Seven Pirates H is simple, straightforward, sexy fun

The RPG genre is a wonderful thing, because it covers a wide swathe of different gaming experiences, ranging from the astronomically complex and mind-bendingly deep to games that are perfect to just switch off and chill out with. Seven Pirates H, the fourth in Compile Heart’s originally Vita-based Genkai Tokki series (after Monster Monpiece, Moero Chronicle and Moero Crystal) and the third to be localised into English and published on Switch by eastasiasoft, very much falls into the latter category. And I love it for that.

Nothing about Seven Pirates H is in any way deep and meaningful — be it mechanically or narratively. And that’s not an insult, either — it’s very obviously been designed as something you can just have fun with. That means you won’t necessarily always be in the mood for it — but when you are in the mood for something you don’t have to think about too hard, it is more than happy to provide a satisfying and enjoyable lightweight RPG experience with plenty of saucy fanservice.

Let’s take a closer look!

Seven Pirates H casts you in the role of Parute Kairi, a young woman hoping to find treasure on the high seas. She gets separated from her crew at the outset of the game and finds herself lumbered with both a perverted penis-shaped seal monster named Otton (a recurring character in the Genkai Tokki series) and a mysterious orb and compass combo that appears to point the way to some sort of amazing… thing. Exactly what, no-one knows — but there do appear to be seven pieces to it and, having nothing better to do, Parute decides to go in search of it.

What then follows is a Compile Heart adventure that will be familiar to anyone who has played any of the company’s output since Hyperdimension Neptunia mk. 2 and Fairy Fencer F. You use an overall world map to choose where you want to go next, then explore dungeons with a party of four. In dungeons, you can gather crafting ingredients and quest items, fight monsters and locate treasure, and more often than not there’ll be an “event” point at the deepest part of the dungeon that will advance the story.

In contrast to both Moero Chronicle and Moero Crystal, Seven Pirates H eschews the “gridder” approach to dungeon crawling in favour of simpler free-roaming dungeons. In some respects, this is a bit of a shame, as the map designs of both Chronicle and Crystal were a real highlight of those games — but in others, it makes sense for the series as a whole to not get too hung up on a single gameplay style.

Seven Pirates H

And it’s not as if Seven Pirates H’s dungeons are boring, either; as you progress through the game, you’ll unlock new abilities that will allow you to bypass obstacles such as patches of water or cliff faces, and it often pays to return to previous dungeons either to gather new items or simply to investigate areas that you might not have been able to reach previously.

To provide incentive to explore thoroughly, Seven Pirates H features a quest system, with your tasks usually involving either acquiring specific items or defeating specific monsters. The items you’re asked to find may be either “harvest” drops that can be found in the dungeons, or they might be loot from monsters. Rather pleasingly, if you’ve already encountered the item or monster in question, the quest list will helpfully provide you a quick reference of where to find them rather than demanding you remember.

An interesting wrinkle is provided in the latter regard by the fact that certain monsters will only drop certain items if hit with a specific type of attack — something which might not be immediately obvious, so if you’re having trouble getting a particular drop to show up, check the bestiary in the game’s Ship’s Log section and see if you’re missing something!

Seven Pirates H

Combat is a fairly straightforward turn-based affair with nothing too complex about it. Turn order is displayed on a timeline at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to anticipate when enemies are going to perform actions and figure out if you might be able to do anything about them. Each turn, a character can use a normal attack, use an item or perform a skill. Skills require MP to use — and in a twist on the usual turn-based RPG combat formula, MP gradually charge up when you attack enemies and take damage.

Herein lies probably the most interesting part of Seven Pirates H’s combat: the fact that you need to carefully manage your MP, because at times simply letting it charge to full is undesirable. The reason for this is that 100 MP or more, the character becomes excited and gets some stat boosts — obviously desirable. At 200 MP, meanwhile, the character becomes outright aroused and gets enormous stat boosts — but also drops right back to 0 MP after combat, or if they spend too long in an aroused state. The trade-off is that in the aroused state, the characters can use unique special attacks that are usually very powerful.

As in most RPGs, there is an elemental affinity system, here kept simple as a straightforward “rock, paper, scissors” approach between three different colours of “pheromones”. Red beats green, green beats blue, blue beats red. Each character and enemy has their own inherent pheromone — though it is possible for both characters and enemies to change their colour mid-combat, which adds some interesting tactical possibilities. Those conditional monster drops previously mentioned are usually dependent on defeating the beastie with a specific colour attack — often one that isn’t their usual weakness.

