Thursday 20 September 2018

Pure / Electric Love "What do you want?" - Eri Kitami - review

It was a couple of months ago while perusing the eShop that I stumbled on the face of an attractive Japanese woman pouting in a cat costume. Upon clicking the game description, I was treated to some of the finest nonsense I’ve ever readPure / Electric Love "What do you want?" - Eri Kitami -, it said, is a “love-likeness pseudo-talk game”. Okay. “A little embarrassing, in a conversation that pounding, romance skill UP! !” Riiiiight. The European eShop classifies it as a ‘Simulation/Communication/Strategy/Training’ game and it carries an ominous 18 rating from PEGI – contains ‘Sex’ and ‘Digital Purchases’. Saucy! I’ll include a few more choice quotes from the blurb:

  • Romance pseudo-talk game
  • In this work, fetish cosplayer ‘Eri Kitami’ is a welcome otiyuki blog, please tell her with hyper deadly tension! What?
  • Rotation in a good sense! While being healed, make the brain gear turn at super speed with maid, bondage etc, gallery image, movie!
  • Please please her, sometimes a little annoying. Kakehike is important for love affair!

So, it’s one of those games where you rub giggling girls via the touchscreen, right? Questionable content aside, it’s a luridly fascinating genre. How do they work? Do you go through flirty dialogue trees to initiate an ‘innocent’ shoulder massage? Do you need to beat a tricky minigame to undo a bra? Are there lots of timers? It can’t literally just be rubbing naked breasts… can it?

Having never played one of those – and after the dynamite sales pitch from the blurb – the 3.99 asking price was low enough to investigate. I’ve selflessly taken this one for the team to bring the English-speaking world some info on this “impenetrable Japanese girlfriend simulator*”!

It turns out there’s very little simulation (or stimulation) going on here. On firing up the game (loosest sense of the word, mind), you’re taken to a menu offering three options: ‘Tell’, ‘Gallery’ and ‘Mail’. ‘Tell’ takes you to the conversation screen. Imagine a Skype call but with video disabled and you’re more-or-less there. The left side of the screen has a green phone icon which shakes until you answer it, while the right side is occupied with a photo of Eri, a ‘free model’ with a penchant for latex. Other vital statistics (according to the eShop) include:

  •       Birthday November 26
  •       Blood type O type
  •       Hobby survival game, shooting
  •       Fighter horn blowing

Eri says hi and begins chatting. Of the three ‘scenarios’ or conversations included in the package, you can respond positively or negatively three times per call (only twice in the first scenario) and your responses seem to dictate the photos she emails you at the end of the call. You can use the touchscreen if you like.

Now, not speaking Japanese will naturally impede one’s enjoyment, but the language of love is universal, right? I would like to think she’s complimenting my impressive physique or detailing her kinky evening plans for us both. She doesn’t sound particularly coquettish or sultry, though – she sounds like she’s ringing to remind me to pick up a pint of semi-skimmed on the way home.

After a few questions, she finishes up with a cheery “Bye-byeee” and you’re returned to the main menu. A little red notification signals that you’ve got mail and you’ll find some photos unlocked in the gallery. Zooming would require some sort of scaling algorithm, so there’s none of that – they simply occupy the left side of the screen, with the collection on the right. In this particular package, Eri is dressed in a shiny skin-tight catsuit with a tail, topped off with some of those headphones that have cat ears with speakers, plus some sexy specs. It’s all in the accessories, darling.

For teenage boys in the nineties, this might have been utterly scintillating, but so was the lingerie page in the Marks & Spencer catalogue. Nowadays we get this sort of stuff on the side of a bus. If you’re expecting nakedness, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re expecting any sort of ‘gameplay’…well, there isn’t any. None.

And that’s it; that’s the game. You can return to the ‘Tell’ section and change your answers a bit and she’ll send a few more pics, or (if you’re lucky) a mightily compressed 20-second video clip. The gallery fills with photos but unless you buy the add-on packs you’re going to have lots of blank spaces.

Of all the criticisms, the most damning is that it just isn’t sexy. It’s tough to say with zero experience in the genre – and I’m sure there’s a whole world of sexy sub-genres I’m oblivious of – but this is surely an abysmal example. The Fetish-o-meter barely flickers and you can get the same level of eroticism from a quick image search (or go to the dark side with SafeSearch off). With that in mind, I wonder who buys this stuff, and why? Maybe if you’re obsessed with a particular idol and need to add every piece of media to your collection? Creepy, but each to their own.

There’s nothing to comment on regarding icky mechanics because there aren’t any – it’s literally a photo album which you slowly unlock after listening to a voice and clicking green or red. Perhaps it’s all in the words and they’re simply lost in translation. Perhaps Eri is whispering delightfully filthy nothings down the line and I’m simply missing the main event. I don’t think so, though. She sounds more like her gran’s just called and wants me to head round there on my way home to fix the flush on her downstairs loo.


*Copyright N64 Magazine, Get A Love: Panda Love Unit review.

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