Before I delve into my review of Purino Party, I would like to first off state that this review will contain no comparisons to HuniePop like most of the Steam reviews do. I have never played HuniePop, and so this game has been reviewed on its own merits alone.
Purino Party‘s storyline revolves around you, the protagonist, visiting an unnamed city to do some sightseeing. Upon arrival, you come upon a woman named Kei who informs you that in this city, a man’s worth is measured not in looks, money, strength, or prowess, but in his puzzle game abilities. Taking you to be a man who knows his puzzle games, she invites you to stay at a dorm she manages—which just happens to be filled with nothing but women. After introducing you to the four women residing in the dorm, she asks you to charm these lovely ladies with your puzzle skills in order to help them fully accept their desires and unlock their potential. Being offered the chance to start your own harem of beautiful women using only your puzzle skills and charm, you willingly accept.
In a world where gamers make the ladies’ panties drop…
Sounds like a story plot to a nukige containing lots of sexy time with pretty anime girls, right? Well, I hate to crush the hopes and dreams of you fellow lewdites so soon, but you won’t find that anywhere in the game. I’ll delve more into that later in the review, but for now, let’s go back into the details of the story and how the game is presented. The game is essentially broken up into two parts, Team Pure Girl and Team Innocent Girl. For those of you unaware, Purino Party is a crossover game containing characters from two of Frontwing’s previous VN titles, which are aptly named Pure Girl and Innocent Girl. Each team/portion is comprised of the main heroines of each game, with Kei, who is from Pure Girl, being the only one lacking a route.
In the beginning of the game, you start out with Team Pure Girl, which consists of the heroines Sora, Miyako, Yogiri, and Suzu. You are freely able to choose which girl you want to pursue, and you can switch characters in-between “phases”, which are comprised of a puzzle game, character interaction scene, and CG unlocking. Each character, or route, has five phases in total that you need to complete in order to clear her route. Once you have cleared all four of the girls routes, you’ll have achieved “harem status” with the group, and move onto Team Innocent Girl’s dorm. The second part contains the heroines Kagari, Konoka, Hinako, and Kanae.
The plot once you reach this second part remains largely the same, with Kei asking you to once again charm the ladies of the dorm in order to help them unlock their potential. The difference between the two dorms, however, is that the girls of Team Pure Girl are all women with a particular fetish, and the women of Team Pure Girl are all artists, which interestingly enough leads to some pretty big variance in how the character interaction scenes play out. The phases work the same in this half of the game as well.
Sorry small-breasted lovers, but none of these vixens are smaller than a C cup. Nothing but big boobied ladies as far as the eye can see.
As for the heroines, they are fairly varied in what character points that were presented within the game. I’ll first start off with the girls of Team Pure Girl. As mentioned earlier, this particular team is comprised of women all with varying fetishes. Sora has a fetish for older brothers, and can be frequently found playing video games or watching anime. Miyako has an intense licking fetish in where she gets turned on from licking things, particularly from sweets such as lollipops and ice cream. Yogiri has a fetish for porn and unabashedly states that her porn collection contains thousands of hours of porn videos. Suzu has an overall sex fetish, in where she finds sexual context in almost everything and constantly fantasizes about sex.
Team Innocent Girl is, again, comprised of girls that each follow a certain artistic path. Kagari is a professional painter. Konoka is an amateur artist who seems to specialize in clay sculptures. Hinako is an amateur singer, and Kanae is a professional erotic novelist. Each facet of these heroines is the main focus of the character interaction with them. I am not quite sure how much the characters’ personalities mirror that of their original characters in their respective games, but a quick look at the VNDB synopsis of the characters shows that, at least when it comes to these traits, Purino Party stuck pretty true to its roots.
