Hey there lovers. It was just valentines day and there’s a lot of pressure on you to find that special someone or show the one you’re with how much you care and it can all be very demanding. Do you know what’s slightly less demanding my top 10 games handling romance, for all you romantic types out there. So put down the chocolates and pick up the controller and let’s play.
10. Mass effect 3: Shepard and everyone. Like Dragon age, Mass effect is a game where the player has an option of pursuing one of many potential partners each usually with different scenarios and outcomes resulting from these decisions. Mass effect story wise is your typical sci fi space exploration adventure with your objective in three being to wipe out the threat of the mechanical beings known as the reapers from the galaxy. In this game you have the choice of wooing a crew member based on which gender you choose as the relationships are meant to be heterosexual. With male Shepard you can romantically pursue Ashley Willams or the ambiguously gendered Liara T’soni, with female Shepard your choices are Kaidan Alenko or similarly Liara T’soni. The reason this one is so far down my list is because there’s no real reward for pursuing a particular love interest except for the inclusion of the sex scene. This seems less of a romance and more of a mission with booty as the reward.
9. Dragon age 2: Hawk and everyone. This one is slightly higher up my list if only for the fact there are more partners to choose from and you can explore same sex relationships should you wish to. In Dragon age 2 the characters you can choose from are Isabella, Merrill, Anders, and Fenris, all can be romantic but you can also choose to be friends with them. The emphasis is not on the sexual conquest but on how forming relationships with characters can affect the story and the other characters attitude towards you. But like the dating simulations I totally don’t play you have to work on the relationships just like in real life.
8. Final fantasy 7: Tifa and Cloud. It may seem strange not to mention the relationship between Aerith and Cloud, but to me she loved that Cloud reminded her of Zack so I’ve stuck with the true pairing. Tifa and Cloud’s love is only shown briefly in a flashback but there’s a childhood romance, sweet and introduces the characters well, it also shows how they’ve both changed since they were last together it’s not integral to the plot but not every romance is. The scene seems very relatable as if a couple going to different university’s and as we find out when they meet again there’s still the faintest hint of chemistry.
7. Mario/link: Save the princess. Although I’m not as big of a link fan as I am Mario the aim of both games is very simple and straight forward your objective is to save the kingdom and the princess from the monsters that kidnapped them. The love in these games is based on the trials and obstacles they overcome to rescue their princesses, their true loves to live happily ever after. A concept still evident in games today it forms the basis for a lot of romantic encounters in video games. However this is quite a simplistic view of love and of course the love seems very one sided with only the promise of the beautiful princess to sustain us and we are given no assurance of a happily ever after.
6. Second life: Everybody. Second life may seem like a strange choice but like the other MMO’s and the Sims it is a life generator and is well known for it’s players romantic and sexual interactions. Players have been known to marry in game, and build a home and second life together. The sexual aspect is also something not as present in other games the potential to make the most appealing characters, playing as the opposite sex and casual intercourse in game, make this a very steamy title for some.
5. Octodad 2 Dadliest Catch: Octodad and his wife. This may seem a strange one on the list but it’s been on my mind recently and no others came to mind. Octodad is the story of an octopus covertly maintaining his cover as a loving husband and father despite the many obstacles he has to manoeuvre round. You might still be thinking I don’t see any romance, well to me the romance is in the first meeting between octodad and his future wife, very silly and fun but you get a sense that the two care for each other. With missions like the wedding and a general day around the house Octodad works hard to keep his family and I won’t spoil anything here but you feel the wife must love him very much to put up with all the questions and strange behaviour. Besides they have two beautiful human? Kids that reflect this love.
4. Catherine: Katherine. As both a geek and a gamer I understand that sometimes we have a very romanticised view of meeting that perfect warrior babe/ princess type who cooks, cleans, games and has a most excellent and bodacious body. However it’s understandable that this doesn’t always work out too well and reflect the wishes of the lady folk. Katherine is a very complicated and strange game though filled with interesting dream sequences it takes a look at relationships in a very real way. You are Vincent and you’re choice is to stay with Katherine you’re beautiful girlfriend/ potential fiancée, or run off with the alluring and mysterious Catherine who you have begun to have an affair with. This game handles the love aspect in an interesting way and the male protagonist is not made out to be a good guy hero. The whole situation minus the endings and dream sequences is very real and relatable and is definitely well worth a play.
3. Beyond two souls: Ryan and Jodie. Bound to be high up in the list but I’d say it’s a solid three only because the romantic scene was not given more focus, and the romance wasn’t continued. However the scene in game is a very nice one for starters you’re given the option of how much effort you put into the date and of course you’re given the choice whether to take it further with Ryan, this is easily taken for granted because the romance isn’t vital it feels very natural and the game doesn’t stop if the guy doesn’t get the girl. Speaking of we have a third character a jealous friend type in Aiden and he has the chance to influence things too, the whole thing was handled tastefully and was fun to play and handling it from the woman’s point of view was very interesting.
2. kingdom hearts Sora/ Kairi. Kingdom hearts is a favourite of a few of the Red Gaming Tech contributors to be sure but it is an interesting representation of innocent love nonetheless. First of all I take no sides I know the fandom has many different sometimes over lapping pairings, but it is definitely one of its strong points when it comes to looove. Our main protagonist Sora’s home is attacked and swallowed up by darkness he becomes chosen by the keyblade a weapon of light and goodness and embarks on a quest to save his home and his friends Riku and kairi. The three friends had been planning an adventure to other worlds before this happened and now are separated. To start off with although the first thoughts might be to see Kairi as the love interest creator Tetsuya Nomura said the relationships between the main characters is left ambiguous for the fans. Sora goes out to save both friends, one way to see it is he holds Kairi in his heart, when lost he hallucinates about her, we have some cute childhood flashbacks and the final scene of the two worlds apart is a real tear jerker the way it has been done. However you can equally take the side of the Sora/Riku relationship one of two competing rivals and maybe more. They have more actual interaction in the series, Riku feels jealousy and hurt after Sora makes new friends, Sora’s love and compassion for Riku save him from his own darkness and both fight and sacrifice to protect each other.Because the games are in part Disney, and the characters aren’t too mature it is very unlikely these games will ever have a definitive answer with these couples, but the romance seems sweet and is existent throughout the game.
1. Final fantasy 10: Tidus and Yuna. There is a reason this game is my number one, for starters I am a big Final fantasy fan anyway but that didn’t really affect my decision here. The story is very nicely written the characters engaging and the love story is simple, believable and tragic. Our hero Tidus finds himself in a strange land where he meets a beautiful young woman about to embark on an adventure both characters explore this world together and care for each others safety. Tidus used to getting attention from ladies finds himself attracted and Yuna finds him charming in his eccentricities but always has the seriousness of the task ahead weighing on her. She teaches him to care and protect what he loves and he teaches her to let go every once in awhile and enjoy life. Although an older game I won’t spoil the ending but the love is cut short and both characters have to deal with the sense of loss. The love feels grand and yet real and the whole way through doomed to fail but still you find yourself hoping it works out. This could have easily been lower down the list but the fact that a sequel was made to give this love story a more definite ending makes it to me the best example of love or romance in gaming. Also special mention to the Leblanc massage mini game in FFX-2.