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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Criminal Girls 2(クリミナルガールズ2)

I pride myself on never buying games at full retail price on release but gosh darn, I liked Criminal Girls INVITATION so much that I couldn't resist pre-ordering the sequel with scented eyemask, etc. (Still smells good!) I did however inexplicably manage to resist shelling out for the spanking stick (I dunno even what to call it) as tempting as the notion of owning such a great collector's item would be for my game collection (plz, plz pick up on the sarcasm).

Oh hi hunny, didn't see you there! Oh this? It's nothing, just my new video game

But alas, before even starting the game, I knew that it would be missing that Imageepoch magic that's so hard to measure called "fun". I played it for a few hours and dropped it due to its grindy nature and the slightly off putting character design. Now, almost 4 years later, I finally grinded the plat out in about 50 hours. NIS released a patch soon after release to add a "Casual" mode probably realizing their "Normal" difficulty was the equivalent of "it's just like Dark Souls!" mode in other RPGs. Still, I managed to resist the temptation to lower the difficulty all the way up to the final true boss.

After grinding for a few more hours, I tried to beat the last boss at level 51 but it kept healing itself faster than I could damage it so I eventually cracked and set it to casual. Yeah yeah, I know, gamer fail. Maybe now, I can finally be a pro reviewer and actually make some money. At least you get a ton of exp so I did eventually beat it on normal at level 56 after beating it in casual 4-5 times. Yes, you have to beat the final boss and true final boss 8 times each (16 total) to watch all the endings. Ugh.

This is just like that time I beat Sekiro without using my hands

The endings aren't even all that great. It's like one CG per girl (reused twice) and some bit of dialogue. The other major disappointment was the lack of content after the final boss. Based on the first game, I was hopefully expecting both Maya and Enri to join your party. But no, unlike the amazing end of the first game, the post endgame content was just a token 2 extra floors and yay another boss you have to beat 8 more times... RIP Imageepoch, how I miss you so.

This doesn't include the 5 hours in the other save file for beating the previous final boss BLEH

The battle system while pretty much the same on the surface to the first game, somehow felt lacking. They added a coaching mechanic that will help or hinder depending on not sure exactly what but I didn't really find it that useful. Also, the skills didn't seem to complement each other for any cool strategies. The reason why the first game was so fun was how sometimes things play out just right like a finely tuned Magic deck. This game was just like, "ugh Yurine, why oh why didn't you suggest the revenge move when you know the boss is about to hit your party like 10 freakin' times. STUPID GIRL!"

Hey don't judge me because my girls are all S instead of M!

On the other hand, the punishment... err excuse me, motivation portions definitely pushed that Cero D rating to the limit. The funny part was the game was obviously self aware of the times with dialogue along the lines of, "Sensei, you'll get locked up for that these days." And then it proceeds to show one of your students chained up so that her face is pressed up against Shinoa's breasts. Kuroe especially was like got dayum! Hope the UN doesn't see this! (For more reasons than one) I'll have to self-censor adjust this next screenshot to align closer to global values as non-Jhipsters might not be able to handle it. After all, my $.001 of monthly Adsense money is at stake here. #FreeH■■■K■■■

Hey, I'm just trying to protect the pride of "our" country (wink wink)

Overall, I enjoyed the game, my negativity really just speaks to how good the first game was. This one is pretty decent as sequels go. It certainly didn't destroy the whole premise of the first game and shat on my childhood memories like the turd Chrono Cross. It's more of the same just... not as good. Ok, but not great. At least coupling TWO girls in motivation really shows innovation in that department.

Screenshot to illustrate the S&M mechanic, what are you trying to look at??

Also, always a nice Jhipster smugness bonus when the English version is censored though it just looks weird because they mostly just removed the chains/bindings yet kept them in the same positions. At this point, I would normally complain that the fact that these games weren't kept in Japan contributed to the climate of commercial games today but honestly with all that's going on with the cancer of Twitter and FB and the fact that anybody can become outraged at anything, I feel like it was inevitable. Some (don't know of a better way to say this) white guy thinks Love Live! is somehow better than another anime sexually(?) even though it's the shittiest anime I've ever seen. In summary, we're all fucking doomed.

Couldn't have said it better myself, Enri...

