I wanna be the Volatile Presence

Creator: egg

Average Rating
9.7 / 10
Average Difficulty
79.3 / 100
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Needle (5) Gimmick (6) Special (2) Art (2) good_music (1) Flow (1)


  • by Stickbro411

Creator's Comments:

egg [Creator]
Tagged as: good_music Flow
[24] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: 77 77
Mar 9, 2021

17 Reviews:

My original review was one not too related to the game but instead the controversy which surrounded it for a brief time. As this is a disservice to one of the most well-realized artistic statements I have ever experienced, I've decided to do away with that old review and instead give my thoughts on the game itself.

Volatile Presence is simply brilliant in every sense of the word and in every facet possible. While the gameplay is outright gorgeous, what I truly love most about the game is its cohesion in meaning and the inspiring level of thought put into the game's design inside and out. The big thing about this game is its core gimmick - not within the game, but instead how it is only available sometimes! Some may think of this as gimmicky for the sake of it, but to think of it as such would be missing the point to me. Personally, you can recognize the point of a gimmick and just not believe it works, that's quite alright, but then to just say there is no point behind the gimmick other than for the sake of it? Well, that's just ignorant. What, then, is the point of VP's gimmick? Answer: it's in the title!

Volatile Presence is itself a volatile presence online, being available sometimes and other times not with no pattern to said availability. This concept of volatility is also found within the game design itself, further strengthening its statement through ingenious means. All but one stage is comprised of one screen, and all of these stages focus on one unique gimmick, a design choice which necessitates those single screens being extremely dense and well made so as to eke out all of the quality available with each gimmick; furthermore, many of VP's stages change in some way how you're allowed to traverse the screens within. You're never allowed to get comfortable with any one gimmick as they're subject to change at the game's whim, and they always do change with success - at least, until the last stage.

So far as I'm concerned, this feels like a very personal statement or at least a presentation of a very personal concept - that of being yourself volatile, something I can relate to and hell, I imagine most people can relate to it too. It's fairly common to get this feeling of not being available all the time to the people surrounding you, that at any moment you'll force yourself to shut off and hide away from the people you love. Emotions control us all to some degree or another whether or not we want to admit it, and sometimes it feels hard to feel as if you have no part in the direction your life takes, no say in what you can and cannot do, no control. Thus is how Volatile Presence feels. There is no flexibility in what you're really allowed to do, you are simple forced to go about each screen exactly as intended, and never are you allowed to get comfortable enough with any one gimmick for that to become otherwise.

While this particular sense of volatility that VP deals in doesn't really hit home for me, it is inspiring the lengths vi took in order to bring this meaning to the forefront, the genius required to make it work as well as it does while also making consistently brilliant saves. I did not love every section of the game, but the overall experience is one you'll never find anywhere else.

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Tagged as: Needle Gimmick
[16] Likes
Rating: 9.9 99       Difficulty: 77 77
Mar 10, 2021
suffers from a dip in quality at the platform screen that it never really recovers from, but most of the problems are in the form of a single jump of a save being the sole reason a screen is difficult in the first place. most of the game is still fun and i love everything about it that isnt the needle design itself, but unfortunately it was a very very frustrating experience of banging my head against the wall trying to get past 1 jump for half the saves in the game.

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[9] Likes
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 78 78
Mar 10, 2021
Such a shame this game ended with drama. The gameplay is literally nextgen gimmick needle and the artistic portion actually promoted some valuable discussions. If Vi genuinely stops making games now it'll be a big loss to the community. I don't give a shit about "message", if you are good at making games and as it seems you get enjoyment out of it just go with it and stop reeling snot on your fists, it'll convey your ideas better and with less drama than "holy shit I hate the society, that's what you get bitches"

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Tagged as: Needle Gimmick
[8] Likes
Rating: 9.9 99       Difficulty: 85 85
Mar 10, 2021
I honestly have no idea what happened behind the scenes with this game, but I'll just ignore whatever people are talking about and just say that it's a pretty good game. I do, however, find it to be a bit too challenging for my tastes - if it was slightly easier it would probably be a bit more comfortable for me to play. I'm not going to judge it off of the artistic statement or whatever because I don't really feel like that is important to this game at all. Or maybe I just didn't get it. I mean, the download thing was just kind of funny to me. (Though it wasn't a problem because I downloaded it immediately after it came out.) But judging it purely as a CN3-esque needle game, it's very well designed and creative, but doesn't quite push the boundaries enough for me to consider it a perfect game. That doesn't mean I don't think it's great though, and I certainly have a lot of respect for the creator.

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[6] Likes
Rating: 8.5 85       Difficulty: 80 80
Mar 13, 2021
As amazing as the game is, it has become much more than a game by now, and so reviewing it as a game will do a disservice to it. I also do not intend to share my thoughts on the matter publicly anytime soon, so as to not reopen this discussion. Let me just say the following: Play this game (if you're good enough at least), and as in any artistic work, make your own interpretation of it and the connection it has to the surrounding discourse. If you want me to elaborate my opinion on either the game or the surrounding discourse, wait a few days then ask me in DMs.

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Tagged as: Needle Gimmick Special
[4] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 80 80
Mar 10, 2021