Axby Stories: James Learns to Dream of Electric Sheep

Recently in between my goal of going through all of the main Metal Gear Solid games I’ve been playing a quirky game (that was also part of this months PS Plus titles) to prevent me from becoming a paranoid mess that rambles about the threat of nanomachines and nuclear deterrence (and as my degrees would often focus on the latter it is a real possibility).

This game that I speak of is Doki Doki Universe, one in which you play as a robot named QT377665, or QT3 for short, who after being abandoned by his owner along with his balloon friend are eventually contacted by an alien named Jeff. Jeff then informs QT3 that his model of robots are being discontinued because they show a lack of humanity. However if QT3 can prove to Jeff that he is capable of learning humanity then he and the rest of his model will be saved from the scrapheap. This also provides QT3 with the opportunity of tracking down his former owner.

Doki Doki Universe mostly plays out like something reminiscent of Scribblenauts as the goals consist almost entirely of listening to different characters’ problems and solving them by talking to others and/or conjuring up items that they want. This doesn’t make it sound very exciting, but you are able to travel between many different themed planets ranging from Medieval, Samurai Era Japan (where there is walking talking sushi and a girl in a kimono asking for Manga), to a Halloween themed planet.

Travelling between planets and solving the different creatures’ problems is a big part of the game, but not the only part. The other big aspect of the game are the personality tests. This was actually the main selling point of the game, as the problem solving elements are for QT3 to learn more about humanity and to become a better robot (I know how weird that sounds). Whereas the personality tests are just for the player and have no direct impact on the rest of the game. They are so that the player might be able to learn more about themselves.

I have always found personality tests interesting, and it was this aspect that first caught my attention when the game was announced. During my college days (high school) many of my friends took Psychology (possibly to self analyse themselves) and so they needed people outside of their course to get test data. Unfortunately for them I was not a great test subject because I ended up getting scores that apparently shouldn’t be possible, in that I didn’t fit into a specific category. For those who know me my personality can be described as somewhat “robotic”, so Doki Doki Universe seemed perfect for me, as I could try and learn about humanity along with QT3, and then see if my personality was “broken”.

Unsurprisingly I was getting the same mixed results that I was producing in other tests. One test would state that I was sociable and would take charge in a situation, whilst the next would state that I preferred my own company and would take things slowly, preferably from behind the scenes. Then there would be tests where two polar results would be given. This is not a knock at the game, as it proves that it is capable of accepting contrasting results without breaking itself. Back on your Home planet you can then meet Dr Therapist who will provide updated overall results after taking more tests, and these become more detailed as you complete further tests. This consists of a Yin and Yang diagram and as well as highlighted the main features of your personality and how prominent they are. For example I have an “extreme[ly]” curious mind seeking knowledge and I have a strong case of “Baby Anxiety”. In regards to my Yin and Yang I am 50/50, that is something which is not easy to fake in a test. Also as the tests go on it gains a better understanding of whether you are more left brain or right brain, currently I am 44% left and 56% right, but I have noticed this became more balanced after taking more tests that influence this score.

So have I learnt more about myself or how humanity works? No, not particularly. But I am enjoying my time pretending to understand that mushy concept of humanity, and there is something satisfying about the game confirming what I already know about my personality. There is another aspect I forgot to mention, which is that you are able to customise your home planet with items that you unlock as you play. You can also change how QT3 and your “stead” (which you use to travel between planets) look like. Now I am travelling through space as a robotic cat whilst riding a giant coffee mug that has a face.

I think that gives you a good idea of what I like.

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