A Rose in the Twilight (Review) PSVita

A Rose in the Twilight (Review) PSVita
Review Score:

A Rose in the Twilight by developer Nippon Ichi Software is a puzzle platformer where the player takes on the role of Rose, a pale, fragile girl who ends up trapped inside a large, ominous castle where time itself doesn’t exist. Aided by a curse that can inject blood into objects – and followed by a large, round golem-like robot — Rose must brave the trap infested castle and solve its perplexing puzzles before she can escape.

On the surface, A Rose in the Twilight closely resembles the puzzle adventure htol#NiQ, which first appeared on the PSVita back in 2014. While both games share a similar visual style, their game mechanics are nothing alike. This is due to Twilight’s partner system, where the player can swap between Rose and the rock Golem by pressing the Left or Right shoulder buttons.

There are times when the player will encounter obstacles that can’t be avoided or moved by the golem. When this happens, the player can use the golem to toss Rose to the opposite side of a
platform. This is achieved by pushing down on the directional pad and pressing Square button, and then releasing said button when the red ‘trajectory’ line appears. From there, the player must use Rose’s Blood Curse ability to activate any objects the Golem can’t reach, and then clear a path.

The Golem cannot lift or throw any object that hasn’t been injected with blood. Since blood is important to Rose’s survival, the player must constantly borrow blood from objects that have been previously injected to animate new ones. And since Rose is only capable of carrying a single dose of blood, there are times when the player will need to backtrack to an earlier level to reabsorb the life saving fluid.

As the game progresses, the player will encounter Execution Rooms that require sacrifices called ‘Blood Memories’. These memories can only be obtained by finding one of the many deceased characters scattered throughout the castle, and absorbing their blood.

When enough Blood Memories are collected, Rose must return to the Execution room to hang herself with a noose adorned with thorns. During the execution sequence, the player is shown Rose struggling, as the noose pulls her body upward, behind a wooden panel. Before the disturbing scene ends, pools of blood are seen being absorbed by a large group of thorns. This completes the puzzle and opens the door to the next level.

 

While difficult, the gameplay does a good job of aiding the player. For example: the player can find scrolls that contain vague hints on how to escape the castle. On rare occasions, these scrolls will mention specific locations to visit, eliminating some of the guesswork. If the player happens to get lost on their journey, they can access the in-game mapping system by pressing the Start button. Previously collected ‘Blood Memories’ and ‘Options’ can be accessed via the same menu by pressing the Left or Right Shoulder buttons.

A Rose in the Twilight is an entertaining game thanks to its dark atmosphere, gory imagery and thought-provoking puzzles. In fact, it’s one of the best puzzle platformers currently available for Playstation Vita.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: PSVita
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $59.99

A Rose in the Twilight Official Website:
http://www.nisamerica.com/games/rose-in-the-twilight/

Review Score
Graphics
Beautiful 2D graphics that accentuate the game's gothic atmosphere.
Sound
A dark soundtrack compliments the visuals.
Gameplay
Challenging puzzles and fun platforming elements.
Overall
While not for everyone, A Rose in the Twilight is guaranteed to keep those that play it captivated for hours.
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