EVER SINCE I DECIDED TO SWITCH TO A MONTHLY REVIEW INSTEAD OF WEEKLY, IT FEELS LIKE AN ETERNITY BETWEEN REVIEWS!!! BUT EITHER WAY, i want to talk about tamashii this month! a game i started months ago and ended up ragequiting only to pick up again months later and finally finish (i think it took me like six hours? maybe longer). i have a lot to say but i’ll try and keep it brief because i’m super tired.
no need for tws for anything discussed in this review! everything below the cut as usual LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOO
* SIDENOTE: idk who reads these! if you do, thanks! i just wanted to let you know that i have a backloggd! i use this website to log all my epic cool pogchamp gamer moments. my profile can be found here (link)! this site allows for custom lists and i have made one for games in the bundle for racial justice and equality that i have played, in order of best to worst (in my expert opinion). you can find that here (link)! if you have an account we should follow each other :-)! NOW ONTO THE REVIEW LETS GO FOR REAL THIS TIIIMMMMEEEE!!!
let’s start with the things i really liked about tamashii because there isn’t much to say in all honesty ... activate ... bullet points!!
i remember liking the music when i was playing but thinking back on it now, i can’t remember like ... a single song. so i’m assuming just very okay-ish music for the most part. nothing to complain about but nothing really standing out either.
the art was really cool. i very much enjoyed the level designs, the character art, etc. it was all extremely cool to look at and obviously had a lot of time and effort put into them. for the most part, tamashii is a very visually appealing game if you’re into obscene body horror, nudity and sacrilegious theming
the writing was alright. it came off very wordy at times but assisted in setting the atmosphere and narrative. i had to keep from rolling my eyes at times because it was a bit too edgy (usually when it’s text displayed throughout the game but not the actual dialogue of the characters. i enjoyed the conversations between the characters thoroughly). overall, i liked it and think it contributed greatly to the overall production of the game.
and that’s all i liked ......... onto the things i DIDN’T like
this game was very buggy, an experience all too common with pretty much all indie platformers i come across. i get it, it’s hard. like these games are not made overnight. BUT the game’s difficulty needs to be adjusted to consider these potential bugs. it’s extremely unfair for me to jump on a moving platform only for my little fella to phase right through it. one time is annoying, but by the hundredth it’s pretty infuriating.
also at one point, the music would just stop playing entirely. when i tried to remedy this by rebooting the game (after finishing a level, assuming the game woould autosave completion of said level), i returned to find that it had not in fact saved it and i had to redo the level once again. pretty annoying when i was already on like ... hour three of this run.
which leads me to the fact that some of these levels are just set up for you to insta-fail. there’s no way for you to react on the first go when working your way through some of these because of how the level is essentially framed. it’s like you jumping down into a pit but don’t see at the last minute there’s a tiny ledge on the far left for you to land on with a row of spikes for you to be impaled on beneath it but by the time you notice it, you’re already a kebab.
don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying the game should be like ... just easy as hell or whatever. obviously, the dev wanted a more difficult platformer and i also don’t personally care about these, i think i was so numb about dying in-game at this point, every death was just ...... meaningless to me. but someone in the stream pointed out that this was very inconveniencing for other players who strived for perfect runs. it def sets a standard and guarantees failure the first time around. kind of sucks. (tho i suppose if the game had replayability wrt story and the like, i might not mind going back a few more times but if i’m just gonna be experiencing the same shit over again, it’s definitely not worth it. not to mention the other issues i have with the game)
draw me a fucking map
the layout to get from level to level is VERY confusing. it’s very important in platformers to assist the player in knowing where exactly they need to go. this game did not do that whatsoever. very annoying.
speaking of annoying, i super do NOT appreciate the jumpscares. there are MULTIPLE occasions during which you are just walking around the map trying to get from level to level where the game will randomly jumpscare you, showing you artistic renditions of gore/body horror while a screaming audio clip loops. this then changes the map into a more gory version of things (so same layout but everything is fleshy and bloody).
i’m fine with the layout changes, but the jumpscare screamers were ABSOLUTELY inappropriate. they completely ruined my immersion in the game and didn’t even fucking scare me. they only annoyed the piss out of me.
