Something a little different for today’s Waifu Wednesday!
With the long-awaited English language release of KISS’ Custom Order Maid 3D 2 on both Steam and Nutaku, I wanted to give this game some coverage as, if you didn’t already know, the Custom Maid series in general is an important part of MoeGamer: the site’s mascots were all made in previous game Custom Maid 3D 2.
I’ll be checking out this game over the long term as there’s a surprising amount more to it than I realised, but what better time to kick things off than on Waifu Wednesday? Let’s knock on the door of the Empire Club and see what awaits us…
Some very NSFW gubbins ahead. You have been warned!
For those unfamiliar, the Custom Maid series has typically combined several disparate elements together into a single experience: there’s visual novel-style storytelling, detailed character creation (a la Honey Select, albeit with more stylised art), dating sim elements, a fabulous photo studio mode, a full-on management sim with RPG-style stat building and progression, and an interactive sex simulator.
Previous unlocalised title Custom Maid 3D 2 was relatively simple in both the mechanical and narrative departments. The management sim elements were pretty abstract and the game as a whole was mostly an excuse to construct and do depraved things with your maids.
Custom Order Maid 3D 2, meanwhile… well, let me walk you through the experience of my first day on the job. So to speak.
We open with an unusual question: “do you want NTR content?” In sex game terms, this is the equivalent of that warning you get at the start of every Call of Duty about some scenes causing offense. Except in Call of Duty they’re generally fairly anticlimactic (and, in the case of Modern Warfare 3, actively insulting to the player’s intelligence) whereas no-one likes NTR.
If you don’t know what NTR is… well, I do have a Glossary, but trust me, you probably don’t want to know.
Next up, it’s time to make us! In Custom Order Maid 3D 2, you come from a race of featureless jelly monsters that can be customised in simple terms: head style, body silhouette (with various styles of clothing implied), body weight, opacity (which can be altered at any time) and colour.
I thought I’d at least try and be vaguely honest and make myself a bit of a chonker but I admit to a certain degree of artistic license on the hair. My hair is incapable of doing anything like this in real life, which is why I tend to shave it off. Instead, I have vicarious haircuts through video games.
Apparently the setup this time around is that your uncle has invited you to a large mansion, promising “a big present”. This intro also demonstrates that the English localisation to Custom Order Maid 3D 2 is… a little shaky, to say the least. It’s not unreadable by any means, but it also has the tone of someone for whom English is not their first language. Or possibly a machine translation. Either way, its clunkiness is initially jarring, but becomes quite charming in a “Final Fantasy VII on PS1″/”early ’90s visual novel localisation” sort of way after a while. Just be aware that it is not, in any way, “good” — which is a bit of a shame with this game’s increased focus on story and characterisation over its predecessor.
Upon entering the mansion, you’re greeted with your uncle’s maid (or “Uncle Maid” as the game delightfully puts it). She ushers you into the next room to meet your uncle so you can discover what your “big present” is. Can you guess?
Your uncle also hails from the race of jelly monsters, but he’s lemon-flavoured. He compliments you on looking like “more of a man” than the last time you met.
In short order, he explains that his mansion is actually an Empire Club, a chain of establishments where patrons can show up, drink, talk with maids, have sex with maids and generally have a good time. His Empire Club is particularly special because it’s expandable; the mansion is big enough to accommodate a variety of additional facilities. Rushing you into signing the relevant paperwork, he then buggers off to catch his flight to somewhere far, far away.
Upon being left alone in the room, you become a little suspicious of his motivations. But in the process, you also discover the fact that you can move the camera around during the visual novel sequences, which is nice.
There’s no time to enjoy all that camera-wiggling, though! The Secretary Maid for the Empire Club shows up and confirms to you that you have indeed been tricked; your uncle is a scheming bastard and has left you lumbered with an astronomical debt and a barely functional business. Thankfully, it seems the investors the money is owed to are willing to accept payment in kind.
In other words, the job ahead of you is simple, in theory. Build up the club, construct facilities, staff them with maids, impress the investors with the maids’ skills in various areas (not just shagging) and, ultimately, live the high life. Easy, right?
Thankfully, it appears that three maids besides Secretary Maid stayed behind in order to staff the barebones Empire Club. And now it’s your chance to meet them!
The first three maids are all permanent fixtures in your staff, and it seems that the ongoing story of the game primarily relates to them. There’s one who is muku-like (youthful and innocent), one who is majime-like (mostly serious) and one who is a rindere (mostly cool and mature, but occasionally prone to deredere lovey-dovey business). For today, we’re going to meet the muku maid.
