• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Aksys Games posts survey about Zero Escape / Visual Novels

corn_fest

Member
Dec 15, 2008
2,786
0
0
Is the ZE series really as gory/gross/icky as some people in this thread is making them (or at least the 1st one) out to be? Cause I generally shy away from stuff like that.
No. There's small parts where people
blown up by bombs'
remains are described. Visually, you only see some
chunks/splatter
. (first 10 minutes spoilers)
That's the worst it gets in the entire series.
 

Macapala

Member
Jun 25, 2013
1,835
1,770
775
Sorry, I was using Garaph's figures. I guess it hasn't been updated yet.

VLR is a much bigger game, has tons of VA, and was developed for 2 platforms, so even if it manages to crawl up to 999 it is still, relatively speaking of course, a failure. They certainly didn't increase the budget and expand the platform selection just to sell what 999 did, they must have had bigger plans and they got burnt.


Man, I sure hope the guy from Aksys is reading this thread and forwards your comment to Uchikoshi.

I too preferred Snake, though the game kind of exaggerated his abilities; like him being able to effortlessly run around the ship and saying that he would win in a fight with Jumpey. I'm not saying that he should be totally useless just because he's blind but a heightened sense of hearing can only help you so much.


What tipped you off? I was really surprised by the revelation.
Its been a while since I played the game so I don't recall the fine details. Basically, once the game starts letting on about more important details about the story and there's talk of a
building/test facility in the middle of a desert
, that is when the thought popped into my head.

I'll admit it was a bit of a guess at the time, but during the
true ending my suspicions were growing, and when Junpei and Co. are just about to open the final door to escape, I said to myself, "I bet they're in the desert".
 
Nov 16, 2007
16,626
3
0
33
Only thing I could say I disliked was the save bug.

This poll just reignites my desire to get some information and an official announcement of the third game soon.
 

Foshy

Member
May 6, 2012
6,479
0
620
Zurich, Switzerland
This might sound ignorant because it's an important part of the game, but I didn't like the locks in VLR that made me unable to progress unless I go back in time.

It's amazing that there are so many endings and possibilities and you can travel back to see them all, but being stopped from being able to continue threw me completely out of immersion. I wanted to be able to play my first playthrough from beginning to end.

I was enjoying the game so much (despite not having played 999), but when I hit my first lock I completely lost interest and didn't return to the game after that. I definitely want to pick it up again at some point, but that really annoyed me.
 

Macapala

Member
Jun 25, 2013
1,835
1,770
775
This might sound ignorant because it's an important part of the game, but I didn't like the locks in VLR that made me unable to progress unless I go back in time.

It's amazing that there are so many endings and possibilities and you can travel back to see them all, but being stopped from being able to continue threw me completely out of immersion. I wanted to be able to play my first playthrough from beginning to end.

I was enjoying the game so much (despite not having played 999), but when I hit my first lock I completely lost interest and didn't return to the game after that. I definitely want to pick it up again at some point, but that really annoyed me.
Woah! You haven't played 999? The fact that you gave up on VLR may a be a good thing because you would have spoiled a lot of 999's story and some of the revelations in VLR may have been confusing.

If you do want to go back to VLR in the future make sure you play 999 first. I cannot stress that enough.
 

Astral/H3X

Member
Aug 17, 2012
10,178
0
0
SOMEWHERE. In Indiana
This might sound ignorant because it's an important part of the game, but I didn't like the locks in VLR that made me unable to progress unless I go back in time.

It's amazing that there are so many endings and possibilities and you can travel back to see them all, but being stopped from being able to continue threw me completely out of immersion. I wanted to be able to play my first playthrough from beginning to end.

I was enjoying the game so much (despite not having played 999), but when I hit my first lock I completely lost interest and didn't return to the game after that. I definitely want to pick it up again at some point, but that really annoyed me.
There's something really awesome that this game does, and essentially it couldn't possibly work without it doing exactly that. It's sort of like being annoyed that car engines make noise.
 

Esura

Banned
Jan 29, 2012
5,586
0
0
Survey asked me what I liked about 999 and I pretty much clicked every thing and wrote, "Clover and Akane are cute as fuck!" in the Other section.

