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The OSF Wants You

 
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11-17-21 09:03 PM
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When it comes new brand new video games, I usually know about all the hot new games that are coming out but it was a different story in the case of Scarlet Nexus. I had no idea that this game was coming out in the first place. The first time that I ever heard of it was at the end of June, a couple days after the game was first released. In fact, if I hadn’t gotten into Fire Emblem earlier that month, I still wouldn’t have even known about Scarlet Nexus and I would have never tried it out in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the number of ways that you can customize your character, but it seems like it’s just way too confusing of a system. I ended up spending close to an hour messing around in the customization page because it was mostly a lot of trial and error and going back to previous pages to try something new.

When I first started playing Three Houses, I quickly fell in love with the game and I started to really like the voice cast. A couple weeks into playing the game, I started following like a dozen of the games main voice actors and it just so happens that many of my favorite voice actors from Three Houses were also in Scarlet Nexus. Because of that, the voice actors were constantly talking about the game and that ended up being how I found out about it.

If I’m not mistaken, nearly ten of the main Three Houses voice actors were also main in Scarlet Nexus such as Chris Hackney and Erica Mendez, and that was something that made me really excited. Even before I knew what the game was about or saw any trailers or reviews, I knew that I had to get it simply because of the voices. Then, near the end of July, GameStop had a big sale where the game dropped to $40 so I finally picked it up so that I could test it out and see if it was really as good as I was hoping it would be.

In the end, I was very happy with how the game turned out. I wasn’t too excited with the throwing stuff with your mind feature and that wasn’t something that I used often but the graphics, sound, and gameplay were all aspects that I really enjoyed, and they all worked together so perfectly to create a game that was lots of fun. Scarlet Nexus even made me feel nostalgic towards some of my most favorite JRPG’s of all time and that helped me love the game even more.

Of my top ten JRPG’s, the two that I’m referring to are both PlayStation Vita exclusives, Freedom Wars and persona 4 Golden, and the essence of both was just flowing throughout Scarlet Nexus. To me, the gameplay was very reminiscent to that of Freedom Wars while some of the visual, especially that of enemy character designs made me think of Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5. The game ended up being a giant powerhouse of nostalgia, original content, and cool new features, and those three worked together to make a brilliant game.

There’s just so many things to talk about when it comes to Scarlet Nexus. There are a small number of things that I didn’t like about the game or just didn’t pay attention to but there are dozens of things that really stood out that I wanted to talk about in this review.

GRAPHICS: 10/10

Oh boy is there a lot to talk about when it comes to the graphics of scarlet Nexus. There's always so much going on that makes the game look so beautiful. There's obviously a ton going on in terms of big graphical features but there's also dozens of ting details that may go unnoticed that add up to create something very special. The first of these is the games incredible use of lighting, shadows, and reflections.

One of the very first things that I noticed when playing Scarlet Nexus was how good the reflections were. When you first leave the big OSF building, you're instantly hit with so many reflections. I spent like ten minutes walking around, being in awe at how good all the detail was. Near the entrance to the plaza, there's a big puddle and the amount of detail put into the reflections was just insane.

The Puddle was nearly perfectly reflecting the building. The reflection was showing all the windows, lighting, and walls in a great amount of detail and it was dynamic too. So, as you move around the plaza, the reflected image shifts into its new position in order to match up with the scenery perfectly. This is something that only recently started in games, but it's a really nice touch that adds so much immersion to the game.

Reflections aren't only visible in water but on other surfaces too such as windows. The only issue with this is that the quality is much lower, but that wasn't something that I really minded because it was still a cool feature. I was walking past a building and noticed a garbage bag sitting in front of a window and it was being reflected. I started walking in front of the window to see what would happen to my own reflection.

As I moved, the reflection moved and followed me but there was no detail at all. It was basically an outline with a blurry image and some light rays but it's still better than not having any reflection at all. While the reflections were mostly amazing, shadows were Pretty lackluster for the most part. Many of the shadows have even fewer details than the window reflections. Shadows don't even take the shape of the object; it would have been way cooler if they did.

That's just one of the many minor graphical features that Scarlet Nexus is full of. Another one that I really liked is the interactivity with everything in the world. Things like bikes, trash bags, kiosks, traffic cones, and other small objects can be moved or kicked around. The animation can be pretty glitchy at times and cause the items to shake a lot but this is a small feature that didn't have to be in the game at all, so it's nice that it is.

