XP Girls, level up – First Sip Review
XP Girls is another idle/incremental RPG from Oneshark, the team that developed Great Hero’s Beard. However, this one is published by SakuraGame. I would recommend reading the linked review for Great Hero’s Beard as the games do have a fair bit in common.
Unlike Great Hero’s Beard and other Oneshark games, XP Girls doesn’t really have a story. There’s no opening cinematic or dialogue really, characters sometimes say some phrases and have small backstories. But other than that, it’s really up to interpretation. As such my rating is more based on concept rather than an actual story. And as far as concepts go, XP Girls is pretty generic. It’s essentially an RPG with 9 scantily clad female characters. You start with one and try to rescue the other 8, battling various enemies through different locales such as a forest, the beach, and a candy based world.
Based on the output of the developers and publishers it seems likely that the publishers influenced the direction of the game. It’s not inherently a bad or worthless idea to have a group of female characters in an RPG. In fact, an all-female character roster could work really well. But, you’d really need to have each one have a distinct personality, and most of them wear more clothes.
I’m giving it a midway generic 2.5 rating because the concept of taking a genre and replacing all characters with sexy girls is very basic. You can add or remove a point based on your own preference.
Once again the art in a Oneshark game is one of the major highlights. XP girls uses a similar art style to their other projects but with one notable change. The main heroines are far more sexualized than Turgut from Great Hero’s Beard or the nameless hero from Ultra Savage. Both of those characters start in their underwear, however, you can equip armor that visually changes them. Whereas in XP Girls, each girl’s model is set and no equipment change shifts them. In terms of enemy designs, it’s typical Oneshark brilliance as always. A lot of fun and varied enemies.
You may recall some of the bosses from Great Hero’s Beard. I saw a community review that referred to these as “reused assets”, but I would beg to differ here. While the assets may be the same I would point to franchises such as Final Fantasy who have used enemies like the Tonberry in virtually every title. There is a difference between shamelessly reusing assets to save time and reprising iconic bosses from previous titles. I would say XP Girls’ use of callback bosses is the latter.
The visuals in XP girls are strong, but I do miss the visual change that comes with equipment changes from earlier titles.
The music in XP Girls is quite nice if I had to give it a genre I might say Bubblegum Electronic? It’s fun and upbeat and it fits the visuals really well, especially the candy stages. There are other elements thrown in here in there like some dubstep, etc. and it’s an all-around solid soundtrack. The sound design is also solid, a lot of sound effects you’ll hear a lot of but they fit well and sound good. Not much more to say on the sound, it’s definitely above average and it might even be worth picking up the soundtrack which is available separately.
There are a lot of similarities with Great Hero’s Beard, including the leveling stat and skill points mechanics, the selling items “fusion” mechanic and the inability to control the battles beyond starting them. But it’s not a clone or a reskin of GHB by any means, there are a number of changes to note.
For instance, while GHB had 5 stats to distribute points into, XP Girls has 6, adding a Supa Crit % (which increases the strength of critical hits separately to the Crit % which increases the chance of a critical hit).
But the biggest change is the party system. Rather than a single hero you begin this game with selecting your first girl and as you progress you add more girls to your harem…I mean team of elite fighters. You can have up to 3 girls in your team at any time, there are a total of 9 girls though, additional girls will not participate in battle but can be swapped in the camp. Why swap girls out instead of using the already leveled ones? Each girl has their own skills so you can favor a team for one-on-three combat or throw a healer in, whatever the situation needs. You also have a family level, which works similarly to the Princess system in GHB where all the girls’ levels add together and provide a bonus.
XP Girls also adds a level requirement for equipment, and girls only level when they are active in battle so it means you might need to grind earlier levels if you swap in new girls. All girls can use the equipment when you have the level requirement sorted so you’ll have to spend a lot of time working with the equips to maximize your team.
While XP Girls has some new features and refines some older ones, there’s something about it that feels like a step back from the simple addictive nature of Great Hero’s Beard (and Ultra Savage which I’ll touch on more at a later date). It’s for sure not a bad game, in fact, it’s quite fun. But if you’re new to Oneshark games I’d recommend starting with either Great Hero’s Beard or Chicken Assassin: Reloaded (which I also plan on going into more detail on soon). The gameplay is still solid and fun, and you’re likely to find enjoyment in the game if you’re interested in the genre at all. After all, I still plan on finishing the game.
In Coffee Terms
XP Girls in coffee terms is like the same small black coffee as Great Hero’s Beard. But it’s sold in a cat cafe. Outside of the setting it still tastes the same. They have even refined the blend a little. Adding some more subtle notes to it. But if you’re not comfortable with the atmosphere you might find it more distracting. Still worth trying, especially if you really like cute girls.
XP Girls Links
One half of the YouTube brother duo, The Game Bros with Sirhc and Ar0n, Chris is a lover of games, movies and other great things you can do from home.
Coffee of choice: I like the sweeter kinds, mixed with chocolate, coconut, caramel etc. but I won’t turn down a flat white or a straight black either.