Welcome to hell. A plane of existence where those who are dastardly and those who engage in criminal activities are sent to live their lives. For those who have the potential to commit an act of criminal nature they are sent in as delinquents who are in dire need of reformation by their lovely and stunning player instructor. It is up to you to reform these young ladies in order to bring them back into the fold, however there is one wrench in your job. One of the women has already committed a crime! Through your exploration of the dungeon like Hell Spire it is up to you to conquer it and at the same time find out who is the true Criminal Girl. The sequel to the widely popular Criminal Girls Invite Only brings many new mechanics and more assets to the gaming scene while also bringing us a roster of fresh faced ladies who are in dire need of reformation.
As their instructor, the game tasks you with bettering them through dungeon based combat and coaching them through ‘motivational’ ways. The story is paced surprisingly well and the game’s combat system is quite fun once you learn the paces!
A game of S and M: Now this game knows it is a fan service based title and it does little to hid the fact that your motivation sessions are little more than, devious. You have got to give a game props for being open and out their with it’s theming. Through the motivation system you can upgrade a girls S or M. Each section has it’s own benefits with S opting for a more favorable attacking system while M has more supportive, magical roles. The two can be combined with later levels or you can double focus on one category in particular. This means that every girl that you play with will have a particular statistic in term of battlefield performance; it is essentially squad based tactics game basics. You upgrade each stat in favor of having a desired class type.
Now the main way of achieving this is through the use of Motivation. This minigame requires the player to scrub away the filth with their fingers and the girls react accordingly. With it’s live 2D images they reacts quite realistically and it will leave you cringing every so often. This minigame is a required progression point as it unlocked both character progression and the required points in order to level up a characters S or M abilities. To access this particular minigame the player is required to make use of conveniently placed rest zones that vaguely resemble a parlor house room; that or a VIP luxury suite. The theming also reminds me of the rather popular anime Prison School which also had a portion of cringe worthy moments and concepts; granted that anime is league more flashy than what this game has to offer; still I would advise younger audiences to seek parental permission before exploring this game further and for parents to be aware of the rating.
Characters that delight yet have a personality: While the game does have a rather hefty helping of fan service built into its core the characters themselves are very deep. Each one holds a story to tell and a bond to create. I found this to be the best part of this game. I loved learning about and figuring out how these character ticked. It was equally rewarding to fully understand as to why each girl was here for reconditioning, as well as to why our player character was there to oversee them. It is a sad point to make but the sexual appeal is often a heavy blanket that keeps prospective players turned off. The fear of seeing this pop up in their recently played section is prevalent issue and is frankly one that will keep many from playing. That is what is sad about this. I love seeing how fully developed each character is, but at the same time I understand that how you progress and engage with these ladies is less than ideal for many if not most players.
Out of all the girls I spent the most time engaging with Kuroe and Shinoa the most as frankly Kuroe reminded me of a character from the series Senran Kagura. While there are more characters to chose from I generally decided to stick with the first ones I chose in the initial opening to the game; granted you are able to go back and swap as much as you like.
Game mechanics that are flawless but buried in fan-service: Much like other flashy games Criminal Girls 2 Party Favors has a solid gameplay experience. I have never once experienced a bug, glitch or crash in my playthrough of the title. This is really, REALLY awesome and it is frankly a point when it comes to games of this caliber. As I previously mentioned about most gamers feeling self-conscious about playing games like this publically, many often have solid performing mechanics that I never experienced before. The battle mechanic is as simple as it can get but it is still just as challenging and fun as anything else out there. The mechanic allows you to choose and action per turn and they vary from melee attacks, magic attacks, healing or combo based attacks. It makes fighting a very fun and rewarding event as you are constantly on your toes when it comes to making sure you are playing the field right.
Performance was on par if not above average for a PS Vita game. With this being said most of the games that NISA brings over are solid performing on both the PS Vita and the PS4. I cannot praise the mechanics more than I already have otherwise I will be submitting that this game receive an award for the best mechanics for a turn-based game to date. Okay maybe the mechanics are not groundbreaking or widely innovative, but it is the tactile feedback that you get from this game that just makes it so much more enjoyable. It scratches an itch that hasn’t been scratched in a long while.
Final Thoughts: While the game is obviously tailored to cater to a niche audience and to an audience that loves a bit of skin Criminal Girls 2 Party Favors is an awesome performing game with awesome characters buried under a layer of fan-service. With content that will keep you busy for hours to come the game does hit a point to where you feel entirely satisfied with what you have accomplished. It has enough trophy support for a competition freak, like myself, to be satisfied with jumping right back in for another play through; the other added benefit is being able to start with a different set of girls this time. Yes I switched off and on, but I always a had a reliable group to fall back on. Now the game is only available on the PS Vita physically from Gamestop as well as through other popular stores depending on your country! The game was released September 23rd for the EU and will release for the US on October 11th!
Rating: We give Criminal Girls 2 Party Favors a rating of…
+Strong Character backstory -Lots of Fan Service
+Solid Mechanics that will give you glee -Mechanics ride off the Fan Service
+Story has solid pacing
+Great replay value
If you wish to pre-order Criminal Girls 2 Party Favors for U.S. readers, feel free to follow the provided link below to NISA’s official website for the game! The current pricing is sitting at 39.99USD for U.S. customers! If you happen to live in the EU how are you liking the title so far?
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