Underneath my yellow skin

Category Archives: Video Games

My love/hate relationship with Dead Cells and other ‘hard’ games: Part two

 

my favorite npc!
My mutatation buddy is done for the day.

I wrote last week that I was coming up to the final wall with Dead Cells, and now I have hit it. I speculated it would be the Castle, and I was correct. More specifically, the final boss, The Hand of the King. He’s a pain in my ass, and I have not beaten him once. At my most OP, I had something like -75% damage taken, ice grenades (which, by the way, are pretty useless against him because of his fucking shield that he can pull out in a second), damage up the wazoo, a nice and fat health bar, etc., and…I got him down to a quarter maybe a fifth of his life left before he killed me. I don’t think I could have stocked myself any better, and I still couldn’t beat him. I tried a completely different load-out the next time I fought him (turret, damage boost, no ice), going all-damage, and got my ass handed to me.

It’s not fun to walk into the Throne Room and know I’m about to get my ass beat. Even walking through the Castle is a chore because of the hordes of enemies with beefy HP pools. Plus, you have to fight *spoilers* two out of three elite enemies in order to get the keys to go to the Throne Room, and every time they hit you, you get infected with some kind of poison. If you get hit five times, you instantly die. *sigh* I need my ice skills for the elites and other enemies of this area, but I have to hope that I can get something else from the shops for the final boss fight.

I’ve also reached the point where cells aren’t worth anything to me. I  know that the game changes radically once you beat the final boss (have gleaned that from the forums), and cells maybe aren’t as needed then. However, as I’ve stated, I have yet to beat the final boss, so I don’t have access to all this new content. There are a few blueprints I haven’t gotten yet, but they’re all dependent on being dropped at a very low rate (unless you use the Hunter’s Grenade, which guarantees you can extract the blueprint, but only after you fight the elite version, and it takes one skill slot), so grinding them is difficult. The ones I need are all in later dungeons, and there’s one dungeon in which losing a skill slot is unacceptable. My point about the cells is that I can play an entire run which is roughly an hour and not get anything for it. Part of the fun in a rogue-like is unlocking skills and getting new shit. Once that isn’t in play, the excitement factor zooms to zero.

Right before I uninstalled the game, I realized that the loop wasn’t fun any longer. I could breeze through the regular path to the first boss and one area beyond with no problems. I could go alternate paths and get better stuff, but then get my shit pushed in by the Watcher. Although, I’m getting much better at that boss. Then, I can go to the Graveyard, which I’ve only gone through a half dozen times, or to the Slumbering Sanctuary, which has a neat concept, but ultimately isn’t that interesting. I’ve mentioned before that I hate the Clock Tower, though with all ice skills, it’s much easier, and fuck the Forgotten Sepulchre.

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My love/hate relationship with Dead Cells and other ‘hard’ games: Part one

come. at. me. bro.
Cursed, but it was worth it for the ice bow!

I think I’m reaching the end of Dead Cells. Not because I hate it. Not because it’s a terrible game. But because I’m hitting the wall, and while I’ve hit walls before, this feels like the wall I cannot overcome without putting in way more hours into the game. Let me explain. I think most people are familiar with the concept of hitting the wall in which you just can’t get around an obstacle in front of you (be it physical or mental). In a video game, it’s usually a boss that you simply can’t beat. In a ‘hard’ game, it can be other things, such as level design, difficult enemies, or just simply dying over and over again for a variety of reasons.

Let’s take Dark Souls for example. And, yes, it’s my go-to when I want to talk about difficult games. It’s notorious for its difficult bosses, and I’m betting that the Bell Gargoyles were the first real gut check for most Souls players. Well, OK. Asylum Demon first. Then the Taurus Demon. But definitely the Bell Gargoyles! Hm. What was my point? Oh, yeah, this! The thing, though, is that many people didn’t even make it to the Bell Gargoyles for a variety of reasons. One of the things about the game is that after you beat the Asylum Demon (if you do), you’re taken to the Firelink Shrine. There are three paths you can take from there, and two of them are ridiculously hard. Now, some Souls fans will tell gush about how brilliant it is because the two paths are so hard, it points you in the right direction. Hard disagree from me. What’s the one thing you hear about Souls if you’re a gamer, even if you have no interest in it? That it’s fucking hard. FUCKING HARD. You just tried to beat a demon to death with your goddamn fists because you didn’t know you were supposed to run from him (so you can get your weapon and fight him properly later, and he’s still no joke in your first playthrough), so being attacked by ghosts you can’t kill* or skellies who can one-shot you doesn’t seem that outre.  Your idea of hard has already been busted, so especially without context (the third path being hard, but not insanely so), it’s easy to think you’re supposed to run through the area with the ghosts or the skellies and just deal with it.

