Crusaders (or Purveyors) of Crap

So, as readers may recall, I ordered two hentai games with my animé order last week, and it got in yesterday. I was pretty tired, but I figured, “what the hell,” and loaded up the bargain one: “Jewel Knights: Crusaders.” It installed just fine, and I started into the story. Pretty soon, I realized that yes, the auto-forward is a desirable feature. The story was just one click after another, as “I” talked about how I was king of the street fighters, the baddest baddass motherf-cker out there. I seem to be very impressed with myself. Very impressed. Probably five or six minutes of this, which I presume was to set the stage and explain to me who “I” was. The problem was, not only was I not liking me too much, but the picture I saw throughout all this (storefronts at night) never changed. And it was dull, not well done, and pretty uninteresting. Oh, and there’s NO sound or music. “Well, it’s a bargain game, I shoudln’t expect much.” So on I watch…

Yes, watch. I’m not making any choices. I haven’t met the girls for the first time yet; the blurb on the box says I meet them while looking for a street fight. I take it off auto-forward, but nothing changes. Click, click, click. I finally hear some sound, something breaking. Cue another minute of me gassing about how I can identify exactly what that sound is, because I’m so attuned to fights — I know it’s someone landing on a case of beer bottles and breaking them. How do I know this? Because I’m the baddest street fighter there is. I finally get around to checking up on the sound and meet the three Jewel Knights and the dominatrix they’re fighitng. Damn, they’re ugly. How do I mean that? As in “not attractive to men.” They’ve all got huge tits and nothing else going for them. Well, “I” end up getting knocked out in the ensuing fight, wake up in the hospital, and find the pink-haired one is now my nurse….

She’s dim, but sweet as hell. Gives me this bullshit story about her and the other girls are fighting against a 2,000 year old organization out to conquer the world. Yeah, right. Like some cartoon, or somethin’. I don’t believe a word of this shit, but hey, I’ll listen to a babe telling me stories any day. (Cue another 15 minutes of chit-chat, during which I meet the other two members of the team. They’re still not attractive. Especially the shy blond loli. The third member is, frankly, a smart-alec bitch.)

Someone needs to slap that blue-haired ho, and I’m just the guy to do it — as soon as I get out of this hospital bed. (Just as frankly, “I” deserve everything she’s giving me. I seem to be a complete and total reprobate as I describe hunting down and beating up some sixth-graders that had bullied me, putting them in the hosptial. I was a prodigy, then being only in the third grade. Anyway, after I beat them up, then I came to visit and steal their candy, presents, and meals. Yep, that’s me, all heart.) So hey, I’m like, all familiar with hospitals and such. Just not the view from my back, if you know what I mean.

So eventually, I’m all alone with the pink-haired babe again, who seems to be all worried about me. I think she likes me or somethin’. My neighbor chica shows up to check on me, the FINE one with purple hair (at last, an attractive female). I kid her about being my babe, but she disses me. S’ok, I’ll fix her when I get out too. But the pink-hair, she’s like, getting angry or something and starts making the evil eyes until my neighbor-girl leaves. Hey, damn, she’s like, jealous! She really does like me! Well, hey, an upstanding guy like me, I know exactly what kinda moves to put on a babelicous pink-haired sweetmeat like her!

Yessirree! I grab her and come on to her, you know, hard? So she gets all weak-kneed and weepy, but I know that just means she really wants me…. bad. So that’s just the way I take her, you know?

Yes, that is right. I have played the game for almost an HOUR at this point, mindlessly clicking forward, making NO choices whatsoever, and my first “score” is to violently rape one of the four girls in the story. Oh, and of course she was a virgin, so I’ve stolen a hell of a lot more than her first kiss. Wait, this is entertainment? The first chapter ends with me thinking that maybe, just maybe I did something wrong. Yep, since it was her first time, she probably wanted me to be a bit more gentle. Ah hell, I’ll make it up to her tomorrow with an apology.

Good God.

That assumes that this crap is still on my hard drive by “tomorrow.” (No jokes about “hard drive” in this context please–readers might remember my rather visceral reaction to abuse in this show.) Frankly, Tokimekki Check-in had better rescue the genre, because between bad art, bad character design, bad sound effects, no music, and a main character that I find it reprehensible to “be”, Jewel Knights has pretty much poisoned the well as far as I’m concerned. I may be a dirty old man, but I’ll be damned if I’ll be a rapist.

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20 Responses to Crusaders (or Purveyors) of Crap

  1. Nick says:

    Oh my! You actually bought those games? I basically experience them by reading Something Awful’s Hentai Reviews (Articles are NSFW!!). Heck, looks like Jewel Knights Crusaders got a score of -35 (Yes, negative 35. They basically score all of the games in the negative!) and Tokimeki Check In! got a score of -33.

    As for being a rapist, that seems to be the theme to 90% of them, if the Something Awful reviews are accurate. Sick, isn’t it?

  2. Andrew F. says:

    Jewel Knights Crusaders grossed out even the reviewer at Something Awful (link borderline NSFW, links from the review very NSFW).

