I didn’t think Parsercomp would interfere with Introcomp, but for me it did. I got worn out and almost missed playing these games!
I’m going to be rocketing through these and not giving them my full attention.
Final Girl 2.0
So Final Girl is the highest-rated IFComp game that I never played, because it disappeared off the internet with the decline of Storynexus.
As a fan of Hanon’s other games and an IFComp completionist, I asked him about recovering it, but apparently it had to be rewritten due to the lack of a Storynexus server.
He sent me a demo of it, which I believe is an earlier version of what’s presented here.
This is a high-quality choice-based game with well-done portraits and a frightening setting. You are fleeing from a murderer in a cliche horror story.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far. The last time I played, I swear I discovered more stuff. This time, I got stuck on a complex-looking puzzle with controls. I thought I could ‘pull release thing up and mash pedal’ or something like that, but after trying a dozen or so combinations I gave up. AXMA’s timed features are used well here, although since I was stuck an initially frightening scene was repeated ad nauseam.
This is a lengthy visual novel. Unlike most visual novels I’ve seen, there are no choices whatsoever in this demo. It took me roughly 1-1.5 hours to read through this demo.
The main character loves anime and Japan so he encourage three of his friends to pretend to be girls so they can become exchange students at an all-girls school in Japan. Their plan works, and they go to Japan, excited to see all the sights they are used to in anime. The boys are excited sexually by their prospects, talking about how perverted and/or horny they are, although the language doesn’t go any further than that. Most of the lengthy intro is devoted to introducing characters and to the main character’s efforts to conceal their gender and their struggles with Japanese.
I could definitely use with more interactivity here. I know that visual novels generally focus on relationship branching (which will presumably happen after the demo) and cosmetic choices, but this one doesn’t have any. Having some cosmetic choices would be nice, but even better would be having some choices that are remembered later on.
The subject of the story itself (sneaking into an all-girls school and living out an anime-fan’s dream in Japan) isn’t something that resonates strongly with me, so I have no suggestions in regards to that plotline.
The art and music work well together, and the dialogue is overall well-written and snappy, although the weight-lifting character may refer to ‘gains’ just a little too much.
This is a game with timed text where you have a single option at any moment: resist. If you don’t resist, things happen automatically.
This makes the game essentially the opposite of the 2020 game Move On , which was a timed-text game where the only option was to move on, with things happening automatically if you didn’t.
Like usual, I didn’t enjoy the timed text feature (at this point, I think that only 1% of games with it use it effectively, and almost all of them could be rewritten without it), but it is essential to the gameplay here. The options let you choose the speed of the text.
The storyline was witty and funny. It’s quickly apparent that the situation is not what you think it would be.
The background is a suitably disturbing image created by one of the many recent neural net AI art generators.
Being an intro actually made this game better, for me, since timed text is most enjoyable the less it is used, and since the initial internal perspective shift is so effective.
This game had a lot of variability in it that was interesting. You’re allowed to pick your own backstory, in a sense, and a lot of emotional reactions.
You play as a civilian in a futuristic setting during a space war. A mysterious mission is proposed to you by a general. A lot of the options at this points are ‘yes I’ll do the questline’ or ‘no I won’t’. I didn’t try the ‘no I won’t’ ones, so maybe I’ll come back to them.
The best part of this was a computer file system implemented in Twine (like the rest of the game) but with a style like a real file/menu system. It was interesting and fun, and I’d be happy to see more of that style of gameplay.