xyzzysqrl: (Sqrlish RAGE)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
Ugh.
Ugh, ugh, ugh.
Ugh, fucking ugh ugh AUGH fuck fuck ugh ugh bleah.

Okay so I loved this and I hated it.

Hated: Obtuse puzzles that do not quite reflect the in-game reality.

Example: You have a fishing pole. JUST the pole. No fish visibly on it. You have a magnet. You have a grate with a metal lost object down it. Obviously you magnetfishpole right? No. You need to use your knife on the fishing pole, at which point you get a string (to tie to the magnet) and a whole intact fish skeleton. Excuse me? At least give me a look option on my inventory if you're gonna pull that.

Also hated: The ending. We'll get to that.

Liked: This is a detective noir story about a hard-boiled swearing plush bear and a young girl on an adventure to find her brother and learn who the "Red Man" is that's been burning her city down. The city is made of paper and populated by toys, by the way. It's imaginary, except when it isn't. Amber is treated like a demigoddess creation-myth character, while Ted is treated like an old drunk PI. It's a good dynamic.

It's a hurricane of dumb jokes, some of which land and most of which do not, but it tries.

Decent character writing.

Then there's the ending.

Fuck this fucking ending off a fucking cliff.

Come with me to spoiler-space.


It's an indie game about death. Not Amber's. Her brother's. And it's all even more imaginary than the game let on, so ... how seriously were we supposed to take it? I am completely down with "girl is a demigoddess of sorts, but the city of her imagination can function with or without her and the inhabitants have developed their own lives yet live in fear she may move on from theirs", but the last quarter of the game fails to step up and just... ugh.

It's honestly 100% "well, my brother died and I couldn't accept that, but now that I've engaged that trauma I guess I can lighten up!" and why do people feel the need to reduce an otherwise fascinating ontological fantasy story to mundane BULLSHIT like that? It's not hopeful, it's a punchline.

As if the only way things can be good or fun is if we ignore how terrible they REALLY are. That's no lesson to teach.

God I fucking hate the entire Indie Game About Death genre sometime. It's pollution, is what it is.



...just ... ugh. Every part of the game I liked was designed to waste my time, in the end. That's how I feel about that.

What a shame, for a promising, intelligent premise to fall that low.

[EDIT]

You know, I try not to really go off on games, but this demonstrates what it takes to upset me. I'm not upset because I DISLIKED the ending, although that's part of it. I'm upset because I thought it really had something interesting going, but then it fell back to cliche. That hurts and offends me, and I just get frustrated.

Bear With Me isn't terrible. It doesn't deserve that kind of anger and frustration, but it got a dose anyway.

Date: 2018-10-02 12:34 pm (UTC)
penguinmayhem: poor audino (Audino doing what Audino does)
From: [personal profile] penguinmayhem
That sounds unbearable.

Date: 2018-10-02 10:16 pm (UTC)
tuftears: Lynx Wynx (Default)
From: [personal profile] tuftears
Dang, that sounded like a good premise but I agree, puzzles of that kind sound pretty maddening.

Date: 2018-10-04 12:49 am (UTC)
kjorteo: Sprite of the dead "boss" and "Sorry, I'm Dead" speech balloon from Monster Party. (Sorry - I'm dead.)
From: [personal profile] kjorteo
You got a fishing pole and you got a magnet. Fishing pole has antennae, but don't you grab it.

Anyway, whewf. On one hand, I am (as of the writing of this comment) currently in the process of having my soul ripped out by Freebird Games, so I kind of feel a knee-jerk urge to stand up for Indie Games About Death? Like, some are good! Most are navel-gazing bullshit but there are like one or two developers out there who have a doctor's note excusing them and can do it right.

On the other hand... mmh. I mean, I can 100% understand your frustrations here, but I just can't quite put a point on... maybe it's the level of upfront forthrightness about it? Like, when you're romping through an unrelated neat and cool fantasy world and enjoying the exploration of it all and then "So yeah this was all a metaphor for the afterlife anyway thanks for playing," then that it's kind of a shits-the-bed cop-out of an ending? Like, you were expecting something else and got your hopes up?

Which, uh, expecting something else and getting your hopes up is something I do in games a lot, but mostly for different reasons.

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