Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Root Letter review

Just finished the happy ending for Root Letter. Root Letter is a visual novel game for the PS4 and PS3. You play an adult who 15 years ago had a pen pal when you where in high school and you wrote ten letters. One day, you find a mysterious 11th letter where the girl Fumino Aya says that she has killed someone.

You go to her hometown in Shimane-ken and try to find out what happened and the identities of her 6 friends; monkey, glasses, bitch, skinny, fatty, shorty and best friend. The most surprising thing is that Root Letter turns out to be a Phoenix Wright clone!

That wright! You collect evidence and need to choose your answers correctly to make the people confess. There's no OBJECTION!!! and there's a stupid Max mode but its still fun.

On my first playthrough I got the horrible cursed ending which left me with a wtf feeling although I liked the revelation of why they all conspired to keep the secret. Getting a different ending is not about making different choices in the game but about making different replies to the letters you sent 15 years ago.

Good thing there is a skip chapter option and most of the letter replies are done at the beginning of the chapter so you can skip all the way to chapter eight. It was unexpectedly fun with my second playthrough because I could see all the clues now and there were new dialogues and events.

However, there is one thing I don't like about Root Letter is that the two different endings are not about what if you made a different choice in the game have two entirely different plot twists which sucks. Its like each story is set in a parallel world instead of each story is about a fork in the road. From what I read, the remaining three endings are the same. The gist of the story stays the same but the reasons for certain actions are different.

I don't recommend the Japanese version for beginners but the Japanese is not too difficult. I was quite happy it didn't have much descriptive first person thoughts like so many PS Vita visual novels.
The biggest reason to recommend Root Letter is that its not a harem story and I really grew found of the characters. There are not many games for older gamers coming out of Japan and most of them are low budget fan service ones so I'm happy to support any publisher that is willing to do more mature games. Thanks to Kodokawa for for taking a chance on Root Letter and I can't wait for God Wars next year.

The EU version of Root Letter just came out. Its a decent game that I would recommend to fans of mystery stories.


Ersby said...

I just ordered a PS4 because of FF15, and I ordered Root Letter along with it because it looks interesting and because it's set in Matsue, a town in Japan I know pretty well. It's the closest I'll get to a holiday in Japan until late 2017.

Akiramike said...

@Ersby : You're going to have a fun time with Root Letter since you know Matsue well!