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A form of outsider's perspective

  • Tiddles
  • 08/18/2014 06:10 AM
  • 1462 views
I played OFF a few years ago and was curious whatever happened to it. Apparently it got popular on Tumblr, who'd have figured?

My morbid curiosity lead me to look at some of the other OFF fangames. They were.. Not worth the effort. Maybe I'm not the target audience for them- I never use Tumblr and I think "fanfiction" is stupid. But enough about those other games, this is about this one.

That in mind I tried HOME. If nothing else, it engaged me enough that I played through most of what there is so far, but I feel like there were a few points that could be improved on.

Character Sprites:

OFF's characters were all black-and-white. It added to the atmosphere, with the characters contrasting to the artificial, colourful enviroments. While it might have been in an effort to make HOME stand aside from OFF, I feel the handful of partially coloured out of combat sprites were out of place, particularly because the in combat sprites were still entirely black and white. It's a small aesthetic quibble to be sure but I feel the simple black and white was to the game's benefit.


Dialogue:

Some of the dialogue was a little too ham-fisted in it's attempts to follow in the vein of off. The fourth-wall breaking references to the player and Dedan's cursing (to name the first two examples I thought of) were used rather minimally in OFF. Their constant usage reduces their impact.


Some things I didn't feel were strictly bad, but was wondering about included Zone 4. Zone 4 felt out of place for both OFF and HOME's established atmosphere. The miserable, empty lives that were characterstic of the Elsen were replaced by active suicidal despair. Maybe it works out in the end- I'll readily admit I did not finish all of HOME's current release yet.

However, in some places HOME really excelled. The music felt both reminiscent of OFF, but also strong on it's own merits; "Reasonable Conduct" and "Synthetic Symphony" were among the best here.

The increased difficult in combat works in the game's favor too, I feel. OFF's "difficulty" rested almost entirely in bosses simply having absurd amounts of health to tediously burn through, even if they were vulnerable to poison.



In the end, I feel HOME is thus far an interesting creation in it's own right. I was interested enough to see most of it through, and will finish the rest once it's complete. However, I feel where the game tries to be more like OFF, it tends to miss the mark.

Posts

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Pretty good review. Dedan actually cusses a lot more in the french version, and a lot of my dialogue and inspiration comes from that. Same with Zacharies 4th wall break.

I get a lot of mixed reviews about the colored sprite and its nice to see it written down, as fond of them as I am I can see where one person would feel inclined to feel negative about them.

HOME has been a long writing process and whereas zone 4 feels out of place, its actually playing along with the theme of progression in OFF. Zones 1 through 3 slowly get more technologically advance and more industrial.
Zone 4 is the fall off point, elsen in an industrial city that has broken down into slums. It's in despair because it does not have a guardian to hold its workers in line. Not every elsen in zone 4 is depressed though, there are those who work hard in the hospital and some sit comfortably on benches and their own homes. It's an attempt to break away from the general idle peaceful workers.

Zone 4 originally was written to be "outside" the room, hence the red color and such. I'm not so sure if that is the current idea in canon or not, but that would explain why it feels so out of place.
Might I ask what was the last version you played my friend?

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