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Review of Mahou Shoujo Shoumou Sensen - DeadΩAegis

SubjectMahou Shoujo Shoumou Sensen - DeadΩAegis
ByHelpfulness: 2
Vote: 3
Demi-Fiend on 2024-06-11
ReviewI logged back into a very old VNDB account just to write this review

tl;dr

the good
- The art, especially for the backgrounds, is fantastic
the design of the main spaceship is especially creative and striking and I will probably think back to it for a while down the line
- All the voice acting that is there is done mostly quite well
- The premise and setup are very unique and captivating
- The use of a 3rd party neutral narrator is very interesting
- there is a decently well written twist that left me believing I knew the answer but had me second guessing often

the bad
- there is an actual ridiculous amount of sex scenes for a game trying to sell itself as a eroge making this virtually a nukige with dark theme
- there is almost no variety in the music and it starts getting very repetitive after you have sunk several hours into it
- compounding with the first point, any time the plot tries to happen it is interrupted by a pointless H scene
- the protagonist, while sympathetic and her situation is genuinely awful, is sometimes just annoying because they really over did her inferiority complex
- one of the endings feels rushed and the other one is ruined by the context learned through the rushed one


the long version:

Dead End Aegis is something that completely baffles me in the reputation it has online. Everywhere I looked, while trying to find something new to read, touted this game a Madoka Magica, in space, with uncompromising horror elements and eroguro. Now, personally, I am not specifically a fan of eroguro but I do not mind it either. I am someone that, for context, read and enjoyed Maggot Baits despite the content it is notorious for including. So if anyone actually takes the time to read this review, I hope it is clear that I am not just complaining because the content is too hard for me or this game is, in any shape or form, traumatizing to me.

I do think that, genuinely, anyone claiming this game to be traumatizing is over exaggerating to a degree. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say this game really should not be lumped in with eroguro games as it is barely present in the game. There is three, maybe four if I am being forgetful, scenes of extreme tentacle content. But otherwise, it is very light on the eroguro. So if anyone is intending to play the game for this kind of content I can not even say that this game is for you either.

Getting down to the actual review of the game, I must praise at least some things about it. It is no understatement that the artists who worked on the backgrounds must be praised. The main spaceship in this game is called the Cathedral which is fairly self explanatory. But actually seeing the concept of a gothic chapel, or castle, used as a spaceship is a very striking design. Despite the fact I did not like the game, this design will likely come to mind even years down the line for me.


Additionally, I must compliment the voice work of almost all the girls involved. A personally nitpick would be one of the girls named Nana can be a bit grating with her line delivery, but otherwise I have nothing but praise. HOWEVER I will say only the women being voice acted was very strange to me and was jarring to adjust to. It also doesn't help that our protagonist and the main love interest have a slightly similar name so I was often having to check the name on the text box to actually make sure I knew who was speaking.

Now for the ugly, of which I am not going to summarize the plot because it is in the listing and several other reviews. My main gripe with this game is that it wants to sell itself as a horror eroge, but falls completely flat. Any time there is something interesting going on in this game? There is a sudden sex scene. In fact, during the specific route where you decide to keep group 14 in the space ship? There is barely twenty minutes WITHOUT a sex scene for the remainder of the game which is SEVERAL hours longer.

Despite this, it is important to note that SOME of these sex scenes are plot relevant. In the beginning, it is a coin toss whether it is actually interesting and serves to develop the plot. OR if it is just a pointless, exhausting scene where the same repetitive rape is being done to our characters with no rhyme or reason. I understand, fully, that DEA is trying to be exhausting to both the characters AND the player. But at some point it genuinely becomes comical because the point was made ten hours ago and these are things that could be summarized.

And you may ask yourself two things. First, how do you know a summary would work just fine? And my answer to that is because it starts literally doing that by the end of the route where you stay in the ship. It quite literally feels like even the writers became exhausted at some point and finally gave in to just summarizing these H scenes that are literally non-stop and serve no real purpose to a point that was already made.

And the second, arguably more valid question one may have is this: but it's a porn game?
My main gripe with DEA is that even if this an eroge, even IF this was actually intended to be a nukige? Who is this for? The presentation is in no way meant to tantalize anyone. The writing is the farthest thing from sexy, the music sounds like a repetitive boss track, and they even start getting lazy with the artwork in H scenes. There is SEVERAL scenes where artwork is reused even if it does not make much sense with the text on screen. There is only TWO songs in the whole game for all the variety of sex scenes. It is either this boss, horror-esque track or it is something intended to be romantic for three scenes of consensual sex.


But the sex scenes being down right annoying are not the only issue with DEA. It actually is poorly written at very integral parts or mediocre at best for most of the game. There is an overarching message about capitalism and overconsumption being destructive. But as good as this message is, and as fitting as it is for the setting of the game, it is completely lost to the fact it feels like the creator's were afraid of not having a pair of tits on the screen for longer than twenty minutes or else the player will get bored and leave.

