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2014-03-05

Eroge! ~Sex and Games Make Sexy Games~ Review


Title: Eroge! ~H mo Game mo Kaihatsu Zanmai~
Original title: えろげー!~Hもゲームも開発三昧~
Alias: Eroge! ~Sex and Games Make Sexy Games~
Release date: 2010-06-25
English release date: 2013-09-13
Developer: ClockUp team Anise
English publisher: MangaGamer

I haven’t been playing many visual novels lately and decided to rectify it by picking a certain nukige from MangaGamer. I'm talking about “Eroge”, which is an eroge named eroge that is an eroge about the making of eroge. Uhu, that sounds like fun. Or not, as you will see.

“Eroge” was quite a high profile release by MangaGamer. It is a much longer, prettier and more substantial fare that the usual “Softhouse-Seal” productions. Despite that it has a “plot” that is on par with S-S games. We enter the shoes of one Mochizuki Tomoya. He always loved eroge and that love eventually transformed from wanting to play eroge into wanting to make one. As he has nil experience in that field, Tomoya is rejected in every eroge company he goes to… except for “Flower” – a company that is on a verge of bankruptcy due to their last title being a stinker. Lo and behold – all of the company employees are women and their last title sucked because they have no actual experience with sex. Cue our knight in shining armour deciding to teach the young nubile heroines the joys of fucking, all for the glorious cause of making a good eroge. Yep, it's an intelligent and well established plot with deep philosophical connotations /sarcasm.
Our protagonist is quite a "girl".
There were two main reasons why I wanted to play this game. Reason No. 1 – the game looked very pretty. I’m primary talking about the girls during the H-scenes. Sure, the game looks nice in general, but the number of backgrounds and sprites is pretty limited and neither of those art aspects are extraordinary in any way. What attracted me, though, was that girls look like real women during the sex scenes. They are not the usual anime figurine sticks, but have flesh all in the right places to admire. In other words, the bodies are very well proportioned, which frankly is quite rare. Which leads to another minor thing that strikes the right chord with me. The girls have pubic hair. It seems like such a minor detail, but the heroines in other eroge usually lack it, which is a real shame. Characters in eroge dating back 15 or so years used to have pubics, but then this detail suddenly disappeared as if someone took the razor to their privates. I have no idea why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this area is usually not seen in Japanese releases, so they don’t even bother anymore.
This is how you introduce yourself to your cockwor... I mean, coworkers.
Anyway, Reason No. 2 is another characteristic rarely seen in Japanese media. The girls in this game are usually the ones that initiate the sexual relations. The usual eroge follows a pervert protagonist with all his potential love interests being shy and uncomfortable with the idea of sex until he turns their thinking around with his macho dick. “Eroge” completely flips the scenario around. Not that our protagonist is not a pervert (he is), but it’s almost always the girls here who say: “Hey, pull that thing of yours out. I wanna fuck.” Just for that reason I want to give a standing ovation and shout: “More!” If only the game delivered what it promised… But, alas…

There is not much to tell about our protagonist Mochizuki Tomoya, as he is a blank slate guy with barely any personality. The positive thing is that it’s almost impossible to dislike someone who has so little characterization except for his love for eroge and his anti-donkan tendencies. Meaning, Tomoya is actually quite smart when it comes to romantic feelings. He readily pronounces when he is in love and easily discerns when the girls reciprocate the same. Such characteristics would be more than welcome in any other game, but here they feel kinda wasted.

There are four possible heroines for our mighty hero to conquer and enlighten in the ways of flesh. I have to make a confession that I didn’t manage to finish the game fully and only did two routes, not that doing the other two could possibly change my opinion about the VN.
All those pictures are for artistic reference. Honest.
Himeno Kisara is the company’s illustrator and the first girl I “did”… in more ways than one. She is an aloof and particularly aggressive tsundere, who at first uses Tomoya as her personal live dildo, but eventually warms up to him. She would be a pretty likable girl if not for her atrocious voice actress who ruins any sexual attraction one might feel for Kisara. You see, Kisara’s screams during sex sound not like those of a girl in heat, but like Tarzan calling an ape council. Seriously, I’m not kidding - she sounds like Johnny Weissmuller. It would be almost funny if it wasn’t so sad that the voice director didn’t care that Kisara’s seiyuu was cheesing it so badly.
Is Fujiwara imitating Patchface from ASOIAF?
Fujiwara Momoka was the second and the last girl I went for. She is company’s script writer and an avid hater of men. She considers them to be completely useless dirty good for nothings… despite herself being a fujoshi. Don’t let the contradiction rattle you; after all Momoka will get around to loving men. She only needs to get lovingly raped. Wait, what?! Yes, Momoka’s scenario introduces a very unfortunate rape=love situation, which would be right at home in Lilith games, but here it comes across as completely tasteless. Get lost.

