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Cyberhugging 2010

Entry 1690 posted in: e. Adult Oriented Games

Just a minute, honey Sisters are doin' it for themselves

I have been playing adult games since, let me think now, my Three Sisters' Story days, that was a typical bishōjo adventure. I must have been experimenting with other games before, because - in my mind - Sisters was from the early nineties but know-all Wikipedia tells me that this game only dates from 1996, quite modern to me.

Sisters more or less set a standard for hentai games and isn't that simple to play. Making a wrong decision will often lead to some nice scenes, but these turn out to be one-way as the game will switch to one of its alternative endings, varying from all three sisters literally fighting for your love to the school nurse saying that your little swimmers have made one of the girls pregnant and that you better marry her. Just like in Larry Laffer's first adventure (1987), you'd better used a condom instead.

Three Sisters' Story is originally a Japanese game and flirts with the subjects that Japanese love so much, like eating raw horse meat ice-cream. The game turns around different sexual encounters from the pre-nubile kind and the game can only be ended after a quite disturbing torture and rape scene. Like I said, the usual stuff the Japanese (apparently) love so much.

Replaying the game (in DOSBox, obviously) just for the sake of you, the reader of this blog, only made me think what progress computers have made for the last decade. So let's have a look at what makes our hormones grovel nowadays.

Private Nursing Shark's Lagoon

I still remember the days when Shark's Lagoon was a small website that changed place every three months whenever the server owner found out that the lagoon contained some nudity in pixelated form. I had once the intention of writing a very long and serious philosophical treaty about the boundaries between reality, virtual reality and images of reality, but I fear that this project is forever lost in the purgatory of my mind. Perhaps that's for the best.

PayPal deleted Shark's account because his site was diffusing images with a sexual context, but apparently they do not have the same scruples when somebody uses their services to sell first-person shooter games. Apparently the process of shooting down life forms is considered more ethical than the process of creating new life forms, even virtually. Perhaps not that weird, as hunting in woods is still considered a healthy outdoor sport, while copulating in those same woods is not.

Shark's most recent free game is Sweet Anais 2, but I haven't really tried it as it falls a bit outside my sphere of interest, it is a redux anyway from the first version that appeared a couple of years ago. There is also a demo for a brand new game, Morning Temptation, using real actors instead of his typical 3D caricatures, but it still breathes the typical Shark style, which is quite good.

The complete game is not for free, as it is only accessible through his Priv-Box, not that I blame Shark for that, we all have to live. Also in his Priv-Box is Private Consultation, a new episode in his Horny Afternoon series. Usually these games become freeware after a couple of months so the scrimpy ones will have to suffer a bit longer.

Virtual Date Girls

The lagoon community, that I happen to visit from time to time, mainly in my function as gatekeeper of the ArianeB walkthroughs, has also grown exponentially over the last few years and since a couple of months a new batch of game and story creators who want to show their products to the outside world has entered the forum.

In the past this blog has given some attention to Virtual Date Girls and its games Crystal and Leilani, but that bunch has already been expanded with Rachel, Tammy, Kelly, Katie, ArianeB (a mod of the original game) and half a dozen others. Not all is for free at VDG but there is enough to choose from. Personally I find it a pity that Chaotic is too busy creating new games instead of debugging existing ones, but new games is of course where the money is.

The two adult game makers that have impressed me the most, these last couple of weeks are Cugel and Leonizer.

The eyes have it Getting to Know Brenda (a slightly different dating sim) by Cugel

Getting to Know Brenda is a work in progress that will be published au fur et à mesure. At the moment two chapters are ready that can be downloaded, unfortunately at Rapidshare, probably the website with the most deceiving name on the world wide web.

To quote from the readme file:

The game was conceived and developed as a way for the author to learn some stuff about Flash, Poser, animation and the blending of interactions with music and sound effects.

The author's self-imposed game criteria are that the game must
...be a stand-alone Flash application
...require no access to any local or web server files
...have a flow that is like a comic book
...be a male fantasy with a subtle moral compass without being prudish

and last but not least

...have respect for women.

If one considers that this is the first attempt of its creator this is a remarkable game (with some amazing animated parts I haven't seen yet in other games of this genre). Clearly there are still some bugs here and there. One is that starting the game through the html page makes the text unreadable in certain browsers (Firefox), but opening the swf file directly in your browser, Irfanview or GOM player resolves this. Some of the facial expressions and / or body poses are not always a complete success, but as I have tried in the past to create a 3D cyberperson myself I know how painstakingly difficult (and most of all: boring) this is. I gave up, simple as that.

In the game you meet Brenda, who in the first chapter, has some unlucky encounters with the neighbours' cat (hint: be sure to search the house while she is away, but don't be too intrepid). Luckily the cat is gone in the second chapter and all is open for a desert ride on your motorcycle. A small advice to Cugel, as the romantic scene in chapter two is identical to the scene in chapter one (apart from some sartorial changes), I would like to see a different approach for chapter 3 frankly.

