Hey, remember that time I said I was done with reviewing CloneBound games? It turns out that every RPG is a CloneBound game! And if they aren’t a CloneBound, they’re an UnderSteal, and if they aren’t an UnderSteal, they’re taking cues from NomNomNami and making very cute games about very good friends (like in CloneBounds) who are totally friends and there is no romantic interest at all guys we swear. Also, some Israeli guy who keeps sending me salacious e – mails introduced me to the term “CloneBound”, and I’m having a CloneBound of a time deciding whether CloneBound is a CloneBounding good term to use to describe Clones of EarthBound, hence the term CloneBound. CloneBound… UnderSteal… CloneBound… UnderSteal… CloneBound… UnderSteal…
Yeah, I’m just gonna block e – mail from Israel from now on. I’m reminded of the Super Smash Brothers Melee community. First off, ew. Second off, anything that reminds me of Melee is something that should be ran away from, as far as possible, and as fast as your little lardass can take you. Melee fans seem to invent terminology for the sole reasons of inventing terminology. It’s bad enough when you have an incomprehensibly dense vocabulary of terms like “wobbling”, “gentleman”, “dash – dancing”, “wall of death”, “DI”, and “handwarmers” that you have to memorise in order to understand even the basics of the competitive scene, but when the rest of their vocabulary comes from middle – school punks, using terms like “rekt” and “salt” completely without irony, it shows the type of people who willingly devote so much of their time getting inordinately good at children’s party game.
They named the cloud in the Yoshi’s Story stage “Randall” for Christ’s sake! This is what happens when you ban all the fun stages and artificially limit yourself to the five shittiest ones! You start anthropomorphizing fucking clouds!
So, uh, no more of this “CloneBound” stuff popping up around here! No, we’re just gonna call our RPGs like we see ’em: shit games for weebs!
Except for this one. Partially
KAIMA isn’t a shit game, but it is for weebs, considering how it’s made by Nami and the art style has developed a terminal case of The Animes. Everyone in the doorway all starin’ at it. Still typin’ like mad. Huge scared eyes. Doctor comes in. He’s seen it all before. Single bullet to the base of its skull. That’s the quickest way. This would have never happened if you were made by a man, I mean a straight girl, I mean… uh… so, how about that Super Smash Brothers, huh? They sure are smashing! They’re super, alright!
En réalité, which is French for “real shit”, there are two objective truths in the universe: that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the added squares of the other two sides (the old A² + B² = C², as it were), and that NomNomNami is a GIANT NERD who enjoys making story – based video games about young women in platonic relationships who learn the value of having such great friends that they can non – sexually rely on for all their non – romantic needs. Also there’s a golf – ball – sized chunk of metal locked somewhere in a French vault that the entire International System of Units is based around and it’s taken them two hundred and twenty years to get around to fixing their standard in case somebody were to, you know, play golf with it, but that doesn’t count because they made a few copies a hundred and thirty years ago, so it’s all good.
There are many draws to the objects of her creation, many of which involve the interpersonal relationships that she so effectively develops in such a small amount of time, and the other many draws relating to the drawings that she draw. It is a style that could have only come at the time we live in now: an æsthetic that takes Western traditions of simple colours and character designs and smears it with Japanese chibi and oekaki modern trends of the time. When one looks at her work, it is implacable to describe their work in any technical sense because their construction is instantly – discernible, a trademark of theirs alone, and so one finds it difficult to extract the ideas they use when applying their work. This is not because the ideas are complex, but because they are simple, and it is attempting to identify and sharpshoot those particular ideas which is the issue. One can say anything about a piece of art, but it is important that the assertions are correct.
Perhaps when we call the work of Nami “cute” or “unique”, we do it with the tacit understanding we have no better words to describe it without offending the artist’s sensibilities. And though I could take the work they create and analyse a particular drawing in order to derive their techniques and inspirations, it would also be unrepresentative of their overall portfolio, because that portfolio is also varied, seeking not to shoehorn herself into a particular style that they drive to the grave, but of many that still creates the sum of her artistic career. It is fascinating to see artists sacrifice the blunt pragmatism of maintaining one style in favour of creating many which maintain the ebb and flow of their overall expression. It was worthy of Picasso when he did it, and it is worthy of our far younger, far more lively artists.
