The most excellent Panty explosion review ever!

edited November 2006 in Stuff to Watch
http://www.therpgsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2687 (updated link)

If this doesn't make you want to play Panty Exploson, then I don't know what will.

Jake Richmond

Comments

  • Okay, so the link dosen't seem to work. Here's the review:

    Panty Explosion
    Panty Explosion
    By Spike at Thu, 11/09/2006 - 5:05pm | Adventure


    Author:Jake Richmond, Matt Schlotte

    Publisher:Atarashi Games

    Copyright:2006?

    Pages:90

    Price:20.00



    Synopsis:
    At last, Catpissman Bait comes to a FLGS near YOU!!!


    Review:
    Just to make this a fair and balanced review I have to admit I didn't actually buy this game. I read it in the store and made some notes. It's a tiny little thing, and vastly over priced. All the artwork is by J. Richmond, presumably the author, and quite frankly is a little dull.

    This has to be the most amusingly wrongheaded name for the game. Its like this, the name of the game is going to draw certain types of customers like flies. These customers will be very angry and disappointed by the game. Certain other customers will be very interested in the game, but never touch it due to the name and will never buy it. This leaves the freaks who don't care and will use the game in a group circle jerk despite it's apparently honest intent to give people the chance to play japanese school girls in all seriousness... with a few anime elements.

    To be honest, this is 'forge type' gaming, deeply interested in emulative narration or something. Characters are defined largely by traits, agendas, blood types, astrological signs and who their best friends and rivals are (at the table). Oh, and their five elements that give them their dice. There is no 'combat' only 'conflict'... attempting to kill a demonic bad thing (which could just be a mean teacher) uses the exact same dice and mechanics as calling a girl a dirty japanese slut.

    But what about those mechanics? Well, its pretty simple, virginia. You have your five elemental traits (Godai), and you rate them from one to five. If you are voted the most popular girl you get d10's to roll, if you are voted the least popular (or are psychic) you get only d6's. Everyone else gets d8's. The target number, regardless of die type, is 5, and you can roll as many dice as you got in that trait... burning them for the length of the conflict. Psychic's CAN use their power (being psychic) to roll d10's instead, but that makes the final boss more powerful (more dice) each time they do. You can add a trait to a dice roll (only one trait per roll) to up the die type by one.

    Finally: your best freind gets to describe what happens if your dice succeed. Your rival gets to describe your failures. Yes, your rival can kill you if remotely appropriate. Psychics have their rival describe both success AND failure. There is only one limit on who can or can't be psychic in the game: there has to be ONE non-psychic per party (to be the most popular I'd guess...).

    That's it in a nutshell. The person who starts the conflict goes first, and it ends when the person who started it choses to end it, then dice refresh. There are some pages of GM advice, including how to run the 'big bad monster'... which is normally a demon of some sort, lists of traditional demons, pages of information on Japanese school life.


    The biggest issue is the Name. The art and the writing are serious and non-sexual in nature. This is a game that, according the the guy at the store, was ordered simply to make money off the creeps that frequent the place. Unless you happen to game with a group of actual Japanese schoolgirls, I wouldn't recommend playing this if you value your... er... non-creepiness?
  • 'tis, indeed, an awesome review filled with awesome spite. Watch for the sales spike!
  • Congratulations on the mean-spirited review. It'll sell you boatloads!
  • Thanks. This is actually prettyy nice compared to some of the emails we get. I also completely dig the "Sailor Moon in Ravenloft" game they're talking about later on in the thread. These guys are awsome.
  • edited November 2006
    Dude. POST EMAIL CONTENT NOW OR I WILL BAN YOU!!!!!111!!! :-)
  • Email content is lots of accusations of being a pedophile, pervert or, and this is the most common, just incredibly stupid. I delet mine, but I think Matt keeps his.
  • Dude, you delete it? You could totally train your hatemail to fight Vincent's KPFS hatemail for a hatemail cage match!

