You’re fresh out of high school and are a complete failure. Your grades were a disaster, your parents are mad at you, and you have to find a job. The problem? There’s nothing you’re good at! Well, except for flirting with girls. Don’t worry, there’s a perfect solution for you: become a host! Welcome to the world of Tokyo Hosto.
You are Jayson Traisch, a fresh high school graduate, and you need a job. Luckily, there’s a perfect job for you: becoming a host. After a brief, voiced, subtitleless introduction, you start the interview for your new job with the boss. You are quickly introduced to the fact that the game pretends to be choice driven, however you can only really follow a general path, unless you want to see how many game over screens you can get. After you get your job, you’ll have one (part of a) day cleaning toilets before you’re thrown into the world of hosting.
So what is hosting? Well, thankfully there’s an option on the main menu that will tell you all about this! Oh wait, it also seems to lack subtitles. Well, long story short, hosting is basically a job where you hit on girls. It is the male version of being a hostess, a job in which the women hit on the guys. In your (short) time in Tokyo Hosto, you’ll quickly rise to become the top host, but one bad choice can send you spiraling into a game over and will force you to replay that scene.
Tokyo Hosto is one of those games that is so bad it’s almost hilarious. I say almost because it didn’t quite have me at the point of laughing at how bad it was. One of the first, fairly obvious, bad things in the game is the art and how the animations work. The heads seem to be a separate entity from the rest of the body, becoming plainly clear when your boss comes in for a close up. You can see his body suddenly jump up in size while his head actually does a zoom in (and then the opposite when he finishes the close up). The face design in the game is also pretty horrendous. That is not how faces look like in the slightest. When a head is at an angle, the face should not be angled while the actual head is just straight.
Then there’s the writing. The writing is pretty laughable, as it will jump all over the place and pretty much make you ask “WTF”. There’s also some grammar mistakes within the writing that will just make you shake your head. Improper capitalizations, incorrect usages of making words plural, and so on.
Let’s not forget the voice acting. The voice acting is sort of just… special. The quality is all over the place, the accents sound extremely forced, and the voices just don’t really seem to fit the characters at all. There was a point where I could even hear the “white noise” from one of the actresses microphones, and it was a bit jarring when it suddenly just cut off. This fairly poor voice work was made all that much worse by the lack of a soundtrack. The soundtrack for the game consists of a grand total of 2 songs – one on the intro menu, and another for the credits. Otherwise, the only sounds you hear are the voice actors and a sound clip on victory, receiving a “skull” for a poor choice, or getting a game over.
With all of that in consideration, one of the worst elements about the game is actually trying to get it to launch. In order to launch it, you need to download a XMA piece from Microsoft AND launch either the game or Steam in Administrator mode.
Considering the asking price for Tokyo Hosto is $4.99, the game is nowhere near being worth that. You’re looking at, at most, an hour of gameplay. The artwork is downright scary at times, and the voice acting (and the microphone quality of it) leave something to be desired. The animations are also fairly questionable, and when coupled with the already scary artwork, it will likely give you some nightmares. There are far better Visual Novels out there, and Tokyo Hosto is just not worth the price.
Tokyo Hosto Review Score
I went into this expecting something fairly poor, and while I was not disappointed on that front, it would have been nice to have been proved wrong.