Doki Doki Literature Club
Review: Doki Doki The Festival
The Festival is a DDLC mod where Monika doesn't mess with anyone's personality; instead, the festival goes off smoothly and the club gains a new member. But things don't go very well.
The mod is short; probably about 1-2 hours of playtime. It's nothing terribly impressive and it's very disappointing if you go into it expecting to see any Doki other than Monika in the spotlight, but I think if you go in knowing this and not hoping for something you won't get, the mod is pretty fun. You get to continue messing with files, see some new poems, and work with Monika against a believable villain. MC's interactions with the new member are very fun to watch.
Despite being a Monika-focused mod, it doesn't smear the other girls like Shattered Worlds and Exit Music do. It's unsatisfying how it robs them of agency (*especially* the one you say is your favorite), but it's not a fatal flaw in a story this short.
Shattered Worlds review
Exit Music review
The poor matching of poses and expressions to lines is pretty jarring in some scenes, but I've seen much worse and it seems to get a little better after the beginning. The dialogue is also a bit clumsy and awkward sometimes, but mostly in the poem sharing scenes. In the scenes that carry the plot it's mostly fine.
The average poem quality isn't up to the original game or anywhere near the level of The Good Ending mod, but it's not terrible either. Monika's poems are mostly good. The only poem I was really disappointed in was Natsuki's first, which is like a version of her first from the original game that completely misses the point of it and copies only the superficial elements.
The Good Ending
The only major criticism I have is the secret-keeping: the mod portrays it as morally good to keep important secrets from close friends. It's much less offensive than in ABND and Shattered Worlds because at least here there's no overarching malevolent force that the girls really need to know about, so at least the claim that they don't "need to know" is factually true.
A Brand New Day review
Shattered Worlds review
Bad excuses for lying
There is also a slight plothole: it's established that the mod takes place after the original game, and Monika remembers it, for obvious reasons. Sayori was president too; why doesn't she remember? I know that the answer is "because this is a Monika mod", but realizing this makes that a lot more offensive. The story makes a plothole to avoid giving a Doki other than Monika any agency.
Finally, There are two fun game file secrets I found :)
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