Criminal Girls was originally released in 2010 for the PSP. Five years later it was remastered for the Playstation Vita with new content included in the game. Well, it is now been 2 years after its PSV debut and PC owners can now get their hands on the game.
In Criminal Girls: Invite Only, you play as a new program instructor. You can name this person whatever you want. Your job is to help guide the seven delinquent girls to the top of the Hell Spire. You must navigate yourself and the girls through the four trials of the Redemption Program and motivate (punish in the Japanese version of the game) these delinquents so that they can learn the skills to redeem themselves.
The first thing that one might recognize is that the North American Version of Criminal Girls: Invite Only is much more censored than the Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors. I can truly appreciate CG2 so much more after playing that game and going back to this game again. The word punishment was changed to motivation. Also, there is a horrible pink fog that makes the motivations not even fun. I had no problem with the second game’s censorship because it was just tiny changes here and there. The first game is so censored that it makes me frustrated.
NIS America also said that they would never release an unrated version to PC which is a shame for all of the fans that have been shouting their feedback. I guess that they just want the hardcore fans of the game to mod and change it themselves.
Criminal Girls: Invite Only also just doesn’t feel as good after playing CG2. There isn’t a running feature so the game feels sluggish. The story isn’t nearly as good as the second game’s plot either. It did come out first, but you start to see all the little flaws that it had in it after playing the upgraded second game.
Gameplay works the same as the Playstation Vita version of the game, but there is no touchscreen support because of having to use a mouse and keyboard or a controller. The touchscreen did make the game feel more unique than other games, but there isn’t that same uniqueness on the PC version. The battle system allows you to choose which girl will attack and you fight in a turn-based style of gameplay. In CG2, it is severely upgraded and makes the original’s fighting system seem dull and boring.
Finally, the graphics in Criminal Girls: Invite Only don’t really look any different at all with the Full 1080p support. The original Playstation Vita had a great OLED screen that made everything pop. This game looks fine and I never had any performance issues with my GTX 970 graphics card.
Overall, Criminal Girls: Invite Only for Steam is the same exact game that was on the Vita without the touchscreen features and no improvements. This should’ve been the unrated version that people wanted since Valve doesn’t require games to have an ESRB rating to sell them on their store. The graphics are increased to 1080p HD and that’s about it. The story, characters, graphics and gameplay are a lot worse than the second game. This and the censorship are what makes this a very disappointing game.
6/10 – Wasted opportunity to win their fans back. The game is good but nothing special. After playing CG2, this one just doesn’t have the same “touch” as it once did.