It is a game, ostensibly, about seducing a woman. Here is a Ganguro Girl. You have the mad hots for Ganguro Girls. Time to get it on. You have three stats — charm, strength and intelligence — which largely affect how much money you earn from one of three jobs, namely: You spend money on dates and presents for the girls, you see, so money is important. Charm — the one I focused on — runs off drinking beer, so every beer you drink permanently increases your charm score.
Just like real life! This lead to a loop where I would peel myself out of bed, go for a couple of breakfast beers, spend several hours lying to people over the phone, then hit the club to try and score.
Not in real life. Her name is Saori. The first few times you meet her, she refuses to give you the time of day. To lure her in, you simply have to meet her a bunch of times. Saori is a deeply-realised character You have to bother her. Bother her until she gives in and talks to you. You barely say anything. You are a ghost, an empty thing, rendered down to a cross between a penis and a fly trying to escape through a closed window, just buzzing, bumping, over and over.
Here are some facts about Saori: I am a married man. I know these things now, about a woman that does not exist and is not even especially well-drawn.
Gifts range from a DVD to a handbag to a pair of knee-high platform boots and nothing in-between. These are your options. After chatting to her for a while, I dropped a handbag in her lap, and she agreed to a date. Saori joins me, done up all fancy in a white dress, and she looks… embarrassed?
Some sort of generic anime negative emotion, anyway. I try talking to her. I try taking a picture with her. She asks to do something else the whole time. I stumble out of the date, and into bed and sleep; then two breakfast beers, work, club. Throw handbags at her. Throw shoes at her. Write down her goddamn hip measurements in case they come up later. She agrees to another date, finally, a week later.
We go to the park, this time. She wears a t-shirt. We talk, and what this means is that she asks a series of questions about herself that I must answer correctly to raise her mood level. She just has to wear fake tan and eventually agree to go out with him. I am only interested in having sex with her!
She is the only souce of sex available! She is the only other woman in this entire game! And; could that be a comment on how it feels to be in love with someone, to care about them so much that they just supercede all other elements in your life, and that there might as well be no other women in the world?
A hundred times no. This game is the product of viewing women not only as an acquirable commodity but indeed a sort of challenge, a set of rules to follow with a reward at the end, you Put The Money In and The Sex Comes Out, like half the human fucking race is a sort of vending machine for rentable vaginas STEP IT UP Now our relationship XP can only increase when we are on dates. You have to step it up. You have to take it to the next level.
You have to spend time alone. Getting her to agree to go on dates is another matter entirely; while I can ask her any time I want, I have to pick a day of the week to take her out. I bought you shoes, Saori. I spend a thousand dollars on those shoes.
They are, and I am not exaggerating here, fucking amazing shoes. I learned all about you. I know your waist measurements! I know your phone number off by heart! I did everything I was told to do. Fittingly, I look up a strategy guide online. Give her hair dye. Try slipping her some fake tan. Next date, I try it, and as she looks ashamed at me as we stand in front of the bullet train I wordlessly hand her a tube of lipstick.
An excellent portrayal of human interaction. Shame is a status effect and women can counteract it by applying a mana potion. Put on your makeup, love. We have hired a hotel room specifically for kissing. What is it you love about me? It has been sixty-four in-game days; we have seen each other every day for two months not counting Sundays, when the club is closed so I just work an extra telemarketing shift to get more shoe money and now, finally, the sex comes out.
The sex is hilariously, inadvertently, accurate. You should get your priorities in order and look for someone who engages with you on an emotional level, Saori There are two positions; in one, you are penetrating her with your fingers, and in another, you are engaging in some good old-fashioned penis-in-vagina sex in a spooning position.
You do not remove your sunglasses at any point during the act. I should make this clear: Saori has never seen your eyes. When you stop pressing the button, you stop. But no; when it fills up, you turbofuck her for a few seconds then change position to missionary.
Thank you for playing, ladies and gentlemen, please leave the theatre by the side door. I played a game for upwards of a bloody hour to get six seconds of sex, and not even a GOOD six seconds; six seconds stretched out into half a minute of blind, mute pumping.
The point of sex is orgasm. I remember eating a sandwich with my girlfriend in town the day after; I remember secretly holding hands with her in her family car when we thought no-one could see; I remember taking photographs in the passport machine at the airport when I left to return home, the tears, the heart-wrenching pain of leaving.
But, shit, you gotta have sex, right? Not worth it otherwise. It is a perfect punchline to an awful game; the promise of something far greater than is delivered, hours and hours spent obsessing over a girl culminating in a disappointing handful of seconds and then, nothing, fade-to-black, the story is over.
That said, I think Ganguro fashion looks daft.