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Rule of Rose Review

Developer: SCE Publisher: Atlus
Release Date: September 12, 2006 Also On: None

It is amazing how many hidden treasures get passed up by American publishers. Rule of Rose is a game developed by Sony for Japan and until now has not seen a publisher in America. The venerable publisher Atlus is giving this unusual game a chance with the American public. While I can not say that I expect Rule of Rose to have mass-market appeal, it certainly is an interesting game that will likely be worth looking into.

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You play as Jennifer, the main character in this story of a girl that has lost her parents. The “unlucky girl”, as they call her, gets sent away to an orphanage. As if that is not bad enough for Jennifer, the orphanage appears to be under authoritarian control – by the children. Many of the scenes that you will witness are flat-out bewildering and others are surprisingly violent.

When it comes to gameplay, Rule of Rose is a bit of a mixed bag. This is an adventure game first and foremost, so if you are expecting action go elsewhere. While Rule of Rose does have a combat system, the game itself warns against fighting enemies when you do not have to; just avoid them. How affective could a fork be at fighting several gimps anyway?

One of the more creative aspects of the game involves a dog that you will come across two or so hours into the game. Once you free him, you can use scent on objects to go on an investigative trail. I’m sure this has been done before in some other game, but probably not as extensively as it is here. Your dog will take commands, find items and signal to you with gestures.

It’s clear that this game came from Japan, but that also increases our interest level in a lot of things. The way that American game development is trending, Rule of Rose is a refreshing break from the constant ports, remakes and yearly iterations of the tried and tired franchises that we are all familiar with. If you want to look to a unique experience on the PlayStation 2, look no further than Rule of Rose from Atlus. Expect a full review from Game Freaks 365 on September 12.

Written by Kyle