Sometimes, there’s a secret alchemy or a real trick to a game. Other times, there really isn’t. But it’s not a failing by any means for the game to aim resolutely at being something and then hit that mark well. There are lots of things that could make Dusk Diver better, like a better translation or a more consequential story, but it clearly wants to be exactly what it is, and it doesn’t pretend at being anything more than that.
Ultimately, BDSM isn’t very good when it comes to the actual gameplay to start with. It’d be a not tremendously good game even if it was exploring stuff like themes and meaning with some actual depth. But when you get into the “parody” aspect that’s really just a thin veneer to defend against people calling out the content, it slips hard into the territory of just not being worth your time.
...it is a puzzle platformer at its core, which will turn some people off, and the combat still doesn’t quite sing. But even the issues it does have are the sort that are ultimately none too difficult to overlook, just little bits and bobs that don’t reach the height set by other standout moments.