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Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

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Also on:3DS
GF Rating
8.3

224 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Really, really good.

posted by StTrdamus (BROWNSBURG, IN) Nov 7, 2012

Member since Mar 2008

3 out of 3 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I was able to rent this game, because having not played the original, I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was some kind of video game novel, but that's pretty much where it ended. I also know that I tend to find the long exposition in Japanese RPGs very annoying. I try to skip ahead as much as possible...so I was pretty sure I wouldn't like this game, since I though it would be all exposition.

The one critical different to me is the characters are excellent, and all of the speech is voiced (vs. just text on the screen) which adds so much to the experience.

To me, this game is kind of like an MA version of the Prof. Layton games. It's not a corny little mystery. It's a dark, maturely themed story that would make for a great serial television show...reminds me a bit of Lost.

The story is really the driving factor, and it's excellent. But the puzzles are also great. There's a sense of inevitability to the puzzles...I haven't felt completely lost yet...which is a good thing.

It is a perfect portable game to. You can save at anytime...put it down, and pick up without needing to remember the controls or what not.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Zero Escape: You Must Try (if it's your thing)

posted by StarRaven (WELLINGTON, FL) Dec 20, 2012

Member since May 2011

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

So... if you own a 3DS, and like weird Japanese Puzzle games, pick up '9 Doors 9 Hours 9 Persons.' It's a great game and a prequel of sorts to Zero Escape.

Here's the thing. You must know what you're getting into before trying a game like this.

There is a LOT of dialogue and text. It's very story driven. The puzzle's are great. I found them to be quite easy, but it made me feel good about myself, hahaha. It's similar to Myst or Riven in terms of how you go about uncovering clues and such. And, obviously, the central point is to escape a room, kinda like those Flash Games from back in the day, only much more interesting and complicated.
The puzzles are quite fun.

So, here's the the thing... the game has that weird, bizarre, Japanese, anime quirkyness, which isn't a bad thing if you're used to it... but it doesn't quite work in this game for me. For others, I'm sure it will.
I just couldn't care about the story because I couldn't really take it seriously. So, with so many hours and so much time dedicated to dialogue pressing the story, a story I didn't care about, it was kinda rough just waiting to get to the puzzles.

I wish the puzzle's had more to do with the characters. They're all just random things detached from anything related to the story or people in them really.

The framework for the game would be AMAZING in a realistic setting, but the only setting that comes to mind would be SAW. Which, may be too far in the other direction. I think this game needs to be much darker and the formula works great for a Horror game, but Saw isn't a great franchise to be locked into specifically, although this formula would have made a great game for them.

Graphics and presentation are mediocre.
Touch ability is great.

Awesome game for the vita in terms of using the system and having a decent length of playtime.

Definitely recommend this to anyone who's played game similar and obviously anyone who's played 9 Doors on the DS.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Amazing as it is complex

posted by Siirasa (DETROIT, MI) Aug 9, 2014

Member since Aug 2014

This is a hidden gem on the PlayStation vita, It has an amazing story and captivating characters and artwork. The game play is simple and easy to grasp. You are given the basic tools and asked to hit the road running with them, If you love a challenge this game is right for you, There are 24 Endings that all matter beating one story line isn't nearly enough, Rent it and you will love it

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GF Rating
7

Good

A very deep, interactive novel game

posted by Existence (SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Sep 21, 2013

Member since Jul 2011

If I could rate a game based on story alone, this is easily a 10/10. This has got to be one of the most intricate, complex, and intelligent stories I have come across in all of my gaming years (even despite a few holes).

The problem is getting to that story. Although it's great to see it come together, unfortunately the designers put it together in a way that the player has to jump over a lot of hurdles to get to it.

As you may already know, it's a "point-and-click" game with a few puzzles tossed in. Plenty of text to scroll through (hence it's more like an interactive book) and not much else. In order to get through the entirety of it all, you have a flow-chart showing you what choices you made. Once you complete the game, you can hop around (via the flow-chart) and make different choices, getting different interactions, and different endings.

It's great that the player can hop around, and even though you can "fast-forward" through parts you have already seen, the biggest hurdle for me was having to watch through the scenes you have not seen. This may not sound like a big deal at first, but if anything has even been slightly changed, say just a word or two, you are prevented from using fast-forward.

