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Review Neon Genesis Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel Review

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This review is being done because the show got released on Netflix. Otherwise I'd be holding out until I found something that would be less plot description and more gameplay description.

Shin Seiki Evangelion Koutetsu No Girlfriend, Neon Genesis Evangelion Girlfrien Of Steel/Iron Maiden to the fans in the west, is an Evangelion Visual Novel. Released on the PS1, Saturn, Mac, Windows, PS2, PSP, this game was very popular when it release and gained quite the following as far as something Eva goes. The meat of this review will be the Plot Synopsis, so if you want to play this game for yourself and not have the plot spoiled, you're not going to get a very in-depth review.

The Windows, Mac, PS2 and PSP versions were the "Tokubetsu-hen" versions, or the Special Edition version for those unknowing. Many updates and more content in the form of at least one scene and an extra ending, as well as remastered art that isn't blocky and any nuance is drowned out by the blockiness. Yes, that includes the Saturn version. The PS2 version came with a bonus DVD with artwork and interviews that was oddly region free and CSS-free.

The visual aspect of the game is something that is honestly very good. Everything was initially hand-drawn and then digitized, with original work from Gainax. The Special Edition version is even better because it was brought up in quality. At least of the visuals and audio. The visuals, especially in the PS2 version are superb. It also allows for 16:9 stretching, and true 480p. The resolution, (as I am told by PCSX2) is actual 720x480p, which is the common DVD resolution for NTSC. I like that. Higher resolution Evangelion.

The sound is pretty good as well. Everything is 48KHz ADX, even the voice clips, so nothing sounds slightly like it was crunched and therein sounds bad. Everything is crystal clear, and oddly this of all games allows for optical out DD Pro Logic II. Like I mentioned in a previous review, they were putting it into everything (I am exaggerating). I will though note that this is the only Eva game that does this. None others do any of this fancy shmancy stuff, they're mostly all just bland like most games. It sounds good, but I haven't been able to test the DD PLII with actual Optical Out.

The controls are nigh nonexistant. You do have this or that here or there to click on, but it's mostly "go here, watch the story unfold". R1 does let you skip cutscenes though.

Gameplay is all dependent on these things, but is really the plot of the game.

Well, what is the plot?

Please note that I will also include minor things that are not the core plot as well.

One night in Tokyo-3, a bunch of robots attack. Asuka and Shinji, the Eva pilots go check what it is ouside of their living quarters, and with Asuka's shower being interrupted, she's not wearing a towel. Shinji decides to take Kaji's spot as the "Perv from Nerv" and stares at her butt (which is censored via software in the PlayStation2 version, it's uncensored in the original file), and swiftly gets kicked in the mouth by Asuka with a flash of light so bright it would be seen from lightyears away.

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The next morning, Asuka shows Shinji and Rei to a robotic footprint in the ground, and then challenges Shinji to a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors which he loses. That day at school, They are introduced the new girl of the game, that being Mana Kirishima. The teacher sits her down in the only empty seat in-class. That seat being next to Shinji. Asuka then is having none of that, and any moment they are alone, she will find them and she will pester them. This becomes a running joke thorughout the game, basically.

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On the roof, Shinji and Mana talk, as Mana gives Shinji her pendant. Asuka then comes up to bother Shinji, running away in her usual fashion after getting pissed at him. On the train, because she is paying no attention to her, she breaks his walkman to get his attention, and not long after, Mana arrives right in front of Shinji on the train. She then begs him to take her throughout NERV HQ, to which he brings her to the Boys' Locker Room, where she gets a peek at Shinji in his undies. Shinji, after getting his plugsuit on, goes in for synchronization tests, but ends up failing because he has his mind on Mana. Asuka challenges him to a game of Rock Paper Scissors so he can get a new Walkman out of her to which they use so much power they end up breaking things.

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In an added scene afterwards, Asuka and Shinji are talking together while she's getting lipstick on, and with Shinji taking care of vetetables, after throwing herself on him, and get a lipstick stain on his white school shirt. He then has to go out and get a new one with her, to which they run into Rei and they have drinks together. He and Asuka and Rei end up running into Kensuke, Tauji, and of course, Mana while they are out. After some arguing and running into their friends, Asuka takes him back and tells him to call her the "best in the world". After that, they bicker some more, to which Asuka throws something at Shinji that cuts him, and he freaks out because he is bleeding.

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This is not what they mean when they say,
"Get yourself a girl with an electric personality".

Afterwards, Asuka gives Shinji his new Walkman and Shinji and Mana go out for the night. The next day, Shinji is looking at Mana's pendant, when Kaji starts talking to him. From that conversation, Shinji decides to gel his hair in a specific way which causes everyone (Including Pen2) to freak out, and Misato, like his mother, to rinse it out forcefully. That day, in Home Ec., where Shinji and Mana are making food together peacefully, Tauji starts talking to them and starts saying things about Asuka that she doesn't like, wherein she then hits him over the head and tries to fight him with eggs in her frying pan. This causes Mana to go out to the tennis court, where Kensuke and Asuka find them, and after going back to class, Shinji and Mana walk home. That night, after a robot is shown on screen, Asuka tried to convince everyone that Mana is a spy, to which after Shinji gets defensive and nobody listens to her, she goes to her room and slams the door.

