Euphoria: A Feminist Analysis – Sadistic Torture Porn, Or Brutal Allegory? (NSFW)

Euphoria | Nemu and Keisuke

Disclaimer: Rather than putting up a usual content warning at the start, I’m just going to say that if you are sensitive to any strong content and will be negatively affected, then I would not advise reading this article. I briefly talked about the content of the game in my original review, but this article is about to go a lot further into detail. There will also be far more elaboration on the plot related and thematic concepts present, which really just makes everything ever more disturbing.

If you read further on and end up seriously scarred by the content, I will not be paying for your therapy bills, but I will feel very bad about it. Also, there will be spoilers for every major plot event in Euphoria.

Ever since I completed Euphoria, I have thought about it over and over. My review was over 5k words  but I still left a lot of stuff untouched. I have been considering writing more analytical pieces referring to more philosophical and abstract aspects of games rather than straight up reviews. I say this because I have the tendency to notice a lot of tiny details that most don’t. Furthermore, these types of analyses are typically reserved for more mainstream titles and not niche Japanese shit (especially in the eroge category).

I briefly mentioned in my review of Euphoria how well it portrayed a mentally ill protagonist in a way that most western games will never even attempt. The reason is likely because the Japanese are much more lax on sexuality than westerners are and are less likely to write off an entire game because it has sexual content. The truth is that Japanese eroge have significantly more attempts at being more than fap fuel than what most westerners are accustomed to. Allow me to talk for a second about why pornography has the reputation it does. Read more

Saya no Uta (PC): Between Two Worlds (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Saya no Uta | Boxart

How many of us have looked at another person and thought “this person is seriously fucked up?” One would assume that us all being human would mean we have a single common thread that unites us; that all of us can relate to and feel comfortable living among each other. In an ideal world this would be the case, but in reality we are often divided and thus alone.

We judge our comfort with other people based on how similar they are to ourselves and we distrust those who have fundamental differences in how we view the world. We all have different backgrounds, different experiences, and different belief sets that determine just how we see the universe, the people, and the experiences around us. Saya no Uta is a game about these differences; a game about how we are all different, and how we are not so different.

Just to give people a heads up, Saya no Uta is a dark game with some disturbing themes and subject matter. While Saya no Uta is an eroge with some dark content, I would not place it in the same category of sex focused eroge as Euphoria or Starless. There are some graphic and disturbing scenes in Saya no Uta, but I would classify it more as a psychological horror story than a nukige. Despite this, I would advise similar caution before playing this game as I would with Euphoria as it is NOT for the faint of heart.

CW: Violence, Gore, Rape, Pedophilia, Cannibalism, Suicide, Ableism. Also SPOILERS! Read more

Mutiny!! (PC): All Hands on Dick! (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Mutiny!! | Cast

When you are a game like Mutiny!!, you pretty much have people sold on the premise alone. I mean, who wouldn’t want to delve into a visual novel about a lesbian sex worker who inherits a role as a ship captain of a bunch of lesbian monster girls? Most of my expectations were met with Mutiny!! but there were some areas where it kinda fell short and I don’t feel as enthusiastic about it as i am writing this as when I initially completed it. Don’t get me wrong, this game is great, but I do feel there are some ways it could have been better. It may be difficult to explain how though.

Criticizing Mutiny!! makes me feel similar to when I need to call out a close friend of mine on something I believe they are doing wrong. There is a bit of hesitance put forward because I hold this game in quite high regard, enough that I worry about second guessing myself given my criticism pertains to so rather subtle aspects. I mean sure, there are obvious criticisms to make that only half the routes are available with the initial purchase and the rest are DLC, some of which has still not even been released, but I do admit I was kinda relieved when this game was over and that I didn’t need to redo the same 7 ship battles and puzzles just to see a few extra conversations that Grace has with her first mate. Read more

HuniePop (PC): A Strange Relationship (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

HuniePop | title screen

HuniePop was a game that appealed to me for quite some time on the simple basis of it being a dating sim that actually became well known. I’ve always had a soft spot for perverted weeb games so this game was naturally a given. Unfortunately I often make the mistake of assuming that I will like every one of these types of games despite the fact that there have definitely been some that leave a lot to be desired. Also I’m a radical feminist yet radfems usually despise the objectification of women.

I consider myself a radfem not because I hate all pornagraphy or erotic, but rather because I view it as a valid form of artistic expression that has been perverted by toxic masculine values. This results in most feminists assuming that all pornagraphy is inherently demeaning and misogynist regardless of context and thus that anyone who views it only considers women to be objects. I do not support the porn industry due to the way that it takes what is supposed to be an intimate act and instead exploits women (and some men) for the purpose of profit, but that can be blamed more on the failings of patriarchy and capitalism rather than on the medium itself. Read more

Top 5 Games Reviewed on Guardian Acorn in its First Year

Holy shit folks. I was too busy wallowing in guilt and depression that I didn’t notice that this dumb blog of mine has been going for over a year now. I have been thinking about how I would commemorate this and considered focusing on my favorite articles posted here… but that would be mostly political pieces and I want to have fun here. So I decided I will instead focus on the best & worst games reviewed on this site this year.

