By Benny Carrillo / August 27th, 2015
Authors Note: Please be aware that the following game contains strong sexual content and explicit adult themes, including Lolicon, Exbhibitionism, and Hardcore CGs. Reader discretion is advised.
|Title||Sweet Sweat in Summer: The Naughty Girl and Her Ripe Scent|
|Release Date||July 31, 2015|
With a name like Sweet Sweat in Summer: The Naughty Girl and Her Ripe Scent, you’re expecting something very cheesy, comedic, and pervy. While certainly perverse, the game, instead of going for humor, tries to go the route of a summer romance with mysterious undertone to flesh it out. Does it accomplish its goal and give us a very sweet melon of a summer treat, or is this lemon nothing but sour? Let’s start first as always with a bit of background.
Sweet Sweat in Summer: The Naughty Girl and Her Ripe Scent (Or Natsuiro Mikan ~Ecchi na Shoujo to Shitataru Nioi~) is an Eroge developed by Ammolite and originally released on November 28, 2014 in Japan. It was then localized into English and released by MangaGamer on July 31, 2015. The game itself is a very simple story revolving around a guy named Kouhei who sets out to return to the mountain town he apparently grew up in, having lost his memories years ago in a car accident. The purpose of this trip is partially to try and regain some of his memories, but also hopefully to try and pick up some girls. Of course, being an Eroge protagonist, he will no doubt succeed in this endeavor. The wrinkle, however, comes when, upon reaching the town, he finds it completely deserted save for one adorable looking moe girl named Karin who is staying at the school. What follows is a very bizarre sexual romp as Kouhei has pretty much hit the jackpot in that he is alone in an abandoned town with the girl of his dreams. We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though. Before we cover Kouhei and Karin’s romp through an exhibitionist’s paradise, let’s take a look at the technical aspects of the game, starting with the system requirements and content.
The system requirements are pretty standard. Pentium III minimum while a Pentium 4 is required, so pretty much anyone can run this one. The game requires “750+ MB” of hard drive space per MangaGamer’s requirement page and recommends “1GB+.” Resolution comes in at 800 x 600. I played this one of my laptop, so, as such, I had black bars on the sides of my screen because my video card forces the aspect ratio to remain locked. This didn’t bug me all that much, though. As for the translation, it’s very cheesy at times. I don’t know if this was because the original Japanese was this way or if that’s just how the translator decided to localize the text, but some of these lines are cringe-worthy and make me feel like I’m watching a bad porn. However, to the game’s credit, I only found one line that seemed grammatically incorrect, so kudos there. All in all, it doesn’t ruin the game. However, it’ll come down to your personal preference. Content-wise, though, is where things get a little sticky.
Right off the bat, you have the obvious kinks of sweat, odor, and exhibitionism; though toys, anal, rape role play, blowjobs, domination/submission, light bondage, medical examinations, swimsuits, and watersports (urine-based sexual play) do occur. Still though that’s not the big one for some people. This game features Karin, a petite girl who is meant to look underdeveloped. As such, the lolicon flag is in effect for this title. This review is not the place to touch upon the social or legal arguments that come with this territory. If it’s something you enjoy, great, if it’s something that bothers you, then that’s fine, too. My point is that this is a review of the game, it is not my place to judge the developers, publishers, or fans of said content, just the content itself. One last thing we need to touch upon before moving on though is how to classify this game.
The classification of Sweet Sweat is a bit hard. I did mention it’s a romance-themed game with a mystery undertone. This is not a plot game by any means. You’d think that would make it a Nukige then, but both VNDB and MangaGamer’s pages don’t list it as one. MangaGamer, in fact, lists it as an Adventure title. For the purposes of this review, I’m judging the game by Nukige standards, because it really does focus more on the sex than anything else, and there’s a lot of it. Also, I will point out that one of MangaGamer’s translators even point out the game has many Nukige elements. With that said, music.
Hands down, the best part of this game is the soundtrack. I loved the music for this one, with the title screen theme being one of my favorite pieces. It really sets the mood and makes you feel like you’re going into a summer adventure. It’s a shame, though, that there’s no way to just listen to or play the soundtrack. Most Eroge and Visual Novels include a music box mode where you can listen to the soundtrack while flipping through the CG’s. Sweet Sweat, sadly, doesn’t offer this feature, and it’s an odd design choice. While on the topic of sound, the voice acting is fine. Karin’s voice is the only one you’ll be hearing, though, so, if her voice ends up bothering you, that may be a problem. While the VA work was fine, the sound effects, however, did bother me a bit. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about the particular set that’s used to replicate the sounds of sex, but something about them just feels off to me. Also, Karin’s moans tend to persist far too long for my taste. It’s a more of a nitpick than anything else, but, when the heroine is moaning and panting just as much after orgasm as the during the build up to orgasm, it just doesn’t click for me… especially when you have a sound clip of her trying to catch her breath afterwards. With all that said, next up are the graphics.
Graphically, the game looks very nice. There’s honestly not a lot to say here other than many of the backgrounds remind me of something out of a painting. Especially, those that take place outside. There are a lot of varied environments and, for a modern day Eroge, it’s fine. There are two things I will note that did stand out to me. First off, the game does have CGs that pan slowly once they appear on screen. At first, I couldn’t tell if it was my eyes playing a trick or the CG really was panning due to the slow speed. However, it does feel rather natural once you realize what’s going on. The second thing is that some of them zoom in during certain parts of a scene. Now, there’s no effect for the zooming, just one zoomed-in image replacing the normal one and vice versa for the zoom out, but it does go to show the level of detail that’s present. I’m really not sure if they redrew each image or somehow just zoomed in and smoothed it out. Regardless, the images still look good. There is one thing, though, that may push people away from this graphics-wise, and that’s the fact that the CG’s are mosaicked. I do realize that, to some people, this will be a reason to not buy this title, but, for the purposes of this review, it doesn’t affect the score. If I had to take a guess, I would assume that this is due to Ammolite not wanting to redo the artwork more than anything else. This is possibly due to cost or worrying about the English game being imported by Japanese fans wanting to see the uncensored CGs. However, I have no proof of this. Just keep in mind there are mosaics if you’re interested in this one. Now, let’s take a look something Ammolite did spectacularly, and that’s the interface and game design.
