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otherwise a wonderful finale for Off The Hook and capstone on their moral as a couple, a beautiful reflection on welcoming change for the better or worse with open arms (Marina's defection, Acht's sanitisation). to spin into a tangent, the nature of splatoon's final splatfests is mystifying in its inviting discussion of "what if?" scenarios and its very permanent decision to deliver on its consequences in favour to the winning team, seamlessly marrying story events directly to gameplay in a predominantly online title. in contrast to that upheld value, side order's decision to reframe and spotlight splatoon 2's order vs chaos was to be inevitably expected having had the most tangible effect on the world reflected in the splatlands and its "chaos" of diversity.
i have a love for the franchise and its chosen vehicle of worldbuilding and storytelling, and i'm grateful a very good friend of mine took the time to share his own love with me. side order is no octoexpansion, but will anything ever be again?
i actually did enjoy how the concept of language and the difficulty of communication while navigating romance is explored across the cast. a lot is easily understandable if one knows how to engage with the text, though i wish people would stop throwing around the insipid term "schizo" to refer to absurdist dialogue.
anticipation vs experience can be really disappointing. Aorta is cute i guess🙄
to speak to its strengths, Signalis maintains a highly unique visual language and style across 3d and 2d artistic assets as well as its tactile UI and graphic design. the sleek utilitarian replikas vs the rosy warmth of the gestalts is rendered skillfully with a mere pixel monopen, their representative polygonal forms surprisingly expressive in their minimalistic textures and animations. the accompanying score is also something really special, particularly the piano arrangements which command this epic sadness matched by the tale of Elster and her beloved. i only wish so much attention was given to navigating the game itself as it remains a glorified note hunt segmented by barely responsive doors, with combat feeling more a universal frustrating necessity enforced by the label "survival horror" than anything tense or scary.
like a lot of these gorgeously stylised and well-loved indies, i really did want to love Signalis as its themes and genre are among my favourites along with the recommendation from a few good friends. either way i'm glad to have finally played it despite my own average reception and am inspired by its longing viscera and heartache.