[Beyond PlayStation] Raging Loop Review
Psychological horror visual novel Raging Loop from Kemco and PQube is ready for you on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Raging Loop review!
Raging Loop is a visual novel in every sense of the term. Youâ€™re going to be doing a ton of reading in this one since itâ€™s not one with a lot of action and extra stuff to do like, say, the Danganronpa series. You will have choices to make along the way, which will impact how the story develops. The gameâ€™s cast will present a fully voice acted in Japanese with English subtitles, to immerse you in the bizarre world of Raging Loop.
The controls are as simple as you can get since most of the time, youâ€™ll be pressing the A button over and over again to read the massive walls of text you come to expect from a visual novel. You could also press the R button so that the game automatically moves the conversation along, and you can also decide to press and hold down the R button to skip text as needed. If youâ€™re playing in Portable or Tabletop mode, or if youâ€™re the owner of a Nintendo Switch Lite, you can use the consoleâ€™s touchscreen to control things.
After loading the game, you will be greeted by Rikako, a character that will act as your guide to get you started right away. She will present you with different options for the stuff she can give you pointers on, such as the game itself, about how Raging Loop includes a Scenario Chart, so that you can keep track of how the story branches out here and there, while also allowing you to move to any of the chapters that you have already completed. If you want to take on some of the branching paths, you will first need to obtain specific bits of information that the game calls Keys.
If you donâ€™t have the right Keys, then you wonâ€™t be able to select some of the options presented to you until you go back to that moment later on in your run when you have the Keys that you need. Without spoiling things, I can mention that the very first time you get to a branching path â€“ which will happen a handful of minutes into the game â€“ the game will tell you a memory has flashed before your eyes, but since you donâ€™t have the right Keys, you will need to forget about itâ€¦ for now.
Raging Loop takes place in the Japanese village of Yasumizu, a place that is surrounded by a heavy mist. It is because of this mist that no one can ever leave the village, which is not good since that means if you donâ€™t find a way out, you might end up dead! You will take control of Haruaki Fusaishi, who is lost and has no idea where heâ€™s at. When he manages to find a convenience store in the middle of nowhere, he ends up getting directions from a rather cranky store clerk. Unfortunately, the road he was taking suddenly vanishes, and he is hurled down the side of a cliff, motorcycle, and all.
After the accident, off he goes walking down a rather shady road, shouting for help, hoping that someone hears him before he collapses. He luckily finds a flashlight nearbyâ€¦ as well as its owner! He hears the voice of a girl, and after shining the light in her direction, he tells her that heâ€™s sorta lost and needs a place to stay. His savior was Chiemi Serizawa, who kindly invites him to stay at her place for the night so that he can try and get some rest while he sorts things out.
So far, youâ€™d be excused for asking where the psychological horror part was, since the game is a slow burner that does take its time establishing the setting and the characters you will interact with, before dropping its twist. It turns out that there are entities in the village that are out for blood: ancient werewolves that hunt at night, but who disguise themselves as humans during the day. Because of this, the village has the Feast, an event by which they all vote on who they believe to be the werewolf deityâ€¦ to hang it.
The first time you find the werewolf deity will prove to be fatal, since your character will end up properly dead in a blink, as thereâ€™s no way for him to defend against such a massive creature. The good news about all of this? Dying in Raging Loop is not a bad thing! After experiencing your first death, the game will reward you with Key #2, which, as it turns out, is exactly the key you need for your subsequent run to be able to select remaining in hiding when the werewolf is out during that first foggy night in the village.
All youâ€™ll need to do is use the Scenario Chart to â€œjump ahead in time,â€ so that you can use your new Key #2 to take a different decision in the scene in which you had previously died so that you can carry on with your adventure. The game will even help you as you go by showcasing a red skull next to the options that have killed you before so that you donâ€™t end up wasting your time by mistakenly selecting an option that has already led to your doom. Itâ€™s a handy system that makes replaying sections to take different decisions feel like a breeze.
Raging Loop is an interesting visual novel with a solid art style, an interesting premise, some welcomed quality of life elements, such as Scenario Chart, and a ton of content to experience, all for only $29.99. It kept me glued to my screen for a while, as I took in a rather bizarre story with an interesting setup that kept me coming back for more. If you donâ€™t like reading, then stay far, far away from this one, because it certainly does its visual novel status justice, presenting you with hundreds of conversations to read between each of the choices you can make. But if youâ€™re a fan of the genre, then this one is going to give you a lot of material to peruse.
This Raging Loop review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PQube.