Expectations can be a hard thing to deal with. I first started my journey with this franchise with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. I explained my love of the story, characters, and twists that occurred in the game. I even talked about it on here. I didn't expect much from 999. It was a visual novel which is a genre that I'm not experienced with. I was going to play this game due to what people were saying about it, but my expectations were not high. It all turned once I started playing it and realized that I was a fan of the game. This feeling amplified in the end with one of the most shocking twists in my gaming history. My expectations for Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward were enormous this time around. I was terrified that VLR couldn't shatter my expectations once again. My mind couldn't be broken again. 40 hours later and I can confidently say that VLR broke my mind once again.
Enough about 999, right? Let's talk about VLR. I love a lot of things about this game. I think the voice acting is a HUGE addition to the game. I really liked most of the voice acting in VLR and found myself more invested in every character in the game. I think the writing is better in VLR than in 999 overall. The voice acting and focus on characters was great overall. I felt more of a connection with the VLR cast than I did with 999. There weren't any unnecessary characters in VLR. They all got a chance to tell their own stories in their own separate endings which benefited the story as a whole. I'm a fan of the flow chart and how it's explained in the context of the story in general. I'm glad I didn't have to play repeated playthroughs of VLR like I did with 999. The puzzles were also better in VLR overall. I actually solved most of them myself instead of relying on a FAQ. I didn't solve all of them, but I still felt that most were well designed. Generally speaking I prefer VLR over 999. They're both still incredible games that I love deeply.
The horror, the horror…
I still had some problems with VLR. Like many have said, I don't really like the last true ending that we get as it doesn't really give me the closure that I wanted from the story. It's a shame since 999 has the same kind of ending, but it wraps up many of it's important story threads. VLR just ends abruptly without a true ending that solves the main problems of VLR. Chunsoft's already confirmed a Zero Escape 3 so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on them. Still, I want to know what happens! I still have a deep love for 999 as it came as a compete surprise to me. VLR may be a better game overall, but I still love 999 more in spirit. VLR is still an incredible game that surprised me in many ways. It's one of the few games that consumed my life for the better part of a week. My grades may suffer from that, but whatever. I regret nothing. So I'll end this by telling you to go play both Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward this instant! You'll need a DS for 999 and you can get VLR on both the Vita and 3DS. SO GO PLAY THESE GAMES NOW OR YOU'RE DEAD TO ME. Be sure to watch me talking about VLR with my dumb face in a vlog thing at the top of this blog post.
'Till next time…or next jump..