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Not another Wither review!

  • Gibmaker
  • 12/06/2011 05:45 AM
... but then, that's the good thing about short games. They're accessible. Every person has time for a short game that can be completed in a single sitting without much diligence. The game winds up with eight reviews. So there.

Wither's biggest draw is its simplistic style, designed to explicitly reference Game Boy technology, which is why we can justifiably call this a retro-style game and not just simplistic. (I believe the word retro gets batted around far too much.)

What does the style add to the experience? Well, aside from giving Wither an arguably unique identity among RM games, there is a contrast between the blunt, unexpressive visuals and the more melancholy subject matter. The way the player is dumped onto the field without any contextualizing information is itself a callback to Game Boy titles, so moments of discovery are unexpected; a routine inspection of one of the many identical beds/shelves/cars will provoke a shocking moment of intimacy with the otherwise generic protagonist.

As for the audio design, I find the music hard to describe. It's bad music, frankly, and not just because it's composed of primitive 8-bit voices. The music is unharmonious and distinctly lacking in emotion, like something banged out by a kid in Nickelodeon Director's Lab. However, I believe that the point was for there to be no emotional cues in the music, so it serves its purpose if that's the case. (I should say I don't hate the music for this quality, that's just the best way I can describe it.)

This being its eighth review, I don't think I need subject this game to any more bouts of treacly artistic analysis. However, I will say that I felt the coin-collecting task close to the end was extraneous. A game this brief needs all its pieces perfectly ordered, and it was jarring to run into this small extra obstacle after the game's central framing device (the flower collection) was all ready concluded. I also agree with the reviewers who thought the ending was a bit unsatisfying, even in a deliberately obtuse game like this.

Wither is a good experience in spite of a few prickly imperfections, and its unimposing size makes it accessible even if you don't usually like this sort of thing.


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I'll just say I disagree with two points:

I didn't think the ending was unsatisfying. It was deliberately brief.
I loved the music.
I hate RPG Maker because of what it has done to me
I'll just say I disagree with two points:

I didn't think the ending was unsatisfying. It was deliberately brief.
I loved the music.

Well I didn't LOVE the music but I didn't hate its guts either. It was hard to describe the effect without seeming negative. Have a three-mouth. :3

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