Several months ago, actually. I meant to post this as part of an "impressions on recent games" roundup that never came through.

Psycho Dream has the absolute worst hit detection I've experienced in a game. There's only a teensy, visually-undistinguished pixel at the edge of your sword or whip during a certain frame of your attack animation that might hurt the enemy if it connects...or might just glitch through unrecognized. The game is extremely generous in allowing enemies to find a way to hit you, however.

Despite this, you'll probably barrel through the six stages in this gallery of errors just due to the sheer unfinished lack of effort on display: cut 'n' paste substages of featureless flat platforms lined with the same enemies in the same configurations, providing no variety in challenge; enemy generators (that spawn enemies only very occasionally) that take 30 hits to kill for no reason; gaming's least-exciting elevator stage (which has like four OHKO enemies attack over the course of a minute and doesn't even offer any interesting scenery); successions of like 20 of the same barriers in a row that take the same four hits and require no variety in attack approach. So much is designed not to test your skill but waste your time.

The deviations are annoyances: two-pixel grey moth (?) enemies nearly invisible in cherry-blossom storms; the nearly-unintelligible visual morass that is the last level's flashing red flame on flashing purple spiderwebs atop a flashing purple castle backdrop; a gun power-up that actually makes the game nearly unplayable, since its hurtbox and the enemies' hitboxes are so narrow that you'll never connect with anything. Then you'll reach the final boss, which seems near-unbeatable with the non-superpowered female character, as you need to hit directly upward to have a chance against the boss's super-mobile tentacle appendages (of course), which seem to have no discernible pattern, and as the game cheats by depriving you of your final power-up level on this stage only. I then reset and, for some reason (brain damage?) fought back to the end again with the male character, who could hit overhead, only to find that the hit detection isn't reliable enough to register your blows even with the right weapon. I finally managed to view an ending invested with as much care as every other element in this game, but: Don't bother with this; use the time you save to watch SNESdrunk videos.

(In fact, I had trouble picking out screenshots for this game, as for all its bargain-bargain-basement Mystic Defender-clone aesthetics, its visuals are a combination of unintelligible (various gelatinous blobs) and pedestrian (subway, cherry-blossom storm, rock garden - the biggest spark of originality may be the inexplicable parade of giant snail lights at the end). For a game that takes place in a "dream world with no rules," it's remarkably unimaginative.)

In a weird way, though, I'm glad this was included on the Switch streaming library. It's garbage, but this way, it's the type of garbage that no one has to spend money on to learn it's garbage; they can just pop in for 15 minutes free-of-charge with their Switch Online subscription until they learn it's garbage.

The most interesting thing about it is that it starts with the Japanese equivalent of an FBI VHS video warning.

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