A truly classic and beloved eroge has returned, with all the modern advancements since its initial release, while keeping the heart of the original title. Heart de Roommate was initially released in Japan on January 24th, 2002, and later on January 1st, 2004, in the West. As gamers know, some remasters might be hit or miss. But the developers at AngelSmile put their best effort into this project. The artwork and user interface have been improved, but the heart of the story — a guy being forced to dress as a girl to keep a roof over his head while also choosing a girl to prove how much of a man he really is — has remained the same since this game’s initial release all those years ago.
A Love Story Began With Hardships and Poor Luck
Heart de Roommate Remastered features a classic story: an unlucky guy begrudging his situation finds more luck than he could ever have imagined. The player character Yusuke discovered that his parents enrolled him in college far from home but neglected to enroll him in a dormitory. While driving there, the truck transporting his stuff broke down, so he had to wrap it up in a white sheet and walk two miles to the apartment building he managed to find. Unfortunately, it went up in flames, and he even had to help the firefighters put it out.
As the dejected Yusuke feels ready to give up, a cute redhead charges at him, accusing him of being a panty thief, and drop-kicks him hard onto the ground. After running off and catching the real panty thief, the girl returns to Yusuke and persists in accusing him of being a thief. After more physical acts that are less than sexy, Yusuke remembers her name: Asumi Hirota, his childhood friend, a friend who routinely bullied him.
Asumi quickly became defensive when she remembered Yusuke and demanded he let her make amends to him if he kept her secret. He has no idea what she’s talking about, but with no other options, he takes her up on her offer and asks for a place to stay. Asumi angrily agrees to his terms, but there’s still a problem: she lives in an all-girls dorm. Asumi’s roommates help to fix that problem and dress Yusuke as a girl to pass him off as one of them. This sets the stage for Yusuke to prove how much of a man he is with one of the girls he decides to pursue.
I won’t spoil anything, but there are substantive moments in the game, especially as you get to know the characters more and reach the final episode with a certain waifu.
Classic Anime Art Made New
The art in Heart de Roommate Remastered exudes a classic charm. It may have been improved for this remaster, but the old-school early 2000s look is still front and center, and that’s clearly how fans of both the game and style would prefer it.
The stylistic big anime eyes popularized around the time of release are still just as moé as ever. The girls themselves look great, and they’re easily distinguished from one another. Their expressions are also readily apparent, with numerous poses and faces drawn for each.
Besides simple poses during story scenes, action scenes pass across the screen. No, not those action scenes, but they do show up. The sequence where Asumi launches a powerful kick at Yusuke is fully drawn as Asumi’s panties show up clear as day, so there are many reasons to enjoy scenes like that.
As for the “action” action scenes, the sex scenes, they’re, of course, presented well. The girls show aroused expressions as they get to work, and their bodies are shown to be as soft as players would hope they are.
Eroge Audio That’s Not Just Background Noise
Heart de Roommate Remastered is fully voiced with great background music playing. The songs are surprisingly good, with some better than others, but none of it is “elevator music” to keep things from being too quiet. The actresses perform incredibly well regardless of the situation. Asumi’s dramatic kick signaled with an “Asumi Kick!” cry is iconic.
Gameplay Where Every Choice Matters
A key feature of Heart de Roommate Remastered is the 26 different “episodes,” which includes a “final episode” that may or may not appear depending on the choice of waifu, in a format akin to an anime series. The player’s decisions transfer between episodes, such as who Yusuke pursues as a romantic interest. Not all choices are terribly important, but each should be carefully considered.
Each episode begins with a brief trailer for the upcoming episode to further highlight the anime feeling they’re going for. This raises the question as to why this never got an anime adaptation. They adapted Shuffle!, but not Heart de Roommate.
Heart de Roommate Remastered is a great game and a clear-cut must-play for people who enjoy an eroge with some harem elements. There’s no harem ending, but there’s a choice as to which waifu to pick, and all of the girls seem interested in the male protagonist.
What first drew me to this game was the classic art style. There’s no remedy for nostalgia, and this game was made in better times, so I had to play it. While the vintage style drew me in, the story kept me playing. There’s truly nothing better than a tsundere childhood friend, even if she’s more tsun than dere and just a bit crazy.
With 25 episodes, including the final episode, and multiple different girls to choose from, there is plenty to do in Heart de Roommate Remastered, and it is well worth the price of admission.
You can find Heart de Roommate Remastered on JAST USA’s website.