As much as we like to lie about it, art does matter in video games, and a game without a lovely art style is one instantly – forgettable. But I don’t forget the works of Nami, as much as I am temporarily absent from it in favour of finding other styles, and in just the span of a few months I already feel indebted to it. Look at her following! Look at it! Small, but successful, and is likely to be bigger as the zeitgeist shifts slowly in favour of her styles, and the tragedy is how, when she is famous, I will lose all interest in her, already chopping up Itch spying on the next trend of the future. It is a testament to her particular skills and devotions that even amongst the hellish market that is digital art, she maintains popularity without pandering to the lowest common denominator. I wonder though, what will happen then, when her style is the LCD? When I am forced to kill this hero to keep scrubbing in the indie annals, knowing that, once, she was something, but then she turned into something worth avoiding? You either die a hero or see yourself sell out. And the worst part is you don’t realise it happens until it’s too late.
You hear about video games?
I think David Ogilvy said it best: “I am not a futurist, and with each passing year my interest in the future wanes”. I suppose I must enjoy this present where Nami is a forgotten oasis in a desert long – travelled, before it dries up and its beauty will never be seen by those who never looked for it at all. Part of that enjoyment is the discussion of the works artists create now, when they are unknown, and then use this nostalgia as fuel to remember the good old days, blending all memories together into a stew that one scoops ingredients out of arbitrarily, feeling emotions based on what memories just happened to come up. And most of the time, those memories are bitter, a reminder of times past that never comes back, and so we try to drown them. I’ll avoid the drowning for now.
KAIMA stars a demon named… crap, I really should start writing this stuff down. Well, it doesn’t matter, but the girl lost her soul after the world’s gone to shit and now she has to beat the Big Bad in order to save everything from being less shit. And by her, I mean her’st’ve, because English has no third – person female plural pronouns and so I have to pull one out of my linguistics. You rescue a morose crying girl who looks a bit like a mime and a bit like a clown (the forbidden union), and you get to go assassinate some prince dude so she can be with her dead girlfriend, in the sense they are friends who happen to be girls. All is well, nobody has to worry about anything ever again, and you get to life the rest of your life in nihilistic bliss not having to worry about whatever comes your way. And by you, I mean the demon girl, because you’re a twenty – year – old college student with $30,000 of debt who regularly fantasises about shooting up his school.
But wait, dipshit! There’s more! You thought you were going to play this game for three minutes and make a review based around it? Yeah, go fuck yourself Froge, you worthless piece of shit, thinking you’d manage to get a break for once in your life! What’s fascinating about the gameplay is how simple it is, and yet how naturally it restricts you from doing certain things unless you happen to choose the correct options along the way, like fighting some MONSTERS and helping out an EDGY TEENAGER. The clown has the only source of healing and you start out with six health (SIX? IS THAT… DEMON SYMBOLISM??????), so getting into combat is not realistic and so cannot finish the game alone.
There are many “routes” in this title, but many of them, instead of being restricted to choosing the proper dialogue or requiring the MacGuffin of Ba’al, occurs naturally as a result of the natural restrictions of gameplay mechanics based on your current abilities, such as your Metroidvanias (which is a term I can use because it’s not as silly as “CloneBound”), and feels a lot more like an organic puzzle in RPG form rather than a series of linear stories you go through more or less the same depending on what options you choose, rather than what you do. I know it sounds obvious when written down, but so does the old A² + B² = C², and you can go fuck yourself if you derived that. I’m sorry that not everybody can know about every game design technique every made! CHRIST!
I’m just going to list off the routes and spoil them, in case you give a shit, because I don’t. There’s the route where Big Prince fucking dies and the world is partially saved and it’s all whatever. You can also die, which is called a “Game Over” (CHRIST!), but I’m not sure if this was a route or a part of the gameplay, and Nami has yet to release KAMIA HD with the exclusive Blu – Ray developer commentary. You can kill your mime friend or she can kill you (or not kill you), and then you can kill her friend who is a girl or don’t, or not even kill the Big Bad Guy because you like his theories about Randian social structures. If you do all the sidequests and be a good little girl, the world will be alright and we’ll all have a gay old time — as in jolly, and not referring to the “homosexual persuasion”. There’s also a secret ending that you will feel both stupid and smart for having discovered it, so I recommend you go look for that. Or don’t. It’s your life.
