Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition Reviews

  • SashamorningSashamorning2,373,378
    25 Jan 2016 25 Jan 2016
    39 13 5
    Three-Fourths Home is a strange game by American standards. While there are a lot of visual novels in Japan, a considerable number of people who play them do so for the incredibly easy gamer score. To play them by actually making choices would likely take 80-100 hours due to the sheer amount of text involved.

    Oh yeah, and JVNs have anime babes. Fan service rarely hurts a game.

    This game, of course, is nothing like that.

    Those who play Three-Fourths Home for the quick points are going to be incredibly bored, annoyed, and basically hate the thing. They'll also miss a very subtle story cloaked in a very simple graphical interface. Without lots of pretty things to look at, it's easy to dismiss the game while basically just rubber banding RT and spamming X and A over and over again.

    But those who follow along and pay attention will be rewarded. Besides, it's a cheap game with lots of points. What's there to lose?

    It's easy to see why the game is so polarizing (or, in what seems to be the consensus, lackluster).. The story is very straightforward, and your decisions make virtually no impact on the story. In fact, you can probably figure out what's going to happen in the main story pretty quickly. Again, it's the details that matter.

    You play Kelly, a young woman who's run away for the day essentially to avoid...whatever. She starts driving home, and on the drive she talks with her family: her author brother Ben, her broken and alcoholic father, and her somewhat overbearing mother. To be honest, the conversation runs a little long. But while driving, put yourself in Kelly's position: on a long drive back to the home she'd rather not be heading toward, talking to the people who live there.

    And therein lies the subtlety.

    There are two other parts to the game, an epilogue where Kelly has a somewhat contentious call with her mother at a bus stop, and a final denouement after everything else is finished. In order to get to that last (200 GS) part, the game forces you to experience a little of Kelly's life through pictures, stories and the songs she listens to on the radio, each of which offers another glimpse into her life.

    By the time you get to the end, again, if you've been paying attention, you may find something rare from the experience. But you'll have to look at the subtleties the developers have tried to incorporate. There was a lot of thought in this, something that may be lost in the tl;dr culture that we've become.

    So once again, if you decide to drop the $5 (or equivalent) on this very quick 1000 GS, you can choose to run through it quickly and grab the points. Or you can pay attention and maybe find something special in the experience.

    In either case, it's a cheap game. The choice is yours as to what you do with it.
    4.5
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    bennjjeeWell written review and like you I found something of interest in this 'game' that I liked.
    Posted by bennjjee on 24 May 16 at 08:28
    FiveWizzMuch better review. Although I'd give the game a 3.5 or 4 I can definitely relate more to your thought process while playing the game and writing this review. I had quite a nice time playing this game. You have to pay attention and enjoy the story as you said. If you just hammer the trigger and buttons there's zero enjoyment to be had. Good review.
    Posted by FiveWizz on 19 Sep 16 at 08:29
    SashamorningMy justification for such a high rating is that I still think about the impact the story had on me. If it was completely forgettable, 3.0-3.5. But years later, it still haunts me. It really struck a chord.
    Posted by Sashamorning on 19 Nov 19 at 18:30
  • boldyno1boldyno11,959,125
    27 Oct 2015
    38 14 7
    Three Fourths Home : Extended Edition is a visual novel game developed by [Bracket] games and is available for $4.99. The game was originally released on PC in early 2015 before the Extended Edition found its way onto Xbox One in October 2015.

    Before I start I must add this was my first ever visual novel game that I had played and I had no previous experience of seeing or playing visual novel games so this game was actually a surprise to me in the way that it played and was presented.

    You start the game by playing the main story as a character called Kelly who is driving through a storm and whom has a phone call with her family (Mam, Dad, Brother) while driving home.

    You basically press RT to drive then select conversation choices when they appear........ Its that simple. Now as I said earlier this was my first time playing a visual novel and I was actually amazed that this was all I had to do in the main story.

