Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!: Preview GirlsGoGames


Most of us StopGamers missed the iconic Doki Doki Literature Club visual novel in our time ! And the first our chief, Order of the Red Banner of Labor Dmitry Kungurov, a well-known fan of anime, rushed to this embrasure with his eyes closed. And he  barely winced. It was in those years when even I, now caught in the brave new world of pop-eyed cuties, treated anime with the same prejudice and trolled its gentle audience with a text about the obvious merits of Final Fantasy XV. Therefore, even the feat of the main thing did not make me overcome and familiarize myself.

And just recently, both me and the rest of those who missed in vain had an excellent reason to still do it and come on a date with bored Monica - an extended version, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus, was released! What is good in it and what is not so good? And is it worth playing the original first?

Doki Doki Literature Club! obviously written by psychologists (or even psychiatrists), who with equal success could work with children at school, and write sketches for "Monty Python". Under the guise of a plush, cute dating simulator with four lovers of poetry (and manga, yes - sorry, Natsuki!) Was an inventive and heartbreaking horror that personally scared me not with the screamers, but with how much happened (with at least one of the girls) could turn out (and occasionally turn out to be) true in real life.

But that's not all. Under two layers of this virtual cabbage, there was a third one associated with the breaking of the fourth wall. The authors of the GirlsGoGames and Monica personally poked her through and winked at us dumbfounded with real postmodern fervor, talented and inventively - we even had to personally delve into the game files so that this, according to the apt expression of the chief editor, “totalitarian screensaver” with pigtails finally fell behind and gave us a chance try to deal with Sayori differently.

As a result, the game, which is quite stingy for content (but not for meanings!), Where four and a half backs for the entire passage, not a single hentai scene, and the choice is largely illusory (sorry Sayori!), Turned out to be a surprisingly deep thing. Here you can equally see a postmodern joke, and a manual on problematic adolescent psychology, and elements of shock therapy to treat the same problems. And to some extent even the propaganda of suicide - there were cases when the novel was accused of driving to suicide. And although direct evidence and connection with the game was not found, the "Literary Club" received its notoriety.

The propaganda of suicide, of course, could be seen only by those who are sick in the head, like some of the heroines of the game, but the fact remains: everyone will see it in Doki Doki Literature Club if they wish  ! something of their own. In the end, there are interesting, sometimes even cool poems - despite all the difficulties of the official translation, about which a little later.

And so, I repeat, I liked the game first of all for its psychological and psychiatric truth - how detailed, talented and competently described these, albeit sometimes stereotyped, but still living heroines, what problems can arise at their age. Perhaps this is why especially impressionable adolescents directly associated themselves with the characters.

So, from this point of view, the extended version is valuable in that there are additional plots that further reveal the characters of the girls and tell how they came to the literary club.

Thanks to this, their actions become more understandable - for example, why Sayora did exactly that and what her clinical diagnosis was. There are different emotions in these stories - somewhere you want to turn into the same huggable monster and break out with the girls, somewhere you want to laugh heartily (Natsuki, of course, did you doubt it?).

The second most important is, of course, the availability of additional materials: arts, secrets, new poems and never-before-published sketches, which are unlocked by performing certain actions in the game. Plus over a dozen new atmospheric tracks from  Nikki Kaelar that you can listen to in the built-in player. All this justifies the fact that initially a free and exclusively computer game in the new version is sold for money, including on consoles.

The release on consoles, on the other hand, led to the fact that now there is no need to personally delve into the real files of the game - for this, a virtual machine simulator has been implemented, where you can watch open artwork, listen to new tracks in the player, and launch additional stories. And there are supposedly real folders with real files that we can delete and open.

This is convenient, of course. In addition, the VM has an email client with correspondence between developers, from which you can learn interesting things about Monica, the setting and the Doki Doki Literature Club in general ! On the other hand, the game has lost its uniqueness and freshness in the atmosphere. It's one thing when you have to go into a directory, look for the necessary folders and files on your PC, and it's quite another when you are offered to play this through the built-in application - the feeling of real, not even breaking through, but demolishing the fourth wall, disappears.

Roughly the same can be said about the ability to turn on alerts about shocking and disturbing scenes - the feeling of real tension and horror disappears. Although no one forbids these warnings and does not include. And in general, given the release on consoles and past accusations of driving to suicide, the authors simply had no other options.

So these are controversial points that have both their pros and cons. And that's what  Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is with! for sure it became worse in comparison with the original, so it is with the translation. A fan translation from Simplified Chinese has already been done for the original. And now the official one has appeared, in which there are grammatical and stylistic mistakes; there are no different fonts for poems by different girls (the individuality of the handwriting has disappeared); in some places the subtitles get out of the screen; some cult jokes are gone.

And the poems themselves are translated worse, often without observing rhyme - maybe this is closer to the original writing of the verse, but farther from the concept of a literary translation of talented poetry. Here, compare. This is the verse in the official translation of the extended version:

And here's how it sounded in the fan version:

The strands of my hair reflect gold, bathing in the amber light falling.
And here is its source.
The last street lamp that has passed the test of time, the lonely guard.
The last of this century, a pillar that will be replaced by the neon of the future blue-emerald.
And I'm floating. In the silence I breathe the air of the present, but I exist in the past.
The light flickers.
I blink back at him.

In the fan, you see, it's much cooler - there is even something from  Brodsky.

However, even such a translation, albeit not fully, makes it possible to feel the main advantages of the game. And given the abundance of additional content (especially girls' personal backstories), we can say that Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! not only has the right to exist and take money away from the population - such a version simply had to come out. Another question is that if you have not played before, then it is better to go through the original first - the sensations will be sharper.

Pros: Additional stories about how each heroine came to the literary club; an abundance of collectible images in updated quality; new music compositions that can be listened to in the built-in player.

Cons: the official Russian translation is inferior to the fan translation from the original; no more digging in real files, which is why the game lost in the atmosphere.