Rule of Rose

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Product Description

Rule Of Rose takes you into the past for incredible and strange gaming action. It is March, 1930 when young Jennifer's parents are killed in a tragic airship accident. She is sent to Rose Garden Orphanage, in a remote portion of the English countryside. In this dilapidated building, a ragtag mob of children who call themselves the "Aristocracy of the Red Crayon" rule. They kidnap her and take her into the dark heart of an impossibly large zeppelin, on a meandering course for a distant land. Now, with the help of a canine companion named Brown, Jennifer has to find valuable gifts for the Aristocracy, or suffer a fatal punishment for her insolence...

  • Befriend a faithful dog and work together to locate crucial items
  • Intense melee combat against bloodthirsty monsters
  • Musical score by Yutaka Minobe (Panzer Dragoon Saga, Skies of Arcadia)
  • An immersive storyline with 50 minutes of award-nominated CG scenes (Official Selection of the Annecy 2006 International Animated Film Festival)
  • Multiple endings and hidden extras

Customer Reviews:

  • But with big sister dead in a pool of amber blood, who is there to read the letter to? Bah bah.
    As the teen and young adult male populations tend to consume the profit-making minds of game developers, anything (even superficially) deemed too "kiddie" or "girly" is often left out. Females that aren't either boring sex ciphers, perky and cute anime archetypes, or unrealistic, token "strong women" are a rare sight in the video game universe. Young children in active roles are practically non-existent.

    It's encouraging, then, to see Rule of Rose break these two annoying trends. The player takes control of Jennifer, an English schoolgirl who arrives in a bus at a big, spooky house. The premise may seem entirely generic at first, but this is intentional. Absolutely nothing is know of Jennifer's past or even her life at the outset. However, as the game unravels, more and more is revealed until we learn her devastating history.

    As a mystery/horror story, Rule of Rose is a sparkling success. Jennifer runs into and is basically imprisoned by the girls of the Red Crayon Aristocrats. Each girl has a widely different personality, but they are all sadistic yet vulnerable. The Aristocrats function as a sort of female version of Lord of the Flies. Those on top are treated as royalty, while those on the bottom are treated as sub-human filth.

    This game achieves what so little others do: The player strongly feels for Jennifer and is worried for her. While playing, I felt as Jennifer felt, and desperately wanted her to escape.

    The children accentuate this by being perfectly voiced, with not a rotten apple in the bunch. Everyone has genuine English accents, which is vital for believability. No one sounds as if they are simply reading lines, and I never even thought about the voice acting while playing. Which is as it should be.

    Slow strings are the musical medium of choice for much of Rule of Rose, and they go well enough with the atmosphere. Slow, tense music plays during suspenseful moments, dramatic songs play during emotional scenes, and faster, intense strings play during battle. Again, it all fits the mood nicely, but there's nothing here that's memorable or of interest outside the game.

    Clever visual motifs further engross the player into this strange world. Wiggly, child-like animations are used quite a bit, such as in loading screens, chapter introductions, and in books (which serve a similar purpose as memos or notes do in other horror games). These childish doodles often portray brutal content, making them eerie and surreal.

    The in-game graphics are at about the standard for PS2 horror titles. There's nothing here pushing system limits, but nothing noticeably sub-par either. The main cast are understandably much more detailed than other characters.

    With such a nice environment and theme, the developers had a real gem in their hands. It's too bad, then, that they actually make you play the game.

    As Jennifer explores, she will inevitably encounter odd, child-like ghouls. Sadly, she will virtually only encounter these creatures. Lifeless, malicious zombie children? Sure, that's pretty creepy. Unfortunately, the scare factor is completely eliminated when you see them every other step.

    Jennifer must use whatever she finds lying around to fight her pursuers. Not many guns or swords here. Sure, Jennifer shouldn't be a naturally gifted warrior, but she should cause damage when her entire weapon and arm go through a fiend's body.

    Even worse, most foes can harm Jennifer with punches or stabs from several feet away! Or sometimes, even when they're facing the other direction! Horrid hit detection mars Rule of Rose consistently and significantly. This is an unacceptable game design flaw, as it makes combat almost unbearable.

    This nagging problem particularly shows its ugly face during the few boss fights, which should be the peak of enjoyment in most games. The bosses in Rule of Rose are uniformly monotonous, cheap, and tiresome.

    Most of these bosses are challenging for all the wrong reasons. They perform the same actions again and again and are entirely predictable. It doesn't matter, though, for along with the monstrous hit detection, Jennifer is as slow as a slug. Both in terms of running speed and arm swing, my 87 year-old grandma is faster.

    These flaws make battles more a game of luck than a test of skill. Did you see that move five seconds in advance? Too bad, you die regardless. Did you work to get behind an enemy to stab him in the back? Oops, missed anyway!

    The exploration elements aren't much better. The game is primarily set in a bizarre, 1930's-style airship, and that's where you'll be exploring most. While this airship is fascinating at first, you will quickly grow tired of it as the game requires you to traverse the same areas over and over. Jennifer's lethargic trot doesn't help matters here, either.

    Jennifer is accompanied by her dog Brown through most of her journey. While he helps a tiny bit in combat, Brown's main function is to sniff out hidden items. You can let Brown sniff most items in the inventory, and he'll find something related. While this is a novel and interesting aspect, it can get tedious after a while. It does help the player feel affection for Brown, at least.

    I often found myself struggling through the game in order to see what happens to Jennifer next. I'm not sure who's crueler: the Aristocrat girls for their evil antics, or the developers for creating such an irresistibly addicting yet agonizingly flawed game.

    Judging games like this, ones which have disastrous gameplay yet are good to perfect in every other area, is always difficult. Should you play Rule of Rose? It ultimately comes down to personal taste. If gameplay is categorically the most important part of a game to you, with no exceptions, then absolutely not. If you're willing to ignore severe blemishes to witness a wonderful drama, then yes.

    Personally, I am willing to trudge through the depths to find beauty....more info
  • An Acquired Taste
    Rule of Rose is a creepy adventure game that belongs to the genre of 'survival horror'. If you've played games like Silent Hill or Resident Evil this game will be very familiar to you. Rule of Rose is not for everyone however, not just because of its disturbing subject matter, but also because of the slow pacing, rather finicky controls and annoying battle system.

    Storyline: 8/10
    The storyline is possibly the best thing about the game. Incredibly creepy and definitely not for children, the game tells the story of a young girl named Jennifer who ends up in an orphanage and must do the bidding of a clique of kids known as the "Red Crayon Aristocrats". I'm currently in the middle of the game myself and do not yet know how it will turn out, but for those who enjoy the psychological horror of games like Silent Hill, this grotesque story will entertain.

