#1 Posted by BradBrains (1069 posts) -

I've found that I've had tons of fun with games that have romance options like mass effect and persona and am looking at something new.

Any recommendations for some good games that let you choose romance options?

I've already played through dragon age, harvest moon, mass effect and such so any other ones or hidden gems would be greatly appreciated. Genre doesn't matter

Thanks duders for helping me not be bored

#2 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5748 posts) -

It should be noted the romance options in Mass Effect and Dragon Age are terrible. The Witcher 2 isn't bad though.

#3 Posted by Yummylee (22067 posts) -

If you're only in it specifically for the romance then Visuals Novels got yo' back. That katawa shoujo is likely one that'll be repeatedly recommended, too.

#4 Edited by BradBrains (1069 posts) -

Dunno know if visual novel is my thing but I'll try anything.

And mass effect and dragon age may be terrible but I was mainly using them as mainstream examples

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#7 Posted by wemibelec90 (1747 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@yummylee said:

That katawa shoujo is likely one that'll be repeatedly recommended, too.

By me. Repeatedly.

And me! If you don't mind the sexual parts and the fact that you barely "play" it.

Games have pretty bad romance options. It's all saying what a person wants to hear until you can get into their pants. I don't think I could recommend any games that have anything but terrible romance subplots. We really need more people who make romance in games not just about picking the right choice on a list.

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#9 Posted by Grillbar (1872 posts) -

catherine maybe?

#10 Edited by wemibelec90 (1747 posts) -
#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#12 Posted by xyzygy (10032 posts) -

Honestly the best game with good relationships is Persona 4. I can't really think of anything that tops it. Anything Bioware is super derivative. And most others are very restricted.

Although Naoto's relationship in P4 sucks because you are basically toying with her gender role. It's pretty stupid.

#13 Posted by wemibelec90 (1747 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

Honestly the best game with good relationships is Persona 4. I can't really think of anything that tops it. Anything Bioware is super derivative. And most others are very restricted.

Although Naoto's relationship in P4 sucks because you are basically toying with her gender role. It's pretty stupid.

Persona 4 is great because of the time it takes to build the relationships. They actually feel earned instead of just happening unnaturally. There isn't as much of that "pick the correct answer" stuff with them too, as you can slouch along for the most part and still get something meaningful.

I also agree that the Naoto thing can be sketchy. You don't necessarily have to swing it that way, though, which is important to note.

#14 Edited by BradBrains (1069 posts) -

I've played through personas and Catherine and I liked both.

I don't need anything super complicated but I like games with a romance element that I'm at least in partial control.

#15 Edited by Yummylee (22067 posts) -

@darkstalker: There's Alpha Protocol if you haven't already played that, though the actual game part can be a little... cumbersome.

#16 Posted by ike7779 (340 posts) -
#17 Edited by indieslaw (355 posts) -

I thought Dragon Age 2 was good with the romancing. The problem is you have to play the game to go through them.

[EDIT: Checked the title of the thread. Sorry.]

#18 Posted by armaan8014 (5416 posts) -

Deadly premonition! I think the romance between York and Emily is quite subtle. But you can't do much about it though... it's linear that way and just a part of the story

#19 Posted by Solh0und (1799 posts) -

Jade Empire, anyone?

Killer is Dead sort of had a dating sim element...even if it comes off as sorta sleazy

#20 Posted by Random45 (1235 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@yummylee said:

That katawa shoujo is likely one that'll be repeatedly recommended, too.

By me. Repeatedly.

And me! If you don't mind the sexual parts and the fact that you barely "play" it.

Games have pretty bad romance options. It's all saying what a person wants to hear until you can get into their pants. I don't think I could recommend any games that have anything but terrible romance subplots. We really need more people who make romance in games not just about picking the right choice on a list.

Haha, this is so true. I remember playing Ever17, and I thought Tsugumi was a complete BITCH, but to get her good ending you have to suck it up and just be as nice as possible to her despite the myriad of insults and shit she throws at you. I can't remember any other game that has tried so hard to make me dislike the leading girl than that game, haha. I mean, yeah, sure, she kind of had a good reason to be a moody bitch, but it certainly doesn't make her an endearing character.

As for games with good romance in them... Uh... God damn, I don't know. There's some Visual Novels I can think of that had passable romantic stuff, but nothing that I would genuinely consider good.

#21 Posted by emofratparty (100 posts) -

@darkstalker: Catherine. Highly underrated in terms of its story and it presents a lot of insight into how a relationship can build up and break down.

#22 Edited by Corevi (3981 posts) -

I'm gonna go with most people on this, optional romances are usually terrible. The Persona 3/4 series is probably the best at that though, with Persona 3 Portable's FeMC story having the most payoff. Catherine is also pretty good but its not really options, its basically 2 paths and then 3 endings for each path.

I will also gladly recommend Katawa Shoujo.

#23 Posted by TobbRobb (4752 posts) -

Catherine is just about the only game I can think of that does romance pretty well. Unless you want more of a fairytale romance, then you might want to stay away. XD

#24 Posted by Stefanten (55 posts) -

@wemibelec90:

Love Plus is a japanese dating sim. I can understand the confusion though.

