Enzai: Falsely Accused (PC) review
"I definitely enjoyed my time with Enzai. I actually played through every scenario and bled the story dry, because the dialogue and characters were so well-conceived."
"Dude, your penis is showing!"
My face would turn red in that situation, too. Fortunately, the heroic and brazenly heterosexual Evan was around to save the day. With a carefully-placed handcloth, he spared the youthful Guys -- wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit -- from public humiliation.
That's one possible interpretation of the above screenshot. However, such a conclusion would be 120% WRONG! The accurate interpretation would be that Evan jokingly offered to rinse Guys off . . . an offer that Guys seriously accepted. Evan then proceeded to molest the poor boy, giving him a barely-obscured handjob that resulted in an embarrassingly loud moan, soon followed by a massive upwards spray of semen that coated both men like warm melted chocolate (if warm melted chocolate were something normally used for the purpose of coating men).
Oddly enough, Guys does eventually get doused in warm melted chocolate, which another inmate ravenously licks while ramming his massive meaty rod into Guys' anus. I generously chose not to attach that particular screenshot to this review. You can thank me later.
If you're confused as to why I keep talking about men having sex with men, it's because Enzai: Falsely Accused is about . . . men having sex with men. A lot of writers might point and laugh and treat the game as a joke, but I won't do that. Gay sex is serious business.
Enzai is basically advertised as the male-on-male equivalent of a dating sim. Players assume the role of a young boy named Guys -- not to be confused with Last Alert's studly hero Guy Kazama -- who has been accused of murder. Unfortunately, since this story takes place in the 1800's, criminal trials aren't quite as fair as our modern, enlightened minds might hope. Thus, Guys ends up in prison, where he is molested by guards, seduced by inmates, and raped by crooked detectives. And his lawyer -- the one man who holds the keys to sweet, sweet release -- doesn't care about anything more than buying booze with the money Guys' mother paid him.
When Guys first arrives, the prison guard leads him down the hall, hurriedly barking out the way he'll live out the remainder of his life. Wake up at 6, dress in 5 minutes, work, take a 20 minute breakfast, work, take a 30 minute lunch, work, eat dinner, shower every other day, do laundry . . . it's an uncompromisingly harsh delivery, but a disturbingly realistic one. The guards have no respect for murderers. Since Guys has been falsely accused, it's easy to hate the intolerant guards . . . but can you blame them?
It's an oppressive, immersive, and convincing setting. The typical yaoi (man-love) story is about gay detectives who have gay clients, or gay students at schools full of gay teachers, or various other scenarios that occur in perfectly normal settings except that everyone happens to be gay. In other words, they're not particularly believable. With its prison setting, Enzai escapes this pitfall, because:
1) There aren't many women in a mens' prison.
2) Prison men are notorious for their intra-gender trysts.
Even though the setting is more realistic than the typical yaoi game, Enzai still follows the standard "heterosexual boy, surrounded by gay men, realizes that he too is gay deep down inside" plot. Normally, that's pretty insulting, because it implies that people "turn" gay by hanging out with homosexuals. It works better in Enzai because the game keeps reminding us that most of these men are heterosexual in the outside world . . . Guys, however, is unique because he feels something more, something deeper, than a raw physical need to get off. He feels genuine attraction and love. He doesn't like those feelings, but he knows they're real.
In most yaoi games, the hero can take solace in the fact that everyone else is openly gay. Guys doesn't have that luxury. He still has to wrestle with the fact that he's different from his friends. Basically, Enzai is a tale of self-discovery . . . with a whole lot of sex, rape, and molestation. For those of you who ever wanted to know what it's like to go to prison and get gang-raped your first night in, Enzai is your game.
That's also where Enzai's problems start. It's an immersive game -- playing almost feels more like reading an engrossing novel -- but it's not necessarily a fun immersion. There aren't any paths that protect Guys' virgin ass. No matter what choices you make, Guys will suffer many humiliating, painful, and cringe-inducing moments, often involving foreign objects and blood. I dare anyone who enjoys playing "rape the girl" games (like Virgin Roster) to try Enzai out and feel what it's like from the other side!
Furthermore, in addition to the main storyline (which revolves around proving Guys' innocence), the game develops an intriguing subplot of corruption and war-time smuggling . . . which gets resolved in two minutes. There was enough depth here such that, even after Guys proves his innocence and/or escapes, the game could -- should -- have lasted another 3 or 4 hours as he tried to bring down the true villains. But it doesn't. The resolution of the big mystery is just tacked on during a quick, two-minute epilogue.
And there are a buttload of different epilogues, most revolving around winning a particular prison inmate's heart. I was slightly perturbed to discover that it's even possible to have sex with the cheerful, 30-year-old, blonde journalist Evan. I was mainly upset because he looks a bit like Earnest Evans, who isn't gay. Really. He's not.
Anyways. Even though it's not always "fun", the plot and characters are convincing enough that I occasionally found myself hoping the cute inmate Shion might cast eyes my way. Quite frankly, this disturbed me because I love women. I looooove them. Especially naked women. In fact, I'm only reviewing this game because it was cruelly forced on me. Yet, despite my raging heterosexuality, I found myself actually trying to seduce a male character!
That bothered me. To reassure myself of my manhood, I drove down to the local Borders, picked up the latest Playboy, slammed it down on the counter, and proudly declared:
"I would like to buy this pornographic magazine."
I felt quite proud of myself. My sexual security was restored . . . until I realized that, in my rush to assert my manhood, I had accidentally picked up Playgirl instead. The cashier, who was desperately trying her best not to laugh, rang me up. I was too ashamed to protest and hurried out of there (with my newly-purchased Playgirl) as quickly as possible.
That magazine is now underneath my bed, right next to Enzai. They're both buried beneath a stack of heterosexual porn, which I only keep around to hide the gay porn. Don't get me wrong; I definitely enjoyed my time with Enzai. I actually played through every scenario and bled the story dry, because the dialogue and characters were so well-conceived. However, it's . . . embarrassing. It's a game where the hero gets raped over and over. That's not something I want my friends to know about.
Staff review by Zigfried (October 01, 2006)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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