Neutral Drow reviews: Xchange

Surely, nothing wrong can come of this!

Welcome, welcome once again to a visual novel review! Now, as it happened, back when I was but a lad and wandering around with wide-eyed innocence at San Diego Comic Con 2009, I happened to stumble on a booth for an organization called J-List, an online company that clearly appeals to those very people who give western fans of anime their mostly undeserved, very creepy reputation.

Well...perhaps that's a bit unfair. They had legitimately interesting items on the opposite side of all the porn and hentai paraphernalia.

In any case, my interest in visual novels drew me to the booth, and, finding various gems (starting with the reputable and widely-praised Kana: Little Sister), I returned over the course of several days. In the interests of my not collapsing in shame, I won't mention how many I bought, but suffice to say, in all but one case I bought only those games who's good storytelling or gameplay reputations I'd heard of and researched (and some non-eroge VNs that came as free gifts).
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The protagonist of Xchange is Takuya Aihara, a high school student and a milquetoast close to the level of Shinji Ikari. Other than his parents, the only people who'd even give him the time of day are Asuka, his friend who wakes him up every morning, Mr. Miyagi (no, not that one), the single cool teacher in the school, and Asami, his sempai and the president and sole other member of the chemistry club. This meager existence works decently well, until a fateful day when Takuya accidentally splashes an unidentified chemical all over himself while cleaning the chem lab. Apparently, whatever the chemical was shared something in common with water from the Juusenkyo Spring of Drowned Girl, since immediately going home to shower off reveals that Takuya's voice is suddenly a few registers higher, and he has gained and lost certain aspects of human anatomy. How exactly will this affect his life, and how can he change back...

Xchange

I can guess what you're thinking. In my tentative defense, I've come across a few other stories that have done genderbending well for storytelling and comedic purposes, and the prospect of a VN with a male protagonist seeing from a female perspective was a genuinely interesting prospect. There's a bit of irony in that statement, but later. Let's get started.

Gameplay

Like others of the visual novel medium, Xchange is text and image sprite-based; in particular, it's the sort with the text box at the bottom of the screen and...you know what? I can't do this. I really can't. Xchange doesn't deserve to be described in segments when a simple sentiment would suffice.

This game is awful.

I feel compelled to point out what happens immediately after the aforementioned opening. Takuya's first reaction on finding he is a woman is incredulous touching...and then incredulous exploration...and then just plain old self-exploration. Nothing wrong there, it's pretty much expected, even if this wasn't an H-game. As Emily says in Misfile, "...if there's still a boy's brain in there, you probably spent the whole morning playing with your boobs."

Then, if you go on too long, your older stepsister finds you, finds you cute and vulnerable, and rapes you.

I took that to be a very bad sign for a game. Especially this one, since that situation gives an incredibly misleading impression. The rest of the game is actually even worse.

I'd say rape is a common theme in this game, but even I can only understate things so much. Play to any of the game's seven endings, and you will get raped a minimum of three times. It's just a question of who does it; literally, of everyone you meet besides Takuya's parents, there are only three characters who don't find you too irresistible not to take sexual advantage of (thankfully, one of those three is Mr. Miyagi, because I don't need that conflicting mental image..though he does accidentally lead you into a trap). Really, the game goes so far and to such lengths that you can almost, almost convince yourself that it reaches an redeeming level of sheer absurdity, finally reaching its peak when Takuya gets on a city bus going to school and somehow initially fails to notice that the bus' occupants are, to a man, overtaken in a completely unexplained orgy. It's the sort of situation that comes the fuck out of nowhere, has absolutely no bearing on the plot, and is never mentioned again. In That Guy with the Glasses parlance, it's a Big Lipped Alligator Moment of the highest order.

Then the game's endings ruin any semblance of humor or stealth parody, and the entire game is revealed to be merely terrible. A quick summary of the endings gets us...

1. Turn back into a man, relationship with Asuka. Happy ending.
2. Turn back into a man, relationship with Asami. Happy ending.
3. Sex toy for Asami. Stay a woman...mostly.
4. Sex toy for trio of horny art students. Stay a woman.
5. Sex toy for gym teacher, reputation ruined. Stay a woman.
6. Sex toy for school nurse and her slaves. Stay a woman.
7. Narrowly escape rape by stepsister's boyfriend, hospitalized by violent bitch of a stepsister, reputation ruined. Stay a woman.