The reason I’m saying this is that there are tons of legit reasons for people quitting Souls. I love the games, and I’ll recommend them ad nauseam, but I also realize they’re not for everyone. I had a friend who reached Firelink Shrine and saw a message in front of the Crestfallen Warrior to attack him, so she did. Which is a BAD idea. If you aggro an NPC in Dark Souls, they will be permanently aggro’ed unless you pay an exorbitant amount of money to get your sins absolved. I know this because I accidentally hit Andre while trying to talk to him (first time I used a controller, and the controls for Souls games are, at best, whimsical), and I had to pay something like fifteen-thousand souls to make him forget (it’s based on your level. 500 souls per level, so the higher level you are, the more you have to pay). I seriously considered starting the game again because Andre is essential, and that much money (souls) seemed exorbitant at the time. Anyway, my friend couldn’t use Firelink Shrine, which is your hub bonfire, because the Crestfallen Warrior was aggro’ed, and that made her quit. I completely understand that, and I do not blame her in the least.  Continue Reading

Dead Cells has its icy claws in me

a breath of respite!
Are we in Anor Londo?

About a year ago, I heard tell of an exciting Souls-like* game in Early Access called Dead Cells.  I watched a few Let’s Plays and Let’s Look Ats, and I was immediately intrigued. However, I am chary of Early Access, and I decided to wait.  Recently, it was on sale, and I was between games, so I snapped it up. I installed it, started it up, and I was hooked. The controls are intuitive (although, funny story. I went back to Dark Souls III to try a pure pyro strategy, well, close to a pure pyro, and I’ve been accidentally hitting NPCs because interact in RB in Dead Cells and A in Dark Souls III (on my Xbox One controller). Fortunately, you can hit NPCs once and not aggro them, but it’s pretty disconcerting), and soon, I was rolling, jabbing, and collecting my souls, er, cells with the best of them.

So, speaking of souls, let’s talk about it being a Souls-like game. I’ve heard that quite a bit about Dead Cells, and I didn’t really see it when I first started playing. The more I played, though, I got the comparison. It’s funny to hear Lets Players talk about souls and Estus Flasks, and I agree it’s better to be deliberate in combat rather than just mashing buttons (though I panic-mash more often than I care to admit). However, I don’t think it’s so much that this game is Souls-like than it is that both are Metroidvanias. Sprawling levels to explore with locked off areas. Getting runes to acquire abilities to unlock said locked-off areas. In this case, permadeath, but with upgrades that you keep between runs.

When I start, I’m just a ball of goo that rolls across the floor until I reach an empty body. I inhabit the body, and then I’m ready to go. I start with a Rusty Sword, and I start wrecking fools. Or rather, they wreck me in the Prisoners’ Cells. There are random pickups on the ground, such as melee weapon (all kinds of swords), ranged weapons (bows, whips, etc.), shields, and skills (traps, grenades, meat grinder, etc.). There are also upgrades and gold balls you hit to break and scatter. There are secrets in the wall that are marked with a faint rune, and you hit them to open them. They usually contain some kind of gem (gold) or food (kebabs and chicken so far), which is a nice pick-me-up.

You can speed run through the area to try to make it to the timed door in the next area, but the time limit is really strict. To make the first timed door, you have to get there in under two minutes. I’ve done it a few times, but that means skipping most of the first area and not getting the upgrades. Behind the timed door is *spoilers* good loot such as one upgrade (strength, tactical, or skill, and each includes a health upgrade), several gems/gold/coins, a bunch of cells–oh! forgot to say that the cells are used for the permanent upgrades at the end of each level–and sometimes a blueprint for a new weapon/shield/skill. I don’t think it’s worth it, though, because you have to take the blueprint and cells to the end of the level in order to cash in on them, and I feel severely under-leveled if I don’t clear out the first area before proceeding. I’ve never made it to the other timed doors, and I don’t really care.

