Tsuki ~Possession~ (PC) review
"Despite the fact that only a handful of their games have reached the English speaking market, ZyX has certainly shown they’re not afraid to explore the darker recesses of sexual desire. One of their first translated titles was the condemnable Ring Out, which follows a young girl’s descent into a world of sexual slavery. More recently came the release of Virgin Roster, a title about a rapist prowling a high school. Tsuki ~Possession~ is cut from the same pattern, cho..."
Despite the fact that only a handful of their games have reached the English speaking market, ZyX has certainly shown they’re not afraid to explore the darker recesses of sexual desire. One of their first translated titles was the condemnable Ring Out, which follows a young girl’s descent into a world of sexual slavery. More recently came the release of Virgin Roster, a title about a rapist prowling a high school. Tsuki ~Possession~ is cut from the same pattern, choosing to focus not on loving relationships but instead on domination, humiliation, and destruction. Unlike the other titles, though, Tsuki portrays this degradation in a negative light, indicating it was designed with a very special audience in mind. To fully enjoy this game, one must possess a certain curiosity about the dark acts included in Tsuki, but must also loathe those impulses at the same time.
The writers certainly constructed a story that wouldn’t necessarily cause the player overwhelming feelings of guilt. You see, something is wrong with Yosuke Mizuno, the main character of the game. Yosuke was once a likeable, promising high school student, admired by his family, friends, and teachers. However, we don’t meet him until tragedy strikes his life. Devastated by the sudden accidental death of his father and an embarrassing incident with his remaining step-family, Yosuke has moved out on his own and estranged himself from those he used trust. This is when the darkness invades his body; a shadow envelopes Yosuke and takes control of his mind. No longer fully in control of his own actions, our protagonist becomes obsessed with destroying the women who love him by turning them into mindless sexual toys.
Tsuki purposefully avoids divulging the exact cause of Yosuke’s madness. While this may disappoint those players that enjoy having every detail fleshed out completely, it really makes the game accessible to a wider range of people, as they can project their own fantasies onto the downfall of our hero. Those more sadistically inclined can surmise that the force rises up from within him, that a more evil version of himself has emerged. Those who shy away from such tendencies can imagine that an outside party has taken control of Yosuke. In this way, they can mitigate his responsibility, and their own, for enjoying the horrors that await the women in this game.
Unfortunately, quite a few women have feelings for Yosuke, and have thus made themselves targets for his diabolical machinations. It starts with Shizuka, Yosuke’s step-mother, who is still young and beautiful. Despite her cheerful mask, she’s grown lonely, and frustrated, since the death of her husband. In contrast to her mother, Yosuke’s taciturn step-sister Ryoko hides her feelings by acting withdrawn and unemotional. Miss Nagasawa, one of his teachers, showed her caring toward him by offering her kind and gentle support during his ordeal. Keiko is a strong young woman who owns the struggling café where our man works. Having lost her parents already, Keiko is sympathetic to Yosuke’s plight, and she’s willing to aid him in any way she can, even at her own expense. Finally, there’s Takami, the headstrong and forceful class president. Yosuke’s childhood friend, she thinly conceals her tender concern under the pretense of willful aggression. While Yosuke begins the game intending to reciprocate the love these ladies show him, we only briefly see a glimpse of that calm world, set against serene piano compositions. All too soon the storm within Yosuke awakes, and he sets out to violate and destroy those he once held dear.
And violate them he will. Tsuki is true to its dark intentions and features some hardcore activities. Yosuke’s fall is gradual through, so the action begins with vanilla straight and oral sex. Even though the visual content is mild, the emotional content foreshadows the caustic nature of future interactions. While the girl initially gives in to Yosuke’s demands because she loves him, his thoughts focus only on his venomous plans for breaking her very soul. In addition to Yosuke’s dirty visions, the music during these escapades helps to transport you into his foul mindset. Churning, deep progressions of keyboard and string rob you of any hope that he might discard his plans for destruction. In fact, these plans come to fruition almost immediately, as Yosuke forces his victim into participating in exhibitionism, bondage, enemas, urination, threesomes, gangbangs, and more.
If you can handle, or even enjoy, the humiliating and degrading content of these scenes, it’s doubtful you’ll be disappointed in their quality. Every scene includes two or three pictures and lasts upwards of five, or even ten, minutes. In a very rare display, some of these scenes even feature animation. Although it’s nothing more than a loop of a few seconds, the motion certainly adds a great amount of eroticism to the mix. Coupled with the woman’s guttural, yet pleasurable, moans and screams, or even her pitiful cries for relief, the graphics displayed here are more than enough to send you over the top. As the game progresses, you’ll have more and opportunities for gratification. Each girl has a prodigious ten sex scenes; by the end these will literally blend together into a continuum of encounters. This is acceptable, however, given that eventually Yosuke’s pours all his efforts into training the woman as his sexual slave.
Realize, though, that this game is not just a slideshow; you won’t be idly sitting by watching Yosuke and his partner slip into a depraved existence. In fact, your job is to save them from that fate and deliver the couple to a somewhat normal life. Like most bishoujo games, you’ll help to determine the characters’ outcomes by making decisions for them along their journey. First of all, you have to choose Yosuke’s target. You can only chase after one girl at a time, which creates an obvious incentive to play through the game multiple times. Along each girl’s path, a choice for Yosuke’s behavior will arise every so often, usually right before a sex scene. You’ll be presented with two options: be nice to the girl or push her in a direction she doesn’t want to go.
One may initially infer that the good ending would result from always giving into the girl’s wishes, but it won’t. Working to achieve a good ending is actually a difficult feat; you have to read the girl’s character and choose the right spots to push her towards the edge or hold back. Some good endings require that you choose correctly up to eight times; if you make even one mistake, you’ll get a bad ending and have no recourse but to start back at the beginning and try again. Additionally, the game will give you no indication of where you erred, and while this may be frustrating, it adds to the depth of the game. The player has to make an effort to unravel the characters rather than just ogle them having sex.
In the end, one may either be too twisted or too innocent to completely embrace the Tsuki experience. Those really into the hardcore sex acts may not appreciate the fact that these are portrayed as evil elements by the game and ultimately rejected when the player achieves a “good” ending. Those who relish Yosuke’s escape from madness may not appreciate the road he must take to find it, or at the very least may feel guilty for enjoying such debasing material. However, if you can reconcile stomaching the parts of the game you’re not comfortable with, or if you really want to explore a darker side of yourself, you’ll want to take advantage of the unique opportunity that Tsuki provides.
Community review by woodhouse (May 30, 2004)
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