Saturday, May 6

Little Nightmares Review

Before the appearance of the cinematograph, European inventors fantasized about capturing the images of dreams in order to reproduce them. From this need, many of the apparatuses that today are included within what we call precinematography, like the phantasmagoria or the magic lantern, emerged. The closest thing to the onirism in life was obtained by means of these apparatuses, that thanks to its little definition introduced the spectator to a world in which until then they had only acceded in dreams. Little Nightmares works as one of these dark chambers, a hole through which to peer into a deeply stylized world of nightmares that has much more of Chihiro's Journey than of Tim Burton's aesthetic.


The brief developments usually marry very well in the subgenre in which Little Nightmares moves. Short but tremendously intense experiences that don't need much to build a more solid narrative than many of the Triple A that swarm around. Even so, what Tarsier Studios offers us can not fail to feel like a half-cooked adventure, which lacks an intermediate stage or something that has just given the perfect rhythm to become a masterpiece. I could not avoid, after about four hours of play, to have a rather stupid face when the credits came out. "Is that all?" I thought. And yes, it was. 

More than a problem of duration, Little Nightmares is a problem of packaging, of coitus interrupts, as if the climax had been half-finished and the ideas were exhausted before chirping the final levels. However, it's always good to leave a work of such caliber for a few days, so that you can reflect and write about it. The sensations I have had thinking about the game have been much more positive than the ones I had when I finished. Do not get carried away by the bewilderment when they begin to roll the titles of credit.


Those familiar with games like Limbo or Inside, will not find excessive mystery in the mechanics of Little Nightmares. The lateral displacement and the resolution of puzzles are altered only by the use of the depth, that manages to differentiate it from the works of Playdead. In this case, this little macabre story consists of five chapters that are divided into the different areas of the ship that we will visit. From the dark cellars to the ramshackle kitchens, we will be transitioning the nightmarish stays that the designers have built for us, always moving to the right, as restless as they are insatiable. Are we running from something? Or are we the persecutors? A moral and narrative ambiguity that does not stop us from advancing, whatever the danger or creature that will lurk behind every corner.

The intelligent use of the tutorials by Tarsier Studios is appreciated. They will never appear unless you are truly stuck. I am a strong supporter of the total elimination of indications in this type of games, not only break the atmosphere, but also its purpose. The final objective should be to clean the screen of any type of impurity evidenced by the fiction apparatus, creating an environment as immersive as possible.

It's also true that Little Nightmares has many more actions than the previously mentioned games of Playdead, including very slight touches of platform at any time. It will require not only that we know how to measure when to be stealthy and when to run as if there is no tomorrow, so that skill is a factor to take into account, not just the ingenuity to solve the puzzles. For those of you who are asking for their difficulty at this stage of the analysis, I must confirm that, for the most part, the game doesn't involve any headaches. Except for honorable exceptions, Little Nightmares adjusts its difficulty to medium-low levels if we measure it with the bar of the genre.

Graphics & Design

For those who love to consume art by the eyes, Little Nightmares is their game. One of the most powerful and genuine artistic designs we will see not only in this 2017, if not the entire generation. Everything oozes good work, from the smallest objects to the most elaborate structures. One of the dangers of playing in the dream world is to fall into the easy resource of "anything goes". When you have such freedom to do what you want, or at least as far as your imagination can go, there may be a tendency to baroque, to recharge and saturate to exhaustion. In Little Nightmares, we will live in a nightmare, but a highly refined one, that plays the alleys of altering perspectives to make us small, the overlapping of scenes or characters taken from the very place where our inner demons are born.

Everything is fluid with a stunning and sick harmony, from its oppressive illumination, heiress of the best scenes of Inside. This stage of our life is highly present throughout the game, starting with our unsettling protagonist, a genderless character, apparently a child (in the neutral sense of the word, enthusiastic) with a haunting yellow raincoat that will always hide his face. 

And now, the great one, because everything good in this life has one. Little Nightmares sins of a fatal error, but that has a solution, hopefully, and we throw enough of the ears to the good ones of Tarsier Studios. It's inexcusable that a game of these characteristics, whose puzzles mechanics are based on the premise of trial-error, has a loading times of one minute of means. Yes, a minute. Time-consuming on more than one occasion and contrasted with other analysis to rule out that any sea something unique to Xbox One. This is especially bleeding in a video game whose main base is an atmosphere, one that breaks constantly every time we die and has to stay with the face of fools before the black screen waiting to come back to life. Normally I am against penalizing video games for framerate drops or technical nonsense, but it is really frustrating that the experience of Little Nightmares is tarnished by its tedious loading times.


I think the road that has led me here, the conclusion, has made me change my mind about the nightmare adventure of Tarsier Studios. When I began to write my words, they denounced a certain pessimism that has been lightening as, i have thought through what Little Nightmares has to offer. It is a work of a stendhalian visual beauty for all those fanatics of terror, with a terribly dark pose that will probably rip you out of a nervous chill. It has moments so crazy that will make you wish that someone had closed your eyes in time and that will return you to that childhood of irrational and primitive fears. Here there are no scares, if not much fear. One who can only produce a good book or a movie that plays more by suggesting than by teaching.

They weigh more their virtues than their defects, they also have them, such as the endless loading times or the feeling that they could have gone much further in their conclusion and sensations. Even so, it has our notice and recommendation. One of the indies of the year that is confirmed as such and should not be missing in any Xbox One.


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