LISA: The Painful

Posted:  Jul 18, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
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Review

Access to the Definitive Edition was provided early by Serenity Forge. Thank you!

"The miserable journey of a broken man" is how this game is described on Steam and to some extent, that is very true, but there is a lot more to love than it seems. LISA: The Painful as a RPG filled with dark humor and a charming, hilarious world. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, you will need to find someone who was kidnapped and save them. Throughout the journey, you will be forced to make choices that will permanently affect gameplay, whether they will keep your party alive or even possibly lose your own limbs. Do what you can to survive this heartless word and come out the other side alive.

LISA: The Painful is one of my favorite RPGs I have ever played. Not only do I love the setting, I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic worlds, but the humor solidified the love I have for it. While it is heartbreaking at time, like how the game opens, but there is so many hilarious moments that I wanted to keep playing so I could find more. From the wacky characters to hilarious situations, there is so much to love. I like the spin of the turn-based combat as well where when its your turn to attack, you can chain 5 different moves to create combo attacks.

I don't want to go too much more into detail since I believe that this is a game people should experience without prior knowledge of the story. But if you are a fan of RPGs, dark humor, and a deep, but hilarious experience, this is not a game you should pass up.

The Definitive Edition Update

Today, there was a free definitive edition update for those who own LISA: The Painful and its DLC that expands it in numerous different ways. Along with the updated visuals and 120 FPS mode, there are new gameplay systems like the party member campfire conversations, updated battle systems, a new music player with new music, a new story mode (painless), and new secrets to find. This brings the game into a more modern setting away from its old version, which is very welcome. There are also updates to the DLC for all of this too, as well as 6 new Warlord skills.

My personal favorite aspect of the update is the campfire conversations though. Being able to dive deeper into the stories and learn more about your allies is a treat. The new visuals do look significantly nicer now, especially on the Steam Deck, but if you are curious whether this is a worthwhile update to dive back into the game, or even take the plunge, let me say that yes, this is well worth diving back into the world of LISA. And doing so on the Steam Deck has never been so wonderful!

LISA: The Painful - Steam Deck Performance

With almost no changes, LISA: The Painful runs flawlessly on the Steam Deck. Just booting up and starting the game, you can expect 60 FPS at 6W - 7W battery drain for over 6 hours of battery life. The only issue is that the game has a native Linux build, but this didn't have the definitive edition. I had to force Proton compatibility to Proton 8.0-2 so it ran the Windows version, which has this update. This isn't really surprising considering the game's visuals and that it doesn't need much power to run, but I am happy to report on it anyways! The controls work well with the gamepad, though my only gripe would be that the game has borders, but with its aspect ratio, that can't really be helped.

Technically the game does support 16:10 resolutions, but due to the aspect ratio of the original game and its borders, it won't take up the entire screen. The game does have controller support and cloud saves though!

Conclusion

LISA: The Painful is an easy game to recommend. The story and gameplay hit in all the right places, but the incredible humor that helps create this wasteland's charm is what really sets it apart. And with how well it runs on the Steam Deck out of the gate, I am happy to say this is a Best on Deck game. Usually, forcing compatibility would eliminate it from this rating, but since it is just forcing to the default Proton layer and it requires no external downloads, I am allowing it. Overall, don't sleep on LISA: The Painful, this is an experience you won't want to miss.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

LISA: The Painful is a miserable RPG that is filled with dark humor and charm. On top of that, it runs flawlessly on the Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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