I started playing this about a week after going to Furry Weekend Atlanta, a convention where I basically fell into a, for lack of a better word, star-crossed love of my life. We've been sappy fucks up to and including today, and I decided to stream this in front of her as our relationship continued to develop together.

It makes every line, emotion, and bounding heartfelt aura of this work speak so loud, to an almost deafening level. I feel Seen in too many respects to name. Melody's self-confidence, difficulty with communicating, trying to be HONEST but not wanting to HURT. Relationships built barely against fears and anxieties, colorful weavings of trying to be earnest and sincere while what feels like world-threatening issues rain on you. Each one of the main cast's troubles holds my talon and makes me stare at what I have worked on, what I need to continue working on, what I should be working on.

It's special. It fucks me up how much of this is a game I wanted to make. I had a whole ~Witch Coven~ story between a cast of stupidly sapphic lovers that I've yet to really make see the heart of day outside a silly AO3 prologue I wrote while frustrated with myself. This work is everything I could've ever wanted to yell out.

It's comforting to have a work that knows exactly what you want. That knows exactly what it is that makes life special in a way you do. SLARPG gives me power and reaffirmation of the happiness I've been through and continue to discover.

I love my girlfriend!! She's fucking amazing!! I love her so much ;-; I can't wait to see the rest of our future together!!! Here's to another adventure!!!

Longing for fulfillment all the way until the end of the world. Living in the literal day-to-day culture, with fleeting attempts to amplify their voices within the cacophony of people, trying to fill their hearts with SOMETHING and yet the only thing that matters is, did they really find what they were looking for beneath the circuitry? Everyone's answers is made for them, even the ones with the strongest Voice, usually in service of someone else's attempt. The only one that matters at the end of the day is the one who lived for compassion and love. That's what so many living figures in this world seemed to miss. The last and most central thing that exists isn't you, it's who you are with.

This review contains spoilers

I'm hot off the endings so you'll have to forgive me for only speaking in negatives with this. You can find plenty an earnestly true word all over the site about how utterly dazzling, sapphic, and beautiful this experience truly is when things all connect. That's all still true, what this work brings when it indeed does work, in about a good chunk of the runtime, is powerful and swept me up. As a resident witch I can say that large part of things is so lovingly crafted.

Butttt then there's the things I want to talk about. The truth of Little Goody Two Shoes is that it's much more interested in the structural, by and large mechanical aspects of bewitching, german folklore, and its surface levels of the shoujo than telling an earnest story, or really making true on its characters, or hell, its love!!! You will spend 70% of the time doing incredibly visceral trials to culminate in the Most Expected lesson of pursuing desires completely, while only 15% will contribute to a rushed, altogether the only real emotional heart, of finding connection and freeing yourself from that 70% tunnel vision. Which is, dissonant. The game cares so much more about painfully making an example out of Elise than it does actually having much to say, leading its endings bereft of too much closure other than justtt enough to make me feel longing as hell >.>

And Like, I GET IT. My most recent current relationship has utterly freed me from so much ;-; It's made me see what truly matters, what I want really in life, where I want my future to go! It's pushed me out of tunnel vision of some bad habits that have grown in the years I've lived with my past relationships. I understand this feeling Little Goody Two Shoes is about, now more than ever. But there's So, SO much more to it than this work even fucking considersss touching on. There's so much time and getting to know each other than 5 pre-established or just-established love in a week can really make to sell the shortest endings ever on offer. There's too much of a facsimile of relationships, something a short yuri shoujo serial can genuinely accomplish more.

I also can't help that I'm so peeved. I'm so peeved that everything to do with what was defined as 'real witching' was ultimately completely Negative. Fuck off. There's stardamn nuance in devil contracts and corruptive pathways, you can't just give the single astrologian the only positive credit. That the circumstances of the game imply that if you simply dropped every witchy aspect of yourself, moved away from all corruptive influences, every other personal connection (or attempt at one!) and pursued your single chosen lover, it would solve all your problems, is utterly blasphemous smh.

Genuinely though, I can't help but find painful conclusion to this flower that is pretty, perfectly thorny, but far from poetic. It juggles so much on religion, the detachment between self and community, and the feeling of a past and familyhood that was pre-defined for you. For it to mean, nothing. Mostly, nothing.

They gave us free, "you can probably get to max rank with these", competent loaner decks for a month.

This game's been saved

I could turn out to hate this game down the line and it wouldn’t matter. Here and there readability issues don’t mean shit for this being the formative game my new girlfriend and I played right after confessing at the end of a convention, sharing solo progression progress back and forth to each other, progging duos and trios together until our heads bleed on Hard difficulty alone, finishing off with us posting the lyrics of that literal one song in the game sappily back and forth. Magical shit, love this FFXIV fan proxy

2016

Honestly about still as good as I remember?