Did the same for VLR too, but except for Akane I wrote Phi and Luna as well as Clover.
 

Akselziys

Aksys Games Dev.
Feb 18, 2009
2,227
0
0
www.aksysgames.com
You're compairing first week sales for VLR with life time sales for 999. Here are the most recent Famitu numbers:

3DS: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - 7,890 / 17,913
PSV: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - 6,133 / 15,454
NDS: Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors [Chun Selection] - ?? / 4,714
NDS: Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors - 16,967 / 39,653

VLR still sold less at retail, but the gulf is much smaller and it was available digitally. And keep in mind a lot of visual novels don't break 10k, so even while the Zero Escape games presumably have higher production costs due to the puzzles, these are probably still fine sales figures for both games.

Just to step in real quickly... (glad everyone is enjoying the survey! Keep your comments and feedback coming! :) )

Regarding US sales of the Zero Escape series (both 999 and VLR), we are very pleased with how both games have sold, and the Zero Escape series is one of our most successful series.

Any other info out there is most likely rumor or conjecture ;)

Off topic though, I have to say I love reading everyone's comments in all the Zero Escape related threads that have been popping up so far :)!
 

Astral/H3X

Member
Aug 17, 2012
10,178
0
0
SOMEWHERE. In Indiana
Just to step in real quickly... (glad everyone is enjoying the survey! Keep your comments and feedback coming! :) )

Regarding US sales of the Zero Escape series (both 999 and VLR), we are very pleased with how both games have sold, and the Zero Escape series is one of our most successful series.

Any other info out there is most likely rumor or conjecture ;)

Off topic though, I have to say I love reading everyone's comments in all the Zero Escape related threads that have been popping up so far :)!
Wow, it must be something to hear the fervor around these games from those who have played it. I must say the writer is absolutely astounding. I used to read a lot of books in my day, and Zero Escape is easily my favorite story.
 
Jul 13, 2009
18,073
2
0
Mexico
Just to step in real quickly... (glad everyone is enjoying the survey! Keep your comments and feedback coming! :) )

Regarding US sales of the Zero Escape series (both 999 and VLR), we are very pleased with how both games have sold, and the Zero Escape series is one of our most successful series.

Any other info out there is most likely rumor or conjecture ;)

Off topic though, I have to say I love reading everyone's comments in all the Zero Escape related threads that have been popping up so far :)!
I fucking LOVE 999/VLR but I got the fucking glitch thing when I was 20 hours in and I had to see the last hours of the game on youtube. That was, to say the least, really annoying.

I just don't want to hear that crap happening again on the next game, or I'd just buy it for Vita now lol.

I'm glad the game's are selling well, they deserve it.
 

Astral/H3X

Member
Aug 17, 2012
10,178
0
0
SOMEWHERE. In Indiana
I fucking LOVE 999/VLR but I got the fucking glitch thing when I was 20 hours in and I had to see the last hours of the game on youtube. That was, to say the least, really annoying.

I just don't want to hear that crap happening again on the next game, or I'd just buy it for Vita now lol.

I'm glad the game's are selling well, they deserve it.
No joke, when I went to lend the game to my friend (after 999 naturally) I told him about the glitch, and told him DO NOT FUCKING SAVE IN PUZZLE ROOMS EVERRRRRRR, because it would totally suck if he did so on like his 32nd hour of gameplay and lost it all.
His save timer read 31:48.
:/

So being the really nice guy I am after he flipped his shit I threw the game on auto pilot and caught his ass back up for him, because there was no way he was getting away from that ending.
 

Xelinis

Junior Member
Nov 23, 2007
1,777
4
935
Only thing I didn't like about VLR (as well as 999) was some of the user interface issues. I'd really like them to spend some time working on UX.
 

Atolm

Member
Jun 4, 2010
4,153
0
575
Galicia, Spain
Just to step in real quickly... (glad everyone is enjoying the survey! Keep your comments and feedback coming! :) )

Regarding US sales of the Zero Escape series (both 999 and VLR), we are very pleased with how both games have sold, and the Zero Escape series is one of our most successful series.