Let’s talk upgrading. After each level, you can talk to the Collector who’ll use your cells to make whatever you want (and if you have blueprints for it). When you first start the game, you don’t have any ability to heal. You can buy the Estus Flask from the collector for fairly cheap, and you get one gulp. Each upgrade is successively more expensive, and I’m up to three swigs. You have to spend all your souls–cells!–before moving onto the mutation guy, though I just found out that you can break that door down to save your cells. There’s a reason for doing this, which I’ll get to in a minute.

The adorable mutation guy lets you choose one mutation after each level. This can be as simple as more health, or as specific as an X amount of increase in damage for Y amount of seconds after killing an enemy. You can unlock more of these by spending your cells with the Collector. My favorite is Ygdar Orus Li Ox, which brings you back from death once, but you can only pick it up after the first level.  I guess it’s so you won’t choose it right before a boss fight, but so what if you do? It’s irritating that I have to carry it all the way through all the levels if I want it to actually help me during a boss fight.

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Picky media consumer

I am not a picky eater. At least, I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for my sensitivities. There are only a few things I don’t like, and the list includes kiwi, water chestnuts (I LOVE regular chestnuts, though), and coconut. I like coconut curries, but coconut itself? Not so much. Other than that, I’m pretty much a fan more or less of food. When it comes to the media I consume, however, it’s a much different story.

I once flummoxed a professor in my grad program ((Writing & Consciousness) by saying I didn’t like movies. She said that was like saying I don’t like sandwiches or soups–both of which I like, thank you very much. Part of the problem is that at the time, there weren’t many movies that reflected me. Taiwanese American bisexual fat woman? Yeah, good luck finding something with that, mate! In addition, I’m always conscious that I’m watching a movie. When I read a book, I disappear into the pages and am absorbed in the world. With a good book, I completely forget that I exist. With movies, I’m always removed from the action except on very rare occasions. My three favorite movies, Once, The Station Agent, and Japanese Story, are all movies I actually lost myself in, even if it weren’t for the whole time. Another difference is that I can read my favorite books a million times, but I don’t often feel compelled to watch a movie more than once.

I find movies limiting. When I read books, my mind provides the details that the book doesn’t give. With movies, it’s all on the screen, and I find it a much more passive way of ingesting media. I think there’s less room for error, too, because continuity can be a problem. I remember watching a movie (don’t remember the movie now) that was so bad, I noticed that the color of a shirt wasn’t consistent in what was supposed to be the same scene. I’m not that detail-oriented, so the fact that I noticed meant I was not into the movie at all.

Another problem with movies for me is that my brain can’t always differentiate between reality and fabrication, so horrific images in movies stay with me a long time in the way horrific scenes in books don’t. I know that seems counter to what I said earlier, but I never said my brain was consistent. There’s a suicide scene in Girl, Interrupted, that stayed with me for years afterwards. Any time I thought of it, I would feel as if someone had actually died. With books, the whole experience may stay with me, but I’m less likely to remember horrible scenes with such a vivid reaction.


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A Quick Look: Battle Chef Brigade

got my game face on.
IT ME!!

I have a problem that I really get into a game, and then I kind of flounder around looking for a new one once I’m done. I finished Night in the Woods a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t found a game to replace it. I went back to Cook Serve Delicious! 2!! because there is going to be a big free expansion in a few months that include something called The Barista Update. It’s going to focus on drinks, which is exciting because the drinks are pretty easy right now. I don’t mind because pop was a bitch in the first game, but I’m all for more Cook Serve Delicious!2!! I’m trying not to be as much of a perfectionist this time, but it’s hard. I still automatically restart when I make a mistake (it’s ingrained after two games), and I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it. I did it on my first playthrough because there’s an achievement for 200 gold medals (getting a perfect day in one of the Chef For Hire restaurants).

Anyway, Ian told me about a game called Battle Chef Brigade, and I was immediately intrigued. It’s a cross between Iron Chef and Monster Hunter (lite), and the main character is named Mina. I mean, how could I not get it, right? Since I’m cheap, however, I waited for it to go on sale, and now it’s sitting pretty in my Steam account. It’s labeled a brawler and a puzzle game, and I have it in my indie eclectic category. It’s made by Trinket Studios after a successful Kickstarter than netted them nearly triple the amount they asked for, and it was published by Adult Swim.

