Lights! Camera! Inaction!
While it might not be as compelling as its predecessor, Root Letter, Kadokawa Games’ follow-up visual novel Root Film is still worthy of your time. You’ll visit a bevy of locations and witness the culture of Shimane Prefecture while trying to solve an ever-increasing number of murders. As the title of the game suggests, it places a much greater emphasis on film and the craftsmanship that goes into it. Each of your two protagonists are intimately connected to the medium; Rintaro Yagumo is a little-known director looking for his big break, and Riho is an up-and-coming actress. Each of them possesses the skill dubbed “synesthesia” which allows the characters to memorise noteworthy clues to use in vocal sparring matches that conclude each chapter.
Obviously, with a visual novel, there’s an expectation of less in the way of traditional gameplay, which means areas like writing and art are required to do more of the heavy lifting. This is something Root Film more or less succeeds in. The art is splendid, with detailed character models and a robust roster of unique personalities. Environment design is even better, bringing a huge variety of places to life, all gorgeously stylised in a way that works especially well with nature shots. Although, conversations would benefit from more reaction shots when characters uncover important revelations. Everything feels a bit too static.
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