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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Criminal Girls review.

Been delving into the Vita for a while now and its pretty obvious that this is going to end up a JRPG machine for me complete with Square Enix token localisation of its biggest hits and the like.  I already have Disgaea 4 and Persona 4 the Golden ( basically an Extended Directors Cut, think of what they did with Persona 3 Portable on the PSP but with even moar content) and Criminal Girls Invite Only.

Criminal Girls.
Two of those games are stone cold classics the other one not so much, and I'll tell you why.
Criminal Girls was originally a PSP game that didn't come to the west during the consoles lifespan.  There's a bloody good reason for it, as its a massively pervy dungeon crawler letting you chastise juvenile delinquents in order for them to learn new skills.  There is a Kotaku review that isn't fit for purpose written by Mike Fahy (sounds like a two bit Evangelist) here or rather where the link is and I'll be riffing off of that while doing a review of it myself.

I remember this being trailed a bit over at Andriasang before it shut up shop (ironically I later moved to Kotaku and found it totally boring, this was ages before GamerGate and accusations of corruption and nepotism so my axe to grind with Kotaku started way back) and though it looked cool.   I did go looking for it on download sites a while back, but when I finally found it had been updated and released for the Vita, I just had to snap it up being a big Nippon Ichi fanboy that I am.

First impressions is that this is totally what I would call a Grindhouse game.  You know a totally insane concept with a healthy dose of good old exploitation and or ultra violence.  If you want to know what makes a grindhouse game, think Hotline Miami Video nasty schlock style or  or Bayonetta 1 and 2, an insane witchcraft kung fu hairstyle / outfit combat style action game.

This is in the same style for those who do not know, you apply for a prison warden job at a prison that is at the depths of hell, overseeing juvenile delinquent girls and helping them atone for future crimes they will go on to commit.  So far so Prisoner Cell block H, especially with the Vinegar tits style warden slapping you around with every misstep, but just who are your charges you may ask.  I don't remember the names of all of them, there is the mad one with massive jugs who tries to lay you out with one punch everytime (She's called Ran), there is Kisaragi who is blonde and the most reasonable of the bunch,  Sato is a loli style character looking for Yuko, though at the moment I don't have a clue who that is (friend / sister / small puppy?) finally there is the dark haired one with the biggest rack of all (she's called Alice and appears to be Psychic).  She doesn't say much and what she does say is accompanied with a weird bleeping sound.   Its also implied that there are 4 more girls to come but at the moment we don't know who they are.

As you may have noted a long while back, this is a top down style Dungeon Crawler reminiscent of those you got on the old PS1, not a rogue like as I previously thought.  Its a pretty much a perfunctory one at that as well.  Its got some generic enemies to fight (yay slugs) and a good dose of H action courtesy of the infirmary scenes.

In fact to do anything in this game you are going to need to spank the living daylights out of any of the girls you own, they won't be able to attack until you do.  Administering strict discipline to your charges will of course open them up for learning various attacks and even let them open up to you as a person.  This is done by defeating the aforementioned slugs in battle and dealing out 'CP' points to your girls in a bizarre touch screen minigame.

There is quite a bit of censorship here which is understandable as they have to sell it to Murica, so you get a pink fog obscuring your view of your jail bait charges, (you don't see anything TBH, its panties and obscured nudity only) and if you do it well you will level them up and unlock some abilities.  Combat is a 4 way affair, you pick the girl that has the most to say (normally, lets go old lady, attack x2 and I wish I was kidding here) and whale on what ever enemy has triggered your random encounter (normally a slug but it could either be a weird looking hog or a raven).  When the creature dies you'll get the traditional cash, XP and boost to your CP points or whatever they were called.  There is an infirmary where you can heal up, save your game and administer discipline and that is about it.

The bottom line here is that despite the whole spanking fetish angle the game isn't that great, I can't think why this was ever a physical title as it would have worked a lot better as a cheap download from the Playstation Store.  Price it at £10 or £15 and you would have something that while not great would be ideal as a cheap curiosity. As it stands as a full price title its not worth your time, but if you can pick it up cheap then its worth delving into it.

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