Almost one year after the launch in Japan, the last Chunsoft game has arrived in the United States and it’s manifesting how such a niche game can attract the interest of video gamers, thanks of many factors such as the solid fan-base has grown on the DS throughout years and its Japanese production quality.
999 is basically an adventure game which mixes a puzzle part with a visual novel component à la Professor Layton; also the background is similar to the acclaimed Level 5 series: a mistery story with eccentric characters and paranormal-horror events, reminding Agatha Christie’s books and the Saw movies (in fact it was rated Mature by the ESRB).
With about 30.000 copies (367th position in the 2009 Famitsu Top 1000, so now it may be somewhere above the 50.000 copies considering how good DS games sell in the long period), 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors has not achieved a great success in Japan when it was launched during last Christmas holidays; I do think he suffered the competition with another mistery game, Professor Layton and the Specter’s Flute, which had been out just 2 weeks before. Moreover, Spike promotion wasn’t so widespread in stores, so the game was on the sly.
But something has happened after its distribution by Aksys in the United States. Word of mouth is making the game very popular in all american discussion boards, such as NeoGAF, where the topic of the game is growing faster; moreover, the average rating on Metacritic is 90 out of 100, based on 5 reviews… Not so many, but enough to say that this adventure game worths attention, even because DS games don’t usually have this kind of treatment from the critics, which try to compare them to counter-parties on home consoles and exaggerate flaws.
In Europe in this game hasn’t arrived yet; I do hope it will come, but meanwhile I can advice all of you to order it on Amazon and appreciate the great game is.