01/09/2008

Still The Best Mine Cart Riding/Sandwich Making/Dating Sim Ever Made: Love Love 2, aka Love Love Truck, aka Love Love Mine? Part 2

by Matthew Hawkins

Okay, now that everyone has finally gotten a first taste of Love Love Mine, how about we dig a little deeper? Previously we saw Guy, the red-headed boy, and Illya, and the blue-haired boy, go through the first level, or date, so now it’s time for round two…
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As mentioned last time, despite the very crude graphics, the designers tried their best to present a cinematic feel to the proceedings. Not are the levels filled with action and variety, with constant ups and downs and curves and ever-changing scenery, but the camera adjusts accordingly to accentuate the action for dramatic affect. Of all the levels, the second one is my favorite; not only does it have crazy fast turns almost every step of the way, but the track is suspended high in the air for the most part. That, coupled with the minimalist color scheme, with the already ultra simplistic graphics, helps to paint a convincing barren landscape.

Though my favorite parts are when you high above, side-by-side with the clouds.

The track is all over place, constantly twisting and turning, going over and under itself…

Hey, I just made a cheeseburger! I think that’s the combo (hamburger meat + cheese) that gets the girls the happiest…

Here’s a gigantic loop-d-loop, with the track warping and tearing into the camera at times…

And here we have Guy going for an orange, cuz that’s what Illya likes be- wait a minute, in the distance, wtf?

Yup. It was a flying moose.

Perhaps I’m crazy, but the second level is simply lovely too me. It actually evokes a sense of awe, due to the grandeur of the landscape, and its sense of scale. Dare I call this a “lonely game”? That’s for all the IC/SB/TGQ folks out there, btw. But come on, don’t tell me that it’s not cool how you can see that big rock balanced from far away in the distance….

… Which you then come close to, before hitting the base, causing the large rock to tumble towards you, for another get-away sequence.

Hey, I just got some lettuce. Neat!

For some reason, getting mustard is a no-no. I guess they hate it over there in Japan? And now that I think about it, I had mustard only once during my visit last year, and it was pretty nasty…

At the end of each round, you get to see how many fruits you picked up, as well how many sandwiches you were able to make (which in this case is only one, which isn?t that great), plus if I was able to pick up any bonus bells or special presents that are hidden throughout…

Once again, the happy couple chats about the day’s events, and their body language tells the whole story. Compare now…

… to last time. Boy, that girl is pissed!

And then, there’s a snapshot that is taken, plus this animal-thing, which I guess is the game’s token wacky animal mascot, makes a face to drive the message home, and in this case it’s worry that things ain’t panning out…

It’s super important to keep a girl happy at all times (I guess this applies to real life as well) because her interest in the boy, as represented by the number of hearts filled, carries over to the next level/date. And as the levels get trickier, it’s all the harder to win her over later down the road.

If at any point the hearts become completely empty, either because you let her get hit by some bird, or you fucked up and accidentally got mustard on an egg sandwich, you get a clip of the girl bitching you out…

And here’s the game over screen. Poor Guy. Turns out, cute little Illya was a bit of a cunt!

Okay, time to do over, and with a new couple. Here we have Biff, the fatty, and Mary, the girl in green. Will they make a love connection? Well, things are starting off quite nicely, actually…

Time for another DRAMATIC LENS FLAIR!!!

Grab that chicken patty you fatty!

Hey, a chicken burger topped with lettuce! NICE.

A rainbow can make an already special first date even more so…

More LENS FALIR and more EGG!

Hey, good first date! I think Mary likes Biff…

And the score speaks for itself; two sandwiches completed, a good dead of her favorite fruit collected (some kind of melon), plenty of bells, and even a present!

I wonder if Biff will score?

That animal-thing is wondering the same thing…

Biff and Mary’s run through the second level is highlighted by a turn that takes them straight through furry creature land. The girl, not surprisingly, is super pleased…

Unfortunate, disaster befalls when fatty is too slow to warn his woman, and she gets hit face first with the flying moose/whatever the fuck it is…

And, uh oh, a chicken patty with hamburger might be delicious to tubby, but not the little misses…

Another dramatic up-shot, though in this one, it also looks as if the boy had decided to go for the gold and show the girl his “assets”. She seems remarkably calm…

High up in the air, with only way to go: down.

… Thank God this girl isn’t such a fucking tight-assed twat like the last one. And hey, there’s a key!

After the second level, we get a clip introducing the villains. Yes, there’s bad guys in this game…

The third level is clearly hostile territory from almost the get go. Here we have an encounter with a goon…

… wielding a HUGE block of wood that he swings around like crazy, bashing our poor lovers’ head in.

And unfortunately, fatty’s reflexes aren’t good enough (that and the controls aren’t exactly super tight, but I’m guessing that it comes to no surprise, right) and it was date over, and just when things were looking good…

Can love bloom on the battlefield? Stay tuned for yet another wacky coupling!

Though real quick, yesterday Dave Mauro, who has been a tremendous asset with helping to gather info about this ultra obscure title, came across an absolutely mind-blowing (well, at least to me) find: Play-Asia actually had the game for sale at one point!

… Regarding him mistakingly calling the game Love Love Truck previously: “I definitely wasn’t the only one.”
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Two very quick, final things. First off, as some might have noticed, I (finally) have a new poll up and running. Basically, CHOOSE OR LOOSE. And second, a personal note, and I could have my dates totally wrong here, but I do believe that January 9th, today, marks my 12th anniversary of being here in New York City. That’s when I came from Washington State to kick start a new life by entering art school, and all that jazz. So yeah… happy anniversary to me I guess!

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