7 SINS / Monte Cristo Games / PlayStation 2

7 Sins is a softcore adult game that's almost in that "so bad it's good" territory, but slow clunky gameplay and a tedious ongoing grind make it hard to stick with.

The first thing you'll probably notice is some seriously slow loading times, part of an overall turgid pace that really contributes to the game being tough to play.

Once we finally get into the action, we find ourselves in the shoes of a sleazier version of Bruce Campbell. The goal is to take Apple City by storm, get rich and make the nookie with lots of sexy ladies.

A tutorial with the unfortunately-named Ms. Dummy shows you the ropes of seduction in Apple City. You conversate with the ladies, choosing from various categories of statement. Each woman is favorable to certain categories and turned off by others, but you don't know which ones right away. Once you build the relationship bar up to the highest (sixth) level, you can make the sexing with the ladies if you take them to an appropriate spot. This involves playing a mini-game to satisfy them, if you lose it you damage the relationship with your soyboy performance and will have to do more chattery and flattery to build it back up.

This whole process is really tedious. Each area that you meet women in has a variety of "context cue" areas you can drag them to to start various conversations. The easier women are seduced in a mere couple of minutes, but most will require you to tediously repeat the same actions in different areas over and over to grind little bits of affection up for the last couple of relationship levels.

There are some other meters that complicate this process. You have Lust, Stress and Anger bars that will gradually fill due to conversation results and various environmental happenings. If any of these bars maxes out, your character goes crazy and attacks whoever they are close to at the moment which usually sinks the relationship meter back to zero. Then they run home like a nutcase. To reduce these, there are various little things you can do around the environment like cussing out passers-by and smashing stuff. This may or may not require a mini-game, and you have to avoid being caught by any NPCs or your stress bar will get blasted out.

Oh, and there's also the titular sin system, which ends up being kind of an afterthought. Do bad stuff, you get anywhere from one to three sin marks. Rack up seven and it's game over, I guess. However, that's never a problem as they're ludicrously easy to get rid of. Do any kind of token good deed - which are lying about everywhere in ample supply - or even just say something nice to someone and it usually wipes all your sin out with no problem.

The only thing that makes this whole process bearable is that the game is totally insane and crazy things can happen out of nowhere. For example - offer to have a "hanger fight" with a woman you're seducing, and suddenly you're in Fight Club with them in the middle of a store ... and afterward, they're grateful and feel more warmly toward you for socking them in the face repeatedly!

The game's first chapter sees you working at the cleverly-named Suks, selling luxury goods to a variety of well-heeled women and attempting to deal and steal your way to $5000 while also getting some nookie in the store for good measure. Make it out of that chapter, and you're randomly recruited by some sleazy film company to seduce and covertly tape celebrities for the entertainment of coomers everywhere. So at that point this basically turns into Dennis Reynolds: The Game.

Even though there is no nudity, I'm still surprised this made it onto the PS2 (even if only in Europe and Taiwan apparently). The dry-humping clothed sex scenes are exactly what the GTA "Hot Coffee" controversy was all about. But instead of needing complex Action Replay codes or a software patch, 7 Sins was just doing it right out in the open in front of Hilldawg's face back in 2005.

Anyway. The game has its weirdly amusing qualities, but the tedious grind of repeating the same actions over and over will get to you. And the randomness doesn't always work in your favor; I made it through most of the first chapter, but got so frustrated at the store manager constantly creeping up on you and jacking all your money (often simply appearing in front of you unavoidably when you load a saved game) that I gave up and just watched the rest of it on YouTube.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video

* Gloriously awful theme song