zero time dilemma Articles RSS Feed | zero time dilemma RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Confirmed: Zero Time Dilemma Remaster is Coming to PS4 This Fall Fri, 05 May 2017 15:17:01 -0400 Erroll Maas

After having its product page leaked on Amazon, an HD remaster of the third game in the Zero Escape visual novel series, Zero Time Dilemma, has officially been confirmed by Aksys Games for a Fall 2017 release on PlayStation 4.

Zero Time Dilemma was originally released on June 28th, 2016 for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita and PC. The PlayStation 4 HD remaster will be available both physically and digitally. Information on the game's product page tells us that this remaster will include:

  • "Diabolical" new puzzles
  • Fully animated story sections that "push the boundaries of interactive storytelling"
  • New and returning characters
  • Remastered graphics with both English and Japanese audio
  • Vast branching paths which lead to multiple endings

The first game in the series,  9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, was released for the Nintendo DS on December 10, 2009 -- and then got ported to iOS on March 17, 2014. The second game, Virtue's Last Reward, was released on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita on October 23, 2012.

The most recent game in the series, Zero Escape: The Nonary Games -- an updated HD collection of the first two games in the series -- featured brand new voice tracks for 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita on March 24, 2017.

You can read more about Zero Escape: The Nonary Games here on GameSkinny.

5 Reasons To Play Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:11:46 -0400 Erroll Maas

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, an enhanced collection of two of the three games in the Zero Escape visual novel trilogy originally for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS, just released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC. This underappreciated series has a bigger following in the West than in Japan, and with the games now expanding to other consoles, more people will be able to experience them. Here are five reasons why you should play Zero Escape: The Nonary Games:

1. You Will Probably Learn Something New

The Zero Escape series is far from an educational game series, but most of the scientific theories and conspiracies discussed between the characters are real. The dialogue provides a great deal of thought provoking content, although it's hard to talk about what they are specifically without going into spoiler territory. If you like lengthy conversations about weird mysteries, some you may have never even heard of, then this a a great reason to familiarize yourself with the Zero Escape series.

2. Plenty of Satisfying Puzzles, If You Can Figure Them Out

The second way Zero Escape works your brain is by having you solve different puzzles to help the characters seek a way out of each escape room and avoid their demise. Some solutions are easier than others, and they aren't for everyone, as some players may find a few of these puzzles to be more annoying than others at times. The end result of solving most of these complex puzzles, is that these can leave the player feeling satisfied and even rewarded at times, no matter the difficulty or the length of time it took the player to find the solution.

3. Experience Multiple Pathways Without Having to Start The Whole Game Over

Games in the Zero Escape trilogy, like many other visual novels, are known for multiple pathways. Since scenes are charted out for you by the FLOW chart, you don't have to go all the way back to the beginning of the game for most of the pathways or replay through escape rooms. There are also auto-advancing text boxes and a fast forward option in case you do have to rewatch a scene to access certain pathways.

4. The First Game, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, is Now Fully Voice Acted

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons , Nine Doors,  was originally on the Nintendo DS, later ported to iOS, and contained no voice acting due to the limits of the console at the time. It's successors, Virtue's Last Reward and Zero Time Dilemma. were both on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita and both were fully voice acted. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games has dual audio in English and Japanese, so if you aren't a fan of the chosen voice cast or dislike English voice acting you can listen to the characters in Japanese instead. Alternatively, you could also play the game with voices disabled and play the game almost as if it were the original version, if that's the experience you'd prefer.

5. The Finicky Touchscreen of the Nintendo 3DS is No Longer an Issue

Despite plenty of benefits the touchscreen may have provided when solving puzzles, on the Nintendo 3DS in particular, sometimes the game would refuse to go closer to an object to investigate it or rotate to another part of the room. This problem could be exceptionally frustrating when an object was placed in a corner on the screen, and it would take a few tries to actually get near the object.

The PC version of Zero Escape: The Nonary Games uses a mouse instead of a touchscreen which provides more accuracy when different objects or parts of the room are clicked on. To workaround the dual screens of the Nintendo 3DS, Zero Escape: The Nonary Games alternates between "NOVEL" and "ADV" ("Adventure") modes, instead of separating them with each screen.


