Bullets, butts and brain-eating zombie bastards in Hentai vs. Evil

When eastasiasoft concluded their recent “EASter Showcase” video with a game called Hentai vs. Evil, I was intrigued — for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I was curious as to why a respected localiser and publisher like eastasiasoft would pick up a game like this. After all, as anyone who has spent any time on the Steam store will know, games that are shameless enough to put the word “Hentai” right there in their title are not known for either their rigorous standards of quality or their adherence to international copyright conventions.

Secondly, the footage of the game they showed actually looked rather fun. So I was curious: did this game already exist on PC, like many of eastasiasoft’s other console titles?

It most certainly does, and for just £3.99, too. Clearly I needed to check this out. For science, you understand.

Hentai vs. Evil

In Hentai vs. Evil, you take on the role of a cute girl who has been tasked with fending off a zombie apocalypse caused by demons called “Reapers”. Whether or not you decide to do this completely naked is up to you, but regardless of your decision, you have a choice of weapons to collect, power-ups to acquire, a selection of skirts your substantial buttocks will inevitably spill out of the bottom of, and three large open environments to explore as you indulge in a bit of wanton carnage.

The game looks lovely and has a sense of style to it; it eschews conventional anime-inspired visuals in favour of adopting the distinctive soft-edged, motion blur-heavy look of Unreal Engine games with a non-realistic aesthetic. The environments are primarily built in a colourful low-poly style, which is a good fit for the game’s straightforward action. And the player character models are very nice indeed; there’s a rather plasticky, doll-like look to them that works particularly well when combined with the soft edges of the game’s presentation. The net effect is one of a toybox coming to life rather than anything which should be taken too seriously — and that pretty much sums up the Hentai vs. Evil experience.

Hentai vs. Evil is not a complex game — but there is more to it than you might think from first impressions. Your first few play sessions will doubtless end quite quickly as you get ripped to shreds by zombies coming behind you, and all the enemies feel quite bullet sponge-y, requiring a fair amount of damage (or some accurate headshots) to take them down.

Hentai vs. Evil

After a few frustrating initial attempts, you’ll start to notice a few things.

The sprint function is of critical importance, because your standard movement allows zombies to catch up with you quite easily. As such, sprinting is essential to get yourself into a good position to fend off an incoming horde; it provides a surprisingly tactical element to the gameplay that, when coupled with the varied and interesting environments, keeps things feeling enjoyable.

Secondly, there are floating toolboxes all over the place. Collecting these causes one of two bullet pickups to appear: yellow bullets ignite your enemies on fire, inflicting continuous damage over time when you shoot them, while blue bullets do a massive amount of damage and inflict considerable knockback, usually finishing off an enemy with a single shot even from the machine gun-style weapons. Both of these power-ups last for a limited amount of time, with the flaming shots lasting significantly longer than the power shots.

Thirdly, there are health pickups here and there, though more sparsely scattered than the toolboxes. Collecting one of these immediately restores you to full health, even if you’re near death.

And finally, the relatively small clip sizes and long reload times for all the guns mean that you can’t just wade into a huge group of enemies and fire with gay abandon; you’ll need to pick your targets and vantage point carefully.

Hentai vs. Evil

Between these four elements, you can likely see how Hentai vs. Evil becomes much more than a mindless blastathon. It becomes a game where you’ll need to spot your Reaper targets, assess the tactical situation surrounding them and establish a plan, preferably nabbing a power-up on your way in — all while making sure you weren’t followed to your destination by a horde of slobbering zombies and pig monsters.

Hentai vs. Evil is no old-school Rainbow Six, just to be clear, but it is also much more than a simple case of mindless spray-and-pray. And the fact that each of the three levels are admirably large, detailed, open, outdoor playgrounds rather than cramped corridors adds a significant amount of interest to the gameplay; no two play sessions will ever be quite alike due to the randomised elements each playthrough and the inherent variability an open play area brings to the table.

There’s not a ton of substance to Hentai vs. Evil — once you nail down the basic formula, you’ll likely be able to beat the three levels within an hour or less. But the game does have a certain amount of longevity thanks to an excellent Survival mode, in which the hordes of enemies that pursue you are significantly larger, plus leaderboards that track how many of each different type of enemy you’ve killed and the longest amount of time you lasted in survival mode. This is old-school, arcade-style replayability through fun factor rather than constant spoon-fed incentives.

Completing each of the main levels for the first time unlocks a new character for play, and each character can be customised in terms of costume, hair colour, skin colour, headgear, breast size, thigh thiccness and overall scale. It would have been nice to have a few more customisation options — some unlockable costumes would add some replay value for sure — but let’s not forget this is a game that costs four quid on PC and as such the amount of stuff we do get here is already quite admirable.

Hentai vs. Evil

After a couple of hours with Hentai vs. Evil on PC, then, I’m a believer, and I’m happy to see it coming to Switch, PS4 and PS5. It remains to be seen if there will be any notable additions to the game for its console release — some additional unlockable costumes and a split-screen multiplayer mode would be welcome, console-friendly upgrades over the game as it exists on PC right now — but as it stands, it’s an enjoyable blaster that is worth your time.

Hentai vs. Evil is due for digital release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch in May of 2021. Find out more on eastasiasoft’s website!

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Pete Davison
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