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A quest to conquer an ever growing backlog of games.

Backlog Impressions | Punch Line

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PQube has showered their generosity down upon the Backlog Odyssey once again with the prolific, panty-filled VN Punch Line! Is it love at first sight?

What’s a poor, overburdened video game blogger/ husband-extraordinaire to do when they have way too many game codes to play and review? You ask your super supportive and smokin’ hot wife-extraordinaire to lessen said burden, that’s what!

So, I, aforementioned wife-extraordinaire, solicitously selected the visual novel Punch Line from atop our ever-mounting game code pile. I am currently only about 3 hours in and all I can say is, thank you PQube! My faith in visual novels was dwindling after watching the prolonged suffering that is/was Our World Is Ended. Not that there was anything really wrong with that game per say, it was just too G-D long! Forty hours? Dang son, that’s rough! But that’s really where a big difference between Punch Line and Our World Has Ended really shines through.

Knock Knock! Who’s There? Anime!

See, where Our World Has Ended really ran with the “be-like-an-entire-manga-series” route, Punch Line went whole hog on the anime train. Which I think, thus far, the developers did a fantastic job of. The game starts out with a sizeable animated cutscene, that honestly if it were an actual anime I would be down to watch. The animation is beautifully done and while the character designs are a bit trope-ish, they are still fun and intriguing.

You see these anime-esque bits fairly frequently throughout the game as well, but none quite as long as the first one (so far anyway). They are usually used to introduce new characters and some backstory here and there. The actual gameplay itself is done in your typical 3D art style. Much less awe inspiring, but still pretty impressive given it’s a visual novel. Each story event is also set up like an episode with full opening and ending sequences, complete with music and credit rolls.

Why Did the Panties Cross the Road?

True to anime style the main character is a horny teenager whose nose explodes in a glorious volcano of blood upon seeing girls’ panties. In this case, however, upon seeing panties the main character also gains some form of superpowers that have yet to be explained. That’s because by the end of the very first cutscene our poor panty peeker is knocked unconscious from, what else, seeing more panties and has his soul evicted and body stolen by some unknown interloper. Now, with the help of a lazy ghost cat named Chiranosuke, he is tasked with figuring out how to get his body back while simultaneously preventing the extinction of humanity via an asteroid. Yep, because NOW when he sees too many panties the world gets destroyed!? Did I lose you? Are you still there? It’s OK…I was massively confused too. And I’m sure the further I get into the game these inexplicable phenomena will present themselves with explanations, but for now suffice it to say “anime” and move on.

How Many Skivvies Does it Take To Screw in a Lightbulb?

As with all visual novels there is plenty of reading involved, but in Punch Line there’s no real text-based decisions to make. Instead, it’s more of a point and click mechanic. Similar to the point and click adventures of yore? But with more panties. There’s a whole shtick where Mr. Main Character must level himself up as a spirit in order to progress with his body retrieval plans. In order to level up as a spirit you need to scare people and gain spirit fragments. The bigger the scare the more fragments you get. And because this game has already made panties so very crucial to the story, the bigger the scare the more the female victims will “jump” and show their panties.  So, there’s a whole risk/reward situation going on since, should panties appear in your line of sight, you need to quickly avert your gaze lest you doom the human race to extinction.

Don’t Worry…I’ll Be Brief(s)

Level up as a spirit, get your body back, save the world from an asteroid. And that’s about the nut and bolts of this game so far. The main story is purported to take around 10-12 hours to complete, so I’m about a quarter of the way there. I’ll be sure come back once I’ve finished and fill you all in on outcome of this strange and titillating title. No spoilers I promise!