Bill Malone's view:
I am a cynical bastard and very hard to impress. Having sampled some US-made virtual sex titles in the past (with Jenna Jameson and the like) and having switched off after a few minutes, I wasn't overly excited about watching this title. But Alicia hasn't let me down in the past. Indeed some less than perfect films have been notched up a few stars by her presence in some scenes - RearEnders for example. Plus, it was a refreshing change to see something from a porn company, especially a British one (I assume they are British, anyhow) other than a couple of middle-aged guys, who neither specialise at being porn studs or camera operators, hiring a girl for the day and sharing her with an "oh, yes, we should really film some of this at some point, shouldn't we?" attitude where the lighting, crappy camera-mounted-mic sound, creaking camera housing and lousy angles are all the viewer is rewarded with; so long as the two guys are happy.
But virtual sex titles (interactive videos shot from 'your' point of view - assuming you're a white guy with a 9" penis - without plots, and where the viewer operates his DVD player to access the sex acts he wants to perform on the star girl) have mostly been a let down in the past. The nature of the scenario means the performances aren't going to be particularly real; everything is ready for you at the push of a button, so it becomes evident the girl is going through the motions; at least in a typical porno (where the viewer isn't the stud) you can often catch a glimpse of some chemistry between the performers as the heat increases. These titles almost never achieve that. And some previous efforts (forgive me for not being specific but they've mentally blurred into one huge disappointment) have been guilty of some heinous sins: Having very small clips of a certain sexual position, maybe lasting a minute or two before looping itself around; having overlarge and almost indecipherable near-hieroglyphical onscreen logo buttons representing the limited positions you're allowed to fuck in; having only one angle (point of view only); having matted on cum shots, similar to the vomit in The Exorcist (virtual sex is one thing, a 'virtual' cum shot is too far removed from reality for this viewer to relate to); dull, black backgrounds with no variations of location, and worst of all, an overwhelming stench of rotting value for money - in an age when most DVDs are proudly displaying (often false) claims of "Over Four Hours!", and very few outside of Private or Hustler releases are actually living up to this, value for money is something you have to really search the reviews for.
I am pleased to say, with this two disc set, almost none of the above faults apply. The novel concept of essentially starring in your own porno (like one of those 'choose your own adventure' books, only with carpet burns instead of dragons and orcs) is well explained with a guide film in the opening menu which tells you how to use it. It's also well performed (Alicia looks ravishing and seems to be having fun), the location is 'your sitting room' - it's armchair bound - plus 'you' let Alicia in through your front door at the start. It also has a sense of humour ("She won't be standing on her head but ... " explains the guide to switching through the three sexual position on offer); and it's quite long, although I fear the "Over Four Hours" banner on the front is, again, a little ambitious unless one is counting all footage from both the camera angles you can switch from manually as and when you feel like it, in which case it's not far off. (The second disc, claiming to be 90 minutes, features a little over 60 minutes of actual footage you interact with, the rest are trailers, photos and a six minute interview with Alicia on the set of the XXXTV Sky Channel). The positions or sex acts are spelt out in English in the widescreen bars at top and bottom, no stupid diagrams, and the picture, whilst a little bleached (some daylight is coming through the window, effecting the camera), is not obscured. You can switch between Alicia's alleged split personalities (their words) depending on your mood. She plays it either 'Sweet', a gal whose car has broken down awaiting repairs at your house, or 'Slut', an in call prostitute, armed with corset and dog collar. One slight disappointment: despite having carefully built up the fantasy scenario and having lots of choice as to what you do with her at a button's push, you still have to change discs if you want to fuck her anally, which is a little annoying! But DVD technology commands that only so much can be squeezed onto a disc before quality is lost, and this was a good compromise. If it annoys you that much, you could always get a real girlfriend.
Also on disc two is a "next day" scenario where the Slut Alicia returns with her friend, Isabel Ice, and they both perform a blow job on 'you', either separately or both together. There is also an option to have them lick your ass as the other sucks you off!
There are still down sides to all this; the doggy position films for both Sweet and Slut Alicia are barely a minute long - a shame, since doggy is a position that really shows off Alicia's assets to their fullest. Also, it's not possible to fast forward or rewind the action as it's taking place - some of us still like to be able to do this, even in a real time adventure such as this. The Sweet and Slut versions of Alicia are, after the initial banter, interchangeable apart from the outfits as she talks dirty and gets very enthused in both performances, but only the Slut version performs anal sex (she also gargles with 'your' cum and she's the one that comes back for more the following day!).
