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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing game; but beware of it's fatal bug.
Virtue's Last Reward is the sequel to 999, and as such, one of the best adventure games on the market.

Sadly, the 3DS version, the one I opted to go with as the prequel was on the prior system, is weighed down by a save corruption bug. In a few specific areas of the game, there is a probability of your game corrupting when saving and due to the large footprint...
Published on November 4, 2012 by BooBoo

versus
90 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Corrupted Save Data
First of all, I would like to say that I love both this game and its prequel to death. However, I am very frustrated at one particular bug which causes your save file to be corrupted. Many people have experienced this bug and there are tips out there to avoid that (such as not saving during puzzle portions of the game and getting through one branch of the storyline very...
Published on October 27, 2012 by Heinrich


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90 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Corrupted Save Data, October 27, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
First of all, I would like to say that I love both this game and its prequel to death. However, I am very frustrated at one particular bug which causes your save file to be corrupted. Many people have experienced this bug and there are tips out there to avoid that (such as not saving during puzzle portions of the game and getting through one branch of the storyline very quickly, crossing your fingers that the game does not crash while you are solving a puzzle). My save file got corrupted after 21+ hours of the game and it pretty much ruined the experience for me.

Having experienced that though, I still think that the game is excellent. Its narrative always keeps me in suspense and I find that I don't mind reading through the same lines everytime I have to go back and choose a different branch of the story to play (though you always have the choice of fast-forwarding through lines that you have already read). All in all, a game worth having......if it wasn't for the bug.

P.S. In case people are interested, the most common bugs happen when saving in the Pressure Exchange (PEC) puzzle room and the Crew's Quarter. So try to save before attempting to solve those puzzle rooms and NEVER save in the middle of solving those rooms.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing game; but beware of it's fatal bug., November 4, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Virtue's Last Reward is the sequel to 999, and as such, one of the best adventure games on the market.

Sadly, the 3DS version, the one I opted to go with as the prequel was on the prior system, is weighed down by a save corruption bug. In a few specific areas of the game, there is a probability of your game corrupting when saving and due to the large footprint of the game there is only one save slot.

Most annoyingly, this bug existed in the Japanese version, it was never patched... cruddy, but given the nature of Nintendo's online structure and rarity of patches, not unforgivable. However, Aksys picked this up, knowing that it had the bug, and brought it over completely intact never breathing a word of it. They have yet to respond to any concerns about it either, which most definitely lowers my opinion of them.

Checking online, Rising Star Games, the company who published the European edition actually came out and said that they tested it throughly and could not reproduce a bug... which turned out to be total B.S.... What is wrong with the publishers of this game? Absolutely ridiculous, Nintendo should honestly revoke their license to produce and distribute the game until this is cleared up.

If you plan on picking this game up, know two things.

1.) If you have a Vita, there are no bugs in that version and it has a few other legs up (multiple save slots, better visuals, better sound)

2.) If you're playing on the 3DS, DO NOT save in any puzzle rooms. Even if you're in the novel section of the game, try to restrict your saves to the warehouses and hallways.

I've seen some people reccommend that you simply don't save and just keep the system in sleep mode between plays, this is not a good idea, this game is fairly crash prone in a few spots. I revised my review, because I wanted to get across the quality of the actual game, but just know what you're getting into here.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This game will haunt you for hours., October 25, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Warning: There Will be Spoilers in this Review

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is a follow-up to 2010's 999: Nine Hours, 9 Peoples, 9 Doors. Having played 999 upon its initial release, I found myself loving it. When news of a sequel came, I was excited. This game, as much as I loved 999, exceeds it in every way. Based on the idea of the Prisoner's Dilemna, Virtue's Last Reward follows your character, Sigma, along with 8 other characters who are forced to play a game similar to the one established in 999. There is a twist however: the characters have the choice to either ally with other characters or to betray them.

The voice acting in this game is phenomenal. The puzzles, in my experience, having put in almost 15 hours, are more mind bending than 999. One thing that I appreciated was a set up similar to the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels. If you reach a point that leads to an undesirable outcome, you have the ability to jump back to an earlier point and try a different path.