    Graphics: 7/10
    The game takes place in the gloomy 1930's and the graphics are appropriately grainy and dark with the game's colors being mostly greys and browns. The game takes place inside an orphanage and later on a zeppelin and all the environments are highly detailed. The characters are well rendered and move in a realistic way. All in all these are pretty good graphics for the Playstation 2's twilight years.

    Gameplay: 5/10
    Here's where you'll either love the game or hate it. At its core Rule of Rose is an adventure game. You are commanded by the Red Crayon Aristocrats (the clique mentioned above) to find certain items and as you play the game you discover more and more about Jennifer and the other characters. Most of the time you're fetching items from point A to point B so if this is exactly the type of gameplay you hate, I advise you to stay away.
    Rule of Rose also includes enemies that attack Jennifer. The battle system is the worst part of the entire game. Enemies are hard to target and most of the time it's easier to just run past the annoying critters. Boss fights are somewhat frustrating because of the annoying combat system and lousy controls.
    There's an upside to the gameplay and that is if you wish to simply play the game for the storyline the game makes it easy to do just that. The most interesting aspect of the gameplay is that Jennifer can use her dog Brown to find certain items (basically have him sniff out the scent). This makes finding items easier than in other games of this sort as you simply follow Brown until he finds what you're looking for. The puzzles aren't very difficult and the combat is easily avoided so you can progress through the game fairly quickly once you get the hang of it (basically have Brown find the items you need and follow him around). Inventory is limited like in Resident Evil, but unlike in that game items you drop to make space automatically end up in the item box (or rubbish bin as it's known in this game). You can also get hints on how to progress through the game from each save point, so that's a good thing. Also every time you enter a room the name of it is displayed so it's easy to know immediately if you've been there before if you get lost.

    Controls: 5/10
    While searching for items and clues, it's fairly easy to control Jennifer and Brown. However the controls really could have been tightened up for combat. So often you go to attack an enemy and the hit doesn't connect. Also when trying to pick items up off the ground you very often have to be standing in exactly the right spot or Jennifer won't pick it up. There's no Resident Evil-style tank control scheme so that's a good thing -- Jennifer runs in whatever direction you move the joystick. Brown simply follows you around and three buttons control his movement (stay, find and come here).

    Sound: 8/10
    Cello and violins, as well as piano make up the bulk of the background music in this game. It's fairly enjoyable, if a bit repetitive. The voice- acting is quite good, though sparse. A lot of times you'll be reading the dialogue instead of listening to it.

    Rent or buy:
    If you like games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill (also Clock Tower 3 and Fatal Frame) then Rule of Rose deserves at least a rental. If you dislike the above, or if fast paced action fare is more your bag then Rule of Rose is likely to frustrate and bore you. Also a warning about the subject matter: As mentioned above it's definitely not for children or for the faint of heart. There's copious amounts of violence in this game and some rather gratuitous. It deserves the Mature rating which is prominently displayed on the box.

    Hopefully this review will be helpful to anyone considering purchasing the game. I found it fascinating, and somewhat less frustrating than other survival horror games. I look forward to finishing it....more info
  • Animal Abuse Hell
    If you love animals stay away. Brilliant in many area horrendous in others the ending does not allow for anything but anger and misery IMO ...more info
  • Rule of Rose, and amazine tale of how the heart endures...
    Ahh, Rule of Rose, where do I start?

    First of all, I will start with the bad. The gameplay during battles is horrendous. Controlling Jennifer while fighting and dealing with the terrible weapons and many glitches can make for a very frustrating experience. The boss battles (there are only 3) become quite repetitive and it seems like an eternity before you defeat them. You come across many foes on your way through this game that are quite bothersome and just not worth fighting, however, you are placed in situations that make it inevitable and you must fight them to proceed. With that being said, my only major issue with this game is the control system itself. But I am assuming that Jennifer was meant to be no more than an ordinary girl (you find out later she has a heart problem) who is put in situations that require her to fight. So you can't really fault the game makers for that.

    On to the best part, the good stuff. This game was brilliantly written, amazingly detailed and the music is perfect. The voice acting is dead on and the dialogue does not seem forced. As the story unfolds you find yourself falling deeper in love with our heroine, Jennifer, and her best friend, Brown the dog, and are quite anxious to see what is going to happen next. Jennifer suffers a tragic loss when her parents are killed in an airship crash and she is sent to an orphanage with girls who are mean to her, and a headmaster that is quite unsavory. I found myself thinking about this game a lot when I wasn't playing it, and discussing it with my best friend who also got enthralled with the story.

    Once I finished the game, I realized that there was no happy ending for Jennifer and was sad for her and the others. But such is life I guess.

    If you are looking for a slashfest then Rule of Rose is not for you. But if you are looking for a game with an amazing story line, wonderfully detailed areas and an altogether appreciation for creative gaming then Rule of Rose is for you. You should certainly give it a try. ...more info
  • Great Game for Horror Fantics
    This game is a great game... Especially if you like twisty storylines and freaky horror.
    The movies are awesome, i totally palyed this game for the storyline, which is confusing, but amazing if you look up every detail.
    The fights are a little bit hard to control, but you don't have to fight all of the enemies, only boss fights....more info
  • A game all its own...nothing quite like it.
    I must say, I have never seen a game at all like Rule of Rose. must have a certain liking for this kind of game. The gameplay is slow, yes...the cut scenes and story however are beautifully done!
    The story begins with you playing as 19 year old Jennifer on a bus, alone with a little boy reading a story. He comes and hands it to her, asking her to finish before running off the bus. Jennifer follows him off and the bus leaves her behind, her only choice it to keep going after him. I can't tell you more without getting into the wonderful plot. Somewhat like Haunting Ground, Jennifer finds a Yellow Lab named Brown in distress and frees. He is instantly glued to her side.

    Throughout the game, you will gain weapons...some of which including a fork, meat cleaver, pipe, ice pick, ax, shovel, etc and eventually a gun. Since Jennifer is very weak, this can become annoying as health items are difficult to find. Luckily, majority of the fighting is optional. The screen takes on a grainy look...meant to look sometimes like an old story. It is set in early 1900's England which adds to the feel.

    Much of the game consists of following the dog to an item, getting it, killing an imp or two, watching a cutscene, following a chain reaction of finding items, fighting a boss, watching a cutscene, exploring a few rooms, finding a key, opening the door...that kind of stuff. If you prefer hardcore battle, this is not your game. This game is meant more for the story. It's a beautiful story of friendship, betrayal, and revenge. To many, the story is difficult to get and sometimes, a forum may of assistance but once you do, it is truly a wonderful game.

    The load screens are killer...they take quite a while to load. The voice acting isn't bad at all, it is actually rather nicely done. Now, if you've played Haunting Ground, you may be disappointed in Brown. He's rather boring and emotionless. He does not help you fight like the dog in HG, Brown finds items for you which is much more helpful as it is easy to get lost.

