Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Otome Review: Ash Winters Main Story 1 (Gangsters In Love)

Title: Gangsters In Love
Route:  Ash Winters - Main Story 1
Developer: Voltage Entertainment USA, Inc
Genre: Romantic Sim, Slice of Life, Mature YA, NA, interactive adventure, episodic 
Platform Played: iPad/Iphone (iOS)

Avalable on : iOS, Android

Disclaimer: CGs/SS/IMAGES belongs to voltage inc./ voltage entertainment USA or either one of this branches.

Warning for minor spoilers from the route
If you're looking for a rough summery of the prologue I covered in my First Impressions Review Click here  which i recommend you check out to get an idea of the overview of the game or read the prologue as I'm gonna cover starting Ash's Main Story 1 route. 
The Plot

Using the good ol 'dog is a man's best friend so I trust Seymour's instinct', the MC (You) choose Ash, the quiet mysterious hitman to watch over her while she stays at the mansion. There she learns that her parents were undercover feds following Vyper, a rival gang however their cover got blown hence the MC's parents are now on the run. Through the route, using a little black book filled with contacts that they managed to salvage from the MC's house they go around town questioning friends on the whereabouts of the MC's parents. Meanwhile the MC tries to get to know more about Ash but unfortunately everything about him is up in the airs since the entire gang know nothing much about him or his past. 

The Guy

Ash starts out as this mysterious but intimidatingly scary dude in the corner drinking whisky while playing with Seymour. Heck he even threatens the MC with his gun at the start like to blow up your cellphone or even when you refuse to follow orders. But once you get to know him he's not as scary of a gangster and seems like a normal geeky sweet guy who genuinely cares for the MC and Seymour. Its nice seeing all of this little gestures he does to make the MC and Seymour's life in the mansion comfortable. Also when he's in action you don't want to mess with him (and his guns...) as he is freaking sharp and badass. The only thing I want to point out for someone who is supposed to be quiet and hard to read he sure has a lot of expressions which I guess is refreshing as not a lot of voltage guys are that expressive at the start. 

As mentioned, not a lot about his past is known to though hints here and there are scattered in the his POV end set. 

Ash is my most anticipated guy in the game, partly I got excited for his route as his character design as he's this Asian dude (I'm assuming based on his character design and the fact the cast keep comparing him to Asian stereotypes like Kpop star and ninjas) with green eyes made me think of Park from 'Eleanor and Park' by Rainbow Rowell. Heck his personality is like Park if park were to have had a delay reaction on puberty, joined a gangster and became a hit man. Mind me I love Eleanor and Park as its one of my all time favorite books. 

He's a mixture of Rikiya Mononobe from After School Affairs where he looks scary and hard to read on the outside but is a sweetheart in the inside and if Rikiya was a dog lover, Nozomu Fuse from True Love Sweet Lies where he can be gentlemanly and mature at times, a fierce badass when needs to but also is a cheeky goofball at times... I also think he has a similar past from what's hinted in his POVs. Also if you like Kyo's quiet and loyal personality from Butler Until Midnight you might like Ash as he treats the MC like Kyo where both guys are respectful, loyal and protective towards the MC from the very start. 

The Mc

As mentioned in my first impressions of the game the MC here instantly became one of my favorite! Though she started out scared in intimidated at the situation (which should be normal if place in a situation like this), she becomes a feisty badass and does not let herself be a damsel in distress in the situation. Also I love her inner monologue especially when she goes 'wth is there s gun here' at the many random times she encounters or sees Ash with a gun through the route or a 'damn you rich people' sorta scenario cause apparently this gangsters are loaded or my personal favorite 'I can't believe gangsters do blah blah blah' like eat in a fast food joint or something along the lines.

If you like the MC from True Love Sweet Lies who's cute, preppy and has sass along with the badass ready for action MC from Metro DP: Close To You, you will like this MC! 

The Side Characters

After playing Ash's route I'm even more interested to try the other characters especially Aurora and Yoshimitsu. I like how they all interact with one another as they know when to be serious with each other but also when to goof off and have fun while in the game room with one another. There is this one scene that stood out where the MC ask the gang about Ash and non of them has a clue about his and his past so they all come out with some ridiculously random conspiracy theory of Ash's life before he joined the gang (though I think Aurora is the closest to being right).

