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Game Info:

Action Taimanin
Developed By: LiLith
Published By: Infini-Brain inc.
Released: October 6, 2020
Available On: Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS
Genre: Visual Novel, Action RPG
ESRB Rating: Mature (Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes, Partial Nudity, Strong Language)
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: Free to Play, optional in-game microtransactions

Note: All information is based on what is available on the PC port client at the time of release.

As many who have sampled adult media that gets watered down to be more mainstream know, many "adult games" can stand on their own minus the explicit pornography, which is often added simply for the sake of attracting the lowest common denominator to purchase it. Action Taimanin is an attempt to take the "Taimanin Asagi" adult visual novel franchise and strip it of the explicit elements and provide an action game using the setting, characters, and general backdrop in the form of a mobile game now ported to PC.

A little background and a confession. Back in my more degenerate days, I played the original visual novels (which were Japan-only imports) via fan translation. While possessing some interesting blend of cyberpunk meets urban fantasy story, most of the original visual novels were devoted to graphic mosaiced scenes of rape by demons, humans, and lots of other torture and sexual sadism. Even back in my more shameful days, I figured the story setting and characters would easily be able to stand on their own without the graphic porn and that it would make for a fun game. Action Taimanin is an attempt to prove that assumption correct.

Set in a futuristic world where there is a shadow war going on between humans and demons, the former having some colluding with the latter to make the war an open one. To combat this, especially since they have a particularly heavy presence in Japan, the Taimanin (aka Anti-Demon Ninjas, who have fought against demons for generations) are brought together with forces from the Chinese Federation, the United Federal States (the US), and various other irregulars to combat what has become a worldwide threat. On top of the demon-run criminal syndicate NOMAD, they must also fight other forces who have sold themselves to demons for power for their own goals.

The setting is a place where magic and technology are common and often intermingled, the Taimanin must use both to stop the demonic threat. As a result, both magic (as a result of the Taimanin having an innate connection to it in their blood) and technology (like cybernetics) will be key tools in their arsenal against their varied enemies. To that end, you, as their commander, must manage their base and sortie the Taimanin on various missions.

Action Taimanin
Highlights:

Strong Points: Excellent mobile to PC port; good adaptation of a visual novel to an action RPG format
Weak Points: Tedious grinding for resources is a common gameplay element
Moral Warnings: Lethal violence against humans and demonic beings; some brief displays of blood; some PG-13 language reference throughout the dialogue (b***t**d, s**t, a**, etc.); a few God***med references (in context of someone who sold their soul and betrayed their family, the term refers to them in a religious sense in context); lots of skimpy outfits that reveal a lot of female skin; some veiled sexual innuendos; references and allusions to sex out of wedlock; omnipresent references to demons and practices like necromancy

The gameplay is split into three sections: visual novel story mode, base management, and action RPG missions. The visual novel style scenes give Fuuma (your Taimanin commander player character) some choices in some scenes that have a bearing on how the plot dialogue plays out as well as advance the story. The base management mode allows you to delegate Taimanin to train, hone their weapons and skills, and micromanage your HQ for making field ops easier. The action RPG missions allow you to control your available Taimanin in the hack and slash action stages to take down enemies, with some special stages like a racing minigame available as bonus missions.

The game is a PC port of a free to play "gacha" game or a game based on disposable toy machines in Japan with a random chance element. Action Taimanin's gacha mechanics allow the player to spend in-game currency and currency bought with real-world money to exchange for random items, weapons, and other bonuses. There is also an "AP" mechanic, limiting how many times a player can select stages a day, though more is replenished daily as your levels increase, and beating certain challenges can provide various ways to stockpile more AP.

Graphically, the game uses a slightly cel-shaded anime style with a lot of emphasis on 3D effects, adapting the hand-drawn art of the original visual novels (which had a milder version of the same type of effects) to an action game medium. The general aesthetic is "cyberpunk urban fantasy", which is reflected in the futuristic level design with lots of neon and metallic touches. The urban fantasy element is prevalent in the various nightmarish demonic enemies, many of which would not be out of place in a dark fantasy game, though some fit the cyberpunk theme as well. Given it was ported from iOS/Andriod to PC, most character models and visual novel scenes look great, though some setpieces and enemies have a somewhat "plastic" look from obvious upscaling and smoothing.

