I’ll be honest, the only time I had ever heard of Super Seducer prior to this review was when it made headlines for attempting fraudulent DMCA takedowns of YouTube videos criticizing it. So the supposedly controversial pick-up artist simulator didn’t exactly make the best first impression with me. But in the spirit of fairness, I decided to give this point-and-click FMV a chance, maybe even discovering that underneath its cheap exterior, it could actually be a slightly educational and competent piece of work about meeting woman and…no, yeah, no, I couldn’t even keep up something like that for an introduction, this is indeed a sleazy piece of hot garbage that you should avoid at all costs.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t exactly a game with a deep setup or gameplay. Supposed master pick-up artist Richard La Ruina sets you up with a bunch of scenarios in which you try to pick up woman with him acting as the male avatar, playing videos of encounters and stopping them at various points to have you choose the next move, reaction or piece of dialogue, resulting in options that are either correct, wrong or only half-correct but that allow you to advance anyway, with Richard explaining why it did or didn’t work. The very first choice sets the tone for the game, as one my first reactions to all of this was “Geez, it’s like somebody took the Prince of Persuasia from Bob’s Burgers and decided to make it a real thing,” only to then have the first correct option to also be to stand in front of a woman on the street, essentially trapping her like in the cartoon. Yes, this is an actual living caricature, trying to get taken seriously.
Shockingly enough, an FMV game of this caliber doesn’t exactly have the highest production values. I could go into how all of the settings are incredibly sparse and empty despite supposedly taking place in clubs, bars, coffee shops and similar locales, or how they tend to have same type of quality seen in your average pornography film, but instead let’s focus on the fact that everything feels like it was shot in exactly one take. That isn’t even the case, given that unlockable outtakes are a bonus that you can earn, but it sure as heck feels like what happened. Acting is wooden, lines are stumbled over and in one case a biker actually zooms through a shot in front of Richard and the girl he’s with. Somebody had to look at this and somehow decide that this was the best they could do. Speaking of which, it feels like the editing was done in one go as well, especially during moments where lines are abruptly cut off during scene transitions.
Bad visuals, however, only make up a relatively minor flaw for Super Seducer. The biggest problem is that it’s a game where you have to find the correct set of choices that lead you to success with various women…and yet the only entertaining parts come from outright failure. Obviously, both right and wrong answers are included, but it seems like in order to make his own advice come across as revolutionary in comparison, Richard had to include the most cartoonish, blatantly incorrect answers that he could think of, mostly consisting of truly perverted options that always lead to a dead end. Look, if you’re the type of person who actually needs to be told that actions such as whipping out your genitals in the middle of a coffee shop in the middle of the day are bad ways to make yourself appealing to women, you need a lot more help than just what you find in a D-rate video game.
Maybe you could argue that options like those are just in there for some levity, but it doesn’t disguise the fact the correct picks lead to nothing more than boredom (actually, a good chunk of the incorrect picks lead to that as well). Even when Richard does have genuinely okay advice, it amounts to nothing more than blatantly obvious stuff such as “pay attention,” “show an interest in her hobbies,” “empathize with her concerns,” and similar bits of “wisdom” that are nothing more than basic etiquette lessons anyone would know, accompanied by droning, flat, uninspired dialogue and conversations between Richard and the current lady. This is all meant to be “psychological trickery,” by the way. And that’s not even getting into the unethical stuff, ranging from little lies to continuing to hit on at least two women who explicitly state that they currently have boyfriends. Expect some awkward choices to show up at times.
On the subject, there are also just some baffling ways Richard and the game perceive certain choices, as if he expects everyone else to share the same opinions when discussing certain topics. At one point when taking with a woman in a club, it’s brought up that we saw her earlier in the smoking area, followed by a list of choices on how to express our feelings concerning her being a smoker. One was to simply just mention that while you don’t approve of smoking yourself, she has the freedom to do what she likes and we won’t be judgemental, or words to that effect. My personal opinion on the subject and what I considered to be a dignified response. But then Richard tells us that it wasn’t the fully correct answer and that we shouldn’t be dishonest. The heck? Richard, I was being honest! I’m trying to simulate meeting a woman in a club, not to simulate you meeting a woman in a club!
Of course, maybe I would be more invested if Richard or any of the women featured had even the slightest hint of a personality to them. Every one of Richard’s targets is insufferably bland; just one generic, conventionally attractive paid actress after the other. And yes, the goal is to simply hook up with these women and not go into deep relationships, but it says a lot when even the women you try to score with in Leisure Suit Larry games are infinitely more developed than the ones here.
None of them have any unique traits that stand out (a few of them even seem to blatantly repeat the same angles) and are basically interchangeable. Heck, at one point a supposed challenge is that while one woman is complaining about her job, another woman walks by and we’re supposed to be able to pay attention to the story being told while leering at the supposedly hotter woman. But since both are basically the same type of model, there was no point in dwelling on this new girl anyway, so goodbye challenge.
The nadir of everything was Chapter 7, involving a run-in with a girl in a park. This is where the aforementioned biker incident shows up, as well as the questionable literacy seen in one of the above screenshots. After the usual awkwardness involving the first few choices, suddenly immigration issues pop up as a topic, of all things, leading to some insanely awkward moments, followed by a discussion on how either men or women are better at everything, in an even more awkward moment painfully stuffed with straw on both sides. But then towards the end when offering contact information, one of the options is to actually give her your Steam ID. When the woman says she doesn’t have Steam or even know what it is, Richard actually storms away for the first time, dropping f-bombs along the way. Then in the direct scene afterwards, he actually gives that player his Steam and PlayStation Network IDs.
It’s going to be tempting for many of you to buy Super Seducer solely for the unintentional hilarity and maybe even write an “ironic” positive review for it based on that alone. But…no. Don’t do it. Because outside of the cheese factor, everything here is just dull. Loads of banal conversations, wooden acting and obvious advice abound for every one moment you can laugh over Richard deciding to grab a girl’s rear end in what can only be described as a video game in the loosest sense of the term. This might be a weird thing to hear from a critic, but just wait for the highlights to go up on YouTube instead. You’ll get the same chuckle-worthy stupidity and save some money in the process. It’s a game about being a pick-up artist that you should in no way consider picking up.