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The next day, during school while planning a date with Mana, when Shinji is called into duty to investigate something with the NERV squad, Mana goes into the scene, presumably looking for Shinji. After that, Misato ends up driving Shinji into the city to find where she went, and he finds her with another guy. He is disillusioned by such and then ends up a bookstore that Kaji and Ritsuko were in. They take him to a local bar and talk to him about taking her out on a date. He then calls her to confirm it and they talk for a little bit while, of course, Asuka is pacing back and forth in the background. Shinji then, the next day, goes on a peaceful date with her. ...and Pen2, who insisted on coming because of the hot springs.

He then comes back to NERV, where Shinji is relaxing in the sun, where he is then called into duty, and goes to see Ritsuko. He then afterwards sees Asuka, who yells at him a bit more because the person they just took to the hospital she's seen Mana with before. They then go to the hospital and run into Mana, wherein Asuka yells at her, causing Mana to run off. He then goes to talk to Mana, where he becomes a bit more untrusting of her, to which Kaji then say to trust her because she does have a good heart.

The next day, EVA 00 is fishing for robot pieces when Shinji and Misato are called into NERV HQ to answer to the big cheese, Gendo. Turns out, Asuka ratted him out and made it seem like Mana was a spy. Shinji gives the pendant to his father, unwillingly, where Misato then tries to comfort him after doing such. The next day at school, Mana isn't there, but she does talk to him and end up going on another date with her. She then comes back home where they find out that Misato's cooking is actually edible. Asuka then instigates a fight with Mana and storms off to her room.

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The next day, Mana doesn't show up again. Later that day, a mysterious mech shows up but disappears before Shinji can take care of it. They go to the hospital where they see Mana again, to where Mana admits she was apart of another organization. Shinji then headbutts a guy in a suit and they all hide in a bathroom stall to call up Misato to drive them out of there, but not before trying on some goofy disguises that wouldn't have fooled a 5-year old. Mana, while they're driving around, admits that she is a spy, to which Asuka has a "GOTCHA!" moment while Shinji is trying to proccess it. Gendo then turns her over to the military, while Shinji yells at his father. It is a futile effort though, as that gets him nowhere. A drunk Misato yells at Kaji, and while Asuka is getting all up in Shinji's personal space to "cheer him up" (I guess?) he wants none of her stuff and smacks her. She then calls him stupid.



The next day, Shinji goes to talk to the big cheese (Gendo), but then basically says "forget it" and leaves. Shinji, Asuka, Tauji and Kensuke then go to Mana's old house to look for her, and they find more giant robot footprints. They then go home, and Shinji recounts his memories with a map before what is basically the grand finale happens. The next day, as a long line of military cars go by, Mana is in a giant cage that could fit a lion, and as Shinji, Tauji and Kensuke are out there, Shinji tries to run after the car to which the guy driving the car tells him to scram before he dies, or at least what I can guess.

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What, is she some sort of viscous animal?


They then fight against the robot emerging from the lake, leaving the caged Mana behind (responsible Japanese military that worries about their "dangerous criminals" here, not a bunch of irresponsible morons trying in vain to do something they've never been able to pull off before), which the TRIDENT unit then picks up and takes with it (as there is a pilot inside), causing the Evas to chase after him, where she ends up in a life capsule (as Shinji and Asuka are in Asuka's Eva with her) because a bomb was dropped into the area. The life capsule sits in the crater, with Mana's fate unknown. Shinji, after arguing with Tauji and getting punched in the face, goes back to the apartment and eats with a much calmer Asuka, who seems to have grown a heart.

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In one of four endings you can choose (three in the non special edition versions), you can choose to go to find Mana, who lives with Misato for a little while, then her leaving in a train, you can have the Asuka ending where she tries to help him to forget Mana so he's not feeling so guilty about her, the Kaji ending where he and Misato bicker and she accuses him of taking everything form him, Shinji watches Mana leave without him and says "I'll be waiting for you", and the extra SE ending, wherein Shinji drinks lots of coffee, goes and lies on some trash outside of the cafe where Mana finds him, and after lots of chatter, she gets a job at NERV and lives with Shinji.

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A scene from the SE ending.

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A scene from the regular Mana ending.

This game overall leaves me a bit mixed. I like it, but there's lots of aspects about the plot that I just don't. Many nitpicks here and there I will make, but I overall would recommend the Special Edition version. Give the original a try, but I recommend the SE version as they are improved. Highly. The game overall though is recommended, though mostly if you are an Evangelion fan.

Some scans for the game:
https://mega.nz/#!5A01yaYL!mf23qq6dAOBX2VInhoVBoDjCTeLO-DRCshntkIdsbUU - Cover, Discs and Advertisement page
https://mega.nz/#!lBtAEYxB!7uNbZj7bPH5cMnclPu7uFHkdHl9UBfw5oMabX0ddMrM - Manual


Blame @madmarsrocks for the idea for this review. I'm not taking requests ever again.

-Gameboi64
 
Gameboi64

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