One of my main gripes with the writing is that if a player is to complete both endings of DEA? One ruins the other, and then the other feels quite rushed. Neither ending is good here and I do not mean in that it is a positive outcome for our character cast because that is completely fine.

spoilers for send group 14 out
The ending where you choose to send group 14 out from the Cathedral is perhaps better simply because it ends faster and you will avoid the extra roughly six hours of sex scenes before something actually happens. But my problem with this ending is that it skips over almost all the context as to how Circe becomes the Great One which is vitally important to the actual plot. You spend several hours, instead, watching Minori's crush turn out to be just the same as everyone else and rapes her. She is turned into his secretary, one of the older magical girls is experimented on, and then they make a plan to go back to the Cathedral and blow it up. This is decided after they just happen to have a recording of a soldier being shot in the head to discover he bleeds blue blood. Then the rest of the game plays out in a shorter version of the other route where they blow the Cathedral up, they fight Lisette, and destroy the Great One.

This is, arguably, the only truly happy ending in this game as eventually it concludes with Minori and her friends living peaceful lives and reuniting later. But then at the same time it isn't because the single woman, Circe, who caused the death of literally MILLIONS of people and ten years of systematic rape on the cathedral? She gets happily reunited with her friends like nothing happened.


spoilers for keeping group 14 in the ship
Now my main problem with this has to do with the other ending. Skipping over the fact that this just has hours upon hours of exhaustive Hscenes, as this does not need to be reiterated yet again. And, I will say, these scenes did have a point for about an hour of runtime showing both Minori's decline AND the decline of the Cathedral itself.

The problem is that, at some point, Mitsuomi does show up to the Cathedral. He shows up claiming to be there for Minori, there is a general misunderstanding trope, and so on. What is wrong with this is that Minori and Mitsuomi are genuinely depicted as if they are pure lovers and that Mitsuomi never had a bad intention in his body. In fact, the game quite literally gives them a magical girl transformation as if they are Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask that just got hitched.

The problem with this is that with the context of the other route it is completely overlooking who Mitsuomi actually is. It is erasing that he is a rapist and just another person perpetuating the system of both the Cathedral and capitalism this game claims to be against. It is, dare I say, insulting actually to turn of the characters used as an antagonist, the same as all the other men on the cathedral, into some pure of heart romantic interest. There is absolutely no mention of the fact that Mitsuomi was literally intending to drug and rape Minori. There is no mention of the fact that he just wants to keep using the Cathedral as a money making machine as does everyone else in his family of snakes (they use this line maybe a hundred times and I hate it).

Also the aliens quite literally deem the humans so worthless that they just leave. And honestly? I wanted to leave this game too, I don't blame them.


The bottom line is as follows.
If you want a dark nukige with cool magical girls in space? Go for it, dick in hand, the world is your oyster.
But please do not buy into all these people online going that this is a master piece, this is underrated, it's a great horror eroge with a wonderfully written story!
What Dead End Aegis is, at best, is a game for horny people that want some light space politics in between their jerk off sessions.
What Dead End Aegis is, at worst, is a game that thinks it is making a point that is objectively relevant in modern times regarding capitalism, over consumption, and the oppression of women. But in its failure to put any thought into these statements, it comes back full circle and only perpetuates the very thing it condemns. It completely loses focus in shallow attempts to be something more than a porn game.

And in the end? DEA is neither.
It is not well written for those who came for a good read. It is not sexy for those that came to get their rocks off. And it is not even an enjoyable experience as any time it grasps at a point it wants to make it is immediately setting it aside to shove more porn onto the screen.
2 points
#1 by fallenguru
2024-06-12 at 01:04
< report >Spaceship? What spaceship?

It's quite common for only the women to be voice acted. In any case, there's now a fully-voiced remaster / full-voice patch out.

> Any time there is something interesting going on in this game? There is a sudden sex scene.

Are there far too many sex scenes for my liking? Yes. Could it have made the same points with less? Also yes. But they are very well integrated into the story, nearly all of them are relevant for character development, if not plot; no "sex out of nowhere", and it is a nukige.

> It actually is poorly written at very integral parts or mediocre at best for most of the game.

And there was I thinking, what's a guy like this doing writing eroge ... :-P

> One [ending] ruins the other, and then the other feels quite rushed.

How so? Do you like the third ending, the one in the FD, better?

> Mitsuomi never had a bad intention in his body.

Err, no? He pretty much admits that he originally intended to use and discard her. Were you skim-reading at that point perhaps?

I do somewhat agree with your conclusion, but the way you got there is mystifying.
#2 by Tele
2024-06-12 at 15:38
< report >TRUEEEEE
The misconception surrounding this eroge is the worst part of it all. People will paint this as an actual VN and some even believing it is a plotge.

Somehow this is god's gift to mankind when you have to watch a 40 minute hscene into another 40 minute hscene on repeat for 10 hours. I agree that some hscenes are plot relevant but there is genuinely like 2 or 3 actually impactful hscenes and the rest are fanservice. It gets so overbloated.

It very concerning that people think this is acceptable writing on the level of an actual VN. It is more like their own interpretation than it is the actual story/characters. Great review on clarifying these issues that no one wants to address (probably because actual readers won't touch a nukige like this).Last modified on 2024-06-12 at 15:49
#3 by jackyalltrades
2024-06-12 at 18:36
< report >"It is not well written for those who came for a good read. It is not sexy for those that came to get their rocks off. "

I love when people make claims for everyone, the majority of people who rated it highly clearly disagree with you.Last modified on 2024-06-12 at 18:36