In comparison to 999, VLR gives you a flow chart so that you can see what path you are on. The plot twists are constantly changing. Characters whom you chose to ally with in one path may choose to betray you in another. People that you come to trust will betray you at times in pursuit of their own interests.

Overall, there are 24 different endings. This game will keep you playing and guessing in terms of what exactly is going on. I HIGHLY recommend the game to anyone who played 999 and enjoyed it as well as anyone who enjoys a good story as well as a good mystery. On another note, I do recommend playing 999 as there are certain ties that this game has to its predecessor.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable plot twists and mindbending puzzles, November 21, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
When the trailers for this game first surfaced on the Internet a year ago, I was a little skeptical at how the characters looked in the new 3D style and how the game would play out. I was also worried that the cutscenes and voice acting would detract from the traditional visual novel styled gameplay.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how good the character models actually looked in-game and how great the English voice acting turned out to be. I played the game with volume as much as I could because the voice acting was so good. This game has some of the best voice acting I've heard. I encountered a few spelling errors and typos in the text, but there was far less in this game than there was in 999. None of the errors detracted from the understanding of the gameplay or story so it wasn't really an issue.

While I don't feel as if the story was as suspenseful or scary as the first game (my favorite game of all time), the plot twists at the end were INCREDIBLE. I never saw any of them coming even when I thought I had the story entirely pieced together. The game kept me guessing until the very end and that's part of why I love the Zero Escape series so much.

Some of the puzzles were really challenging for me but I'm very grateful for the 3D's extra screen to take notes with. Some of the puzzles had me working out the solutions on paper though because the screen didn't have enough room. I can't imagine playing this game on the Vita because of how much I relied on having two screens. Having hints and important puzzle information on a separate screen is so helpful when solving the puzzles. I'm very glad I got the 3DS version even though I had the 3D turned off for most of the gameplay.

I never encountered any framerate or save glitches. In fact, I don't even know which puzzles the other reviewers are talking about that involve relying on framerates. I never saved inside any of the rooms which I think is the problem other people ran into. I just put the 3DS in power saving/sleep mode and continued the game from whichever room I was in so I never ran into any problems.

I put 35 hours into the game and I skipped a few of the bad endings. The bad endings aren't really worth it. Some of them are so lame that I was frustrated when I got them. The bad endings in 999 were much better. The game didn't just abruptly end with a "game over" screen like this one did a few times. I wasn't sure if I would even like the game until the last few endings I received. The game definitely redeemed itself with the fantastic true ending I yearned for. There were so many questions I had that were not answered until the final ending. Looking back, I want to replay the game to see how cleverly everything fit together. There are so many references to other endings/timelines throughout the story that I'm sure I didn't catch the first (24) times through.

I'm so happy to finally have seen the conclusion to this fantastic game and I absolutely cannot wait for the third addition to the Zero Escape series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Issues, But Well Worth It, January 21, 2013
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
This game is a must-have sequel for fans of "9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors"; if you are reading this review and have not played that game yet, be sure you play it before this one to get the most out of the storyline.

In the interest of not giving spoilers, I will break this down into simple pros and cons of the gameplay:

Pros:

* This game is much longer and more involved than its predecessor. The playthrough took me approximately 45 hours.

* The graphics are greatly improved in my opinion by changing the characters to 3D models. Although I loved the art in "999", the animated characters in this version helped bring it to life.

* "VLR" has a much-improved storyline system; no more going back to step one to try a different route further down the road! Yes, there is still some repetitiveness, but much of the "click-through" boredom has been alleviated.

* The voice acting is by far some of the best I have ever heard in a video game.

* Even moreso than "999", the plot twists in the story will keep you guessing and on your toes until the very end.

