Review: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Review: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors

You're on a boat with nine hours to live, unless you're clever enough to escape.

Read Full Article
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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I really don't want to buy any other games until March (Pokemon, Dragon Age)...

But now I have to.

I've heard too many good things about this game already.
 

dalek sec

Leader of the Cult of Skaro
Jul 20, 2008
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Great, like there isn't enough games I'm after now I need to add this one to the pile. D:

I frakking loved Hotel Dusk so it looks like I'm going to have to get this game as well...
 

psychic psycho

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Dec 17, 2009
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Nice, I'm glad this game got reviewed. Wish it was a little sooner though. It's a fantastic game. Everyone with access to a DS NEEDS to play this game.
Susan Arendt said:
It never fails. No sooner have I written up my favorite games of the year, than I play one that would have undoubtedly earned a spot had I just gotten to it a little faster.
That almost happened to me as well. I played this game late December. When I finished it, I immediately knew it was the best game I played all year.
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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psychic psycho said:
Susan Arendt said:
It never fails. No sooner have I written up my favorite games of the year, than I play one that would have undoubtedly earned a spot had I just gotten to it a little faster.
That almost happened to me as well. I played this game late December. When I finished it, I immediately knew it was the best game I played all year.
And that happened to me with Singularity. I would easily have placed that in my Top 7...999 would probably be #1 from the sounds of it.
 

psychic psycho

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Some other comments I want to add...
Susan Arendt said:
When observing tiny details make the difference between winning and receiving a knife in the back, reading long passages takes on a whole new kind of urgency
After playing the game one more time after finishing it, I noticed there are several clues that help lead to the correct path(s). The only problem is that you'd only notice them once you've finished the game.

Susan Arendt said:
Genre: Family/Puzzle
I don't think 999 fits in the "family" genre. Isn't the game rated M? It was pretty violent.

Onyx Oblivion said:
And that happened to me with Singularity. I would easily have placed that in my Top 7...999 would probably be #1 from the sounds of it.
I enjoyed Singularity, but for some reason I can't remember much about it.
 

stefman

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Onyx Oblivion said:
psychic psycho said:
Susan Arendt said:
It never fails. No sooner have I written up my favorite games of the year, than I play one that would have undoubtedly earned a spot had I just gotten to it a little faster.
That almost happened to me as well. I played this game late December. When I finished it, I immediately knew it was the best game I played all year.
And that happened to me with Singularity. I would easily have placed that in my Top 7...999 would probably be #1 from the sounds of it.
it will. i love it. its a little confusing so pay attention but the multiple endings, sidestories, characters and overall presentation really set it apart and create something unique. Oh and F*&$ sudoku puzzles!!!!!
 

Buchichu

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This is basically one of the best DS games i have EVER played. Westerners like to whine about all the reading - this game is a VISUAL NOVEL/puzzle game. I hate seeing reviews where they act like this is some sort of downfall to the game. It's like playing a fighting game and complaining that there's too much fighting. You should know what you're getting into when you start playing a VISUAL NOVEL.

Anywho, as such, this is one of the best written and applied, not to mention the puzzles and characters are fantastic. You pretty much have to complete all the endings to get the full story, but after you start playing, believe me, you'll WANT to. Wonderful mind-screw as well.

I SO urge everyone to get this one.
 

GrizzlerBorno

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So, I opened this review. Saw the picture beside the text. Sighed at the sight of the offensively fetish girl with gargantuan breasts exploding out of her skimpy dress, and closed the review.

Sorry Susan, I'm a big fan, but I can't seriously read a review for a game with that in it.

EDIT: I'm not saying this is a bad game. I don't know if its bad or not. I just can't take it seriously/lost interest.
 

Dorkmaster Flek

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GrizzlerBorno said:
So, I opened this review. Saw the picture beside the text. Sighed at the sight of the offensively fetish girl with gargantuan breasts exploding out of her skimpy dress, and closed the review.

Sorry Susan, I'm a big fan, but I can't seriously read a review for a game with that in it.
I know, I know, it looks bad on first glance. Trust me, even thought the characters are total anime cliches out of the gate, they do actually have some depth to them once you get into the game. I don't want to spoil anything for people that haven't played it yet, but I was pleasantly surprised by a couple parts with that particular character.
 

Scarim Coral

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This would be a game I put onto my list of games to buy (I love Hotel Dusk and planning to get Last Window soon) but there is no confirm date for Europe... Something tell me I will get frustrated with the game easily since I got stuck in the demo (I was able to combine two items to get the decoder but it didn't help to open the briefcase.
 

