Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PS4, PC, Switch
Publisher: Sometimes You
Developer: Ascension Dream
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Yes

It should come as no surprise that Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s is a deeply weird, incredibly creepy game. I mean, it?s about a guy who befriends women just to steal their underwear. With a premise like that, how could it not be?

Still, even for someone like me — who has played almost every single North American Vita release, who even found positive things to say about a game like Monster Monpiece — Pantsu Hunter seems like a bridge too far.

Let?s start with the obvious: there?s no non-creepy way for a grown man to talk about “panties.” It?s an infantilizing word in the very best of times, and in these circumstances — where you have a creep talking about them obsessively — it reads like the thoughts of a guy who would read Lolita and think that Humbert Humbert was a stand-up guy.

In fact, that?s probably putting it mildly. Like, this is the game?s official description: “The story is about a young man who values women’s beauty and especially the beauty of women’s underwear. He is a jack of all trades and knows thousands of ways to get into the house of beautiful girl. It’s not easy to find panties because decent girls don’t store them in conspicuous places and wouldn’t a strangers to take their underwear… unless they like him.”

That verges on “serial killer who wears the skin of his victims” territory.

What?s more, because Pantsu Hunter is a visual novel, pretty much the entire game is you experiencing the world through his pervy point of view. There?s really not much in the way of redeeming qualities here. Even if the soft-focus camera tries its best to convey a nostalgic vibe (hence the “Back to the 90s” subtitle), it all falls apart every time main character Kenji blathers on about how much he needs to steal underwear.

That said, it?s hard not to appreciate that you get a trophy for causing Kenji to die five times. It?s harsh but, all things considered, fair.

It?s also the only part of Pantsu Hunter that?s even remotely tolerable. The rest will just make you want to burn your console. Or, better still, you could just not buy it, and save yourself the cringing and disgust that will inevitably accompany playing it.

Sometimes You provided us with a Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: D-