Day 2: Working Through the Game Backlog

An actual picture of my DS/3DS game shelfI know I’m not alone in having a very large backlog of games that need playing. Like so many others, I buy a bunch of games when they’re on sale, or if I catch an article about it, and once I get started there’s another new game to distract me to start. And the vicious cycle begins. Mostly I have a hundred or so games on Steam, but really I’ve got a rather large number of DS and 3DS games to play as well. I was looking through my piles of 3DS games to find something that might interest me right now. One of the difficult things I run into at the time of purchase is I THINK I will want to play it right away, but once I got home, I change my mind or find something else more interesting. So I picked up 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t even remember why I bought this game. But there it was, on the shelf, and I decided that it was just about time to start playing it.

Published in North America in 2010 according to the wiki page, I might even consider this slightly retro-ish. Mostly because it’s a DS game as opposed to a 3DS game. I really didn’t know what to expect going into the game, but I was more than surprised.

The game itself is more like an interactive movie or book than what most people consider a traditional game. It’s kind of like the old school Choose Your Own Adventure books were based on the page you turned to, the ending of your story could change. You can easily read the Wikipedia page to find out what happens, but there are 6 endings for the first game. Some of them aren’t very, um, pleasant. There’s only one true ending, but it requires that you’ve played through at least once to get to the ending. Of course the purpose of the game is to find out all the different endings and piecing together all the character’s back stories.

I had few expectations for the game, really. Reviews of the game are good, but I generally ignore anything that requires reading. WoW? I don’t read a lot of the quest text. Probably because when I do, it ends up making me cry. This game, however, is different. I was very interested in the mystery. I wanted to know what was going on. I was curious about the people and the personalities being forced together in a fairly dire situation. They had 9 hours to get out of there or they would die.

There are puzzles, math, chemistry, history, and other quirky tidbits of information that will leave you wondering if the writers made it up or if there’s some basis for the claims. If you need a break from Pokémon and WoW or whatever other game you’re playing, try to find 999. You might find you enjoy that sort of thing. The characters are real, and I think that was the first thing I noticed while playing… the snarky Santa made me laugh. June’s so sweet you almost want to punch her. Snake is fun and intelligent. Clover is about as cute as a pink pig-tailed girl could be… but man does she have some attitude! Your choices dictate how Junpei reacts to what goes on around him, but the small things will leave you somewhat surprised… it certainly did for me.

Also, if it isn’t known, I broke the “Don’t buy any games until you effing play some of the already purchased games you dummy!” rule and picked up the sequel to 999, Virtue’s Last Reward, which has 24 alternate endings and more characters to learn about. NOW I’m going to not buy anymore games until I’ve played down some of my backlog… I think…

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