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I just heard of this game last month from one of my regular mates while I was at my local FGC hangout, and I am so excited to finally play this game. The next game from the creator of the mindbender that is the Zero Escape series. Surprisingly a lot funnier than I thought! The plot of this game starts simple enough. There's a murder that just happened involving a woman tied to a horse ride in an abandoned amusement park, who is also missing her left eye. You play as a detective named Kaname Date, a guy who lost his left eye & memories 6 years before the game begins, and ever since then he had been working at a special police unit called the Advanced Brain Investigation Squad (ABIS). Why that name? Well that's because his unit solves crime by entering the minds of suspects with a dream machine called Psync. It's like Inception, but more trippy. Of course this being the game made by the creator of Zero Escape, nothing is as simple as it looks. And so begins another mind bending adventure filled with twists, great characters, lots of eyeballs getting taken out, and surprisingly a lot more humor than I expected. AND IT IS GLORIOUS! Now let me get one thing out of the way. This game is set in an entirely different universe than the Zero Escape games. There are cheeky dialogues and things that reference Zero Escape, but it looks like Zero Escape exists as a game in this universe because one of the loading screens has a Zero Escape game advert on it, so welp, same universe this game is not. Of course, this game would not be a Zero Escape esque game if you don't have a quirky main character. Junpei from 999 likes to make bad puns, Sigma from Virtue's Last Reward is a giant perv, and Date here is........ damn. He makes bad puns AND is a gigantic perv. Hitting on pretty girls, making inuendos at everyday objects, having adult vi ahem I mean "animal husbandry" videos (raising livestock vids, HAHAHAHA yeah right XD), actually have the ability to activate super-speed when he thinks of a porn mag, but he's not a lolicon. Which doesn't make him THAT bad. He is still a good detective though, and he has a pretty cool gun named Evolver which uses different bullet types depending on the situation. Since he lost his left eyeball, it's replaced by something FAR better: a prosthetic left eye robot partner named Aiba, which can do so many stuff. When she ejects herself out of Date's eye, she looks like a one eyed bear/hamster thingy that can somehow walk around and interact with other stuff. Other than that, she's basically a sentient Siri, with a lot more cool features. Make calls? X Ray visions? Watch youtube videos? Search criminal database? Analyzing the surroundings to think of actions that can help you get out of a tight firefight like Sherlock Holmes? Transform into a holographic cute girl that makes banters with you, makes references to popular movies, likes bugs hiding in plants & find an overpowered pick in Minecra I mean ShovelForge? You bet your ass she can do all of that stuff. Other than these 2, this game is filled with a lot more great characters, and every single one of them has their own backstories for you to discover. My favorite is a tie between the cute pink haired idol Iris & Mizuki, who's pretty much like Date's little sister after her good for nothing parents decides to have Date become her guardian since they're too busy with their work. These 2's routes make me tear up because they have the sweetest interactions with Date, and that's awesome. Even the side npcs have their own interesting background once you unlock their character bios. Like this inspector who you see in every crime scene, and the game likes to poke fun of him by giving you the option to ask his name over and over and over again. Poor guy. XD Gameplay in this game is split into 3 parts: investigation, dream exploration & shootout QTE sections. The investigation part is like one of the Zero Escape games where you point at an object or person and interact with them. I love how you can point at an object/person & Date + Aiba + whoever is with you almost always have something funny to say about them. In a couple of these, Aiba will get out of Date's eye & you can see Date's own face. Funny thing is you can bob your head all over the place & just talk to yourself, and Date loves doing these a lot. XD Dream exploration is where a lot of the usual puzzle-solving is done. You enter the minds of suspects/ witnesses and you have to solve puzzles by tinkering with objects inside the dream. Nothing makes sense so most of the time the solution to the puzzles are outright WTF, like one puzzle where in order to get rid of an obstacle, you have to go to a control panel and input a "fighting game move command" to it. You can only be inside a dream for 6 minutes which the game keeps tracks of, and each action cost time, but also give you a time modifier which helps reduce the time you spent on an action, unless you do something which has a red skull time multiplier in which case you need to get rid by doing actions that doesn't take that much time. Standing still pauses the timer so it's best to think of what you want to do before moving. Some of these sections have branching paths depending on what you did in the dream, and it's necessary to do all the paths to see everything the game offers, and of course to see the answers to the big mysteries surrounding this game. The shootout