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Root Letter Review – The Mysterious Letter From the Past

Root Letter - Features

General Information:

  • System                               : Playstation Vita. Playstation 4, PC, Mobile
  • Release Date                    : November 10th, 2016 (PSV, PS4), July 7th, 2017 (PC)
  • Developer/Publisher       : Kadokawa Games/ PQubes

Root Letter is Visual Novel Adventure made by Kadokawa Games. This game is the first Kadokawa Game Mystery’ series set in the real place in Japan, Shimane Prefecture. The staff of this game actually from the same team who made LovePlus especially the Character Design by Mino Taro.

You can watch the trailer below

STORY

Upon discovering her un-read final letter 15 years later, in which she confesses to a murder, it’s up to you, the player, to unravel the mystery of what happened to her. Reminiscing through previous letters from Fumino Aya, you must piece together the truth, alongside the testimonies from seven witnesses who knew her. Did she really murder someone, was she telling the truth in her letters.

This game story was really surprise me. I knew the genre of this game was mystery but I didn’t expect detective-like story with some supernatural mixed in. I really like each ending lead us to the different story even though we had to saw the same 1-8 chapter again and again to see any ending. Fortunately we could skip chapter 1-7.

Score: 4

Characters

Protagonist (Max)

A man with nickname, Max, write letters to Aya Fumino 15 years ago. He still kept ten letters from her but suddenly he saw mysterious eleventh letter he never seen before. With the mysterious content inside he determined to search Aya Fumino and reveal the behind of mysterious letter.

Aya Fumino

Root Letter - Fumino AyaThe beautiful high school girl from Shimane. In her letter she always write about her school life with her classmate. Each letter she describe her friend with their nickname and how she felt about them. These letter became a sole clue for protagonist to find Aya Fumino and her classmates.

 

 

There are many characters in this game but many of them would be spoiler the story a lot. I really love the protagonist here. I’m glad the developer didn’t take silent protagonist route. This protagonist has some interesting personalities, he also funny.  And how determine he is to find his pen pal without even met her before. Another characters also has interesting personalities. I also glad their motives to hide the truth about Aya Fumino was not forced and it mix well with each ending.

Score: 5

Gameplay

This game has two mode, Adventure mode and Investigation Mode. Adventure mode was like another Visual Novel adventure where you could ASK someone or CHECK area to find a clue. The INVENTORY, was a place where you could check the items you had found or presented it to someone. If you stuck, THINK will help you to give hints to where you should going next. The GUIDEBOOK was a unique because this is really use for guide you about many place in Shimane. SMARTPHONE where you could save or load your game.

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The Investigation Mode where the protagonist interrogation the characters and present evidence to them and catch them out in lies. Based what they said, you had to present correct evidence or ask correct questions. When the characters cornered Max will enter Max Mode and give them final push for them to tell the truth.

The Investigation mode was very unique and fun. It’s like reading a detective comic book with all sound effect and graphic that matched the mood. Max Mode was confusing at first but it funny to see the characters reaction each choice in Max Mode.

Score: 5

Graphic and Sound

The graphic in Root Letter was so good for visual novel. The transitions feels like reading a comic book. The text box also changed based from their expression. Although some characters expressions not match with their emotion. It feels refreshing to see visual novel like this.

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The music in here was good though I felt this game didn’t have many track because I always heard same music throughout the game. And for Characters VA, as expected of Japan, they are always great.

Score: 4

Additional Appeal

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Because this game based from real place in Japan, it’s no familiar to player outside Japan. But The guidebook helped us to understand that place better. When you completed the game until true ending, you will unlock Gallery where you could the commentary from three main female VA about the game. There also music, picture CG, and Aya Fumino letter.

Score: 4

Replay Value

This game has 5 endings and to see each ending you just need choose the reply of protagonist letter on each chapter. For that you really has to replay 5 times to see each ending. The bad things is, you have to see the exact same thing from chapter 1 to chapter 8. Fortunately you could skip the chapter from 1 to 7 after choose the reply of letter.

Score: 3

Summary

+ Intriguing and unique story

+Interesting Characters

+Fun gameplay for Visual Novel

– There is no any difference between chapter 1-8 for each ending.

FINAL SCORE: 4.5/5

Conclusion

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For murder mystery story this game quite scary but not too disturbing if you not into to horror story. The main point of this game is about Aya Fumino and her classmates story. How they struggling in 15 years to forget their past that still haunt them. This perfect to someone that like drama story where the characters are all adults.

Root Letter already released in US region for PlayStation 4  PS Vita PC

 

 

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Written by
A JRPG lover but like another genre as long as it's fun and easy to play.

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