Game Review – To Love-Ru Darkness: Battle Ecstasy (PS Vita)

tolove-ru06To Love-Ru Darkness: Battle Ecstasy is a simplistic game with a shallow story and some cheap action parts, but it’s still able to please many people thanks to its main feature, sexy appeal. In other words: It’s the most perfect adaptation the To Love-Ru series ever had for video-games!

Story

2014-06-11-174047The protagonist Yuuki Rito wakes up on the sofa of his living-room, but he notices right away there was something strange, as his family and friends were nowhere to be found, except for Momo, who reveals to him that, thanks to a bug, they have become prisoners inside a video-game called “Love Quest 2”, which was created by her older sister Lala, who was once Rito’s fiancé.

2014-06-07-1005192014-06-07-105703By hearing how his alien friend got lost in the deeps of a dungeon, Rito makes his resolve to go look for her, but since it was dangerous to go alone, Momo gives a special weapon to her beloved one: A Lucky Item, which has the power to persuade a girl into submission by making her feel “really good” while not giving her a single scratch.2014-06-11-122149Even After rescuing princess Lala from certain peril, Rito discover many other of his young-sexy-teenager-girl-friends were also summoned to the game’s world. Since Rito was a bad enough dude, he was already prepared to rescue them as well. However, many people were plotting against our intrepid hero, even among those standing by his side!

Gameplay

2014-06-07-1034062014-06-07-100643For most part, this is a really average Action-RPG, so there’s not much creativity involved in the gameplay. You have a weak attack for combos on the □ button and a strong attack usually used for screen-cleaner types of attack on the △ button. You can change directions during combo chains, which is nice to deal with crowds of enemies.

2014-06-07-1018042014-06-10-090123There’s a good variety of weapons, each one with their own animations, combos and proprieties. The controller feedback is quick and usually accurate, but it can fail for some commands with two buttons and also be somewhat unintuitive.2014-06-07-103856For example: The special-gauge attack is activated by pressing both the △+○ buttons. Not only ○ is not one of the two buttons used for attacks, but it’s actually the dash button, which means every time this command fails, you will dash right into the powerful enemy you were just trying to purge with your strongest move. NICE!2014-06-10-124005The difficulty balance is broken all ways possible. You get to synthetize stronger weapons or to upgrade your old ones, but you never feel much of a difference and sometimes you feel like some equipments with lower statistics are stronger than your supposedly best arsenals. During dungeons, it seems there’s no end to the hordes of enemies the game throws at you, and near the end of the game, it gets REALLY unfair, especially when the game wants you to beat two to three boss-level giant-type enemies at the same time! They hardly fit in the area they are summoned and each of their attacks can deal 10% damage.2014-06-07-231515 But, it’s ok, since the game is broken to your side as well, leaving plenty of room for you to be even cheaper than those monsters. For instance, I found out that an optional enemy from the beginning of the game give you an item you can use to craft one of the strongest weapons in the game: A TOY GUN! This little pistol power is simply nuts! It can defeat a difficult boss in less than 5 seconds without any upgrade! I used this artifact of mass destruction through the whole game and even so, I still had problems near the final dungeon floors. I honestly believe it would be impossible for me to clear this game without this little devil in my possession!2014-06-07-222540It’s in the best of your interests to not fall in the ground, because it takes a long time until Rito gets up by himself, during which you’re open to enemy fire. The only way to get on your feet faster is by pressing the jump button, but Rito jumps too high and becomes vulnerable during this motion. You can use jump-attack, but since most of those REALLY suck, you will probably just end up in the ground again.2014-06-07-112856However, I am sure it’s the “Touch” mini-games that will attract most players. It’s curious how this feels similar to Moero Chronicle, especially considering their release dates were just one week apart. The difference here is that the “touch” experience is much more “pleasant” and “user-friendly” than the one found in Moero Chronicle, and by that I mean the hit detection is more forgiven and the conditions for “victory” is much less demanding than that monster-girl-game, to the point I don’t know if it’s even possible to fail during those segments!2014-06-10-155935So, what you do in those sections? It’s simple: You control Rito by touching the screen as he massages the weak spots of the heroines until they have an orgasm…No kidding! This is exactly what happens! This time they don’t even try to hide. This is quite different from other polemic games on the system, like Akiba‘Strip 2 or Conception 2 – which had many stories about scenes with sexual intercourse, but those were just lies created by people who did not even play the games. Or even worse than Moero Chronicle, which is full of innuendos, but it never gets so explicit.2014-06-11-005655There are 2 steps to make a heroine cum, first you need to play some kind of rhythm game with no rhythm (exciting, huh?), which means you just need to touch some heart icons when they are fully-formed.2014-06-07-102037The next and final step is to touch or rub the front or back screen depending of order given by the game. It also gives you orders to screen sexy words to your heroine, which got me thinking: Did they really believed people would play a portable game in a train full of people while they scream at little girls and touch their weak spots? I don’t think so! At the very least, the order to yell at the girl can be ignored and substituted by “normal” touches…2014-06-10-161024There are two occasions in which you are challenged to a “touch-showdown”. The first being when you defeat a heroine in a boss fight. The second one is most common, since it’s when you’re back in your base of operations (also known as your house). A heart icon will appear floating above a heroine’s head and talking with her will trigger a simple event which, much like the original manga this is based-on, it gets rid of any trace of plot in favor of lame excuses to have many H situations with the heroines. 2014-06-11-122311The most used here is “this room is bugged and the door won’t open until you make me feel good with your touch”. They seriously go with this so many times that becomes hilarious! Even more when Rito tries to sound conflicted by it when he say things like: “Damn it! I have no other choice. Please, take off your clothes so I can grope you!”.2014-06-11-113124There are many heroines, but you just got two endings, a normal one and a good one. There’s not much going for a final boss, you just get some generic giant enemies before a final cut scene. No new elements, big twists or character development, but once again: Just being faithful to the original!

