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"[GAME] Virtue's Last Reward (Vita)"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward'.
Wed 17/04/13 at 09:42
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054
You wake up with a sore head, in a strange room with a strange girl. A pretty girl so the beer goggles were thankfully not on. But this is not the end result of a night on the tiles; this is a tale of life and death, trust and betrayal.

After some introductions with your female companion, you are informed that you are infact inside an elevator and in a few minutes that elevator is going to drop down the lift shaft. No time to waste, it’s time for a sharp exit. You examine the room, studying every item you can interact with and examining every object you can pick up. Escaping from the lift is going to require some puzzle solving but there’s not much time for head scratching.

On escape from the lift, you find 7 other confused individuals who have been in the same predicament. Nobody is quite sure what is going on, where they are or why they are there. But fear not, the host is on hand to clear this up. Or at least, the computer AI character created by the host. The 9 of you are involved in the Nonary Game Ambridex Edition. This means as much to the characters involved as it will to the player but the AI character explains further.

Each character has a wrist watch. The display shows a number and some text reading ‘solo’ or ‘pair’. In order to escape you need to raise the number to 9. The text indicates if you are a solo player or part of a team. There are some strict rules and breaking of these rules has harsh penalties. The watch is equipped with a little syringe that will inject some lethal poison should you be a rule breaker. If your number falls to 0 it is game over, literally. Those who don’t raise the number to 9 aren’t escaping. Panic and confusion sets in, everyone has a multitude of questions. But there is no time for all of that, it’s time for the next ‘game’ and participation is mandatory.

The ‘game’ involves teams of 3 going through one of the 3 doorways. Each team involves a ‘solo’ character and two ‘pair’ characters. After entering the location, the aim is then to escape the room and return to the main area. Upon doing so, the characters are then granted access to a room to place votes and this is where the points aspect comes into play. The vote plays the solo player off against the pairs. A solo player must choose to either be an ally to their pair team-mates or betray them. The pairs have the same decision towards the solo player. More points are awarded for betraying someone who wanted to be your ally. Points are lost if you want to be an ally but are betrayed. And points are shared if people choose the same.

The voting system posing some interesting questions; is it best to work together or do you think of purely of yourself? What is the other person thinking about you? Can you trust them? Can they trust you? The results of the votes are there for all to see, can you look someone in the eye if you betray them?

Virtues’ Last Reward is a visual novel broken up with puzzle elements. The same pattern flows through the game; choose who is to go through the doorway and solve the puzzles in order to head back to the voting. The game is heavily story based and I will say no more about the story from here on but those who prefer to indulge in action whilst they game had best look elsewhere.
There is a lot of dialogue to wade through as the characters discuss and debate the situation. At times you will find yourself as bewildered or as surprised as the characters in the game and that is part of the beauty of it all. The discussion can be lengthy at times but are useful for gaining an insight into your team-mates. Or are they competitors?

Questions naturally form in your head and the thoughts of your character are also portrayed on screen. Despite everyone claiming to be strangers there is a suggestion that some actually know each other. Or is that simply from the time spent in the lift? There is also a hint that others know more than they are letting on but do they really? All these thoughts and questions pray on your mind at the voting stage. Being split into teams of 3 allows some more interaction with the characters you are with. Will you be able to suss them out?

The puzzles are well done. Some are relatively straight-forward, others require a bit more thought. You’ll need to examine the room carefully and look in every corner. If the puzzles are proving too difficult then you can bump the difficulty down from Hard to Easy. On easy your companions will offer more advice to help. I have not found any of the puzzles to require any illogical thinking.

The game has multiple endings and various branches. Each time you make a decision, whether it be a decision on the team of 3 or a decision on the voting, the story branches. A handy chart is available showing the paths you have followed and you are free to explore a different branch at any time which makes seeing various endings a lot less of a chore. You can skip conversations you have already seen which also picks up the pace a little and avoids the boredom by going over the same conversation again. There is more to this than meets the eye though, it seems other story flows are referenced by others which causes no end of confusion. And some stories end prematurely with a To Be Continued message while it waits for you to complete other branches. The other branches are very different which just adds to the interest and you rarely feel like you are playing out a similar scenario.

I found Virtue’s Last Reward to be an intriguing game. The lengthy dialogue isn’t something that would normally appeal but if you get caught up with the story then you’ll forget it’s been 20 minutes since you have actually had to do something other than read. The branching is well done and being able to jump to the moment of decision does a fine job of keeping the player interested once they have seen an ending. It won’t be for everyone but those that enjoy a story and like to use their brains will find plenty to enjoy.

