Due to the subject matter of this entire week, some items may be NSFW. Barring some terrible graphics, we’re sorta aiming for PG-13 screenshots here, but, given everyone has a different threshold, anything potentially offensive will be behind the “Read More” links du jour. Just so you are aware…
If you’re a Gogglebob.com superfan, you probably watched (or participated in) last year’s live stream of an hour or so of Akiba’s Strip. Wicket, a woman that was dragged into the production basically because she was bored and somewhere in the immediate area (which, when streaming, is considered to be the whole of the planet), was responsible for the question that most stuck in my head: “This is supposed to be sexy?” And, in Akiba’s Trip’s case, I can understand the confusion. Yes, there is clothes ripping, and that certainly means there are great odds on a (near) naked lady appearing on the screen. But, other than that? It’s about as tantalizing as C-SPAN. And Akiba’s Trip was marketed as the thirstiest franchise since Custer’s Revenge. If that was supposed to be the apex, I pity the “low budget” horny title of this modern age.
Like, you know, Drive Girls.
Drive Girls could easily be another Senran Kagura. And, considering “horny beat ‘em ups” to be their own genre, that’s aiming for the top. What we have here is yet another game where cute anime girls battle legions of anonymous mooks across many levels that are little more than identical arenas. The enemies of the title are “bugs”, which are a step down from KH Heartless, but probably a step up from those ridiculous shadow monsters from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And you spend level after level destroying bugs because… let’s see if I paid attention to the plot at all… they took over a random island? Or something? Look, they don’t have eyeballs, so they must be evil, time to kill ‘em across 24 or so levels. I only got as far as nine before I got bored…
But Drive Girls has to have a gimmick, and it’s right there in the title. Each of the five main heroines can turn into a car.
… Erm. Is that right? It is? Oh… Okay.
So this is a world where people can just turn into cars at their leisure? Or maybe only teenage girls can do it? And, if I want to seem cool, which pop culture reference should I make: Rick and Morty or Turbo Teen? Okay, whatever, these girls are also transformers, and… huh, they’re not even good transformers. There’s no effort to make these women car shaped, robotic, or even to give them armor that looks properly vehicular. They just kind of flash brightly, turn into a car, and that’s it. It kind of looks like something that was added to the game at the last minute. But that can’t be right! This is Drive Girls! Women turning into cars is the whole point!
But maybe the gameplay makes up for it? Nope! Turning into a car is barely ever worthwhile during combat missions, as, shockingly, cars do not have many offensive options. You can spin around like a Deku scrub, or accelerate up to ramming speed to score a hit that way. Of course, that last option is wholly theoretical, as this game is “Vita-cramped”, and the draw distance and tiny arenas make the concept of burning rubber nothing more than a pipedream. And there are land mines for some reason. But don’t count the cars out yet! There are also racing levels! … That are really boring, because you’re only ever racing one other car at a time. And the controls are terrible! You still have the option to transform back into a (slow) human during racing levels, and the “transform” button pulls double duty as the “activate nitro” button. Tap the button for an (absolutely necessary) speed boost, hold the button to come to a complete stop. Can you guess the number one reason people lose in these racing battles?
But, like every other WW entry, you can excuse all of this with one basic premise: this game was never meant to be good, it was just meant to satisfy a heterosexual male’s libido. It’s not called Drive Women, it’s Drive Girls, and those half naked women in primary colors are just meant to get remotely naked and give you a hard appendage to help balance your Vita. That’s it! It’s a sexy game! Call it a day, folks, we solved the grand mystery of Drive Girls.
Except… Well, you can guess where this one is going.
The Drive Girls are scantily clad… Kinda. There isn’t a single one that is hiding her thighs, but, aside from their outfits being ridiculous, they’re not all that revealing. Officially licensed Nintendo Xeno Girls are dramatically skimpier. And, while we’re thinking about stacked cyborg ladies, the Drive Girls also aren’t all that preposterously proportioned. It appears that only one of the girls would be unable to survive without a back brace, and the rest are fairly modest by anime standards. And we also don’t have a “sexcraft” situation wherein the heroines are forced into sexy (or “sexy”) poses in order to utilize their special moves. It’s all punches and lasers around here, practically the same techniques you’d see in a moderately violent version of Star Wars. Or an anime. Or any anime. Ever. You could easily make it through a number of stages before seeing Drive Girls’ money shot, so let’s skip to the end here:
Yes, this is a game where, if you take enough damage, your character will be stripped to her underwear.
That’s the one thing Drive Girls offers.
If you play the game badly, you can play with a character that is more naked than before. And, aside from a few random story beats where a protagonist might be in a similar bit of “battle damage” distress, that’s it. That’s the extent of the “sexy” in Drive Girls, a game ostensibly built on the concept of “horny boys want videogames”. You had one job, Drive Girls! One!
So why discuss Drive Girls at all? Well, for one essential truth: not all irresponsibly pandering games are created equal.
Whether you’re a purveyor of Metroidvanias or Met…boob…vanias (?), don’t just buy in to a game because it hits your particular (gameplay) kink. There are good, sexy games out there! And there are bad sexy games that are bad at gameplay and being sexy. They’re all over the place! And mostly TRPGs! Always investigate first, and learn from the mistakes of others.
Learn to steer clear of Drive Girls.
WW #9 Drive Girls
- System: Sony Vita. What are the odds that so many horny games are the only titles left on the Vita?
- Number of players: Five? Again? Maybe two? Look, it doesn’t matter, no one else in my hemisphere owns a Vita anymore.
- Could you play this with someone else in the room? If you’re good at the game, the answer is a surprising yes. However, if you take enough damage, this is going to be an underwear party, and that might put a few people off. Oh, and the story sequences are non-stop Japanese squeaking, so that’s probably not great, either.
- Favorite Drive Girl: Uh… I guess… the blue one? She uses little boomerang weapons that are not actually boomerangs, and she’s short and “spunky”, so she reminds me of Sprite from Secret of Mana, and that’s all it takes to earn my trust. I’m still not going to make the effort to learn her name, though.
- Create-a-Character: Drive Girls initially seems like it has some kind of equipment/customize-your-girl system… but it’s just stickers. Like, you can put a heart sticker on your chosen character’s cheek, and it adds some bonuses to her attack stat. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- Did you know? You get a bonus for losing your armor (clothes) during a match… which only seems to happen if you take enough damage. I want to say that is encouraging the wrong kind of behavior.
- Would I play again: Hell no. This is just a bad game in every way, and seems to have no redeeming qualities beyond “it’s there”. If it wasn’t such a curiosity to own a Vita game from late 2017, it would have never even been on my radar in the first place.
What’s next? We’re going to revisit a certain game from 2017 that has already been reviewed on this site… but from a slightly different perspective. Please look forward to it!