Name: Men At Work! (69.09% in 11 votes)
Company: Studio Ego!
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
Within less than 2 months after Studio Ego! released Pythian, they released their next game: Men At Work! I was pretty surprised at how fast they can make a game.
The game takes place in a Middle-Age western Eurpoean town. At the daytime it is a very active and joyous town. However at night it's another story. After sun sets, monsters will lurk all around town which raises concern about the safety of the townspeople. As a result the town has set up a guild of hunters who go around at night and kill these monsters. Most of these hunters are doing so for money, and they rarely reveal their true identity to anyone. The player takes on the role of Wil, who in daytime is a geeky part-time history teacher, but at night is a strong hunter.
This game is a AVG+RPG with no emphasis placed on either side IMHO. Everyday after 9pm Wil leaves his home, roams around town and fights monsters. Upon winning battles Wil will receive EXP and tokens. During the daytime Wil teaches at school until noon. After that he spends the afternoon walking around town talking to girls and possibly ask her to be your hunter partner at night. Also you can go to the hunters guild and trade your tokens into cash which you can use to buy helpful items for battles.
As stated before you start your hunter job at 9pm, and roam around town looking for monsters. Each battle, regardless of results, will last for an hour, and you have until 3am to do your hunting. This means that you can only fight up to 6 battles per day. The battles are turn based. Each battle, unless for special fights, has a limit of 3 turns. If the limit is reached, you will be forced to leave the battle (and sadly, for no particular reason!). Obviously if you ask a girl to be your partner she will join you in battles. Besides her Love meter there is also her Power meter which is similar to Limit Breaks. If it is full, Wil and the girl will be able to unleash a powerful combo attack. After that the Power meter will drop back to where the Love meter stands. Therefore, the better a girl's impression towards you, the more frequent it is to unleash a combo attack. There are no weapons or armors in this game (which is sad). However there a lot of battle items to use. This is because many enemies are very strong when you first meet them and the only way to defeat them is to use these special items to weaken them first. To find more info in enemies you can visit the Library during the day.
Graphics-wise, what can I say? Expect the same hi-quality CGs by Yamamoto Kazue as in other Studio Ego! games. Music is pretty good too, but for some reason this time Men At Work! has NO opening song, which is rather disappointing. Another nice thing is that the programmers have finally enhanced the smoothness in animation this time. Last time in Pythian, the animations lag so much that it's unbearable. This time, however, everything, including battles and picture animations, is quick, crisp and clear with no lagging at all.
Problems, problems. First off, the game is too simplistic... WAY TOO simplistic. There are no special attacks other than the special combo. Every girl just does attack/defense/item etc which gives these girls no character at all during battles. Also, will Studio Ego! ever make a better engine for their games? All of their games are just too simple. Men At Work! is not really an RPG because you don't get to really explore places; it's just a click-click AVG location format. An incorporation of an equipment system, as well as an exploring map field, will be much better. Finally, this game is way TOO FREAKING EASY. Men At Work! is prolly the easiest RPG I have ever played in my 20 years of existence. Why? Because every time a battle is done, whether you win or lose or run, the game will refill your HP to full. So you start ALL your battles with full power, which gives no challenge at all. Personally I haven't used a single recovery item until the last boss battle. Since this game is so simple and so easy, I finished the game in 3 hrs including reading the text and a good amount of level-upping. I thought Pythian is easy enough, but I couldn't believe Men At Work! is much worse in terms of level of difficulty, which makes this game pretty disappointing.
Overall, I dunno what to say about Men At Work! Although the game has nice graphics as expected, that's pretty much it. The game is way too easy and too simplistic as an RPG that it's not too entertaining at all. I think overall Pythian is a better game than this one. But nevertheless, Zone and AliceSoft does a much much better job at RPGs. If you want a really easy Hgame and you care about nothing but easy way to look at beautiful CGs or if you are a RPG beginner and likes Hgames, then you might want to consider Men At Work! For other people, please go for other games.
PROS: Beautiful Hi-color graphics, smooth, crisp and clear animations.
CONS: Too easy, too simplistic as an RPG, too easy, lack of opening song, too easy, girls lack battle character, too easy, why the hell am I only given 3 rounds max in most battles?, too easy.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS GAME TO: Yamamoto Kazue fans, people who wants to see hi quality graphics very easily, people who want an easy game, beginner RPG H-gamers.
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