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This game is pretty great, it seems like a fairly straightforward puzzle game at first glance but do not be fooled, it's a very deep and intellectual game with a complex storyline!
Story - 5/5 - Without spoiling anything, (which is really hard EVERYTHING is a spoiler to one ending or another) the story leaves you guessing "Who is Zero?" "Why are we here?", "Why are we playing the Nonary Game?", all the way up until the final "true" ending where everything is revealed. Some characters from the previous DS game 999, make reappearances though not always in expected forms. The text can get a bit heavy sometimes but it is ridiculously well written and executed.
Graphics -4/5- The character graphics and details around the room are very well done, all the rooms lead you to feel you are in a bunker of some kind and leave you wondering why these kinds of rooms are here in the first place. However I found myself tapping the same area several times to get some of the smaller items that you needed (though that would be more a hardware issue than a software one.)
Sound -5/5- The voice acting is very well done, very believable and does not shy away from cursing, this does have an M rating for a reason. The ambient music could have been better, or had more variety, but what was there got the message and feeling across and gave the player a general feeling of things like paranoia, nervousness, etc.
Gameplay - 5/5 - The puzzles on hard mode are complex, no hints are given unless you manually switch that room to easy mode, at which point your companions will walk you through it. Many of the answers/solutions aren't very straight forward which allows you to experiment a bit.
I would recommend that you play the first game 999 on the DS before this one, it will give you some insight into a few things however, -it is not necessary.-
A very top notch game all around, it exceeded my expectations and I recommend it to gamers who enjoy a good puzzle challenge and engaging
Though technically a sequel of the DS game, 999, Virtue's Last Reward stands on its own merits as an adventure/visual novel game.
The story is wonderfully dark sci-fi adventure, which puts you in the role of a character imprisoned in a factory filled with puzzles that you'll either have to solve or die trying. The depth of the characters and the way that the story's twists and turns lead up to a grand finale is just amazing. It stands on its own merits as a visual novel, let alone as a game.
As a game, though, there is more to the title than story. Large portions are made up of puzzle rooms, in which you and other characters must solve in order to open a chest with a cardkey. Puzzles often have you looking in all areas, going over every tiny hint. If you're on an easier mode, other characters may make additional comments or clarify an important aspect of the puzzle. This can be shut off by playing in a harder mode, but if you're new to adventure games it is probably a good place to start.
Aside from the physical puzzle rooms, there are booths that you'll enter and have to make a very important choice. You'll either choose to betray an friend who helped you escape the room, or you'll choose to ally with that friend. Your choice here determines both you and your opponent's fate.
Once a choice is made, you may end up revisiting old timelines and making knew choices. The game has so many specific bits of story that you'll end up travelling to the some of the same bits of time more than once. Essentially, the game becomes about moving back and forth in time in order to get the best possible or 'true' ending.
Playing over and over to find the 'true ending' is fun, and adds a lot of replay/value to this game. It isn't something you'll play for only a couple hours.
Overall, this game is a real gem due to it's fascinating story and characters. It stands on its own merits, but also adds a new perspective to the story line of its predecessor, 999. Just a gr