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Artificial Academy (ジンコウガクエン, Jinkou Gakuen) is a simulation game developed by Illusion released on June 10, 2011, and is a spin-off from Artificial Girl series made by the same studio. The game serves as a eroge high school social simulation, which you can create and play any of up to 25 students of varying gender and sexual orientation. You can also make friends, enemies and lovers during your gameplay by interaction abilities, to achieve more popularity in your school.
As mentioned above, the game is a high school simulation with erotic elements. In this game, you can create your own students in a character creation editor, with a lot of different elements to give to your character, like hair, face, eyes, gender, sexual orientation, and mainly, the personalities, which consists of anime character stereotypes. After this the player can create your own classroom, inserting the students they created. You can put up to 25 students, and play with anyone. The objective of this game is to make friends, enemies and lovers possible, to achieve more popularity in your school. After befriending and starting a relationship with a student, the player can begin to have sex with them, which is the main purpose and objective in this game.
Why It Sucks
- The graphics are very ugly and outdated, that it looks more like a PlayStation game, despite being made in 2011. This is because Illusion reused several assets from their previous games like RapeLay and Battle Raper.
- The background graphics of the students are the worst offender in this case, mostly because of how bland the character models are, especially their faces that barely has details in them, only having eyes and nothing more.
- Speaking of the background graphics, the locations in this game like the classroom, consists of a static image of the location without emotion or interactivity, this wouldn't be a big problem, but this makes it look like the game had a very lazy development.
- The gameplay is very tedious, since you have to control your character by clicking on some area of the game, and some of the mechanics of this game are very frustrating:
- For example, if you want to interact with a student, you have to click on the character, but only if he/she is the same place as you are. If he/she is not, then you have to click on a green button with a book to find the specific student you want to chat.
- Other example is if you want to go to another place, you have to click on a green button with school building and compass, and choose which location you want to go.
- Speaking of which, the game doesn't tell where the students are nor what they are doing, so if you find and interact with the student you want to chat, there is a chance of you interruping a conversation between that student, or worse, encountering him/her in the restroom (if it is a opposite gender student).
- There is no plot or challenges to do, you just have to interact with other students to befriend and that's it.
- Also, the concept of a high-school simulation, when you have to control a certain student to befriend with other students, start to date other girls/boys and have sex with them is very generic and an overused trope in erotic anime and games, if the game was placed in another location instead of a high school, the story and mechanics would remain the same.
- When you interact with a student, you will recieve a choice of 24 actions to select, but the problem is that these choices are just buttons with drawings with no explanation of what you character will say to the student. If you choose a wrong choice, it will end up making you look like an idiot, a bully or even a pervert to the student you want to befriend.
- Also, some drawings don't make any sense. Like the "Ask to follow" choice, which is just a duck drawing. Sure, ducklings follow their mother whenever they go, but the drawing itself can be very confusing for some first-time players.
- Speaking of the interaction choices, there are choices to fight and insult someone, which are very mean-spirited things to do, and they contribute nothing for the game, unless you really want to make enemies in your gameplay.
- Also, fighting another student is a rather risk decision, not only because it will increase the chance of that student begin to hate you, but there is also a chance of you losing the fight, with the student trash talking and humiliating you for losing. Also, when you lose a fight, you lie on the floor doing nothing until 15 seconds has passed.
- Sometimes, it is very hard to befriend with other students, since some of them can show no interest in chatting with you. Also, it takes a long time to a student becoming your boyfriend/girlfriend.
- Even in some cases, a student can trash talk you, and treat you like garbage in their first interaction, which increases the difficulty of making friends.
- There is also a chance of that student rejects your confession, meaning that all of the work to befriend and confess for that person was for nothing.
- The background animations of the characters are hilariously bad, like when the playable character touches the breasts of a female student, and it looks like they are performing a hypnosis with their hands.
- Overpriced: The game costs ¥8.800 which is around $80, and considering the fact that is a lazy erotic game with a few enjoyable elements, it's not worth to buy.
