Little Goody Two Shoes PS5 Review – Many RPG Maker’s have hit the scene and made quite a splash, such as Omori and Lisa: The Painful. More and more genres game types find their way into this engine, maximizing all the things you can do within such a limited style. Even horror pops up, with the most recent called Little Goody Two Shoes. This may look like a bubbly anime-themed dating sim, but, apart from some pacing oddities, this game slowly shows its intentions in wonderful ways.
Little Goody Two Shoes PS5 Review – A Most Intriguing RPG Maker Psychological Horror Game
Elise lives in the little European town of Kieferberg, where she works as a servant for an esteemed local family. Due to her time serving them, she wishes for a higher station. In the opening moments, the land is hit with a massive windstorm. To make things worse, she returns home to find her belongings and furniture strewn about the house, implying a robbery.
She searches the house and the yard but finds nothing. It’s when she enters the barn that she comes face to face with her assumed culprit, a passive young traveler named Rozenmarine. Elise cohorts Rozenmarine into cleaning the house from top to bottom to make up for the mess that she believes Rozenmarine made.
From there, the game soon dabbles into several different genres: dating simulator, resource management, and 2D horror. The game implements those genres into the fray in that order as well. It even includes the time management system commonly found in the Persona games. To boot, you have to interact with local townsfolk to lower their suspicions about your housing of a strange girl in Rozenmarine.
After all that, it sounds like the game has a lot going on. However, the game paces itself rather well, presenting you with just enough stuff to keep you moving without overdoing it with potential options. There are ten separate endings, though, and your choices determine where things end up for Elise.
Classic 90s Aesthetic
As an elder millennial, the anime style chosen for Little Goody Two Shoes brings me back to my first introductions to anime at the end of the 20th Century (it sounds way cooler in my head to say it that way). The specific style never appealed to me on its own, even back then, but the draw here is twofold: There’s the gorgeous visual style on its own, and then there’s the filtered work that gives the animated sections a slight CRT overlay that just sells the timeframe the game is channeling.
The bulk of the game runs in a chibi RPG Maker style that has just enough detail to parallel the anime stills. This combination keeps your imagination channeling the styles together. When the psychological horror starts to creep in, it’s already embedded in you.
For the most part, though, you spend your time either in the beautiful green countryside or the quaint European town. The general setting channels a 17th century time frame, with the entire town presented with cobblestone roads and brick buildings. Even in the chibi, RPG Maker style, the game sells the setting in every pixel.
Day Turns Into Night
As you play through each day, your actions take time away from said day. So, if you go on a date with someone or go to work, then part of that day gets dedicated to that activity. As I mentioned before, the game presents you with a couple suitors and activities, but it only gives you a few of each type. For the most part, as long as you focus on relationships, you can max them all out as you go. If you work all the time, you miss out on any chances to build those relationships.
The real meat and potatoes come when you reach the Witching Hour. Elise is haunted through nightmares by her dreams of higher status, of not needing to work, and of living a catered life. During the day, these simply sound like those passing statements that we all make in our daily lives. However, for Elise, these are burning longings, the depths of which show themselves through her nightmares.
These nightmares culminate into their own puzzles that she needs to solve in order to wake up again. For the most part, these puzzles follow a pattern of finding items or navigating a maze. What makes this approach successful is how each of the Witching Hour situations she finds herself in differ visually from the others. They all follow the same theme of her wanton pursuit, but they approach that pursuit just differently enough to keep your interest.
(A Little Too) Slow Burn
The best part of the game comes near the end, when the events you complete and decisions you make come together. Even better still, these results start to leak into her daily life, and reality starts to warp and meld into the Witching Hour. I did not get a chance to see all 10 endings, but the one I did see interested me enough to want to go after the other endings.
The downside to all of this is that there is a slow burn to the complete package. I love me a good slow burn, especially with psychological horror like this. At the same time, pacing plays an important role in the success of a slow burn. The daily events transpire naturally simply due to a prompt that tells you what you need to do.
When you get to the second and third Witching Hour, your tasks grow more demanding. In all honesty, this translates into running around in congested mazes and completing tasks in order to move on. Even in the amalgamation of the genres that this game creates, the one edit I wish that Little Goody Two Shoes had is consolidating these Witching Hours a little more.
This game asks you to do many things along the way, but the vast majority of the time feels productive simply because you move from tasks to task at an even trot. The cumbersome nature of some of the events plays into the lore quite well, but those particular Witching Hours bring down the game experience more than the rest. This may not seem like such a particularly significant negative, but they account for about a fifth of your game time.
Maximizing The RPG Maker And Making Compelling Psychological Horror
You can’t go wrong with Little Goody Two Shoes when it comes to psychological horror. Combine that with a compelling 90s anime aesthetic on top of a chibi game, and you have a recipe for success. The pacing in some of the more important events lacks the same refinement as the rest of the game, but that doesn’t stop Little Goody Two Shoes from being something special. $20 is a great price for this slow burn psychological horror game.
Little Goody Two Shoes is out now for PS5, PC, Switch, and Xbox Series X/S.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.