Speaking of Aurora, I really really like her relationship with not only Ash but also the MC. She might be a flirt at times but she takes the role of like the big sister of the gang and even cox the MC into telling her about her feelings for Ash. I think Aurora ships them lolll. Anyways she's like my favorite side character in the story so far and some of the scenes with her are the best! 

Also we meet the big bad of the route that is Mateo who the MC's parents used to work with and is in their contacts book. Now before I get into his character... can I just say that his character design looks like a another character who happens to be the big bad in another game I happened to love and play and *cough* shameless plug *cough* feature on this blog ALOT last year.... 

I'm talking about Mark Jefferson Shitterson and if one thing Life is Strange has thought me is NEVER TRUST A GROWN MAN WITH A GOATEE lolll! But seriously a part of me in the inside inside inside freaked out when I saw the character sprite pop out and I knew shit's heading south. 


Main Story 1 is basically a 'Meeting Him' story like in Her Lover In The Force where we are introduced to the characters and our potential lover, the world and the idea of the story. 

As I mentioned in my first impressions review its gonna take some getting used to on how the AmeMix stories are paced out compare to the Japanese Voltage games but I still do like how its paced out into three chunks as it makes the game feel like an actual episodic game like Walking Dead and Life is Strange. So for three Thursdays I have something to look forward to as its being released.  

Ash being the hitman of the gang expect a lot of fast pace gun shooting fist fight! The action scene were well done and there were times where even the MC herself outshine Ash in her own way when fighting the baddies. As mentioned in my first expression, its better to play this game on your phone as during the fighting scenes my phone was vibrating like crazy which adds to the experience. 

What I was more surprised about Ash routes was really sweet and fluffy till the point I needed to go to the dentist as all of this sweetness overloaded was giving me a cavity JOKE^^! All the little sweet moments and gestures we see like how Ash comforts the MC after a fight scene, gives the MC his unwanted mystery toy cause it looks like her dog, let her sleep in his room and gives her privacy and the one that made me squeal like an idiot was when Ash went and got Seymour a dog bed since Chance keeps scolding him for sleeping on the couch. 

Ash's main story 1 was a great introduction to his character and the situation the MC is thrown in. There are a lot of foreshadows especially about Ash's past and his POVs are a must read as we delve a bit deeper into his character since he is such a hard to read person. His POVs as mentioned hints about his past which which is enough information for me to theories what's gonna happen next but not enough information since its kinda vague. 

My biggest guest *POTENTIAL SPOILER BUT ITS A THEORY* is that since Ash was a cop (there is a broken cop badge on his profile page) in particular an under covered cop (mentioned in his passionate POV), he probably had some dark past involving his partner/ someone who he dearly loved killed so he keeps his past a mystery to distance himself from the others... its just a theory if using 'dead partner/ex' cookie cutter voltage stories which was a reason why I say his character and probably his backstory reminds me of Nozomu Fuse and Rikiya Mononobe. 

Now the thing that killed me... THAT GOD DAMN IT CLIFFHANGER!!! Gahhh!!! Like I say it really feels like an actual episodic game as we all know how episodic games love to play with our emotions with flipping cliffhangers... but i'll survive... i survived all the other episodic games especially Life is Strange (the wait between episode 3 and 4 nearly killed me) so I should survive this...


Ash Main Story 1 exceeded my expectation! There was so many moments where i was smiling like crazy, on the edge of my seat from the action scenes to even falling on the floor laughing at the characters banters and interaction! The last time I felt all this feels when playing a route was Rikiya Mononobe in After School Affairs. This was so well written and paced out and I really like Ash's character and story.  

If you have yet to play Gangsters in Love or even Voltage's AmeMix's games I highly recommend Ash's route as its a great introduction to this games since his character, while its still a familiar character trope of the quiet mysterious, hard on the outside soft in the inside personality, its done in a refreshing way so that it does not feel like a crop out. 

And if its still not enough to convince you take a look at a snip of his CGs as they are so *doki *doki, mysterious and hawt!  


What are your thoughts / route recommendation for Gangsters In Love?  Also follow me on tumblr (rotantrm) and the hashtag  #row plays otome  and #row plays GIL for more of my otome rambling and game play commentary. 

Till Next Time, Happy Playing

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