HuniePop is a Dating Sim/Puzzle Game that has gained some attention over using anime-style characters without the anime-style personalities. I have a very limited idea of what I’m getting into, so let’s start.

As first impressions go. The game begins at a bar with me in the shoes of the most beta man on the planet when a woman begins talking to me for seemingly no reason. She then goes off talking about how I’ll see her again later. I presumably finish getting drunk and go home, where she wakes me up in the middle of the night wearing naught but a revealing top and panties. I’ll be completely honest with you here, even the real-life Haze would be wondering what the fuck is going on at this point. So she tells you that you’re basically a loser and that she is going to turn me into a man that can get any lady I want, so basically I’m playing a stay-at-home awkward virgin. Finally, a character I can really relate to! Fortunately for me, my love fairy companion is going to assist me in slapping the booty at high speeds. One of the ways in which she will do this is by giving me the HunieBee which will show me where all of the cute women are. It also lets me use Munie, a magical fairy currency  to buy food and gifts. If I could MAKE money from dating I’d probably do that for a living. You also get Hunie which is used to level up your stats, making your puzzle solves more potent. Did I mention I have a really nice bedroom?

HuniePop’s bizarre genre combination  actually works out for it.  Most dating sims are laid out as a visual novel, to the point where most people think the two genres are set in stone. The problem with visual novels is that they’re basically 100% story-driven; once you go through all the possible outcomes  there is virtually no replay value. While it’s still too early to talk about just how replayable HuniePop is, it appears that it will have far more than your typical dating sim. More importantly however, the puzzle sections  of the game give you some welcome contrast to the rest of the title. They start off pretty easy, where you can clear them without much trouble in half the moves you’re given, but they do get harder.

Hunie1

Start as female huh? I’ll have to try it later. For… research.

It gets a little ridiculous after you’ve gotten your relationship level high enough. Your relationship level is both your progress meter and your difficulty; it increases with each new date you successfully complete (capping at 5 for each girl). Higher difficulties mean you have to get higher points to successfully complete a puzzle. Honestly when you’ve reached level 5 with all the girls it’s quite a struggle to finish even on normal. However it’s all worth it because after date 3 you receive a naughty picture and after date 4 you get to play a riveting game of “hide the salami”.

hunie3

She was just as transparent when the salami was hidden in her butt.

I’ve talked about how to get “into” the characters, without really getting “into” their personalities. Most dating sims have girls that fall into already pre-defined characteristics for that genre (rich posh girl, shy shrinking violet, athletic sports girl…etc).  Unlike traditional dating sims, HuniePop’s characters aren’t so easy to define as “X trope”, since all of them have somewhat flawed personalities that are more relatable to real-life girls you personally might know yourself. That’s where you come in. That one hot girl that was always a bitch to people? You can fuck her. That one sexy teacher? You can fuck her. That one hot cheerleader you knew? You can fuck her. AND her mother! At the same time! Kind of. Like… not a threesome, but you can fuck one behind the others back. Apparently you can get cheated on in this game; it’s never happened to me. But even if it does I can’t be too mad as I’m sleeping with everyone. The game also has some secret characters, but good luck finding them. I mean that; you’ll need it.

hunie6

The art of the characters is above average, much more than I expected from an independently published title.

Not only are the character profile well drawn, but the lewd scenes showcasing the aftermath of an exciting night of running the dude-piston in her meat-purse made my own whoopie-stick happy. The characters themselves aren’t animated, aside from their eyebrows and mouths, yet I think this is enough to convey the personalities of the girls along side their dialogue. The dialogue is witty and incredibly believable; the majority of what the characters say could be lifted directly from a conversation you’d overhear in your general day to day. While the character interactions with your character are like this, when some of the characters interact with one another they’re rather bizarre and unintentionally funny. While most of the dating sims I’ve played in the past have never had voice acting, this game is fully voiced to the point where you’ll never need to read a single thing the girls say. The voice acting makes the characters believable, matching up with the personalities outlined through their backstories. It’s certainly a good inclusion, and the game wouldn’t be as good without it, especially because the sex noises the characters make while playing and completing puzzles are amazing.…

Most of us have at least heard the term DLC. It’s an acronym that stands for “downloadable content” and refers to additional content to a game that is downloaded from the internet.

