The PS Vita is
an awesome portable console and it's a shame that games are only
trickling out for it. Thankfully, developers Aksys Games have
released Virtue's Last Reward (also known as Zero Escape
Virtue's Last Reward outside Australia) that not only utilises
the innovative controls of the PS Vita but it contains some fun
and addictive gameplay.
At its core,
Virtue's Last Reward is an adventurer puzzler with some great
anime inspired graphics that transforms gamers into Sigma who is
forced to partake in a deadly game. Although there may be some
parallels with the Hunger Games, Virtue's Last Reward has a
totally different premise.
presented on the PS Vita, the goal of the game is to escape or
gain freedom from the Nonary Games and once you have collected
enough points, you are allowed to leave with your life.
exploring all the claustrophobic areas and dabbling in the
various puzzles can be quite a difficult challenge. The game
also contains a rather engaging story and you meet some strange
and compelling characters along the way, especially the
antagonist Zero, the creator of the Nonary Games.
Another highlight of the game is that every decision you make
ultimately effects the outcome of the ending and with 24
different endings, there's plenty of choices to be made, both
good and bad.
You also have
to make alliances with the other characters in the game which in
turn assists in your collection of points and with the difficult
choices. At times in the game, you can betray an ally which in
turn increases your points but gives you an enemy for life. It's
these balances that must be taken into consideration.
downside of Virtue's Last Reward is the amount of dialogue in
the game which can be quite verbose and at times. I found myself
skipping a considerable amount in order to get back to the
the puzzles in the game are quite enjoyable that even with the
excessive dialogue, allowed me to easily become engaged with
this strange futuristic world.
the game uses the innovative control of the Vita from its gyro
sensors to tilt the screen or using the touch screen to
manipulate the environment. For the majority, these controls
work fine, although the gyroscope functionality is a little
Graphically, the title looks good on the PS Vita, especially
with its stylised graphics that looks like some impressive anime
title. The only distraction with the graphics is that the
puzzles are a little lacklustre but nonetheless, it's a well
designed game that has Japanese undertones. The musical score
suits the graphics and gameplay perfectly with its moody
ambience. Voice acting is a little over the top but once again
suits the premise.
If you are after a thinking man's game than Virtue’s Last Reward
is easily one of the most thought provoking puzzlers of the
year. With a strange story that is reminiscent of an adult
themed anime movie, this game will make you curse and at times
cry with frustration and joy when you've solved some of the
value for money!