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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:40 pm

noiseredux wrote:wasn't one of the only pics you posted yourself of you playing mini golf?

Ha, yeah, now that I think of it, yes.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Raz
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Raz Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:37 am

1. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
2. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)
3. Wild Guns: Reloaded (PS4)
4. World Heroes (SNES)
5. Arkanoid: Doh It Again (SNES)
6. Strider (PS4)
7. Super Bust-A-Move (PS2)
8. Mr. Driller Drill Spirits (DS)
9. Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3 (SFC)
10. Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition (Steam)

This is the third time I've beaten this game, first on an iPod Touch and second on Origin. It was on sale for a dollar so I thought I would get a third version of this game (I'll probably pick up the DS version someday, too). This is a tower defense game with a wide variety of units and game modes. It is lane-based with 5 or 6 lanes instead of the usual maze-like paths.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:53 am

Raz wrote:This is the third time I've beaten this game, first on an iPod Touch and second on Origin. It was on sale for a dollar so I thought I would get a third version of this game (I'll probably pick up the DS version someday, too).


The DS version is the only one I've played, but I can say from the two times that I've beaten it that it is for certain a very fun version :)
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:57 pm

January:
1) The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) (8.5) (1/1) (~5.5 hours)
2) ActRaiser (SNES) (8.0) (1/2) (~4 hours)
3) Bonk's Revenge (GB) (6.0) (1/3) (~1 hour)
4) Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break (GB) (6.5) (1/3) (~1 hour)
5) Blackwell Legacy (PC) (7.0) (1/5) (2.6 hours)
6) Blackwell Unbound (PC) (7.5) (1/7) (2.2 hours)
7) Blackwell Convergence (PC) (8.0) (1/7) (2.4 hours)
8) Blackwell Deception (PC) (8.0) (1/8) (4.7 hours)
9) Blackwell Epiphany (PC) (9.0) (1/9) (6.5 hours)
10) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) (8.0) (1/22) (~55 hours)
11) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (360) (8.0) (1/28) (~.5 hours)
12) Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (SMS) (6.5) (1/31) (~1 hour)


February:
13) Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (GEN) (7.5) (2/7) (~2 hours)
14) Fire Emblem Heroes (Android) (8.0) (2/9) (~10 hours)
15) Super C (NES) (9.5) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
16) Contra (NES) (10.0) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
17) Mickey's Dangerous Chase (GB) (6.5) (2/24) (~1 hour)
18) My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS) (8.5) (2/25) (~19 hours)
19) Mega Man 2 (NES) (10.0) (2/28) (~0.8 hours)

March:
20) Final Fantasy XV (PS4) (8.0) (3/2) (~33 hours)

Well, I pulled off my plan of getting through FFXV before I got Zelda! I'm going to drop some random thoughts before I lose track of them all.

First of all, I'm not entirely sure where to slot this in the FF pantheon. It's a very, very different experience from what most of us think of as classic "Final Fantasy". It's nearly an action-RPG, but I hesitate to call it full-on action-RPG. It's more of a Dragon Age: Inquisition sort of game, with some somewhat strong RPG elements but still feeling like it has a lot of action. You might even compare it to Kingdom Hearts or Crisis Core, but it doesn't quite feel like those, either.

Basically, to attack, you simply hold the O button. You don't smash on it, which might be your first instinct. Bigger attacks can be countered with the Square button, and successfully doing so will allow you to counter-attack. Note that you can also simply hold the button for dodging/countering as well, but this also drains your MP much more quickly. You can dodge-roll, but can't do your cool warp dodges without MP.

Speaking of warping, that's the other major part of combat. The protagonist Noctis has this cool warp strike that can travel long distances to strike. It actually reminds me a lot of playing the Vanguard class in Mass Effect, or a long-range Stinger move from Devil May Cry. It's a lot of fun, zipping around the battlefield. You can also warp to points around the battlefield to recharge.

You also get link-strikes, which let you pair with one of your teammates for powerful attacks. You can manually trigger moves with a bar that charges, or you can pair up when you perform a blindside attack, which hits for 1.5x damage.

You've got a skill tree that lets you upgrade all sorts of things, from stats to moves (both yours and allies), reduction of costs of dodging/warping, AP-boosting abilities (the points you have to spend to unlock abilities in the first place), and more.