It was a complete accident that I found out about this because I was running down the street and I ran into a bike, and it went flying 20 feet. Because of my curious nature, I had to do some trials to test the limits of this feature. So, I ended up spending like 20 minutes kicking random items into the street to see what would happen.

Unfortunately, nothing happened, and the cars just phased through all the things that I kicked into the street. It would have been cool if there was some sort of dynamic interaction because the visuais would look better and way more realistic if the cars could knock all the stuff around. Speaking of cars, that was kind of a mixed bag for me.

At first, I could tell that a lot of effort was put into the street and cars. First of all, the main city area in front of the OSF building is huge. As a result, the main street that cuts through it is also huge. There's also a bunch of cars driving at any given moment, and they all look different too. That's great from a visual standpoint, but there was one big issue that drove me crazy.

The issue is that you aren't even allowed to enter the street at all. There's an invisible barrier that stops you and I hated that for a number of reasons. The first is that this was such a missed opportunity. The cars could have had a dynamic AI and would stop or slow down when people are in the street. It wovidn't have to be as advanced as something as GTA V but having some sort of AI for the cars would make the game look and run better.

The other issue is that not being able to directly cross the street wasted so much time. If you want to cross over to the other side, you have to walk to a bridge before you can cross over. It's a complete waste of time. But everything else about the city is just so beautiful and I'm not talking about the little things like the bikes and trash bags anymore. No, I'm talking about all the big things.

The city has a really futuristic vibe going on and as such there's a bunch of really tall and unique looking buildings. All of these buildings have a ton of detail and look really good and realistic. If you look up to get a better view of the entire building, you'll also see the drones flying around and the massive bridge off in the distance. Lots of effort was put into the detail and the same is true for all the other areas that you can visit.

But enough about all the detail put into the city and environment, they're great and all but it's not even the best part of the game when it comes to the graphics. We still have to talk about the insane amount of detail present in the cutscenes, combat, and character designs. When you put those three together, you end up with something that just oozes color and creativity.

The first thing that I want to talk about in this section is the cutscenes. There are two main times of cutscenes, which I'm calling action cutscenes and dialogue cutscenes. The action cutscenes are your standard in game moments. There's no fully animated cutscenes like in some other games but these cutscenes do a great job at showing off some battle moments, fast paced moments, dramatic stuff, and some character interactions.

Dialogue cutscenes on the other hand are very different. It's something that I rarely seen done in games and I think that the developers did a really great job here. These kinds of cutscenes are common and where most of the narration and exposition take place because it's usually just narration or exposition where large chunks of the story are revealed or other character interactions.

In the past, I've seen bulk dialogue be done in one of two ways. The first is your standard overworld text option. You're just looking at the characters normally and you see the text appear on screen showing you what is being said. The other option is the way that visual novels and some JRPG's do things. With these kinds of games, you only see the characters who are talking on screen, usually with some kind of background behind them. Scarlet Nexus uses the latter, but in a very different way.

You’ll see the background that shows where the characters are, and you’ll see the character models of who’s talking but they’re going to be in their own individual picture frames. There will be other little frames that pop up alongside them that show things like what they’re talking about, other people, setting, or other things. All those frames are also self contained within a larger frame and all the smaller ones move, fade, flip, or do other cool effects to keep the cutscene moving and feeling fresh.

At times, it’s going to look like you’re reading a comic book with all the different panels doing their own thing and it looks really nice. It’s a fresh way to keep you really engaged with simple dialogue versus just reading what’s on the screen and some of the visuals and art and the way that they move around the screen really helps to add some extra flair. The mix of everything going on during these scenes makes it feel like you’re playing a visual novel, watching an anime, and reading a comic book all at the same time.

Combat is very strong in terms of visuals. The game runs so smoothly and the animation is nearly flawless. Battling is lots of fun because it’s so fluid and fast paced and everything responds quickly. I also really love the sword that you start with and how it leaves a cool razor thin lightning strike beam of light whenever you swing it. That’s a really nice aesthetic touch that adds a ton of style.

From all the little details added here and there to the big buildings and insane art style, there’s something for everyone to like when it comes to graphics and this section gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

SOUND: 9/10

Even before I physically went to pick up the game, I knew that I was going to love the sound aspect. I already explained that I got into the game in the first place because of the voice actors and I was really excited to hear a handful of voices that I recognized after playing for just a few minutes. The two main character Yuito and Kasane are voiced by Chris Hackney and Erica Mendez, and I’m a fan of both of them because they were both pretty big in Three Houses so I was able to tell it was them from the start.

