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Played in 2023
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Still a total masterpiece, finished it many times now and it has not lost a single bit of what makes it so great. The (only?) great Video Game as Poem, everything in its aesthetics and design points towards its emotions and themes — there’s purpose to everything here. Never been a more melancholic game. One of the major keystones in video games’ maturation into legitimate art.
I think this game missed the peak of the rogue-like era and playing it now after that has ended it just feels like flaws of the genre are very pronounced. The grind in this is massive and the gameplay does not vary significantly enough throughout the experience. Moment to moment it’s really fun and the trait gimmick is still good, but there’s just too much unnecessary grind going on here.