Is this the general discussion topic of Versus Book Two? Well, I’ll go by with the rest and add my observations.
VERSUS: The Elite Trials is really an astonishing game. It’s quite a compilation of experience and skill on Zachary’s part. It certainly does show how far he progressed (learned) with the other games.
However, I did miss a couple of things in this game, such as the opportunity to get to know romance options best, and to actually develop the romance instead of making a one-moment choice that defines your future relationship for (what seems like) the rest of the series; the opportunity to choose topics of conversation instead of being directed by others all the while; more thorough combat…
And, to address Zachary’s desire to incite thinking and (Priscan) reflection on topics of society, I do think he has all the right to do that, and he does well to try and show his views through his art, and stories are some of the best means to do so. But, whenever you want to teach people a new meaning, a new way of thinking, it’s best to teach by provoking emotional responses through your stories rather than describing the actual way of thinking. If you do that, it may feel abstract, shapeless, and most likely disconnected from the reader. At least to me, I felt that it would have been more powerful to create situations that provoked emotional responses in line with whatever he intended to teach rather than describe the abstract form of thoughts your character goes through, and even worse, describing how your character feels about those same line of thoughts.
That’s not something I would have done in any story of mine, but after reading this book, this is a trait I’ll try to consciously avoid, from now on, as I haven’t enjoyed it that much in this story.
Perhaps an example is in order?
I believe Heroes Rise’s way of teaching perspectives on gender is more efficient and relatable than the way VERSUS Book Two’s way of teaching perspectives on religion, politics, and the like. If there is one topic that I believe VERSUS got right on this matter, as in Heroes Rise, however, is divinity.
About the playthrough or gameplay itself, though, I’ll need to play again a few times until I feel confident in my judgement.
I can add one thing for now: The ending felt rushed. Very rushed. I realize there is a reason for it to have been so light on action on our part, but it felt damn rushed. As in, we should have been able to do a lot more, and things seemed to skip for the sake of skipping.