Arkhangelsk

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GrizzlerBorno said:
So, I opened this review. Saw the picture beside the text. Sighed at the sight of the offensively fetish girl with gargantuan breasts exploding out of her skimpy dress, and closed the review.

Sorry Susan, I'm a big fan, but I can't seriously read a review for a game with that in it.

EDIT: I'm not saying this is a bad game. I don't know if its bad or not. I just can't take it seriously/lost interest.
If you have that much of a problem ignoring it, you're missing out on many games that have it, such as the entire Ace Attorney series, also known as (in my opinion) the best puzzle series ever!
 

Moriarty70

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Dec 24, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
Review: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors

You're on a boat with nine hours to live, unless you're clever enough to escape.

Read Full Article
Reading the article I was going to ask how it plays in relation to Hotel Dusk. Thanks for reading my mind in time for the recomendation.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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GrizzlerBorno said:
So, I opened this review. Saw the picture beside the text. Sighed at the sight of the offensively fetish girl with gargantuan breasts exploding out of her skimpy dress, and closed the review.

Sorry Susan, I'm a big fan, but I can't seriously read a review for a game with that in it.

EDIT: I'm not saying this is a bad game. I don't know if its bad or not. I just can't take it seriously/lost interest.
Oh, I get that. Lotus (the character in question) is quite distracting whenever she's on screen. (Though, oddly, she's frequently called an "old woman" in the text.) But don't let that prevent you from trying the game, which is truly excellent and unusual.

Halley M said:
This is basically one of the best DS games i have EVER played. Westerners like to whine about all the reading - this game is a VISUAL NOVEL/puzzle game. I hate seeing reviews where they act like this is some sort of downfall to the game. It's like playing a fighting game and complaining that there's too much fighting. You should know what you're getting into when you start playing a VISUAL NOVEL.

Anywho, as such, this is one of the best written and applied, not to mention the puzzles and characters are fantastic. You pretty much have to complete all the endings to get the full story, but after you start playing, believe me, you'll WANT to. Wonderful mind-screw as well.

I SO urge everyone to get this one.
The reading isn't a downfall to the game -it's part of what makes it so remarkable, actually - but it is something that is going to put off certain players. If they've never encountered a visual novel before, they have no idea what to expect. As such, I'd be doing a disservice to our readers if I didn't mention it.
 

Wolfram23

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I would take the stripper with me. Hopefully she's into "rewarding" my efforts.


...seriously tho, why is there a stripper in this game?
 

VondeVon

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I loved the background art style but the anime sprites completely spoil the mood for me. The backgrounds are all suspenseful and then you have hyper-cheerful-giggly anime dudes yapping at you.

The text wouldn't be so bad if you could skip/turbo it right from the start. I read faster than it displayed and the chirpy little noise it produced was also counter to the mood.

I would probably play the game if I found it cheap somewhere, just to deliberately explode the chests of anyone I didn't like. XD
 

GrizzlerBorno

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Susan Arendt said:
GrizzlerBorno said:
So, I opened this review. Saw the picture beside the text. Sighed at the sight of the offensively fetish girl with gargantuan breasts exploding out of her skimpy dress, and closed the review.

Sorry Susan, I'm a big fan, but I can't seriously read a review for a game with that in it.

EDIT: I'm not saying this is a bad game. I don't know if its bad or not. I just can't take it seriously/lost interest.
Oh, I get that. Lotus (the character in question) is quite distracting whenever she's on screen. (Though, oddly, she's frequently called an "old woman" in the text.) But don't let that prevent you from trying the game, which is truly excellent and unusual.
*sigh*....Alright, fine, I'll read it. But only cause you said so.
Well, you actually asked me to play it; which i can't do because i do not have a DS. so sorry.
 

GeorgW

ALL GLORY TO ME!
Aug 27, 2010
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Susan Arendt wants to know what's up with Lotus' outfit. I mean, seriously.
My guess is that a certain reproductive organ is supposed to be up. Not that I get why, personally.
Sounds like a good game, but not for me.
 

RikSharp

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Feb 11, 2009
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Scarim Coral said:
This would be a game I put onto my list of games to buy (I love Hotel Dusk and planning to get Last Window soon) but there is no confirm date for Europe... Something tell me I will get frustrated with the game easily since I got stuck in the demo (I was able to combine two items to get the decoder but it didn't help to open the briefcase.
the code is in a couple places, on the bulletin board above the sink and under the pillow on the lower bunk in north west of the room. use the decoder (and the colors) to work out the combination. Then freak out when you realise that there are 2 briefcases...
 