So uh, that’s the game alright. Mostly a bunch of story, because games these days, as ideas as becoming more and more exhausted, are forced less to rely on the crutch that is gameplay as opposed to using the tropes of gaming in order to tell stories. And that’s really the big thing with Nami’s games: it’s all stories. I think if she would design a video game with the hardcore action of LISA and the toony art style she’s so beloved for, the world would implode and we would all have gone to Game Dev Heaven. Sadly we are living in Game Dev Hell and so one must make do with the scraps that are being thrown at us by the dinner table of our betters. And you know who those betters are? It’s me! Hahahahahaha!
So I think if you are in the market for a role – playing game that doesn’t involve much roleplaying or game, then here you are! Take a gander! Enjoy it! It’s your life, and you may do with what you wish! If you want to avoid seeing the stories of several best friends doing friendly things in nonromantic and platonic settings discussing how great it is to be nonjudgemental heterosexual life partners with zero subtext of any sort of unchaste or extramarital activity while making physical contact that is limited solely to camaraderie and incidental and accidental acts of impersonal touching as comes through a completely normal and healthy friendship that has ZERO SUBTEXT and has NO IMPLICATIONS of any NON – HETEROSEXUAL BEHAVIOUR whatsoever, then you can go outside with the rest of the NORMAL human beings living IMPERSONAL lives with NO QUEER BEHAVIOUR THEMES IDEAS OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT THREATENS THE PATRIARCHY THAT STRAIGHT MALES HAVE ABUSED IN ORDER TO CONDITION TENS OF MILLION MINORITY GROUPS THAT THEIR EXISTENCE IS FUNDAMENTALLY INVALID BECAUSE IT THREATENS THEIR POSITION OF POWER IN A SYSTEMICALLY ABUSIVE AND DISCRIMINATORY SOCIETY THAT SERVES ONLY TO MAKE PARTICULAR GROUPS OF PERCEIVED DEFECTIVE PEOPLES CONTINUALLY DEPENDENT ON THE HELLISHLY ARBITRARY AND FRUSTRATING WHIMS OF WHATEVER POLITICAL PARTY HAS BEEN PUT INTO PLACE BY SIXTY – YEAR – OLD STRAIGHT MALES WHO ARE FRUSTRATED THAT THE WORLD CHANGED BEFORE THEY HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO FUCKING DIE ALREADY, AND CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE FASCIST GROUPS THAT THREATEN THE ENTIRE EXISTENCE OF NOT ONLY THE MODERN POLITICAL SYSTEM AS WE KNOW IT, BUT ALSO THE ACTUAL LIVES OF THOSE WHO DON’T FIT INTO THEIR DISGUSTING WORLDVIEW THAT DECLARES ANYBODY WHO WAS BORN, AND REMAINS AS, A CAUCASIAN MALE WHO IS ONLY ATTRACTED TO OTHER CAUCASIAN FEMALES, AND IS ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING FOR THE TOTAL EXTERMINATION OF THESE GROUPS IN A FUCKING COUNTRY THAT FUCKING SUPPORTS THEIR FUCKING HATE SPEECH BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT’S ALWAYS BEEN, THAT’S HOW IT’S GOING TO BE, AND THAT’S HOW WE’RE GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF OUR LIVES BECAUSE WE’RE TOO FUCKING AFRAID TO ENTERTAIN THE FUCKING POSSIBILITY THAT SOME FUCKING PEOPLE DESERVE TO FUCKING LIVE LIKE THOSE FUCKING REPUBLICAN NAZIS WHO SEE ANYTHING THEY CAN’T EXPLOIT OR CONTROL AS SOMETHING TO DENY THE EXISTENCE OF, AND THEN IMPERIALISTICALLY OPPRESS ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T MARCH IN LOCKSTEP TO THEIR FUCKED – UP IDEOLOGY. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF FUCKING AMERICA. A FASCIST PUPPET STATE PUT UP BY THE SAME FUCKING CUNTS THAT DESERVE NOTHING MORE THAN THE ETERNAL VOID BROUGHT BY BEING CURB – STOMPED BY MY FUCKING BOOT.
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