- This is more worthless, because you can download and install the game for free, in some websites and torrents, and most of them has all the content, a full english translation and it is uncensored, thanks to the modding community.
- For the most part, a student will come and interact with you, while it isn't a problem, this can be very annoying when you interact with another student and you're being interrupted by someone who also wants to chat, and this can frequently happen everytime you play.
- It's worse if that someone is your lover, who will act like a jealous freak who constantly does not allow you to interact with other students than his/her, even if it is just a chat between friends.
- Also, there is some moments when a student interrupt your conversation with another student and they will demand you to choose which one of them you will interact, regardless of which one you choose, the student who was not chosen will be upset, and the relationship between you and that student will decrease.
- The game tries way to hard to be a school simulation game with unnecessary elements that barely contributes to the player:
- The activities (Study, Lunch, Practice) will not benefit the player that much. Even if the game states that some personality characters are more dilligent to some activities, you can still befriend and date them without problems, even if you are not intelligent in studies or skilled in sports enough.
- The Top Students rankings is another useless element, which only shows the three main students who did the most specific activity, like "Who received the most confessions of love", or "Who has won the most fistfights".
- When you insert a character in your classroom, you are forced to put him/her in a club (Baseball, Kendo, Swimming, Athletics, Volleyball and Tennis), however it doesn't matter which club you choose because it will be irrelevant for the gameplay, and like the activities, you can befriend and date a student from any other club without problems.
- The characters when interacted, have poor facial expressions, who make them look like robots, and even in some moments, like being angry, sad, or during a sex scene, they lack a convincing emotion. The male characters are the worst offender in this case, especially during the sex scenes.
- Speaking of the facial expressions, the lip-sync is very bad, and sometimes the character barely speaks clearly during the interactions.
- During the ending cutscene, the lip-sync considers the killing sound effect as a part of the dialogue (see pointer #23), which means that the character also "speaks" the sound effect.
- The movement speed of your character is sometimes a complete nuisance in the game, mostly because your student can move way too fast or too slow during the gameplay, depending on what personality you gave to him/her, and if they are well skilled in athletics or not.
- If the movement speed of your student is too fast, he/she will run in a unexplained speed, like The Flash using dopings, and you won't be able to stop your character before he/she goes to a certain location or interact to a certain character.
- If it is too slow, he/she will run like a turtle in slow motion, and it will take an eternity if you want to go to a certain location or interact with a character, especially if they are very far away from you.
- You can't save the game automatically. The only way to save is to wait for the school day to finish, when you go back to your bedroom, and the save option is available.
- It has a very mediocre artificial inteligence, sometimes the students just walk in the school doing nothing, and doesn't chat with other students but the playable character.
- Sometimes when a student interact with another, they already began to have a relationship in two or three days after their interaction, which is somewhat unfair for you, since interact and date with a student requires a lot of time in your case.
- There is a chance of you to find two students having sex in some location of the school (yes, this includes inside of the classroom), which is very ridiculous and cringeworthy. And if you stop them doing it by interact with them, they will be very angry at you, as if it looks like it was your fault.
- Speaking of which, it is never worth to have sex in somewhere at the school, even if it is a secluded location, like the empty classroom location, because there is a good chance of you getting spotted by another student. So don't have sex with your partner in school, the only well secluded place you can have sex with your partner is in your house by interact with him/her in the end of the day, and pressing a choice button, which is a house drawing.
- Also, depending on how you created your student, in some moments they will being to masturbate themselves, or if it is another couple, they also will have sex, if they see your playable character having sex with your partner, which makes the scene more cringeworthy, unless you really love to see your students having an orgy and exposing themselves like that.
- The sex scenes are not that pleasant to watch, because they are clunky and poorly animated, which is a common problem in Illusion games (before the release of Koikatsu in 2018).
- When the Jinzou statue shows the students' opinion (see #RQ5), which consists of a thought bubble with a phrase with their opinion about a specific student (including you), most of these phrases are hilariously bad like, "Piece of shit", "Normalfag" and "MAI WAIFU".
