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Yo Listen Up Here's the Story About a Little Guy That Lives in a Purple World
- 02/06/2019 12:09 PM
- 180 views
The Lost and Forgotten by Kanatakkun
Length: ~5 minutes
I've come to know Kanata's games for her unique visual style in particular, something present here in The Lost and Forgotten just like the rest. The game looks pretty damn good with the 4 color scheme that it does a good job sticking to, with the color choices themselves also being pretty good (purple is my favorite color, yo). There's a few minor gripes I had here, such as how the font was maybe a bit too small and blurry, as well as a few weird inconsisntent pixels on a few CGs. Not in the usual sense I criticize games for having 1x1 pixels, but moreso like the drawing had been stretched incorrectly. Sound design here is pretty impressive too, as the game sounds very melancholic and fits the tone pretty well, but the little things such as the beeps when people speak are a very nice touch too. I think The Lost and Forgotten does pretty well in terms of presentation.
The Lost and Forgotten does not sell itself as a visual experience, though, as much as it does as a story oriented tale, and there's definetly things to be praised here. The dialogue has this cold, lifeless feel to it, giving the game a sort of relaxing atmosphere, which of course is enhanced by the music. The general premise actually reminds me a little of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, it's about people disappearing, but with a small added twist. While stories of people disappearing is nothing new, the cherry on top here is the fact that in The Lost and Forgotten, they don't just disappear, they also get erased from people's memories and their names vanish from anywhere they were written down on. I genuinely like this premise a lot and I feel like there's a ton of potential to make a good story here. But of course, with the game being no longer than 10 minutes long at most (and that's probably if you're a slow reader), it isn't explored as well as it could be. The ending's kept up to interpretation, and while I didn't particularly dislike the game's story, I still feel that it would have been nice to see it explored as a long mystery that spans for a much longer time than it does in this game.
Of course, every japanese media inspired rpg maker game has to have these crossed out random words.
Other than this, gameplay is kept to a bare minimum and you're only going to be walking around in between cutscenes like you would in most of these short adventure games. There's no puzzles or anything of the kind here, so you're not likely to get stuck. I feel that the minimalist nature of the game fits it pretty well, though, so I don't really have any complaints about this.
That being said, I had a few other minor issues with the game. A lot of weird nitpicks, but in a game that's barely 10 minutes long, these sort of things become a lot more apparent. For one, it feels dumb to me to have the option to load on the title screen and the option to save in the menu if you can't actually use either. Trying to save gives you this weird, cryptic message. I kind of like this, considering you're probably not even gonna have to save since the game is so short, but I don't see why load would be in the title screen. Maybe you were originally meant to be able to save but... it was removed later on after the title screen was made? I don't really know. Then there's the fact that the game could have really benefited from some proofreading. While the grammar and spelling issues in this game aren't all too bad, especially when compared to a lot of other games of this genre, it still takes away a little from the artistic value that the game's got going on for it. It feels like I'm reading a poem, expect it's google translated. Well, not really, the english here is way better than something that would come out of google translate, but you get my point.
The game is generally polished pretty well and the "cinematography" of the cutscenes isn't that bad, but there's one weird jump cut to the title card in the intro that cuts back to the same scene right after which feels super weird. Usually a title card drop is used to switch to a different scene. One way to get around this would have been to not cut to a CG of the title card, but rather have it show up on the map and fade out over time. There was only one other thing that confused me a bit, and that's how the door you first enter your house from is also the door that leads to your bedroom. I originally tried going into the door because I figured the door to the bottom was actually where I had to go in order to progress the story, but turns out it wasn't, and the door at the bottom is actually useless (Or I suppose that could just be light from a window, but in that case, it's a very weird way to handle lighting). This is probably my most minor complaint so far, so don't take it too seriously.
The Lost and Forgotten is pretty solid for such a short experience, but the premise is almost too good for a game of this length. While the story is still pretty decent, I'd love if Kanata came forward and decided to say this game was just a teaser and do a full 1-2+ hour game that explores its ideas better. The visuals and atmosphere are not meant to be the primary focus, but they're probably the best thing about this game and what I would recommend playing it for.
I give the Lost and Forgotten three and a half purple stars out of five. It's impressive for its length, but could be more.
And heck yeah, I just got my first bounty for the review pirates event.