„Summer Vacation“ (2022)

Review (on Steam): ‚At half the price of „VR Kanojo“, what you get here is a blend with the „Sexy Beach“ series – which itself was a derivation of „Dead or Alive Xtreme“ -, and Bandai Namco’s excellent „Summer Lesson“ („VR Kanojo“ again was inspired from).
Without any adult content whatsoever: yes, there’s an official „+“ patch which adds some suggestive scenes not even present here. The reason behind that may be the preparation of a possible PSVR2 release on PS5 at least in Asia (like „Summer Lesson“): considering the fact gameplay itself is very similar to „Focus on You“ which actually got a worldwide release on PlayStation and the beach scenario in my experience doesn’t have to be necessarily interpreted as sexual. So what Sony certainly wouldn’t allow (since „Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal“ in English) are interactions that feature touch mechanics – like oiling somebody up -, therefore the extra patch for this „free for all“ Steam version.
I think this is a good thing and I’m glad the developers (which may come from, but are not Illusion) went down this route: sex simulators can work but they are typically very hard to produce. Usually the rest of a game gets totally destroyed by the implementation of those mechanics. They usually are a let down to any meaningful or sophisticated production because – just like pornography in general – sexuality doesn’t break down to simple mechanics.
So once again, please don’t let yourself fool you by the mixed reviews: most negative reviews expected a pornographic title and are disappointed because they didn’t get one with „Summer Vacation“.
There’s (still) plenty of sexual innuendo present in here – when you just look for it. The character is obviously designed in line with those from „Summer Lesson“ – much more so than the forgettable one of „VR Kanojo“. It’s not quite clear why she has to learn Japanese though: as short as the story feels, what stands out are nevertheless all of the customization options.
Yes, the main problem I had with „VR Kanojo“ was the dull character. Yet as my influencer on YouTube Rob Cram pointed out, it may very well be the same model as in „VR Kanojo“: I only played an early version of „VR Kanojo“ for a very short time, so the skin shading here feels much better (and the overall presentation like a step up from the Illusion title).
None of the costumes released in the one DLC that is already available are to my liking, but there’s plenty of room for other characters. In the end, the most important thing for my very positive first impression may be that „Summer Vacation“ feels quite polished and controls do actually work in VR. They even somewhat successfully implemented a basic VR game of the stable hold of all of those sexual vacation games, „beach volleyball“. So the developers tried well and certainly should get an applause for their endeavour: I’ve given up on Illusion a long time ago now but maybe – just maybe – there are still people on this planet who keep up with Illusion’s initial spirit.
Regarding Steam Awards: considering the lack of recent decent VR releases here on Steam – and should the world not have come to an end by the end of the year – there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll nominate this for VR Game Of The Year.‘ Nachlese (Seite nicht mehr verfügbar) –

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PYRI / / (Pyri) / —— pyri. Steiermark/styria
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