NISA are well known for bringing an array of Japanese, niche games to Europe and America, with one of their latest offerings, ‘Criminal Girls Invite Only’ tantalising our senses with beautiful art and interesting concepts.
On playing the game I was under the impression I was playing an classic-style Japanese role playing game, reminding me of retro classics like Magic Knight Rayearth on the Sega Saturn, where all your team characters follow behind you. This game is that BUT with different aspect; here, you play a correctional officer so to speak where you have to teach delinquents to become full fledged criminals as these ladies died prematurely before accomplishing major crime in the future.
You are also in training yourself, so you are taught by the hard nosed Miu while you must also gain the delinquents trust to motivate them to fight slimes and make them super criminals. Starting off with a group of four, your team contains:
- Kisaragi, a gothic-lolita dressed diva only interested in expensive things has a chip on her shoulder and never gives compliments. Good with a sword !
- Alice is the quiet girl, she has medium qualities and often leads the team to the goal. She is good with magic attacks and is the quickest in the team.
- Sako is a loud and overbearing girl looking her sister Yuko. She tends to boss everyone around but is a great hands on fighter and good with magic too.
- Ran is the Amazonian of the team, she’s slow to attack but has great defense and is great as cannon fodder. Her ‘Revenge’ skill is handy for multiple enemies.
The funny thing is you can’t fight until you are ‘motivated’. Miu explains later upon handing you a whip you must earn respect from the delinquents in order to fight. ‘Motivation’comes from ‘spanking’ the temptations out of them, I kid you not after you follow the story to your first major monster you are given the whip to get the girls to take your orders.
This involves mini games of tapping the front and rear screen or dragging to un fog up a saucy picture on the screen. This helps with leveling up attacks and gaining new skills like ‘treasure hunt’ for Kisaragi (where you steal items from monsters attacking) which can be used in battle to heal etc.
Following the story leads you to more delinquents who join you and they all have unique abilities that help with boss battles. You can only have four girls in your party at a time and you can switch them in once before you register your actions.
As the story progresses you can access link attacks between characters and you can also come across ‘Royal Chests’ which are hidden unless you walk close to them which have hidden skills for particular girls. Now in order to use these moves you need to have MP this can be rejuvenated from Infirmary points which are purple puffs of smoke randomly in some of the floors. Here you can heal, save, motivate and buy items. The same puff of smoke can teleport you to other save points. This is handy to complete the girl’s ‘Wish List’.
Once you reach level 4 on each character they request a ‘wish’ from you such as Ran wanting to fight more monsters or Sako wanting a foam pillow. You can teleport to different levels in the dungeon and locate the hearts on the map which fulfill their wish and improve there stats.