reviewed Raging Loop
I was quite surprised by how fun this VN was, despite being a bit disappointed by how static it was. Having just played Gnosia, I read the setup of Raging Loop and expected something similar but RL is firmly within a classic VN structure. With that expectation, however, it excels as one.
The highlight here, and what you would hope for a hidden role type setup, is the characters. I don't think there's one poorly written character in the bunch and even the ones you might not like at least add to the narrative, engaging in the proceedings in a way that feels reasonable and yet dramatic. The main character being my favorite as his quips are roguishly entertaining and he's sometimes even more mysterious than the people he finds himself involved with. They don't keep his motivations locked away, though, so you still can more or less understand why he's acting the way he does.
The pacing of the plot is overall pretty snappy as well. It drags for me a little bit once it explains the rules of the "game" (likely because of my recent plays, again) but there's enough important differences here that you'll still want to pay attention to it all. As a mystery story there's a lot of subtlety in the moment to moment proceedings and I think they strike a good balance of "keeping things happening" and "explaining why it happened."
If there's anything I was disappointed by in the story, though, it was the ending. It was well executed and interesting, but not as surprising or revelatory as it might be for most readers. If you've read Higurashi and seen Owarimonogatari, you'll probably see what I mean when you play. And I still suggest you do, because the journey is still quite enjoyable off the writing alone.
As for the bells and whistles, this a pretty full featured VN experience and the navigation options are more than sufficient for the kind of branching it uses. Good enough even that I wished they had actually made the route traversal a little more complex near the end to push the mystery element a bit more.
In any case, while not the most mind blowing story out there, it really is a solid one. Do recommend.
Reviewed on Dec 09, 2022