Review by Trucidation
"This isn't a game pretending to be porn; this is porn pretending to be a game"
Rapelay is another blistering piece of smut from the Japanese hentai game think-tank Illusion, and it's the best porn you could ever get your hairy palms on. This is no video game; this is porn pretending to be a game. Great porn. Porn so good it makes you pray to God that you aren't going to go to hell because of your pervert soul. After this you'll forget all about the gonzo work of Seymour Butts or the misogynistic ramblings of Max Hardcore or even the fine Vaseline-covered lens of Tinto Brass; Illusion knows that you are a pervert, and only they can help you be the best pervert you can be.
Please let me begin by saying I don't condone rape. Only a genius could make the logically sound argument that rape is good, in which God would strike him down so that he would never have to chance to propagate the species with his foul sperm. This isn't an argument for rape. This is an argument for fantasy.
Videogames have historically been the domain of males allowing them to fulfill fantasies they otherwise could not achieve. The predominant one has been of conquest through violence; not often has there been a console game that does not come equipped with at least one kill button. This use of violence as means to fulfillment is a common theme for the West. Summer blockbusters consisting of a 90 minute kill-festival with some talking parts in between are heralded as the most celebrated and profitable movies of the year; every night on network television dozens of people die on medical and police dramas all in the name of entertainment.
We all need fantasy. Tsui Hark (you know, the Hong Kong film maker that used to make good movies) described the need of fantasy being universal because people lead boring lives; they can change that by fantasizing about exciting things they can't be or do. And that's what Rapelay is: a fantasy realizer.
Rapelay is not a rape sim, just the way Grand Theft Auto isn't a gangster sim or Metal Gear is a spy sim. These games don't teach you how to do anything; as such, Rapelay doesn't teach you how to rape someone. (another Illusion series, Biko, may just be the series to do that, though) A simulator is a device that allows one to train and practice for a specific skill without any real life consequences. Astronauts train in a simulator to practice for the real thing with great results; likewise, videogame flight simulators have now become so advanced you can learn the essential basics of how to fly using one.
On the other hand, carjacking isn't as simple as the Grand Theft Auto series would have you believe. To carjack on PS2 you simply press the triangle button; on the other hand to carjack in real life you have to subvert someone's will using deadly force and be willing to face the consequences of your actions, which could be jail, the death of other people or even your own. These are not the same thing, Jack Thompson. Similarly, Metal Gear has not churned out a generation of super spies. Kicking and shooting in bullet time against robotic ninjas (historically accurate ones) is only something we can accomplish in a game. If videogames had the ability to teach gamers lethal immoral skills, then millions of pimply faced teens would have the world's governments by the gonads and never let go.
There is one aspect that is the same in this game as with the real life evil deed (I'm just guessing here): that is the highly aroused state this game will illicit from you. But arousal is just that, just arousal. One can become aroused by anything: the underwear section of the Sears catalogue, women's professional tennis (put on some rugmunching action with the sound off, turn up the audio feed of the ladies' Wimbledon finals the synchronicity is oddly reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, Dark Side of the Moon and a big bag of weed), watching your grandmother change a light bulb whatever. But the achievement of the same feeling that a specific event would warrant is not conducive to a game simulator. The high one feels from playing the 80's most difficult game, William's Defender, does not amount to a flying on Mars, saving humans, and fighting aliens sim.
Getting back to the smut at hand, this is one finely designed product. The women look like women. The voice acting, as with all of Illusion's sick products, is of the highest caliber. This looks like it was programmed well and runs smoothly on your PC-porn computer. The game interface is simply amazing; you have real time interaction with the girls. You click and drag left, something on the screen goes left in tandem with your move. You speed up, it/they speed(s)up. As this feature isn't particularly well balanced sometimes the in game actions amount to the same as Daffy Duck running around the kitchen table with his pants on fire at afterburner speed; in other words, very cartoony and unlifelike. Not like a sim at all, in this case.
However, what makes this filth terribly seductive is the illusion of immersion achieved by all of its separate components working together. Illusion has provided us with girls that respond to our every whim; by using the mouse we are tricked into believing that it is our interactivity that is causing the debasement before us, drawing us in on the most intimate level. The advanced physics engine gives the body movement seem lifelike, though breasts move hyper-realisticallythat is to say they don't move realistically at all, breasts only move how we'd like them to move in our dirty minds. The voice acting by far is the biggest persuader; you are led to believe someone is actually having sex while playing this, if not you (no, you're only playing it for scientific reasons).
This experience will move you. I haven't been shocked like this in a while as when I did replaying (Rapelaying, if you will) the Chikan portion on the train. The game throws you on a subway train with the goal to molest your target. I thought of this section before as being rather boring and pedestrian in previous passes; however, it turned out to be a complete Did I just do that? jump-out-of-your-skin experience as when I found out that I could do the most reprehensible things that I never even thought about much on a rainy day. All by accident. If you think that this game won't let you do something because the dirty old men at Illusion haven't sunk that low, well then you've just been humbled. The kink lords there have made Rapelay and will teach you what a pervert really is. This spells out the best game experience you'll ever have since you rescued Princess Toadstool.
