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Doushin: Same Heart (PC) artwork

Doushin: Same Heart (PC) review


"You've probably played games in the past where you made a choice and were greeted by hours of dialogue and suddenly found yourself thinking woefully that somehow, somewhere, you were missing out on an orgy. Not so here! Now you simply click to jump to one of the other sisters. If no one around her seems randy, well, click to the other. Surely, a zipper is dropping somewhere."



Once you've played a few hentai games, they blur together. Differences are limited to breast size, color palette and the hair color of the irrepressibly perky girl with a narrow outlook on life. It's a fault of the genre, something people mostly endure because of the allure of well-drawn nipples. At a glance, Doushin - Same Heart seems poised to change that. Unfortunately, it winds up thoroughly average. Squandered potential, ahoy!

The gimmick that drives Doushin - Same Heart is intriguing. It's worked into the plot, in fact, so let's start there.

Three years ago, a funeral was held. Three young ladies-Ryoko, Maki and Miho-stayed with relatives while their parents drove to the event. On the way back, a horrific auto accident claimed their lives. Suddenly orphaned, the three protagonists remain in the house their parents left them. Ryoko has assumed the maternal role, Maki is the irrepressibly perky girl with a narrow outlook on life who now attends college, Miho is learning what it means to be a young woman at the nearby high school and all three of them share a secret: since that horrific accident, they all feel the same things whenever something striking takes place.

Early on, the game establishes that fact quite nicely. At the dinner table, Ryoko tells her two siblings that she won't be home the next evening to prepare supper. She proceeds to instruct Miho on preparing the following evening's meal. Incensed, Maki interrupts to remind them both that she also is present. Ryoko asks her to promise not to prepare any food, then explains by pricking her finger with a toothpick. As the three girls all feel the same pain, Ryoko reminds her sisters that Maki is a horrible klutz. Pain would likely ensue if she were allowed to cook.

The point sticks with both Maki and the player and serves as a hint of what is to come. After all, anyone who can experience the stab of a toothpick across the table would surely feel the pleasure of a roaming cock from across town, right? Right?!

Doushin - Same Heart takes advantage of that fact. Suppose the two younger girls are sitting around the dinner table, enjoying a curry feast. Suddenly, they feel tipsy. And then? Later that evening they feel horny as indescribable pleasure courses through their nubile bodies. It's only natural that they would finger themselves and leave wet spots on the sheets. Yet if that's not what you want to see, the game has your interests at heart: you can actually click to switch perspective.

This trick almost makes Doushin - Same Heart worth experiencing. You've probably played games in the past where you made a choice and were greeted by hours of dialogue and suddenly found yourself thinking woefully that somehow, somewhere, you were missing out on an orgy. Not so here! Now you simply click to jump to one of the other sisters. If no one around her seems randy, well, click to the other. Surely, a zipper is dropping somewhere.

The problem is that jumping all over the place to see what's going on in other places soon proves rather tiresome, since you're out of the loop if you try it the first few times through the game. You're as likely to stumble into a scene about one of the girls fixing curry as not, and even the most enticing of moments loses its impact without context. On day four when you suddenly feel horny, you can certainly skip on over to where Miho is exploring a lustful wonderland of sorts, but what's the motivation? The impact of the scene is mostly lost and any flow the story had going disappears down the crapper. It's much more fun to simply play through the old-fashioned way, one girl at a time, while seeing the narrative unfold from three separate perspectives.

As for said narrative, well, there's not much to talk about. Each story can mostly be summed up in a sentence or two: Ryoko has a wicked boss who makes her life miserable because she cares too much for family and friends to fight him; Maki and an old friend from high school fart around a lot until Maki finally faces down a rival classmate; Miho and her good friend dream of romance but finally find tragedy as a love interest turns out to be something more sinister than either of them expected. You'll read about gang rape and love slaves, masturbation and voyeurism. Ultimately, it all feels rather generic. Even when the plot is treated with tenderness, you can practically feel the writers growing bored behind the scenes. The next day... sex, sex, sex!

So, getting back to the sex... well, it's not very good. Mostly, you just get a bunch of illustrations that go through the motions. You'll see the girls and some of their friends in various poses, but the angles aren't typically all that inspiring and there's a soulless feel to everything that prevents any arousal you might have come to expect from hentai. I found myself more interested by the attention given to the various settings than to the on-screen skin, which probably sums things up more nicely than anything else I might say on the subject.

It's sad but true. When you get right down to it, Doushin - Same Heart is foiled by its own potential genius. The notion of switching around to visit different sex scenes and moments of adventure sounds nice on paper, but without context those hot swaps are meaningless. Throw in an overall narrative arc that rarely ups the ante above 'lukewarm' (not to mention sex sequences that could fit in with the blandest of the bland the genre offers) and you have a product with all of the right ideas but none of the execution. You could certainly do worse but, given the genre, that sort of goes without saying. Pass on this one. It lacks heart.

Rating: 5/10

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Staff review by Jason Venter (May 28, 2007)

Jason Venter founded HonestGamers in 1998, and since then has written hundreds of reviews as the site's editor-in-chief. He also is a prolific freelancer with game reviews, articles and fiction available around the Internet.

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