Showing posts with label H-game review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label H-game review. Show all posts

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Hentai Game Review: Mage Kanade's Futanari Dungeon Quest

I've reviewed a fair few Dieselmine H-games over the years, most prominently the Violated Hero series.  They were always light on gameplay and usually pretty good on art.  Nowadays they seem to be in a really weird place.  They probably have one of the most gifted smut artists/animators around, L Buffer, working for them, but don't really seem to know what to do with him.

Unlike its predecessor, A Lose Hero in the Castle of the Succubi, which was pretty much a glorified gallery where you walked from H-scene to H-scene, Mage Kanade's Futanari Dungeon Quest is technically a game, just about.  You have an attack button, a dodge button, and have to navigate fights and timed puzzles.

I'm not into futa, so originally didn't have much interest in this.  Then I saw some clips floating around on porn sites and was lured in.  What can I say, I have a weakness for sexy squishy slime girls.

They got me.  They knew my weakness...

The one area I'm sort of okay with futa is futa protagonists having their 'weak point' targeted by sexy (and importantly, non-futa) succubi and monster girls.  And in this, the protagonist is pretty much functionally a dude with how the various monster girls treat them.  I suspect the only reason they made the protagonist a futa is to double up on the ryona audience by showing a sexy chick with big tits getting slimed.

That's one of the features of the game.  There is a large panel on the right that shows the negative statuses currently affecting the protagonist.

I played this untranslated, so I'm not 100% on the plot.  A sexy female wizard chases a succubus to some ruins.  After entering she gets tricked and hit by some magic that gives her a cock.  Then she has to navigate her way past various erotic traps and monster girls that are bent on wanking her into a stupor.

Not the boooooobs!

The game is quite inventive on that, to be fair.  The first level has you trying to avoid gas and boob traps while fighting off disembodied wank hands and paizuri tits.  The second is full of lascivious slime.  The game gets across the theme of an erotic trap dungeon fairly well and the boss fights are pretty good.  By the 4th level it starts to become obvious the devs are running out of steam.  The traps and timed puzzles go away and are replaced with lazy battles versus hordes of horny bunny girls.  The 5th is a replay of the boss fights, but with the 'lead' succubus of the level involved directly.

As with a lot of Dieselmine games, there is a lack of ambition.  The early levels and boss fights are pretty good, but it's very short and feels more like a demo or proof of concept.

Art is variable.  The L Buffer animations are excellent as always.  I was less impressed with Bad End H-scenes.  The art on those was a little too cartoony and the proportions on some of the succubi ended up looking weirdly grotesque rather than sexy.

Sorry luv, you're just not my type.

As with most of the recent Dieselmine succubus and monster girl games, it's pretty much a showcase gallery for L Buffer's talents.  Those are good as always, but the whole thing is probably a little on the pricy side for what you get.  It's a shame Dieselmine can't seem to put those talents to better use.  Other devs would salivate at the prospect of having this sprite work in their games.

(If I could get a artist/animator as good as this to provide some graphics for The House of Hellish Harlots...)

The erotic traps are interesting, at least for the early levels.  I'm currently brainstorming a SexDungeon project for #Dungeon23 over on Patreon (and SubscribeStar).  This has given me a few ideas for things to work in, like the Boob "Wall of Death".  Mage Kanade's Futanari Dungeon Quest is maybe a little expensive for what it is, but it's fun and given me a few ideas, so checking it out was not a complete waste.

Beware the "Wall of Boob"...

Milking Farm is probably still the peak of the L Buffer/Dieselmine era, even if that also only had rudimentary run 'n' hide gameplay.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Hentai Game Review: Shrift 2

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.

Now to the sequel, Shrift 2, which is thankfully much easier and overall feels like a much more polished game.  This one I did complete... sort of.

First up, let's get some important things out of the way.

Shadow cowgirl

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.

Town Hub

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.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Hentai Game Review - Succubus Puttel

I've always had a weird relationship with 62studio games.  I pick them up, bounce off them early, then come back and realise they weren't all that bad after all.  Lust Grimm was the first.  Sadly, I played that through at a time when I was concerned I was devoting too much time to writing blog posts over things that pay the bills, so I never wrote a review of it.  It's pretty good.

Succubus Puttel
is more of the same.  I think it's 62studios's 3rd full game.  It's a fairly standard RPGmaker battlefuck game.  It's another game featuring a young man protagonist in a fairy-tale world filled with cum-hungry succubi eager to jump his bones.

The game starts out with everyone being abducted from the starting village by succubi.  The hero sets out to rescue his 'sister' while being given 'help' from a pair of talking chickens.  It's not as it seems, as is revealed through the quest.  The quest itself is fairly straightforward.  Go to different areas, beat the deadly-sin-themed succubus boss of the area and then have a showdown in the final castle.  There are also a few optional quest items to pick up, and these will determine the ending.  Thankfully, they're not too guide-dang-it, mainly because I was playing an English translation and also because the NPCs aren't too overly cryptic in their instructions.

Towns hold many dangers for country bumpkins...

