Looking for a cheap game to play for the Super Famicom, I decided to visit my local Book-Off where the video game aisle is home to hundreds of games in plastic zip-lock bags lined up and hung on hooks. Of course this causes me to knock over half a row of games while digging through to see what they have in stock, but while cleaning up my mess and rearranging the games to look neatly displayed again, I discovered a little-heard gem of a game…Dekitate High School.
First Day Blues
After you enter your name and run through the intro you then select who you want to have as a student. After that, time to get to work. You’ll have two overall objectives. The first objective is to teach and develop your student as well as motivate her and meet her very few needs during her high school life. This is often done by doing classroom scenes in which you just press the “A” button. Afterwards, she will talk to you about how her week went (you do all six days of classes at one time), then you choose to either compliment her or just plain ignore her. I often choose to compliment my girl since she does so well in class >.</
The game itself shines not just in presentation but in playability also. Dekitate High School uses menus and multiple choices to get through you everything via a first-person perspective. The simplistic and straightforward idea is well executed and you never have to make any difficult decisions, making it perfect for light play. If your student ever gets mad at you, she tends to get over it pretty quickly if you just compliment her. The kind of girl I like…
Along this mystical journey, my student (Emiri-chan was her name) joined the track team, adding a new layer to the game play. Here simple choices and menus become button bashing and QTEs. Hitting “A” repeatedly gets you running faster and faster while “B” button will make her jump over obstacles like hurdles, cones and haystacks at the right time.
As with every school in the world, you get holidays! During this time you can build up your school (More on that in a bit) and take care of other small ends. It also means more chances to bump into into your student wearing different outfits and talk about something else other than kanji and arithmetic learning. Sometimes you take trips with her to different locations that you can choose helping to bring you and your student closer together.
Another side to the game is that you must also get stuck into managing of your school, opening up a Sim City-like side of the game in which you get involved in laying out and designing the buildings and classrooms. Players are given a a good amount of yen at the start and I was able to plant grass and trees etc to make the outside look nice and I knew it, my school for girls was looking pretty cool….Until it caught on fire.
Yes, just like Sim City, your school is a target for natural and unnatural disasters such as an earthquake or flood. Luckily the damage done to the buildings is not too bad and can be quickly and cheaply repaired. You can also add a fourth floor or add classrooms and other facilities that will make your students educational process a little bit more fun. There is a lot to do, maintain and upgrade which in itself can feel like a separate game from playing teacher.
For the 500 yen I paid for it, I really felt I discovered a lost gem in a sea of unknown Japanese games that never made it out of the country. The monotonous game play can sometimes be a turn-off for those who enjoy or favor a game with more action, adventure or just more to do then read text and make multiple choices. If you do happen to come across this one though, I do recommend you at least give it a shot.
Check the first 10mins here: