Pick Me, Honey! (PC) review
"How seriously can you take a game when the most colorful cast member is the protagonistís testicles? Reijiís unit displays more emotion than any of the female diversions. It grows angry and rigid, explores moments of honesty, twitches, pulsates and even finds itself surprised by certain circumstances. In contrast, the girls are as one-dimensional as you may imagine."
Reiji Oshima, the protagonist in Pick Me, Honey! isnít exactly the sort of fellow you would expect to ride up on a white horse. He keeps a healthy collection of porn hidden under his mattress and heís prone to nosebleeds at the most inopportune of moments. Specifically, he tends to burst crimson streams when it looks like heíll get laid.
Lately, there have been a lot of nosebleeds going around.
As Pick Me, Honey! opens, Reiji is realizing that his birthday is rapidly approaching. Heís never really had a party with girls. Instead, he has to content himself with what he sees in the magazines. So he decides to invite girls to a karaoke party. The problem is that the few women in his lifeóall within a year or two of his ageódonít seem to like this idea at all. Before he knows it, heís caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one devised for the express purpose of keeping him a virgin!
When his birthday actually arrives, Reiji heads down to the front room at his house. There, his tragic lot in life is revealed. It seems those girls who kept him from getting laid all this time did it becauseÖ they want to screw his brains out. Oh, and they want to marry him. All three of them do, in fact. Like Jim Carreyís character in The Truman Show, Reiji has been moving through life oblivious to the unexpected truth.
This is where you come in. As the player, youíll guide Reiji as he decides which of the three girls in the game heíll marry. And though this may seem like a cruel choice to make, remember that the other two girls will happily stay on as his mistresses. Itís nothing short of a fantasy world, but this is the setting for the game. Now all you have to do is decide which girl you want to serve as the primary sexual partner.
As you may have guessed from the plot, Pick Me, Honey! is pure, unadulterated fluff. It doesnít explore the notion of saving the world. It doesnít ponder deep spiritual questions, either. The most Ďprofoundí moments come when one of the girls, Mio (Reijiís cousin) is deciding whether or not sheíll stop restricting him to just anal sex.
Now, Iím not afraid of a little fluff from my games, particularly when theyíre of the hentai persuasion. How seriously can you take a game when the most colorful cast member is the protagonistís testicles? Reijiís unit displays more emotion than any of the female diversions. It grows angry and rigid, explores moments of honesty, twitches, pulsates and even finds itself surprised by certain circumstances. In contrast, the girls are as one-dimensional as you may imagine. Chihiro Ogawa is Reijiís adopted sister. Sheís always been around, but what she secretly longs for is her prince. Also, she has pink hair and is the most willing to try fetishes. Hazuki Shinozaki is a childhood friend who has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Her tendency to punch people when sheís embarrassed hidesÖ nothing in particular. She just likes to hit things. And finally, thereís Mio Sumiyoshi. Sheís stiff and formal, and protective of her virginity. Still, sheíll do anything sexual that doesnít involve a vagina.
The game introduces the three leading ladies quite early. There are two other potential love interests, too, but they really donít make up the bulk of the game, or the sex scenes. Speaking of those, you shouldnít expect anything out of the normal.
A typical sexual encounter will have two carefully-illustrated pictures that focus on sexual positions. One shows white liquid all over the place and the other doesnít. For extended scenes, the number may double or even triple, but thereís never any animation. In the gameís defense, the Ďvital bitsí arenít obscured by mosaic tiles. Either they never were in the gameís original release, or someone handy with a pen went back and got frisky. So if you like the sight of illustrated wang and vaginal mounds, youíll be absolutely delighted with what you find here.
Itís more than just the artwork that pleases, though. I was pleasantly surprised by the audio quality. First, you get to hear all of the original Japanese voice work. I realize this is the norm these days, but Iím coming to the scene after a recent (irritating) experience with poorly-dubbed English in Casual Romance Club, so I appreciated what I heard here all the more. Still, itís not the voices that I liked most. The music here is just fantastic. There are tender piano pieces when the scenes call for a gentle, emotional touch. If someone is feeling mischievous, expect saucy noises from wind instruments. Also, some of the guitar work is beautiful. Honestly, there were moments when I let the screen just sit on some of the text so I could listen to the gorgeous music. Thereís even a sound test option from the gameís main menu, if you donít want to put up with all the boring text.
Yes, the text is boring. Because of the shallow characters I mentioned above, thereís not much reason to get involved in the plot at all. While I can and do appreciate the absence of violent rape scenes, no one thought to fill out those voids with anything meaningful. Because thereís not much mystery to the lovely ladies Reiji has to choose from, frequent sex scenes actually get boring. Even when youíre watching three naked females working to seduce Reiji, itís hard to feel interested.
Suddenly, you notice the gameís minor flaws. The sickly green color of the menus is frustrating. Clicking to remove the menus also irritates, and the extra steps to set up the game to your liking are more an irritation than the boon they could have been. Not only that, but you may even get analytical about things, which is dangerous when weíre talking about a hentai game. For example, how is it that the girls lack pubic hair one moment, then suddenly have glorious bushes the next? Only the artists know.
With all of that said, though, Pick Me, Honey! is still one of the more enjoyable hentai games Iíve played. The artwork is mostly attractive and depicts a variety of positions. If youíve been looking for a game that devotes much time to anal adventures, add another point to the score Iím giving this one. Itís really just the lack of character depth and a few other niggles typical of the genre that hold this game back from a respectable rating. If youíre willing to look past those warts, Pick Me, Honey! actually comes recommended. Plus, thereís plenty of booty to go around. Somewhere, Reijiís nose is bleeding again.
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Staff review by Jason Venter (April 03, 2005)
Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.
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