Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition (PC) Review

By Ofisil 4 Days ago 5

Review for Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition on PC

Visual novel readers. A weird bunch, right? Why read when you can headshot demons, wage war at aliens, or save princesses while killing every single turtle or shiitake mushroom in view? Taste is subjective, of course, and, to be honest, quality can shine no matter the genre. Root Double (yeah, the full title is longer than that), for instance, is considered to be one of the best of the bunch, featuring an actual plot instead of an excuse to get it on with a bunch of suspiciously busty schoolgirls, and actual characters rather than… a bunch of suspiciously busty schoolgirls. Is it, though? Cubed3 shares its somewhat alternative view on the subject.

Right of the bat, this is not one of those hundreds of bad (be honest, genre fans!) visual novels. Furthermore, it's not a dating sim, it's not a cat-girl harem, and it's not about managing a café/hotel/whatever while being "pursued" by cutties. Root Double… yada yada is a sci-fi mystery thriller, and a well-written, one might add. Those who've grown tired of the same old anime clichés and tropes, however, should stay away. Yes, while not a tale of boring-guy-versus-10-sexy-girls, it certainly repeats certain genre mistakes.

First things first, though. What is this all about? Root Double… tl;dr is basically a story divided between a couple of different 'routes,' with the first two "core" ones being available right from the beginning. Note that this review will only focus on these two, as the rest are smaller, generally, similar in tone and style, and, honestly, inferior when compared to the rest.

Screenshot for Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition on PC

Root #1 or "After," follows a man named Watase, who is suffering from amnesia (Argh! Not again!!!), and who turns out to be one of the members of a special rescue unit. He, along with his two mates (female mates, that is), have entered a super-duper, hi-tech lab complex, where a nuclear meltdown has ensued, and their task is to save everyone, including their own freaking behinds, while understanding what "really" happened.

While this is by far the best "chapter," since it is full of mystery and tense situations, the flaws won't hide themselves for long. For starters, although the characters are better than the usual cardboard ones, they certainly aren't the most complex ones either. Oh, they are more than meets the eye, sure, but no amount of conversations about their past can't hide the fact that they are nothing special.

Screenshot for Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition on PC

The biggest problem, however, is Root Double… blah blah's tendency to talk. A. Lot. The exposition and over-explaining is insane. Each character will spent more than three pages of text to "develop," each minor/major plot element will be analysed and RE-analysed to death, and even "common" stuff that almost everybody knows of will have to actually take more than five minutes of your time, whether that's how nuclear power or a fire extinguisher works.

This makes the whole thing pretty boring, especially for those who want their visual novels less than 8 hours long. The good thing is that the writing is generally of good quality (kudos to the translators), and the storyline is enjoyable, albeit a little predictable… And then comes 'Root Before,' and things get really bad, since everything turns from a mystery into a generic slice-of-life school comedy/drama.

Screenshot for Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition on PC

Gameplay-wise, instead of the typical choice mechanic, this uses the Senses Sympathy System… which is basically one more example of the love that the Japanese have for flashy terminology, and which, in all honesty, just hides a pretty basic multiple choice dialogue sequence behind a seemingly complex veil. Upon reaching a crossroad, the player will have to adjust a meter that points out the main character's feelings toward members of the cast, and, as a result affect the outcome of the story.

These crossroads have three different "strengths." Blue ones make small alterations to the story, yellow make much more important ones, and, finally, red are life-or-death situations. As a whole, however, and as mentioned earlier, this is basically the typical multiple choice system of most visual novels, and while in text this version might look as if it can make Root Double more immersive… it just doesn't.

Screenshot for Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Where does Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition sit on the visual novel scale? The answer is: perfectly in the middle. Enjoyable plot? Yes, but nothing to die for. Well-written? Sure, but also way too long. Has an innovative choice mechanic? Yes… but then again, no.

Developer

Yeti

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm looking forward to playing this game. Only major comment is the making fun of title repeatedly comes off as unprofessional.

Dragon0085 said:
I'm looking forward to playing this game. Only major comment is the making fun of title repeatedly comes off as unprofessional.

Or comes off as a lighthearted joke? I imagine after naming your game something like that, the dev has a sense of humour.

 

Azuardo said:

Dragon0085 said:
I'm looking forward to playing this game. Only major comment is the making fun of title repeatedly comes off as unprofessional.

Or comes off as a lighthearted joke? I imagine after naming your game something like that, the dev has a sense of humour.

^this exactly

by the way, I know I'm the minority here, so you'll probably enjoy it.

( Edited 16.02.2017 19:44 by Ofisil )

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis

Did you play the 999 series?

Nuh...

Generally not a fan of Visual Novels. I just like to try a little bit of everything.

( Edited 17.02.2017 23:39 by Ofisil )

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis

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