I’ve been playing Gossip Girl by Voltage for a very long time now, and I finally got down into reviewing the game officially after collecting all my overall thoughts of the game and after briefly playing the JP Version. The plot of Gossip girl is simple. You, the MC, moves into the Upper East Side, and into the privileged lives of the characters of Gossip Girl, meeting the hot guys in town and fall in love with them. Crudely speaking from one of my friends, “dating rich guys, everyone’s dream”. Enough starter blabbering, let’s get on with the review. Just a note, this entire review will be spoiler free due to Voltage Party’s policy of not sharing spoilers of their PARTY games.
DISCLAIMER: Blur ass me didn’t know of Gossip Girl’s stopping updates until 28 Sep, so a portion of this review may or may not be valid. I will cross over parts which are invalid, since I didn’t want my effort to go to waste when I wrote this review already. :’D
A Preface as how I got into this game: When I first heard of the came just coming out, (probably about a month after? I dont remember) I found out that the art of the game was done by Kurahana Chinatsu, my Utapri fangirl mode literally lit up and I jumped into the game, thinking it wouldn’t be any harm. Look at where I am right now. I will be breaking down my thoughts of the game into different sections, as this is kinda(?) going to be a small rant about the game in general, but not too much I hope. Also do note, this is kinda my first Voltage game, so whatever I say is good may be a recurring thing for Voltage and is nothing surprising/good. Don’t get offended!
The story of Gossip girl is just what I’ve summarised at the beginning of the post. You, the MC just moved to the Upper East Side, into the lives of the characters of Gossip Girl the book/drama series, and you meet hot guys who live there as well and fall in love with then. That said, the Main Story follows very closely with the Drama series, instead of the book, due to me uncovering from JP that there will be 6 seasons for all the guys. You literally get up and close with all the characters from the series, with Blair & Serena as your best friends. (I’m not joking, they’re slotting you into their friendship. I’m not kidding, but they did it pretty well.) However, the 6 hot guys you meet & get to date do not exist in the show & are created by Voltage. Like the MC, they were all slotted into the setting for the sake of this game to even happen.
Eitherway, Season 1 was centred around MC trying to fit into the Upper East Side and deal with their crazy shenanigans, while meeting the guy of the fate. Season 1 actually sticked quite closely to the first season of the Drama, barely missing any events of the show. However, when it got to Season 2 onwards, they drifted further away from the main story. I’m not actually angry about that though, mainly because Seasons 2 & 3 focuses on you & the guy’s relationship, so they decided to put in minimal context from the main show.
Overall, as a story itself, it was pretty good. MC was actually pretty spunky and adapted to the whole high class life pretty smoothly, despite the fact that she was pretty mid-class herself. The guy’s routes were pretty different, and not everyone has this “big problem in their lives which made them shitty dudes and MC has to fix that”. So far, I’ve played every guy except for Alex & Kyle, because I was pretty turned off when I found out a Alex’s trope was actually “oresama prince”. Over confidence and stuff in a realistic context? Not exactly my cup of tea. For Kyle, it was more of the fact his route just recently came out and I’m uh kinda dried out from the recent idol boom so I’m not dating another high class idol. I beg. Kyle feels like they ran out of rich guy tropes so I guess they decided to put “younger boyfriend” and “popular idol” and bam! You got another hot guy trope!
From all the guys I’ve played, I actually really loved all their stories and how the MC was in all of them/ I’m actually pretty pleased with the character developments, and character interactions. The original Gossip Girl characters stayed true to their characters as well, in their speech, and they fitted the MC pretty well without making it feel awkward.
I actually have nothing much to say about the art, because Chinatsu-sensei’s art is gorgeous as ever. Although, I have to say that the backgrounds are pretty low quality compared to the sprites and the CGs. They’re pretty blurry and shit and honestly, not the best. There’s even one CG which looked like they took some stretched stock image as the background and pasted the art of the characters on it, and that was real bad. I’m not going to mention which one it is though, if you play the game you may or may not have it, but it’s not from the main story, thankfully.
However, the main issue in art, is the inconsistency of whether Voltage wants MC to have eyes or not. It’s like one group of people want eyes, which is other than want eyes from MC. I’ve taken 2 samples which are CGs put on story cards for 2 dudes, Izaac Part 3 & Fred Part 1 respectively. Both images were taken from blah-bidy.blogspot.com, from the story option guides.
