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I played this demo a year ago when Finch posted about it, and I was interested. It sounded neat, and I was intrigued about how the game changes files and changed depending on how you played.

As I mentioned on the completion thread, I finally played through it this weekend and I was extremely disappointed. I don't like to talk negatively about things I don't like because OPINIONS, and why would I try to dissuade people from trying something they may like, so I'll just spoiler and list my main takeaways.

-characters were very flat. They all had that one trait that was supposed to make them endearing, but it was always incredibly overplayed and unrealistic. Jokey skeleton. Bumbling skeleton. HARD fish. Creepy/otaku.. thing. Super nice king. Then every one of them had a moment where you're supposed to be shocked! when they broke mold. Wow! None of it was surprising. The most interesting character was the ghost/robot celebrity, and that's not saying much.

-the story was mildly interesting. it was super simplistic until the very end, but the abrupt turn was disjointed and not explained well. SPOILER: the name you gave wasn't you. I guess that is interesting but it wasn't given enough explanation to have an impact.

-The end characters were introduced and explained very deus ex machina. I was here, I died. I'm back! Just because. I'm also back, I was dead too look at me, because of something else. But I'll be gone soon again, care about that. They are given much more importance than the characters you've been talking to all game.

-They (he, I guess) had this idea that being nice and leaving monsters alive meant the monsters were there for you to talk if you backtracked. Cool idea. They were all completely worthless. Also, it encouraged you to walk back through a bunch of shit rooms at dragon warrior 1 speed. Give me fucking sprint shoes at least. Was there a sprint button I didn't know about? 100% serious, I think I added 1.5 hours on my playtime because of this at the end of the game. There are a FEW fast travel points that will make you miss monsters if you use them... if you're going to do that just don't even bother?

-The battle system was cool enough. It was a bit less exciting than I thought trying to find out how to keep everyone alive, but it was short so that's fine. The last boss (king) was stupid because that is the first time I had to choose fight and I looked it up to make sure. In a clever game that reads your save file and even changes dialog in the fucking fight depending on how many times you've died, it was dumb to require you to just give up your pacifism and just choose to attack. You're just supposed to believe the game THIS time when it says, oh, you have to fight?

-The secrets were kind of stupid. There's a door at the beginning, no explanation. I kept trying it during different points. Same with the dog artifact. (This is part of the reason I grew to hate the slow walking. ) So again the game expects you to know, 'hey, this game is smart/sneaky, but no this time, this is pointless just ignore it'. There are a lot of kind of small details that do this same thing. They're supposed to reward you for being clever and trying options and being observant, but MOST of the game, doing that just wastes your time. Thanks game.

-I read about the endings and Chara interactions. Interesting but I would have been more upset if I had tried for these. 4th wall breaking, what a surprise. The game makes it very obvious that it is looking at save files, so when it takes over some things it's not very impactful. The genocide run permanently affecting the true pacifist run is also interesting but I would have been annoyed, again. It's just a jumble of ideas that are thrown together haphazardly. Ideas are interesting, the package is annoying. IMO, experiencing games is what makes them personally valuable, and reading about them or watching a let's play devalues the game. In this case it very much feels the opposite, playing the game sucks and you're better off reading about the small number of things that actually end up vaguely interesting.

I guess those were general enough to cover most everything. Mostly I feel like the game tried way too hard to be clever. It was sometimes, but most of the time it wasn't, and you were PUNISHED for believing it was. I wasted a shitload of time on the uneven pace of the game and I'm angry about it. It taught me to just play like a stupid person and look up things online afterward. Congratulations.

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