Late Saturday night, I finally finished Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, the game that's been keeping me up every night for the past two weeks. I clocked 26 hours and 20 minutes. It was fantastic.
As I played, I had been bugging Kirk non-stop. "Dude, you've gotta play this. You will totally love this game. It's like, part adventure game, part visual novel... and the story is awesome. It's chilling and unsettling and gripping and great."
Saturday night at around 4am, I ran to my computer and sent him an e-mail: "Uhh hey nevermind don't actually play it until you play 999 first."
I won't spoil the details, but I will say that if you plan to play Virtue's Last Reward, you absolutely must play its predecessor, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. It's not an option. It's the difference between your reaction to the game being "meh" or "holy shit!"
Virtue's Last Reward is out today for 3DS and Vita. We won't have a full review up—October is way too busy, and there are way too many games to cover—but the short version is: Yes, you should play this game. But only if you've played the first one.
Fortunately, 999 is still on sale: as of press time, you can get it for $15 on Amazon. If you're into good stories, visual novels, or adventure games—and you don't mind a lot of reading in your video games—both 999 and Virtue's Last Reward are well worth your time.