There were a ton of other voice actors from Three Houses but beyond them, there were no big names that I recognized. But the voice actors themselves did an amazing job and there was so much voice as well. The game was fully voiced with dialogue everywhere and so many characters speaking. I also find it really cool that the original English voice cast was brought back to reprise their roles in the English version of the Scarlet Nexus anime, so I was really excited for that.

The music is also pretty good. I kind of went into the game blind when it came to the music. Someone posted one of the main songs online and I listened to it once but other than that, actually playing the game was my first time hearing any of the music. I didn’t even like that song much so I didn’t bother finishing it. But apparently that song was the one that plays while you’re in the main city area in front of the OSF building. I spent so much time wandering around that area that I must have heard that song on loop for more than an hour and I started to like it after a while.

There weren’t that many other songs that I liked aside for a few of the battle themes because I wasn’t too crazy for the genre, but it was an overall pretty good one. It was also pretty hefty too, with nearly three hours worth of music throughout the entire game. It was also the first soundtrack in five years done by Hayata Takeda. He did the soundtrack for World of Final Fantasy back in 2016, which was something that I liked. There’s supposed to be multiple paid DLC packs being released in the future and I’m hoping that some of them add even more music into the mix. If they do, It’s possible that I could start liking the soundtrack more.

I also really liked many of the combat sounds and I think that whoever did the sound editing did a great job in general. I wouldn’t call it the best but it’s definitely great and gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

STORY: 8/10

The entire concept of Scarlet Nexus is pretty wild if you ask me. It takes place in a world where everyone has some sort of telekinetic power, you know, they can control stuff with their minds. That alone is a pretty decent basis for a story and world building but there’s so much more. The entire city is very futuristic (But also very run down depending on where you go) and people use their minds for so much more than just thinking and powers. The entire idea behind the Scarlet Nexus world is basically what if we got rid of phones and the internet and just installed all that stuff directly into peoples brains?

The story is just as wild when it comes to civilization itself as it is concerning the monsters. You heard that right, monsters. There’s monsters called Others that rain down from the sky every now and then to wreck havoc (and eat people) and that’s what the OSF is there for, they’re like the military but trained to destroy the Others.

For my gameplay, I chose Yuito. He volunteered to be an OSF member because when he was a kid, he was saved by someone from OSF and he made it his dream to one day become a solider so that he can return the favor and save people. He’s kind of a big deal though because his father is a politician and his brother is a high ranking OSF official but because he chooses to be a solider instead of going into politics, he gets a lot of unwanted attention for that.

The Yuito experience first starts off with him finally becoming a member, battles his first Other, saves someone, makes some new friends, meets some old friends, and then he battles a major other and lives to tell the tale. That’s a lot to digest but it all happens right at the start of the game, all within the first two or so hours. From there, the story only gets crazier and way more dramatic and even existential at times.

There’s lots of great storytelling moments, lots of plot twists, and a ton of big reveals, character moments, and emotions. After I beat the game as Yuito, I tried to play as Kasane to see what it was like because I was told that her play style was different and I was surprised to see that it wasn’t just a unique playstyle, but it was a whole other story. If you do play Scarlet Nexus, playing as both characters is definitely something that I would recommend. Like I said, I first thought that it was just a different style with each character but it’s so much more than that.

The two branches are basically their own separate games and while they for the most part follow parallel to each other and follow many of the same events, it’s some very different paths that are followed. Not only that, but in some cases, things that happened in one storyline are better explained in the other or have a bigger effect. As a result, you’ll sure learn a lot from playing one side of the story and have a great time, but if you play both, you’ll end up with a far better understanding of what the entire story is.

Ever since I played Three Houses, I started to develop a love for games that have branching storylines with a lot of content and Scarlet Nexus is no different. Unlike with Three Houses though, the main story portion of the branching happens right at the start of the game. That way, if you start a new game with the other character, you’re thrown into the new storyline immediately. This really is the equivalent of playing two full length games and there’s plenty of content in the story.

The only thing that I wasn’t too excited about was the fact that each side wasn’t one hundred percent different, they were only complementing the other side and kind of filling in the gaps in some areas. If you did one playthrough of Three Houses and then another with a different house, everything about the story was different. It was a whole new script entirely. It was different events, different dialogue, different villians, different paths, different character deaths. It wasn’t someone else’s perspective of the same series events, it was a completely different alternate timeline where a different series of events takes place.

