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Review: Panty Party (Nintendo Switch)By Gabriel PVJ Jones At 08.05.2019 18:46

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"Only from deep within the human heart comes real love for panties."

This is an actual quote from Panty Party, a videogame where players must stop the cruel and vicious Panzi from brain-washing all of humanity. Admittedly, this is one premise that few will manage to wrap their heads around. Despite being subjected to a lifetime of fan-service, mostly against his will, this critic has never understood the appeal of panties. Sure they're comfortable, but their purpose is to be worn, not seen. The idea of them walking, talking, and blowing each other up with rocket launchers? It's impossible to comprehend.

Nevertheless, a professional reviewer must refrain from criticizing a concept. Why, this could very well be the perfect game for anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a pair of panties. If executed properly, a series of duels to the death with villainous underwear could turn out to be compelling entertainment. Plus, it just wouldn't be right to turn down a potential challenge. Overcoming hurdles, upsetting the odds, and attaining a higher state of being? That's the true greatness in playing any game.

Right, so before going any further, it's probably a good idea to start with the story mode. As the Warrior of Love, players will experience several episodes filled with action, suspense, and… take a wild guess. Each episode also offers a fair bit of plot, but the bulk of it will be spent in the action-stage. This is where Yurika must defend herself from hordes of enemy undies. The more ornate their patterns, the larger a threat they pose. For example, plain white panties aren't any trouble to deal with. Once they become dotted, striped, and exceptionally frilly, well that's when they become a serious problem.

In order to punish the wicked threads, one must first get a handle on the controls. How exactly did the development team figure out how the "characters" are supposed to move? Maybe they chased each other around town while holding panties and making gun noises. Isn't that what they call "field research?" Actually… um, never mind. Anyway, moving and aiming are handled via the analogue sticks. By pressing the triggers, the undies can dash to the left or right, which is important for dodging attacks. Also there is a jump button. When held down, the delicate fabric will float in the air. Covering ground quickly is accomplished via the dash. These actions drain stamina, which replenishes over time.

Weapons are divided into three types. Melee attacks don't require ammo, but leave the undies open to counters. The regular shot is fine for most purposes. Its lack of damage is balanced out by short reload times. Special weapons are either exceptionally powerful or inflict debuffs. To give an example, if Yurika's boomerang connects, it will slow her opponent down. Most weapons have varying reload times, so try to wait for openings before firing. Keep in mind also that certain panties can heavily favour melee, or not have anything of the sort. The Sailor Panty is just one of the few that relies entirely on projectiles. Basically, players are encouraged to find the undergarments that best fit them.

Whenever damage is done, the passion meter fills. Once full, the panties can unleash the full extent of their love. This temporary boosts heightens their abilities, and sometimes switches weapons out for more powerful variants. The always-dependable striped panties get a homing laser, which does great damage and has an extremely short reload time. Utilizing this technique is guaranteed to help eliminate adversary at a rapid pace.

With the basics accounted for, time to move on to the story mode. There are 20 episodes to complete. No matter the circumstances, winning is simply a matter of defeating every opponent. Once the deed is done, the player's score is determined by their speed, as well as the amount of damage inflicted and sustained. Often-times there are unlockable panties, but they require certain conditions to be fulfilled. This can involve beating the stage without dying, or using a specific pair of undies.

The storyline is not only completely absurd, but also outright disgusting. Early on, Yurika must fight the 'Cool Kuma Panty.' At one point, this bear claims that Yurika could never be the fabled Warrior of Love, because, quote: "She's just a high school girl who passed her expiration date." Yeah, he's a sick creep. If that wasn't quite enough, Cool Kuma's battle-cry is that he will "protect all lolis." Leave it to a game about panties to go way too far.

Even for this critic, who has covered more "objectionable" video games than he cares to admit, this is just gross. Would it really have been a big deal to make the game about adult panties? Granted, there isn't a single moment where underwear is actually shown on a human body. However, the constant implications, especially when they involve minors, are really disturbing. This premise is one that could have gone in any number of directions, and yet the plot still manages to involve schoolchildren.

Moving along, the arcade mode is made up of multiple stages and branching paths. At the end, there's a special encounter. Players who manage to complete their route are treated to one of several endings. Any panties that are unlocked in the Story mode can be used here. These fights tend to be more difficult, especially the instances where multiple bosses can show up at a time. The multiplayer mode allows four players (humans or bots) to compete in battle. It's a nice addition, provided one is willing to admit to their friends that they own a game called Panty Party.

It's highly recommended to play this docked. During handheld mode, the frame-rate is really poor. Since the ability to recognize and dodge projectile attacks is essential, the lack of frames makes everything that much harder to deal with. The camera is also exasperating. Aiming is extremely touchy, so the automatic lock-on is required to mount a serious offensive. Since the lock-on activates on anything that happens to be in the player's view, chances are high that they'll lock onto something unnecessary, such as a distracting pair of plain white panties. Bosses are enough trouble without the camera focusing on everything but them.

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Final Score
Given the title, [i]Panty Party[/i] doesn't really throw a lot curveballs. Seeing as how each pair of undies has their own strengths and weaknesses, there's actually a bit of depth to the action. As long as players make effective use of cover and manage their stamina, they can avoid getting shredded to pieces. The three modes of play are also appreciated. However, the camera is a constant nuisance. Aiming is really unreliable, and the lock-on isn't great, either. Then there's all of the lolicon garbage, which has no place anywhere. Altogether, this is a strange and only somewhat amusing game. It just can't quite reach its full potential.



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