Well, the Honey Select Unlimited expansion is here, courtesy of prolific hentai localisers Fakku!
Honey Select Unlimited Extend, as the expansion is known, combines both of the expansions previously available for the original Japanese version of Honey Select. At $59.99, it’s quite pricey — that’s what the main game costs by itself — so doubtless you want to know if it’s worth a punt.
Since I’ve already written extensively about developer Illusion’s history and what Honey Select is all about previously — along with trying my best to break the Studio application — I figured the best thing to do today would be to take an extremely NSFW tour of the software with the expansion installed with you in tow, dear reader, and we can see what’s new together. So join me after the cut if you’re ready to strip off and get sweaty.
Note: This should already be obvious, but there will be boobs, fannies and knobs after the jump. If you read this at work and end up on the receiving end of a stern talking to and/or disciplinary action, I accept no responsibility. Save the filth for when you get home!
Well, we’re off to a good start with a new title screen that looks kinda classy. The original game opened with a shot of the building’s lobby, with whichever girl you’d set in the options menu sitting behind the desk waiting to welcome you. This new opening gives a much better view of someone who has been waiting for you.
Let’s open with a look at the character creator and see what that has to offer this time around.
We begin as it’s always been. There are no new sample characters and the interface is the same. The new stuff should show up in the options we have available to us when designing and clothing our creations, so let’s put a Honey together.
Okay. There’s a start. “Type 05” skin appears to be new, and it’s a sort of roboty cyborg type skin, for those who are into roboty cyborg girls. Let’s try and make one of those. Maybe a bit of fiddling with skin tone is in order…
There we go, one shiny robot lady with extremely pink nipples. We can sort those out in a moment. Also I promise she did actually have her eyes open during this process, she just seemed to do a great job of blinking every time I took a picture. So, hmm, what to do next…
Tan lines on a robot might seem a bit weird, but with some creative use of colour you can create some interesting effects. Slight shades of A2’s outfit from Nier: Automata in a few respects, only she didn’t have pink puffy nipples. Not visible ones anyway, there’s probably plenty of fanart where she does have pink puffy nipples, but I digress.
Now we’re talking. Not many new tattoos on offer, but the “circuitry” one goes nicely with the robot theme. At higher colour intensities, it looks like it’s glowing.
The slider options are unchanged, as you might expect, but the face type settings have a few additional complexion types, and under “wrinkles” there are two types of “mecha moulds” to further the robot look should you so desire. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say.
There’s one new eyebrow type (seen here) and two new types of eyelashes. Whether or not you want to play with these settings will depend on how up close and personal you intend to get with your creation during… whatever you plan to do with them once they’re safely ensconced in your save folder.
New eye textures, including several roboty ones. They know what the people want. Or what I apparently want. Might tone down the shininess there just a little bit.
A few new makeup options, including “partial coverage” and smudged lipstick, and companion face tattoos to go with the circuitry body tattoos.
Ah, hair, my favourite bit of character creation. There are six new front hairstyles, seven new back hairstyles (for the back of the head, not, you know, back hair) and one new dangly side hair bit. Not a huge addition, but hair is one of the most easily moddable parts of Honey Select, so you can add more styles pretty easily.
I’ve gone for the new “Very Long Straight” hairstyle, because I love me some long hair. I like the waviness of this style. And that does it for the basic body settings. Let’s put some clothes on the poor girl.
I seemed to have thirteen new tops available to me, but it occurs to me that at least some of those might be from mods I installed recently. Well, regardless of where it came from, this coat is pretty badass.
Mock my taste if you want, but you won’t be laughing when Robot Draculette is in next season.
There’s a few new pieces in every category, and you can make some interesting combinations by playing with colours, shininess and suchlike.
Toned down the red a bit to not be quite so much in your face. OH GOD I COULD SPEND HOURS DOING THIS, but I won’t for your sanity. Let’s call that “done”.
There are three new personality types. “Active” sounds very young (and calls you “onii-san”), while “faithful” is… I haven’t quite got a feel for it yet. “Seductive” provides a sort of “mature woman” feeling. If you’ve played the Atelier Arland games and you know about Tiffani… it sounds kind of like Tiffani.
All right. There we have our new character card.
Let’s make her a playmate using an interesting new option called “Character Fusion”.
This is exactly what it sounds like. Take two characters and “fuse” them together to create a brand new third character. I don’t know how well this works, but let’s find out together!
How about mixing Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII with Princess Zelda? That sounds good, right? Let’s press the button and see what happens…
Hmm, okay. I dig it. You get a slightly different “fusion” between the two characters each time you hit the button, and you can choose whether or not their clothes change with the checkbox at the top. Zelda Heartilly it is.
Okay, so I guess it’s time to… interact with them.
In the main game of Honey Select, you organise your characters into “rooms”, and one room can be “active” at a time. You can switch rooms at any time; the main function a “room” has is to provide a pool of characters that random events can pull from.
With this being our first encounter with the new girls, your options are a bit limited. Bear with me while I get through introductions and then we’ll get on to some of the interesting new stuff…
“It’s nice to meet you.”
“Yes, the feeling is mutual.” Aside: “Seductive” personality type is big on the post-coital heavy breathing if you’re into that.
“That can probably be arranged.”
Upon returning to my room, I was rudely interrupted by Hundred Honeys member Emily Whitaker, who insisted on providing a blowjob out in the garden. Well, all right, but make it quick.