  • That's exactly what I was thinking. I bought KPFS after reading his awesome hate-mail.

    -Andy
  • I should have. I knew god had a plan for my hatemail.

    I was going to ignore the review (except for, y'know, posting it here) but I decided to own it instead. A reviews a review after all. I posted a link to it on our site: http://atarashigames.wordpress.com/
  • Heh... I'm not sure anything can top Vincent's hate mail.
  • "emulative narration" - WTF?

    Per
    (thanks for posting - awesome!)
  • "this is 'forge type' gaming, deeply interested in emulative narration or something."

    Clearly he knows what he's talking about. But then again :

    "I have to admit I didn't actually buy this game. I read it in the store and made some notes."
  • Posted By: pfischer"emulative narration" - WTF?
    It's because of the rule on page 13:
    "All players must buy their own girlie panties. When they narrate their characters actions (no actual role-playing allowed, just describe what your character says) they must be wearing those panties, either on their waist or covering their head. Players get +2 narration if the panties are 'used' ."
  • Wow, I hadn't realised the Pundit's spite was contagious and/or that he was training apprentices in the art of bile.

    Congratulations on the great review!
  • I'm surprised the reviewer didn't say "I have to admit I didn't actually buy this game. I downloaded it from a file sharing website."
  • I'm surprised the reviewer didn't say "I have to admit I didn't actually buy this game. I downloaded it from a file sharing website."

    I wonder. He seemed to retain an awful lot for just skimming the book at his local store. I suppose that he could have a much higher retentain rate then I do, or he might have stood there for quite awhile and read. In any csase for as guy who thought the game was stupid and perverted he obviously spent awhile looking at it.
  • Jake,

    I'm curious: how do you respond to his primary criticism? Specifically: that the title is a poor match for the content? (Should this be in a different thread?)

    Thomas
  • Hey, I don't suppose this guy actually, you know, even asked if he could get a review copy before publishing a review?

    I *heart* non-playtest reviews.
  • I admit to being curious like Thomas. Certainly, you get a ton of sales with the existing title, but a fair number of them will certainly be to creepy people who don't really know what the game's about and may not really be interested (which is fine, I'm not criticizing, I'm just trying to understand your logic).

    Personally, I don't know that I'd feel comfortable buying a copy of Panty Explosion anywhere except the Forge Booth, just because of the title and the look I'd get from the people behind the counter. They already look at me like I'm a sick fuck when I buy issues of Promethea, since they assume it's the same as, like, Lady Death.
  • Hey, I don't suppose this guy actually, you know, even asked if he could get a review copy before publishing a review?

    Actually, I sent an email to www.therpgsite.com back in August offering them a review copy. They never responded. I assume this Spike guy is just a poster there though and not actually associated with them.
    Personally, I don't know that I'd feel comfortable buying a copy of Panty Explosion anywhere except the Forge Booth, just because of the title and the look I'd get from the people behind the counter. They already look at me like I'm a sick fuck when I buy issues of Promethea, since they assume it's the same as, like, Lady Death.

    I understand how you feel. I've talked about this before here, on the Forge and on several other forums. The name dosen't work for everyone, and there are a lot of people that won't pick up the book because of it. Thats really fine. There is a huge difference between being a little embarrased about picking up the book and writing it off completely because of its name. The reviewer is definetly in the later catagory, where it sounds like you (Johnathan) are in the former. Thats the difference between being open minded and close minded I think.

    I used to be really... hesitant... to let people know the kind of stuff I'm into. IU used to avoid buying and trying new things because of that. Thats changed. Panty Explosion is a big part of that. Right around the time we started working on the game I read a manga called Genshiken. In the manga one of the characters really tries to hide what he's into (manga, anime, doujinshi, model kits, porn, etc). But when confronted with new friends that don't hide their interests, he says to himself "I have to learn to accept myself for who I am". I think thats powerful. It's also hard to do. But I do my best to not be ashamed of the stuff I'm into and to not hide it from anyone. When Emily originally suggested the name "Panty Explosion" for our game both Matt and I embraced it immideatly under that philosophy. Its the only name for the game. Anything else would be a disservice.

