999 sequel announced for American release, coming to 3DS and Vita
Series is rebranded to “Zero Escape”, sequel has dual language voice acting.
Chunsoft have lifted the veil of secrecy on their sequel to the cult DS hit, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, or as it’s now called; Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Thats right, in order to unify the game’s overseas brand, Chunsoft have gone back and rebranded their original visual novel, which tasked you with escaping from a sinking ship in nine hours in a manner not entirely dissimilar to the Saw series, although the fascinating dynamics of the nine group members made the game absolutely impossible to put down. In addition to some incredible atmosphere. I’ll stop gushing now.
The sequel is called Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, changed from its working title of Good People Die, which was a pretty amazing name. Alas, if having less punchy titles allows Aksys to market the game in the west, it’s probably a price worth paying. The game follows the model of the last, interspersing standard visual novel sections with fairly complex puzzles and both segments appear to have gotten a bit of a facelift. All the text in the “Novel” sections is now available in both English and Japanese, as well as being voice acted, which the first game lacked. In true visual novel style though, you yourself won’t have any lines. The puzzle section has gone through an engine overhaul, using an actual 3D engine for its environments instead of you navigating through various pre-rendered pictures of the environment, which Chunsoft promise “adds to the immersion”.
Insofar as the story goes, the game will feature at least cameos from the cast of the previous game, as well as “several new characters, all of whom merit additional investigation”. Additionally, the game will have a whopping 24 endings, four times as many the original, “most of which are lethal”.
The game should be out on 3DS and Vita by the end of year, somewhere in the spring. I can’t wait. However, there has been no announcement for a PAL or Euro version of the game yet, quite possibly locking us 3DS owners out of getting this one. The original was never released outside of America and Japan.