"With its insane dialogue and crazy sex scenes, it's hard not to laugh at "lucky" Hiroaki's adventure. Towards the end, when Runaway City tries to equate charisma with rape, the game crosses the line from slapstick to unintentional hilarity."
Her eyes opened at the unexpected intruder, but then closed slowly, as my tongue probed her mouth.
Before I could do anything about it, she had my cock out of my pants and was sucking it off.
It was time for me, as the more experienced party, to take the lead — I pumped hot, white semen onto Yuki-san's belly.
Each sentence above is taken from a different hentai classic, but they have something important in common: sex. That also happens to be the glue that binds all three games on the JAST USA Memorial Collection.
Three Sisters' Story, Season of the Sakura, and Runaway City may not have been the absolute first hentai games released in the US, but they were among the earliest and helped establish JAST as the largest domestic distributor of pornographic anime video games... with girls. No one's quite cracked the yaoi market yet.* The best part is that these three versions are all graphically and musically enhanced over the originals — and for once, the improvements live up to the back-of-box hype. So get ready to remove some frilly panties... between all three games, it's a 33-girl festival!
Player: "Something's stuffed in my mouth!"
Yume: "They're underwear."
Player: "Oooooo, are they yours?"
Yume: "No. The correct answer is... they're YOURS!"
Runaway City is the most linear of all three games — 95 percent of the choices you make don't even affect the outcome — but it's also by far the most entertaining. With its insane dialogue and crazy sex scenes, it's hard not to laugh at "lucky" Hiroaki's adventure. Towards the end, when Runaway City tries to equate charisma with rape, the game crosses the line from slapstick to demented.
Just consider this moral dilemma: when confronted with the possibility of fatherhood and the question, "You'll take responsibility [for the baby], won't you?", two options are presented.
(1) TAKE CARE OF IT
(2) RUN AWAY
In typical Runaway City fashion, it doesn't matter which one you choose. Fulfill your irresponsible fantasies and enjoy the ride! Few games would dare include a character named person with cadaverous face. Runaway City is that brave game. Unfortunately, you have to repeatedly visit EVERY LOCATION IN THE CITY to trigger key events.
In a shocking departure from Runaway City's laidback mentality, Three Sisters' Story teaches sexual responsibility. As you screw thirteen girls in a single playthrough, you're constantly asked:
"Do you put the condom on? [YES/NO]"
That's not the limit of this grandiose epic's depth. It all starts when Koichi's father is betrayed by a coworker. Koichi and his brother Eiichi vow vengeance against the vile villain who ruined their family. Following the natural course of such schemes, this results in death, rape, and unplanned pregnancy. The game's gimmick is that Koichi actually falls in love with one of his enemy's daughters and wants to protect her! Most of these hentai games star heroes that are just interested in sex. It was nice to play as a guy who actually cares about the heroine's feelings while he's busy impregnating other random classmates. Unfortunately, you have to repeatedly visit EVERY CLASSROOM IN THE SCHOOL to trigger key events.
And then there's Season of the Sakura. Typically regarded as the most mature of the three games, Season of the Sakura is also the least entertaining. It's a school "season of love" adventure, but without the insight of better games (such as To Heart or Kimi ga Nozomu Eien). Basically, if you're already familiar with Japanese culture to even the mildest extent, it's really boring. They have a boring field trip. They have a boring culture fest. They have a boring hot springs party, with a "peek-a-boo!" scene that barely shows anything. Even on the first playthrough, Sakura's dull trip through Japanese culture made me sleepy. I can't imagine its potential effect on people who live through such mundane events every year of their lives.
The coolest part of Sakura is when your Misato-lookalike teacher (most of the girls are Evangelion or Rayearth clones) gives you a "special lesson" in proper lovin'. It's the only outlandish moment in a game that's otherwise so straightforward that my own secretarial affairs seem thrilling by comparison. Even viewed strictly as pornography, the rewards are few — you only get to nail one classmate per playthrough for a measly two or three still pictures. And that's assuming you didn't accidentally talk to Aki when you should have spoken to Ruri.
Although the three games vary in lasciviousness, the style of play and presentation is nearly identical. At the top, a window shows still pictures of the action. At the bottom, a text menu is displayed, offering available options. You pick options. Generally, this means looking at every desk, pencil, and wastebasket in the room before some emotionally stirring event (such as anally attacking your love interest's little sister) happens. The old Zork text adventures required thought. These three games just require inhuman patience to do all possible actions again and again until something new happens. There are some cool events in JAST USA Memorial Collection, but they're sandwiched between repetitive scenes of exploration.
I will now finish out this review with a scene from Runaway City. My snide personal comments are contained within parentheses.
(Inside the Soapland with Kana.)
Player: "What are we doing in a place like this?"
Player: "Why are my clothes off?"
Player: "Why does Kana call herself Kurumi here?"
(The player is lucky but dense.)
Player: "Are we going to do it? Do it at a soapland? Do it with a classmate of mine in a private room at a soapland? Me? My head's turned to butter."
(Mmm, butter. Kana starts to suck the player off.)
Player: "A feeling of intense pleasure, like my back had been shattered, ran up into my brain."
(Note the equation of spinal cord injuries with pleasure.)
Player: "It's too much! It's like being driven into the mountains by some girl and being raped."
(Despite making no sense at all, this is one of the most fantastic lines ever written.)
Player (while screwing Kana): "Why do you do this, anyway?"
Kana: "I'm researching the nature of human society."
[Player picks option: FUCK HER HARD]
Player: "My pelvis makes a circular motion and grinds into Kana while my tongue extends past her lips to her lower jaw and into her cheek."
(I hope you enjoyed the sex, because now they talk about their dreams.)
Player: "Kana, I'll find my dream."
Kana: "Mmm... yeah..."
Player: "Well, see you later."
Staff review by Jackson Lofton (May 20, 2005)
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