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Game Review

by Rebecca Silverman,

Cupid Parasite: Sweet & Spicy Darling

Nintendo Switch

Cupid Parasite: Sweet & Spicy Darling Video Game Review
A little while ago, Cupid came down to Earth to live in the city of Los York and prove a point: humans don't need gods to help them find love. To her surprise, Cupid herself, as Lynette Mirror, ended up falling in love! Now find out what happens after the happy ending, or choose to romance an entirely new character. Will true love be sweet? Or will it be spicy?

The first order of business is this: if you haven't played the original Cupid Parasite otome game, there isn't much point in picking up Sweet & Spicy Darling. There is one new route for this sequel, but even that relies on you knowing the background established in the first game, and the little flashbacks serve more as reminders of what happened in a game released years ago than as enough grounding for new players. This is a fandisk, a game intended for fans of the original, and it absolutely feels like one.

That said, if you enjoyed Cupid Paradise, Sweet & Spicy Darling is worth playing. The game has seven full routes and one mini-route with a character from the previous game. That makes for a lot of hours, as each route has its main story, bonus stories (unlocked when you complete the main story), and an entirely new route, assuming an ending where Lynette/Cupid didn't end up with one of the six men from the first game, which is nicely available from the start. Despite being after stories and, therefore, ostensible epilogues, each route is pleasantly substantial, and the six original men's routes also come with three endings: sweet, spicy, and a combination of the two. It feels fair to say that the "sweet & spicy" ending is the true one, although it isn't necessarily framed that way by the game; still, the balancing required to get there is the most challenging gameplay dynamic. It still consists of making choices with dialogue options, as is the norm for visual novels, but you need to bounce between "sweet" choices and "spicy" ones to achieve it. (Merenice has a good, bad, and best ending.) A good number of save slots means you can quickly change your choice to get all three endings without overwriting old saves.


The full new route is for Merenice Levin (voiced by Yūto Uemura), a fortune teller. Merenice and Lynette meet when she goes with some coworkers to Betolle Tower, a fancy building in Los York with more labyrinthine staircases than any edifice should reasonably have. According to local gossip, the only way to meet Merenice is to wander the stairs and hope to bump into him; Lynette naturally manages this. Merenice attempts to read her "fortune" (future) but is shocked when he can't. He immediately becomes obsessed with Lynette, assuming that her lack of visible future means she's his destined person, because why would his first guess be that she's actually a Greco-Roman god? (By not ending up with one of the six original guys, Lynette remains divine.) He promptly joins Cupid Corporation to pursue her, earning the nickname "Destiny Parasite." From there, the story proceeds much like the first game, even offering a "reunion" episode of in-world reality show Parasite House to give us cameos of the other characters.


Like the previous game, the sexiness level is about in the middle. There are nondescriptive sex scenes and images that imply far more than they show (Ryuki's CGs are the raciest), and kisses are frankly more detailed in description than the actual act. The art is very attractive, although the use of Hopi imagery may give some people pause; the game makes use of something that was clearly inspired by the kachina lore of the Hopi people, and it's perhaps not as culturally sensitive as it could be. Less of an issue is that the game's grasp of American cultural norms is a little off as well, but that's more amusing than anything. And fair warning, there are a lot of doughnuts in this game, which may leave you with an urge to run to the nearest doughnut shop.


On the downside, we have the menu design, which errs on the busy side. While I like the car horn sound effects whenever you make a selection, the menus are crowded and difficult to follow. You can easily highlight the choice you're going for, but the winding road design of it is a little counterintuitive. All of the art is uniformly crowded, with many competing colors and shapes, primarily in close-to-neon hues. There's a splash screen before you get to the title menu, which is a little annoying, but at least it lacks the dizzying array of fonts used for said menu. As players of the first game will know, this design choice isn't anything new (although I find this one a little more difficult), but it falls under the vaguely sarcastic heading of "it certainly is a choice."

Fortunately, this is mostly just a lot of fun. It's nice to catch back up with the characters and to see how the various hurdles they faced at the end of Cupid Parasite are resolved, and if some of the storylines take a few bizarre turns, it does primarily feel like par for the course. The special edition also comes with an impressive variety of goodies, including an art book, two drama CDs (in Japanese, but with an exclusive link to a PDF with the English translation), and other collectibles, making it feel worth the extra money. If you enjoyed the first game, this is an easy recommendation – especially if you like doughnuts.

Overall : B+
Graphics : B+
Sound/Music : B
Gameplay : B
Presentation : B-

+ Fun return to the Cupid Parasite world, lots of hours of gameplay. Good voice acting and songs, lots of physical goodies in the special edition.
Not great use of Hopi kachina imagery, plot can get weird even for this franchise. Overly busy menus.

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