Posted by: shatteredblog | June 4, 2011

NSFW Weekend I: Bible Black

I thought up a new feature to freshen up the blog, and touch on an aspect of computer gaming that I enjoy and that others might too here is the first NSFW Weekend post! I want to talk about H-games (or eroge if you prefer) that I’ve played and enjoyed or not as the case may be.

As the title says, this is going to be NSFW and hidden behind a jump if it’s not your thing and you’d prefer to skip it. I’m writing about these games because I enjoy them, both for the artwork and for the sort of emotional stories that some of them are capable of telling… and I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

First up is one of the classics of the genre and also in honor of the imminent english language release of it’s sequel, Bible Black. Unclasp the chain and open the book if you dare, after the jump.

Bible Black is a scenario-driven eroge released in Japan by the developer ActiveSoft. It was translated shortly after by Kitty Media, the hentai publishing arm of Media Blasters and had it’s US release in July of 2000. The franchise is probably one of the more recognizable in the US not because of the game, but because of the anime adaptation that was made after the game’s success and released by Kitty Media. In my opinion, if your only experience with Bible Black is through the anime you’re missing out on the story that is lost in the terrible editing and voice acting of the english anime release. It may be the old “the book was so much better” mentality translated to hentai gaming, but it’s my opinion.

In Bible Black you control the story of Taki Minase, a school student who through an accidental discovery finds an old book of magic and is drawn into a story that began 12 years prior with the deaths of eight students during an occult ritual on the night of Walpurgis. The book of course is the eponymous Bible Black, which is a creation out of whole cloth that follows the same ‘magical grimoire’ motif of such real books as the Lemegeton and the Black Pullet. Finding the book and translating the incantation and ritual within draws Minase and his childhood friend Imari into a web of lies and danger in which the lines between this world and the world of the classical demons.

A scenario-driven game is one in which you are presented with choices that lead you through the story to one of multiple possible endings. Bible Black has twelve of these; 9 are ‘bad ends’ that lead to your premature death,  two can be considered the ‘evil path’ endings where Minase is taken in by the lure of the occult and binds his soul in contract for dark power, and there is one ‘true ending’ that results in the defeat of the demonic powers and a happy ending for Minase and Imari. Along the way the bad endings run the gamut of punishing you for using your power selfishly to showing how a weak psyche could just break under the strain of the supernatural. In between the choices you make there is a well written story fully voiced (in japanese) with accompanying art showing people and places. The eroticism is in text and CG, which are all viewable after being unlocked in the game in a gallery mode as is common for eroge.

Part of the draw for Bible Black to me is the occult setting, with its discussions of modern magical beliefs and witchcraft. Playing the game you can see that the material has been well researched, even as it was modified into the Bible Black that is the focus of the story. One of the characters in the story is a practicioner of magic who shows you her collection of the major magical texts, and also uses a deck of tarot cards to tell fortunes at one point in the story. Before the magic of the Bible Black really gets moving you also have the opportunity to observe a summoning that follows the ritual in the Lemegeton. The attention given to these parts which may seem small in the greater story is something that makes the setting vibrant and ties you to the story in a way that I find very satisfying.

The eroticism in Bible Black is not for all audiences. Such themes as bondage and watersports are included, as well as old hentai tropes like futanari. If there is one part of the game that would cause me to not recommend it as a first eroge purchase or a must have game it is this one. Sensitive stomachs and persons would probably find parts of this game to hate in that. There is an old complaint that the women all have similar body builds as well, which is an undeniable negative.

In all, if you are interested in occultism and not against a bit of dirty play in your sex then Bible Black is a classic and well worth your time. If you have not played much eroge or are looking for something with an overwhelmingly emotional story then skip this one, I have a few others on my shelves I’m planning to get to that will be more for you. Bible Black is still available in the english version for around $35, though at the time of writing it appears Right Stuf is having a sale for $27 before shipping. It goes without saying, but please support the studios that translate and release eroge in english and do not pirate the games. Part of what keeps us getting new games translated to english is our support for the companies that license and work hard to bring them to us.

 

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