Sunday, June 2, 2013

Obscure Video Game Sunday - Girlfriend Of Steel / Iron Maiden Special Edition

Hey all, Counterfett here, welcoming you to a new feature I was thinking of implementing on a sorta weekly basis. Essentially, I am going to play an old / unpopular / foreign / random video game, and let you know how terrible it is. So you can, y'know, not play it yourself, I guess. Ok, so maybe this seemed like a better idea before I started playing the games. But since I suffered through the actual game, you can suck it up and suffer through my review.

The toyota...erm T-RIDEN-T Land Cruiser
So, what with the whole EVA and Mecha kick...let's start with that amazing piece of tie-in dissapointment: Girlfriend of Steel. This can also be translated into Iron Maiden, which shows why westerners are confused by the Japanese Language, as having one word that can be translated as both Iron and Steel is...difficult. Since, you know, those are different things. Don't even get me started on the difference between a maiden and a girlfriend. I use the GoS title because that's what I called it when I played the terrible original back in the day. I played the original as an import title, and never even realized it was a tie in. Not speaking the language can really put a damper on the narrative, let me tell you. But this review is of the equally terrible Special Edition remake! Well, at least it has better graphics.

Mana is actually a cool new character. If I were 14 I'd pick her over Asuka any day. I just wouldn't let Asuka hear me say it.
Let me say this right up front, this is a bad game. Only play this if you are a glutton for punishment, or a serious EVA completionist, or both. I had to polish my very rusty Spanish skills, because the only translations I was able to find for this were En Espanol. Ironic, right? Learning Spanish to play a Japanese game? This game boils down to a choice driven animated Manga, with a few branching paths near the end. The actual game-play involves clicking around the areas of the maps until you find people to talk to, and progressing the story.

Shinji's a wuss.
The story itself is actually the one bright spot, as it is decent, and details Shinji's involvement with a new girl in school, Mana Kirishima. Mana is actually a cool character, probably the best that shows up in the EVA 'Expanded Universe.' She has developed into maybe my second favorite EVA character in fact. Of course, like any other interesting girl in an anime, she also is a mecha pilot. In her case, Mana drives the (even more) awesome (than an EVA) T-RIDEN-T Land Cruiser. You will see this material again! Several EVA tropes are abused in this game. Namely:
  1. Shinji's a wuss.
  2. Asuka is a jerk.
  3. (almost) Everyone dies.
  4. While not a trope at the time the game came out, it has become one since that Mana is ALWAYS into Shinji, and not shy about telling people. In a series where Rei represents super shyness or introversion, and Asuka is super passive (and sometimes not so passive) aggressive, an honest character is pretty refreshing.
Sadly my main blue girl Rei has about three lines, and the best that can be said is that she is standing nearby when some important stuff happens. In the original release, there was no happy Mana ending, you could either choose to leave Shinji sad, or end up with Asuka. So, sad either way. This has been redacted in the HD version, where Shinji can sort of 'end up' with Mana, and they spend some quality time together.

In summation, can I just say how weird it is to play a dating sim where my character is 14?

edit, changed to 'special edition' as I figured out that what I assumed meant HD was wrong. Oops. Like I said, En Espanol.

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