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2017-05-01

Village of Nightmare 2 Review


Title: Village of Nightmare
Release date: 2015-11-15
English release date: 2016-05-08
Developer: akuoti
English publisher: Rand (as a fan-standalone)

I'm happy that the developers of the original "Village of Nightmare" game didn't forget the little gem they created and decided to come back to the setting and create a proper sequel. So many games do not tap the full potential of their settings, thus it's heartening to see that VON universe wasn't set aside for some other projects.

Unfortunately, the English translation of the recently released VON2 hung in limbo for some time, due to the translator of the original game refusing to translate it and no other good souls lining up to take up the mantle, until one day the translation was suddenly released by Rand. Hence, today we have an ability to experience both parts of the duology in English.
I got a dose of demon cock.
Just like VON, VON2 is an RPG Maker XP adventure game, with a focus on storytelling, rather than gameplay. After reading some comments about the game online, I came to realize that many people consider the second game to be inferior to the first one. The main complaints were laid against a low amount of CGs and rushed corruption scenes. After finishing the game I not only do not consider "Village of Nightmare 2" to be inferior to the original, but in my opinion it is quite clearly superior in every way.

The original game focused on sexual corruption, genderbending and body odor fetish; that specific horse carried the game quite well, so the developers clearly decided not to fix what wasn't broken and gave us some more of the same.
This fantasy world has hamburgers!
"Village of Nightmare 2" is a direct sequel to the original and starts about two months after the events of its predecessor. After exorcist White was defeated at the end of the first game, the other exorcists noticed his disappearance and sent exorcist Green to investigate the disappearance. Green sets her headquarters in a town of Ervers, which is just a short way from Joyville, and from there she tries to root out any possible demonic influence in the region. As Mea, the protagonist of the original, is away on a mission, her protégés Theresia, Brigitte and Mural disguise as nuns and arrive at Ervers to plant the seeds of corruption. There they defile the church and its members and turn them all into succubi. Of particular interest is sister Sophia, who becomes our designated protagonist for the second game and spearheads the corruption of Ervers. The ultimate goal of the game is the defeat of exorcist Green and the infiltration of exorcist council.
I smell yuri in the air.
From the very beginning it is clear that VON2 is a more ambitious game. Ervers is much larger town than Joyville and is bustling with activity. Admittedly, many of the less important characters do not actually have rendered portraits anymore, and appear only as shadowy silhouettes, akin to those in "Monmusu Quest" series. However, that is understandable, as the developers had to select, which resources should get priority in such an expanded game.

The characters and CGs are still rendered using 3D Custom Girl program, just like in the previous game, but while I am not personally a big fan of 3DCG, I have to admit, that these renders used in VON2 are pretty sweet and sexy looking. They do the job of sexually arousing the player pretty well and are pleasing to the eye. One of the complaints levied against the game was the lack of CGs, but I barely noticed that. I admit, some scenes do lack accompanying renders and are "text only" with only black background keeping us company, but I never found that intrusive or immersion breaking. I understood the need for compartmentalization and employing CGs strategically, especially in an expanded game which was basically developed by two guys and published for free.
That gives a new meaning to milking.
The second complaint regarded the sexual corruption and specifically accused it of being too hasty. I not only do not agree with that assessment, but my feelings about the game are directly in the opposite. One of my complaints about the first game was that the corruption sometimes was just too fast and I couldn't properly savour it. Not so with the sequel. I feel that "Village of Nightmare 2" not only fixed everything that was wrong with the original in that regard, but features some of the best corruption content I have seen in an eroge. The sequences are long, drawn out and extremely sexy. The victims still gain tattoos, piercings and slutty clothes upon their conversion into succubi, but this time the game does introduce a clothier, who eventually starts producing slutty clothes for the town's inhabitants. It's like the developers retroactively listened to all my complaints in the VON review!

