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Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ (PC) artwork

Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ (PC) review

"Beautiful artwork isn't enough to earn this clumsy fairytale an enthusiastic recommendation."

Meet Resette. She's a young lady with red hair, a spiffy tie, a stylish duster jacket and a cat named Gaede for a friend. Except he isn't really a cat. He's a spirit being. And Resette is no ordinary girl. She has the power to enter a person's consciousness and heal him from within, which is just what she must do when her whiskered assistant leads her to an unconscious boy who is lying in a forest clearing, far from the nearest town.

Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ tries really hard to be charming and meaningful, but never quite sticks the landing. My favorite thing about the whole experience is definitely the art style, which resembles an old storybook. If you enjoyed the look of PlayStation-era RPGs such as Saga Frontier and Legend of Mana, you'll probably appreciate the similar presentation that awaits you here. There's also a cute anime-style intro cartoon that doesn't have much to do with the actual gameplay but still looks nice.

Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ (PC) image

The story is divided into several brief chapters. You earn an achievement for clearing each segment... and for doing other things like making it past the title screen. The developers had to dole the virtual rewards out that generously because there simply isn't much to the campaign. I got stuck on a puzzle for dumb reasons and wound up spending an hour (if not more) without accomplishing anything. I also left the game running while I made myself some lunch. In spite of all that wasted time, my first run didn't take me even a full 3 hours. Most of the difficulty you'll encounter along the way comes at you in the form of puzzles, and there aren't enough of those to keep an experienced gamer busy for long.

The game takes place on a series of screens, and there are perhaps 20 or 30 of them in all. You can move your mouse around a given screen, and sometimes a boot icon will appear to indicate that you can click at that spot to have Resette walk over to it. If an interactive object is nearby, you can also click where a quill pen icon appears and investigate. Typically, this means you can snag an item for your inventory, which sometimes must be combined with another trinket before it will function. A lot of old adventure games could get confusing in that way, but here you'll never have enough stuff in your inventory that figuring out what goes with what--or what does what--is likely to pose an issue.

For the entire campaign, though, I had issues moving Resette around. The boot only appears on very specific parts of a screen, and sometimes it's tricky to get her to head where you want if you're even slightly off the mark. On one screen, the cat climbs a wall next to a tree, and it can take several clicks to get him close enough to the tree that he can grab the item. Then if you click at a spot near the tree's base, he'll keep bumping awkwardly against the branches until you finally give him a new order. There are lots of little rough patches like that, all around the tiny little game world.

Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ (PC) image

Another irritant is the save system. If you save in the middle of a chapter and then turn off the game for the night, you'll have to start over from the beginning of that sequence when you resume. One area in particular packs a bunch of busy work together, so having to start fresh would be exasperating. In a different chapter, I got partway through and then saved my progress. I quite playing and came back the next day, at which point I had to sit through a bunch of dialogue I had already seen. There's a "Skip" option, but that doesn't always work if you are supposed to talk to separate individuals to keep the dialogue moving. So I sat through all of that again and then solved a few quick puzzles. The game glitched immediately after I solved the last one, of course, and so I had to reload my save and go through the chapter yet again. This time, it didn't glitch. I was able to continue and that meant another chapter cleared. It was irritating, though.

Talking to characters is also tedious, because the text fills the bubbles slowly. If you click to speed up the process, you stand a good chance of not seeing some text at all. So you have to click, then wait, then click, then wait... and that pattern repeats for quite some time if you're talking to someone with much to say. Definitely don't get in a hurry, or you might have to sit through a conversation twice because clicking at the wrong moment starts it over again.

The story is surprisingly grim, as well, for a game that seems to have been built with younger gamers in mind. As you root around in the young boy's mind (his name is Achilles, in case you care), you'll watch a real tragedy unfold, and you'll have to help him make his peace with it all. There's some really dark stuff, and also... a villainous fellow named Dan. At least they didn't go with "Bob," I guess. I won't spoil the plot or the themes by describing them here in detail, but some fairly involved concepts were presented too quickly to possibly have the intended impact. Maybe something was lost in translation, but I doubt it. The text tells the story rather clearly. It just doesn't feel genuine.

Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ (PC) image

As for the puzzles, they're usually too basic to tax the brain. You'll come into a screen and there will be two or three items that you have to combine to climb over a wall or whatever. Most of the time, that's all there is to it. There are a few points in the campaign where you have to think outside the box, but in those instances, the developers got too fancy. Some of the puzzles around halfway through the game require you to take notes, so that you have the clues in front of you when you finally tackle a board game challenge, or try to crack a safe. Those moments aren't all that difficult, just tedious. I did enjoy 2 or 3 of the puzzles that would have served quite nicely as some of the easier challenges in a typical Professor Layton title, but elsewhere I was just going through the motions.

For most of the game, I also wondered why my character had a life meter when nothing seemed likely to hurt her. I finally got my answer when I reached what I suppose you would call the "boss battle." I managed to fail that encounter on the first attempt, because it's difficult to get Resette to move just where you want her to with the awkward control scheme and also because I was feeling slightly impatient. I didn't stay stuck for long, though, and triumphed on the second attempt.

Resette's Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~ is a decent game that, with additional content and further refinement to its interface, might have been good or perhaps even great. I believe that the team responsible for making it is capable of very good things and may even achieve them with a future title, but this particular effort feels too much like a rough draft. Give it a shot if you want to try something that's not afraid to stray from the norm, but don't expect too much from it.


honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (June 05, 2016)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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