Rule of Rose
Great Horror Game!
I'll admit that, in reviewing this game, I am probably going to be a little biased. I really like horror games in general, so I tend to be pretty enthusiastic about all of them.
The game revolves around a girl named Jennifer a young woman / teenager whose parents mysteriously die. Jennifer is on a nearly empty bus when the game begins, nodding off towards the back, when a young boy approaches her and asks her to read him a story. Jennifer takes the book, but when she turns back to the boy, he's running off the bus. Jennifer follows the boy off the bus and up a hill to the Rose Garden Orphanage. When she approaches the orphanage, she starts to see children with paper bags over their heads doing all manner of creepy things. Jennifer eventually chases the children into the orphanage and up into the attic, where the game begins in earnest.
The game itself works in chapters. Three of the chapters can be played in optional order (you choose a story book and it starts the chapter related to the storybook). Most of the game revolves around a game played by the children in the orphanage in which they all order themselves into nobles, peons, and beggars, respectively. You are given missions / offerings to find and offer to the aristocracy, the three girls that make up the ruling parties of the game. As you play through these missions, you progressively find out more about the children, their pasts, and how they interact with each other.
The game itself is pretty quirky. In the second chapter or so, you find a dog and rescue him. Your dog, Brown, is used heavily throughout the game to find items and figure out where you need to go (by letting him sniff something, he'll start to track down whatever else he smells). You can use this to find various hidden health items in the game, as well as cutting down on exploring time by letting Brown lead to exactly where you need to go to complete your missions in the huge sprawling maps where it's easy to get lost and turned around. Brown also can be useful in battles, barking and distracting enemies, and has his own health gauge and items.
The fighting engine in the game itself is pretty wonky. Taking a page out of Silent Hill's book, you have to hold down the R1 button to get into fighting stance. Then, hit the X button to attack. Jennifer finds various household items, such as kitchen knives, to use as weapons. The monsters you fight look like little impish dead children, sometimes taking the appearance of various animals. Jennifer cannot move while in attack stance, her weapons don't have very much reach, and sometimes an enemy will barely brush past you and it will count as a hit. The responses can be slow and, when Jennifer is injured, she actually moves slower. This can make even the simplest of battles nerve racking and difficult.
The story itself is interesting, the maps are huge (even though there are probably only three maps in the whole game), and setting is engaging. Most of the story is very nuanced and very little raw fact is given to you throughout the game. In fact, by the end of the game, I wasn't really sure what had happened and had to sit and think before figuring it out.
It's a fairly short game with a lot of failings, but I think the fact that fighting is secondary to exploring and outlining the plot helps to alleviate any frustrations I had with the game. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes unique games.
Love This Game!
This was a game I bought not really knowing what to expect. It seems slow at first, but keeps you going. There are always things to find and it has a lot of replay value for that reason. Did you know that finding five knives can give you a rusty sword which can give you an awesome sword? Little things like this keep you coming back for more! Jennifer isn't the greatest protagonist in the world, but she's realistic. When playing her, she's slow and not overly strong, just as a girl from the 1930-40s might be. I really do love this game and play it over and over. I recommend it!
Good Graphics nice story but combat is foul!
Rule of Rose is a good horror game. The story is about a girl who is in a place filled with childern who shows hatered on adults. Jennifer is the main character later on she meets a dog that is tied up. The game is banned in some countries for the cruel nature. The game is creepy but the combat system is so unforgiving. Jennifer is weak, she lacks power in her swings, you do get a gun later on in the game. Rule of Rose is eh... somewhat long around 15 hours or so. The graphics are the best here very good. If you like horror games with great story then this is for you.
A third-person horror game ala "Silent Hill" and "Clocktower," "Rule of Rose" puts you in the shoes of Jennifer, an orphaned teenager with more than enough timidness to do her any good, as she waits on a bus which is taking her to an orphanage in 1930s English countryside which is to be her new home. Arriving in almost pitch-black darkness, she is almost immediately harassed by many of the other orphans, whom ultimately coral her into the orphanage's attic before beginning a bizarre ritual in the back lot which, for all extents and purposes, appears to be a funeral. Jennifer, horrified, soon faints at the sight of the other orphans, most of whom have donned paper masks, which are eerie beyond belief to the newcomer, whom soon comes to on, of all places, an airship, a blimp. Yes. A blimp. Thus begins "Rue of Rose..." Easily one of the most eerie games I have ever played, "Rule of Rose" takes the psychological horror games of the past, such as the famous "Silent Hill" series, and turns them on their heads. Unfortunately, for all my praise of the game's plot, I cannot give it high marks for its often tedious gameplay, particularly in terms of its combat system, which is rather clunky (not that many survival horror games are well-known for having amazing combat systems though). That said, if you can push past some of its faults, you'll find a marvelously unique and haunting story which is so bizarre and, frankly, unnerving that I can understand fully why the ESRB decided to grant this hidden gem its "M" rating. PLOT: Subtly macabre and altogether surreal, the plot's phenomenal, if a tad confusing at times (until the end of the game- literally the end of the game, mind you). GAMEPLAY: I'm not going to lie, the gameplay is a bit tedious, but it's workable. The main thing is memorizing your way through the winding corridors of the airship, for which you can find some free, fan-created maps online. Combat is the worst of it, but having a weapon with a long reach gets rid of a lot of its woes, not to mention the help of a dog whom you ultimately befriend, named Brown. As so far as game LENGTH is concerned, you're looking at a somewhat long survival horror game, although this is not a genre known for having long games either. I'd figure probably about, oh, two or three days-worth of play, if you went non-stop, and that's including exploring all of the game's more optional features I think, although I may be underestimating time here (point being, you should expect a decent bit of play, although nowhere near as much as with an RPG). MUSIC: Perfect for the 1930s setting, the music is fantastic all around. Very atmospheric, mostly utilizing piano and violin.