Doukyuusei: Bangin' Summer

released on Feb 26, 2021

Doukyuusei is a seminal classic of the dating sim genre that first blew Japan's mind in 1992. This updated remake adds HD art, optional modern features, and for the first time ever, a global release. Based on the original Windows version.

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thank you hazel more introducing me to this game
its not a masterpiece by any means and is 60% of the time too horny for its own good, but when it does work it's a pretty good showcase of multiple route narrative design and character writing. my favorite stories were kaori and yoshiko

I was interested in playing this after hearing that it was better than expected and a really early example of a dating sim. The one thing that stood out to me was how the women you can date felt closer to actual characters with lives that don't exclusively revolve around a) being utterly obsessed with the protagonist or b) being porny archetypes. That's not to say those things aren't ever an issue, or that it doesn't sometimes fall into gross tropes, but at the very least I found the writing funny and more interesting than I expected it to be. Cool as a piece of gaming history (sort of?) but not really my thing.

You can't convince me the target demographic for almost all of these japanese dating sims aren't neck-beard NEETs. It's probably my fault for expecting something different.

I'd played a few routes of this a while back and wasn't really sure what to make of it, but decided to give it another stab after Hazel had positive things to say in her summer recap video, and...
I was... pleasantly surprised by this? Takurou will always be a bit of a womanizer by nature, but he's surprisingly funny and it's possible to play him relatively respectfully, if you so choose. There's an absolutely insane amount of text in this game dedicated to inspecting items or parts of the scenery, and it's what gives this game a lot of its charm - forcing horndog Takurou to closely investigate and repeatedly comment on the underside of a table in a cafe instead of taking the opportunity to look up someone's skirt.
I don't really want to oversell this, because it's still fundamentally an eroge from 1992, but I do find myself wishing that other, similar games had a similar commitment to character consistency and granting their female cast some sense of interiority. I think the interwoven "routes" are one of this game's biggest strengths for the same reason, where pursuing one character's route might have you making time for three or four other girls in an approach that is less a sleazy "wine-and-dine everyone", instead forming a more natural social dynamic where getting to know someone means occasionally interacting with the people they're close to. Taking the battering ram approach and repeatedly interacting with the same character is not the way to find anything fruitful here, and it's refreshing to find a dating sim that tries to complicate the process - although it's not my favorite method, it's a damn good attempt for such an early entry in the genre.
Although the art looks good, I can't help but feel like we're missing out by not getting the PC-98 art in some form or fashion, even if it's just a toggle (a la the Steam version of Umineko). In addition to matching my own aesthetic preferences, I think having more convenient access to the game's old artwork would make it easier to appreciate the game's early contributions to the dating sim genre instead of simply having it fade into the background among the more modern games that are standing on its shoulders.

This review contains spoilers

Uma boa experiência, um jogo empolgante, criativo e divertido, possuí uma excelente construção de mundo, diálogos interessantes, engraçados e reflexivos. Como remake achei mediano, de fato está mais bonito, mas os cortes (graças a censura) prejudicaram o meta que é a base da narrativa, assim diminuindo o valor que a obra possuía no passado.
~Agora minha opinião cabaço~
Melhor garota: Misa (REAL DUDE GIRL)
Pior garota: Kurumi (BDSM + Nivram + cuck + pna ferido = Você é um criminoso em potencial se gostar dela)

only not a 5 bc not enough bangin in the summer