    Much of this game is symbols. Something weird and strange (Goat Sisters, for example) represent something else entirely, rather than what they appear to be. So, as you play, you sort of have to glue it together and see what means what. The beginning of the game will seem like random events thrown together, but they will make sense later. At the chapter called "The Rag Princess Sews" is when it starts to come together.

    The fun thing about this is the different endings. There are two, a good and a bad. The bad part? Very difficult to know how to get either without a guide. Many will get the bad ending on the first try without a guide, just by the way the rest of the game goes and what you are used to fighting like. With the good ending, you get a key that unlocks a door to costumes on your next play through. (Tennis Teacher, Gothic Maid, Octopus, Doll, Nurse, etc.) These can be rather fun as well.

    It is one of those games that once you beat it, you should probably play it over so things will fully click if they didn't already. It's also a good idea to sit back and think over the whole game. It will be come together, trust me. ^_~

    I highly suggest you rent or borrow this game first, as it just may not be the type for you. If requires a certain liking to this kind of game where you'll either love it or despise it. It does have its flaws, but it really is a well developed game when carefully looked over. ...more info
  • There are many better survival horror/adventures out there...
    First of all, I don't see the controversy in this game that everyone was talking about. It's disgusting yes, it may make you cringe, but not in a way other survival horror games do since all the freaky moments in this game involve being poked in the face by rats tied to sticks. Oh boy! Sign me up!

    Just kidding. While that's reason enough to move on to many of the better survival horror games out there (Silent Hill and Siren are great), the controls in this game are utterly useless, since there is no gameplay whatsoever. You spend half of each level encountering no monsters, just running around telling a dog to find stuff, and that's worse than you think. You'll find an item that has no use but so that the dog will smell it and find another item that has no use, and so on and so on, until you finally find a healing item that will heal about 3% of your health bar. Oh happy day when you find that reclusive item.

    And you'll need it because the boss battles are out of hand. And any of the monsters basically. This is one where you fight only if necessary, because if you want to stand in a room and fight the main character just closes her eyes and blindly stabs while 10 monsters overtake her. The boss battles are incredibly one sided, as they require you to dole out 50+ hits while dodging. attacks that will take huge chunks out of your life bar, and are almost unavoidable.

    I'm not going to say that Rule of Rose is one of the worst games I've ever played, but it is slow, boring, and has a difficulty that will drive even the most hardened adventure and survival horror players like myself away from it. If you can keep from breaking your controller in disgust of the game over screen, and keep from falling asleep during the cutscenes (I literally did so twice), then you might be able to withstand Rule of Rose. I just hope you don't pay $30 like I did....more info
  • Rule of Rose
    Creepy game with a twisted story line and characters that are sadistic to boot. worth the buy and the story telling of the game make it worth replying more than once...more info
  • Creepy fun
    The game is enjoyable in a fun/creepy way. The combination of masochistic children and a deeper chilling backstory makes for an engaging if sometimes puzzling time. Actually I found there were quite a few humorous moments as well.

    The one major drawback, I felt, was that as the game progresses, so do combat sequences, in which the game does not excel. The controls are for combat are clunky and imprecise. This tended to get frustrating more than challenging.

    Overall, I enjoyed the odd game for its idiocyncracies- I've never played another like it, but I admit it did drag on a bit and required lots of hunting each chapter/quest for items and clues over the same ground as previous ones....more info
  • Creepy and Fun
    Rule of Rose is a great game that is definately creepy, violent, and disturbing. It has great atmosphere and is not definately not for the faint of heart. You control Jennifer, a girl whose parents die and she follows a boy from the bus to an orphanage. As you go to the building and go on an airship, the kids called "The Aristocrats of the Red Canyon" mistreat you, bully you, and even torture you. The CG sequences are so beautiful that the characters look real. I felt so bad for Jennifer because she is a victim;the CG sequences really enhance the emotion of the game. The only problems with this game is that it can be overwhelming exploring all of the areas of the places. Finding things are not easy either. But your dog Brown is a great aid. He can help you find items that you need, and he can help you when fighting by blocking them or barking which stuns the enemies for a minute. Also, combat is fun but it is very easy to miss an enemy and hordes of enemies come out at you. If you enjoy games with great stories, this is a game for you. Rule of Rose is one of the better Survival Horror/Adventure games out there and I think that everyone should play it for its creepy atmosphere and heart-breaking story....more info
  • Clunky to handle but still arouses interest
    "Rule of Rose" is an adventure game that I suppose falls into the survival horror genre, but on a very gentle scale. It plays a bit like a sanitized "Silent Hill" crossed with "Haunting Ground", with notable visual comparisons with the former, especially in the game's locations, enemies and general bewildering ambience. That's not to say it's as good as "Silent Hill", in fact in some respects it's quite a let down, but you could have some fun playing it if the story intrigues you. Hopefully it will, because the gameplay is a bit lacking

    The plot involves a young girl named Jennifer who finds herself stranded at a spooky orphanage where a group of children who have named themselves The Aristocrats seem to be in charge. These children set Jennifer a series of trials and it's these that form the main stages of game play. Working almost entirely without explanation or motive, you must carry out the children's requests to find missing toys or dead birds to complete each level. Along the way you meet creepy enemies and occasionally the children play tricks on you just for the fun of it. That's about it for the plot, you'll have to play the game yourself to try and make sense of the situation and see if you can get Jennifer out of it. Playing "Rule of Rose" is not that difficult but you'll find out early on that there is little explanation about what is happening to you. As the game starts, Jennifer wanders around the orphanage being generally menaced for a while and then at an allotted moment she falls unconscious and wakes up on board a giant flying airship (!) with the same band of children once again in control of everything. She finds a dog called Brown cruelly tied up and hanging from the ceiling, which she frees, and then girl and dog form a team for the rest of the game, searching for various clues and objects (by getting Brown to find them with his sense of smell) and dodging or fighting with an assortment of bizarre enemies. All the time, the children of the Aristocrat club will tease, trick and punish you whenever they feel like it.

    The game does a good job at creating an unsettling landscape for you to play in, with creepy children's scrawls covering many walls of the orphanage and airship, and lots of torn up toys, caged animals and general dereliction everywhere. Had the gameplay been more involving, "Rule of Rose" could have been a reasonable success, but sadly the experience is let down by several major factors. Firstly, the action is dull, dull, DULL! There are only two things you have to do for the majority of the game. By far the least involving is the "Find" feature in which Jennifer let's Brown have a sniff of an item in her inventory and then follows him as he picks up the scent of something and trots off to follow the trail to it's end. Now this feature is used A LOT, which is a real drawback as it's pretty boring to do, just following a dog around through room after room and picking up items that he discovers is the way to finish nearly all of the trials that Jennifer is set, and some of the Find quests become chains, as one found item leads to another, and then another, with nothing else going on in between. Brown is quite cute but he takes no effort to control and he always finds what you set him to find and never misbehaves, so he's a lot less interesting than Hewie the dog in "Haunting Ground" (which this game resembles a lot) was.