I'm not sure whether ending 5 or ending 7 was the more infuriating. I think Tsukihime spoiled me; that game's (not erotic dream-related) rape scenes are not only played off as utterly disturbing rather than arousing, but it's the perpetrator who suffers in the end, not the victim. If there's one thing to say about Xchange's rape scenes, it's that they're always played straight. They're clearly supposed to be enjoyable to an extent, a revelation that sent me into a near-frothing rage at several points.

On the other hand, the game does have a few...well, "merits" isn't the right word. "Mercies," that's it. Mercifully, the game is incredibly short. For a game that's advertised to have seven endings worth of replay value, getting to a good ending (the longest paths) took only a half-hour, and I finished literally the whole thing in two hours (through a combination of disbelief and masochism). Granted, I was aided along in that by another of the game's mercies: the fast-forward button. I really didn't feel like reading scenes over again, even in spite of the third mercy: aside from genderbending and rape fantasies, there's nothing fetishistic about any of the sex; they manage to be morally disgusting without ever dipping into being physically disgusting.

Still, I think the only reason I haven't just burned this game - aside from not knowing whether CDs burn nor having the tools to burn one - is because of the final mercy: the 3 out of 15 sex scenes in the game that are consensual are actually pretty good. This includes both of the good endings, which go out of their way to cram in some acceptable character development, and even manage to be heartwarming to a big softie like myself.

Bottom line, though: this game is horrible, and its one bright spot is really not worth the time.
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Line Break.

Of course, visual novels in general appeal to a very limited niche outside of Japan, so warning members of the Escapist about a certain terrible VN might seem about as logical as lecturing vampires on the dangers of skin cancer. However, considering a certain other visual novel I've spoken for and another one I plan to (and that my favorite vampire walks around in daylight), it's useful to have experience with and an acknowledgment of a certain lack of quality. Xchange certainly isn't the worst VN out there, but it's definitely the worst I expect to play and the worst I plan to review (and the worst I can stand, really).

Incidentally, remember the irony of my interest in an eroge involving the sheer story potential of a male-turned-female protagonist? There's one interesting opinion I keep hearing, wherever I notice Xchange mentioned. The site where I read bishoujo game reviews, GameFAQs, TV Tropes, even the guy at the J-List booth who sold me this game, were all unanimous in one opinion: the second game is miles better. It's apparently got all the story, character development, and length I was hoping for in this game.

But like hell do I feel like searching for it, yet. Maybe I'll crack open A Drug That Makes You Dream...

A rather balanced review, despite your distaste for the subject. I have to give you kudos, I am gonna search up some of your other reviews, if they are all of this quality I might just find something new that I might enjoy.
Keep it up!

Oh, and thanks for the warning on this one. I will stay away from it... (Way too many rape scenes... yeeck)

zebrin:
A rather balanced review, despite your distaste for the subject. I have to give you kudos, I am gonna search up some of your other reviews, if they are all of this quality I might just find something new that I might enjoy.
Keep it up!

Thanks! Actually, so far, this is only my second review. ^^;

I do plan to keep it up, though. Odd, now that I've done both a positive and a negative review, it seems easier to say nice things about something I hate than it does to say mean things about something I loved...though I still prefer reviewing things I enjoy. Just have to keeping practicing making sure they're reviews and not advertisements...or maybe just play them off completely over-the-top, Bum style.

Are you gonna be doing visual novel reviews for a while? I've actually been looking to get into the genre... alas, I have absolutely no idea as to where I could purchase them. I prefer having physical (and UNCENSORED) copies of games, and sadly there doesn't seem to be much of an English market, at least from where I've been looking.

Also, MSN rocks. Pity that Evangeline has been getting less screen time of late (not to mention she's also got no shot at being compatible with Negi, considering that she is not only the Token Loli but also The Teacher.)

I probably wouldn't get this game for several reasons. The insane amount of rape being one (RAPE!=COMEDY), the good-bad ending ratio being another. I mean, jeez: two of those endings are good, the rest are either bad or just sorta empty.

