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I’ve been making my way through this world for over 4 decades now, and I’ve engaged with a lot of entertainment in that time. Countless TV shows, tons of movies, numerous comic books, and of course, a plethora of games. Along the way I’ve happened upon a huge swath of entertainment I would say was good, a sizable chunk that was great, a decent collection that was fantastic, and a very, very small group that impacted me at the core.

For me, 1000xRESIST is among those “count on one hand” creations. It’s a piece of art that has me questioning not just everything I’ve crossed paths with, but also parts of myself as well. I haven’t found something like this in any form of entertainment since I was a teenager, and quite honestly I didn’t know if anything would ever hit me that hard ever again. It has resonated with me in so many ways that it’s making this the toughest review I’ve ever had to write, as finding the words to do the journey justice is near impossible.

What I can say, I’ll do without hyperbole; 1000xRESIST could very well be my favorite game of all-time, and it’s easily one of the most cogent pieces of art I’ve ever come across.

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How can I possibly break down a game that touches on so many meaningful topics throughout its 10-15 hour playtime? How do I convey the rich feelings of sorrow, love, anger, melancholy, anemoia, confusion and so many others that I experienced? How do I elucidate upon the incredibly deft, layered metaphors that are hiding within 1000xRESIST? Truthfully, I don’t think I can, and to try and do so would be an embarrassment to myself and the amazing work that the dev team at Sunset Visitor did. This is the kind of work that sticks with you for days, months, and years after you see it through. Always something new to glean, always something deep to ponder, always something to take with you.

I should also note that 1000xRESIST is the debut title from Sunset Visitor. As if the game weren’t impressive enough already, that’s one more reason to be absolutely flabbergasted by what was achieved.

So, what is 1000xRESIST about? Never has there been a more loaded question, but let’s stick with a straightforward, non-spoiler description that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s going on here.

1000xRESIST puts you into the role of Watcher, a young woman living in an underground facility due to an alien invader that has foisted a disease among the populace. Obviously, things haven’t gone well for much of humanity, but Watcher and a handful of others have been kept safe below the Earth’s surface thanks to the ALLMOTHER. Everything Watcher and her companions do is because of and in glory to the ALLMOTHER. Of course, despite the high praise and dedication from the ALLMOTHER’s children, not everything is as it seems with this deity.

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It’s so tough to explain what makes 1000xRESIST spectacular without diving into spoiler territory, but as this is a narrative adventure/visual novel/graphic adventure/whatever you want to call it, splaying out the story and its inner-workings would defeat the whole purpose. Talking about mechanics in a Mario game is one thing, as telling people how you run, jump and engage with power-ups doesn’t take away the joy of doing them yourself. With 1000xResist, revealing plot points, story beats and revelations would rob the game of everything it is and strives for. That kind of content is meant for an opinion piece that dives deep into everything the game entails. Trust me, there’s PLENTY of room for that kind of exploration and discussion, just not in a review (at least in my opinion). Instead, I can share with you what I personally went through while I played.

Some elements of 1000xRESIST are absolutely heartbreaking; the kind of moments where you just sit there with controller in hand and stare off into space. The sort of stuff you need to really process before you move on. Throughout the game’s 10 chapters, I had numerous moments like this, and one in particular that hit me so hard that I put the game down for the night. I knew it wouldn’t be right to continue on, as there were things I wanted to parse and come to grips with before moving ahead.

1000xRESIST also doesn’t shy away tackling real-world experiences and events. Yes, they are usually handled via metaphors to more or less of an extent, but topics are still addressed head-on. Chances are you’ll happen upon at least one or two things that will cause you to pause and reflect. Again, without getting too into specifics, there are elements that touch on the mechanics of family relationships, self-worth, identity, politics and so on. Somehow, 1000xRESIST manages to discuss all of these with absolute perfection; this isn’t a jack of all trades/master of none situation.

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You should also be prepared to be confused by 1000xRESIST. The game loves to hit you with moments, bits of dialog, and exchanges that will fly over your head at first. There’s simply no way you’re going to understand everything upon first encounter here, and that’s by design. The important thing to note is that this air of mystery and perplexity never gets frustrating, and instead propels you further. You’ll desperately want to know more about the things you’re seeing, and yes, 1000xRESIST does let you in on most of them. Even better, there’s zero doubt that some of these beats are meant to foster discussion and dissection among the player base as well, and that only adds to the allure.

