Review: Super Lesbian Horse RPG

A gameplay screenshot of Super Lesbian Horse RPG
Super Lesbian Horse RPG

 One day Bobby Schroeder decided that she liked shipping cartoon horses enough to warrant creating a silly game about it: Super Lesbian Horse RPG was the result of her labour. Overall awareness of the game spread quickly after its announcement by virtue of its somewhat odd title, along with a rather amusing /mlp/ thread which claimed SLHRPG was something else entirely, and now here we are with the somewhat final product (given that there will probably be several bugfix releases in the near future). Expectations for the project have been fairly high overall, but does it live up to them? For that, dear reader, you will have to read the rest of the review.

Horse Time below the break.

 Super Lesbian Horse RPG starts off quite well, presenting itself as a comedic, dialogue-heavy RPG. Problem is, after a couple minutes of playing it becomes clear that Bobby's idea of "comedy" basically involves reusing the same couple lesbian jokes over again, rephrased and with different characters. The game would honestly be much funnier if Bobby didn't try so hard to cram in as much stuff as possible, most of which ends up being mediocre enough to make the player consider fast-forwarding all the dialogue. I wouldn't advise doing so, however, as there are a few gems here and there which deserve to be seen and make the game somewhat more worthwhile (coincidentally, most of these were carryovers from the 5-minute demo which I praised back in May).

 Even if the game's main draw also happens to be its greatest weak point, that doesn't necessarily mean everything else in it sucks as well. Bobby's experience as the operator of several Tumblr ask blogs, the most notable of which being Fluttershy Replies, has paid off incredibly well for the most part, resulting in some of the nicest pixel art I've ever seen in a My Little Pony fangame. The environments are fantastic, character portraits are pretty good and the battle backgrounds manage to be quite impressive, albeit not quite as much as Earthbound's animated extravaganzas. Enemies tend to be fairly creative for the most part, especially once the player reaches some of the more spoilery areas. It was also nice to see to see that Bobby took a cue from Earthbound and gave them some joke actions just for the fun of it (along with a completely useless enemy to boot, which resulted in a fair amount of snickering from my part).

Shh, the elves will hear you.
 Take away the custom assets, however, and what you have is a standard RPG Maker project. I hate to be rude to folks who like the engine, but after playing several games made with it I must say that after a while I start to feel some deja-vu, as if these are all reskins of one game. Then again this complaint doesn't only apply to SLHRPG; it's more of a general problem for RPG Maker and is kind of to be expected when one decides to play them. Some might find this annoying, others won't, still figured that I might as well mention it just in case.

 Ah, but is the game fun? At times, as more emphasis is put on advancing the plot than grinding, but after a while it tends to get rather...dull. Shame too, as the story takes an interesting turn partway through Rainbow Dash's basement but ends up falling apart soon after, accompanied by what is perhaps the saddest final bossfight I have seen. Heck, several encounters with groups of regular enemies posed an even greater challenge to my party than a reality-warping [REDACTED], although perhaps that was due to my following the convention of conserving items and MP for bossfights. Either way it was still kind of an overall letdown in general, punctuated by a few extremely promising moments that were, alas, misused. Bobby also tried throwing in some relationship melodrama as well, so let's just say that it didn't work out all that well and leave it at that.

He likes thinking about pants, unsurprisingly.
 Musically, Super Lesbian Horse RPG is miles ahead of most of its competition, with an almost entirely original soundtrack made up mostly of chiptunes by our fandom's Tumblr community (with one semi-notable exception). There's not really anything to complain about here unless you're overly picky about video game soundtracks, in which case you can simply mute it via the options menu or something. Previous releases did have some missing audio files which caused the game to crash, but to the best of my knowledge the issues have been resolved in 1.0.3. Yay?

 ...Now that we're actually able to play the game, I get the impression that it's somewhat of a mixed bag. Sure, it looks and sounds great, but as a game it tends to get old after a while. Most of the humour is rather stale as well, which is really unfortunate as it originally showed so much promise (although that could have been because the creator threw all her best into the original demo and ran out of inspiration afterwards). Some people are still going to love this, as can be easily seen on Tumblr, and there's nothing wrong with that but in my opinion this is a prime example of style over substance. It may be worth a playthrough just to see the enemy designs and environments, but don't expect to get much for replay value out of Super Lesbian Horse RPG unless you miss the bonus boss or something.


  I should also mention that I have stripped away the title of "strangest pony RPG", as Fnagame still deserves it for its hilariously counter-intuitive gimmick. Sorry, and enjoy your Christmas (although come to think of it this is a little late for that).
- Tuxxy

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