Minor spelling mistake noticed: Isn't it supposed to be The Spring of the Drowned Girl?

scotth266:
Are you gonna be doing visual novel reviews for a while? I've actually been looking to get into the genre... alas, I have absolutely no idea as to where I could purchase them. I prefer having physical (and UNCENSORED) copies of games, and sadly there doesn't seem to be much of an English market, at least from where I've been looking.

Online is the only place I can think of. Like I mentioned, I bought almost my entire collection at the J-List booth at Comic Con...but almost their entire website fills me with utter disgust and loathing, so I'd just recommend figuring out which ones have English translations and looking them up on Amazon.

There's a few exceptions, though. Mostly the ones that have fan-translations (Tsukihime, for one, I've found literally nowhere outside of torrents). Fate/Stay Night and a few others have been translated by Mirror Moon, and I could swear someone released a Kanon translation just recently...

Also, MSN rocks. Pity that Evangeline has been getting less screen time of late (not to mention she's also got no shot at being compatible with Negi, considering that she is not only the Token Loli but also The Teacher.)

Eh, these things happen. I've seen people actually get upset that their favorite character doesn't get much screen time for a while, which I never understood. Patience is a virtue.

That's not getting into shipping, of course. I never really saw Evangeline as being with Negi in any case, since he's much closer to some of the other girls, and she's still pining for the Thousand Master. My one ship is blindingly obvious, but I try not to mention it too much on the internet. I follow the Del Rey translation, and I know scanlations are past that. No need to tempt fate, after all...

I probably wouldn't get this game for several reasons. The insane amount of rape being one (RAPE!=COMEDY), the good-bad ending ratio being another. I mean, jeez: two of those endings are good, the rest are either bad or just sorta empty.

A transcript of my thought process upon getting the endings:

6. "Well, crap. Okay, don't talk to the nurse."
5. *fights back urge to vomit* "Note to self, don't talk to the gym teacher."
4. "Mr. Miyagi, why the hell did you leave me in the room with the leering art students?!"
7. "You have got to be fucking kidding me!"
4. "Oh, for the love of crap--!"
3. "No! So friggin' close...!"
2. "Okay, that was surprisingly sweet. And the stinger after the credits was pretty funny."
1. "...oh, all right, Xchange, I'll skip the bonfire."

Minor spelling mistake noticed: Isn't it supposed to be The Spring of the Drowned Girl?

I've never seen it with the article, actually. I never heard any characters in the anime use it, so I think I always just assumed it was "Spring of Drowned Pig," "Spring of Drowned Cat," "Spring of Drowned Yeti-riding-Ox-carrying-Crane-and-Eel," etc.

NeutralDrow:
Snip.

So there's no way to get English versions of some games via purchase? I feel much sadness.

Which ship do you sail on? Since I follow scanslations (I purchase volumes when they're released), I'm curious. Please tell me it's not Asuka...

As far as my version goes, the reason I think that's the way to do it is because each spring was named after something that drowned in it: therefore the Spring should be given a possessive. I'm pretty sure it's actually okay to do it your way though.

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:
Snip.

So there's no way to get English versions of some games via purchase? I feel much sadness.

Huh? I just pointed to a place where you can purchase them...unless you meant physically, in which case I can't think of any physical places outside of an anime convention.

Which ship do you sail on? Since I follow scanslations (I purchase volumes when they're released), I'm curious. Please tell me it's not Asuka...

Konoka/Setsuna. Who's Asuka?

As far as my version goes, the reason I think that's the way to do it is because each spring was named after something that drowned in it: therefore the Spring should be given a possessive. I'm pretty sure it's actually okay to do it your way though.

It might also have been because I mostly heard the Juusenkyo Guide himself say the names, and neither Chinese nor Japanese has articles. Otherwise, on searching now, I've seen both ways (more with the article, granted).

NeutralDrow:
Snip.

Yeah, I was pretty much going for physical copies. I wouldn't be averse to paying for digital copies of some games, but you made it sound like certain games aren't available for purchase at all. I like trying to give devs money.

I've actually been considering writing an article sometime soon about why I tend to only like the characters that get neglected in harem mangas/anime... it's just that I have too much to do as it is.

