A new Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side game is finally coming out after 10 incredibly long years. Konami announced it back in July 2019 with no information except that it is expected for a 2020 release.
Tokimeki Memorial is a series of stat-building dating sims. It focuses on the player, a student, navigating their way through 3 years of high school while trying to win the affections of the girl you want to date. The game became popular as you had to manage not only your studies, but freetime and relationships. A notable feature from the game was the ‘bomb’ mechanic, where ignoring characters for long periods of time will result to a bomb figuratively exploding and ruining all your relationships.
Konami then released Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side in 2002, a female version where you vie for the affections of your male love interests instead.
Since then, TMGS Girl’s Side has gone on to release 3 other main games: TMGS 1st Love (2002), TMGS Second Kiss (2006) and TMGS 3rd Story (2010). However after that, they began to release a series of mini games such as typing games and restaurant apps, but no news of a 4th main entry. Until now, that is.
The new game will be called Tokimeki Memorial: 4th Heart. The games are all set in the same universe, around 5-10 years apart with a few cameo appearances from characters in older entries. TMGS: 4th Heart seems to be no different as one of the new love interests is related to one of the original characters from the first title. From the trailer, we see bits of the game that seem to use Live 2D animations and other features that were in the older titles. However it seems that unlike the other entries, the player will not be a highschooler but a part-timer at a store where the main love interest works.
Fans may notice that there is a drastic change to the art style compared to the older entries and this may possibly be due to a different team handling the production of the new game (which is understandable, considering how long it’s been). Hopefully any other changes made will be for the better and not the worst.
As it was never released outside of Japan, western fans were able to play through fan-translated patches during a time when otome games and dating sims were largely unheard of in the West. These would still be the only way to play the older games unfortunately. However, since this is slowly changing with more and more visual novels coming to the West, one can only hope that Konami decides to take the leap towards getting them localised.