    The main story lasts roughly 30-45 mins while you continue driving and selecting replies to your family, the choices don't affect the gameplay in any way directly only the responses from the other person who you are speaking to at that moment, the game can venture of track such as an argument with your mother but the game soon goes back to the narrative as you continue your journey home.

    Once you have completed the main story you then have the option of playing the epilogue which can be finished in either 30 seconds or 10 minutes depending on the conversation options you select this time.

    The graphics are basic black and white noir style while you work your way through the main story and epilogue and there isn't much to add really as all you are doing is driving or walking and see the odd 2D building or tree.

    Music and sound wise the music fits well to the game and flows naturally throughout and sets the scene well in the driving scenes with the dramatic thunder and background music.

    After you have completed the main story and epilogue, some extra items do become available such as a radio to listen to the music, a selection of 5 stories to read and a selection of photographs to view which adds a little time onto the overall game time.

    If you haven't already guessed this type of game is totally not the sort of thing I would go for to play and I wasn't much of a fan of this game, I found the gameplay boring and the conversation selection irritating at times as there may at times only be one option to pick from which is a bit shoddy when its based on conversation choices.

    In total I played the game for 2 hours 40 mins and in this time I achieved all the achievements, considering one achievement alone takes 50 mins this game can be done quick and easy with minimum effort.

    If you want quick and easy Gamerscore (of course we all do) then this is a cheap and quick completion. Some of you may enjoy this game a lot more than I did but on the basis of what I played, seen and heard this will certainly not go down as many peoples favourite game.

    I stream all my content on twitch at www.twitch.tv/boldyno1 so follow me there for plenty of content and videos.

    Thanks for viewing.
    1.0
  • CrimsonBurn27CrimsonBurn27109,860
    02 Jul 2016 02 Jul 2016
    14 1 0
    Let's just start off by saying the obvious: Three Fourths Home is not for everyone, although this gamer assumes it wasn't meant to be. While teetering on that fine-line between visual novel and game, all the while not really achieving either, it is clear why this game has generated a lot of the negative reviews it has. That being said, if you enjoy a quick two hour(ish) story that leaves you with a bit to reflect on afterwards, you might enjoy this one.

    More importantly, games like Three Fourths need to be made. Like any medium, gaming requires experimentation and new directions to be explored. Art-house cinema, while often mocked in popular culture, has its merits for the film medium; many experimental musicians have come and gone through time; some writing out there leaves people scratching their heads. Yet with all of this, the medium is explored a bit more, limits are pushed or outright broken, and the medium overall benefits.

    If we wish for gaming to reach that echelon of being both entertainment and art, this sort of experimentation is necessary. That is where games like Three Fourths come in. While it might not be a project that could be viewed as wildly out of left-field, it does abandoned much of what we consider "pillars of a game" for the sake of delivering a short-but-to-the-point story with minimalist visual style.

    The game largely consists of the player holding down the RT button while choosing between a limited set of dialogue options as the main character drives home while talking on the phone with her family. Those looking for an engaging "gaming" experience will find themselves bored and most likely frustrated early in by the simple mechanics. I for one found the requirement of holding down the RT button constantly to progress through the story rather pointless and irritating, but this is an issue that can no doubt be addressed in similar projects down the road for Bracket Games. Either way, the experience of this game is not to be found in nuances of gaming mechanics and play, but rather in the conversation the character has with her family.

    That being said, dialogue choices are rather limited, average usually two options but sometimes reaching three while other times leaving the player forced to use the only one provided. Dialogue choices have little consequences in the main story outside of changing certain reactions of the characters on the other end of the line, however the dialogue choices take a little more of a commanding role in the epilogue. Still, gamers who are paying attention will find that there are choices that lead to more in-depth dialogue that reveals more of the plot as compared to others.

