The Nardio Visual Novel Review
IS TWO STEPS BACK WORTH YOUR TIME?
WHAT DID WE THINK WITHOUT SPOILING IT?
Two Steps back is an interesting, frustrating and engaging visual novel that threw me through a loop. I think that was the point.
What the hell did I just read through? Two Steps Back isn’t what I would normally expect from a visual novel. The entire experience was weird, unnerving, somewhat lazily done and left me kinda frustrated in the end. Oddly I think that was all done on purpose.
This is a really weird one.
Two Steps Back is a mystery/horror experience. It’s also kinetic visual novel, so there are no choices. It also interestingly enough has a part one and two on the main menu. You need to remember that. What happens after you start the visual novel is a trippy experience that left me the player, as lost as the character who starts off the game. Mid way through, we were both still trying to wrap our heads around the experience and get out.
This was weird.
When I finally did “finish” the visual novel, I was left with more questions than answers. It was a surreal experience that sort of felt rushed and unpolished. At the same time maybe it was meant to? I’m not sure. Everything that I’ve seen as wrong in the Two Steps Back could have been intentional. The characters look interesting, but the backgrounds look unfinished and rushed. As if this VN was just rushed out. It’s detracting and jarring at first, but it happens so much I just found myself accepting it. This was trippy. I can’t say to much without spoiling it, most of Two Steps Back is trying to understand just what is going on. Little by little you do, but even when it is all said and done, you start to question, do you really?
I know this has been an incoherent review so far, but this is an incoherent experience. This reminds me of those trippy sci-fi movies and outer limits episodes that are just questions wrapped in questions that manages to keep your interest, but leave you wondering afterwards.
It’s only $2.99, and it took me a little under and hour to finish, but I think it was worth it. Two Steps Back pulled me out of my morning and into a crazy world that had me wanting answers, understanding and closure. I don’t think I got any of that and yet the experience was…sorta worth it.
That said the developers claim of 100 pages worth of writing feels like bullshit to me. I feel like the story would need another three chapters to justify that claim. It’s other claim of “Two full length parts to the story” is just an empty play on words. I mean “Two full length parts” what does that even mean? Honestly I think a third part to the story wrapping Two Steps Back up and explaining the many plot holes would have made this a masterpiece instead of an interesting, hit or miss, experimental quirk of a visual novel.
I will give praise to the sound design of Two Steps Back. It really drew me and masterfully toyed with me.
Trust me, this is as frustrating for me to write as I bet it is for you to read. If you have an extra three bucks laying around and want a weird visual novel experience that will make you think and yet have you wanting more, give this a try. I can see this as a hit or miss game for a lot of people.
Agree? Disagree? Write your comments below
BASIC INFO & WEBLINKS:
- Two Steps Back Steam Page
- Visual Novel
- Kinetic Story
- Steam Trading Cards