    I used to get those looks when I bought Promethia as well. I ended up switching stores.
  • Jake,

    I hate to feel like I'm harping, but I want to be clear: Are you saying that you feel that the title Panty Explosion accurately represents the game? You basically disagree with the review's primary complaint that the game's content doesn't match its title?

    Thomas
  • Jake, thanks for the reply. It's a lot easier to see where you're coming from now. Yeah, I need to start buying comics from people who actually know something about comics. I'd do the same with games, but then I'd be out of an FLGS.
  • Are you saying that you feel that the title Panty Explosion accurately represents the game? You basically disagree with the review's primary complaint that the game's content doesn't match its title?

    I do. The title can be seen as misleading. In a lot of ways it's a joke. But if you are familiar with the psychic schoolgirl genre of film, anime and manga then you'll know that panty shots an exploding heads are two of it's defining features. Tats where the name comes from. It is meantto poke fun at the genre while at the same time evoking it.

    A lot of people assume that PE is a hentai game, or something else equally sleazy. The name certainly lends itself to that. And when we choose the name we did so knowing that many people would leap to that assumption. And thats fine. There have been plenty of people who saw the name and knew immideatly what the game was about too. In the end it dosen't bother me at all that some people don't like the name, or don't get the name or are offended by the name. It does bother me when people (like this reviewer) never even try to get past the name.
  • I'd do the same with games, but then I'd be out of an FLGS.

    me too.
  • For what it's worth, I think it's an awesome title. It's really only some folks' assumptions about "Panty" + "Explosion" + "Japanese" that causes the confusion. And, I say, don't let anyone's assumptions or their inability to get past those assumptions get you down. Dude did you a huge favor by ragging on your work. Now even more people who do get the reference will have heard about the game.

    Right?

  • I think the name is almost there, but just needs punctuation.

    Panty? Explosion.
  • Posted By: Eric ProvostFor what it's worth, I think it's an awesome title. It's really only some folks' assumptions about "Panty" + "Explosion" + "Japanese" that causes the confusion. And, I say, don't let anyone's assumptions or their inability to get past those assumptions get you down.
    So right. I suspect that those who would be misled by the title aren't really familiar with the genre beyond the admittedly exploitative stuff that makes it into their pop-cultural world. You've got to have a bit more of a hardcore love for Japanese media to "get it."
  • Well, I just realized a month ago that PE was a role playing game.

    Really, I saw threads with the game name in its title here and on RPG.net and thought "Why are they discussing an anime in this section? Surely the mods will move it away promptly." :P

    But one good day I decided to finally click on a thread and then downloaded the freebie version. I liked what I saw. So it is on my list now... I just might be a little late picking it up.

    I liked that is just 90 pages. I liked that is quite focused. I like how it uses certain japanisms. And I like the name - even if until a few minutes ago I thought it was an attention-getter name. Now I know better. ;)

    I'll probably use it to teach RPGs to a very anime-friendly crowd. Of course I'll show it to my RPing friends, but they refuse to play anything less convoluted than AD&D2. :D

    ps: Hey, "Sailor Moon in Ravenloft" sounds nice!
  • And I like the name - even if until a few minutes ago I thought it was an attention-getter name.

    Well, don't let me fool you. It is a cheap way to get attention. That was part of the point, and because of that I'm certainly not in much of a position to complain.


    Anyway, this has been a real nice thread, if a bit self serving on my part. Thanks for the support. I certainly feel a lot better now.
  • I had intended that to be my last post in this thread, but i cam across something that I think offers an... interesting... contrast to the Spike review. A Korean website posted a review (I think) of Panty Explosion. I translated it with the help of babelfish, and I think it's fascinating. The article is called "Life and agony of schoolgirls - ‘ pan mote explosion ‘". It is the longest thing anyone (I think including me) has ever written about the game. Here's a bit from the beginning:

    ” Pan mote explosions basically with the rule which plays the Japanese high school girls, all heros are the high school girl. The hazard which produces the high school girl hero the mail boat blood elder brother and the belt which stand, the friend, the family, the quality which it follows in hobby it will pay and it designates. And to use five lines with ability, decision hour quality pay and it is a method which raises the successful ratio use.”

