/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

Build Me Up Buttercup

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 484825/build-me-up-buttercup

Published: Dec '20

Review in No. 37895643
The premise is that pony games are so different that edgy gamer dudebro anon makes about as much of a fool of himself as a clueless twitch whore "gamer girl" might when trying to play a difficult game. Ok, cool, that's the point of RGRE. And it should be interesting to see how the author comes up with such a drastically different game that no experience with the wide variety of existing human games would help!
Unfortunately, the story achieves that in two ways. Firstly, the controls are rythm-based, and Anon unboxes the weird rythm-oriented bongo controller and console on-stream with zero research or preparation. Conveniently, Anon is shit at rythm games. Now, it makes a lot of sense that the controllers would be shaped for ponies, but it makes zero sense for Anon to not even check the shape before unpacking; do they not even have photos on the packaging?
The other means by which gamer Anon is thwarted is by illogical game mechanics. How illogical? There's a "shit" button. When a timberwolf attacks you in-game, you're supposed to shit, and the wolf stops attacking to eat the shit, thus slowing it down.
I don't know, if that type of humour appeals to you, maybe the story as a whole will be enjoyable. Personally I could have done without the scat humour. I also don't buy that not knowing how Timberwolves work would be a sign of a non-gamer, considering Anon is clearly not from Equestria at all.

The rest of the issues continue to come from the game being cryptic and obtuse in its mechanics. Something something game tutorials; but maybe pony games are so hard because there are no tutorials and they somehow appeal to pony intuition - that could've actually been an interesting way to handle it, have pony games require a totally different "skill" that's fundamentally foreign to a non-pony, rather than just mechanical aptitude. Unfortunately it didn't play that up much, as Anon mostly figured things out after a few tries and ended up largely being hampered by his inexperience with rythm games specifically, and half the fic is taken up by shit and piss jokes anyway.

At the end we get a chat summary consisting of basically reversed gender roles thot streamer chat. Out of everything else, I feel like this part came closest to achieving the fic's goal; too bad the actual body of the fic failed to accurately portray "gamer colt Anon" in a way that was even remotely believable.

Overall rating: 2/10, there are various ways to portray the "too alien to be comprehended" trope but having the aliens just shit and piss everywhere is not among the better ways to do so. If anything that would fit more with a society of trisomics than a society of alien ponies.