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Random VN: Death End Re;Quest 2


Clephas

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Let's first get this out there... I did not play the original game.  The reasons?  Well, mostly because it was supposedly horribly buggy and I have no patience for bugs and glitches.  The other part was that it didn't sound that interesting to me.  It sounded like an occult take on SAO.  However, I decided when this came out that I would buy it and later play it.  Why?  Because Touyama Mai is a much more interesting protagonist than Shina or Arata.

The game begins with Mai being driven to murder her father after he threatens the life of her younger sister.  Her younger sister, who was at an orphanage/school in a small town called La Choara, stopped contacting her, so Mai decided to use the opportunity of being a recently-made orphan to search for her sister, Sanae.  Her arrival in La Choara and the Wordsworth Dorm begins a series of horrific incidents that sometimes made me wonder if Clock-up had decided to make an all-ages game.

Now, it needs to be said... this game is made by Idea Factory, so it has an 'innovative' battle system with tons of problems, lol (this is essentially what IF is known for in jrpgs).  I'm just glad that Idea Factory's glitches no longer include ridiculously long load times and sudden game freezes for no particular reason, hahaha.  The gameplay is that of a dungeon-crawler, with some puzzle elements and a battle system based around positioning and skill combos where you can position yourself freely.  The key to most battles is positioning your character and using a knockback skill to knock enemies into one another like pool balls (and making them hit your allies), thus magnifying damage greatly... sometimes even exponentially.  There is a special mode in battle called 'glitch mode', where the characters transform into a battle form.  Mai's is particularly... yander-ish?  I mean, she wields a hatchet that looks like it is straight out Higurashi and her finishing move completes with her splatting the enemy with it.

For story, this game is split into SOL events with the orphans, story events at the end of each day, and events during the night exploration period.  Needless to say, most of the important events happen at night, and they are often gruesome and horrifying.  The mystery of La Choara is pretty horrifying, and insanity seems to be the name of the game at times.  I do think that it stretches the limits of belief how Lottie and Lilliana fool themselves about people and what is going on while Mai keeps her mouth shut and her expression flat.  Of course, that is part of the point... there is at least one point in every chapter where you can pick an option that kills you because you pushed too hard by making a certain choice or just stumbled down the wrong street.  

In the end, the story was fun while it lasted, but this game is only around twenty hours long, so I blew through it in a week of playing it on and off.  The question is, what did I think in the end?  Well, I feel like I got my money's worth (All hail Steam sales!!!), and yuri-guro-horror-mystery is a genre I hadn't yet experienced, so that was new.  However, I do feel like there were numerous points were just changing a few lines or adding in a little more detail would have made the events more emotionally powerful or impactful.  If I had to give this game a rating on my VN scale, it would probably fall short of VN of the Month quality while still being worth having played.

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