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Mon 28th Jan 2013

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sodastir commented on Review: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (3DS):

(This is a bit long, but topical!)
I'm a "North American" gamer, and have never had any issue with ANY DS/DSi/DSQXGPLX etc game/system....NEVER, until this beautiful game. "999" ran perfectly, without a hitch (as an aside, "999" MUST be played before "Virtue"...while looking for coverage of the bug I read several reviews that actually claim you can play play them out of order without damaging the experience of either - this is TERRIBLE advice!).
Anyway, I was 65, SIXTY-FIVE HOURS into "Virtue", and had just finished the "Dio" ending. The game had frozen three times during the PEC room, but a reload and save overwrite in the warehouse got me a little more along each time until PEC was finished. Had probably completed 10 endings (the shorter ones) when I finished the "Dio ending". Just like before, it offered me a save screen, and just like before, I saved, then properly powered down. My next story arc/ending was going to be one of the really good ones. An hour later, I powered up, started the game, chose continue, and loaded my screen on top and bottom, and nothing else. A couple twitches of the activity LED, but absolutely nothing else. That feeling of impending doom set right in, and try as I might over the next couple of hours, I couldn't get my 65-hours-completed game to load, and I tried every voodoo trick I could create.
I am calm, yet quite angry about it. I've read on other forums gamers actually being blamed for "causing" the bug to manifest itself during their game, that "since you didn't do the research and find out about the bug" that somehow the gamer is to blame! Almost every bug post mentions to not save in the PEC room, puzzle OR novel sections, or ANY puzzle rooms. My sin may have been saving during the novel section of the Crew Quarters very early on - the NOVEL section. So what that tells me is you basically should never save at all! Obviously the DSi save system is broken in this game, and that breaks the entire game. And what's worse, both the developer (Spike Chunsoft) AND the publisher (Aksys) knew about the bug early after release in Japan, which pretty much means they knew about it during the end of Q/A. Nintendo has patched one of the Mario Kart series previously, so DS game CONTENT can be patched, but perhaps not the file system itself.

I didn't "do the required research" and educate myself on the bug because I didn't want to know one scintilla about "Virtue" - I loved "999" so much that I didn't want ANYTHING to be tainted going in. The thought that a game-killing, save file-destroying bug would be in a final-release, Nintendo-licensed game (they have no culpability, but one expects a certain quality here) never entered my mind...why would it?

65 hours gone. Why shouldn't Aksys/ChunSoft take back cartridges with verifiable, corrupted save files on them and issue refunds? The game is broken! And 2-3% of users is considered "statistically significant", it doesn't have to be 30% of users with crashed saves. "Well it's just a sign of the times - games are pushed out the door with bugs all the time!"...and what? This is acceptable somehow because of some arbitrary "sign of the times" and "other companies do it" arguments? When we stop buying bug-ridden games and their pocket-draining DLC, the developers/publishers will get the message. But most of us won't (i.e. those who actually defended the developers of the scam that was "WAR Z"), because I would've remained blissfully unaffected had it not been for this disaster of a bug.

I own a PSVITA, but playing the demo only proved that the DS version is better because of the dual screen MEMO function. However, I'm probably going to buy the VITA version and am considering sending my DS cart, case and all, to Aksys' U.S. HQ and insisting on SOME kind of renumeration. Wonder what kind of form letter with coupons I'd get back. It'd be more than they've done so far.