But these are small quibbles considering the quality of the stuff included, and considering the logistics of filming something so enthusiastically performed and with such choice, with two different angles throughout, which are always in sync and with a 'Make Alicia Orgasm' alternative to each position, it wouldn't surprise me to hear Alicia was hired for several days to get all this shot.
Similar titles are out starring Michelle Thorne and I have no doubt we will see more British starlets doing the same when this one goes platinum, something I certainly welcome. Perhaps this 'not quite traditional porn' approach is the way forward for camera shy glamour models such as Linsey Dawn McKenzie or Teresa May. The market is certainly out there, if you're reading this, girls. If Playhouse IS a British company, "Virtual Sex with ..." is a good step forward for British porn - not a unique idea, but one performed and constructed far better than the US company that invented it have so far managed.
This remarkable product is in very good shape and comes in two flavours, sweet and nasty, both delicious. Photos of Alicia do not do her justice - you need the full package: beautiful face, fantastic body and a winning and wonderful personality. Never having seen Ms Rhodes perform before, all I can say is 'Wow!'.
The format allows you to choose between nice and very naughty, to decide on what action and when, and basically lets you fall in love with Alicia in your own time. Photography is sharp, there is no intrusive music, and I believe that Playhouse have a winning formula. I've seen other attempts at this format (the stilted dialogue of the virtual lap dance series, and a voiceless French film with Clara Morgan, for example), but none have come near this for quality.
As for Alicia, well, I'll be seeing her in my dreams ...
So there i am pottering about the house when all of a sudden there is a knock at the door, I open it and... my oh my! Look who it is!!! It's that stunning BGAFD award winner Alica Rhodes, now what's she doing around these here parts? Well she's been having trouble with the car and she has a call to make, Can she come in? well of course she can!
Now before you know it we are on the subject of breasts and she is being very friendly, very friendly indeed.
But wait! What is she doing round my place I hear you all cry? What is he talkin' about??? Well thanks to Playhouse Interactive she can be round at your's as well! I am of course referring to the brand new Virtual Sex With Alicia Rhodes.
Let me tell you about disc 1. This starts with a pretty menu which explains how to use the controls, we also have a teaser of disc 2. More on that later.
As with all virtual sex DVDs you get the normal foreplay, tease, ass, tits options, all of which are captured in near (I would say EXTREME!) close up. The film is presented in a widescreen format with the options top and bottom, very easy to use and an improvement on US discs. I kinda like the set up at the begining (re: knock on the door) again something that is lacking in the US discs, a nice touch it is too, got the feeling of a Ben Dover.
Once Alicia is well at home, she is yours to play with, and yes she enjoys a play! The sex is great, the dildo play will also titillate and as for bitch mode ... well!!! Hold on to your hats guys the bitch is most definitely back! Just the sight of Alicia wearing PVC and getting fucked in a good doggy session was the deal breaker for me, I like this DVD! ... I like it!!!
So now that she has activated your third leg, you can hop over to the DVD player and put in disc two for a little anal session and a double blowjob. This time Alicia has brought round a friend for some fun in the shape of the stunning Isabel Ice, and have fun they do. The anal option is great but the DOUBLE blowjob is a classic, and now Alicia is in full flow and has acquired a filthy mouth, things can only get better as she offers a nice rim job, in fact Isabel would like her turn too.
So when we are all done and dusted and Alica and her friend have gone home, it's time ito flick through a lovely little photo gallery and enjoy a short interview with your new play pal. These are nice touches that fill out what is a GREAT DVD.
I wonder what will be added to these kind of DVDs in the furture? Peecam?? I know some guys like to guzzle the gold ... right Marino?
I highly recommend this DVD, but let me just say a few things about compatability as there has been some debate. I have an average run of the mill DVD player and I was expecting a few problems, but it played fine, and plays on the PC as well. You may however hear a clunk on playback or at chapter points now and again, but don't worry, this is normal.
Joe King's view:
Total time: over 4hrs? Disc 1 = 215 mins, Disc 2 = 90 mins.
DVD machines tested on: Yamada 6600 and Samsung svdvd3e dvd/video combo.
Concept: Multi-angle DVD, you control what Alicia does, most scenes are angles filmed from the stud's point of view. You can choose 1 of 2 angles to view the action from.
Start Virtual Experience: Here you can choose the sweet or slutty versions of Alicia Rhodes. We get menu items at the top and bottom of the picture. Each mode has menu items: tease, masturbate, foreplay, sex, sweet, and slut at the top. Tease goes with Tits, Pussy and Ass menu items at the bottom of the screen.
