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Desire (Windows)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168701)
Written on  :  Jun 02, 2012
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

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Some people dig both Asimov and weird fetishes

The Good

Of all hentai adventure games, those designed by Hiroyuki Kanno have stood the test of time and transcended their dubious nature by being ported to console systems with the adult content removed. The reason for that is Kanno's passionate involvement in storytelling. A self-proclaimed fan of detective mystery and sci-fi, Kanno managed to transfer some of the excitement found in his favorite books into the unlikely medium of eroge.

Though I consider Yu-No his ultimate masterpiece, probably the most famous of Kanno's games is Eve Burst Error, a peculiar detective story with irritating culturally inept references and a little bit of sci-fi thrown in. Desire is very similar to that game, except it discards the political nonsense and instead focuses on a full-fledged sci-fi mystery and the personal motives of its characters. I almost like the plot of Desire more: it is less confusing, yet retains (at least in the Albert scenario) the suspense that penetrates Eve. It also ends with a bomb of a plot twist, so if you started it, you'd better finish it. Overall, it provides a similar kind of thrill that is akin to feverishly flipping pages of a cheesy, yet strangely compelling detective story.

The Bad

The game's crippling flaw is, of course, its lack of gameplay. There are no extra features to make the dreadful menu-based interface more bearable. Snatcher not only added shooting sequences, but also tried to keep the annoying "triggering" low and even had a few puzzles of sorts. Desire loses to that game on all fronts because it doesn't even attempt to make its gameplay interesting. It's all the same boring "Look-Talk-Talk-Look" routine throughout the entire game.

Those who can forgive lame gameplay if the story is great should still approach this game with caution: the plot of Desire is not all good news. Some people may or may not like its absolute reliance on the final plot twist; but the real problem is the Makoto scenario. In Eve Burst Error, the two scenarios were equal in size and intensity, and both were essential to plot advancement. In Desire, the second scenario is basically a string of hentai scenes with nearly no storytelling. It is as if someone else wrote it and tried hard to make it feel like the most generic and repelling eroge material.

The sex scenes in the Makoto scenario are full of idiotic fetishes and alike that are not only disgusting per se, but also ruin the coherence and balance of the story and do away with any character development we may have witnessed. Seriously, the game would have been much better off if it dropped this scenario altogether and stuck to Albert's amorous escapades and occasional investigation of a sci-fi mystery.

The Bottom Line

Despite its mostly intriguing plot, Desire has way too little gameplay to be of interest as interactive entertainment. Hardcore fans of hentai adventures should definitely check this one out for its story, but if you want a similarly-themed, yet more complete experience that requires more than just randomly selecting menu commands, Yu-No is the way to go.