Eve burst error

Released   1997  
Developer   C's Ware  
Designer   Takeshi Watanabe  
Rating   +4  
Reviewed   2002 March 2  
Interactive Fiction
This review is restricted to the consideration of the program as a work of interactive fiction. I'm only considering the story, its flow and presentation. Any gaming worth is not considered.

Adult Content
This is a hentai drama, technically meaning it's for adults, in practice usually meaning it's pornographic. There are scenes of nudity and sexuality. There are scenes of extreme violence and gore.
It is not for children.

Kojiroh is a private investigator, recently kicked out of a prestigious agency and now living from meal to meal. A friend tips him off to a job, being offered to his old agency as well, to find a missing picture. The agency that locates the picture gets a big paycheque, the loser gets nought. Meanwhile, Marina, a top secret agent, is assigned to protect a college girl, the daughter of the ambassador from Eldia, a (fictional) middle eastern country. These two separate cases come crashing together as a result of the struggle of mysterious Eldian factions to determine the heir (if any) to the Eldian throne.

This is a hentai style game, but without the usual pornographic content. It's still an adult game, with extremely violent and gory scenes, lots of sexual banter, and some partial or obscured nudity, but on the level of an R-rated Hollywood movie.

Eve is a long, twisting story. There are a dozen or more major characters. You play as Kojiroh and as Marina, switching between the two. The switching is necessary, since progress by one character is sometimes blocked waiting for the other to do something. Playing both characters, you get a better appreciation of the mystery and intricacy of the conspiracy. Although there are no real challenges, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right sequence of actions necessary to advance.

Although the explicit pornography has been removed, its heritage is still evident in the game. The characters constantly make sexual remarks about various things, and the writers seems to think that any allusion to Monica Lewinsky is inherently hilarious. Viagra seems to be a big yuk, too.

Despite the lame attempts at humour, the characters have considerable depth. It's not always easy to determine if a character is a good guy or a bad guy. The plot is largely about well intentioned people succumbing to expediency or a sense of honour. You don't discover that until the end, and there are some outright black and white hats, but the grey hats make the story. Their questionable means obfuscate their ends, making the dynamics of the intrigue very complicated.

After all the well developed intrigue, I found the ending to be weak. A science fiction twist is hauled out to explain the intrigue, one that is too extreme and dodgy after the solid plotting through most of the story. A mundane motivation, or one involving less extreme sci-fi, would have given the ending greater emotional resonance.

Translated from Japanese, the dialogue is weak. Some of that is the hentai humour, but there is also a tendency for the characters to editorialise. We shouldn't have to be told, e.g., that Marina is a sharp cookie, it should be obvious from her actions in the story. Kojiroh and Marina both freak out a bit too much over corpses.

The intricacy of the plot and the strength of the characters overshadow the few rough edges. The "dual sight" system is used to good effect to illuminate the plot, to provide perspective, and is not just a gimmick. Eve shows that the hentai style can tell a good story without the pornographic crutch.

Himeya (the publisher) has provided a walkthrough.
David Tanguay's Game Reviews
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