The music and sound effects all go for the "techno synth-rock" genre, with some orchestral infusion with a distinct Japanese themed flair. While the music and sound effects are both catchy and fit the theme like a glove, the internal volume of the game is quite low, so I recommend wearing headphones for a good experience. Voice acting is still in Japanese, a lot outside of the visual novel scenes untranslated (important story dialouge is subtitled, miscellaneous dialouge is not like at the beginning of missions), but a lot can be figured out from context or is rather generic.

Controls use a mixture of the mouse and keyboard, with the mouse being the PC substitute for the mobile version's touch controls, as the UI still references the original control scheme somewhat. It's not hard to navigate menus at all, and the action levels tend to be easy to navigate as well, with some tutorial levels at the beginning to ease you into the controls. The only real complaints are that the timing for certain attacks takes a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it will feel like second nature.

The PC port is based on an older version of the mobile client (and so far only the first act of the campaign is available), but that said it's very stable, loads reasonably fast, and the framerate is butter smooth. I had little to no issues with holding a stable connection to the game servers and found, provided you meet minimum settings, the game runs very well on a suitable laptop or desktop.

Action Taimanin
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 42%
Violence - 4/10
Language - 3/10
Sexual Content - 3/10
Occult/Supernatural - 1/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10 (+3 for promoting loyalty and one's duty to one's family, blood-related and otherwise)

Morally, this game is a vastly cleaned-up adaptation of some very explicit hardcore pornographic source media, so I will compare and contrast the originals to the adaptation where need be to give a moral evaluation.

Violence is toned down from the source to a considerable extent. There is some mild display of blood when killing humans or other creatures, but this disappears shortly afterward along with the body. All violence is done as self-defense against terrorists, demons, or other troublemakers, and your forces are deputized to use lethal force to take down such threats, as they are unwilling to stand down peacefully.

Language is again toned down from the source. There is some semi-frequent usage of strong language in the PG-13 realm (b*stard, s**t, etc.), though R-rated or higher terms are quite rare. There are a few uses of the word "god*****ed", though the party this refers to sold their soul for power and betrayed their own family and comrades, so they are, in a literal sense, damned before God. God in general is not mentioned outside of this but was otherwise regarded neutrally to positively by everyone save the outright evil in the source canon this adaptation is from.

Sexual content was vastly toned down. Unlike the source, there are no explicit scenes of rape, torture, or sexual sadism. Some references and allusions are made to it, some in slightly crude terms, but unlike the source actual displays are absent. There are implied references to adultery and out of wedlock sexual relations, most in the non-pornographic visual novel scenes. There are a lot of sexy ninja catsuits and fetish outfits like bunny suits available, but unlike the source, these are no worse than something in a daytime movie, with many outfits deliberately censored to ensure there is no display of genitalia through clothing. There is some notable "jiggle physics" for the female characters with considerable bustlines, but all in question have the essentials clothed at all times.

While most of the more blasphemous and depraved references to the occult and supernatural are absent or toned down from the source, they are an omnipresent element, as your foes are often demons or humans using demonically enhanced technology. Such is regarded, insofar as it's existence is in any way intended for evil, as beyond the pale and worthy of suppression legally. Your main characters, according to the lore, are descended from women who were raped by or otherwise share blood with demons according to the source canon, as they are equivalent to the Nephilim mentioned in the Book of Genesis. However, the playable cast and their allies take this demonic strength and magic inherited by the circumstances of their birth and consciously choose to use it for good, defending humanity from demons and humans who would use the same for evil.

Morally and ethically, your playable cast is officially deputized by multiple legitimate governments to put down international terrorism, and you are given official support and sanction by the same. There is a clear chain of command, and treason to both family and superiors is considered a dishonor worthy of death. The playable cast is, for the most part, either part of the same clan of ninja (and thus family by association) or allies of the same, and loyalty is a strong focus. Some prejudice does come up, most of it of historical reference between Chinese, Japanese, and American personnel, but all agree in general to put it aside for their mutual mission of putting down terrorism that threatens all their respective countries and people.

Overall, for someone who played the source games, this is a good adaptation for a more mainstream audience and a competent mobile to the PC port of a hack-and-slash game with base management and visual novel aspects. Morally, it is leaps and bounds above its source games in terms of being appropriate for a more mainstream audience, though it still has lots of content not fit for anyone who is not an adult. And, as someone who always figured the Taimanin Asagi franchise could ditch the pornographic aspects and it could stand on its own regardless, this game stands as excellent proof that is true.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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