Gaming is becoming more focused on intellectual property rather than just single titles by themselves. What this means is that developers are always more willing to create a game that can span a sequel or more titles to the series, rather than create a single masterpiece of an experience. Ironically, the second game of a series makes or breaks the success of both the series and of the first game, resulting in a bigger disaster if the second game bombs badly.
Criminal Girls was quite a fine game on the PS Vita, and although it served quite a small niche due to its rather “pervy” content, it was modestly successful in its time. This might have been why a sequel was recently released in the Americas and Europe after being released in Japan last year. Criminal Girls 2 can be said as a spiritual successor to the first, since although the name is the same, there is nothing from the first game apart from the mechanics. This is because in the second game from the series, you are tasked with the exact same objective of the first, albeit having a different group of girls to lead to salvation.
What one expects from a sequel which takes plenty from the first game is originality, and so far the game does fairly well. Some mechanics have changed from the first game, with the main introduction of coaching during battle, which will affect the morale of the girls. You can choose from four different types of motivations, but each one will affect the girls differently, and this effect will not always be positive, so one should bear in mind the bigger good in the situation at hand and the abilities of the girls as well.
What is quite interesting so far in the game is the story, which takes a big swing from the story of the first title even though these are fairly similar. This change in story is a neat addition to avoid the game becoming dull in the hands of players who already played the first. We will see if the game keeps up the good work in terms of story, but for now I am definitely hooked.
As to what concerns the pervy parts we mentioned beforehand, these are different from the first game, as one would have cleverly guessed. Gone is “Pink cloud-sama”, an enemy of a lot of players of the first game, which was basically a cloud of pink mist which served as censorship due to the heavily sexual nature of the game. This also means that the developers do listen to the fans sometimes, and changes really are made to ensure players are more encouraged to play a game. Censorship is still featured in the game but it is much more subtle than it was in the first game.
As far as other aspects of the game go, there is not much to comment. Maybe some changes from having the exact same layout from the first game would be welcome, but since it worked so well in the original, preserving it as it is will surely not harm the game. Graphically, the game follows an art style which is very captivating, showing the character in chibi form both while moving around and while battling and switching to serious perspectives when the characters are making conversation.
As far as the game has gotten, there is a pretty solid idea of what it will become,l in the future, but shockers are popular in similar games so I will not hold my breath that everything go smoothly. That said, Criminal Girls 2 is surely a game to keep an eye on, and come release, all those interested should see for themselves whether the game does make it to their standards or not.