228 people found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 4.8 hrs on record
Posted: Nov 14, 2014 @ 7:22pm
Updated: Nov 16, 2014 @ 6:11am

Always Sometimes Monsters is frequently tedious and rife with things that shatter any suspension of disbelief. I had high hopes for this game, but it really fails to deliver on its promise of an open story of moral ambiguity in favor of a tedious romp through a poorly explained plot that looks like it was written by a 15-year-old going through their "edgy" stage. There is a lot to do, but none of it feels especially worth doing, and a lot of it affects nothing so far as I can tell. Maybe there's a point to buying crab rather than chicken apart from wasting money. Also, ideas like "Sandwich Furtures" traded at a terminal in a sandwich shop, banks that require a security question to make a deposit, and day care providers willing to overlook an allegation of terrorism on a criminal background check are all sufficiently stupid (and not actually funny) that they do nothing but detract from the story.

The characters are too close to being parodies of archetypes to feel truly endearing, and some of them are introduced to disappear completely from the game moments later. I stayed at a girl's house for nine days and saw her exactly once, despite the fact that the she seemed like she could be an interesting and dramatic character. Meanwhile, I have to deal with the Kurt Cobain / Courtney Love analogues far more than I want. Too often, the choices I wanted to make I could not, and the questions I wanted answered were not.

Production-wise, the graphics are bland and inconsistent Some characters look completely different in their close-up versions and their walking versions. The imagery is often too cartoony for how dark the subject matter is trying to be (although a lot of that "darkness" comes off as a ham-fisted attempt at shock value), but not cartoony enough to feel like more than a bland vaguely anime look. The sound effects are ear-bleedingly jarring at times, with obnoxious beeps and sudden bursts of animal noise contrasted by the near complete silence of the game world apart from the music (of which I have generally few complaints). Even when the sound effects are appropriate, the lack of other appropriate sound effects make them feel out of place. If that was a design decision, it was a terrible one, but judging by the overall production value, I suspect they just couldn't be bothered to put any serious work into them.

I'm glad I got this as part of bundle, because I'd feel cheated if I paid for this by itself.
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