But as I said, this isn't a game, it's a fantasy realizer. While the game has rape scenes and is even called Rapelay by name, the main theme is broader than that. The story of the game follows our lusty anti-hero who wants to enact revenge on the girl who put him in prison (briefly) as well as her family (they are three women who you can sort into delicious flat chest, large breasts, and a/v breasts). The story mode has you raping each one at a time, but in extended play mode the story becomes even more fantastic and implausible: after you raped all of the women, the anti-hero decides to keep them and turn them into his sex slaves. The method by which he does this is by having such incredible sex with the lasses that they will change from resistant victims to docile participants to willing partners. Completely implausible. You might find it on the Maury show one day, but is still completely implausible. However unrealistic this story sounds, the more potent it becomes as a fantasy. The point of fantasy is that it isn't realistic, it's as far away from realism as we can imagine. That the reason why in games we fly in outer space, slay ferocious monsters, and now rape and train sex slaves.
Rape is a horrific crime from which some victims will be scarred for a lifetime. That's in reality. In fantasy rape is something that people dream about because it's not real. People don't have rape fantasies because they want to rape or be raped; it's just a fantasy. It's not meant to be real; it's a fantasy. Fantasy is a safe place for people because it's their own personal thoughts that no one else can access (until Nintendo comes out with the Wii-deepthought controller, that is).
Nothing is either good or bad, only thinking makes it so. Such it is with rape. Just because someone has rape fantasies doesn't mean you're abnormal or should be put in jail. I can't cite any references but I do believe that this is a common fantasy for women. It isn't that they want it to happen to them; instead,it's the exciting thought that by being taken against your will you have to do all the things a good girl is not allowed to do on her own accord. No one wants to be a bad girl because bad girls are sluts. To be a good girls means you have to follow the rules; however, if there is something that supercedes the rules, then a girl can blame someone else for not being a good girl. This is similar to why girls always will choose a jerk over someone who is nice and friendly; if they don't respect someone then they will never lose that person's respect, and so the good girl rules can once again be ignored.
(Fellas, I honestly don't know anything about women except: always give compliments, always listen, and always know that you will lose every fight you have with your girlfriend.)
The funniest thing about Rapelay may be the one thing that might actually make it appealing to women. (This isn't to say you should introduce this to your non-gaming girlfriend before something more chick-friendly like The Sims, though.) Every bit of the game's engine is dedicated to making the woman look good, and it shows. The male figure is an afterthought, so much so that he can be toggled off in the options; when returning back to game play you will find the girl having sex with an invisible man. This works as a tool for fantasy for men because all men want to do is look at her, the gorgeous girl; your on-screen avatar is just blocking your view. As well, this could conceivably work for women who have rape fantasies because their on-screen avatar now becomes the girl who works as a conduit for the player to enact fantasies of their own. Once again, just pure conjecture, and for her birthday you should buy your girlfriend Katamari Damacy and not this sensitive Hallmark offering.
People aren't going to like this statement, but this is the porn of the future. No one will be surfing the net for porn in a couple of years. Instead, you'll be logging onto a huge MMORG where your completely realistic rendered avatar (that doesn't look a thing like you) will have sex with Rapelay-type girls to level up your stats to complete in Player-vs-Player sex competitions to see who can climax last.
World of Porncraft. E3 2012. No one will ever have sex with other humans again.
Every game Illusion puts out differs completely from anything they've released before. This is a company that never fails to take the bold path and offer something new, something that holds true in spite of the many sequels they have released. They have many old-school games which are in-fact games with actual game play that reward the player with porn upon completing an successful objective (Battleraper, DBVR, Des Blood series). As well they have this new type of game where porn isn't the reward, it's the game play, thus becoming both the means and the end (Sexy Beach series, Oppai Slider, and this particular little gem)
However, there is a particular reason for this: Illusion knows that the market for sex games is an extremely varied one. This is because people all have a different opinion of what sexy is. Walk into any friendly neighborhood porno shop and you'll find porn classified into two dozen sections: race, age, gender, body parts, balloons and what have you. Conceivably there is a particular Illusion game that is suitable for every gamer.
That leads to this conclusion: if you don't find rape sexy, you won't like this game, no matter how amazing or funny or wrong this paper is. Rapelay isn't a game, it's a way to enjoy the dark sinister fantasy of rape. So go get yours now.
Some bad people are going to misuse this game. Some other people are going to point this out for everyone to know and try to ruin it for everyone. Meanwhile, the world will keep spinning and society will change to keep up with new challenges that a static morality cannot deal with.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/23/09
Game Release: Rapelay (JP, 04/21/06)
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