I feel like there's more to appreciate coming back to it now in a,, endearing way. It's like a collective playable synthwave album, down to how the attacks are basically a rhythm, but just jumbled around by bursts of twin stick sections and walking moments where you let the music play while a stupid pastiche narrates at you. And all of that is still really really fun to me. I'm enjoying the push and pull like normal, even if it's all rudimentary now that I've already beaten Furier and still have the muscle memory.

Which really surprised me, because I think that's the kind of opaque bullshit I would come back and go "wow this meant genuinely nothing, what the fuck did they think they were cooking?", but with all the environments and how the music sways it comes off more in the stoner sense where they THOUGHT they were being so interesting and deep but their eyes are staring blank straight through you lol. That's like the best way I can explain why it's fun to experience on a return.

It congeals together in such a way that I find myself unable to resent its very standard and now blatantly generic "phase" design. It's like yeah, I can get into it ^.=.^ I'm still banging my head to You're Mine, after all. Hilariously it makes me feel like I'm too harsh on Sekiro that This is the rhythm like action game I'm eating up today.

Sweet and Beautiful, warm and fuzzy, heartfelt and peaceful <3
Reminders and memories of the day to day we live by, and grow by ^w^ Nothing more and nothing less!!!

Kind of interesting how much the space of these years were really into the sort of Tron/FC3 Blood Dragon Cyberspace. I think it's kind of "fun" in the way any cotton candy town can be appealing and enjoyable. Now on replay it hurts my eyes every so often, almost intentionally with its awful and absolutely dire random tv-crt cuts.

And that sums up the experience, awful every so often in a disappointing way. When the overall work grabs you it can be genuinely incredible, with desyncing enemies and comboing sequences together to become an absolute fast-and-furious powerhouse that demolishes through tactile precision and great understandings of your gunplay fundamentals. Things like blowing up a stage bomb to turn a few slashing enemies into projectiles that you've conveniently pushed towards an increasingly large shuriken, getting a particular bonus you set up ahead of time, to then use the new speed to rocket up another set of enemies that you then laser point-blank underneath their hides for ANOTHER bonus.

And then the encounter is already over.
What?

Yeah, the game is honestly way too forgiving, way too easy. It's so afraid of throwing particular enemy combos at you or putting too much on you that even its second boss fight will go invulnerable and just stand there staring at you while you take care of a poultry wave first. The real meat is in its aberration challenges, but those kind of pull apart having your own "sandbox" to combo enemies in favor of a pre-determined affair. Which I do personally prefer, but it means that about 3/4 of whatever setup you do with the menuing means nothing if the weapons are different.
But, when you've accustomed to the game's own rhythm, they provide the closest Desync gets to pulling you apart in a very engaging way. When these hardmode levels take away your dash and force you to tactfully make your kills to get back HP before your meter runs out. When you're playing a weird game of "keep-away" with weapons that require getting at least a bit close to do proper damage, because the enemies now decided to explode on overkill. When you've got one hit to your name and a host of smaller enemies swarming on you and there's only ONE way you can stagger them to do damage in the first place.

It all helps that at the end of the day this is a very fun frictional shooter, with devs at a midway point where they don't give a shit what you think but also graft on a rpg-your-weapon modifications because that's a thing now. It's a team that lets you be able to make the final boss a multi-enemy one of your own volition and say "deal with it", and has the least accessibility for its nauseating interface. The moniker "adult swim games" has great meaning here, and that's pretty cool.

The understandings that come between characters worlds apart, rendered blissfully through everyday life, from absurd to natural. Nasu's most interpersonal poignant work I feel, largely by nature of being invested in the day-to-day growth between its cast, reflecting on people throughout their days of steely clouds, fallen snow, and fairy tale amusement parks. Ever more blissfully held up by how Type Moon's characters are given such vibrancy, with each interaction always flowing off the page for me into a real group of multifaceted people ^/w/^

I will admit though, that I found myself wishing there was more to chew on than what's here. There's a crazy good juxtaposition between the changing architecture, the diametrically opposed functions of old and new, nostalgic and living-in-the-present, but it ends up becoming more cornerstones of the players of life rather than delved into thinkpieces. Which is largely the point, after all, as this is coming-of-age in its truest form. Everything is open, wide, and turning pages into a more difficult cityscape that demands resolution from you as you're just starting to figure out what you're looking for. And in that way the platitudes, the stories of making the most of your life, the ending divvying up of regrets you still have of the life you've led so far, all culminate together into something deeply fulfilling.