    The other thing you spend time doing is dealing with the game's enemies. Now let me say that the monsters in "Rule of Rose" are pretty good. Starting off as short, impish mannikin type things (very "Silent Hill"), they progress into wearing animal masks (getting fatter when wearing pig heads), and even donning huge conical head-dresses as pecking birds. The game also gives you a fun collection of weapons such as cutlery and hardware tools, which get better and sharper as the game progresses. Now this would all be great if only you had a playable character who knew what to do with them. But in this game I'm afraid you don't, and this is the other major pitfall of the entire experience. The main character of Jennifer has to be one of the soppiest, weakest, most irritatingly feeble creations I have ever played. She spends the entirety of the game whimpering and crying at everything, whether in cut scenes or actual gameplay, and it gets old REALLY fast. Any normal person would tire pretty quickly of the ridiculous ordeals the Aristocrat Club dish out, yet Jennifer never once challenges any of the children who torment her (she looks older than all of them put together, for crying out loud, and she's certainly a lot taller and bigger than all of them, yet she meekly submits to every demand they make). The game goes to some lengths to impress on us that Jennifer is timid and weak by design, but where's the fun in that for the player? And when it comes to facing monsters you'll need to move all breakable objects out of harms way as the controls for combat are awful and you are liable to want to smash something in frustration. The response time for pressing the commands is way too slow to accurately plan your blows or dodge, and the recovery time when Jennifer is knocked to the floor (which she is nearly all the time) is horrendous, seemingly set so that the time it takes for her to stand up is the time it takes the enemy to have another swing at her, which often left me in an endless loop of being floored, sloo-oowly getting up, only to be straight down again before the command to be able to make her run out of the way of the next blow could kick in. The camera angles and general directional controls are also flawed. The camera is automatic and will revolve to suit itself as Jennifer runs, which means that you have to change the direction of the analogue stick even if Jennifer is running in a straight line, just because the camera angle has changed from facing one way to another. So imagine what that's like in a small room where the camera waves around wildly as Jennifer runs to dodge the various monsters'll be running in circles or hitting walls - or dead - in no time.

    Now I will relent slightly here and say that the hard combat in the game does at least give you some challenge to stick your teeth into, but it seems poorly balanced. A fight between a slick and agile character and a strong and lightning fast enemy is a much more exciting challenge than a weak and hard to control character fighting against a weak and not very threatening enemy, so I still think it's poorly designed. Which is a shame, as throwing Jennifer into a room with upwards of 6 or 7 enemies, plus some quite old school bosses (the mermaid princess was fun) could have been much more entertaining than it currently is.

    Apart from the combat though, the game is pretty easy and therefore, it can get boring especially when all you are doing is running through rooms after Brown while he sniffs out key items. There are only two locations in the game, and the environments are pretty repetitive The orphanage looks pretty similar throughout and although it's small I still got lost all the time, but the airship is huge and has endless passageways and gantries, including several remotely situated engine rooms that you never need to go for anything so I wondered what the point of them was - and some infuriating cabin areas filled with multiple doors that are never unlocked. Oh yes and on that topic, the game arbitrarily locks and unlocks various doors as levels progress, which is very annoying, because you can never commit to memory which areas are accessible and which are off limits if they change all the time. What I also found annoying was the miserable maps which were very hard to decypher, and the game's annoying habit of glitching frequently between game-play and cutscenes, flashing up incorrect subtitles on several occasions and dropping music and audio in all the wrong places - this is something that should have been tested more thoroughly.

    The game's strengths are its twisted take on childish pranks, with some quite sinister overtones in places ( a small number of scenes verge on being pretty sadistic), and an overall sense of the bizarre. Don't expect to understand the plot too clearly, even at the end of the game I was still a bit confused. And there are some great illustrations in the books that Jennifer in each stage, all done in childlike scrawl but showing highly violent scenes like goats being disembowelled or people getting buried alive, which adds to the atmosphere! And if you like chasing Brown, you can spend an awful lot of your time just searching for rare items that he can sniff out, with a few bonus treasures to be found for subsequent playthroughs. But as general gameplay goes, all this dog-following gets very tiresome, and adding that to the sappiest main character I have ever played makes "Rule of Rose" a game that you might go off playing after a few hours....more info
  • Should Have Been a Movie...
    I admit, I haven't played a lot of survival horror. I rented this game because I thought it would be a good intro to the genre without the need to worry about twitch shooting and ammo counts. Plus, the story sounded interesting.

    Things didn't turn out that way. The game is SLOOOOWWWW. Action? What action? You spend your time running around through the same areas, looking for items. Sometimes you end up in combat. Mostly you run around.

    I use the word "run" loosely, since Jennifer does not seem capable of fast movement. Imagine running with your legs tied together - that's her speed. (To add insult to injury, if you make her move too much, she bends over and pants once you stop her...)

    On the other hand, graphics and audio are very well done. ...more info
  • Not worth it . . .
    I should have listened to the warnings.

    This game was so uninteresting from the beginning that I couldn't play it. Ultimately, I gave the game away.

    You want great games? Try "Dragonquest VIII" or "Shadowhearts (from The New World)". Even "Magna Carta (Tears of Blood)" is better. Stay away from "Rule of Rose", it's not worth the price....more info
  • An extremely tragic, heart-breaking, deeply psychological story
    I just finished this game; spending more than 20 hours reading and clicking everything, to make sure I haven't missed any single detail(if you skimp through the game, you can finish it in less than 8hrs). This is the first game I have seen that delve so deeply into the theme of lost and loneliness within the human heart(and probably will be the last one, unfortunately).

    The story in this game is like a dream; environment suddenly changes and people appears and disappear in an instance. If you have the patience, however, you will find out what tragic events had happened in reality. Newspapers, letters and notes scattered throughout the game will offer important clues(be sure to check out the newspapers in the airship's smoke-room, the newspapers content will change throughout the game).

    There are 2 endings in this game; be sure you get the good ending. The good ending will give you a chance to 'visit' reality; and if you have the patience to click and read everything in that chapter, you will get a good psychological analysis of each character. You will soon feel pity about every character, despite they may have have acted cruelly in the game. Each character, in one way or another, is trying to find happiness; but all of them are misleaded in their own way; whatever they do in order to attain happiness, eventually only end up in misery.