Susan Arendt

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VondeVon said:
I loved the background art style but the anime sprites completely spoil the mood for me. The backgrounds are all suspenseful and then you have hyper-cheerful-giggly anime dudes yapping at you.

The text wouldn't be so bad if you could skip/turbo it right from the start. I read faster than it displayed and the chirpy little noise it produced was also counter to the mood.

I would probably play the game if I found it cheap somewhere, just to deliberately explode the chests of anyone I didn't like. XD
Agreed on the chirpy noise - I usually turned the sound down. And if you hold down the B button, the text fills in faster.
 

standokan

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This probably is one of the last good games to come out on the regular ds, god I hate the ds 3D, especialy because I bought a new ds not too long ago.
 

Eikoandmog

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May 7, 2008
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Susan Arendt wants to know what's up with Lotus' outfit. I mean, seriously.
Actually, I know the answer to this one. I've heard rumors that when the original designs were made, Lotus was supposed to be Alice(If you haven't played, you'll have NO IDEA what I'm talking about).

Anyway, I absolutely love this game. All the characters are well designed, the plot twists are very well done to the point of a mindscrew and the art is very well done. The renders of environments at times are a tad off, but that's not why I played through all 5 endings.
 

T_ConX

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Got it for Christmas. Loved it.

The games strongest asset it's it's plot. It's filled with so many twists and mysteries that it's impossible to describe it's brilliance without spoiling it.
 

Buchichu

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standokan said:
This probably is one of the last good games to come out on the regular ds, god I hate the ds 3D, especialy because I bought a new ds not too long ago.
I'm playing Ghost Trick right now and it's damn damn good. Not 999 good, but damn good. But I agree with you, the 3DS is going to ruin everything and I'm bitter because a) I just got a DSi XL and thus those regular-sized ones are WAAAAY too small for me now and I've seen nothing about a 3DS XL yet and b) I'm legally blind in one eye so the 3D might not even work for me which makes the whole novelty of the stupid thing moot. And it looks like a ripoff.
 

Zykon TheLich

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Hmm...no, definitely not my thing but credit to the development company for making something a bit unusual.
 

Alkore

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if its anything like hotel dusk i will probobly have a few sleepless nights ahead of me and from the demo this certainly seems to be the case.
 

RobfromtheGulag

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I bought and beat this game due to reading several of these recommendations on various sites. I have to say I was gravely disappointed. The writing isn't up there, but why should it be, it's a graphic novel. It reminded me very much of the old D&D Choose your Own Adventure books. Kind of a pulp style of writing, especially with the graphic Saw style violence theme. Then the end rolls along and predictably it's someone who couldn't have pulled it off, and the plot holes are profuse. No doubt if I played it over with the knowledge in hand of how to solve some of the puzzles faster or with fewer slip ups I'd garner a more realistic down to earth ending, but the way a game like this clocks hours is by near guaranteeing that I get the crap ending if I go through first time without a FAQ.
As games go perhaps this is a good graphical novel. It was not an entertaining game however.
 

Susan Arendt

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Was Tzeentch on the team-in-which-you-choose-the-number-that-the-game-really-likes-and-uses-a-lot Team?
 

Susan Arendt

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Alkore said:
if its anything like hotel dusk i will probobly have a few sleepless nights ahead of me and from the demo this certainly seems to be the case.
This was one of many games I brought with me on my recent vacation to a remote cabin in the Smoky Mountains. I ended up not touching any of the others - once I started 999, I couldn't bear to put it down. I still haven't gotten the "true" ending.
 

justnotcricket

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Apr 24, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
Alkore said:
if its anything like hotel dusk i will probobly have a few sleepless nights ahead of me and from the demo this certainly seems to be the case.
This was one of many games I brought with me on my recent vacation to a remote cabin in the Smoky Mountains. I ended up not touching any of the others - once I started 999, I couldn't bear to put it down. I still haven't gotten the "true" ending.
I sooo want to get this game! I loved Hotel Dusk...I can't seem to see many hints about it coming out here (New Zealand) anytime soon though *sigh*
 

Alphakirby

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I just played the demo,just set it up for rental off of Gamefly (Not many people are trying to rent it)
 

Ragnarok2kx

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I totally did a double take when I saw the link to the demo, It's the only DS game I know of that has a demo.
It looks pretty interesting too. As a fan of point-and-click adventure games, I think I can dig this.
 

psychic psycho

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RobfromtheGulag said:
Did you get the "true" ending. If you didn't I can see how you feel that way. The fewest amount of playthroughs needed to see it is two; and that's if you know the exact paths. It may seem cheap to require players to replay the game, but it ends up making total sense why it's needed. If you did see the true ending, and still didn't like it...I don't know what to say.

