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Three Sisters's Story

Reviewed by Craxton (craxton@erols.com)

Publisher: JAST USA
Cost: $24.95 US (old price)
Graphics: Good.
Music/Sound: Good.
NPCs: Okay, but a bit underdeveloped.
Writing: Good.
Plot: Very Good.
Interface: Very Good.
Sex: Good to Excellent.
Kinkyness: Extremely vanilla. Light bondage, some scenes involving torture. May or may not contain rape scenes, depending on how you play it.
three sisters' story

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NOTE: Although out of print for some years, Three Sisters' Story has been re-released as part of the JAST USA Memorial Collection. The new game includes three complete classic bishoujo games with many new features. See this product for information on this game.

Business is war. Not just the "Dilbert" style cubicle life- upper management is no picnic either. Take Koichi, for example. When he was eight years old, his father's multimillion dollar company began to fail due to corporate sabotage at the hands of a friend, Shoji Okamura. As a result, Koichi's father committed suicide, his wife died trying to support Koichi and his brother, and the children were seperated and passed around to various aunts and uncles who were willing to take them on, only to pass them to someone else at the next chance.

Or take the Okamura sisters. After being passed around for ten years, Koichi finally wound up in the care of his older brother, Eiichi, who set him up in a house next to the Okamura residence. He apparently fell in love with the middle sister, Emi, and began to see much of the Okamuras. But then, due to an informant giving away trade secrets, Shoji's business began to fail. When it finally went belly-up, Shoji disappeared, and the sisters were left to fend for themselves. Now Koichi has taken it upon himself to stop the culprit behind the espionage.

Here's the catch: The informant is Koichi. And the culprit is his brother Eiichi.

JAST USA's ad calls Three Sisters Story "the best-selling english language Hentai game of all time." I can see why. What we've got here is a dramatic, emotional noir story, with a dash of the typical JAST humor. (Koichi has an altercation with a pervert over peeping rights, gets attacked by a Ping-Pong player who is easily insulted, gets yelled at in the library because his heart is beating too loudly, and so on.) Over the course of a week, Koichi goes from respecting his brother to working against him. Character development is not as good as it could have been. Partially, this is because we enter the story at a turning point, a few days after Shoji Okamura disappears. Eiichi wants to continue to torment the Sisters until Shoji takes his own life, but Koichi has an attack of conscience and decides that no, this revenge plot has gone too far. This sets up the conflict well, but I would have preferred if you started the beginning of the plot, so that you could see the characters changing in response to the worsening situation. In particular, we never really know much about Shoji, which gave me a hard time understanding why Koichi played along to this point in the first place. But what we do have in the way of character is sufficient.

What really impresses me about Three Sisters Story is the amount of freedom the player has. In a lot of games, you have very little control over the path the story takes. Three Sisters Story guides you along a set path from beginning to end, but you have control over several subplots and small scenes. As a result the player feels in control even when he technically isn't in control. Most significantly, the game gives you control over Koichi's sex life, in a way that's so simple it makes me feel stupid for not thinking of it myself- The game lets you decide wether to make love or not. (A few scenes are obligatory.) For example, at one point where Koichi has to calm a hysterical woman, he can either embrace her reassuringly, or slap her to bring her back to her senses. If the former, the woman asks him to make love, and you can either accept or decline. This effectively circumvents the old h-game problem of too much sex vs. not enough, by letting the player decide for himself. There's even an entire subplot which is completely optional and unrelated to the main plot.

There is a catch, though- unlike some games, Three Sisters Story does not condone unrestrained sexual activity. This is not the kind of game you can barge through without a second thought. Several of the choices you're called on to make can lead to a "Game Over" screen. This is especially true during the endgame, which I had to go through several times before getting it right. (Not, however, to the extent of Runaway City's endgame.) Even if you make it all the way to the end, you might find yourself in an unenviable situation if you were careless with your dick. There are three "successful" endings, where you save the sisters from Eiichi, but only one can be considered a truly "good" ending.

Some people frown on JAST USA for constantly translating games that are several years old, instead of more recent and visually impressive titles. But 3 Sisters shows just why they operate that way: graphics always begin to look dated over time, but three things never go out of style: sex, love, and stories. Three Sisters Story balences them all to perfection.

Bottom Line: A game that is entertaining, dramatic, emotional, and well worth the money.


three sisters' story

three sisters' story

three sisters' story

three sisters' story

three sisters' story

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