Any other info out there is most likely rumor or conjecture ;)

Off topic though, I have to say I love reading everyone's comments in all the Zero Escape related threads that have been popping up so far :)!
Oh, thank god. If we don't get proper closure I think I'll kill myself. Shenmue, Legacy of Kain, Beyond Good & Evil... My favourite franchises are unfinished. I wouldn't be able to endure the same thing with Zero Escape.

Regarding the games, while I enjoy more the setting and tone of 999 and I think the plot is better, as a VN I enjoyed VLR much, much more, the branching system is one hell of improvement, and I think the writing is superior.
 

Akselziys

Aksys Games Dev.
Feb 18, 2009
2,227
0
0
www.aksysgames.com
Oh, thank god. If we don't get proper closure I think I'll kill myself. Shenmue, Legacy of Kain, Beyond Good & Evil... My favourite franchises are unfinished. I wouldn't be able to endure the same thing with Zero Escape.

Regarding the games, while I enjoy more the setting and tone of 999 and I think the plot is better, as a VN I enjoyed VLR much, much more, the branching system is one hell of improvement, and I think the writing is superior.
I don't think I can choose a fave (it's like Sophie's Choice lol)

I like them both for similar and different reasons~

(BTW, great Muramasa Rebirth Yuzuruha avatar ;) )
 

Voliko

Member
Sep 16, 2013
2,135
2
345
I will say, even though the 3D models were better than I had expected, I really missed the sprites and pre-rendered backgrounds when playing VLR.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
1
705
Put me in the camp that wants the return of horror elements. The sad thing is that, atmosphere wise, we would have probably gotten a more ''999-like'' experience if it weren't for the meddling of sales people.

VLR's Japanese sales were lower than 999's so hopefully the 3rd instalment will be another nerve wrecking experience.

999: 39,653

3DS VLR: 7,890
Vita VLR: 6,133
---------------------------
14,023
Yeah, it's not necessarily a bad idea to seek outside opinion, but this is one of those cases where it at best negated the lower number of systems, at worst drew in no one and displeased some of those that stuck through. Reminds me of why Raiden exists, only for him to be sidelined because he wasn't all that popular with the people who actually wanted to play MGS.
 

Hours Left

Member
Jun 28, 2006
33,689
1
0
Yay, more Zero Escape related things! :D

Everyone put positive things, or I will break into your car/house and knock you out with tear gas. [/Zero]

My negatives were the save glitch and the switch from sprites to 3D models.
 

Elija2

Member
Aug 16, 2012
7,811
0
0
I actually liked the 3D models. They probably look worse on the 3DS version but even then I still liked them. Something about them made them look 2D despite being 3D and I thought it was a neat effect.
 

Shinta

Banned
May 14, 2012
8,478
1
0
Just to step in real quickly... (glad everyone is enjoying the survey! Keep your comments and feedback coming! :) )

Regarding US sales of the Zero Escape series (both 999 and VLR), we are very pleased with how both games have sold, and the Zero Escape series is one of our most successful series.

Any other info out there is most likely rumor or conjecture ;)

Off topic though, I have to say I love reading everyone's comments in all the Zero Escape related threads that have been popping up so far :)!
The biggest flaw of 999 was how cumbersome it was to replay in new game +. This was addressed very well in VLR.

The biggest thing I missed in VLR was the gore and darkness from 999.

The biggest thing that sells this series that the survey didn't mention is the OST. VLR in particular, the OST was brilliant.

VLR on Vita is really what I want more of. Find ways to keep new game + rewarding and interesting. Keep it dark, with the same gameplay and great writing. Keep the fantastic music.

Character designs are pretty good, but there is room for improvement there. But I do like them, and the general art style of the game. VLR is fantastic.

And I got the watch pre-order, and it is neat I guess. But if you can pack in a full OST, I'd rather have that any day as a pre-order bonus. If it's only a partial OST, don't bother though.

I'd also repurchase 999 on Vita any day.
 

Laughing Banana

Weeping Pickle
Jul 22, 2009
20,018
3
950
36
Bandung, Indonesia
So why did they prefer to localize Otome game instead of guy-get-girl dating sim variety? Is it because: (1) The market for Otome game is bigger than the normal variety, or (2) No one makes the normal kind of guy-get-girl dating sim anymore but always the porn/hentai types?