You also can't skip through (if you're on a "new" story path) scenes that are seemingly arbitrary such as watching a door close, or seeing the main character move through multiple areas (which is just shown on a map).

This really bogged it down for me, as it was continually repeating things I already knew, but I still had to manually click through each text section (there is an auto function, but it's rather slow).

However, once I managed to get through all of it and see all of the endings, I was astonished to see how all of it was finally put together. It was pretty shocking how they explained almost every detail and how it all connects together. I thought the final ending was well worth it.

Overall, if you like story, I would suggest this.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Really Good

posted by uop53 (HINSDALE, IL) Jul 27, 2013

Member since Jul 2013

This game is amazing but with a few problems. It tells an amazing story but it takes way to long to do so it took me 30 hours to beat this game and not as much happens as it should. There are only about 10 or so puzzles throughout this long game and they're only about 20 to 30 minutes each. The story this game tells is a little slow but it is really good and wraps up very well for those willing to play this for all 30 hours. If your not willing to devote that much time to this game then don't bother but if you are it will be well worth it in the end. Overall it's one of my favorite games for the PS vita.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

A Challenging Puzzle Game

posted by Mavrickjubei (FLAGSTAFF, AZ) Mar 21, 2013

Member since Mar 2012

Nice to see them put out a puzzle game of this magnitude for a handheld system! Would've given it a 10 if it wasn't for all the profanity in the game! That ruined it for me. Like playing a Full Metal Jacket game! Most will be tempted to switch to the Easy setting to get out of some of the complex rooms, but if you'll just think about it you'll figure it out!

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

A fantastic game with a lot of depth.

posted by steventylerk (ROSWELL, NM) Mar 20, 2013

Member since Mar 2013

This has to be one of the most creative games I've played on any platform. You play as Sigma, a guy who has been abducted from his college campus and later wakes up to find himself trapped in a suspicious elevator with a girl named Phi. This is where the first puzzle begins...a prompt shows up on screen urging you to "Seek a way out" or "escape" hence the name. After escaping the elevator you emerge in a large wherehouse where other abuctees are seeeking answers as well. You are then informed by a talkling AI rabbit that you all have been brought to this place to take part in the "Nonary game, ambidex edition" and it's all very mysterious and strange at first. Without getting into spoilers basically how the game works is two people (a pair) are partnered with another person (a solo) and go through these doors into rooms where they become trapped and have to seek a way out. A elaborate puzzle ensues and after everyone finds the solution and is able to return to the wherehouse on the other side the pair of people has to then play another game against the solo person they just solved the previous puzzle with. In this game players have to choose whether to "ally" or "betray" their puzzle partners. If a pair and solo both choose to "ally" they all gain 2 pts or "bp" which is short for bracelet points which makes sense as everyone's points are displayed on watch like braclets they all woke with on thier wrists. If one pair or solo betrays the other when they picked "ally", the betraying person or persons gain 3 pts while the allying person or persons lose 2 pts. Now if both the pair and solos pick "betray" neither gain nor lose any points at all. When someone or everyone gets to 9 pts they are free to leave. Everyone starts with 3 pts by default. This makes for tons of drama and descisions to be made. This is a incredibly original game and is extremely well written and voice acted. It is HEAVILY story based. Anyone interested in something different should check this out.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Wasn't Sure At First

posted by eluziv (HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL) Mar 20, 2013

Member since Jun 2011

I started playing ZEVLR and was not too excited about the gameplay or how uninvolved I was. The puzzles were fun and the many different outcomes were neat, shedding more and more of the story. Then you get to the point where you need to continue down these paths to find the truth..not get 100% game completion. I was pulled into the game and couldn't get out until I knew everything! The puzzles became more and more difficult but at the same time you became used to how they were designed and were able to figure them out still. More of the story begins to unravel until you have just one ending, the true ending.

One of the few games that getting the real ending doesn't require you to replay the game 10 times on different difficulties and I enjoyed that part about the game.

Just note I put in 45 hours into this game to get the real ending.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Wonderful Story; Personal GOTY for 2012

posted by buzzkill21 (EDISON, NJ) Feb 12, 2013

Member since Jun 2008

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is simply one of the best Vita Games available to owners at the moment, regardless fo whether or not you consider it an actual game.

