Road 96, the procedural hitchhiking game, was a title with an interesting presentation and a slew of good ideas. Developer DigixArt took that great foundation and spun things off into Road 96: Mile 0, a narrative-focused prequel that strips away the procedural elements, replacing them with rhythm gameplay.
The world presented in Road 96 is an interesting, albeit depressingly prescient one. Living under the thumb of President Tyrak, you play the dual role of best friends Zoe, a character from Road 96, and Kaito, a character in Lost In Harmony (also from DigixArt) as they fantasise about running away together from the nation of Petria. Coming from wildly different upbringings, the friends have a solid bond, and their relationship is far and away the strongest component of the title, though they have their share of disagreements.
Gameplay is presented uniquely, mostly functioning like a Telltale game, morality system and all. You observe the environment and talk to people, standard stuff. But periodically, the game interjects some infinite runner rhythm segments. The environmental design on these levels is creative, offering some standout visuals, and they all feel unique while making use of some killer licensed music. However, it also shines a light directly on the biggest issue plaguing the game: tonal incongruity.
While the musical sequences are presented as a form of escapism from the rigours of existence for Zoe and Kaito, the script does a poor job of placing a buffer between the fun of these levels and the more sobering narrative elements throughout the rest of the story. While it's one thing to discuss Zoe witnessing a terrorist attack in her youth, it's another to present it as a fun musical set-piece.
The script itself doesn't strike a good balance either, often transitioning from subjects such as a rumination on class inequality directly into a slapstick comedy sketch before interjecting a news bulletin about an impending natural disaster. It's, to put it mildly, a mess. And this happens over and over throughout the 4-5 hours required to complete the game. While pitch-black comedy can work, the writing in Mile 0 is awkward enough that it feels accidental rather than deliberately irreverent. What you're left with is a fun rhythm game surrounded by a plethora of questionable writing decisions.
5 here, 9 on pure xbox guess it Depends on taste
I think i get why you do mini reviews, but almost always they tend to be to short for me.
After reading this i do not have enough to have a clear picture what this is about. (As do all mini reviews for me)
Oh well i am probably in the minority here and thats ok.
Removed - trolling; user is banned
@GrimReaper Or you know people like different things? stop with the fanboy nonsense
@Ashkorsair I feel the same way. Not sure what's preferable. No review or a short review? Because we aren't getting a longer one for such games.
@naruball given the choice between writing a little, and not writing at all, I'll definitely pick writing a little haha. But agreed that it can tricky to convey all the information that matters in such a truncated space
@Ashkorsair narratively or mechanically? I'll try and expand on anything you were curious about! Go beyond the review so-to-speak!
Sounds like this game was written by Tommy Wiseau. Fans of The Room will know what I’m talking about.
I wonder if playing this game will be as fun as watching that movie, in terms of absurd tonal whiplash.
Ah, I saw The Midnight last week - they did a song in this game and played it live 👍🏻
weird its a 9 on pure xbox and a 5 on here
Did PS and PX reviewed the same game? The scores differ wildly ☹️
@Ashkorsair “ After reading this i do not have enough to have a clear picture what this is about.”
PX made a regular review for this game and gave it a 9. Check it out
I think I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been on a David Lynch kick lately, so my tolerance for wild tonal shifts is unnaturally high. After all, sometimes when you’re struggling against primordial all-consuming evil, a fish gets stuck in the percolator.
I remember playing Road 96 on Gamepass, I would be inclined to agree with the 5 awarded here. IMO there just wasn't much to the game, it had a few interesting concepts, but the writing really let it down, which is a big part of the incentive to keep playing.
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