A return for Onii-chan Radio. Been a while since I did one of these, as was often the case, Ask Onii-chan is rolled into this one, so thanks for the questions, they’re in there are the end.
A reasonably wide range of topics this time, starting with Granblue Fantasy and its troubled LoveLive crossover. It was good for some laughs, honestly. Pixiv hid some loli posts, Huniepop made the mistake of talking on the internet, I’m play Hapymaher and MORE! Why am I writing this? Search Engine optimizations, friends. I need those hits.
It’s a straightforward, if questionably written nukige. The premise is good but the story execution leaves a lot to be desired.
The initial encounter with the jogging girl is rushed pretty horribly to get some more sex-writing in there and I think it would benefit from at least a reasonable response from the dude. There are no choices inside the section either, though that can likely be chalked up to the choice being made earlier. It’s not exactly a style of choice making I like, where single choices spiral out long scenes on the other side, but that might be an issue with the basic time frame and purpose of the games.
A girl saying “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” two seconds after meeting should at least get a cursory “I, uh… I don’t know.”
The game seems uninterested in building a narrative to support the mystery of what and who this girl is, and sadly slams the nail on the head over and over before the reveal. It tries to have its cake and eat it to by exploiting that the player knows it’s a succubus but the guy doesn’t. So it ends up with the guy going “MAYBE MY VITALITY IS BEING SAPPED SOMEHOW” after reading a medical textbook. He does everything but say “Musta been a succubus, gee willikers.” It’s a large issue with the narrative side right from the jump. It doesn’t seem to want to take the time to do anything. He finds a book about mythology and demons and says, “It might be a little crazy,” but the game has already winked and nodded at us so hard. It almost felt laughable. Like we were walked through choices we knew weren’t going to be useful while the game goes “HURR IT SUCCUBUS” and then goes “LOL, WE TOLD YOU IT SUCCUBUS.” It’s a core story issue, though plenty of people will tell me not to care. Nukige, right? Story doesn’t matter, right?
Well, in for a penny… The story has super minor changes on the few loops through the three-day run. If you choose to Run For It on the last cycle, you just get the “go jogging” scene without seeing the girl running past you. There’s no changed dialogue, it literally plays out the same as a day one morning run. You don’t know she’s a succubus, you don’t know her name even if you’ve learned all this earlier. This happens in lots of situations where the days were not written uniquely moving forward, but reused with a few extra lines here and there for some scenes.
It’s worth mentioning that the story also runs counter to our own stated interests as a main character. Avoiding sex seems like something we should try to do, but it is entirely unavoidable. It’s a nukige, so it’s worth forgiving, but the character never gives us a reason why he’s going along with it. Simple statements of motivation by the protagonist would help us be alright with his decision to go through with the sex. Giving up, giving in, her having a mysterious power over us when she’s around. But it’s none of that. Our protag doesn’t want to fuck, he’s not really being forced except at the movie theater, and we have no options. It certainly makes the mood conflicted after the initial desire to jerk off to the art wears off.
Which leads into my next point: Getting the good ending is obtuse and arduous because there is a complete lack of indicators for what information we have or need. Likewise, the stated goals of the game (avoid giving sex to her/doing what she wants) means that if we find a loop that SEEMS to avoid giving her our semen, we’ll try to work inside that since it seems to be what the game wants us to do. The examples that come to mind are cumming in the pocket pussy, using a condom at the hospital, and cumming outside every other time while avoiding the movies entirely. Sadly, this doesn’t do anything.
By the time I’d worked out the way to the ending, I was not so much interested in the pornographic content and was mostly just frustrated at having to press the spacebar over and over to work through scenes I’d seen half a dozen times at least. I wanted to beat the game, but trying to avoid an early ending through life-essence loss meant missing things I might have needed to see. There aren’t so many options that it’s undoable, but you get more or less hard reset after three days. Removing this would have helped to that end.
I wonder about cut content since the original IndieGoGo goal really wanted voice acting, it also had some art showing Susu with what looked like a shackle on her neck. It’s possible that the game was cut down somehow. It was certainly very, VERY abrupt in the ending.
SEEMS LIKE ENGINE TROUBLE
It also doesn’t save progress at all. There are multiple ways to handle this with pretty much every engine. Admittedly the game is fairly short, but I can see a lot of good reasons to need to refresh or close the tab and it would have been a fairly minimal bit of extra work to anyone who knows what they’re doing. There are also none of the standard UI niceties like an auto button or a skip button. Just a hide-textbox function. Even a super basic HTML5/JS visual novel engine should make this incredibly easy to handle, but none of it’s there. The game raised $11k on IndieGoGo plus the $5-6k a month that Doxy Games Patreon pulls in. I’d expect at least a bare minimum interface. It doesn’t even handle text in the bog-standard way. If you click while text is scrolling onto the page, rather than put the finished line onto the screen, it just skips the line. Saying this is probably redundant for most readers of OCnE, but normally this should put the full line on the screen (and continue playing the voice lines, if there are any) then a second click should skip the line.