    I’ve been remiss in not pointing you to that page sooner; not only are Zack’s reviews infinitely more entertaining than the games themselves, but you seem to have slightly… unrealistic… expectations of the genre. Reading the review for Tokimeki Check-In suggests that while it’s not quite as bad as Jewel Knights, it’s not a whole lot better.

  3. Wonderduck says:

    Tokimeki isn’t awful. There isn’t a lot of action, but there is a lot of ‘action’. Fortunately, very little of it is rape, though you can do that if that’s your particular kink. Something Awful’s review is pretty fair, though. As a game, it’s lousy. BUT it really is a ‘visual novel’; you click and read… and read… and read…

    …and you realize that you’re half-way enjoying yourself. Surprised me.

    It’s very tough, by the way.

  4. Ubu Roi says:

    Hm. Not too tough, or I have a knack for it, or I am just lucky (in several senses), or they were just easy (ALSO in several senses)… bagged the college girls on the 2nd day. :) (Good grief, I’m bragging about my exploits in a hentai game? LooooooZAR!)

    But yes, I’m enjoying it a hella lot more than the other one. Better art, better character design, the girls aren’t such obvious stereotypes. And the main character is more positive. I mean, I’m not looking for a role-model, but the main character in Jewel was just awful. There’s only so much interactivity that can be designed into a game, but being railroaded into forcibly raping a girl I’d just met in the game was not what I would call entertainment. (The self-justification afterwards was the crap icing on the crap cake.)

    Edit: I don’t have but a moment to write this so I hope I can be clear. I wasn’t “surprised” at the rape — I was revolted at the way it was handled and presented. The game is meant to entertain, and it is a sex fantasy. Faux non-consensual sex, in the sense of “fantasy rape” is one component of the entire range of sexual acts and not an uncommon one in either fiction or games–or even reality. But there’s an element of “she really wanted it” implicit in that whether we’re discussing reality or games & fiction; i.e.: the scenario is a game, even to the female character or person. Otherwise it truly is forcible violent rape. And that’s what was presented in the game.

  5. There are many times, as I go about the day reading various blogs, when I wish I was better at games. Most games just sit there and laugh at me while I click pathetically.

    This isn’t really one of those times. :-)

  6. MaverickRonin says:

    Your should try Tsukihime. I think the anime is pretty good and the game is even better. there are no official US releases but there is a translation patch available. The story and the world it creates are pretty awesome. Also you’ll probably like even if it is a bit of a SPOILER but forcible violent rape results in a BAD END.

  7. Pixy Misa says:

    I’ve never played any of these games, but I’m a long-time fan of the reviews at Something Awful. Which probably explains why I’ve never played any of these games. ;)

  8. Pixy Misa says:

    I take that back. I’ve played Princess Maker 2. But somehow I spent most of my time feeding carrots to horsies rather than exploring the naughtier parts of the game (which aren’t particularly naughty anyway).

  9. Ubu Roi says:

    Well, this isn’t going to become a blog about hentai games, but with so many Animé adapted from them, I wanted to check the genre out. As it happens, the first game I loaded is a piece of crap. It doesn’t appear to be a “game” at all, unless I missed a decision point while autoforwarding. Tokimeki, on the other hand, isn’t bad, from what I’ve seen thus far (didn’t play any further last night). The characters are interesting, there’s a bit of a story to it, the main character is much more sympathetic, and I’m kind of intrigued by some of the girls’ personality. Not sure who my favorite is so far. Ayumi seems a little bit of a milksop. Not normally a term applied to females, but compared to the rest of the women in the story, she’s pretty weak. So far, anyway.

  10. jgreely says:

    Once upon a time, I bought a copy of Kango Shichauzo 2. The copy-protection kept it from working in a Virtual PC session, so I shelved it until I had an actual Windows box to play with. When I finally got it loaded up, I spent a full half-hour just watching the mind-bogglingly stupid story scroll by, without any chance to interact. Our Hero spends a good ten minutes explaining how he fled Italy after nailing some mobster’s daughter, while absolutely nothing happens on screen. Even after you start meeting the girls, there’s another ten minutes of watching their cardboard cutouts pop up on the screen in various combinations, over a few unimpressive backdrops.

    I never even made it to a sex scene. The only choice I was ever given before I gave up in disgust sent me to eavesdrop on three of the girls. I think the lesson I was supposed to learn there was that the Italian girl (little sister of the one Our Hero had been banging in Italy) who bluntly offers hot sex has no idea what she’s saying in Japanese. No doubt taking her up on her repeated offers would result in either a violent rejection or a rape scene.

    “No thanks, I’ve seen enough.”

    -j

  11. Ubu Roi says:

    Yeah, Tokimeki Check-in has been much better. I’ve played through it for a few hours now. The game design is rather different than what I expected. Much fewer decision points, and a lot of the time, the same events and scenes occur, no matter what you pick, which I see why it’s done, but I find it rather cheap and annoying. I had expected it to work out much like the branches of a tree, with each decision sub-dividing the narrative into smaller ranges of possibilities, each potentially wildly divergent from any other.