    The purpose of this game is to really tell the story of this conversation against the backdrop of an approaching storm. The game makes no effort to complicate this matter through complicated game-play or a more drawn out story- a fact that is both a blessing and a curse. While it allows for a story that can be presented without the type of distractions and side-tracking that "too complicated for their own good" games often get side-lined by, it means that a great many of gamers will be turned off relatively quickly to this game.

    However, if you are willing and able to sacrifice entertaining gameplay for an interesting, introspective story, then this is for you. Three Fourths delivers on a very simple premise, so simple that the ending can be predicted by even a casual observer very early on, but like many good stories, the merit is not in the destination but the journey. The epilogue that is included in the extended edition wraps a nice bow on the whole thing and may be the most nuanced portion of the game, leaving this player questioning how this game was ever delivered without it.

    The minimalist art style, while not necessarily visually striking, provides a setting that doesn't detract from the most important aspect of the game: the dialogue. The gray-scale tones add to the increasing somber the player may feel as the game progress, while interestingly adding to the idea of "grays, not blacks and whites" theme that the game reflects upon. The soundtrack is a simple yet beautifully renditioned electronic score that adds to the mood of the game and flows together nicely. After completion of the main story, some extras will be unlocked such as short stories and photos that add to atmosphere of the game and give more insight to the characters.

    Overall, this game is for a niche audience, and more than anything is an experiment on different models for presenting stories through the gaming medium. Even for those who enjoy this style of game, there are some flaws that do detract from the game's overall presentation, however these are easily dismissed given the game's price of $4.99 on the Xbox Store at the time of this writing. For the rest of gamers out there, this game provides a quick and easy 1k with simple achievements (although there have been issues reported with certain achievements unlocking over the past few months, buyer beware).

    Overall, this game warranted 3 stars, rated for those who enjoy this type of game. For most this may be a 1 star game, but my rating was given based on how I perceived it as a fan of the genre.
    3.0
  • zoidberg1339zoidberg1339511,421
    14 May 2016 29 May 2016
    16 7 8
    Three Fourths Home is the sort of game I try to have an open mind about. Many gamers are skeptical of artsy titles like 3/4H - and with good reason. While the ID@Xbox program has brought some fun games to the Marketplace, it also has brought games heavy on concept and light on execution. These titles that forsake more traditional gameplay in favor of minimalistic graphics and deep emotional journeys run the risk of becoming what I like to call A Very Serious Video Game.

    That's not to say I think Very Serious Video Games can't be enjoyable. Bastion and Pneuma: Breath of Life delved into the realm of the Very Serious Video Game and yet managed to be unique experiences with entertaining gameplay. I simply find the emotional heft of VSVGs to be more contrived and cliche than engrossing more often than not.

    Three Fourths Home is a game about a young woman driving home to see her parents and brother as a storm rolls in. A major gameplay component is driving forwards or backwards by holding the right or left trigger. If you don't drive, the dialogue - the only other gameplay to speak of - stops right along with the young woman's car. The dialogue is, in a word, frustrating. Too many stereotypes (alcoholic father, worrying mother, introverted son) are thrown at the "player" to the point where I struggled to identify with them at all.

    You do have the opportunity to choose different responses like a traditional adventure game, but I question the options presented. A fair amount of the plot is devoted to discussing how the father is covering his tomato plants to protect them from the storm. Both the protagonist, Kelly, and her mother seem confused (if not downright upset) by this, yet I had no option to have Kelly say it isn't strange. Since my grandmother covers her tomatoes during poor weather, I wanted to say it was perfectly normal. However, the developers did see fit to give Kelly two different ways to say "yeah" to her mother. I don't understand the design priorities.

    ...Speaking of "yeah", that's a word you'll be selecting a lot in this game. Many times it'll be the only thing you can say. And that's when this game really loses me. When your music score has kicked into high gear, I need more captivating dialogue than "okay". That's another Very Serious Video Game hallmark found throughout Three Fourths Home - the all-lowercase writing. I was afraid I'd stumbled onto something ferociously indie when the title screen told me to "press something" and was I ever proven right.