There’s also no CG mode. That’s actually unforgivable in a porn game. I want to see the CGs I’ve unlocked. It’s basic. It’s what we’re playing for in the first place in so many ways, especially with a nukige.
The background sounds and sound effects are sparse and generally ill-fitting to the scenes, moods, and tone. There is no music for large portions of the game, which makes it feel a bit awkward to play. No moans, no schlop noises. Again, these are meant to be somewhat disposable, I think. Made by as small a team as Doxy can manage (possibly just himself), so maybe that’s an acceptable tradeoff for pushing these out more regularly in some people’s eyes, but even reused moans and sex noises would have gone a long, long way. And with tons of people willing to do erotic voice work for things like Gone Wild Audio (for free) it makes it a bit weird that seemingly no effort was put into voice of any kind. And the same for music. Surely there’s some royalty-free music, or someone willing to work on the cheap. Reuse would be fine.
This is all something I find relatively unacceptable considering the funding behind the game. It’s not a massive amount generally, but let me make a statement before I address staff size. Firstly, there are open source and free options out there which have the base functions I described at the beginning of this section. Keep in mind, they are 100% using a free, open-source option here called <a href=”https://github.com/y-lohse/inkjs/”>inkjs</a>. This is a web-based version of a scripting language used usually for Twine-like text-based stories, though obviously it’s easy enough to use it for visual novels.
That said, Ink is a barebones system, not meant for quick, convenient visual novel development and leaves the creation of a lot of the higher-level systems (Skip, Save, etc.) up to the person making the game. They likely went this route for future development with minimal concern on their part. The animations and shaders are drawn onto WebGL Canvases with pixi.js and the frontend calls functions from the Ink script to change visuals. That means the minimal UI development scripting was done by Doxy’s team as far as I can tell to tie the functions from the Ink script into the pixi transitions. This is probably getting a bit technical, so I’ll move on to my greater point.
There are plenty of options that are both cheap and usable for this that would allow for a better user experience. Likewise, their technology choices make “skip” functions a little more complicated to develop (though only mildly). Auto should be easy enough with the jQuery Simulate plugin they’re using to simulate inputs. In fact, it’s possible there’s an auto function in there somewhere, just no UI to expose it. TyranoBuilder is $15 and allows the exporting of browser-based games. It also has Live2D support. Unity has lots of options as well.
Couple the awkward technology choice with the lack of any effort put into the sound, it makes for a bad user experience on a ton of levels, especially with the need to replay scenes you’ve seen over and over.
DOXY DRAWS GOOD
The art is good, Susu is appropriately sexy, though the continuity of our penis is somewhat troubling, and I think underlies the base problem with this game overall, but more on that in the conclusions section. They’re well-drawn and that’s never really going to be a question with Doxy since he’s good at that part without question. It honestly does feel like a bit less love was put into the work than some of the comics seem to get, as far as coloring and refinement, but it’s a minor concern in the grander scheme of the entire game.
The backgrounds, though, are depressingly lazy. That’s something of a hallmark of low-end, who-cares kinds of games. The sort that, honestly, usually don’t have porn in them at all. The reason those games do that is usually lack of budget or the inability of the artist, two problems we know don’t exist here. I think the problem we’re seeing in this case is an unwillingness for Doxy to either spend the time making things look nice in places other than character art for Susu or an unwillingness to spend the money on a person to do that.
Either way, I’d say it hurts the product, but it is almost a minor addition to the pile in the face of the poor execution elsewhere.
So as I was saying about the game overall. It doesn’t seem to want to be anything other than a lazy vehicle for a series of sex scene variations. It offers nothing even a cheap nukige should in terms of story or development of characters or sexual preferences, to say nothing of partner variety. It occurred to me when thinking about the entire package that this was actually, essentially, a repackaging of one of Doxy’s comics without the need for well-done backgrounds or visual interest. It walks through about the same length, padded by the description text, but essentially just offering you less visually.
I think to sum the entire thing up, it lacks cohesion or the feeling that anyone working on the product was genuinely creating something they cared about. If I were a cynical man (I am), I’d suggest that maybe Doxy got bored of the project and distracted by the dozens of other things he always has going on. He’s a busy guy and that’s a trap of his own design. While he outsources the lead writing to someone else, he is the artist here and the director. He could have insisted that much of the work be done to bring this project into shape.
