999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

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Video game, 2010

Here’s yet another DS adventure game that beat me. I could dedicate a lot of thought dissecting the things about this game that don’t work, things that I believe are objectively bad, but instead I’m going to talk about one moment that stuck out to me as particularly awful, and from which you can draw your own conclusions about the level of sophistication at work here. In it the protagonist asks his love interest (and their characters have no depth past what I just described) to repeat herself after she said the words “It’s really hard”. Several times. He didn’t do this to laugh at her accidental innuendo, we’re told that after she repeated herself he blushed. I guess he asked her to say it again so that he could overload on how sexually exciting that is? Right in front of her? And the third party that’s present? It’s this mortifying immaturity and emotional tone-deafness that informs all aspects of this game. The shallowness of thought here is overwhelming, despite some good puzzle design. I’m surprised by the amount of positive attention this game has received, and can only speculate that people either wanted to like it because of its interesting gameplay mechanics, were fleeced into thinking its brooding atmosphere actually possessed depth, or have loose standards due to the low bar set by poor storytelling in the majority of video games.



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