Showing posts with label video games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video games. Show all posts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Monster Girl Quest Ch.2 - A Review

Hurrah for とろとろレジスタンス (hope I pasted the right characters there) and Monster Girl Quest Ch.2. Mention of that always triples the number of hits to my blog. :D

Now if only I could persuade all those people lured here like victims to the alluring, pulsing, moist sack of a pitcher plant girl to check out my stories...

Now that the shameless book-whoring is out of the way, let's get on with the review.

Monster Girl Quest is a hentai RPG game. You play Luka, a young man on a quest to bring peace and harmony to his world by slaying the evil Demon Monster Lord. His companion on this quest is Alice…the Demon Monster Lord.

The majority of the hentai comes from the combat encounters. Luka’s world is filled with monster girls, and all of them want to rape and do unmentionable sex things to the poor lad. Have Luka lose a fight (conveniently, the game makes this very easy with various assorted commands that exist purely to suicide poor Luka) and you’ll be treated to an ending scene where the monster girl gets to have her wicked way with the hapless hero. The game also features an unlockable encyclopedia of monsters encountered so far and gives the player the option to…erm…“battle” them again at different difficulty settings.

There are 85 encounters in the second chapter, each with one or more Game Over scenes. That’s a lot of choice and variety. As with the first chapter the creators have tried to cover just about every fetish imaginable (and a few you might never have known previously existed). The monsters vary from the traditional sexy humanoid types such as succubi, elves, fairies, cat girls…

Oh Alma Elma, we'd have such a future together if you didn't keep killing me...

…to some truly WTF! creations.

We strongly recommend your next action be "Guard".

The only true constant is they’re all female and have a pair (or more!) of boobies. As with the first chapter, the artwork is of varying quality, but some scenes, especially in the succubus village, have a lot more artwork per encounter than before.

While the number and variety of hentai scenes is impressive, the creators have also taken the time to make it a proper game with a decent storyline to stitch the fights together. This isn’t a visual novel where the only interactivity is clicking “Next Page” over and over. In the first chapter a lot of the fights were puzzles where the player had to work out which sequence of attack options to use. The second chapter adds extra complexity through the addition of elemental spirits Luka acquires on his quest. Refreshingly, the game steers clear of the clichéd elemental Jankenpon mechanic and instead each spirit gives Luka new abilities.

When summoned, Sylph allows Luka to dodge status changes and some OHKO attacks, while Gnome boosts defence and allows Luka to break restraints faster. Undine gives a kind of temporary invulnerability to most attacks and Salamander boosts attack and resets special points to full, but prevents Meditating to restore Hit Points while she’s out. The game compensates by making the encounters much harder. In the later battles Luka will need to summon Sylph and Gnome just to be able to fight normally. Failure to do so will result in being hit by restraint attacks he can’t break out of and special attacks that will defeat him in one hit.

The storyline continues the humour and strong characters of the first chapter. Luka is a decent and likable protagonist. Alice continues to be sarky and make fun of him at every opportunity, but it’s clear her respect and affection for him grows during the game. (Tip: Pay attention during the last fight otherwise you’ll need that box of tissues sitting next to you...and not in the way you thought!)

I played the game using AGTH and auto-translation software. It was enough to follow the action, but I suspect I missed a lot of the jokes and swipes at mainstream RPGs. Thankfully, RogueTranslator is working on putting together a full English translation. Progress on that can be followed at his blog here.

I love this game. Obviously I’m biased through my own predilections, but it’s great to see a piece of entertainment with porn as its raison d'être not take the lazy way out and actually aspire to have playability, plot and decent characterization as well as the obligatory Tits’n’Ass (or rather Tits’n’Orifices-of-questionable-function).

With around 9,000 downloads in the first week (9,000! Why am I wasting my time writing dusty old books!?), it’s also great to see the creators have been rewarded for their time and effort. Hopefully, its success will pave the way for other similar games in the future. It would be interesting to see the concept expanded to incorporate random battles or branching paths through the story.

I always did like those old game books… ;)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don't Judge a Game by the Cover: Catherine

A little tale. I was in my local video games store. They’re a small store, so they tend to only stock the latest AAA titles. I was surprised to see Catherine sitting on the shelf. Catherine is an odd little Japanese game made by Atlus, the same people that did the Persona series. I’d been interested in picking it up, but had resigned myself to having to order it through Amazon or someone like that as my local games shop is useless and only stocks the latest slick-but-empty titles from Activision/EA.

I mentioned my surprise to the girl behind the counter.

“Oh, that one’s been popular. There are not many games for girls.”

Feeling my manliness being called into question, I of course responded with:

“Um. It’s a horror game.”

Doubtful glance from girl behind counter.

“A pair of girls bought a copy yesterday.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s a horror game,” I said rather feebly as I handed over my money.

I don’t think she believed me.

It’s understandable as the cover looks like this:

But the game is actually this:

The uh-thing is firing pink hearts out of its mouth. I guess that’s girly. Right?

