LifeisXbox’s The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna review | This game is full of weird parts and one of them explains exactly how I feel about The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna. Near the end, you suddenly have a cutscene about a toilet. It explains that a toilet can be a metaphor for life and that the smart thing to do would probably be to stay there for a short time. Now as with many things in this game I had no clue why this part was in it but I understood the toilet reference. As with my two hours of boring myself with this game I only wanted to flush it down the toilet and never think about it again. This is the kind of game where I am forced to finish it for review reasons. Two hours of walking, more walking, walking, some more walking. Two hours felt like an eternity, when the credits finally started to roll, I got even more depressed as there was still a short encore section. Yes, dear readers. I sacrificed my precious time for playing and writing this so you can stay far away from it.
Most Memorable Moment
I honestly just want to forget about my two wasted hours, there was little to nothing memorable about The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna. There’s an unexplained elephant ride part in it, which was refreshing. Or there was this time that I passed a cow and it started to make goat noises, obviously a bug but funny nonetheless.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- It made me appreciate that a game can be fun | Videogames are magical, no? They so easily provide you with a source of fun and a way to pass the time. Most games, even bad experience still easily provide fun moments. The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna made me appreciate those games. To be clear, this game is an exception as there is no fun to be found here. I just wanted to use this place to say how rare it is that a game can be such a borefest.
- Visuals ain’t bad, sometimes even impressive | It clearly lacks polish but overall the visuals are decent. There are a few landscape views and setpieces that leave a very positive impression. It is a real shame that so many of the assets are constantly reused, the grey rocks and linear path are too much of the same. All you do is walk and if the environments would be more diverse it would have been more tolerable. Moments like being in a dark cave surrounded by colorful crystals or walking in a forest with colorful flowers remedy it a little but these moments rarely happened.
- Story | I think the story tries to be emotional but it completely fails to do that. You come back to your hometown, now abandoned to see a ‘mysterious’ story with flashbacks from the past. The outcome tries to show how cruel a community can be. It honesly went by me without any sort of emotion, even the ending did nothing to me. You must understand that I’m the sort of gamer that easily gets attached to a story. I can’t count anymore how many times I cried during emotional moments in videogames. I’m not sure if it is the pacing or dialogue but it never got a hold on me… there’s just some too weird things happening too. Like the toilet part I mentioned earlier. That said, it could just be me. I heard from another friend of mine who was reviewing this that he did find the story good enough.
- Music | It features some incredible beautiful music and that’s one of the few positive things I can say. The one and only positive thing is often ruined by badly timed dialogue moments, the balance between the music and dialogue is awful. Moments when the music decides to pop don’t make much sense either, you would be walking for three minutes in absolute quietness, suddenly the music pops up.. why, nobody knows… You would expect something to happen or some kind of visual clue to go with the music. It is a missed chance to do something better.
What we Disliked
- Walk, walk, walk | I constantly had the song Walk Walk from Sylvie Kreusch in my mind when I played this game. It doesn’t hide the fact that this is a walking simulator but there are so many awesome examples of good games in this genre. Examples that do manage to bring an emotional message or give the player memorable moments, there is just nothing ofthat sort to be found in The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna. You walk around for minutes, minutes that seem to take hours and hours where nothing happens. It is so incredible boring.
- Voice acting | I think voice actors came in last minute. Whoever was in charge of finding ‘voice talents’ did an awful job. I’m pretty sure that people got randomly asked to speak something in while they were waiting on a take-away Burger King hamburger or something. Zero emotion in the voices and the volume between different people is laughably bad. The main actor does an okay job, nothing remarkably great but decent but the side-characters… honestly one of the worst performances in recent memories.
- Performance | Stuck in the environment, animations that look terrible, my character that got catapulted in the air by rocks, an annoying inconsistent frame rate or constant sound bugs. Only a few examples on how badly this game runs on Xbox Series X. What really pains me was how bad the audio ran, often sound effects came in seconds to late or had this annoying grudge sound as if it was recorded by amateurs.
How long to beat the story | 2 hours, that feels like an eternity.
How long to achieve 1000G | 2 hours
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Gaming is a passion and I wanted to share my Xbox enthusiasm. That’s why I started LifeisXbox, to make sure gamers all around the world know what games they should buy or avoid. I would like to thank you for visiting my website. Your support is very welcome and I hope you stick around!