The English translation can be picked up off the ULMF forums here.  It's mostly managed machine translation.  It's good enough to follow the main plot, but some of the Bad End texts are a bit scuffed as you would expect from straight machine translations.  It's good enough to get the gist of what's going on.

One warning.  I found my version to be a little crash-happy.  I don't know if this is a problem with the original game or the modded translation.  Either way, save regularly and often (you don't need to do it at the designated save chickens).

The combat is reciprocal battle-fuck, i.e. both combatants are trying their best to get the other off rather than games like MGQ where the protagonist is trying to fend off the lascivious succubi's advances with regular weapons.  Unlike MGQ, it isn't game over if the succubus makes you pop.  The game generously gives you 3 pops before you become unresisting succubus fodder.  Although, as the succubus gets stronger each time she makes you pop, having two more 'lives' doesn't always help.

Attacks are split into two categories – mouth and hand – and target four different erogenous zones – mouth, tits, pussy, ass.  Each succubus has a weakness to be targeted for bonus damage.  Remove half of the succubus's HP and she'll take her clothes off.  Remove a little more and she'll try to tempt the player.  Accept the temptations and she'll do a special sexy move on you that will force an ejaculation and drain a level out of the player.  This works pretty well with the 3 'lives' system as it overcomes the central problem of most battlefucks in that the player has to lose to see the good stuff.

Hot enough that she can walk around in snow in her underwear

Personally, I'm iffy on 'press X to surrender' mechanics.  One thing I liked about Lust Grimm was some of the succubi had special level-drain moves they'd drop on the player during regular combat.  Gameplay-wise, constantly getting your levels drained might be frustrating, so I can see why they made it something the player has to choose to happen to them, but I think Lust Grimm balanced it fairly well with levelling up being cheap enough that replacing lost levels wasn't much of a grind.

The special holds are also very exploitable.  The player can learn various protective skills that reduce damage from specific areas (eg breasts or pussy) to about a tenth.  Normally, they're not too helpful, as you don't know what the succubus is going to 'attack' with, but once a succubus has you in a special hold, all subsequent attacks will be of the same type.  This means that rather than trying to break out, it's better to stay in the hold and alternate between 'Resist: X' and 'Attack: Weak Point' until the succubus comes.  There is one succubus that counters this – Boobs Yokai/Busty Phantom (one of my favs for the series).  If the player doesn't break out of her hold after a certain number of rounds, they pass out and lose no matter how many 'lives' they have left.  I would have liked to see more enemies do things like this to give more variety to the sex battles.  Once the player has figured out the holds are exploitable with the mid-level succubi, that would be a good time to spring the involuntary level-drain attacks on them from the high-level succubi if the player doesn't break out of their holds fast enough.  I think the game missed an opportunity there.

"So you can protect against breast attacks.  I'll make you pass out instead."

Overall, the battlefuck combat is fine without being amazing.

The art is pretty good in my opinion, although there is no animation.  You get the standard battle-sprite, naked battle-sprite and Bad End pic array of CGs.  I like the style of the main artist and it gives 62studios's games a consistent look.  The other artists are a little more variable, but overall it's pretty good.

The one caveat is that the devs unashamedly love big boobs.  While the Bad Ends cover a range of sex acts, boobs get the biggest share with titwanks, puff-puffs, breast-feeding and nursing handjobs galore.  There's one token flatty and everyone else has cup-sizes ranging from silicone-enhanced centrefold model to utterly gargantuan.  YMMV on which point it passes beyond attractive to grotesque.

If you like boobs and believe there's no such thing as 'too big', these are the succubi for you.

Okay, that might be 'too big'

Overall, I liked it.  Compared to similar games, it falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.  The art is fine and the gameplay is fine.  There were enough succubi designs that hit the right spot for me (smother me, busty phantom).  Story, art and gameplay are all competently executed, but maybe needs an extra spark in something to truly excel.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Hentai Game Review - Succubus Academia

I do still review the odd hentai game that tickles my fancy and Succubus Academia very much tickled my fancy.

Succubus Academia is an RPGMaker game made by SQDT.  If you've been around a very long time you might remember SQDT was responsible for Succubus Quest.  I think the original Succubus Quest might have been the first game of this type I played after being lured in by the original Monster Girl Quest demo.  I'm not sure what happened to SQDT after that.  I think there was a follow-up game that fell through and they fell off my radar until coming back with Succubus Academia.

I played this using text hooking and very sketchy machine translation, so you'll have to forgive me for not being able to go into as much detail on the plot and game mechanics as I'd like.  Thankfully, even with sketchy machine translation, I was able to get a good way into the game.  I haven't yet completed it, for reasons I'll go into later, but I have seen pretty much all the content apart from the final boss(es?).

Turn her from this to...

The plot is interesting from a protagonist perspective as rather than playing a single character, you play multiple.  From what I can gather, a college has been sucked into a dream world and the surviving students are being picked off one-by-one by semen-hungry succubi.  Some of the female students have either been replaced by or turned into succubi.  They can't be defeated.  The only way to make them go away is satisfying them sexually.  Unfortunately, satisfying a succubus sexually is the end of the (un)lucky volunteer tasked with doing so.  Thankfully, we have reserves (but not many), as you find and unlock future succubus sacrifices throughout the game world.  All progress – levels, items, money – is transferred to the next (un)lucky sacrificial lamb.