I would have been much happier if that was the case with Scarlet Nexus. If you could get the entire context of the story from either Yuito or Kasane and be done with it, but then choose to play a completely different story with the other character. That’s what I would have loved. The way it’s set up now is that you can get a really good story out of one playthrough and be content with it, but then if you want to get the full picture, you’re going to have to play the other side as well.

However, one good thing is that the main storyline of the game is nowhere near as long as Three Houses is. I remember playing Three Houses and my first attempt at a playthrough took a little more than 40 hours and then when I started my second with a different house, it took a little bit longer, and that was on the easiest modes possible. It was very long because part one of both playthroughs was 12 chapters while part two after the branches broke off added another seven to twelve. The main story of Three Houses was just very long to begin with.

Scarlet Nexus on the other hand is much shorter if you’re trying to just complete the base game. You can easily beat the main game in like 22 to 27 hours so it’s a lot easier to be able to complete both sides and get the complete picture when you can do both in 50 hours or less. Of course, if you want to do all the bonus things or you want to go after that Platinum trophy, you can easily push 60 to 100 hours or more, but you don’t have to for just the story.

If you do choose to start a new game to experience the whole story, a lot of things are going to carry over to make it much easier. For instance, all of your bonds with characters will carry over and you unlock a new material called Phantom Art that can help you make new weapons and stuff. Overall, Scarlet Nexus has a very strong story regardless of which path you take, and the game will reward you for completing both, I just personally wish it did things differently. Story gets a solid 8 out of 10 from me.

ADDICTIVENESS: 9/10

The game is definitely super addicting and the fact that once you beat the game once, you have an incentive to go back and play it again proves that. Your first playthrough might take you 25 to 35 hours and then once you beat it, you’ll want to play all over again as the other character if you liked the game enough. The gameplay itself is lots of fun. I already made the comparison to Freedom Wars earlier in the review, and that was a game that really stuck out to me when it came to gameplay. Not only is the gameplay lots of fun, but it’s also clever and very unique, which adds even more to the experience.

In addition to that, the drama and emotion that’s scattered across the story creates an overall package that’s super engaging and interesting, one that you’re going to want to keep coming back to, whether it’s for the story, gameplay, or something else.

DEPTH: 9/10

Scarlet Nexus has a lot going on when it comes to depth. My personal favorite aspect is the depth that’s attributed to characters. Your own character has a ton going on with lots of engaging backstory, a ton of voiced lines, and an impressive skill tree. All the other characters involved also have a ton of lines and backstories, and unique sets of skills that you can use in battle.

In addition to that, the world is crafted perfectly. Each level is filled to the brim with things to see and do, and a ton of stuff beyond the areas that you can explore. I rarely see a game put this much effort into backgrounds and what’s beyond the game borders. There’s also an insane amount of quests that you can take on and the fact that you have to beat the game twice in order to get the full story really says a lot about the depth.

DIFFICULTY: 3

The game isn’t really hard at all. In my first playthrough, it took me many hours before I died for the first time. For the most part, it’s a pretty forgiving game if you’re careful and if you find yourself having some difficulties later on, all you need to do is focus on changing your strategy rather than other stuff.

OVERALL: 9/10

The only downside that I really see when it comes to Scarlet Nexus is the fact that the PS4 version doesn't come with a free upgrade to the PS5 one. By the time I got my new PS5, I had already put around 30 hours into the game, and even though that's a great right there, I ended up being pretty disappointed that I didn't have the PS5 version. But even with both versions constantly going on sale for $40, I really didn't want to pay again for a game that I already played a lot of, just to get the significantly better experience.

I did that when I played Immortals Fenyx Rising because I loved the game so much and because I had the game on Switch, not on PS4, but paying again to upgrade from PS4 to PS5 didn't seem like that big of a deal. But other than that, the game is still amazing on PS4. The visuals are amazing and the combination of great voice acting and really catchy music leads to an overall amazing experience. But beyond that, the gameplay is also lots of fun and the story is interesting and really engaging. Plus, the fact that both genders gives you a different side of the story makes it more likely that you're going to play the game more than once, which means you're going to get your money's worth of content.