Things are a bit different when it comes to the main character, however. While Pure Girl and Innocent Girl have their own respective protagonists, the protagonist of Purino Party is you. I don’t mean this in your usual visual novel imprint character kind of way, I mean the main character of the game is literally named “You” in a means of further implying that you, the player, are the protagonist. “Your” way of speaking and bare-bones personality also seems to change and vary greatly depending on what dorm you’re in, and sometimes even what girl you’re speaking to. I’ll talk more about that in the next portion about the writing of the game.
Purino Party is split into two different portions of gameplay styles, which I mentioned briefly at the beginning—a puzzle portion and a visual novel portion. First off, I’ll discuss the visual novel portion before moving onto the puzzle gameplay. The visual novel portions of the game, in the form of character interaction scenes, varied greatly between the two dorms in terms of dialogue and writing. Out of the two, I felt like the Pure Girl routes and a portion of the game was immensely lackluster when compared to the Innocent Girl portion for various reasons.
The Pure Girl portions—due to the personality facets of the girls—focus entirely on the girls’ fetishes, and therefore the dialogue is almost non-stop perversion. Obviously, this in of itself isn’t a bad thing. I mean, we all love sexy stuff, right? That’s why I write for this website, and that’s why you, my readers, read our articles. In this case, however, it all comes down to execution.
The reality is that these specific routes focused too much on perverted dialogue that sometimes went into the cringeworthy territory. Sometimes I laughed and sometimes I winced at portions that made me feel like I was reading snippets from a fanfic written by a horny 14-year-old boy. These routes acted like a nukige, talked like a nukige, and smelled like a nukige, but they never actually went to that level. Instead, the routes ended with no romance and no sex, leaving behind only perverted conversations, a bunch of virgins, and promises of future cosplay. The only route that I felt had the perfect blend of comedy, perversion, and development was Sora’s route. Overall, however, I felt like the Pure Girl portion would have been infinitely better with a better balance of conversational dialogue, or if they had led up to actual h-scenes.
The Innocent Girl portion and routes were vastly more enjoyable. Because of the shift in focus on character traits from fetishes to that of artistic talents and pursuits, the dialogue took on a more balanced tone overall. While there was still plenty of perverted conversations and jokes, they weren’t the centerpiece of every single conversation line, so I felt like these routes felt more on par with the overall execution of the game.
The naughty portions were well handled and funny, the artistic topics were intriguing, and gave a sense of character development and chemistry that was lacking with the Pure Girl routes. Kagari’s route, in particular, was hands down one of my favorite out of all of them. If the first part of the game had been handled with the same balance, I feel like the visual novel portion and the game, in general, would have been better. Instead, it felt like I had played a game with two immensely different tones and target audiences.
Now, onto the puzzle portion of the game. According to quite a few people, the puzzle section plays more along the lines of a Puzzles and Dragons setup, rather than a Bejeweled type of setup. You start out on a puzzle board with several different types of pieces and a limited number of moves. The goal is to make as many combos as you can in order to earn enough points to win the puzzle portion and move onto the character interaction portion of the game. This is achieved by moving alike pieces together in formations of three or more.
In addition to normal pieces that just net you points, there are also skulls which, if matched up, make you lose a turn, and heart pieces that not only give you combo points but activate a “fever mode” where you gain more points than normal with combos. A big difference between this game’s puzzle model and ones that take after Bejeweled is that you can move a piece freely across the board, rather than be constrained to simply moving pieces horizontally or vertically. This allows you to use one piece to move several others around to create cascading combos. You do, however, have a time limit to how long you can drag a piece around the board.
In the later puzzle levels, the game also increases the difficulty by throwing in a timer and clock pieces into the mix, which adds to your timer when you make combos. The ability to move a piece around freely made for some interesting and entertaining gameplay, but unfortunately, the difficulty scaling pretty much negated it. While a good puzzle game should offer some difficulty to make it fun and challenging, there were times that it became immensely frustrating in Purino Party.