QTE sections are where this game just go off the walls cartoony, which I did not expect. These sections are the part I mentioned where you're in a combat situation & Aiba will think of a way to get out of it. Half are QTEs where you press the right buttons, while the others are where you have to aim your cursor to a spot & shoot your gun. Now it's a shame that this section isn't played like a rail shooter because that'll be awesome, but it's still pretty fun & it's funny how in these sections, a porn magazine is always involved. You'll know what I mean when you play these parts. Just like Zero Escape, the game encourages you to play through every path available. Some parts may be locked because you haven't played the other parts which usually ends on a big cliffhanger, but don't worry. Everything has a reason & by the end of it, every mystery will be answered in a way only these devs know how. Only one mystery remains after the end, but that is already answered only for people who had played the Zero Escape games before. The game also ends surprisingly on the happiest note compared to those other games, and that's awesome! I can't stop smiling after I finally reach the end of the game. Now all I need to do is go back to these dream sequences and do every dumb thing I can find because there's so many of them! I can only find 1 thing that I feel is kinda annoying about the game: multiple save files don't collectively save your progress. For example: I saved my game at a moment where there's a branching choice which branches out to another route. After picking route a and made good progress on that route, I load my save file to pick route b and finish that route. But unfortunately that save file didn't save my route a progress, so after I found that out, I had to do route a all over again! It's a good thing I noticed this before I completed that route because I would've been boned! So the lesson here: don't use multiple saves like thinking this game is a normal visual novel. Just have 1 save file. If you want to do a different route, use the game's time flowchart. There ya go, another game from the Zero Escape dev, and it's just as awesome, with more humor to accompany the mystery. Definitely one of my top 10 games of 2019. I give this game the rating of "so awesome I will play this game again to get 100% completion, and to see Aiba doing more silly stuff in the dream world" with a badass seal of approval. Actually you know what? This might be my GOTY of 2019. Days after finishing this game and I actually youtube other people playing this game to see if they can figure out the plot of this game, and it's like the 10th time I do it. I can't get this game out of my head, and that's AWESOME!! What's next after this? Will there be a sequel to continue the plot after pretty much everything is resolved? Well, we shall see. Nevertheless, I can't wait to see more of what these guys do next!
A free game that's available on Steam, and also on the game's very own website. I decided to try this game out since it's going to be a few more days before Wolfenstein New Colossus, and I want to play a VN game after I played Root Double, so meh, I gave it a try. So this game is about you, a guy that you can name to whatever you want, joining a Literature club, where you can meet and interact with 4 cute girls: Sayori (the one with the red ribbon) Monika (the one with the white ribbon) Natsuki (the pink haired girl) and Yuri (the long haired girl) It's up to you to decide which one of these girls you want to spend most of your time with, so if you have played a high school romance type Visual Novel before, this game is going to be right up your alley! Oh, and it also comes with this message on the start screen. And after playing this game..... I'm going to have nightmares. Holy mother of shitting Gods. This.... is quite possibly the scariest Visual Novel I have ever played. And THAT...... THAT is saying something considering I have played fucked up VNs like Higurashi and Umineko. Plus this game which has a surprisingly scary as hell route during the part with the girl that looks like Miku from Vocaloid. Doki Doki Literature Club has the most unsettling use of a VN interface ever. It's actually excellently done considering that it's a VN we're talking about where all that happens is you read through texts and see CGS passing around, but this game did it in such a way that I actually freaked the fuck out and quit the game 5+ times whenever something I didn't expect happen, because I'm scared of what's coming up next. The last game that made me do that is Alien Isolation. I actually think that this game is scarier than Resident Evil 7, Outlast 2 and Evil Within 2 from this year. So...... bravo game! I can't spoil anything about this game, other than it's a perfect game in preparation for Halloween. It's a game that you have to play for yourself, and it's free on Steam, so if you want a good scare, try this game out. I give this game the rating of "MAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOP" 9 out of 10. PS. I can't get the game's theme out of my head. It's so...... catchy Oh, and apparently, there's a hidden reference to something called "Project Libitina" in the game file itself, which most likely means that there's going to be a sequel to this game which will explain what the hell is going on. Or maybe it's an upcoming game easter egg. Either way, I can't wait to see what's next from this game dev!
