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Brave Soul (Windows)

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Written by  :  Zovni (10638)
Written on  :  Jan 31, 2005
Rating  :  3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars

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Sexy Diablo.

The Good

Liked Diablo? Then how about playing Diablo with some hentai in it? That's basically Brave Soul in a nutshell. A nice little Diablo clone with a distinct animé/hentai theme.

The gameplay is based on hiring yourself as a mercenary and selecting different missions to undertake, and as mentioned is based on the combination hack 'n slash/rpg Diablo popularized, with a mouse-driven top-down interface from which you move your main character and click on the baddies you want to squash. A collection of basic spells and potions can be used via mouse-wheeling and right clicking, but your basic role is that of a head-basher, spells and other sophisticated stuff is left to your party members. That's right, party members, up to 3 of them that follow your lead and are AI controlled but which allow you to adjust their basic attitude.

These party members are the most interesting aspect of gameplay, as they not only offer different supporting battle skills but also have individual abilities that come into play in the different missions you play. For instance, should you have the thief character in your party, then she'll be able to bypass all the traps in the dungeon for you, while the priest will be able to read arcane writings that contain the clue for finishing a mission. Most missions require a specific character to complete, but you won't always be able to take every character you want with you. Each possible party member has their own distinct personality, and while Caroll the sorcerer will want to come on board on any magic-related mission, she dislikes charity work, and she'll run scared if it involves ghosts or undead creatures...

This is something to take into account as this is a hentai rpg, and the underlying objective is to get it on with the girl you like the most. And please notice I said "girl". That's right, while you have the possibility to score with the entire female cast (which come in all shapes and tastes as in every other hentai game, and yes that includes your nice dragon pet and the cat-babe), you are only allowed to pursue one relationship per game. Basically you have to earn the love of your girl by pursuing the missions that appeal to her, and thus earning her friendship. Doing so allows you to trigger the "relationship events" that play out in specific locations of towns that mean something to whatever girl you chose, and the relationship will grow. No, those "events" are not complete hentai-fests, and in fact the nudity and sex is reserved mostly for the final events when you solidify your relationship (although there are some pre-love nudity and sexual situations every now and then). The development of these relationships are surprisingly well made, with Final Fantasy-quality character development with the added bonus of hentai content, a fact that is enhanced by the monogamic gameplay system. This system is also one of the nice ways that Brave Soul has to increase replay value, which coupled with a Chrono-Trigger like system which allows you to save your game at the end and restart with half the experience you had at the last end game, plus the Diablo-like overpopulation of secret and unique items, missions and easter eggs make Brave Soul the most replayable hentai game out there by far.

Finally it's nice to see a hentai game with good production values that include complete voiceovers, great SD retro graphics a nice front-end and interface and even an animé intro sequence!

The Bad

SFX and music sound like crap, and while the hentai scenes are attractive enough, the character designer must have a fetish with large-breasted babes, as everyone in the game is DD-size... not exactly my cup of tea and certainly a rather "cheap" touch.

More seriously tough, the gameplay can get on your nerves. I'm not the kind of player that could put up with Diablo's eternal click-fest for items, and while Brave Soul sweetens the deal with babes and hentai, it's still unbearable for me. Finally, the story is hardly worth mentioning...

The Bottom Line

One of the most surprisingly satisfying hentai games I've played in a while, and I mean that from a gameplay point of view, mind you :P. Good production values, well executed ideas and enough replay value to put most other titles in the genre to shame make Brave Soul a definitive must-play for Diablo fans looking for something new and hentai fans looking for an actual game to play besides badly-translated interactive movies with porn.