199X is an interesting title that goes into some dark subjects. Will you, as the player controlling Clara, be able to figure what’s going on and survive?
I hate simply using “interesting” to describe a game, but that’s what 199X is – interesting. Clara has been labeled as essentially crazy. She’s now hearing voices and can’t even move without the help of that “voice” – in other words, you the player. Clara has no memories of what happened before the game began and just knows what’s there around her.
The game starts you out with a very poor situation. You need to get out of the hospital (after killing the doctor in a battle). However, you must explore EVERY dialogue tree in 5 spots. There’s no indication to if you’ve fulfilled the condition for this. You just have to keep trying, sometimes going back through dialogue you’ve seen before. You’ll “receive” memories like items from these events. Well really, you “receive” most anything or anyone you meet. Not creepy at all.
Your character eventually starts to become aware that she’s just being controlled in a game. Well, really, you sort of just tell her through some dialogue options. Nothing like having to explore EVERY SINGLE OPTION like in the hospital (thankfully that only occurs there), but there are some choices you make in the game. Only a few near the end actually affect the ending though.
The game definitely feels like the developers’ love letter to some of their past favorites. They mention about how games aren’t like they used to be (in a game the character made when they were 9). They talk about how “Final Fantasy III” is “the best game ever” and how “CELES IS THE BEST!” This even comes back in the ending, though thankfully the character properly refers to it as Final Fantasy VI… Ahem. Not going into that here.
Unfortunately, the game suffers majorly from RPG Maker. It’s made with default everything it seems. Well, maybe some of the music is unique, I’m not sure. It sure was creepy at times though… The buildings are literally roof tiles. Yes, entire buildings are just made of roof tiles. Even in the little “Dungeons & Dragons” section. Doesn’t exactly look that… great… to say the least.
So while 199X is definitely a good story (even if it goes into some really deep subjects, and takes some unnecessary shots at Pokemon), it suffers from RPG Maker syndrome. It feels like if a little more polish had gone into some of the sounds and the buildings, it’d be so much better. However, as it is, houses made of roofs are just not that visually appealing. If you’re able to put up with that then go ahead and check out 199X, just be warned again – it goes into some really dark subjects.
199X Review Score