_Phi_ reviews Zero Escape:Virtues Last Reward
with spoilers, but I will try and not give too many
Platforms: 3DS, PS Vita
Developers: Chunsof/Spike Chunsoft
Genre: Visual novel, with super hard puzzles :O (might of had to look at walkthroughs a few times)
Other titles: 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors the game has a couple of the same characters as the previous and bits of the story follow on but its still a stand alone game. There is also a 3rd game in development that will have some of the same characters.
Awards: Handheld Game of the year (GameSpot), Best 3DS/DS story of 2012(ING), Best graphic adventure of 2012, Best story of 2012 (RPGFan)
Basics of the story is nine people are trapped in a facility of some sort and have to “SEEK A WAY OUT!”. Each of the characters has a watch attached to their wrists that has a score on it when that score reaches 0 they are injected with a toxin from the watch that kills them. The aim of the game is to get out some how by getting a score of 9. To get a score of 9 they have to vote to “Ally” or “Betray” the other members at at the end of each round with your score either going up or down depending on how you vote.
The game master is a bunny they refer to as Zero and he is pretty evil.
The characters have a series of rooms to get through all with different puzzles, characters are put into teams of 3 to complete each room. Teams are decided by the colour of the watch and they will either be a “solo” or a “pair”, solo means they vote against the pair, and pair means they vote against the solo however they are treated as one person so only get one vote. To vote the characters enter a room with a screen, if both people of the pair don’t make it into the room to vote the one left out side dies.
Well the game follows a tree structure and each choice you make sets you down a different branch and theres a brach and end point for each character. Game play wise its divided into two parts, the novel and the game. The novel as you probably guess is the main story and has clues hidden through it that help to solve the puzzles. The game part is the puzzles, these usually involve looking round rooms and clicking on what you see to try to uncover the secret of the room to solve the puzzle and open the safe to get a card that allows you into the next part of the game. Each room also adds in extra bits to the main story. The puzzles have two difficulties, gold and silver. Silver gives you the silver file which pretty much just lets you open the safe and progress, but the gold also gives you extra in sights into the stores background so are worth getting if you really want to get into it.
Heres one of the rooms an also a view of some of the tree structure.
Theres a lot of backwards and forwards through out the game as some tree sections are only unlocked after you complete other bits. Often this means you having to replay small to large sections of the game but thankfully it allows you to fast forward through the parts you have read already. Not all of them end happy in-fact some are pretty gruesome, this was a rather definite end to one of the paths every character most defiantly dead.
I quite liked the graphics though most of the time you only see the characters from the waist up and animations are somewhat limited. They 3D graphics through out the game most of the time its single frame animation. If you are expecting something amazingly animated you won’t get it from this game. The characters and scenes are well designed and there are subtle things that are their for a reason thats not immediately clear.
Time spent playing
Total time I spent was 48 hours, and I managed that in just under a week, the storyline was really addictive so found myself wandering about the house not realising I had been playing for 6 hours strait each time.
I loved pretty much every single character, and through out the game you are on a bit of a love hate with with some of them. The character I didn’t like so much was Tenmyouji, mainly because I didn’t feel his character was as well thought out as some of the others. I wasn’t a massive fan of the outfits for Alice and Clover I thought they were a bit too revealing, when you consider that Alice’s top is pretty much a large neckless and not a lot else (plenty of side and under boob). My most loved character (in fact most loved game character of all time) in the game was Phi and love to cosplay as her.
Recommendation for buying
Hell freaking yes, theres not one thing I didn’t love about thing game and will happily play it again and theres not many games I feel I can honestly say that with.
Do you choose to; Ally or Betray?