Magic has to be crafted, but is very powerful. I also didn't use it much, although I hear using Expericast is very effective to boost levels. Speaking of boosting levels, you don't earn experience in real-time. Instead, to get your levels, you have to stay at an inn/hotel/camper, or actually camp out. There are tradeoffs to this. It's not free to stay in a hotel, but it applies a multiplier to experience earned. But you also can't cook status-boosting meals like you get while camping out. It forces you to make decisions on whether to stay somewhere if you've accrued a lot, or camp out and boost your stats for a tough battle.

There are also QTE elements. They're not overdone, and are decent enough. Summons are rather random, or story-based. And they nuke pretty much everything.

Overall, I think the combat system is a lot of fun. It's not perfect, perhaps not as deep as you'd think, but it's very solid. You also get to experiment with a little different play style in the now-infamous Chapter 13.

Oh, you want to hear about Chapter 13? That soul-sucking, child-eating chapter that will scar you for life? Must be a different one. It wasn't amazing. It wasn't terrible. It just... was. From a story perspective, it serves its purpose. From a gameplay perspective, it's interesting, but ultimately very different from the rest of the game until that point. Either way, I wouldn't let it stop you from playing the game. (It does drag out for a bit longer than it should have, though.)

The game does indeed narrow considerably after Chapter 7, but you can warp back in time and still do quests (not always, if you're locked in story content areas, but it's not so bad). The quests will likely be your primary source of money, and they're... well, they're like MMORPG quests. Most of them are bog-standard fetch quests, or bounty hunts like in FFXII. It's actually not that interesting structurally. The combat makes it a'ight, but it can get old.

The open-world itself usually has enough to do that you're never bored, outside of the fact that you've seen this structure elsewhere. There were far too many times that it reminded me, not in a good way, of FFXII. But I know a lot of people loved that game. Outside of the combat and story, I think it shares a lot more with that game than you'd think. Exploration is rewarded a little more here than in FFXII, and it's not pretty hallways like in FFXIII. It is pretty, though. The landscapes are really impressive, and the game has some excellent art direction, even if the framerates get a little wonky at times.

Vehicle travel is more like train travel, as you're constrained to the roads. This is apparently going to change in the future. It's not a deal-breaker, and kinda fits the motif, honestly. I should also note that the maps and quest-tracking structure are a bit of a mess, as is the fast travel system. It's also got some seriously long loading times, a curse of such a beautiful game, I suppose.

There's tons of music to listen to, but only if you're taking advantage of the car's stereo or the portable music player. Otherwise, it's a pretty quiet game. Still, there are tons of tunes from previous FF games to listen to.

Much has been made of the story, but I found myself caring very much for my retinue. They're pretty well characterized and believable. The overall story you've heard before, but the idea that it's somehow super-confusing is probably overstated. The game leaves out certain details, but it's really not that hard to figure out what's going on. And sometimes, leaving it a mystery is pretty effective in my mind, so overall, I enjoyed all of it.

So, what's my overall take? Surprisingly, it seems to reside somewhat in the same territory as FFXII for me. A remarkably well-realized world that still feels kind of empty, although not as much so as FFXII. The combat brings it up a notch because I enjoyed it more than FFXII's pre-planned but somewhat plodding combat. I didn't enjoy the combat as much as FFXIII, though, with its sort of macro-scale push-pull in real time. I think I'd slot it in between the two aforementioned games; slightly better than FFXII (7.5) and slightly worse than FFXIII (8.5). Like both of those games, everything sings when the game is at its best, but it's terribly frustrating when it stumbles. I think "uneven" is the right word, and it applies both within this game and within the entire series as a whole. :P

Still, if you can get it pretty cheap, I'd definitely take a flyer on it. You might love it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:28 pm

1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
2. Gyromite (NES)
3. Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- (Steam)
4. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
5. Radical Dreamers (SNES)
6. Video Games 1 (TI-99/4A)
7. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
8. Exile (TurboGrafx CD)
9. Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (TurboGrafx CD)
10. Xak (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
11. Xak II (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
12. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
13. Captain Silver (Sega Master System)
14. Märchen Veil (Famicom Disk System)
15. Vanguard (Atari 2600)
16. Kangaroo (Atari 2600)
17. Front Line (Atari 2600)
18. Mario Bros. (Atari 2600)
19. Harmonia (Steam)
20. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
21. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
22. Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (TurboGrafx CD)
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Back to the PCE baby! Can't stop this train!