There are plenty of other reasons to play the Zero Escape series, but these are just five reasons to help pique your interest specifically for Zero Escape: The Nonary Games.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC. The third game in the series, Zero Time Dilemma, which is not included in the collection, is available for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, and PC.

Zero Time Dilemma: True Ending and Platinum Guide Mon, 18 Jul 2016 07:18:19 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Zero Time Dilemma isn't a terribly difficult game to get 100% completion on, but there are a few places where it's easy to get stuck.  Here are some tips and tricks to get all the endings, unlock all the files, and seek a way out.

See It All (Good and Bad)

To finish the game, you'll need to make some tough choices.  Not just to see all the game's content, but in order to reach the true ending, you'll need to do some very bad things.  As one of the game's major mechanics is jumping back and forth in time, you'll be able to do this without much difficulty or consequence.  Before you get the true ending, you must do the following (no matter how much you don't want to):

  • Execute each team in the initial vote.  While you may have successfully spread the votes out the first time, you'll have to go back and vote a few more times.  You'll know you did it right when you've seen a three cutscenes, each one showing a different team's death.
  • Push the button in the contamination room as each team member.  While doing so will lead to a game over each time, you'll still need to do it.  Don't worry, you'll get some important exposition as well, so no one will die in vain.
  • For 100% completion, you'll need to watch all the "Game Overs" as well.  As counter-intuitive as it seems, you have to do this to platinum the game.  Several of them also feature some important foreshadowing as well, so it's not a complete waste of time.

Get All the Codes

During the "Force Quit" box sections, you'll need a set of passwords to escape.  You'll get these from completing other character's endings, but if you forgot, here they are once again: 

  • For Team Q, their are two passwords, found in the "Reality" fragment and Q-END: 2.  They are 38080832 and 61404091.
  • For Team, C, the password is found in C-END: 1.  It's VIVEHODIE.
  • For Team D, the password is actually two items found in D-END: 2, and they're probably the easiest to guess.  Type in "Brooch" and either "Blue Bird" or "Music Box"
  • Additionally, Team D has another password in the "Door of Truth" fragment.  The password is the "twin's birthday," or 11162029

The Final Easter Egg: The Perceptive End

During the "Mexican standoff" scene on Team Q's route, you'll notice that their are four endings.  While the first three endings are easy to guess, (shoot Mira, shoot Eric, shoot no one) the last might be a little bit of a puzzle.  However, the answer is a huge spoiler for the finale's big reveal, so you should only do this once you've finished Q-END: 2, or you're at the very least really, really sure what Zero's true identity is.

If you tried to get this ending before, you probably noticed that you can't shoot yourself, but if you type "Q," you'll get a message asking for his real name.  "Sean" won't work either. The correct option is, of course, the real Q's true identity: Delta. Do this, and you'll get a neat little Easter egg ending.

Zero Time Dilemma: Escape the Pod Room! Fri, 08 Jul 2016 05:44:29 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

If there's one thing worse than being stuck with Eric and Mira in Zero Time Diemma, it's being stuck with just Eric and no Mira.  Since, Eric's starting to go off the deep end pretty quickly, you'll have to keep your wits about you and take on this puzzle by yourself.  This puzzle has a lot of distractions to get caught up on, but just focus on the little details and you'll do just fine.

How to Escape the Pod Room in Zero Time Dilemma
  • To the left, there's a hammer in a glass case. To get the hammer, you'll have to solve the two puzzles at either end of the case.  These puzzles are pretty self explanatory (just think of that Rush Hour game with the plastic cars) and these two are probably the easiest in the game.
  • Equip the hammer, then use use it to hit the red circles on the ground.  This will cause sections of the room to turn.
  • Hit the circle facing toward you.  Now another section of the room should turn as well.
  • Keep turning the room until you see a glass panel like the first one. There are two more block puzzles to solve to get the driver handle.
  • By this point, you've probably turned the first section of the room around completely.  If you haven't, do that now, and then check the strange shaped panel on the left.  Examine the slot at the bottom, and you'll get the driver tip, which you can combine with the driver.
  • Turn the third section of the room around so it's on its side. Examine the glass panel on the side to play (you guessed it) two more sliding block puzzles.  These ones should be fairly easy to solve, though.
  • Open the cover to find a note and a gear-shaped hole.  Put the driver in the hole to get to the next mini puzzle.
  • There are three rings with numbers on them. The goal of this section is to get the number in the center down to zero.  Blue numbers subtract from the total, red numbers add to it.  It may take a bit of trial and error, but it shouldn't be too difficult.
  • A contraption will rise from the ground.  Put the driver in it and turn the room so that the green lines match up. This will cause a final glass panel to appear, with a shotgun inside.
  • To get the shotgun, you'll have to solve (all together now) two more sliding block puzzles.  These puzzles are the hardest in the level, so just remember which areas you'll have to clear out to solve them.  From there, it should be easy to figure out which pieces go where.  Also, keep in mind that only one piece can move at a time, so interlocking them together too early is a good way to get stuck.
  • Once you have the shotgun, fire it at the button.  It'll break the glass, and you'll be able to push it and escape.
Next is the "decision" section of the game, and it's one of the easier ones to get stuck on.  

