munenori.
We found that it’s relatively harder to get through a story in Shall we date?: Ninja Love than the other story apps in the series because of the checkpoint that requires an item called, Passport. As you get further along in the game, the number of the passport item required to clear the checkpoint increases as you get closer to the end of the story. None are gifted through the in-game mailbox and the only other way you can obtain the passport item without spending 1000 kobans/passport (game currency) or real money is through the daily logins. But even that is only once every nine weeks. There’s no event periods that allow you to win prizes to help you with this, either.
Getting a Super Happy Ending isn’t easy, either. There are three choices and these choices can be quite ambiguous or seemingly out of place for the situation. Sometimes the choices are re-worded after making the choice and it’s only then you realise that it’s not as desirable as before you selected it. It’s quite hard choosing the one that gives the highest increase in the love meter. The best we can get is always the second best choice. Choosing the right response feels like a game of understanding the love interest’s personality in this story app. So far, we’ve only ever been able to get Normal Ending without the help of a love potion (an item you can buy with real money, obtained for completing a mission, or gifted to you if you’re lucky to increase the love meter) or cheating. It’s quite hard to get it right.
Still, Shall we date?: Ninja Love is worth playing even if a Normal Ending is all we can get for yet another character game. That’s because the reward for completing a character game is the unlocking of a cool spin-off story! This cool spin-off story is in the point of view of your love interest! It doesn’t matter if you get a Normal, Happy or Super Happy ending. As long as you complete a story, it gets unlocked. These stories are called, A Moment in his Shoes. We warn you, though: judging from the ones we’ve unlocked, they are quite M-rated! There are eight short chapters in A Moment in his Shoes spin-off stories. They allow you to read straight through. There’s no need for the use of energy, no checkpoints or mini game checkpoints. That’s really cool! It’s a free play!
These A Moment in his Shoes spin-off stories are quite hard to find after a while of not playing! We clicked here and there for a while before we got to it! Here’s the path: Menu > Album & Diary > Diary. Once in the Diary screen, in the dropdown menu for the Character field, select the character and then in the dropdown menu for the Story Type field, select Spin-off Story. Click the red ‘OK’ button underneath. The screen will switch to the spin-off stories (you might see that nothing’s happening, but it’s probably still loading. It will switch, eventually. If it doesn’t, click ‘OK’ button again). Once there, scroll down to the bottom until you see a ‘Next’ button. Click it and keep clicking the ‘Next’ button until you see [ A Moment in his Shoes ] Sequel story!. It should be the very last story in the list! Here’s a screenshot to find this spin-off story:
Shall we date?: Ninja Love is our second favourite story app in the Shall we date? series. The story is good, there’s some good action and the writing of the female lead character personality is one we like. She is written to be a strong character with a likable personality in all of three of the character games we’ve played. We haven’t read any of the spin-off stories or event stories in this story app except for A Moment in his Shoes spin-off story. This spin-off story is definitely a great incentive to continue playing and completing each of the character stories in the story app!
Anyone playing Shall we date?: Ninja Love? What do you think of it? We’d love to hear from others playing this story app and hear about how you find the story, who your favourite character is, which is your favourite spin-off and event stories, etc.