Bad as a game, worse as an art piece.
If you, like me, only knew about this game from brief summaries, and you, like me, are generally interested in things weird, whimsical, and fantastic, then you probably thought this sounded like an interesting, clever, unique, original, stylish game. And in the hands of a competent writer and game designer, it could have been. Instead it ended up in the hands of John Clowder, a whinging art school snob with more creativity than brains. If you look up the word "pretentious" in the dictionary...you know how this joke goes. So instead, we got Middens.
Let's go over each aspect of this trainwreck quickly: The gameplay is extremely boring and tedious. Mostly the most generic turn-based RPG fare imaginable, with the few original elements being the most frustrating. Like having to waste turns and Nerve summoning the other party members into battle, the fact that almost every enemy is unique and you have no way of knowing their weaknesses other than throwing random Prowesses at them and hoping one does significant damage, the fact that their are so many status effects and ways of inducing them but only a tiny handful are even slightly useful, the near-nonexistence of Nerve-restoring items (especially compared to the vast bounty of Pulse-restoring items), bizarre and illogical placement of save points, I could go on. Hey, at least the music's nice. All four or five tracks of it.
Now, the meat of the subject: art. This game doesn't have it. Yes, it has pretty and weird pictures, random stuff everywhere, and bizarre dialogue, but there's no substance to it, distinct style or unique concepts. This game has no identity, it hopes that just being by being weird it can distinguish itself. At the end of the day, this game didn't make me think hard about anything, it didn't leave any big impression, it didn't engage me on an intellectual or emotional level. There was just nothing to it beyond pretty pictures that do little to alleviate the soul-crushing monotony of the gameplay. Once in a blue moon your talking gun or some NPC will say something superficially interesting (not as often as the article would have you believe), but until the very end, that's it as far as story or style goes.
And no pretentious game is complete without a pretentious moral. I could dedicate an entire review to how completely this moral fails, but out of words.