NEEDY STREAMER OVERLOAD is a “multi-ending ADV” depicting daily life with “OMGkawaiiAngel-chan”, a young girl with a rather extreme need for approval attempting to become the #1 “Internet Angel” (streamer).
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This review contains spoilers
Much like the game itself, I don't have a lot to say here. In Needy Streamer Overload you play as a non-good, un-human person that is both the boyfriend and manager of a streamer girl (clearly supposed to be a VTuber).
Your streamer girl PET thing is called Ame by you, and KAngel by her fanbase. As her boyfriend/manager thing, you manage her streams and dictate her activities. Some of which CAN include abusing diazepams and having sex. You manage her stats (stress, relationship, "dark thoughts"), moderate her chat, and dismissively respond to her texts as the trash boyfriend you are.
I wrote a whole "way too long-ed" critique of this game but I decided to scrap it because it's honestly not worth the thesis paper.
I do not know the brains of Japanese developer Xemono. Sometimes they have something kind of thoughtful (but still on-the-nose) to say about internet dwellers with Denpa, or people disconnected from reality and socially ostracized. Other times they portray KAngel as a gross stereotype of a Menhera (a woman with unstable mental health to the point of harming herself and others). Sometimes you empathize with her. You see and remove comments in her streams by nasty viewers who degrade her as a gamer, as a sex object, etc. Other times, you have the option to tell her "she doesn't deserve to live" or encourage her to cut her wrists.
I think it's kind of interesting for a Japanese dev to address topics of addiction, suicide, and loneliness so forthright. At the same time, the framing for these thematic elements fluctuates between "a teenager's understanding" and "outright icky".
Needy Streamer Overload is South Park. It brings up serious issues while being too afraid or too ignorant to take a consistent stance on its darker themes. Needy Streamer Overload is also Fight Club. But if Fight Club lacked the subtextual commentary on how "standard" masculinity ideals are harmful for men, and was solely the shallow interpretation most dudes walked away with (whoah dude, Tyler Durden is so rad).
But. The pastel Windows 98 aesthetic is choice as fuck.