Rule of Rose review

  • Moody and meticulously beautiful
  • Bizarre but captivating story
  • Mostly excellent voice acting
  • Few scares for horror fans
  • Infuriating load times between rooms
  • Trying to explore while hurt and limping

There's fighting, too, but it's a frustrating hurdle that's meant to be avoided. Every so often, packs of imps - horrid little goblins who carry pushbrooms and knives - will creep out of the woodwork to try and murder you. Most of them look like ghost-faced toddlers, but plenty of them sport disturbing animal heads, and a few even wear giant bird-shaped costumes to deal out massive damage. Whatever their form, they're more unsettling than scary, and bashing or stabbing them to death is easy even for a cringing wimp like Jennifer. The bosses aren't a lot better, making the monster quotient pretty disappointing.

In fact, if you're expecting horror from Rule of Rose, don't. Granted, the kids are creepy and their pranks on Jennifer are horrific, and some pretty grisly things happen from time to time. But even with the Silent Hill grain filter, the dark halls and the taut string-quartet soundtrack, any suspense just falls flat. Maybe it's the sluggish pace, or maybe it's that you revisit the same places so many times, they eventually become familiar. Or maybe it's just impossible to be frightened when the only things that lurk in the shadows are comical, short and easy to outrun and outfight.

More Info

Release date: Sep 12 2006 - PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Atlus
Developed by: Punchline, Shirogumi
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes


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