Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Gray Garden

The other night, I finally completed The Gray Garden.

It's really long, but not in a bad way. The game is very centered on the story rather than the gameplay and the pacing is probably the best I've seen for a video game story in a long time. Said story centers around a world where a God and Devil of one realm have found peace with one another. As a result, Demons and Angels now live together in harmony. We see this world through the views of many different characters, centered mostly on Yosafire and her friends. Eventually, the conflict of the game is revealed after we learn about the daily and peaceful lives of the inhabitants of the world. Turns out that there may be some sort of raid on their world sometime soon and now everyone is investigating the possible incident. 

The gameplay itself seems as if it's based on being an RPG with a familiar battle system, but the battle system actually isn't all that important. Halfway through the game I decided that it was just there for the satisfaction of seeing a fight happen, to feel as if you're doing more than following roads and reading story. The game properly equips you for most battles, if you're willing to look around for the free equipment laying everywhere. No battles other than forced story related ones are even necessary, so you can skip the small-fry. I previously didn't know if I would have to grind these small-fry enemies or not, so I decided this time to try and do it without fighting them. Other than the first boss fight, I had no problems getting through mostly unscathed. I would suggest that if you're going to play this game, do pick up a ton of apples for the apple pie quest as they turn into free healing items.

I also, honestly, fell in love with pretty much all of the characters. Every one of them feels unique and well written. Not only that, but the character designs for this game are pretty amazing.

If I had to choose a favorite though, it would definitely be Froze (One of the main characters). She's pretty stoic and logical, which plays well with Yosafire's illogical tendencies. Yosafire (another main character) may seem pretty annoying, but by the end I felt like she was probably also one of my favorites. Some of the characters take on some major changes in the story while others stay the same. That feels a bit more realistic to me than having everyone change in personality.
I also really like the cats because, well, they're cats. Cool looking Demon cats. They're really strong, physically, but they're pretty air headed so it's really fun to watch their adventures.

I also really enjoyed the music of the game. It's really varied so sometimes it's really gorgeous piano music and others are an upbeat rhythm or maybe even some pretty rocking battle music. All of them really complete the sort of retro RPG soundtrack style, though (albeit with it's own twist). The video below is one of my favorites. Another is #13  (Etihw and Kcalb) on the playlist I pulled this one from.

Final thoughts are really positive. I thoroughly enjoyed this game. I'd suggest it to anyone who likes to play games for story and wouldn't mind taking several hours to play through it. I think I'll keep playing the games from this particular creator as it hasn't let me down yet. I like the whimsical writing and feeling to their games a lot.

If you're looking to play the game, you could find it here. This is the English translated version, which is the one that I played.
Also, there is a small short story April Fools version of the game that genderbends some of the characters. It's actually pretty cute.

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