- While the background music is not bad, it constantly changes when interacting a student based by his/her mood, which can be very annoying, especially the Happiness and Sadness theme songs (which plays when an student is happy and sad respectively) being the worst offenders.
- Sometimes, the theme songs doesn't even match on a certain ocasion in the gameplay, for example, you ask a student to study with you, and he/she happily accepts, but for some reason, instead of having a happy soundtrack playing to match with this moment, a rather serious or sad soundtrack is played.
- The game is pretty unbalanced in terms of character customization and personalities, the male characters has less customization elements than the female characters. Here some examples:
- The game only gives you 4 personalities for male students, while there is 22 personalities for female students.
- You can customize the uniform of a female character like the shirts, skirts and shoes, however you can't customize the uniform of a male character.
- For some reason, the male characters don't have any kind of dialogue or moaning sound effects during the sex scenes, despite having full dialogue during their interactions before and after the sex scenes.
- Some personality character voices are very annoying to hear, like the Sweet and Obscene personalities, mostly because they giggle and scream to you a lot when interacted.
- The game is unintentionally homophobic to homosexual males. While you can have a homosexual relationship in this game, for some reason, there is no sex scenes between male to male students. When a sex scene begins, the screen turns black and nothing happens, after some seconds the screen appears again with the student chatting with you about the sex they did, even if nothing really happened in your view.
- Despite not having a plot, there is an ending, which is very disturbing and unsatisfying.
- To get this, you have to create a student with an "Evil" trait. After this, the player must befriend and date with this "Evil" student. Next, the player will have to cheat him/her with another person. After all of this, the "Evil" student will kill you and the screen will flash red, taking you back to the title screen.
- The only way to not get your student killed, is by only transfering out (deleting) the "Evil" Student in your custom classroom by pressing a button with a school building drawing with an arrow above it.
- Most of the voice acting is pretty good, and you can clearly see the voice actors were giving their best to portray their personality characters.
- The game gives you a lot of different elements to create your own student, like hair, body, personality, trait, etc. You can also create characters from another anime media, even if they aren't that similar to the source material.
- Unlike most of Illusion games, it doesn't have questionable elements like rape, blackmail, and other malicious acts (unfortunately, these elements were added in Artificial Academy 2).
- The sequel, while it's still have some issues from the first game, is a very good improvement, especially in the graphics, which are more passable and doesn't use the same assets from their previous games.
- The Jinzou statue is a very useful element, which you can find in the Riverside location, when interact with it, shows what the other students think about you (or another specific student), which can help the player if a certain student is interested in you (or that specific student) or not.
- There is also the "Ask about someone" and "Ask how they feel" choices during a interaction with a student, which is a more expanded version of the Jinzou statue, when the student tells you in details how they feel about you or another student.
- The dialogue is well translated, and there are some unintentionally funny quotes the students say to you in certain ocasions.
- Thanks to the modding community, many people created a lot of patches and mods to make the game less boring, like the english translation, uncensored genitals, homosexual male sex animations, and much more.
- Illusion released AAXPlay, which is a launcher of the game with some cheats and gameplay options, which are fun to use.
- The personalities are good to play and to interact with, mostly because each one of them has their different dialogue, voice and traits, and at least in this part, the game tries to be less boring and repetitive.
- If not for this game, Koikatsu might not have been made, which was not only the spiritual successor of the Artificial Academy series but it was the responsible for Illusion's redemption.
The game received mixed reviews when it was released. It received 3.27/5 rating from GameFAQs. Even with the mixed reception, Illusion managed to release the sequel Artificial Academy 2 in 2014, which has better reviews compared to the first game.
Gameplay of the game
All personality characters kill endings
Installation guide of the game
- It was one of the first games made by Illusion, that had a modding community, which they create mods to make the game more enjoyable, like custom hair and acessories, soundtrack, etc. These mods were made and stored in a now inactive forum website called Hongfire, which everyone can download and install them in the game.
- Because of this game, a lot of Illusion games received a great quantity of mods after its release, like the sequel Artificial Academy 2 and Koikatsu.