The crazy world of Criminal Girls is back with Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors, a new JRPG for the PS Vita. Once again taking a group of mischievous, delinquent girls through a purgatory-like program in order to send them back to Earth, is this new titillating adventure a worthy sequel?
Developed by Nippon Ichi Software / Published by NIS America
Available on the PS Vita.
*Review code provided by NIS America
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is a unique and controversial JRPG from NIS America, in which players take on the role of a Program Trainer who’s job is to guide a group of girls who died with sin, and must complete a deadly tower full of monsters in order to win back their lives and avoid going to Hell. In order to do so, the girls must first be strengthened in order to be able to deal with the monstrous threats, and that is achieved through motivation, or in this case, Sadomasochistic practices.
The plot and concept is completely bonkers, but it also works well here in it’s own silly way, being a game about crazy girls and S&M. Despite the obvious focus on sex, the plot itself isn’t that bad, and it’s actually pretty fun, as players attempt to complete the task of venturing through the tower with the troubled but courageous girls and run into sabotage that has them fight through Hell and a traitor in order to get back home. The only real controversy would come from the S&M element, which might turn off some players, while others won’t mind as it’s a solid tale.
The gameplay is excellent, as it’s a dungeon crawling RPG with a unique spin on turn-based combat. Players will travel through the underworld with the girls in tow, and engage in turn-based battles where the girls will suggest actions. These range from simple attacks, to special abilities and magic spells, and these suggestions are only acquired through motivating the girls. The combat is solid and addictive, and the system of selecting which girl’s skill is right for the job is perfect. Players later on will also be able to buff the girl’s abilities as well by talking to them in a specific way, further adding a layer of strategy to the excellent combat.
The other important gameplay element is motivation, and it’ll probably be the most talked about feature of the game. Here, players must “motivate” each character using points gained through battles or chests in order to level them up and acquire skills and abilities, and that entails rubbing them down while they are in promiscuous positions, or using other devices like whips, and more. The cartoon girls are rendered in detail, so each scrub and strike will have them shudder and reel in pain and pleasure. It’s awkward at times but necessary to face tougher challenges, and depending on how well players do each task (ranging from missing to very good) and hit each target (like scrubbing at bubbles or tapping at a target to whip), it will affect on how long it will take to level up and gain new skills. Each new usable tool means a new acquirable set of skills, so players will be motivating the girls quite often.
Other than the combat and the motivating, the rest is a straightforward experience, with players exploring dungeons, fighting off convicts (the main enemies), opening chests, and hitting switches to open doors. It’s mostly repetitive, but the addictive and entertaining combat and motivation mini-games keep it from ever getting stale.
Now if I had one problem with the game, it’s that it frequently froze up on me as I played, forcing a hard reset on the game. It happened a couple of times, and only with this game, so I’m not sure if it’s a bug or a issue with my console.
At the end of the day, Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is a dangerously wild, unabashedly sexy and surprisingly delightful JRPG. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, fans of JRPGs and crazy tales will definitively want to dig into this one.