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S&S Indie Review: Doki Doki Universe

Posted on the 13 December 2013 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S Indie Review: Doki Doki Universe
Title: Doki Doki Universe
Format: PS4(reviewed), PS3, PS Vita
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: HumaNature
Developer: HumaNature
Price: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E

Doki Doki Universe was one of the many standout indie titles that Sony showed off during E3 this year, and in the end, it will go down as one of the most unique titles I've ever played.
S&S Indie Review: Doki Doki Universe Story and Presentation:
Doki Doki Universe revolves around the tale of QT3, a robot that gets left behind on a planet by his human parents because of his lack of humanity.  He has trouble connecting with people around him, and his socially awkward tendencies make it tough for QT3 to connect with the different characters you'll come across.  To add insult to injury, his robot line is being discontinued, so he must prove he understands humanity in order to become a new household companion.  This is the foundation that the developers have laid out, and it proves to a be a good jumping in point to experience the game's bizarre worlds.  Each planet has tons of characters to interact with, including sushi rolls who have a fear of being eaten, bunnies with low self esteem issues, penguins who're looking to get that spark back in their relationship, and more.  Each character you meet has sharp and humorous dialogue, even with no real voice work, you still manage to care about each characters' problem.  The art style in the game is what drew me in, it seems like the devs contracted a 10 year old's doodles and brought em to life with quirky animations.  I've never really seen anything like it.  Scribbleshooter was the only other game that came to mind when I was playing it, but other than that, this game is truly unique it's own right.  The music was a little weak in comparison, and it didn't really match the level of charm the aesthetics possessed.
S&S Indie Review: Doki Doki Universe Core Gameplay: You'll spend most of your time in the game just simply talking to people, and solving their problems. You might have to simply greet someone with their favorite gesture like waving or blowing them a kiss, or you may have to dig a bit deeper or ask around to find out what a person's deep problems are. In order for you to really connect with the various characters you meet, you'll have to show affection with showering them with gifts.  The game's cumbersome inventory adds a bit of puzzle element into the mix by giving QT3 the ability to summon various items for characters.  Thankfully, the selection of items are broad enough to keep the narrative moving.  It could have been really tedious if I had to sift through multiple items just for one person.  It's a pretty clever system, the more people you win over, the more gifts they shower you with.  You can then use those gifts you earned, and summon them for other people.  Whenever you wish, you can return to your home planet and decorate it with the objects you've earned throughout your travels.  It can look as bizarre as you want it to look, pirate ships and penguins, go for it.  There's something special about entering a world filled with turmoil and personal issues, and leaving with peace and smiling faces on everybody you had helped.  There are also quizzes you'll complete that gives you oddly worded questions that tells you about yourself including how you're adventurous, or how you tend to use the left or right side of your brain. These are fun that gives you a gauge on how you've progressed when it comes to your humanity.
S&S Indie Review: Doki Doki Universe Final Thoughts:
Doki Doki Universe is unlike anything I've ever played, and I feel that it's something you shouldn't miss this year.  It never feels heavy handed, whether you want to play it in short spurts or long sessions, Doki Doki Universe is a warmhearted experience you shouldn't pass up.
S&S Rating: 7.5/10 @whatsPlay

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