euphoria Demo Impression
I’d just started college when the Saw series became a Halloween staple and looking back on it, one of the first things I think of is how the guys at the dorm always mixed in those movies into the Halloween Night Marathon we’d have playing from evening till some point after midnight (usually by the time all the pizza, candy and booze took their effect). I’m bringing this up because we’ll be wrapping up this year’s Halloween with a look at what some would consider the eroge equivalent, and Mangagamer’s upcoming acquisition from Clock Up come November 27, 2015: euphoria.
Pros: Interesting plot set up, the characters (for the most part) are pretty interesting, good artwork, very good music and voice acting.
Cons: Not sure if Rika’s character is supposed to be annoying or not and whether that’s a good thing either way, the demo ends.
WTF?!: Wonder how many guys would be thinking that in this position…
The plot of euphoria begins with our protagonist, Keisuke Takatou, waking up to find himself and six women, all of whom he’s at least acquainted with, trapped in a strange white room. A mechanical voice then informs them that the reason for their entrapment is to participate in a game that is also their only hopes of getting out. The game’s rules are:
As outrageous as the rules sound, the group is soon given a demonstration of what happens to those who refuse to participate and makes it clear participation is the only way to make it out alive.
I admit while this game’s plot premise sounds (and if you browse euphoria’s very NSFW web page, looks) like it’s just there in order to justify its extreme H content (plus the demo ends on two samples of it per chosen heroine) but the story content of this demo does hint at what could be some interesting story to come. For instance, you can tell very quickly that there’s something slightly off about Keisuke (even before it’s brought to light) in how strangely analytical his narration comes across and it leaves you wondering just how the unlocking events will affect him as the story goes on, and the mystery of the game itself from its purpose to who’s behind it also makes for a plot thread you want to follow. I have heard there’s significantly more story from here so hopefully they’ll be enjoyable, plus I have a couple theories already and only time will tell how close those guesses are…
Speaking of which, the other characters (click here for profiles) they’re mostly interesting as the demo content does a good job establishing their personalities based on their varying reactions to what the game entails. There’s typical reactions like with Kanae and Rika, an attempt at rationality from Aoi, but the most interesting are the unusual ones from Rinne’s seeming apathy towards the game’s rules and Nemu’s amusement with it all. It gets you interested in seeing how this could factor into their route’s plots and the character reveals and development that will occur. About the only flaw here is why I just said “mostly”, basically the one heroine that’s hard to get interested in is Rika. The reason for this is while her reaction to the game’s events is typical it’s overplayed to the point of making the character annoying, the equivalent of that one annoying character in the horror movie you’re just waiting to see panic and run away from group and into the waiting jaws/claws/knife/chainsaw of the monster/killer. The thing is I don’t know if Rika’s character is supposed to be annoying or not; whether this is a character we’re supposed to feel sorry for and it’s just not written right or a character I’m supposed to root for bad things to happen to. The full game will probably better establish this though I’m kind of leaning towards the latter since there’s some scenes of Nemu trolling Rika while she’s fretting over the prospect of participating in the game and they really do make for a good chuckle.
In the area of presentation, euphoria looks to do really well. The visuals shown in the demo have been good from the background CG with some good detail to the facility, to the character models, to the manga-esque artwork for the choice of heroines screen, to the “very detailed” CG…I’ll explain later. In the sound department the demo shows we can expect good on both fronts. The music does a good job establishing the atmosphere, particularly in making the facility the characters are trapped in feel unsettling. The voice acting is all good, with the voice actresses doing a good job portraying the emotions of their characters. It also helps that we have some really good voice actresses to listen to including Ringo Aoba as Nemu, who some of you may recognize as Qoo from the Osadai games and Kanade from Deardrops, Mei Misono as Aoi, who some of you may know as Momoka from Eroge! as well as Nellis and Nadine from the Kyonyuu Fantasy series, and (despite my problems with the character so far) Yukina Fujimori aka Konoha as Rika who many of you probably recognize as Nene from Eroge!, Ruseria and Elicia from the Kyonyuu Fantasy series and Konomi from Princess Evangile.
As for the ero scenes, they’re good though I should remind you that since this is considered the eroge answer to Saw (though to be honest I’m more reminded of the Zero Escape series) expect scenes of the hardcore variety and what you see in this demo are just the tip of the iceberg. There is an option in the game to make some of the more “nastier stuff” like scat and gore not show up, but you’ll still need to read about it.
The demo for euphoria does a good job showing that we’ll probably have something to be thankful for the day after this Thanksgiving. From its interesting plot premise and characters to the excellent artwork, music and voice acting, I get the feeling we won’t be disappointed. A shame this game couldn’t make it for Halloween though as according to this interesting little interview witheuphoria’s Chief Graphics Designer, we may have a zombie in the game.
And with that we bring another series of Halloween Reviews to a close. My apologies if it seems a bit scanty this year as I did have a really good import game planned to review go along with this demo impression and just got to the True Route last weekend…and then a nasty head cold came along and each day up till today made my head feel something in common with the many pumpkins being carved into jack-o’-lanterns. Hopefully I’ll have more to offer next year, but for now a very Happy Halloween to you all!!