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Author Topic: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward  (Read 17174 times)
Kevadu
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« on: October 04, 2012, 12:48:49 AM »

Why is nobody talking about this game?  I know there are a lot of 999 fans here and the game is almost out.  The demo is out (for Vita, anyway), and I played it today.  So here are some thoughts:

The good:
Seems like a pretty solid localization.  The voice acting is good.
Some nice puzzles, at least in the limited amount I got to see.
Interface works nicely, for the most part.

The bad:
I'm sorry, but this game is just ugly, both technically and artistically.  I suppose you can argue the latter, but I really don't care for the flamboyant character designs and constantly-recycled over-the-top pre-canned animations.  Technically this game is garbage.  Low polygon counts, crappy low-res textures, etc.

Moving to 3D character models was a controversial move but it can open up a lot of possibilities.  Unfortunately they don't really take advantage of them, except maybe in cutscenes.  If you're in the room with somebody else, would it be that hard to show them there?  Instead of having them magically appear when there's dialogue and then completely vanish when there's not?  (Even though you have complete freedom to look around the room...)  Yeah, that's hard to do with 2D character art, which is why it's not something you would usually see in a visual novel type interface, but since they already switched to 3D character models why not use them for something?  Not to mention that these aren't even good character models...

But if the character models are bad the environments are positively barren.  Yes, they're supposed to be kind of barren, but I mean video game barren--where every wall looks literally exactly the same because they only have one texture.

OK, I wrote a lot more under "The bad", but they were all superficial things.  It does seem like a solid game.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 10:11:23 AM by John » Logged

Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 01:08:53 AM »

The bad:
I'm sorry, but this game is just ugly, both technically and artistically.  I suppose you can argue the latter, but I really don't care for the flamboyant character designs and constantly-recycled over-the-top pre-canned animations.  Technically this game is garbage.  Low polygon counts, crappy low-res textures, etc.

Reminds me of what you said about Time Travellers on the technical front. Well, I'm guessing even this won't look amazing on a 3DS, but I'm thinking it won't stand out as much plus it'd iron out the discrepancies like some of the UI bits notably being meant for a far lower resolution screen than the Vita. That, and I think it'll simply control better with a stylus, not that that can't be addressed on a capacitive screen but if I'm just using a stylus anyway usually resistive is best. I do think the visuals may be good ENOUGH though for Vita upressing, it really is nice to see such a sharp antialiased image on the screen, even if it comes at the cost of there being not much of anything there.

But, yeah, I don't like how the outfits are in this game versus how (relatively) grounded 999 was, and given how good the 2D was it's a shame to see that displaced by 3D models, especially without them being used all that well. Plus I get annoyed at how over emotive they are in those little dialogue boxes.
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ZeronHitaro
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 01:25:23 AM »

Personally I haven't had any reason to talk about it since I've seen pretty much zero (no pun intended) information about it that's actually 'important'. No story premise, no character bios, just a basic explanation of the "game". Which didn't even work to excite Saw fans (who were more interested in the hidden story clues pre-movie) so it most certainly won't work here for this game's advertising. XD

I kind of agree on the general 'ugliness' of the game thus far. But only because the backgrounds in almost every screen shot can be described as 'grey room'. Seriously; the first game had lavish, ever changing backgrounds due to it's setting. What's their excuse here? The graphics don't bother me, grew up on Atari graphics so 'Lawl; polygons' has never phased me. Character designs don't bug me either. Pretty much everything out of Japan you can expect to be weirdly haired and pretty much all-but-nude or some-variant-of-lolita if female and either 'dapper' or 'eccentric' or 'normal' if male so...*shrugs*.

If the demo's out though that'd be nice to play. Shame I don't have either of the systems atm. XP I must pay a visit to Youtube later.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 01:28:15 AM by ZeronHitaro » Logged
kyuusei
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 01:43:38 AM »

We already know the premise in that you have to escape. And really, they can't tell you any story... without spoiling things. How much of 999's story did you know beforehand? Probably zilch - you were all a bunch of strangers (save June) thrown together to try and escape some boat. Connections to each other didn't get revealed until later on and sometimes not til a 2nd or 3rd playthrough. I expect VLR to be similar. And with VLR you have to recognize at least two characters.
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ZeronHitaro
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 02:57:00 AM »

Actually because I watched a review beforehand (otherwise I doubt I'd have picked up the game) I pretty much got the entire opening sequence prior. Who, why, where, ect. (Granted not the finite details you learn late game; but enough to at least know what to expect going in.) The problem with a 'blind sequel' like this is it does nothing to really tell the fans 'You should play this'.  They can reveal certain things without it being plot spoilers. Probably the biggest problem I have right now with this game (not that I have anything major against it mind you; these are just nitpicks) is the 'why'?