Here's how to get out without any spoilers:

  • You'll be asked for a name. Any character's name (including Zero) will get you a game over, and kick you to the fragment select scene. While you'll get to see a lot of different dialogue for each name, you won't get anywhere.
  • To get out, either wait for the timer to run out or type "I dont know" (the game won't let you use apostrophes).  Doing so will let you progress to the next fragment without a game over.

And that's how to survive the pod room!  Congrats, you managed to seek a way out and escape with your life.

What Zero Time Dilemma level are you stuck on? Let us know in the comments and we'll help you out!

Zero Time Dilemma: Fix the Transporter! Tue, 05 Jul 2016 10:03:31 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

The Transporter room in Zero Time Dilemma is a radically different puzzle from all the others in the game, and one of the most frustrating as well.  Not only is it difficult to solve, but you're also without your favorite snarker and esper, Phi, meaning you've only got your wits and Sigma to rely on.  Here's an easy guide that will help you fix the alien transporter and save Phi!

  1. First, gather the thirteen cards.  They're not hidden, and most are just scattered around on the floor, so this will probably be the easiest part of the room.
  2. There's a machine to the left of the door that looks a bit like an ATM.  Use all of the cards on the machine.  
  3. Once you've done that, a holographic book will appear on the pedestal to the left of the machine.  Open it and read the chapters inside.  It will tell you that the symbols are numbers, and that the wind symbol=0.
  4. To the right of the nucleus, there is a panel with a triangle with a circle in the middle.  Put any card on it, and another card will appear.  Whichever card breaks is the lower number.  Use this to figure out the order of the cards.
  5. Go back to the holographic book, select Question, and put the symbols in order.  The correct order is as follows: Wind, Sun, Moon, Human, Two Moons, Star, Human and Moon, Flower, Three Moons, Two Humans (no relation to Too Human), Star and Moon, Bird, and Human and Two Moons.
  6. As soon as you put down the book, another machine with start up.  Select that machine, and it will give you two sets of reels.
  7. There's a spot for the reels next to the triangle panel.  Put both sets in place.
  8. Turn the reels on the bottom to display Moon, Flower, Two Humans, Star, and Sun.  Then, turn the crank.  It will display Human and Two Moons, Two Humans, Star, and Sun.  Put those cards in that order in the nucleus, and you'll be all set.

The fun's not over yet, though.  The decision afterwards is a bit frustrating, and even if you make the right choice, it can feel like you screwed up because you'll be (temporarily) locked out of all other fragements.  Here's what you must do afterwards:

  1. Go with Sigma into the transporter.  You'll get a chance to save your game, and then taken to the fragment select scene. 
  2. You can only select one of two D-Team fragments. Pick the new one.
  3. You'll be taken to another escape room.  This one is in the locker room, and it's much easier than the transporter.
  4. Once you finish, you'll be asked a password.  You won't have the password at that time, so don't worry.  Exit out, and you'll go back to the fragment select scene.
  5. Re-select the Transporter room, but go into the FLOW menu.  Pick the scene immediately after your decision, which will be marked with a question mark.  You'll get a short cutscene, than be able to pick whatever fragment you want.

Hopefully, this will help you to solve the most frustrating puzzle in the game, than keep you from getting stuck due to the decision afterwards.  Remember the locker room fragment when you get that password, though! And if you're stuck in the Control Room, you can check out our guide and find your way out!

