By Steve Baltimore / September 9th, 2016
After much controversy and some editing, the release of Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is drawing near. I have been playing the game for review and I thought it would be nice to give everyone a little preview of what to expect from this one. I will talking about the first two levels in the game only, and I have put about seven hours into this so far.
Those who played the first game will start off in familiar territory as, once again, you are tasked with reforming a group of “Delinquents.” These girls have met an untimely demise before actually committing their crimes and were sent to the Hell Spire for “Reformation.” It is your job as the instructor to guide these girls through the many trials that await them on the way to the top of the spire. There is one little issue, though, there were only supposed be six “Delinquents.” However, there are seven girls present. Is one of these girls really a Convict?
I haven’t learned a whole lot about the girls’ pasts yet, but each of them has distinct personality quirks. Shinoa is your classic honor student. Always smiling and willing to trust in her instructor, however, I feel there is a secret behind that smile. Lily is very much a spoiled princess character and very tsundere. She comes off as very harsh and caring, though that is likely not true. Kuroe is very shy and withdrawn, only speaking with instructor via her doll Baron. She is very intelligent and did a ton of studying when she was alive. Mizuki is the resident ball of energy. However, she lacks confidence in herself and feels she is useless. I think of all the girls I felt the most empathy for her, cause I’ve been there myself. Sui is probably my favorite so far. She is very straightforward and proper when she speaks, but it’s hilarious to see her get flustered. Yurine is very flaky, and she seems to be pretty self-centered, as well. I’ve not really formed an opinion about her just yet, but I’m interested to see what lead her here. Tsukasa is the caring pervert of the group. She is always teasing the instructor and others in various ways. The crazy thing is she is the most over-the-top in some ways, but also the most level-headed girl of the group.
The combat is virtually the same as the last game. The girls will be given random commands they use each round to attack enemies in a turn based fashion. You will use Motivation to grant them new skills and abilities to use during combat, though some of the special bond moves will be found in the treasure chests. There are some new additions to the combat system, the new Coaching and S & M system. Coaching will allow you to scold or praise the girls during combat giving them various bonuses depending on if they have an S or M affinity. This affinity is determined by which skills you choose to teach the girls during motivation. You can freely change out these moves during the game. Overall this combat engine is solid and a lot of fun.
Now let’s talk about the part of the game that has drawn the most attention, the Motivation Mini Games. So far, I have only unlocked three of these – Scrubbing, Spanking, and Smile Throwing. These progress in level as you gain experience by completing each. The Player will have to tilt the Vita on its side at times, since the camera angles change after completing certain levels of each mini game. You can play these with buttons and thumb sticks instead of the touch screen, but I felt they were a lot harder to play this way. So far, as edits to artwork go, the thing you will notice the most is all the bonds have been removed. I think it is a shame NISA had to remove these due to rating boards. This costs the game a bit of what makes it unique to begin with, but this is not a deal breaker.
The only other notable edits I’ve noticed are Mizuki and Kuroe have been given little tube tops in certain scenes. You can tell NISA took time to make sure the redrawn art was up to same quality as the original art. This is much better than what looked like pink clouds drawn via MS Paint found in the last game. The audio being removed from the mini game is really the worst part of the editing that has taken place. Just like in the last game, it just seems odd there is no audio coming from the girls while the motivation is taking place. This really breaks the immersion in the game, which is a shame when the rest of this is so well made.
That last bit may sound a bit harsh, but so far I am enjoying my time with Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors. All of the girls are very interesting and I am looking forward to learning more about each one. I think this story is going to end up being one wild ride in the end. The game releases in Europe on September 22 and in North America on October 11.
censoredCriminal Girls 2: PArty FavorsDungeon CrawlerecchiNIS America