“In a world where adventuring is a common career choice, a recently fired woman sets out on a grand quest to pay her rent. […] Do quests, get paid, and hope that everything goes okay in spite of it all.”
In case you do not already know: I am a huge fan of scitydreamer’s “I Hate You, Please Suffer”. I wrote a review of its demo here on game curator and gave it a more critical look at Haywire Magazine. And now I am here to play its first complete build, called the Basic Version. What do I mean by the first? Because the Basic Version is not the final version, as scitydreamer explains on the title’s itch.io page: “[It has] about [seventy-five to eighty percent] of what I wanted in my vision of the game[,] but is otherwise a completable experience.”
The story is still the same: Ramona has been fired, and she has to come up with her rent. I will try not to go into too many of the things I discussed in my initial review; if you want to read my first impressions, you can do it there. Let us take a look at what the Basic Edition adds to the experience. There are some nice little quality of life improvements here like little animations that play with each attack or hit. Also, most of the character sprites finally have unique bodies and faces, instead of being the generic blue or red ones they had in the demo. My favorite new detail has to be the “Quest Time!” art that appears whenever Ramona accepts a job – such a cute addition!
Players of the demo will remember that saving the game in “I Hate You, Please Suffer” had a price, as they had to pay one dollar each time. The pricing model now works differently: The first time it costs nothing, and then the price increases by a dollar every single time! It is pretty clever, if a bit annoying – which, to be fair, is the whole point. Healing items have also been tweaked in intriguing ways. The cheaper, less healthy items, such as bags of greasy chips, cause stomach aches, resulting in weaker healing effects. While I like this interesting twist, I take issue with the raccoons’ stronger stealing abilities. They now seem to be able to steal more money, which makes it harder for me to save money when they are constantly snatching my hard-earned cash.
There are also some new party members named Kyrie Massacre, Jasper Jones and Devon Reede. I will not spoiler Kyrie’s backstory, but believe me when I say that it is a very interesting one! And what can I say about Jasper? They are a non-binary cowboy, yee-haw! And Devon, who is also known as “The Mute Mage”, can use his cell phone to use special magic in battles. You can also go fishing now and visit some areas that were not available in the prototype. Another nice addition are the so-called Hint Tokens. (On another note: Trans Ramona has been confirmed, and that makes this trans dude very happy!) I also love the additional lore bits that were added. For example, Uzbek – owner of the Waking Stones, a bar frequented by officially approved adventurers – gives a whole speech about how freelance adventurers came to be. You can also find some more historical information about the game world sprinkled in various places.
My main complaint is that the game maybe became too difficult. I have praised the high difficulty in the past, as it was part of charm and added to the “Fuck you” nature of “I Hate You, Please Suffer”. But now I can barely get through the story without grinding a bunch. It gets to be just a bit much for me; just a bit. While things got better once I grinded to the eighth level, one must say that it is never a great sign if you have to grind to improve your gaming experience.
My main complaint is that the game may have become too difficult. In the past, I have praised the high difficulty because it was part of the charm and contributed to the “Fuck you!” nature of “I Hate You, Please Suffer”. But now I can barely get through the story without grinding a bunch. It is getting to be a bit too much for me, just a bit. It did get better once I got to the eighth level, but it has to be said that having to grind to improve your gameplay experience is never a great sign. All in all, though, the Basic Version is excellent and shows that the game is as great as ever! I have a special fondness for this project and am glad to see it find its wings with this first full release. [PLAY]