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Hitomi: My Stepsister
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 03/20/2005

Description:
You are Takahiro Maejima, a typical high school student... that is, until your father remarries and brings home a beautiful stepmother and stepsister to complete your broken family. There is a small problem though -- your new family members awaken new feelings and desires in you, and you're not so sure you can contain them...

Review:
Although Hitomi is not the first game G-Collections released with Virtual-Mate (Let's Meow Meow is G-Collections' first Virtual-Mate game), it's the first V-Mate game that I've played. Thus, this review will not only address Hitomi, but also the V-Mate system. Any other V-Mate games I play after this will not contain any more insights on V-Mate, unless I experience something drastically different from what I am going to share in this review.

I had been warned about Hitomi being a dark game, but it is supposedly a good dark game. Given G-Collections' track record for releasing perverse and meaningless dark games, I of course was skeptical. Hitomi has you playing a young man named Takahiro. Your mother left when you were young, and you've lived with just your workaholic father ever since. You've somehow managed to grow up into a normal high school guy with little supervision, so it's a major change when two female family members move in. Suddenly there are home-cooked meals to look forward to and beautiful smiles to greet you every day. What puts Hitomi a cut above all of G-Collections' other dark games is the fact that the story doesn't have to be dark every time. You can actually lead a rather normal high school life and end up with your long-time school crush, Yuki. There are three pretty female characters you can pursue: Hitomi, your stepsister; Yoko, your stepmother; and Yuki, your schoolmate. You can even end up with more than just one woman in some game paths. Or you can end up dead.

Hitomi plays exactly like any other multi-ending decision-driven bishoujo game, but it can be made incredibly easy and challenge-free by utilizing the flowchart option -- which maps out all the major decision points and CGs. One look at the flowchart and you'll know exactly where the paths deviate or merge, so you are guaranteed a different story every time you play. You can even get all the CGs in one go. I discovered the flowchart option during my third run-through, so it did not affect my game too much. It's really useful for unlocking any ending you might deem overly elusive though.

The artwork is all right, I guess. I didn't really care much about the character designs, with the exception of Yuki who I thought was sort of pretty. Hitomi looks annoyingly blank for most part, even while engaging in all sorts of sexual acts, and Yoko is just another busty "older" woman. The CGs are a mixed bag, there were some which I felt were done very nicely as well as others that came off as amateurish. Sex scenes are very graphically portrayed, and there's something for just about every kind of fetish. Original Japanese voices and forgettable background music make up the game's audio aspect.

As I've mentioned in the beginning of this review, Hitomi is my first brush with V-Mate. I remember installing V-Mate, connecting to the net, registering, and then starting to play. It was all very simple. Unfortunately, my computer crashed on my next attempt to play and I had to restart. It was smooth sailing thereafter, up until our phone line went due to a brief summer storm. At that point there was no freaking way I could play Hitomi. I had to wait for our line to be serviced and restored (about a couple of days) before I could resume my game. That was my main problem with V-Mate. Heaven forbid I get stuck with only V-Mate games during the rainy season. V-Mate, shitty telephone lines, bad weather, and unstable internet connections just don't mix. Just my luck I had all of these factors working against me.

Hitomi is a rather pleasant surprise from G-Collections. A dark game that doesn't have to be dark and the true path albeit twisted actually has a plausible story behind it. If you must sample negative themes such as rape, incest, and murder, I'd recommend picking up Hitomi as opposed to all the other similarly-themed games out there.

Miscellanies:
Extra features include a CG and music gallery.

Screenshots
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Hitomi: My Stepsister
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Review Title:
Hitomi: My Stepsister
Alternative Titles:
Gimai - Hitomi
Released:
2004
Approximate Length:
10-30 Hours
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Genres:
Psychological, School, Incest,
Rape
Hitomi: My Stepsister
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3. Love Love Show
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