Author Topic: Cupid Parasite: Sweet & Spicy Darling (Switch) Review  (Read 500 times)

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Offline Shaymin

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Cupid Parasite: Sweet & Spicy Darling (Switch) Review
« on: May 21, 2024, 06:00:00 AM »

When the publisher attempting to put you in the hospital is only the fifth weirdest part of the review process.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/review/67234/cupid-parasite-sweet-n-spicy-darling-switch-review

Normally I disclose this in the “credits” down below, but this needs to be mentioned up front: Publisher Idea Factory International sent me a physical copy of Cupid Parasite: Sweet and Spicy Darling - the fandisc for the 2021 Greek myth romance - as they did with Sympathy Kiss in February. In both cases, these were review kits that included applicable feelies; Sympathy Kiss included some office supplies, but Sweet and Spicy had to be refrigerated because it involved receiving a box of chocolates. This will hopefully not be repeated in the future due to my status as a type 1 diabetic, but it still made me a bit wary about the game. It turns out this was actually a better experience than the original, even if the insanity goes off all measurable scales near the end.

In case you forgot, Cupid Parasite was a romance novel in which the main character Lynette is actually Cupid, and is trying to prove her ability to bring people together WITHOUT her powers to stick it to her father Mars (or Ares if you prefer). The original game had six paths based on the “color theory” of love, with each suitor having one glaring flaw which makes them a “(blank) Parasite” that Lynette (the titular Cupid Parasite) has to hopefully marry off. Unlike most fandisc stories, which are strictly read only affairs, the Sweet and Spicy gimmick allows each of these postscripts to have two endings depending on choices made through the story (each decision offering a  “sweet” and a “spicy” choice). The other main story is a seventh suitor - the “Destiny” Parasite - which picks up a brand new story at the end of the common route of the original game. There’s also some additional CG scenes that are unlocked upon reaching particular endings, so going through all of the endings and getting the CGs will probably run 25-30 hours.

One of the big promotions with Sweet and Spicy Darling is that there are supposed to be some steamy scenes - let’s face it, the T rating means you’re not going all the way even if Greek/Roman mythology offers PLENTY of opportunities for rampant nudity. Zeus / Jupiter alone would probably make the game an M rating if he wasn’t completely covered below the neck in his last scene, but the extent of the nudity is males above the waist and the most explicit thing is some French kissing. What the game lacks in overt sexuality, it makes up for in sheer insanity of endings: the last two endings I happened to unlock represent one suitor only avoiding a lawsuit for ripping off Iron Man because of parody and another that… well, it’s a better ending to a Star Wars movie I’ve seen since 2017. I’ll give it that much. Why are Greek gods and goddesses going to space? I don’t know!

This guy is like Alcryst from FE: Engage, down to existing in quantum superstate between total loser and baddest man in Los York.

A major problem with the original Cupid Parasite was text issues, to the point where it took about a month for a patch to fix the most egregious ones. That won’t be necessary with S&SD: I didn’t see any egregious text issues (typos, spacing) in the game at all. However, there is something odd with specific portions of the audio. All of the audio is normally undubbed Japanese, which is standard for these novels. During the story, there are in-universe news reports read in very awkward English, with the voiceover very heavily deviating from the text and anyone being “interviewed” speaking Japanese. I appreciate the effort to have the English voiceover in a game set in a flagrant mashup of all of the US’s major cities (and one part of a story heading to their version of the Grand Canyon), but the reader going off script was a bit much.

Aside from those audio quibbles, the sequel looks and sounds better than the original as would be expected with a couple of additional years of polish. There’s a wide variety of new areas to play with, and the menus manage to be wild looking but still largely usable. The new music added for Sweet and Spicy has some nice tunes in it, and the voice acting still expresses the right level of emotion as long as they’re avoiding trying to do paragraphs of text in English.

Cupid Parasite: Sweet and Spicy Darling might be the first fandisc on the Switch that manages to do to the original what Pokemon Platinum did to Diamond and Pearl: the second attempt completely subsumed the original. There are even reminder points as to what happened with each of the suitors in the original six paths, so newcomers - or people like me who played the original at launch 30 months ago - can jump in and quickly pick up what is being laid down. And with the improved text, it’s a no brainer to pick up the sequel.

Donald Theriault - News Editor, Nintendo World Report / 2016 Nintendo World Champion
Tutorial box out.