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Thoughts about games with romance in it?


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I quite like games with romantic elements, even if I don't really relate to those things. Can make dynamics pretty interesting when done right. Only thing I hate is when you don't want to be with a certain character, but you still wanna learn more about them, but the extra info is only unlocked via pursuing them romantically >.>' or if a certain pairing is pushed super hard even when it doesn't make sense and or you despise the game's love interest (the sheer amount of games where I just despised the main love interest...).

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I like Stardew Valley, because you can get various relationship bonuses with some characters through either friendship or romance.

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At the end of .hack//G.U. main hero Haseo is given the "Promise card" to choose one of his teammates as his favorite & get a special ending with that character. You can give it to a female character & have a virtual wedding. But there's one woman who doesn't like Haseo that way, & one AMAB who does (gay wedding!) With the other male characters you end up with a best friend, little brother, or mentor.

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26 minutes ago, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

At the end of .hack//G.U. main hero Haseo is given the "Promise card" to choose one of his teammates as his favorite & get a special ending with that character. You can give it to a female character & have a virtual wedding. But there's one woman who doesn't like Haseo that way, & one AMAB who does (gay wedding!) With the other male characters you end up with a best friend, little brother, or mentor.

I wish real life was like that.

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Dang. I wanted to add something but then I realized you were talking about games and not books. OH well :) I'm sure there's a thread about books in here somewhere, if I look hard enough.

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I don’t mind it if it is optional, but I played a bit of Witcher 3 after a friend recommended it and… no. Geralt’s character is no blank slate and his love for Yennefer is not optional 😅 I tried to ignore it at first, but then you can also have sexual encounters with other women in the game that are also not really optional (I read that not following up on an ‘invitation’ locks you out of a powerfull ally near the endgame) Anyway, I ended up abandoning the game. Mainly because the setting and story was very depressing (I should have been able to guess that after watching the show) but the whole romance thing did not help.

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Oh I don't mind it when it's Optional or like well-done- High School Story has very optional romance for the player's character, even if side characters need to go on dates to advance quests. It's not very trans/non-binary friendly but it does allow lgbq+ relationships

The Arcana is another romance game I used to really like, its a visual novel and I'm pretty sure there *has* to be romance but I didn't mind it much- I suggest you choose Julian's route if you're alloaro and attracted to men, I was easily able to construe it into a fwb/QPR type relationship. You're also able to take multiple routes at once, which is nice. Very trans/enby friendly imo, you can choose and change your name and pronouns throughout the story line. The side stories are also really fun!!

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I actually really enjoy games where you can romance characters. I like it because it's not real, more like roleplaying for me. I can have my little fictional romance then close the game and not think about it until next time I play.

I just really like fictional romance in general, so long as it's done well.

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43 minutes ago, bat said:

I actually really enjoy games where you can romance characters. I like it because it's not real, more like roleplaying for me. I can have my little fictional romance then close the game and not think about it until next time I play.

I just really like fictional romance in general, so long as it's done well.

Oh same!

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I don’t really like romance in video games. It’s usually highly stylized and unrealistic in games. Like even way more unrealistic than in movies. Too confusing for my aro brain… I often don’t emotionally get the hints (especially at PEGI 12 games or below), and it’s supposed to be romance what I regard as friendship (sure, on a purely analytical level I correctly identify romantic attraction…).

It’s also often extremely drawn out. I mean big name AAA games usually take me at least 30 hours to finish. And there are indeed games that just keep this romantic attraction hinted at (but nothing happening!) for all that time, like 30, 40, 50, ... hours … it’s insane. Imagine watching a four season TV series with romantic tension from the pilot to the final … but going nowhere! It would drive me crazy! Way worse than any real, cringy romance itself.

On 4/27/2022 at 8:32 AM, Nix said:

I don’t mind it if it is optional, but I played a bit of Witcher 3 after a friend recommended it and… no. Geralt’s character is no blank slate and his love for Yennefer is not optional 😅 I tried to ignore it at first, but then you can also have sexual encounters with other women in the game that are also not really optional (I read that not following up on an ‘invitation’ locks you out of a powerfull ally near the endgame) Anyway, I ended up abandoning the game. Mainly because the setting and story was very depressing (I should have been able to guess that after watching the show) but the whole romance thing did not help.

Aside from that I really like the game. But it’s cringe-level is nearly unrivaled (except, perhaps, by Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Come).

Also risque scenes with uncanny valley characters aren’t my thing…

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I play a few dating sims here and there. The majority of them tend to run on the amatonormative side, disappointingly enough. But I like the few runs I do get where I get to see intimate moments with queer characters- especially if there’s an added fantasy element to it. 

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I like the ability to see marriage as a political calculation in mount and blade. Like, a mix of ability to talk and seduce having some role but also keen political calculation can get you a useful ally without that. It seems quite a good way to do courtship which is fairly sensible for the target time period.

I get unreasonably pissed off with games which have ideas of romance in a setting that I don't think warrants it. ('side-eying skyrim here for medieval-ish fantasy with absolute autnomy of decision and a formal wedding which takes place in one specific temple in the whole damn kingdom')

To me I want to play the game, if romance is an interesting tactical choice, i.e. gives other benefits in exchange for a cost in effort/investment in your ability to make it happen, then I will probably enjoy the romance. The more interesting that choice is made the happier I am. But if the benefit of romance is you get to romance the character I find that boring. It honestly surprised me the first timme I heard that there were people who saw seeing the romance play out as a reward in its own right.