Cons:

* The biggest problem with the game has been stated several times already: there is a bug in one of the puzzle rooms that can corrupt your save file when playing this game on the 3DS. I did encounter this bug and it locked up my system, but my save file was fine because I had followed the advice of others. Do NOT save in any of the puzzle rooms; save only in the hallways or the warehouse, and you will be fine, even if you encounter the bug (though you may have to replay a small section like I did).

* Sadly, because of this bug, there are points in the story that you should not be able to solve because you do not have enough information; however, they occur largely in puzzle rooms, so you do not dare save the game to return to the puzzle later. You can take a chance and save, or you can go online and look at a walkthrough for the answer. I chose the latter, and though I did get some things "spoiled" that I probably should not have learned as early on in play, I felt it was worth it to safely continue the game.

* This is a matter of personal opinion and will not apply to everyone: many of the puzzles in this game are mathematical in nature. If you are not good at math (and I am AWFUL at math) you will find this game much more difficult than the first one.

* Other puzzles make use of the gyroscope feature, but in my opinion it was very poorly implemented and hyper-sensitive. If you happen to hit one of these when you do not have access to a perfectly still flat surface, you'll likely be waiting until a more opportune time to finish these puzzles . . . and because you don't dare save in a puzzle room, it can be very frustrating and inconvenient.

Though the game does have serious issues in the 3DS version, if you are willing to hop through a couple of hoops and occasionally get online help to get past trouble spots, you'll be rewarded with an excellent and engrossing story that I feel more than makes up for the trouble. Don't let its problems stop you from getting this game, or, if it is an option, buy it for the Vita instead, which I understand does not have the bugs the 3DS version has.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best game of all time, November 17, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I just want to say that I was one of the people who lost 24+ hours due to a bug but I still cannot give it any score lower than a 5/5
This game actually made me stop playing games for a day after I finished it because all games just seem insignificant in comparison
DO NOT SAVE IN THE PEC ROOM
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better game, weaker story, November 27, 2012
By 
RKOFANT (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
** SPOILER FREE

I played through 999 and VLR almost back to back so I inevitably compared the two. If you have not played 999 to the true end then you better get on that, because this game has drastically less meaning without knowing the first story.

To make a long story short, this game has better/more challenging puzzle rooms and some new gameplay elements that make the game itself more interesting than 999. In regards to the story, 999 is stronger. The reason for that is 999 develops the characters more and you identify with them better. The outcome of the story is less rewarding in VLR as a result, but not bad by any stretch of the word. There were also way more sci-fi elements which may have caused some feelings of being less grounded.

One thing I really liked was the way you need to obtain all the endings before you get the True Ending, because each gives you one necessary clue to proceed down the right path.

I recommend this game to anyone who liked the original, but go into the story with an open mind.

One last warning: there is a bug in the 3ds version of the game. fortunately I read about it early in my game and managed to play through the whole thing without having any issues whatsoever. The best advice is to only save during the story segments, not in the puzzle rooms. You will be A-OK. I played through every single story branch and ending of the game without problems.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite game, January 27, 2013
By 
Julie (Connecticut,USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I absolutely loved 999, so, when I found out that a sequel had been released, I had to have it. I had very high expectations for this game and it exceeded every one of them. It can be played without playing 999, but I highly recommend that you finish 999 first. The stories do intertwine occasionally, but it is not a direct contamination of 999. The game is amazing on its own, but being familiar with the characters and plot of the first game adds a whole new dimension to Virtue's Last Reward. I was so deeply engrossed in the story that I played for almost a week, only stopping to sleep, shower, and eat. I never wanted it to end, but, when it did, I loved the ending. Some of the puzzles could be difficult and extremely frustrating at times, but I was able to get through them with a spoiler free walkthrough. It completely lives up to its predecessor.

The controls and game play were a huge improvement on 999. Virtue's Last Reward has a flowchart that allows you to jump around in time without having to watch the same scenes and solve the same puzzles over and over. I did not come across the bug that many people have mentioned. However, I purposefully never saved in a puzzle room in an attempt to avoid the bug. I never played the game in 3D, but the 2D graphics were great. The controls felt more versatile and forgiving to me; you can use either the stylus or the buttons. The inventory screen was also much better and easier to use, but still has room for improvement. It could be annoying at times to have to cycle through so many items to get to the one I needed.

