Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure (PS Vita) Review

By Thom Compton 18.12.2016 3

Review for Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure on PS Vita

It's common for games to be made by anywhere from 30 to 1,000 people, so when one person does all the work themselves, it's pretty impressive. Such is the case with Breton Fabrice, the 30-something French native, who set out to recreate a game he had built in the late '90s and early '00s. He also created all the assets, programming and music by himself, and the result might be one of the most surprising games to come out this year.

Demetrios stars the incredibly cynical Bjorn, a man who seems to view life as one major inconvenience after another. He's not alone though, as much of the world that Bjorn inhabits is filled to the brim with equally cynical characters. From a police officer who doesn't seem to want to do his job, to a bartender who isn't a fan of tourists, this is a world full of with people who don't seem to have a problem speaking their mind - which is why the occasionally lovely character like Sandra is a nice juxtaposition that seems like a beacon of hope in this otherwise untrusting world.

Exploring involves moving between a few select areas at a time, locating various items, and using them to advance the story. From time to time, this feels like one giant fetch quest, and it can be a little irritating falling down a rabbit hole of "get this to get this, so you can get this, so you can finally get this," but this knows when to reel it in, and it rarely feels like filler. Bjorn's dialogue makes some of the actual filler worth it, as he's clearly got some good commentary on the world around him.

Screenshot for Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure on PS Vita

The game's humour is the main focal point, and thankfully so, as it's more charming than out right hilarious. This is a game that is aware how silly it is, and the self-deprecating comedy extends to the point where it never feels like you shouldn't take it seriously, even though it doesn't seem to. Add in deaths that are brimming with sarcasm, and even a healthy dose of satire, and you have a title that is as profoundly interesting as it is weird and self-aware.

Even with so much repetition, things are usually pretty easy to figure out, and if you can't find the answer, there usually another option. Hidden on each screen are three cookies; cookies that look more like brown smudges on the screen. Still, they add a layer of exploration, as finding them will unlock in game hints and trophies. It's sometimes more fun exploring each screen for the cookies before continuing on with the story, because they're just so well hidden. Coupled with some side activities like a fair, there's plenty to do outside of the story.

The worst aspect is just how tedious it is going back and forth, over and over again. The reason is that it's too easy with the touch screen controls to try to click on a phone, or ice cream cone, and accidentally click the edge of the screen, shifting to another scene. The touch controls aren't always the most reliable, and since moving between environments is something the game expects to occur pretty frequently, it can become annoying accidentally clicking the wrong thing and listening to Bjorn explain it for the fifth time. Mind you, sometimes in order to locate something, you must go very dip into an environment, and getting back out requires dragging your finger around and looking for the exit so you don't lick a towel or a door bell. It can be extremely frustrating, but it doesn't ruin the experience overall.

Screenshot for Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

While navigating can be frustrating, and there's not a lot of variety in terms of missions, this is a great example of how to engage the player. The dialogue is charming, there are lots of side quests, and the story is very engrossing. Do yourself a favour and overlook the few flaws, for this great adventure far exceeds the issues it has.

Developer

Cowcat

Publisher

Cowcat

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

why does it look like that?

I suppose it's just the art style he chose.  It has a certain European quality to it, and I know he's a French gentleman, so my guess (my research hasn't confirmed or denied this) is that this is a French, or at least Western European style of art.

that looks nothing like the european comic art i know.

Image for

the game looks closer to horrible and generic web comic art to me.

 

( Edited 23.12.2016 15:43 by Insanoflex )

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