Developers: Tennenouji & Prototype (Port)
Release Date: 8th March 2018
Length: ~17 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
The game’s story is set in 1930’s North America and starts following the arrest and imprisonment of 4 leaders from the mafia group CR:5. They end up in the same prison as the protagonist Giancarlo, aka “Lucky Dog” – another member of the same mafia whom has a penchant for breaking out of prisons. One day, the group receive a letter from their boss/Capo Alessandro that states that Giancarlo should now be considered one of the leaders of CR:5 and that if he can successfully help the other four leaders escape from prison and deliver them safely home to their base in Daivan that he will become the next boss! Following this shock announcement, Giancarlo begins devising his next great escape…
Note: I’m just going to put the voice actor’s “normal” names rather than their aliases because I’m super lazy and it’s pretty easy to tell who most of them are as soon as you hear them.
Giancarlo Bourbon del Monte (CV Suzuki Tatsuhisa)
Giancarlo aka Gian has earned the reputation of being a man whom tends to be particularly fortuitous (hence the nickname “Lucky Dog”). Being the sole survivor of an attack that left him an orphan, Gian grew up in an orphanage and was involved in trouble from a young age even before joining the mafia. This meant that he had lots of experience with breaking out of prisons and now even considers it to be a hobby. He tends to speak his mind and can seem quite foolish but is in fact very canny and tends to analyze situations carefully. He can normally be found chewing gum and enjoys eating sweet things in general. He doesn’t care about his outward appearance and actively avoids bathing when possible.
Ivan Fiore (CV Hirakawa Daisuke)
Despite being the youngest of CR:5’s leaders, Ivan is certainly a force to be reckoned with. He is hot-headed and tends to use very colourful language. This, combined with the fact he likes to pick fights, makes him quite unpopular among the group. He had planned on becoming CR:5’s boss in the future so refuses to accept the fact that Alessandro chose Gian as his successor. Unlike the others, he isn’t Italian so feels that the others look down on him and wants to create a mafia in the future where one’s heritage is of no importance.
Bernardo Ortolani (CV Yusa Kouji)
Bernardo is the boss’ second in command and is the oldest out of the main characters, often referring to himself as being an old man. He’s known Gian for years and the pair get along very well, often calling each other silly nicknames like “honey” and “darling” as Bernardo can be a tad perverse at times. He’s the smartest of the group and prefers to be involved in planning and strategy rather than actually fighting. He tends to enjoy the finer things in life.
Luchino Gregoretti (CV Miki Shinichirou)
Luchino is a confident person that has a reputation for being a rich gamber and womanizer which is true and he has a particular like of blondes. He’s popular within CR:5 and the community itself. Despite seeming impulsive, he actually thinks about his actions carefully but does have some emotional spots. He was deeply affected by the death of his wife and daughter two years ago.
Giulio Di Bondone (CV Iguchi Yuuichi)
Despite being from a reputable family, Giulio has become renowned for being CR:5’s most notorious assassin, earning himself the nickname of “Mad Dog” due to going into a frenzy during fights. Although polite, he tends to keep to himself and is very quiet in group situations but has taken a keen interest in Gian and follows him around almost like a lost puppy. He likes to eat sweets, especially ice cream and can play the violin. He is also obsessed with blood and is a necrophiliac.
Opening: Lucky Dog-Don’t Lose Luck- – SENTIVE
The music for this game was composed by the group SENTIVE, whom have worked on a lot of doujin games including the Narcissu series as well as many galge such as Sumire and Koiiro Soramoyou. There are 30 BGM tracks in the game, with many of their titles inspired by locations in the US.
Artwork and character design for this game was handled by Yura, whom is known for the work on other BL titles such as Miracle No-ton and Zettai Fukujuu Meirei (released as “Absolute Obedience” in english) as well as the otome game series Hana Awase.
The game’s system is pretty standard but runs smoothly enough.
The game is split into 3 sections: Prison, Escape and Daivan. There are also “Lucky” & “Omerta” levels to watch out for. Many of the choices are quite straight-forward but some of the characters (i.e. Bernardo) have a lot of bad endings, some of which branch off from other routes so I’d recommend using a walkthrough for this game if you plan on reading all of the endings.
Ah~ I think this was just the little break from otome games I needed. Despite being a fan of BL manga for a while, this is actually my first BL game. Luckydog1 has been something I’ve wanted to play for ages but was unsure about getting the PC game since it’s fairly old and I was worried about OS compatibility issues so was definitely pleased when the vita edition was announced and it was definitely worth the wait!
I’ve been pretty disappointed by the heroines of otome games recently so playing something where the protagonist has such a strong personality has been super refreshing. Gian is honestly such a great character and I adore him to pieces as his stupid sense of humour and sharp wit were super fun to read. I also thought the disparity between his outward personality and the depth of his analysis into situations was really good too and I really enjoyed reading the story from his point of view.
