Lisa: Definitive Edition review

Lisa: Definitive Edition review

The unassuming Lisa is far more than a game, it’s an experience. And on Nintendo’s Switch it’s somehow even better. Dali explains why the game is perfect for binge sessions and gut punches.

When Zach first introduced me to 2014’s Lisa many moons ago, he emphasized that it’s a game — but it’s not. Sure, there are game-like elements, but the game aspect is just a part of the storytelling. He also told me that it deals with subject matter that is dark and often wrenching.

Boy, was he right. And boy oh boy is this latest version a terrific way to experience all of it.

Lisa: The Definitive Edition takes The Joyful and The Painful games and puts them into one package. It adds HD visuals, improved UI, new enemies and bosses, plenty of more secrets, new music, and a feature called “campfire conversations” that allow us to grieve over the deaths of those integral characters who pass away.

On big kid consoles and PC it introduces 120 FPS modes, on the PS5 it gives us haptics and lightbar effects, and on the Switch — where I reviewed it — the edition includes HD rumble.

Hey, I’ll say it right now: this may be the first time HD rumble has been an effective thing since the console’s launch title 1-2 Switch. As we walk around the 2D levels the controller will rumble more and in specific ways when we get close to different objects or points. It’s almost like adding a sort of sixth sense, letting us know that something is there, up ahead, worth our time.

This whole edition is worth our time, to be honest. For returning players the refinements and additions update the experience by orders of magnitude, while new players will have a fully engrossing and emotional ordeal — one that just so happens to be a 2D RPG.

This review is based on a Switch code sent to SideQuesting by the publisher. This review originally appeared on the August 4th episode of The SideQuest.