Always Sometimes Monsters
Always Sometimes Monsters is an RPG Maker game revolving around decisions, tossing away the morality of right or wrong, in the hope to regain a happy dream that was cruelly taken from you.
You play as an aspiring author who is on the verge of poverty. Everything that you've dreamed of doing, becoming a world-famous publisher, getting married to the loved one of your life, it's all become almost uncertain to achieve. You end up locked out of your apartment, unable to finish your manuscript before the deadline, and you discover that your ex will be marrying someone else, AND you were invited. This in turn throws you on a journey of life's obstacles in a mission to rediscover the true meaning of sacrifice for the things that you love most.
"Can your life be salvaged, or are we always sometimes monsters?"
--Side Note: Your characters can be chosen independently, and with those choices the response of the NPC's and the environment can vary. Every unique playthrough consists of different possible roads unlocked through conversation or action. Everything matters after all.
This is my first review-ish kinda thing, so please bear with me.
Starting off, I played this game back in January. I had no idea what the game was composed of, and I might as well say it now.
Always Sometimes Monsters has content dealing with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, mental health, sexual assault, child abuse, animal abuse, drug abuse, and suicide. (I got this from the Steam page.)
This was all overlooked in excitement of being able to play something fun in the last few days of my winter break holiday.
I honestly did not expect myself to like the game as much as I did. The moment I started up the game, I knew that this was different from any other RPG Maker game, from the looks of the start menu and the really, really catchy tune. The freedom to choose between which two characters to begin the story as was a very smart move, because I very much enjoy the freedom of choice. Obviously I chose two girls, because who doesn't love some lesbian action? -cough-
The gameplay is something I consider relatively moderate difficulty. It's easy to the point that you know what to do, but you can also get very lost if you're not careful and reading the instructions. Trust me, I know. The decisions that you have to make in this game can both be small and insignificant or having a very big impact in the direction of the road you pave. Not to mention the countless NPC's, the horrifying sidequests that you have to overcome, and the fact that money is actually a very important thing you can have in this game, especially since you are pretty much broke and shit.
As for the game's assets, you don't really expect much from an RPG Maker game other than some royalty-free music and some generic cut-out character art, etc. Well, surprise surprise! The music from Always Sometimes Monsters is actually created and intended for it. The graphics are, well, RPG Maker graphics, so you can't really shit on that territory. The character art itself was very different from what one would expect.
The story itself was very surrealistic, because while the economic struggles along with relationship issues seem plausible, there are very rarely times when people would actually do many of the things you (can) do in order to get to the wedding on time. It can also become a bit bland on your second or third playthrough, as the structure of how it progresses remains relatively unchanged by your choices even though it boasts of power with independence. You begin with two unknown characters arguing over something. Their roles are explained later in the game. It is at this when a mysterious hobo (yeah, like what the fuck) approaches the both of them and pulls out a gun, causing one of the unknown characters to draw their own. They want to play a game where they tell a story and the two listen, with no interruptions. At this point, you are given the option to shoot or listen. From there on, the story is yours. Depending on which endings you get, the good ending, which I had gotten, was very unfulfilling and lackluster in comparison to the buildup that it was getting so much of. I ended up being very confused on what happened and expected there to be more, but apparently not.
Another Side Note: Despite its (overall) harmless looks, there are some ways to easily get a Game Over, so be wary of some of the things that you do. For example, you could die very quickly in the starting town of the game via some triggerable flag within the Vagabond Dog building.
My longest playthrough on this game was 6 hours, 52 minutes, and 39 seconds, with a total cash amount of 968195$ because I was unsatisfied with my prior playthrough that ended with me missing the wedding and having little to no money. Yes, I'm a cheating bastard, I probably should have tried to get a perfect game the right way, but I do what I want.
Anyways, I'd say that it's highly recommended that you check out. It's a great way to spend time and who knows? You could probably relate to 67% of whatever the hell is happening in this serious but very hilarious game. Anyways, here's a bunch of links you can click on to buy on different platforms and shit.
Peace. I hope I did a good job with this.
Google Play Store Page
iTunes App Store Page