#25 Posted by wemibelec90 (1747 posts) -

@stefanten: Huh? Oh, right. Dammit, I always get those games mixed up in my head. What a stupid mistake.

#26 Edited by UlquioKani (1137 posts) -

The Mass Effect games have good romance dialogue but the actions of the characters are super awkward. The female romance options are far better than the ones for the dudes. Fades to black before sex scenes would have gone a long way. Witcher 2's romance options are just pure sex and they look dumb as hell. I'll keep my feelings about Katawa Shoujo to myself or I might get jumped.

Online
#27 Posted by dudeglove (8022 posts) -

It should be noted the romance options in Mass Effect and Dragon Age are terrible. The Witcher 2 isn't bad though.

It's probably hard to imagine, but seeing some of the Russian subs for ME3 by localization, they somehow managed to put in even less effort.

#28 Posted by BradBrains (1069 posts) -

It kinda sucks how uniquely awesome persona is sometimes

#29 Edited by ftrevelin (73 posts) -

Fire Emblem Awakening for 3DS, the romance options are a pretty big portion of that game.

Fable games have this marriage mechanic, not really "romantic", but I have to say I quite liked my relationships in it :P

#30 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5748 posts) -

It occurs to me no one has mentioned Saint's Row IV.

#31 Posted by ChrisTaran (1644 posts) -

I will just say this: avoid Conception 2. Picked it up for similar reasons (looked like a Persona game! kinda), but the story/romance stuff is not done well. You'll get more out of a cheesy harem anime than you would out of Conception.

#32 Posted by Noblenerf (329 posts) -

It occurs to me no one has mentioned Saint's Row IV.

Lol, those encapsulate what gaming "romance" is really well.

I thoroughly recommend it.

#33 Posted by XCEagle (115 posts) -

As someone who had never played a visual novel, and scoffed at katawa shoujo when it came out, holy crap.

I started it fully expecting to hate it, but it's fantastic. If you can get over the lack of much game there are some memorable story lines with characters who have surprising depth. If the OP hasn't tried it yet, do it. Free download so you have nothing to lose.

#34 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#35 Posted by pyromagnestir (4327 posts) -
#36 Posted by hollitz (1560 posts) -

Yeah, Persona 4 is really the only one that I can think of that does a good job. Bioware games are basically just about working your way up to an insanely awkward sex scene right before the final mission and then the characters go back to barely acknowledging each other.

#37 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5308 posts) -

Fire Emblem

#38 Posted by llamaegg (228 posts) -

Go further back! Baulder's Gate 2 is not only one of my favorite games of all time, but it's the best Drow dating simulator I know of! I mean, you could romance other characters, but clearly you're wrong if you didn't pick Viconia.

I'm also surprised that no one mentioned it before me, considering Dragon Age was pretty much Bioware saying "We wan't to make another one of these games, except without paying for the D&D license and making it worst!"

#39 Posted by Driadon (3001 posts) -

@llamaegg said:

Go further back! Baulder's Gate 2 is not only one of my favorite games of all time, but it's the best Drow dating simulator I know of! I mean, you could romance other characters, but clearly you're wrong if you didn't pick Viconia.

BG2 was pretty good about this, absolutely. Also worth noting that the romance/story elements in Dragon Age 2 are some of the best yet. (putting aside anything else you thought of the game)

The Witcher series also has some pretty good romance options. While, yes, Geralt can still get his freak on otherwise, the actual relationship building felt pretty organic if pursued.

Digital: A Love Story is also not terribly told, especially for an indie visual novel. Worth looking at if nothing is matching to what you're after. Oh, also, it's free.

#40 Edited by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Wait, are people calling Persona 4's "romances" good? The fuck? You mean the game where you social link up to like rank 8 or 9 and then they go "will you be my boyfriend" and you're like "yes/no" and then theres maybe 5 extra lines of dialogue, an awkward hug and thats IT. Plus its NEVER mentioned outside that social link. So its ultimately pointless?

Thats kinda way WORSE than the bioware romances. At least other characters will acknowledge it.

I mean hell Vinny/Jeff made pretty much EVERYONE their girlfriend and it was never mentioned or had any consequences or appeared in other parts of the game. It was laughable. So yeah, Persona 4 romances are pretty bottom of the bin. Sorry guys.

#41 Posted by hollitz (1560 posts) -

Wait, are people calling Persona 4's "romances" good? The fuck? You mean the game where you social link up to like rank 8 or 9 and then they go "will you be my boyfriend" and you're like "yes/no" and then theres maybe 5 extra lines of dialogue, an awkward hug and thats IT. Plus its NEVER mentioned outside that social link. So its ultimately pointless?

Thats kinda way WORSE than the bioware romances. At least other characters will acknowledge it.

I mean hell Vinny/Jeff made pretty much EVERYONE their girlfriend and it was never mentioned or had any consequences or appeared in other parts of the game. It was laughable. So yeah, Persona 4 romances are pretty bottom of the bin. Sorry guys.

