14th July 2021: What A Senseless Waste
I have been feeling a little bit rebellious lately as I'm starting to get somewhat worn down by people screeching on the internet and trying to dictate what other people can and can't like in their entertainment.
In my opinion, you can like whatever you want as long as it's not illegal. After all, movies, games and the like are completely fictitious and fantasy, and are supposed to be about escapism. Last thing I want is shitty real life issues being brought up all the time, when all I want to do is get away from all that crap and enjoy myself.
The first game I played in this little "stand up to the online censors" segment is called Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story. This had people attacking it purely because the main character, a young woman named Mei, is fairly endowed in the chest department. I mean seriously, as if there are no women out there with big boobs. These people need to grow up.
You've also got to take into account that this has fairly manga-inspired visuals, and is set in a cyberpunk future where it's established that cosmetic surgeries are commonplace. On top of that, pretty much every other female character (and at least one guy I saw) was bigger up top than Mei was. Just proves that these critics didn't even look into the game at all.
Well gladly, the developers basically told these weirdos to go to hell, and that's why I decided to support them.
So what is the game, and what is it about?
Well as established, you play as Mei, someone who finds herself seeing things through her cybernetic eyes that nobody else can see, such as supernatural events and spooks. She finds herself trapped in an apartment block that has been sealed off from the world for the best part of a century (I think) and learns that she must exorcise the spirits and ancient evil from the building in order to escape.
The gameplay is very much like a point and click exploration game, but without the mouse as an interface. Instead you just use the keyboard or a controller. Unfortunately, I found it a janky and not very smooth experience, especially in terms of animation. I mean, the backgrounds scrolled by and animated in other ways very smoothly, but the animations of Mei and the other characters seemed very jittery and stiff, especially in faster motion such as running.
And there were bugs. Holy shit there were bugs. Even in the first few minutes there were obvious things like dialog seeming to skip or repeat. And the inventory, map and journal system was infuriating, as it reset each time rather than remembering where you were last time. And the map always loaded at the first floor, even if you were on a different one. Quality of life things like this should never be skipped from the development of even the simplest of games, yet they were here.
But the main issue I had was at one point I figured I'd got to use this key making machine, as I had got the code for it and could seemingly do nothing else to progress, but the game just wouldn't let me, so I turned it off. Then when I tried again later it immediately let me use it. Which was dumb.
Later on in the game, combat elements are introduced, but these are maybe the worst part of the game, as the fighting is laughably bad and clunky, consisting of pressing a single button to swing a sword at the right time, almost like a light QTE.
Overall I found the game quite disappointing, and definitely not worth what I paid for it. But this is because the game itself is pretty bad, not because of the proportions of the character. I actually think there was nothing wrong with the art style at all, and many of the characters were very cool looking. There were also interesting things going on with the story, though I didn't really get my head around a lot of the folklore that is alluded to throughout.
The ending was also a bit of a let down, despite the fact that quite an interesting thing happens, which is you playing as another character who is trying to figure out what happened to Mei while she was in the building. They could have done something really cool with this as you go through and piece together the puzzles, but everything just kind of stops and fizzles out and doesn't go anywhere.