Review by TheSAMMIES
Make Mai Day. (Sorry about the pun. I couldn't resist).
Warning! Mai is a hentai game. If you dont know what that means, then the games about cartoon characters getting naked and having sex. If you are too young to play games that have such adult content or dont want sex and nudity in your games, then you should skip this one.
Mai is actually a port of a PC98 game, but its identical and nothing is lost in the translation. Speaking of translation, there isnt one. Youre going to have to play this game in Japanese. You should be able to get by. Mai isnt terribly complicated, presumably because youll be paying more attention to trying to trigger the next sex scene than the actual gameplay. This kind of design is a little insulting. If you just want to get to the porn already, then why even bother with the game? Just go watch some porn on the internet instead.
Story- Mai is about some cat girl named Mai that is lost in a maze. She goes around and finds people doing silly sexual things to each other. Mai participates in a very small number of these scenes, so if youre playing because you want to see the cat girl get it on, then you will be sorely disappointed. The maze goes in some weird places, including some pretty disturbing stuff in a doctors office. Its more about Mai observing weird sex acts than participating in them, though.
Presentation- Mai has a cute art style. She makes silly faces and trips over things. She rams into walls and makes a cute clumsy animation. Its very moe/kawaii/whatever other word kids are using these days to describe cute annoying things. The music is annoying. Turn it off.
Gameplay- Mai is a 3D RPG. You wander around a 3D maze, get into random encounters, and eventually trigger sex scenes. The problem is that the RPG elements are incredibly basic and the maze designs are uninspired. So, what is the point of Mai, exactly? To see sex.
The gameplay sure does sacrifice a lot for sex. Its almost as if Fairytale intended you to not really be thinking about the game itself and instead just be excited and consumed by lust, itching to get through the maze and see the next scene. Why bother? If you just want to see porn without the game, then just see porn. I play porn games for the gameplay and the porn, not one or the other. There are millions of pictures online of the kind of stuff Mai puts on your screen.
The kind of attitude Mai has toward its players is a little condescending. The encounter rate is low. The mazes are small. The combat system is shallow and basic. If there isnt much game to it, then why even make this thing a game at all? Why not just make it one of those stupid and pointless CG galleries all over the damn place on the PC98? Thats essentially what it is, just padded out with pointless random battles and tiny mazes for you to navigate.
Maybe Im a little too hard on Mai. It accomplishes all of its goals in its own half-assed sort of way. There are mazes. They have no real design flaws and function fine. There are enemies to fight. They are not particularly interesting or challenging, but they exist. There are RPG elements. They are barely there, but they do exist. There is adult content in the game. Thats everything Mai is trying to do. It accomplished everything it set out to do, so at least the game isnt a failure.
Cool Fact- Porn games dont always have to be about the porn. They can have good gameplay too.
Also Try- Play SAP or SAP Kids instead. They are much better erotic RPGs on the X68000 and show what 3D dungeon crawling looks like when its done right on the X68000.
Product Release: Mai (JP, 03/27/92)
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