Story Jar: Lost Island’s Ryo Tsuzuki Review

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As a fair warning to anyone reading this review, I may go into a tangent at the game creators on a few things about this game and their decision to transfer it into Story Jar. Please be advised, there will more than likely be spoilers in this review if you do not wish to know anything please consider playing the story on Story Jar, if you really want to spend more money than necessary…

On today’s review we are going to throw it way back to when NTT Solmare was thriving and (didn’t decide to be smart about their database holdings and have the decency of transferring game data) they had many beautiful titles in their holdings that many otome lovers would swoon over. However, those are days gone by and we are now in the present where all the stories you may have purchased a long time ago have now vanished and more than likely will never return, which includes past FREE versions of these stories as well.

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

A Little Info about NTT Solmare aka Shall We Date?

I’m going to rant a little here, as a heads up, I’m more for the paid version of games rather than free due to the fact that I don’t like waiting or playing mini-games or paying MORE than necessary for a good story.

An example is with this game I’m about to speak about, a few years ago with Lost Island each game route cost $3.99-4.99 and then substories/epilogues cost .99 cents afterward. In total, I spent about 25.00 on the entire game, however, when the game got transferred into Story Jar with no ‘game data transfer’ option. It meant past players who bought the game in full lost all game content and would have to start over and now, pay all over with more interest to boot.

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So let me explain Story Jar’s concept, you get two free story tickets every few hours, but in order to get the good ending, you must pay ‘diamonds’ to get the premium answers. Each premium answer costs you 12 diamonds, now then, here’s where the money starts piling up, there can be up to 14-15 chapters and each chapter has one to two questions that always have premium answers.

So if you think about it, if you only have 15 diamonds that were given for free, you can only make one premium choice per game. So… If you want to get the premium answers consistently in every chapter, it now costs you 1.99 (20 Diamonds)-99.99(1500 diamonds) dollars to get the premium ending versus the flat 25.00 you may have paid to get the entire game (including epilogue and side stories). The same system goes for story tickets…

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So if you think about the math, which I won’t even do because it should already tally up with just my explanation about the whole thing… You can imagine my ire at this whole concept when I bought this game in full a long while back and come to find out, I have to start over with paying triple (or quadruple) the amount to get the good ending that I got for a total of only $3.99 previously without the side stories or epilogue set.

To NTT Solmare, while I looked over what caused your demise in certain aspects of your business, I do not agree with your tactics that you used to start over. Compared to your rival, Voltage Inc, at least they did right by allowing game data transfers into their app Love365.

With all the respect and ladylike grace left in me, NTT SOLMARE aka Shall We Date? I have only one thing to say to you:

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。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

I Digress… 

So a few years ago Shall We Date came out with a thrilling otome game called Lost Island and Lost Island+ (free version), it was one of the few otome games to bring a horror element into a romance sim without the use of a Yandere. Invoking nightmares and intense situations that made you grip in worry about the characters and even the innocent MC in the story.

Created with stunning visuals and great storytelling, this was one of the best games ever created from the Shall We Date company, as it took a leap of faith in combining horror/suspense and romance into a blood-curdling screamfest.

Let’s take a dive into Lost Island’s humble beginnings.

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Somewhere in Japan… there is an island called Aoshima, which has a beautiful nature. You (a new researcher) come to the island to research the new energy under the hopes to study with one of the most famous experts in the field. However, as you live on this quaint and remote island, mysterious deaths start to occur while you continue your research. At first, the deaths don’t seem connected to the research you are working on, but when a close friend of yours dies suddenly without warning, suspicions start to arise.

Just what is happening on this island? Well… Some secrets refuse to stay buried. (Fandom Wiki)

 

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Undead Beginnings

When you first meet Ryo, you immediately recognize that he has an alpha male nature and tends to lead everyone with a calm and cool mindset (he might be related to Subaru Shidou…). At first, you brush off his way of thinking and logical thinking skills as something that comes with being a security guard at the laboratory you work in. You’re friendly with the man and even wonder about him curiously as his attitude seems very different from being a normal security guard at the facility.