Sweet Mode: Alicia is dressed in light pink.
Tease/Tits: A bashful Alicia admits she is a porn star. She sensuously licks her nipple.
Tease/Pussy: Soft and gentle pink pussy stretching and rubbing.
Tease/Ass: This is similar to the slut mode action.
Slut mode: Alicia is dressed in black leather.
Tease/Tits: Alicia slaps, rubs and tweaks her breasts and nipples.
Tease/Pussy: Alicia stretches, rubs and lightly slaps her pussy.
Tease/Ass: Alicia spanks her ass, she sensuously wets her bumhole and spanks her cheeks again.
Masturbate menu goes with fingers, vibrator, dildo and orgasm items.
Masturbate/Fingers has 3 to four fingers in a sensuous hole stretching wank in both modes.
Masturbate/Dildo has Alicia using a vibrator on her pussy and a dildo in her arse.
Masturbate/Orgasm in sweet mode, looked the more authentic orgasm for Alicia.
Foreplay has fingers, dildo, blowjob, orgasm at the bottom.
Foreplay has the cameraman (you the viewer) using his fingers on Alicia,
Foreplay/Blowjob in slut mode has Alicia trying to choke herself on the studs cock.
I noticed that, possibly, she has contact lenses that change her usually slate grey eyes to brown?
The Sex menu has Missionary, Doggystyle, Cowgirl and Orgasm. Sex/Orgasm has the noisy orgasm for Alicia. In the Foreplay/Orgasm we have cumshots in the mouth.
The second DVD contains the personal interview, anal and 2 girl blowjob, trailers and a photo gallery. The vitual anal scene and the double blowjob is only in slut mode.
Virtual Anal Scene:
Anal reverse cowgirl. This concludes with a deep throat blowjob on a medium hard cock.
The male orgasm scene has anal then Alicia licking the spunk and rubbing the cum into her pussy (this is only really seen on angle 1).
Virtual Double blowjob:
Virtual double blowjob has Cock Sucking and Ass Licking main menus. Cock Sucking has Alicia, Isabel, Both girls and Orgasm
on the bottom menus.
Cock Sucking/Alicia has mild face slapping with her speciality deep throat.
Cock Sucking/Isabel almost out does Alicia in the chokey deep throat department.
Cock Sucking/Both girls has even more drooling and breath defying deep throat. Isabel takes the balls while Alicia takes the glans.
Cock Sucking/Orgasm has a double facial with spunk in mouth. Alicia bubbles her mouthful and eases it onto the outstretched tongue of Isabel. This ends too quickly with some spunky kissing and licking.
Ass licking/Alicia has Alicia poking her tongue in the stud's arse while Isabel sucks his dick.
Ass Licking/Isabel has the positions reversed. The saliva is spread all over the place. These scenes seem to contradict the virtual point of view. 'I' the viewer am seeing 'my' arse licked?
I thought the 'interview' was very superficial. It seemed more like advertising for the company Alicia works for. Oh yes, we learn that she is going to start her own company, but the last line seems to sum her up well, 'when it comes to shooting the dirty, nasty, filthy whores having great sex, well I think I'm the pro at that one, don't you?'
Trailers for virtual sex titles with Alicia Rhodes, Lisa Brunet and Michelle Thorne.
Playhouse platinum trailers for The Villa, Anal Paradise, Heavenly Bodies, Anal Dreams, Secret Passions, The Pleasure Ranch and No Men Allowed.
Photo Gallery: The photo gallery has approximately 74 photos, manual or automatic slideshow.
Easter Egg: ?
Sensuous, sexy, nasty, a combination of all three moods.
You can't go backwards and fast forward in the segments (you can in the personal interview).
A navigation problem I found was that if you go to Cock Sucking/Both girls, then you lose the Ass Licking top menu item. You can't actually go back to ass licking if you have chosen Cock Sucking/Both girls. You have to go back to the Bonus menu item to go back to the the main menu to choose the Virtual double blow job (to get back the cock sucking and ass licking menus).
Also, the Orgasm bottom menu item is the same scene for both the Cock Sucking and Ass licking top level items (this looks like it was by design).
Faceless studs: Mark Sloan and Dirty Dog
Produced and Directed for Playhouse by M A Cremona
Authoured by Mark Schaap
Assistant editor: Michel Leseman
Location Services: Charlie Dealer
Note: The producers have clarified some of the cons highlighted in Joe's review in a message on the BGAFD Forum