Besides the unfortunate abbreviation (LOL) and its no-relation-whatsoever to the Miley Cyrus bomb, platformer Lolita of Labyrinth (240 MSP) carries with it the uncomfortable burden of promising underage girls and mazes (I mean, I wouldn’t mind trying this, but I’m not even sure I’m should be talking about these things outside of Japan). This being the internet, of course, there has to be an audience for it.
The story taps a bored baroness named Audra, with talking pigs for servants, that wakes up one day wanting a little excitement in her life, and rather than take up a safer hobby like a book club, decides she wants to venture into a living painting and fight monsters in order to (I believe) retrieve a vintage wine. To each his or her own, I guess.
Everything from the character and level designs to exotic creature types (Flying octopi? Butler-pigs pushing chicken carts?) screams ‘I coulda been in Castlevania!’, mixed with Deathsmiles’ fixation on gothic lolitas, though the controls are some of the most user-unfriendly I’ve felt in a platformer. I’m not entirely sure what even prompted me to continue (eh, probably the butler-pig strangeness of it), but I did just long enough to realize it wasn’t getting any better.
Combat is a chore, as your basic attacks (punch, kick) are usually ineffective against the game’s cornucopia of airborne and projectile-tossing enemies. Magic cards that give you limited offensive and movement-based abilities mitigate this a bit, but the cramped levels and shorter platforms often mean you’ll jump awkwardly out of one problem and right into the next. Stunning an enemy (only some can you kill outright) allows you to ‘stamp’ them in order to weaken and eventually kill a baddie, but stun times seem arbitrary and turn what should be a simple jump into a horribly-orchestrated cheap hit fest.
Even the candles in LOL are out to get you (shouldn’t I be able to kick/punch these open for hearts?) Add to this a soundtrack that belongs in a Western and barrels that can roll up a flight of stairs… I mean, how does a barrel roll up stairs? It’s all so unforgiving. You get five continues and then you’re done, either stuck to reload your saved game and inch through avoiding contact, or forced to start over. No thanks.
Lolita of Labyrinth is a feckless mess that delivers wince-worthy text dialogue, clunky controls, and a sampling of the absolute worst level layouts I’ve encountered, none of it meant for a sane player’s consumption. Its art and style resembles a Castlevania, sure, but checking off that box isn’t a guarantee of quality. LOL won’t make you laugh out loud so much as it will eternally reduce your Microsoft points by 240, resulting in ; _ ;