I knew at some point, I’d be left thinking to myself “what the fuck has my life come to?” I just wasn’t expecting it to be at 23, and I certainly wasn’t expecting the catalyst to be a review of Super Seducer 2. Time to take a deep breath, question my career choices, and dive head-first into Richard La Ruina’s mind. If I don’t make it. Please tell my cat I love her.
Super Seducer 2: Advanced Seduction Tactics is the follow-up to the critically-slated Super Seducer: How to Talk to Girls. The sequel looks to take the criticisms of the first title on the chin and develop a title that’s a little less controversial. While whether the game has achieved the latter or not is likely to depend on peoples personal standings, the game has definitely addressed some of the critiques received the first time around and started to make some headway. For better and for worse.
Super Seducer 2 doubles down on the ridiculous. The game makes the most of the larger budget, with the first chapter starting off with Richard arriving in a fucking tank. Why? Because he can. It plays no relevance to the storyline but does set the title up perfectly. The game has some absolutely ridiculous options. Sometimes to its own detriment. One of the first options you get is to approach the first woman you see with your finger sticking out your trousers. Later you can point and laugh at an old lady who collapses on the floor, but not before you’ve answered a call that allows you to destroy a youtube convention with a missile battery to remove the competition. These are all from the first half of the first act. So that goes some way to illustrate the pacing of the ridiculousness on offer here.
The ridiculousness of some of the options goes against the game at points, however. I often felt as though the right answer was more a choice of common sense over consideration. This isn’t always present, I felt the second chapter got the pacing near enough perfect, bar the rather stupid introduction. However, the other chapters often leave you thinking ‘well that’s the only option here’ and you’re left feeling that maybe the ridiculousness is there purely to add comedy where it’s not necessarily needed. The third chapter, focused on interracial dating, with Richard’s Mandarin tutor playing the role of the protagonist does the comedy brilliantly, with Richard taking a back seat role as the drunk friend.
I hate to say it, but I actually liked when Richard La Ruina takes a back seat more than his starring roles. I feel as if his acting flows better, even if he is being completely ridiculous. The role of the comic fits him rather well and comes across better as a secondary character than it does a primary. The acting is a definite improvement this time around. While still more wooden than a lumber yard in parts, there’s a definite focus on improving flow this time around. He’s a long way off a Golden Globe, but it’s a move in the right direction.
That being said, when the acting is wooden, it’s about as cringe-inducing as you can possibly imagine. Funnily enough, it’s not the comedy answers that come across cringy. As above, the role of the comic fits Richard well. It’s oftentimes the in-between, or ‘Amber’ answers, and sometimes the correct answers themselves. It’s pacing, delivery, and the general tone that throws them off. It’s not just Richard, almost everyone here is guilty of a bit of stale, careless performance.
And then there is the fact that occasionally the responses have absolutely no relevance to the little snippet you’re given to chose from. The game is intended to have more shocking responses, but only when you chose them. So to be given something so out of left field with no warning did little but leave me weary. If this is an intentional choice to add some form of ‘depth’ or ‘challenge’ then it falls flat on its face.
This does, however, raise another point about the more ridiculous options. They’re only really chosen because you want to see just how fucking stupid they are. Maybe a few chapters on how comedy can help people to secure the partner of their dreams? A plan for Super Seducer 3? It is already listed on Steam for 2019 after all. You can have that one for free Richard. Just throw us in the credits.
As I mentioned at the start, Super Seducer 2 looks to take on board the criticisms of its predecessor and does so in a few different ways. First of all, is the addition of Charlotte Jones to the cast. Charlotte is here to add a female perspective to the choices in the game, with each choice you make, be it good or bad, getting feedback from Richard and Charlotte. Now I will say, that at points, it really feels like Charlotte would rather be anywhere but here. At others, she gives detailed, fantastic responses. Similar goes for Richard. While it’s clear as day he wants to be there, sometimes his feedback is great, others it’s borderline shambolic. be it short and throwaway, or simply performed with all the grace of the local drunk. Sometimes you can’t help but feel as though a little more practice wouldn’t go amiss.
Building upon the addition of a female perspective is the chance to play through 2 chapters from the perspective of a female protagonist. These are a welcome addition and take on some of the more serious tones available in Super Seducer 2. Additionally, the first act allows you to chose for the female character at the end, giving you the choice to make her leave or condemning her to an afternoon with Richard La Ruina.
The second major critique was the lack of ethnic diversity. This has been strongly addressed in Super Seducer 2. As mentioned previously, there’s a Chapter that puts you in the shoes of a Chinese gentleman, as well as various other eastern protagonists and characters. There’s even a Chinese level spoken in Mandarin (that’s yet to come, because modern gaming’s practices still apply here, apparently). It’s nice to see and does actually raise a bit of awareness to some issues people of other ethnicities can face when attempting to date within western cultures. Yes, I did actually learn something playing Super Seducer 2. Although it’s not how to talk to women.
With elements of its past critique covered, the title goes on to add some depth to its storyline options. Some chapters now have branches, allowing players to take the story in different directions. Chapter one is a prime example. The first chapter starts you off chatting with a ‘Posh Totty’ who’s stepped right off her boat, before giving you the option to continue your pursuit for her number, or run off, quite literally, after a supermodel’s car. Yes, you’ll literally run your way through a posh country estate to catch a sports car. Thank fuck for that 5 miles per hour speed limit eh Richard? Or you’d have fucked 2 potential suitors up. In typical fairytale fashion, she’s stopped for you. Because of course she fucking has. As I said. The game doubles down on the ridiculous.
Batshit storylines aside, these branched stories are actually rather well done. This is how you add choice and thought into a title. It’s also a fantastic way of adding replayability, giving a desire to go back and explore the other branches on offer within the chapters. More of this, please. There’s a lot of potentials to explore here, especially if the series chooses to put a little more emphasis on the ‘how to meet a partner’ element. It would be nice to see levels where there are multiple people each with their own, unique personalities and your goal is to find the partner who best matches the protagonist you’re put in control of.
Super Seducer 2 isn’t the disaster I thought I was walking in to. It’s refreshing to see a title take on board some of its past critiques and work towards a better product. While it’s not perfect, it is enjoyable. it’s cheap, as it should be, and is worth it for anyone wanting a comical way to kill a few hours. It’s not going to turn you into a master of seduction, but it is going to give you a laugh or two. Especially if you can look past the wooden acting, or find humor in that itself.
Super Seducer 2: Advanced Seduction Tactics is available now on Steam.