I wanna Melanzana

Creator: えるなちゃん

Average Rating
9.4 / 10
Average Difficulty
97.3 / 100
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Avoidance (10) Special (1) L_Avoidance (2) Humanly_Possible (5) precision_pattern_avoidance (1)


  • by GaspacoZanis
  • by GaspacoZanis

23 Reviews:

̶Q̶u̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶h̶u̶m̶a̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶i̶m̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶e̶.̶

I stand corrected.

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Tagged as: Avoidance
[25] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: 95 95
Nov 3, 2018
line line circle line line line star circle line line line line line line circle circle star line line line line line line

update: i cleared and i cannot believe that i like it as much as i do

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Tagged as: Avoidance Special
[9] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 94 94
Dec 24, 2020
Even though there are a bunch of tough patterns, it was incredibly fun.
I'm so happy to be able to beat it without looking the clear videos <3

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Tagged as: Avoidance
[7] Likes
Rating: 9.6 96       Difficulty: 99 99
Mar 27, 2021
As some of you may see from looking at this review page (at least as of the time of me writing this), this avoidance does not have a comprehensive review. And why would it need one? Its reputation precedes it, and the vast majority of people are unwilling to play it to completion due to the high investment and the extremely demotivating feeling it usually brings to unprepared players. It is not infamous for no reason.

And yet, it is every bit deserving of a proper review. Not only is it one of the most unique games out there, it is a game that is very often talked about from a completely warped perspective, and one where much of the discourse is shaped by those who have never seriously attempted it. A lot of the discussion around Melanzana touches the game for what it is on the surface - a "98" difficulty pure pattern avoidance - rather than the new core gameplay experience on offer and how well it is executed. As such, the aim of this review is not to recommend the game (although I do, albeit with a caveat that you know what you're getting into), but rather to provide a frame of reference through which the avoidance may be better understood, combined with my own opinions and experience (as a person who has died past the 2 minute mark over a dozen times and has poured 60+ hours into it).

So, to start, Melanzana's gameplay is pure pattern and does not tap at all into the reading aspect of avoidances as a core gameplay component. However, to describe it more precisely, it is more than just bullets going to the same place the same way every time - Melanzana is about movement. There are 2 moments in the entire avoidance one can leave their hands off their keyboard for even a second, and both of them are the result of broken patterns at the beginning. The movement itself, while in sync with the song, is almost never tightly bound to it - for the more strict timing windows, there are plenty of visual and timing based cues - and as such you can feel the joy of dancing in accordance to the music without being worried a single misstep will make you trip and fall (the two exceptions to this - claps and CBT - are the worst attacks in the avoidance imo). As for the individual steps in the dance, they are incredibly enjoyable - Twists and turns and leaps and drops and any movement you could want. It is honestly still amazing to me how well each part flows into the next, and how each of the individual jumps can feel this fresh despite the physics constraint of the two available jumps as well as remaining incredibly satisfying to pull off. Most movements have a decent amount of leniency, and most jumps tend to be either fulljump, bonk, or have a wide frame window, however even the tight ones get incredibly consistent and despite the reliance on loose jump heights, it rarely feels too spammy on the fulljumps.

And yet, this does not feel like the peak of the premise - not by a long shot. It is incredibly well done for being the first to venture into this design space - doubly so for being as hard as it is - yet it is not perfect. Aside from Claps, which is the main offender (the attack transitioning into chorus 1, which has a relatively tight timing with 0 visual cue that feels like a cheap instakill every time you die to it), I also take issue with several other sections, including the part between chorus 1 and verse 2 (the entire bottom left platform section - jump to the left has a really inconsistent doublejump back to the platform, jump to the right is a lot harder if you get green instead of purple) and CBT (the attack where you go left and right on the bottom platform while aiming lines chase you; the timing is fairly tight and must be decided upon much in advance, but this can be nullified through numpad use/2f, neither of which feel good, and without them it's a frustrating difficulty spike). None of the other parts are bad, however some feel a bit less inspired than others (the ending of the part before chorus 1, the ending of Rainbow, some excessive reusage of common patterns (even though I don't personally consider it a big issue)). Of course, this is purely my own experience; others may have their own gripes, and I know many people struggle on parts others seamlessly perform and vice versa, but every attack not mentioned here became consistent once I invested enough time into it. Common points where people tend to struggle include the end of the climb in prechorus, the part with the white cherry in chorus 1 as well as the final jump in the segment, the blue and yellow parts in verse 2, at least 3 specific sections in rainbow, chorus 2 if you get purple, and anything in eyesight test that you die to in a real attempt.

But hey, we have Verre now, which according to the few people who have seriously played both fixes those issues.

As for the visuals... yeah. While a consensus has mostly been reached, I'll still spell it out anyway: There is certainly a lot of effort put into production, and the avoidance does feel consistent and cohesive, however the choice in visual identity is rather poor and its execution subpar - the rainbow effects feel excessive and unnatural, giving a feeling of being messy. Most of the attacks have a color seemingly chosen at random, and while it does give them a distinct identity it contributes to the messiness, and that visual identity boost is mostly negated by the fact that a lot of attacks share a different aspect of visual identity (spinning lines). Despite these, the avoidance looks better than default and while the big, flashy, excessive effects mostly miss, the quieter effects are well made - the easing on background changes, camera movements, bullet fade/ease in/out, the pure black/white trails, and similar aspects the average player won't notice unless it is done badly. As an exception to my disdain of the excess rainbow, I will say that I love the trail effect on the player in chorus 2, which is a very clever way of making heatmap and/or rainbow particles which I would not have considered.

And also hey, we have Verre now again.

In conclusion, I consider Melanzana to be a very good game and one of my favorites - an opinion which admittedly is usually shared by other grinders and broken somewhere along the way to the clear, however I doubt that would be the case for me personally - and would recommend it for those who are interested in the premise, so long as they are aware of the nature of the grind. It is very common for many to end up disliking the game and be vocal about it for wildly different reasons - those who hate the core gameplay premise, those who like the premise but hate the weaker aspects of it in the context of a big hard grind, those who like the entire package but are unable to bear a big hard grind and got burnt out by the experience, and those who just use the game as a platform to whine about fangames becoming too hard to grind. You must reflect upon yourself and decide whether you will be able to reconcile any of these issues before taking on Melanzana.

Insofar as being a point of reference for discussion, when approaching other people's position, I would also ask that you understand that the game is surprisingly good for what it is, keep in mind that the aforementioned positions for disliking the game and understanding the place any negativity is coming from, and remember that most discussions over the game do boil down to the difficulty and a greatly simplified view of the core gameplay premise.

(Special thanks to Marc for helping me proofread this and fix a bunch of things and special unthanks to Razzor for refusing to do so)

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[6] Likes
Rating: 9.5 95       Difficulty: 93 93
Sep 29, 2022
I knew this Humanly_Possible tag would become handy sometime.

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Tagged as: Avoidance Humanly_Possible
[6] Likes
Rating: 8.0 80       Difficulty: 97 97
Apr 27, 2019