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Virgin Roster  ~Shukketsubo~ (PC) artwork

Virgin Roster ~Shukketsubo~ (PC) review

"You should hate this game; it glorifies the type of brutality that society shuns. Virgin Roster ~Shukketsubo~ is a game about rape. More accurately, itís about one manís damnable quest to control, humiliate, violate, and destroy any suitable woman he encounters. While the game possesses a theme that will be reprehensible to most, it can tempt many to play because of its visually titillating sex scenes, in particular the ones that feature animation. Virgin Roster is a conundrum;..."

You should hate this game; it glorifies the type of brutality that society shuns. Virgin Roster ~Shukketsubo~ is a game about rape. More accurately, itís about one manís damnable quest to control, humiliate, violate, and destroy any suitable woman he encounters. While the game possesses a theme that will be reprehensible to most, it can tempt many to play because of its visually titillating sex scenes, in particular the ones that feature animation. Virgin Roster is a conundrum; itís a game you should loathe but may unwilling enjoy. Ultimately, how you feel about this game will tell you a lot about yourself.

The driving force behind Virgin Rosterís dark theme is its protagonist. One of the typical elements of a bishoujo game is to have a nice, nondescript main character. This allows the player to easily identify with the lead or project himself onto the role. If you feel any empathy with Kengo Inui, however, you may want to seek immediate counseling. Kengo is a self-centered, egotistical sociopath who sees the world as his own personal playground. From his very first line, he makes it clear that he considers himself above the rabble of society and that other people, especially women, exist only to be used and abused to fulfill his whims. A completely hedonistic bastard, Kengo has devoted himself wholeheartedly to that purpose, to derive his own pleasure by completely taking advantage of others.

From the moment the program begins, the player is immersed in Kengoís world and given the alarming task of adopting his twisted mindset. The opening menu features the murky figure of a nude female torso offset by a cutting bright light. Also, you donít just choose to simply start or continue to the game. Instead, these options have the word ďhuntingĒ appended to them, clearly delineating the women in the game as prey for a demented animal. Selection of an option is accompanied by a jarring and abrasive noise, somewhat akin to the synthesized breaking of glass. Most of the music is either actively sinister, accentuated by fast and low beats, or itís stilted and disorienting, featuring a deceptively gentle piano. Then, of course, the game constantly bombards you with Kengoís misogynistic ranting, hateful desires, and evil plans. After all, his goal in this game is not just to get sex however he can; itís something even more disgusting. Kengo wants complete control over his girl; heíll only gain maximum satisfaction after completely breaking her spirit and making her as submissive as a well-trained pet.

And what better place to satiate his sadistic desires than a high school? Really, the more innocent his victim is, the larger her fall, the more thrilling his hunt will be. Whoís more innocent than a virgin? Thatís why in this game, Kengo is working as a substitute teacher, so he can defile the most beautiful and pure of women, students and teachers alike. Kiyoka, suffering from a privileged but overprotected upbringing, is too meek to stand up for herself against anyone, especially a predator like Kengo. The outgoing and popular Yuki, always bright and cheerful, has developed an unfortunate crush on her new teacher, Mr. Inui. Yukiís best friend Shinobu is somewhat of a tomboy, athletic and overly aggressive. Shinobu is very protective of her friend, and she would do anything to shield Yuki from harm. Even the aloof first-year student Ren crosses paths with Kengo; her haughty nature only spurs his need to dominate her. Then, or course, thereís the faculty. Saki is the head of her department and Kengoís supervisor. Diametrically opposed to her sister Yukiís affable nature, Saki is very hard on those around her, especially Kengo, which draws his immediate ire. Sakiís student teacher Tomo canít emulate her boss. Sheís still young enough to interact naturally with the students, and she feels an unfortunate bond with Kengo since theyíre both on the lowest rung of the staff hierarchy. Takako, the school nurse, suffers from the same low self-confidence as Kiyoka, and she has a tendency to yammer on about her shortcomings to her new confidante, Kengo. With so many targets, your toughest choice will be deciding which woman to have our unworthy protagonist rape and destroy, which is exactly the main problem with this game. Players with a conscience are provided with no alternative to Kengoís reign of terror, no hope for his vulnerable prey. You canít make him good. You canít make him run away. You canít even kill him. At the end of the game, Kengo will have claimed another soul; you only get to pick the pitiful victim. If you canít stomach that scenario, then you shouldnít even consider this title.

Unfortunately, Virgin Roster suffers from one other problem, besides its obviously inappropriate content, that it shares with some other games. The game is too simple. Virgin Roster is set up like the majority of bishoujo games; itís a visual novel, and the events you see and your ultimate ending are determined by decisions you make at different junctures during play. In this game, though, the outcomes of those choices are quite obvious; some explicitly deal with sticking to a particular girlís path or jumping to a new target. The toughest choice you have to make will literally be which woman to pursue; as long as you strictly keep on her trail then achieving her endings should be a breeze. Even if you are suffering from a momentary lack of judgment, the decision tree is painfully shallow. Exhaustively traversing it to find the path to each ending doesnít take an extraordinary amount of effort. Moreover, there arenít any hidden events within the game; once youíve gotten each girlís ending, youíll have seen all the sex scenes she has to offer.

If anything will override your better sensibilities and tempt you to play this game, though, itís the sex scenes. Surprisingly, despite the nature of this game, the sex depicted is overwhelmingly vanilla. Kengo is attempting to train his girl to be a sex slave, but the kinkiest the action gets is the occasional donning of some leather or the use of toys. Of course, since this drama takes place on a campus, any school uniform fetishes you have will be amply satiated. On average, a girl will have three or four different events, each one consisting of at least three pictures and will lasting well over ten minutes. The graphics themselves are clear, detailed, and depict a variety of acts and positions. Some are even animated, and although the motion is actually only a brief loop showing the most vital of actions, these episodes are exponentially more erotic than a still picture. Remember, though, that while these events may be visually stimulating, they still represent acts of forcible rape. Itís a fact that the game certainly wonít let you forget. What Kengo, and by extension the player, is supposed to relish most about these episodes is the pain that he causes his victim. Kiyoka will almost inaudibly whimper her protestations, Shinobu will forcibly scream epithets towards her attacker, and Tomo will frantically beg for mercy. The voices of all the girls, coupled with Kengoís incessant mix of hatred for his victim and delight at her misery, clearly convey that the sex you see is nonconsensual. Despite the fact that the game abstains from depicting any violence besides the sex itself, this fact will certainly serve to encumber most playersí enjoyment.

Examine this game from the view of its twisted target niche, though, and one might consider Virgin Roster a masterpiece. Kengo is an unabashed and unrepentant rapist by his own volition; nothing is prompting his actions but his own brutal desire. In the end, he gets exactly what he wants, a mindless sex doll. Thereís no hope for a serendipitous reformation, no real threat of receiving the retribution he so richly deserves. The game is a true delight to anyone who subscribes to Kengoís way of thinking. If you donít, however, Virgin Roster is a disgrace. Youíre forced to follow this beast on his unforgivable journey. With no alternative to watching Kengo turn these women into groveling sluts, thereís no reason for the average bishoujo gamer to even give this title a try. At best, youíll get some fleeting pleasure from the sex scenes, soon followed by guilt and remorse for enjoying the degrading display. At worst, well, you may actually find you enjoy it.

woodhouse's avatar
Community review by woodhouse (May 30, 2004)

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