- System: PlayStation Vita
- Developer: Kadokawa Games
- Publisher: PQube
- Release Date: November 8th, 2016
- Pricing:PS4 $59.99, PS Vita $39.99
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Adventure RPG, Visual Novel
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://www.r-letter.com/
Who it caters to
Comparing itself to famous games like the Ace Attorney Series, Root Letter is a game that takes itself seriously up until the very end. While it may not have the silliness of the Ace Attorney games, it still retains the mystery; nothing is as it seems. However, don’t be put off by how much mystery there is. Root Letter can be fairly straightforward, but you’ll see.
What to Expect
The music in Root Letter is quite enjoyable and soothing for the most part, however, there is a lack of variety so you may find that the game continues to play the same music over and over. The music can feel a bit generic and does not technically tailor itself to the gaming experience, but it is still rather soothing.
As far as achievements go, Root Letter has a fair amount of achievements to be earned during gameplay. However, you will find that if you replay the game in an effort to attain these achievements, you cannot skip chapters else you will miss out on key choices that will give you achievements. So beware of that.
Root Letter Trailer
As far as the game is concerned, there is a wide cast of characters that all have their own personalities that you can see reflected in the interactions. Root Letter lacks those moe characters that are so common in visual novels. Instead, they opted for more realistic representations starting with the manipulative main characters to “Bitch” who has all but failed in her ambitions and is living vicariously through her daughter.
The plot itself is rather interesting as you really don’t know what is going on until the very end of the video game, and even then, it can be a bit confusing. As the plot develops, you are left with many more questions, especially as everything doesn’t seem to match up. Let’s not forget the complexities of human emotion that make it that much more confusing. We’re not dealing with teens in this game, however. No, Root Letter has grown adults who are still struggling with the choices they’ve made in their own lives. As far as how original it all is, Root Letter is fairly decent as it takes a rather unused plot and develops it into something more.
The plot will vary depending on what answers you provide as it eventually changes by Chapter 8. At this point, Aya will respond to you with a letter that dictates the rest of her character from then on. If you are replaying the game, you are able to skip up to Chapter 8. From Chapter 8 onwards, it’s all in your hands. Upon my initial playthrough, I received the Crossed Path route which left me a little more lost than anything else. Of course, the game does remind you that there is more to the mystery so be sure not to falter just because of one mediocre ending!
You will find that there are two aspects of the gameplay that will really take up your time. As you try to figure out who Aya’s friends are and attempt to get them to reveal the truth to you, you must present evidence and statements that will get each character to reveal more, much like the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games. You use a rather forceful approach as your character deems it necessary to harass the other characters and dig into their closet for their skeletons to reveal the truth. Beware of clicking on the wrong answers as you will get a penalty!
The other aspect of the gameplay you will notice is Max Mode. Max Mode is essentially a mode that allows you to exclaim something in hopes of pounding truth or sense into the character you are harassing. Essentially, you click X whenever the right statement comes up so that you can shout it out at the characters. Coupled with the fact that Max Mode allows you infinite tries, Max Mode seems like an unnecessary part of the gameplay that has no real consequence.
There is also an action you can take called “Think” which was initially introduced as something you can use if you have trouble figuring out the next course of action. While playing, however, I realized that this is not a hint button at all. You can use it to figure out what you have to do next, but it also has some real function such as collecting your thoughts and trying to move time along in the game instead of having to recheck everything in the room. You can also use it to deduce some things that are easily connected. So there is some function to it after all.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Visual aesthetics; great graphics
- Unique characters with real personalities and problems; No moe characters
- Intriguing storyline with great plot development that keeps you enthralled up until the end
- Each ending is unique so replaying the game is not boring
- The backgrounds are beautiful and really bring out the true beauty of the Japanese countryside
- Obnoxious main character who harasses and emotionally manipulates the other characters to find out about Aya
- Some endings are a bit anti-climactic, especially if it’s your first playthrough
- Music can be repetitive
- Max Mode feels unnecessary
- The “Think” action is utilized more than initially advertised which can throw some people off.