By Benny Carrillo / January 5th, 2016
Author’s Note: Please be advised that the following Re-Review is concerning a game that contains adult content and situations. Reader discretion is advised.
|Release Date||December 9th, 2015|
|Genre||Adventure, Indie, Visual Novel, Slice of Life, Eroge|
One of the questions that’s often asked when comparing an eroge version of a Visual Novel to the All-Ages edition is whether the inclusion of the eroge scenes adds or subtracts from the overall story. Highschool Possession is one of those cases where I think there’s a strong argument to be made that including them does help the story overall. This Re-Review will focus exclusively on analyzing and assessing the eroge components only. If you want to know my opinions about the game as a whole, then I would recommend looking at the full review which can be found here. Let’s start with a brief recap of the premise so we can see how the eroge scene’s fit into Highschool Possession.
Highschool Possession follows Hikaru, a young man who suddenly finds himself jumping back and forth between the bodies of Akiko and Kasumi, two girls that he idolizes at his school. The goal of the game is to try and return to your own body, while also helping to solve the two girl’s rather serious problems as you live life through their eyes. The idea of a male suddenly finding himself in a female body instantly brings many comedic and ecchi possibilities to mind. While the game does start down this road it quickly takes a turn into serious territory both in story and the eroge scenes. The game contains a total of six scenes, four for Akiko and two for Kasumi. Of these one per girl take place when Hikaru first possess their bodies and another per girl takes place during their ending. That leaves two scenes that are exclusive to Akiko and tie into her plotline. We’ll touch on that in a moment, but first we need to discuss Highschool Possession’s graphics again.
I mentioned in the full review that the proportions felt off. Looking at a lot of the eroge artwork here you can really see there’s a major issue with them. Proportion and perspective are some of the hardest things to nail down in drawing due to the fact our brains know how a human figure is supposed to look. So when it’s off even slightly we tend to notice it, even if we can’t really explain it. Looking at the picture above you can probably see that something isn’t quite right. Right away my eyes are drawn to the chest due to just how large it feels compared to the rest of the body. In addition, the shape of the breasts feels off. The right one is leaning to the right, which is fine, but the total mass of the breast seems larger than the one on the left which is orb shaped. Another thing that was pointed out to me by someone else, was the left leg. It just seems way too large when compared to the size of the arms and the body as a whole. That’s not to say I want her to be a twig, far from it. You don’t need to look any further than Super Sonico or the Senran Kagura girls for example of well drawn characters that avert that trope and look balanced. I realize that it may sound a bit odd to dissect a piece of art in this way, and I am not saying I could do better by any means. I honestly hope AJTilley.com takes these critiques to heart as the number one thing holding the game back is its artwork and it’s a shame really. Allow me to expound upon why as we now delve into whether or not these scenes actually add anything significant to Highschool Possession.
The short answer to this is that yes, I do think there’s an argument to be made here for Akiko’s scenes. As I mentioned in the full review, Akiko is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Arata. Hikaru gets to experience this first hand during two scenes where he, in Akiko’s body, gives Arata a hand job and a blowjob. This is one of those cases where I think the inclusion of the eroge material really drives the point home about how bad Akiko’s situation is. It’s one thing to be told a situation is occurring, but actually seeing it? It is a bit unsettling and Hikaru’s internal struggle during these scene’s is handled well. There’s a purpose to the scenes so I think they fit and do add to the drama of the situation. In the end you not only want to see Akiko overcome this, but you want to help her by any means necessary. That leaves the remaining four scenes to consider. The first scene with each girl has Hikaru exploring their bodies. It’s pretty stand fare for these types of scenes and one can argue somewhat logical. The final two scenes are the ones that I somewhat question, particularly Kasumi’s.
The last two scenes are of course achieved by completing one girl’s route and are the standard closing sex scene with the love interest of your choice. Once again I feel Akiko’s fits a bit better, because it’s a sign that she’s, hopefully, in a healthy sexual relationship now. Though I can also see some people making an argument that it’s too soon since Arata. What doesn’t fit as well is Kasumi’s. Compared to Akiko’s route and her struggles with Arata, Kasumi doesn’t get nearly as much character development. Thus, the final scene with her having sex with Hikaru just feels tacked on. It technically fits, but it really feels just like the obligatory sex scene that had to be there. Really, I would have liked to see more development on Kasumi’s part in some way. It’s really kind of a shame they didn’t do more with her, but also Akiko’s story is just so overpowering that unless you’re duplicating the idea of an abusive relationship, it’s hard to compete. As a whole it’s a bit mixed, but I do think that these scenes do add at least something to the mix. Where does that leave my final opinion on the eroge version of Highschool Possession?
This is one of those cases where I think the eroge version of the game is the stronger one due to how it hammers home the story. To really get the full impact of Akiko’s plight, seeing those two scenes with Arata, I think, are necessary. The Steam version does as good a job as it can to get this point across, but seeing something is different from being told something is different. On the other hand, the artwork still doesn’t see any improvements and aside from that you’re not getting too much. Because of this I feel that an increase to the overall score isn’t necessary. Also for some people the idea of having to experience those two Arata scenes is just not easy to stomach and understandably so. Value wise if you do purchase the eroge version from MangaGamer, for $11.95 at the time of this Re-Review, you do receive a Steam key for free, so you can always gift that to a friend if you want or keep it for yourself. If Highschool Possession does interest you, then just pick the version you want. I don’t think you can go wrong either way, it’s just going to come down to personal preference and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Review copy purchased by the reviewer and reviewed using a Windows 10 Laptop.
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