I only watched the trailer before I bought it, and I started it with trepidation. Why? Because it’s hard to tell what I will and won’t like. Things that should be right up my alley aren’t, and things that I’m skeptical of sometimes hit the spot. An example of the former–Overcooked. I had heard glowing praise of it, and it looked like something I would adore. I hated it. Straight up hated it. Maybe it’s better with local co-op, but I can’t be stuffed to find out. I uninstalled rather quickly and never looked back.

I started Battle Chef Brigade with some trepidation, and I was immediately charmed by it. Not only is the character’s name Mina, her last name is Han. She’s a simple country gal working in her parents’ small restaurant, but dreaming of being a Battle Chef Brigade competitor.  Through some machinations, she makes it to the competition (of course! Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a game) and registers. One of the amusing conceits is that she oversleeps all the time, which is something I cannot relate to. Anyway, the tutorials are brief, and I think the game would benefit from expanding them a bit. Look, yes, I play Souls games in which the tutorials are, “Here. Play the game. go away”, but that doesn’t mean I’m against tutorials in general. During the combat parts of the game, there are certain moves you can do, and they are not as intuitive at all.

At least they weren’t for me when I was trying keyboard/mouse. I prefer k/m to controller, but I’ve used controller much more for the past several games I’ve played. Anyway, k/m is not intuitive at all for this game. The first problem is because I use Dvorak instead of Qwerty. This game does not support Dvorak, so I had to switch my keyboard back to Qwerty before playing. That’s not the problem. The problem is that when the prompts came up in the tutorial, it’s in Qwerty, and it doesn’t register with my brain. It doesn’t help if it’s in Dvorak, though, because I touch-type, so I don’t necessarily know where the letters are on the keyboard. There are two kinds of attacks–physical and magical. And there are combos. I don’t play fighting games, and I hate combo-based combat, so it’s basically comes down to button-mashing for me. There’s no place to check what the combos actually are (at least not that I can find. Maybe in the practice kitchen? I can’t remember), and I usually just hit the animal/plant until it dies.

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Night in the Woods, part three: Putting it all together

free your mind, mallard.
Mallard! What have they done to you?

Hello. Welcome to the third and hopefully the last post on Night in the Woods. Not because I’m tired of talking about it because I am most emphatically not, but because I know I sound like I’m obsessed–which, to be fair, I am. Anyhoo, here’s part two.OK. Let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the third playthrough. Needless to say, there are going to be spoilers, and while I’ll try to note the more egregious ones, just be forewarned that I can’t talk about my third playthrough without revealing some spoilers in general.

After I finished the second playthrough, I immediately started the third. I was in a groove, and I knew there was still things I hadn’t discovered. Also, there are things I saw at the end of my second playthrough (while watching a streamer play), and I didn’t have enough days to do the whole quest. The fact that this quest exists at all is a marvel. As I was walking on the wires the second playthrough, I found a window I could open. I did that, and I went inside. There was a big float duck named Mallard bolted down, and I found a hole inside him. In the hole were two rats. Mae notes that they look hungry, and I decided I needed to find them cheese. I couldn’t find any cheese and it was only when

*spoilers*

I watched BaerTaffy steal the pretzel from the pretzel/pierogi vendor in the underground tunnel, and I felt like a complete idiot. I knew it was there, and I knew the paw icon popped up when I passed by the pretzels, and Mae was chastised by the vendor for stealing before. I should have put together the whole thing, but I didn’t. I stole a pretzel and brought it back up to my babies. Unfortunately, I did not have enough days to finish it, so I made sure to do it during the third playthrough as soon as I could–which is the first day, I think.

I fed them faithfully every day and each day there was one more, and then after four days (I think), they were gone. They were free. The coolest thing is once they left, I saw them all around the city. They weren’t there before, which is a neat little touch. also, in the same place as Mallard, there was a door to the bottom right that would not open throughout my entire first and second playthrough. It’s a door that you could easily miss, and even if you found it, you probably wouldn’t try to open it more than a few times. That’s the brilliance of this game, but also the frustrating thing. You need to check everything every day, and while the payoff is so damn fulfilling when it happens, it’s few and far between.  Continue Reading

Night in the Woods, part two: Getting under my skin

i'll just lie here, thanks!
Aunt Mall Cop was NOT amused by my antics.

I’m back to talk more about Night in the Woods. Here is part one. This time, I want to focus a bit more on the meta and on my third playthrough. Warning, there will be spoilers. I’ll try to keep it story-spoiler-free as much as I can, but I really need to get into it, which I can’t without giving some stuff away.