Any North American human playing Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes back in '92 likely assumed it was a standalone game. In actuality this is the sixth installment of Falcom's seminal Dragon Slayer series, preceded by the eponymous Dragon Slayer along with Xanadu, Romancia, Legacy of the Wizard, and Sorcerian. Note that Legacy of the Wizard and Sorcerian were also localized back in the day, on the NES and PC, respectively. Also note that - much like Final Fantasy - the mainline Dragon Slayer games are all classified by a unique story and characters, so they can be experienced in any order. That said, some do have direct sequel spin-offs.
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The Legend of Heroes is in fact the first Dragon Slayer game that isn't an action-RPG. Instead, this is Falcom's first attempt at a traditional turn-based JRPG. The development history of this one is pretty similar to that of Ys III. Both games were initially released in 1989 on the NEC PC-88. Soon after came various other Japanese computer variations. Then came the console ports: Super Famicom, Mega Drive, and PC Engine CD. Strangely (and rather miraculously) all three consoles versions of Ys III made their way to the States. The Legend of Heroes, on the other hand, only received localization on the TurboGrafx CD. Yes, the game fetches quite a bounty today as you may imagine. In frustrating contrast, I paid $1.50 for the Super Famicom variant.

The story here is quite cliché and forgettable. The protagonist is a young prince named Logan who sets out on a journey of revenge after his kingdom is ransacked. Along the way he meets some colorful characters who float in and out of his party. Those who expect to see a tale told by classic Turbo cutscenes will be disappointed as the game is bookended by a mere two: intro and ending. There is voice-acting, however. You know when it's coming..... the game slows down a wee bit, the music gets muddled, and bam! some guy starts yabbering away in a completely inappropriate Boston accent. Now, I've heard people claim that old CD-ROM voice-acting is cute and kitschy in an "ironic" way. I typically disagree and just find it annoying. However, the voices in this game are so over-the-top and absurd that I laughed embarrassingly hard at many-a-cutscene. I mean, seriously, listen to this. Astonishing. This is even better. Logan is the best. He's supposed to be sixteen but sounds like a man who's refilled a Cialis prescription or two.
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This is your bog-standard Dragon Quest II type of affair. The party travels from town to dungeon to town to dimly-lit cave, all while fighting an obscene number of battles. The graphics are rather crude and it's clear that the game was originally released on computers. The gameplay screen itself is windowed, as player stats, location name, and chapter number are ever-present. Such a limited view can make navigation tricky. This is further amplified by the fact that The Legend of Heroes contains a rather blasé "three shades of green" type of overworld. Dungeons fare a bit better, though the latter ones are irritatingly mazelike. Graphics are reminiscent of Ys Book I & II and Logan even moves in a quick slide-y manner like our man Adol. Unfortunately, The Legend of Heroes lacks those beautiful anime stills that punctuated Ys's cutscenes. In fact, in LoH it's incredibly easy to lose track of whose actually speaking, as this is one of those games where only the "lead" party character appears onscreen as opposed to the "line-up" formation. There's some decent music here - Falcom Sound Team JDK always delivers - though nothing is transcendental in the Ys-y fashion.

The battle display consists of still enemy portraits against a black background. While generic on the surface, Falcom admittedly changed up some elements here. First, there are the methods of initiating battle. Enemy sprites are present in dungeons, so they can be avoided if preferred. On the overworld however, no enemies can be seen wandering around, and Logan and co. are thrust into battles randomly. At least that's what I initially thought. What's actually happening is that the overworld enemy sprites are invisible, and can be revealed if a certain item is used. This also means that you can stand still in one spot and continuously engage in combat.
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It's possible to run away from every fight, save boss battles. That said, if you do the enemy sprite remains onscreen and will chase Logan. There's some type of difficulty scaling too, based on experience level. Enemies don't gain stats, but the variation of foes presented will be different depending on the strength of Logan and his party. There is a cap to this, however, and I generally recommend grinding until skirmishes begin to feel effortless. There's an option to assign gained XP to specific stats, WRPG-style, should you choose, though I felt the auto-assign worked just fine. Speaking of "auto," it's also possible to turn on/off an auto-battle setting in the game's main menu screen (as opposed to selecting "auto" in each individual battle). This is especially handy when revisiting areas of the game that no longer present a challenge.

