Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#ADecadeofDS: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

Amount of time devoted to this game since I started playing it a few weeks ago--12 hours, 47 minutes.

Most recent boss toppled, location reached or milestone achieved--So as to not spoil anything for those of you who've yet to play 999, all I'm going to say here is that I'm currently working my way toward this Chunsoft-made game's fourth (of six) ending.

Overall comments on the experience so far--I first attempted to play through 999 a number of years ago. I didn't make it very far and walked away from the experience after getting stuck while trying to find the exit to some room or other.

At the time, I stubbornly refused to turn to an online FAQ for assistance. I thought I shouldn't have to resort to such "cheating" and became pretty disenchanted with 999 as a result.

This time around, I decided to check my pride at the door from the word go, and I've got to say I'm glad I did. Sure, I hate it when I can't figure out a puzzle on my own, but the hatred is softened quite a bit by the fact that checking an FAQ allows me to move forward and learn more about this game's intriguing cast of characters.

Speaking of which, 999's characters have proven to be a real highlight of my first honest-to-goodness encounter with this horror-tinged visual novel.

Just as appealing has been the story that brings all of these men, women, girls and boys together--even if it's against their will--and forces them to find a way to escape the creepy ocean liner that serves as this game's setting.

(If you aren't all that knowledgable about 999, the gist is that nine people, most of whom don't know each other, are independently knocked out, kidnapped and dropped onto a Titanic-esque vessel. They're then given nine hours to traverse its many puzzle-filled rooms and successfully make their way through the ninth of its titular, boobytrapped doors. Oh, and should they fail to do all of that, they'll die.)

Admittedly, I've found some of 999's riddles and berths to be annoyingly obtuse, but even that hasn't done much to dampen the thrilling shiver that travels up and down my spine whenever I gain even a smidgen of insight into this game's goings-on.

Will I continue to play this game in the coming days, weeks and maybe even months?--Well, I'll certainly continue to play it for the next few days, but after that I probably won't play it again for some time.

I don't mean that in any sort of negative way, of course. I just mean that I'm expecting to clear all of its many endings in that time, and once that's done I'll put my 999 cart away until I've forgotten enough of its story to be able to enjoy it again.

Mark my words, though; I'll definitely come back to it down the road. It's quickly become one of my all-time favorite DS games, so there's no question I'll play through it many more times in the future.

Do I recommend it to others?--Absolutely. I know there are plenty of folks out there who have tried 999 and have walked away from the experience feeling dissatisfied, but I have to imagine they're a distinct minority.

So, if the game's premise sounds at all interesting to you, I think it's worth risking disappointment to pick up a copy if you've got the dough.

Next up--Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits

See also: previous #ADecadeofDS posts

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