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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:If you don't like my review, close your web browser, July 10, 2013
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)Play it if: you're a fan of Ke$ha and all performers possessed of such unabashed pride in themselves and their identities, and the idea of a glitter-soaked confidence rampage makes your blood fizz.
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Don't play it if: you want story, structure, elegance or audacity to support a rather messy near-stream-of-consciousness experience.
howling dogs invites endless speculation. CYBERQUEEN is its own kind of masterpiece. CRYSTAL WARRIOR KE$HA, on the other hand, reads like one of a thousand Tumblr blogposts. Though it plays with words a little, it lacks a distinctive personality. It has weirdness by the bucketload, but doesn't really channel it in an interesting way. CYBERQUEEN was a chainsaw, but it was a chainsaw wielded by a surgeon. This is a firehose of glitter aimed at a paper cup.
I'm starting to get swallowed by questionable analogies here, but my deal here is that the language and the content of CYBERQUEEN come across as fresh. They demand attention and create visceral impressions. By comparison, when CRYSTAL WARRIOR KE$HA presents a vehicle called Vagina Jungle and a choice to drain my boyslave's virile energy to fuel my slutwave mantis transformation, the foremost thought in my head is "this sort of thing has been said seven million times before and it's old already". Perhaps my own lengthy Tumblr experience affects me in that regard, but I think there's more to it than that.
Let me just mention that I have no issues with Ke$ha. I happen to think she's a very talented singer-songwriter, and though her album work tends to disguise this rather well, her music is generally not something I listen to by choice and as such I don't really care enough to offer an opinion. Judging her on her presented persona alone is equally pointless to me.
That being said, the championing of Ke$ha is not done particularly well here, as far as I'm concerned. I got the impression that bits of the writing were references to actual lyrics or quotes, and confirmed it by Googling the first phrase to arouse that suspicion in me: "If you don't like my song, then turn off the radio."
Why did that phrase stick out? Because as a sentiment it comes across as too lazy for an author as smart as Porpentine to have come up with. (Though she did endorse it, so maybe I'm not all that perceptive.)
Yes, I'm aware of the vested interest inherent in being a guy who writes his opinions about things. Nevertheless, a sentiment like "turn off the radio" or "change the channel" strikes me as an admission of defeat. It says I'm only comfortable in a world where everyone compliments me, which is sort of at odds with this game's overriding sense of confidence and assertiveness, of the never-ending battle against the haters. I find it rather ironic that a game which attacks haters with the statement "I pity your attempts to justify your insecurity with analysis. It is false analysis with no substance" would then follow it up with a statement decrying all analysis!
Not every work has to be a masterpiece, and not every work has to be particularly ambitious. This is after all something of a glorified music video. But even with the relatively novel software of Twine this already feels like it offers nothing new or interesting.
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Danielle, July 11, 2013 - Reply
When I played this, I think I took from it kind of an affectionate tongue-in-cheek attitude--both kind of lampooning KE$HA's outlandishness, while celebrating some of the power behind that bizarre attitude. Though I know zero about KE$HA until after I played this game (then I was looking up and staring aghast--"She really named her car that?? Porpentine didn't invent that??" I could be totally wrong, though.
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Jim Kaplan, July 11, 2013 - Reply
It's possible I suppose that this is tongue-in-cheek, but it doesn't really add to the quality of the game for me, not least because it's absolutely impossible to tell. Moreover, even if it was tongue-in-cheek, I would still find my criticism about it being "nothing new" applicable. A bad game one calls satirical is still a bad game.
I'd add that what little I've managed to find in the way of Porpentine actually discussing this game suggests that it was sincere.