Game: "Rule Of Rose"
System: PlayStation 2
Published by: Other
Reviewer: King Hadas
Review: You may of heard of this one. Left unreleased in the UK and banned in most of Oceania (but what isn't) because of some content blown out of proportion by the media. Rule of Rose was alleged to be tumid with sadistic cruelty to children and loads of underage lesbianism. It was a mistake: with the latter they were completely off and the former, well, they were basically right but to be fair the ones who are perpetuating the cruelty are children too. Fact of life: kids are cruel.
The game is set in a 1930's British orphanage and in an airship. Jennifer arrives there by mistake after chasing a strange boy. Soon she meets the Red Crayon Aristocracy, a clique of young girls pretending to be nobility. Jennifer is forced to join their group at the lowest rung as a peasant. Nothing works out no matter what you do and your only friend in the world is Brown the dog. He follows Jennifer everywhere and can sniff out objects. He'll also try to defend you when monsters attack. It's all very strange, a mixture of Lord of the Flies and Grimm Fairy Tales. I could say a lot more about Rule of Rose's story, its themes and its setting but I'm afraid I'll spoil something if I do. Suffices to say these are the things that make Rule of Rose worth playing.
There really are no other games like it, except as far as gameplay goes. If you're familiar with survival horror then Rule of Rose will be like going back home to the old swimming hole and finding it was a swamp the whole time. Inconvenient camera angles, dull point-A to point-B objectives, and fighting mechanics that are very frustrating. Save often because you are going to die often and there are no continues.
Another thing, the airship/orphanage is a fairly big place and a lot of it is open for exploration so it's easy to get lost trying to find the next story event especially later in the game. Also if you're like me you'll assume with all this extra space available there must be some optional story related goodies tucked away somewhere, but there aren't. I looked, god I looked, but I didn't find anything.
I love Rule of Rose, but playing it is an absolute chore.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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