Disaster Report 4 - Who needs more crisis in their lives right now?

Will anyone be getting this? It only took, what, ten years, for this game to finally get released in the West?

So it’s the fourth title in the series. All the games are pretty mediocre, but I have a soft spot for games where you don’t actually kill anything. You just, you know, survive and help others. Or not. You can either be a nice guy or a jerk, but don’t expect too much freedom of choice. And you collect clothes and compasses for some reason. If you’re not hoarding, you’re doing survival wrong!

The game is ugly, the demo is bad, people emote like second rate anime characters and the reviews are mediocre, but what the hell, I’m getting it!

Anyway, a survival scenario (an earthquake) where you actually interact with other people! Who would’ve thought?

EDIT: The game has quite a story. I can barely believe the game was supposed to be released in 2011, but wasn’t because of the tsunami.

Assuming it’s on Steam in English (Metacritic lists it on PC but that could mean anything these days), absolutely. I adored the first two Disaster Report games back in the PS2 days and was always sad the third never made it to the US. Hopefully it lives up to the series legacy.

(I might consider the Switch version if I have to, but it sounds like the Switch struggles to run it and I’m way less likely to play it on any console platform TBH.)

Seems to be, but not until the 7th.

Well, the game sucks… I might write more about it later.

This interview is more interesting than the game itself.

You need to be accurate: the game doesn’t suck, the whole series do!

Can’t go along with you there. The first two are among my favorite games on PS2.

The two statements aren’t necessarily contradictory. The PS2 Disaster Reports were shitty games that were a lot of fun to play.

Ugh, every single area in the game has some stupid trigger you have to find to move on. It’s Gabriel Knight “cat-mustache” level of stupid, and not in a good way.

Quiz time, light spoiler:

In an early area of the game, you need to cross rubble that forms a gentle incline. Do you:

a) Walk over it.
b) Impersonate someone to scam some guy out of lots of money, then get gouged 100 000 yen to go the bathroom because that’s what some evil dude is charging you for the key. Said bathroom turns out to have a window you’re not told about that just so happens to overlook a small walkway that goes around the building to the other side of the rubble.

It doesn’t actually get better from then on…

I give Disaster Report 4 the score of 2 out of 5 novelty compasses.

It’s bad, reaaaal bad. Let’s cut to the chase: the game has absolutely nothing to do with survival, even less than previous entries. Heck, even Resident Evil is a more realistic survival game. There are hunger, thirst and bladder meters that do… nothing? Your life bar regenerates on its own, when it feels like it. What you actually do is just tediously stumble around each small area, helping people looking for the conversation that triggers letting you move on. It’s like the Littlest Hobo, but without the pooch.

I played the game as a horny, money-obsessed scam artist, which is to say I played as normal (har har). Nagging people for money was sort of funny, but then again, none of your choices matter at all. Try as you might, you can’t leave someone to die if the plot wants you to save them. But even then, if I learned one thing from Disco Elysium, it’s that if you give your character dialogue choices, you should give some truly weird options just for the fun of it. The game doesn’t do too bad in that regard.

The game doesn’t have any sense of tone. It sort of sells itself as some serious realistic survival sim, but it’s waaay kookier (and dumber) than that. I don’t think the devs had the finesse to tackle the subject matter. For example: an overpass crumbles over a busy street, killing dozens of people… and then the surviving NPCs do absolutely nothing. There’s no sad music, no dialogue, nada. You can even stare at the corpses under the rubble. It’s kind of creepy.

The plot is also somehow super interested in one dude and his company’s stock. Nobody cares (spoiler: you somehow spend half the epilogue hearing about the stupid stock, and apparently “something” happened, you’re just never told what. HA!).

A lot of the later scenarios are just batshit insane. You can (super spoilers!) :

  • Demand that the game’s name be changed (it really happens too!)
  • Lead an angry mob to city hall only to have it turn against you, and then take the mayor hostage and ask for 500 million yen and a helicopter.
  • Get captured to be sold into slavery by an elderly lady and blow up her ship.

So yeah, if you read the above, you might think the game is able to get into the “so bad, it’s good” category, but honestly the game is just tedious.