Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Games for Adults: We Love Master!


We Love Master! Review


            I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” and while that can’t universally be applied to games, you do come across cases where that saying can be applied. From the announcement to its release on August 1, 2011, I was expecting to hate this game and was already forming in my mind how I was going to roast it in my review. However, after playing this game for a while, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it got. While this was by no means a perfect game, We Love Master! (released in Japan on January 25, 2008 as Goshujin-sama Daisuki (also abbreviated as Goshudai in the title icon) proved to be a pretty good sex romp comedy despite some flaws and makes for a decent way to pass the 10-30 hours it takes to clear it.

Pros: Decent story, likable characters, protagonist actually has some depth, great artwork, good voice acting.

Cons: The beginning of the game, story could have been better at points, only one track from the music is memorable.

WTF?!: Been reading a little too much Battle Royale, Toshiya?


           In We Love Master!, you play as Toshiya Yuuki, the young CEO of a wealthy and very powerful corporation. In order to keep his position, Toshiya must abide by the family customs and either get married or provide an heir to the corporation, however Toshiya, secretly a mega pervert, decides rather than opting for a standard arranged marriage he’ll choose from three schoolmates he knows very well, clearing their family debts in exchange for them working at his mansion as maids. From there, their trainings as his brides to be will begin.

            Okay, I know this summary doesn’t make this game sound very good, but let me assure you that this game is better than it sounds…after about an hour. Once again we have a case where the beginning of the game is sadly its weakest point. Basically in the initial ero scenes after the premise of the story is first introduced it doesn’t paint Toshiya in a particularly favorable light. Yet right after that point, the game suddenly takes a turn for the better by actually establishing a relationship between Toshiya and the heroines of the game, which I have to say the writer for this game actually did a lot right with.

            To begin with, each heroine has their own different problem associated in some way with the debt Toshiya paid off. Considering two of the three girls he chooses aren’t particularly happy with the situation they’re in as a result of that, one of the steps that needs to be taken to get all three of them to warm up to him is to resolve these problems. While I will admit the problems may have been resolved a little too quickly, I will say they do a good enough job in showing the beginning of a relationship starting with each heroine and some of the girls’ actions during those story events are pretty believable. A good example would be with Sakura in which she initially rejects Toshiya’s help, which makes sense not just because of her character but also because Toshiya’s recent actions do give her good cause not to be particularly trustful of him. Toshiya’s determination to help her not only helps in his establishing a relationship with her, but it also is the first step in showing that despite his flaws/eccentricities Toshiya is a good person who wants to do the right thing, especially if it concerns the people close to him.

            This bring us to the next good element that the writer added into this game, some actual depth was given to our main character, which believe me is a rarity in the sex romp genre. Good games of this genre usually just go so far as to give their MC a good personality but don’t really try to establish character traits that would give him depth and as a result make him more memorable. In WLM, Toshiya is shown to be a very intelligent person despite his silliness, acts in the best interest of those in his circle (including everyday employees), has some subtle development as a character as a result of the companionship of all four heroines, and even has a pretty good backstory that is revealed over time that end up figuring into his relationship with the heroines as well as give some credence as to why he may be a bit of an eccentric.

            Next it’s not just Toshiya that’s presented as good character, so are our heroines (click here for profilesTo begin with, each of WLM’s heroines has a unique personality with very interesting traits. Sakura’s down to earth bewilderment at the many situations she finds herself in after becoming Toshiya’s maid not only make for good comedy, but they also give her character a touch of realism as it does get her to consider developments in her relationship towards Toshiya as the game goes on which also gives good credence to the relationship itself. Similarly Hime’s aloof attitude is used well for both comedy and the occasional drama but it’s also not made her entire character defining trait as events in the game do show she’s also fairly smart and very outspoken when it comes to her relation with Toshiya and even the other girls. Kuu’s apparently near emotionless and submissive personality makes sense after you learn her backstory and the affection she develops both for Toshiya and the other girls is actually pretty cute. Ema, while not quite as prominent a character as our main three until later in the game, still makes for both an interesting character in both her mentorship of the heroines from the start of their becoming maids and how effective a partner and supporter she is to Toshiya. The game actually does a good job in portraying her relationship with Toshiya, especially after we find out what exactly it is and why because it ends up leading into some further development of that relationship later. Finally, the game’s writer does an excellent job in making all these characters interact both with each other and Toshiya that make for some pretty good scenes be they for comedy or for the occasional dramatic one and as a result this manages to be another of the rare eroge that can actually make the harem route work as this game does have different routes and endings but not for any single heroine.

            Now as much as I praise this game, it’s not without its faults. Aside from the weak beginning, the main weakness of this game’s story is that there are several points in the story that could have been better done. The best example would be the overarching conflict between Toshiya and his weasel of an uncle over control of the family company. The game presents this as an interesting subplot considering it does a good job at displaying Toshiya’s intelligence and talent in the business field, but it sadly isn’t given the right amount of attention. It would have been interesting to see more involvement from the heroines in it (especially Hime) or at the very least give us more of a look at Toshiya’s triumph at the end. While certainly not as bad as the missed story opportunities in Guilty, this flaw is a bit irritating none the less.

            In the area of presentation, this game does great in both artwork and voice acting. In the case of the former, all the characters and CG are very well drawn and the artist does a very good job in giving the character portraits a variety of poses and expressions to match their respective moods in each scene. For the latter, all the actresses turn in good performances for their respective characters; those of you who’ve played Edelweiss and its fandisc may recognize Sakura’s VA as the one for Sakura Katase (coincidence? lol), Miya Serizono (also all of the VAs played a heroine for Koihime Musou). I wish I could say the same for the game’s music but to be honest the music in this game is largely just okay and pretty forgettable. The only exception, to me, was the ending theme music, which was a surprisingly beautiful piano piece called “A Look of Love”.
video

            As for the ero scenes, they’re good. I’ve seen better, but for the most part they’re good…and very numerous. This game certainly gives you what you pay for in terms of ero quantity and quality as the CG is well drawn and the voice acting good. I will say that there are a few scenes that may turn you off, but that’s a matter of personal taste.


In Conclusion:

            We Love Master! is a pretty good eroge of the sex romp genre that provides you with all around good characters that the author went the extra mile to make appealing and a decent enough story. It’s certainly not the best of its genre, especially at the beginning and other points could have used more polish, but in the end is an entertaining game that’s worth the price of around $35.00. You can also buy a physical copy here (warning NSFW images).

Final Score: 7/10 Great.

Recommendation: Try it out.

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