Oh this was awkward to read. But good review though, I'm off to slit my wrists.

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:
Snip.

Yeah, I was pretty much going for physical copies. I wouldn't be averse to paying for digital copies of some games, but you made it sound like certain games aren't available for purchase at all. I like trying to give devs money.

Huh? I'm talking about physical copies. All the stuff that's officially been translated into English (like Kana: Little Sister, A Drug That Makes You Dream, Hourglass of Summer, etc.), they're still selling. It's only the stuff that's nearly a decade old (like Tsukihime or Kanon) that don't have physical copies floating around. I even found a used copy of Fate/Stay Night on some website going for $70.

I've actually been considering writing an article sometime soon about why I tend to only like the characters that get neglected in harem mangas/anime... it's just that I have too much to do as it is.

Ah, Asuna. No, I do really like her relationship with Negi (especially how it's been building ever since volume 1), and she's one of my favorite characters (which doesn't narrow it down much), but I don't know and can't tell if it will turn into a romantic relationship.

And yes, I managed to avoid whatever that spoiler was. Bad experience with Fruits Basket in the past; I stumbled on one of the two secrets about his character long before the volume revealing it came out. It was still an effective reveal, but not as much as it might have been.

NoMoreSanity:
Oh this was awkward to read. But good review though, I'm off to slit my wrists.

I am uncertain whether to consider this a success.

Having played this game and the sequels, I'd certainly have to agree with you. The first one is particularly awful, however, be careful with the next two. When people tell you that they are 'better' they're generally referring to the graphics, writing, and other more mechanical factors. All three X-Change games follow the formula of 'Man turns into woman, gets raped repeatedly by everyone she meets'. The second and third do improve things by generally making it clear when you have a choice about WHO to be raped by, by the bottom line is the same.

The most recent game, however, Yin-Yang (A New X-Change) is worth a look. It follows a new cast of characters, and while there is still a fair amount of unavoidable rape, I'd say it only constitutes 1/3 of the game, and most of these are concentrated into a few distinct paths (whereas in all others it's 90% of the scenes). The remaining scenarios actually more orientated toward semi realistic characters.

Anywho, good luck in the reviews

Funny part is NeutralDrow is this. One down, two to go. The Xchange game actually was a series. Enjoy your work for these game if I remember correctly were created in the late 90's.

NeutralDrow:

Ah, Asuna. No, I do really like her relationship with Negi (especially how it's been building ever since volume 1), and she's one of my favorite characters (which doesn't narrow it down much), but I don't know and can't tell if it will turn into a romantic relationship.

And yes, I managed to avoid whatever that spoiler was. Bad experience with Fruits Basket in the past; I stumbled on one of the two secrets about his character long before the volume revealing it came out. It was still an effective reveal, but not as much as it might have been.

I like the brother/sister relationship they've been building: it's just that whenever Ken pushes the romance button, I can't help but think about how much I hate the punisher-type girls. I don't know if Asuna would classify as tsundere in particular, but she's damn close, and I've always hated the tsundere relationships. I couldn't stand Naru from Love Hina either: and their characters are cut from the same mold.

I don't blame you for avoiding the spoiler: I even made it as non-descriptive as possible in case you clicked it to avoid giving away specific plot details.

Is that site something like Gamestop, where it's a third party company raking in all the benefits, or is it just a hosting site for the devs to sell stuff (like Amazon)? I dislike companies like Gamestop because they're essentially yanking away developer profits.

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:

Ah, Asuna. No, I do really like her relationship with Negi (especially how it's been building ever since volume 1), and she's one of my favorite characters (which doesn't narrow it down much), but I don't know and can't tell if it will turn into a romantic relationship.

And yes, I managed to avoid whatever that spoiler was. Bad experience with Fruits Basket in the past; I stumbled on one of the two secrets about his character long before the volume revealing it came out. It was still an effective reveal, but not as much as it might have been.

I like the brother/sister relationship they've been building: it's just that whenever Ken pushes the romance button, I can't help but think about how much I hate the punisher-type girls. I don't know if Asuna would classify as tsundere in particular, but she's damn close, and I've always hated the tsundere relationships. I couldn't stand Naru from Love Hina either: and their characters are cut from the same mold.