It's a wonderfully graceful work with all that. I'll really have to think on it a lot more as I leave it.

Genuinely the best feeling 3D platformer I've played innnnnn gotta be at least 5 years. It's, just, pouring out the seams with charm and earnest love, to the point where the polish feels homemade with its partly-crusty lining. Sometimes for woe though, of course, like when the geometry can ~occasionally~ disagree with your particular momentum and existence. Otherwise it feels as clean as it should be!

It has the makings of doing the Super Mario Odyssey flowchart of hat-tricking, but with detours and digressions from that linear track, encouraged both for score and conserving momentum. Sonic but not-quite-Sonic sprinklings on top, and that all flows together phenomenally. What's altogether more stunning though is it's the only work of its ilk that bothers to really have "level design." There's real guidance through its stages in a way that lets you go absolutely hogwild with its toolkit without ever being 'too open' or 'too constrained.' You can reasonably skip as much as you'd like to by mastering the speed of yo-yo tricks well enough, but there's always some things you Need to do. It's so super encouraging of going for the One-Combo 100% run through its stages, to the point where I actually went and did a few. I can't say a game like this has done that to me! It helps that the music is so bouncy and blissful, and stages never outstay their welcome to where the prospect of "you need to do this entire stage again" is a "absolutely hun let's do even better this time".

My only ~real~ issue is that the swinging and twirling, sadly, lacks enough bite, at least for me. I don't think there's a single stage or moment where the game challenged me, and this is AFTER doing every bonus stage. Sure I can do the one-combos and those can be difficult but with all the skips it's only really as hard as I let it be? Even though it's not uncharacteristic for such a clearly soft platformer, I find myself so unsatisfied with the lengths the game really went to, especially when the final boss was more of a wet fart than a real demonstration of the game's skills, or like, your performance as an artist!!! Give it an encore! A real spicy star road!

The makings of a full super duper lovely and cute hamtaro season congealed into one very wonderful ~metroidvania-esque~ package. It's really sweet <3 Lot of smiles, lot of wonderfully relaxing and cozy vibes while simply taking care of all the hamsters as you help them find love!!!

Genuinely the most creative set of fps levels I've got to experience <3

The full characteristics of cyriak videos + old-doom level design philosophy congealed into a rocking-rollercoaster of an Office Experience. Smile on my face from start to finish, from just, incredible use of space and wonderful level gimmicks. Big shoutout to the one messing with past/future, titanfall 2 could never /s /s

If anything, my only 'real' issue is that there's a lot of jumps in terms of difficulty (although a lot of the later breathing room makes sense,, some of these maps hold nothing back), as it does always make me giggle when the Hardest challenge was Well Before the halfway point for me. Then again I do feel like just experiencing this pack front-to-back helped me buff out a lot of my amateur-ness with running these maps. I feel more equipped than ever to tackle stuff like Sunlust again.

If you have even the remote interest in trying out a Doom WAD, I think this is the best place to start, just so you can experience the true 9-5 workerman perspective.

Masterclass in indulgence and responsible for too many things in my life.
This one's for all the real witches,,,

My kneejerk reaction is that l feel super weird about loving what is essentially an architectural achievement. I can't help but have, a sense of unease at a lot of the surroundings of this experience. The basic copypasta-like clearly House of Leaves-rip that doesn't really have much of a personal soul to it, and more the boxings of one, just rides on me (especially if the trauma part of that is actually real, which makes things even more complicated). Especially when it pulls memes and such of the internet to congeal here, and especially when I'm literally in an in-progress read of the book that leaves me too numb to feel the lovings of a homage without kind of scoffing at the quality attempt.

,,,on that same token though, it is a homage. A very carefully crafted one that manages to utilize its medium in ways that lift the ech-beginnings into something that emotionally feels haunting and winding. It's a very terrible reduction, but sometimes being a meticulous, loving director can help transcend a pretty shitty script. I really was terrified constantly. I found each exploration vast and visceral. Cheating (because this derg, is scared) doesn't even help when more often than not you get lost in ways that unnerve. Walking down the first long corridor and hitting ~The Labyrinth~ I immediately closed the WAD reflexively knowing there was a beast around the corner. I don't want to even talk about the dogs.

There's a big inner giddiness of "gosh I want to see more like this", a nerd-like love from experience looking at the ins-and-outs of WAD-making, feeling the rush when it's all demystified and going "gosh how did they do this??? Amazing!!" Sicker than suburbs have any real right to be. Manages to defy my usual personal distaste for the 'innovative' meta without a concrete narrative heart (e.g. Inscryption (sorry), Pony Island (not sorry), etc.).