Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, and Persona

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These games doesn't approach Dating Sims as we've seen it in MetaDating, but it has the element of a dating sims game. 

What are these games?

These game encompass the relationship aspect but with a more RPG style.

Harvest moon is a more farmville + relationship sims game. 

Rune Factory is a farm-ville, relationship sims and a dungeon crawler game combine.  Finally, Persona has relationship and dungeon crawler elements.  Harvest moon and Rune Factory doesn't have a dating aspect in the game, it's more that the girl has grown feelings for you, you have the option of marrying her, if you like her. (Which obviously you do in some way, for you wouldn't go out of your way to have her like you...)

Persona's relationship mechanism is more melded together with the dungeon crawler aspect.  They go hand and hand.  

While neither, harvest moon, rune factory, nor persona is for PC, there is a Rune Factory for PS3 and Wii and Persona for PS3.

Why these games?

Romance

The approach in Harvest moon/Rune Factory is similar, however the way to get the girl to like you is through the action of talking to her and giving her gifts.  There are other various ways, but you'll figure that out later. 

Persona, on the other hand, is more like the visual novels that are more connect through events, but Persona 3 and 4 have stats that are tied to your character.  These stats depending on how you build your character will depend on how well you'll get along with a certain heroine.  Certain girls like smarter guys, good looking guys, etc... Not all girls like the same type of guy, which makes sense.  

Time

In Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, time is base on 1 minute = 1 second.  That's the basics.  For Persona, Time is divided up in 4 parts, Morning, Lunch, Afternoon, and Night.  School days, take up half of that time, although during Lunch sometimes you are given a choice if an event occurs.  However, basically you have to limit what you do during those 4 intervals.  Some tasks take up the whole night, it'll tell you.

What differs these games from Visual Novels like Katawa Shoujo, or games we've seen so far in MetaDating?

Visual Novels are like a tree, first you start the it's trunk and go up, through the story you're given choices on most likely a specific girl you want to get to know better, and that leads you to another branch.  This trend basically keeps going til you hit an event which is like any other encounter, but you learn more about the heroine, until "The End." There are all types of endings, Good and Bad.  And some other, you'll learn.

The MetaDating Games we've seen so far are Hatoful Boyfriend, Facade, and Catherine.  Each of them has it's own unique relationship aspect.

Hatoful Boyfriend, disregarding everything "pigeon," it takes place in a school, you have stats, and sometimes you're given choices that eventually leave to which hero you want to date.  If you put the concept of a visual novel together with stats, that's basically the gameplay of hatoful boyfriend.

Facade is an interesting type of relationship game cause instead of being the hero or heroine trying to get someone to fall in love with you, you're trying to either break up, or help mend a friend's relationship.  This isn't romance in itself towards you the character, but I guess in seeing one from the sidelines.

Finally Catherine is a Japanese Horror Adventure Dating Simulation Game.  You're already dating someone before you even start the game, for few years at that.  You're tossed between this "new" girl that is making you think about her all the time.  Why?  And then your current girlfriend who wants to take things further.  Also the horror story, which is unique to this game in itself.  Although the choices you're tossed between through the game shapes how you deal with current situations.  Interesting enough, if there's a point in game where you're like, "WHY!?  WTF!? WHY DID YOU SAY THAT?"  It's most likely because of a meter that measuring, either your morality or whatever.  Certain points in the game is uncontrollable and will be based on how the game measures your actions.  If you've been morbid and evil, you'll guess what your answers might be to some cut scenes, etc...

My Impression and Thoughts

I personally love all 3 of the types of games.  I think Persona would be a better fit to the style MetaDating as been doing up to now.  Harvest moon and Rune Factory is a REALLY long game, so most likely in 2 hours we won't actually see much.  A lot of visual novel and relationship type games do take a long time.  Even Catherine, so many questions would be answered if you just play through the game more.  A lot of Japanese RPG games take awhile to understand what's going on, even with or without the relationship aspect.  I think Persona would allow a decent introduction to a relationship and dungeon crawler game.  Sean mentioned it to Sean and Bill about it, but we'll see what happens.  A lot of Japanese RPG have a friendship/relationship element to it in some way or form, some more or less about dating, but about getting to know people.

Conclusion

I'm sorry if I wrote a lot, but I wanted to explain my reason, although majority of them take hours, even days to get anywhere.  Even in Hatoful Boyfriend and Catherine, we didn't really get far, but saw a glimpse of what it's like.  I can't really suggest any game that can be understood in a few hours of gameplay, other than visual novels. Persona is probably your best bet.