All in all, I would recommend this game to anyone who loved 999 or who loves story and text heavy games with a sort of gritty, cerebral, and mystery feel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sequal, January 11, 2013
By 
Darryl G. Clifton Jr. (CAZENOVIA, NEW YORK, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
This game didn't simply make me happy it made me even more of a fan than the First game. The 3DS version looks great and the soundtrack was awesome too. I had my best friend hooked with the last game and he couldn't wait to borrow this.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Successor, November 1, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
As with the prequel to this game, Zero Escape is not for children. There is strong language, sexual innuendo, and a dark plot that could frighten/confuse younger players. While it is up to each parent to decide if their child is mature enough for a game, I seriously recommend that parents read the rest of this review before handing the game over to little Timmy or Susie.

About a year ago, Aksys released a game called 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors (999 for short). I reviewed that game and gave it high marks, and even now it remains my favorite game for the Nintendo DS system. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that a sequel was being released this October. As soon as I found the product I placed my order; I managed to finagle a 3DS, and to my immense happiness this new title would be compatible (indeed, the 3D rendering is very lovely, but I will cover that further down). With baited breath I loaded the cartridge into my 3DS; a software patch was required, but fortunately it did not take long to install. Within five minutes I loaded up the game and started my adventure in the realm of Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.

Gameplay

Zero Escape, like its predecessor, is a puzzle game crossed with a survival story. The plot is simple: a group of people are kidnapped and forced to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape their captor, the mysterious Zero. Each character wears a wristband that guides the course of the game. Any attempt to remove the bracelet will result in the death of the wearer; it will only deactivate if the person dies or if they escape through the door with the large number 9 on it.

In 999, players were introduced to the Nonary Game. Zero Escape also features the Nonary Game, but the gameplay is markedly different. To compare to the previous title, here are some key aspects of the gameplay. This list is informative for both fans of the series who played 999 and newcomers who are intrigued by the game description:

1. After you "beat" the game/arc the first time, you can skip both the dialogue AND the puzzles. This is a vast improvement over 999; while you could skip the narrative, you had to solve the same puzzles over and over again for the playthroughs, a tedious and boring task by the third or fourth attempt. As an additional bonus, you can select an autopilot feature so that you will not have to hit the A button after each sentence. If there is any action on the screen you will need to reactivate the autopilot, but this is a minor inconvenience, at best.

2. The possible flow of each arc is represented in a flowchart that you can access at any point from the lower screen menu button. This is WONDERFUL! One of my biggest frustrations with 999 was the relatively random aspect of finding the ultimate endings in the game. Zero Escape has a whopping 24 possible endings, and having to flounder through the different paths and trying to find each ending would be a nightmare. Combined with the game highlighting previous choices that you made, you can easily see which path that you are following and how far down which arc you are traveling. You will still need to repeat certain sequences, but with the improvements made in my point 1 above, it is far less time-consuming (and frustrating).

3. The story is just as dark as the first game! 999 was known for the intricate storyline that drew the player into a world of intrigue and mystery. Zero Escape is no different, with each decision drawing out more and more details about both the story behind their capture AND the backgrounds of the people who are your fellow prisoners. In tandem with my first point, there is a robust menu option that saves each piece of information that you find (and has empty places so you know what you are missing, although you do not know where that information will come from). This information is still accessible even when you complete an arc and start over again from the elevator (the puzzle that starts the game). For example: each room has a safe. These safes are the key to beating each puzzle. While you have the option of re-solving puzzles that you have previously beaten, you can also just reference your notes for previous passwords to the room safe, open it, get the key, and move on to the next scenario.

