This is a twofer. As usual I let it sit for a while waiting for more stuff to add to it and then wrote long, ranty posts about things I didn’t like and then forgot about it.
The Garden of Words
I bought this on a whim since a one-off manga didn’t seem like much of a risk and sometimes I worry I don’t branch out enough, only running on recs. The description made it seem like it was going to be about the power of literature and poetry to influence lives or something, and as we know I like words, so I sprung for it. This turned out to be a poor decision, and I will continue to rely on you people for my visual-storytelling purchases.
First of all, this was apparently an adaptation of a movie, and I’m willing to maybe, if I’m being generous, chalk up the pacing weirdness to that, but there’s no way the entire story was lost in translation.
I mean, it’s so stupid it’s hard to explain. The short of it is that a teacher is fired because some female students who hate her for being pretty (bitches, so crazy) start a rumor she’s sleeping with male students, and then she actually starts up a relationship with a male student which is somehow True Love and not creepy and rapey. Also the male student love interest is a cobbler whose dream is to go to cobbling school and make shoes. This is treated like some ridiculous pipe dream no one could ever accomplish, not least our cobbly protagonist. I don’t even know.
On the bright side, some poor sap on a bookswap web site took it off my hands, and I got The Book of Three in return.
The Last Story
I boredom-quit this one, though if anyone wants to push through the first several hours of gameplay and report back on whether a plot happens at any point go right ahead. I have so many other games I’d rather be playing that promise to have actual plots and stories that I just could not even with this.
I want to say, “The prologue sequence should be cut out,” and it should, but cut to where? The game needs to start where the story starts. Whatever Big Mission the protagonists get from the king or whatever, that needs to be the start, and then the first dungeon should be the tutorial area and where you get that stupid “attack me!” power, but there should also be some plot relevance to it. When even your characters are complaining about how stupid a dungeon is in the prologue, you should cut it and move on. The only thing that has any significance that happened is finding that girl, but even that sequence was painfully boring. Having her just show up at the dungeon would be infinitely more interesting.
It didn’t help that the characters were bad, bad over-the-top jRPG cliches. These included such lovable scamps as “Boisterous Girl Who Is Made Fun of for Being Unfeminine” and “Lecherous Man Who Sexually Harasses Female Party Members.” Needless to say I was just absolutely won over.
The gameplay was also shitty. The combat didn’t require any real input– all you has to do was run toward an enemy, and attacking was automatic. Meanwhile, it didn’t seem possible to die. If you lose all your HP, you revive after a few seconds. Maybe if all your party members go down at once it’s game over? I’m not really sure. Plus, despite the fact that you theoretically have four party members, there’s only one you really get to control.
Oh, and I almost forgot, there’s a not!fridging in the first, like, half hour of gameplay. Everyone thinks she’s dead and the protag flashes back to when other women died and it motivated him, and so then her not!death motivates him, and she lives. There were like three women fridged in the space of about 10 minutes, it was kind of impressive.
Anyway, the long and short of it is that this was neither good enough nor bad enough to be worth my time.