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Invoking defragmentation on Local Disk <C:> ...

.defrag is a cancelled RPG Maker 2003 experimental adventure game made in two weeks of August 2016 by ForgottenDawn, author of some interesting game that I liked, such a _fade, that will deserve its own review, but I can assure you that was well worth of it! It's a cool complet(abl)e game with just some missind items and a little lack of polish...

But not today, since today I played .defrag, a game that was cancelled but can still be played from the beginning to the (only available) ending (I don't know if there were planned others). And it took me three hours to finish it, so mind that this isn't a little demo, at all!
.defrag, despite using the classic engine known as Rpgmaker2003 is not an rpg (doesn't include battles or party members) but a dark and mysterious adventure that is about dark and mature themes (you've been warned!).

The game consist in mainlu two things: A - speaking with bizarre characters...

We play as a nameless and silent protagonist ona mission: he has to find some people that mysteriously disappeared, and things will become more complicated with the introduction of a mysterious syndrome that irrimediably corrupts the minds of the infected and this mysterious noise virus... but this is something that the player has to learn gradually, since we start with no backbround or premise, but just a group of friendly talking monitors that gives some info on exiting the first zone, called Aether. Then we are free (or lost) inside a world divided in various zones populated by various colorful characters.

Well "colorful" in the sense of suggestive, since the game uses minimalistic graphics that, ar you can see, are quite stylized but I didn't mind since the game is deeper than others that used a similar style. For some reason it reminds to me also of Yume Nikki (probably due to the surreal setting and lots of walking!), anyway this is a more concrete storyline and setting. Just like in Yume Nikki, there is a lot of walking (luckily there's a Speed Hax item that increase speed! Thanks), but also some puzzles and dialogues, in the end despite the initial freedom, the story is quite linear and requires completing some tasks that include finding items and using them at the right spot and some not very exciting fetch quests... and lots of travelling. The second half of the game is less exciting and seems a bit "empty", but at last we get a faster option to travel between zones, even if at that time there is almost no more utility for this feature!

I did not mind the simple graphics, they work and are custom made, so well done, especially for some scenes with differnt facesets for the expressions of some important characters. Mapping is pretty much ok, while music... well consists mainly in sounds, and most are eerie and unsettling, but that's also a sort of anticipation of the later horror moments (oh, no combat means that running is the only way to survive, of course!).

... and B - solving little puzzles. With a LOT of walking in between!

Final Verdict
I was unsure to give a rating or not to this game, but... well it felt like a complete game, even if a very weird one, so why not? Anyway is it good? Well I admit that some parts annoyed me (a LOT of walking around, moderated speed and no dash option! Also in the beginning you have no idea about where you are supposed to go) but others were instead very interesting and well made (I liked the story and if it had a different, good pacing this would have been a great game), others even excellent (I liked some visuals, such us when you go to the plant and the game switches to a sidescrolling view with a nice moving greyscaled background).

Overall I think that some players would rate it 2.5 and others 3.5 (even more, IF the game was really 100% completed), depending if they like this kind of gameplay. So I will set for a middle 3/5!


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Thanks for your review!

Heya! This was a really peculiar game indeed!
Heya! This was a really peculiar game indeed!

Cheers! It's nice to see some renewed attention to it. I'm humbled.
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