DLC comes in a few types; we have:

  • Day-one DLC: DLC released with the game
  • Free DLC: DLC that is released with no charge
  • On-Disc DLC: Content already on the game but you need to purchase a key to unlock it
  • Bugfixing: DLC intended to fix bugs in the game
  • Exclusive Content: Content that can only be unlocked by buying a game at specific stores like Gamestop.
  • Microtransactions: Content added to the game to give the player an advantage, be it cosmetic or otherwise, if they’re willing to pay the price

On-Disc and Day-One DLCs

On-disc DLC and day-one DLC are comprised of content that would have normally come as part of the game, but where along the way it was pulled from the game and sold alongside it. This is the big ugly of DLC, and it is largely assumed that publishers will ask developers to take content out of their games specifically so that they can squeeze more money out of the public. In fact, they might even leave out content entirely for various reasons; maybe they don’t like it and know they can rework it later and add it in as DLC for extra money.

Free DLCs

Free DLC is exactly what it sounds like, DLC that is given to the consumer for free should they want it. While it’s usually small, it’s always good to see a developer put in extra work for no extra benefit to them just to give their consumers more content to play with.

Bugfixing DLCs

Bugfixing in DLCs are both positive and negative. Once upon a time, if you shipped a product, that’s what was sent out. Now that everyone is connected to the internet, even consoles, if you ship something out you can change the product at a moments notice. This means that any horrible bugs that you’d normally just have to live with can be fixed with a patch. The downside to this? It makes developers less likely to check for bugs before sending a product out because they know they can just change it later.

Exclusive Content DLCs

Exclusive content was created as a way for stores to bribe publishers to lock out part of their game to anyone who doesn’t buy the game at the store in question. The only people this ever benefits are the store and the publisher. It’s completely anti-consumer but unless you want to boycott every single store that does this there’s no way to convince publishers to stop doing it. Assassins Creed 4 was a recent example of this, having missions that could only be unlocked by buying the game at specific retailers.

Microtransactions

The most offensive DLC of them all are microtransactions.

Let’s say you’re playing an adventure game and the main character has a sword that does 2 damage.  That’s nice and all but for some people that 2 damage isn’t enough for you, you mighty warrior. What do you do then? You send 50 cents over to whoever made the game and now you have a new sword that does 4 damage.  You can kill things twice as fast and not have as much of a problem!

The problem with microtransactions is that less-successful players can still succeed if they’re willing to pay extra money. This has led to something called “freemium” games that are designed to allow you to only get so much of an in-game material a day but you can buy as much as you want with real money. These games are generally designed to be addicting so that you want to keep playing, but you need to buy those materials if you want to continue. The end result is that they can suck up more money than a $60 AAA game.

Of course, these aren’t the only games with microtransactions in them, even AAA games have them, like Oblivion’s infamous “horse armor”.  Now, that “horse armor” pack wouldn’t even be looked at twice since microtransactions have become that prevalent in modern gaming.

The grand-pooh-ba of DLC's - SIMS

The grand-pooh-ba of DLC’s – SIMS

Expansion Pack DLCs

Not all DLC’s are bad, many DLC’s are used to add additional missions, levels, maps, characters, or so on into a game. Sometimes it’s small like the extra missions for Assassins Creed 4, sometimes it’s large like the Luigi U DLC for New Super Mario Bros U.

When a game ends up with a large DLC, sometimes it is labeled as an expansion pack.  Back in the day, Diablo 2 released an expansion pack called Diablo 2: Lords of Destruction. This unlocked a whole new act, 2 characters, and a new tier of equipment.  In fact, if Diablo 2 was released in the modern day, Lords of Destruction would have been DLC.

It is worth noting that some DLC’s on their own can be big enough to be a new game and might end up saving you money.  For instance, kids back in the early 90s would have liked each new Street Fighter 2 to be DLC instead of a brand-new game.

So I hope those reading have a better idea of how DLC can be both bad and good for the consumer.  Remember, you’re the consumer and what you have to say matters, even if other people tell you it doesn’t.