Teenage angst has paid off well; now I’m in The Coma 2 Vicious Sisters Switch Review. Urgh, that was awful. Oh well, I’m not changing it.
I made it clear before that I’m not big on visual novels, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give them a chance. The Coma 2 Vicious Sisters caught my attention as it resembled some of the Korean horror films I used to watch before family life sabotaged my cinema interests.
Not knowing anything about the first The Coma: Cutting Class instalment, I was confident that I’d be able to pick it up still, as that’s what the press material told me, and the press doesn’t lie. It’s true: I was deep in high school life once more.
The Coma 2 Vicious Sisters Switch Review
In the game you play Mina; a high school girl who played a role in the first game, but there’s enough exposition to catch up. But in all honesty, it’s not a complicated narrative, but it has a decent hook: the actual coma.
Without giving too much away, the coma that victims experience is a nightmarish world that resembles titles such as Silent Hill – your own reality, only fragmented and twisted, making it a paradox of real-life. Meta.
The opening act introduces Mina and her school mates and how the top baseball player fancies her, yet she doesn’t want any of it – much to the confusion of the less popular kids. It all plays out all very teen-like nonsense, but then things get a little messed up.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, from Headup Games, takes a sharp tone, and what was the monotony of walking back and forth corridors of spotty kids, soon metamorphoses into carcasses, exploding poisonous clouds and a recurring succubus on speed.
The game switches out with a variety of visual styles, and it looks like Devespresso Games had a few different teams working separately as the main game, a 2D side-scrolling action-adventure, is mixed with visual novel elements and also cutscenes. Mina’s appearance differs in each, and while you know it’s her, it looks like a guest episode of The Simpsons intro where each artist has a go.
All of them are excellent, though, and Devespresso Games are overflowing with talent.
Retracing Your Steps
A map of each area is unlocked, and Mina has a lot of backtracking to do such as grab a keycard, heading back to operate a device, then locating another room to do another task.
Between these runs, there are a handful of items to pick up, money that can be used in vending machines to replenish health, stop bleeding and antidotes to poison, among other things, as well as a handful of nasties to halt your progress.
Mina has a sprint option and also a pseudo dodge/crawl – both of which use stamina, but the gauge is refilled as you standstill. Most of the time, you will be using the sprint to get to areas faster as not a lot happens – until you’re chased.
This is where The Coma 2 Vicious Sisters terrifies as you have the option to run away or hide in places like lockers, toilet cubicles or under a desk. Your pursuer is incredibly swift, and it’s not the kind of game where you can take many hits – these things will take you out and adds to the urgency.
Occasionally you’ll be found in your hiding place, or caught when running and have the chance to counter. This is represented by a QTE that resembles pulling off a Hadouken-like move, and despite the simplicity, it’s quite shocking how much I fudged this as I was genuinely quite anxious.
The game isn’t scary throughout, but it plays on noises when it needs to, and that creates a bit of apprehension as you’re listening out for any threats, such as when the dog sneezes from the kitchen, and you jump out of your skin.
That anecdote is from a friend. Not me.
Time To Snap Out Of It
As Mina tries to comprehend what the hell is going on, so do you. The story elements are surprisingly good, and despite the occasional corniness as you’d expect in a manga, I was pretty engaged, though I would like to have seen a bit more things to do in the game.
The backtracking got a bit monotonous at times, and, as previously mentioned, you end up sprinting everywhere without any issues, but once the ‘creature’ is after you, the game shifts into a pant-filling mode and I have to admit, I enjoyed that aspect a lot, as I did with the story progression.
The Coma 2 Vicious Sisters isn’t going to be the game that makes me actively play any visual novel that comes my way, as I’ve played a reasonable amount, and a lot of them have been duds, but not this.
If you too are a little sceptical about the genre, I’d suggest having a look at this one as it’s far more interactive than its peers but has an engaging narrative thread to lure you in.
- Engaging story.
- Fantastic variety of art style throughout.
- Being hunted is truly terrifying.
- Save points are less frequent with progression.
- Quite a lot of backtracking.
- Permanent health detriments if you're not careful.