Aww, be fair. Asuna's nowhere near as bad as Naru. Chisame is the confirmed tsundere in the cast (with maybe Anya as a secondary), but Asuna hasn't really been that type since volume 7, at the end of the Southern Island plot. Well...other than the very brief "kiss terminator" reaction moment, but that one's pretty understandable (and Negi still didn't suffer to the extent Keitaro would have).

I don't blame you for avoiding the spoiler: I even made it as non-descriptive as possible in case you clicked it to avoid giving away specific plot details.

Thanks. The problem wasn't so much not clicking the spoiler, but deleting it while quoting you.

Is that site something like Gamestop, where it's a third party company raking in all the benefits, or is it just a hosting site for the devs to sell stuff (like Amazon)? I dislike companies like Gamestop because they're essentially yanking away developer profits.

I believe J-List actually is the developer of a lot of those things, at least of the translations. I know they own Peach Princess, which imports and translates a lot of stuff (Tokimeki Check-In and Princess Waltz, for example), so I doubt the Japanese developers like Crowd lose out.

NeutralDrow:

Aww, be fair. Asuna's nowhere near as bad as Naru. Chisame is the confirmed tsundere in the cast (with maybe Anya as a secondary), but Asuna hasn't really been that type since volume 7, at the end of the Southern Island plot. Well...other than the very brief "kiss terminator" reaction moment, but that one's pretty understandable (and Negi still didn't suffer to the extent Keitaro would have).

I'll grant you that Asuna is still better than Naru, but then again, pretty much every character in the history of the harem genre is better than Naru.

HEY LOVE INTEREST LET ME PUNCH YOU FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN IT IS FUNNY HUR HUR HUR.

I mean, jeez: I was more than willing to let Ken go the loli route (something I'm not into, but Ken's lolis are better than other lolis at least) just to make sure Naru wasn't the end choice. Alas, it turned out to be a clear-cut case of First Girl Wins.

I believe J-List actually is the developer of a lot of those things, at least of the translations. I know they own Peach Princess, which imports and translates a lot of stuff (Tokimeki Check-In and Princess Waltz, for example), so I doubt the Japanese developers like Crowd lose out.

In that case, I'd be more than willing to take a peek, though I should probably do so away from others given your warnings earlier.

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:

Aww, be fair. Asuna's nowhere near as bad as Naru. Chisame is the confirmed tsundere in the cast (with maybe Anya as a secondary), but Asuna hasn't really been that type since volume 7, at the end of the Southern Island plot. Well...other than the very brief "kiss terminator" reaction moment, but that one's pretty understandable (and Negi still didn't suffer to the extent Keitaro would have).

I'll grant you that Asuna is still better than Naru, but then again, pretty much every character in the history of the harem genre is better than Naru.

HEY LOVE INTEREST LET ME PUNCH YOU FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN IT IS FUNNY HUR HUR HUR.

That did get seriously annoying after a while. Still, I felt sorry for Keitaro more than I hated any of the female protagonists (Naru's actually somewhere in the middle, with Shinobu and Mutsumi making up the "fairly inoffensive" side, Motoko in the middle with Naru, and Mitsune by herself off in the pit of hell). I still have to finish reading the manga at some point (I somehow got to volume 10), just hoping against hope that something goes right for the poor bastard without him going through hell to make it happen (no, getting into Tokyu U doesn't count, that's when he suffered the uncharacteristically non-cartoonish injury).

I mean, jeez: I was more than willing to let Ken go the loli route (something I'm not into, but Ken's lolis are better than other lolis at least) just to make sure Naru wasn't the end choice. Alas, it turned out to be a clear-cut case of First Girl Wins.

I don't mind lolis that much, but that's probably because of Evangeline, Len, Ilya von Einzbern, and Marta Lualdi. Still, on evaluating using the "how much will Keitaro suffer" scale, I felt like a Shinobu relationship ranked depressingly high (just with nothing as a result of her actions).

Then again, there is that online non-ero flash dating sim based around Love Hina...