There’s literally a couple of other CGs where I don’t know where the staff wants MC to have eyes or not. Sometimes she would, sometime she wouldn’t. At first I thought she had eyes which made me happy that this was one of the unique mobile otomes where the heroine ACTUALLY HAS EYES IN CGs. Then another CG came, whacked me in the face and told me that she didn’t. So technically, I actually have no idea whether the staff wants MC to have eyes or not. There were more CGs which looked like they were deliberately trying to hide her face, and I know Fred’s image isn’t the best example of it, but I can’t do much about the examples due to Voltage no posting of CG & Spoiler policy. But I’m always more for MCs with eyes so she doesn’t look like a lifeless doll.
The game is a social game, so it’s those pay to proceed further type of games which I know many people dislike because they have to wait if they want it free, if not they have to throw money to move on. Personally for me, the waiting system seriously isn’t a problem mainly because I’ve played too many mobile games f2p and waiting isn’t a problem for me anymore. But for other itching to read the story like how you can just straight read in on a vita game, it’s frustrating. If not, the entire game functions like your usual Voltage social app. Proceeding faster on the story, energy recovery for faster grinding of the value required in the game, gems to buy nice ass clothing in order to get the CGs are all needed. And yes, to get in route CGs, the special chapters which allow you to choose between the “Sweet” and “Normal” version is that “Sweet” needs gems but has a CG. Pretty shit marketing there I say. And it’s the same damn reason why I’m low on gems in the game. And yes, I’ve gone through 6 routes and collected all CGs, not just completed the story. I will get to a longer rant about gems in the next section.
There’s been complaints on how Gossip Girl’s style challenge function is really bad in the context that you have to choose the clothes you have to wear, and depending on what the character wants it’s never always successful. Sometimes, the requests even asks you for certain specific clothing to complete the request, especially for the event requests. There was actually one point of time where people were confused as they couldn’t clear a certain request which required either you or a in game friend complete a certain guy’s route, which was pretty misleading. It’s pretty time consuming too, as certain requests can’t be finished just by clicking the ok button to ensure you get the Style Factor. Events wise, they give enough leeway for players to complete the event requests, but once it hits the later stages you’d probably need some rich event friends who can afford to buy the clothing which is only available using gems, the currency which is hard to come by and pay for. It’s pretty annoying but at least, the game is nice enough so that you can complete the first few stages as long you have enough in-game cash to afford the certain items.
JP & EN versions: The Difference
Here comes my gripes about how bad the english version of the game is. I’ve not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve hit a total road block in terms of gathering all the CGs in the game. As I’ve mentioned, you need gems, which can only be obtained through buying them, spinning them out of the gachas or some other ways like story prizes. After going through Izaac’s Part 1, 2 &3, Marc’s Part 1 & 2, plus Fred’s and Leon’s Part 1s, I’m totally out of gems to collect CGs unless I spend all the cash I have trying to spin out a gem which has a 3% chance of coming out from the gacha. Out of curiosity, I opened the JP version only to find something that was horrendous: the fact that completing event routes actually gave you gems there. Participating in a event by finishing the prologue gives you gems too. You may be like, “hey! why are they giving so many gems!” Guess what? It’s a little different there.
After much digging and playing around with the system, I actually noticed that the JP version has missing functions. Voltage EN must have changed some functions in order for better gameplay and such. Energy recovery items don’t exist in the JP version of the game, and EN actually gives a plethora of items like Love passes, Style Factor, Energy all for free from their lucky gift functions, and gems can be gotten from the achievements section. It’s fair in the sense that JP users have to use more gems so more gems are given out there.
I’ve further looked into details and its pretty bad there, its really hard to get into the recent events unless you’re a developed player. Heck, I’m having issues on the EN one when it’s apparently shaved down pretty badly. Unless you really care about having extra story, here’s what Voltage EN kicked out of the Story Events: Normal Ends. There used to be normal ends earlier to clear, but I guess they felt it was tiresome for everyone to play so they booted it I guess. Not surprising for me, because making it easier allows a higher chance of keeping players in because if all these free mobages were too hard for everyone to clear, it would be disastrous for the company. And you thought that event style challenges were hard for point events? Guess what, it turns out its horrendous on JP. There’s a round which requires you to get 3 items from a gem gacha, and you’re not allowed to borrow them from friends! And here am I, horrified by the JP system so much that I’m running from it. Literally.
Another heavy difference is the localisation of the text, especially in the beginning, which has actually led to quite a few bad inconsistencies in the plot the staff are trying very hard to cover up. Everything was great when I read that MC moved from the LA to the Upper East Side, but it turns out that MC WAS FROM JAPAN. Okay, I get it, it’s localised for the US, so you’re trying to make it so that it appeals to the audience, but it gets really really confusing when you first meet Marc on a flight from Japan to America. Why was MC even in Japan when she’s from the LA? That’s a question I’ll never be able to answer. Thankfully, these inconsistencies aren’t actually so bad that it destroys the plot as a whole, but seeing stuff like MC’s dad making a Tanabata tree because he “heard from his japanese students” irked me quite a bit.