What puzzle made you the angriest in Zero Time Dilemma? Let us know in the comments!

Zero Time Dilemma: Escape the Biolab! Tue, 05 Jul 2016 11:51:05 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Once again, you're trapped in a room with the lovebirds, Mira and Eric. You're not going to get much done with their help, so here's some tips and tricks if you're stuck trying to get that pig out of the glass (it makes sense in context).

How to Escape the Biolab in Zero Time Dilemma:

This puzzle is a fairly standard one for the series, with a few minigame-style puzzles and a lot of inventory management.  There are a few spots that are easy to get stuck on though, so here's a step by step breakdown that'll get you through it.

  • There's a sink to your left.  Examine it and pick up the knife.
  • Search the book case on your left.  There's not much that will help you, but on top of a box in the middle are some notes about using a centrifuge.  Those will come in handy...
  • Turn left some more, and examine the pig pillow.  Cut the pig pillow open with the knife and take out the microscope lens and the power cable.
  • On the right, there's a strange machine.  Use the power cable to turn it on, than the knife to open it up.  
  • Go back to where you found the pillow.  Examine the table near it, there's a lot you need to do there.  First, put the lens on the microscope.  You won't need to use it now, though.  Second, take the research notes next to the microscope.  Finally, examine the red part of the DNA model.  It'll fall off and you can pick it up.
  • Turn left and examine the machine between the desk and the book case.  Use the red DNA part on the screws to open it up, and you'll find a new item, the cover.  It's a centrifuge! If only we had something to use it in...
  • Do what your mother told you not to and put the cover in the microwave.  Words will appear on it that say Orange Blue White.
  • On your left is a clean bench.  Take the Green and Pink liquids from it.
  • Seperate the liquids with the centrifuge.  Don't mix them just yet.
  • Go to the microscope and take note of the amount of cells that are in each group of each liquid.
  • Mix yellow and red with the centrifuge.  Leave the other two unmixed for now.
  • Go back to the mysterious machine.  Pour in the following liquids: Orange, blue, and white.  You'll get... a fetus in a jar (ew).
  • Put it with the other specimens, than go an check out the computer next to the mysterious machine.  It'll show some pictures that will look familiar.
  • Go to the locker.  You'll see some buttons that look like a Simon Says game.  Press each button the same amount of times as the cells in the corresponding color liquid.  In other words, Yellow=5, White=1, Red=2, Blue=3
  • You'll find some a puzzle, where you'll have to put frozen samples in place to escape.  This one's tricky, so the best advice I can give is to place the biggest samples first, starting with the snake and the frog.  From then on, the puzzle should be easy.
  • You'll get some pills, which will help you with the order of the specimens.
  • The order of the specimen is as follows: Penguin, Seahorse, Fetus, Butterfly, Root.  Once you've done that, touch the fingerprint scanner underneath it.
  • Go back to the sink.  You can now move it to the opposite wall.  
  • Underneath the sink, you'll find a scalpel.  Take it with you.
  • Examine the table with the pig.  You should be able to move it over to the sink.
  • After a short scene, Pick up the dead pig and put it on sink.  Cut it open with the scalpel, and you're all done!

After that, you're treated to one of the game's decision moments.  I won't spoil it for you here, but it's one of the easiest ones in the game.  Just think about which answer is mathematically the best one and you'll be all set.

Zero Time Dilemma: Escape the Control Room! Fri, 01 Jul 2016 05:51:07 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Stuck in the control room in Zero Time Dilemma?  Akane and Junpei won't stop bickering? This easy walkthrough will help you solve the puzzles and find your way out with your sanity intact.

This puzzle's a little different than the others in the series, as there's very little item gathering.  It's mostly focused on using one item (the HUD Glasses) to get out.  Once you know that, you're already halfway done.

