Hate Plus

You should really just look up the log files online somewhere.First of all, this was not a full second game. It’s really an epilogue to Analogue: A Hate Story, and the internet tells me it was originally just going to be DLC, which makes sense because it’s not a full game in any sense. Presumably it was split off and called a sequel for dollar-related reasons.

It’s also just not as good as Analogue for some pretty irritating reasons. First of all, you can only read 18 log files every 12 real-time hours. The result is that the game can only be played over the course of three days, and if you want each route it’s nine days, which the achievements smugly inform us is “the way it’s supposed to be played.” This is a gimmicky way of disguising the lack of actual content, and it’s infuriating. There’s not more than 3 hours of gameplay here, and when I sit down on a Saturday to dedicate a couple hours to a game, that’s the time I have. I’m not going to go through the process of blocking out time of my life on weekdays just because this game is an asshole. I’m also not going to play through all three routes, because I have better things to do with my life (I do, okay?). I loaded up my “harem ending” save from Analogue because I figured having Mute and Hyun-ae together would get my the most content for the least annoyance.

Which brings us to the second major issue, which is that Mute is completely insufferable. The game has lost all of its subtlety with her, and I have no idea why, because the insidiousness of the sexism in the last game was part of its impact. Here, Mute screams WOMEN ARE SO STUPID GOD every five freaking seconds, and no, it’s not social commentary, it’s just normal sexism and it’s both frustrating and annoying. To make it worse, she steamrolls Hyun-ae’s opinions at every opportunity, which makes sense for their characters, but is a nightmare to read and means the reader doesn’t get a voice in what’s going on.

Speaking of Hyun-ae, she is as flightly and not-a-person-who-went-through-trauma as last time, and the game is still framing a serious story with “LOL anime cliches! We so cray-cray! hehehe lylas” and I still don’t like it. The frame story has even less substance than last time, since there’s no mystery like with Hyun-ae’s identity, and it’s just annoying and not what I came for. And then at the end she decides she’s in love with Mute and apparently doesn’t care that Mute’s not into it, and basically starts sexually harassing her and it’s really weird.

All of that said, if you played and enjoyed Analogue, it’s definitely worth at least reading through the bonus log files here, because they’re very well-written and the way the story, which details the fall of the previous society and the rise of the one the Pale Bride existed in, was great. But save yourself the pain, and just look the logs up online. Trudging through the time caps and Mute’s awfulness is not worth it.

20 Comments

  1. Goldreaver says:
    > I loaded up my “harem ending” save from Analogue because I figured having Mute and Hyun-ae together would get my the most content for the least annoyance.

    BIG Mistake.
    Try loading the saves with only Mute and Hyun-ae. Or, hell, just Mute. Do it. NOW.

    Please?

    I mean, their comments are a bit different and the story changes completely in the third day (stil have to read the same logs though)

    1. actonthat says:
      I honestly can’t imagine anything that could happen that would justify spending another week on this game, so you can either elaborate or I’ll look it up.
      1. Goldreaver says:
        I can’t think of a way to elaborate it so I’ll just spoil it:
        What *Hyun-Ae stopped in the dawn of the third day happens if *Hyun-Ae isn’t there to, well, stop it.

        The change is a bit jarring but interesting. I just sped through the logs and focused only on the reactions of the AIs for all the walkthroughs after the first. Barely takes more than an Hour if you don’t feel like re reading the log (I had to, because the first walkthrough left me really confused)

        1. actonthat says:
          I guess that’s not really enough for me to spend more time on the game. I thought it was a bizarre and out-of-the-blue didactic thing to start with, so the idea that it gets continued doesn’t so much for me. Neither Hyun-ae nor (New) Mute really held my interest at all. I’m here for the backstory, so unless it opens more log files I’m content with not pushing through the same things over again just for a slightly different result.
        2. actonthat says:
          So I just read a let’s play of it.

