Edit: In October of 2015 Black Monkey Pro disbanded, so Bacchikoi and all of their other content is no longer available for purchase, but feel free to still give this review a read!
Bacchikoi is an 18+ PC BL visual novel from Black Monkey Pro an international BL artist circle. The game tells the story of a first year transfer student, Toshu Kanada, after he joins the baseball team at his new school. There he meets his new teammates, Ichiru Yanai and Masaru Nakahara and the trio become fast friends. But, as he spends more time with his new friends, new feelings start to develop, suddenly Toshu’s life becomes much more exciting!
There are two versions of the game: the Uncensored version which is $39.99 and the Censored version which is $17.99.
So, if you are interested in the game, I strongly urge you to purchase it from Black Monkey directly. There is also an expansion pack which focuses on the sexual exploits of the team’s coach Genji… If you want to read my thoughts about the Expansion Pack, check out my review, HERE!
*Disclaimer: I don’t own the images used in this review, all CGs and screenshots belong to Black Monkey. Since this game is NSFW there will be some NSFW images after this point. I tried my best to hide some of the naughty bits, but… *shrugs* you’ve been warned!
The young transfer student, Toshu Kanada, gets himself recruited in a nearly-falling apart baseball club. His once small world opens up as he gets to know his teammates Ichiru and Masaru. Lead Toshu with his choices and take teamwork and friendship to a whole new level!
Okay, so Bacchikoi is both an improvement on their earlier title, Sleepover and a regression of sorts… On one hand the story is much more immersive and with two potential love interests rather than one and there was much more in the way of story progression, as each guy had their own branching storylines and conflicts. On the other hand, I never thought that I’d say this, but this game made Sleepover look like a well written romance game… The sex scenes in this game were even more arbitrary than in the first game! Like I said before, I like mindless sex in BL as much as the next fangirl, but at least ease me into it! One minute they’re having a normal conversation, the next they’re at it like rabbits… I get it, Bacchikoi is a BL game, the boys like boys… they are going to have sex, I know that and you know that, but is it really too much to ask that they EASE ME INTO IT FIRST?!
Characters and Routes
This time around our uke, I mean protagonist is the sweet and impressionable, Toshu Kanada. There really isn’t much in the way of a personality, other than the fact that he loves baseball and cares deeply for his friends… typical protagonist qualities. At the start of the game, Toshu is just a regular high school student looking to make some new friends by joining the school’s baseball club… and that’s pretty much all there is to him. I guess I was expecting more substance from the character, especially given the over the top protagonist from Sleepover. But instead the Black Monkey team decided to play it safe with a rather bland leading man… Thankfully, the two potential romantic interests had a bit more going for them than our jail-bait cutie, Toshu, but not by much. Each of the main love interests have their own conflict that makes up the entirety of their individual routes. I’m not gonna lie, after playing Sleepover I wasn’t really expecting much in the way of plot, but both route actually surprised me! Now, don’t get me wrong, they were both far from being the best routes ever, but they weren’t the worst either…
Since I’m not really into the whole shota thing, I went with the slightly more mature looking Masaru Nakaharu’s route first. He’s a handsome teddy bear with striking green eyes and dark hair… totally my type 😉 and apparently tall, dark, and handsome is also Toshu’s type as well. Our red haired uke was drooling over big bro Masaru from the moment he laid eyes on him. I mean, what’s not to love, Masaru is a sweet,
lovable cinnamon bun captain of the Yakyusha High Baseball Club and an all around good guy. Sure, he’s your run of the mill nice guy character, with nothing all that remarkable about him, save his tragic backstory and knack for getting lost… On paper, Masaru is a character that I would normally write off as uninspired and weak, but instead I found him endearing and commendable. He’s a hard working student that balances his school obligations with his tumultuous family life. I really felt for the guy, he just couldn’t catch a break, but in spite of all of his hardships, Masaru still manages to keep a smile on his face.