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2 hours ago, roboticanary said:

I get unreasonably pissed off with games which have ideas of romance in a setting that I don't think warrants it. ('side-eying skyrim here for medieval-ish fantasy with absolute autnomy of decision and a formal wedding which takes place in one specific temple in the whole damn kingdom')

I sadly never played this most legendary of all open-world games (maybe I should, it got an update for PS5 but costs 40 € wow for a decade old game). I heard that the Skyrim NPC population is around 1000 (quite enormous compared to Elden Ring which is around 50!). So one temple should be able to handle the demand. But that everyone has to make a long journey just to marry is quite unfortunate!

Skyrim Wiki says: it’s the Temple of Mara. And surprise: Mara is the Goddess of Love. Who would’ve thought!

IMHO there should be 100% secular, civil marriage in a fantasy game for once! That would be refreshing. The in-universe explanation could be: different religious groups could not agree who the REAL goddess of love is (and a lot of blood was shed in this conflict). Finally the worldly powers made secular, civil marriage compulsory. :P

OK… b2t…

Another classic I recently finished: Final Fantasy VII, Original (1997). There happens a date with one character from your group at “Gold Saucer” (a huge amusement park). The character who showed up for my “date” was Yuffie, a sort of Ninja girl from a Japanese/Chinese-like region called “Wutai”. She even gave “me” (= Cloud) a “kiss” (peck on the cheek) and was very embarrassed after that, lol. Like: --- Silence --- It seemed she liked me as a friend / mentor but wasn’t really ready for anything seriously romantic.

Now I read that the game determines the date there depending on how you treat the characters in your group. I sure shot down all romantic attempts by Tifa and Aerith (who are the default options). But Yuffie seemed just like some troubled teenager to me, and I treated her nicely and so got her to “date” me in the end.

Typical aro playthrough!

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7 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

IMHO there should be 100% secular, civil marriage in a fantasy game for once! That would be refreshing. The in-universe explanation could be: different religious groups could not agree who the REAL goddess of love is

One of the things I find really interesting is that in christian history of europe, the church getting that involved in marriage with the celebration actually being held at the place of worship was not always the case. Plenty of people were married at the agreement of each other and their families without the church having a direct involvement.

Also a lot of pagan tradition is really not set out in text, so the idea of a tradition where the amount of deity involvement in the wedding depended on where in the world the ceremony is would be totally fine as well.

There are so many ways to have a marriage in that sort of game and it is really disappointing that we get goddess of love and a ceremony in a temple.

 

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1 hour ago, DeltaV said:

I sadly never played this most legendary of all open-world games (maybe I should, it got an update for PS5 but costs 40 € wow for a decade old game). I heard that the Skyrim NPC population is around 1000 (quite enormous compared to Elden Ring which is around 50!). So one temple should be able to handle the demand. But that everyone has to make a long journey just to marry is quite unfortunate!

Skyrim Wiki says: it’s the Temple of Mara. And surprise: Mara is the Goddess of Love. Who would’ve thought!

IMHO there should be 100% secular, civil marriage in a fantasy game for once! That would be refreshing. The in-universe explanation could be: different religious groups could not agree who the REAL goddess of love is (and a lot of blood was shed in this conflict). Finally the worldly powers made secular, civil marriage compulsory. :P

OK… b2t…

Another classic I recently finished: Final Fantasy VII, Original (1997). There happens a date with one character from your group at “Gold Saucer” (a huge amusement park). The character who showed up for my “date” was Yuffie, a sort of Ninja girl from a Japanese/Chinese-like region called “Wutai”. She even gave “me” (= Cloud) a “kiss” (peck on the cheek) and was very embarrassed after that, lol. Like: --- Silence --- It seemed she liked me as a friend / mentor but wasn’t really ready for anything seriously romantic.

Now I read that the game determines the date there depending on how you treat the characters in your group. I sure shot down all romantic attempts by Tifa and Aerith (who are the default options). But Yuffie seemed just like some troubled teenager to me, and I treated her nicely and so got her to “date” me in the end.

Typical aro playthrough!

If you ignore all 3 girls you end up with Barrett. 🤣

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2022 at 9:59 PM, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

If you ignore all 3 girls you end up with Barrett. 🤣

Yes that would be very aro, too!

Now, I further researched the matter: Yuffie is the only date where an actual kiss (most innocent kiss, but still…) happens. Yet it goes all so damn wrong, that this date is truly 100% “gleefully aro”!

Yuffie: [after kissing Cloud on the cheek] “I just felt like doing that.”
Cloud: “............”
Yuffie: “That's all.”
Cloud: “............”
Yuffie: “H, hey!! Say something, why don't you!!”
Cloud: “............”
Yuffie: “......gawd, I could just die.”
Cloud: “............”
Yuffie: “Say something, PLEASE!”
Cloud: “...................something.”

🤣

But seriously, the Yuffie and Barrett dates are the only good ones to me.

I already have problems with such overly romantic vibes.

But if the romantic object (Aerith, Tifa) is rendered in state-of-the-art PlayStation 1 graphics aka “hooves for hands”* … as a hard aro, I simply lack the required imagination. It just feels too grotesque to me!

* yeah, not dissing the game… I acknowledge all the enormous creativity that went into it, sadly curtailed by the technical limitations of it’s time; overall FF VII Original is still playable and great even today.

Edited by DeltaV
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Another thing I think I missed but is really important is that there are quite a few games which give you the freedom to romance large numbers of people but in practice make every experience the same. Worst offender that I remember was fable. In theory you can marry basically everyone, in practice literally one person is in any way interesting.

I dont see how anyone in design thought that was in any way fun. I dont think this is just an aro thing either, this is crap, it adds nothing in pretending you have this enormous amount of freedom but the freedom means nothing.

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My earliest memories are literally about being repulsed by romance in media in general. Now, as an adult, I don't mind when romance is optional, but it's always annoying to me when it's an 'important' part of them when I receive other thing in description of the game.

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