Raunchy rhythm game Massage Freaks has launched on Steam under an entirely new name. Beat Refle (yes, really) is available via Valve's platform right now, although developer Qureate has made no mention of the Switch version as of yet.
So Massage Freaks is called Beat Refle now?
That's right. After Qureate delayed Massage Freaks indefinitely last month owing to community backlash, the game has now launched on Steam under the name Beat Refle. You are reading that right, by the way; it's Beat Refle, not Beat Reflex, for some reason. We swear, that is not a typo on our part. Developer Qureate announced the launch of Beat Refle on Steam earlier today, declaring that they'd changed the game's name (and that it's currently available for 10% off, if you're interested). The studio doesn't offer any kind of rationale regarding that rather odd new name, though.
In Qureate's Twitter announcement regarding Massage Freaks-slash-Beat Refle's Steam release, the studio also says the Switch release date for the game is "undecided" (we're using machine translation for the tweet, as it's originally in Japanese). Beat Refle was originally announced for Switch, with a Steam release to follow later, but Qureate CEO Yujiro Usuda says the team managed to bring Beat Refle to Steam quickly, including incorporating the name change. The fate of the Nintendo Switch version is currently unknown.
What is Beat Refle and why is it controversial?
Beat Refle, which was originally unveiled under the name Massage Freaks, is a raunchy rhythm game for PC (and Nintendo Switch, although that's up in the air right now). As soon as it was announced, the game drew controversy from the gaming community. Reasons included the game being degrading towards women, its supposed resemblance to real-life Japanese massage parlor sex crimes, and for several characters' resemblance (in both appearance and name) to real-life Japanese idol group Hinatazaka46. As pointed out by Gematsu, those names now appear to have been changed.
Right now, Beat Refle is being hit by a sort of mini-review bomb on Steam, too, with users complaining that the game's content isn't raunchy enough. It seems that certain elements of its gameplay have been censored by the devs, although there is a rather curious patch available on the game's official website that appears to address this somewhat. Qureate is adamant that the patch doesn't add any R18 content to Beat Refle, but many of the Steam reviews are recommending users download it, as it unlocks some additional content, including the NTR mode.
You can check out Beat Refle right now on Steam. It's currently available at a 10% discount, so you can pick it up for $25.19, although it'd usually set you back $27.99. When Qureate announced Beat Refle's indefinite delay, the game's eShop pages were taken down, and at the time of writing, they're still not available. It looks like we might have to wait a while until Beat Refle hits Switch. As ever, stay tuned to TechRaptor for more updates on this one.