Review: Punch Line! (PS4)

Review: Punch Line! (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PlayStation TV Compatible No
  • Cross-Buy No
  • Cross-Save Yes
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
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Title: Punch Line!
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (535.3 MB)
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: PQube Ltd.
Developer: 5pb.Games / MAGES. Inc.
Original MSRP: $49.99 (US), €49.99 (EU), £44.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Punch Line!, according to Wikipedia, is a visual novel adventure video game developed by 5pb., based on the anime television series of the same name. Fans of the PlayStation Vita will be happy to hear there is a version for their little system but unfortunately we don’t have a copy for review.

Gameplay:
I made the mistake of assuming Punch Line! automatically saves so I had to sit through the introductory cutscenes and song twice. Well, it was actually three times because I originally loaded the game on my other PlayStation account.

It does ask if you want to save after the first trick, about twenty minutes in, and pressing Options allows for a quick save and load at almost any time.

I don’t really want to delve into the story but I will mention a few things. You play as a young man stuck in the form of a ghost who, for reasons that elude me, should not stare at panties for too long.

Things don’t go well for humanity if he does. Guess what, there seem to be ample opportunities for the perusal of panties in this game. What are the odds?

Now, I’m pretty sure panties in a washing machine or folded neatly in a drawer wouldn’t be a bad thing, he just can’t handle the particular area they cover up on the female body.

Anyway, being an astral body means he can move freely between rooms and snoop on the goings-on in a female-only apartment block. Your character, with the help of a strange talking ghost cat, must try to get his body back and save the world.

Review: Punch Line! (PS4)

To do so, you need to scare and play tricks on the young women in the game. The first task involves setting up a Trick Chain where you need to perform certain things in the correct order to get the desired outcome. Failing it generally means things get really bad and you have to start all over.

This was all explained by the ghostly feline, who is actually quite funny. In fact, there have been several moments that made me chuckle. There have also been several awkward moments as this game has more innuendo than a Benny Hill show. It becomes very disparaging.

The game is split into episodes, some of which require very little effort. In fact, some only had a single action to perform, so I just sat back and watched the cutscenes unravel.

Seeing as you only can move to a few key spots in the apartments and look around for a pop-up to trigger an action, like knocking over or moving an object, the game can feel slow. Especially when you get it wrong and have to try it all over again.

What annoys me, just like with many point and click adventure games, is the semblance of logic behind the puzzles. Here it deteriorates into pure guesswork, which is no fun at all. When you throw in the timed portions of the game it just becomes frustrating.

I will mention one more thing about the story – it gets more insane with every episode. However, it also kept me entertained and curious.

Review: Punch Line! (PS4) Review: Punch Line! (PS4)

Visuals:
Punch Line! blends some anime cutscenes with 3D character models made to look very similar to the original animations.

Each episode has the same introductory theme song and credits, which gets mildly tiresome if the game is played for a few episodes or more at a time. Having to watch it several times in the space of an hour and not being able to skip it is annoying.

I wasn’t aware of the functionality straight away, but being able to hide the text area and soak up the full imagery is nice, especially for the gamers who can understand the language.

Audio:
There’s an absurd amount of dialogue in Punch Line! emanating from the seven main characters and a few others. If you don’t like a particular character’s voice or you want to hear them more clearly, each one can be adjusted individually in the Config Menu along with the text speed if it syncs to the audio.

Because failure is an option, I didn’t want to have to sit through the same long conversations over again and happily found a way of skipping anything I wanted.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Review: Punch Line! (PS4)

Conclusion:
Punch Line! is an enjoyable visual novel with one of the strangest storylines I have ever encountered. I would like to have seen what happens at the end but the silly choices that disregard logic make it too annoying to sit through.

Fans of the anime who want to play this should also scour the internet for a walkthrough to save themselves some hassle and discomfort.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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