Who says nice guys, and in this case more specifically girls, finish last? Well… actually, this game does. Very clearly. It just, feels so good to be, well, a very bad girl. Let me give you some examples, though I will warn this game does not pull punches. It’s really not for the judgemental or faint of heart…
You can: Get date r*ped. Participate in a date r*pe. Become a prostitute, become a gang member. Enter a polyamourous relationship in a few different ways. You can allow your best friend to fuck herself, very literally, over. Or you can abandon your best friend for more popluar ground.
You can fuck most of the major relationship characters at the same time, though not all at once. You can treat your father like garbage, or actually fuck him. It’s not a ‘step’ or anything this time either, it’s your acknowledged father in game. It will let you do that, if you make the right binary choices.
Now, technically, you do not have to choose either the good or bad girl options.
There is usually a grey path that doesn’t net you points on either side of the massively effective, scale. You don’t have to be a virtuous angel, or a scheming devil bent on letting the big bad things you do destroy the lives of pretty much everyone around you.
Being honest though, despite the multitude of situations your character as the main drive of this very long-winded if also well-enough crafted story arc can find herself in, it is a very binary game.
It’d be marvelous if you’re still a Miss at the end of it.
I’ll say I love the fact that there is a romance path with your best friend that develops under the right circumstances very organically. To let Ashley, the main character, be dominant. It’s a nice change of pace.
Most of the situations are still your choice to allow. Some of them do come off as much closer to coersion than a lot of people might be comfortable with.
The creators did a great job with the art work and the writing. It’s not 3D and that’s fine. The writing is actually in many cases done much better when you pursue a lesbian relationship. I chalk that to the females overall being more investable characters.
As I mention there is Ashley, your main.
With whom you have almost absolute control over every action. Not every situation, but how much of every situation you get or want to see as a player, most definitely. You can have your best friend become a worse slut than you do, and even be completely judgemental about it. Severing ties.
Also, you can accept her new darker state, as you’ll have a direct hand in that outcome, indirectly. You can encourage her to mend a relationship that is faltering, less through your choices, but that is only really inferred.
You can have her break that relationship in favor of one with you. If you encourage a darker bent in that character you can engage in a threesome with her beau. A beau who you might also be in love or lust with. If you play the right cards. Some of the paths are very well done, in that they are subtle. You can’t get everything in the game by being either too good, or too bad a girl. There is something of an in-between at times.
For example, you can also pursue in the very long-run mindset, a relationship with the popular bitch character whom you end up looking a lot like in the bad girl route.
Who ends up looking a lot closer to you, when you influence her directly with enough good girl points to give up drugs and mend things with her family.
There will come a point you’ve altered that female’s character so subtlely to the side of better angels that she’ll actually want a viable relationship. Just with you.
For a character who admittedly has slept with people for money; drugs, booze and a place to stay to want to commit like that, it actually gives the player an insane amount of credible influence. Without stating it in story as “Oh yeah, I’m the one that did that.
You have to thank me for it”. They will simply do that, on their own because they understand that point. It’s not a sledgehammer. And it’s not because your main character is the super special awesome sauce hero of the world. Though, yeah… she pretty much is.
Honestly, she could wear one glove with shiny gemstones and pull off bad better than a certain regaled prince, no purple or rain involved). You can end up stealing your best friend’s boyfriend, and you can tame an unrepentant playboy.
In order to do all of these things, you have to be careful about how you respond. It is sometimes best going in to think about exactly how much of a bad or good girl you really want to be. In some cases for new players this will lead to many playthroughs as you discover more about the game and grow attached to certain characters.
It took me several before I saw the popular bitch wore her thorns as armor. And, under that, there was someone I could really like.
It took me longer to figure out there was a way to fuck Ashley’s father. To be honest, some of those choices are so subtle it will take a lot of messing around, or the scene guide to figure out how to unlock them. That’s not a bad thing, mind.
It effectively encourages a lot of replayability. Where it can be a bad thing, is having to in order to get to see a specific end game. Or making a bad call and then regretting the outcome, one too many times.
I will say, there needs to be a better way of making money. That isn’t specifically tied to sex, or sexuality.
There is the option to gain piercings and tattoos, and even to augment Ashley’s breast size. You can work out at the gym up to a set point, but there is a part where your ‘free’ membership is directly put into question by the guy who ‘actually’ runs the gym. Who is the mysteriously absent brother of aforementioned possibly tamed playboy, who is running it for him.
All those things, plus a car, and a home of your own cost major money. Clothing can also be a pain to buy. There are ways specifically to get around having to buy your things, but they are usually tied to darker options. A sugar daddy you may really not want very early in the game. Or selling nude photos and cam girl work.
She might end up being a freak between the sheets by nature. However that doesn’t meant our favorite star bad girl can’t be the ‘princess by day’ type. I’d enjoy seeing a way to find finace that doesn’t involve a boss who will hit on you, and to choose whether getting ‘involved’ with him would mean your job in peril.
By the way, even getting that guy to hire you and helping him become a potential investable character afterward, is a bit of a chore. It’s one of those mixed good and bad girl choices that a lot of players will easily miss in pursuit of one or the other paths.
You can actively blackmail an older male to let you into a particular club to find dirt on your Mom. Or you can go live with her and another character, and also find the same dirt, through very different means.
You can actively be involved in that darker turn yourself, as he is one way to skirt the ‘no money for larger boobs’ issue. He is also incidental in another potential problem, if you choose to forgo a more street mafia solution and leave the gang content alone.
Speaking of the ‘gang,’ the relationship between you and your best friend blooms after a specifically traumatic event that happens to her beau. Whom you might also be developing feelings for depending on your choices. The choice of how to handle that problem which will arise can, but does not have to lead to direct involvement with the gang.
