PEGBRJE: Seduce Me (The Complete Story)
Don’t mind if I do, says Narcissus.
I haven’t had to do a single overview in a while, but to put it simply this isn’t a single game.
It’s 2 full games and an episodic theatre.
Seduce Me, the Complete Story is the anthology of otome dating sim games of the Seduce Me series directed and created by Michaela Laws, VA and dating sim specialist. Players take control of a girl ‘canonically’ known as Mika Anderson, granddaughter to the Anderson Toy Company founder and overall high school student. Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside of her control she is forced to move out of her home into another, where she finds 5 wounded gentlemen laying on the foyer floor. They aren’t like your typical attractive guys, they’re demons, and are there to help run the place. Between these 5 hunks, your 2 best friends and a few mystery guests along the way, which will you ask to ‘Seduce me’?
That is just the premise for the first game; upon achieving a true ending, players are offered the choice to start Seduce Me 2 with the character you just finished the route of to continue forward with a new plot a few years after the first one. There is also the episodes that are included as well which dive deeper into other characters and fun encounters with them, adding even more content for the lovable cast.
As with all otome/dating sim games, Seduce Me’s charm comes from that very cast mentioned earlier. The 5 poster boys are all their own individual tropes but with a demonic flair, between the studious eldest James, the rough and tumble Sam, the big flirt Erik, the quiet insightful Damien and loveable and passionate goof Matthew. Each one of them fits into their ‘role’ easily, but enjoys expanding it at times to give each one of them a bit more personality to work with, such as James’ studious nature being a hindrance on his ability to be selfish due to how he was raised. Is it obvious who I romanced yet? What can I say, I’m a sucker for a buttery smooth voice.
And what a voice casting this game has — players may notice that this game is 3GB in size, and not only is that dedicated to the sheer amount of content but also due to the audio department and vocal talent. Every character that isn’t the protagonist is fully voiced, even the random non-named characters that follow the popular girl around. I wasn’t expecting to recognize more than 2 VAs in this game just by hearing them (I kept hearing Yuri from Fire emblem 3 houses every time Sam spoke, it was spooky). This does come with it’s own drawbacks, primarily due to this being an indie title that the vocals all had a slightly different tonality to them due to them being recorded in different environments. There was also a minor issue when skipping text during conversations which would cause them to clip/speaker tick. Honestly, though, these are minor inconveniences to the amount of immersion that these vocals added to this game. Bringing characters to life isn’t easy due to trying to match the tone, energy and personality of a drawn/animated character, hence why voice actors and actresses are so important in ensuring that they do just that.
Seduce Me is no slouch in terms of worldbuilding as well, thanks to its focus on teasing bits and pieces of how characters are connected to each other while keeping the answers locked behind player decisions and choices. Outside of the 5 gentlemen and the 2 best friend endings, there are other paths players can take that open up the world and answer some serious questions. There are even choices that appear to affect nothing to the routes, yet on my second run (I screwed up James’ ending the first time, ok?) I gained some knowledge I previously didn’t have and it changed a few of my interactions with him and a few of the others. It was a nice touch, even if it didn’t overtly change anything, and gave me more of the feeling that my decisions actually mattered besides making the correct choices at the certain ‘flags’ to get the points. The episodes add a bunch of little tidbits of information, as well as unlockable secrets if players find the true endings for all of the romanceable characters.
I also need to give attention to the fantastic sound design and backing tracks that were made for Seduce Me. There were so many different songs to accompany different characters, from rock-like themes to soft indie beats to chill/seduce to. My personal favourite is of a certain character that has a very sultry saxophone, and if James didn’t exist this character would be my number one, my better judgement be damned. Audio can do that much to me. The sound effects were also added to bring life to some of the events throughout the game, such as growling stomachs, a ring tone song every time Anderson’s phone went off and many more that I felt were slightly spoiler-y. I definitely will be adding this OST to my collection, it was so good.
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but Seduce Me does bring a bunch of fun and style in its multiple games. I can’t comment heavily on Seduce Me 2 as I’m still working through it after restarting Seduce Me 1 for the third/fourth time to see if I can find answers to some of the burning questions I had. From what I’ve seen, however, it looks to be more of the same charm and audio bliss that I appreciated from the first. If you are looking for an extensive dating sim that covers all of the basic otome tropes while upping the ante in its auditory reception and extensive content that really has no business being wrapped into a single title, then Seduce Me has already, in fact, seduced you.
I really need to stop using that pun.