How to get out of the Control Room:
  • There's a speaker on your right, between the red and green fire-hydrant things.  Click on that to zoom in, then search it.  You'll find an important card there.
  • Turn right again.  There's a poster with numbers and roman numerals on it.  Check behind the poster to find a pair of red sunglasses. This room doesn't use many items, so expect to get a lot of mileage out of those glasses.
  • To your right once more, you'll see a desk with multiple monitors.  Examine the top left hand monitor, than use the switch underneath it to zoom out.  Those pieces of duct tape look familiar...
  • Go to the large switch board.  Line up the switches so they match the duct tape.  If you do it correctly, a blue laser will bounce between them, opening up a small locker.  Inside you'll find a small battery, which you'll want to combine with your glasses.
  • Examine the glasses.  You'll find a series of modes, but only mode A will work right now.  You'll see a picture that looks similar to the poster on the wall.
  • Use the picture to connect the wires by the monitors.  The proper connection is as follows: 1-II, 2-III, 3-IV, 4-V, 5-I
  • Another monitor will turn on.  It'll show four series of letters in four different colors.  Use these to set the colored fire hydrant-things.
    • The correct settings are as follows: Red SE, Blue N, Green E, Pink SW.
  • A black fire hydrant-thing will rise from the floor, and another monitor will turn on, showing several lights.  The lights in question are next to the (completed) switch board, on the left side.  Light the same ones as the monitor to continue
  • A door will open, and you'll find another card and an earpiece.  Combine the earpiece with the sunglasses, and you'll have the only item you'll need for the rest of the room.  Select mode B, and remember the sounds you hear.
  • Go back to the monitors, and select the one on the bottom left.  There's a crane mini-game for you to play, but you need to follow specific instructions.  Each direction you select makes a different noise, which corresponds to the noises in the mode B video.  
    • The correct sequence is right, down, left, down, and then drop the crane.
  • Several more small monitors will turn on, each with one letter.  Each monitor corresponds to one spot on one of the cards you picked up earlier.  Write them down in order to get the password for mode C, which is BETESTEDBYFIRE.
  • You'll get a video, which shows Zero changing the Fire-hydrant things.  You'll have to do the same.  
    • The correct settings are: Black-NW, Green-N, Red-NE, Blue-W and Pink-S.
  • A device will rise from the floor.  Plug it in and you're good to go.

 That's all there is to it! Follow the steps above and you'll be on your way out of the Control Room. 

For more Zero Time Dilemma guides, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

Top Six Launch Day Failures Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:23:07 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Final Fantasy XIV

The venerable Final Fantasy series is no stranger to the MMO genre, so a new MMO available for PC sounded like an excellent idea. Unfortunately for players, what they got was the worst reviewed game in the main Final Fantasy series.


Critics and fans alike trashed the game for being broken and unfinished. Beyond graphical bugs, unplayable levels of lag, and other technical issues, the game's interface, and systems were nearly incomprehensible -- a death blow for the legendarily complex MMO genre.  Making this even worse, the development team's promises to fix the game rang hollow: the game's basic engine and gameplay were too broken to fix, leading to a server shutdown less than two years later.  It returned in 2013, new and improved, as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and was much better received by fans and critics alike.


What other games didn't make the best first impressions? Let us know in the comments!

The WarZ

Released late 2012, The WarZ managed to feel more incomplete than the game it so blatantly copied, DayZ, which at that stage was still a free mod.


On top of the game-breaking bugs, which would have been bad enough, the game was loaded with microtransactions, including a charge for respawning. If you didn't pay after every death, you would have to wait several hours -- a practice common in free-to-play games but unheard of in full retail releases.  


The WarZ was pulled from Steam just days after its release due to copyright issues with the film World War Z, and quietly rereleased a few moths later as Infestation: Survivor Stories -- though reviews indicate that it's still not much better.  If you've got a morbid fascination for train wrecks, it's currently on sale.

Batman: Arkham Knight

The grand finale of Rocksteady's phenomenal Arkham trilogy lost a lot of potential buyers due to the horrible launch of its PC port.  The port was not only capped at thirty frames per second but had incredibly stripped-down graphical options and more bugs than the infamously buggy Batman: Arkham Origin.  


Warner Brothers, the game's publisher, pulled the game and offered refunds to anyone who bought it, but later put it back up with minimal fixes.  At this point, it's unlikely that fans of the series will ever get a playable version of Batman's swan song on PC, and that's a shame.

World of Warcraft

As it's currently, the most popular MMO available, and has been for over a decade, it's easy to forget how disastrous the first month of World of Warcraft was.  


Like Diablo III, WOW's servers weren't ready for the number of players they saw on day one.  A lot of fans found themselves unable to play, and those that did got a slow, unresponsive mess that barely resembles that expansive, open world of Azeroth we know today.