    You can read the whole thing here (you'll have to babelfish it yourself): Korean site
  • Man, I love babelfish. You almost feel like you should understand what the translated text is saying, but the meaning is just out of reach. "Mail boat blood elder." Heh.
  • Posted By: Brennan Taylor "Mail boat blood elder."
    i think that's a song by Pavement.

    for what it's worth i got the whole "Panty Explosion" thing right away.

    now i just have to actually buy the game...and i guess a pair of cotton panties? not much support though.

    -Nate

    oh, good review. the kid has the book, he just doesn't want to admit it, or something. taking notes...who is this kid, Da Vinci? yeah, i just happen to bring my notebook into the gaming store? hrm?
  • edited November 2006
    Man, if you get around to translating the comments, let me know!

    Also, I think the only resident Korean speaker is Clinton, but he's hellaciously busy these days.

    -Andy

    Edit: Post on the Forge's connections forum, "Can anyone speak Korean?" (or somewhere on RPGNet, like Tangency) - That might get you fast feedback.
  • I think the influence of my weird friends had made me brazen enough to be able to buy PE at a store if I really wanted... though not quite enough so to read it on the train. But then I haven't been to the FLGS in a while now, and I just ordered it from Lulu.

    The KPFS hatemail is on par with the Flying Spaghetti Monster hate-mail/ for entertainment IMO. :)
  • Posted By: jake richmond” Pan mote explosions basically with the rule which plays the Japanese high school girls, all heros are the high school girl. The hazard which produces the high school girl hero the mail boat blood elder brother and the belt which stand, the friend, the family, the quality which it follows in hobby it will pay and it designates. And to use five lines with ability, decision hour quality pay and it is a method which raises the successful ratio use.”
    You totally have to use this as a pull quote for the next printing. Or run it at the bottom of each page throughout the rules, like bad fansubbing.
  • Just a note: Panty Explosion now available at IPR.
  • edited November 2006
    Posted By: Mark W
    So right. I suspect that those who would be misled by the title aren't really familiar with the genre beyond the admittedly exploitative stuff that makes it into their pop-cultural world. You've got to have a bit more of a hardcore love for Japanese media to "get it."
    Actually I didn't know it was Japanese at all until this thread. I just knew it was about panties and explosions, and thus had no interest in it at all.

    Because "panty explosion" doesn't have to be Japanese to be anything one way or the other.

    Now I know what its about, and am content.
  • Yeah, but the cover is a Japanese girl in the highschool sailor-suit. So, if you actually picked up a copy to peek at it, then it's Panty+Explosion+Japanese.

    -Eric

  • edited November 2006

    Panty Explosion is the perfect name for the game. It does what a title should do: attract the attention of the target audience and remain memorable.

    Titles don't have to say what a game (or book) is about. "Starship Troopers" is about starship troopers, of course, but it's really about a military meritocracy and the idea that violence is a measure of a man. "Sailor Moon" doesn't say anything about anything until you have some idea what that means (I only barely do), and I think this makes it a poor title buoyed on a McDonald's-scale marketing campaign. "Lord of the Rings" has lords and rings, but you don't know what they mean until you've finished the books, but you read it because the title evokes fantasy. If I was expecting a book about metalsmithing, I'd have been disappointed, but probably only a little.

    Titles are book covers that you can type. They attract an audience. That's what they do. I don't think "Panty Explosion" is going to deter anyone in the target market and will probably get some other people, too.

    Incidentally, book covers aren't there to look pretty. They're there to grab eyes.

    "Panty Explosion" obviosly works to grab attention. It's therefore objectively a good book title.

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