Night In The Woods has been on my wishlist for a long time. Ever since it's inception in fact, from the earliest tweets and announcements surrounding the project. I even followed the developers on twitter. I say followed, because after a while I had to unfollow them. Because they wouldn't shut the fuck up.
I think that's a pretty perfect analogy for why I'm finding it so difficult to enjoy Night In The Woods. Aesthetically, it's gorgeous. The writing is, when you break down individual scenes, fantastic. The controls are responsive and tight, the entire thing feels unique and well crafted. This is all undermined by the game trying desperately hard to be edgy with every fibre of it's being. It's like someone took a novelty twitter account and stretched it out into a videogame.
It's relentless. It bounces between pithy tumblr-esque post-irony and overbearing profundities. It's like a generic romantic comedy that needs to prove, behind the goofs, there's some actual depth to it's characters.
Consequently I don't know where to place it. It feels both cartoonishly shallow and pretentiously deep.
It's a shame, because the setting, and general tone, feels perfect. I love the small-town america vibes, being caught up in the crumbling economy. I thought the character Bea was massively more interesting when she hated Mae, and I can relate to a lot of the individual scenes that take place; Getting drunk in front of old schoolfriends at a party and embarrassing yourself? Yeah bro, I know that feel. Returning home to find your old friends haven't moved on and they resent you for leaving? More than once.
Maybe I'm too old. Or maybe this game just makes me feel old. Those are very different things. Maybe the game is trying too hard to fit into a meta-millennial landscape and succeeding slightly too well.
Either way, I feel alienated to the extent I don't want to play any more.