Susan Arendt said:
This was one of many games I brought with me on my recent vacation to a remote cabin in the Smoky Mountains. I ended up not touching any of the others - once I started 999, I couldn't bear to put it down. I still haven't gotten the "true" ending.
Oh, you still haven't gotten the true ending? I thought that review wasn't positive enough. Once you see the conclusive ending, I think you might want to review the game again.
 

Susan Arendt

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psychic psycho said:
RobfromtheGulag said:
Did you get the "true" ending. If you didn't I can see how you feel that way. The fewest amount of playthroughs needed to see it is two; and that's if you know the exact paths. It may seem cheap to require players to replay the game, but it ends up making total sense why it's needed. If you did see the true ending, and still didn't like it...I don't know what to say.

Susan Arendt said:
This was one of many games I brought with me on my recent vacation to a remote cabin in the Smoky Mountains. I ended up not touching any of the others - once I started 999, I couldn't bear to put it down. I still haven't gotten the "true" ending.
Oh, you still haven't gotten the true ending? I thought that review wasn't positive enough. Once you see the conclusive ending, I think you might want to review the game again.
No, my opinion won't change. The game definitely needs a notepad function, or some other way of dealing with doing the puzzles over and over again. The option to skip text you've read a dozen time is fantastic, but there needs to be something similar for the puzzles.

Also, reviews aren't based solely on personal enjoyment; while I happen to adore this game, I recognize that it's certainly not for everyone. Now, if we did half numbers, I might give this a 4.5, but as we don't, a 4 it is.
 

psychic psycho

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Susan Arendt said:
No, my opinion won't change. The game definitely needs a notepad function, or some other way of dealing with doing the puzzles over and over again. The option to skip text you've read a dozen time is fantastic, but there needs to be something similar for the puzzles.

Also, reviews aren't based solely on personal enjoyment; while I happen to adore this game, I recognize that it's certainly not for everyone. Now, if we did half numbers, I might give this a 4.5, but as we don't, a 4 it is.
Sorry about that, I didn't mean that the review was premature or anything. Everything you said in it was valid. That was really just me trying to hype up the ending to make sure you got to see the ending. It's quite an experience.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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psychic psycho said:
Susan Arendt said:
No, my opinion won't change. The game definitely needs a notepad function, or some other way of dealing with doing the puzzles over and over again. The option to skip text you've read a dozen time is fantastic, but there needs to be something similar for the puzzles.

Also, reviews aren't based solely on personal enjoyment; while I happen to adore this game, I recognize that it's certainly not for everyone. Now, if we did half numbers, I might give this a 4.5, but as we don't, a 4 it is.
Sorry about that, I didn't mean that the review was premature or anything. Everything you said in it was valid. That was really just me trying to hype up the ending to make sure you got to see the ending. It's quite an experience.
Oh, don't worry, I'm dying to get it, I'm just reluctant to look it up, and I've played through so many times that I'm a bit burnt out.
 

GeminiStar

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psychic psycho said:
Did you get the "true" ending. If you didn't I can see how you feel that way. The fewest amount of playthroughs needed to see it is two; and that's if you know the exact paths. It may seem cheap to require players to replay the game, but it ends up making total sense why it's needed.
Not to mention that playing through to see the alternate endings is kinda, you know, the point of a visual novel. If you're not going at it with the goal of unlocking all the endings (yes, even the Bad ones) and learning all the secrets, you're really not playing the genre correctly. Which would be a shame, because 999's true ending uses that aspect of the genre - and the duel-screen nature of the DS - to great narrative effect that enhances an already solid and engaging story.
 

psychic psycho

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Susan Arendt said:
Oh, don't worry, I'm dying to get it, I'm just reluctant to look it up, and I've played through so many times that I'm a bit burnt out.
Nice, I wish I could say that myself. I caved in and looked it up after 3 straight playthroughs without getting an ending I didn't see.

GeminiStar said:
Which would be a shame, because 999's true ending uses that aspect of the genre - and the duel-screen nature of the DS - to great narrative effect that enhances an already solid and engaging story.
I couldn't say it any better myself. It's a story that can only be told through videogames. It utilizes the DS so masterfully to tell it.
 