Kaz32 posted a topic in Written Reviews & PreviewsMan it's been a while since I played a pure visual novel. Now it's time to return to basic! This game has 4 parts to play through. After, Before, Current and Double. After and Before are available at the start while Current and Double are unlocked when you finish route A and B. The story of this game is pretty cool. Basically it takes place in the year 2030 at Rokumei City, a city where a lot of the population are psychic mind readers, or as this game calls them "Communicators", and they're able to do what Professor Xavier do. You know, reading minds, telling people stuff with their mind, that sort of thing. A lot of the game takes place in a nuclear reactor facility called LABO, or the "6th Laboratory of Atomic and Biological Organization" facility in the city where an emergency happens and 9 people are trapped underground, in a facility that is currently experiencing a nuclear meltdown. Why are they trapped there? Can they make it out alive, or will they succumb to the nuclear radiation and become Ghouls from the Fallout series??? Well, it's up to you to determine their fate and find out the mystery! To make sense of the entire game's story, it's recommended to start from route Before as it is basically the beginning of the game before the LABO incident happen, and in it you play as Natsuhiko Tenkawa, a high schooler who is considered a very talented psychic, but is unable to use his talent yet. Here you will learn about the game's universe and rough overview of the characters that you will encounter in the other routes. Route After though takes place during the LABO incident where you play as Watase Kasasagi, once of the firemen assigned to rescue civilians underground. Unfortunately something happens to him and, well, he got amnesia. So you have to help him and the other survivors live through the day. Current and Double will be unlocked afterwards, and that's where everything concludes in grand fashion. Unlike other VNs, you don't progress through the game by making dialogue choices. Here you have to decide what you must do using Senses Sympathy System (SSS). Usually when a time for decision happens, a wheel will show up on the top right section of the screen. When you click on it, You're given the choice of affecting the sympathy wheel for the characters involved in the situation. So lets say you're trapped in a room full of fire with another person, and then you have to decide whether you or that person has to extinguish the flames surrounding you both. You can dial the Senses Sympathy meter to max out either yourself or the other person to pick which one should do it. You can choose to do it yourself, but the other person is more capable to handle the situation, so naturally picking the other person is the right choice. In a lot of cases, it is a matter of life and death, and one slip will cause one of MANY deaths for you, so be careful, and have fun experimenting with different choices. How is the game overall though? Does the story make sense in the grand scheme of things, is it just a dating sim game like most VNs and are the characters involved in it great or just your typical anime stereotypes? Well, not only is the story really deep and awesome with a lot of revelations and plot twists, this game is not a dating sim, but instead more like the 999 series and Ever 17 games where it's all about the suspense, plot twists and trying to figure out a way out of the situation the characters are all in. And when you realize that this game is made by the director of Ever 17, everything makes perfect sense. He loves his mind bending adventure! The characters involved in the game are also very good. They all have their varied backstories and realistic character traits that makes them all interesting and not just one dimensional stereotypes. And you will be invested in their stories by the end of the 30 - 50 hours you spent on this game. The only bad thing I can say about this game is that during the Before route, there's this sub story of 2 people doing telepathy to each other. One guy likes the other girl, and there's a part where basically the whole school can hear these 2 are going to confess on the rooftop of their school. In the end it is resolved, but you don't get to see the faces of these 2 people because the main characters don't come and see the outcome of it themselves. Instead they go home....... WHY??? I want to know who these lovebirds are damn it! ): Just joking there obviously but damn. Such a shame! Ah yes, and the fact that this game is pretty exposition heavy, which can get pretty overwhelming. I mean holy crap, there's 140+ terms and trivia that you can unlock in this game. Half of them are about characters introduced in the game, and most of them are about the game's universe and the various scientific terms used. Some of them are just complex explanations on how the mind reading is used, which involved particles and neurons all around the brain, which is then transferred to another person's mind using energy. Or you know, you can simply say "it's that thing that Professor X did to mind read". It's an interesting read if you have the time, but it can get really complex in some cases. In the end, this is a great VN and I'm really glad that these games are still going strong. I wish for the best for these traditional VN games and I hope to play more great ones coming later! 9.5 out of 10, with a badass seal of approval. VN lovers should play this game post haste! You will not be sorry.