While the first two games were largely separate despite a few connections, Parascientific Escape: Crossing at the Farthest Horizon brings them together and serves a sequel to both.
Hitomi travels to the country of Witsarock in response to a letter from “the Ghost,” while Kyosuke visits Witsarock to meet a man who has information for him, only to find he’s been murdered.
The story alternates between the two characters, as well as other characters, in order to tell a bigger story than that of its predecessors. With both protagonists coming together and the antagonist’s plot being brought into the light at last, it has the potential to be the best in the series.
Unfortunately, it isn’t.
Crossing at the Farthest Horizon plays nearly identically to Gear Detective. With both Hitomi and Kyosuke as protagonists, I’d hoped both their psychic powers would come into play (perhaps even others, when I saw other characters getting viewpoint sections), but the handful of escape room sections only let you play as Kyosuke.
Some of the puzzles feel less intuitive, and the hint system isn’t as helpful as in Gear Detective. Worse, at one point the memo used to record puzzle details simply left off the final line of a puzzle by mistake, which had me stuck for quite a while.
It also has far more typos than either of the previous two games, not enough to be a big problem, but enough to be noticeable.
Playing this third game also made me understand why I criticize these stories’ idealistic approaches to their problems. After all, I normally eat up stories about redemption and the power of friendship. In the Parascientific Escape series, however, developments occur so quickly that it doesn’t feel natural. It’s hard to buy a character desperate to save a murderer she considers a friend when they’ve only known each other for a few hours. It’s difficult to be emotionally invested in a villain’s redemption when you’ve only seen them on-screen a handful of times.
Parascientific Escape: Crossing at the Farthest Horizon has some exciting moments and some interesting puzzles, and it’s nice to see the first two games’ stories brought to a resolution. If you were hoping for it to build upon its predecessors and be the best of the three, however, you might be disappointed.
The mystery unfortunately takes a backseat once again, as well. We’ve now covered all three entries as part of our mystery game celebration, but the second is the only one I’d really call a mystery.
But don’t worry! We’re not even halfway through the month yet, so stay tuned for next week as we discuss even more mystery games!---
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