999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors Aug 22, 2011 17:38:58 GMT -5
Post by Bytor on Aug 22, 2011 17:38:58 GMT -5
The game is divided into two different (yet similar styles) aspects. The backgrounds and textures of the ship look very nice and capture the period feel of the game wonderfully. I instantly felt I was definitely stuck on the ship with the characters and even though there is no animations in which movement is depicted it still is rendered so wonderfully that I certainly felt immersed in the game. The various pixel art style struck me at first as odd. I didn't feel it fit originally, however the more I played the more I found the contrast between modern anime and gorgeous archaic backgrounds to not only mes but produce an effect that make the game even scarier and more forbidding than it might have been if a different style was produced. I'm still not sure why but perhaps it was the modernistic versus the timeless look which was reminiscent of a true ghost ship plying the sees forever as a tomb.
Mood music is the most apt way to describe the musical score. It is not necessarily a sweeping orchestral masterpiece but it is certainly a perfect mesh of suspenseful melodies and low throbbing primal discords to chill your blood and let you know this is for real, someone may (and probably will) die.
The game is a graphic novel with lots and lots and lots of reading followed by questions and then puzzles. The puzzles were for the most part challenging and did require some thought but I was almost never left with a WTF feeling, although the slot machine one was way too much luck to suit my taste. The great thing about the puzzles is I seldom felt they slowed down a game that simply because of it's nature is a slow paced game. Now, having said that the amount of suspense, intrigue and fear generated by the narratives actually added a dimension of quick necessity to the gameplay. While I never felt rushed I certainly felt the sense of impending doom which hung over my actions and decisions. The gameplay did a wonderful job of keeping suspense and maintaining the ebb and flow reminiscent of any great horror/suspense movie and while never truly terrified I was certainly kept on the edge of my seat my the narration and need to traverse and escape this death trap.
You awaken aboard what appears to be a turn of the century (20th that is) luxury liner which is seemingly sinking. Once you escape the cabin you awaken in you shortly meet eight other people and find that they were abducted as well. This is when the game really begins. Soon you will find that each of you has been assigned a numbered bracelet and to make matters more fun been implanted with a bomb. Getting rid of the bomb and bracelet is simple, escape the ship. What makes the story intriguing is the interaction between the various characters as they face the life and death struggle to solve the various puzzles and advance their way through the ship. My only real complaint is that in order to fully understand the characters you will need quite a few playthroughs, and while this certainly adds to the game in a sense it also somewhat short changes your experience with the characters when in certain scenarios you may have little interaction with certain characters. Now many will find no fault with that at all, instead finding it to add depth to the game, but I would have liked to be forced more to use each character more often in the various scenarios.
I really enjoyed this game immensely, although I certainly didn't enjoy my first ending, which from what I've read is pretty much the ending most get on first playthrough, the bad, bad, bad one, lol. The game is wonderfully written and the gameplay leads to satisfying conclusions in puzzles and keep the game going while the visuals are period rendered perfectly. I guess the only serious problem for me other than the lack of character development in a single play, was the necessity for multiple playthroughs. Now I realize this is exactly what the game is designed to be like and yes, you can fast forward through dialogue you've already seen but it left me feeling a tad empty on subsequent playthroughs. It's not that I knew what was going to happen because I didn't, it really becomes a slightly different game, but I did lose the feeling of suspense and dread as to what was going on. Problem is I'm not sure what the solution would have been, the way the game is designed it's inevitable for the decrease in suspense, however, given time I will play again and get even more endings and perhaps time away will lessen the familiarity and bring back full bore the suspense generated the first time through.