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Sacred Reviews: Wither

Intro

"Wither" is a short adventure game developed by Rastek using RPG Maker 2003 whose main appeal is wasted on me. On the plus side I can appreciate the look of the game, but that isn't enough to save the game in my opinion since it's story doesn't appeal to me.

Story

You play as a nameless character looking for twelve flowers to decorate someone's grave. In order to find those flowers you'll need to check various objects like car trunks as well as talk to various NPCs in order to receive flowers or receive not so subtle clues on how to get a hold of a flower. Of course over the course of the game the reason why your doing this becomes a lot more clear since it's heavily implied you killed your brother while driving under the influence.

And part of this apology upon collecting all of the flowers to decorate your brother's grave is to commit suicide in order to join him on the other side. An act that is really fitting considering one of the definitions of wither is to cease to flourish. And it's hard to flourish when your pushing up daises. After all, rot and decay is associated with death while the act of flourishing it typically associated with life. And it's hard to deny that your dead at the end of this game considering we pay an unnamed ferryman to cross a river, but it's obvious this is symbolically meant to be Charon who were paying to help us cross the Styx River.

And while I know some people claim the best thing about this game is it's ambiguity. I don't really see this game's story as being particularly ambiguous. Though I suppose that term is meant to apply more to the opening where you need to search for clues for why the game starts just outside the confines of a graveyard, but that doesn't seem like that much of a mystery considering the game can be readily beaten in about 20 minutes or so.

Gameplay

There really isn't that much to discuss in this section since I basically covered it in the story section. Your simply on a treasure hunt to find twelve flowers as well as a pair of coins upon entering the underworld. And that's really all there is to this game.

Graphics

Graphically the game looks like an old Game Boy game and as such features that classic monochrome green look that only people that grew up with a handheld that needed 4 double AA batteries to run could appreciate. And while the bulk of the game's graphical assets are original a few were lifted from entries in the Zelda franchise as well as the first generation of Pokémon games on the Game Boy as well. As for the overall package I actually like it, but I also grew up with this handheld and used to play in my parent's car when they would go to some of the nearby shopping malls. So I spent hundreds of hours staring at a monochrome screen playing the first generation of Pokémon games or "Tetris".

Sound

In the sound department the game also borrows heavily from the Zelda franchise for it sound effects as well as borrows segments from a song from "Digimon World 3" for the PS1. Though as a package the sound effects and background music are fitting in my opinion and fit the look of the game like a glove. Though, I'll also admit they also mostly blur into the background and are easily forgotten about as well.

Conclusion

On the positive side of the scale I do like the look and feel of this game since it reminds me of simpler times when I was kid. On the other hand the game's narrative really doesn't appeal to me at all since it's all about death. As such, my score should probably be taken with a grain of salt since it's going to be influenced by my distaste for the game's narrative.

Minor Bug

The game's title screen features a lower case i which is weird considering every letter in this game otherwise is a capital letter as a throwback to developers usually not included lower case letters in old Game Boy games in order to save on space.