Diablo III

Another example of a predominately single player game being hurt by forced online connectivity, Diablo III was unplayable on day one when fans overloaded the servers.


Within less than a day, Error 37 -- the message that player saw when the game failed to connect to servers -- became a meme among the Blizzard community.  Fortunately, the game was patched very early on, and fans weren't forced to wait too long to play the third installment in the series.

Half-Life 2

Despite the game's status as one of the greatest PC FPS games of all time, a lot of fans forget how infamously terrible the Half Life 2 launch was.


Despite being preloaded onto most buyers' computers long before launch day, and only needing a code from Valve's brand new Steam service, fans were unable to play the game on demand as it crashed the servers.  Even those with retail boxed copies were left out -- something almost unheard of for an entirely single player game.  


While Half-Life 2 is still considered a classic and Steam is one of the most popular gaming platforms available, first impressions weren't kind.


Zero Time Dilemma marks another time a game's launch hurt its chances at success. The much-anticipated and well-reviewed game stumbled on the first day, after the preorder bonus was damaged in transit and Amazon failed to send out physical copies on time.  Not only that, but fans are having a hard time finding physical copies anywhere -- to the point where only those who cancelled their preorders and went digital were able to play the game at launch.


But Zero Time Dilemma is far from the worst launch of all time, as those who could get their hands on it could at least play the game.  Here's a look at ten games that launched in a much sorrier state.

Zero Time Dilemma Fans Must Seek A Way Out of Amazon’s Horrid Pre-Order Fiasco Wed, 29 Jun 2016 05:36:25 -0400 anpico

Anyone who pre-ordered Zero Time Dilemma from Amazon might be facing a dilemma of their own. Though the third, and final, installment of the Zero Escape series was to be released today, Amazon only fulfilled a few of its orders on time.

According to Aksys Games' Twitter, Amazon did not receive Zero Time Dilemma’s entire shipment at once, but rather has been receiving the stock in increments. It’s rumored that Amazon is sending out orders based on the customer’s order date, in a queue-like fashion, though no official statement was released stating that explicitly. Even for the standard edition, on either Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita, the wait time on Amazon is currently 2 to 4 weeks for new orders.

In what may be the best contender for the worst game launch of 2016, Zero Time Dilemma has faced many challenges in its short life-span. ZTD’s pre-order watch bonus was delayed due to damaged shipments, and for those lucky few who did manage to get their hands on the game found that ZTD is not currently PlayStation TV compatible.

All of this, plus the game's short hiatus in 2014 for budgeting concerns and the past poor commercial success in Japan, has Zero Time Dilemma off to a pretty rough start. 

Aksys Games Senior Sales/Marketing manager, @Aksys_Danny, said on Twitter that the damaged pre-order bonus forced Aksys to send out any extra copies they had to try to cover the damaged shipment, and is the reason why low inventory and delays are now a problem at Amazon. 

While fans will receive the watch sometime in the near future, Aksys promised a small consolation bonus to be included as a way to apologize for the delayed shipment of the pre-order watch bonus. Aksys now promises that they and Amazon “are working together to make this right.”

Those who ordered Zero Time Dilemma last year when it was first announced are inherently disappointed – including myself. Luckily, ZTD is receiving excellent marks, and the fan-base, though a small niche community, is highly anticipating this final installment.

Now the question is, is it worth it to go digital and skip the pre-order watch bonus + extra bonus, or to ride out this elusive, delayed waitlist? Let me know how you're 'seeking a way out' of this situation! 

Zero Time Dilemma Review: It's About Time Wed, 29 Jun 2016 06:31:32 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

The final part of a trilogy is a hard place for a game to occupy, as evidenced by games like Mass Effect 3. The end of any story can make or break the entire experience, so it makes sense that expectations would be at an all-time high, and failure to meet those expectations can forever taint the way people view the series as a whole.  

This, coupled with the fact that the final installment of the Zero Escape series was thought to be cancelled for over a year, meant that fans of the series have a lot to be worried about.  To those fans, I say this: rejoice.  Zero Time Dilemma is out, and it's everything you could have hoped for.

One Final Game

Zero Time Dilemma directly follows the cliffhanger ending of Virtues Last Reward, though it's also a prequel in it's own weird way.  It takes place during a simulated Mars mission fated to go horribly wrong, and that's exactly what happens.  