The fights themselves aren't too impressive. Most enemies can be defeated just with repeated physical attacks. Turn on the PCE turbo function and just hold down button I (it's so hard to resist calling this the "A button"). Rinse and repeat. There is magic in the game and any character can learn any seven spells. These spells are granted by mages found in most towns, and are mercifully free of charge. Healing and warp spells are essential but offensive magic is almost completely worthless, save for some very specific fights against enemies that can't be damaged by weapons. In fact, there's another mandatory spell called "calm" that shuts down spells for both friend and foe alike throughout the duration of a given melee. This is needed for the final cluster of boss battles - if the bosses are allowed to use their high-level spells the party is toast in no time.

Even if mistakes are made in battle, there is little to fear from enemies. This is because of the Game Over options presented in LoH. In addition to the option of warping back to town you can also choose to simply restart the battle! And if it proves to be a particularly zesty fight then just run away the second time around. Again, running has a 100% success rate outside of bosses. No, instead all the game's challenge comes from its decidedly cryptic nature. There are triggers abound, and the story grinds to a halt frequently until certain specific NPCs are spoken too. Given how lackluster the overall story is, I found myself frequently losing track of what I was supposed to do.
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Overall, this is a tough sell. It's slow and grindy, and the aesthetics are pretty unremarkable overall. If you cut your teeth on the likes of Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger and expect such similar greatness out of all 16-bit RPGs, well, expect to be bored stiff. If you still hold fond memories of the original Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy and crave even more JRPG simplicity from that era, well, you could do a lot worse than this. This is an 8-bit RPG with a 16-bit veneer. It reminds me of Phantasy Star II in many ways: there are some competent mechanics on display but the sheer amount of grinding and ultimate lack of environmental diversity is a letdown. I "had fun" with The Legend of Heroes but it's undeniably one of Falcom's weaker PCE installments.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:35 pm

Ohhh, so is this the game Vay was trying to imitate? Looks awfully similar!
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:39 pm

Yes, they are certainly similar visually. Especially with the omnipresent stat display.

I will state that The Legend of Heroes, though not outstanding, is vastly superior to Vay.

Vay and Cosmic Fantasy 2 are scraping the bottom of the early CD RPG barrel.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:46 pm

Cosmic Fantasy 2 wouldn't be so bad if the combat mechanics had been completed as apparently originally designed. And CF2 at least has a crazy nutballs story that stays interesting.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:19 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

1. Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
2. UPPERS (Vita)
3. Volume (Vita)
4. Overlord: Minions (DS)
5. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
6. Overlord II (PS3)
7. Overlord: Dark Legend (Wii)
8. La-Mulana (Remake) (PC)
9. Infamous: Second Son (PS4)
10. htol#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita)
11. Blood Bowl (360)

12. Dead to Rights: Retribution (360)

So, funny story, I picked up this game (apparently) thinking it was Freedom Fighters (thanks, Sarge!). Regardless of the fact that I misremembered a game from a video I watched YEARS ago, I ended up having a great time anyway!

The story, as with every Dead to Rights game apparently, revolves around a cop named Jack and his hella-jacked dog Shadow going around doing very 80's movie-esque crazy shit in order to bring a stop to the corruption and gang violence which plagues Grant City (which is MOST certainly not New York :P ). It's all played very seriously, but it came off as very hammy and silly to me most of the time. I don't know if Jack's voice actor is trying to overact or ham it up, but it certainly comes off that way, especially with some of his one-liners X3 . The really over the top, one-man-army combat really helps extenuate that parodist, hammy feel.

According to the promo/extra material inside the game, they really wanted a "seamless" combat system that could shift between melee and ranged combat very quickly and fluidly, and I think they did a pretty good job. Jack is a well practiced boxer, but more like a crazy freaking martial artist. His ability to do crazy combos to not just one but many opponents is nearly God Hand-esque at points, especially with his finishing moves. They don't restore health or anything like in Splatterhouse (another Namco released, last-gen Action game from around the same time), but they do kill enemies a little quicker as well as give a somewhat horrifically brutal display of just how pissed off/inhumanly strong Jack is. The stunts he does are just so ridiculous that they just couldn't make me laugh sometimes with how horrific they are :lol:

Combine the elaborate melee combos you can do with just a light and heavy attack, quick blocking, evasion, and counters with the X-button, how you can also grapple opponents to use them as human shields, as well as swap between two different guns AND direct Shadow at people to maul/distract in the meanwhile, and things can get pretty crazy. The controls are laid out really well for it though. I never felt hopelessly overwhelmed with mechanics or anything. I actually forgot grappling was in the game for like 3/4ths of it, tbh Xp . Very satisfying third-person combat. B+ (because the camera is a bit too claustrophobic to be a perfect A).

