You Power Up Characters with Kisses in This JRPG

Please stop releasing games on portable consoles that I end up being too embarrassed to take out of the house.

This is Exstetra, a JRPG for the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita that was released late last year. The game had managed to get under my radar, but I picked it up at the store when I was in an RPG mood a few weeks ago.

The story is very much your standard generic RPG plot: The main character wakes up to find himself in the strange land of Ameizia with no memory. He is soon informed that he is the "Prizma," the prophesized savior of the world, and together with friends, who, like himself, have been brought to Ameizia, he must fight to save not only this magical world, but his own.

You Power Up Characters with Kisses in This JRPG

I didn't expect all too much from the plot, but I did like the character designs of artists Katsumi Enami and Tony, so I bought the game and began playing it on my Vita as I rode the train home.

The game started out innocently enough, and the game's heroine joined my party and got into an event battle...

Which introduced the Kiss System. No, it's not where a popular 70's hard rock band comes out to rock and roll every night and party every day. When enemies are defeated, the main character acquires "Exs" points. When enough Exs points are accumulated, you can pass this energy on to your allies by kissing them, thus granting them a boost in power to turn the tide of battle. There's even a mini-game for timing your kisses for maximum effect. (Apparently this can be done with the male members of the party too)

You Power Up Characters with Kisses in This JRPG

Anyhow, it was at this point when I became strongly aware of the businessman sitting next to me pretending that he wasn't staring over my shoulder. I quietly shut off the game and spent the rest of the train ride pretending to be asleep.

I wouldn't call Exstetra a "bad" game, but it's certainly embarrassing to play on a portable console while on the move out in public. Kind of kills the whole "portability" thing, I know. Sadly, I haven't taken it out of the house and consequently haven't really played enough to be able to pass full judgment on it.

Exstetra is currently out in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PS Vita. No word yet on an international release.

You Power Up Characters with Kisses in This JRPG

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.