Just when I thought it couldn't live up to the 1st volume.
I'm pretty sure those people who've come to check out this game have played (or heard of) 9 hours 9 persons 9 doors. 9 hours 9 persons 9 doors is possibly (or maybe literally) the most breath taking games I've ever played in my gaming life. After finishing that game I wanted more and so when I found out about this game (the sequel) I wanted to get my hands on it first hand, but can it live up to the expectations to it's predecessor?
You play as a man name Sigma who you have flash backs of when you get kidnapped. You awoke to a weird room with a bracelet with a number 3 in it and you are also stuck with some girl how oddly knows your name but you don't know who she is or where you are. After awhile a rabbit appears on a screen and is telling you his name is Zero III (the 3rd), he tells you that you are in a game called the Nonary game Ambidex Edition where people play for their lives. As the game begins you have to escape the room your in as it is part of the game, the room your in is in fact an elevator and will fall unless you find a way out. Teaming up with the mysterious girl you try to seek a way out... After awhile you find more people in the same situation like you, and continue to work together to get out. Zero then explains you can get out by getting your bracelet number above 9 and opening a door with a number 9 on it. To get more points (as it is called) they have to go in the Ambidex rooms which can be opened by finding key cards in other escape rooms. Once in they have to make a choice, two choices really; do you trust your ally to both get some points or betray them to get more points off them... The story is mind bending, and twisted, and just like the 1st game is unpredictable. Although the game can be unpredictable, at times I did predict some stuff, if you played the first than you can't expect anymore surprises really, I predicted the concept of the time traveling, but not fully. I predicted Akane was the dead old lady, and I predicted they were actually in the future instead. But most of the things like who Zero actually was, or who K was, who you were I didn't see coming and of course why you where there.
The Gameplay (w/ game mechanics):
Just like how 999 is you read most of the parts of the game which are the novel parts of the game and the actual game really but it really is worth it to read it all. The actual gameplay is puzzle solving games. The puzzles in this game are a lot harder than the puzzles in the first game but are still possible even without a guide. The escape sequences change from the first, now you must find a certain password for a safe to get what is inside (varies depending on room) and at the end of it all a key to the exit will be revealed. The game also features secret files that can be unlocked the same way get the keys, the safe which can be entered with two passwords; the escape password and the file password which are usually harder to get. The game also features two difficulty one which is Hard (default) where you have to solve puzzles with few or no hints at all, or Easy (which I've never tried) where you get tons of hints or even the answers to puzzles. Depending on the difficulty you play you get different secret file rewards, easy will give you a silver file which give you only a few files or on hard will give you the gold files which gives you all the files for that room. You can also make notes for helping solve puzzles or help remember important info. There is also an important feature called the flowchart which shows you which rooms you've been through so if you made a terrible choice you can go back in time (literally) to change your actions and choices.
The Sound (sound effects, voice acting, etc.)
The music is great, just as good as the first, many scenes features great music and each fits the theme of the situation that is happening. Voice acting is also grand. Each character plays a great roll and each actor makes that character comes to life. The sound effects are actually kinda bland. They all sound similar if not the same. Key doors opening, footsteps, or punching, grabbing, stabbing, etc. You get the point, each of their categories have the same effect (not saying the all sound alike just their categories).
The characters modules are in 3D, so during, novels and escape the characters are in 3D and of course the 3DS does make the literally in 3D as well. The 3D effects are pretty good really it makes the game look more stunning. The character modules looks good but it could have seen it done better. Not saying it's bad but not perfect. The environment also looks in 3D so you'll be traveling in a 3D world. Like the characters it could have been better.
The Controls (w/ presentation):
You read most of the time but during the novels you can save the game on the touch pad, below, travel the time flows, review logs, look into archives (files collected), or look at memo you've wrote down or will write down you can also change the speed of conversations during novels to stop (manually), auto, or fast (must have been watch at least once). Can also be done in escape modes too (except change speed). During escape you can move around the room with the control stick, or the touch pad, and investigate items to use in the room, combining items can also result to new items need for the escape. One thing is the game (the 3DS version I know so far) is kinda glitchy, in the Pressure Exchange Chamber, the game will occasionally free, and I've heard reports about if saving the game here, it can be corrupted and no longer playable. The gameplay will also tend to lag randomly (not a lot like once in a blue moon) it'll happen or not at all. The box looks great, nicely done cover, but booklet is in black and white sadly (yes it matters) but budge says otherwise.
Zero Escape Virtues Last Reward is a great addition to the series and one of the best games yet on the 3DS but problems with this version of the game kills some of the joy out of it but other than that it is a fantastic game none the less and one should not pass on this one.