One weird little habit that people who are both readers and video game players have is playing visual novels. While a niche market in the states, it’s huge in Japan. One of the most recent examples is horror/mystery Raging Loop.
After a terrible breakup, college graduate Haruaki Fusaishi finds himself in a small town after getting lost just riding around the Japanese countryside on his motorcycle. What Fusaishi didn’t expect was this town has a dark secret that involves a “feast” that comes around whenever the town becomes misty that involves killing people killing who the townsfolk think is a wolf. Fusaish, who died the first night of the mist and somehow has an ability to go back and forth through time he calls “looping.” must now find the truth behind this feast and somehow put a stop to it.
The premise is amazing. A weird town with a weird feast that involves the locals deciding on who to kill because the mists will only lift when all the humans who are wolves are dead. That right there is already messed but the developers had to add in a mechanic where if he dies he goes back to the beginning. While that sounds terrible, the game has a flow chart that allows you to go directly to where in the story you want to go. Flow charts are practically a must in visual novels because the last thing you want to do is sit through scenes you’ve already seen just to get to where you want to go.
The story itself is amazing. One of the best things that make the story amazing is that Fusaishi is not the generic visual novel hero. He has a ton of character and quirks that make him seem like an actual human being that you want to talk to. In fact, all the characters are like that. While at first, they may seem like generic characters, but as you progress through the game you’ll see more and more layers appear from these characters. This is something you show to people show to people who say video games have basic storylines and characters.
The only real problem with the story is the way it all wraps up seems rushed. You feel that the developers could’ve expanded more on how the characters wrap things and how their plan goes together besides how it was presented. Not to mention that when you beat the game the extra chapters that are epilogues for the characters are more for comedy relief than actual character building. Watch these only if you want to laugh, especially at Rikako (you’ll see why when you beat the game.) There’s also Revelation Mode which allows you to see scenes and character thoughts that are not present in the regular mode. These scenes do give more insight into character motivations and even fills in some holes.
Some minor nitpicks are typos are everywhere by the last two hours of the story and for those who want an honest opinion on waifus, just remember EVERY! SINGLE! FEMALE! IN! THIS! GAME! IS! A! PSYCHO! BITCH!
There are also choices that you can’t choose because they are blocked by a “key.” You get these keys by dying at certain parts which will allow you to unlock these before blocked paths. Now, don’t think the first key you’ll get will be “#1.” The keys and when you get them may seem illogical, but from a plot viewpoint, it actually does.
Graphically, the game is just still images backgrounds with still image characters standing in front of them. Yes, the characters and backgrounds are well-drawn, but the only movement the characters have is their facial expressions. The visuals do the “visual novel” part well but don’t expect anything amazing.
Raging Loop has a great story with amazing characters. The flow chart makes going through the game quicker, the Revelation Mode does a great job of adding more to the plot but the visuals and extra chapters aren’t anything amazing.
Categories: Video Games