8
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Wed 17/04/13 at 09:42
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054
You wake up with a sore head, in a strange room with a strange girl. A pretty girl so the beer goggles were thankfully not on. But this is not the end result of a night on the tiles; this is a tale of life and death, trust and betrayal.

After some introductions with your female companion, you are informed that you are infact inside an elevator and in a few minutes that elevator is going to drop down the lift shaft. No time to waste, it’s time for a sharp exit. You examine the room, studying every item you can interact with and examining every object you can pick up. Escaping from the lift is going to require some puzzle solving but there’s not much time for head scratching.

On escape from the lift, you find 7 other confused individuals who have been in the same predicament. Nobody is quite sure what is going on, where they are or why they are there. But fear not, the host is on hand to clear this up. Or at least, the computer AI character created by the host. The 9 of you are involved in the Nonary Game Ambridex Edition. This means as much to the characters involved as it will to the player but the AI character explains further.

Each character has a wrist watch. The display shows a number and some text reading ‘solo’ or ‘pair’. In order to escape you need to raise the number to 9. The text indicates if you are a solo player or part of a team. There are some strict rules and breaking of these rules has harsh penalties. The watch is equipped with a little syringe that will inject some lethal poison should you be a rule breaker. If your number falls to 0 it is game over, literally. Those who don’t raise the number to 9 aren’t escaping. Panic and confusion sets in, everyone has a multitude of questions. But there is no time for all of that, it’s time for the next ‘game’ and participation is mandatory.

The ‘game’ involves teams of 3 going through one of the 3 doorways. Each team involves a ‘solo’ character and two ‘pair’ characters. After entering the location, the aim is then to escape the room and return to the main area. Upon doing so, the characters are then granted access to a room to place votes and this is where the points aspect comes into play. The vote plays the solo player off against the pairs. A solo player must choose to either be an ally to their pair team-mates or betray them. The pairs have the same decision towards the solo player. More points are awarded for betraying someone who wanted to be your ally. Points are lost if you want to be an ally but are betrayed. And points are shared if people choose the same.

The voting system posing some interesting questions; is it best to work together or do you think of purely of yourself? What is the other person thinking about you? Can you trust them? Can they trust you? The results of the votes are there for all to see, can you look someone in the eye if you betray them?

Virtues’ Last Reward is a visual novel broken up with puzzle elements. The same pattern flows through the game; choose who is to go through the doorway and solve the puzzles in order to head back to the voting. The game is heavily story based and I will say no more about the story from here on but those who prefer to indulge in action whilst they game had best look elsewhere.
There is a lot of dialogue to wade through as the characters discuss and debate the situation. At times you will find yourself as bewildered or as surprised as the characters in the game and that is part of the beauty of it all. The discussion can be lengthy at times but are useful for gaining an insight into your team-mates. Or are they competitors?

Questions naturally form in your head and the thoughts of your character are also portrayed on screen. Despite everyone claiming to be strangers there is a suggestion that some actually know each other. Or is that simply from the time spent in the lift? There is also a hint that others know more than they are letting on but do they really? All these thoughts and questions pray on your mind at the voting stage. Being split into teams of 3 allows some more interaction with the characters you are with. Will you be able to suss them out?

The puzzles are well done. Some are relatively straight-forward, others require a bit more thought. You’ll need to examine the room carefully and look in every corner. If the puzzles are proving too difficult then you can bump the difficulty down from Hard to Easy. On easy your companions will offer more advice to help. I have not found any of the puzzles to require any illogical thinking.

The game has multiple endings and various branches. Each time you make a decision, whether it be a decision on the team of 3 or a decision on the voting, the story branches. A handy chart is available showing the paths you have followed and you are free to explore a different branch at any time which makes seeing various endings a lot less of a chore. You can skip conversations you have already seen which also picks up the pace a little and avoids the boredom by going over the same conversation again. There is more to this than meets the eye though, it seems other story flows are referenced by others which causes no end of confusion. And some stories end prematurely with a To Be Continued message while it waits for you to complete other branches. The other branches are very different which just adds to the interest and you rarely feel like you are playing out a similar scenario.

I found Virtue’s Last Reward to be an intriguing game. The lengthy dialogue isn’t something that would normally appeal but if you get caught up with the story then you’ll forget it’s been 20 minutes since you have actually had to do something other than read. The branching is well done and being able to jump to the moment of decision does a fine job of keeping the player interested once they have seen an ending. It won’t be for everyone but those that enjoy a story and like to use their brains will find plenty to enjoy.

8

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