I believe J-List actually is the developer of a lot of those things, at least of the translations. I know they own Peach Princess, which imports and translates a lot of stuff (Tokimeki Check-In and Princess Waltz, for example), so I doubt the Japanese developers like Crowd lose out.

In that case, I'd be more than willing to take a peek, though I should probably do so away from others given your warnings earlier.

That would be advisable. Most of the site is technically SFW, but still questionable. Hell, it was bad enough talking to the salesperson in real life...surrounded by people...

Salesperson: "...and in this one, it's really cool, with this one girl, you can enter a kind of sex friend relationship. The thing progesses with certain choices, but if you don't pursue it, she gets kind of upset, but if you--"
Me: "Please stop describing that."

Paraphrased, of course (I think I repressed the memory as quickly as possible). Ironically, I do remember he was describing Yume Miru Kusuri (A Drug That Makes You Dream), which I later bought, and am actually looking forward to...for reasons unrelated to that conversation.

NeutralDrow:

I mean, jeez: I was more than willing to let Ken go the loli route (something I'm not into, but Ken's lolis are better than other lolis at least) just to make sure Naru wasn't the end choice. Alas, it turned out to be a clear-cut case of First Girl Wins.

I don't mind lolis that much, but that's probably because of Evangeline, Len, Ilya von Einzbern, and Marta Lualdi. Still, on evaluating using the "how much will Keitaro suffer" scale, I felt like a Shinobu relationship ranked depressingly high (just with nothing as a result of her actions).

Then again, there is that online non-ero flash dating sim based around Love Hina...

My issue with lolis is that many writers make them CREEPY AS HELL in an attempt to blatantly give the viewers who like the stereotype some free fanservice. Ugh... if you're going to put in a loli, don't make it a TOKEN loli, actually invest some effort into making the character.

And the only thing I've seen on a Love Hina game was a flash game on Newgrounds. And it was... irksome to say the least.

NeutralDrow:

NoMoreSanity:
Oh this was awkward to read. But good review though, I'm off to slit my wrists.

I am uncertain whether to consider this a success.

In my case I'd say yes.

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:

I mean, jeez: I was more than willing to let Ken go the loli route (something I'm not into, but Ken's lolis are better than other lolis at least) just to make sure Naru wasn't the end choice. Alas, it turned out to be a clear-cut case of First Girl Wins.

I don't mind lolis that much, but that's probably because of Evangeline, Len, Ilya von Einzbern, and Marta Lualdi. Still, on evaluating using the "how much will Keitaro suffer" scale, I felt like a Shinobu relationship ranked depressingly high (just with nothing as a result of her actions).

Then again, there is that online non-ero flash dating sim based around Love Hina...

My issue with lolis is that many writers make them CREEPY AS HELL in an attempt to blatantly give the viewers who like the stereotype some free fanservice. Ugh... if you're going to put in a loli, don't make it a TOKEN loli, actually invest some effort into making the character.

True. I'd say that's applicable to any character, but...yeah, that would be completely missing the point, which is one I agree with.

And the only thing I've seen on a Love Hina game was a flash game on Newgrounds. And it was... irksome to say the least.

It wasn't this one, was it?

NeutralDrow:

And the only thing I've seen on a Love Hina game was a flash game on Newgrounds. And it was... irksome to say the least.

It wasn't this one, was it?

Yes, yes it was. Suffice it to say I was bored. INCREDIBLY SO. And yet, I still want what little time I wasted playing that back.

There needs to be more gender changing games...with less rape...or just ones with no sex as the plot.

NoMoreSanity:

NeutralDrow:

NoMoreSanity:
Oh this was awkward to read. But good review though, I'm off to slit my wrists.

I am uncertain whether to consider this a success.

In my case I'd say yes.

I'll take what I can get!

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:

And the only thing I've seen on a Love Hina game was a flash game on Newgrounds. And it was... irksome to say the least.

It wasn't this one, was it?

Yes, yes it was. Suffice it to say I was bored. INCREDIBLY SO. And yet, I still want what little time I wasted playing that back.

Eh, I'm fairly boredom-resistant, so I barely noticed, and played it 'cause it looked cute. Still, even with that, I'll concede that it's not really worth playing more than once, even with the codes that are unlocked.