I cannot stress enough just how sucked into 1000xRESIST I was. We’ve all had those moments with a really great game where we don’t want to put the controller down. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that stronger than I did with 1000xRESIST. I always wanted to push on, learn more, see what was around the next corner. There wasn’t a single night where I turned off my Switch because I had my fill. I took the approach of playing two chapters at most and then calling it quits until the next day, as I found it important to give myself a chance to mull over what I was experiencing. (Plus I’m a bit dense and I need time to process stuff to understand it!)

This magnum opus of a game is elevated to an entirely different level due to the phenomenal voice acting. There are a ton of characters in 1000xRESIST, and not one of them had voice work that didn’t come off as perfection. I’ve played so many games (and watched so much anime) where voice acting really hurt the story, sometimes to a degree where I play through it again with voices off. 1000xRESIST is about as far opposite of that as you can get, and every single person in this cast deserves to be recognized far and wide for their accomplishment. The amount of emotion they imbue every character with is impressive on a level that is impossibly rare. It makes the already pitch-perfect story in 1000xRESIST that much better. (My partner is playing through the game right now and she shared the exact same sentiment as me without knowing how I felt, so take her word for it!)

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The same can be said of the game’s score, which is as beautiful as it is grandiose. I’ll never stop going on about how the right kind of music can heighten a show/movie/game to an immeasurable degree, and 1000xRESIST has that in spades. There is soooooooo much music here and it all blew me away. I honestly couldn’t wait to listen to the soundtrack start-to-finish separate from the game, and I’ve already run through it twice over now. It’s staggeringly moving and expertly crafted, fitting in with every other stunning part of this game.

I could go on about my astonishment with 1000xRESIST forever. I literally spent over a half-hour on the GoNintendo Podcast gushing about this game, and that feeling is never going to subside. 1000xRESIST doesn’t just show what’s possible for narrative adventures or games in general; it shows what’s possible for art and entertainment as a whole. Again, label it hyperbole all you want, but I promise you that what I’m sharing is genuine for my time with the game.

I’d like to think I’m well versed in all kinds of entertainment, from blockbuster to art house, AAA to indie. I’ll never be able to see and do it all, but I can tell you that 1000xRESIST potentially sits atop what I’ve encountered in my life, and I don’t know that it’ll ever be dethroned.

About rawmeatcowboy

rawmeatcowboy

GoNintendo's founder, and bearded wonder. Although his beard is a little greyer nowadays, RMC is more than ready to tackle news and features. When not playing/talking/writing about games, RMC enjoys comic books, pro wrestling, anime, and more.

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Comments (8)

lionk

22d ago

Ok : D I guess I want to play this game now ^ -^
But I will have to wait until the Switch successor is there..
The wishlist is growing in the meantime though o _O

Edited 1 time

enthropy

22d ago

Still obsessed with Stellar Blade these days, but there was a thunderstorm just now so I had to pull out all the plugs which meant I got a little Switch time and had already downloaded this since I love the inspirations and gave a go. Only some minutes in and can at least feel a good atmosphere here. And for me that is alpha and omega. In other words: good first impression! =)


rawmeatcowboy

22d ago

@lionk

My backlog just continues to get bigger and bigger. I've always got something to play, but never have the time to actually play!


rawmeatcowboy

22d ago

@enthropy

Glad you're enjoying it off the bat, my friend. You're in for one hell of a ride!


..*sigh*... I "semi-accidentally" came across a huge spoiler that killed the game for me. At least big time, fellow bearded one. I'm going to have to try to delete that from my brain now.

I am very "allergic" to spoilers, you see.


rawmeatcowboy

21d ago

@enthropy

Ugggghhhhh...I'm so sorry. Well, at least I can say for sure that the entire journey is worth it as a complete experience. I have a feeling you'll feel the same way if/when you see it through.


If it's spoiled it's spoiled. "the butler did it" syndrome, ya know! Fuck I wish people could at least have spoiler warnings if they decide to spoil the game in the first sentence already.
It might not have spoiled the entire game... I'll see. My hype is just low now.

