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Bring It To Switch! - Fatal Twelve

by David Lloyd - February 5, 2019, 7:28 am PST
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A new feature where we cast our vote on little known titles we would like ported to Switch.

It’s just an accepted fact of life that ports are going to continue to dominate the Switch eShop. Instead of fighting this trend, I’ve decided to embrace it with a positive, proactive approach by bringing light to little known games on other platforms that I think the Nintendo community would really enjoy. My inaugural recommendation is a fantastic visual novel with one of the best stories I’ve experienced in some time: Fatal Twelve. Developed by aieuoKompany and localized by Sekei Project, Fatal Twelve overcomes a lack of gameplay with a story so engaging you’ll be glued to your screen right up to its thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

Like the iconic classic rock songs from the legendary band Queen, the story of Fatal Twelve begins with a slow, methodical pace, building up to an fast-paced and absolutely thrilling conclusion. The introduction begins with the death of the main protagonist Shishimai Rinka, a high school student who perishes in a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system. Upon her passing, she finds herself in a dream world resembling a clock, with eleven other individuals who recently lost their own lives, all confused and unaware of their surroundings. A goddess appears to explain that reality has been altered and that each of the twelve has been given a second chance at life.

That chance at altering their fate comes in the form of a competition, a last-person-standing match of wits that will take place over the span of 12 weeks. Each individual has three cards, one with their name, another with their cause of death, and the final revealing their biggest regret. The cards are randomly shuffled throughout the group, with the goal that once you have all three cards of another individual, you have the chance of electing them at a weekly ceremony to eliminate them, thus sealing their original fate: death.

The story is told mainly through self-narration by Rinka and Italian mobster Federico Carminati, as they try to make sense of their situation and express their feelings and motivations in their thoughts. The writing style is utilized to its fullest, doing a wonderful job of showcasing the growth of each character as they try to survive the competition. Many narratives are present and are analyzed in a thorough and thoughtful way. Characters go through a full range of emotions: anger, fear, desperation, hopelessness, love, and serenity. By the end, we really get to know each of the main characters and witness how their motivations and goals evolve throughout the story. None of the characters feel shallow and by the end I could empathize with each one and felt genuinely invested in their outcome.

A number of ports have had an assortment of issues trying to recreate the experience on Switch, in particular those coming from PC. In this case, the gameplay is limited to a number of choices that will determine the path to the multiple endings, with the majority of the playthrough being on-screen text and static pictures that set the scene. Voice acting is included, but unless you speak Japanese it won’t be of much use. The story is so encompassing and the visuals along with the music set the tone so well that you don’t even notice that you’re essentially reading a book.

I’m not sure what plans, if any, the developer or publisher of Fatal Twelve may have, but I truly hope for the sake of Nintendo fans it includes a Switch version. It’s a perfect game to throw on a pair of headphones, find a quiet place and just get fully immersed in the story. At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just another cringe-worthy anime title that most western fans tend to ignore, but you should do what I did: listen to the advice of a friend and enjoy a story that will stick with you long after its finished.

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