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School Dreams 2: Forfeit Fantasy Reviews
What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction.
If you likely to
be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not
to open these files.
Reviewed by StormNinjaBlade
Firstly, SD2-FF is a sequel to GoblinBoy's previously released School Dreams 1 - Camping Trip. You play the same character, having newly returned from the eponymous camping trip where you managed to finally win your true love Becky, despite the machinations of Mike and Melissa. You also managed to experiment with group sex and swapping with Becky, Mike and Melissa. Somehow Becky and Mike have convinced you to take on the forfeit for the bet of who would take Becky's virginity. Its now fallen to you to seduce Mike's little sister Molly and make her a woman. Oh yes, let’s not forget that you have to tape it so that Mike can watch it and share it on the Internet, and that in the next couple of hours Molly is going to be completely deflowered.
Conceptualised as a sequel to Camping Trip, I find SD2-FF a disappointment. Where as SD1-CT had a non-linear, mulitple-outcome interactive storyline, Forfeit is linear and the only variation in outcome is if you quit before you're finished ravaging Molly. Where as the original game was interesting and engaging, the successor is entirely lacking in the qualities that made the first game so entertaining. The Camping Trip posed a choice between the PC sticking to his guns and chasing the girl he really wanted and loved or settling with the far easier girl. There was competition between 'best friend' Mike and the PC, the threat of screwing up and losing being with the person he truly loved. The character was emotionally engaged with the situation, and his intended partner. In comparison, Forfeit is a linear puzzle-out-the-girl-to-unlock-unrestricted-access-to-orifices game, there is no real emotional or intellectual engagement with the story, no threat of loss or failure. In comparison to the old game, the new game is notable for its lack of focus, allowing the PC to engage with not only the central NPC Molly, but to visit with lover Becky, fuckbuddy Melissa and new character Alison. Although few players would begrudge a game where there is a broad choice of sexual partners I contend that the game might have been better had the extraneous characters been excised allowing more emphasis on the characters that are meaningful to the story being told.
The fetishised cherry popping scenario is hardly the most original premise for AIF, or pornography in general, but the concept of seducing Molly, encountering her boundaries and attempting to broaden her horizons is interesting. The execution, however, is somewhat questionable, as well as the underlying premise that you're doing this as a 'favour' to Mike so that he can not only record the act but also jump his sister when its all over with (because incestuous sibling sex is okay, but taking your sisters virginity isn't ). While playing the scenario I couldn't help but feel like I was just some form of foreplay in the eventual incestuous relationship between Mike and Molly, and sometimes felt more like Mike's condom than an independent character.
In addition to the central focus of 'deflowering' Molly, the character may also help out Becky with a problem, facilitate an incestuous union between Melissa and Kevin, 'save' Alison from anal
penetration and engage a dog in hardcore acts.
The writing is standard AIF fare, occasionally clunky descriptions or dialogue that at times stumble along with repeated phrases that become tired. By far the emphasis is on the sexual aspects of the story, with little to no description given to the non-sexual game environment. The environmental design is repetitive and bland, with very little devotion to creating an interesting milieu for the sex or characters. The bedrooms, as personal environments of each of the characters are underutilised in helping define aspects of the characters that inhabit them. Some decorations are implemented but they don't really push our understanding of the characters much more then the occasionally brief dialogue. Beyond this the writing is technically proficient and verbose when it comes to sexual topics.
The dialogue in the game is used to help with the main quest but apart from the topics mentioned in the readme and some prop responses, it was difficult to discover anything new to be heard from NPCs, and all of it ultimately flirtatious. Dialogue is a good place to try and generate interest between the PC and the NPCs, and although it’s not as sexy coding dialogue as it is the sex acts, in some ways it can be considered just as important.
The sex in Forfeit is technically proficient but there is a definite emphasis on the mechanical aspects of the act over the emotional aspects. The sex is mostly described in a hardcore manner,
with a fetishistic emphasis on ravaging, defiling or otherwise marring the PCs partner. In addition to this there is a underlying emphasis of the PC's pleasure before his partners. Often times the PC pushed the boundaries of his partner, despite protest, and the descriptions lean toward describing the partner's pleasure as almost incidental to the PCs own. At times such as during double penetration with Becky, it could be read that the girl is almost little more than an aid to the PCs masturbation.
There is also an underlying sense of meanness to the sex, especially emphasised in the pornographic cut-scenes on the TV, videos, diary and magazines. A coldness and mechanical
approach to the act that reduces it to little more than hardcore pornography. The most brutal sex act in the game, tricking Becky and Alison into bestiality is one such example. It’s difficult to read, unarousing, and indicative of the PCs contemptible character. The worst part of the act is that there are no real consequence to subjecting the girls to such behaviour, indeed they both consider repeating the encounter. Alison doesn't mind because she's a 'slut' or epicurean collector of erotic experience, and Becky loves you. Its one of the few concrete references to love in the entire game, serving little more as an excuse to engaging your girlfriend in non-consensual zooerastia without consequence.
