Super Seducer 2: bigger, bolder, dumber and more casually racist than ever before.
Richard LaRuina La-ruined my day when the first Super Seducer fell onto my proverbial desk – a choose-your-own-adventure style FMV game that forced me to endure literal hours of a smug bell-end giving me a tutorial on how “seduce” (or horrify) women. It was dispiriting, even by the already soul-crushingly cynical standards of pick-up artistry, and the actresses in the game seemed to struggle to feign any sort of attraction to Richard when the player makes the “right” choice. The only redeeming feature was that LaRuina’s high-pitched, dim-witted warblings were frequently hilarious. However, Richard’s ego was so fragile, he couldn’t even laugh at himself, and initiated DMCA takedowns of Youtubers critical of him, which ruined even the scant pleasure of laughing at the silliness of it all. Super Seducer ultimately earned my lowest ever score of 1 out 5, and when the sequel came to us for review I nobly opted to take it like a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save his squadron. But could this sequel possibly be as bad as its predecessor?
Bigger Budget. Better Game.
Short answer: no, it’s not. Right from the get go, there’s an acknowledgement of many of the myriad flaws of the first Super Seducer title. Richard appears during the opening cutscene with a couterie of male and female beautiful people, pledging that they’ve listened to feedback and made big improvements for this sequel. There’s even *gasp* a woman who is allowed to give a counterpoint to Richard’s observations. Charlotte is the very sharply dressed “straight woman” to the zany Richard, and she gives commentary on the player’s choices with Richard in a bizarrely opulent studio. Having an actual honest-to-goodness woman to give feedback does give a little bit more context to the dating advice, and she even disagrees with Richard on multiple points, making anything she says seem instantly more credible. She actually says a few things that seem to be approaching helpful information for a bachelor to have.
Right as the first “level” begins with an actual tank rampaging through the scenery to the strains of a hard rock soundtrack. I couldn’t help but wonder if LaRuina had taken a sudden jarring tonal shift from seduction guidance to a Command and Conquer style real time strategy. Instead, Richard pops out the top of the tank and suggests hitting a nearby country club to pick up girls. It’s immediately clear from the smoother editing and effects, the more dynamic camera work and the tighter editing that the budget and filmography is far superior to the original Super Seducer. There’s even enough extras to actually make a restaurant or club look sufficiently populated! I can definitely believe Super Seducer 2 has a (inexplicably) much higher budget than its predecessor.
It’s actually a pretty cool, sprawling epic of an introductory level where Richard can chat up a posh lady, or ditch her to chase after a supermodel in a Ferrari, in an admittedly funny montage where he’s vaulting over obstacles Mario-like to get to her. There’s even a scene where Richard almost seems to poke fun at himself as he launches a salvo of missiles at the various personalities in the game media world who’ve dared to criticize him. However, there’s also a healthy amount of score-settling as various choices exist purely to mock Youtube personalities who’ve done negative let’s plays of the first Super Seducer.
Epic Failures at Inclusivity
Super Seducer 2 embraces its inherent wackiness a lot more than the original game, and almost entirely discards any pretense of being a guide to seducing women. The situations that Richard is put into to provide guidelines for advice are now often far beyond the pale of anything that would be relevant to the average man. For example, advice on how to date your secretary without coming across as creepy, a scenario which takes up an entire level, might be relevant to you if you’re a leering middle manager, but isn’t terribly helpful for most of us working schmoes!
Super Seducer 2 comes across like a madcap roleplaying game, where you play a manic, wide-eyed, sex-obsessed weirdo with an eerily high-pitched voice who looks like Jesus overdosing on Adderall. However, there are a few levels where you don’t play as Richard.
There’s one level where you play from the perspective of Richard’s Asian friend, who is apparently facing the obstacle that “western women don’t date Asian guys”. It’s pretty patronizing that this is presented as some kind of fundamental obstacle to be overcome, and to hear Richard lecture about it. I picked the choice for Richard’s plucky Asian friend “just be yourself” because the other options were about compensating for how Asian men are apparently perceived, which I was subsequently chastised for. I’ve got several female friends who are happily dating Asian guys, and despite what the Elliot Rodgers of the world might believe, very few women actually care about this supposedly monumental racial difference. The whole section just feels like it’s based more on some weird, bitter “Red Pill” conspiracy theory about how western women are rather than the reality, and this really undermines any real relevance the game has as legitimate dating advice.
Wacky, Zany Adventures in Sexual Harrassment
Likewise, there’s another level where you play as the very portly, thoroughly unpleasant, 50-year-old Mahmoud, who is trying to seduce a gorgeous woman 25 years his junior. There’s not even the pretense that the age gap is anything other than a dispiritingly straightforward exchange of money and security for sex and beauty. Instead, you get advice on how, as an older and richer man, you can imply that you’ll provide financial stability for a younger woman struggling with a place to live rather than outright stating it. Well, that’s alright then!
There’s even a healthy portion of punishingly unfunny jokes about Mahmoud having multiple wives (because he’s middle-eastern! Haha! Geddit?). That’s when there’s not any yuk-worthy cutaways where we learn Mahmoud is a doctor who apparently molests his female patients. Even the sections where Richard isn’t the protagonist have plenty of stuff to make your skin crawl. In the very first section Richard proudly boasts Super Seducer 2 has more diversity than the first title (it’s certainly true Eastern European women are extremely well represented!) but ends up being more insulting than inclusive.
New game. Old Problems.
And of course, Super Seducer 2 still has many of the same problems of the original. Most of the bad choices – like introducing yourself to a woman by putting your dick behind a pillow before pulling the pillow aside and presenting your manhood like a magic trick – are obviously the wrong choices to anyone but a maniacal sex offender. There’s no real test of the player’s intelligence in avoiding these choices and thus no real “gameplay” to be had. Choosing them can be funny at times because they’re so ludicrous and over-the-top, like when Richard gives an ill-tempered Raccoon to his girlfriend as a Birthday gift. However, a great deal of them are basically just sexual harassment and/or attempted sexual assault played for laughs, and as the game goes on, it gets repetitive and uncomfortable.
Run Away From Richard
Overall, Super Seducer 2 has failed to seduce me. It’s a massive improvement over the original – in the same way Helmut Kohl was a massive improvement over Adolf Hitler as a leader of Germany – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Though it’s much more polished and has more of a female perspective to round out its obnoxious protagonist, it’s still altogether too stupid, hateful and repetitive to be anything resembling a good game (let alone legitimate dating advice). If you’re desperately seeking a novelty title, Super Seducer 2 might give at least a few laughs courtesy of its wacky protagonist, but otherwise you’d best do what a sensible woman would do upon meeting Richard LaRuina: Do a 180 degree turn and run like hell.
Final Verdict: 2/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed); Publisher: RLR Training Inc , Red Dahlia Interactive ; Developer: RLR Training Inc ; Players: 1 ; Released: September 13, 2018
Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Super Seducer 2 given to Hey Poor Player by the publisher.