From the now defunct Japanese developer Givro, this is a quirky raising simulation and Bishōjo title. Makes sense, right? Of course!
The History of Wonder Project J2
To give its full title, here we have Wonder Project J2: Corlo no Mori no Josette (ワンダープロジェクト J2 コルロの森のジョゼット—”Wonder Project J2: Josette of the Corlo Forest”).
Catchy, eh? Right, first we need to clear a few things up. This was a Japan-only Nintendo 64 title. And it launched in November 1996.
It’s in the Bishōjo genre. Now, wait for it, that’s a type of video game where players interact with attractive women. Indeed.
Right… so the plot involves a robot girl called Gijin. Its inventor, Doctor Geppetto, completes the project in his old age.
Too doddering to assist any further, it’s consequently up to the player to “raise” the robot. And you do this through a talking bird. Which is called Bird.
Here’s an English translation of the opening of the game. That might help clear up the sense of lingering confusion on Wonder Project J2.
In Japan, some of the game concepts are so warped they don’t receive a release in the rest of the world.
Titles like Secret of Mana helped to bridge the gap, but Wonder Project J2 is a perfect example of why some titles just don’t come out over in, say, England.
Really, can you imagine this sitting on the shelves in Bolton of Greater Manchester? With local teenager Callum, who likes chips and pies, trying to work this one out. No.
Still, here’s a fantastic quality TV commercial from Japan that supported its release.
In the game, you answer the robot’s questions through Bird. And it learns as you progress, so can complete problems it comes across.
How well the robot does depends on your ability to teach her correctly.
Obviously, we’ve not played this game. We’re covering it as it reared up in our memory recently, for some reason.
We always remember looking at the fantastic art style—like a Studio Ghibli film. But we knew it’d never arrive in the UK.
Hell, it took 20 years for Super Mario RPG to arrive in Europe. For shame! So, there was no chance of this thing arriving.
Reviews seemed quite strong for it. And the Japanese box for the release is a work of bloody art. Really something.
Plus, with a jaunty soundtrack you can’t go too wrong.
Erm, yes. If you want to play this game then you’ll have to import it from Japan. Or get it off eBay. Or just watch the YouTube clips.
It’s certainly unique. No denying it. But the series is now officially dead—this 1996 outing was a sequel to the SNES game Wonder Project J: Kikai no Shōnen Pīno.
And it even came packaged with a game-theme controller pad. That’s some commitment right there.
It was reviewed in N64 Magazine here in England and received 55%. Largely due to the confusion with the Japanese text.
Otherwise we have nothing else to add here. Other than we like the art style. And it looks sweet and fun. But it’s part of a weird genre.
What is Bishōjo?
Yeah, these are a sub-genre of dating games. In Japan, there’s quite a big industry centered around video game dating sims.
It’s very Japanese and doesn’t seem to be a big deal elsewhere. They’re basically Choose Your Own Adventure Books, but with deliberately aesthetically pleasing female sprites.
The Princess Maker series seems to be a major example of this. You can think of them as video game novels, sort of, unfolding.
Some of them have over 70 endings, depending on how you develop the story.
Erm… yeah. Sweet and innocent? We think, sort of. It’s a popular genre with heterosexual guys out in Japan. Each to their own, we guess.
Whereas in the west we do things differently.
And that brings us to Super Seducer. This is from pick up artist Richard La Ruina. His job is to help guys “bag a babe” and all that.
We watched Cynical Reviews’ playthrough of Super Seducer 2 (and there’s a third one on the way—it’s out soon!).
Basically, you can pick ridiculous chat-up lines with women to say if they will/won’t work. That’s based off La Ruina’s beliefs, anyway.
La Ruina stars in the games and he hires a bunch of actors to do scenes with. The idea is to build up your confidence to ask out the girl of your dreams, we guess.
But a lot of people have been playing through the game to deliberately pick the worst possible chat-up line.
For amusement purposes, as La Ruina will chastise the player for making an appalling choice.
However, some of his ideas about “good” chat-up lines are pretty warped. So, if you take the seduction simulation seriously, you’re heading for a well-deserved slap or two.
The games seem to have bracketed themselves in with the incel movement of guys angry at women because no one will date them.
For which we suggest you don’t play games like Super Seducer. And just work on improving yourself. Take up some fun new hobbies or something, eh?