But at least it seems that it's a good game. Developers making passion-games, so to say. We need more games like these from Indie and AA world. The AAA games are getting way too similar and it doesn't look like that will change soon. Good thing I have become more picky with time. Well, good for my wallet =D
Then again the AAA games that are great truly are great too. Just very few.


nattyjeans

4d ago

--SPOILERS BELOW--STOP READING--ALL SPOILERS HERE--JUST SPOILERS--TURN BACK--YEEHAW SPOILER COUNTRY--GRAB YOUR BEANS COWBOY WE'RE SPILLIN EM--

After RMC gushed about 1000XRESIST on the pod, i had to check it out. Now i have just finished the game, and attempted a few endings. Here are my own personal decisions;

What remains:

* Mother and Father: they loved me, even if i couldn't understand it, and that deserves to be remembered
* The original sisters: a life on the surface is our only chance for survival
* The old sisters: so we don't lose our memory
* The new sisters: so we don't lose our vision
* Religious fanatics: i think this is meant to be a hard choice, but ultimately suppressing them is still totalitarianism
* Rebels: i think they're meant to feel at least a little bit unpalatable, but they are the most important voice
* Jiao: because Land Back.

What's left behind:

* Cops; because fuck cops.
* The sharp knife; because she will murder us and STILL referred to me as "Miscellaneous" (derogatory).
* Knower; because i don't want a future where leaders are willing to cross those lines again, and where leaders are self-serving and duplicitous.
* Ancient Sister; I hesitated with this one, because i didn't really "get" the assignment at first. But i think it's not a question of whether I as an individual am willing to forgive her as an individual; or even necessarily a question of capital punishment or abolition; not which individuals, but which crimes from our collective history we will be willing to accept.

What **I** made of the final cutscene:

ALLMO - Iris - turns to the first sisters, her children, and, smiling, returns to them. They look so happy to receive her. To me, i don't see it as any literal "afterlife" or anything, but like memory or history. The epilogue - especially playing different branches of it - seemed to give *me* a message about how history has a way of sanding off the rough edges off the narrative, even when it *isn't* being intentionally manipulated by those in power; and how we have a personal responsibility to share our personal accounts of our personal history with one another, as unfiltered as possible, in order to maintain some kind of authentic collective account of history, hopefully immune to that tempering; not merely persevered - because preserving the story would kill it (like the process of the Keepers) - not preserved, but alive, shared, *communicated*

Iris turns to her daughters, and they are thrilled to see her, to accept her, to receive her; even after all she has done to them - the neglect, the abuse, the actions of cruelty that they could not even understand and spent forever blaming themselves for. As a child of abuse, it's a cold, shameful confusion that I knew all too well. And now, as the parent of a daughter myself -- one who is trying, and often failing, to do better than their own mother's mistakes -- I instantly recognized that look of unconditional forgiveness that the first sisters have for Iris. They need us so much. No matter what we do, or how bad we fuck up, or how terrible - how unforgivably terrible we are, we're still their "mother"; we're still all they have; they're still *desperate* for us. It's in their DNA. Hair to hair.

My daughter, when she looks at me like that, that feels like grace. And it reminds me that i owe her something. A future. And i try not to fuck it up too badly. And i still do anyway. And i know she won't need me forever. And when that time comes, i hope I'm worth forgiving, and i hope I'm worth worth keeping anyway. That there's room for me in the future. To remain.

Finally, let me state that I came to 1000XRESIST without any Chinese cultural connection or heritage, and have relatively little relevant political/historical awareness. And then I played this game. Suddenly I'm pulling up articles, I'm watching "Hong Kong 2019" newsreels, I'm checking the reliability of sources and their susceptibility to influence from mainland China.

The experience of 1000XRESIST made me care and understand in a way i didn't know was possible. It made me not just interested, but invested in the Hong Kong protests and the Umbrella Revolution and 2047 in a personal and human way that no news report ever did. Because i didn't just hear it or see it - i played it and almost lived it - and that's **communion**.

--THANKS FOR VISITING SPOILER COUNTRY--NOW EXITING--YEEHAW--

Thanks for the recommendation, RMC - what's your take on this interpretation? Does yours differ?