Vist Genki!

Format: PC-98
From: Dynamic Productions
Year of Release: 1994
Onscreen Language: Japanese

Kekko Kamen

Oshioki Paradise No Maki
(Maki's Punishment Paradise(?))

In a somewhat refreshing change this game bucks the PC-98's trend of 'Look & Think' click-adventures and is instead a sprite-based roaming semi-role player.

Much closer to the source material than it's sequel Oshioki Paradise has the player not in the role of the titular heroine (pun very much intended!) but an un-named 'Punishment Director' just arrived at Spartan College. At the request of Satan you are to punish under achieving (female) students and most importantly defeat Kekko Kamen.

A lot of effort has been put into replicating the look of Go Nagai's manga and in the presentation in general. The tiny sprites are full of character and well animated during conversations. Many of the key characters are present and the whole game is carried out with typical Nagai tongue-in-cheek humour.

The college is very large and navigating the halls looking for likely candidates to use to lure out the "Avenger of love and justice" can be tricky due to the imprecise controls. Like every other PC-98 game players interact with Oshioki Paradise No Maki via the mouse but whereas those games simply require the player to click menus this one involves guiding a sprite around narrow corridors. Unfortunately your character isn't smart enough to walk from one point to another, around objects, so you'll need to guide him every step of the way. Bare in mind that all you need to do to initiate a conversion with another character is to walk into them, so be prepared for plenty of unintended chit-chat while trying to get from one end of the passage to the other. Lastly Mr X also has the annoying habit of getting stuck between computer characters and the wall- so stuck in fact that loading the last save has been necessary on more than a couple of occasions!

There is also quite a reliance on text to find your next target. If you can't follow these hints you'll find yourself doing even more aimless roaming than intended. Likewise confrontations with Kekko are a little lacklustre as they are follow a simple turn based system with the action conveyed through still images with scant few sound effects and no animation. It's a shame to see a game that tries to be different end up being almost as tiresome as the endless stream of 'click adventures'.

It's a shame that the programmers relied on the player's determination to see naughty pictures rather than craft a more interesting, not to mention user friendly, game but Kekko Kamen contains far more imagination than the vast majority of the computer's output. Catchy tunes and the unusual gameplay (and not forgetting the previously mentioned nudity) may be enough to keep some players going.

Note:- This game and it's sequel were actually produced by the company responsible for the 1991 Kekko Kamen OAV series.

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