Jun. 24th, 2017

xyzzysqrl: (Play with me.)
Man it's gonna be tough to talk about this one.

2064: Read Only Memories is a very Japanese-style adventure game, in the tradition of games like Policenauts and Snatcher as well as many older games that just never got translated here in any way. The thing about this style of adventure is that you usually get a very limited set of verbs and a plot that's strongly on a rail.

This is the case with 2064, which gives you Look/Use/Talk and your inventory and limits the puzzles and interactions a fair bit. You CAN however address various characters with different tones, and the game tracks these for varying purposes. By the ending you can phone up quite a storm if you're the talkative type.

At least 2064 doesn't make you Think About / Look At / Think About every single damn thing on screen like SOME Japanese adventure games do.

Actually the plot and characters are really what you're here for. Like, resign yourself to the fact that you're gonna Touch/Talk/Look At/Use Every Item On Every Item all the way through the game for the funny remarks and just settle in to enjoy the story.

As it opens you are a reporter of whatever gender you like...

(pronouns are selectable/customizable and people call you what you want to be called and that is a THING y'know? That's just a nice goddamn thing they did right there)

...and you are working on some gadget reviews. As you try to sleep, a robot crawls in your window. The robot's name is Turing, they are the first sentient AI, and they need your help.

From there it gets quite cyberpunk indeed: Illegal backroom modifications, shifty public corporations with a dirty underside, everyone playing not quite by the book. Written with a genuine degree of heart and soul but ... even that's not why I loved this game I realize suddenly.

I loved this game because it felt like being in a world where humanity would continue to grow. The relationships are gay or bi or who knows, whatever, I don't know what one character's gender IS and it never actually felt like it mattered because they were a person.

(I have seen people call this game excessively queer with a social justice agenda to which I can only say A: Good, B: Fuck you, and C: It takes place IN NEO-SAN FRANCISCO AND ONE OF THE FIRST PLACES YOU GO IS THE DAMN CASTRO DISTRICT PLEASE SEE POINT B AGAIN.)

People call you what you want to be called. Genetic hybrids wander the city and fight for acceptance, but they're making slow progress. Corporations continue to be corporations but people do their best to find the upsides. Everyone is really into a particular soda and wants you to know about it.

I dunno, this game felt WARM. This SETTING feels warm. Between this and its sister game Va-11 Hall-A I want to LIVE in this damn universe.

After the game ended and dropped me into Eternal Christmas, my reporter-avatar lady went out to an arcade and played some kart racing games, then wound up at a bar that makes you crawl over a conveyor belt so everyone enters as equals. She had a good time talking to a wolf in a halloween costume of a wolf ("It seemed like a fun idea at the time") but had no real interest in alcohol. After a lot of chatting with the bar owner and a couple of cosplayers, she flirted with a growly lion fellow who shyly revealed he liked being tied up.

That's how Ms. Xyzzy's story ends. In the days leading up to the holiday, she helped usher in a new age, she stared death and anime in the face, she drank all the flavors of Hassy and both prevented AND provoked a riot... and Christmas Day she spent wrapping up a lion guy. I mean, it would TAKE Christmas to get me to top, but escapist fantasy I guess.

Just another day in Neo-San Francisco.

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