Review: Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors (PS Vita)

by

Publisher: NIS AMERICA, INC.
Developer: NIPPON ICHI SOFTWARE, INC.
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Price: $39.99 USD
Release Date: OCTOBER 11, 2016.

Originally released as a PSP title, Criminal Girls: Invite Only was remade for the Playstation Vita, a lot of content was added to the game and naturally we got a sequel, Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors. The lewd, the moe, the dungeon crawling and everything you loved from the first game is here, better and improved.

Story
You wake up in this weird place without memories or recolection of who you are, is time to gather a new gang, a new group of sinners to battle and conquer the depths of Hell Spire!

Gameplay
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors plays just as the first one, classic jRPG turn based combat with random encounters until you manage to reach the end of a dungeon to face a boss battle, if you are familiar with the original Criminal Girls you know the jazz, this remained pretty much the same in the sequel.

The turn based combat mechanics are solid and you need a proper strategy to win the battles. The abilities of your party can improve if you take part in Motivation mini games (originally called Punishment in the japanese release).

The dungeon crawling elements are quite nice, with the usual random encounters, puzzles to solve and more, it is great to be able to motivate, use the shop or rest before you take on the big bad boss battles.


Being able to save at any point in the dungeons is an awesome key feature if you ask me, especially as you will be grinding a lot and dont want to lose your progress by accident.
Now dont let the cute graphics mislead you, this is a game in which you will find yourself grinding a lot, the difficulty level can spike in ways you cant imagine, this will not be a ride in the park, grind, motivate, level up or you will find yourself biting the dust.

Moments ago commented about motivation, so what is it? This may not be everyone’s cup of tea as we delve into a bit of lewd content, as we anime fans call it. You will find yourself spanking, Scrubbing and doing other daring and nasty things to the girls in your party. So really, even with the censoring we got in the west, if this is something you are not willing to do, is time to pick a different game.

Now if you are totally ok with that, let me tell you motivation will make use of CM points you can use to have bondage, humillitation and torture play, that will in turn motivate the girls to improve, level up and learn new skills and increase their performance in battle. RPG elements aside, this is what the franchise is well known for. While this activity is not mandatory, you will be missing a lot if you decide to skip this, making battles a harder task.


*scrubs, scrubs* Oh sorry, i got a bit distracted there, ahem.. the storyline is quite good, i don’t want to spoil much but the fact there is a traitor among your ranks will spice things a bit. You will find yourself learning and finding more as you uncover the stories and crimes of your party members, for a reason they ended in Hell Spire.
While i am not a fan of the censure (will elaborate more on the downsides) i feel NIS America did a fine job to keep the core elements and mechanics of the motivation mini games intact while they managed to get a more user friendly rating for the game.

Graphics
this is not the forte of the game (although it looks good), there are not 3d models or very complex graphics for the title, but the 2D graphics are quite nice, especially in the motivation scenes you can see a lot of details that catch the eye. If you like the Chibi style this game will be right up your alley. The animations leave something to be desired, Certainly there is room for improvement. Yet graphics improved a lot over Criminal Girls: Invite Only , that can’t be denied.

Audio
As per usual we get japanese voice acting with english subtitles, which is not a bad thing really, If you are a fan of the NIS America titles this is pretty much how they do things and by the most part we like it that way.

Downsides
Most likely this is the common complain of those following the game since the japanese release, the censoring in the west. While it’s understandable they did it for the rating and how hard would be to release the game in certain platforms, it feels we are getting an inferior product compared to Japan.

Maybe in the future an option to have the adult content and a more family friendly version can and should be added to the game settings, just like some other games have the option in the settings to have blood removed by default. While this would imply extra development would be a preferable approach over straight censure.

Of course, dont like adult sexual content? I repeat, this game is NOT for you.


Overall
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is a huge improvement over the first game, the adult content is the reason why the game is not for everyone. But, if you can overlook that or if you don’t mind the bondage related content, this is an amazing jRPG every fan of the genre should play.
The game is definitely worth playing and needs to be approached with an open mind, while it’s not for everyone there are more merits to it beyond the adult content, highly recommended.

A review code was provided for this review

Rating

Rating

7

Final Grade of…

7/10

    Pros

    • Solid Combat Mechanics
    • Fan Service
    • Good Storyline
    • Moetastic gameplay
    • Good Japanese Voice Acting

    Cons

    • Difficulty Spikes
    • The grind is real
    • Censured, Yare Yare Daze
    • Is not for everyone