(NON-OTOME GAME REVIEW)
Death Come True is the latest sci-fi mystery FMV Game written and directed by the Danganropa creator Kazutaka Kodaka.
Release Date: June 24, 2020
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, iOs, Android
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Game Synopsis (from Nintendo eshop):
In a hotel room, there is a man lying on the bed.
He wakes up to the piercing sound of the phone ringing.
Picking up the phone, he hears a message from the hotel concierge,
“If you have any trouble, please visit the front desk.”
He doesn’t even know why he is in the hotel.
In fact, he doesn’t remember anything at all.
As he begins to look around, he suddenly finds a woman tied up and unconscious.
The evening news on the TV shows the man himself, allegedly wanted as a serial killer.
Then comes the sound of knocking on the door.
Game’s official website.
When it comes to FMV (Full-motion video games), I believe my only experience to closely playing one was watching my best friend’s brother play through Night Trap in the Sega Gen. back in the day, 🤣 and maybe Netflix’s Bandersnatch lol (which I’m NOT a huge fan of, unfortunately -but that’s another story😘)
With that said, Death Come True was kind of a new experience for me as it was my first FMV game to play on the Switch console.
The game starts with establishing shots of the hotel room, where we see our protagonist, Makoto Karaki, waking up remembering absolutely nothing to his disadvantage. He then begins to explore the room continuously looking for clues, painstakingly trying to piece things together to no avail. Things get even more complicated when he finds an unconscious woman all tied up in his bathroom.
Sounds a bit cliche? Yes, but it’s a pretty interesting intro, enough to fully catch my attention.
When it’s time for you to pick a particular choice to move the plot forward. The game presents you with an interactive scene (of the recent cutscene) where you have to move your cursor around to examine your surroundings and pick a choice you see fit.
Spoiler: You will mandatorily die on your first choice.
More times than not, the choices you’ll make eventually ends up with Makoto dying which then creates another loop of the entire event but this time gives you more choices and more clues to play around with.
The game is also generous enough to offer you a pause, playback, rewind, and forward option in any case you missed a clue OR if you would rather skip the scenes you’ve already watched and jump into the next choice.
I believe I’ve died ten times on my first playthrough before I got to one of the game’s true endings. I didn’t mind dying countless times since a lot of these death scenes were really fun (My favorite was the one with Nene Kurushima in it *cackles*).
The game had a solid cast of characters who were all very convincing in portraying their roles. I do admit that sometimes I noticed a lack of characterization from the main protagonist (Makoto) but… this ain’t the Oscars, so I really don’t expect Oscar-winning performances 😆. Still and all, everyone was quite impressive, to say the least.
As a movie buff, I was very familiar with the actors of the game (even a huge fan of some) which, to be honest, was initially, one of the reasons I bought the game in the first place. Ha!
I absolutely loved Chiaki Kuriyama, you’ll probably recognize her as “Takako”, from the first Battle Royale movie, but she became really famous in the west when she starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (she played “Gogo”, one of O-Ren-ishi’s personal bodyguards).
Yuki Kaji, my favorite seiyuu, also starred in this game, and seeing him finally doing live-action instead of just character voices was such a treat! I really hope he gets more acting gigs in the future.
Other casts include:
Kanata Hongo (Makoto Karaki) – Armin (Attack on Titan live-action film), Naoyuki Ando (Inuyashiki), Envy (Fullmetal Alchemist live-action movie)
Win Morisaki (Nozomu Kuji) – Masaru (Listen to the Universe), Koa Guen (Kujira No Shima no Wasuremono)
Chihiro Yamamoto (Nene Kurushima) – Rikka (Black Fox: Age of the Ninja), Laiha Toba (Ultraman Geed TV series)
EXTRAS (Death Medals and “DeathTube”)
Every time Makoto dies, a death medal unlocks and you can view them in the game’s “EXTRA” section. This is quite helpful if you’re a completionist like me who wants to watch all the death scenes and get all the medals for it. Getting death medals eventually unlocks video clips in the game’s “DeathTube” section. Think of it as bonus clips of the game as well as the behind-the-scene footages of the actors, the director, Mr. Kodaka himself and the whole Death Come True production staff.
Although the game offers around seven languages to choose from as subtitles, it is unfortunate that these extra bonus clips do not have them. I would’ve love to know what my boi Yuki Kaji was laughing at on the movie set. 😅
A good 2-3 hours playtime would probably let you finish Death Come True to a full completion. I, of course, had a lot of fun playing the entire game, especially unlocking all the death scenes and seeing how quirky and eccentric these death endings can get each time.
The story started really well, and I was fairly intrigued by the whole “stuck in a weird hotel with no memories” shtick (I love these tropes!). However, it slowly fell flat (to me) in the middle that I suddenly didn’t care how it would all end. I also, couldn’t bring myself to really like the main protagonist (no offense to the actor as he did a marvelous job). Maybe, there really wasn’t enough time to get to know him? I feel like there were a couple of flashback scenes that were merely forced in the game just to give us a tiny detail of who he was before his amnesia but it didn’t have any particular impact in the storyline. If anything, the plot twist and the big reveal was more like an “Oh okay (shrug)” type moment (for me lol). 🤗
I didn’t have any issues seeing Jason Voorhees sporadically committing a killing spree on my screen either.🤣 It was ridiculous! Yes, but I feel like his presence was necessary for the game to accomplish the core of ‘Death Come True’, which was the dying loop that was needed in the gameplay.
Although Death Come True’s mystery plot is mediocre at best, the production and the technical execution of the game were very profound and it never looked cheap for a modern FMV title.
Do I recommend this game? YES.
All things considered, It was a fun ride all around and very entertaining at that. Despite it falling short of its story-telling, for fifteen bux cash, Death Come True was worth the silly entertainment and I can honestly say, I have no regrets playing it. 😃
CHLO’S RATING: 6/10