It's an unusual mechanic, and one I wish more games would use.  From the non-H world of games, the only one I can recall is Eternal Darkness.  However, the player does need to be careful.  Each succubus can only be properly satisfied by a specific character, and if that character gets all his juice sucked out by a dryad beforehand, it's no longer possible to complete the game.  It's not as terrible as it sounds.  There are five 'boss' succubi and three optional succubi to satisfy, and eight playable characters to pair them up with.  I did follow a guide, but the game makes it reasonably obvious who should be fed to who – the swimmer to the mermaid, the runner to the track-team bunny, and so on.  For the optional bosses the game will hint you have the right character for them as they'll drop ID cards in front of them.  It's also short enough that even if the player screws up, it's not too onerous to play through again.

Pay attention to the ugly demon shopkeeper that shows up early in the game.  He sells key items to remove certain obstacles (eg gasoline for a motorbike).

...this, and satisfy her (and then die).

There are five areas for each of the succubized student bosses, some being unlocked later.  Each area has two regular encounters (pixies and dryads for the 1st forest area), a mini-boss encounter (usually a pair of one of the regular encounters), a 'notorious' succubus (more on them later), and the boss.  If your character dies to anyone other than the boss, reload.  If the character dies to the boss without her transforming into a succubus form and giving the "And she is satisfied" message, reload.

'Combat' is sort of battlefuck.  Sort of, in that the objective isn't to win, but to hang on for dear life until the succubus is satisfied.  So, it's mostly about raising their mood while not letting them drain your life and semen too quickly.  There is a bar on the left for the succubus representing their mood.  There are two bars on the right for the player.  The first is the ejaculation meter, which the succubus will fill by using various sexy moves.  The red bar is the player's life, and that will get depleted every time the succubus gets them to ejaculate.

This is where I'd like to go into more detail, but the vagaries of machine translation prevented me from getting a full understanding of the game mechanics.  There does seem to be some kind of stance system and also spells that cost life to cast.  On Normal difficulty I was able to muddle through most of the game by just picking whatever option looked sensible and using the occasional item to restore life or lower the ejaculation meter.  The upgrade system looked interesting enough I'd like to get my hands on a proper English translation for a less completely-blind playthrough.

Drowned or drained, your choice...

And mainly to stop the 'notorious' succubi draining me to a lifeless husk second time around.

Recently there have been a few collaborations between eroge game devs/artists that have resulted in characters guesting in other games.  There are five 'notorious' succubi in Succubus Academia.  I recognised Alma Elma (Monmusu Quest), Shiki's Sophia and Succubus-chan.  The other two (Elfride and Fulbeua) are unfamiliar.  I'm kind of interested where Elfride is from, for... uh... research purposes.

Initially, I was a little disappointed with the Alma Elma and Sophia scenes, and then felt I was probably being a little unfair and coming in with too high expectations.  I also thought they were guest cameos without much link to the rest of the plot.  Which turned out to be wrong.  After doing all the sacrifices correctly, the game opens up for an additional chapter and you get to 'fight' the notorious succubi again, and those scenes are a lot hotter.  So, if like me, you sped through the game to find them, only to be a little disappointed, fear not.  They return again later and those scenes will likely lead to you getting satisfyingly drained.

(Perhaps a little too drained.  I still haven't figured out how to get past them!)

Alma Elma, animated! Get a ride from the Succubus Queen.

The art in this game is gorgeous.  The bosses and notorious succubi also have some animation, which adds a lot of appeal.  It's a shame that the regular encounters get overshadowed because their images are static, because they also have really nice art as well.

One thing I liked, which won't be to everyone's tastes, is the streak of cheerful morbidity running through the game.  Nothing exemplifies that better than the scene after the first boss.  After draining her childhood sweetheart to a skeleton, she tells him she's going to take him home with her, only to just snap the arm off the skeleton and leave with just that.  I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be romantic and touching, with the spirit somehow united with the succubus forever more, or a funny bit of cruelty mocking such romantic delusions.  Either way works for me.

It is quite a morbid game.  The characters are all doomed to death by snu snu and new abilities are learned by burying relics of dead classmates.  The succubi are pretty much all on the predator end of the spectrum.  So, if you like your monster girls fluffier and waifu-esque, you might find the tone of Succubus Academia a little too dark and cruel.

(Obviously, I loved it, but that probably isn't a surprise to anyone that's read my stories!)

The monster girls and succubi are also more on the vanilla end of the spectrum (in design).  There are the usual staples such as harpies, lamias and mermaids, but nothing too crazy.

Overall, I found it a really nice game.  Luscious sexy succubus art.  Interesting plot (from what I can glean).  Enough game mechanics for it to feel like a game without being complex enough to be frustrating, especially with the language barrier (although it would be nice to know why Succubus-chan gets bored so easily and then mercilessly drains all my life away – merciless predator indeed).

She's cute until she gets bored.  Don't let her get bored...

Definitely worth a look if you like this sort of thing.  Maybe around Succubus Prison level in terms of quality.