What if one day you went to sleep and when you woke up your teenaged neighbour was president and you the vice president? Then what if all fell to you to defend the country from terrorists, a mad Korean dictator, crazed fanboys and Josef Mengele — while returning everything to normal rested on the shoulders of a mad genius who'd rather play Dragon Quest than save the world? Well, then you'd be ready to boot up your PC and play My Girlfriend is the President.
Good — Excellent Satire Of Anime, Ero-Games And Geek Pop-Culture
My Girlfriend is the President is a game very much aware of itself as a visual novel/ero-game title — and is all the better for it. The main character is played off as the most perverted of the perverted; a hilarious over-the-top caricature who has made sexual harassment into an art form. The female leads are not only aware of this, but are also accommodating. Should they appear in a provocative costume or pose, they'll invite him to look and get his fill — because why even pretend that's not the exact reason your average otaku would pick up this game?
Aside from its own player base, the game mocks everything from real world people to moé fanboys and anime otaku. Of the four love interests, one is the Japanese schoolgirl turned president aptly named "Ohama" (Barak Obama), one is the busty, young Russian president "Puchin" (Vladimir Putin), one is your childhood crush... and the last one is a starship with the body of a moé android.
The game is so packed to the brim with geek culture in-jokes that the first thing you see is the bridge of the alien spacecraft — which of course looks exactly like the bridge of the original starship Enterprise. The music cues are also amazing. Sometimes when you encounter the moé android, the Terminator theme plays in the background. When you come across aliens, it's the X-Files theme.
But ultimately, the characters and the general pop-culture satire are nothing compared to the utterly hilarious insanity of the plot.
Good — Hilarious Insanity
At one point in the game, I traded the national security advisor my favourite ero-game collector's edition for a secret map that would allow me to bypass all the troops guarding the presidents of Japan and Russia while they were relaxing in a hot springs. After announcing that this was "a sneaking mission," I followed the map only to be found by the army guard commander. After identifying myself as the vice president, the commander became more angry, threatening to kill me and make it look like an accident. (He and his soldiers were jealous I was around our cute schoolgirl president all the time.) Of course, once I reminded him that I could easily get his unit assigned to guard her all the time, I was able to convince him and his men to follow me to the hot springs and get our peep show on.
But along the way, my troops were picked off one by one as we came across a hoard of deadly traps not included on my map. The army commander was the last to fall (and he died in my arms of course), so alone I reached the hot springs peeping area. But my victory was quickly interrupted. The Russian president's bodyguard, a young woman in a maid costume (because at this point, why not?) announced her traps had killed all my men and I was next. But the grenade she tossed blew me over the wall into the hotsprings filled with naked girls instead of killing me.
Then I kissed the moé-bodied spaceship, went Super Saiyan, killed a tentacle monster and defeated a kung-fu-fighting, talking, giant panda by punching it in the family jewels.
All this took place over the course of about 15 minutes.
Mixed — Gah! I Forgot This Was An Ero-Game
The first half of this game is a comedic visual novel that contains no sex, a single and quite brief topless bathing scene and some hilariously awkward sexual teases. The third act ditches all the over-the-top craziness for sex, sex and more sex. Like rabbits here, people: It. Does. Not. Stop.
While non-stop sex may be exactly what the characters would do at this point in their "relationship" it still makes for a total mood whiplash. I honestly began clicking through sex scenes as quickly as possible, hunting for any of the comedy I had experienced in the first half. But sadly none was to be found until the game's final act.
And while there are both some awesome and genuinely funny moments near the end, the game seems to spend most of its time and effort trying to add emotional weight to the story. Like the sex scenes, the emotional weight isn't intrinsically bad, but it does take away from what I found to be the most enjoyable part of the game: the funny.
Mixed — Uneven Translation
When it comes to translating, there are two ways to do it. One is to go for the most literal translation with the contents and grammar being as identical as possible — though this will often sound a bit odd and stilted. The other way of doing it is to make a very natural-sounding English sentence with only the most basic meaning being the same. Most translators try for a happy medium of these two styles. In My Girlfriend is the President, especially in the early hours, the translation occasionally whips back and forth between the two extremes — sometimes even in the same scene. Honestly, though, I don't know how much this will matter to most players (if at all), but in my case, each time it happened I was briefly pulled out of the story.
Bad — Typos
An uneven translation is one thing — especially when the game is so funny that you overlook its awkwardness. Typos are quite another. I only caught four or five typos in the entire game, but that's four or five more than I usually catch while playing games. Nothing is quicker to pull you out of a game than a distracting typo and I am genuinely surprised there are any in the final product.
Going in, I was expecting a game epitomising how bad the visual novel/ero-game genre can be. What I got instead was a game satirizing how bad the genre can be. I don't often laugh when gaming, but the amount of times I literally laughed out loud are too numerous to count. If you enjoy crazy, over-the-top comedy, this game was made for you.