And by “meet”, I mean make! Yes, now we’re into the real Custom Maid experience. We’re presented with the default appearance of the muku maid — a character who has appeared prominently throughout the marketing for Custom Order Maid 3D 2 — but given free rein to modify her as we see fit. So let’s do that.
A maid is nothing without a face, so they say, so that’s as good a place as any to start. There’s a decent selection of default faces; these primarily affect eye shape, but also have a slight effect on overall facial structure.
You can then tweak said face to your liking with a selection of sliders. The changes you can make aren’t drastic, but they’re enough to make two characters using the same basic face archetype look distinct from one another.
An area where you’ll establish a lot of your maid’s visual personality is through her eyes. These can be customised through the pupil style, the colour of the pupil, the colour of the shadow in the pupil, and the overall balance between these elements. You can also just use some default colours if you don’t want to play with sliders.
I went for these endearing “small” pupils, because they give our maid a delightfully adorable surprised look that seems rather fitting for the muku personality.
You can then further customise the eyes with a selection of highlight patterns. Let’s really emphasise that surprised look with a big ol’ sparkle.
Maybe a beauty mark? You can stack up to five of these if you want to. I went for some simple freckles around the nose, because cuuuute.
And a yaeba fang. She’s really starting to take shape now, huh?
Freckles around the nose make me think of ginger hair, so the first thing I opted to do before pissing around with hairstyles was make gingerness happen. Again, you can customise hair colour using either preset colours or a selection of sliders. There are three “layers” of colour in hair: the base colour, the shadow colour and the outline colour. Each can be customised independently, allowing for some interesting blends and styles.
We then have front, back and side hair styles to set independently of one another. Each of these can have their length customised, so again if you have two maids who make use of the same hairstyle, you can make them distinct from one another with some tweaks to the length slider.
One particularly neat thing in the character creator is the fact that “attachments”, be they an ahoge as seen here, or costume accessories, can all be repositioned manually if you don’t like their default placement. You can move them around and rotate them as you see fit; they don’t even have to be attached to the maid if you don’t want them to be. But that would be silly, now, wouldn’t it?
Body time! And where better to start than with boobs? Rather delightfully, Custom Order Maid 3D 2 features an option on the boob settings page to make your maid jump up and down or twirl around, so you can judge whether or not her bangers are going to smack her in the face while going about her business. There’s also a boob jiggliness slider, so if you’re not a fan of exaggerated boob physics, you can tone this down. Or pump it right up if you live for the bounce.
You can take a fair amount of control over body shape, customising the size and shape of both upper and lower body independently of one another using sliders. While there are constraints, you can make anything between skinny lolis and big tiddy goth gfs with thicc thighs. Our maid here has maximum ass.
Upon investigating the pube settings (yes, they can be recoloured), we discover that unfortunately the English release of Custom Order Maid 3D 2 features the same mosaic censorship as the original Japanese version. Thankfully, this was reasonably easy to mod out in Custom Maid 3D 2, so hopefully that will also be the case here, too.
Now it’s clothing time! There are a variety of different “layers” to play with here, and favourite outfits can be saved as presets to recall later if you so desire. The initial selection may appear quite small, but you can unlock additional clothing and style items by playing the game, earning money and purchasing them in the in-game shop.
Something was missing from the ensemble above… oh, right. Glasses! My heart, it is melting. I think we’ve done a fine job on this maid.
Once you’re done, the last step is to check out her profile and give her a first name, a last name and a nickname as well as setting her age. (The minimum age is 20, by the way; attempting to set it any lower, even 18, automatically bumps it back up to 20.)
While attempting to come up with an authentically Japanese-sounding name (the “random” function in the localisation suggests only Western names, which don’t quite feel like they fit the anime art style) I picked two random Japanese names I could think of off the top of my head: Hitomi and Tanaka. It was only after saving Hitomi here that I remembered Hitomi Tanaka is actually a real-life porn star. She does not look like this.
Upon finally saving your creation, you choose whether you refer to her by default using her first name, her last name or her nickname. This allows you to immediately start feeling “connected” to your maid and establish your relationship with them.
We meet Hitomi out in the yard. She’s not quite sure what to do with herself after your uncle packed his bags and fucked off at such short notice.
She inexplicably believes in you, however, so you’d better do your best not to disappoint her. Make Hi-chan cry and you will have hell to pay, mister.
