I’m gonna need a bigger backpack

typed for your pleasure on 10 January 2005, at 10.23 pm

It seems that IREM is making a sequel to Zettai zetsumei toshi, known in the States as Disaster report. That certainly came out of nowhere! Disaster report is another one of those niche games for the PS2 that I love so desperately, cos apparently in all things, I must be obscure. Anyway, I’d write more about it, but instead, I’m simply going to Copy and Paste a review I wrote for Mike’s vulne pro Forum, back when we knew nothing about the game, and had no clue that it would be released domestically. *copies, pastes*

Topic: Zettai zetsumei toshi. Horrifying, yet strangely compelling
Posted: 4/29/2002 02:53

On Sun Derek clued us into a new game coming out for the PS2 in Japan entitled ‘Zettai zetsumei toshi’, by IREM, the phantastik company that brought the world R-type. I was like, ‘Holy crap, IREM is still around??’ Well, they are, and their latest offering is truly something to behold, and will probably never see the light ov day in the States.

ZZT’s premise starts out relatively simply. It takes place in 2005, on a manmade island off the coast ov mainland Japan. The story starts just after an earthquake tears the island to pieces. You are a reporter who, in a nutshell, has to look for anyone who is still alive & needs help, while trying to find a way to get the living hell off the island. Did I mention the island is still very much in the process ov falling apart? Take a look at the promotional video (sorry, that link is long dead), or check out the official site.

The thing that really strikes me the most about this game is that it really seems to convey a sense ov ‘everything everywhere is fucked forever’. The video alone is aktually pretty scary to watch, in some respekts. It’s one thing to have zombies or monsters or whatnot chasing after you, but it’s another thing entirely when the very ground that you’re standing on – something not normally known to shake & jump around (at least not for us Michiganders) – starts doing the hokey pokey beneath you; and when something like that happens, there’s really no place you can go to escape. My impression ov the fakt that this game comes out ov Japan, the very land where people have to deal with potential situations like that at least once in their lifetimes, leaves me feeling rather odd. That’s as if a games manufakturer in Pompeii were to create a game about trying to leave a town that’s situated at the base ov an erupting volcano. I suppose you could see ZZT as a training for any future natural disasters, but it still makes me feel weird.

Having said that, if ZZT ever made it Stateside, I would pick it up almost immediately. It has an entirely compelling story, and much like Shenmue, exploring in the game brings across a sense ov being in Japan. Only falling apart and on fire. And the graphik design ov the box itself is very ace/ominous. Will it show up in our chain stores? I doubt it, as the game is very, very Japanese. But then, I’d said that about Shenmue.. personally, I’m not holding my breath. (I’m just waiting for the PS2 mods to come out that’ll let me play it!)

Zettai zetsumei toshi. Know it, learn it, live it.

And now there’s a sequel! Nothing’s been heard about any Stateside distributors, so we’re all kinda holding our collective breath, here. Regarding Disaster report; the bad news is that it’s somewhat difficult to find stores that still stock copies. The good news is whenever I’ve seen it, it’s been $20 or less. And if you can’t procure a copy, you can always see what Tycho & Gabe of Penny Arcade said about it, which was pretty apt.

It’s a fine game. A creepy game, but a fine game

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Flirting with pop culture is wrecking my brain / Is it 6.6.06 again? on August 22nd, 2007

Wind her up, watch her go on September 9th, 2004

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