    I highly recommend this game to anyone who want to delve into the human heart....more info
  • Rule of rose PS2 Game
    Have not played the game. as we brought it and did not realise that it would not be compatible with NZ PS2 console....more info
  • Better than Silent Hill 2
    For a long time now, I have considered Silent Hill 2 to be the best example of "games as art". I have played through it more than 5 times, and each time I have found new things to think about. The gameplay was poor, but the non-linear story, dream-like aesthetics, and rich symbolism more than made up for it.

    Rule of Rose takes all of those qualities to the extreme. First of all, the gameplay is even POORER than Silent Hill 2, so if you are looking for a Gears of War experience you won't find it here. The combat system is so floaty that battles are essentially random, it's difficult to apply any sort of skill or strategy to them. You'll have to spend significant time using your dog Brown to find extra healing items, because you will doubtless waste a chocolate bar or two during the frustrating boss fights. That said, using Brown's nose to explore is a novel and occasionally fun idea - it can be exciting when you find a key plot item, have Brown smell it, and follow his nose to find a character you've been looking for.

    But if you buy this game for the gameplay, you'll be disappointed. Where this game shines, much like Silent Hill 2, is in the unique, beautiful, and disturbing world it presents and the characters that inhabit it. The plot is much more involved than in Silent Hill 2, and is told in an even more ambiguous way. You'll need to carefully think about each piece of writing you find in the game, and try to relate the abstract children's stories to the terrible events that actually took place.

    The music is absolutely beautiful, the graphics are acceptable for PS2, and the story will be something you can investigate and discuss for years. There is a great blog trying to piece together everything called "Rule of Rose Mysteries" that is worth visiting after you've completed the game to see other people's intrepretations.

    I should also note that the game ran flawlessly on my MGS-4 PS3(which has software BC)....more info
  • Such a sad, unlucky girl...
    What an oddity 'Rule of Rose' is! Why would anyone choose to play a game in which the main character is a nervous, awkward teenage girl and the story the game tells could best be described as disturbing? And yet, there's lots of good answers to this question. How about, just for starters: beautiful graphics, unique gameplay, and a compelling and rich plotline?

    The graphics of 'Rule of Rose' are one of the things that sold me on the game almost immediately. Just watch the game's opening trailer to get a taste of what you'll see -- visually lush and beautiful animations, expressive characters, and a style perfectly suited to the game's story. Like the 'Silent Hill' series, 'Rule of Rose' takes a simple real-world environment and wraps it in darkness and just a slight tinge of surrealism to keep you off-guard. As gorgeous as the backdrop is, the creatures and dark edges of the story are rendered just as lovingly, products of a twisted imagination. In some scenes, sun streams through huge windows and bathes the world in a golden glow, while later the same windows are darkened except for occasional flashes of lightning, illuminating shuffling figures and featureless masks for faces. The visual style of 'Rule of Rose' is breathtaking, both terrible and beautiful.

    Playing through 'Rule of Rose' can be frustrating at times. Jennifer, the main character of the game, is awkward, kind of slow, and clumsy with weapons. She is no fighter and is easily overpowered. This makes sense for the way the game's story is told, but can still make the experience difficult sometimes. This is more than offset, though, by the added dynamic of Jennifer's faithful friend, Brown the dog. Once you find and befriend him (early on in the game), Brown becomes your indispensible companion. He will help you find everything from restorative items (scones and lollipops for Jennifer, bacon and bones for Brown) to the next item needed to progress the story (everything from keys to teddy bears) and more. Brown also helps Jennifer in combat by frightening some enemies and giving Jennifer a better chance to strike or run away. Jennifer by herself may have made for a somewhat weak and frustrating experience overall, but playing 'Rule of Rose' with Jennifer and Brown is considerably more interesting.

    Which all leads to the story. Told mainly through a series of crudely-drawn storybooks Jennifer finds and assembles along the way, 'Rule of Rose' is like a modern-day Grimm's fairytale gone horribly wrong. Thematically, the nearest comparison I can think of is William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies,' as 'Rule of Rose' is another story is which children are left to discover a society all of their own making (the mysterious Aristocrats of the Red Crayon), and the result is seldom pretty to look at. The children in 'Rule of Rose' are cruel and malicious to one another, as conniving and manipulative as any adults, and as selfish. Even so, 'Rule of Rose' is hard to turn away from, once begun. The storybook motif and the way the stories translate to Jennifer's reality are compelling, and in their own twisted way, beautiful too. Discovering the fate of the Aristocrats and the identity of the mysterious Stray Dog kept me playing to the bitter end.

    Add in a surprisingly touching music score by Yutaka Minobe, consisting mainly of string arrangements that are positively haunting, and chillingly effective voice acting for each character, and 'Rule of Rose' comes together as an occasionally frustrating but overall compelling game.

    Mind you, 'Rule of Rose' is not for everyone. The story features cruel behavior among children, and hints at physical and sexual abuse and cruelty to animals. There is very little that is overtly shown, but the undercurrent of dread and the implications of the story will frighten some and downright offend others. On the other end of the spectrum, those who like action games packed with blood and mayhem are likely to be disappointed by the slow pace of the story and the limited combat moves of the the teenage heroine. For those, however, who can appreciate a dark fairy tale, who can see beauty even in terror, who believe that even the story of a sad, unlucky, lonely girl has merit, 'Rule of Rose' is a game well worth the playing....more info
  • Worth your time if...
    Rule of Rose is a great game if you are into symbolism. The combat is very limited and is not the mail focus of the game (as made clear by the poor choice of weapons). You are given items such as a fork and small knife to fight initially, so really you are merely meant to explore and survive rather than track down monsters and be a slayer (except of course during boss battles).
    What's great about this game is the mystery. Each level is separated into two parts basically: exploration time and escape/fight time. During exploration time, little to no monsters are present and your character is free to check all of the accessible rooms and read clues as to what is going on. It's very hard to get lost and its usually pretty obvious what you have to do, thanks to Brown -the dog.
    If you play through it once, you probably will not understand everything that happened (especially if you achieve the game over ending).
    What I liked most about this game was reading about the children and analyzing them and Jennifer. The complex characters and mystery of just what is going on makes this game great.
    To put simply what I should have started out saying, if you're into a lot of action and killing, this may not be your type of game. If you prefer to run from monsters and focus on plot and characters (and you don't mind lesbians, cruelty and animal violence) then this game you may find suitable for your taste.
    The game's theme of the cruelty of children from an adult's perspective is really rather thought provoking and just plain awesome. ...more info
  • it's more of a half/half thing
    yeah by most this game is NOT FOR EVERYONE, though this game does have a diffrent thing for anyone. it's like playing through a horror british novel. the thing that will take down most of the game is it's combat system, simple puzzles, a fuzzy look (CAN BE ADJUSTED), and it's SHORT. though a little adjusment with the options window and practice will make this game quite enjoyable ^_^ the most greatest pros of the game is RICH STORYLINE, BEAUTIFUL CUT SCENES, and creepy atmosphere. so this is recommended to fans of SILENT HILL, FATAL FRAME, AND HORROR RPG FANS....more info
  • So bad, so very bad
    This game is slow moving (no run ability?), there is no onscreen life meter (WTF?), no ability to target enemies, imprecise controls, terrible combat system, yet extremely well done strange & bizarre cutscenes with beautiful graphics. I can understand people loving the trailer for this game, the cutscenes really are some of the best graphics I've seen in the PS2, but this is a game, not a movie. The control & combat sections (random guys each level and boss battles) are why this is so bad and many of the combat parts you cannot avoid.
    This is the equivalent of a "dumb blonde" videogame - it looks really nice, but when you interact with it you realize it is borderline retarded....more info
  • New Rules
    Rule of Rose is a game that definitely shows promise but for some odd reason can't live up to all that promise. The game, in terms of being a survival horror has the components down really well. It's got its creepy hair raising moments, complete with a creepy and disturbing look to most of it. The problem with Rule of Rose isn't in it's interesting story, or in it's interesting look; it's in the gameplay itself. Rule of Rose would instantly be better if it was simply fun to play.