Code:
Memory might be fuzzy; but I'm pretty sure 'Zero' was June/Santa working together
because of that whole memory-time-regression-loopback thing in 999 right? So...why
is there even another Zero-game taking place? Again to draw the parallel; this isn't Jigsaw.
There's no reason for the Zero character to be just randomly playing these games and it's
not like anyone except maybe 'Alice' (not counting Zero) is present in the main cast from the last game.
Zero isn't a pathological killer playing number-type games for giggles; Zero was basically just a little boy and girl
trying to save his sister and her own life, respectively, from a horrible death.

So...connection to this game is where? Why? Where's the thread between the two plots that is the 'reason why'
I should want this story to exist and be interested in it?

Maybe I've just missed the key trailer or news article but I've yet to see anything that provides that crucial hook.

Edit: Wait...circus-girl is Clover? Really? Wow...she did not survive the design transition well. :-\
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 03:34:07 AM by ZeronHitaro » Logged
Kevadu
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 04:57:06 AM »

The bad:
I'm sorry, but this game is just ugly, both technically and artistically.  I suppose you can argue the latter, but I really don't care for the flamboyant character designs and constantly-recycled over-the-top pre-canned animations.  Technically this game is garbage.  Low polygon counts, crappy low-res textures, etc.

Reminds me of what you said about Time Travellers on the technical front.

Yeah, there are definitely some similarities, but make no mistake: Time Travelers is a much better looking game.  My complaints about it were more out of...disappointment over what it could have been, I guess.  It's probably one of the best looking games there is on the 3DS, but when you compare it back-to-back with games that were made natively for the Vita the differences are immediately obvious.  Even then it's still not really a bad looking game.

VLR is starting from a much weaker base, unfortunately.  It's hitting a lot of the same problems in the transition from 3DS to Vita but the biggest issue is that it just didn't look that good to start with.

Quote
That, and I think it'll simply control better with a stylus, not that that can't be addressed on a capacitive screen but if I'm just using a stylus anyway usually resistive is best.

I wouldn't say a stylus is necessary.  Keep in mind that the Vita's screen is waaaaaay bigger than the 3DS's touch screen.  Accuracy isn't a problem when the stuff you're interacting with is just bigger.  At least in what I played it wasn't an issue.


Character designs don't bug me either. Pretty much everything out of Japan you can expect to be weirdly haired and pretty much all-but-nude or some-variant-of-lolita if female and either 'dapper' or 'eccentric' or 'normal' if male so...*shrugs*.

Oh come on.  I play Japanese games all the time.  You can't tell me these character designs are normal.  They're pretty out there, even for Japan.  Especially for something that isn't a fantasy setting.
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Eusis
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 05:21:32 AM »

Yeah, there are definitely some similarities, but make no mistake: Time Travelers is a much better looking game.  My complaints about it were more out of...disappointment over what it could have been, I guess.  It's probably one of the best looking games there is on the 3DS, but when you compare it back-to-back with games that were made natively for the Vita the differences are immediately obvious.  Even then it's still not really a bad looking game.

VLR is starting from a much weaker base, unfortunately.  It's hitting a lot of the same problems in the transition from 3DS to Vita but the biggest issue is that it just didn't look that good to start with.

Given how Level 5 excels with graphics I can easily see that.

I wouldn't say a stylus is necessary.  Keep in mind that the Vita's screen is waaaaaay bigger than the 3DS's touch screen.  Accuracy isn't a problem when the stuff you're interacting with is just bigger.  At least in what I played it wasn't an issue.