I did some looking up on further events because I was interested in the new events coming up, but it seems that Voltage EN has been doing some extreme jumps in terms of events as the latest event, “The Last Kiss”, was an event from 3 months ago on JP, and it actually follows the stories after Part 4. They had been following the event schedule pretty strictly, until somewhere along the way they decided to screw the schedule and speed up EN. (Update: Events were rushed probably because they wanted to bring the game to a close) I’m pretty fine with this tbh, mainly because some of the events skipped over were those AU NTR stories with 2 guys and shiet which I’m seriously not a fan of. Although, some of the stuff they booted has been thrown to the Story Treats section instead, where they want us to spend tons of our precious gems on our favourite guys. I don’t want to go further on another long rant about why this is horrible and how Voltage EN wants to rip players off, but maybe I’ll touch on it a bit more in the section below.
All in all, the conclusion in terms of the gem balance is that JP seems a whole lot harder to play, and EN players are actually getting quite good stuffs already! (Apart from the Story treats and some minor things)
Tips and Shiet that may or may not be reliable
This section is for people who are interested in getting some farming gem tips if they still like the play this shit. Wait, I don’t think it’s needed if you’re an old player since you’ll be getting 120 gems anyway. I wanted to delete this entire section, but it felt like all my effort on this post was kicked into a toilet bowl so I’m leaving it.
As of writing this section, I have finished 7 routes. They are as mentioned above, Izaac’s Part 1, 2 & 3, Marc’s Part 1 & 2, Fred’s and Leon’s Part 1s. I have collected all CGs of all the routes, and finished with Super Happy Ending+. This guide can probably help you achieve somewhere around my progress, but do note that I did spend some gems on things which were not outfits for CG, so there is definitely more to save. I did repeat Izaac’s Part 1 & 3 because I was trying to get gems from replaying Part 3, while I did a 2nd run for Part 1 as it was my first route and I didn’t have the resources then to complete a route in one shot, and back then, there wasn’t a 70% off route missions and lessened chemistry :’D.
I’ll be first talking about gems. For gems, the login bonus for the first 200ish days are pretty good for stocking up gems for outfits. Gems can be easily come by if you finish all the beginner missions as well, and if you’re just starting out, there should be enough gems for you to get CGs you want for your first run. After the login bonuses finish, you’re technically on your own on a journey to suck out every possible gem from this game to feed your CG needs. Here is a list of methods to get free gems in this game. If you do remember something I don’t, please tell me in the comments as I may be forgetful.
Room Makeover Events
- Rolling them out with a 3% chance on the Core Collection Gachas
- The Achievements section
- Route Completion Rewards
Room makeover events only happen once a month, and they usually are the place to stock up on everything you need. Energy recovery cupcakes, closet slots, Storage slots, and gems. Everything you need to pay for is mostly here. If you’ve been in the game for a while it should be easy to nett about 5 gems from the event itself, but if you’re a beginner and can’t complete all the point goals, just aim for the first 3 gems or so which can get you going through the game until you’ve stayed longer in this game.
Spinning them out from the Gachas are simple, just pay 5000 cash to roll 10 times and pray you get a gem. Fortunately, the rates are too terrible and getting a gem is pretty feasible here. I recommend to play Part 3 Gachas as those introduce in Love passes as another 3% chance item, which in turn increases the chances of a gem actually coming out.
For Achievements, just complete the goals you have to on the page and a gem will usually pop up after about 10ish of the same goal has been completed? I never count properly but once in a while a gem will definitely appear as an achievement reward. Warning though: these Achievements will gradually get harder and harder to complete, so it won’t be a good source of gems once it gets hard. Lastly, for route rewards, all clearing of Super Happy End+ will give you 3 gems each, whether or not you managed to get the outfit for the Sweet Route or not, and some routes have 1 gem for clearing the Happy End+, and if I’m correct, the ones which have a gem on clearing the Happy End+ is only the Part 3 routes. If you’re really out of options, I guess going budget and getting the Normal routes is the best choice.
However, there are quite a few things in the game which can tempt you to use your hard-earned gems, and here’s a list. I’m not saying that you can’t buy them for the sake of your outfits for CGs, but it’s more of buy what you want. This is a list of things I have spent my gems on out of temptation/desperation/whatever I was feeling.
- Event Story Epilogues/His side of the Story
- A few more rolls on pretty “discounted” Haute Couture Gachas
- Special outfit packages which comes with Energy/Love Passes
- STORY TREATS (Ugh, I regret this way too much.)
