Standard Review: Silenced: The House (PC)

Silenced: The House | Title screen

CW: Gore and violent imagery, murder, death, misogyny, ableism.

Welcome to another edition of “obscure indie visual novels that only eight people on planet earth have heard of and only three including me care about.” I am your host Annie Gallagher and today we are taking a look at Silenced: The House on Steam and Itch.io. I actually may have never even heard of this game myself if it were not for the fact that this game’s developer followed me on Twitter and this game came up in conversation. I was initially planning to ask for a review copy, but after seeing that the game was only $2.00 at full price AND on sale since it just launched I figured I wouldn’t be losing that much by doing so. In hindsight this was a bit of a mistake on my part since

Gotcha!

This game is actually pretty damn good.
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Fangame Review: Doki Doki Literature Club!!! Our Final Heartbeat

Doki Doki Literature Club! | Just Monika

CW: Mentions of Suicide, child abuse, and images of self harm/cutting.

Given that I specifically mentioned and linked this mod in my review of Doki Doki Literature Club, I think it’s safe to assume that this review was obligatory.

I think I heard that there was a fan mod that DID serve as just that; expanding upon the base game’s story and characters while making it into a finished visual novel that is unlocked after the good ending…

I was half right about this mod. Doki Doki Literature Club!!! Our Final Heartbeat, originally titled as just Doki Doki Literature Club!!! but with three explanation points instead of one, did expand on the base story and provide a more satisfying ending than the original game. However, this mod does NOT turn Doki Doki Literature Club! into a typical dating sim that continues the rest of the in game plotline.

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Amazing VGM: Tranquility (Sakura Spirit)

Sakura Spirit | kimonos

I’ve made my opinion on Sakura Spirit pretty clear in the past; I don’t like it. As much as I exaggerate my own sexual deviancy for comedic effect… you know where this is going. Having nice… scenery… can only get you so far if you are vapid and uninspired. But enough about Katy Perry!

No that’s not the song, that’s just an attempt to convey a sound effect even though that shit does not work in text. Thankfully there are no air horns in Sakura Spirits OST as the game’s music as actually pretty good… Read more

Yume Nikki (PC): Abstract Surrealism, but Not Much Else

Yume Nikki | Seizure Trigger

CW: Suicide

There are certain games that I hear mentioned a lot as being “inspired by Earthbound/Mother.” Among these include games like Undertale, Off, LISA, Contact, Opoona, and the subject of this review; Yume Nikki. I have had a bit of an on again off again relationship with this game kinda like those ones in bad sitcoms where they try to pad out the drama across multiple seasons. Needless to say, I just didn’t get it at first. However, I decided to finally finish it up recently and I still don’t get it. Okay technically, I kinda understand why people like this game, but it didn’t do much for me personally.

Yume Nikki has often been described as Eraserhead in RPG Maker. For those that don’t know what Eraserhead is, it is an art house film directed by David Lynch that is known for being highly disturbing and also difficult to understand. It tends to be a case of “you either get it or you don’t” Read more

Amazing VGM: Megalovania (Halloween Hack/Homestuck/Cognitive Dissonance/Undertale)

Mother: Cognitive Dissonance | NALT Giygas

Note: This was originally written as a DeviantArt journal entry on October 21st of 2016 with some edits made.

Major spoiler warning for Halloween Hack, Mother: Cognitive Dissonance, and Undertale.

It is about time I get to another entry on a video game song given how long it has been since the last one. As such, I’m going to structure this one similar to when I covered the eight melodies in that this will include multiple renditions of the song across multiple sources. Of course, some people who discovered this song through Undertale may be somewhat surprised to hear that it was not originally from there. It’s first appearance was in an Earthbound romhack that Toby Fox developed when he was 16 known as “The Halloween Hack“.