The creators did a great job of tying the new game to the predecessor, by introducing both a cast of new characters and not excluding the returning ones. Some of the characters from VON even have major roles in this installment. It's worth mentioning that while Sophia is the de facto protagonist, we are frequently given a chance to control other characters. In one instance we are even in the skin of the designated victim and are slowly corrupted, instead of doing the corruption ourselves. I always love to read the corruption stories from the victim's perspective, and Emily's story in VON2 is sublime and one of the best and longest drawn out sequences in the whole game.
You don't say...
One of the main complaints against the first game was a frustrating and annoying gameplay with "go somewhere, do something" mechanics. Those frustrations were almost completely eliminated from the second game. First of all, VON2 completely removes the day/night cycle, which majorly frustrated players previously, as some events were only available during a certain time of the day. Secondly, the storytelling has been greatly streamlined. No more wondering all over the village, hoping to encounter a new event to proceed with the story. With few exceptions, "Village of Nightmare 2" makes it very clear where you have to go and what you have to accomplish in order to proceed. Basically, there are a few main tasks you have to accomplish and you can usually do them in any order. You have to corrupt: Vigilante Corps, Magic School, Water Supply, Tavern and a few other smaller places. There are also some optional corruptions you might engage in, like the doctor's office, but all in all, almost all of the bad gaming decisions present in the prequel were eliminated with extreme prejudice.
That's lotsa rats...
Moreover, VON2 has a smattering of mini-games, ranging from stealth to RPG style battles, but every single one of them are skippable, and if you want to proceed with the story and not bother with the gameplay, you can do just that. All stealth mini-games give a choice at the beginning to opt out and warp to the end of the course. At the same time, Daisy, a returning character who is present during all RPG battles, has a special attack, called Succu-beam, which insta-kills all the enemies, including the bosses (though there always is a great temptation to use this attack and I think it should have been hidden and not so easily accessible), though I really tried not to use it if I didn't have to... and did succumb a few times. Anyway, it's always nice to have a choice and I applaud the devs for thinking about different types of players. P.S. It should be mentioned that if you have no idea what to do during the swamp stage, you should ask the fairies - they'll show you the way. :-)

When it comes to sexual content, I feel that VON2 is somewhat tamer than the prequel. I don't know if that is just an impression, but I constantly has that feeling while playing. While the succubi in the game are as lewd as previously, the smell fetish is somewhat toned down. Moreover, I can remember only one scene with male x futa content, while such content was much more prevalent in the first game. Nonetheless, this is just a minor complaint, as I mainly played VON series for girls being huge sluts and I got plenty of that in both parts of the duology. Not to mention, that the second part has no mosaic censorship either and all the private parts of the characters are fully exposed for the players' pleasure. ;-)
Succubi know which profession best suits them.
While I took exactly the same amount of time (about 6 hours 30 minutes) to finish both parts of the series, that included a huge amount of useless flailing in the first game, which could have been ostensibly completed in about 4 hours. There was no flailing in the second part, due much tightened gameplay, thus it can be said that VON2 is quite a bit longer than the predecessor.

"Village of Nightmare 2" doesn't seem to be as acclaimed online as VON, but I personally consider it a better game than its prequel. It does almost everything right, removes a lot of old annoyances in the gameplay department, expands the plot and properly ties the game to the prequel by reintroducing a lot of old characters, who return in significant roles. It also shows a darker side to the succubi, who start the game by murdering someone, and I appreciated being reminded that these girls are, after all, demons and they are pretty ruthless in their conquest. The game is really recommended to all the fans of sexual corruption and slutty girls.
Teacher knows how to make the lessons fun.
One final quibble I have to mention, that is not directly related to the game itself, is the sometimes wonky translation. Simply put, there are quite a large number of spelling and grammar mistakes, which didn't mare the original translation by a different person. I eventually stopped noticing those mistakes, as the story deeply involved me, but some people might be a bit more sensitive to that than others.

Links of Interest

Official Japanese site
English translation blog / direct post to the latest version of the translation
Rough walkthrough on ULMF forums

Final verdict: 79%

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