The other characters were generally (surprisingly) likeable and the routes were consistently of “good” quality. Even Luchino, whom I didn’t really like at the beginning, grew on me and by the end of his route I had, at the least, respect for his character. The game even manages to make you like characters who should in no way be appealing such as Guilio. Like, I don’t want to judge but he’s really just a bloodthirsty assassin who is *too* keen on dead bodies and does some pretty horrendous things in his route. That being said, he’s also super cute and is one of my favourite characters from the game and I appreciate that the game goes some way to try and explain his actions.
Bernardo and Gian’s banter is honestly adorable and I liked his route a surprising amount too which was nice. Finally, Ivan is actually hilarious and uses really, very colourful language which might shock some people but (although I personally don’t swear) my family uphold the stereotype that the Scots are foul-mouthed so honestly I wasn’t phased by it at all haha. I kinda wish that he had a better epilogue though as it didn’t really fit with the rest of the game?
The game’s writing is generally pretty good and I felt that the story is well-paced for the most part, although some of the Daivan section can feel like it drags a little but as the story is broken up into separate days I guess they couldn’t really just fix everything in 2 days. I’d also like to point out that one of the writers must be a petrol-head since there’s a lot of detail written about the cars in this game. The writing does have a tendency to be quite descriptive as a whole but I personally didn’t mind this.
I was kind of surprised by how comedic the game is overall and there really are quite a few good one-liners and jokes, I think that fact that Gian tends to play along with what people are saying probably helps in this regard. Out of the three game sections, I probably enjoyed the “Escape” part the mostly due to this but also because the group interactions were good during this part.
The BGM was very good overall and I was really surprised that something that is a doujin game had so many tracks.
Yura’s artwork definitely has a distinctive style and has generally aged not that badly, although there are some real consistency issues. I was also a tad disappointed because there aren’t many sprite variations and some of them only appear as side images next to the text box, which is a shame. The backgrounds generally looked pretty good though and really helped sell the time-setting.
Right, I should probably talk about the major negative of this version of the game now: removed content. I’m used to ports where they generally try to replace some of the stuff they’ve taken out with new scenes/CGs. However, I’m pretty sure this isn’t one of those and there’s no new content which is a shame. I did a little bit of research and apparently the other “all-ages” version of the game (mobile port) included new short stories which I’m 99% sure aren’t in this.
As a result of these cuts the game is kinda on the short side, although I think the fact I was really enjoying the story also helped me finish the game quickly. I’m not sure just how many scenes we lose in this port because the level of stuff ~implied~ varies depending on the scene – there’s a couple with quite a lot of, err, foreplay(?) that we get to read and others that cut out quite quickly after mentions of hands going down shorts 😛 The game still retains a lot of dirty jokes but I’m pretty sure the cero D rating is for the violence and implied rape and necrophilia which they couldn’t cut out because they’re reasonably important plot points when mentioned and the story wouldn’t make sense without their inclusion in one route.
My only other complaint about the game would be the pacing/lack of romance. I know that the game is more focused on its action scenes but some more fluff would’ve been appreciated, although I’m guessing that most of that was in the adult scenes? The romantic progression in the routes of characters who had shown an interest in Gian earlier in the game does kind of make sense but Luchino’s route was a bit odd and they seem to be more friends with benefits which was a shame. Ivan’s route was also a tad weird because he starts off as vehemently homophobic, showing great disgust whenever Gian and Bernardo are pretending to be a couple. I suppose, reading between the lines, he is probably just denying his feelings in a really tsundere way or just reacting the way he was taught by society before falling for Gian’s charms lol. I wonder if this is explained in one of the removed scenes?
My Score: 8/10
Overall, this is definitely a very good game that I’d recommend to people who are looking for something with a great protagonist and/or good action scenes. The setting is interesting and each of the routes are generally pretty well done. You might even find yourself liking characters that you were sure you’d hate!
Even if you’re not a huge BL fan I still think this game has a lot to offer as romance isn’t the main focus and with most of the characters being voiced by well-known voice actors, that’s definitely another incentive to play, haha. That being said, there are some references to darker content so if you find that off-putting then maybe avoid this.
It’s hard to say if I’d recommend this version over the original PC game due to lack of new content but if, like me, you’re worried about OS issues or don’t care about R-18 content then this version is probably fine. For those more interested in the PC game, you can still find a copy for sale at Stellaworth & Animate (surprising given it was released in 2009).
Anyway, thanks to this I feel more rejuvenated to play games so am hoping to clear some of my backlog before buying anything new, especially as I’ll probably end up giving in and buying a nintendo switch by the end of the year so don’t want to be left with like a 50+ game backlog for my vita. I decided to start with Walpurgis no Uta which I have made decent progress with. My plan after that at the moment is to play CollarxMalice and Haitaka no Psychidelica. I also wanted to play a galge but literally cannot decide which one to start with.
Thanks for reading as always~ 🙂
P.S. Like most other prototype ports, this game came with some pretty cute PS Vita wallpapers which I’ll post a selection of below: