"Virtue's Last Reward": A Review
Virtue's Last Reward was developed by Chunsoft and released to the public in the Fall of 2012. The game was localized by Aksys Games for North America and Rising Star Games for Europe. It is playable on the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita and is the second game of three in the Zero Escape Series. The story line is presented in a novel form and the player must make various decisions in order for the game to proceed. It is also presented in an escape-the-room format where the player must find important clues that ties in with the game.
It all starts when a man named Sigma is abducted and wakes up in an unknown place with eight other people. It is in that place where they discover they are forced to play a game...the Nonary game.
First of all, I must say that if you haven't played any of the Zero Escape Series, then do not read the rest of this hub. There may be spoilers! Moving on.
For the most part, I really don't have any complaints (save for one, which I will get to later). I was very impressed with VLR, despite how dark it can get. The game, as stated earlier, is presented with a narrative that makes it rather easy to follow. Of course, in order to progress through the game, decisions that influence the course of the story must be made. A decision made will lead the player to one of twenty-four different endings. Afterwards, the player is given access to a flowchart, allowing one to go back to a previously beaten level and choose a different path.
- Flowchart:I love this flowchart. I really do. It's very organized and you can easily trace where you left off, provided you haven't gone off elsewhere (Zero Time Dilemma, game three, is a different story). There will be some parts of the chart where you may not be able to access for awhile due to decisions that haven't been made yet or there may be clues you haven't picked up yet in order to advance. You will be required to bounce around at times and that can be a bit of a pain if you're not patient.
- Graphics: I must say that as soon as I started to play the game, I fell in love with the graphics. It's high definition and high quality. As a girl who grew up with the older games (which I really appreciate, by the way), the high definition is a welcomed thing!
- Voice acting: Everyone, with the exception of Sigma, is voice-acted in both English and Japanese. No complaints here. It was fun listening to them. I think the voice acting really adds to the game and to the story. It's very engaging.
- Music: Alright, as soon as I beat the game, I went onto YouTube and went to listen to VLR's soundtracks...constantly. It's just that good, in my opinion. I have a few favorites, especially the one that's played when the player is about to get a game over.
- Story: The story itself is very interesting and very well-thought out. I would like to shake the hands of those who came up with the actual story. The story introduces philosophy and Schrodinger's-cat.
- Humor:There are quite a few comedic lines as you go, which breaks up the sadness and the more serious themes in the game. Some of those lines, I'll tell you, more than likely contributed to the M Rating of VLR. Oh, yes, did I forget to mention puns? Sigma will explain that.
- Endings: I'm NOT going to spoil them, mind you, but for the record some of the endings really took me by surprise. Some of them are really powerful and moving. I've come close to tears. Yep.
Con and a Warning
Notice that I said con. One...single...con. This one BUGS me the most. See what I did there? The con actually pertains to a bug in the game, particularly when saving the game in a particular room. I do believe this affects only the 3DS version, which I have. If that is not the case, please let me know so I can update this hub ASAP (I bought the game this past year so I probably DID miss something).
The room in question is what is known as the PEC room (it may be the Crew's Quarters Room as well from what I have read. There is no evidence of the bug in other puzzle rooms). If you save in the middle of a puzzle and, specifically, in the room(s) stated above, you will get booted. In my case, I got booted to main 3DS menu--with an error message--and I was very fortunate to not have lost progress as I have a habit of saving constantly and I hope you guys do, too. That'll minimize the damage if your file does get corrupted. I've read that some people's game had crashed and had to start over entirely. So you'll want to save your game PRIOR to entering the room(s) stated earlier or AFTER. Do NOT save in the middle of a puzzle.
Virtue's Last Reward Theme Song
If you like puzzles and adventure, this is the game for you! Definitely NOT kid-friendly but it is a very beautiful game! Just be careful when saving your game, too. I'd give this a five out of five stars.