Review - Detective Girl of the Steam City (NSFW game)

Discussion in 'Gaming Discussion' started by NZPIEFACE, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    You know, why not post it here? I wrote this, might as well let the world see it.
    While this is about an NSFW game, the post itself should be completely SFW. I'll be pretty miffed if talking about NSFW games wasn't even allowed on this forum, when we have so many porn novel LCDs.

    Introduction
    Detective Girl of the Steam City is a very shortish game, it takes you about 6 to 7 hours to complete all routes and to unlock all H scenes. Though despite its apparent length, I still find the game quite good. Sadly, it also failed to meet my expectations of the game, which were actually quite high, as Clymenia is the developers of both Civilian Justice League and Salvation.

    Gameplay
    My issues with this game stems from multiple factors, but I believe a major one to be that I feel that the gameplay is shallow. I honestly expected more from the game and how it implemented the systems that it so promised.

    To start off, I am sad about is the skill checks. We’re given a few skills, and we’re told there are multiple ways to progress through the game depending on the skills that we choose and how we level them. This is quite a lie, since there’s not a single honest-to-god skill check in the main quests. While they may exist for side-quests, they feel only superficial there.
    The skills themselves also seem to have a niche usage. They were said to have an effect on the story (they don’t), but it feels like they’re mainly used to interact with combat encounters and ways to avoid them. Smart decision since combat sucks ass, but still, it feels dissonant to have skills for what I presumed was a story-centric game to focus on the lacklustre combat systems.
    Seriously, at the end, I was dearly wishing for Fallout styled skill checks in any dialogue. The skills just felt hollow and empty by the end, and there never felt like there was any true importance placed on them.

    The equipment was criminally underused in this game. The night vision goggles served no point apart from making your life easier during some sections that could be entirely removed without a difference. The sewer sections never had any tension or difficulty to them, and felt as if there were there only to waste your time. They had lacklustre design in both navigation and tile set, so I had every moment I had to spend in the sewers. I think a simple way to improve upon this feeling I have would’ve been to place NPCs in the sewers that you can actually interact with. While this does happen, it only happens once, to give you a quest. It would’ve been nice if there were combat encounters in there when in gang territory, or if there were more homeless or actual other criminal elements to give the city some more flavour.
    The wire gun too, is also fucking criminally underused. It’s a nice system for traversal, but you can never use it to actually move traverse across the game, as you can’t control the direction of the wire gun. You can only go up, then down, with it. For all the times you use the wire gun, I can only think of one time in which you can get off a building from a different direction from where you got on it. I realize this is because of a limitation of the engine, where the game only has a single layer in which the character can move as it is 2D, so you can’t go behind objects or change perspective, but it would’ve been nice to actually have options for movement and to have the game live up to its promises from the start.

    Another thing I’m disappointed in is that the combat is terrible as there’s really only two things you can do, attack with your glove and heal with potions. There’s literally nothing else to it, so each combat encounter is a gear and level check, smashing stats against the opponent. Not really interesting, and incredibly easy to play. I think the worst part is how in the final battle, your very impromptu allies (when you’ve had basically none previously) have an absurd amount of health to reliably tank the last boss’ attacks decently. It’s as if they thought they didn’t make the game easy enough. And why are there performance issues in the game when facing it?
    Personally, a few aspects I liked about this game has been the fact that there are only 2 types of potions, the normal kind and the max heal kind. What’s so special about this is that the amount that the normal potion heals scales with your level, so they’ll never be defunct. Though to reiterate, I really am disappointed in this game, it feels as if the combat has regressed from their other titles.
    While I do see that they were trying to avoid develop combat thoroughly, as it wouldn’t really fit the character that you’re playing, it’s still a shame that the mechanics are terrible like this. Though as I said above, it’s possible to avoid combat encounters entirely through developing your skills. I think this is one of the few things they made a smart choice about. It feels as if they knew their combat sucked ass, and instead chose to find ways so that the player could avoid it, while not breaking too much immersion in the games.

    Sound and Graphics
    The graphics and art in this game are actually a step up from their previous games though, both thanks to the fact the game is developed using a newer game engine (I believe it’s RPGM MV), which allows it to have much higher resolutions, but also because of how they’ve expanded upon the stock tile-sets to use more unique and flavourful designs to fit the environment of steampunk London. I loved the general aesthetic, though I feel there may be a few places where it could’ve been done better, such as emphasising the industrialisation through a constant smoke or fog from the steam machines. The sprite work too, has been massively improved. Each of the important character (there’s only like, 6 or 7) have distinctive and colourful sprites, despite the fact it’s London. Other characters also have well-crafted sprites, instead of the usual stock sprites I’d find in other games.