Graphics

2014-06-07-101724 As far as a title with regular budget gets, the graphics are ok, at best. The lip synch is just as bad as the Atelier series, and hair animation is just BAD. Fingers look weird sometimes and skin texture can make characters look like papier-mâché. Repetitive animations. Nevertheless, overall, it’s decent.2014-06-11-122430There’s also a bunch of CGs, and those are really good. They used the same character designer from the anime, so it’s 100% the same art-style fans came to like. There’s a fair amount of them and they usually cover some H event, some are also at a portrait style, showing all the panoramic glory of those lewd little girls!

2014-06-11-1222562014-06-11-122545

It doesn’t take too long for the assets to be reused over and over through the 30 dungeons in the game, making everything look repetitive and boring. There’s also all kinds of “wrong” in the home-main-base. The heroines just stay still in whatever place, there’s just a few rooms in the house and you can’t interact with objects. It would be an absurdly boring place, but it’s ok, since you have many H-scenes to watch there…

Sounds

2014-06-11-122634 At least, the game is full voiced, otherwise, it would be even more boring and tiresome to watch through those repetitive events. The cast is the same from the anime series, which means the voices are of high-quality!2014-06-11-122330Nothing much to say about the music. some of the BGMs are decent, but the rest is just tolerable, but I must admit I give chuckles at the triumphant RPG-esque music when you give a orgasm to a heroine…

Conclusion

2014-06-11-122649Then, once again, I brought a game just on a whim and ended up playing the whole thing while I initially planned to get just far enough to make a review about it. And continuing the “history repeats itself” theme, it’s also a stupid game filled with silliness and lewdness, but I don’t feel as bad as I should for playing it, since it never takes itself too seriously.2014-06-11-114120Playing those two games in a row was certainly a degrading experience during a depressing period for a J-gamer, but hope is just around the corner, with the release of Legend of Heroes – Ao no Kiseki EVOLUTION being tomorrow, so I just don’t care about all those disgusting things I have being playing recently, it’s time for some epicness!

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17 responses to “Game Review – To Love-Ru Darkness: Battle Ecstasy (PS Vita)

  1. I remember when TLR first came out, and I was like “why the fuck is this bastard faceplanting into a girl’s groin every 20 seconds?”