I paid full price for the game and got so much value out of it, and since it constantly goes on sale for $40, that's a huge deal and would be an even better investment. If you're interested in the game and you see it for $40 or even less as time goes on, it's 100 percent a game that you need to pick up. It's amazing on the PS4 and if you can get it for the PS5, that would be an even better choice. My overall grade for the PS4 version is going to be a 9 out of 10.
When it comes new brand new video games, I usually know about all the hot new games that are coming out but it was a different story in the case of Scarlet Nexus. I had no idea that this game was coming out in the first place. The first time that I ever heard of it was at the end of June, a couple days after the game was first released. In fact, if I hadn’t gotten into Fire Emblem earlier that month, I still wouldn’t have even known about Scarlet Nexus and I would have never tried it out in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the number of ways that you can customize your character, but it seems like it’s just way too confusing of a system. I ended up spending close to an hour messing around in the customization page because it was mostly a lot of trial and error and going back to previous pages to try something new.

When I first started playing Three Houses, I quickly fell in love with the game and I started to really like the voice cast. A couple weeks into playing the game, I started following like a dozen of the games main voice actors and it just so happens that many of my favorite voice actors from Three Houses were also in Scarlet Nexus. Because of that, the voice actors were constantly talking about the game and that ended up being how I found out about it.

If I’m not mistaken, nearly ten of the main Three Houses voice actors were also main in Scarlet Nexus such as Chris Hackney and Erica Mendez, and that was something that made me really excited. Even before I knew what the game was about or saw any trailers or reviews, I knew that I had to get it simply because of the voices. Then, near the end of July, GameStop had a big sale where the game dropped to $40 so I finally picked it up so that I could test it out and see if it was really as good as I was hoping it would be.

In the end, I was very happy with how the game turned out. I wasn’t too excited with the throwing stuff with your mind feature and that wasn’t something that I used often but the graphics, sound, and gameplay were all aspects that I really enjoyed, and they all worked together so perfectly to create a game that was lots of fun. Scarlet Nexus even made me feel nostalgic towards some of my most favorite JRPG’s of all time and that helped me love the game even more.

Of my top ten JRPG’s, the two that I’m referring to are both PlayStation Vita exclusives, Freedom Wars and persona 4 Golden, and the essence of both was just flowing throughout Scarlet Nexus. To me, the gameplay was very reminiscent to that of Freedom Wars while some of the visual, especially that of enemy character designs made me think of Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5. The game ended up being a giant powerhouse of nostalgia, original content, and cool new features, and those three worked together to make a brilliant game.

There’s just so many things to talk about when it comes to Scarlet Nexus. There are a small number of things that I didn’t like about the game or just didn’t pay attention to but there are dozens of things that really stood out that I wanted to talk about in this review.

GRAPHICS: 10/10

Oh boy is there a lot to talk about when it comes to the graphics of scarlet Nexus. There's always so much going on that makes the game look so beautiful. There's obviously a ton going on in terms of big graphical features but there's also dozens of ting details that may go unnoticed that add up to create something very special. The first of these is the games incredible use of lighting, shadows, and reflections.

One of the very first things that I noticed when playing Scarlet Nexus was how good the reflections were. When you first leave the big OSF building, you're instantly hit with so many reflections. I spent like ten minutes walking around, being in awe at how good all the detail was. Near the entrance to the plaza, there's a big puddle and the amount of detail put into the reflections was just insane.

The Puddle was nearly perfectly reflecting the building. The reflection was showing all the windows, lighting, and walls in a great amount of detail and it was dynamic too. So, as you move around the plaza, the reflected image shifts into its new position in order to match up with the scenery perfectly. This is something that only recently started in games, but it's a really nice touch that adds so much immersion to the game.

Reflections aren't only visible in water but on other surfaces too such as windows. The only issue with this is that the quality is much lower, but that wasn't something that I really minded because it was still a cool feature. I was walking past a building and noticed a garbage bag sitting in front of a window and it was being reflected. I started walking in front of the window to see what would happen to my own reflection.

As I moved, the reflection moved and followed me but there was no detail at all. It was basically an outline with a blurry image and some light rays but it's still better than not having any reflection at all. While the reflections were mostly amazing, shadows were Pretty lackluster for the most part. Many of the shadows have even fewer details than the window reflections. Shadows don't even take the shape of the object; it would have been way cooler if they did.

That's just one of the many minor graphical features that Scarlet Nexus is full of. Another one that I really liked is the interactivity with everything in the world. Things like bikes, trash bags, kiosks, traffic cones, and other small objects can be moved or kicked around. The animation can be pretty glitchy at times and cause the items to shake a lot but this is a small feature that didn't have to be in the game at all, so it's nice that it is.

It was a complete accident that I found out about this because I was running down the street and I ran into a bike, and it went flying 20 feet. Because of my curious nature, I had to do some trials to test the limits of this feature. So, I ended up spending like 20 minutes kicking random items into the street to see what would happen.