In the first chapter, Dr. Sakaki practically drags or forces you to come shopping with him to buy supplies for a company BBQ he decided to just create that day. Depending on who you’re romancing the situation about the BBQ differs just a bit in the routes, but the same outcome usually comes out from it. Where he tells you that he needs you to help assist him to bring the booze and food for the potluck LOL.

Dr. Sakaki

It’s here you get a better view of the top three romanceable men at first degree:

“Alpha male, cool-headed, seemingly the leader; extremely passionate.”

“Comes off as cold, curt, and standoffish… But it is sensitive and slightly sadistic…”

“Calculating, nonchalant at times, but is a gentleman; He’s pretty rough (wink).”

While out getting groceries you find out from one of the locals that someone you were acquainted with passed away suddenly. The news comes as a bit of a shock, you may not have been close to the person but the fact that the person was very young surprises you and your friends. You decide that you’ll visit this person’s grave to pay respects later on…

Several days after the BBQ, you are invited to hang out with a few of the friends you’ve made on the island, and Ryo lends a hand with helping you bring food to the event. It’s here you meet another romanceable character, the happy, young, and go-lucky Shota Todomi.

After you settle in with bringing the items and such, your friends and you coax Ryo into staying and hanging out as well since he also has the day off. Both Shota and Ryo are actually hesitant about him staying, but after much FORCEFUL encouragement, Ryo stays with the group to the dismay of Shota. It’s a wonderful beach day, where you both get to know each other a bit better and it’s from here that you actually realize there’s something pulling you towards the cool-headed ‘security guard.’

174While you two are trying to get better acquainted in friendly conversation, Shota shows up and basically tries to shove his way in between you two. In a very obvious attempt at trying to get the MC to realize that he’s jealous and that he sincerely likes her. Ryo takes note of the situation but in his calculating mindset, he ignores Shota’s irritation and continues on merrily LMAO.

Later in the day, as night begins to settle Shota and the others decide to play a game of courage where you’ll pair off into groups of two and go off into the darkness and place a flower on a grave marker at night. What should have been a game of innocent fun soon turns into a dark shadow of death for the group as screams erupt from the graveyard as bodies begin to rise from their earth and attack one of the members of the group, who in turn, turns into one of the undead as well.

It’s at this moment Ryo turns from being a ‘security guard’ into someone different before the heroine’s eyes as he pulls a gun out and rushes them to safety. The MC states that security guards don’t carry guns, how does he have one? Unfortunately, Ryo doesn’t find this pertinent to talk about at this moment and tells her they’ll talk later. Thus begins the nightmare hell of Lost Island, ZOMBIES Y’ALL GET THEM GUNS OUT XD!

the walking dead nyc GIF by ADWEEK

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。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Assessing Ryo Tsuzuki

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In the beginning, Ryo isn’t someone who takes kindly to anyone who wastes his time or cannot appropriately ascertain a situation with logical thought. To be honest, I get it, he’s very serious about keeping people alive and making sure that he completes the mission at hand. He reminds me of Subaru from Sweet Fuse, which is justly considering he works for the government and also the police department. So the two carry the same characteristics and attitude that you can’t help but be drawn to, with all that alpha dominance in him (written correctly, and no Mr. Gray bull–).

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As the situation of the zombies and the virus come to light in his story, both the MC, Shota, and Ryo are placed in a group together. Which causes plenty of drama, as we already know Shota is in love with the MC, so it truly does grab at your heart how this love triangle unfolds. However, because of the differences between the two men, you can see where Ryo’s faults are in expressing himself and his own desires.

Due to his line of work and what happened to his family in the past, Ryo’s logical thinking is to keep a distance from anything that can become a desire to love. Given that he could die any day because of the type of job he has, he doesn’t want to see others suffer at his expense, so he keeps the MC at arm’s length. Which makes it fairly difficult for both the MC and the reader, as Ryo is not the typical brute dom that we see in newer otome games.

