All right, boys and girls, I’ve got my weeb hat on, and I’m ready for some Japanese themed cringe. Disclaimers out of the way first: Japan’s fine, their culture’s fine, their language is fine, but when I’m forced to listen to a bunch of catgirls screaming: “Please stop raping me, but actually do continue” for hours on end, my ears develop a sort of hatred for this nonsense that you people have managed to glorify to no end. I can’t walk five paces in the porn world without running into a catgirl or two, and today we’re looking at the main offenders, the publishers behind Nekopara.
You remember Nekopara, right? It’s that dating game in which all the chicks happen to be catgirls for no reason other than people really want to stick their dicks inside catgirls? Yes, well, from that same legendary studio that brought us cat-girl sex, we’re looking at Sunrider Academy. This game, in particular, is part of an extended compendium of Sunrider games that feature the same characters across. The general idea is that people get so riled up over their fictional relationships with these girls that they need a whole new game in which to romance them all-over again. And that’s exactly what we’re dealing with today.
We’ve got the girls from previous Sunrider games, except in this game, you get to go to school with them and contend with their everyday bullshit, in between trying really hard to fuck them. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Don’t you want to go to school again? Sure, you do. That totally doesn’t sound like a waking nightmare at all.
Anime-Guy McGeneric Face
You play as a man named Kayto Shields, or as I like to call him, Mr. Cardboard McForgettable. This game is obviously inspired by hentai dating games, so why should they break the mould? Why break the cycle of forgettable self-insert protagonists whose personalities contribute nothing to the story? That’s what you get in this game, a forgettable protagonist who could just as easily be you. I guess that’s the impression they’re trying to give you here. They’re assuming that only boring generic losers play hentai games, so they made the main character as generic as possible so that any semblance of personality doesn’t scare you away. Like, if he was actually in shape by the start of the game, that might challenge your self-perception.
Anyways, you fire up the game, you get to know Mr. Bland for a few seconds, and shit takes off. You are shown through several hundred dialogue lines, which feel more like expository monologues, that you are going to school, and you are going to be in charge of reviving three failing school clubs or face serious punishments. You also see your character make a bet with his sister that by the end of the year, he will have a girlfriend. That’s your setup, and you’re ready to take over. And by takeover, I mean that the gameplay starts. And by gameplay, I mean nothing at all, because this game plays itself.
The Four Types of Woman
There are four main bitches in this game that you can romance, and every single one locks you out of the other three, if you pursue her too hard. The general idea is that you are supposed to pursue one of them per playthrough, then replay the game for another one. I guess that’s not a bad way to pad out the gaming, but when the in-between is so mindlessly tedious, I start to wonder whether it’s all worth it. Either way, we’ll get to the gameplay later. Let’s talk about the bitches for now.
First of all, this game follows in the age-old tradition of having four chicks that are only different in that they’re not each other. More or less, they’re fucking identical. The only real reason there’s 4 of them is so that you feel like you’ve got your money’s worth. At the end of the day, they all just want your time. They’re basically time sponges that you throw gobs of time at to watch your time investment grow and hope to see some panties by the time you’re done.
Time is of the Essence
Oh, dear God, here come the complaints. It’s not just me, I swear. I checked the Steam reviews, and even the people with the positive reviews griped about the exact same shit that pissed me off. The game dicks you around, hard. You’re supposed to manage your time in this game, that’s the core gameplay. You only have so much time on an average day; the game actually goes out of its way to explain the way that time works in this imaginary fantasy world.
It’s a world much like ours, but time flows much differently. You see, instead of our 24/7 system, they’ve got days that last exactly 10 hours across. They also have 10 days a week, three of which are considered days off. And if I remember correctly, there are five weeks in a month, then 10 months in a year. I cannot for the life of me figure out what the developer was thinking when they thought up this system. The 24/7/30 wasn’t exactly a broken setup. I mean, that’s the way that time has worked since… well, since the beginning of time. They didn’t need a new system for this game, but they went ahead and built one anyways.
The gameplay is you dicking around this newfound time system they throw in your face. There are only so many hours in a day, and you have to choose exactly what your character is going to be doing across a schedule. Will he go to the gym or play video games? Will he flirt with bitches or fill in his tax reports? Will he be a complete loser or do something productive for a change? Who knows! Only time will tell. Time time time. All the time. Every time.
Beyond the nerve-wracking time optimization tricks, you also get visual novel scenes and boy how they drag on. I think it’s meant to be a catch 22. When you’re doing the schedule shit, you miss the visual novel, when you get to the visual novel, you miss the schedule. I genuinely can’t figure out which part of this game bores me the most.
It’s not just that it’s a visual novel. I’ve played visual novels that I’ve enjoyed before. It’s that this particular visual novel is so loaded with stuff that I don’t care about, that it’s actually extremely hard to give a shit about any of these characters. They’re constantly talking, at all times. And I don’t mean flirting or making small talk. They’re constantly talking about shit that is pulling the plot along, slowly, like a slog through a mile of sand and broken glass.
It’s interesting. I’ll say that much. Most people that have played this game have given the story glowing commendations, and I’m inclined to agree with them. So, you might be wondering why I was griping about the story a paragraph ago. Well, it’s because there’s too much of it. There are literally hours of exposition between any actual decision that you get to make. I hate that shit. I want to feel like I’m in control of the game, else what’s the point of actually playing it?
Yes, you can make the argument that the scheduling stuff is the core gameplay, and the visual novel sections are your rewards in between, but are they really fun enough to be considered rewards, or are they breaks in between the monotony? That’s for you to decide. Personally, I found myself very bored.
Leaving the best for last, as usual, let’s talk about the titties in this game. This is probably where I got my money’s worth, because it sure as hell didn’t happen during the schedule gameplay. I do not consider balancing a schedule to be an entertaining activity. If I did, I wouldn’t be playing video games.
Anyways, the second I saw the very first pair of tits on screen, I knew that the $10 I dropped on this gem was well worth it. The smut inside this game is primo quality 10/10 hentai shit, mixed with some western art elements that really give it an original spin. It’s high-quality shit, and there’s a lot of it. And yes, you do have to earn most of it, both by making the right decisions during the scheduling and by being patient through the literal hours of dialogue in between.
Still, I found these sex scenes to be well worth the money I paid for this game. I just wish there was a way to chop up the gameplay into more interesting branching paths that might lead to different sex scenes, instead of feeling like I’m stuck on a rail throughout the whole damn thing.
PornGames likes Sunrider Academy
- Really hot sex scenes
- Great graphics overall
- Tons of gameplay value
PornGames hates Sunrider Academy
- Conversations drag on for too long
- Scheduling gameplay is boring