Despite the titillating nature of the promotional material, another reviewer summed it up correctly by describing it as an adult game without being an “adult” game. This isn’t Monster Girl Quest. It is, however, completely bonkers and a lot of fun. Well worth checking out. I'm also glad to see it's sold a lot as well, this bodes well for a future where oddball games can exist.

And Catherine, the character, is completely adorable, even if she is a [Spoilers!]

(Oh, and I know the concept of girl’s games and boy’s games is/should be an anachronism in this day and age, but you know what I mean--I hope!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bargain Bin Slaughter: Madworld

I’m a big fan of violent video games, as I might have alluded to in the past, so when I saw this for the Wii for the bargain-bin price of £2.99 I couldn’t resist.

Violence, gore and sick humour; everything I enjoy in a computer game. It also has a succubus/vampiress boss with the most ridiculous pair of gag boobs I’ve ever seen in a video game.

I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Nostalgia Gaming: Splatterhouse

Still on the topic of violent video games, here’s a classic from the prehistoric days of lumbering arcade machines.

There was a Splatterhouse arcade machine at my local ice rink and I remember spending a few Saturdays in my youth feeding it 10p and 20p coins. The graphics were totally wacko and disturbed compared to other games at the time. There was a boss with chainsaws for arms, crawling baby things with oversize heads and many vomiting alien monsters/torture victims. The first boss section had waves and waves of bloody worms springing out at you from all angles in a room piled high with red meat. It was sick, it was gruesome and it was fun. There was a satisfying ‘Thwack!’ to splattering enemies up against the back wall with a meaty swing of a pipe.

It was also fiendishly difficult. Back then most arcade games followed a simple formula—a fairly pedestrian stage one, followed by a harder-but-still-possible stage two, and then ramping up into a black hole of difficulty designed to suck all the small change out of your pocket. Mr Chainsawman did for me on many an occasion, although I did see the occasional player stumble past him only to fall at the floating cross and severed ghoul heads at the end of stage four.

A few years back I managed to find a version to run on my PC with MAME (a fantastic program for nostalgia gaming geeks). With infinite simulated 10p coins I would have my revenge, bwahahahaha…

Just about. By level six and an organic corridor full of wibbly embryo monster-things jumping on your back at every opportunity, the game developers are telling you to ‘sod off!’ in no uncertain terms. If it wasn’t for some gratuitous save state scumming (yeah, because even infinite coins isn't enough...) I’m not even sure I’d have completed it at all.

It’s a game I have many fond memories of. It was the first arcade game I remember to really go for it when it came to gross horror visuals. There’s a recent remake I’ve been meaning to check out, even though I’m sure it won’t have that same…you know…Thwack!

I never could pull off that damn sliding kick…

Friday, July 01, 2011

Won't someone think of the children . . .

I’m normally against all forms of censorship, but the recent overturning of a proposed California law to ban the sale of violent video games leaves me perched rather precariously on the fence. Don’t get me wrong, I love violent video games. Whatever games console I have lying around usually gets updated around the same time the next Silent Hill or Resident Evil instalment comes along. I also thoroughly enjoyed playing the notorious Manhunt. However, I’m not sure twelve-year-old kids should be playing these games.

Attitudes are changing now that the Nintendo and PlayStation generation have grown up and are old enough to have children of their own. Video games have grown up too and are no longer seen as solely for children’s entertainment.

Not everybody appears to have caught on

It always reminds me of a (possibly) apocryphal story about a video/DVD rental store clerk and a certain, highly notorious, Japanese animated film.

Dad walks up with two young sons in tow and puts a copy of Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend on the counter.

I’d like to rent this film.

Clerk looks down at fresh-faced young boys.

Um, I’m not sure it would be suitable for them.

Whaddya mean. It’s a cartoon. Action, explosions, giant robots, that kind of thing.

Um, it’s quite . . . extreme.

Don’t be silly. It’s a cartoon. Rent me the goddamn film or I’ll call your manager.

Clerk (hands up):
Okay. Whatever you say.

The next day.

Dad storms back into store and slams video down on the counter.

You sick fuck! What are you doing renting me this sick filth! Fucking pedo! I’ll call the police on you.

Um, I did say it wasn’t suitable for minors.

I don’t mind age restrictions. They’re good defence when the moral meddlebutts try to use the Think-of-the-children! card when they want to ban something. Britain, I think, uses a similar ratings system to the one used for movies, which seems sensible to me. When the moral meddlebutts next get in an indignant froth about the latest GTA or Manhunt and how children shouldn’t be playing such sick filth, it’s easy to counter by pointing at the 18 certificate and asking how children are playing the game in the first place. Think-of-the-children! becomes Where-are-the-parents? and draws a lot of venom out of the meddlebutt’s attack. I’d rather developers had the freedom to create games for adults covering adult themes, without worrying about a latter-day Mary Whitehouse whipping up a moral panic and shutting them down.

Like the original blogger, I’m not sure if this is a victory to be celebrated. It’s always hard to know with these things. The moral meddlebutts are getting sneakier at depriving the public of things the meddlebutts disapprove of. There are ways to ban things without explicitly banning them, in the same way a NC-17 rating will financially destroy a film in the US. Maybe this was a battle that needed to be fought and won.