Alright, I feel satisfied with the amount of time I put into Raw Danger!
I can’t say that I went absolutely wild over it, but man, it’s very easy to see what is great about it.
What is has very much in common with Disaster Report is how HUGE and CRUNCHY everything in the environment feels. Certainly impressively for the level of tech we’re talking about and looking back at it from the vantage point of 2021, Few games really manage to make you feel like you’re in a building or a city, never mind that said building or city block could break apart and fall on top of you at any time. Of course, it doesn’t always nail that feeling of size and weight, but when it does it’s great! Helping that is the other extreme there too which is how granular everything feels. The level of detail on both big and small levels is delicious.
You gotta love a game that allows you to experience and interact with the same events from different playable characters. Maybe games are uniquely well suited to this narrative structure! It almost feels like an underutilized trope these days, although, I imagine a narrative structure like that is difficult in an era where patchwork revision and restarting and decision-by-committee has become more common (actually, I’m talking out of my ass about whether it’s become more common or not, so, if anyone more knowledgeable and I can confirm or deny if it has that’d be great). Following from that point, I’m more familiar with how this manifests on the K side of things and I assume there’s stylistic overlap, but you gotta love that J-Drama style melodramatic excess. Again, maybe this is more on the K side of things, but all it needed was someone being revealed to be someone’s long lost sibling or for an elaborate faked death. I also like how we have some choices that matter and change other things, but a lot of the dialogue choices are more in the vein of just allowing you to put your own spin on the mood of a scene. Actually, it’s more like you are directing the production of Raw Danger! then acting.
If an Insert Credit darling game should leave you wanting more, I’d say at least for me Raw Danger! had me feeling that way in both good and not good ways. Raw Danger! unfolds and grows in a way that is wonderful. It leaves you thinking that it will always be about something more next. How that ended up leaving me wanting was how that feeling seemed to stop before I wanted it to. I could have gone for maybe just one more weird n’ wild twist or development, in fact, I think how it ends leaves me thinking there were story threads that got cut for time. To be honest, I think I may even slightly regret putting in time playing the game over again to access Keith Helms’ scenario, because it really does seem like it was something that was far more substantial at some point but was mercilessly shrunk down. Just like Joshua’s version of roughly the same event, it feels unnecessary. It’s not like Raw Danger! isn’t a full meal but I do feel like I want dessert, if you now what I mean. Or, like, a Raw Danger!: Director’s Cut.
Further speculation on that point: Feels like there was more going on with Stephanie/Haruka and her father at the beginning, and she is weirdly absent from the end. Especially with how it seems like Haruka and her father had some conspiracy afoot with regards to her working as a waitress, to refresh your memory if it’s been a while, when they’re on the phone she says something like “but what about…?” and her father says “never mind that now, just get to safety” or something like that. Perhaps she was supposed to be spying on the Mayor or something? Also, kind of feels like there was at some point a plot thread more reminiscent of Disaster Report’s focus on corporate crime and how the term “natural” disaster is so often used to excuse how so many of the dangers of those events are in fact due to manufactured greed. Maybe something about how there were fundamental limitations in Geo City’s design or corporate negligence at the Cascade Dam. I mean, the thing with the ecoterrorist mayor and the bioweapon is deliciously hammy and all but it seemed to kind of betray the premise of Disaster Report and neglects to provide a satisfying explanation for why in this world they allowed yet another incompetent corrupt corporation build technomarvel supercity of the future. You’re just kind of left to feel that no one thought of “rain” before. It’s kind of like a bait and switch but with implied bait.
Ah, well. I still thought it was great. I guess some 7/10s just make you feel the missing 3 more than how 7 is a lot out of 10.
I don’t even know if I really did it on purpose or not, but it seems I’ve been spending time catching up on Insert Credit games lately (For Toll The Bell Frogs Whom, GOD HAND, Disaster Report, and now Raw Danger!).
If Insert Credit-ness is a quality, playing GOD HAND and Raw Danger! almost sequentially makes me feel they represent some duology of Pure Insert Credit-ness, like two sides of the same coin of the sort of experience or execution of ideas that is valued around here. Something that is so what it is that the relevance of it being “flawed” don’t detract from one’s enjoyment of it.
I think I had more meaningful connections to make between those two games when I first made that connection than I do now so I’ll just leave it there.