SECOND OPINION: Critical Hit – Gay Trap Visual Novel Review
Written by Flamecaster, edited by Otaku Apologist
“Critical Hit”, developed by TsukiWare, published by MangaGamer and Nutaku. An incredibly short fantasy visual novel with a trap protagonist getting himself into sexual situations with horny fantasy creatures. Released on the 19th of August, 2016. Available on Nutaku for $10.00 or 1000 Nutaku Gold. The game is supported by Windows-compatible operating systems.
Independent developer TsukiWare is new to the adult scene. Their first title was called “Critical Hit”. This writeup gives a second opinion of this game. Read our first review here.
When I started playing “Critical Hit”, I maybe had the wrong mindset: I was feeling too serious and expected a game that suited my mood. “Critical Hit” sells itself as a comedic, light-hearted adventure, but was only thinking itself to be smart and witty with its writing. Let’s dig in.
The game starts with a character called the “Game Master”, an unseen entity who supposedly orchestrates the adventure. The Game Master introduces you as the main character, Akira Tourell. A spirit named Akira’s Spirit also introduces himself, stating that he is an “older version” of Akira and can take over his body at times. While I was left in confusion as to what kind of strange plot this is, the Game Master dumped more exposition at me. Akira Spirit tells of past adventures where the Game Master purposefully got Akira into sexual situations. During these occasions, you would think the philosophy of “show-don’t-tell” would be applicable here. It’s a missed opportunity to parade sexy CGs!
Akira lives in a village that is never shown. He lives as a girly boy and plays with his girly dolls. This village is constantly being attacked by goblins and other monsters that plunder the place. Princess Pony, his favorite doll, has been taken by the monsters and you have to gear up and fetch her back from a cave. When you finally finish the exposition chapter, you start in the item shop where you get your equipment for the adventure. The shopkeeper is deaf, but you just happen to know sign language. What are the chances? Maybe that’s the joke.
“Critical Hit” tries to be a comedy and didn’t do a very good job entertaining me. Granted, I am a simple mind who did laugh at the skeleton named Bob and his boner. The way the dialogue is written, however, is very immature, with very simple, dick joke-centric humor, innuendos and cringe-worthy puns. The breaking of the fourth wall immediately at the start also rubbed me the wrong way. To me, that’s not clever or funny.
The strange concept of being in multiple adventures with Akira and the Spirit orchestrated by the Game Master did nothing but confuse me; things happened just because. The Game Master is the plot device. The way the whole concept was worked out makes me think the writer didn’t know how to make it into a coherent story. Characters merely state things which are nothing but filler jokes and puns. The game also has no choices for the player.
Also noteworthy is that “Critical Hit” is one of the VNs that runs in the modern standard resolution of 1080p. It’s a Unity game, which has its upsides and downsides. Because it is a Unity game and not a standard Ren’Py visual novel, there are a few problems that usually happen when one tries to reinvent the wheel. Some standard features generally expected of visual novels are missing here, like the option to hide the UI so you can see the full sprites and backdrops. Additionally, the log also does not seem to keep track of anything more than its current chapter. You cannot save, but the shortness of the title and the chapter select option in the main menu remedies that.
Other small bugs and glitches also caught my attention while playing: the log sometimes shows messages of what has yet to be said, the character highlighting effect that shows who’s talking, sometimes does not work. At one point, a text box meant for one character strangely jumped to a different character and back again. In short, using a different engine can be okay, just make sure that the standard features that are usually expected in visuals novels are present.
The one thing you’ll immediately notice is that “Critical Hit’s” art is quite lacking, looking quite cheap. While the sprite of Akira himself looks cute enough, his looks change in in the sex scenes. The quality of Akira’s sprite is also not transferred to the other character sprites; the goblins and the skeleton look okay but really simple. The shopkeeper’s design is so uninteresting, I completely forgot what she looks like while I was writing this. The backdrops are also severely lacking and look very budgeted in nature, being very dull and simple with scant details.
The music is also barely worth speaking of, with only a few tracks that are okay for filler. They get very repetitive after a while. It honestly sounds like stock music composed to just get everything done faster and at less cost.
VOICE ACTING AND SOUND EFFECTS (SFX)
The game contains no voice acting. As for the sound, there’s not much to say about it. I can count the number of sound effects on one hand. They’re very prominent, though you can’t help but wonder why there aren’t any during the sex scenes. What’s present does not add or detract anything from the overall experience.
As mentioned before, the sex scenes themselves also leave a lot to be desired. With just three of them in total, you would hope they would at least be sexy. The scenes could have benefited from Akira’s cute looks a lot more if the scenes were drawn with cleaner strokes and more attention to detail. If the sex scenes were a little more zoomed out so a fuller picture was shown and more emphasis was placed on the penetration of the ass, it would’ve been better. I also would have liked him Akira positioned differently, with his clothes ripped, but those are mostly just personal preferences. I was left a bit disappointed when the best-looking part of the game was the UI. Akira engages in anal, blowjobs, group sex and likes to be humiliated by monsters, but the artwork doesn’t give you the best yaoi experience.
Many opportunities to show good porn were missed. The character art was not used to its full potential and was ultimately disappointing. Again, maybe I went into this budget title with the wrong mindset. With chagrin I admit, it’s a decent showing from a studio who only made its first title, but this type of comedy seems to be more suited for teens because it feels like the game was written by a 12-year-old.
You can download Critical Hit at Nutaku.net.