More Reviews
REVIEWS Yorbie - Episode 1: Payback's A Review
You've heard of the phrase “phoned in"? Well, this game is so bad that it must have been “texted in.”

BOXBOY! Review
What does the box say? Nothing. And it's gloriously addictive.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
Release date: Out Now

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Release date: 04/07/15

LATEST FEATURES Top 10 Games in Early Development You Should Know About
Last week we talked about Kickstarter projects, but not every new title takes that route. Here's the top 10 projects we found in their infancy. So cute!

GameRevolution LIVE #10 - Nevermind
Jessica Vazquez walks us through the new cerebral horror title, Nevermind, with Nick Tan and Kevin Schaller commentating.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

Read More Member Blogs
Re-Masters - Next-Gen Backwards Compatibility?
By shandog137
Posted on 03/30/15
I am a PS3 owner and someday hope to be a PS4 owner, yet I am not at all dissatisfied with my choice to delay purchase, solely based on the current PS4 library. When I transitioned from a Playstation 1 to a Playstation 2, I was pleasantly surprised that I could for the most part rid myself of my PS1...

Rule of Rose Review

Mike_Reilly By:
GENRE Adventure 
DEVELOPER Punchline 
M Contains Blood, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

Be molested. Be very molested.

After being traumatized by zombie dogs, loons with giant scissors, and demon infested apartments, today's unflinching gamers have grown a layer of skin over their eyes tough enough to strike a match on. Developer Punchline recognized this and crafted their new adventure, Rule of Rose, to be psychologically horrifying, effectively bypassing our hardened gamer eyes, and going straight to our soft brains.

It's a great theory, and Rule of Rose does an admirable job of making you feel eerily uncomfortable. But while we gamers, as a group, can certainly relate to its many scenes of public humiliation and pervading sense of discomfort, those are generally the kinds of things we trying to escape by playing video games. After a couple hours, you’ll wish Punchline would have kept their hands to themselves.
click to enlargeYou experience this creepy tale in the cute, little shoes of Jennifer, an unlucky teenage girl in 1930s England. As you're riding a night bus, a faceless little boy hands you an evocative story book with many blank pages. The bus stops in the middle of a desolate country road, the boy takes off, and just like in a B horror flick, you inexplicably run after him. Further down the road you arrive at a decrepit orphanage with little kids in paper masks beating on a bloody sack. Not heeding what is clearly a bad sign, you follow the boy into the orphanage. Once in, the doors lock behind you, and you are trapped by a sinister society of children called The Aristocracy of the Red Crayon. Dun Dun DUNNNNNH.
Since you’re a newcomer, the aristocracy gives you a rank of “Beggar” (the least respectable echelon of creepy, undead orphan) and tasks you with finding gifts to offer The Aristocracy, lest they kill you with, presumably, a red crayon. While you search for these, random awful things will happen. You'll eventually witness some animal torture, and a slobbery little girl will crawl up your body, stick a dead rat in your face, and then apologize profusely. For the record, apology not accepted.  
The overall experience is neither frightening nor emotionally gripping, and the only thing that will keep you playing is a sense of curiosity about how far Rule of Rose will go to try and creep you out. There is a mystery at the center of the orphanage, and if this developed more quickly, Rule of Rose might have been an interesting ride. Instead, its personality is entirely creepy, and its gameplay is sadistically boring; not a winning combination.   
click to enlargeIf you can imagine the original Resident Evil without any guns or interesting puzzles, you have a pretty clear picture of Rule of Rose. To make matters worse, you’re supposed to explore this huge orphanage, but you move really slowly, and your map is completely inadequate. Expect to backtrack a lot while checking long hallways full of locked doors. When you finally find an open one, something terrible and creepy happens to you. It’s like a visit to the urologist’s, but cheaper.
And you aren’t nearly as good at fighting, thanks to inaccurate collision detection, slow melee combat, and easily exploitable, cheesy A.I. You also get a dog named Brown, although he’s hardly Rin Tin Tin, or even the violent canine beast in Capcom's Haunting Ground. Instead, Brown is only capable of stunning smaller enemies by barking at them and grabbing the legs of larger foes so you can whack them from behind. But if he gets hurt, prepare to get smothered by one unavoidable attack after another. Instead of a best friend, Brown is more of an incompetent henchman.
He does have one, extremely useful talent, though, the ability to sniff an object in your inventory and miraculously lead you to the next cut scene, giving you a much appreciated sense of direction, and in turn laying the game's complete linearity bare for all to point and laugh at. There’s only ever one thing to do, or have done to you at a time, and Brown obediently leads you to your fate.
click to enlargeWhich is usually at the end of a really creepy hallway, dripping with atmosphere. The dissonant symphony playing in the background as you sluggishly jiggle locks is ominous, as are the environments’ bleak color schemes, highlighted by strange crayon scribbles and little posters hung by the children. It’s definitely creepy, but not very memorable. There's even a gritty layer of static that gives the game an old, dusty look, foreshadowing its fate in your closet after the painful loading times make you eject it once and for all.
And eject it you will, because Rule of Rose has almost nothing going for it other than sheer creepiness, and as you are probably aware, creepiness doesn’t count for much. Gameplay and an interesting story, on the other hand, are big features, and both were carelessly pruned. Since it isn’t scary or interesting from one moment to the next, what truly qualifies Rule of Rose as "survival horror" is the actual, real-life experience of playing it. Take our advice, don’t let this one live.
D+ Revolution report card
  • Story is weird...
  • ...but not engrossing
  • Lots of atmosphere
  • But no memorable locales
  • Boring to play
  • Horrific combat

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about Rule of Rose

More On GameRevolution