Also available on PlayStation Portable and Windows
God bless NIS America for bringing us exceptionally pervy weeb games. Criminal Girls: Invite Only is an enhanced port of the PSP game, Criminal Girls, that was previously released only in Japan. As is often the case with these games, it received heavy censorship when it was localized for the West, but a censored game is better than no game, I suppose.
Criminal Girls: Invite Only is a dungeon crawling RPG that is average in pretty much every way. The basic premise of the game is that you're some random guy who accepted a job as what you think is a zookeeper for a wage of $0.00 per hour. Speaking as a high school teacher (which is basically a zookeeper most of the time), that is a criminally low wage. Pun intended. Anyway, it turns out your job is not to manage a zoo, per se, but to guide the souls of seven sinful girls through Hell on a journey of redemption so that they might atone for their sins and be reborn. You also get to play minigames to "motivate" the girls to use stronger abilities and attacks. The game's broken into five floors or dungeons.
Being a port of a PSP game, the visuals aren't mind blowing, but the looks crisp and colorful, and the anime style is well done in the game. The music is extremely standard and not particularly memorable, and while the Japanese voice acting is fairly well done, I ended up just turning the volume off on my Vita and keep Happy Console Gamer playing in the background. I legit watched around 120 of his videos during my playthrough of Criminal Girls. The game utilizes random encounters, but they're not so frequent that they get unbearable like in some RPGs.
The actual combat in the game is fairly entertaining and somewhat unique compared to other games that I've played. When you "motivate" the girls to unlock their abilities, they get added to a pool of abilities that the girls' AI will suggest each turn. As you have four girls in active combat, assuming they're all "motivated," you'll have four abilities from which to choose each turn. These suggestions are usually somewhat tailored to the situation - the girls are more likely to suggest healing abilities when characters are badly injured - but they're not always perfect suggestions, and you'll often find yourself wishing they'd made different suggestions.
Criminal Girls: Invite Only is a good weeb dungeon crawling RPG for the Vita, but it doesn't really stand out from the crowd. The visuals are nice, but the music is so-so, and the North American and European releases (I played the latter) were heavily censored, so we perverted weebs will be a bit disappointed. All in all, though, it's a good experience if you like the genre, but it's held its value pretty well, so I can't say that I'd suggest running out to buy it unless this is your favorite series, you're trying to collect weeb games, or you're a hardcore Vita collector. Definitely borrow it from a friend if you have one who owns a copy of the game, however.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.