Or both of the above?

Well, I, for one always want to try one of those so if they could bring some or perhaps even if just one to the western shore it would be great and I will be the first to buy them/it.
 

BlackLagoon

Member
Dec 15, 2012
2,701
0
0
So why did they prefer to localize Otome game instead of guy-get-girl dating sim variety? Is it because: (1) The market for Otome game is bigger than the normal variety, or (2) No one makes the normal kind of guy-get-girl dating sim anymore but always the porn/hentai types?
The guy-get-girl(s) stuff usually originates on PC, and there are several companies already bringing those over. On the other hand the vast majority of otome games are made for the PSP, and so far Aksys has no significant competition in the western market.
 

BowieZ

Banned
Jun 2, 2009
14,065
1
0
www.youtube.com
I would prefer a sequel without time travel/branching futures.

I know it was essentially part of the story in VLR, but there's something disappointing about getting to know characters and then having to get to know them all over again (albeit in different ways), and with so many branches, it's so hard to juggle remembering what happened in all of the different branches. To some degree I stopped caring about minor plot points and conversation because I knew it was ultimately pointless, which is especially a shame considering the quality of the writing itself.

It's a nitpick though, really. I would still play another one.

But maybe there could be fewer paths (not necessarily more linear of course!) or when we select a point at which a path branches, give us a quick reminder sequence about what happened up to that point or something.
 

Foshy

Member
May 6, 2012
6,479
0
620
Zurich, Switzerland
There's something really awesome that this game does, and essentially it couldn't possibly work without it doing exactly that. It's sort of like being annoyed that car engines make noise.
I know that it's an integral part of the game, hence why I said that my complaint might sound ignorant. The problem is that it made me feel like my choices didn't really matter, because I can go back in time anyway if something doesn't go the way I'd like it to.

The first time I had to choose Ally/Betray was one of the most tense situations I ever experienced in a game and really made me feel that the story would be heavily influenced by my choices. When the game later forces you to go back, that magic is kinda lost.

Just my two cents, of course. Again, it's really cool that you can go back and pick other choices without having to re-do everything, I just wished that I could do a first playthrough without being stopped.
 

BlackLagoon

Member
Dec 15, 2012
2,701
0
0
Do they have any competition, period?
I seem to recall someone claiming there was otome stuff being localized on iOS/Android. And I suppose there are some fan translations and homegrown games if you want to count them. It's not something I keep particularly close track of though.
 

BassForever

Member
Dec 30, 2011
58,359
1
0
31
Orlando FL
I put that I wish the games had less gameplay, because the puzzle rooms slow the narrative to a crawl and the puzzles themselves rarely add any value to the story.
 

L~A

Member
Jan 19, 2013
12,188
0
610
Other: What did you like about VLR?

Me: "Dual-audio so I could listen to Chiaki Omigawa the whole game."
I was about to say "Damn, I'd love that too!!...." then I remembered we actually got the Japanese dub in Europe (thank you SO MUCH RSG!)

I would have been pretty annoyed if they'd gone with English dub only, as there's no way to get rid of the voices...
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
I didn't like those damn map transitions in VLR, with that blinking sound. It's stupid, it gets annoying as you progress in the game.
YES THOSE WERE SO AWFUL. This has given me a reason to fill out this survey.

Forcing you to sit through the credits in VLR every time was rough.
Hit Start....? (Or does the 3DS version not let you skip the credits?)

If the puzzles are the same quality as VLR or 999, I'd take fewer puzzles and more story branching. If they get better, I'd like the same amount. I honestly don't want more puzzles at all.
VLR has plenty of puzzles -- sixteen covers a pretty significant gamut. I wouldn't want less than that, it is supposed to be a puzzle game.
 