Kousaka Iori, a graphic artist, is a weird silent girl. Outwardly she appears to be the most interesting of the four, but it’s hard to say. After finishing Kisara and Momoka I simply didn’t have enough juice to go through a third scenario. Let’s leave it at that.
Your mind is on the right track, Iori.
Sonoka Nene is the Flower’s president and, in Tomoya’s words, a loli. Actually, she is over thirty years old, but you probably would be arrested if seen with her together. Nene appears to be a slightly ditzy cloud cuckoolander, but still somehow manages to run the company.

By this point it’s probably pretty clear that I wasn’t so hot about the game, but there is actually only one flaw that completely ruins it – everything else could be forgiven. All the sex scenes follow the exact same pattern. It doesn’t matter which fetish Tomoya is exploring or which hole he is using, every time things happen the exact same way. Tomoya fucks the given hole, he comes inside, he continues fucking the hole until he comes inside again and finally he fucks some more before we finally are given a choice if we want him to cum inside again or outside. That’s it. In all the scenes Tomoya comes exactly three times (is that a magical number or what?), with no major CG changes all the while listening to the girl (or Weissmuller if we are unlucky) screaming her head off. It’s so formulaic that by the third scene you want to go to sleep. There are some interesting fetishes that are rarely seen in the eroge (like Momoka’s rubber body suit), but the sameness of the scenes is prevalent even in those instances. It’s such a shame because it completely ruins the game. It’s like the makers completely lacked imagination and weren't even trying.
The ultimate mask to rob a bank with.
The VN is also especially bad regarding the time flow, as it's almost impossible to tell how much time has passed game-wise. The deadline calendar doesn't really help or rather reinforces the issue. I would think only a few days have passed only to learn that a whole month has gone by, because the calendar says so. The game's unoriginality is also emphasized by the introduction of badly forced mini-drama near the end of the routes, which then is resolved in 5 minutes with no visible struggle and no impact on anything but for a mild somnolent effect.

I do have to own up that there were flashes of brilliance - like Tomoya searching the Internet for rope-play instructions in order to correctly tie Kisara up, but such instances were few and far between.

I already said that graphically the game is pretty good looking, but the audio aspects are a bit less flattering. Voice acting is… nothing special. Ironically Kisara has a pretty nice voice outside the sex scenes. As for BGM… well, it sucks. Really, the background sound is very repetitive and no better than in the “Softhouse-Seal” nukiges.
That's an interesting fetish you have there.
From the technical side the game looks quite good. It has probably the largest amount of changeable options in the “Settings” menu of all the VNs I have ever seen and it even allows censoring certain more offensive material from the game for the weak-hearted (like scat and ahegao). Hell, the whole user interface changes when we are watching eroge within eroge. Text box changes shape and form to represent a different game. It’s pretty neat and seems like a lot of work for such a small detail. Thus it’s obvious that the developers did care about the details while making this game. It’s only that they forgot the wide picture.

“Eroge” is a comedy that isn’t funny and a sex game that isn’t sexy. I’d say it’s a monumental failure and I’d rather play another “Softhouse-Seal” nukige that go through another route in “Eroge”. Just my 23 cents.

Links of Interest

Visual Novel Database
Official Japanese site
Buy a digital English edition at MangaGamer site (demo is available)

Final Verdict: 53%

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous6/3/14 01:36

    I liked it but not enough to finish more than 2 routes. I did Nene then Momoka, then tried Kisara but didn't finish. You're right that basically all the sex scenes follow that same predictable formula. Nene imo is the only funny character but she is too screamy during sex. Momoka route made absolutely no sense. Even in a silly game like this there are limits to believable behavior.

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  2. You HAVE to play Iori's route. It's absolutely great!
    She is a total nymphomanic, but in a very interesting way. I think the best way to describe it is to call her a "sex connoisseur", meaning that she enjoys every single aspect of sex as if it's an art form. What wine is for the sommelier, sex is for Iori. She does things that are ludicrious even by eroge standards.
    I didn't like the two routes that you've played, but this one is great, trust me.

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  3. It's funny, some of your complaints exactly reflect what I think about the game (e.g. Kisara's horrible voice during sex scenes).

    However, you didn't mention the best aspect about the game: It has background noises (moaning, slurping, etc.) during sex scenes! It's a really good addition and after playing Eroge!, h-scenes in other eroges seem lacking.
    And while I would agree that the sex scenes are really formulaic in that the protagonist always come three times, you can easily skip one of these intervals and make it more bearable. On top of that, I think that some of the scenes are really well written.

    All in all, the only thing the game is good for is fapping material. Since Kisara's voice actress ruins all her sex scenes and since I try to stay away from lolis, half of the sex scenes are disqualified for that purpose. Of the remaining some have fetishes I don't enjoy (rubber suit, foot job, etc.), but those few that I actually like, I really like. But that doesn't justify the high price point.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I did forget to mention background noices, which was a really interesting feature of the game. And it's funny that I probably enjoyed foot jobs and rubber suit scene the most in the game :-)

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  4. Anonymous8/5/14 02:16

    The sex scenes were all the same because the main characters cums three times? This VN has some of the most varied sex scenes I've seen in an eroge. What are you even talking about? You have bad taste.

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  5. Anonymous5/8/15 17:39

    is there a harem route

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    Replies
    1. No, there is no harem route.

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