Criminal Girls Invite Only Review
NIS has brought us in the west another JRPG in the form of Criminal Girls Invite Only for the Playstation Vita. Now before we get to far into this I will say that this is a game where the story is not meant to be taken seriously at all and is quite heavy on the fan service so if that is not your cup of tea you may want to look elsewhere. On the other hand if your looking to play a fun JRPG that isn’t to challenging and you don’t mind the slew of fan service then look no further.
Criminal Girls Invite only places you in a version of purgatory/hell where you are a warden of sorts. Your job….well its to rehabilitate a handful of sinful souls who have been damned to Hades. These souls are a group of girls that all have very unique and for the most part harsh or weird personalities. Your tasked with gaining their trust and “saving” them so they may eventually be reincarnated. So slowly you climb up through the levels of hell gaining the group’s trust and fighting lost souls and demon entities along the way.
So here’s the fan service heavy part. In order to teach certain abilities to the girls you must motivate them. Heck they won’t even fight at first unless you motivate them. Motivation takes the form of Whipping, tickling, or other such provocative measures using the Vita’s touch screen to do so. All the while the girls will don outfits that range from Japanese school girl levels to lingerie and some may as well be nude. This is a necessary part of the game and leveling up your party and you’ve basically become a glorified dominatrix in game. But in order to motivate you must spend in game points earned from battling, and the amount of points you spend will allow you different methods of motivations to use on the girls.
The games shining grace is definitely the simplistic yet very well done battle system. It is turned based and you will have access to items and the ability to run and other such normalities for an RPG but there is so much more to it. The battle options take the form of suggestions from your party members. At first the girls all are kinda loners and will do only solo attacks and the occasional team up with one other party member. So one may suggest a solo physical attack, while another won’t suggest anything at all, and the last will suggest a duo two part attack. Obviously in that instance you would usually select the duo attack as it will cause the most damage. As you grow your party they will band together and learn more advanced techniques vastly increasing the suggestions that appear. And each of the characters learns unique and useful offensive and defensive skills which had me constantly switching up the party to figure out new combinations.
The music wasn’t bad for the game and some of it was pretty good. But none of it was rememberable to the point of me humming it in my head while playing or even recalling much of it without turning the game back on. However the settings of the dungeons and environments was lacking in diversity. You will find yourself backtracking a lot or grinding in the same area’s for a good amount of time and it just became very dull to look at the same landscapes over and over without a lot of change. Granted I can’t imagine Hell having the most appealing environments and scenery anyway so I suppose it kinda fits in a round a bout way.
All in all Criminal Girls Invite Only was not a bad game. It was just a little disappointing to find the wonderful combat system was buried under the very heavy fan service and dull environments. I did enjoy my time playing it overall even despite its short comings but would have to say this is definitely aimed at a very specific crowd. So if you don’t like fan service, simply don’t pick this one up. If you want a JRPG that is light hearted with a great combat system and is easy to play, this is right up your alley. 6 out of 10. Happy Gaming.