A small elaboration as to why these are all killers: Event Story Epilogues were pretty okay with at about 2 gems per story, until the recent events came and now they’re increasing the rates to 3 per story which pissed me off so bad I didn’t get Izaac’s his side of the story for the Drama Queen Event. Usually, I would try to get both stories for Izaac since I really like him a lot, but now I’m reconsidering my choices thanks to me having no more gems. Some Haute Couture Gachas actually had pretty cute outfits, so I decided to hop on the train and try out for one more piece of clothing on the gacha, since some of the outfits are actually pretty cute, and it was only once in a while so it wasn’t really bad until I rolled sth I didn’t need for the event :’D
The only time I got a special outfit package was when I was kinda desperate for one of the events, I think it was the around the world one? I haven’t been collecting enough energy to cover for 2 story events and to get all the early bird prizes, so I caved and bought the Boyfriend T-shirt set for Izaac & Kyle which came with cupcakes. 8 gems disappeared on that day, but I don’t regret it too badly as it helped with my event ventures.
The next time I’m gonna splurge on a pack, is probably when there’s a new story promotion for a dude I like. As in, when they come up with those packs where you can get the Sweet story outfits along with some extra energy thrown in. Probably gonna go budget on events until that happens. :’D
Lastly, the one which places burns in my heart and is the other way that Voltage EN pumps money from the hardcore fans. Story Treats. Yep. That shiet is just ripping off story events and placing them as “Story Treats”, when literally they’re just fucking events. And that CG Story Treats Shiet? It’s quite a scam too because seriously, who’s gonna pay for the gems to finish the entire story in the first place? It’s way too hard for that.
I wanted to recommend the game to everyone; but thanks to me knowing about the cease of updates late, this post kinda gravitated into a “service ending so im reviewing” kinda review. But yeah, I have to agree that a lot of systems in the game were so frustrating to the point that it deterred people from playing the game. A lot of patience was needed if you wanted to have a developed account and make faster progress in the game. After all, it’s free. I did see how some other Voltage Party games function, it was more of those 1 click and go to get their whatever factor, while this one required you to pick specific clothing for the sake of success and getting the factor. This drove a lot of voltage fans away, lowering the amount of players actually playing the game. There was the drama about how people couldn’t get past a stage, and were making so much noise about it (Izaac Part 1 Final Scene Outfit) that Voltage had no choice but the hint out the answer. this led to a lot of anger about how bad the system was, but in my opinion, I believe it was just a matter of patience and some diligence of finding someone who had the outfit. Yes, I know I’m about to get like 4783479324 angery comments about how you want shit to be easy, or it’s just a game and shit. Honestly, it judt required some patience.
Eitherway, the game itself is extremely enjoyable as the MC wasn’t one of those characters designed for self-insert and just plain nice and shit. She actually had some gut in herself! It was probably because the story had forced her to be like this, but seriously, I really like the heroine an found the main story to be really solid and good. I really enjoyed the game, and the cease of updates actually upset me A LOT. It felt like all the shit I worked for all this time was just thrown in the trash bin. They weren’t too upfront with the announcement too as I only knew so late and I don’t stalk blogs which talk about Voltage games a lot. The news section was pretty low on the start screen and the popups were too busy promoting their other party games that I totally didn’t know. So much for a happy first anniversary of Gossip Girl. If I had known earlier, I would have been more prepared for it. If Voltage EN released the paid version in English, I would actually recommend the game to everyone to play and it’s a really fun one. I’m very skeptical about that though, because the JP paid version closed earlier this year probably because it wasn’t giving Voltage enough profit.
Whether I’m moving to JP to get more Gossip Girl stories? I have no idea. The JP version seems to be extremely hardcore in terms of events and I’m the type who has to get everything in an event or I’ll regret it. I may consider if there doesn’t seem to be plans of bringing the paid version to English, because I believe more fans would be happier with that I’d buy all the routes too even though I’ve read them before tbh, because I really want to support this game. Oh well, playing through about almost a year of this game, I’m actually pretty fulfilled so I’ll leave it at that.
Update: I found out that Voltage was nice enough to donate gems for everyone to read all the uncompleted stories as service will officially end on the 30th of November. They’re getting 120 gems per month, plus a login bonus of 2 gems too, per day, which will increase to 5 gems in november. Overall I’m happy with how Voltage is ending the service properly since now I can read all the stories, and I have enough time to do so anyway so yep. I just hope they release a paid version for the game.
wish they wouldnt close the game down. my only guess is cause they dont own the name and have to pay some sort of fees to those that do. guess this will make me finish the game. I only read most of the apps now when you get items when you read and stuff since there so many freeume apps . i just now did Izaac part one and i played since day one.