    The music in this is also a step up from their previous games. While they still use similar music for sexual encounters, the rest of the sound track has a complete overhaul to immerse the character in a fantastical London. The soundtracks used fit the areas they’re played in very well, and something that impressed me a lot was a track played near the start of the game. The music was honestly creative by mixing a soundtrack played in reverse to normal beats, and it really complemented the offsetting tone of the scene it was in. The aesthetic for the sound in this game matches steampunk quite well, as you have a mix of smooth jazzy classical, industrial (with a mix of electronic), the overall soundtrack invokes a sense of “old-fashioned industrial electricity”, which hey, is steampunk. My favourite soundtrack is definitely the one used for the main character’s office. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever hear music that can convey a feeling of “flippant smugness” as well as this, ever.

    Story and Setting
    Ironically enough, you probably wouldn’t even realize that it’s an eponymous “steam city” if the game didn’t straight out state it, as the steampunk aspects of the story were only very lightly touched upon. It was the basis of the McGuffin for one of the main paths in the story, as well as a nice excuse for why a girl can beat up gangsters. This game could’ve done a lot more with what it had, but it didn’t. That actually applies for a lot of things in this.
    I honestly didn’t find much of the steampunk to tie into the story thematically, or really at all. It feels more often like a plot device rather than a part of the world. I liked a few ideas it played around with, but nothing is really developed due to the short nature of the quests as well as the short game time.

    The story is a lacking aspect, for me. There are only a few main quests, and the game ends in a blink of the eye. Nothing you really do can change the outcome, apart from a very obvious binary choice you make, Police or Gangsters. Something I do like though, is how the ending scene (epilogue) of the game changes depending on the route that you chose. If you chose the Police route, it’d be of the main character with a smug as shit smile on her face, showcasing how she used wits and words to save the day. And if you chose the Gangs, it’d show a balled-up fist, donned with a steampunk gauntlet, to symbolise how you got to where you were through application of force.
    I’m also simultaneously disappointed and glad about the lack of sexual content in the main story? Sex in this game is completely avoidable, so it didn’t ruin my virgin run, but at the same time, I feel it was a massive waste of potential in the story, since it could’ve gone with the theme of moral/sexual compromises to get the job done.
    Another aspect that’s truly lacking in the story is the lack of consequence. I deliberately failed a quest, but nothing happened to me, at all. The game removes this tension in other ways too, such as placing healers right next to boss fights, or giving you unlimited tries to story-relevant bosses. There’s no consequence to what happens, so I don’t feel the need to care.
    Though something I liked about the plot was the grand nature of the narrative. It manages to bring the character into espionage and other grand political schemes in a somewhat believable way, but what I like about it is how it’s almost ridiculous for what’s happening. It’s completely over the top at times, and I love the game for this.

    Sexual Content
    The art for this game, not the simple pixel graphics, I mean the art used in the sex scenes and for character portraits, is also very well done. The art in the game is extremely smooth and the lines are crisp, and it manages to characterise the main character very well. There’s really not a lot to say about the art though. It’s extremely good, and the usage of it in scenes was executed extremely well, but what else am I supposed to say apart from “It’s fappable”?

    Like all Clymenia games however, the moral degeneration is very well done. The main character’s values change over time, and this is very obviously shown to your through a transparent “Reason” system, which I kind of wish was done better. While it’s nice to have the degeneration of the main character to have a decent pace, it’s also quite annoying having to wait until it’s low enough to move onto the next scene in a series of events. The values of the main character can also be seen changing during the sex scenes, especially from the scenes from when you initiate sexual encounters, rather than when it’s forced upon you.

    While I can’t say that the story is decent, it’s plain to see that the majority of the effort of the writing was poured into the H scenes, as the quality is actually pretty good. Hell, I’d say they poured a lot of the effort that went into the game onto the sex, instead of other aspects like the gameplay. While it’s not as bad as Salvation, which just felt like a gallery of sex scenes pasted into an RPGM game, I feel quite miffed from the fact that the sex in this game was the focus. Yes, I realize that it’s a H game, but damned if I don’t want at least a decent story.
    I think my largest disappointment when it comes to the story and the sex, is that there is close to no overlap. I said how it would’ve been nice to explore moral dilemmas and compromise and what not, but for a porn game, there’s a surprising lack of how much you can affect the main story with sexual actions. It’s almost vanilla to a bland degree.