A masked man who calls himself "Zero the Second" kidnaps the nine participants, splits them into teams of three, and forces them to play a game. While that setup will sound familiar to fans of the series, the stakes have been raised even higher this time: while in the previous game, escape was theoretically possible with all participants, here, the door will only open if six of them die.  The already tense setup is made even more hectic by the final rule: every ninety minutes, the players will be injected with a chemical compound that knocks them out and wipes their short term memory.

The way this memory loss is presented is one of the game's most ingenious mechanics: building on the flowchart system in Virtue's Last Reward, the player is given a random assortment of episodes corresponding to each of the three player characters.  When these episodes take place is uncertain until they've been completed, whereupon you're shown where they fit into the game's branching flowchart.  While this sounds confusing, it does an amazing job of adding to the mystery: nothing is more tense than waking up in an unfamiliar room without one of your team's members, and being forced to wonder if they're still alive.

Time to Make a Decision

Another mechanic that separates Dilemma from its predecessors is the inclusion of decisions.  These moments force you to make a difficult, frequently life-or death, choice.  While this isn't anything new to gaming, being a staple of nearly every Telltale game released in the last five years, the context you're given here makes these moments all the more meaningful.

Because of the non-linear nature of the story, you're frequently thrown into decisions without knowing the full context of your choices, making them even more difficult to make.  Also adding to the difficulty of these choices is that they concern the lives of characters fans of the series know and love.

On that note, while Dilemma is very accessible to newcomers, it's very hard to recommend to anyone who hasn't played the first two games.  While the plot is surprisingly easy to follow for a series with such a convoluted timeline, new players will miss out on a lot of the story's subtle nuances.  Not only that, but two of the teams are mostly made up of returning characters, whose interactions contain a lot of nods to previous games that will either go over the heads of new fans or spoil the previous plot twists.  

(Almost) Zero Complaints

Zero Time Dilemma, the final game in the Zero Escape trilogy of visual novel/escape the room hybrids, is easily the most polished game in the trilogy.  While Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors had some problems with repetition in the late game, and Virtue's Last Reward had some incredibly difficult and, at times, very unclear puzzles, Zero Time Dilemma feels like a game made by people who not only learned from their mistakes, but tried their best to do better.  Also, the voice acting is top notch, and the music is as good as it's ever been.

There are, however, a few complaints that I do have.  The game looks great on the PlayStation Vita... as long as it's not moving.  Some of the animations look good, but the majority are very unnatural looking, especially in regards to hair and clothing.  The game's reliance on random chance can be a bit frustrating as well.  Because of the random outcomes of some of the decisions, it's entirely possible to reach one of the game's endings in less than ten minutes, in a way that kills the initial momentum.

The Bottom Line

Fans of Zero Escape, you're in the right timeline: the one where the series gets the spectacular ending it deserves.  Violent, tense, and thought-provoking, this is a game that will keep you up for days while you finish it, than days more while you process what you just saw.  If you haven't picked it up yet, you owe it to yourself to do so now.

Zero Time Dilemma Special Editions Delayed Wed, 29 Jun 2016 04:45:52 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

With less than a week till launch, Aksys Games took to Twitter to tell those who preordered Zero Time Dilemma that they may have a dilemma of their own.  The game's signature watches, used both in-game as a way to keep the players in line and out of game as a bonus for fans who preordered the game, were damaged in transit.

For all the worried fans out there, Aksys confirmed that they will ship the game to everyone who preordered it, but the watches will have to wait.  The company has promised that the watches will be fixed and sent out to everyone who ordered them, along with a free bonus as an apology.  Not only that, but for everyone who missed the pre-order, the watches will be available through the Aksys website as a standalone package.  Considering how fast they went out of stock, that's good news for a lot of people.

What do you think about the delays? Let us know in the comments!

Zero Time Dilemma is out today! Tue, 28 Jun 2016 03:30:01 -0400 HaruOfTime

Zero Time Dilemma is a visual novel by Spike Chunsoft. Today on June 28, the game is released for the PS Vita and 3DS. The PC version of the game will be released through Steam on June 30, 2016. This will be the third and final game in the Zero Escape series and the first game in the series to get a PC release. The game's price will be $39.99.

