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I WANT to Love Disney Dreamlight Valley (But It's Frustrating to Try Anymore)



So this week has been declared Knuckles Week on Sonic Stadium, and while I'd like to say that my initial reaction was "Oh! Joy! An event!" my actual reaction was "My eyeballs are on fire!" Thankfully I was instructed as to how to change my site skin back to what I was used to, so we're good now.

And on the subject of Knuckles Week, there's an article I've wanted to write since before my blog moved onto Sonic Stadium, and that's my review of Archie Sonic Online's Endangered Species rewrite. Spoiler: it's good. It's easily the arc we needed rather than the one that was completely gutted by You-Know-Who's legal vampirism, and it deserves a review as good as it is. Which I won't promise, but I'll at least try.

This of course means that the original article planned for this Friday, part three of my series on revisiting Kalos Pokemon in Pokemon Legends Z-A, is most likely going to be delayed another week. Unless circumstances beyond my control prevent me from completing the Endangered Species rewrite review before Friday, in which case I'll post the previously scheduled Pokemon article instead and post the Endangered Species article the week I finish it. Or maybe things will turn out entirely different. Man plans and God laughs. So God willing, I'll get the Endangered Species article done by the end of the week and you'll all see it on Friday, and then the next week you'll get the Legends Z-A article.

Anyway, my apologies for the bait-and-switch; I had quite a bit to say and I felt like it was probably best communicated within the article itself than a status update. You're here for the Disney Dreamlight Valley rant, and I aim to deliver.


So the issue with Disney Dreamlight Valley is that it's probably the best worst game I've ever played. The characters are charming, the furniture is lovely, the exploration and quests are engrossing, but the glitches... the glitches. And I'm not talking about Vanellope (she's easily my favorite character in the game, with Jack Skellington a close second), I'm talking about this game being held together by faith, trust, and not nearly enough pixie dust to hide the duct tape. Characters are always walking into -- and through -- each other, every update comes with a new list of bugs that need to be patched, and I was entirely unable to complete the last update's Star Path -- which I paid real money to fully unlock -- because my game broke and I didn't want to risk accidentally triggering a glitch in a game with microtransactions because I don't even want to think about the financial implications of something like that.

So with the announcement of the newest update to the Rift in Time expansion, featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit of all characters, I wanted to be super excited about this. I've loved Oswald ever since the first Epic Mickey, and seeing him in the game ought to spark joy... but all I can think is, "Greeeeaaaat, can we PLEASE at least have my save file PLAYABLE in this update?"

And quite honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if this is a world where my save file won't be magically healed with the next update, and I have to face a reality where all of the limited-time, moonstone-exclusive items I've hoarded from past Star Paths are just lost forever to the glitchhaze.

So when and if that happens, I have several options. One, go through the trouble to write in a support ticket to try to get my game patched, which quite frankly is more effort than I really want to go through for a game that's broken before and will most likely break again. Two, start a new save file on my other account in hopes that eventually my original save file will be fully patched at some point. Three, give up my old save file for lost and just restart it from scratch. And four, put the game down and quite possibly never touch it again.

I think the fact that option four is even a possibility tells you something about how strongly I feel about these glitches.

The thing is, I genuinely enjoy Disney Dreamlight Valley more than I've ever enjoyed Animal Crossing New Horizons, and the reason is simple. DDLV not only gives me more to do, but it gives me villagers that I actually care about and have reason to interact with. With ACNH, half the villagers are ugly designs, you can't choose which ones you start with, and they all pull from a pool of eight different personality types with recycled dialogue that gets old almost immediately. DDLV is a life sim filled with Disney characters, and they all interact with each other in interesting and sometimes hilarious ways. That's easily far better than my experience with ACNH. But when the game itself doesn't work, what you've got with DDLV is a Pokemon Scarlet and Violet situation, where all the elements of a good game are there but the glitches make it close to unplayable.

I mean, I'm not even against starting a new save file because the game is so charming that I'd love the chance to run through all the character quests again... if this wasn't a game full of microtransactions that I've invested actual currency into and have no way of legally regaining all of my past Star Path loot if I erase and start over.

And on top of that, there's the whole drama of how this game was going to be free-to-play but they literally charged money for early access, meaning that early comers had access to exclusive Star Path content for spending that money but had essentially paid for the honor of being bug testers for a glitchy free-to-play game, and in the end they decided that the free-to-play model wasn't working so the full release would cost money anyway and they'd also sell paid expansions, and to be fair I loved the first paid expansion thus far, but all of the microtransactions are still in the game, and the game's still glitchy as HECC.

So yes, I do think I would be entirely justified in never touching this game again, Oswald or no Oswald.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.


On that note, I don't expect to have a new blog article ready every Monday, but I'm seriously considering reposting older articles from my blog's previous host on the Nuzlocke Forums on some Mondays, if there's anybody interested in that sort of this. Would there be an audience for that?

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