Overall, Masaru had the better route, his conflict was well written and it did a fair job of showcasing Masaru as a character. His conflict was believable and just compelling enough to keep the player reading until the end. However, I have just one complaint… the relationship between Masaru and Toshu seems forced and wholly unnecessary! But, I can see how a Kouhai/Senpai relationship can lead to a romantic attraction, at least from Toshu’s point of view and I guess if I squint really hard, I can maybe understand Masaru’s attraction to his cute, innocent teammate…but, that’s not the story they told us, instead we get another copy and paste, sex equals love story… wonderful!
The second love interest, Ichiru Yanai, is about as different from Masaru as a character can get. Itaru is blonde, outgoing, rich, and not nearly as sexually repressed as our dear sweet Big Bro, Masaru; which is probably why I enjoyed his route the least. Ichiru is a feisty little spitfire with some serious daddy issues and a problem with authority figures, especially the team’s coach, Genji (and with good reason given the plot of the Bacchikoi Expansion Pack). On the surface, he’s just another spoiled rich kid with way too much money and time on his hands, but really, Ichiru’s status isolates him from the other students and teachers at Yakyusha, who treat him differently because of his wealth. The poor guy is starved for attention so when Toshu arrives he is immediately attracted to him, because he doesn’t treat him like anyone special, he treats him like a normal high schooler. The pair strike up a rather convenient friendship which devolves into a
sexual “romantic” relationship.
I dunno, maybe it’s because they both look like ukes… or maybe it’s because I felt so dirty watching two baby faced teens pork each other for no apparent reason, *sigh* but I really hated the romance in this route. I don’t throw that word around lightly, so when I do use it, I mean it. This is one of those routes that would have been much more interesting if Ichiru and Toshu had remained just friends, their romantic chemistry is non-existent. Hell, I feel like this route is just in the game to bring in the shotacon fans! Oh, and I don’t care how many times they throw the word “friend” around, it’s obvious from the start that Ichiru wants nothing more than to jump Toshu’s bones. He latches on to Toshu, or Tofu, as he is affectionately nicknamed from the the first moment he sees him, and when anyone even so much as looks at his “best friend”, Ichiru becomes a whiny possessive brat.
I should clarify that Bacchikoi was released an entire year after Sleepover… that’s twelve whole months to fix all of the crap that was wrong with the first game. *ahem* So, can someone please tell me why it seems like the only things that changed between the release of Sleepover and the release of Bacchikoi were the premise, an additional love interest, and the inclusion of a mini game? ARE YOU SERIOUS?! -_- All of the things I complained about in Sleepover are back and better than ever! There are even more grammatical errors and awkward sentences and even more mindless sexual encounters!
In addition to visual novel aspects of the game, BMP decided to make Bacchikoi a bit more hands on than their first title by adding baseball training mini games. Usually, I’m not a fan of mini games, they’re tedious and often a complete waste of time and honestly speaking, the mini games in Bacchikoi are exactly that. They have absolutely no effect on the plot and from what I can tell they don’t even effect the outcome of the damn baseball game at the end. So why am I even bothering to talk about them? Well, because I actually enjoyed them. From the design to the execution, both the Batting Practice and Pitching Practice mini games are great, my only complaint is that they don’t have any effect on the main story! But, alas, this was just another missed opportunity for BMP to add a bit more substance to the overall narrative…
Finally, Bacchikoi is visually stunning, each character design, background, and CG is beautifully rendered full of lush vibrant colors and rich details. If this was just a CG Set, I’d give this title a 10 out of 10, but it’s not and I won’t. All the pretty pictures in the world can’t save this game from it’s mildly entertaining plot and dismal writing. I really wanted to like this one, I tried to like it, but I just couldn’t do it to myself. For a game that costs $40, I expect more bang for my buck and pretty pictures alone are not going to cut it!
This should have been a home run for BMP… it’s a BL game about sports, the damn thing practically writes itself! *takes a deep breath* Overall, Bacchikoi is a vast improvement on their first game Sleepover: the characters are better developed and the story is not completely unreadable. However, instead of learning from their mistakes in the first game, BMP wound up repeating them… unfortunately I also have the expansion pack, so this hell is not quite over for me yet, expect a review for that soon.
So there you have it, are there any other BL games you think I should play? What did you think of the review? Have you played any Black Monkey Pro games before? Which ones? Let me know in the comments section and as always Thank You for reading!!!!