Very unique and interesting game... and one that appealed perfectly to me! Definitely worth the price tag. Interesting themes and unique characters made my playthrough(s) very enjoyable, and I can't wait to see more in this vein of, as you put it, 'erotic bara thrillers.' ;)
I will admit the narrative could have been stronger, although I appreciate the genuine underlying message, which I'm glad to say I caught on to pretty early on. The tone of the game is great, but I would have loved to get to know some of the character a little better. Nothing tugs at the heartstrings like getting to know a character personally, only to have them die a slow, painful, agonizing death. When it comes to Adam, I actually found or protag extremely unlikable, but as the game proceeded, I didn't really have a problem with hating him... and by the time the finale rolled around, that ended on a great note.
The Artwork/Design: Great artwork all around, but I was a little caught off guard by the extreme stylistic differences between the sprite art and the CGs. The more realistic, soft-shaded sprites clashed with the sharp black outlines and cel shading of the CG work. I am always a fan of multiple styles in a VN, but when the styles or too different, it can be a little jarring. Even in the CGs, some just looked like a higher quality than others. It didn't bother me too much, just something to keep in mind for next time! Loved the UI, but I would have liked a CG gallery. Even though there aren't too many, I would have enjoyed going back to see them all.
The Puzzles: A great inclusion of puzzles, and some very interesting problem solving. Each puzzle was unique, though I struggled a lot with the Light Room, because my monitor is messed up and doesn't show colours properly. That said, none of the puzzles were too extreme in difficulty, but by the time I finished the Light Room and jumped into the Dining Room, I was already pretty burned out. I haven't played many VNs with serious puzzle elements, though... so this was a welcomed changed of pace!
The Sex: I would have loved a bit more... I know the setting isn't exactly the most opportune, but considering the theme, I wouldn't object. We got a glimpse right out of the gate, which made me think it was going to be more prevalent, but then it didn't really resurface until
the bad end... a scene which I, a disgusting monster, really enjoyed... but I imagine most people might not have.
. More sex scenes and variations would have been awesome!
The Gore: Great, for the little taste we get... but, ok, maybe I'm just greedy... more please! I would have loved an all-out splatter fest! There are some really great gory moment, but I would have been thrilled to catch glimpses of
bodies we didn't really get to see, like Steve, Pierce, or maybe the burned up corpses at the very end.
The Thrills/Chills: This game did get my heart racing... I was always excited to find out what was about to happen, and never really had any predictions about who was going to be next. The tense moments are definitely tense!
The Choices: One of my biggest frustrations with the game is the inability we have to go back and save some of the characters. I know it would take a lot of work, but it would have been amazing if we had the option to somehow
rescue Lars, Kang, Pierce, Steve, etc. before their otherwise inevitable demise.
That said, it is interesting how the choices seem small, but can have a big outcome on the finale.
The Outcome: Outcome was certainly unique. I started catching on pretty quickly, but I definitely wasn't sure where it was going to end.
I predicted Lucky and Vince, but never would have placed Earl... I thought it was going to be Kang!
I liked the message, but I'm not sure the medium is really appropriate for it...
the game is about racial/social prejudice in the gay community, but then our killers turn out to be members of those minorities themselves? what does that say about the minority communities as a whole?
That said, once the good ending is reached, I was pleasantly surprised by the final takeaway. The ending really did have a positive impact on me, as an interracial, non-conforming, bisexual man.
It was interesting to see Adam heading to Portland, the place I grew up, and to see him as a changed person. I would love to catch an even greater glimpse of Adam's future once he settles down in the Rose City, and begins exploring aspects of the community beyond the conventional white muscle gays.
Overall, I really enjoyed Let's Meat Adam. I will definitely be recommending it to some of my friends, who enjoy some of the similar themes that I do. It was a unique adventure with a poignant message, although it stumbled a little along the way. I finished the full game in about 5 hours, which was perfect for the price, and I can't wait to see more from Soulsoft.
Oh, and if anyone knows how to get the 'Perfect' ending, please shoot me a line! ;)