If you’re anything like me, there’s one thing you can’t resist: a Bad Boy. Or a Bad Girl for that matter. If you aren’t one to choose, good news, you don’t have to in the game Villainous Nights.
Set in San Francisco, the story starts with the main character beginning an internship at Optimus a mega-corporation. After witnessing a masked figure trying to sabotage Optimus you find yourself in the midst of a masked group who believe the company to be pure evil. They work together attempting to destroy the company. They’re like a band of Super-villains. Or are they Superheroes? It depends on who you ask. Add in some actual super-powers, and as you can imagine, hijinks ensue.
The art of this game is a little more American styled than other Otome games. Which makes sense, as this game was published by Voltage Entertainment USA; a subsidiary of the legendary Japanese Otome game company Voltage Inc. This subsidiary specializes in games that are specifically geared toward an American audience.
The script also sounds a little less anime than seasoned Otome game players may be used to. That’s not to say that it’s terrible. On the contrary, I like the art style; and personally, I resonated more with the script. Partially, because it sounds close to my own voice. However, I can understand these differences can be slightly jarring if you’re expecting it to be more similar to games published by Voltage Inc.
What first drew me to this story was the fact that the main character is dark-skinned. Having been a long time fan of these games, the main character being anything other than pale is rare. And I’ve longed to play a dark-skinned beauty trying to find love in all the wrong (or right!) places.
Another thing I like about this story is its diversity of romance options. There are four love interests: Duke Vale, Andi Kim, Lorelei Linden, and Renzei Feng. Yes, that’s right, there are two women for the main character to romance. While I would have liked for Andi and Lorelei to not fit into the butch/femme dichotomy, I am still pleased that they exist and are fully developed with multiple chapters.
Regarding chapters, all four characters have more than one. Duke and Andi have 4, Lorelei has 3, and Renzei has 2 chapters. The stories are updated often so even if you breeze through your favorite love interest’s episodes (like I did) you won’t have to wait very long for the next installment.
The pacing of the story and the budding relationship is natural. There is a lovely progression from friendship to love chapter by chapter. And there is no shortage of steamy love scenes. Like most Otome games, there is nothing explicit, so you don’t have to worry about seeing anything unseemly.
At this point you might be thinking, “Those are a lot of pros! Are there any cons?” The answer is yes. However, they’re less from the story and more from the app itself.
Typically, the first episode of each love interest is free, if you want to continue the story, you can purchase it and read the story until your heart’s content. That is not the case for Villainous Nights. The first chapter is free, however, instead of paying one price for the entire story, there is a ticket system. Every player receives 2 free tickets. They regenerate every 2.5 hours. It costs 1 ticket to read a chapter, even if you’ve already read it. So, if you’re impatient, you’re going to have to buy more tickets.
In addition to tickets, there is a Hearts system. While reading the episode, there are a few sassy or steamy responses. To unlock them, you need to have enough Hearts. Unlike tickets, Hearts don’t regenerate. The only way to get free Hearts is to play the daily prize game. Otherwise, you have to buy them. If you don’t, then you’re stuck with the safer, more plain responses.
Both the Heart and ticket systems are incredibly frustrating. First, I’m not a fan of waiting. When I play a game, I want to be able to play the game for however long I want to. I don’t like waiting for no other reason than to frustrate me into spending money. Second, I don’t like being nickel and dimed. I have no problem monetarily supporting games I love. However, I prefer an upfront cost. I would much rather pay for the entire story and be able to relive it at my leisure than to spend a little here, and a little there to read it once.
Another con is the lack of meaningful choices. In other games you have to think about the personality of your love interest and pick responses they will like. The ending depends on how much your love interest likes your answers. That is not the case in Villainous Nights. It’s very much a Visual Novel, and your responses don’t make a huge difference in the direction of the story.
Cons aside, I love this story. I definitely give it 4 free tickets out of 5. Go ahead, give it a shot! My favorite is Renzai; however, I definitely have a thing for Andi. Who’s yours?