Vague Spoilers Ahead
Ray’s route is nowhere near as frustrating as V’s but is all around just okay and the omission of an after ending leaves his route too open to feel satisfied.
Ray is an okay character, but the way they portray his issues, to me, are just too unbelievable and took me out of the story many times. I don’t need a 100% accurate portrayal, but I expect some baseline believability and was really not granted that. I feel there could have been other ways to portray the things happening with Ray differently besides the choices that were made story-wise.
The beginning of Ray’s route is depressing as he obviously has extremely low self-esteem along with being manipulated, he is part of a “darkness” cult, and trying to talk to him without him beating himself up became mentally exhausting. A lot of the time, I felt it was pointless to even interject. Chat after chat with him seemed to go the same direction no matter how many times we were given an option to curb it. Most times, I felt I was playing therapist more than trying to get to know a romantic interest.
The middle and early end is laughably bad. I found myself bored at what was going on in chats as despite what was being told to the MC, I never felt like she was ever in actual danger to feel worried for her. There was a small blessing of them being short compared to chats the first four days. That was about the only plus.
Then there is the ending. The ending is just… too open ended. If you found yourself playing Seven’s route and when you got to the end going: ”??? That’s the end?,” that’s going to be you here too. Without the inclusion of an after ending, it is missing answers to crucial questions that need to be answered.
The romance, just like in V’s route, is the weakest part of the story. This is the first time in this game that I feel the MC fell in love way too quickly. She’s also written a little to be “the most understanding and positive person” more than ever. I feel like there are times when the story should have given her the ability to need some time to think instead of having her immediately go with things for the sake of seeing that magenta heart.
Ray moments that gave me frustration are “luckily” overshadowed by wishy-washy V, who continues to baffle me with his logic to the point of madness. Rika’s mental illness is taken out of the area of grey to complete black and white, which is really disappointing as she’s been one of the more realistic grey area antagonists I’ve seen in a while. We are now meant to just hate her for her treatment of her followers instead of trying to help her see that her way of thinking is not normal, which it super isn’t. The foreshadowing was too heavy-handed, giving away plot points before they happened completely sucking the surprise when plot points do happen.
For me, Zen and Yoosung, do their best to keep the player sane in trying times with their antics. There is especially an amazing section where Yoosung helps Zen with his acting that should not be missed. It was the light I needed in my cloudy frustration. Jaehee tends to bring out the longest chats in which her fangirling is taken to a minimum as you watch her continued to be pushed to exhaustion by Jumin. Jumin, meanwhile, is trying to see how many gap moes he can fit into the story at once, to the point where he just takes up a hobby that someone else talked about wanting to take up again. Also, he route seemed extremely light on his love/obsession of Elizabeth the 3rd, which came off really odd to me.
There is still no after ending for V four months after his route release, so who knows how long we’ll have to wait for Ray’s and his is desperately needed to conclude the story more than V’s.
Route Rating: 3/5
Not great, but not terrible and desperately needs the After Ending to conclude the route.
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