Primal Image Vol. 1 (Japan)

Year: 2000
Platform: PlayStation 2 (Japan)
Publisher: Atlus
Genre: Simulation
Review Date: 6/13/03
Rating: **

Interesting... This "game" is a photography simulation of sorts, putting you in charge of photographing a group of virtual beauties, including the popular virtual idol Yuki Terai. (only in Japan...) They've also thrown a blonde pretty boy in the mix as well, who's about as effeminate as the female models are. The point of the game is to shoot as many "good" photos as you can within a ten second time period, and then you're scored on your efforts. High scores unlock items that you can use in Studio Mode, which is where you can pose the model of your choice in a small variety of settings and outfits.

There's a certain amount of satisfaction in Studio Mode, where you can spend as much time as you want playing with poses and camera angles. If you create a scene that you're particularly proud of, you can save it on your memory card and view it later in Album Mode. Unfortunately, the controls are kind of clunky, the graphics aren't overly compelling, and the models aren't very attractive. As a PS2 launch title, it looked technically impressive at the time, but now it seems weak and artistically lacking. "Dead Or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball" (2003) handles this brand of voyeurism much better, and gives you much more refined camera control (as well as much cuter girls). Of course, if you're really into this kind of entertainment, your best bet is to just buy a copy of "Poser" for your home computer. As it is, "Primal Image" is a harmless and amusing distraction for a short time.