Sometimes there are titles that won’t convince you, no matter how much you put in on your part. They have things, they show the way, they call here or there, but in the end they don’t just click anywhere. In the end, I did more than my part in rounding off an end result that didn’t meet my expectations. Sometimes, often I forgive him for stumbling because he makes up for it with great success, and sometimes I hang my head, sigh and wonder what could have become of him.
Poison control could have been so much more and ended up being satisfied with too little. From the moment Nippon Ichi announced the game, it caught my attention. Its aesthetics and black humor were its great assets, aided by an ambiguous gameplay from those who make you think, “Until I try …”. The game really does what it suggests, but in a way that is too simple and little working.
In the game, we end up (we can choose the gender) in some kind of hell lobby allied with poisonette, something like a kawaii succubus, with the goal of winning a ticket to heaven. For this we need to purify the souls of poor unfortunate people who have created their own hells due to various tragedies. The main duo must enter each personal hell, find out what is happening and, if possible, “free” the poor soul. An interesting, very personal approach to taking what we have inside of us into a room and expressing it, but here in a very reduced version and although very serious subjects are dealt with, in most cases black humor prevails.
For example, we have a boy who loses his pet and tries to overcome the loss by setting a goal of overloading the skies so that a heavenly overbooking will bring his dog back to him. Solution: kill insects first and then, to make the sky fill up faster, try to kill their mother. We have cases of twin sister imitation, idol fanboy, unfulfilled dreams, alleged sexual assault, a writer of erotic literature … a bit of everything and, oddly enough, for no legitimate reason, all lost souls are women. The slight ecchi tone doesn’t help either, as it will once again leave us with a woman who is obsessed with her small breast and is surprised by the disproportionate bust of the infernal saleswoman. Better tuning of tone, without losing humor, but improving treatment would have left much more interesting cases, inviting reflection on problems that arise in our society every day.
The core of the game is also out of date. Poison Control is a third-person shooter in which we have different weapons with our protagonist to kill the enemies and we can (literally) put him to sleep to make poisonettes control and devote a limited amount of time to the purification of the poisonous miasm corrupts the hells. The approach is interesting again, but does not go any further. As a shooter, he’s rough, very little varied and with a very short fuse. We’ll get different weapons that give it a bit of dynamism, but still, after a few hells cleared, we’ll see it all. The idea of inserting between the two characters is interesting, but in the end it will only be used for cleaning and at most if we are cleaning with an enemy within the miasm we will do additional damage. No combinations between the two or anything like that; At best, we can improve Poisonette’s speed and the time it takes us.
As special abilities, we have a powerful attack around the area which is perfect if you’re cornered and a wheel to dodge attacks that I used maybe twice in the game. Then the reloading system of our main weapons takes place over time or the cleaning of miasma and it is a terrible design decision that sometimes puts a heavy load on the pace (too many) especially early in the game that our arsenal is very short.
Our mission goals won’t be too different either. Really, the mercy of the matter is knowing what is happening to the soul in service as we will usually kill X enemies or purify a lot of X miasms in all missions. As an extra we can get some collectibles that if we get them all will give us a new weapon.
Outside of the missions we also have nothing to do. The only option available is to go to a store that sells a single item. Between the menus we can configure our equipment based on souls that have been converted into passive skills and weapons that we can equip and upgrade. The only variety will be that sometimes, in some moments in the missions and outside, our protagonists talk to each other and let us choose a type of reaction that leads us to raise one of the attributes that characterize our relationship, poisonette, what leads to an improvement in our character; also an attempt to get closer to the persona.
In the end, what shines the most is what caught my attention the most, which is its aesthetic and that predominant pink in almost everything. The game has a unique personality that could have done a lot more. Hells are strange, but greater variability, more in keeping with the disorder of the soul, would have been desirable. It would also have been a success adding more characters to give it more dynamism, as the existing ones, such as radio announcers who are the dark version of Splatoon, work very well.
Poison Control had a good birth but was unable to grow properly. The good ideas are not developed at all and it’s a shame, because with more attention, more sophisticated and sophisticated mechanics, it could have turned into an interesting alternative title. Unfortunately, and to my regret, it wasn’t