There are multiple examples of drug use in the game, and your character can become addicted. Or simply indulge in casual use. She might be a complete ‘buzz kill’ and has to be in order to get the option to start turning the tough popular quasi-friend into a potentially viable love interest.
As another path if you do involve yourself with the gang, Ashley is also capable of encouraging that character to purchase drugs from her.
I haven’t done this, but in my last run through of the previously available alpha as this is one game I truly like to play for the outcomes available, I used the scene guide. Since I’ve got a good memory a lot of the time and I’ve actually seen a lot of the paths either directly or been able to read them coming by inference of reading and guesswork, I knew that involvement with the gang life wasn’t for me.
I learned that Jessica, who is the tough girl that more pushes you to be the popular one you end up ultimately becoming at any turn, can be encouraged to more drug use that way. It wouldn’t naturally have occured to me to try to do that, though I have wondered about the gang path.
Eva, your best friend, can and will join the gang. If encouraged enough down the darker path. Honestly, sometimes it’s very much like she’s trying to be darker than you go. It’s a very telling and also subtle done part of her personality, even if I don’t always like where it goes.
For example, no matter what you do if you encourage even lightly that she should be more like you on the bad girl path, or don’t try to mend fences if you’re on the good girl path and she’s already gone dark… she will cheat. She will also get highly thorny about you calling her out on it.
Being fair, you can also cheat on your boyfriend. Who is honestly a beta. He’s not really the focus as doing that would end the debate about how far into the bad girl most women want to go. He spends a good chunk actually cut out of the story except for a very specific path. Convoluted as it is, you can make him date you long distance in an ‘open relationship’. That’s about as much as I want to go into as far as that goes. The break point there is actually fairly early and traumatic for Ashley. That rather effects her character for the rest of the game.
You can effectively date a rap star. You can also let your boyfriend’s younger sister give herself, though not her viriginity, to the rap star. I am not certain you can date Iris, but it’s probably going to be possible at some point. I rather think that would bork things since her brother is your very likely former boyfriend at the start. But I also like her character. If not quite so much as Jessica grew on me.
The biggest gripe I have with the game at this point is two-fold and sort of lightly tied. First, One of the traumatic events is almost completely negated at a set point, and I know why it was done. I don’t agree that it was necessary, but I get it. There are two paths.
The second issue I have is that it’s automatically assumed that just because Eva goes to get birth control pills that you should too. You don’t get to make that fundamentally important choice.
With all of the other ways the game can mess Ashley over, or let her have freedome to fuck up in choice, it seems garish. Especially to the players that like myself enjoy the idea of impregnation.
It can make more sense particularly in the lesbian relationships, but in the straight ones, there’s no risk even though there are multiple times she gets creampied.
It would actually add a darker edge to Eva’s development she would not have to try for if she forgot the pills, or Ashley could.
Or the game acknowledged that funds for such things don’t grow on trees. Well, those who want to be very literal can argue the point but you know what I mean.
In Canada they have that stuff covered, and that assertion is still listed to my mind, ‘I think’.
I am not certain of it, but I know very well in the United States coverage for that is very much not guaranteed. It could also be stated that it proves Ashley is very deeply committed to being in love with any of the given male characters. To let them try to impregnate her, or be indicative of a particular dark joy in the risk. I’d like to see the option to deny Eva and allow that risk.
To simply not take it on a day you know you have a date with a guy you want to keep. Or to be so drunk at certain points that the player just knows is going to be a pitfall if you chose any of the possibilities currently not implemented above.
I know given some of what I mentioned at the beginning, just how dark those options could go. But this is a game about realism in choice.
The consequence in being a bad girl. As much as the inherent fun of being one. Because that stuff can, and very frequently does happen in reality. Birth control of any current form is not nearly one hundred percent guaranteed. If it was, I am fairly sure about half our race wouldn’t be here.
On a final slightly frustrated note, if I am in a relationship in this game, it’s because Ashley and more specifically the player chose to be.
The game should acknowledge that and not make it seem like every choice tied to her finances (again most of them are sexually based right now) will fuck the relationship she chose and worked for, over. You can be dominant enough with Eva in a relationship to be the one in control. As anyone with certain bent can and will tell you, submission really ends in a truly healthy relationship in the bedroom.
I’d rather not have to worry about whether going for money for rent or accessories I might want through less than savory means will end the relationships I jumped through hoops to bring about in the first place. Continuing that, just for a second, there is a problem with the school bit.
As far as the scholarship, if you choose the be a good girl and study at literally every option to pop up you can get it anyway. That seems good, but you might miss out on things you want.
Besides, getting it anyway when the school outright said there wasn’t finance for it, is a bit of bull. It’s there to let you win, but the problem I have isn’t with that. It’s that Ashley is for all intents at the start, an honors student. Any school willing to offer a scholarship like that in the first place would more likely offer guidance in a faltering student.
Or check in at least. If not, simply look at her grades. Make the decision based on past achievements that she likely can still gain that standard, with application of effort, back to normal. There are usually allowances made for family difficulties in real life.
The story itself is a very well done piece of work. In almost every way. The small grievances mentioned overall do not detract much, and are mostly pet-peeves of mine. In conclusion, this game offers an almost endless and definitely breath-taking array of potential paths to choose.
By the end I don’t doubt it’ll be more than fifty, and thrown into several more subtle shades of grey. I know, the pun was terrible of me, but I can be a very bad little wolfie… just like Ashley.
Who can also, with one specific character, end up a lot more like Ms. Steele than I really wanted to see.
I give points for inclusion and the option to deny it. Especially managing to do so without being offensive, but I stand by my reference. Even if I’m sure I’ll be sued, or damned for it. Like I said, it’s often a lot more fun to be bad,
my adult friends…