Unfortunately, nothing happened, and the cars just phased through all the things that I kicked into the street. It would have been cool if there was some sort of dynamic interaction because the visuais would look better and way more realistic if the cars could knock all the stuff around. Speaking of cars, that was kind of a mixed bag for me.

At first, I could tell that a lot of effort was put into the street and cars. First of all, the main city area in front of the OSF building is huge. As a result, the main street that cuts through it is also huge. There's also a bunch of cars driving at any given moment, and they all look different too. That's great from a visual standpoint, but there was one big issue that drove me crazy.

The issue is that you aren't even allowed to enter the street at all. There's an invisible barrier that stops you and I hated that for a number of reasons. The first is that this was such a missed opportunity. The cars could have had a dynamic AI and would stop or slow down when people are in the street. It wovidn't have to be as advanced as something as GTA V but having some sort of AI for the cars would make the game look and run better.

The other issue is that not being able to directly cross the street wasted so much time. If you want to cross over to the other side, you have to walk to a bridge before you can cross over. It's a complete waste of time. But everything else about the city is just so beautiful and I'm not talking about the little things like the bikes and trash bags anymore. No, I'm talking about all the big things.

The city has a really futuristic vibe going on and as such there's a bunch of really tall and unique looking buildings. All of these buildings have a ton of detail and look really good and realistic. If you look up to get a better view of the entire building, you'll also see the drones flying around and the massive bridge off in the distance. Lots of effort was put into the detail and the same is true for all the other areas that you can visit.

But enough about all the detail put into the city and environment, they're great and all but it's not even the best part of the game when it comes to the graphics. We still have to talk about the insane amount of detail present in the cutscenes, combat, and character designs. When you put those three together, you end up with something that just oozes color and creativity.

The first thing that I want to talk about in this section is the cutscenes. There are two main times of cutscenes, which I'm calling action cutscenes and dialogue cutscenes. The action cutscenes are your standard in game moments. There's no fully animated cutscenes like in some other games but these cutscenes do a great job at showing off some battle moments, fast paced moments, dramatic stuff, and some character interactions.

Dialogue cutscenes on the other hand are very different. It's something that I rarely seen done in games and I think that the developers did a really great job here. These kinds of cutscenes are common and where most of the narration and exposition take place because it's usually just narration or exposition where large chunks of the story are revealed or other character interactions.

In the past, I've seen bulk dialogue be done in one of two ways. The first is your standard overworld text option. You're just looking at the characters normally and you see the text appear on screen showing you what is being said. The other option is the way that visual novels and some JRPG's do things. With these kinds of games, you only see the characters who are talking on screen, usually with some kind of background behind them. Scarlet Nexus uses the latter, but in a very different way.

You’ll see the background that shows where the characters are, and you’ll see the character models of who’s talking but they’re going to be in their own individual picture frames. There will be other little frames that pop up alongside them that show things like what they’re talking about, other people, setting, or other things. All those frames are also self contained within a larger frame and all the smaller ones move, fade, flip, or do other cool effects to keep the cutscene moving and feeling fresh.

At times, it’s going to look like you’re reading a comic book with all the different panels doing their own thing and it looks really nice. It’s a fresh way to keep you really engaged with simple dialogue versus just reading what’s on the screen and some of the visuals and art and the way that they move around the screen really helps to add some extra flair. The mix of everything going on during these scenes makes it feel like you’re playing a visual novel, watching an anime, and reading a comic book all at the same time.

Combat is very strong in terms of visuals. The game runs so smoothly and the animation is nearly flawless. Battling is lots of fun because it’s so fluid and fast paced and everything responds quickly. I also really love the sword that you start with and how it leaves a cool razor thin lightning strike beam of light whenever you swing it. That’s a really nice aesthetic touch that adds a ton of style.

From all the little details added here and there to the big buildings and insane art style, there’s something for everyone to like when it comes to graphics and this section gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

SOUND: 9/10

Even before I physically went to pick up the game, I knew that I was going to love the sound aspect. I already explained that I got into the game in the first place because of the voice actors and I was really excited to hear a handful of voices that I recognized after playing for just a few minutes. The two main character Yuito and Kasane are voiced by Chris Hackney and Erica Mendez, and I’m a fan of both of them because they were both pretty big in Three Houses so I was able to tell it was them from the start.

