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Pick Me Honey! Review

Contributed by Webmistress LadyPhoenix

Sometimes we just want a nice, relaxing game with lots of light and fluff and silly anime happenings. The bishoujo company Trabulance has always been there to fill that gap in our lives. Their latest foray into this amusing genre of bishoujo games is Pick Me, Honey!, a Tenchi Muyo-esque comedic sex romp about three girls competing to become your wife. There is always something refreshing to me about silly games like this, that celebrate the joy and wonder of sex, love, and relationships without involving too much of real life's associated angsts. There's no rape, no darkness, just a bunch of people enjoying themselves to the fullest.

Honey is a beautiful game and very classicly anime. We have the blue and purple-haired women, huge eyes, and even at some points, super-deformed caricatures of the girls that are adorable. The characters and backgrounds are bright and vivid, accurately portraying the entire atmoshere of the game, and keeping a bright and happy spin on the whole experience. I was particularly amazed at the level of detail the artists went to in some scenes, changing the picture ever so slightly at numerous points to accurately reflect what is happening in the text. It isn't something that happens often enough in bishoujo games, and was a very nice touch. The girls themselves all had a very distinct look to them, and their appearance matched their personalities really well. They were all beautiful to look at, as of course it should be!

Soundwise, Honey is rather average. There is the usual plethora of bouncy background music and softer piano pieces at more romantic moments. One thing about the music that did impress me was the chosen piece of music for the sexual portions of the game. Rather than go the normal route of most bishoujo games and insert a piece of jazzy 70's pop that screams PORNO MOVIE, Honey had a beautiful piece of music. It was soft, with piano and other more classic instruments, and lent a much more romantic and erotic feel to the situation. This was a very welcome change and goes a long way, at least in my mind, to showing that sex can be romantic even when it's silly and taken more lightly.

Storywise, Honey is very conflicted. On the one hand, the basic story premise is ridiculous. Your father is the wealthy owner of a chain of bakeries, and apparently there are three women you have grown up with that are madly in love with you. On your 18th birthday, your father and the girls decide that all three of the girls will live with you and have you choose one of them to be your wife. The other two will stay on as your mistresses, even after you choose. This scenario makes absolutely no sense to me, especially since the girls are all very jealous of each other. I cannot imagine any woman cheerfully agreeing to such an arrangement. Being a woman myself, this whole idea stretches beyond even my liberal boundaries for a silly storyline.

On the other side of the coin, however, the character development is actually quite deep for a game of this genre. The girls have very distinct personalities and motivations, and their characters are fleshed out in more detail than you would expect. Mio is a very proper girl, raised in a wealthy family with strict rules and spoiled rotten. She is bound by family vows of chastity until marriage, yet she loves you very deeply and wants to give herself to you, so she is very torn inside and conflicted. Chihiro is a very kind girl who loves everyone and wants everyone to get along. However, she is so used to giving that she cannot even conceive of asking for what she really wants in a situation. Hazuki is your childhood friend and a tomboy who is always hitting you and acting tough. But inside she is very insecure about her femininity and attractiveness, and so she acts irrationally. In each girl's storyline, you really feel like you are getting to know a person, not just having sex with a stereotype.

There are two bonus women besides your wife candidates to pursue if you choose, these being Hazuki's older sister Futaba, and your father's secretary, Yoriko. There is not nearly as much character development into these two as the primary three girls, but still enough that they seem more than two-dimensional drawings. There is also the absolutely necessary component for a good silly sex romp game, the harem route, in which you can capture all of the women and experience lots of group sex.

One part of this game annoyed me to no end, and it must be mentioned, as it is a constant happening. There is a cultural reference in Japan that when a guy gets overly excited sexually, he will get a nosebleed. Honey takes this reference to an extreme that quickly becomes ridiculous and totally outside the realm of reality. It seems like the main character, Reiji, gets a massive nosebleed every two seconds, and half the time he passes out from loss of blood. Come on now, the poor guy would be dead ten times over if he actually bled that much! It's really quite annoying and not at all funny.

Honey is an enjoyable game and a good experience when you want something fun and not too serious to while away your night. It is plagued by a completely ridiculous premise and some seriously overdone jokes, but it is overall a good game that gave me quite a few chuckles. The characters were very well-done and I enjoyed getting to know them. However, even with its many good points, Honey just didn't have that 'something special' that raises a game from being good to being truly memorable. It's fun as long as you don't try to make the logic make sense, but you'll quickly forget it in the long run.

Overall Score: 7 out of 10