Fans of visual novels might remember one called Root Letter that was developed by Kadokawa Games that came out three years ago on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Well the brand new Root Letter: Last Answer is that same game but sporting a fresh new live-action look along with some other extras. Is this refresh on that three year old visual novel worth your time?
By far the biggest change in Root Letter: Last Answer is that it no longer has a Manga look to it. Instead all of the scenes have been re-done in live-action. That said, the option is included in this game’s menus to play it the same way it appeared three years ago so if you missed it then and want to compare it to the live-action bits you can do so. The story in the game follows the man you play as named Max. Max finds a letter from an old pen pal friend of his named Fumino Aya and is horrified to find that it’s 15 years old and she has been missing all this time. Over the course of the game you’ll talk to and investigate a variety of characters while trying to learn the truth of what happened to her. I won’t spoil nothing in this review obviously but I’ll say that it features plenty of surprises along the way so you shouldn’t grow bored of this visual novel. The story also features multiple endings depending on choices you make during it and this remake adds new bits and pieces to those endings that further expand the story. This way even those who played the original will still get a bit of new content here.
You’ll be doing some investigating in the game as well as scenes that you enter can be scanned for clues by moving a cursor around the screen. Important items you find that can be used for evidence will be added to your inventory to be used later. Some of these scenes can be annoying to progress past though as you’ll need to click on things in the scene that can be hard to spot. A lot of times I would find myself just randomly moving the cursor around trying to find that last thing I needed to click on to move on in the game. Once you think you have a lead in the game you can have a conversation with a character and try to interrogate them. Items you found in the various scenes can then be brought into the discussion here by bringing up your inventory. You’ll need to do this in order to get them to confess what they know. Another thing you can do to assist in getting them to talk is activate Max Mode. While active, this feature presents several different options to choose from to further apply pressure to the person you are questioning.
The visuals as I said all feature real people and locations so long as you aren’t playing with the original visuals from three years ago. Every environmental image is taken from a real location in the Japanese city of Matsue. Character images are static but they do change from time to time while talking to them to reflect different facial expressions. This makes for some awkward images at times though and it can be hard to take it serious at times. I personally prefer the original visuals over these new live-action ones. Voice over audio in the game is all in Japanese presented with English subtitles. It’s done well but there are some grammar mistakes you’ll likely notice in the subtitles while playing. Those interested in the trophies will be glad to know the game has 31 in total including a Platinum. It’s a very easy list too that shouldn’t take too much effort to pop the Platinum.
Root Letter: Last Answer is an interesting visual novel for a variety of reasons and may or may not be for you. The story is very intriguing and full of surprises and for that I highly recommend playing it. If you already played the original three years ago though I’m not entirely sure this retread will be worth your time. The live-action visuals can be neat but I personally feel the original art style fits it better as the real life character photos just look strange at times. If you missed it the first time around though, want to see the new endings, or are intrigued by the live-action visuals give it a shot.
*Root Letter: Last Answer is available now on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Root Letter: Last Answer$29.99
- Intriguing mystery visual novel with plenty of twists
- Has the option to play with the new live-action visuals or original ones
- Adds additional story information to the endings that further expand the story of the original
- Live-Action character photos looked off at times
- May or may not be worth playing if you played the original
- Some grammer issues in the text
- Scanning the scenes for that one thing in order to progress can be annoying at times