Snotnarok:
There needs to be more gender changing games...with less rape...or just ones with no sex as the plot.

I'm trying to think of games that fit that description, but I'm coming up empty. I think that lack might be what lured me to this game in the first place, in fact.

NeutralDrow:

NoMoreSanity:

NeutralDrow:

NoMoreSanity:
Oh this was awkward to read. But good review though, I'm off to slit my wrists.

I am uncertain whether to consider this a success.

In my case I'd say yes.

I'll take what I can get!

scotth266:

NeutralDrow:

And the only thing I've seen on a Love Hina game was a flash game on Newgrounds. And it was... irksome to say the least.

It wasn't this one, was it?

Yes, yes it was. Suffice it to say I was bored. INCREDIBLY SO. And yet, I still want what little time I wasted playing that back.

Eh, I'm fairly boredom-resistant, so I barely noticed, and played it 'cause it looked cute. Still, even with that, I'll concede that it's not really worth playing more than once, even with the codes that are unlocked.

Snotnarok:
There needs to be more gender changing games...with less rape...or just ones with no sex as the plot.

I'm trying to think of games that fit that description, but I'm coming up empty. I think that lack might be what lured me to this game in the first place, in fact.

I played it too with some mild hope of amusement but for this jaded asexual it had me hammering the next page button trying to skip past the boring sex crap trying to get to our boy/gal trying to fit in to her new role, no such luck as it's just a disc of perversion as it was clearly listed basically haha. Well I guess we're the idiots here :\

Huh. Missed some things.

Incidentally, does anyone actually notice alt text? I didn't do any for this review (didn't get to images, and captioned images don't allow it), but I did so for the other...

Amakaze:
Having played this game and the sequels, I'd certainly have to agree with you. The first one is particularly awful, however, be careful with the next two. When people tell you that they are 'better' they're generally referring to the graphics, writing, and other more mechanical factors. All three X-Change games follow the formula of 'Man turns into woman, gets raped repeatedly by everyone she meets'. The second and third do improve things by generally making it clear when you have a choice about WHO to be raped by, by the bottom line is the same.

Thank you for the warning. I probably wouldn't have been in danger for a while, yet, but it's good to have reassurance that I won't waste my time in the future.

The most recent game, however, Yin-Yang (A New X-Change) is worth a look. It follows a new cast of characters, and while there is still a fair amount of unavoidable rape, I'd say it only constitutes 1/3 of the game, and most of these are concentrated into a few distinct paths (whereas in all others it's 90% of the scenes). The remaining scenarios actually more orientated toward semi realistic characters.

...I guess that's something I can consider. Far in the future, though. I've still got a bag of others to go through.

Tenmar:
Funny part is NeutralDrow is this. One down, two to go. The Xchange game actually was a series. Enjoy your work for these game if I remember correctly were created in the late 90's.

And now thanks to the advice above, it will be a series I wash my hands of completely (minus maybe, maybe the new series).
Line Break!

Next review planned: Yume Miru Kusuri (A Drug That Makes You Dream). Only a third of the way through so far, though, so it might take a couple weeks (allowing for recovery).

Warning: from what I've played so far, though, I can say it will be a positive review.

NeutralDrow:

I'll take what I can get!

No you should'nt. Fight baby fight!

Not haven't played the first one, but I can recommend the second and especially the third one.
The Orgy-bus makes an re-apperance in the third one and it's explained more what it actually is - which is a bus where men and women have sex while driving around in a bus.

I'm sure that exists irl as well ?_?

But yeah, try them out and review them!

Zeithri:
Not haven't played the first one, but I can recommend the second and especially the third one.
The Orgy-bus makes an re-apperance in the third one and it's explained more what it actually is - which is a bus where men and women have sex while driving around in a bus.

That's...that's not an incentive for me. At all. I went through most of this game with a look of horrified disgust frozen on my face, and the only thing the orgy-bus did to change that was causing me to mouth "what the fuck...?" over and over until it was finished.

But yeah, try them out and review them!

Judging from the advice above...I think if touch the Xchange series ever again, it will probably be Yin-Yang Alternative. Or if I compromise my principles and torrent Xchange 2, because I absolutely refuse to pay for it.

