Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
The thinking person's 3DS game
on 3 January 2013
I should start by saying that I'm not into shoot 'em up, blow 'em up or anything else 'em up type games, and I cut my gaming teeth on adventure games like Zork, Maniac Mansion and Simon the Sorcerer. Hence games with lots of text, dialogue and inventory puzzles are my preference. If you don't like to read and prefer to shoot a lot of stuff or jump from platform to platform this game is not for you.
On the other hand, if you enjoy thought provoking subject matter and fiendish (or even not so fiendish) puzzles then you'll almost certainly enjoy this. 999 was brilliant, this may be even better. The puzzles are occasionally very difficult but usually not too bad, and they all refer to the story line (unlike, say, the Layton games which I also love).
A story like this couldn't be told in the conventional ways like a novel or a movie. The way this has been created is quite ingenious. There are also several laugh-out-loud moments within the Archives section (Grandpa videos? Really?) although the story is not a comedy. Be prepared for a lump in your throat at times, and be prepared to squirm a little when you have to choose a path you'd never choose in real life (unless you are a total cad and a bounder), in order to advance the story. You end up caring about the characters in a way that other games can only dream of. You'll also get at least 40 hours of gameplay out of it, unless you use a walkthrough for all the puzzle rooms, so it's good value for money.
On the subject of the voice overs, I found the clicking "voices" of 999 annoying eventually, although the different tones for each person was clever. The European version uses the Japanese voice acting, which I love. I have heard the English acting for the American version of the game and hate it, the voices just are not right for the characters. I find this with a lot of games actually, and wish more games companies would at least allow us in the West the option of the Japanese voices. This is, I know, a matter of taste. Incidentally, chaps at Rising Star, it's not "donno", it's "dunno" - some of the language localization is a teeny bit clunky in places. The option to speed up dialogue you've already read is very useful, as is the flow chart. The Memo function is great, pen colour options other than green would have been nice but aren't necessary.
On the downside, everything you've heard about the PEC Room is correct. It is bug-ridden and tricky to navigate for this reason. DO NOT save inside this room. My game crashed twice while in the PEC Room and if I hadn't saved before I entered instead of after I'd have lost about 20 hours gameplay. If you know about this problem and act accordingly you'll be fine - it's an annoyance but not enough for me to mark down the game as a whole.
This, 999 and Ghost Trick are 3 of the best DS/Nintendo games ever made in my opinion. More like this please.