The best of Visual Novel

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Hey folks, The Nonary Games, the compilation that brings together the first two episodes of the Zero Escade saga, 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward, has just landed on Xbox Gamepass. The opportunity to look into the case of one of the best video games of all time!

It’s been almost 10 years since yours truly put his big fingers on Virtue’s Last Reward, on a brand new PSVita, and this game more or less changed his life! Since then, there have been 4 rediscoveries of this cult title, about one every two years. And the latest is now on Xbox Gamepass, and we’ll tell you everything!

Two classics in one

The Nonary Games is therefore a compilation that includes the first two installments of the Zero Escape saga, 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward. For the third, Zero Time Dilemna, you will have to put your hands in your pocket… Already released five years ago on PS4, PC and Vita, we are looking at its case as it lands on Microsoft machines, but that we still haven’t had the right to these wonderful titles on Nintendo Switch… 999, the first episode, will be greatly improved compared to its original version released on Nintendo DS, and VLR will be quite faithful to the material of origin.

You will be dealing with two stories of the same ilk, where a group of strangers are locked up – on a drifting boat for 999, in a bunker for VLR – and forced to participate in a game where they will have to play in escape rooms room in an attempt to escape from their prison. A weird watch is stuck around their wrists and seems to indicate a score, or a number, and in addition, the heroes will have to participate in a life-size game of betrayal where choices will have to be made, and will come to create different alternate realities than you. explore them all.

Warning, spoilers!

Because yes, without spoiling you too much (it’s one of the first twists revealed in each of the two games… But after a few hours, so if ever… go to the next paragraph please), much like the protagonist of Steins;Gate, the heroes of our saga all have an extraordinary ability: the ability to transfer their consciousness from one reality to another, and thus die while learning a word. password in a reality in order to use it in the one where he will have survived…

Magical. The twists become legion. If 999 will only offer 6 endings, there are many more in VLR, and there are many surprises. And the more we advance in the game, the more the mindfuck is total. For an end in apotheosis where all the bricks are put in place and make live one of your best moments of spectator facing a story. A story that could only have been told via video game media. The narration is done in the form of a visual novel, with scrolling text panels in front of character sprites for 999, and 3D heroes for VLR. The voices are in English or Japanese, and the texts exclusively in English.

9 hours, 9 people and 9 doors

Whether in one game or the other, the mechanics are more or less the same. Dialogues scroll, or our heroes wonder about their destiny and ask themselves a whole bunch of metaphysical questions which will be entitled to many fascinating scientific explanations (as long as you are passionate about the thing, of course…), all with a Japanese design not very pronounced, which is rather a good thing if you are allergic to manga. Then suddenly, an escape room, where you will have to find the right objects to assemble, solve clever puzzles then escape, and finally, some difficult choices, personified in the form of the prisoner’s game in VLR, and you will have to choose between betraying and support his teammate to gain more or less points in order to escape…

Then once a reality has been exploited to the end, we move on to the next one. 999 has been greatly improved for this version: If you played it on DS, you should know that it is now possible to roam freely in the “flowchart” (the parallel chronology of events) and that you can also pass the text, which which was not possible before. Both work without the DS’s second screen. VLR is very faithful to the original and it still works very well. A small criticism inherent in this Gamepass version, all the same: it is sorely lacking in touch, especially in the cloud version on Smartphone, where you need a pad! Handling becomes difficult…

With Danganrompa also available on Gamepass, only Steins;Gate is missing to be entitled to the holy trinity of the visual novel!

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