Developer: Kadokawa Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 19/03/2021
£34.99 £27.99/$39.99 $31.99
On sale until 01/04/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Since I played Root Letter back in 2016 and again on the switch in 2019, I was desperate for more; I was mega excited at the end of 2019 that Root Film was coming. To be fair, as soon as I could I emailed Pqube for a review code and thanks for it too. However, was it worth the wait?
Root Film’s story revolves around a up and coming young director named Rintaro Yagumo set in the Shimane prefecture. And have been shortlisted to revive a 10-year-old dead show ‘Shimane Mystery Drama Project’. The show was cancelled for unknown reasons and is said to be haunted. While on location scouting a murder halt, the scouting process and leads Yagumo and his team down a different path.
Similarly, actress Riho is entangled in a similar circumstance and murders. Find out more as the two stories collide and connections are made, and we revile their pasts.
Kadokawa Games are somewhat masters in story telling and Root Film is no exception. Every part of the narrative is perfect and will all fall in to place as you progress and explore the Prefecture.
From a gameplay view it has seemed to have been streamlined (a little) to keep it more visual novel and less detective. You move from place to place on the map, talk to people or look at the beautiful surroundings. And if important information is shared, our protagonists have will remember this information and can use it later on with the returning Max System. However, the game does a poor job of pointing us in the right direction; I didn’t mind this but some players may not like the slowed down pace because of this.
Speaking of the Max System, I felt as if it was too simple and easy to throw the info in to the accused face and get it right. I did not mind that so much as it is a visual novel, it just seems too simple. If you happen to give the wrong information to a question/statement, the next right answer will disregard the wrong answers all together.
Knowing this, I threw myself in to the story and the character development and world building. Root Film has some of the best writing I have seen in a long time in a visual novel. Regardless of how simple the other systems are, the story is fantastic.
Graphically the art direction goes for a more cell shaded effect with an almost rotoscoped background stills. At first I was a little taken aback with this decision until I went to the first location outside and I was blown away. The game is beautiful in its own wonderful way.
Root Film is a Visual Novel first and a detective game latter, if you are expecting a Phoenix Wright style game you will be disappointed. Saying that if you are a fan of thrillers and twists and turns in stories, then you will love this.
This is a must buy for Visual Novel fans and Root Letter fans alike.
For more reviews, check out YU-NO The Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound of this World and Raging Loop