My Japanese isn’t great. It’s abysmal. I don’t let that stop me from importing and playing games from Japan, though. But today, I have a cautionary tale for you. No matter how cool, how appealing and downright weird the D3Publisher’s Assault the Cheating Boyfriend series may be, don’t get one of them from the Japanese eShop unless you’re absolutely fluent in Japanese.
Why? I’m glad you asked! (Even though you probably really didn’t.) This unorthodox adventure game has been around since 2007, when @Simple DL Series Vol 7: Assault the Cheating Boyfriend! was released. It’s basically a point-and-click adventure game where players follow a young woman who is trying to find evidence that her boyfriend is cheating on her by scouring rooms in his house. There have been four games released in this series. Naturally, I own two of them. I bought the first one because it is a game about catching a cheating boyfriend, and picked up the Christmas-themed one this past holiday season since it was on sale for ¥150. (Also, I apparently have no respect for my money and myself.)
These games are impossible to play unless you’re fluent in Japanese. My language skills are garbage at best, but I manage to play so many games. I do so well, that I deluded myself into thinking I was perhaps making progress through immersion. After all, I bought the first Assault the Cheating Boyfriend! game last year, when I first got my Japanese 3DS LL. When I started up the Christmas one, which I’m going to go ahead and call Assault the Cheating Boyfriend! Cancelling Christmas since it’s close enough to the original title, I actually thought maybe things would go better. No. They didn’t. Yes, I had an easier time of finding evidence. I found all of the clues, but I couldn’t successfully meander through the conversation that would nail him as a horrible, dirty, lowlife cheater.
If you can’t understand any Japanese, you’re going to spend at least 10 minutes roaming around, forcing the heroine to check every nook and cranny. Then, you’d have to spend another 5 minutes checking every area again, because places that look like they wouldn’t need to be searched for clues can be investigated after all. (In retrospect, “winning” one of these games probably isn’t a cakewalk for people who can read Japanese either.) Every time one clue is found or something happens, you have to do it all over again. It isn’t fun.
Importing games is great. Especially since there are tons of titles out there that are import friendly! You can jump right in and know exactly what you need to do, thanks to liberal use of katakana and hirigana, familiar gameplay concepts and good old trial and error. But any sort of adventure game is a no-go. Don’t do that to yourself. Even if it’s an appealing game about catching a dastardly, horrible, terrible excuses for a human beings that would dare betray the trust of someone who loves them.
Unless it’s on sale for ¥150. For ¥150, maybe this time will be different!