Mass Effect 3 is the only time I can remember anyone saying anything after the hookup, and it was one line.

I've only played Golden and there's a lot of extra content with your romantic interest, and one particularly punishing day if you decided to date multiple girls.

#42 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@hollitz said:

@clonedzero said:

Wait, are people calling Persona 4's "romances" good? The fuck? You mean the game where you social link up to like rank 8 or 9 and then they go "will you be my boyfriend" and you're like "yes/no" and then theres maybe 5 extra lines of dialogue, an awkward hug and thats IT. Plus its NEVER mentioned outside that social link. So its ultimately pointless?

Thats kinda way WORSE than the bioware romances. At least other characters will acknowledge it.

I mean hell Vinny/Jeff made pretty much EVERYONE their girlfriend and it was never mentioned or had any consequences or appeared in other parts of the game. It was laughable. So yeah, Persona 4 romances are pretty bottom of the bin. Sorry guys.

Mass Effect 3 is the only time I can remember anyone saying anything after the hookup, and it was one line.

I've only played Golden and there's a lot of extra content with your romantic interest, and one particularly punishing day if you decided to date multiple girls.

Oh so they retconned it with a new version.

Classy.

#43 Posted by hollitz (1560 posts) -

@hollitz said:

@clonedzero said:

Wait, are people calling Persona 4's "romances" good? The fuck? You mean the game where you social link up to like rank 8 or 9 and then they go "will you be my boyfriend" and you're like "yes/no" and then theres maybe 5 extra lines of dialogue, an awkward hug and thats IT. Plus its NEVER mentioned outside that social link. So its ultimately pointless?

Thats kinda way WORSE than the bioware romances. At least other characters will acknowledge it.

I mean hell Vinny/Jeff made pretty much EVERYONE their girlfriend and it was never mentioned or had any consequences or appeared in other parts of the game. It was laughable. So yeah, Persona 4 romances are pretty bottom of the bin. Sorry guys.

Mass Effect 3 is the only time I can remember anyone saying anything after the hookup, and it was one line.

I've only played Golden and there's a lot of extra content with your romantic interest, and one particularly punishing day if you decided to date multiple girls.

Oh so they retconned it with a new version.

Classy.

...okay...

I have literally no idea what point you're trying to make with that.

#44 Posted by hermes (1539 posts) -

@hollitz said:

@clonedzero said:

@hollitz said:

@clonedzero said:

Wait, are people calling Persona 4's "romances" good? The fuck? You mean the game where you social link up to like rank 8 or 9 and then they go "will you be my boyfriend" and you're like "yes/no" and then theres maybe 5 extra lines of dialogue, an awkward hug and thats IT. Plus its NEVER mentioned outside that social link. So its ultimately pointless?

Thats kinda way WORSE than the bioware romances. At least other characters will acknowledge it.

I mean hell Vinny/Jeff made pretty much EVERYONE their girlfriend and it was never mentioned or had any consequences or appeared in other parts of the game. It was laughable. So yeah, Persona 4 romances are pretty bottom of the bin. Sorry guys.

Mass Effect 3 is the only time I can remember anyone saying anything after the hookup, and it was one line.

I've only played Golden and there's a lot of extra content with your romantic interest, and one particularly punishing day if you decided to date multiple girls.

Oh so they retconned it with a new version.

Classy.

...okay...

I have literally no idea what point you're trying to make with that.

In the original version of Persona 4, you could, theoretically, romance every single female option at the same time. Despite spending a lot of time with each other, none of them would be the wiser about it...

#45 Posted by BradBrains (1069 posts) -

@darkstalker: Catherine. Highly underrated in terms of its story and it presents a lot of insight into how a relationship can build up and break down.

I liked catherine a lot.

don't get me wrong i have a girlfriend i dont need something super complex where if you dont spend enough time with them they dump you or something. just where you have some control over the romantic options in a game where its not the main focus of the games.

fire emblem seems the most interesting choice so far as ive never played on. I got record of agerest war and felt swindled because of what that game promised and found it boring.

keep em coming guys and thanks

#46 Edited by Jeust (10756 posts) -

Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2

Jade Empire

Planescape Torment

Alpha Protocol - I especially recomend AP for the characters and interactions, even in the romance deparment, as they are amazing.

Catherine while handled the relationship issue well, I felt it was clumsy naming the both love interests the same name and reusing the dialogue.

#47 Edited by A_Cute_Squirtle (698 posts) -

If you want the MOST relationships in a game, then Fire Emblem: Awakening is probably for you.

#48 Posted by emofratparty (100 posts) -

@darkstalker: Haven't played Fire Emblem, but Catherine was the first thing that came to my mind because it seemed the most real. Meaning, the story could have been something a friend had told me (minus the apparitions, sheep, and block puzzles...the other stuff, basically) and it would have fit naturally.

Additionally, the themes hit really close to home and I know I'm not the only person who felt that way, as evidenced here: http://kotaku.com/5867638/a-video-game-made-me-come-clean-about-infidelity.

Believe me, that's one of maybe two times ever I've actually told someone to go to Kotaku.