          It was definitely more interesting an ending than the harem route, and good Lord finally stopping Mute’s “woman suck” rampage is a relief, but I don’t think it changes my rec to just read an LP/the log files as opposed to trudging through the whole thing.

          1. waretaringo says:
            I was highly irritated by the ‘change’ in *Mute’s character from the previous game for much the same reasons you were. I wouldn’t say I was glad with the outcome, though. I really was hoping for her to actually come to some kind of character-altering realization due to Plus’s events, and the fact that it doesn’t happen and that she’d rather take the easy way out really changes the ultimate message in ways I’m not comfortable with.
            1. actonthat says:
              Yeah, I would agree with that. That you apparently have the option to tell New Mute that it was a brave decision to make is disturbing to me.

              The whole thing felt weird, though. Like I said, it came from nowhere, and felt super, super didactic to me. It didn’t fit the the characters or what was going on at all.

              At the end of the day, “killing” Mute and rewriting someone more palatable is much easier than writing a complex character change for someone who’s pretty flat, and I’d be willing to bet it was just an ease-of-writing thing for a game that feels pretty bare-bones.

              Reply
              1. waretaringo says:
                I wouldn’t say it’s solely didactic. The chain of events makes sense as part of one of the minor themes of the novel – that of immortality leading inevitably to instability.

                Unfortunately, the problem is that theme deserves to be explored fully its own game/book/series and almost feels like an intruder in this one about gender and role, social norms, regression, and the nature and purpose of power. For such a bare-bones game, Plus is surprisingly close to being over-stuffed even before you take *Mute’s ch-ch-ch-changes into the equation.

                The fact that *Mute is our only in-universe example of how an AI can deal with such world-changing experiences skews the whole paradigm; with other examples to counter-balance her, her story might not come off so bleak or creepy.

              2. actonthat says:
                Although I didn’t mind it as much, I thought the frame story bits were the weakest part of the previous game as well. Putting aside, to quote because you phrased it well, the story about “gender and role, social norms, regression, and the nature and purpose of power” to try to pick up other issues that are important but not in the purview of the main story was jarring, and had the effect of making the characters seem weirdly disconnected from what was essentially their own lives. Both games had the issue of trying to to do much, but it was even worse in this one.

                edit: tldr I agree.

              3. Goldreaver says:
                I think it was an attempt to comment on one of the possible results of continuous systematic oppression but it came a bit (ok a lot) heavy handed. And wasn’t there someone in the logs who killed itself rather than submit to the culture change as well?
    2. Goldreaver says:
      Also, just change the date of windows to speed up those days if you want to read all and keep that achievement.

      I think there was a much easier way though. Something about a code? Meh, you probably already did it if it was as easy as I remember.

  2. waretaringo says:
    There’s a full let’s play of this game available on the LP archive. They go through all three versions of the text.
    1. actonthat says:
      Good to know, thanks!
  3. Roarke says:
    The game has lost all of its subtely with her

    This is like, one of the most often-misspelled words ever. I almost never see it casually spelled correctly. Subtlety. Subtlety. It feels weird even when you get it right. Madness.

    1. waretaringo says:
      I think the silent ‘b’ just throws everything off and at that point people are scrambling to make it make sense in some fashion or other.
      1. Roarke says:
        It’s so weird because, on paper, it’s really simple. Type subtle and then add “ty” and you’ve got it. But that one extra step just breaks people.
    2. actonthat says:
      That’s a weird-ass typo. I don’t even know what my brain was trying to do there.
      1. Roarke says:
        That’s pretty much the reason I commented on it. Like I said normally I just let it pass, because fuck subtlety, honestly. The word, not the concept. I like the concept.
        1. actonthat says:
          Please always point out my typos! I am somewhat-ironically a terrible, impatient self-editor and so much of my crap goes to print here full of mistakes.
          1. Roarke says:
            No, not your typos in general. Just subtlety specifically. Though hey, if you want, I will. I tend to read posts multiple times, so I end up noticing pretty much every typo. I just hate to be that guy, you know, with the typos comment. Feels like being an ingrate.

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