There were a ton of other voice actors from Three Houses but beyond them, there were no big names that I recognized. But the voice actors themselves did an amazing job and there was so much voice as well. The game was fully voiced with dialogue everywhere and so many characters speaking. I also find it really cool that the original English voice cast was brought back to reprise their roles in the English version of the Scarlet Nexus anime, so I was really excited for that.

The music is also pretty good. I kind of went into the game blind when it came to the music. Someone posted one of the main songs online and I listened to it once but other than that, actually playing the game was my first time hearing any of the music. I didn’t even like that song much so I didn’t bother finishing it. But apparently that song was the one that plays while you’re in the main city area in front of the OSF building. I spent so much time wandering around that area that I must have heard that song on loop for more than an hour and I started to like it after a while.

There weren’t that many other songs that I liked aside for a few of the battle themes because I wasn’t too crazy for the genre, but it was an overall pretty good one. It was also pretty hefty too, with nearly three hours worth of music throughout the entire game. It was also the first soundtrack in five years done by Hayata Takeda. He did the soundtrack for World of Final Fantasy back in 2016, which was something that I liked. There’s supposed to be multiple paid DLC packs being released in the future and I’m hoping that some of them add even more music into the mix. If they do, It’s possible that I could start liking the soundtrack more.

I also really liked many of the combat sounds and I think that whoever did the sound editing did a great job in general. I wouldn’t call it the best but it’s definitely great and gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

STORY: 8/10

The entire concept of Scarlet Nexus is pretty wild if you ask me. It takes place in a world where everyone has some sort of telekinetic power, you know, they can control stuff with their minds. That alone is a pretty decent basis for a story and world building but there’s so much more. The entire city is very futuristic (But also very run down depending on where you go) and people use their minds for so much more than just thinking and powers. The entire idea behind the Scarlet Nexus world is basically what if we got rid of phones and the internet and just installed all that stuff directly into peoples brains?

The story is just as wild when it comes to civilization itself as it is concerning the monsters. You heard that right, monsters. There’s monsters called Others that rain down from the sky every now and then to wreck havoc (and eat people) and that’s what the OSF is there for, they’re like the military but trained to destroy the Others.

For my gameplay, I chose Yuito. He volunteered to be an OSF member because when he was a kid, he was saved by someone from OSF and he made it his dream to one day become a solider so that he can return the favor and save people. He’s kind of a big deal though because his father is a politician and his brother is a high ranking OSF official but because he chooses to be a solider instead of going into politics, he gets a lot of unwanted attention for that.

The Yuito experience first starts off with him finally becoming a member, battles his first Other, saves someone, makes some new friends, meets some old friends, and then he battles a major other and lives to tell the tale. That’s a lot to digest but it all happens right at the start of the game, all within the first two or so hours. From there, the story only gets crazier and way more dramatic and even existential at times.

There’s lots of great storytelling moments, lots of plot twists, and a ton of big reveals, character moments, and emotions. After I beat the game as Yuito, I tried to play as Kasane to see what it was like because I was told that her play style was different and I was surprised to see that it wasn’t just a unique playstyle, but it was a whole other story. If you do play Scarlet Nexus, playing as both characters is definitely something that I would recommend. Like I said, I first thought that it was just a different style with each character but it’s so much more than that.

The two branches are basically their own separate games and while they for the most part follow parallel to each other and follow many of the same events, it’s some very different paths that are followed. Not only that, but in some cases, things that happened in one storyline are better explained in the other or have a bigger effect. As a result, you’ll sure learn a lot from playing one side of the story and have a great time, but if you play both, you’ll end up with a far better understanding of what the entire story is.

Ever since I played Three Houses, I started to develop a love for games that have branching storylines with a lot of content and Scarlet Nexus is no different. Unlike with Three Houses though, the main story portion of the branching happens right at the start of the game. That way, if you start a new game with the other character, you’re thrown into the new storyline immediately. This really is the equivalent of playing two full length games and there’s plenty of content in the story.

The only thing that I wasn’t too excited about was the fact that each side wasn’t one hundred percent different, they were only complementing the other side and kind of filling in the gaps in some areas. If you did one playthrough of Three Houses and then another with a different house, everything about the story was different. It was a whole new script entirely. It was different events, different dialogue, different villians, different paths, different character deaths. It wasn’t someone else’s perspective of the same series events, it was a completely different alternate timeline where a different series of events takes place.