That's kind of what I did, once, but I don't like doing it.

So there's no happy ending if you stay a woman? You're always demeaned in some way?

...I am not amused.

SuperMse:
So there's no happy ending if you stay a woman? You're always demeaned in some way?

...I am not amused.

I'm going to have to check some spoilers, but I think the sequels may have rectified that (the second is supposed to have over 20 endings). I just don't feel like clawing my way through the rape to find them.

Whoa... necro thread of epic proportions!

Also, "Clawing My Way Through The Rape" Is totally my new band name.

Nice review, though. I could only suggest maybe more pictures to break up the wall o-texts, but other than that, good jorb.

King of the Sandbox:
Whoa... necro thread of epic proportions!

Eh. Far as I'm concerned, if someone necros one of my reviews, I'm apt to jump for joy at the free front-page exposure.

Also, "Clawing My Way Through The Rape" Is totally my new band name.

I'm trying to imagine what genre the music would be in.

Nice review, though. I could only suggest maybe more pictures to break up the wall o-texts, but other than that, good jorb.

Trust me, that's what I usually do.

I usually break that pattern only if the review is unusually short, or if it's something that doesn't deserve the effort.

Like usual, I enjoyed your review, and greatly respect your opinion.

The only thing I am wondering at this point though is that why you keep reviewing Japanese Hentai if it bothers you that much. While there are definatly exceptions, the entire point of most of it was to be shocking and do things that people were unlikely to be able to get IRL. Hence all the rape, tentecles, and exagerrated fetishism. The attitude always seemed a bit differant from American porn, which goes in all these areas at times, but is still based in fairly vanilla sex and banal romance. The Japanese seem to take the attitude that "Vanilla" is usually too boring to make a game, visual novel, anime, or whatever out of.

You do a good job with reviews, so I'm kind of wondering why you keep going with this specific genere instead of things where you are likely to find thirty differant titles your going to hate for every one you think is good, just by looking at the apparent intentions of "Japanese Porn" in general.

Unless of course your actually into this stuff, and there isn't all that much wrong with a lot of it when it comes to fantasy, as I've said before I can be quite perverted myself (I've confessed in the past to having pretty much the entire run of Kondom's "Bondage Fairies" accross all their various series for example). If that is the case, why bother to badmouth it when your taking about it? I don't think anyone is going to be all that judgemental given that your already playing enough porn games to write a review series about them.

No offense intended, I'm just curious.

Therumancer:
The only thing I am wondering at this point though is that why you keep reviewing Japanese Hentai if it bothers you that much. While there are definatly exceptions, the entire point of most of it was to be shocking and do things that people were unlikely to be able to get IRL.

That's the attitude I set out specifically to counteract. The idea that eroge are all tentacle-filled rapefests frankly doesn't even give enough credit to the normal, shallow sort. Quite a few of these titles don't interest me because there's nothing interesting about them. There certainly are genuinely disgusting things like this game, or Virgin Roster, or Tsuki: Possession, or Water Closet...but there's also boring and cliched titles like Come See Me Tonight, or Do You Like Horny Bunnies?, or Let's Meow Meow, which still don't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the others.

Besides, it's that attitude that lets the major exceptions slip through the cracks, which I find unforgivable. Those exceptions are the ones I seek out. With this game, I just got unlucky.

You do a good job with reviews, so I'm kind of wondering why you keep going with this specific genere instead of things where you are likely to find thirty differant titles your going to hate for every one you think is good, just by looking at the apparent intentions of "Japanese Porn" in general.

I'm not finding thirty I hate for every one I think is good. You're giving me too much credit. I'm specifically avoiding what I suspect I wouldn't like...and even then, I still have 25 titles in my playing list, plus however many more I may find in the future.

The ones I think are good are fantastic. Frankly, I'm chafing at being restricted to titles that have been translated. There're a number of games that seem to come recommended, but my Japanese isn't nearly good enough to play (like Brighter Than the Dawning Blue).

Kondom's "Bondage Fairies"

See? Right off the bat, any chance of my being interested is drained.

I don't think anyone is going to be all that judgemental given that your already playing enough porn games to write a review series about them.

Even if they weren't, I would be. I have standards.

 

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