the dev could have very well used the glitch effects they love so much to alternate between the regular version of the map versus the gorier version instead of using screamers as a transition. there are no warnings for these jumpscares btw, not in any game summaries or in within the game itself. i’m not going to go into any more explanation than this but: unprompted jumpscares are ableist! game devs! take note!
the last level (and hidden level??)
so i did all (four or five levels? i dont remember i don’t care) and completed the game, i did them all on the more difficult option (before you proceed in each you’re given the option of an easier or more difficult route, the latter rewards you with a runelike object that allows you to unlock some sort of hidden level or room? once you’ve gathered them for all levels). so i literally didn’t even get to go to the hidden room with all the runes because the game threw me into the final level without warning. i’m gonna talk about the last level before proceeding.
um it was super bizarre. it suddenly changed into a bullet hell type game for no reason which is stupid because up until then, it was just a platformer and is ... advertised as a platformer. it took a while to adjust to this but not very long because i’m super epic but that doesn’t mean it didn’t annoy the fuck out of me and also will probably be very difficult for other people. i don’t even think it was my skill getting me through this, i was just so annoyed that my spite carried me to the end point. at one point the main boss who is an entity who takes up one entire end of the screen and then chases you as you hop and run to get away. well that creature at one point turns into a strange 3d/CG type model. i really had no idea what was going on. it was just very jarring. i can’t tell if i liked it or not. i was just so tired at that point (it was like 4 am and i had been playing since about 7) that i didn’t give a shit about anything going on.
there’s other stuff design/artwise that happens but i thought that looked kind of cool. i think if the game had not emotionally drained me to a state of mental and psychological paralysis, i might have even genuinely cared about how cool it was. but honestly it felt more like i was walking by a store with a nice pair of boots displayed in the window, i just kind of thought to myself “oh those are nice” and then proceeded to never think about it again. i don’t even know if the order i’m discussing the final levels in are correct because i genuinely can’t be bothered to 1. maintain that information in my mind and 2. boot up the game and check.
wrt the hidden level, i literally don’t remember if i ended up unlocking it. as i’ve mentioned before, a lot about this game was very confusing. the map, the direction, instructions, etc. it was just a mess. i definitely did collect all those runes but i don’t remember going to the mystery room where i had previously noted they were being displayed. i don’t know if it unlocks that automatically or if i have to visit it when i finish the game? all i know is that as soon as the credits cropped up, i just left. i genuinely wanted nothing else to do with it.
i’m just honestly disappointed. the game started off pretty strong. i found myself drawn in by the characters. their motives and their stories. i wanted to learn more. but then i was barraged by ridiculously difficult levels (thank you for the hand fatigue <3) unhelped by the swam of bugs and made worse by the annoying, unnecessary and jarring jumpscares. this game had a lot of potential and the dev(s?) failed it.
this game didn’t need to be made scary by having someone screech in your players ears at random intervals. the tone was set by the narrative. it was already scary because of the compelling story we were following. the subtle scares of having these random creatures appear for just a second as you explore the map only to vanish suddenly ...THAT made me shit my pants. not screaming or stupidly edited gore images.
i feel like at one point it just became something for youtubers to react to. they wanted to make them scream and be overly and embarrassingly dramatic, so they added stupid jumpscares for them to scream to. they wanted them to ragequit and bash their keyboards and whine and complain about losing, so they ramped up their difficulty so that they could do that.
if they had put more effort i think into the world building and story of the game instead of all that other dumb shit, this game could have really taken off. they did great setting everything up, but i felt like they kind of forgot there even was a story by the end of it. they just wanted to put you off as much as possible.
* note: i notice this far into the review that i haven’t really discussed the story as in depth as i usually do but i normally do that with games with stories i don’t like (towayami for example) or when discussing a game i did like wherein needing to know the story is necessary for me to talk about other game mechanics (death and taxes for example). it isn’t necessary for me to get into specifics about tamashii’s story for me to talk about anything else about it so it never kind of came up. i can do that for people who would want me to but if you think you can stomach the jumpscares and the inevitable despair your 3000th death will bring you, i do recommend giving it a shot (but only if you already have the game bc you acquired it via a bundle. i honestly would not pay money for this shit.)
anyway ... idk ... not much else to say. another game tossed into the pile of “things that could have been interesting and cool”. i’m just glad to finally be able to be done with this game and move onto the next!
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