    It’s just so unoriginal for a character to be so “average” yet have a “harem” life just because he went through a marriage ritual with an alien princess… LIKE HELL THAT WOULD HAPPEN.

    (Sorry for the language)

    • To Love-ru brings me memories, not many good ones, but it’s certanly nostalgic, because I remember watching it with my little brothers…MY GOD! What was I doing?! At least this wasn’t worse than playing Persona 3 with my little cousins: “Look! you choose this option to make the man shoot himself in the head to get super powers! Now, you try”.
      Man, I can’t wait to be a father!
      Anyway, when the second anime came out, my brothers were not interested in watching it anymore, so it became boring, and now I just remember it as that series that is so stupid to the point it becomes funny.
      Don’t worry about the foul language, as I am not the one to talk, since I already used plenty of “ugly words” in your blog 🙂

      • Wow, it’s actually nice to have people who you can share your gaming/eroge hobbies with. For me, it’s only on the interwebs that I find peers, so it can get a bit lonely sometimes.

        So they actually came out with a “3rd” season, or Darkness, and that was pretty much more fanservice…

        Frankly though, the series DOES make some very nice H-doujins, so I’m not complaining 😀

  2. First comment on this blog; I usually just lurk.
    Anyway thank you for playing indeed! I was really torn on buying this and there was no gameplay video or screen whatsoever until near release so I’m glad you reviewed this. I do like lewd game with cute girls and Tlr is one of those “dumb anime but still watch for the tits” but I also like good balance design with my action games. Seemed like I was right that it’ll be bad.
    Enjoy your Legends game that I probably won’t ever get to play since my runes still suck T_T

    • Hello! I am glad you got to do comments right here. I always like to her other opinions, be it positive or negative.
      I think the reason you don’t see videos for this game is because the only effective method to capture PS Vita games right now is the PS Vita TV (which is going to be released in the west as Playstation TV), but since this device has no touch screen, it can’t run any game that depends on some touch mechanic, which means game like this one and Moero Chronicle are a No, No.
      I understand how TLR can be a huge guilty pleasure. After all, the author’s art style is really great and he can create some awesome designs! However, I still hope he end this manga to do something more in the lines of Black Cat, I loved Black Cat…the first half of it, at least…
      I hope you can become able to decipher more of the forbidden moon language, because it opens a new world of choices for awesome games (this is part of the reason why I started to study it…). Meanwhile, I will still be around reviewing Japanese-only games for people who can’t yet read JP, like you.

      • Uh no, actually I mean that the developer doesn’t share any preview of the game until near release. Even after release, I don’t think they even show the dungeon part of the game and instead just push the touch minigame part. Really made me suspicious. I know that there isn’t any effective method to capture video review for vita so don’t worry about it. It’s reading people who actually played it that matters.
        I agree with you that Black Cat is great but the second part os a chore to read. I guess Yabuki sensei isn’t abandoning Tlr because it’s pretty much his income nowadays, with the merchandising and anime. I guess his other work doesn’t really pay much (like mayoi neko overrun, I actually kinda like that). Maybe this is a problem with harem mangakas. Though I wonder if Tlr really do that well for him since later chapters show full nipples in the story. If the story is good he probably won’t resort to that. B-but then again it’s not like nipples are a bad thing, I-i don’t hate them or anything. Don’t misunderstand me !
        I am learning Japanese but then I got so busy that I sort if abandoning it halfway through. But I still refuse to give up! I still keep learning by reading eroge and try to get used with the sentence structure etc. But then my reading speed still isn’t great but at least i would still understand most part of a game as long it’s voiced >_<

      • Everyone has difficult with kanjis, but you have to keep trying! It would be a waste to give up halfway through, like Zebaca did, that’s why he is a baka! Try reading something else, like RPGs and books! It helped me a lot, since it’s more challenging!

  3. So…have Rito lost his virginity yet? I watched the first season of the anime in 2010 and read a little bit in the manga. So, is he like, ever going to have sex? It’s been freaking 8 years since the manga started right? Or have shonenjump forbidden the sex? You experts need to give me an explanation.

