So you ever played Juice Galaxy; formerly Juice World? It was one of my favorite "weird" games. Totally free game, physics based, with weird and wonderful things to see. Back when I first played it, it was just a few updates in; the only real "thing" to do was to find the secret ultimate buster sword and defeat the one boss. Later on, the updates grew more and more. The game's name was changed to Juice Galaxy, which while I don't like 100% it makes sense, as you can now explore new planets or worlds. The game has a great soft vibe, nice music, great progression (when you get to the point where you can levitate as long as you want is a great turning point) and is just pretty fun to check back in on every few months. Which was what I was doing.
But then, the newer updates came. I don't like em. Not to sound like a "Boomer", but sometimes simpler is better.
The new game has items with stats that randomly drop from monsters and in random places. These pieces of gear certainly give the game more progression, but it slows down the game as now you're checking the stats to things. Originally, there was no inventory system- you just explored the world and carried what you wanted in your hands. It lacked depth sure, and you could lose your weapons forever, but it was more like an adventure. You just picked up things you found, a new weapon or whatever, and tried it out. You didn't have to stop and look at the stats.
Secondly; the new ability to customize your character with new hats on demand from the inventory is fine, but I dislike adding stats to it. Before, you found these cosmetic items as part of your adventures. You talk to the farmer and he gives you a straw hat when you become "friends", it just happens, it's part of the story. Now that line and the subsequent payoff doesn't mean anything, because it's just about stats.
I think you could have had a similar feeling by having a few new things in the center area (graveyard/courtyard where you fall in the beginning after you escape the school), such as a magic mirror that lets you change your appearance items once you unlock them. Maybe Mr.Fox, who doesn't do anything as far as I am aware except give you some lore or juice if you kill him, could spawn any item you have already found in the game at least once at the cost of juice, explained as him going out in the world and finding it for you. I think that would solve the potential problem of losing rare and powerful items, as well as act as a secondary form of progression beyond your basic stats improved by juice- and give you an extra way to spend juice.
Third; the opportunity costs of these changes also bugs me. The developer has been adding stuff like new worlds and bosses, which is great and exactly what I wanted to see in this game, but hasn't been changing up the main mechanics to focus on a mostly useless RPG progression system. Giving the player a better method to attack enemies in flight (be able to do damage while ramming into things would be great!) would be much more enriching to the game then adding in random stats to items. Of course, there's no reason they can't do both, but the fact they're adding this kind of stuff makes me think that the core gameplay, physics based combat is sort of "finished" and set in stone and now they're working on tweaks and stuff. That's what I think the biggest issue is.
Anyway, no idea wtf the point of this post was, as nobody here has played this game or will. I just felt like complaining about it. I liked how the game was before, but it was always a simple, weird, experimental thing. I wasn't expecting it to cater to me perfectly, nor was I going to follow it (or buy it lol) as the years went on, but I feel strangely slighted that my favorite bullshit itch.io weird game changed in a way I don't like. Just wanted to get this off my chest.
Also also if you want this blog to start posting good posts again come back on the 21st lol