Sweet Paradise (PSP) review
"Quick show of hands, who here wants to date a pre-teen Japanese girl? Better yet, what if you could take this lovely young lady on a private holiday, just the two of you exploring the sandy tropical beaches of Bali... would you like that? "
Quick show of hands, who wants to date a pre-teen Japanese girl? Better yet, what if you could take this lovely young lady on a private holiday, just the two of you exploring the sandy, tropical beaches of Bali... would you like that? It's not often I walk into a store with the intention of buying something, only to loiter around the counter in a haze of do I or don't I embarrassment, but Sweet Paradise was one such occasion. To say I'd feel more comfortable buying sanitary napkins for my wife is an understatement, a point driven home by the store clerk's lecherous smile. "Here's your game sir, please enjoy".
loli-con (1. ad-noun)
1. A Japanese term consisting of the English words "lolita" and "complex"
2. An adult male obsessed with young girls
It's an interesting cultural fact that Japan is one of the few places where an adult male can spend his time idolizing grade school girls, and not get arrested. As a hobby, loli-con is tolerated in much the same way as Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, and stamp collecting is in the West. The ladies will think you're strange and perhaps, slightly uncomfortable to be around, but if you're so inclined you can ogle the kids until your eyes fall out and your palms begin to bleed. It's your decision. Make no mistake about it though, loli-con isn't porn par se, it's what porn would be if the actress wasn't allowed to take her clothes off, and had to rely on suggestive poses instead. And though you're still going to feel dirty when your friends find Sweet Paradise on the shelf, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it really, truly isn't all that shameful... or so you'll try to insist.
So OK, let's examine how Success have presented their date-sim by stringing together a number of interactive videos in such a way as to give players the opportunity of directing their latest, romantic tryst. Intrigued? Don't be, you're better than that. Sweet Paradise begins with a selection of three young ladies, the combined might of which represent the latest Japanese loli-con group, Sweet Kiss. We've got twelve year old Saya (79-57-78), her slightly older friend Runa (78-58-78), and Jessica the token gaijin beauty (74-55-76). And yes, those are the three measurements of our budding young ladies. Make of them what you will...
It's having selected your favorite girl from that rather "curvaceous" line-up that Sweet Paradise kicks things into gear. Introductions are made, "Hi, I'm Saya. Let's do our best together!", pleasantries are passed "You're looking very cute", and soon enough you've got to make a decision. Should you take her to the Duty Free store, or would she like to visit the beach instead? Who cares, this is your fantasy and she's going to love you anyway! Making a selection then elicits a brief cinema sequence where a seedy looking Indonesian chauffeur ferries you across town and towards your intended destination. It's also worth bearing in mind that these segments are obviously filler, and appear to be designed with the Bali Tourism Board in mind. Pretty gardens on the left, shopping districts on the right. Why are you looking out the window when there's a pre-teen hottie sitting next to you?
Ohhh, you're embarrassed! I understand... this isn't easy for me either.
Putting our collective shame aside, Sweet Paradise isn't much more than what I've already described. You watch a short video, hopefully containing footage of your chosen date, then select what you want to do next from a series of prompts. It's so easy, you could do it with one hand! Does she want the red sweater or the yellow one? The strawberry ice cream or the vanilla? It has to be said, Success have perfectly replicated the banality of dating a grade school girl, going all out on the miscellaneous trivialities and inane banter one would expect of such an experience. Visiting a desert bar with your chosen date for instance, might inspire her to spoon feed you some yummy treats, but first you'll have to play a silly game of rock-scissors-paper to prove your manliness (note to everyone - rock always wins).
Other than being an item of odd curiosity and ridicule, the one claim to fame Sweet Paradise has is that it provides an insight into a bizarre Japanese obsession. Saya, Runa, and Jessica are without a doubt, three of the cutest twelve year olds this side of a grade school lunch room, that though, is hardly a recommendation. Stripped of its questionable subject matter, Sweet Paradise does nothing to attract players with its simple game design lacking any semblance of long term appeal. You'll watch these videos once, laugh at how terribly embarrassed you feel when your friends discover what you're doing, then bury this dog in the closet with the rest of your skeletons. And that's all you really need to know....
* Don't get me started
Staff review by Michael Scott (May 06, 2006)
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 Sweet Paradise 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!