A young man receives a call from his girlfriend, inviting him over to watch a movie or two. The couple, laying about on the couch, watches the actors onscreen portray their roles as the hours pass. Midnight arrives.
The world ends.
The sky is cast a dark red, and the sun turns as black as coal. Where once the streets were walked by people, they are now host to beings of night, unclean creatures that seek the flesh of the living.
The couple discovers their talent to fend off these creatures, and they flee for their lives.
"What's going on? Are there any survivors? How did this happen? Is it just our city, or is it the entire state? The country? The world? What do we eat? Where do we sleep?
...Can we ever be safe again?"
Speak No Evil is styled after the Shin Megami Tensei model of gameplay, and is thus a battle-heavy, relatively difficult experience focused on elemental affinities; labyrinthine dungeons, and bosses that require an understanding of mechanics to defeat.
The most prevalent aspect of the game is the importance of elemental weaknesses. Striking a weakness deals five times more damage than normal - very rare are the occasions where this isn't an instant kill. So, the experimentation with elements, and the discovery of which are effective and which are not, is a central aspect of the game's design. As the player progresses, groups of enemies where one is immune to - or even absorbs - the other's weakness become increasingly common.
This might have proven frustrating, had new enemies with new sets of skills appeared in each area. However, Speak No Evil was built to prevent this by re-using enemy species - simply with higher levels. This, in turn, might have lead to a lack of enemy variety. Which is, technically, true - there aren't that many distinct enemy types in this game. There are, however, a large number of enemy troop configurations; and this is the biggest key to Speak No Evil's battles. Enemies that can berserk the player are paired with enemies that are immune to physical attacks; those that are highly vulnerable to magic are paired with those that sap the player's SP. It all comes together to create a situation where the player is constantly threatened, without being ball-bustingly hard.
The Sales Pitch
Speak No Evil is not for everyone. It wasn't designed with welcoming in new players to the RPG genre. Deaths, while not constant, are to be expected; explanations of what HP does or what Experience is aren't given nor expected to be necessary. The game was designed to provide the player with a decent challenge over the course of a mid-length eastern-style RPG. This game uses "fake difficulty" techniques at times, such as enemies that steal the player's SP or ones with unfair elemental affinities, and makes no attempt to hide it.
If you want a large about of story, or you absolutely hate dying, I would suggest you turn your attention elsewhere. This game is very light on story, and the difficulty starts high and climbs steadily.
For those of you who want a game that is capable of beating you once in a while, while being perfectly possible to progress in, I would recommend this game to you.
For the masochistic players, there's a HARDCORE mode available after achieving an ending. It's not even remotely fair, in any sense of the word.