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Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 09/27/2001

Tired of being treated as sex toys, various C's Ware bishoujo game characters band together to form the C's Ware Team. They want revenge... and they plan to extract it by kidnapping the players and creating some sort of reverse heaven in C's Ware Land. However, two characters stood up to stop this from happening -- a guy named Pao and a girl named Pino.

Kotobuki is nothing like the usual type of story-based bishoujo game the English market is often exposed to. For one thing, the game play is arcade-style -- involving more of hand-eye coordination rather than deep thought.

At the start of the game, you get to choose which character to use -- either Pao or Pino. After selecting your character, you are taken to the overworld map where you'll see several locations from various C's Ware titles. There's the mansion from "Fatal Relations", the luxury yacht from "Eve Burst Error", the school in "Love Potion", and so forth. You can't choose where to go initially, you'll have to follow the game's chronology and finish the seven levels that make up one locale before you can proceed to the next.

Kotobuki is like a combination of billiards and the PC classic "Lode Runner" (which I hated by the way). You are equipped with your trusty cue stick and you have to set up the balls and use them to vanquish enemies -- ranging from roving guards to femme fatale level bosses. You can also dig holes to trap them in, but they can do the same for you too. There are also helpful items you can obtain and use. When you defeat the bosses, you are rewarded with CGs that features the particular boss character in some level of undress and at times in kinky poses.

The artwork differs with each location you are trying to finish. There are cutesy round-eyed girls as well as more mature-looking women. Overall though, the CG renditions are very good. Some of them are extremely graphic and feature a bizarre array of sex tools, while others just flash a little boob and butt. The level maps and character sprites look a bit dated and reminded me of older console games (think Zelda on the Super NES), but they aren't bad. It was quite refreshing for me to play a bishoujo title that involved more action, but after several levels of basically the same thing, I wasn't all that gung-ho about going on with the game. It didn't help that movement feels very bogged down if you aren't lucky enough to get the speed shoes.

I didn't find Kotobuki to be particularly difficult, but then you'd have to consider the fact that I've been a console gamer for nearly two decades, so I am pretty used to these things. You are probably better off playing Kotobuki with a joystick / game controller though. I myself played through it with a keyboard. Although I didn't have any major problems, it was a pain to navigate and set the balls at times. It took me a few days to finish all the levels, so it is possible even without a controller of any sort. Kotobuki is admittedly fun, but the novelty wears off a tad too quickly for me. Still, if this type of almost dialogue-less arcade action is more your thing, it's worth a look.

Kotobuki features female boss characters from other C's Ware games such as "Fatal Relations", "Amy's Fantasies", "Gloria", etc.

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Review Title:
Approximate Length:
5-10 Hours
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
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