Halloween Hack was pretty impressive when one keeps the context of which it was made in mind. It is a game that has a lot of its own original content such as sprite work and music, and the game even makes use of mechanics that were under utilized in Earthbound. So it was definitely a well made Hack from a technical perspective, but other than that it falls flat. Read more

Gone Home (PS4/XONE/PC): Go Home, Gone Home, You’re Drunk! (Detailed Review)

Gone Home | Pirate flag

I honestly did not think that I would ever be reviewing a game that I hated this much that also happened to be well received by the gaming community. Honestly I do not see how this game got any attention whatsoever, let alone being hailed as a key point in the evolution of gaming. If this is the direction that games are going to be heading then I may just start reading books instead. Gone Home is something that is so basic and primitive that it can barely even count as a game, yet it does not come close to having the artistic merit to be considered a movie or book. The story that the game is trying to tell is padded out across a four hour “game” that has no form of engaging gameplay and the four hours I spent with this game felt like the longest four hours of my life. There is genuinely nothing good I can think of saying as a serious praise. Gone Home is just a complete incomprehensible mess.

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Steam Greenlight Landfill: Final Quest II

Final Quest II | loading screen save

Good fucking god why did I even bother to play this piece of shit? I was not thinking this game would turn out good after the first game was such a train wreck, but this one is not only worse, it is a FUCK LOAD worse! The first Final Quest is Mother 3 compared to this miscarriage of a game! Final Quest II is so bad that I now take back every positive thing I said about it’s developer. I take it back because a game as bad as Final Quest II CANNOT be released at retail without the developers noticing. A development team that would knowingly release a game as unplayable as Final Quest do NOT deserve your money or support.

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Meltys Quest (PC): Shameless, Trashy, and Oddly Compelling (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

Meltys Quest | title screen

CW: Mentions of and references to strong sexual content, rape, incest, pedophilia, homophobia, biphobia, and domestic abuse. Images are blurred but still sexual in nature.

Meltys Quest is a bit of an oddity to me. I can normally just place a game in the “good” or “bad” category and be done with it. I did enjoy Meltys Quest overall, but there were also a lot of issues that I had with it, and those issues are ones that prevent me from giving it a blanket recommendation across the board. One of the key reasons that I choose to do away with review scores is because some factors may be more or less important for some people than others. A review is merely one interpretation of the game in question, and one’s own interpretations will be based very heavily on their own backgrounds.

My own background as a radical feminist is one that makes me a lot more critical of certain aspects of this game than most of its target audience will care about. While I am far from sex negative, I do tend to hold a lot of disdain for porn, or at the very least mainstream pornography. I don’t believe that it is doing direct harm or needs to be banned like the stereotypical angry triggered feminazi stereotype does, but rather I think that most porn… kinda sucks, and I don’t mean in the sexy way (although it does that to). If anything, I actually have far more respect for the eroge genre than most do because I don’t think that being an eroge justifies shitty writing or immaturity. Yes, the intent of the game is kept in mind, but such a thing is just common sense when reviewing.

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Max, An Autistic Journey (PC): Could Have Been an Artistic Journey, but Wasn’t (Detailed Review)

Max, an Autistic Journey | Title

TW: Ableism… what did you expect in a game subtitled “An Autistic Journey?”

The observant eye might have noticed that the puzzle piece is a common symbol that is used to represent people with autism. The reasoning behind this was to represent both the puzzling nature of the condition as well as the fact that every autistic person is a unique individual. The puzzle piece is also a recurring symbol in Max, an Autistic Journey, due to the game’s focus on autism as a central theme.

As a “high functioning” autistic individual (that means I can talk), I dislike the use of the puzzle piece as a way of representing autistic people as a whole. We should not be labeled like autism makes us some kind of unnatural enigma that is incomprehensible, when we are human beings just like everyone else. I am not the only one who feels this way either as this can easily be seen by Google searching “autism puzzle piece” and seeing several articles stating their disfavor with the symbol. Also it does not help Professional Imagination’s case when they Read more

JRPG Update Indie: January 2018

JRPG Update logo

And welcome to the other variation of JRPG Update that we currently hold. This series is meant to post a round up of news related to indie RPGs that are reminiscent of what are often considered JRPGs, regardless of the country where they were developed. Anyway, this one will be a bit different than JRPG Update Pro given that obscure indie titles tend to get far less coverage, so a lot of the news is basically “this game exists.” Anyway let’s get started.

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