Sunday, October 30, 2016

Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors Review (Playstation Vita)

Written by Allen Ray Francisco

Game Title: Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors
Genre: RPG
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc
Publisher: NIS America, Inc

Before going into this game, I expected the usual NIS quirky turn-based RPG and what I got was just that, albeit more sexualized than most of their IPs, A fun story with a bit of seriousness to it with unique RPG mechanics.

You start off in hell where you play as a young man who was tasked to be an Instructor, who basically has to reform six delinquents in order for them to be absolved of their past sins. The catch is that there are seven girls when he arrives and one of them is a traitor that you have to weed out in order for the other six to reform. You slowly build trust with as you get to have conversations with each of them at certain points in the game and you learn more about their background and why they were sent there.

The visuals of the game are a bit simplistic but are colorful and crisp thanks to the anime inspired art. For most of the game you’ll be walking around in areas from an overhead perspective while your characters are depicted in a chibi fashion. In dialogue they are presented in a more VN style with 2d portraits that are entertaining enough to look at with varying facial expressions.

Gameplay is divided into two sections, somewhat random turn-based combat and engaging in sexually explicit mini-games to gain new abilities and improve stats. The mini-games consist of anything from flicking slime at them with the touchscreen to circling the analog stick to generate current to electrocute them. Although it was kind-of fun at first, it quickly degraded into monotony due to the fact that you do it over and over again for all of the seven characters, some of the boredom could have alleviated if the voices for said sections weren’t cut out but alas they were taken out because they were overly sexual. The cool part about it though is that it orients your characters into either sadist or masochists depending on the skill you choose when you level up which changes the buffs you receive in battle.

The actual battles on the other hand could be hit or miss since you can’t actually choose what abilities you can use at any given time. It makes combat more dynamic though and keeps you on your toes knowing you can’t always spam the same abilities over and over. But it can be really frustrating to not be able to use a skill just because of RNG. However, it does a pretty good job of knowing what abilities to pick in the right situations like when your party is low for instance; it almost always readies a healing spell. Combat does get repetitive because some of the bosses you encounter can just wipe your team with a single attack, so you have to grind a lot to prevent that. The side quests come in the form of the girls’ “wishes” and can be a bit tedious but unlock bonuses that make the game easier.

All in all it’s a pretty solid JRPG with an interesting battle system and level progression, bogged down by repetitive objectives and mini-games.

  • Unique battle system
  • Interesting story
  • Colorful Art

  • Repetitive mini-games
  • A bit grindy
  • Not enough variety 

Score: 7/10