    Jennifer is a timid unlucky girl, who gets stuck at an orphanage in 1930's. It's a strange orphanage which consist of cult like rituals. She explores this orphanage only to discover that it's not what it seems. She later discovers that there's a secret society called the Aristocrat of the Red Crayon. This society captivates her interest, and so does a dog named Brown which she rescues. There's actually kind of a neat thing going for this game. For one, the story is interesting. It also manages to be really creepy and strange. It'll also make you think too. From there, though, the game doesn't have very many places to go.

    For starters, the game is overall pretty boring. You'll find yourself exploring your surroundings, finding items, avoiding enemies and solving puzzles. Pretty standard and run of the mill for a survival horror game. A lot of the time Brown is with you, and he's quite a companion to have around. He can lead you through some of the game as well. You can have him sniff items in your inventory and he'll go off to discover similar items. If you're ever unsure of where to go you could probably just turn to Brown and he'll help you out. Exploration, however, somehow feels empty. Especially because there's not much combat involved in exploring, and at the tims when there is an enemy around, you won't really have to fight, you can easily just pass on by... which actually is a good thing.

    There isn't a lot of combat or anything like that to be done in Rule of Rose. When there is it's a little unsatisfying. This is because Jennifer isn't really a confident fighter. When the games tells you she's timid they're not joking. Combat isn't difficult but it is frustrating. You'll have to hope beyond hope that her attacks hit their mark with your enemies. Brown can distract some of them, but it still boils down to Jennifer having to be accurate. You'll get by in the game, but there are moments when the gameplay is just frustrating.

    Even worse for the combat is when you take damage. You don't know how much damage you're taking from an enemy. You might be dead before you know it simply because you don't know how much damage your taking. This can sometimes be frustrating. It wouldn't be nearly as frustrating if save points weren't few and far between in this game. You might be playing through long segments over and over again simply because you didn't know you were moments away from death.

    Part of the gameplay issues also come with how repetative the game is. You'll find yourself going down several hallways and corridors that look just like other ones you've gone through. It's really easy to get turned around in this game. The game does have some good visuals, but they won't be found in the environment. They'll be found in the characters and cutscenes which are absolutely breath taking. The soundtrack is even better, being fairly creepy all together and being able to give you an uneasy feeling. The music is just fantastic overall.

    The storyline to Rule of Rose will probably be enough to keep you going in this game, but the repetative nature of the gameplay and environments make the game more frustrating than it has to be. It's actually not a bad game, it's just a game that didn't live up to potential. For fans of the survivial horror genre, you might want to give it a try. For others, it's probably not your cup of tea.

    The Good

    +Interesting storyline
    +The game has great character models and cutscenes
    +Fantastic sound

    The Bad

    -The environments are repetative, and so is the task of exploring all the rooms throughout the game
    -Combat is unsatisfying and frustrating
    -The game is just boring to play
    -The control scheme isn't all that great (not mentioned above)
    -Because of the repetative environments, it's easy to get lost...more info
  • A good horror game , but not for slasher fans.
    This game is pretty addictive. If you can play horror games without throwing the remote and screaming, you'll really like this game. But while it's compared to Resident Evil, it's more like Silent Hill in the fact that the monsters come at certain times, and that there are a lot of mysteries to solve. The clues and mysteries take up the majority of the game. This game isn't for slasher fans. Her weapons are small, and the main character has bad aim, so be prepared to run. It's a good title if you like the clock tower series. It's really about the creepy-factor of the story, and not about the gore. It's supposed to be creepy, and not SCARY!! PS you get a dog as a companion and it makes the game a lot of fun. ...more info
  • An intriguing and haunting fairy tale
    It's not hard not be drawn in by the trailer for this game. I originally wasn't interested in the game since I am not a fan of the horror genre, but it was so beautifully done, I just had to try the game for myself. The gameplay is relatively easy, especially with the help of your dog Brown. However the fighting portions can be challenging, but luckily there aren't that many encounters where you will need to fight. You can try to run in most cases. The music complements the game perfectly and the voice acting is superb. The setting and mood are fantastic, as it is set in the 1930s in the English countryside. A disturbing story about how a group of children form the "Aristocracy of the Red Crayon" and Jennifer, your protagonist needs to follow their rules or risk being hurt.

    A fascinating tale that oddly reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. If you haven't at the very least seen the trailer, I highly recommend doing so. If you aren't hooked by then, then this may not be for you. The CG scenes are simply amazing, and it didn't surprise me that they were nominated for an award. ...more info
  • Sad, but Beautiful
    After the two major Survival Horror giants (Silent Hill and Resident Evil) have failed to meet my every expectation, a few obscure titles emerge to reassure that hope is not all lost. Rule of Rose is a refreshing reminder that there is indeed a shed of creativity left in the video game world.

    The poor, unlucky girl, Jennifer, is all alone. After her parents were killed she was sent by bus to an orphanage, but to her it was just a strange house overrun by cruel kids and a mean headmaster that blames her for the behaviors of the other children. The poor, unlucky girls' only crime was befriending a filthy stray dog whom she named Brown. This forbidden friendship is just the start of a story too cruel--too beautiful--to go untold.

    You do not play actual events in this game. You play instead the subconscious mind of Jennifer, who I believe is no longer residing at the orphanage, but lives there in her mind, for there was a promise she made to an old friend that she utterly failed to keep, and it is up to you, the player, to show Jennifer how to accept her childhood mistakes and perhaps urge her to move on with life.