Normally, if you’ve seen one Eroge or Visual Novel options menu, you’ve seen them all. Sweet Sweat, though, manages to make some improvements here of all places that really show they do have the player in mind. There’s an option to lower the BGM during playback and audio settings for speakers or headphones. It’s small, sure, but it’s still thoughtful. Where we start to see some real genius, though, is the inclusion of a “previous choice” button in the options bar. This is something I’ve never seen done before, though it’s simple to emulate (just make a save at said choice and reload.) Just like it sounds, this takes you back to your previous choice, so, if you want to check out the alternate path, it’s pretty simple. I honestly don’t know why no one’s done this before, as it shouldn’t be that hard to do. Regardless, it’s a nice thought by the devs to make the journey through Sweet Sweat a little easier. One last bit of polish to mention is the text itself. Unless you set the text speed to high or turn off the effect in the menu, the on-screen text will fade in as it’s displayed. It’s a little hard to put into words, but it actually looks really neat. It’s things like this that make me want to play another Ammolite game in the future, despite my misgivings about our next topic, which is Scenario Design.
While Ammolite does put a lot of polish into the game itself, it’s the design of the scenario and, in particular, the writing and characterization that I have problems with. In short, the flow of the game is very formulaic, and the characters… not that likeable. Before we get delve into matters of opinion, let’s first dissect how this game works. The game takes place over the course of about a week starting with Kouhei’s arriving at the abandoned town and meeting Karin. From there, you’ll jump into a sex scene, have Kouhei do a little introspective narrative, go to sleep and then wake up to another sex scene as day two starts and the formula repeats. Barrage of sex scenes in various places until Kouhei thinks a bit, then goes to sleep. The only variance that comes into play are the choices you can make… all three of them. Yes there are only three choices in this entire Eroge, and, if you pick the wrong option on the first one, you lock yourself out of the rest of them. The second choice determines whether to go to one particular place and a wrong answer here locks you out of the third choice. The last choice, meanwhile, determines your ending and whether or not you get one more sex scene at the end. As you can see, the interactivity for this one is kind of non-existent. In addition, the story feels very much shoehorned in.
The plot of Sweet Sweat revolves around the mystery of Karin, the abandoned town, and Kouhei’s missing memories. I will give credit to the writers in that all these questions are answered. The problem is that the plot is used badly. The story really focuses Karin and Kouhei having sex in various places while playing to various fetishes more than anything else. As such, the plot really is wasted, save to bring us some resolution, and answer a few questions that were posed to us in the beginning, and that’s one of the issues that can arise when you’re trying to write a narrative based solely on two people. You can make a really tight and focused story, but, if the plot or the characters don’t interest the reader, then you’ve lost them. Speaking of characters, let’s talk about Kouhei first.
I dislike Kouhei immensely. The guy is massively creepy and feels like what people think a cliché lolicon acts like. He doesn’t come off as relatable in the slightest, and, while the story does try to excuse his actions and make you sympathetic towards him, it just doesn’t work for me. From the first moment he sees Karin, you can tell his motives are impure, and he’s merely looking to take advantage of her. And while, yes, this an Eroge, and we can excuse some of these actions as standard Eroge protagonist traits, I have to point out that the way this is presented doesn’t help to make him be anything but creepy. Also, I will point out this is supposed to be a romance-themed title, and, as such, him acting the way he does doesn’t fit with that theme at all. Karin, though, is a tougher character to analyze.
Karin’s actually quite a bit more complex, and having her be the sole heroine does work, as you have a lot of questions about her. Her actions are bizarre, to say the least. In particular, she is the one to start the relationship with Kouhei and spends the first half of the game being the dominate force… until Kouhei makes her his plaything. After that, you start to feel sorry for her and wonder if she has any idea what’s she’s gotten herself into. While things do get explained, I think the resolution of her character and, thus, the ending of the game was mishandled a bit, though that’s a matter of personal preference. One thing I will compliment the developers on, though, is that, while she is very moe looking, she is not sugary sweet and, thus, avoids that trope. It’s actually kind of refreshing in a way, but not enough to endear me to her. So, with that all said, what’s the final word?
Sweet Sweat in Summer: The Naughty Girl and Her Ripe Scent is, in short, OK. The game elements themselves are really good, and I would recommend keeping an eye out for any of Ammolite’s titles if they make it to the West. The team has talent, and I’d like to see them tackle a more fleshed-out game. As for this game, however, I can really only recommend this to people who either are looking for something in the lolicon genre, or who like Nukige with the themes and content listed above. While, yes, the price of $14.95 isn’t much to ask, it really is going to come down to how much you like the content itself.
Thanks, as always, for reading and please be sure to leave your thoughts below, especially if you’ve played this one. Also be sure to check out the last Eroge Review we did which was Sekilala’s Cat Girl Alliance. Until next time!
AmmoliteerogeEroge ReviewMangaGamerOperation RainfalloprainfallPCReviewSweet sweat in summerSweet Sweat in Summer: The Naughty Girl and Her Ripe Scent