4. There is more than the Nonary Game factored into your gameplay. Unlike in 999, there is also a secondary set of challenges that are completely "random" (insofar as the personality matrices of NPCs can be). While you still have to divide into groups and visit different rooms and solve puzzles to escape, after each room there is a Vote. You will enter a room with either a partner (if you have one that round) or solo, and cast a vote: will you Ally with your other team (each person has a Yin to their Yang), or will you Betray them? There is no action to each option; the vote is basically a Yes/No type question. But... the input is CRITICAL to your survival. While failing to solve a puzzle will not immediately kill your character (as in 999 there is an infinite amount of time to solve each room, but you cannot progress unless it is solved), the choices that you make AND the NPCs severely affects YOU. If they Betray you, and you have lost enough BP (Bracelet Points), you will die. Conversely, you can also EARN points. If you reach 9 points, you can walk out of the warehouse and on your way to freedom (... I have not beaten the game, so I say that with a ominous tone... oooooh).

5. Bracelet Points are separate from the room puzzles. Every character starts out with 3 BP. You can only earn/lose BP through the voting, which only occurs after the puzzle element is completed. So basically the progression is: Story/Narrative Mode --> Puzzle/Escape Mode --> More Story/Narrative -->
Voting --> ??? The voting aspect of the game is random, and you really have no way of knowing how your opposing team/person will vote. Could you buy the vote? Maybe... Can your vote be bought? Maybe... The only way to find out is to play the game!

Puzzles in Zero Escape are similar to the puzzles in 999. You use your stylus to select objects. Items that you pick up can be examined in the menu, and some objects may be combined with other items to create new ones. The only complaint that I have about the room search is the minor difficulty in navigating each room. You are able to use your stylus to move around and view the room. This is tricky, at best. There are times that I became so frustrated trying to use the stylus to look UP that I wanted to chuck my 3DS. I ultimately used a combination of navigation options: I used the toggle to look around and selected specific things to investigate with the stylus. Gameplay was much smoother using this method.

Overall, Zero Escape improves upon the successful formula from 999: you can now skip both narrative AND puzzles when playing through the game again. In addition, you can reference previous finds from rooms and also use a flowchart to see how you are progressing toward the endings in the game. These new features work to make Zero Escape even more addicting than 999!

Sound & Visual

I am playing this game on my 3DS, so I will comment upon both the 2D and 3D views. The flat 2D view is roughly the equivalent of 999: the game is colorful and the atmosphere is suited to the storyline. The warehouse setting is full of steel walls/doors, and minor details such as rivets and rust help to bring the world of Zero Escape to life. The 3D view is nice: the character models are rendered in such a way that they look better when viewed in 3D. Their faces are smooth and designed to move around in a 3D environment. In terms of the atmosphere in 3D, the game is nice and it adds a certain element of realism, but is not really necessary to enjoy the game. While not quite gimmicky, the 3D aspect is a nice feature to help add depth to the story.

Sound-wise, the game is excellent. One of the bigger complaints about 999 was the lack of voice acting. Zero Escape features extensive voice casts that are professional and suited to the character. If desired, the voice acting is skipped along with the narrative side of the story. Also the voice acting is muted during a lot of the Escape scenarios. That being said, there is a LOT of text to this game. You will realize that the first time that you set the game on autopilot for another playthrough.

The music for the game is suited to the atmosphere, and is well-done. It is ominous and a little creepy, which suits the environment of Zero Escape perfectly. That being said, it is nice to listen to but at times I turn off my volume and play in relative silence. The text of the game helps fill the rest of the "creepy" atmosphere, so while the music is an enhancement it is not a prerequisite.

Overall

Zero Escape has lived up to my expectations and I would imagine those of the fans of 999. Be forewarned! You will get sucked into this game for hours, dutifully trying to find each ending and further filling out the backstory. Why are they there? Why are some of the characters from the first game being forced to play the Nonary Game again? Who is Zero? What is Radical 6? All of this, and more, can be answered by playing Zero Escape. If you want a great puzzle game with an engaging story and a more mature storyline than most DS fare, this is for you. Sit back and prepare to solve the new Nonary Game and escape from the warehouse!
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Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS
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