Delusibeta

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Halley M said:
standokan said:
This probably is one of the last good games to come out on the regular ds, god I hate the ds 3D, especialy because I bought a new ds not too long ago.
I'm playing Ghost Trick right now and it's damn damn good. Not 999 good, but damn good. But I agree with you, the 3DS is going to ruin everything and I'm bitter because a) I just got a DSi XL and thus those regular-sized ones are WAAAAY too small for me now and I've seen nothing about a 3DS XL yet and b) I'm legally blind in one eye so the 3D might not even work for me which makes the whole novelty of the stupid thing moot. And it looks like a ripoff.
Honestly? These posts smack to me like GBC gamers grumbling about the GBA after it was announced, or GBA gamers after the DS was announced. Or PSP gamers when the PSP2 is announced, for that matter.

Ignoring the whole 3D thing, it's a significantly powerful machine than the vanilla DSes. Plus, it's been six years. Deal with it.
 

Folio

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I agree with Susan. Lotus looks ridiculous in that outfit. (I know why they put her in that, but still, it doesn't match anything except her bra size.)
 

rythter

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Halley M said:
standokan said:
This probably is one of the last good games to come out on the regular ds, god I hate the ds 3D, especialy because I bought a new ds not too long ago.
I'm playing Ghost Trick right now and it's damn damn good. Not 999 good, but damn good. But I agree with you, the 3DS is going to ruin everything and I'm bitter because a) I just got a DSi XL and thus those regular-sized ones are WAAAAY too small for me now and I've seen nothing about a 3DS XL yet and b) I'm legally blind in one eye so the 3D might not even work for me which makes the whole novelty of the stupid thing moot. And it looks like a ripoff.
why do you hate the 3ds? it seems good
 

DetectiveSparky

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Jul 16, 2009
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I absolutely loved this game. I kept playing until I got the true ending, one ending is a "false" ending in the sense it's the same as the true ending but stops because you don't have enough information to continue. Certain endings are important to get the true ending because of certain reasons explained in some of the other endings.

It snagged Game of the Year for me mainly for the one set of dialogue between Junpei and June (Akane), they were testing an elevator, and I purposely chose the incorrect assumption of "June doesn't want to be alone in the elevator with a boy" and so the hilarious exchange between the two, with Junpei thinking that June is nervous for getting physically close. I had to stop playing for a moment because I was laughing so hard.
 

Jonnypapoose

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I haven't played this yet, but I'm going to get it asap now I've heard so many good things.
The plot reminds me of the manga Liar Game...
 

Jonnypapoose

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Folio said:
I agree with Susan. Lotus looks ridiculous in that outfit. (I know why they put her in that, but still, it doesn't match anything except her bra size.)
it's in the style of an anime, so i guess its a given
 

Yossarian1507

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A bit late to the party, but still...

Just beat the game in every possible way. I had a few "WTF?" moments (the most memorable was getting the 'Coffin' ending on my first try somehow, so the reward for my efforts was 'To Be Continued'), but there was definitely a lot more of 'Holy Shit, that's awesome!' moments. There is still one thing that bugs me...

I get the True ending, everything was logically explained there (although it was a bit mind-fucky).

I get it, that in the Axe ending
Clover goes insane after 'losing' her brother and kills everyone (duh! Captain Obvious).
I get it, that in the Safe ending
Junpei failed to save young Akane from incineration, and that's why she disappeared, and Zero said he lost the game.
I get it, that in the Knife ending
It was most likely Ace who stabbed Junpei
But I completely don't get the Submarine ending
Everyone except Snake - stabbed and killed. Snake - probably still stuck in a coffin. So who the hell killed all of them?

Anyway, great game, I'm going to bug my friends about it until they'll beat it as well...
 

kazriko

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Just finished this game's true ending. Excellent. Definitely worth the $25 I spent on it. Another game that took me a little over a weekend to finish. I love the sort of VNs that operate on this sort of principle, like Disgaea Infinite as well. I hope we get more of these non-dating-sim-VNs over here.

Below is a spoiler about the true ending, so really, don't click unless you've finished it...
One thing that I don't grok for sure about the true ending. If it was Akane12 who was solving all the puzzles for Junpei, why is it that she gets stuck on the worlds easiest Sudoku puzzle? Was it just the stress of the 18 minute time limit?

My theory is that she didn't actually solve any of the puzzles, she was with people who received the puzzle solutions from the other ship, but when she got trapped in there alone with nobody who was a receiver...

This was the first game I've played that used the DS touch controls correctly, in a manner that couldn't be done with Dpad+buttons. I hate it when people (Like Hitmaker with A Witches Tale or Bioware with Sonic Chronicles) use the touch screen to give you a mandatory less efficient interface when the controls could all be done on D+Buttons...