I had no idea about the Lisa series until a review code entered my mailbox. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect because I had never heard of it, yet it seemed like it had a cult following. So, I dug around to see how it missed my radar until now. As it turns out, Lisa: Definitive Edition combines both Lisa: The Painful with its expansion Lisa: The Joyful updated for today’s market. And apparently, the developers at Dingaling Productions addressed controversial content for the updated edition.
Set in the town of Olathe in a post-apocalyptic world, the inhabitant deals with the White Flash, an event that led to the disappearance of all women, leaving the leftovers with no way to produce babies and ensure humanity’s survival. Think of Children of Men only; there are no women worldwide, and it sounds like a hellish landscape.
Step into a Distinctly Painful World
As bleak as the world seems, this desolate wasteland surprised me. The character design and art style are charming, balancing the darkness with a quirky touch.
In this deserted post-apocalyptic world, Brad’s life turns unexpectedly when he discovers an abandoned child he decides to raise as his daughter. With a band of loyal friends, Brad navigates the challenges of parenthood in a world gone awry. But when tragedy strikes, and his daughter is kidnapped, Brad’s life takes a dark and dangerous turn as he sets out to bring her back safely.
Progression involves a fair share of backtracking, and the level layouts can be like navigating a labyrinth. To add to the challenge, the level design can be tricky to decipher, making it easy to lose your way. Combine that with the game’s oppressive tone; you might feel drained and lost in this dystopian world.
A Battle System That Packs a Punch
Now, let’s talk gameplay. The combat in Lisa: The Painful is challenging but satisfying once you get the hang of it. It’s a turn-based system with a twist. You must use timed button presses to unleash devastating attacks or defend against brutal foes. The perfectly timed strikes are rewarding when you get them right.
But be prepared for some tough decisions. Resources are scarce, and you’ll have to choose wisely regarding healing items, as even the most mundane encounters can quickly become life-or-death situations. It’s a hardcore experience that’s not for the faint of heart.
Now, let’s delve into the difficulty level: no walk in the park. Your companions’ strengths vary wildly, while the enemies get more challenging as you progress. Dealing with those pesky status effects can be a real headache, and medical supplies are hard to come by. Oh, and did I mention that there’s a pesky drug wreaking havoc on the population, and you’re hooked too?
I must admit, though, this unique and challenging system does keep you on your toes at all times. You’re constantly teetering on the edge of being overwhelmed, and each obstacle feels like one too many. But hey, if you’re up for the ultimate challenge, the Definitive Edition has got you covered with its Hard Mode.
Lisa’s Sequel Is One Sequel Worth Savouring
After surviving the rollercoaster of emotions in Lisa: The Painful, I moved to Lisa: The Joyful. This time, you’ll play as Buddy, the enigmatic and powerful girl you sought in the first game.
The sequel expands on the story, adding even more depth to the characters and the world. Buddy’s journey is full of surprises, and seeing things from a new perspective was fantastic. Plus, the level design and soundtrack are just as exceptional as in the first game, creating a wonderfully immersive experience.
Lisa: Definitive Edition’s upgraded graphics, added conversations, content, and battles are an excellent reason for returning players to see how far the duology has come. For newcomers, there’s a good RPG here that does a few interesting things with its setting and characters. These games are not your run-of-the-mill RPGs; they’ll challenge you emotionally.
So, if you’re ready to dive into a world of pain, joy, and everything in between, these games should be on your radar.
[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]
Reviewed on: Switch
Lisa: Definitive Edition’s upgraded graphics, added conversations, content, and battles are an excellent reason for returning players to see how far the duology has come. For newcomers, there’s a good RPG here that does a few interesting things with its setting and characters. These games are not your run-of-the-mill RPGs; they'll challenge you emotionally.