You play as Sigma, an awkward college kid who finds himself waking up in a mysterious elevator. You soon find out that you have been "volunteered" to take part in "The Nonary Game". Escape is possible, but it depends on your ability to trust the 8 Strangers you are trapped with, and their trust in you. If everyone cooperates, things should go fine, but misplace your trust, and the consequenses could be dire...

The story unfolds by unspoilering many of the informational pieces scattered across different timelines, which can be reached by making different choices as you go throughout the game.

"So is this like Mass Effect where every other sentance is a shot at good or bad Karma?"

Not exactly; You will need to change choices to fully unlock the story. The concept of timeline-travel sounds strange and confusing (earlier on, it is), but you slowly start to realise the greater purpose behind this, and the result is one of the greatest stories to be told in 2012, and dare I say, gaming in general.

Gameplay consists of escaping rooms. There are over 15 Puzzle Rooms to escape, each with their own theme and each one adding to the suspense, at their mysterious purposes. It's far outweighed by the narrative sections, thus many classify this not as a game but as a visual novel, but it does make for a fun time and fits the scene nicely.

Character development is unprecidented; You will almost defnitely feel a connection with at least one character by endgame.

Graphics consist of a 3D Modeled world and characters. Characters look nice, world looks nice, and the art style is nice. Nothing spectacular, but far from terrible.

Problems - Redundancy with the universal story narrative and the unskippable map transition sequences. Otherwise, get this game so you can await the sequel in painul agony

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

A Vita Must Own

posted by FLOWDANGO (MORRISTOWN, NJ) Jan 8, 2013

Member since May 2007

First off, this game is really a choose your own adventure novel with "Minigames" in between extended dialog sessions. And when I say extended I mean one string could last about an hour or so without having to input anything except for the next dialog line button.

But this is not a bad thing at all, it is so good! The story is so good and the characters are so fleshed out you want to hear everything said and read all items collected. During novel sequences decisions might occur which will decide paths taken. In this title it you will encounter about 15 to 20 endings. As of right now I have seen about 5 of them and just keep replaying to see more.

Now I say replaying but the game incorporates a Flow Chart of all possible paths, of course marked with a ? if you have not encountered that game piece yet. So it is so easy to jump around to replay "Escapes" and see new Novel portions.

So besides the novel, decision points and the flow chart you have the hard part of the game which is the "Escape Minigames" which are not really minigames but very intricate puzzles. Sometimes the difficulty is just really hard due to the type of puzzle. A lot of puzzles have math, word association and some minor minigames. It is all very doable but it may take some extra thinking to get through most.

The game starts each room out in Hard mode, so if you get stuck you can switch to Easy and more hints will be available. Easy mode will most likely get you through the portion you are stuck on, I know it did when I needed it. Then you can go back and complete hard.

But why do hard at all? Because if you do things right you get a Gold folder instead of the easy Silver. In these folders are key details!

Amazing game! Only negative is the traveling aspect, it can really slow down the feel and I do not think is necessary but who knows maybe it is required for loading. If you have not played the first game 999 please do as well, it really makes the game that much better. Good

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

OK game

posted by animeguru (ALAMEDA, CA) Dec 2, 2012

Member since Dec 2012

This game is OK. The puzzles are not relatively to difficult. The only complaint I have is that the scenes in between each level takes forever to get through. It's a very creative game, but there is just way too much dialogue which makes the game seem longer than it really is.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Incredibly convoluted, but fantastic

posted by Straypuppy (BETHESDA, MD) Nov 4, 2012

Member since Mar 2009

This game has a fantastic story, with massive plot twist endings and logical theories woven into a tale of survival. Half of the game includes room-escape puzzles, with the other half being narrative text of the story. You don't need to have played 999 (The first game) to understand this one, but it really helps. There are some big story elements of the first game that are alluded to. Keep in mind that the story is incredibly confusing and gets more confusing as the game continues. For those that don't know about logical theories, such as Schrodinger's Cat, the game explains many theories with real-world examples to try and help you understand. Every character has a unique, engaging personality that never gets tiring.

Overall, if this is your kind of game and if you can keep track of all the chaos that happens as the game progresses, you'll find that the story is really engaging and leaves you wanting more.

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