Paradise Heights 2 (PC) review
"Is it possible Paradise Heights achieved enough popularity to warrant a sequel? Could that game, so devoid of memorable or exciting characters and storyline, have succeeded based solely on its lascivious adult content? Hard to imagine, yet Paradise Heights 2 exists nonetheless. Credit should go to the developers of this follow-up. Rather than simply churning out a game of equal quality to the original, the team clearly worked to improve every aspect in the sequel, if only slightly...."
Is it possible Paradise Heights achieved enough popularity to warrant a sequel? Could that game, so devoid of memorable or exciting characters and storyline, have succeeded based solely on its lascivious adult content? Hard to imagine, yet Paradise Heights 2 exists nonetheless. Credit should go to the developers of this follow-up. Rather than simply churning out a game of equal quality to the original, the team clearly worked to improve every aspect in the sequel, if only slightly. The plot contains some actual mystery and drama. The character’s personalities are more fleshed out. Backgrounds and character designs are brighter and livelier. As refreshing as these improvements are, though, Paradise Heights 2 suffers from the same pitfalls as its predecessor. The storyline is linear enough to deprive the player of any feeling of real control, and all the events are driven too much by sex alone. In the end, Paradise Heights 2 is little more than a peepshow.
Like Paradise Heights, this game is a point-and-click adult bishoujo game. Even though Paradise Heights 2 could be a standalone story, it continues to detail the love-life of Keigo Nakadai. No longer content with his career from the first game, the simple manager of his uncle’s apartment complex, Keigo has grownup and worked to become the best young designer at a toy company. Also, Keigo is once again a free agent; his love from the first game has flown the coop for greener pastures. Like Keigo, the tenant list at the apartments has also changed. Only Kayo, an easy-going woman of ill-repute, and Ayako, the sex-crazed university student, are holdovers from the first installment. Among the new tenants are Miki, an attached and perky waitress, and Tamami, a naive and innocent sweetheart who happens to be Keigo’s assistant at work. Of course, Keigo will meet other women from the toy company. Saeko is Keigo’s stern and demanding superior. Harumi, an office girl, both dresses and acts in a brazen fashion. Finally, there’s Suzuko, a quiet and somewhat reserved receptionist. Keigo will definitely have his hands full attempting to gain attention from all these beautiful women.
While the plot mainly revolves around interacting with the ladies, it also involves other drama. Someone is stealing Keigo’s phenomenal toy designs! The culprit could be anyone around him, and Keigo doesn’t know who to suspect or trust. Don’t be fooled into thinking the game is a suspenseful potboiler for the player to unravel, though. The mystery is resolved without the efforts of our protagonist, and your duty consists mainly of clicking through lines and lines of mundane dialogue. Oftentimes, you won’t even need to tell Keigo where to go; he’ll automatically move from the apartment to his workplace or favorite café. This is a distinct and welcome change from the monotony of Paradise Heights, in which you had to drag Keigo from empty apartment to apartment until he triggered the next event. However, it does leave the player feeling distant from the action on screen.
Granted, there are times when the player must choose an action for Keigo, but the outcome of most of these is predetermined. An “incorrect” choice loops back so the “correct” choice can be made. Given that the storyline of Paradise Heights was completely linear, it’s remarkable that the sequel features a whopping two decisions where the path diverges for a bit, offering a different set of events and CG’s for each choice. However, Paradise Heights 2 only has one ending, so these branches quickly converge into the same story and provide little replay value.
Not that one would exactly want to replay the game; it’s a story that ineptly combines romance and wanton sexual trysts. Supposedly, the center of the game is Keigo’s budding relationship with Tamami, the most innocent of the new girls. She entirely devotes herself to aiding him in anyway she can. He generally doesn’t think about her and has sex with everything that moves, including her sister and two best friends. Even after Keigo suddenly falls for Tamami, he continues to be an ass and fuck around with other women. It’s not as if these other relationships are substantive, either; most seem to be spontaneous encounters. Many players will have a hard time empathizing with a guy who claims to be in love yet displays such blatant disregard for those feelings. Instead, the player will feel sympathy for Tamami because she ends up with such a jerk. Even more than in the first game, Paradise Heights 2 is ruined with too many random sexual encounters.
The graphics for those sexual encounters are of the same quality seen in Paradise Heights. The character sketches are not nearly as smooth as those in newer bishoujo games. The lines are slightly rough but don’t make the pictures less enjoyable. The h-scenes deliver views of all the dirty action. Although, the aspect may be too close; you can see the texturing of the skin’s individual pixels. The sex consists mostly of a good mix of routine sexual positions. Instances of S&M and lesbian sex do occur, but they are nothing too hardcore to offend anyone already playing this game. These scenes, however, are unlikely to arouse any deeper emotions within you. The stock dialogue reflects the lack of significant relationships between the participants. All the passion generated in these scenes actually comes from the music, a soft and sweetly subdued midi tune.
The music, in fact, helps to liven up the rest of the game as well. It features both an bouncy, upbeat tune and an understated suspenseful piece. Each is looped long enough as to not annoy the player with repetitiveness. Also, the backgrounds and character sketches have been livened up in comparison to those in the preceding game. In the first game, even though a room would have furnishings and other objects, the background was all the same color. This gave the game such a generic and rushed feel, but that has been corrected now. The rooms and outside shots are very detailed, with bright colors and lighting. It even shows the entrance to the apartment complex, the game's namesake, which was amazingly not seen in the previous game. The character sketches have improved, too. The clothes are brighter colors than seen before, giving the characters more life. Each girl even has a different outfit for home and work! It’s evident that the creators decided to put more effort into the details of this sequel.
Unfortunately, all that effort went to a relative waste. Paradise Heights 2 drowns in its overwhelming amount of meaningless sex; two or more scenes with most every girl in well less than one hour of playing time. Without a noteworthy story or characters, this game is simply a means to while away a little time. With so many superior adult games available today, only devoted bishoujo fans or those desperate for their erotic fix need to check out this game.
Community review by woodhouse (May 16, 2004)
A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.
If you enjoyed this Paradise Heights 2 review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!