First, I need to talk about Mae Borowski, the main character. She’s a young (20), angry and scared black cat who tends to blurt out embarrassing or mean things when she feels threatened–which is often. She’s snarky and sassy the rest of the time, and sometimes, she’s both. She’s dropped out of college and returned to the small town in which she was born–Possum Springs. In the beginning, she’s portrayed as a bratty but endearing young woman who’s aimless and doesn’t have any purpose in life. She’s lucky she has a home to return to, and she sleeps away the day in the attic of her parents’ home–that they may not own for much longer, but more on that in a bit.

Normally, she’s the kind of character I wouldn’t like at all. But, there’s something about her that spoke to me. Probably because I *was* her when I was that age, though with a bit more social grace. I hated college and felt like an alien. I had trouble fitting in, and if I thought dropping out was a possibility, I would have heavily considered it. I only went to college because it was expected of me, and I still wish I had taken a year off after I had finished high school. For Mae, there is the added pressure of being the first Borowski to go to college, as her mom is quick to point out in the middle of a fight they have.

There is so much pathos in this game. It’s set in a dying Rust Belt town, and the depression surrounding the town is almost another character. It’s in every scene of the game, and it’s a constant reminder that many of the small towns in America are dying out. The only pizza place in town closes a few days after Mae returns home. There’s a character, Danny, who, while hilarious, is representative of the lack of livability in some of these towns. He can’t hold a job to save his life, and while some of it is his attitude, more of it is because the jobs simply aren’t there. There are the two NPCs who stand next to a bar all day long, and they only talk about one thing–The Smelters, who are the local sportsball team, I’m assuming. Then, one of the characters get a job in another city, and the two have to say goodbye. It’s sad, even though you don’t know anything else about them.

OK. Let’s talk about the gameplay, as it were. This is one of the few things I didn’t like in this game. One, it feels artificial in what is mostly an animated visual novel (and I say this as a compliment, though I normally don’t like visual novels), and it felt as if it was added to pad the game. After Mae makes an ass of herself at a game (in front of her ex, no less!), she starts to have nightmares/weird dreams that are gorgeous-looking and sounding (as is the whole game), but feels very game-y. I didn’t mind doing it once, but by the fourth or fifth time, I was just impatient to get through it. It doesn’t help that I have a terrible sense of space, so I couldn’t find where I needed to be very quickly.

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Night in the Woods, part one: A first playthrough

chillin' with my homies!
GREGG RULZ OK

Over a year ago, I heard of an indie game called, Night in the Woods, and I didn’t know much about it except it starred a black girl cat who had a sassy attitude, kinda like me. I watched a Let’s Play of the first hour, then I stopped because I knew I’d be playing it one day. I liked the snarky tone of the game, plus there’s a mystery involved, and it seemed like it would be right up my alley. I kept putting it off, however, as I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Then, a few weeks ago, it was on sale on Steam, and I was between games, so I bought it.

I started playing, and I was immediately frustrated with the first gaming section. I’m playing as Mae Borowski, the aforementioned cat, who’s 20 and dropped out of college. She’s on her way back home and walking through the woods to get there. I explored the area and was immediately stuck. I couldn’t go anywhere, so I knew I had to do something on screen in order to progress. The problem is, there wasn’t anything other than a creaky log. In watching playthroughs after finishing the game, the streamers all immediately understood what they had to do, but I didn’t. You probably know what it is just by reading what I wrote. I had to keep jumping on the log until it broke, and then it pushed up other logs (or something) so I could make progress.

I will say, my complaint about my first playthrough* was all the game parts. The platforming bits. The DDR mini-game (I keep calling it that, but it’s more like Guitar Band or Rock Hero**). I was spectacularly terrible at the latter, so much so, I completely electrocuted the characters for Pumpkin Head Guy. Anyway, the parts I like were wandering around town and talking to different characters. Which, thankfully, is roughly eighty percent of the game.

I love Mae unabashedly, even when I want to shake her for being mean/embarrassing/awkward. I can empathize with her to an uncomfortable degree. Even before knowing why she dropped out of college, I felt a kinship with her. She’s intelligent, but not always comfortable with other people. She’s awkward, fat (in her own eyes) and has a low self-esteem. She’s also warm and caring, but she doesn’t always know how to express it properly.

She can also climb across power lines, but I didn’t fully realize that until my second playthrough. I’ll get to that in a minute.

