Biggest Changes And New Features In Lisa: Definitive Edition

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Lisa: The Painful is a 2D RPG from indie game developer Serenity Forge for the PC that launched in 2014. It garnered generally positive reviews, thanks in large part to its unique presentation and story. That said, it is a game that is not designed for everyone due to how bleak the game is as well as the disturbing themes that are at the core of the story.

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Surprisingly enough, a console port of this grim RPG is available called Lisa: Definitive Edition. As you would expect, some changes are necessary for it to comply with certain rules and censorship. Just how different is Lisa: Definitive Edition from the original?

6 Upgraded Graphics And Performance

Brad riding a motorcycle

Jumping to consoles meant that Serenity Forge would need to ensure that the game ran as smoothly as possible and at higher definition. It certainly achieved that with a 120 fps mode and pixel-perfect upscaling for a full HD experience. The UI has been polished as well.

On full screen, the game utilizes brand-new art for its border overlays to prevent the background from feeling drab.

5 Added Story Content

Brad travelling in a post-apocalyptic world

Lisa: Definitive Edition includes a slew of new enemy types and bosses that make it a worthwhile revisit if you have already played the original. There are also new quests and secrets to uncover for both new and old players. Story-wise, this version of the game fleshes out a lot of the lore and fills in the missing pieces that were left from the original.

In addition, new story beats and choices that lead to multiple endings have also been added to the definitive version. If you are concerned about replayability, Lisa: Definitive Edition has you covered on that front. Campfires have also been upgraded to include the option to have conversations with your party members, which helps expand each character’s backstories with interesting dialogue.

4 Two Games Rolled Into One Macabre Masterpiece

Brad and the party fighting Olan-1

Lisa: Definitive Edition includes both The Painful and The Joyful, but not The First. Fortunately, you don’t need to play Lisa: The First, as it is its own-contained game with a style similar to the eccentric cult classic indie game, Yume Nikki. You can still play Lisa: The First if you wish at no extra cost, as it is a free-to-play game.

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Lisa: The Joyful sees notable additions, particularly to the Warlord boss fights. The developers have put some wrinkles into the battles to keep you on your toes even if you have already completed the original. All things considered, the definitive edition delivers a sharper story and a more memorable experience.

3 New Gameplay Features

Campfire conversation between Brad and a friend

A notable addition to the gameplay is the option to play in Easy Mode, called Painless Mode. You can also access a jukebox that lets you play all the music in the game. Speaking of tunes, there are an additional 20 new tracks in the game that aim to further enhance the atmosphere. The localization option is also a welcome inclusion, with more than 12 languages available.

In addition, Lisa: Definitive Edition integrates console-exclusive functionalities and features such as DualSense haptic feedback, light bars, and adaptive triggers for the PS5. The Nintendo Switch has HD Rumble support and DualSense speaker utilization for the PS4. Every tumble and impact that Brad experiences is accurately replicated on the controller, which adds an extra wrinkle to the torment.

2 Cut And Edited Content

The Salvation Rangers appear

The most obvious concern about the console launch of Lisa is the changes to the story. The original did not shy away from sensitive topics and unflinchingly showed them in graphic detail — well, as graphic as a 2D sprite game can deliver. Then again, most of the disturbing aspects of the game had to do primarily with the story. Some portions of the game, such as The Salvation Ranger’s introduction and a certain flashback, have been edited to meet rating requirements.

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Additionally, Sony demanded further changes for the game to get the green light on its consoles. Specifically, with the add-on sequel, Lisa: The Joyful. Changes revolved around references to the use of drugs and alcohol, wherein any references to cigarettes, alcohol, and the drug Joy were changed. Cigarettes are now called “Cigarette Candy,” which is certainly odd. Joy is not referred to as pills anymore, and alcohol is changed to soda. These were only applied to Lisa: The Joyful, considering that the protagonist is only 12 years old.

1 Retaining The Bleak And Twisted Atmosphere

Brad and friends attacked by gang

While you might be worried that Lisa: Definitive Edition is a sanitized form of the cult classic RPG, developer Serenity Forge promises that this version captures the despair and dark humor of the original.

Polishing the rough edges and adding more to the lore, Lisa: Definitive Edition seems equipped to earn its spot as the game that Serenity Forge always wanted Lisa to be. Overall, the changes to the story content are minimal, and Serenity Forge aims to deliver the same impact as the original with the definitive edition.

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