Developer: Sweet Basil | Publisher: Peach Princess | Release Date: 2002 | Genre: Visual Novel | Website: n/a | Format: Digital Download
Adult visual novels based around a science fiction theme is pretty rare but Critical Point goes one step further by featuring a story penned by none other than Kenichi Matsuzaki. As a major contributor to both the Mobile Suit Gundam and Macross sagas I was interested in seeing what he would bring to the VN genre.
The game takes place in the year 2037 and everything is not at peace. The protagonist of the tale is Captain Leiji Osumi who is tasked by the Free Space Alliance to investigate rumors of sabotage at a remote lunar base. Upon arrival Leiji finds that the base is staffed almost entirely by females and none of them appear to be able to control their sexual urges. In between all the usual debauchery that characterizes the genre, Leiji must unravel the mystery of who is responsible for the sabotage.
During the course of the game Leiji is mostly concerned with sleeping his way through the seven stereotypical women that throw themselves at him. The sex scenes feature no animation but there are tons of them and the uncensored visuals are quite graphic. Meanwhile the saboteur starts killing people in gruesome ways when Leiji starts to breath down their neck, so expect a few gory scenes as well. The game even combines the sex and violence in a few scenes which is rather disturbing but still relatively tame for the genre I guess.
Critical Point has a branching storyline which leads up to one of over twenty endings but most of these are sudden deaths. Most of the time the consequences of your choices are rather obvious but in a few instances death can occur from seemingly random acts. You can save at any time so this isn’t really an issue but the text forwarding option forwards ALL text not just the lines that you have seen before as in other games which can be problematic.
The story is interesting but not quite as good as I would have expected considering the hype around the writer but it is better than some of the other fluff in the genre. The translation is pretty good and I didn’t notice any glaring errors or grammar issues. The game also has full Japanese voice acting which is pretty nice. In addition, the game has a decent selection of sound effects and some nice tunes. The visuals are not too bad considering the age of the game although due to the setting the environments are rather limited. The character designs are ok and the girls are varied enough to cater to all tastes.
Critical Point doesn’t advance the genre in any particular way and the story is not the best I’ve seen but it is engaging enough to warrant at least one or two playthroughs. Once again, if you are not a fan of the genre then there is not much here that will sway your opinion but you can certainly do worse than this title.