Lylian: Episode One - Paranoid Friendship Review

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Lylian: Episode One - Paranoid Friendship Review :

Innocent Insanity

by Custard Dec 22, 2010

Disowned by her family and sent to a mental hospital for children, Lylian's life is utter crap. With the help of her possessed teddy, jam-filled doughnuts, and a shady yet playful figure that lurks in the shadows.. it seems this mental hospital has some secrets to reveal.

This cute little girl with a detachment from reality should capture your heart from the start. Of course, her personality is pretty much the focus of the game, so it should be that way. As troubled and abstract as she is, she's not mad, but instead very intelligent. And it is this psychological conflict that brings into play an element not often found in games; the exploration of the mind. As a game in itself it's quite flawed, but this uncommon element has a way of band-aiding the holes in quality by otherwise distracting your higher brain functions. Yet, such a way to design a game leaves a more limited audience; since I would hasten to assume the majority of gamers would find such a plot overly abstruse. Or, to break it down, "It is a game for mental people, let's go play CoD xD". It's really a shame that so many people would respond like that, because I felt that Lylian had something to offer. The way she shrugged off her hardships, how she was so imaginative and brave, her amazing balance of mind; it was really quite inspiring to play as her. Her "creative bursts" were also a highlight of this game, and really quite entertaining and clever. A redeeming factor for the otherwise terrible combat system that was based on spamming the same swipe move in up to three different variations. The foes you were swiping were no greater in quality either, with little-to-no satisfaction in defeating the hordes of pitiful staff and fellow patients alike. Yet, the game managed to feel like more than just a short story with some forced "controlled parts". The gameplay's main appeal comes from the unpredictable events and mysteries you stumble through, and sometimes the product of Lylian's imagination too. It was hard at times.. well, I played it on "Normal" difficulty, which was the hardest option, and the only one other than "Casual". Still, there was some challenge to be had in certain parts, mostly pertaining to thinking of what you must do to proceed with only implied hints. There wasn't really anywhere to go other than the right way, which I'm glad of, since the idea of exploring sections of the game for no purpose is rather unwanted. The nature of the plot, combat, and well.. just about everything makes the idea of unnecessary roaming rather disheartening. I believe this game, while limited, is a worthwhile experience. I'd recommend it to those of you with bright imaginations and dark souls. Haha, not to make it sound like you need to be mental to enjoy it.

  CheatsGuru rating and opinion
8Story line
The story line is short and reminiscent of a Flash game. Yet, it's also a strong point, as it brings out a character that can really just mess around with your perspective and leave you thinking. I suppose it's appeal is limited to the more psychological of us.
7Graphics
A bit on the down-side. The gameplay is rather pixelated and doesn't fill a lot of the screen, the intermissions have substituted cut-scenes for walls of text and still images, and on it goes. Then again, it's a Retro game, and all these things are somewhat expected and easily forgiven.
7Sound
This game has very pretty music. From the menu theme to the elevator song at the end, it fits beautifully and just helps cement the abstract feeling the game gives off. The enemies make some not-so-impressive sound effects, and the game has no voice-acting to be heard. Ends up as kind of so-and-so.
4Gameplay
A few quirky things get in the way of ideal control here; such as the way Lylian will take a few steps to pull up after you release the direction button, and some odd physics glitches like standing in the air. The spammy and monotonous combat also leaves little to be desired.
4Lasting Appeal
As games go, it's very short. Little in the way of incentives to replay it either. While the game itself might be very short, it does have a potential for lasting interest, as the story has a strange depth to it. I found myself wanting to play the next episode.
6.0
Overall
Passable
(Out of 10)
 
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