Horribly addictive and re-playable... charming game.
While not a terribly unique concept in Japan, Princess Maker 2 is one of the few "real-life" sims that has (sort of) come across the ocean. It is vastly replayable, due to the large number of endings. In addition to the base ending (ie, your daughter's chosen career/lifestyle at age 18) there are other factors such as whether and to whom she marries, whether she considers her childhood to have been happy, etc. There are some truly bizarre endings out there... a few trial runs should be enough to figure out how to max out her stats... and messing with stats is the key to determining her future. I got the Princess ending once, ages ago... but its really far more interesting to seek out some of the obscure endings.
It gets repetitive... in order for your daughter to accomplish ANYTHING in any field, she needs money and you will therefore spend a lot of time having her work or fight for the sole purpose of raising money. It also becomes important to make sure that she doesn't do the same job too often, unless you want her to go into that field. Too much cooking and cleaning will get you a housewife every time. It seemed like a waste to spend hours on the game only to get ANOTHER housewife, artist, dancer, or hooker (those were the ones that kept cropping up for me at least), knowing that there are around 40 endings that I have never got, it was frustrating to do something different and get the same ending over and over again.
Princess Maker 3 actually has more endings, and it is a bit easier to ensure a different ending by changing your actions to a lesser degree than is necessary in 2. But for those who don't read Japanese, this is just about the best--if not ONLY--game of its type.
The Bottom Line
Yes, it sounds dorky. Who wants to play a child-rearing sim? Well... I do, for one. It is AMAZING how addictive this game is once you give it a shot!