Another great visual novel game made by the Danganronpa maker, Spike Chunsoft. Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a further proof that the developer likes to persecute its protagonists. Similar with Danganronpa, Zanki Zero has the same taste of harsh and violence in its story and gameplay wrapped in a RPG, dungeon-crawler, and survival genre.
- System: Playstation 4, PS Vita, Windows
- Release Date: 5 July 2018
- Developer/Publisher: Spike Chunsoft, Lancarse
- Main Series: Zanki Zero
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning offers a story of 8 characters waking up in an unknown island. Having their memory about how the get to the island erased, two weird characters told them as the last earth survivors. Another bitter ‘truth’ is that they are also clones, imperfect ones. Due to this reason, they only have thirteen days to live and try to unveil mysteries about their past and the island guided by the two weirdos.
At first, I was astounded knowing that the characters’ lifespan are only less than two weeks to reveal the unknowns and how creepy seeing someone aged so rapidly. Glad ‘they’ have a machine that can extend the characters’ life by reviving them upon death and live once more to finish the story. In a never ending cycle of life, you can play as all the eight characters depending on the chapters.
Having this ‘perk’, I feel like I have all the ‘time’ I need to discover the mysteries. Each time you revive the characters, there will always new things achieved as well as new things to discover. Meaning that the excitement I get will increase every time my character’s life gets extended. With 8 characters to play, imagine the never ending pleasure you get from reviving them.
For sure, I feel like the story is very engaging and the enjoyments I get from discovering mysteries gradually get me intact into the game even more.
As I have stated earlier, the game has 8 playable characters. Each of them has their unique design, trait and personality. Surprisingly, as clones, I feel like they are so human and relatable to the real human society. The dialogues between characters are natural enough for me to sense that it’s not just filler whatsoever. Having separate chapters that focus on each character that allows me to understand the story from every character’s point of view.
The characterization is also shown even clearer as you progress further into the game. Not only through dialogue and event, dungeons are also sometime having something to tell about the character’s trait. The mystery about the characters’ past lives is also shown corresponding to each chapter.
Nothing else can I say beside that the characterization in Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is beyond great in my taste. Surely you will get surprised with the characters’ trait.
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning does not offer only a good story, but also a RPG with a real-time battle, and dungeon-crawling gameplay. While I am enjoying the story, in the meantime, I have to make strategy to defeat the enemies as well as trying my best to survive on the deserted island by gathering goods and materials. Also, avoiding traps and finishing puzzles are crucial if you want to progress more into the game.
Furthermore, the reviving thingy makes the characters can have different age which affects the character’s capabilities to survive. In this case, I have to adjust strategy every time one of my characters dies. But, there is a perk that the characters will be more resistance to anything that has killed them when revived.
To be brief, Zenki Zero: Last Beginning is rich in term of gameplay and mechanics. I believe, you will not get bored easily, even after hours of playing it.
First thing first, I say the graphic in Zenki Zero: Last Beginning is quite nice and smooth for an anime game. Despite it being not an AAA game, the transitions and detailed environment make the game even more satisfying for the eyes. Not to mention the character body shots are very clever, too, in my opinion.
About the music, maybe, I will just say it as so-so. There are some sounds that I feel suitable with the situation and actions, but the rest are not too fitted and give the wrong hype. On the other hand, the voice actors are seemingly good even though they don’t give full speech to the dialogue.
Now, let’s talk about the control. For PC user, there may be less matter with the controller, but for console user, there might be a bit of problem. While fully have to use controller or gamepad to play the game, there are situations that make you have to use a cursor to do some actions which is not very comforting. Also, there is no feature that allows the player to remap the controls. This is somehow I think a bit of a flaw that forbid people to edit the buttons to suit their needs in this gaming era.
Overall, with the great-great storytelling and characterization, as a visual novel game, Zenki Zero: Last Beginning is a noteworthy game to put into your playlist. The unique flow of gameplay with the revive feature and combination of RPG, dungeon-crawler, and survival genre, make the game has its own attraction. There is a bit flaw in its control, though, but it is not really a big deal. Maybe, adding an explanation about the backstory of the game setting that will nicely fill the player’s curiosity.