    • Well it is a Shounen Anime/Manga, these are targeted at a young male audience and won’t show you any explicit sex. At the very most it might get hinted but it is aswell a “harem” Anime/Manga aka “King of indecisevness is conveniently showered with love drones, story” hence, a lot of fake story / relationship progression with nothing really going on until it served it’s purpose/ reached a certain episode count/ has somehow reached the end of it’s marketing potential……….. well at least that is the case most of the time.

  4. On another note, after reading your comment gangre, “Man, I can’t wait to be a father!” Are you in a relationship at the moment? If you two are planning then good luck man, starting a family is probably a wonderful thing. I always smile when i see the new born. I really wish you the best! 🙂

    • Let’s follow Hitokiri Battousai’s example and do this separately:
      * I am not in this kind of relationship right now, but ever since I got my little brothers, my father-instincts awoke and I became really good at babysitting. Even so, thank you for your kind words! 🙂
      * I just read the beginning of Darkness to see if it would become like Reborn: A comedy manga transformed into a battle manga (it could happen! Even with TLR!). Saddly, nothing like this happened…But, from what I read at forums and blogs, he’s still a virgin, even though he always get really close to lose it in this new manga. If he end up having sex with someone at some point, this manga will suddenly become really interesting, because this is really rare (if not impossible) to happen in love-comedies. It’s not that sex is forbidden in Jump, but this would break the routine in the story, force character developments, and give a serious tone for the manga. Which means hard work for authors and less Hentai fan-service for fans. There’s also the possibility this kind of development would not please the readers, so the mangakas would rather stay in their safe-zone with just the regular love-comedy story, which is sad (and here is a sad face for you to imagine how sad I am right now 😦 even though I am not doing this facial expression at the moment)

  5. Yeah, i have babysit a few times myself, it’s a really wonderful thing. One of the few animes that have touched me is clannad, which i found family inspiring.

    I can’t believe i am saying this, but i actually feel really bad for Rito. He deserves to lose his virginity(WHAT AM I SAYING?) It’s just frustrating to watch for some reason. I think Rito is the first character i really wished for to get bedded. It don’t have to be out of plain lust, just get into bed with Lala already Rito! I will celebrate with jack daniels if you do.

  6. Been a good year for domestic releases (most not out yet) on my end, but seems like the Japanese releases (or least ones I’m interested in) are meager at best. Already finished up Criminal Girls Invitation two days ago in its entirety and nearly done with a VN I started, so it is a pretty painful wait for me. Although, with the trip I have tomorrow, it will probably take most the boredom out of me by time I get back. As for To-love-ru, I actually watched it for the first time last week, but doubt I’ll dive into OVA’s anytime soon, lol. Definitely won’t be picking up this either – sounds too repetitive and the fanservice (if anything like the anime) seems way too pervasive. Also glad to hear that your little brothers inspired some paternal instinct. Think my nieces might of had the opposite effect on me, so hope I never reach that plateau. Although, my girlfriend might have a different idea about that subject 😄

    • To Love-ru is just a guilty pleasure for most people, but games that are nothing more than fan-service have become tiresome for me, even if it is VNs (especially those that are not self-aware, and try to act like the lucky-Hentai story is super serious…). If it’s the same for you, I would not recommend the rest of the series for you, since it doesn’t get any better.
      My cousins also give the opposite effect on me…

      • I just got around to it out of curiosity, so after this I have no desire to go any further. A large majority of VN’s/Games in general (at least ones I played) aren’t all serious to begin with or known for having a good narrative, so I understand fully well the tiresome part. Actually, the one I was referring to was VLR (virtue’s last reward), which is more of ADV, but classified as VN.

      • Virtue’s Last Reward seems really interesting, is it full voiced?

      • Yup, the US version is fully voiced with both English and Japanese VA’s, which is surprising considering the file size. It is so good so far, but suggest picking up its prequel, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for the DS if you haven’t played it yet.

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