Rule of Rose – Beastly Creature

**POTENTIAL SPOILERS**

This one almost slipped past me. Though I’m trying to figure out if I should let it go.

It’s my latest rental, and the opening movie elicited a wicked cackle from me, promising ghoulish delights bearing no small resemblance to Edward Gorey at his Gashlycrumb Tiniest. Though set in a different time period, the dirt fetish in the game reminds me of Imperial Leather by Anne McClintock.

Dieter from SNL's SprocketsBut can we just get rid of the shambling gait we have to assume in these survival horror games? It certainly adds something to not be able to move around these creepy environments like, say, Dante or Kratos. But the amount of frustration it creates when traversing the game world, exploring or on a fetch quest, quickly outweighs any immersive benefit.

Maybe I’m just impatient to get to Okami.

Reaching certain plot points that move the story forward keeps the promise of the opening cinema, but the pacing is heinously slow. The play mechanic of having Brown (the dog) sniff out items is clunky since it forces you to go into your inventory to try item after item. Drag ass over here to find a scone, then drag ass over there to find a minced pie. Oh, and the key item that advances the story is on the other side of the airship.

This forces a very linear approach to the game and artificially accelerates the story when I want to take the time to enjoy sticking dessert forks into punkass babies.

I’ve met the second “boss” and died a stupid death because my player character’s limp grip on a steel pipe was no match for a “mermaid’s” green vomitus.

But there is definitely something twisted in Rule of Rose that’s crooking its finger at me. Something like Drusilla in Buffy, who speaks about one of her dolls thusly:

Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She’s a bad example [turning her to face the wall], and will have no cakes today. Shhh.

When those sick moments occur in the game, I’m all atwitter with evil glee. “Leveling up” takes on new meaning in The Aristocrats Club, and I hope for some black transformation in Jennifer once she attains the rank of Duchess.

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