    Now since this is TrueAchievements, I need to address the achievement situation in this game. When it first released (and when I bought I bought it on sale) it was labeled as the sort of game you buy for inexpensive and easy gamerscore. And that's 99% of the reason I bought it as well. However, it's recently come to my attention that people are now having trouble unlocking not just some, but all of the achievements.

    This is due to an update made over six months after release that addresses ...well I'm not exactly sure. That's the thing about boring, simple games, they're often free of technical issues and that's one of the positive things I can say about my experience playing TFH. The couple hours of gameplay went by without a hitch. However for some people that just hasn't been the case.

    I was prepared to give a one, or perhaps one and a half stars for this game, but not with broken achievements.
    .5
  • AckterAckter330,861
    31 Dec 2015
    24 18 2
    Let's get this out of the way: This is not a game, though I'm not sure it's actually claiming to be one. Basically, you hold RT for an hour while tapping X or A to scroll through the most boringly ordinary dialogue you'll ever read until the story ends.

    If it's a game, it fails for having no gameplay.

    If it's a visual novel, it fails by forcing you to needlessly hold RT down the entire time while tapping buttons just to make you feel involved.

    If it's an interactive story, it fails because you can have no impact on the story at all. You're literally just turning pages.

    The only reason to pick this up is for the gamerscore, and it's really not worth it. At least Avatar was fun.
    .5
  • LetalisInsaniaLetalisInsania22,259
    13 Jan 2021 13 Jan 2021
    2 1 0
    I am a fan of Visual Novels and interactive games. This game tries to be both and is sadly none of that.
    As for gameplay, there isn't really one. You just press and hold RT the whole time while driving trough the story.
    Storywise, you can choose different dialogue options, but they don't have an impact or change anything.
    Too often you just say "yeah" "okay" or listen to your family discussing, while your only job is to hold down RT.
    The characters are highly boring and one dimensional, this is my main problem with the game.
    Kelly, the character you play, is very unsympathic and annoying. She is exactly how her mum accuses her of being in the epilogue.

    The story is WAY too short and spends too much time with irrelevant dialogues, that just come off as a filler to make the game longer.
    On the other hand, interesting aspects you would like to know more about, are just barely scratched at the surface and tossed away.

    The soundtrack is good and I liked the short stories Ben wrote, but that was it.

    If youre looking for some easy and fast achievements, get the game.
    But if you're looking for a Visual Novel with a good story, where your choices have an impact, you can end up being disappointed.
    1.0
  • Dakrkplayer2Dakrkplayer21,182,304
    14 Nov 2015
    24 52 19
    Three fourths home is interacted navel game. When playing it I feat there a lot thing that should be told in the story. Like a more interesting way to find out that your character dad was handicap. I was making this. I would have option to go to a internet café. And go to a fictional version of facebook or twitter to look at your character mother status. also meet new friends on the way to Nebraska. And even find a new boy or girl friend to you character to get in the relationship with. Have last 10 ;losable of each gender. And also have a option to find out your character brother is suffering some type mental illness in the same matter as your character's dad handicap. And even help other in need in-between the start of the game and when you finally end up in Nebraska. Also make the ben story interesting by going in the same matter as early stated. Because it should been good story about traveling to Nebraska. And not what was it was now. And also have back story of how you and jesses broke up. And you other friends drift away from your life. And how you have hard time of think good thoughts when you did a good thing. And remember the time your professor criticized your good work. And also make the photo part of the game. And make new memory's to have for rest your character life. And have more round life with the character. Like a extended family. But that what I would have done to this game. Because I think there should be more to a story of a character then just some simple lines. And the play time need to be broaden to make a fan game. And give it life and poetical then what is the final game. But that just me talking how I made the game. And not the word of the game designer of this game. But if I was. I would of take this in consideration when making this game. And not be lazy and make it very short. So I have to rated it. I would one star for trying and one star for the game itself. Because that what I think it deserved.
    2.0