+Combat remains strong, fun, and enjoyable as ever
+Musical compositions keep the game fresh, fun, and “cute”.
+Interesting story that follows suit much in the same fashion of the first entry
+Each Criminal Girl has a unique personality that diversifies the cast quite well
-Grinding seems as if it was fortuitous to the games design
-Touchscreen motivating of the girls seems… Awkward.
-A bit raunchy for some due to fan service
Last February I was given the opportunity to get my hands on the original Criminal Girls title. Sadly, I didn’t get as far as I had wanted in the game. Whether it was the raunchiness, the sadomasochism or just the tone of the girls, it had been hard to get past since I found myself distracted by the constant “fan service” that seemed to be oozing out from every corner of the game. With a bit of hesitance, I cringed a bit, entered the review code, and waited for the half hour of downloads to proceed.
Much as expected, the game booted up and low-and-behold I was introduced to anime girls who once more welcomed in the games rather sexually crafted girls. However, what I didn’t expect, it doesn’t run through each characters bit of design. While some of the girls have a rather crude and dark tone to them, it didn’t take away from the few minutes of dialogue I came to enjoy before diving face deep into the game. One that influenced itself through a random combat generator that doesn’t just randomly generate the fight, but even the abilities each girl will use, and how they’ll be used in that turn of combat.
As one would expect, the combat is one of the mainstays of the game due to the JRPG elements and the fact it is a dungeon crawler first and foremost. Because of this approach, combat will be at the forefront a will dungeon design. While some may cringe at the idea that combat may appear like a RNG role.
It makes the game interesting, fresh, and quite enjoyable compared to the cookie cutter JRPG’s that we’ve been getting in recent years. This bit of context makes the combat quite enjoyable, unique, and even provides a sense of relief when a major ability would come up in battle and force the player to use them as they became available.
While this can be frustrating as your fate is in the hands of the game, it doesn’t take away the fact that the difficulty of a JRPG is always present, which means the grind is there.This is something that will be a bother to some as they will find themselves constantly fighting to level. Something that also comes in with the game is the “motivation” mechanic, which forces players to “scrub” the girls with their finger on the touch screen.
Doing this takes players in a screen where each girl is in rather provocative positions, which to some, could be a red flag if they are in public (trust me, I got caught playing this in public forgetting about this, and was embarrassed while eating my sushi). These motivations are a way to gain new abilities with each girl, while having healing abilities, and stronger attacks can be wonderful, it doesn’t make this game any more awkward than it already is until you use the motivate option.
With all that aside, Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is just what one would expect from a dungeon crawler that takes place in Hell. The goal of your adventure is simply: get the girls to the top so they can be rehabilitated. While all this is simple, there’s a small plot twist that twists itself within the game and can make one wonder about the demon attack. The game hints that one of your own just happens to be a demon in disguise instead of a girl needing help.
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors – PlayStation Vita (Reviewed)
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: Now Available
Sadly the game doesn’t suffer from the rather enjoyable combat or story, but it suffers from something a bit more painful. It suffers from an intensive amount of grinding. enough that many could even find themselves turned off by this turn of events. While it may not bother some at first, it will grow old after a few hours while trying to reach the next save point before heading off to a boss, and beating their head in so they can reach the next check point.
Luckily, if you are accustomed to JRPG’s this won’t be a rather large issue and could lead fans to an enjoyable experience. While finding enjoyment in some of this games most awkward situations can be a bit daunting, it doesn’t take away the fact Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is a series that is headed in the right direction, and will keep gaining fans over the years. If you can tolerate grinds, embarrassing moments, and questionable situations, Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is a game that offers a decent challenge while pushing fans into a new PS Vita exclusive series.
Our review is based upon a copy provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.