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Friday, April 15, 2016

The Friday Ten: Want sexy fanservice? These ten games are for you!


List by Matt S.

The PlayStation 4’s greatest strength is easily, overwhelmingly, the variety and breadth of its content. From the most mainstream of blockbusters, right through to the most niche of indie games, there really is something for everyone on this console, and that’s a library that is substantially added to literally every week.

The console has also become the default platform for the Japanese developers that specialise in building those kinds of sexy fanservice-heavy games that are absolutely slaughtered in the press and mainstream, but tend to have a very vocal niche that come out in support of them. Because for some people this kind of thing is fun, so why shouldn't we celebrate them?

And hey, they’re often really good games anyway. So this week we thought we’d look at a list of ten of the best example of this particular niche at work on the PlayStation 4. If there’s one disappointment we have it’s that we’ve yet to really see the fanservice directed to the male characters,  and boy what we wouldn't give for a new Prince of Persia game with that shirtless hunk. But, in the meantime, the ten games below certainly do a good job of celebrating the female form.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round

Obviously the biggest budget fanservice-orientated game that’s out there at the moment, and the most prominent as a result, Dead or Alive is a very fine fighting game wrapped up in thousands of dollars worth of bikinis, cheerleader uniforms, harem costumes, and more. Each character has dozens of different costumes, most of them fleshy and revealing, and all superficial to the actual gameplay, but great fun nonetheless. People keep buying the costumes for a reason, after all.



Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

And of course you can’t talk about fanservice without mentioning Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. Unlike the mainline fighting games, this one doesn’t even pretend it’s anything but an excuse to have beautiful women running (and bouncing) about the place in daring swimwear. It’s also difficult to think of a game that more perfectly executes on that brief to offer players fanservice. The women are beautiful, the setting is exotic, and the range of swimwear divine.

Natsuiro High School

You’ll need to import this one from Japan if you’d like to play it, because it’s sure as heck never going to be released in the west, but Natsuiro High School has notorious reputation for a reason; the fundamental purpose of the game is to play as a guy in high school whose great goal in life is take upskirt photos of his classmates. It’s pervy to the extreme, and there isn’t a great game behind it – it would be the most dull, lifeless, example of an open world ever invented. But the game’s one core feature – a bullet time-style slow motion slide across the floor to give you a good look up a girl’s skirt without her ever being the wiser - Natsuiro High School absolutely nails that feature.

Onechanbara

Another notorious game from Tamsoft, the developer behind Natsuiro High School, Onechanbara is a game in which women wearing bikinis take samurai swords to hordes of zombie enemies and carve them into tiny chunks of rotting meat. It’s exploitation cinema brought to games in its absolute finest form, and while the action is good fun in its own right, the real appeal in this game from a fanservice point of view is the special fruit costume. It’s actually one I can’t share on this site because of certain rules about adult content. You’ll recognise it when you see it though.



Akiba’s Trip

Oddly enough for a game that is about ripping clothes off people, Akiba’s Trip is less overtly fanservicey than some of the others here. The clothes ripping has a point in the narrative, for a start (the enemies are vampires and need to have their flesh exposed to the sun), and despite the abundance of underwear, enemies tend to disappear quickly once stripped, and there’s none of the lingering camera shots on body parts that other games on the list might have been tempted to do. The self-mocking nature of the narrative also helps to broaden the game beyond the raw fan service as an element. Oh, and this is an equal opportunity near-nudity simulator; you’ll be ripping pants off guys as frequently as you’ll be stealing girl’s skirts.



Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

This game is really not very good at all; it’s a brawler, and while it has got some nice mechanics, the overwhelmingly generic nature of environments, enemies and narrative really let it down. But I had no choice but to include it in this list, because the lead character is a school girl wearing an ultra-short skirt and she can barely move without giving players a solid look at her tiny black panties. And hey, perhaps it does belong on this list more than any other because it really is a true example of a game where the fanservice is probably its best element.

Omega Quintet

Omega Quintet is a really good JRPG, all other things put aside here for a moment. It’s going an interesting, unique combat system, a fun, satirical narrative, and an awful lot of gameplay within it. But it also has some very pretty girls, and it has some fun with its fanservice, breaking the fourth wall every time you indulge in it. See, every time you tilt the camera to try and look up the skirt of one of Omega Quintet’s ladies, they’ll cover themselves and yell at you. It’s unnecessary in the broader context of the adventure, but it’s a clever little way for Compile Heart to gently dig at its target audience, without risking putting them offside.



Nights of Azure

Nights of Azure, meanwhile, has a very good reason to indulge in the fanservice. This is a story of an intense relationship between two women, but two women who, for various reasons, are at odds in the real world. However, it’s possible for the leading lady to enter a dream world, where she can be totally honest with the dream- version of each other. To symbolise the complete vulnerability and tenderness between them, in these scenes the girls are stripped down to almost never has fanservice been so touching.



Megadimension Neptunia VII

Megadimension Neptunia, of course, satirises fanservice, even as it encourages it in its entirety. A franchise about game consoles personified as people, Megadimension Neptunia VIII has a bit of it all where fanservice is concerned; from still scenes where a naked character’s parts are only hidden by a drop of water, to leotard wearing superheroes and plenty of opportunities to see underwear. All this is done firmly with tounge in cheek, and through it all it's really quite oddly charming.



Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

You couldn't really talk about fanservice without mentioning Senran Kagura, of course, because it is perhaps the ultimate example of it. There's barely a moment in this game which isn't bringing boobs, backsides, or underwear into focus, and while there's actually more to the narrative than most would generally mention, the story it tells is still accompanied by wobbling, gigantic boobs and skirts so short that the girls should probably try not to walk in them. It's a game that's a lot of fun, and comfortable with what it is, so I say we should all be comfortable with what it is as well.

- Matt S. 
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld
The Friday Ten: Want sexy fanservice? These ten games are for you!
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