In Bittersweet Birthday’s demo, I am only a precocious younger boy with a head filled with hair and a backpack slung over my shoulder. And but right here I’m waking up in a chilly, sterile mobile deep within the bowels of an deserted lab. A voice at the radio warns me to watch out, and I creep previous broken sanatorium beds, blood splattered doorways, and massive buttons intended to turn on containment measures. For what to start with gave the look of a cutesy journey ala Earthbound or Undertale, that is now not the tone I anticipated from the outset. Earlier than too lengthy, I am caught in a large steel room, and a tender crow-boy hybrid calling himself the Darkish Solar is capturing masses of arrows and fireballs at me.
It is the type of bullet hell enjoy somebody who is performed Eldest Souls or Titan Souls will likely be conversant in. My display briefly fills with waves and waves of feathers that lower into me, or explode on a not on time fuse. Periodically, my foe sprints around the enviornment, leaving trails of fireside in his wake. My best answer is to dodge-roll and briefly counter with a three-punch combo, laying at the force once I destroy his focal point and stun him at the floor. After a number of brutal makes an attempt, I in any case declare victory. Fairly than solutions, I am greeted with a surprising shift to a scenic cliffside view overlooking an unlimited beach mountain vary. Bittersweet Birthday no doubt is not afraid of big tonal shifts.
My crow acquaintance reappears within the sky, vowing revenge with the theatrics of a 13-year-old goth child finding Edgar Allan Poe. Seems he is my brother Rocc, and he is briefly scolded via our mutual mom, who reminds him he must get to paintings guarding town from calamity. Most effective mother is not…a mother. She’s a strolling, speaking pile of glitchy pixels, like a Tetris block come to existence. Even on this atypical, all of a sudden transferring global, she stands proud. But when it issues to the participant personality and his intended fowl brother, nobody feedback on it.
Bittersweet Birthday’s demo briefly shifts to a well-known old skool RPG journey layout from there. Mother reminds Rocc and I that there is a live performance going down this night in our bustling village, and it is my brother’s duty as Mother or father of the area to ensure no hurt befalls both the townspeople or any of the metalhead concertgoers. Rocc taunts, reminding mother that “the nice evil” hasn’t been noticed for 9 generations, and not one of the in a similar fashion bird-man Guardians prior to him needed to do anything else of be aware. It is reasonably the lore unload, however it is treated with sufficient conversational grace and trickled out slowly sufficient that I am to peer anyplace this ordinary story of 2 brothers may cross.
Heading into the town, Bittersweet Birthday ditches struggle for easy adventuring—speaking to townspeople about their issues or the newest gossip, and taking part in the occasional sport of darts. No person bats an eye fixed on the fowl boy who is chargeable for guarding all of them, however that does not forestall Rocc from being a little bit of an angsty child, anyone who loudly publicizes his greatness however clams up when speaking to a woman. We ultimately make our strategy to the live performance, the place the headlining band’s frontwoman, dressed in a cranium masks that may make Slipknot blush, teases us with some type of imminent doom.
Although the writing can now and again lean just a little too into tropes, particularly in terms of Rocc’s teenager perspective (if I learn “tch” yet another time…), I actually loved getting to fulfill the multitude of characters in Bittersweet Birthday’s demo. There is a a laugh number of friendliness and risk that makes me wish to be told extra about this global, why it wishes a mum or dad like Rocc, and what the hell is occurring with that deserted lab that turns out to slide from our reminiscence. That is what you wish to have in an action-adventure sport, proper? A tale and forged that stick out, however are heat and acquainted sufficient that you simply give a darn what occurs to them. The sport could be very a lot conscious that it wishes small moments of personality expansion to stability the large sweeping arcs. The demo additionally best incorporates the only boss combat, however up to now it is approachable sufficient that I used to be in a position to energy in the course of the frustration that is standard to the style.
Bittersweet Birthday displays a large number of promise, sufficient in order that it just lately accomplished complete investment on IndieGoGo, so it is transparent that other people are curious the place this story of brotherly fowl bonding is going from right here. Judging from the previous couple of terrifying moments of the demo, and all of the weirdness that preceded it, it might be actually any place.