Well, for the 3DS XL it's technically bigger, but that's because it's wider, not because the height is higher. Yeah, 3DS OG versus Vita the Vita's screen size more than compensates for the fact you're using your giant smudgy finger or at least a stylus with a fat tip, but on the 3DS XL it's a different story entirely, with the advantage being too mild to care about at best. Though given the jump to polygons I wonder if maybe the bottom screen's used to control a cursor on the top screen? I'll see with the full game, because thanks to that watch pre-order I'm stuck with the 3DS version anyway.

Oh come on.  I play Japanese games all the time.  You can't tell me these character designs are normal.  They're pretty out there, even for Japan.  Especially for something that isn't a fantasy setting.

I don't think it's that out of line for Japan pop anime/manga, so much as it's out of line from the precedent set by 999. 999 may have had a crazy plot, but the character designs weren't QUITE the crazy kind you'd see out of some manga or anime, just more of a cartoony exaggeration most of the time, so diving into the type we'd see from some anime/manga is mildly disappointing.
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ZeronHitaro
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 06:30:50 AM »



Oh come on.  I play Japanese games all the time.  You can't tell me these character designs are normal.  They're pretty out there, even for Japan.  Especially for something that isn't a fantasy setting.


I'm going to disagree on the 'isn't a fantasy setting' aspect because the whole
Code:
'sending a ghost of my future self into the future to save my past self in the past through linked trans-chronological telepathy'
quite firmly makes this a 'modern fantasy'. Among multiple other things.

That being said...take your pick.

You got yourself some semi-sentient nose-hair.
You have Madam Curly-Fries Hair. (Also of note; from a game that dabbles equally in modern fantasy elements as the 999 series.)
Mister Bat-Wing Eyebrows with star pasties wanna-be-a-rock-star-dark-hero.
And really I could just fill a list all related to the name 'Tetsuya Nomura'; but I think I'll just let this one act as the coup de grâce in that category.

Comparatively? Yeah; I'd say the cast of ZE: VLR is pretty stock and barrel, for Japan. Not that I like their designs. But they don't strike me as particularly odd.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 06:38:30 AM by ZeronHitaro » Logged
Annubis
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 09:35:50 AM »

I'll just be forever amazed that they managed to fit the entire narration on a DS cartridge.
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John
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 09:41:14 AM »

I'll just be forever amazed that they managed to fit the entire narration on a DS cartridge.

Actually, 3DS cartridges are significantly larger than you'd expect - the sizes range from 1 GB to 8 GB, which is larger than a single-layer DVD.  So even the smallest 3DS cart is twice as large as the largest original DS cart.
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ZeronHitaro
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 05:58:07 AM »

Finally broke and tried the demo instead of waiting until Tuesday. >.< I'm hoping the novel section is just a really condensed version of what happens earlier in the game instead of blazing through all that introductory stuff that quickly (I'm pretty sure it is but...never know).

Three impressions I walked away with:

-I missed actually having puzzles that forced you to think in a game without being purposefully 'vague'. Yeah the demo was set to easy mode but there was still a good feeling to be had in solving some of them. Think I'll play the full version on 'Hard'; looking forward to trying to find each room's 'hidden solution'.

-...wow, I have to take my previous opinion back on a specific character. Alice's outfit looks really, really bad in 3D. Candidate for the worst character design, ever. No exaggeration. The 2D was just silly but once you add depth to the perspective...ouch.

-Why is Japan so obsessed with the semi-perverted protagonist? ~_~ Seriously, enough. There are other male archetypes you can use for your 'action heroes' (which is the equivalent stock these characters fall into).
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 06:01:36 AM by ZeronHitaro » Logged
Monsoon
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 06:42:55 AM »

If and when I eventually get a Vita, this will be one of the first games I download.  I loved 999 and will totally play Zero Escape.  When I have a system that can play it. 
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Ramza
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2012, 12:38:24 PM »

CRAAAAP this comes out in 5 days, I don't own either handheld, my bank account looks ... not good, AND I'm obsessed with 999.

THIS IS BAD.
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Annubis
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2012, 01:13:06 PM »

Step 1 - Find a friend with a PSP or a 3DS
Step 2 - ?
Step 3 - PROFIT!
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Dice
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2012, 01:53:41 PM »

CRAAAAP this comes out in 5 days, I don't own either handheld, my bank account looks ... not good, AND I'm obsessed with 999.

THIS IS BAD.

Trade stuffs, go for the 3DS, cuz it's cheaper? :S
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