The first night, we run into her aunt who appears to be the only cop in Possum Springs. Mae calls her Aunt Mall Cop, but her real name is Molly. Then, we meet pops who is momentarily flummoxed by Mae’s arrival (her parents thought it was going to be the next night), but quickly recovers. Then, it’s bedtime, or in my case, practice the bass time. Man, I sucked at that so bad. I got better with practice, but I’ve never played those kind of games and my reactions are slow, so it’s frustrating for me. Fortunately, there are only two or three times you have to do it in game (two if you suck really bad at it, three if you don’t).

The rest of the characters felt immediately relatable. Gregg is her hyperactive best friend who is into doing crimes. He’s a fox, and it’s implied that he’s bipolar, but it’s never explicitly stated. He’s living with his boyfriend, a big, gentle geeky bear named Angus.  The drummer of the group (“It’s a laptop, Bea.” “It sure is, Mae. It sure is.”) is a weary, worn-down alligator named Bea. She’s goth from head to toe, wearing all black, an ankh, and smoking a fake cigarette all the time inside (and sometimes outside, I think, alternating with a real one).

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Sometimes, real life gets in the way

I’ve been obsessed with a game called Night in the Woods for the past week or so.  I’ve had my eye on it ever since it came out because it sounded like it could be my jam. The main character is a black girl cat who dropped out of college and returned to her Rust Belt small town after a year-and-a-half, and everything is dying. That’s all I knew about it before buying it because I knew I was going to play it one day, and I try to keep myself spoiler-free before playing a game that is narrative-rich. It was on sale during the last Steam sale for $13.99, and I was between games, so I decided to buy it.

I have since played it through twice (and have started a third playthrough), and I have many thoughts about it. Unfortunately, real life has gotten in the way, so I will have to table it until next week. For now, enjoy RockLeeSmile playing his way through it. I will caution that if you want to play it, you should do so without reading anything about it or watching any playthroughs.

Here are a few screencaps to wet your whistle. Enjoy.

 

Doki Doki Literature Club–Not Your Typical Japanese Dating Sim

When it comes to gaming, I am a bit of a weirdo. I don’t like any one genre, though I do dislike several. In the later category, anime, dating sims, visual novels, and JRPGs. I have several reasons for this, which I’ll save for another post, but then Ian told me about a game called Doki Doki Literature Club by Team Salvato, which at first glance looks exactly the opposite of up my alley. I mean:

which are you gonna choose?

It looks like everything I hate in a game. Sexualized schoolgirls, romancing said schoolgirls, it’s all very PUA-like. Say the right thing to get the right girl to like you. It’s all creepy and gross, and normally, I wouldn’t even look twice at it. Plus, it’s all froo-froo pink and fluffy. Bleah.

I gave Ian the side-eye, but he reassured me that there was more to it than met the eye, and it wasn’t really a creepy dating sim, even though it’s marketed as such. I trust Ian, and it’s free on Steam, and I’m in between games (though I just bought Night in the Woods, and I’m really excited to try it), so I downloaded it and fired it up. I will say the fact that it has a disclaimer and makes you sign it before it actually starts is my first indication that this game hopefully is deeper than it appears.

The first hour is pure agony, I will confess to you, dear reader. It follows down the dating sim path introducing you (the main character) to four girls. One is your perky, upbeat neighbor, Sayori, who you’ve known forever (girl with red bow), but have grown apart because she has trouble meeting you in time to walk to (high) school together*. She tricks you into joining her club which is the Literature Club, of course, and the other three members are also cute girls. Monika, the club leader, and the most popular girl in school (long brown-haired girl). Yuri, the goth of the group (dark-haired girl), and Natsuki (pink-haired girl), the annoying brat who’s covering up the softness inside.

You don’t want to join the club, but once you realize there are four cute girls with very distinct personalities, well, of course you join. What else is there to do, especially in a video game? What follows is an endless amount of talking and me mashing the button to get through the dialogue as quickly as possible. I read really fast, but still. You have to write poems for this club, and supposedly, the words you pick to write the poems will fit one of the girls better than the others. Or something.

Warning–spoilers to follow. I’m going to try to keep them as light as possible, but it’s hard to talk about the games without spoiling it somewhat. If you have any interest in playing this game, quit reading now and play it. It really is best played with minimal knowledge. For those of you still with me, the rest of this article will be below the cut.

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