Unfortunately there is no Getting to Know Brenda website yet, but the results and download links of Cugel's work are published at the Shark's Lagoon Forum: Getting to Know Brenda.

I looked over Jordan Jordan 500 by Leonizer

Leonizer is the thriving force behind the Lesson of Passion website. Not all games are top notch, some of the earlier ones are quite raunchy and not even worth the mention, but he pleasantly surprised me with High School Romance a couple of months ago. I liked the softcore approach of the game, although perhaps that is more due to the fact that Leonizer does not use anatomically detailed 3D models in his games (that have to be purchased), but the default personae that are given away for free. I have the distinct feeling that he doesn't own a lot of hairstyles for his characters either, as there is an abundance of bald male types.

With Jordan 500 he has made a nice interactive novel not unlike a dating sim. And not unlike dating sims it also contains all the pros but, I'm afraid so, also the cons of this genre.

Typical (Japanese) dating sims have a male player, usually a student, who has a time limit to win a girl's love from the same university. The girl will only give him some attention after he has bought her some presents, so he has to earn some money first (mostly by finding a job, occasionally to go thieving or to sell illegal substances). At the same time the player needs to get better ratings or achieve some fixed goals: going to school is needed to pass an exam, training at the gym results in a better physical condition, having a beer at the pub makes you more popular and so on… Most simulation driven computer games (SimCity, Age of Empires, Command and Conquer and obviously, also The Sims) put the player before these Solomon's judgments: choosing one option will opt out another and as they all have their advantages (and disadvantages) the player must try to reach and maintain an equilibrium (often there are also hazardous situations that need to be controlled first).

But back to Jordan 500. For once the game is not played from a man's point of view what is quite unique. Jordan is a Hollywood prostitute by choice (although it really is her financial situation that triggered her career, but we will not get into that discussion) hoping she'll meet a movie director during her encounters who will cast her. She starts selling her services at the local park and has 100 days to make it to the high society VIP club. Jordan will score better (and earn more) by changing her looks (buying clothes and make-up), training her body at the local gym, having a sauna or a massage... Besides that she needs to think of her reputation, her IQ, her health, her morale and even her self-defence skills. And obviously there are some clients to please as well. They bring in the money, needed to buy the extras that make her reputation and experience grow.

The problem with these fill-in-your-daily-agenda games is that they are highly repetitive, and if the graphics (or animations) are not adapted to the different situations you can as well play a soccer team management game instead, because all you see is a statistics board with percentages anyway.

Unfortunately this is Jordan 500's main problem. In her line of work Jordan meets 9 types of clients that all have different expectations. But all the screen shows are these damn statistics and the message 'working with customer'. It is as sexy as watching the New York Stock Exchange big board. Having at least a 'polaroid' of the situation would make the game visually more attractive and frankly, a bit less boring. I would have liked more eye-candy.

If certain conditions are met extra events are triggered, all good sims have these build-in mini-games, and Jordan 500 is no exception. One of the first encounters is when Jordan helps a friend by confronting a mafia boss who urgently wants a 1000 dollar loan back. But whatever Jordan's decision is this has no further impact on the game whatsoever and the friend disappears without a trace. The same goes for a romantic involvement with a member of the gym club, right at the beginning of the game and only if certain conditions are met, Jordan meets the man twice, after that he isn't seen anymore until day 100.

Day 100 is problematic as well, especially in Firefox. You can chose between three different endings but whatever you chooses the game always jumps back to the starting screen. I first thought this was deliberate, but after the third attempt I saw an infinite small sign at the bottom of my browser warning me that Firefox had silently blocked a pop-up. All major browsers (and search toolbars and anti-virus suites) block infesting pop-ups nowadays, so ending the game with a separate pop-up screen is about the most ridiculous decision a web-browsed game creator can take nowadays.

From the above it would seem that I am quite unhappy with this game, but I am not. It was fun for the first couple of times. But with some extra work this could grow into a monster with a playability and re-playability that equals ArianeB. We'll talk again when version 2.0 sees the light of day.

Jordan 500 can be found here.

If you liked this (adult gaming) post - you might be interested in the first one (from 2007) as well: Cyberhugging 
Three Sisters' Story
download locations
some nice screenshots
some not that nice (18+) screenshots
Shark’s Lagoon games that have been discussed here before:
Horny Afternoon: Cyberhugging
Sensual Experiment: Sense And Sensibility
An afternoon at the swimming pool: Autumn Blues
First Time: (insert title here)
Secret Fantasy Dreams: Secret Fantasy Dreams 
Desire and Submission: Desiderata 
Virtual Date Girls games that have been discussed here before:
The Crystal 1.1 Walkthroughs (1): Love in an elevator 
The Crystal 1.1 Walkthroughs (2): Let's have a party 
The Crystal 1.1 Walkthroughs (3): Steamboat Willie