Another bit that they throw in here and there are the just-Shadow sections, which I have sorta mixed feelings about. These are sections where stealth is not necessarily required but very recommended. You're just a big freaking dog, so while you have very efficient melee you can't use guns, so taking down enemies stealthily (and you can see/smell/hear through walls so it ain't hard to track movements) will certainly make the combat easier, but if you wanna just run in and go ham there's nothing stopping you. I liked them, and thought they broke up Jack's action quite nicely.

Verdict: Recommended. I suppose those of you who've played many more shooters than I have might consider it some generic cover shooter with fancy melee, but I very much enjoyed my time with it. Definitely worth a look for the very cheap price it goes for :)
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:09 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 23

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3 - January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7
3. Ys: The Vanished Omens - Master System - January 8
4. MUSHA - Genesis - January 10
5. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PlayStation 4 - January 11
6. Ys I - TurboGrafx-CD - January 13
7. Ys II - TurboGrafx-CD - January 14
8. Dragon Quest Builders - PlayStation 4 - January 23
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29


February (12 Games Beaten)
11. Fire Emblem Heroes - Android - February 3
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Wii U - February 5
13. Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3 - February 7
14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11
15. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Vita - February 12
16. Sniper Elite 4 - PlayStation 4 - February 17
17. Pony Quest - NES - February 19
18. Halo Wars 2 - Xbox One - February 22
19. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - PlayStation Portable - February 24
20. Hotline Miami - PlayStation 4 - February 26
21. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light - Famicom - February 27
22. Bad Dudes - NES - February 28


March (1 Game Beaten)
23. Root Letter - PlayStation 4 - March 2


23. Root Letter - PlayStation 4 - March 2

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I've got a soft spot for visual novels. Being a gamer concerned first and foremost with story and character development, this is a genre towards which I would naturally gravitate. Visual novels are, by their nature, entirely story and character development with very little actual "gameplay" outside of dialogue options and maybe investigating certain parts of the environment. Root Letter, however, takes the strengths of visual novels and turns them up to 11. I originally played this as just a "kill a couple days until the Nintendo Switch comes out" game, but I was sucked in within the first fifteen minutes, and that game never let go.

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The story revolves around the main character - Max - and his search for a pen pal named Aya with whom he exchanged letters while in high school 15 years prior. When he decides that he wants to reconnect with her, all he has is her address, so he hops on a train and tries to find her only to discover that the house had burnt down, a fire which claimed a life. That life, however, was not Aya's but her mother's. Aya, as it turns out, had been dead for ten years before he and his pen pal started their correspondence. Who was his pen pal if Aya was dead? Where is she now? Why will no one talk about his pen pal? What on the surface looks like a pretty standard mystery story quickly develops into a truly god-tier visual novel experience.

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There are ten chapters in the game, and each chapter revolves around Max's rereading a different letter from Aya and the search for her former classmates in hopes of finding clues as to her identity and whereabouts. The individual pieces of the puzzle aren't extraordinarily difficult to put together on your own, but there is a "Think" option in the action menu that will give you a hint if you get stuck. Sometimes the game requires you to use this option in order to proceed, and sometimes it's just helpful when you might have overlooked something obvious (admit it, we all do it from time to time), so don't be afraid to select that. The characters are all brilliantly developed throughout the story, and by the end, you really feel like you know their personalities as well as if they were real people.

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Because I don't want to spoil this brilliant story, and there's not much to say about a visual novel aside from the story, this is going to stay brief, but I do want to comment on the visual style. The art design in this game is fantastic, adopting a psuedo-realistic design that keeps characters looking entertaining in a cartoonish fashion without losing the serious tone of the narrative. The landscapes are equally beautifully drawn, giving a gorgeous backdrop to the unfolding story. Speaking of the story, you don't get the whole story when you finish your first playthrough. There are, if memory serves, a total of five endings, each giving another piece of the story that wasn't revealed through the previous ending. What ending you get naturally depends on the dialogue choices that you make throughout the game, and each ending that you see unlocks additional dialogue choices to access yet more endings.

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If you're a fan of visual novels or mystery stories, you absolutely have to play Root Letter. It's available on both Playstation 4 (the version I played) as well as Playstation Vita. The story's depth continuously increases, making you even more interested and hooked than you were in the previous chapter. If you don't live visual novels, then this probably won't entertain you, but if you are a fan of the genre or have been wanting to give it a try, then I definitely recommend this in the highest way possible.
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