4 Reviews liked by sincx
Process of Elimination is decidedly and unabashedly "Danganronpa" - a cast of zany but very likable characters with signature abilities, chapters that are all structured in a daily life/murder investigation split, and there's even a Komaeda packaged in there too for good measure. The entire experience culminates into something familiar, but comfortably so. Process of Elimination's pacing feels almost like an abridged version of Danganronpa, so to speak, which is both one of its biggest strengths and one of its biggest weaknesses. Chapters, particularly the mid stretch of the game, blitz by and give the player very little time to ruminate and reflect on bombshell reveals. This can lead to certain character moments and emotional plot beats feeling a tad bit underbaked, but on the other hand this quick pacing means that the ball is always rolling and its incredibly difficult to put the game down. Process of Elimination never lingers on anything for too long so even its misses don't have enough time to leave a bad taste in your mouth, which is definitely a point of favor over some of its rival series which, while also not very long, do sometimes have the tendency to linger on a bad chapter for a frustrating amount of time (hello Ace Attorney 2!)
The main draws of a game like this are, of course, the mysteries, cast, and the driving force of the story (which is usually to escape, to unravel the identity of some kind of mastermind, or both). Process of Elimination hits on all of these points well but it fumbles a bit on the gameplay front. Investigation segments have the player controlling chibi versions of the main characters from an overcast top-down grid to unravel secrets and analyze evidence and in all honesty, its largely superfluous. It doesn't really add much to the game that couldn't have been conveyed far less tediously through the VN format and I can't say its an activity that's particularly fun on its own merits, either. I wouldn't say that it's outright terrible, its just kinda....there. It didn't detract from my experience in a significant capacity but I did find myself just wanting to get back to the VN sections whenever they thrust another one on me.
The entire game was a fun read with some particularly great moments in the second half, but where Process of Elimination really excels is in the game's finale. I don't know exactly how they did it but the ending of this game is shockingly excellent, my adverbial choice of word there being very intentional because its absolutely the best writing to come out of the game. The main mystery concludes in a really satisfying way and it has some surprisingly profound things to say about the beauty of life and the drive to continue living, even when everything seems hopeless. It's genuinely inspiring as hell and it hit me harder given how applicable the message was with some really tough things I've been going through in my personal life.
So yeah, really liked this one. There are a few areas that could be cleaned up or fleshed out/given more time to breathe in an ideal world, but it certainly didn't disappoint. I've been chasing the Shuichi-sized hole that V3 has left in my soul for years so thank you Mr. Wato for another very entertaining read.
what can I say.. i truly understand now why people call this game falcom's magnus opus, the music, exploration, combat, characters and story everything is just amazing, 10/10 one of the best games i've ever played
dana iclucia is the best written falcom character tbh
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