Yeah, I’m doing another Oz+ route. There’s something about this game that just makes me so angry, so utterly consumed with rage that I cannot stop playing. I’m a steam train running on fiery hatred, zooming down the yellow brick road. Choo choo, motherfucker.
To its credit, Oz+ manages to continually find NEW ways to piss me off. If it wasn’t so upsetting it would almost be impressive. It started out boring, then got creepy. Next it got kinda good and lulled me into a false sense of security… before crushing my hopes like a Majora’s Mask moon making impact with a clock tower.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
THE STORY (Spoilers Ahead)
WHO DO I HAVE TO BRIBE TO GET SHALL WE DATE TO PAIR THIS PROTAGONIST WITH AN AGE APPROPRIATE LOVE INTEREST???? ARE YOU GUYS JUST GONNA RENAME IT STATUTORY RAPE+ OR SHOULD I DO IT FOR YOU???
Alright, now that that’s out of the way… the actual story. I’ve explained the premise multiple times in past reviews, so I’m not doing that here.
First of all? Oz+ changed writers. There’s absolutely no way they didn’t, because Wesley and Solomon’s route are so much better crafted than the 4 that came before that I cannot fathom any other option. This route is WELL WRITTEN. The characters are INTERESTING. There’s touching moments, moments of non-cringey levity, and moments of genuine tension. All the things Oz+ was missing in the first routes of its release. Even small moments serve to say something about the characters. For example, in a scene where MC yells a “thank you” after Oz, he casually throws up one hand instead of turning around. Little things like that make or break our connection with the characters, and whoever is writing for Oz+ now is genuinely good at those moments. There are also random additions of slang like “thirsty” and “sausage fest” that are actually pretty amusing in context.
Also, of all the routes I have played this one does the best job making the premise make sense. First of all, when faced with the order to choose a boyfriend, MC doesn’t pick anyone. Instead she fights the order, asking why she has to make this decision. She ends up saying Solomon’s name briefly just to try and get out of things, but she immediately smells a rat and I love it. MC finally has two brain cells to rub together!
She also finds out about the prophecy very, very early. The whole story is basically about MC’s journey to come to terms with shouldering the weight of the prophecy, and her trying to figure out what decision to make. That and Norton’s unwillingness to leave the rebirth of Oz to MC are the entire source of plot for this route. It’s done well and I liked it.
While the other routes left me singing “if she only had a brain,” this one had me on her side much of the time. The MC of this route is pretty darn self-assured and I actually liked her. This is definitely the MC I saw in the Wesley route, not the one I saw in the previous 4.
First of all, I actually didn’t expect a Solomon route. I genuinely thought he and Norton were an item. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The connection with Solomon is shockingly organic despite him being so different from MC that he’s practically another species. He’s impressed by her reaction to the situation she’s put in, and she sees his kindness as an oasis in a desert of WTF. It’s a relationship formed through mutual respect. It works.
Time to state the obvious about what doesn’t work here:
THE AGE DIFFERENCE
To be fair, of all the “older man” pairings so far, this one worked the best. (At first.) Here’s why:
- Solomon never, never brings up his being older as a reason for her to obey/listen to him. He doesn’t really bring it up at all, actually. Yeah, he calls her “my child,” but that’s more just enigmatic wizard speak. It’s still creepy, but it doesn’t strike me as him infantilizing her, unlike some people.
- Solomon doesn’t badger her about dating him, and he doesn’t even badger her to make a decision about the prophecy. He takes the cues from her pretty much 100%, with one exception that will come up later. Hooboy, will it come up later.
- Solomon has a really childish personality. He’s kind of the definition of “precocious.” That makes the age difference less noticable in their interactions.
- Solomon respects the fuck out of MC. Whatever else I can and will say about this route, that holds true.
So, that’s all good.
Except then Oz+ took all of the good things from above, threw it on the floor and took a huge steaming shit on it.
Here’s how it happens. It’s all going pretty well. Solomon is respectful. The age difference is at least easy to try and forget about.
Then Solomon has sex with MC. He has sex with a 16 year old.
No other route involved sex. Whatever creepiness was there, it never actually culminated in a grown-ass man banging a high school junior. I didn’t think Oz+ would go there. I especially didn’t think they’d go there with arguably the oldest guy in the whole cast, not to mention the seemingly most respectful one.
But nope, in what can only be described as a record acceleration from 0 to felony, Solomon says he loves MC, kisses her, and begins undressing her all in the same short scene. To add a cherry on top of the shit pie, MC is so confused by this sudden turn of events that she basically just sits there dumbstruck throughout the whole thing. I’m just gonna put the dialogue here. TELL ME this doesn’t read as unbelievably creepy.
There’s no excuse for this. There’s really no excuse for ANY of it. All they had to do was age the MC up. That’s it! Would it have KILLED you to make her 19 or 20? At least that would have been acceptable if the dynamic was right.
I should’ve known it was gonna go downhill when he greeted MC in this getup:
There’s probably a sign just off screen that says “Welcome to the Bone Zone.”
MOMENTS, I GUESS
There’s a scene where Wesley overcomes Norton’s magical water barrier by… wearing a rain coat. I shit you not.
At one point MC consults some kind of wisdom tree for advice on how Oz should be reborn, and the tree gives the Oracle equivalent of, “Bitch, do you think I care what you do? I’m on lunch break.”
And since it wouldn’t be an Oz+ review without me capping things off with a horrific moment, have this:
Before an old wizard feels up a high schooler.
My heart scale is defined as follows – 5 hearts = a story everyone will fall in love with, regardless of preferences; 4 hearts = a well-done story that people who love the concept will adore, and people who don’t may end up liking it; 3 hearts = if you like this type of story or this type of hero, then you will enjoy this, but those who do not like either of those things will probably not; 2 hearts = it had potential, it squandered it; 1 heart =
just a waste of time from the get-go I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU; 0 hearts = why was this made?