Of course, this could be what was intended the entire time and it’s meant to just be somewhat disposable. It certainly has the feel to it. A project to be cranked out to sit alongside the comics with as much value in the depth of it, but I don’t think that’s what eroge should be, even nukige. This story could have been interesting if the characterization was done at all. Susu makes no attempts to woo us, we make no attempt to run away. There’s no player choice and the characters are perfunctory insomuch as they are characters at all, rather than just basic scene-setting stand-ins to get to the sex parts.
Group that with the bad sound design, lack of anything really going on, super stereotypical sex writing (“OH MAH GOD UR KOK SO BIG I LUV UR KOK FILL ME UP BABBY”), and you have something that just doesn’t really need to exist in this form. A comic would have been better considering the quality of the product. Maybe then it’d be easier to ignore the lazy setups and inconsistent story.
Recommended: No Why Not: Unpleasant as a game. You’re better off reading one of his comics.
A new series (probably) about reviewing the myriad free to play adult/porn games that are floating around.
From the Beginning
From the jump with Kamihime PROJECT-R you’ve got a lot of visual noise. Clicking Nutaku’s play now button brings you to a cluttered tutorial page that hits all the standard noisy notes about how many free things you’ll get for completing the tutorial. I understand the premise but it comes with a few alarm bells for gacha-type games in my mind, assuming this is one of those:
We have literally no idea what these particular items are even used for so there’s no real meaning in dangling the carrot.
We all know that’s not going to be a significant amount of stuff.
Far be it from me to ask to be treated with a bit of respect by a free-to-play game about watching anime girls get railed, but I’d have a better first impression out of the gate with that stuff out of the way, or given as a nice (expected) surprise if I make it through, rather than a carrot to rope me in. That said, you can skip the tutorial at any time via a bar on the right side and it also lets you skip specific stages of the tutorial if you want. A nice touch among F2P games in general. Also, the clutter goes away after the tutorial is done.
Diving into the tutorial gives us a visual novel scene, robed men threatening Adele, a blonde-knight with exposed midriff. The game gave a quick OpenGL error, possibly due to embed cross-domain issues, not a big deal, though it’s nice it’s not using antiquated tech. So, as quickly as the drama starts, Adele decides that if she fucks these guys, they might not steal her Device, presumably a contraceptive of some kind. The game flickers through a few loading screens and then greets you with, honestly, a nice little warning screen in case you’re playing in public or a work bathroom or your cousin’s birthday party or whatever.
Continuing flashes a few more loads, then you get a new UI, still visual novel looking, but now you’ve got a sidebar. This gets you right into the first sex scene. No log window for dialog here, but it you can zoom in on the picture and turn off the text block. It’s fine. The scenes are animated here, Live2D from the looks of the warping. It’s a bit vigorous, but, again fine. Nice of them to get you right into the porn. I’m not 100% expecting a nukige out of this, but obviously the time between sex scenes is likely to be a concern. Essentially standard stuff through this opening scene, though there’s no background moaning between voice lines, which makes the scene feel a little sparse. There’s some world exposition rolled in here. Stuff about the Faith, the robed men obviously not being a part of that whole deal.
We roll out of that scene fairly abruptly into one with ourselves and Alyssa, our childhood friend. The translation doesn’t mention this fact. Honestly, based on the dialogue here, this translation looks like it’s pretty loose, but basically serviceable considering. Still, I’d like to see something more on point for a game that’s going to be asking me for waifu feed money. I closed the window here, deciding it’d be interesting to see how the game handles it. Reopening the tab showed a few loading screens and then plopped me back at the start of the scene with Alyssa. Anyway, the thrust of the scene is that we’re The Successor that Adele talked about in her bit. Side note, it’s a bit weird to read: “What the FREAK is going on?” after watching a light rape scene. Especially when it wasn’t even a necessary line based on the voice. I nitpick though.
So here’s the exposition dump: We’re the Successor, found the Device, gotta use the Kamihime (guides created by the Creator) to stop Ragnarok. Simple, easy. Good enough setup for a gacha porn game. The device is a phone with big tits (this is partially true). Diabolos is likewise stripped of a lot of the nuance in her dialogue in favor of standard antagonist stuff. She initiates your first fight with Lancelot and Nike (the first two waifus) doing the fighting while you issue commands.
After the fight, you join up with Diabolos and fight again. Then you leave and find out that you should form a covenant with your Kamihime. This means sex. With Nike. “Man’s seed possesses the highest concentration of magic in the entire universe.” Clearly the game is based on science. Then you fuck. No warning this time. It’s worth mentioning that Nike is a drooler. She doesn’t really warn us about that and as a result her mouth ends up covered with a mystery white liquid nearly immediately. It’s also possible she was having a seizure, but I have no formal medical training, so I’ll assume it was… happy… sex… drool?