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He’s the classic dom type that exudes protectiveness and alpha charisma, but he doesn’t start blatantly treating the MC like trash or saying things that are brutally over the top. His way of making sure you are safe is to keep stating things that are similar to ‘forcing’ a friendzone territory even though his heart is already set on falling in love with you. His approach could be considered a good tactic, however, readers and even good old Lionel recognize his terrible attempt at ignoring his feelings.

Even after a conversation with Lionel, the sexy detective is hard-pressed to still continue keeping the MC at a distance; his idea is he is protecting both your heart and his own too by not reciprocating your feelings for him. It’s a cruel tactic, but this commonly used move in most romance books was well written and implemented properly in this story.

Sadly, his attempt at keeping things platonic with one another suddenly goes south when an incident occurs in the village, and Ryo is bitten by one of the zombies. Thus, the events from this point on intensifying the emotions between the MC and himself, both getting caught up in both the suspense of their situation the passion burning between them.

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。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Falling In Love with Ryo Tsuzuki

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Be prepared readers or game goers alike, when this guy falls in love he damn well does not hold back on his affections. His dom-type demeanor gets you hot under the collar as he lets others know that you are his and that no one else should dare come closer to you. My heart wasn’t prepared for just how he expresses his love, he’s not the type who will tell you you can’t go out with friends and keep you locked up unless its in bed.

Naw, he’s the type of alpha male that lets anyone who thinks they can come in and try to take you away from him, that they best be ready to say their prayers for even trying to make an attempt. His love is searing to a point that I had to step away from my iPad for a few minutes every time his love scenes came up because he’s intense as hell.

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His aggressive streak behind closed doors really got under my skin including when the MC and he finally make love to one another. I will point out at this moment, the MC is a virgin, and he’s her first in everything, many things can go wrong in these kinds of scenes but I extremely applaud how the scene was done. If you’re not comfortable with seeing sex scene descriptions, skip the slides below; otherwise, enjoy the heat.

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While I know it shows his character in clothes during this scene, but it still doesn’t erase the heat rising to my cheeks when I read how gentle he was being for the MC. Like, thank the gods he wasn’t being carnivorous and brutish because I would have been pissed AF. This story was very refreshing to me because I’ve seen way too many dom-type stories become stupid and you just want to throw your gaming console across the floor.

The possessive, feral, and slightly obsessed detective was brought out very well in both his main story and epilogue set. Making me as the reader craving to know what happens between the two characters in the future, because their romance is hot and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Ryo further just because he can switch from gentle to rough at a drop of a hat.

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Bonus: Ryo being Jealous AF (So Cute)

 

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However, when a story is done well, and we come to love these characters and becoming entwined in their stories. That’s when it becomes tough for a reader or gamer to part with a series after the last chapter is read and you’ve let all the words bleed into your system. Before the NTT Solmare Armaggedon, this game was one of the very first games I would recommend to people who wanted to play an otome that was different and made you engage with a situation.

There are people who you care for in this game that you will see die, a lot of bittersweet moments, but hellish turmoil creates such an atmosphere of suspense that falling in love with someone seems incredibly ridiculous. I do believe that sometimes otome games use the ‘suspension bridge’ effect a little too often, but if the story is written well and you’ve got me engaged, that’s a good start for an incredible tale.

I do recommend this story to anyone who wants a romance with both bite, sexy romance scenes, and who likes a dominant male as their preferred man of romance. Ryo still goes down as one of my favorite men in otome games, while I’m not a fan of the Story Jar app, I will always be a fan of Lost Island.

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆   。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Story Rating:

10/5 stars (★★★★★★★★★★)

I usually give 5/5 stars out but this game was so good before it went into Story Jar, it deserves like 100/100 star rating.

 

CG GALLERY:

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