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Nelson Schneider's Video Game Reviews (477)

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Pikmin 4 4/5
No Man's Sky 4/5
Dragon Quest Monsters: ... 4/5
Assassin's Creed IV: Bl... 2.5/5
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands 3.5/5
Ratchet & Clank: Rift A... 4.5/5
Super Mario Bros. Wonder 4.5/5
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Catmaze 4.5/5
Turnip Boy Commits Tax ... 4.5/5
Seasons After Fall 3/5
Rayon Riddles - Rise of... 0.5/5
World to the West 4/5
MechWarrior 5: Mercenar... 4/5
Streets of Kamurocho 2.5/5
Aeon of Sands - The Tra... 2.5/5
Greak: Memories of Azur 3.5/5
Yaga 2.5/5
Riverbond 3/5
Bug Fables: The Everlas... 4.5/5
Front Mission 1st Remake 1.5/5
Middle-earth: Shadow of... 3.5/5
Bladed Fury 3.5/5
Ruzar - The Life Stone 3.5/5
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin 3.5/5

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Just Die Already   PC (Steam) 

Just Uninstall Already    2/5 stars

Contrary to popular belief (at least among people named Chris), “Just Die Already” is NOT made by CoffeeStain, the developer and publisher behind the ‘Goat Simulator’ series. Instead, “Just Die Already” is the brainchild of DoubleMoose Games, an Indie dev studio whose one previous game, “Animal Super Squad,” is a knock-off of ‘Goat Simulator.’ That said, the publisher for “Just Die Already” is Curve Digital, an Indie-focused publisher behind a LOT of… unmemorable Indie games dating back to 2013.

I had no interest in “Just Die Already,” which released in 2021, but because Chris loves stupid games – which he dubs ‘dumb fun’ – and because the Epic Games Store gave it away for free in 2022 (never a good sign), we ended up playing it as part of the MJ Crew’s weekly coop night.

Presentation
“Just Die Already” is built in Unreal Engine 4, but it looks more like a crummy Unity project. The visuals are silly, stylized, and generally somewhat gross.

Audio is incredibly understated, with a barely-there soundtrack and no voiceacting to speak of, outside of a few moans and groans.

Technically, the game is intentionally cumbersome and clunky, but also has a number of other quirks that make it an irksome experience. It has native Xinput support (and Dinput support, even), but it has a hard time picking up the controller, and generally needs to be Alt+Tabbed into the background before returning to focus to get it to pick up gamepad inputs. It also supports native cross-platform multi-player… but I found the netcode to be rather janky and unstable at times. About the best thing I can say about “Just Die Already” is the fact that any ‘progress’ made while playing in a coop session is saved globally, allowing all players to ‘make progress’ whether solo or in a group.

Story
In the not so distant future, the globe is overrun by ancient Baby Boomers, resulting in the slow-moving collapse of society. Boomers are locked away in retirement homes, which delight in any one of them dying, while Boomer is also the world’s primary ‘natural resource,’ used as an ingredient in a number of products.

The player takes the role of one of four different Boomers – two men and two women – who aren’t willing to take the abuse heaped on them by Millennials and Zoomers (gee, Gen X gets forgotten… again), and breaks out of their retirement home, dead-set (no pun intended) on completing a huge number of items on their Bucket List, many of which are, unintuitively, suicidal.

It’s hard to say exactly how long “Just Die Already” is, since there’s no actual story, or narrative. It’s just a checklist of stupid activities to do, and the MJ Crew managed to get through about 75% of the list in less than 5 hours. If you really enjoy the gameplay, it’ll probably provide plenty of replay value, for what it’s worth.

Gameplay
“Just Die Already” is a self-described ‘mayhem simulator,’ which is, functionally, an open-world Sandbox where the player is free to run around and act like an idiot in the pursuit of ‘goals’ associated with their Boomer Bucket List. Controls are floaty and sloppy, allowing our cast of playable Boomers to pick up a wide variety of objects, including wearable items (some of which provide buffs) and… lots of different weapons.

Boomers are, apparently, incredibly durable in this game’s worldview, since it’s possible to have limbs, heads(!), and even torsos completely amputated, allowing a Boomer to remain ‘alive’ somehow, as a disembodied pelvis with bone shards protruding at the hips and spine. In fact, abusing the player’s chosen Boomer is required in order to unlock a number of doors and passages that will only open to an… appropriately-pruned chunk of flesh.

Of course, being maimed or killed is only temporary, as a Boomer can freely respawn at any point, back to their default state in a nearby dumpster.

And that’s really all there is to it: Wander around, commit acts of wanton mayhem, get maimed, and check off items on the Bucket List. Working through the Bucket List further allows Boomers to acquire specific power-ups and items whenever they want from vending machines instead of hunting them down in the environment.

Overall
While Chris might refer to “Just Die Already” as ‘dumb fun,’ my more nuanced take on it is that it’s ‘just dumb.’ It’s also a rather mean-spirited bit of anti-Boomer propaganda. Remember, your parents or grandparents are Boomers; do you really want to see them maimed and abused in horrific ways? At least it's better than "Battletoads."

Presentation: 2.5/5
Story: 1/5
Gameplay: 2/5
Overall (not an average): 2/5

 

 


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