[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he latest playable character for Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme was released a few weeks ago and I took the opportunity to play through it. For those that don’t know what it is, it’s a gender swap visual novel where all of the characters that you can play have had their, well, genders swapped. Russell’s is the ninth of a planned thirteen paths. I’ve already given my thoughts on the previous ones over at Kickstart Ventures, so I won’t reiterate what came before.
To bring us up to speed, what happens in Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme is that a couple scientists working at a pharmaceuticals company secretly worked on a formula to turn themselves into women. This backfires in the most spectacular way, irreversibly turning everyone in the building into the opposite sex. Including Nathan, one of the big wigs of the company. I’m only stating this here because Nadine’s path leads directly into Rose/Russell’s. Both of whom get married at the end.
At the end of Nadine’s story we see her fiance Rose take the same serum that turned everyone else into women to be with her (his now) wife. Russell’s story is quite different from the others released thus far, which is rather jarring to those who’ve played the previous eight characters. In it we see him infiltrate a rival company’s headquarters only to set off a trap. It was supposed to turn him into a big breasted whore but those who’ve played through Nadine’s arc should know that that particular batch changes ones sex permanently. No going back at all.
There is one interesting side effect of the gas, though. For some reason it allows Russell to take on the form of anyone he touches in his “normal” state. In fact, he manages to grab the DNA of several people and uses it to good effect to infiltrate places, several of which we’ve seen before, to get to the bottom of the conspiracy. There’s even a selection wheel when you choose the option to morph.
The other aspect of Russell’s story in Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme that I enjoyed was the ability to select where you want to go using a map. While very limited in scope, it does invoke an adventure-like atmosphere in letting you choose your path. I just wish it was utilized to better effect than to say “I should really go here to advance the story”. Still, it’s a good addition to a genre that’s generally stale in its setup.
While there are aspects that I really enjoyed, such as the aforementioned map and “character select” screens (not to mention the return of some of the other characters), the rest of Russell’s story falls flat (pardon the joke). Whilst the other paths in Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme has the characters trying to come to terms with their newfound identities this has too much of a James Bond tale woven into it and that detracts from the experience. Which is a shame. I was looking forward to seeing another female-to-male protagonist.