Definitely one of the top 3 Japanese anime games I've ever played, Himeya's Eve Burst Error is a great English translation of the C Ware blockbuster of the same name the sold hundreds of thousands of copies in Japan and spawned 2 more sequels. What's even more impressive is the fact that, in contrast to a typical Hentai (i.e. mature-themed) game that features titillating (and sometimes even explicit) pictures of female nudes and intercourse, Eve Burst Error does not contain even a hint of nudity anywhere. The game would be rated an R at most for the sometimes raunchy dialogue, but there's nothing here that will excite Hentai fans. The original Japanese version of the game does contain Hentai scenes that are omitted in this English version, but the fact that the game is still very enjoyable in their absence truly attests to its great gameplay. |
Now that I've hopefully disappointed Hentai fans enough that whoever reads this far is truly interested in more than a few nude pictures, here's the beef: Eve Burst Error is an "interactive novel" that delivers one of the best plots I've ever come across in a computer game, full of very interesting characters and great anime graphics. There are two heroes you can control in this adventure: Marina, an aggressive and attractive female undercover agent who is assigned to protect an ambassador's daughter from terrorists, and Kojiroh, ad down-on-his-luck private eye who is on a mission to find a missing painting for his client. In a welcome departure to linear adventure genre, the game is a "multi-sight" adventure: you can switch between two main characters at any time to solve the mysteries they encounter. This intriguing feature allows you to view what's happening from the other character's perspective and bump into each other. You can even help each other out in a sense that certain events cannot happen until you trigger them from the other character's perspective. This makes the game still somewhat linear, although there is a great sense of freedom because you can often play as either character very far until you get stuck and need to switch to the other character.
The plot, which is undoubtedly the game's strongest point, is very riveting, full of many more surprising twists and turns that your average spy movie. You'll watch in amazement as Kojiroh's and Marina's separate missions begin to coalesce, and piece together like a jigsaw puzzle. The "multi-sight" system is very well implemented-- you won't make sense of certain events or clues until you encounter the same situation from the other character's perspective, and there are many exciting cutscenes to move the story along.
Every rainbow has a silver lining, and Eve Burst Error is no exception, although its weaknesses are actually limitations of standard Hentai genre itself. Anyone who's played a Hentai game or two will be familiar with the game interface: you basically interact with the game via a list of verbs and nouns at the bottom of the screen. The plot advances when you select the right words that trigger the game's hidden "event flag" that move the story along. The problem is that sometimes it is very unclear what to do next, and you'll get tired of going over the same 8-10 screens, choosing every verb a few times to make sure you didn't miss anything. Despite this ambiguity, though, the character you play usually gives clues on whether or not the screen you're travelling to will be helpful or not. For example, if you play as Kojiroh and try to go back to his office, he'll sometimes say "I have nothing to do there" to let you know that it's not the correct location to trigger new events. If the office is indeed the correct destination, he'll say "great, let's go" or something to that effect.
Despite limitation in the Hentai interface, Eve Burst Error is definitely a must-have for fans of spy thrillers. Hentai fans may be disappointed at the lack of mature scenes -- but then again, that shouldn't be the reason to buy games in the first place. If you're an adventure gamer who can get used to the game's lack of interactivity relative to standard adventure games, you'll definitely enjoy this interactive novel gem. The game is also much longer than average, and all 3 CDs are packed with a lot of great gameplay and ever-evolving plot. Highly recommended!
Reviewed by: Underdogs