September 24, 2021

Xbox One X

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Lovely Planet and the joy of frustration

2 min read
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Jerks, that’s what they are, plain and simple. I’m talking about the cube-shaped villains that populate the vivid world in Lovely Planet, a speed-running game that’s haunted me ever since I purchased it in a Humble Bundle over three and a half years ago. Yet for some reason, I decided to buy it again a few months back, this time for the Xbox.

Playing difficult games for the sake of being frustrated is nothing new, even in recent years as we all secretly agree games are much easier than they used to be. For example, something that’s always struck me about Dark Souls, apart from the mystifying acclaim lauded on the series, is the enjoyment people share regarding its difficulty. The repetitive “YOU DIED” dissolving onto the screen when you’re beaten by an enemy has become a great meme, prompting the kind of feelings you might experience through cold rejections from a potential employer or an unrequited crush.

Lovely Planet is that stuff too. There isn’t much of a story to the thing, but it appears that you’ve missed your trip to the lovely planet and have to get past all of the enemies and obstacles to make the next flight to that wonderful new world spinning in the background. And don’t be fooled by the cheery soundtrack. (Personally, I would compare it to the work of Lullatone, a delightful musical duo who are the embodiment of “quirky”.) There are many ways to die: you can succumb to the bastard cubes that spit bullets towards you, or a descending apple that forces you to restart the level, or you might simply lose your footing and fall off one of the numerous platforms.

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