Score: 3.5 I'm not one of those creepy bloggers agonizing about Tifa's breast size in the FF7 remake but while we're on the topic, what cup size did the pixel analysis indicate? out of 5 (50 hours to beat)

The 16 repetitive boss fights and especially the lack of effort at the end left such a sour taste at the end, I honestly wanted to dock the score down to a 3 average but as one of the last games of this type we'll likely ever see (at least on Censorstation), I left it at a 3.5 and poured one out for the end of an ecchi era. If Criminal Girls X comes out on consoles, I'll probably buy it, but I'm sure it'll be watered down. After all, it's not censored if you do it to yourself right resetera??

It's not censorship because the devs are trying to make money! #LOGIC

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Double Cast(ダブルキャスト)

Long time readers of the blog (all 2 of you) may have noticed some recurring themes. Honestly, I'm running out of timely and topical material to keep these posts interesting. After all, there is nothing more boring than reading somebody's breakdown of a video game in a "traditional" review.

One issue is that YouTube is now a pedophile infested commercial sell out and I'm no longer interested in watching  "collectors" engage in their unhealthy obsessions. Speaking of unhealthy buying habits, there are going to be lots of anime games coming up. As I found out with Momotenshi, these games are great to blast through in about 5-10 hours and are easy to purge from the ever growing pile.

So why don't I start by giving a quick summary of the story of Double Cast, follow it up with my thoughts on the gameplay, and conclude with the good and bad points about the game... BOOOORIIIING!!

Wake me when you're finished or if Shitaku shuts down

Double Cast is the first title in the Yarudora series of anime games that I'm working on purging. As an anime, the animation is a bit rough at times and it's definitely not as well produced as Momotenshi. There were several scenes where it looked it was drawn by different people. However, it has a skip feature so that's a big advantage. Unfortunately, the skip option is buried in the option so I actually slogged through it 10 or so times before discovering the feature.

Not very automatic if you have to press △ IMO...
I played the PSP version as I owned the UMD (emphasis on the past tense). Fortunately, there is no real issue with the aspect ratio because the original PS1 game also had widescreen with a big black section for the text. You can either choose to view the text on top or adjust the aspect ratio to make room on the bottom. (why would you do that?)

I swear, this is like the 3rd WicDonalds I've seen in a anime/game.
Unlike some of the more "anime" type of anime games, this is definitely an ADV game with a whole butt load of endings and a fair number of dialogue choices. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out which choices mattered and I got stuck on a couple of bad endings. After the frustration of getting the same ending a few times, I eventually resorted to looking up a guide. The guide, by the way, has a whopping FORTY-FOUR playthroughs to get 100% completion. Like, fuck that shit, I played through it enough to watch all the endings and even then I only got like 93% or so. Good enough for me, I say.

These black screens show the MC's emotion without showing his face
Some saavy gamer who's played this game might catch me in the act and say, "Hey, these screenshots are from like the first 5 minutes of the game! I bet you didn't even play it!!" Oh my, you got me! Time to make an apology video on YT. I'M GOING VIRAL!!! Actually, I just loaded this up in an emulator to post some screenshots after I played it for like 15 hours (most of it spent watching it skip forward). I never could bother to figure out those plugins or whatnot on my PSP to take screenshots.

Trigger warning! There are a couple panty shots. (Spoiler: Pure white)
Score: 2 the panti is pure white but the girl... not so much out of 5 (15 hours played)

Kidding about trigger warnings aside, this anime/game is not super gory like Elfen Lied but the fact that I even compared the two might be a sign that some shit is going to go down. By the way, am I crazy or is Elfen Lied not even that great an anime?

Overall, I found the story pretty cliché and mediocre. I mean, it's a group of college kids making a movie and the title is Double Cast. Not so hard to guess what the game is about. The OST at least was pretty good. I jammed to a few tunes.

Granted, I haven't played a ton of these interactive anime games but the mechanics at least were ok provided you looked in the options menu. I can only hope that the later games offer up a better story and animation. However, watching the same anime over and over with a few scene variations is not exactly my cup of tea so maybe this isn't my type of genre. At the very least, I was able to sell this one on the ol' eBays to pay off 1% of my latest payday loan. #MAGA (obligatory hashtag)

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely