I’ve known of developer Kemco for awhile now as I usually see them releasing lots of JRPGs that look like they should be on mobile platforms. They didn’t really appeal to me so I mostly stayed away from them. However when I was researching a new visual novel from publisher PQube called Raging Loop I was pleasantly surprised to see Kemco was the developer of it. Seeing them step out of their comfort zone and try their hand at a horror visual novel inspired by the Werewolf board game grabbed my interest and I’m pleased to say it’s really good.
Raging Loop is a psychological horror visual novel set in the Japanese village of Yasumizu. The game starts off by introducing you to character Haruaki Fusaishi who just went through a break up. Sometimes when people go through stressful or dramatic things they make poor decisions and that’s exactly what Haruaki does as he ends up going on a drive on his bike and ends up crashing it. He meets up with another character though named Chiemi who takes him back to her place that is in the strange village of Yasumizu. This village is cursed though and is full of werewolves disguised as humans. The village basically did some bad things to the werewolves long ago and so now they are out for revenge.
No one can leave this village because of a strange mist that envelops it and every night that passes the werewolves kill someone in the village. Sadly, Haruaki is the one who dies the night following his arrival in this village due to not following a warning he was given. This is where you are introduced to the loop that is in the game title as Haruaki comes back to life but does so back at the road in the mountains where he was a day before he died. The thing is though he still has some of his memories of what happened before he died which means he can slowly piece things together. Needless to say you’ll be dying over and over in this game but each time you do you’ll gain new information that will let you further try to figure things out.
Every time someone dies by the werewolves the villagers have to try to figure out who among them is one of the wolves in disguise so that they can kill them by hanging. They have some help with this in the form of powers from certain animal guardians. There are four guardians in total and each gives a villager a different power. The crow knows if someone who dies is a villager or werewolf, the snake can tell once per night whether a certain person is a wolf or human and the spider can protect someone from dying during the night. There are also two monkeys who can tell who the other is thus eliminating them from the possibility of being a wolf.
The story presents a lot of information to you in the first couple hours and is kind of slow but it starts to really get going and getting good after that time. When the villagers are trying decide who to kill everyone will try to use different information in order to prove they aren’t one of the wolves. The characters are really well done in this game as they will do everything they can to either prove their innocence or lie their heart out so that they may live to see another day. It falls on you to make the right choice and try to see through deception so that you aren’t killing the wrong people. There are various endings to the game and the choices you make will lead to them. Thankfully that whole dying and retaining information helps with this and gives Haruaki an advantage that no one else has.
The game features a story map that shows you where you currently are in the story and allows you to jump to points that you’ve played through already. It also shows you the choices you made and allows you to easily jump back to points to make a different decision. When you finish the story of Raging Loop you can dive into some extras like some story vignettes that detail some post story events. There is also Revelation Mode which lets you play through the game again but lets you read the minds of the characters which is pretty neat and worth another play in its own right.
The visuals in this game are pretty well done such as all of the various character art and designs. Some of the backgrounds are repeated quite a bit which got kind of old over time. The Japanese voice acting is solid and the background music and sound effects like water running were good too. The game has 31 trophies on PlayStation including a Platinum. It’s a very easy list as you’ll get most of them just for reaching points in the story and for getting various keys and endings.
I’ve never played the board game Werewolf but I’ve put dozens of hours into the PlayStation VR game based on it called Werewolves Within. That’s why playing through a visual novel like Raging Loop based on the same thing was so interesting to me. This is a long game but I just kept on playing it because I was just so into the idea and mystery behind it. I’ve never been into Kemco’s other types of games but if they keep on making things like Raging Loop then count me in.
*Raging Loop is available now on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
- Captivating, psychological visual novel
- Story slowy builds and provides information at a great pace
- Story map easily allows you to jump back to previous moments to make different choices
- Well drawn character designs
- Story takes awhile to get going
- Not enough background variety