    The environment in the game is a huge multistory airship, for that is the place where the orphanage children would visit when they would play make-believe games together. This was so real. I can remember when I was a kid going into my backyard pretending that I was a warrior running along steep canyon slopes or a soldier in the middle of a jungle war with dinosaurs. Within this make-believe world the orphanage children created The Red Crayon Aristocrat Society, and although the world was nonexistent, the rules they created for it were quite real.

    I cannot possibly say anymore without ruining everything, but what this game lacks in actual gameplay, it makes up for it wonderful story-telling. I agree with one reviewer that this plot is reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, where kids try governing themselves without any adult supervision, kicking both rationale and morale out the door since it's nothing but a burden to learn anyway. Remember? Those things were taught.

    This brings me to the controversy that revolved around this game. What they do to each other and to animals are monstrous, and all too believable.

    This is not a true Survival Horror game. There is very little fighting. You will be mostly dodging the monsters you encounter and you'll be spending the majority of your time searching for items and people that only your dog can sniff out. I can see why this annoyed some people and I myself found it tedious.

    The exploration of the airship is grand and it consumes just about every chapter in the game. There was this one strange chapter where you explore the home of Mr. Gregory, a man who lives not far from the orphanage, but that's it. You feel like you're playing this game just to see what will happen next, to be honest. The only other thing aside from the story that was great about this game was the music.

    Violins. They could not have picked a more suitable instrument for this sad, sad story. And it must be a great story if this many people were willing to plod their way through the game to experience it.

    Casual gamers, beware. Only dedicated fans of the genre can appreciate this little gem. I think I enjoyed Rule of Rose more than Silent Hill: Homecoming, which should demonstrate just how dire the need for something new to come along.
    ...more info
  • If Only The Story Made More Sense...

    Gist Of The Game: A young woman by the name of Jennifer rides a bus through the eerie night. Then, an unkwown child hands her a written story book and asks Jennifer to finish it. Before the girl knew it, the bus stops and the child runs off into the darkened woods. Stupidly though, Jennifer gets off and goes after the child. Little does she know that she just took her first steps into the growing nightmare. Now she must follow the rules of the misguided children to get out of it.
    Horrible monsters, devilish children with cruel intentions, and even a mysterious man that seems to be stalking Jennifer... One question lingers in her mind: what did she do to deserve such torture?

    Gameplay: You assume the role of Jennifer, who uses the loyal dog Brown for support. Even though you acquire many different weapon types as the game goes by, both Jennifer and Brown are fairly weak in battles, and it is best to just run away at times (unless forced to fight; you'll know by the "notifications" you get). While Jennifer is mostly good for just attacking when needed to, Brown is best for sniffing out any items or clues that you get throughout the story.

    My Opinion On Game: I have to admit the creepy atmosphere and music really flow with each other, which does make the game "horrific" I guess the word is, but the game does lack in many other things though. For starters, the main character can really annoy you alot. It makes you wonder why she won't stand up for herself when it comes to the children. How can she let them push her around like that? Also, Brown is no good, except for sniffing out the items you need, otherwise, he sucks in battles -- I mean, barking? It doesn't really do much for you.
    I think the biggest of the "lackings" would have to be the storyline; it doesn't make much sense at all. Why is Jennifer there, why is there a creepy man who seems to keep calling Jennifer "Joshua", and the monsters...just what does it all mean?
    Oh yes, the battle system could be redone. Attacking the monsters is quite hard, and even avoiding/running from them can be extremely tricky! The game would be a bit easier if they toned down the number of monsters just a tad; and besides that, a better aiming system for Jennifer: she's rather slow swinging/shooting.

    One Last Note: If you still intend on buying this game, I just have to let you know that there is ABSOLUTELY NO PLAYERS GUIDE FOR THIS GAME! If you need help/hints/advice, then you better start browsing game websites and see what you can find.
    Even though there is no player's guide, I'll still give a little advice/hints that you won't be able to find in the instruction booklet:
    1. Always Expect The Unexpected: you never know where/when those monsters will show up, so be on the lookout (you can usually tell they're in the same room as you by the whispers, grunts, etc.).
    2. Try To Find As Many Health Items As Possible: I have mentioned before that Jennifer and Brown are weak and can take quite a beating from the monsters/bosses that they encounter, so (before you assume you'll see a monster/boss) try to make Brown find as many health items as possible. You'll regret it if you dont'!
    3. Be Aware Of What You Do In The Game: What you do in the game can affect the outcome of how the story will end. I can't tell you what you should or should not do, but just becarful at what you do.

    Even though this isn't the best horror game I've seen, but it's unique/original story does make you want to play more and see how it ends. Although I really do suggest you think it over before buying this game, it's best just to rent it first and see how you like it. If you DO like this game, then the other games I suggest playing also (and much better and make more sense) are the Clock Tower series, Haunting Ground, and the Fatal Frame series.
    ...more info
  • Unique, and beautifully done....
    I was shocked at how original this game is. From the beautiful lassical/slightly eeire soundtrack to the unique game concept, I was really blown away.
    Sure, there were some faults. Such as the fact that it takes FOREVER for the game to load. It's almost a joke; I mean, to load one room to another it takes almost a minute! Also, there are some disturbing images in this game, like hints that the kids torture animals, and humans.
    Rule of Rose takes place in the early 1900's and is centered around a girl who mysteriously gets approached on a bus by a boy that wants her to finish reading a story to him. The boy then runs off, and the girl follows.
    She realizes almost immediatley that something is off about where the boy ran to. And within a short amount of time, she gets tangled in the web of a strange group of girls who have formed a clique a follow the 'rule of rose'. The girls also like to be known as princesses, and have a higharchy. Our protagonist isn't liked by these girls, and in fact, is forced by them to do cruel and strange things in order for her to find out why she is there and how she can leave.
    The settings are AMAZING. One of them is a an airship, where the game is mostly based. This is really, really cool. The rooms are beautiful and the music complements everything.
    Our lead encounters various enemies, and she happens to be pretty weak, so she frequently has to flee the scene.
    In the game, the story unfolds by the girl being given stories by the boy ( who approached her on the bus) and each story the girl needs to unravel. They are mostly strange ones that I guess serve the purpose of triggering omething in the girl's memory.
    This game should not be missed. I highly reccommed it along with Primal, Haunting Ground, and Beyond Good and Evil, as those games have unique story lines as well. Play them all and experience what good gaming should be like!...more info
  • The Need to Know Basis on Rule of Rose:
    The storyline of this game is fantastic and the horror elements incorporated into the world to make it not only surreal but deeply and disturbingly haunted are wonderful. The music is also absolutely amazing.

    However, like many reviewers before me, I have to admit that the game play itself is terrible. The game is not fun or easy unless you are a seriously hardened Horror/Survival player. Your heroin Jennifer is a delicate flower who is killed far too quickly and managing your saves effectively to combat this is not easy. She -will- die and you will repeat sections of this game over and over and over again. Jennifer is ineffective in battle, in most cases you can escape but bosses can be a ridiculous affair if you have not greedily stock piled every health boost.

