DOKI DOKI MAJO SHINPAN / SNK Playmore / Nintendo DS

 

 

 

 
The "visual novel" can be a great format for a story-based game, but out of the literal thousands of these released in Japan I've only seen a handful that really worked. Among the gallons of hentai games they release every year in this format, there are absolutely none. Every single one is a turgid trudge through barely interactive boring story and dialogue, accompanied by bad MIDI music, and the reward is static GIFs that always seem to be either boring or repulsive.

Doki Doki Majo Shinpan got the gaming community all worked up a couple years ago with the promise of "underage witch touching", but what it ends up being is just another boring-ass visual novel, albeit one with no content whatsoever that could even be considered "hentai". Yep, all that worry about groping and pedophelia was for absolutely nothing. Granted, the game goes out of the way to make the girls you are "investigating" aged 12 to 14, but they aren't drawn any differently than the typical generic busty anime girl, they never get even close to nude, and the most explicit the game gets is dragging a hand cursor over a static clothed picture of them while they occasionaly make a whimpering noise.

I was all set to castigate the game for furthering the DS as the preferred system of closeted pedophiles, but really, it offends me more by being totally boring and wasting my time rather than the child groping content, which is far and away more innocent than most hentai games released since the early 1990s. You play as this slouchy teenage slacker who one day gets visited by some nasty little angel who tells him he has to go to the local school and grope girls to find out which ones are secretly witches. There's only eight girls total to grope, however, so the bulk of the game is an "investigation" mode similar to the non-courtroom parts of Phoenix Wright, where you wander around the school grounds looking for clues and talking to the girls. When you've gathered enough "evidence" on a girl, you confront her with it, and then go into a simplistic battle mode that is kinda like a weird version of the one in Snatcher. The witch girls run around and usually throw some kind of spells at you, and you have a few different powers you switch between to block their spells and attack them. When you wear them out, they submit to your tender molestations. (I would think the fact that they were just throwing spells at you would be enough evidence on its own, but whatevs.)

As mentioned before, Grope Mode is simply a non-animated, static picture of the girl, which you rub with a hand icon. You can also shove evidence in their face while doing this, and there's a couple other commands I can't figure out since the game is in Japanese. You sort of randomly spam all this stuff while rubbing the girl up, and apparently it eventually agitates her into showing her "witch mark". Then lord knows what happens to them, but you move on to the next groping challenge.

The whole thing is really super tame compared to what it was made out to be, and thus, also super boring. I really am not sure who this game will appeal to. You have to understand Japanese to enjoy it really, I suppose, which is why I didn't give it a formal rating just to be fair. I suspect that even if I could read it, however, it'd be lucky to get Meh Face at best. The battles are OK but too little and too far between to liven up the game significantly, and "groping mode" is just silly and doesn't even offer the cheap sexual thrills that it promised. Maybe if you're a total ten year old noob to sex or whatever, but otherwise no chance.


 

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