The story follows nine participants who are trapped in a twisted life-or-death Decision Game hosted by a mysterious figure called Zero. Escaping the facility requires solving puzzles and making decisions that may put the lives of other characters on the line. The results of the game will decide the fate of humanity. You need 6 passwords to escape, but passwords are only revealed when somebody dies.

Who will live, and who will die? The decision is yours.

Be prepared for a suspenseful and engaging story rife with mystery as you try to escape and uncover the truth behind Zero's identity in Zero Time Dilemma

Which Platform Should You Play Zero Time Dilemma On? Let's Compare! Sat, 18 Jun 2016 17:12:06 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

The long-awaited ending to the Zero Escape series releases in less than two weeks, and, if you're a fan of the series, you're probably wondering what platform to buy it on.  Like Virtues Last Reward before it, Zero Time Dilemma will release on both the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS. Unlike it's predecessor, however, Zero Time Dilemma will also be released on Steam, letting PC gamers experience the series for the first time.  

If you're still not sure which system to play it on, Aksys Games, the team behind Zero Escape's localization, has released a series of videos showing what one of the game's cutscenes (in Japanese with no subtitles, sadly) looks like across all systems, so you can see how it looks on each one.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the PC release is the best looking out of the three, with the smoothest (though still fairly choppy) animation and the most detailed shading and textures.  Sadly, PC gamers will have to wait an extra two days for the game to release: it comes out on June 30th.  Impatient fans will probably want to trade superior visuals for a quicker release.

The PS Vita release, while slightly downgraded, is still very impressive for a handheld system.  The shading is still very nice -- and if you can ignore one or two characters very dead looking eyes, it's still a very pretty game, and the visual downgrade isn't immediately apparent.  If you're dead set on having Zero Time Dilemma on handheld, or just don't want to wait the extra two days for the PC release, the Vita version is the way to go.

Last, and definitely least, the 3DS version.  It's obvious that, even firing on all cylinders, the 3DS can't handle the same visuals as the PC or even the Vita, and as such this version has blurry textures and almost no shading.  While it's by no means an ugly game, and one could argue it's better looking than Virtues Last Reward, I would suggest only picking up a copy of the 3DS version if you can't get it on Vita and really, really don't want to wait for the PC release.

Which version of Zero Time Dilemma will you be playing?  Let us know in the comments!

Zero Time Dilemma is out next week! Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:30:01 -0400 HaruOfTime

There's only one week left until Zero Time Dilemma is released for the 3DS and PS Vita on June 28, and for PC through Steam on June 30th. 

Zero Time Dilemma will be the third and final game in the popular visual novel series, Zero Escape, and it will be the first game in the series to be available on PC. Like previous games in the series, the story focuses on nine participants that have been captured and forced to play in a life-or-death game, hosted by a mysterious man named Zero.

In Zero Time Dilemma, the participants play the Decision Game, which involves making extreme decisions that can determine whether a character lives or dies. In order to escape the facility that they're trapped in, the participants need to solve puzzles and obtain six passwords during the Decision Game.

The problem is that passwords are only revealed when a person dies.

Be prepared to make difficult choices in Zero's Decision Game, which will determine the fate of humanity. 

Will you solve the mystery behind Zero's identity and the Decision Game? Or will there be zero change escape?

Zero Time Dilemma gets a PC Release Tue, 31 May 2016 12:27:46 -0400 HaruOfTime

Zero Time Dilemma will be released on PC through Steam on June 30, which is two days after the release of the game for the PS Vita and 3DS. Zero Time Dilemma will be the third and final game in the Zero Escape series.

Zero Time Dilemma is a murder mystery visual novel by Spike Chunsoft and has some elements of psychological horror. The series is known for its plot-heavy and complicated story.

Like other games in the series, Zero Time Dilemma is about nine participants trapped in a Saw-like "Decision Game" that will determine the fate of humanity. The Decision Game is hosted by a mysterious person called Zero, and the characters must solve puzzles to escape, figure out Zero's identity, and find out the truth behind the Decision Game.

The game will feature full voice acting in both Japanese and English. The game will also have 3D animated cutscenes, which is uncommon in other visual novel games.

Fans of the Zero Escape series, as well as new players, will enjoy Zero Time Dilemma since the game will have both old and new characters in a new storyline.