Sometimes prior to a game’s release, companies create a flash game tie-in and post it on the game's official webpage. Earlier this week for example, Capcom released an Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies demo that is playable in your web browser. And before Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy was released in Japan, Square Enix released Social Theatrhythm, a social game where you pretty much do nothing — other than spread word of the game through social media.
But at least Social Theatrhythm had something that looked like the gameplay of the title.
This is not so with the promotional flash game for Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward.
Virtue’s Last Reward is a half visual novel, half room escape title on the 3DS and Vita. Upon its Western release last year, it won all kinds of awards for its original story and was even nominated for Kotaku’s 2012 game of the year.
This promotional flash game (still available on the official Japanese site a year after release), however, is neither a visual novel nor a room escape game — except in the sense that you are opening a door. And how do you open this door? By clicking it (read: slapping it) as quickly as you can.
Of course once the door starts opening, you are no longer just slapping the door open but are also slapping the breasts of Clover — one of the game’s main characters — and watching them bounce.
The second level puts Clover in a fetishy school swimsuit while the third level has her in a bikini and makes sure to zoom in on her bouncing cleavage — because of course it does.
What makes this little flash game so out of place is that, other than the general character designs of Alice and Clover, fan service is completely absent from Virtue’s Last Reward. But not so in this official flash game. Rather, it is nothing but pure digital fan service.
So, as it is pretty much the antithesis of everything presented in Virtue’s Last Reward, I truly wonder how this flash game is supposed to convince anyone to play the full title. Perhaps it’s just due to a PR department following the old adage: Sex sells.