(Copy/pasted from my LJ post
on the subject)
Okay, Rule of Rose
has to be the single biggest mind screw of a video game that I have played since the original Silent Hill. Dare I say maybe even more so. I just finished the game with the "good" ending, which gives you an extra chapter that kind of sort of in a vague way puts a more realistic interpretation on the events of the game, but even so I still don't really fully understand what the hell happened. I mean, I get it, yeah, but still... crazy as hell. Seriously, children can be frickin' creepy.
The music. I find music in video games to be very important, especially in games like this. The music in games like Silent Hill, Clock Tower, Fatal Frame, Haunting Ground and such are appropriately atmospheric and set the mood pretty well. The music in Rule of Rose... ...well, it does that too, but it's... different. The game is set in 1930 and the music kind of reflects that, I guess. It's almost exclusively either violin or piano. There's no hard rock or pop or even Silent Hill-like ambient noise-as-music in this game (though there is plenty of ambient sound, to be sure). And yet, it works. It works really, really well. (If Galbadia Hotel were being cooperative at the moment, I'd have already downloaded it, but I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow. Â¬_Â¬)
From a gameplay standpoint, it was okay. Some might consider having to find almost everything with Brown, the dog, to be a chore, but I thought it was pretty cool. Brown may not be anywhere near as bad-ass as Hewie (from Haunting Ground
) when it comes to combat, but his nose for sniffing out items puts Hewie to shame by far.
The only real downside to this game: the combat is absolutely atrocious. The enemies, which are, at least, pretty much on par with Silent Hill on the weirdness scale (though none of them are as singularly bad-ass as the Pyramid Head), are either dead stupid and easy to kill, or so damn cheap and impossible and attack in such overwhelming numbers that it's better to just avoid them. Of course, the game explicitly tells
you this, so I guess it's not so
bad. Also, Brown doesn't do much during combat. His barking will sometimes stun an enemy for a few seconds, allowing you to get a few hits in, but that's about it. And it doesn't seem to work on the stronger enemies, much less the bosses. I think he can actually attack during boss fights though, for what it's worth, but he usually ended up unconscious so quickly that I found it better to just park him somewhere out of the way and fight the boss myself.
Still, despite the combat sucking, I'd highly recommend Rule of Rose. If you enjoyed games like Silent Hill or Clock Tower or Haunting Ground, you'll almost assuredly like this one too.