The Terabyte Tenderloin

The Terabyte Tenderloin
Be Still My Beating Heart

Brad Rice | 25 Nov 2008 12:27
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The dialogue in Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! is surprisingly straightforward given the subject matter. Consider it akin to the Phoenix Wright series, save for the toddler-esque angel Lulu calling you a pervert or accusing you of having feelings for some of the girls. Most of the characters are stock anime and manga archetypes, so there isn't much excitement to be had from watching the characters develop.

Yet, despite all this, whenever I mention that I'm playing Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! to my cohorts over at Destructoid, heads turn and eyebrows raise. Most of the staff thinks that I'm going off to play the game with one hand and touch myself with the other, surrounded by the other strange Japanese paraphernalia I've collected over the years. Why do people believe Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! to be the holy grail of pornographic games?

It really isn't. Even the absurdly popular The Idolmaster lets you grope the young girls that you're currently training. Just look at any shelf in the ero-ge section of a Japanese electronics store to fully explore all the perversions that Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! only hinted at. But while Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! isn't as provocative as other games, there's something about it that keeps it on peoples' minds.

In the ongoing evolution of ero-ge, this title is one of the first that lets the user interact with the girl on screen in a more personal way. In the past, you could easily point and click between the girl's legs and hear her emit passionate moans, but doing it with a stylus somehow feels more real. And that's why we're seeing things like Cyber Alice pop up. It's disturbing and strange, but it follows this trend of trying to impart some depth to your interactions with 2-D characters.

Not long after Doki Doki Majo Shinpan!'s release, other DS games have already come out that have surpassed that level of eroticism - namely, To Love-Ru. Based on a harem manga of the same title that started back in 2006, the series might as well just be an ero-manga. Oftentimes, harem manga focus on relationships between characters with a fair amount of fanservice, but To Love-Ru takes it to the extreme. Minigames have you performing activities like squirting milk onto a strawberry that a young girl is holding (while just happening to hit her clothes or face, where the white globs stick for a few seconds) or another minigame where you need to massage her ass.

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Is Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! the be-all-end-all for games where you touch underage girls? Certainly not. It's earned a place in the ero-ge hall of fame by simply being the first to take advantage of the DS's unique control scheme. But unless you're intent on playing this title as a piece of gaming history (and you're fluent in Japanese), look to games like To Love-Ru to give you that strangely erotic feeling of touching 2-D women with a stylus.

Brad Rice spends most of his time hanging around at Destructoid, Japanator and Tomopop, writing about all things Japanese and perverted. Not that the two ever go together or anything.

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