Name: Sanatorium (92.50% in 4 votes)
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Great Teacher
Good and evil: two words of extreme, yet it is only separated by a thin thread line. Just a tiny careless choice will leads to a complete opposite outcome. In Sanatorium by Zyx, this thinness of the line between good and evil is visually presented.
Before I start explaining the demonstration of the thinness between good and evil in Sanatorium, I shall begin by providing some background of the game itself. The main character of this game is a detective named Ryouichi. He and his assistant, Mizuki, were on a way to a sanatorium, a place of remedy for mental illness patients, for investigation as he received a mystery slip asking to save her before next full moon. Upon the arrival of this sanatorium, he realized something strange about this place: everything is too calm. As he begins to investigate, a horrible scheme will survive little by little until the next full moon.
Sanatorium is a game with a rich story. Although it may not be clear with my rough summary, the story is indeed deep and somewhat hard to grasp. For example, each patient in the sanatorium has mournful past that leads them to lock up their feelings and contact with the outer world. By using a "conscious interflow machine," you or the main character will see their trauma bits by bits. Unlike some boring adventure games that just plainly go through the game, Sanatorium offers a great detail of each character plus a variety of outcomes in the end.
- Story 9/10 -
Similar to the previous games by Zyx, the arts are vivid and beautiful. However, if you like the animated scenes in Crazy Knuckle 2 or Innai Kansen, this game might disappoint you a bit. Unlike Crazy Knuckle 2 or Innai Kansen, the H-scenes are not animated. Instead all the megabytes in that 12cm disk are used for voice recording and computer generated movies of 3D buildings and landscape in the game. Even though the H-scenes are not animated, the beautiful artwork plus the addictive story will keeps you hours on playing the game.
- Graphics 8/10 -
The sound in the game is somewhat nice to hear. As a matter of fact, it is very appropriate to the theme of the game. Every time you enter the lab room to have "conscious interflow" with another person, the temple of the music will suddenly change to nervous beat creating a great setting for the scene. Then, when you walk around the sanatorium, a slow and deadly temple will bring your mood back to the mysterious theme.
- Sound 7.5/10 -
As you might have already known, adventures games are usually packed in multi-ending form. Sanatorium, too, is not an exception. Depending on where you talk to, room you go, and what choice you choose, these factors will leads you to one of the eight endings in the game. If you're really good (i.e. go to the right room at appropriate time and choose the right dialogue), you will get the true good ending. Otherwise, you will end up in a "fake" good ending. There's also an evil ending where you become devil and takes over the sanatorium and the females in the sanatorium (This is what I mean by good and evil separated by a thin line).
As I have hinted, this game will require plenty of trial and error. In order to continue with an event, you will go to a right room before going deeper in the game. As a result, you probably will end up going to all the room in the sanatorium before you hit an event. If you're really stuck, go to some Japanese sites and get some help from it.
- Gameplay 4/10 -
Overall, sanatorium is well done. With a charming graphics, great story, and appropriate music, this is another product H-collectors must not miss. However, like many other games, a fair knowledge of Japanese is needed in order to "truly" enjoy the game.
GTO - 4.4.99
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