A good chunk of the time, my success on a puzzle came down to a “luck-of-the-draw” board more often than it should have, especially in later levels. This is mostly due to an overabundance of skulls on the board. There were times that I would be pulling off great chains for large combos and I would end up losing due to my board becoming too flooded with skulls, causing inevitable and unavoidable skull chaining that took away my remaining moves. There’s no way to gain moves back, by the way. After dealing with this so many times, I ended up lowering the difficulty of levels just to be able to win before my board became 80% skulls and clusterfucked me.
Now, onto the technical aspects of Purino Party. First and foremost, the art is really, really good. Purino Party features crisp HD graphics, several paper doll poses, detailed backgrounds, cute characters, and colorful CGs. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this: every single art asset in the game is reused from its original source material – Innocent Girl and Pure Girl. It appears there was absolutely no new art created for the game’s release, save some minor changes to the X-rated CGs. I spent quite some time scouring through the games, matching up art assets, and I could find no material that was in Purino Party that could not also be found in one of the two said games.
The music was fairly nice, with the tracks being immensely varied and fitting for the characters and scene they played during. While this is just a mere speculation and I have no absolute proof, so I won’t hold it against the game or its score, I’m pretty sure that, like the art, the music tracks were all reused assets from the two source games as well. There were a few tracks that were fairly “meh”, but overall none of them ended up feeling grating or annoying. Now, reusing assets isn’t bad overall, but when a developer releases a game and doesn’t offset the amount of old assets with some new ones made exclusively for the game, it just comes off as lazy and unoriginal.
The voice acting was well done, with each character’s VA fitting well with the characters personality—at least, what was shown that is. This is probably the only technical portion that I’m leaning more towards the belief that at least most, if not all, of the voice lines in the game, were newly recorded for the game. I can’t say for certain, but there were quite a few situations where the “story” of the game was discussed, and from the bits of English the VAs busted out in these scenes, it seems like the JP vocals were somewhat true to the text. Then again, Frontwing could have just gone with the mentality of: “English speakers won’t know it isn’t accurate, they just want to hear JP voice acting!” I’d love to hear how close the vocals are to the text from someone who has played the game and is at least decently fluent in both languages.
Finally, we move into the section on the naughty bits. I’m sure you guys have been waiting with bated breath to find out what I meant when I said there’s no “sexy time” at the beginning of this review, right? Well, now you’re going to find out. Even with the “X-Rated patch” installed, Purino Party has absolutely no sex scenes whatsoever. What the patch unlocks is essentially sex scene CGs from Pure Girl and Innocent Girl with absolutely no context, and even then you can’t see the whole set, or the naughty parts unless you check them out in the gallery as the game.
For some ungodly unknown reason, except maybe to force you to go to the gallery, when you first “unlock” a CG after completing a phase, any genitalia is either censored with stuff such as light rays, or has had something drawn to replace or obscure it. There’s even one CG where a banana was used to replace a penis. I’m not shitting you, Frontwing did indeed “censor” a CG by replacing a penis with a banana. The boobs aren’t obscured initially, however.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a game that is fanservice fodder with no actual sex in it. Fanservice stories can be immensely fun and enjoyable; however, the way Purino Party presented its sexual content and set itself up for the entirety of the first half of the game felt like I was playing a nukige stripped of its core, rather than a fun, sexy, and flirty game that wasn’t going to go farther than that. The second half felt much more along that vein and felt more along the lines of what the game was trying to aim for.
Purino Party wasn’t a good or bad game – it was just okay. Frontwing had built a framework for a game that could have been so much better than it ended up being, had it not been for the frustrating and somewhat shoehorned gameplay, ill-fitting first half of the game, and total lack of anything new in the asset department. The developers did end up releasing an “easy mode” patch, which supposedly lowers the puzzle difficulty so you can “enjoy” the visual novel mode, but I very much doubt that it can take the game from being just mediocre to good due to the flaws of the visual novel portions.
For those of you who want to dive in and make the ladies fall at your feet with some mad gaming skills, you can find the game here . You might enjoy the title if you’re craving a short puzzle game involving cute girls, but there are some better fanservice and puzzle games out there to play.
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