Review by KYQ
One of the best Dating Sims on the PS1.
Ahhh the Dating Sim genre. Very popular in Japan, very misunderstood in America. Contrary to what many may believe, it is not a medium for poor dateless sods to live their fantasies. Instead, they are more like RPGs with more focus on the romantic side of things. Funny how Mitsumete Knight is a dating sim with RPG elements, essentially being a sort of roundabout thing. That aside, Mitsumete Knight is a very underrated game amongst games in an underrated genre and it's my job to tell you how beautiful this game is.
Basically you are a young Asian man who is being sent to the country (presumably a fictional European styled country) of Dolphan. With your faithful fairy friend Piko in tow, you strive to become a Holy Knight during your 3 year stay in Dolphan while helping to defend the country against the opposing kingdom, Valpha. But will you become a Holy Knight? Or maybe you will find something more..like true love?
The story isn't exactly shakespeare, but it does its job nicely. Not to mention that it's a nice change from usual Dating Sim games which normally have you as a High School student looking for a chick. It's not the most original, but it still IS different.
Taking that this game was out in 1998, it still looks pretty good. Done in the same style as Konami's flagship series, Tokimeki Memorial, the characters are all drawn in a very nice, clean anime style. There isn't really much in the way of animation besides moving lips, but the art is so nice that there isn't really a need for much animation as it was the norm anyhow.
The graphics don't look quite so good in the battle scenes admittedly (more on that later), as they look rather jaggy and similar to that of games like Suikoden. Effects like slashes and special moves are also rather crude and simple looking, but since the fights aren't the main focus of the game, they are easily overlooked.
The sound however is more consistent than the graphics. Whether it's the cheerful, bouncy music of summer, or the serious tunes of battle, the music is definitely all good here.
Being a Konami game, naturally it is fully voice acted, and voice acted brilliantly. Every character sounds distinct and you get a 'feel' of them immediately even if you don't understand much Japanese. From Joan's bastard laugh to Sophia's sweet voice, you shouldn't have much difficulty in finding your favourite girl.
The gameplay is mostly similar to that of Tokimemki Memorial. Your three years in Dolphan are split into weeks, where you have to plan a schedule on what you wish to do for each week. You can choose to build your stats like Intelligence or Charm, and eventually take on parttime jobs to build multiple stats. And on weekends, you can go on a date with any girl you already know or choose to visit the church (Mitsumete Knight's equivalent to Tokimeki's Yoshio) to check on how much progress you're making with the girls.
While all this is familiar ground to Dating Sim vets, the twist here is the RPG side of the game. Unlike other games, here you have a HP meter to keep an eye on, as well as your Level, much like an RPG.
Periodically, you would be called upon to fight, be it to defend Dolphan or to fight a bear that has run amok. It is during these fights where your stats will really count. While fights to defend Dolphan initially start off with a very rock-scissors-paper styled battalion fight, the main meat of all your fights are one-on-one duels. The better your stats, the better you fight and if you've been diligant, you'd even have a special move.
If you still can't tell, I really like the gameplay. The dating bits are simple but involving with the usual one question that will determine the quality of the outcome, and the RPG styled battles add alot of story and keep you on your toes as well.
Surprisingly this game has quite a few extras as well. Aside from being able to win with other girls and completing their picture galleries, they're also mini games to unlock. From simple games like 'Blackjack' to even a full fledged puzzle game (aptly called Puzzle de Knight), to even a secret shop you can unlock to help give you an advantage the next time you play, Mitsumete Knight has alot of substance.
Mitsumete Knight is truly a gem that had never really been discovered. Even in a genre that has not received much credit or exposure outside of Japan, Mitsumete Knight is a relatively neglected and unknown game, constantly overshadowed by Tokimeki Memorial, which baffles me constantly.
Mitsumete Knight is an awesome game with a good story, decent graphics, wonderful soundtrack and some of the most beautiful character developments you may ever see. Many a times, I ended up really feeling for the girls I'd won with, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I can really love them too if they were real.
If you love a nice love story, but also want more adventure than the average Dating Sim, do not miss out on Mitsumete Knight.
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