Title: Raging Loop
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 18/10/19
Price: £24.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Raging Loop is a weird game, not at all like any visual novel I’ve ever played, even separating itself from other horror visual novels that I’ve played, it does this with its overall tone, themes, and the grimness on a different level from any game I’ve played.
In Raging Loop, you play as Haruaki Fusaishi, a student driving to nowhere after breaking up with his girlfriend. He ends up crashing in Yasumizu, and into a game similar to Werewolf. The main plot of the game centres around The Feast Of The Yomi-Purge, which goes like this.
There are 2-3 “wolves”, wolves are assigned to people at random, and they have to kill one person per night. The rest of the village have to gather up, decide whos a wolf and hang them, once either all humans or all the wolves are dead, the game of life-or-death ends.
The concept is simple, but that’s just the base, the fundamentals, there’s much more in this game than just that, for example, looping. Every time Fusaishi dies, he’s sent back to right before he’s about to discover Yasumizu, and he retains everything he knows. This means that in some deaths, you can receive a key, and a key will unlock more options, some of which can be the difference between life and death.
The game is incredibly linear and will lead you down specific endings until you finally get to the true ending of the game, with every option not correct usually leading to death. However, the story is paced incredibly well, especially in the middle of the game, leading me to play for about 6 hours straight one day (yes this game is incredibly long, it took multiple hours-long chunks over a few days to beat it, the game itself says its egregiously long). The writing is also good, with the translation being really well done, nothing ever felt like something was lost in translation.
There is a lot of content to be found in Raging Loop. All the bad endings are just as interesting if not more than the good, and the game even has a sort of New Game + mode. Once you reach the true ending you get a Revelation Mode where you can experience conversations Fusaishi was not a part of or thoughts of other characters he couldn’t first experience. It helps explain a lot of the missing pieces in the story. The immense amount of story and voice acting makes this game worth $60, even though it costs less. That’s another thing, it’s almost fully voice acted, only times when it’s not is when it’s focusing on Fusaishi’s thoughts, or on what actions a character is doing. And the voice acting is good, it’s only Japanese, but everyone sounds like they’re doing good, and the voices fit with the characters and the emotions they’re feeling.
There were three things that really stood out to me about this game, first, the characters. Everyone had some form of purpose in the story, all of the characters had interesting relationships explored throughout the loops. The way The Feast is designed, it’s made to be a game about communication, and so you have to figure out and listen to the characters both in and out of The Feast, and the more I learned about the characters, the more I wanted to finally get them out of The Feast alive. Even Fusaishi is much more interesting than the standard Visual Novel protagonist, there’s not much I can say without spoilers, but a lot of the best scenes are because of his character. Also, Fusaishi’s design is a reference to Resident Evil 4 Leon Kennedy, so that gives him points in my eyes.
The other thing that stood out was it talked about religion. A lot of the puzzle behind The Feast is discovering how such a twisted event came to pass, and a lot of the information about the development of The Feast is what kept the game so interesting for so long, there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s all spoilers.
The third thing is the horror. Most of it comes from the murders, which are always incredibly violent but only in description, whenever describing a body, it displays one of the few general murder backgrounds that don’t really tell anything about the specific event. However, the game can be very grim. The way the characters keep going crazy in different ways, the deterioration of honest good people into absolute loons, it’s all very unsettling. It isn’t very jumpscare heavy though, with maybe only one stand-out jumpscare at the end. It’s all very in-place with the story and world and never felt too much.
Lastly, the presentation. It’s good, there’s enough music and ambience for the background sound to always fit the mood of the story beats with it. The artwork is great, along with the character designs and their facial expressions. The background pieces give a good idea of where the character is, the CGs, while rare, are all impressive.
If this is a game that even remotely sounds interesting, play it, experience it in some way, because this is a game that needs experiencing. It’s long, and not without its flaws, but what it does have is one of the most interesting stories in recent years in general, not just in video games. There is so much I didn’t say because of spoiler reasons, but the mysteries behind Yasumizu and The Feast of the Yomi-Purge are ones that need uncovering by anyone to play this underpriced game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Raging Loop from the PlayStation 4 on the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP4293-CUSA15900_00-KEMCOREIJINGLUP4
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.