Rule of Rose Reader Review
Rule of rose is the newest horror game on the block and its heading its way to Europe after a rather controversial release. The game, which is being released 3rd of November 2006, has been rated 18+ compared to the Japanese rating of 15+. The game is heavily influenced on children and how creul it is to be when young. Jennifer, the main character, is 19 however the rest of the cast are still children. The basic jist is that you get lost in this strange fantasy world the children have created in an orphanage. The Japanese version of the game is pretty much playable as long as you can READ some Japanese. All the voice overs are done in English, a British english at that. The voices are not so annoying but they do bring out the bratty ness and the creepy ness of the cast.
The soundtrack is a beautiful mix between orchestral violin based and 1930's Ballard type music. The main theme is a beautiful but haunting song which also depicts the theme of the game in general.
Game play wise you will be surprised. All the menus and such look like they have been hand drawn by children and the puzzles mix in with this theme too. Combat and camera angles are not this games strong point and you will get extremely frustrated with boss battles from the first. You have a number of weapons which are objects you find out the orphanage like a metal pipe or a knife and such. You can also only take 3 hits, and Jennifer is not a fast character. So get used to dodging and running away. The game is not really made for you to fight your way through but to sneak and run away. Which keeps the horror theme to its true nature, seeing that games like resident evil and silent hill are more action based than horror.
You will notice similarities between this game and Haunting Ground. One of those things is the use of a Dog as a support character. Unlike Haunting Ground (demento) where Hewie was controllable in some respect with training. Brown can not be controlled at all. He stands by you hinting at things, sniffing things out and a general watch dog when nasty people/monsters are coming your way.
Your basic goal is to get through the hirachy and into the girls heads. Its going to be difficult but worth it.
If you want something challenging and different then I would urge you to give it a go! I really enjoyed my quick run through of the Japanese version and can't wait till the European release!
I give this game 8/10. The boss battles and camera angles really do bring this game to a level of difficulty that gets frustrating rather than enjoyable to play. I like challenging but sometimes it just gets annoying when you are switching from 2 angles of the camera and trying to not get hit by some creepy man!! 3 hits is also a frustratingly small amount of health but again the challenge is worth it!
8 / 10