Atolm

Member
Jun 4, 2010
4,153
0
575
Galicia, Spain
I don't think I can choose a fave (it's like Sophie's Choice lol)

I like them both for similar and different reasons~

(BTW, great Muramasa Rebirth Yuzuruha avatar ;) )
Hey, if you manage to speak with someone at Vanillaware or Marvelous, tell them that Grim Grimoire & Odin Sphere Vita ports are welcome ;)
 

KiraFA37

Member
May 9, 2012
1,283
0
0
Belguim
Even when the plot revolved around her, I can't think of anything interesting she did. She was just kinda there.
I think the VLR Q&A said she returned because she was on top of the popularity polls or highly requested. Or it seemed implied at least.
VLR Q&A said:
Q7: Will Clover be appearing again in the third game?
[VLR SPOILERS]…but if there are enough requests for her she might show up.
HOW? VLR clearly implies that the third game will take place on
Mars
, unless ofcourse
Clover will be the main character and joins the time-jumping-hero-club after the failure of Phi and Sigma
or will we
find her in a frozen state on the test site as a major plot device
OR I
don't know but I'll probably be confused and start reading up on the many-worlds interpretation and quantum physics again.

...
Regarding US sales of the Zero Escape series (both 999 and VLR), we are very pleased with how both games have sold, and the Zero Escape series is one of our most successful series.
...
How were the European sales? And this question is certainly way to early but will pre-orders of ZE3 contain a bracelet? I'm jelly I never got the chance to get one since I only started playing the series this summer.
 

Korigama

Member
Jul 10, 2009
12,469
0
0
Filled this out, complained plenty about VLR (about how impersonal and wide in scope the story was compared to the original, about how much worse Clover's design and personality were compared to 999, how some puzzles were too obtuse, how the cast was less sympathetic, how the horror and tension from 999 were gone, and of course, how the ending was
inconclusive thanks to amounting to a sequel hook
).

EDIT: Crap, I forgot to complain about how much the 3D models sucked compared to 999's sprites.

VLR Q&A said:
Q7: Will Clover be appearing again in the third game?
[VLR SPOILERS]…but if there are enough requests for her she might show up.
If she's anything like she was in VLR, I don't want her back.
 

Omikaru

Member
May 28, 2006
7,786
0
0
How were the European sales? And this question is certainly way to early but will pre-orders of ZE3 contain a bracelet? I'm jelly I never got the chance to get one since I only started playing the series this summer.
You'd have to ask Rising Star Games about that. Also, while you're at it tell them to not be skinflints and license the English dub for Zero Escape III.
 

grim-tales

Member
Oct 20, 2012
2,403
1
360
I enjoyed VLR and loved the twists and turns in the story, but agree the tension was lacking compared to 999 which is lamentable. I hope ZE3 addresses this or at least finds a happy medium between 999's horror and VLR's isolation (last I heard Uchikoshi was aiming for a mix of the two). I also liked the personal nature of 999's story, so as a whole it makes you feel close to the characters.
I didnt like the constant use of the blinking map for 30 seconds when you went anywhere in VLR, for some reason it just took me right out of the game.
999's scenes of the door opening and closing with that creaky noise were much more effective.
I'd love to hear some ZE3 news soon - surely work has started by now?!
 

Esura

Banned
Jan 29, 2012
5,586
0
0
Please, yes. Her death could serve several purposes. For Japanese players, they'd realize how high the stakes are now that their most popular character has been killed off. For American players we'd see a character we dislike finally get what's coming to her, and similarly know things are serious by the fact they offed a main, legacy character.

Also, it's spur some action from Snake, who was really by the far better half of that sibling pair, anyway.
As an American player, they better not kill off mah boo Clover
despite being a bit of an ass in VLR.
 

grim-tales

Member
Oct 20, 2012
2,403
1
360
I also agree Quark was less than useless in VLR, what a massive disappointment his character was.
 

also

Banned
Sep 22, 2011
3,109
0
675
I remembered another complaint; easy mode having more funny dialogue. You should never be punished for wanting to solve the puzzles on your own.
 

grim-tales

Member
Oct 20, 2012
2,403
1
360
I didnt really try easy mode but I would liked to have heard funny dialogue in Hard Mode as well :(
Why have a hard mode at all anyway? Why not just have 1 mode a la 999? Some of the conversations in 999 were hilarious (eg the freezer scene and the elevator scene) :D