All right, now we’re talking. “Call Girl 2” indeed. Yes, that means exactly what you think it does. Occasionally, you’ll run into two girls at once as a random event, too, and both will proposition you and/or get jealous of one another; you can either favour one of them or suggest that you all go and have some fun together.
A session involving two girls opens up the “Multiple” option in the sex scene menu, which provides a few options: there are several “two guys” options (you can design a custom second male in the same way as you design the player character), a few “two girls” options and a paltry two “lesbian” options.
Still, it’s nice to see them getting along so well with one another, isn’t it?
The “Two Girls” options, of course, include a hentai classic.
Watch out, though; remember that as well as being a sex game, Honey Select has a “psychological” aspect to it, as well. The girls will feel differently towards you according to how you treat them and the positions you use. EXT-01 here isn’t sure what to make of the fact we dove straight into a threesome. I’ll placate her later.
And that’s that for the main game additions. Let’s now take a look at arguably the most significant addition to the Honey Select Unlimited Extend package: the Studio NEO application, which complements (rather than completely replaces) the original Studio app.
The differences will be immediately apparent as soon as the loading completes. The interface is completely new, being a much more icon-driven affair. The default setup is ready for “blue screen” action, should you so desire, too; this would allow you to, say, pose a model and then cut them out to paste into another image.
Let’s load our new girls.
That’s better. Rather than the clumsy scrolling bar across the top of the old Honey Unlimited Studio app, Studio NEO has the Photoshop-style “Workspace” window over on the right. Each character is treated like a “layer” and can be easily selected; after selecting them, movement, rotation and scaling controls appear in the lower left if you want to set them numerically, or you can drag the handles in the world if you prefer to get a bit more “physical”.
There’s also the nice addition of a “lock camera” button, which prevents you from accidentally moving the camera around while you’re trying to precisely pose your characters.
You have a few ways you can pose your characters. The easiest way to get started is with the Anim > Animation menu. From here there are a variety of different animations to choose from, split into a large number of categories and subcategories.
The best thing about this new setup is that there are lots of animations that are unique to Studio NEO, many of which come with props.
In the Kinematics tab, you can control facial expressions, line of sight, neck direction and save poses. You also have access to “IK” and “FK”, which are two means of fiddling around with all the joints and bits of your characters to create your own custom poses.
“FK” stands for “Forward Kinematics” and is one of two ways of creating poses using jointed 3D figures. It works by you selecting a joint, then rotating it about one of the three axes. Here, for example, we straightened out Zelda’s arm by rotating her elbow and shoulder joints.
One of the fun things you can do with FK is adjust the position of clothing and hair objects that are normally affected by physics. So if you wanted to simulate hair or a skirt flapping in the wind, now you can. You can also use it to prevent clipping issues, such as having a skirt floofing out across a table the girl is sitting on rather than just passing right through it as if it isn’t there. This is a big addition to Studio NEO.
IK, meanwhile, stands for “Inverse Kinematics”, and works by you selecting endpoints and moving them around. From there, the other joints and bits move as extensions of the part you’re moving. This is the way custom poses worked in the original Honey Unlimited Studio, and while it’s arguably a bit more flexible, it’s also a hell of a lot easier to fuck up and create some sort of crippled monstrosity.
A nice addition is the ability to convert IK pose data to FK pose data and vice versa. That means if you find yourself feeling more comfortable with one type of movement than the other — or find yourself unable to set something up — you can make use of both modes as you see fit.
After that, you can load in any of the available maps — which include a few new ones such as this prairie scene as well as what appears to be the inside of a vagina — and fiddle around with the screen effects.
I don’t know what the upper limit on “stuff” in the environment is — if any — but for the next installment of Hundred Honeys I’ll be sure to put it through its paces.
The big question, then, is whether or not Honey Select Unlimited Extend is worth paying the same price as the base game again. And that’s primarily going to be down to how much value you think you’ll get out of Studio NEO more than anything. The additions to the game itself are nice, but there don’t seem to be a lot of them; it would have been nice to see a lot more done with the multiple partners and lesbian angle, but as it stands this side of things is a little underwhelming.
Studio NEO, on the other hand, is magnificent. It takes all of the cool things about Honey Unlimited Studio, refines the interface to make a bit more sense (though it’s still a little clunky in places) and provides a whole host of additional things to do over and above what the original offered. The addition of such a huge variety of animations, props and effects is especially welcome, and the FK system makes setting up poses much easier than the occasionally wonky IK system of the original. And the hand poses work properly in this version.
It would have perhaps been nice to see some sort of facility to script and record machinima rather than just set up dioramas, but the truly determined can probably figure something out; most of the interface with the exception of the top-right menu buttons can be switched off, so with a bit of cropping you might be able to sort something out if you’re willing to shoot it “manually” with screen capture software. It’s not really designed for this, though — just be aware!
Despite the flaws here and there, I’ve greatly enjoyed my time with Honey Select Unlimited Extend so far,and can heartily recommend it to those who have had fun with the original and want to… well, extend their enjoyment of the experience. If you’re the slightest bit creative, there’s potentially limitless fun here — regardless of if you have any interest in the pornographic aspect.
FAKKU! kindly provided a review copy of Honey Select Unlimited Extend for the purposes of this article.
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