I’ve been a game reviewer longer than a political commentator anyway. I’ve been reviewing since early 2013 but it only occurred to me this year that I could actually make a name for myself with my writing talents… okay maybe not but I’ll have a better chance of doing so and not needing a real job if I just create my own blog. As a note though, I’m only counting games I reviewed between the start of 2017 and May 6th of 2018 so that I can count my Brash Games reviews. So this means no reviews that were written prior but re-edited and posted here, as I’d like to talk about stuff I actually played recently.

So, out of the 30 + titles reviewed in this time period, which ones did I enjoy the most? Read on to find out. Links to where the titles can be purchases are embedded in the parenthesis over their respective consoles. Read more

Amazing VGM: Memento Mori (Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise)

Starless: Nymphomaniac's Paradise | title screen

TW: Mentions of suicide, murder, and the 1%. Thankfully I didn’t describe any of the sexual stuff this time.

I hate this game. I hate it with every fiber of my being, so much so that I don’t even feel like giving a melodramatic speech about how much I hate it (but I proceeded to do so anyway for some reason). Plenty of games have been unfun or annoying, but none have come close to being as much of a sickening black void from which any and all positive emotions are sucked away from you. Disgracing my computer’s disk tray with this horrific disgrace of a game for even 1/16th of a second more than I already have is up there with detransitioning on the list of things I am least likely to ever do.

Yes it’s just a porn game but the images, the sounds, the words… this game is the only thing I’ve played to ever make me legit suicidal and to regret every single life choice of mine. It’s damaged my soul in a way that should NEVER have been possible by a work of entertainment.

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Amazing VGM: Grandfather’s Clock (Nekopara Vol. 3)

Nekopara Vol. 3 | performance

Nekopara Vol. 3 was a conflicting game for me to say the least. Every time I criticize an eroge’s sex scenes I tend to be overly cautious about getting flooded with comments calling me a triggered feminazi. I seem to have avoided that result since starting this blog considering I’ve rarely one to not make my sex positivity apparent, but it may also be because I tend to examine these games on their own merits to a far greater extent that most critics even attempt. Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise was a game that scarred me so badly that it caused suicidal thoughts but I’m still able to name some good qualities. But I’m NOT going to talk about that fucking game again; I’d rather stick to good games here.

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Nekopara Vol. 3 (PC): A Step Up in Story, a Step Down in Sexiness (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Nekopara Vol. 3 | Maymon on stage

It’s been a few years since I reviewed the first Nekopara title. For those reading this immediately after the ones for the previous three games in the series (counting Vol. 0) then I feel I should note for disclosure’s sake that some of my perspectives have changed in the last few years. Namely I am referring to my newly found radical feminist beliefs. While I am still FAR from sex negative, I tend to be far more critical with erotica than I used to be.

Namely the issue I have is that I enjoy hentai, but I enjoy it for different reasons than most. Eroge tends to have FAR more emotion and genuine artistic expression involved then 99% of western pornography and thus I am able to become more engaged with it. Unfortunately I have very different sexual standards than most do when it comes to porn, and by that I mean I have standards. Read more

Amber Breaker (PC): The Horrific Finale of the Jewel Star Hentai Trilogy (NSFW)

Amber Breaker | Title screen

TW: Grotesque rape and sexual imagery. Yes, this game is disturbing enough that I need to use red font. Reader discretion is strongly advised! Images are blurred but I’m unsure if that’s enough.

The fact that I found Ruby Striker enjoyable does somewhat surprise me given that it is pretty much has no plot other than a girl being viciously raped. Aren’t I a feminist or something? We’re kinda not supposed to like that shit. Additionally, it is not like there is any deeper meanings such as in Euphoria, so what is it that made Ruby Striker, and to a lesser extent Lapis Gunner, so enjoyable?

Well, the best way to illustrate why would be through this overdue review of the third game in the trilogy; Amber Breaker. I am not quite sure how to feel about Amber Breaker. The disclaimer at the start probably already gives away what my feelings are. This is not the first time I have covered a game with notably disturbing content. Ruby Striker was about a girl being raped, tortured, and degraded by a demonic tentacle demon in a hellish landscape, and I enjoyed this… let that sink in.

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Meltys Quest (PC): Shameless, Trashy, and Oddly Compelling (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Meltys Quest | title screen

CW: Mentions of and references to strong sexual content, rape, incest, pedophilia, homophobia, biphobia, and domestic abuse. Images are blurred but still sexual in nature.

Meltys Quest is a bit of an oddity to me. I can normally just place a game in the “good” or “bad” category and be done with it. I did enjoy Meltys Quest overall, but there were also a lot of issues that I had with it, and those issues are ones that prevent me from giving it a blanket recommendation across the board. One of the key reasons that I choose to do away with review scores is because some factors may be more or less important for some people than others. A review is merely one interpretation of the game in question, and one’s own interpretations will be based very heavily on their own backgrounds.

My own background as a radical feminist is one that makes me a lot more critical of certain aspects of this game than most of its target audience will care about. While I am far from sex negative, I do tend to hold a lot of disdain for porn, or at the very least mainstream pornography. I don’t believe that it is doing direct harm or needs to be banned like the stereotypical angry triggered feminazi stereotype does, but rather I think that most porn… kinda sucks, and I don’t mean in the sexy way (although it does that to). If anything, I actually have far more respect for the eroge genre than most do because I don’t think that being an eroge justifies shitty writing or immaturity. Yes, the intent of the game is kept in mind, but such a thing is just common sense when reviewing.

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