Everett Lo (11.04.2001)
More digital-novel than game.
X-Change has a very simple idea, what happens when a guy finds
himself in the body of a girl? Our hapless hero in this is
Takuya, an average guy who's often surrounded by very assertive
(or aggressive, depending on your defintion) women. Being
changed to a female doesn't help.
Like I mention in the title, this is more of a "digital
novel" than a game. You can fast-forward through most
of the scenes to just catch the hentai action if you really
wanted to. There are multiple endings but you can get to each
relatively easily just by varying a choice or two. And once
your done, there's a CG gallery so you can review those "special
moments" without the fast forwarding.
I really think the storyline could have been more developed
along with the characters. And even knowing that this is a
humorous work, I still found a lot of it was pushing the bounds
of credibility. I can't imagine all those male students, no
matter how horny, suddenly being so lusty over a fellow student
who was sharing a locker room with you just the previous day.
And I also can't decide whether Takuya's actions are dictated
by the changes physically/emotionally/chemically done to his
body or whether it's because he "thinks" that's
the way he should act.
Overall, a simple, straightforward game with beautiful artwork
(which I did appreciate) but nothing much deeper. I felt there
could have been much more to the story. There is a sequel
slated to come out in 2002 which I hope will address this
rather than being another "one-hour fast-forward fest".
Short and Sweet.
If you were a man, wouldn't you be a little curious about
how women handle romance and sex? I know I would. As long
as it didn't involve actually doing anything naughty with
other men. I'm supposed to be a guy, for crying out loud!
X-Change presents a rather freaky scenario where you, the
virginal young man, turn into a girl by way of a fluke experiment.
As the good friend who gave me this game puts it, "This
is a basically where you suddenly switch genders and all the
guys gang-bang you." Hm. Crudely stated, but I can't
blame the guy. I can't imagine, for the life of me, how you,
an honest-to-goodness straight male could allow yourself to
be fondled, much less raped, by his friends, colleagues and
even strangers! I can't imagine friends actually wanting to
have their way with you
knowing what you actually are.
To make things worse, you get to listen to yourself say things
like: "Suddenly, he reaches his hand out to contact
my mound of Venus, probing through my panties for my lack
of a penis, finding only my womanhood..." You even
get to practice your feminine wiles on other innocent young
X-Change has several endings; many of them bad because you
can either turn into a sex addict with several male partners,
a hermaphrodite, or cursed your entire life. Had my brother
been forced into the same situation, he'd go to the nearest
gun store and shoot himself. There are two good endings, where
you get to sleep with the girl of your choice. Still, one
can't just shake the feeling that neither of these two beautiful
damsels truly got your virginity.
Seeing as your humble revieweryours trulyisn't
a guy, I got to appreciate X-Change outside the realm of the
male psyche. It's short and far from being a drag, which gives
it excellent replay value. This is how bishoujo digital novels
should be like. The fast forward button allows you to get
all endings without having to go through monotonous dialogues
over and over again.
The visuals are fascinating because the hero, Takuya, looks
gorgeous both as a girl and as a boy. The women are very pretty,
although they tend to have the same vital statistics, which
doesn't provide much excitement. The men all look alike, except
for an ugly professor that I honestly wish I hadn't seen.
It's a good thing that the hentai scenes are exceptionally
well done; you'd almost wish they were animated. The sounds
are pretty much averagenothing spectacular. Newbies
to the bishoujo game genre might be glad to know that there's
an image gallery and a music selection at the title screen.
You just have to experience the entire game first, before
you can enjoy all these.