Review by Tiexandrea
"Finally, a nice X-Change!"
Yin Yang! X-Change Alternative is an adult bishoujo game created by Crowd of Japan and licensed by Peach Princess. X-Change Alternative is everything the previous three weren't, and it is a bishoujo game that has a little bit of everything -- yes, I do mean everything.
Gameplay - 8/10
Because it's one of those click-and-go bishoujo games, not much can be said about its gameplay. All you have to do to progress through dialogue and screens is to keep clicking your heart out. However, unlike some of its counterparts in the same genre, X-Change Alternative makes your click-and-go action run smoothly. It presents a lot of options for you to make your life easier such as the ability to skip previously read text or skipping every message entirely. The save function works rather well and a CG and scene library is available to replay sexy scenes after they are unlocked.
However, I did notice that some scenes I encountered were absent from the scene library. I wonder why.
The game has multiple endings that are influenced by various choices made throughout the game. These choices will also decide which characters you can make out with as well as the scenes of making out you're going to get with them.
However, choices to be made are few and far between. There's just too much reading and too little choosing. Although reading through is rather entertaining, gameplay-wise, the game does not give much challenge and is too easy to figure out.
Story - 8/10
X-Change Alternative focuses on Kaoru, a man's man who, in a weird set of situations, finds himself transformed into a girl. Not only is he an ordinary girl, he's also turns out to be one completely cute and sexy girl. As a new female heartthrob, Kaoru must find a way to survive the ordeal by hanging on to his friends for emotional and material support. Some special relationships may be developed along the way too.
One thing that X-Change Alternative does that impresses me is the way it makes all the events plausible in a fantasy sort of way. It's not realistic, but it's not too fantastic at the same time. Also, most Boy-to-Girl issues have been addressed rather well. Why doesn't Kaoru just hide during the entire ordeal? Check. What about going to the bathroom? Check. What about underwear? Check. What about Kaoru getting curious with the new body from the opposite sex? Check. Menstruation? Check. Pregnancy? Check. Male roommates? Check. What if Kaoru wants to stay a girl forever? Check.
Kaoru, during the ordeal, builds solid relationships with the people around him. Although most of the characters are built on regular bishoujo game character archtypes, the very strange situation we have with Kaoru makes interactions far from stereotypical. One of his male best friends is a pervert. His little stepsister loves him so much. A street gang is out to get him. Everyone in school is either afraid of him or doesn't even know he exists. What happens to all of them when Kaoru suddenly turns into a beautiful girl? The results are hilarious and well-written.
The endings are varied and well done. Although Kaoru was originally a guy, the story, narration and pacing is good enough to make it completely acceptable if Kaoru decides to stay as a girl. All of that is because Kaoru was built as a strong character with proper depth and good foundations. He's completely likeable whether or not he's a boy or girl.
And there's one thing that I loved about this installment of X-Change when compared to the previous three -- no more random rape scenes!
X-Change Alternative has one flaw. There are very little choices given to you in the game, and most of these choices are shallow and they swerve the storyline in insanely different proportions. Characters in one path do not seem to act the same in another path. Just one decision may dictate whether or not you get a certain ending. Some characters only "exist" in certain paths and not in others. Story-wise, it's not very convincing.
Graphics - 4/5 / Sounds - 4/5
The CG art done in this game is reasonably okay. Sex scenes and positions are varied enough. However, sometimes the facial expressions depicted do not seem to properly match the voice acting or the situation. Also, some CGs are repeated again in different scenes. It's a bummer to expect something different and wind up getting something you've already seen.
The game's music fits well with most of the lightheartedness happening onscreen. I especially like the track used whenever a joke's punch line is given. It makes for a good laugh. One thing about the sounds though is the fact that some of the voice actors are very good while some voices are downright annoying.
Play Time and Replayability - 6/10
The game is good for at least 8 hours if you're rushing through everything and a full month if you choose to take things slow. Since the game has multiple endings, you can expect to play over and over again to get them all. It's rather easy to get them all though, since the choices are very view and are rather linear. It's not going to take long for you to unlock everything.
Overall Average Score 7.5/10
Yin Yang! X-Change Alternative is an above-average comedy-genre bishoujo game. If romantic comedies are your thing, I'd say this title is worth buying!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/08
Game Release: Yin-Yang! Another X-Change (US, 12/15/06)
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