I would have been much happier if that was the case with Scarlet Nexus. If you could get the entire context of the story from either Yuito or Kasane and be done with it, but then choose to play a completely different story with the other character. That’s what I would have loved. The way it’s set up now is that you can get a really good story out of one playthrough and be content with it, but then if you want to get the full picture, you’re going to have to play the other side as well.

However, one good thing is that the main storyline of the game is nowhere near as long as Three Houses is. I remember playing Three Houses and my first attempt at a playthrough took a little more than 40 hours and then when I started my second with a different house, it took a little bit longer, and that was on the easiest modes possible. It was very long because part one of both playthroughs was 12 chapters while part two after the branches broke off added another seven to twelve. The main story of Three Houses was just very long to begin with.

Scarlet Nexus on the other hand is much shorter if you’re trying to just complete the base game. You can easily beat the main game in like 22 to 27 hours so it’s a lot easier to be able to complete both sides and get the complete picture when you can do both in 50 hours or less. Of course, if you want to do all the bonus things or you want to go after that Platinum trophy, you can easily push 60 to 100 hours or more, but you don’t have to for just the story.

If you do choose to start a new game to experience the whole story, a lot of things are going to carry over to make it much easier. For instance, all of your bonds with characters will carry over and you unlock a new material called Phantom Art that can help you make new weapons and stuff. Overall, Scarlet Nexus has a very strong story regardless of which path you take, and the game will reward you for completing both, I just personally wish it did things differently. Story gets a solid 8 out of 10 from me.

ADDICTIVENESS: 9/10

The game is definitely super addicting and the fact that once you beat the game once, you have an incentive to go back and play it again proves that. Your first playthrough might take you 25 to 35 hours and then once you beat it, you’ll want to play all over again as the other character if you liked the game enough. The gameplay itself is lots of fun. I already made the comparison to Freedom Wars earlier in the review, and that was a game that really stuck out to me when it came to gameplay. Not only is the gameplay lots of fun, but it’s also clever and very unique, which adds even more to the experience.

In addition to that, the drama and emotion that’s scattered across the story creates an overall package that’s super engaging and interesting, one that you’re going to want to keep coming back to, whether it’s for the story, gameplay, or something else.

DEPTH: 9/10

Scarlet Nexus has a lot going on when it comes to depth. My personal favorite aspect is the depth that’s attributed to characters. Your own character has a ton going on with lots of engaging backstory, a ton of voiced lines, and an impressive skill tree. All the other characters involved also have a ton of lines and backstories, and unique sets of skills that you can use in battle.

In addition to that, the world is crafted perfectly. Each level is filled to the brim with things to see and do, and a ton of stuff beyond the areas that you can explore. I rarely see a game put this much effort into backgrounds and what’s beyond the game borders. There’s also an insane amount of quests that you can take on and the fact that you have to beat the game twice in order to get the full story really says a lot about the depth.

DIFFICULTY: 3

The game isn’t really hard at all. In my first playthrough, it took me many hours before I died for the first time. For the most part, it’s a pretty forgiving game if you’re careful and if you find yourself having some difficulties later on, all you need to do is focus on changing your strategy rather than other stuff.

OVERALL: 9/10

The only downside that I really see when it comes to Scarlet Nexus is the fact that the PS4 version doesn't come with a free upgrade to the PS5 one. By the time I got my new PS5, I had already put around 30 hours into the game, and even though that's a great right there, I ended up being pretty disappointed that I didn't have the PS5 version. But even with both versions constantly going on sale for $40, I really didn't want to pay again for a game that I already played a lot of, just to get the significantly better experience.

I did that when I played Immortals Fenyx Rising because I loved the game so much and because I had the game on Switch, not on PS4, but paying again to upgrade from PS4 to PS5 didn't seem like that big of a deal. But other than that, the game is still amazing on PS4. The visuals are amazing and the combination of great voice acting and really catchy music leads to an overall amazing experience. But beyond that, the gameplay is also lots of fun and the story is interesting and really engaging. Plus, the fact that both genders gives you a different side of the story makes it more likely that you're going to play the game more than once, which means you're going to get your money's worth of content.

I paid full price for the game and got so much value out of it, and since it constantly goes on sale for $40, that's a huge deal and would be an even better investment. If you're interested in the game and you see it for $40 or even less as time goes on, it's 100 percent a game that you need to pick up. It's amazing on the PS4 and if you can get it for the PS5, that would be an even better choice. My overall grade for the PS4 version is going to be a 9 out of 10.
Vizzed Elite
Sergei's Mustache


Affected by 'Laziness Syndrome'

Registered: 09-25-13
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