The first Shrift was one of those games I always felt I should have reviewed, but never got around to it. It's a good game and one I'd probably recommend, but I still haven't finished it, so I didn't feel qualified to write a proper review of it. It's fairly hard, for a H-game, and the idiosyncratic approach to saving meant I kept getting stuck at various points and putting the game down.
First up, let's get some important things out of the way.
Okay, let's go right to the art style. It's idiosyncratic. Personally, I think it's improved from the previous game, but it will be a barrier for some people, especially if you prefer your porn games to have graphics similar to the lifelike 3D models of the many adult games on Steam. Personally I think it's the animations and how the characters move with the sex combat that makes it work, but that won't hold for everyone. I'd recommend giving the free demo a look to see if it works. You'll know fairly quickly whether it hits the spot or not.
The next is how the game handles saving. As with the first game, which (I think) was influenced by Undertale, there is meta-weirdness going on. Unlike typical RPGs, you can't just rewind to a previous save point. Whatever you put the player character through will be preserved between save states. I found this out the hard way after letting the character get comprehensively sex-drained, loading a previous save and then finding out the character still had all the levels lost and a pile of negative status ailments from his 'fun times'. At the time I didn't know how to recover from that and was forced to start again. Thankfully, after getting more familiar with the game, this isn't that much of a problem. Levels are easy to regain and most ailments go away with a good night's sleep. The hotel the main monster girls end up in also gives you the opportunity to re-experience the sexy times without having to go back to a previous save, but I think the game could benefit from a similar monsterpedia re-fight option (at the relevant power level) the original Monmusu Quest has. That's mainly because I like being legitimately surprised and beaten by the monster girls' sexy moves rather than taking the begging option to experience them.
|She's about to give you a very big slurp|
The last is that the game isn't complete yet. You get part one, with parts two and three (and maybe more) coming later as free (I think) updates. This was how it worked with the original Shrift and the dev did deliver on that, so they probably will again. As it is, the game still has plenty of content for a H-game, so don't let that hold you back from diving in right away. There's about 7-8 hours here, probably more if you want to grind up to unlocking all the H scenes.
With those caveats out of the way, let's get onto the game proper.
I played this one using Textractor for machine translation and was able to stumble to the 'end' after looking some things up on the ULMF forum.
The setup is you're an apprentice priest tasked with clearing out demons. You pick up a sexy shadow girl companion early on and then find out you have a weird symbol on your hand that allows you pick up more demon girl companions after you defeat them. There is also plenty of other glitchy weirdness going on that hints of larger revelations later. I have a feeling this might be linked to the original Shrift as some sort of prequel, but bear in mind I'm going off machine translation, so my understanding is fairly sketchy at best.
|Standard RPGmaker Church|
The game world consists of a town hub with various locations to visit. More are opened up later (including a hotel to house your growing harem of demon girl companions). The locations are divided between your typical shops, dungeons (of which there are 3), and quest locations needing to be visited to advance the overall plot. The plot is advanced through main quests (mostly) given out by the nun character in the church. There are also various side quests which can be given out by the nun or NPCs in the game world. Some are the typical recurring 'fetch X of thing' side quests while others unlock additional demon girl companions. There is also a day/night cycle with the player character moving it along with each place they visit.
Rather than typical RPG-maker navigation, the dungeons are rendered in classic 'blobber' style as pseudo-3D mazes with wandering monsters (similar to the original Dungeon Master if you're really really old). Unlike the previous game, the majority of these monsters are regular RPG combat encounters with no H-content. Normally I don't like this in H-games, but it doesn't get in the way too much. If you do get level-drained to 1, it's fairly easy to blast through one of the dungeons and get right back up to around 20 or so again. There is a grind element, but it's not as bad as other games.
|In a dungeon|
Then there is the sexy H-content fights or 'temptation battles'. The game solves the habitual realism problems of how to have sexy combat when one side is fighting with regular weapons by having your main offensive move be 'praying'. This is based on a Faith stat, which also doubles up as HP. You also (later) have access to magic attacks. There's a nice balancing act going on here. The regular faith attacks are based upon how much faith (or HP) you have. In contrast, magic attacks do damage based on how low your faith is. Because this is a sexy combat H-game, you also have a lust bar. Let that get too high and you'll be rendered helpless while your opponent has 'fun' with you.
|I don't think this is going to be a 'clean' fight|
The mechanics deserve special mention as I think the Shrift 2 dev might have solved one of the main issues with this type of game, especially when the succubi and monster girls have level-drain moves. Because it's a H-game, you want the monster girls to do sexy things to you. But if you let the monster girls do sexy things to you, you end up losing progress to Game Overs and losing levels that have to be ground back up again. With Shrift 2, getting drained is also a form of character progression. The demon girls are slotted in as interchangeable companions and they aid you during fights with special moves. They are levelled up by... ahem... sucking levels out of you. Getting drained also generates SP (sacrifice points), which are then used to unlock skills and passive abilities on a separate skill tree. It's an interesting approach. The game is currently easy enough (after my experiences with the first game and knowing I was going to be fumbling with machine translation, I pussied out and picked EASY difficulty) that I found I didn't really have to use the skill tree much, but there are definitely some ideas there I've filed away for future reference. I definitely wouldn't mind playing around with some of these concepts for a succubus H-game.
|A lizard girl's best attempt to look human (while fucking your brains out)|
Now for the all-important H-content. I found 8 separate monster girls and 2 'squeezing' monsters (non-human monster monsters that have sex attacks). Going back to that idiosyncratic word again, Shrift 2 is very idiosyncratic with the monster designs. Maybe more so than games like Monmusu Quest, where the monster girls nearly always had recognisably human faces and tits no matter how weird and monstrous the rest of them was. Shrift 2 has a broad range, probably too broad for most people. As with the first game, I found the monsters to be a mix of ones I really liked and hit the spot, and others I noped away from as fast as possible. There's a bit of furry in there. Scaly too. And whatever the moth girl counts as. As long as you find a couple you like, they have such a range of H-scenes you'll probably find enough content to make the game enjoyable even if you find some of the others boner killers.
(Personally, I really liked the shadow girl and siren.)
The last fight with the siren also deserves special mention. Up until then the fights are mostly typical HRPG battles. The siren fight brings in more Undertale-style elements with mini-game segments where the player's soul has to dodge hearts thrown at it. Very creative and well-implemented and I hope we see more like that in future instalments.
|Right from the h... humongous boobs|
The game also has compatibility support for a sex toy (Vorze A10 Piston SA, I think), where it will 'squeeze' you in time to the on-screen action. I can't comment on that as I don't own that particular toy, but it sounds a fun idea.
(No Hydra, do not entertain ideas of letting one of your succubi have access to that.)
Overall, if you can handle the various idiosyncrasies, it's worth a look.
I'll post a rough guide on how to play sometime next week if there's interest.