Video Game Review – Virtue’s Last Reward

Virtue’s Last Reward (VLR) is a 2012 visual novel adventure game developed by Chunsoft for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The game is the second installment in the Zero Escape series, following 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (999), which was released in 2009. While I have not formally reviewed 999 before, I have written about it quite glowingly. Being a visual novel the game primarily features lengthy narrative sections broken up by “Escape Rooms,” which are environments where the player character Sigma must investigate and solve puzzles in to progress.Read More »

Artful Video Game Storytelling

I don’t get too specific, but this post has Spoilers for 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

999Zero

Anyone who plays enough video games knows how important storytelling has become for the medium. Though obviously not essential, as many great games have little to no story at all, both the big budget and independent scenes have a plethora of compelling, story-driven games. Video games are unique when it comes to storytelling because they require the direct action, and often skill, of the player to progress. This is unlike other mediums, where you’re never punished for doing a poor job of watching a movie or reading a book. How much you can understand may vary, but you progress regardless.

Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of and fascinated with games that have core story elements that only work in the video game medium. Adaptation would be possible, but something crucial would be lost along the way.Read More »