Seven Pirates H

As you explore the world of Seven Pirates H, you’ll stumble across “Booby Kin”, who are tit-headed little creatures who join you as Pirates, Merchants or Scholars. The more Pirates you have, the more abilities you have to choose from in combat; the more Merchants you have, the wider selection of items you can buy; and the more Scholars you have, the more information and quests you are able to uncover.

The Pirate Booby Kin are particularly useful, as their abilities are available to all playable characters, and include some handy skills such as full-party heals and buffs, plus the aforementioned ability to temporarily shift pheromone colour. Their assistance isn’t free, of course — the character who calls on them spends some of their MP for each support ability — but can often make a real difference in more protracted fights.

And so on to the bit I’m sure most of you want to hear about: the Booby Training sequences. This ties in directly with character progression, because the exact state of each character’s tits determines both their character growth and the areas in which they are both weaker and stronger. But, of course, you can’t just do this at any time. As you defeat monsters, you’ll obtain “H Extracts” — essentially Seven Pirates H’s equivalent of experience points — and at various intervals, the characters will process these into “Training Extracts”. It’s only by using one of these that you can “level up”.

Seven Pirates H

When participating in Booby Training, you can manipulate the character’s breasts in several ways using either the Switch touchscreen or the analogue sticks. The movements you make and the direction in which you do them determine how you affect various characteristics of the heroine’s breasts, and in turn each of these characteristics contribute to bonuses to various stats.

For example, a character with bigger breasts will have higher attack power, but flat-is-justice types will have higher agility. Softer boobs provide greater defensive power, but harder boobs provide more HP. Wider cleavage confers greater agility, while tighter provides a defensive bonus. Perkiness affects attack power and HP. And, of course, firmness affects attack and defence.

There’s not really an easy way to remember which boob characteristic corresponds to what, but in practice it doesn’t really matter too much — all the character’s stats grow when they use a Training Extract, and there are plenty of items throughout the game that allow you to make changes to their bustline without penalty. There are also certain special extracts that specifically boost a particular stat, so you can use these to either enhance areas where a character is already strong, or make up for their weaknesses.

Seven Pirates H

Oh, alongside all this, you’ll often find “eggs” as monster drops, which naturally you can only crack between the heroines’ breasts. There’s a gacha-style rarity system to the contents of these eggs — but sometimes they’re just eggs, with predictably messy (and obviously innuendo-filled) results.

As silly as Booby Training is, it’s firmly in keeping with Seven Pirates H’s lewd, cheeky humour — and the fact that the changes to the characters’ boobs are reflected on their in-game character models makes for some delightfully amusing sights as the game progresses.

Parute starts pretty much completely flat-chested, for example — and indeed is depicted as such in her 2D art — but it doesn’t take much effort to round her out a bit. Likewise, the excessive knockers of the characters Sagra and Rindo can be toned down a little… if you want to, of course. The choice is yours. Booby Training is as much about visual character customisation as it is stat growth.

Seven Pirates H

Yes, Seven Pirates H is an unabashedly pervy game, and makes no secret of this throughout. And while this doubtless means it won’t appeal to everyone, it’s refreshing to play a game with so little shame about what it is and who it might appeal to. But it does run a little deeper than just “hurrhurr, titties”, too — much like the Gal*Gun series, Seven Pirates H is a game that is fundamentally about female pleasure much more than men perving over girls.

The presence of Otton may give you pause to question this statement, but Otton is consistently depicted as a silly character rather than a sinister one despite his relentless and unabashed perviness, and usually ends up as the butt of everyone’s jokes. He’s useful to have around, to be sure, but the all-female main cast don’t need him — most of them are more than capable of taking care of themselves, or at least relying on one another to get things done.

In many respects, one can likely look on Otton as a cipher for the player: he’s watching things unfold with great amusement, maybe giving things a nudge now and then or offering an occasionally helpful insight — but for the most part, these girls are more than happy to get on with what they’re doing, whether or not a dick-headed seal approves.

Seven Pirates H

So long as you’re on board with the fanservice angle — and make no mistake, this is one of Compile Heart’s most fanservicey games of all time — then Seven Pirates H will keep you entertained for a good period. There’s plenty to do, but it doesn’t outstay its welcome, either — just the thing we all need for a palate-cleanser between more weighty fare!

Now, we just need eastasiasoft to bring back Monster Monpiece back and give it the physical release it never got back in the day, and we can have a lovely complete Genkai Tokki set on our shelves. Howsabout it, eastasiasoft…?

Seven Pirates H is available for Nintendo Switch digitally via the eShop, or in physical form via Play-Asia.

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Pete Davison
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