Monday, July 9, 2012

Bakudan Handan / Sweet Fuse Review

Bakudan Handan is an action adventure game for the PSP-- with added romance! I got the game about a week or so ago, and I've finished two routes. This review is extremely late, because my PSP cord has been missing for around 4 days now, so I decided to wing it and review it using what I remember. Toss in the fact that this game is in full Japanese, and I could only read around 25% of it, expect a lot of improvising.

Edit: I've now played the English version of the game as well, so I edited this review to reflect it.

The heroine, Saki Inafune, goes to the opening of her uncle Keiji Inafune's amusement park. While he's making the opening announcements, a person in an odd pig costume hijacks the event. He calls himself Waldeboo (Count Hogstein in the ENG ver), and he and his henchmen have taken over the park! If, within the next 7 days, the 7 people he nominates do not participate in and win his game, he's going to blow up the entire park! As proof, he blows up the Ferris wheel. Of course, this is totally outrageous, so our heroine Saki volunteers herself to play.

Game mechanics: Like any other otome game, you make choices at specific times to raise love points. In Bakudan Handan you also have Hirameki Mode where you call upon your superior skills of... recollection and problem solving? I had hoped that you would get to solve puzzles, but you just remember things. Hirameki mode isn't even that hard, because you can pick up to three "Phrases" and as long as the correct one is in there, it's automatically chosen. You can also choose to get very angry and yell at people. Fun, fun.

CHARACTERS: ♥♥♥♥ 4/5
The characters of Bakudan Handan get an amazing 6/5 points! Well, they would if it wasn't for Wakasa Towa. This might change after I finish the other routes.

The characters in this game are a quirky unique bunch. I kind of liked how each one wasn't the usual cookie cutter bishounen. Our cast of potential routes are: a serious security guard, a whiny idol, a net gamer who hardly leaves his house, a crystal ball gazer, a angry looking writer, and short tempered host.

Being the person I am, I chose the net gamer, Meoshi Kouta. I loved how awkward he was, and all the faces he made throughout the game (I'll edit some in as soon as my PSP gets charged). He definitely doesn't have the grace of a beautiful bishounen, but I had fun playing his route.

Just because their initial options were the same, the 2nd route was the whiny, pain-in-the-neck, super girly looking idol Wakasa Towa. His voice annoyed me so much during Kouta's route, that I put him on mute and skipped most, if not all, of the dialogue in his route. I ...I just hate him so much. His whining voice was like nails on a chalkboard and I couldn't stand it. Yuki Kaji seems to be be my most disliked seiyuu ever. It seems that I hate almost every character he voices, and Towa was one of them. I had flashbacks back to the anime No. 6 and Kanato from the Diabolik Lovers drama CD (I'm still traumatized). I had seven Game Overs on Towa's route, and it wasn't because the game was hard. I have to admit that Yuki Kaji does a good job in his line of work as whiny brats, and I hate him for it.

I still dislike Yuki Kaji, but he is bearable. At the end of his route, he does become less whiny, and more mature.

I wish that Saki had a larger part in the game, however, I like her as a protagonist. Her main charm is her quick thinking. Although the angry option adds a little spunk, it ultimately doesn't seem to affect gameplay much.

STORYLINE: ♥♥♥ 3/5
Despite the fact that you are all going to be blown up in a week, it's not all that serious. The game is fairly light-hearted. In the game, the whole love thing feels a bit rushed. It feels like this game wasn't even a dating sim and they added it in the romance last minute. I can understand becoming good friends. The romance isn't very overt, until you get to the latter half of the routes, where you suddenly get a kiss and confession. It could be explained by the fact that you might die the next day, but the mood in the game isn't "life or death" serious. It's even more weird when you throw in the fact that the only people around your age (17) are Towa (15) and Kouta (19). Everyone else is over 20.

This game could have easily just been an action adventure game with toned down romance.

MUSIC: ♥♥♥♥ 5/5
I loved the music! Usually,  music doesn't score very high with me, since it's something that's just there, but I enjoyed Bakudan Handan's music. It's stuff I would actually listen to off the game, instead of muting during gameplay.

OTHER: ♥♥♥3/5
Hirameki mode is dull, repetitive, and annoying after the first couple routes. There is no indicator for the answers if you've already picked the correct one on a previous route. Your best options are to write down the answers for the ones that appear in every route.

The game has a juke box so you can listen to all the BGM without actually playing the game.

OVERALL:  ♥♥♥ 3.75/5
Bakudan Handan gets a tentative 3.75 out of 5. I would like it better as a simple action adventure game rather that a "dating sim".

View my Walkthrough for Bakudan Handan here!

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