5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
There's a game in this box, and it may be fantastic or awful...
, October 30, 2012
This review is from: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Fortunately, I thought it was fantastic. Being the spiritual sequel to '9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors', it shares many similarities with that game. The gameplay is a mixture of puzzle sections followed by novel sections where the characters are trying to escape the 'Saw'-esque Nonary Game. However, unique to VLR are the ambidex rounds: where the teams are forced to vote "ally" or "betray" in an effert to earn 9 points (the key to being able to escape). The game also features a flow chart that tracks major story points so you may warp back to them at will (helpful in speeding things along, because you can get bad endings). Being for the 3DS (as well as the Vita) the game has recieved a visual overhaul and now sports 3d character models (and voice acting!) as well as 3d environments during the puzzle sections.
The game has it's issues. Perhaps the most concerning is a glitch that corrupts save data, although if it's any comfort I plugged 50 hours into this without this issue. But it does exhist and is worth looking into for potential buyers. Although there were quite a few other things that "bugged" me. Namely, during the puzzle sections I felt like the touch screen controls weren't perfect and ultimately used the control stick and buttons for the majority of the game. Even then, the controls are spotty and moving around creates a "laggy" effect. As for the puzzles themselves, maybe I'm slow on the uptake but I found a handful to be too vague or just explained incorrectly. Although for those sections you can turn the difficulty down to "easy" and the characters you're with will be more generous with hints. The 3d effect is nice, but understated (and to me it seemed like when the game would intermittently show 2d images they were not compatible with the 3d even though it was trying to display it as such). I loved the voice acting, but disliked that the main character is not voiced.
This game shines as an example of an M rated visual novel; However, compared to 999 it doesn't shine as brightly. Without divulging too much I feel like the two major flaws in the storytelling are thusly: the game simply contains too much information and LOVES to talk about it. It's really interesting stuff, but at some point you may find yourself rolling your eyes when a character begins another tangent about quantum physics. The other issue, is the flowchart itself. It enables the game to be sprawling, and once you realize it's there it takes some of the gravity away from voting "ally" or "betray" (but it DOES NOT RUIN THE GAME. you will get use to it).
Simply put: it's a great story and a great experience. For those interested and new to the series I would say start with 999 for the DS, then get this. Be aware that they are 'M' rated for strong language, violence, and sexual references. For anyone who liked 999, I can't imagine you'd dislike VLR. I have a very small group of games that I love, and both 999 and Virtue's Last Reward have earned their places in that group.
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