    Instead, what I’m getting is a narrative that keeps “rejoining” the flow, and offering much the same choices, even if I picked a different choice upstream. I can see that from the necessity of certain set “plot points” but it’s aggravating. I expected Zork with dirty pictures and sex; instead I’m getting to see the same long scenes of dialog with the occasional change of pace. The results do turn out different from time to time; just enough to keep me trying.

    I’m starting to explore the various possibilities and trying to steer it towards different girls. I even picked “Rape Ayumi” one time to see what would happen (though I’m frustrated I haven’t found a way to get her without rape)*. That marks the only time I got an ending other than #15 “Tranquil Days.” Which, frankly, I hate, because it’s just like “open endings” in animé series.

    *Before someone freaks and accuses me of hypocracy, re-read my first reply above. In Jewel Knights, I was railroaded–no choice, and I think that’s piss-poor design. Also, the main character felt entirely justified in his actions. In Tokimeki, it is presented as a moment of weakness on the part of the main character, who is drunk at the time. Further, while the consequences weren’t as serious as the crime, it is obvious that he lives with his guilt for the rest of his life. Both are big differences.

  12. bkw says:

    Erogames aren’t much like what might commonly be called ‘games’ in the west. Think Choose Your Own Adventure, where you may have to read War and Peace between each choice, and you might be closer to the mark.

    Also, saying all h-games are like what gets reviewed on SA is like saying all events in Iraq are what CNN chooses to cover. (Or that all Anime is like Pokemon, for that matter … ^_^)

    A few years ago I went through a erogame phase and pla– er, read probably half a dozen of them. And because I’m kind of odd, I did semi-exhaustive tree mappings of most of the games. If you’re interested, I have one for Tokimeki here, with paths for all 17 endings:
    http://fuzzygeek.com/files/stuff/hg-tokimeki.xls

    Most of these games do tend to be variations on a one-note theme; I do think TM was one of the better ones, if I recall correctly. One game that I recall being very different was Critical Point — the story would change drastically depending on your decisions. It’s a sci-fi story, which can be a nice break from all the jogakusei…

  13. Ubu Roi says:

    Good grief! Thanks for that exhaustive analysis–that must have taken weeks! I just might have to work some of them out to see myself. Hm, so there IS a Makoto route…..

    So far all I’ve managed to do with the high-schoolers is play table tennis and blackjack as well as haul them around town. What’s the point of making them 18 (in the English version, anyway) if you can’t check the rug vs. the curtains?

    Most interesting thing I take from that is that sometimes Ayumi is a virgin and sometimes she isn’t. I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere, but it escapes me at the moment.

  14. Jim Burdo says:

    Here’s another walkthrough: http://www.geocities.com/hentaihelper/tokichek.txt
    The idea seems to be to act like Ayumi is your girlfriend from the start.
    It also has the procedure for getting all the H pictures. They’re also at this site (NSFW because of the ads): http://www.imagefap.com/gallery.php?gid=221132

  15. Jim Burdo says:

    Here’s another walkthrough: http://www.geocities.com/hentaihelper/tokichek.txt
    Apparently you should act like Ayumi is your girlfriend from the start for her happy ending.
    It also tells how to get the H images. They can also be found here (definitely NSFW because of the ads): http://www.imagefap.com/gallery.php?gid=221132

  16. JB says:

    (Third attempt posting, I hope these aren’t being duplicated) Here’s another walkthrough, with info on how to extract the H pictures: http://www.geocities.com/hentaihelper/tokichek.txt
    Ayumi is a virgin depending on whether you let her get raped. Apparently the key to getting a happy ending with her is to treat her like she’s already your girlfriend.
    Images from the game here (definitely NSFW because of the ads): http://www.imagefap.com/gallery.php?gid=221132

  17. bkw says:

    Didn’t take too long — IIRC I did a lot of it on fast forward while watching Anime. ^_^

    The Ayumi thing is plot dependant, actually. There’s an event that determines who takes her prize, so to speak.

  18. Ubu Roi says:

    I’m trying to play it a few more times without following your spreadsheet every step of the way (takes all the fun out of it) but so far, all I’ve managed to do different is watch Yuki’s shoot.

  19. JB says:

    I tried posting this before, but had no luck.
    I found another walkthrough for Tokimeki
    Check-in:
    http://www.geocities.com/hentaihelper/tokichek.txt
    Apparently, the key to Ayumi’s happy ending is to act
    like she’s your girlfriend from the start. The link
    also has a way to get the images from the game.
    They’re also here (definitely NSFW because of the
    ads): http://www.imagefap.com/gallery.php?gid=221132

  20. Ubu Roi says:

    Ok, I found out what happened: Akismet. Apparently their filter has been poisoned recently because a lot of folks are complaining that it’s screwing up. I had four false positives caught in the filter, which is twice as many in one week as I’ve had in a year.

    Many apologies for the admin being a total goofball.

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