Review by Taron Psyn
"This Is Probably Why Most Schools Don't Have A Beauty Pageant"
Slave Pageant, created by brand-new company IGNITION and distributed by G-Collections.com, is a command selection adventure game intended for audiences of the ages 18+.
You play as Yujiro Mido, known as Mad Dog Mido to many for his devastating abilities in martial arts and street fighting. Yujiro was taught karate by his grandfather as a child, and he is finding that it's not easy to live an ordinary life when you're one of the best fighters around. He considers himself a pacifist, as he only fights to protect himself and others. But by no means is he a friendly pacifist, and can be very brutal.
One day, Yujiro is walking down the street as usual, beside his childhood friend Sumi, and they see a large group of people surrounding some punks bothering a girl. When Sumi asks Yujiro to help, he can't refuse, and he tells the guys off, meeting the girl, Ryoko, the current "Miss Twilight." Every year at your school, a Miss Twilight Pageant is held, and every year, a girl is selected to be Miss Twilight. Ryoko asks you to follow her to the student council room, where she can express her "gratitude." After you two get done doing your thing, you find out the true meaning of the Miss Twilight Pageant. The training of prostitutes for school sponsors and VIPs. No joke.
After discovering the school's secret, you are asked by the pageant's president to help by training Miss Twilight candidates to be sex slaves. Being the punk you are, you promptly punch him in the face and become president yourself. The plot continues as you find out this year's three candidates for Miss Twilight.
The first candidate is Sorami Suguwara, a loud, cheerful, athletic girl with a spunky side as well. She's the star swimmer for your school, and loves to eat. Second is Shinju Nakategawa. You and she have had a couple run-ins, and she, being the uptight young lady she is, has tried several times to get you expelled. She was once the school's disciplinarian, and even though she's not anymore, that doesn't make her any less feisty. Last but not least is Sumi Mizuno, your childhood friend since before you can remember. She's one year older than you, but you wouldn't know it by the way she acts.
As with most h-games, this is a select-a-choice-and-get-an-ending h-game. You play through several dozen lines of dialogue, clicking your mouse button to advance through the story. In a way, it's kind of like an interactive novel. Every now and then you get a choice. In the beginning, the choices are very limited, as four names pop up with each girl in her corresponding image box. You click whichever when you wish to pursue, and she is faded from the list after you go through a scene with her. In this scene, you might get some hentai images, but chances are it will just expand upon the characters. You come back to the list and choose another girl, until it fades from four girls to three, to two, to one. That one girl is the girl you get the ending with, and it's pretty much guaranteed you'll get a good ending (at least I haven't gotten a bad ending so far).
After you decide on which girl you're going for, the real choices actually begin. The choices you make in the game are relatively simple to decipher which will get you the h-scene. Such as if a girl is having trouble with something, you have to choose between "watch and laugh" or "help her." Hmmm, I wonder which one makes you a better person who the girl wants to shag with. The game isn't hard at all to get the girl you want. Getting all the h-scenes isn't too hard either, if you know what you're doing.
While the game may not be the hardest out there, that certainly doesn't detract from how fun this game is. You play as a guy that totally wipes the floor when it comes to fighting. How awesome is that? Granted, that's pretty much every action game out there, but this isn't an action game. You also are good with the ladies, and that's something no guy can say isn't good. Each girl you can pursue has her own little story to tell, and the game is surprisingly deep (for an h-game of its kind, that is). It's certainly no Private Nurse or Kana Little Sister, but it does have that certain charm to it that makes each character different and interesting. You'll find yourself laughing more than a couple times during this game, and getting semi-worried about what happens next. Slave Pageant, in short, is good at drawing the player in.
Another thing that really grabs the player and drags him in whether he likes it or not is the fantastic graphic-work. From the very beginning, the first thing I noticed was the awesome job with layout. The fluid animation of the menu bar when you click on it is pretty awesome, and makes up for a more practical menu as seen in more modern h-games. It's not too practical in the sense that you have to go to options to quit, get to the title, set it to skip/skip previously read, etc. But it's got pretty much all the options there, and that's what counts.
Seeing the fluid menu animation, I half-expected animation for h-scenes as well. I was disappointed, but it was to be expected, as almost all h-games are not animated, except for most ZyX h-games. However, the graphics are simply stunning. Truly beautiful. That's to be expected of h-games these days, but as a brand-new company, IGNITION sure pulls off some sweet graphics and wraps it all in a nice little package. The characters each look great, fairly proportioned (for an h-game. It's only normal that they have larger-than-ordinary breasts) bodies; and emotions are expressed very well, most of the time. One of the cool things I saw was these little boxes that would pop up. They were like mini-CGs, and the current screen faded to show them. Most of the time they were meant for comic-relief and good natured fun, nothing serious or anything like that. The comic relief in this game is moderate, but at least it's there.
One of the things that surprised me was how light-hearted this game really is. Think about it for a second. A game where the whole objective is to train young innocent high school students to become whores and prostitutes for old men. Doesn't sound too nice. But Slave Pageant pulls it off easily, making it seem as if the girls want it from the start, or they accept their fate, the fact that they'll become prostitutes seems to always be in the background of the story. This is a fairly nice change from most rape-genre h-games, but it takes away from the realism of the game, and detracts from making it a realistic game as a whole. There are many happy moments, but the game is also fairly deep (for an h-game of its kind, remember), which is nice.
While each girl has her own story to tell (a small story, but story none-the-less), they also each have their own distinct voice (both figuratively and literally). The loud, funny, cute Sumi. The mature, smart, sexy Ryoko. The snobby, preppy, uptight Shinju, and of course the horny, not-so-bright, and just plain hilarious Sorami. Each girl's voice fits her perfectly, though they can be a little annoying at times. Just an awesome job with voices, they really compliment the characters and the game. The sounds are awesome as well, and there are actually sound effects, which is slightly rare for an h-game.
Music plays a decent role in Slave Pageant as well. In most cases the soundtrack is a cheery midi-like beat, and that's about it. Even during the h-scenes, it's not romantic or sentimental or anything like that. Always a happy tune. Kind of annoying after a while, but when the music fits, which is rarely, it fits well. The lowest category of this game is probably the music, all in all.
As for everything in-between...it's a beautiful translation, not a flaw in sight (unless you're really hardcore about grammar like me, but no one's that bad). While the layout is indeed cool and unique, scrolling back is a little hard on the eyes, as the text is unbelievably tiny. A neat feature not seen in many h-games is the ability to both scroll back and read text, as well as listen to previously heard voices. There are approximately 20 CGs per girl, which can all be accessed along with the music in the "extra" section of the game.
Slave Pageant is a good h-game on its own and an excellent first h-game for a newly started company. Stunning graphics, interesting story, good hooks, and pleasant sounds/voices make this a fair game. The only things holding it back are its lack of being realistic, semi-annoying layout, and its mediocre music. All in all, it's a fun romp through the world of h-games for both newbies and veterans alike to the genre. TaronWarrior gives it the thumbs up!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/30/04
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