Review by Lee1
Reviewed: 07/29/03 | Updated: 11/16/03
Among the ranks of one of the best graphic adventures ever.
First off, the basics. Divi-Dead is a horror graphic adventure by CS Ware, released in 1998. It is anime-styled, and contains scenes of hentai (anime nudity and sex, if you’re unfamiliar with this term). Now, those two last points will turn many people away from this excellent game, and it’s a shame, for Divi-Dead easily compares with any other graphic adventure. As a whole, Divi-Dead is a flawless graphic adventure that will continue to shock and amaze you.
You play the role of Ranmaru Hibikiya. Ranmaru is 18, male, not much of a athlete, and has been bed-ridden in hospitals because of a unknown sickness all of his life. The sickness has given him seizures, made him constantly vomit, and even pass out for long periods of time. Thankfully, your condition has been getting better over the years, and your rich uncle decides to give you another chance in life. He accepts you into his school, called Asao Private School. Asao is a very, very deluxe school up in the mountains, miles from the nearest city. However, your uncle isn’t sending you entirely out of the good of his heart. A number of strange occurrences have been happening at the school. Such includes rape, suicides, mysterious perfumes, mind-control, and other such events. Your job is to look into the occurrences the best you can, and report whatever you can to your uncle.
At first, the plot seems like your typical suspense horror, and I don’t blame you for thinking that. However, as the story progresses, you slowly learn that the plot is much deeper than you think. People you thought were friends turn on you, people you suspected save your life, and one major plot twist at the end now replaces the giant twists in Silent Hill 2 (The scene in Room 312) as the greatest plot twist in any video game.
For the gameplay, Divi-Dead is your standard fare. A box at the top of the screen shows incredibly detailed pictures of where you are, who is with you, what is happening, or a vital point in the story. The pictures in Divi-Dead are very detailed to the point where it almost looks real. Such shows in the very graphic, in terms of violence and gore, pictures and the shots of hallways as well. The land of Asao Private School is extremely well-drawn, and further adds to the experience. Below the pictures, there is a text box that tells you the story, dialog, or what Ranmaru is thinking. And aside from two buttons on the side that have options and a section of the game where you can view the pictures you have seen, that’s all there is to it. And it’s enough.
Like the other excellent hentai game Kana Little Sister, Divi-Dead has some very good music. Each of the 13 tracks in the game will help you to keep playing in total suspense, waiting for something to happen. Thunder, dripping, and other such noises are well-placed to help you further the horror experience.
I already stated the story is very excellent, and will keep you playing until the end while on the edge of your seat. The characters are also done very, very well. You’ll find a wide select of characters to converse with. Such includes the helpful freshman Yuta, the childhood friend Azusa, the class president Kimihito, the sex-crazed Haruka, and other such personalities. Each of the characters has their own persona, and are presented very well.
Now, I must touch on a subject that concerns this game. There is hentai located in this game, which will turn many people away from this game. In Divi-Dead, only one of the sex scenes is used for love. The other hentai scenes, for the most part, are graphic and deal with rape or something similar, and will stick with you whenever you close your eyes. They also add to the character development. Let’s take Haruka, the sex-crazed student. Her personality would be very hard to pull off with the same shock value if the hentai was taken out. Most of the hentai in this game is used to shock and disturb you, not for pleasure.
The only fault I will knock against this wonderful game is the story itself. While very deep and excellent as a whole, the way it's presented makes it very confusing and forcing you to play though it several times to understand it all.
Before I wrap up this review, I would like to touch on another subject. This game is not for anyone who cannot take disturbing imagery seriously. There are several scenes in the game including a dog ripped in half with his insides leaking out his bloody torso, a human face with half the skin a muscle ripped out so we can see his/her skull and bloody eye, etc. Such imagery is contained within the CD, and will disturb many.
In the end, Divi-Dead is a must-play for those who enjoy graphic adventures, those who wish to be scared, and even those who enjoy a good story. Frequent turns and hooks will keep you playing until the earliest hours of the morning. Divi-Dead will have you keep playing until it takes control, and then won’t let go. A truly amazing feat for any game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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