Reviewed by Craxton (email@example.com)
||$24.95 US (old price)
||Mostly vanilla, but
contains some 'heavy' S, a few rape scenes, and
a menage a trois.
NOTE: Although out of print for some years, Runaway City has been re-released as part of the JAST
USA Memorial Collection
. See this product for information
on this game.
Hiroaki can't help it. He has
the power of good luck. It's not like he wants his psuedo-girlfriend
to be a call girl who owes him big time. He never asks to
be in the right place when some lonely woman feels horny.
It's not his fault that his dad's girlfriends take an interest
in him. And he certainly never wanted to be the most desirable
man on earth.
The first thing you'll notice
about Runaway City is the foreboding slideshow introduction.
It's one of those remarkable moments in a game when everything
comes together to make something that sends a shiver up your
spine. The game itself takes a while to reach that point,
but it's well worth it when it does. And it's not like you
won't have fun along the way.
Runaway City starts out with
protagonist Hiroaki, typical slacker-boy. Hiroaki is a third-year
student of junior college, currently on break from school
and trying to decide on his future. Every day he gets up,
goes downtown, and just sort of walks around, waiting for
someone screwable to come along. And someone frequently does.
But this waiting thing gets old fast, and soon Hiroaki adopts
a different method: find some directionless woman, help her
find her dream, THEN bed her. Which he does fairly successfully.
Did I mention he has the power of good luck?
I know that makes it sound silly.
For the first part of the game, it IS silly. There are a number
of comedic scenes, including an encounter with the most incompetent
SM queen ever and a scene where a woman makes love to Hiroaki
while playing a video game (it must be seen to be believed).
But somewhere along the line
it makes the change from a lighthearted sex romp to something
very serious. Getting all the sex you want may seem like the
pinnicle of coolness, but there's a decidedly dark side to
it. Power corrupts, and over time Hiroaki's power corrupts
him. When something is easy to get, it loses it's value, and
with the affections of women coming to him so easily, Hiroaki
becomes an uncaring monster. Watching Hiroaki make the slow
and painful transition from enjoying his luck to fearing it
is the best part of the game.
The flaws, such as they are,
are relatively minor. I had some difficulties starting up:
The game won't work unless you go into an MS-DOS prompt, and
even then it sometimes freezes during the opening sequence.
The sound is standard faire: nothing special, but not terribly
annoying either. The design could have used some work: there
are a number of situations where only exhausting all your
options will allow you to continue.
One major flaw that almost bumps
this game off the A-list is the endgame, which is next to
impossible without cheating. See, there are two endings: one
good and one bad. In the endgame, you'll be asked to make
a series of decisions, and the right choice isn't always apparent.
One mistake, and you get the bad ending. After a little save-restore
puzzling, I reached the final puzzle, only to find no apparent
way to the right ending. A bit of hacking determined the correct
option to choose, but it still didn't work. Finally, after
a hint from an online friend, I was able to get to the good
ending- but I'm still not exactly sure *how* the logic of
the situation works out. The ending is good, but the last
lousy puzzle kinda hurt the replay value- after struggling
for an hour and a half to get past a single obstacle, you
don't really feel like starting over.
Bottom Line: Even with the impossible
endgame, Runaway City is an excellant game, and a worthwhile
addition to any H-fan's library.