Raging Loop follows a young man called Haruaki Fusaishi who, after a series of wrong turns and unfortunate events, finds himself in the small town of Yasumizu. Highly superstitious and very behind the times, the poor town of only eleven people are hesitant to allow strangers into their midst. Haruaki is more than happy to leave, but finds himself unable to when a mysterious mist coats the town in fog so dense you could cut it. The villagers give him specific instructions: shelter, cleanse, dream. For the wolves are rising from Yomi, and blood is about to be spilled.
Fans of the Zero Escape series–999, Virtue’s Last Reward, Zero Time Dilemma—Steins; Gate, or the Danganronpa series will immediately fall deep into the thralls of Raging Loop. The murder-mystery is very similar in gameplay to the Zero Escape series, from the multitude of choices all the way down to the flowchart that helps you complete each ending.
Like all Visual Novels, Raging Loop focuses on dialogue and narration to drive its story and make players feel like they’re actually in the game by giving them choices to make at key junctions. Anyone who has picked up a Visual Novel before will know exactly what to expect with this title. Typical of the genre, there are multiple endings: bad ends, character-specific ends, horrible ends, what-did-I-just-watch ends, and–as always–a “true” end. The story is long and detailed, and with so many choices and routes, the game takes a good chunk of time to complete.
After completing the “true ending” of the game, a new mode unlocks. This mode allows you to replay the game and see a ton more dialogue, such as the thoughts or secret conversations of other characters. There are also two Easter egg endings that are worth going through the steps to unlock.
The story is well laid out, extensive, and is at times serious, mysterious, scary, and hilarious. The flow of the game is excellent so it very rarely feels like things are being dragged out or stuffed with fluff.
The amount of choices and branching storylines is also well balanced. Each choice leads to something, even if it might take a bit to find out what that something is. While this can feel like a lot during your play-through, the way the flowchart works turns it into a simple thing to go back and pick a different choice.
The translation is also fantastic. There were only a couple of grammatical errors throughout the game, which is amazing considering how many errors I typically come across while playing other games in the genre. A big shout out to Lemnisca, LLC for their awesome work! The voice actors also did a great job bringing the characters to life and giving them their own personalities.
There are only two things I would put in this section and neither of them are written in stone, but rather are personal opinions.
The first is the artwork. While I eventually grew used to it, it never stuck out to me as something that I truly liked. Instead, I typically found myself focusing on the text box and ignoring the avatars until I got a new CG. But again, this was my personal preference and not something I would really dock the game for.
The other relates to some of the mysteries of the game. Since Raging Loop’s native language is Japanese, there are clues and revelations that revolve heavily around the language. While the dialogue does an awesome job of explaining it to an English audience, it’s a lot of information to take in at once and it makes it practically impossible for non-Japanese speakers to solve these puzzles themselves. As someone who enjoys trying to solve the mystery before my character does, it was a little frustrating knowing that I wouldn’t be able to.
Do I recommend this game? 100%. The characters are both fun and charming; mysterious and relatable; stubborn and hateable. The story will grab your attention with its comedy and suck you into the mystery. Its replay value is high, and the length for one play-through is more than enough to warrant paying full price for this title.
- In-depth story with great narration
- Interesting characters with great voice acting
- Fantastic translation with next to no grammatical issues
- Art style is a hit or miss for some players
- Mysteries aren't really solvable by non-Japanese speakers