    Comparing this game to Civilian Justice League 2 and Salvation, the previous titles of Clymenia that I’ve played before, it’s nice to see how they’ve focused how they approach sexual themes in their games. While they all have moral degeneration as a connecting theme, Salvation also has a slew of other things going for it, such as masochism, exhibitionism, etc, thanks to the three main characters instead of the singular for other games. While Civilian Justice League 2 (which came out after Salvation) focuses purely on prostitution and exhibitionism. And this game instead focuses on the masochistic aspects that were in Salvation. I personally like the latter two’s approaches to these fetishes and themes in the games, as it binds the story together much more cohesively when only viewed through sexual encounters.
    While the game was mostly an exploration into masochism and moral degeneration, there were a few events where other fetishes, such as exhibitionism was explored in conjunction with the other two. The dialogue in scenes is good, like I said before, there were a few lines that actually made me think for a moment or two before I continued on. The one that sticks in my head the most is “You lost on purpose didn’t you”, mainly because I did lose on purpose. It made me think about the nature of actually controlling characters and their actions, and if their supposed characterised personality is actually framed by my actions, rather than anything told in the story. The only reason I thought that though, is because combat in this game is so unreasonably bad that the only way to get that scene through normal gameplay is to essentially lose on purpose. Combat sucks.

    Conclusion
    Overall, I think the game was quite well done for a short game, and is honestly quite worth playing, even if you’re not looking for a fap. However, it still has a few major pitfalls where it failed to capitalise on the potential of the systems already in place. I’d love it if this game had properly fleshed out systems, rather than mockeries of them.
    If you’re aiming to enjoy the most this game has, I’d suggest just playing through it at your own pace while exploring the sexual part of it, as that’s probably the most developed out of anything.

    This also made me realize I really need to get around to playing Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick.
     
    MrSplashy and Westeller like this.
  2. asriu

    asriu Well-Known Member

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    hee da creator like make simple easy game
    yeah this cat have finished those game
    so simple you can finish da game while scratching your cat head

    tbh when they use rpgm mv kinda expect some lag cuz mv is famous for that aspect.... fakku

    anyway so far not espect hard game from hmm wait there was new game from da creator but seem this cat forget

    pfft lose on purpose.... on pure path you need grinding quite long.... battle then go back heal on home... it is possible pure path but ya need lot of grind similar with civilian justice league~
     
  3. Westeller

    Westeller [Maid] [Cat boy] [Girly] [Watchu Looking at?] Staff Member

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    *looks at game*

    Did you just write a ten page review for a cheap, throwaway, low budget, RPG-Maker-looking, hentai scam? What's next, HuniePop?

    At least the graphics don't look like they're on the low end of the usual RPG Maker fare. They're fairly decent, as such things go. But you tell me it's mechanically shallow, super short, lacking in plot, and suffers from having crammed in sex that basically has nothing to do with the story? ... I'm having trouble dealing with this shock. Really, just how could this be possible...

    :notlikeblob:
     
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  4. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    Eh, it's 4 pages.

    It's essentially porn with events connecting them. I've found Clymenia really fucking sucks at anything but the porn aspects, which they've done really well.
    The presentation of the game is also a lot higher than what I expected of the studio, which I found pleasantly surprising.
     
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  5. Blitz

    Blitz Playing ping-pong around the milky way~ ☄️

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    That's some dedication pie. Writing a full definitive review for a cheap hentai RPG maker game.
     
  6. NinjapowerMS

    NinjapowerMS Local man ruins everything

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    Naoto Shirogane has fallen on hard times.
     
  7. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    Eh, not really. Didn't take me too long as I had most of it in my head while I was playing through it. Like 30 minutes to type it out, and another 30 to go through it again after the second playthrough.
     
  8. asriu

    asriu Well-Known Member

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    if ya wanna some good story try
    Hero Thug Party
    yeah it is NTR but imo the story really good one, da true ending... really such touching story
    for consequence thing imo Claire's Quest really good one
    as for battle on hentai game.... pfft
    hmmm game mechanic imo succubus something that have same artist with Nymphomaniac Paradox quite chalenge on normal mode mainly cuz limitation on few thing
    ah it remind me Kagura Game release new game that have anime but this cat not play it yet so dunno~ that game quite big one cuz plenty VA
     
  9. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    Oi, I can ask for unreasonable things for games I play! It's my right.
     
  10. asriu

    asriu Well-Known Member

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    puu beside molestation on battle this cat have no demand for battle