Relive the Adventure!
Takuya is back and he loses no time in getting himself into
scandalous situations yet again! No longer virginal, Takuya
starts his morning with a dose of loving
and then some.
True to the tradition its predecessor
set, X-Change 2 has beautiful artwork, lovely background music,
and a roster of talented voice actors. Almost every scene
is worth capturing, whether it's CG or just a regular dialogue
picture. The only minor flaw in the visuals is that all the
women have the same body proportions. Asuka, who's supposed
to be flat-chested, looks like she has Onna Takuya's bra-size.
And Onna Takuya's breasts are huge! The same applies to Kyoko,
the college girl who supposedly looks like a junior high student.
Other than the females' generic builds, everything else feels
Story and Characters
The concept of a guy changing into a girl is nothing new.
It's been there since the days of Ranma,
and older gender-bending shoujo titles. We're just basically
continuing where we left off in the first
X-Change. This time, however, one can notice a deeper
transformation in Takuya that has nothing to do with outward
appearances. He still remains the eternal goof, but he gets
to ponder more about his relationship with Asuka and how to
make things better with her. Of course, this game has multiple
endings and Asuka isn't the only girl Takuya can end up with,
but I'm appreciating his interaction with Asuka here than
in X-Change 1. I guess it's because X-Change 2 has more drama
than your usual high-school centered bishoujo game.
On the other hand, now that I'm getting to know Takuya even
more, he suddenly seems too idiotic and bimbo-ish to be a
real guy who just happened to live in a girl's body. He always
gets himself into messy, and ultimately compromising, circumstances
with other men. Women, he can handle quite well. But men?
He never did quite resolve his issues from the first installment.
Besides the melodrama, you'd notice that there are a lot
of hilarious stuff going on in there. Mini-stories outside
of Takuya's school also happen, like for instance, when Takuya
meets a girl that looks exactly like him and the girl suggests
they trade places for a while. Or this secret admirer who's
so clumsy, she can't get her wits straight.
The only thing that's bothering me in the other endings is
that, when you think about it, his hook-ups with some of the
women he's just met probably wouldn't last. Good thing his
endings with Asuka, Chisato, and even Kouji (yes, there is
that dreaded yaoi ending that straight guys would probably
touch only out of sheer curiosity) can be believed.
The best features of the first X-Change are the options. Thank
goodness Crowd removed none of the options there, but instead
added more. Not only can you fast forward scenes, you can
actually toggle with the fast forward settings! You can now
also save favored images into your hard drive as there is
a "Save CG" button that allows you to do this. The
usual "Save", "Load", "CG Gallery
and Music Room", "Help" menu are available.
You might also want to check out the "Opening Sequence"
if you want to sing along.
There are quite a few surprises that spice up this game,
too. Just when I thought I was going to die of ennui, the
next runs made me perk up. I got to play mini-games in some
of the alternative scenarios and I had a hell of a good time,
especially with Battle Force, wherein you get to play
Paladin, Sage, or Werecat. Other mini-games you will have
to participate in are the Strip Karaoke, Crowd
and Script Quizzes, Rock Scissors Paper, and
Name That Tune.
Aside from the obvious bonuses that most bishoujo games give
you, X-Change 2 has a second disc that contains OMAKE files.
These are the MP3s or the soundtrack, liner notes, as well
as the ability to play in Japanese. Get to know the staff
and other elements of the game in detail.
In the first X-Change, there had been a handful of strange
post-pubescent boys hitting on Onna Takuya even though they
knew she was formerly a guy. This time, with so many other
experimentations going on at the Chemistry Club, you've got
even bigger surprises in store for our hero. First, you've
got a whole slew of lesbian action scenes that could whet
the appetite of any normal hot-blooded male. And second, well,
when you start to brood on it, the entire package reeks of
shonen-ai. And since there's anal sex, the yaoi-ness of this
game is complete. Imagine, this is originally a man, who,
at the throes of passion, exclaims he enjoys having someone's
cock up his ass...
Then again, here are other benefits not much explored in
the first X-Change. Like...getting into the places where men
would never be allowed in. What guy can feast his eyes on
endless mounds of delectable female flesh other than he who
has been ensconced in a female body?
Judging from the popularity of the X-Change series, I daresay
my brother and a few of my very straight male friends do not
share the majority's feelings. While my brother found this
game disturbing, so much that he announced he'd shoot himself
were he in Takuya's place, the rest of Japan's raging XY hormones
begged to disagree. Why else would there be a sequel?