Luv Wave (Japan)

Year: 1998
Platform: Windows 95/98
Developer: C's Ware
Genre: Adult adventure
Rating: *

You would think I'd know better by now. I bought this game solely because the box artwork is so compelling. Even though I knew it was a porn game and I wasn't even sure if it would run on an American version of Windows, I was clinging desperately to the faint hope that it might offer a spark of brilliance. Sadly, it was even worse than I imagined. The game is a text adventure. That's right, a sci-fi porn Japanese text adventure. I was hoping for a "point and click" adventure, but instead this is more like an electronic picture book. Naturally, all of the text is in Japanese and there is A LOT of it. It's seriously like reading a novel (albeit in an incomprehensible language). The text tediously scrolls across static anime-styled background images, accompanied by some really annoying MIDI music (very reminiscent of "Metal & Lace" actually...). Occasionally you're given a chance to "interact" with the characters by selecting actions that are presented in a menu. Even though they're in Japanese, the mechanics still don't make sense as you have to select the same menu choices multiple times before being allowed to advance. I haven't the faintest idea what the story is about, but what I've been able to deduce is that a powerful computer virus called XINN has manifested itself in cyberspace and it's up to a cute and perky little cyborg named Alice to figure out what's going on and somehow resolve the problem. The game is full of large-breasted female characters that fit nicely into all the classical male fantasy stereotypes, and based on the screenshots of the game, they all get sexually compromised along the way.

The artwork is nice and the voice talent seems competent - particularly Alice, who is as perky and enthusiastic as you would expect from a Japanese anime title. Not being able to read Japanese, the game is nearly impossible to enjoy, although you can still make progress by a thorough process of elimination. If the game offered anything other than a sleep-inducing reading exercise, it might be interesting. For example, being able to click on items and explore your surroundings would be a vast improvement. Unfortunately I'll just have to be content with staring at the box cover.