    My advice to any potential buyer is to know what you want from this game. I read the reviews (if you would like even more details definitely read the other great reviews) but I decided to buy it anyway for the storyline. So, if you're like me and in to a good nightmare then the game really -is- worth every penny and the frustration the game play inspires. ...more info
  • Could've been much better...
    I have mixed feelings about this game. I appreciated the simplicity of the puzzles, the neat graphics, and great music. The down sides, however, are many. The main character is, frankly, a wimp, and she moves verrryy slowly. Loading times for scene changes are WAY too long...I counted almost 30 seconds for some. Bosses can be hard to defeat simply because the main character moves so slowly and is so fragile, and it becomes frustrating to keep starting over, especially if your save point is far away. I'm still not quite sure what the actual storyline is, and aside from some expected gore, the brutality of some of the scenes bothered me. It could've been a lot better and I don't think I would pay a whole lot of money for this one again. It's definitely an interesting adventure game but I think its potential to be great was lost from the start....more info
  • I'm amazed this got released here, but glad.
    (Some minor plot spoilers follow...)

    "Rule of Rose" stirred up some controversy before it was even released in this country. Sony of America dropped it, citing content that clashed with the public image they wanted to maintain here. If not for Atlus, ever the purveyors of fringe titles, no U.S. gamers might ever have seen it. Even now that it's here, I suspect the game is just too strange and different to ever appeal to more than a very select group.

    So just what is "Rule of Rose" anyway? It's a horror story set in the 1930s, in a run-down orphanage and a giant airship. I won't use the term "survival horror" since this is much more of a pure adventure than an action game. The protagonist, Jennifer, is a young woman with a mysterious past who follows a young boy on the bus to the orphanage and quickly becomes trapped in a nightmarish society run by creepy little children. The leaders, three young girls calling themselves the "Red Crayon Aristocrats", give Jennifer a series of unsettling storybooks they draw themselves, all featuring a different animal. They then order Jennifer and another girl, Ashley, to bring them presents, or face terrible punishments. While looking for the first gift Jennifer finds and frees a dog called Brown, and together they must rise through the ranks of the girls' social structure, and try to find a way to escape.

    Comparisons to Capcom's "Haunting Ground" are inevitable, given the prominent inclusion of the dog. But Jennifer's canine companion is actually handled quite differently than Fiona's in that game. Brown cannot be trained to attack enemies, although sometimes he will try to hold them off on his own. Instead he is used primarily to sniff out items Jennifer can use. In the inventory screen you highlight a "Find" item, then a press of the appropriate button sends Brown after it. This allows you to find the presents needed to appease the Aristocrat girls, as well as extra health items, but it does lead to a lot of traipsing back and forth through the environments.

    Jennifer is also a much less defenseless heroine than "Haunting Ground"'s Fiona. Along the way she will find weapons, some of them quite vicious, and is not afraid to use them against the creepy children who lurk about the airship and orphanage. They wear a variety of animal masks and will try to grab onto Jennifer or knock her down. Usually they appear in packs and will quickly surround Jennifer, so it's almost always better to dodge them rather than fight. The game's combat is sluggish and unwieldy, and you're never completely sure your attacks will hit their intended target.

    Aside from the item-hunting gameplay, the main thing that might turn people away is the mature content, and believe me there's a lot of it. Children's cruelty to animals is a central theme of the story, along with the ways they can socially exclude and emotionally torment each other. Some of the things the Aristocrat girls do to Jennifer, and make her do to others, are quite disturbing. "Rule of Rose" will make you squirm. And while the masked kids who attack Jennifer are twisted and demonic, they are still children, and yes, Jennifer can kill them (and occasionally has to). This is absolutely not a game you should let your own children play, or even watch. Without spoiling too much, there is also an unrequited love subplot involving one of the young girls, who is revealed to be a lesbian. It is handled with subtlety and taste, but it is there.

    Graphics are good overall, though some of the airship environments feel a bit stark. The character models are pretty realistic, aside from a few sticking points. Jennifer looks really awkward in combat, but this could be intentional. When she's walking up stairs the bottom of her legs disappear into the texture, and larger weapons pass through walls and environmental objects when she swings them. Most noticeably, Jennifer and Brown can move directly through each other. Admittedly this is better than always having the dog in the way blocking your movements, but it still just doesn't look good. The musical themes match the mood and time period of the game perfectly, but some of them do get a little repetitive and grating during long searching sessions. Save points are a bit far between, and tend to move or disappear at different points in the game. Even with rubbish bins scattered about to hold dropped items, the limited inventory is often cumbersome.

    In the end it was the compelling plot rather than the simplistic and sometimes frustrating gameplay that drew me into "Rule of Rose". It unfolds very gradually, and never quite tells you everything, even at the very end. (Be sure you get the "good" ending, it's not too hard to figure out once you've gotten the "bad" one.) By the time the really disturbing content kicks in you're hooked on the story, though for me it was never as consistently scary as other horror games. Missing is the constant fear that something might jump out at you at any moment, as there are plenty of "safe spots" where you'll never be attacked. Still, there's an unrelenting sense of dread and unease throughout the entire game that works very well. It's definitely not for all tastes, but if you come with enough patience and can handle the clunky fighting and the disturbing content, you'll be glad Atlus ignored Sony's concerns and brought "Rule of Rose" to America.
    ...more info
  • Creepy but gripping
    First off, this game is NOT for those looking for something specializing in fighting. This game is great not for the combat (because I assure you, the combat is incredibly flawed) but for the beautiful artistic direction and the whole mystery behind it.
    This game is not for the easily affected for it shows scenes of underage lesbianism.
    The game is for those who appreciate the artfulness of creating video games and piecing together the disturbing backstory of the game.
    The bosses and overall combat in the game is horrible. Although there are only three bosses in the entire game their difficulty level and overall method of defeating enemies is flawed.
    The first boss is fairly simple to beat although inredibly annoying, the camera angles make playing difficult as well as Jeniffers wussy way of fighting.
    The second boss is fairly simple, but takes an extraordinary amount of patience.
    Oddly enough, the third boss is so easy it's almost a joke.

    Rule of Rose is a beautifully designed game with much more to do and explore other than pounding on the X button for hours at a time....more info
  • Get ready to die... over and over and over again !
    Combat system is so bad that you might as well plan on dying and replaying since your last save. One little girl with a dinner knife against 50 imps is sure death. Expect to replay many sections over and over and over again....more info
  • Graphics are the only thing to look forward to.
    This game had little to no story line and a defective battle system. The main character was easily killed and the endings were poor and did not help explain the story at all. This should be a rental only. You should not buy this game. It is a waste of money....more info


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