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Review of Fatal Twelve
Fatal Twelve - Download Edition
Vote: 7crimsin on 2023-12-05
|Fatal Twelve is what you get when you cross Danganronpa and Mirai Nikki and shave off a bit of the edge and tension. It's solid and mostly consistent all around in it's produciton.
It functions on a similar setting to Mirai Nikki, with a similar structure to Danganronpa. 12 people who initially died are brought back by some goddess in a death game where only one will remain alive. The death game is a battle of wits where they can't kill each other in person, rather they eliminate each other by finding out their name, regret, and cause of death. These eliminations are done once a week, making it reminiscent of Danganronpa's trial sequences.
The cast was surprisingly consistent. There wasn't a character who I thought was a detriment to the story or shouldn't be there. A large majority of them had either character arcs or at least developed and changed in interesting ways, namely I, II, IV, whatever number scale was, and XI . I wouldn't go so far as saying any of them were stellar, or that I was a huge fan of any of them in particular, but they were given a good amount of care and were distinct and memorable.
The overall plot and worldbuilding also good, things that were brought up felt like they came together well, nothing felt like much of an asspull, and the pacing was solid. There are also some thematic pieces that are consistent throughout the whole story and individual character arcs.
Mechanically, the writing was fine, but there were two issues. I felt there was a lack of anything to make most lines stand out, the writing style and prose were not particularly engaging. Second of all, there are quite a few exposition dumps, some of which are then just retreaded not too much later. The rules of the game and its world will be dumped on you in a massive dump, characters will just exposit their entire backstory. If there's any chance you won't get something, it will tell you very directly.
All of the endings were pretty good too. They made sense and the tension and emotion really ramped up near the end.
I think my biggest gripe with the writing stems from an inability to hit heavily. The emotional moments and death game aspects fail to fully pull the heartstrings or impress. I think the best example for the emotional segments not being strong can be found in the post elimination scenes, where we see their dying moments . Each of these is a static background, the same piano track, and like 15 lines that were unevocative. The only two that really made me feel anything were Diana and Odette . The story isn't otherwise devoid of emotion, there's still a moderate amount but it just doesn't ever wow you.
The problem with the death game aspect lies with its lack of tension or intrigue. Apart from the characters being able to deduce things well, there isn't a lot of wits going on, with very little deceit, which coupled with multiple perspectives that spell most everything out for us, makes everything VERY predictable. Out of all the elections, there were only three where I didn't know exactly what was going to happen, and the results of two of those were still what I expected for the most part, while the last had a bit of development after that was enjoyable, but led to the same aspect.
I think comparing to Danganronpa is a great way to show how the death game's structure wasn't brought out to its fullest. I've only played the first game, but we have one person killing two people, an unidentified body, suicide, just off the top of my head. Whereas in Fatal Twelve, almost every trial results in exactly one elimination attempt, which has been foreshadowed by the heavy focus on the death of the week, and them telling their back story for like 10 minutes beforehand. While not every story needs to keep the reader in the dark, and there's an argument to be made about part of suspense being that the threat is established, that fails here because there is never a chance that someone who looks like they're going to die will live and vice versa. There are too few 'aha!' moments, although there were more near the end. I did particularly like the revelation of Parca being an electable candidate, but there were too few moments like that both with the game rules and with the characters and their strategies. Fully expecting someone to succeed and then seeing a character counter it or something similar would have been great, but the reader is always told enough that there never comes that moment.
Okay, that's enough on writing.
The UI and Coding is nice, the pause menu is sleek and the card menu is a cool touch. The art is really consistent, all the BGs look good, all the CGs are good, and the sprites are nice. The character designs are also really good. I particularly liked Rinka and Parca's designs.
The music and sound design is... eh. Some of the tracks are nice, but a few of sound like stock iMovie songs and the actual choice for which songs go where didn't always fit the scene. There's also a loud ringing sound near the beginning, so have fun with that if you're wearing headphones. Voice acting is pretty good too.
Overall I did like the story quite a bit and felt like the consistent and well rounded production value allowed it to be a good experience, but nothing excelled enough to make it a truly incredible experience.