Saturday, February 10, 2018

Haggar the whore-ible (or, enjoying the carnal pleasures of the sexy, gay, Final Fight-esque brawler, Strange Flesh)

I don't often write about "adult" games here.

Of course, I don't often play such games, either, and that's not because I'm a prude or because I otherwise turn my nose up at them.

Actually, I love playing games that titillate--especially if that titillation is aimed at the LGBT community.



Unfortunately, few games featuring content that's both adult and gay ever ping my radar. Besides the one discussed here, the only others that have done so in recent years are the steamy visual novel, Coming Out on Top, and the surprisingly sexy bullet-hell shmup, Sugar Shooter. (I've also written about the beef-tastic JRPG called Ana Holic!, but I've yet to play it.)

Given all of the above, it shouldn't be surprising to hear I was more than a bit excited when I first became aware of Strange Flesh (via this eye-opening--not to mention NSFW--teaser image) just before its release in late October.

At least, I was excited until I discovered the game was an old-school beat 'em up in the same vein as Double Dragon, Final Fight, Golden Axe, River City Ransom--you know the drill.

You see, although I've long been intrigued by side-scrolling brawlers like the ones I just named, I've rarely enjoyed playing them. Or maybe I should say I've only enjoyed playing them to a point. A few stages in, I'm bored to tears and ready to tackle something--anything--else.



Still, I decided to give Strange Flesh a chance. An hour or so later, I walked away. Not because I'd grown tired of it, as I seemingly always do with these kinds of games, but because I'd beaten it.

Granted, Strange Flesh only offers up four stages, so finishing it isn't the most noteworthy of accomplishments. I actually appreciated its brevity, though. Far too many games these days--free or otherwise--require you to dedicate hours upon hours to them. Encountering one that asks for about 45 minutes of your time is refreshing.

You know what else I found refreshing about Strange Flesh? Its graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay. All three components are so convincingly "late 1980s beat 'em up" it's hard not to be astounded by them.

Actually, that statement needs to be amended just a bit. After all, while the bulk of Strange Flesh acts, looks, and sounds like a game that came out alongside Golden Axe and Final Fight, neither of those quarter-munchers (nor any of their counterparts, as far as I'm aware) feature gameplay, graphics, or music that could be considered "adult."



Strange Flesh, on the other hand, is full of such content. Hell, you'll see something eyebrow-raising every few steps as you play through this PC game. (Download it or launch its browser version at greatestbear.com.)

After you punch, kick, and tackle the game's "figments" and "projections" (all of the action here takes place in the player's mind), you, uh, "finish them off," too--and you do so in various ways that would make most moms blush, or worse.

Speaking of which, a little disclaimer: if regularly witnessing pixelated depictions of gay sex (some of which are kinkier than others) turns you off, you should stay far away from Strange Flesh.

Which isn't to say that's all there is to this title. The core gameplay is both smooth and satisfying, even when controlled via keyboard-button presses. (Note: this is how I played through Strange Flesh. Three times.) In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if Strange Flesh were fornication-free, it would be well worth a look by all fans of the genre.



As things stand, though, it's hard to give it a blanket recommendation. Although I'm sure some straight folks will get a kick out of it, many more likely will find it disgusting or distasteful. I have the feeling the same could be said of a sizable portion of the LGBT community.

Still, I can't be the only person in the world who finds the idea of playing a pervy, gay Double Dragon clone thrilling. To anyone who feels similarly, I say: give Strange Flesh a try.

See also: Strange Flesh's spot-on instruction manual

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Nice Package! (Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun, GameBoy)

No one's ever going to accuse Dragon Quest publisher, Enix, of jumping on the GameBoy bandwagon.

After all, it took the company over three years to release its first GameBoy title--and even then it was a game, Dungeon Land, someone else developed.



It took another year-plus for the game highlighted in this post to see the light of day. Admittedly, Enix didn't make it either. (Bizarre factoid: Enix only ever published the two titles named here for the original GameBoy.)

So, who is responsible for the development of this appealingly unique puzzler? That would be Daft.

Don't feel bad if this is the first you're hearing of Daft. I was completely in the dark about the company before I started researching this write-up. (I always assumed Enix both developed and published this version of Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun.)



If you're any kind of "retro gamer," though, you've probably at least heard of one of Daft's other products, though--that being the quirky Super Famicom platformer, Hameln no Violin Hiki (aka Violinist of Hameln).

As for Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun, it's based on Ami Shibata's 1991 manga series of the same name. To be frank, I know nothing about said series and, as such, have no idea as to why the powers that be at Daft or Enix decided to translate the IP into a puzzle game for Nintendo's first portable game system.



What I do know: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun is a fun little brain-teaser.

This is no Tetris or Puyo Puyo clone, however. In fact, I can't think of another puzzle game that plays anything like Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun.

Explaining how it works through words isn't an easy task, so check out this gameplay footage--or this footage--if you're curious to know more.



The good news: it only takes a few minutes of puttering around to figure out what you're supposed to do. After that, it's smooth sailing.

Another piece of good news: even people who don't know a lick of Japanese should find Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun both accessible and enjoyable.

With all of that out of the way, what do you think about the game's outer box, cartridge, and instruction manual, all of which are showcased throughout this post?



I especially like its colorful cover art. In fact, that's what initially drew me to the game--well, that and the Enix logo printed along its lower edge.

Have any of you played Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun? If so, what do you think of it? Even if you haven't played it, though, what do you think of the game's packaging?

See also: previous 'Nice Package!' posts about Bubble Ghost, Burning Paper, Noobow, Peetan, Penguin-kun Wars Vs., and Shippo de Bun