And from here, we’re into the first day of gameplay proper. At this point, you can take a moment to customise your office by scattering various items of debris around it for that authentically “lived-in” feel.
You can also create your own custom rooms, which is a huge addition over the original Custom Maid 3D 2. These rooms are primarily intended to be used in the Studio mode, which we’ll explore another time, along with this editor.
Here’s another area where Custom Order Maid 3D 2 is distinct from its predecessor: the facilities. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to purchase, build and upgrade various facilities in your club. Doing so will unlock new scenes, new things for the maids to do (not just lewd things) and provide new ways for you to earn money and improve your reputation, which is nonexistent at this point.
It’s time for Hitomi to get to work, so heading over to her Schedule page allows you to choose what she’ll be getting up to that day. There are two time slots per day, and each can be assigned to a different activity; anything other than yotogi (literally, the act of a woman sleeping with a man at his bidding) also allows you to choose whether or not you supervise the maid and have a conversation with her in the process. Here we’ve set Hitomi to practice her flower arranging in the daytime, and be ready for some lovin’ in the evening.
The “Communication” scenes see the maid attempting to perform her activity while you watch. The conversations that ensue can allow you to get to know the maid’s personality a bit better.
Once the daytime is over, you’ll get a summary of whether or not the maid was successful, and the effect on her stats. Stats are important for unlocking new abilities for the maids, helping them do better at various jobs and even changing “class” to specialise in various areas.
When night falls, you can play a tricky rhythm game to pass the time if you so desire; this is an addition to the previous game’s passive dance and karaoke modes. At the outset, this rhythm game doesn’t net you any rewards, but the tutorial pages suggest that later on, there will be opportunities to earn various goodies for quality performances. Get practising!
A yotogi session typically begins with you having an opportunity to sit down and chat with the maid in question. Here, you have another opportunity to get to know her and develop your relationship somewhat. Hitomi is a virgin, so she is nervous about what is to come; during this scene, we have the opportunity to reassure her and empathise with her by showing that we’re nervous too.
Once you head to the venue for sexy shenanigans, you have the opportunity to set up a sequence of activities. Each of these costs a certain mount of the maid’s stamina to perform; exhaust her stamina and she will pass out, making her less effective on subsequent days. Various activities have prerequisites before you can do them; if a maid is a virgin, for example, she won’t be willing to do anything particularly adventurous, and more… “specialised” activities tend to have stat requirements.
There are sometimes story scenes before and/or after you get down to business, too. Here, we’re bonding with Hitomi over what is about to happen and (hopefully) helping set her at ease.
Once an activity starts, you have a selection of actions you can take. Each of these have various effects: generally speaking, they will increase some stats, increase the maid’s arousal level, perhaps increase the “sensual” meter and almost certainly lower the “mental” meter; more “powerful” moves will have a stronger impact on this. If the mental meter depletes completely, the maid will be unwilling or unable to do anything else in that particular position, and a subsequent position will begin with the mental meter only half full.
The arousal meter controls the maid’s animations; the higher it goes, the more intense the animations will be. In the game’s “Memories” mode, which allows you to replay event and yotogi scenes at your leisure, you can “lock” this at a specific level if you particularly like a certain level of intensity.
The sensual meter, meanwhile, provides the opportunity for a bit of a “bonus”; if you can fill it completely, you enter a special mode whereby performing actions depletes the sensual meter rather than the mental meter. This allows you a bit of extra time to build up stats before the poor girl is exhausted.
The activities aren’t just a preset list of things to click through, either; there are certain “one-off” moves you can do under certain conditions by meeting particular requirements, and these are marked in red. These actions are often more effective at developing stats than the normal actions.
When you’re done, you get a summary of what the maid learned from your ministrations. She’ll also gain experience in the various positions you used according to how many actions you took, and she may develop various traits and fetishes or unlock new action sets. Here, having now lost her virginity, Hitomi is able to get hammered before subsequent yotogi sessions, unlocking the “drunken sex” options. That always ends well.
And so we come to the end of our first day. We’ve had no customers, but we got laid, and Hitomi did some nice flower arrangements. I’d call that a productive day all around, really.
Now, where are those other two maids…? I guess we’ll have to track them down another day…
Thanks to Nutaku for the review copy.
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Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve been writing about games in one form or another since the days of the old Atari computers, with work published in Page 6/New Atari User, PC Zone, the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, GamePro, IGN, USgamer, Glixel and more over the years, and I love what I do.
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