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Brave Soul Brave Soul Brave Soul Brave Soul


Brave Soul CD-ROM
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Title: Brave Soul
Genre: Fantasy RPG (Bishoujo Game)
Platform: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Credits: 2001, 2003 CrowdBurst, Peach Princess
FAQs and Cheats: Download Here

Game Description: The first fully-featured action role-playing bishoujo game to be ported to English, Peach Princess is happy to announce Brave Soul! One of the crowning achievements of Japanese bishoujo game maker Crowd, Brave Soul is a rich fantasy world that's filled with wonder and erotic adventure.

It is a world very different from ours, a world in which magic exists, a world where peasants labor under the burden of heavy taxes imposed upon them by the unfair rulers of the land. Although the commoners have a difficult lot, there are those among them with the strength to use his sword and make a name for himself -- an adventurer. To be an adventurer is the dream of every peasant.

The story details the journey of a young man who was raised in the countryside of Souvania, on the continent of Valencia. Disowned by his own father and forced to make his way in life, he chooses to become a Hunter, a mercenary who accepts jobs for a variety of adventures. Heading into town to officially join the Hunter's Guild with his dragon Shell at his side, he happens across a mysterious girl who looks strikingly like the Moon Goddess.

The Moon Goddess... Ever since he was young, a beautiful girl appears before him on nights of a full moon. Because of the mysterious manner of her appearance, he gave her unique name. With the mysterious girl Alicia and dragon Shell at his side, as well as new characters he will join with later, our hero embarks on many bold adventures. But will he ever be able to solve the bizarre mystery of the beautiful Moon Goddess standing in the lake...?

Skysenshi's NOTE: I don't know what the first "real" hentai RPG was, but it certainly isn't Brave Soul because I played Dragon Knight 3 (a similar game) from way way back. But I would probably agree with Brave Soul being the first "fully-featured" action RPG.


HN Opinions
Average Rating:


MasterChief (11.24.2003)
A Refreshing Non-Clickathon
The normal image of bishoujo games is of a text scroll, where one passively watches a story go by, only occasionally making a choice every now and again. Thus, they're not even viewed as games by many Americans, but rather as visual novels. Brave Soul deviates from this image wildly, providing an actual RPG experience, which, while not Final Fantasy caliber, amuses and entertains for its length.


Graphics/Art:

The game's graphics are rather basic, actually. The game is played from a top-down perspective, with basic looking building structure and character sprites. For the most part, it looks like something that could be put out for the TurboGrafix CD (PC-Engine CD). The Grandia-style map screens are well drawn and pleasant to look at, but won't blow your mind.

The artwork, however, is amazing. Drawn by Mogudan, famous for his "One Student Compilation" Rei Ayanami doujins, he pours his heart out in the character art for Brave Soul, not only using an amazing array of color, but a level of detail not usually seen in hentai material. Characters are drawn with phenomenal levels of detail in their clothes, and even in their skin and muscle tone, helping to lend everyone a unique look. The characters also fit well with their personalities, from the timid-looking Alicia to the cool Ruby and the hot-tempered Carol. Everyone looks the way they should, and none of the girls have a generic look to them.

On a side note, you should check out the opening in your media player as opposed to seeing it using the in-game "opening" option (It's in the avi subfolder of your game's folder, as well as on the Game CD's AVI folder). The game plays it with some frame synch issues, but played in a media player, it plays just fine, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful ending sequence.


Sound:
Sound is pretty nondescript. The MIDI sound fits the mood, but doesn't blow anyone's mind. The voices are nice, but they don't sound very clear, like the acting cast was using Windows' sound recorder. It does the job, and everyone's easy to hear, but it just got to me. Sound effects are also very very generic, nothing special here.


Story and Gameplay:
The game suffers from a bit of a lack of direction early on. After completing a few trials, you're simply a Hunter taking jobs to earn money and advance your rating. During this time, you and your pet dragon find female companions (of which you can have 2 in your party at a time) to accompany on your hunts.

Jobs are taken at a guild in one of the town, similar to Arc the Lad 2, but you have to be careful which jobs you take, as the girl you want to be with may leave if you take a job she dislikes. The relationships are furthered through decisions you make in jobs (Do I sell this crystal or bring it back to the client like I promised?), and in free time cinematics that you can see by talking to the girls while wandering around in free time mode (similar to Star Ocean: The Second Story.). Exploring is rather simplistic, as you have to only click on an area to make your character move, and clicking on an enemy will make your character attack it automatically, while right and middle clicks will activate special moves. The others in your party will attack or heal automatically based on their AI script. This is one of the few black marks, as the characters rarely pay attention to the options at the bottom of the screen that are supposed to change their patterns. This leads to having to wait a while to be revived, as you can't use items while you're down.

Eventually, you'll hook up with the girl of your choice and make love to her, and after this, the free time will be unavailable, as you'll always go into a sex scene with the girl of your choice. While this is certainly a good chance to get to see some of the fine artwork in the game, being robbed of the amusing free time is a bit of a sore. I would have preferred to be able to activate the sex by talking to that character while going about events with the other. But it takes a long time before a love scenario fully unfolds, so there's plenty of event time beforehand.

After some time, a story about a Dark Lord pops up out of the blue and becomes your focus, but it never really earns much attention, save for an incident involving your Dragon, which I'm not going to spoil. The endings that you can earn (out of a possible 8) are more about the girl you choose or whether you go alone, than they are about the Dark Lord. It would have been better were there no Dark Lord at all, and the entire game centered around the women, like so many romance stories that have come out.


Hentai Aspect:
The game's surprisingly vanilla in this regard. The usual array of peepings and accidental glimpses go on in the game, but there's not a lot of monster sex or anything weird like that. Just some very normal, very natural soft-core shots and hardcore sex. Which is fine by me, as it's vividly drawn. It's a shame the sex scenes aren't animated, however. The beautiful art deserves it.


Overall:
While the game is flawed to be sure, the positive points outweigh the negative ones. Those looking for a change of pace from the usual bishoujo clickathons have found your game. Oh, and don't forget to go to the Minstral Border after beating the game once - the staff room is both hilarious and helpful.

Art/Animation: 9 Story/Plot: 8 Characters: 9 Sounds: 7 Gameplay: 9 Ecchi Level: 8


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