October 2nd, 2018
|03:58 am - Recordkeeping: Bear With Me COMPLETE|
Ugh, ugh, ugh.
Ugh, fucking ugh ugh AUGH fuck fuck ugh ugh bleah.
Okay so I loved this and I hated it.
Hated: Obtuse puzzles that do not quite reflect the in-game reality.
Example: You have a fishing pole. JUST the pole. No fish visibly on it. You have a magnet. You have a grate with a metal lost object down it. Obviously you magnetfishpole right? No. You need to use your knife on the fishing pole, at which point you get a string (to tie to the magnet) and a whole intact fish skeleton. Excuse me? At least give me a look option on my inventory if you're gonna pull that.
Also hated: The ending. We'll get to that.
Liked: This is a detective noir story about a hard-boiled swearing plush bear and a young girl on an adventure to find her brother and learn who the "Red Man" is that's been burning her city down. The city is made of paper and populated by toys, by the way. It's imaginary, except when it isn't. Amber is treated like a demigoddess creation-myth character, while Ted is treated like an old drunk PI. It's a good dynamic.
It's a hurricane of dumb jokes, some of which land and most of which do not, but it tries.
Decent character writing.
Then there's the ending.
Fuck this fucking ending off a fucking cliff.
Come with me to spoiler-space.
It's an indie game about death. Not Amber's. Her brother's. And it's all even more imaginary than the game let on, so ... how seriously were we supposed to take it? I am completely down with "girl is a demigoddess of sorts, but the city of her imagination can function with or without her and the inhabitants have developed their own lives yet live in fear she may move on from theirs", but the last quarter of the game fails to step up and just... ugh.
It's honestly 100% "well, my brother died and I couldn't accept that, but now that I've engaged that trauma I guess I can lighten up!" and why do people feel the need to reduce an otherwise fascinating ontological fantasy story to mundane BULLSHIT like that? It's not hopeful, it's a punchline.
As if the only way things can be good or fun is if we ignore how terrible they REALLY are. That's no lesson to teach.
God I fucking hate the entire Indie Game About Death genre sometime. It's pollution, is what it is.
...just ... ugh. Every part of the game I liked was designed to waste my time, in the end. That's how I feel about that.
What a shame, for a promising, intelligent premise to fall that low.
You know, I try not to really go off on games, but this demonstrates what it takes to upset me. I'm not upset because I DISLIKED the ending, although that's part of it. I'm upset because I thought it really had something interesting going, but then it fell back to cliche. That hurts and offends me, and I just get frustrated.
Bear With Me isn't terrible. It doesn't deserve that kind of anger and frustration, but it got a dose anyway.
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