After that it’s to the main UI and out of the tutorial, thus, on with the review. Before I do, I will say that the tutorial blocked out so much of the UI so often during the opening that I ended it having no real idea what I’d been clicking on since the buttons would be the only thing highlights and they took up tons of the screen.
The Game Itself
The actual battle system is an incredibly simple turn-based elemental combat RPG. The girls each have their own Burst attack– basically a limit break– that builds up during the fight. The animations are a nice departure, but the overall visuals in the battle scene are pretty busy, with the character art being a bit too small at the size the entire things runs to really feel comfortable inside all the UI. The UI itself ranges from serviceable to bad, maybe better if you’re on a touch device, but not exactly enjoyable either way, which could prove annoying depending on how much time you spend with the game. There’s a bit of depth to the game beyond the bad UI, though, with weapons, Kamihime, and Eidolons all being part of the mix. It provides an automated equipment/party selection system to make sure things don’t get overwhelming if you’re not in it to micromanage.
Aside from the standard attacking there are the standard spells, healing and the like. Probably the larger draw on the fighting side would be the summons. Summons are full screen effect animated attacks done by your Eidolon helpers, who aren’t active fighters (hence summons). The animation and art resolution are pretty sad in Diabolos’s attack at least. This might hurt a bit less on phones, but in a browser it was just bad looking. The attacks are fun though, and do plenty of damage. They’re a nice addition and you can sort of see instantly how they tie in to the gacha system.
Speaking of the gacha system, there are multiples. Twelves currently running, in fact, only two of which you can use with the gems and jewels that the game gives you. Also, keeping with gacha standards, there are five different currencies in the game. Still, you do get a daily free draw, but as is standard in these sorts of games all the good, limited stuff is back behind pay walls.
I will say, the jewels they give you are good for twenty rolls on the jewel gacha and I got a solid number of super rares out of that, so it was a nice give for the tutorial. As with all gachas, patience or money will be required and the SSRs seem pretty safely lumped into the money side. My concerns there were allayed nicely, honestly. Good on you, Kamihime R. Star Coins themselves are 1 Nutaku Gold each, or a penny each if you want to skip the multiple currency conversion. There are NO bulk discounts and the game seems to indicate that the coins expire after 180 days. That’s worrying, so don’t buy them in you don’t intend to spend them. The Star Coin gachas are all round numbers though, so if you’re into it, it’s easy to buy in accurate amounts. That said, the prices are pretty steep. Such is life for perverts, though.
The visual novel side is nice. Well acted, for sure, lots of talent on that side. The translation leaves something to be desired, but I might be one of the few who cares about that. There are nice harem scenes for the unlocked girls that advance character and give nice little vignettes outside of the fighting. All-in-all, it’s a pleasant experience if you’re into gacha games and like a surprisingly deep RPG element on a porn game.
Art and So On
The art is really fantastic, honestly. While the Live2D scenes are somewhat weak on the animation side, the artists on display are almost all incredibly talented and put together good work, worthy of working toward nudes for. Something that’s let down a bit, on browser at least, by the fact that there are VERY highly compressed textures in various places. It doesn’t affect the Live2D scenes, but it turns up in the UI pretty often and it gives a sort of junky old flash game feel to the game from time to time. On the porn side, pretty much every character archetype and size combination gets play somewhere in there, though luck is the thing that’s going to determine whether you end up with the sort of waifu you want or not. Still, the base set includes the broad strokes you’d expect from a game meant to suck everyone in.
Honestly, that fact that you can go into a game like this and be rewarded with porn scenes makes me kind of question the value of the standard gacha games. Each character has a visual novel-based encounter story, an animated sex/covenent scene (at least one), and some nice little get-to-know-them bits. It’s honestly tons more than the standard card gachas which don’t really bother with that for about 90% of the cast and if you end up with a waifu you really like, there are decent odds you’re going to end up just having to sort of roll with whatever little you’re given. Here, you get a lot more out of your waifus and there’s no problem with building up the harem since that’s basically what you’re supposed to be doing anyway.
There’s a lot of love put into this game, and while the UI is a mess, I think it’s a pretty nice entry. I’m not here to bag on gacha, which people might have expected. Spend your money however you like. They aren’t really for me since I can’t bring myself to lean hard enough into waifu worship to feel joy at spending actual money on a system that’ll shut down one day. I definitely feel the pull, though.
Well, that got weird at the end. It’s fine though, probably. I’ll assume I’m not dying for now. The story was moving along nicely until my brain got weird for some reason. Not entirely sure what happened, even.
Ah well. Click that Patreon link on the side. The brain surgeries ain’t gonna pay for themselves.