Forfeit uses a tick-tick-Boom arousal metering system, which can get repetitive, with large chunks of recycled text. Two unusual features that were implemented were the “position” action, allowing you to place the unlocked Molly in a variety of different positions in her bedroom and the “penetrate” command that allows the engine to change action descriptions based on location of the characters genitalia.
The “position” command is interesting but becomes available too late to sustain interest for long. And while it does change the descriptions and sometimes automatically adapts to the changing scene, sometimes it precludes certain acts and requires a break in the flow of a scene in order to reposition.
“Penetrate” allows the engine to track which orifice is being penetrated and automatically modifies resultant action descriptions, allowing the PC to engage in acts during penetrative sex. It does provide some longevity to scenes beyond simple rub, suck, fuck.
Sex toys are available scattered somewhat around the game environment and where implemented they work well, however their inclusion in to the game during a late development cycle is shown by some characters refusing to use them while others ignore them completely.
Forfeit uses a scoring system, that awards points for various actions during the game, offering a total of 129 points and 12 bonus actions. The scoring system is unfortunately bugged making it
possible to achieve 100 percent completion only because some points are included that aren't in the total. A high score unlocks a secret bonus mode but this mode lacks plot and sufficient difference to maintain player attention. Its only use is to replay some of the sex scenes without having to resolve the puzzles. I dislike the implementation of scoring systems like the one used in Forfeit because it limits the players choice, the highest score representing the ideal path the author had in mind, meaning there is ONE true solution. Scoring systems seem to be a good way to encourage the obsessive members of the community to work out a game, but it can detract from the idea that the player is dictating the story's outcome.
There are a couple of bugs that stop the player from achieving a full score but not from completing the game. There are also a couple of missing responses that don't affect the game too much, beyond the minor inconvenience.
Forfeit is a game that I found difficult to enjoy as an example of erotica, essentially because of the overall theme and subtext that permeates the game from beginning to end. There is definitely a predatory and emotionless undercurrent to the sex.
When SD1-CT first came out there was some controversy in a game that was explicitly US underage characters, that also included an optional dream sequence with girls as young as 12. I had
thought that GoblinBoy had attempted to comply with some of the criticism in removing explicit references to age in later re-releases but here there are many more non-explicit underage references. I don't want to get Da Vinci Code here but there is a clear and consistent theme of 'young' girls as hardcore sexual objects for 'mature' men. You are now 17 and Melissa or Becky appear to be in the school year below. The assumption is that as Molly is not in the same year as either the two girls she must at least be 15 years old or less thus underage even for UK laws. Ask Molly how old she is and she responds: “Molly giggles and refuses to answer”, as do most of the other characters, which sounds like a lie of omission.
Along with the copious underage references there are the hardcore cut scenes that appear in the videos, TV, diary and magazines. Pervasive themes of 'young' girls engaged in hardcore sex with mature adults are rife. The pornographic TV shows are uniformly hardcore and some feature 'young' characters, and all are prime examples of the type of bad fanfic that completely ignores the source and can be found on bad internet sites everywhere. I presume there supposed to be ironic, but it lacks the wit to make it erotic, or even entertaining. There are a lot of these scenes to wade through detracting from the enjoyment of the main story.
I had a problem with the motive behind the PCs actions in deflowering Molly. Mike, your best friend wants you to jump his sisters bones, so that he can not only tape it for posterity, but also
publish it on the ’net or share it with friends. Ick. Then there is the strongly hinted sexual attraction that Mike has for his sister: if you bone her, then not only does he get a chance to see her doing the dirty but its a short step from there to sleeping with close family members. If Molly resists or rethinks her desire to go further than she's comfortable with the solution is to recruit one of you friends and stage a hardcore instruction session. If she's still a little hesitant then press on, because she'll thank you in the morning. Molly seems to have genuine feelings for the PC but he acts very much like a cad in the situation where she should be able to trust him. If he backed off a little and let her dictate when she was ready I think the eventual climax of the game would have been more satisfying.
These points all make the game difficult to enjoy in the manner in which it was intended, in truth it makes it uncomfortable me to have the game on my hard drive.
GoblinBoy is a talented and award winning AIF author, and he has authored some intriguing games, and yet the themes and tone of this work are not in league with his previous games. It is
clear to see that this game was intended to be larger in scope than SD1-CT and that intended content was cut in order to get a release. It suffers from sprawl and would have benefited from a
tighter focus on the central characters. I enjoyed playing SD1-CT but I believe this puzzle based sequel to the plot based original cannot live up to its predecessor. This is an in-depth and often
critical review, and it may have taken a lot of time to read, but it also took a lot of time to write, I wouldn't have invested this kind of word count in something by Vachon, because I agree with the rest of the community that GoblinBoy is a promising talent that should be cultivated with both praise and constructive criticism. Forfeit is an above average game in comparison to many on the AIF game list but it fails to live up to the author's potential. With SD3 and Gifts of Phallius 3 in development I eagerly await a return to form, for the author.
If you can deal with some of the flaws, School Dreams 2: Forfeit Fantasy is an alright second-tier game. Not an instant classic, lacking in overall longevity once a walkthrough is produced and one of the authors lesser works.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.
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