Friday, August 7, 2009

Interesting Import Video Game #6: Time Leap

Import Video Game: Time Leap for the Xbox 360


The entire genre of dating sim video games exist almost exclusively as import video games. One such game is Time Leap for the Xbox 360. The main protagonist is male, while almost all other protagonists are female, a very common occurrence for dating sims. You're often enticed to get along with several different girls, and eventually to choose one to have an intimate relationship with... and I'm not referring to sex. Console dating sim games avoid any explicit scenes, which are generally reserved for PC titles.

Still, the core gameplay doesn't change from PC titles to console titles. You interact with a girl, choose responses, and hope that you don't say something stupid, sometimes much like real life. The catch: unlike real life, you can always try again.

This particular dating sim game is the first to use fully animated, well, everything. Older dating sim games usually used static images during almost all interactions, and they tried to use very simple animations (such as shaking or alternating between two or three frames) combined with (admittedly impressive) audio to give the feeling that the events were occurring in real time. This one goes all out and actually fully animates all scenes, giving you the feeling of an anime that you can make decisions in to reach different goals.

As the title of the game implies, time travel is involved. There are two girls (as the image shows), one of which is a girl (named Yuu) that you've loved as a sister for a long time, the other is an older upperclassmen (named Ayumi) and one of the most popular girls in school. You don't seem to know Ayumi very well, but you want to. Well, a younger Ayumi suddenly appears in front of you because of a "Time Leap", and you try to get along with her to win her over. Rather convenient, but what happens with the current version? How does your interactions with past Ayumi effect the current Ayumi? How did this even happen? Well, you have to play to find out.

As a side note, though, Time Leap is well known, perhaps even infamous, for their cute para-para styled dances, which have appeared all over YouTube after being mirrored so that people can attempt to imitate them. Here's such an example:

Play-Asia offers this import video game in their catalog, but looking at their page, there is one important thing to note. This game is region locked and won't work on your stock US or UK Xbox 360.

Have fun playing!
-Kuro Matsuri

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