While Zero Escape is mostly a visual novel, there are a few instances where you need to escape rooms by solving point and click puzzles. While most of the steps are pretty obvious, some puzzles contain some really weird challenges that can stump you for a while. I personally had several problems figuring out how to arrange a series of dice correctly. By this point I knew the right order for the numbers, but didn’t know where each color went. This went on for quite a while, that is until I figured it out the next day. It seems to figure out the right color sequence, you had obtain the weight of every die and then put the total (the box has the formula) into the boxes lock. Since this will most likely be the last thing people think about, it might take you hours to understand what the game is telling you, but thankfully you do have some options.
One of your options is to lower the difficulty from hard (default) to easy. This won’t change the puzzles outcome (so you can redo it on hard), but will cause your partners to offer additional with the solutions. These can range from vague hints, like the weight of each die, to flat out telling you the answer. I believe the amount of help is dependent on the characters personality, so this won’t save you in every situation.
Despite having a weird and supernatural story, Zero Escape still tries to come off as somewhat realistic. This is achieved by just about everything having an extremely long-winded explanation. For example, when Zero III is explaining the nonary game rules, just about every aspect is completely fleshed out. At first the attention to detail is welcomed, but over time it becomes tiring to read.
This happened to me before one of the endings, where the game spent what had to be 30+ minutes explaining Multiple world theory, Schrödinger’s cat, and Quantum mechanics. I mean sure, it’s great if you don’t know what those things are, but they’re entirely too common. My personal favorite was the needless 10+ minute long explanation of the prisoner dilemma, simply because it adds nothing to the situation.
Even with the pointless explanations and awful puzzles, Zero Escape still has a lot to offer. With 18 different paths you can complete, there is sure to be a number of interesting revelations waiting for you. Sure it could do a better job of getting to the point, but at least you can focus on paths you haven’t taken. Really if you want a good mystery game with some sci fi elements, you won’t be disappointed. However, if you’re expecting this game to be like SAW, I would suggest you look into another title.
[Editor’s Note: Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward was reviewed on the Playstation Vita platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward Review,