Hakoniwa Explorer Plus (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 04.10.2020

Review for Hakoniwa Explorer Plus on Nintendo Switch

What is the action-RPG genre missing? If your first response was twerking monster girls, plus the ability to grab buttocks… then you don't understand what makes a good video game, and, therefore, you should probably play Dark Souls, or something. If still in need for some digital booty, then try out Hakoniwa Explorer Plus, were plot (and gameplay) takes a backseat, and makes plenty of room for backside jokes.

Players are asked the character's gender. Picking 'Neither,' will prompt them to pick again, as "there are no graphics for Neither." Another multiple-question dialogue lets you choose whether the protagonist will start the adventure with more or less resources, like money, level, and so on, while also providing a silly name like 'Veteran Ickx' or 'N00b Rollo.' The game begins, and as the character moves along the tiny, isometric room, it becomes apparent that movement is a bit too slippery for an action-RPG. That "icy" feel continues throughout the quest, and makes the few platforming sessions more annoying than they should be. Moreover, it will lead to lots of accidental butt grabbing.

Screenshot for Hakoniwa Explorer Plus on Nintendo Switch

Hakoniwa Explorer Plus is mainly a comedy title, and it's main shtick seems to be that juicy part of the body that rappers (and not only) seem to worship. Touching NPCs from behind essentially gropes that part; said NPCs are there to provide info about where to go next, as well as some more ass-themed comedy; and, most importantly, enemies tend to be sexy-cute monster girls, with the bosses in particular being enormous giantesses with bouncing tatas, and jiggly bums, which, more often than not, act as their main arsenal. Hakoniwa Explorer Plus is naughty and crass, and it knows it. The problem isn't that, of course. That is actually a good thing. The problem is that it has nothing more to offer.

The plot is beyond simplistic, to the point that it can't truly be categorised as an actual storyline. This results in players simply exploring around, killing monsters, and strengthening their characters… because? Who knows! Basically, the hero/heroine just wonders around, talks with NPCs to "unlock" dungeons, clears those to move to the next area, and does all these completely free, as said dungeons don't need to be done in a specific order - yet the freedom at hand is actually a bad thing here. You don't really feel free, but purposeless; a drifter that aimlessly wonders around a fantasy land of generic grasslands and caverns, with the only pleasure being the occasional view of a curvy assortment of pixels.

Screenshot for Hakoniwa Explorer Plus on Nintendo Switch

So far, the game is at least mildly interesting, with the only problem being that it lacks character (yes, even when buttock jokes are taken into consideration), and that the gameplay loop is insanely repetitive. The real issues, however, begin when one actually plays the darn thing, with the first, and probably the worst flaw here being combat. This is a single button affair that is devoid of any semblance of tactics and strategy. Apart from the occasional, "special" attack that must be avoided, this is mostly about getting close to the enemy, mashing attack, and healing when needed. That's it. It's simplistic, slow, boring, and, most of all, it's the bulk of the experience. That's all there is to do here. Period.

Screenshot for Hakoniwa Explorer Plus on Nintendo Switch

Combat is boring, yet loot is even worse. Killing a bunch of mobs leads to a rain of gold and items, which get automatically picked up. The items themselves are nothing special, thus don't expect anything similar to the equipment that can be found in a Final Fantasy or Zelda instalment; just some swords, bows, healing potions, and liquids that melt women's attire. Anyways… the thing that makes loot annoying is the inventory limit. Cleared a room? Time to throw away some junk to make some room. What? Junk returned back to your pocket the moment you got close to it? The protagonist is very sorry, but apart from an affinity for asses, he/she acts as a magnet for resources - whether you like it or not.

Sure, an inventory limits can actually add a layer of strategy. Here this just makes the whole thing aggravating. The same exact thing can be said about weapon and armour degradation. Tied to these items is a number, which goes down with every use. So, got a sword that has '20' next to it? You have exactly 20 swings at your disposal. You'll find repair kits, of course. Actually, you'll drown in them. Sadly, this whole, mash attack button, grab loot, use repair kits, dispose everything else, and so on, happens room, after room, after room. This is the reason why few "comedy" games have stood the test of time. Jokes, as well as pear-shaped behinds, can only get you so far, if the actual gameplay isn't of any value.

Screenshot for Hakoniwa Explorer Plus on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


Hakoniwa Explorer Plus isn't an extremely niche comedy ARPG. It's simply boring. The - otherwise welcome - low-key vulgarity, and sexualised monster girl enemies is just a thin veil, behind which hides a plethora of issues. This is repetitive, boring, and uninspired. The soft, curvy, and bouncy body of a cute lass is in no way a bad thing… but there is no reason to try this game out just for that.






Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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