Latest User Reviews

Review of Still Life 2


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


Looks rough and overstays it's welcome


Once again you take control of Vic McPherson in the hunt for a serial killer. This time dubbed the "East Coast Killer". He abduct, tortures and kills his victims without leaving much in the way of evidence. When a reporter following the case (Paloma Hernandez) is kidnapped it leads to a desperate hunt for leads and a desperate battle for survival. You control both Vic and Paloma at various stages in the game. Vic's segments are mostly investigation stages where you swab, scan, spray and analyse about a million blood stains and finger prints in every room in the house. (The one and only location in the game). Paloma's sections are inspired by the movie "Saw" as you are trapped by the killer and have to jump through various traps and puzzles in the vain hope of finding your way out. Tension in the Paloma sections is higher and more fast paced than the Vic sections and unfortunatly include some pretty annoying timed sections. (You can die in this game). While the Vic sections are more laid back this flips around towards the end of the game when the various plots all come together into a frenzied ending. Graphically the game is rough. Animations are stilted, the 3D models basic and the mouth movements rarely approximate the speech. I prefered the 2.5D style of the first games. The 3D environments lack the atmosphere of the previous game, looking very sparse in comparison. The puzzles are ok, but I felt there seemed to be far too many of the collection and analysing tasks that didn't seem to go anywhere. I was collecting a lot of fingerprints and blood samples of the various victims, but there wasn't much of a pay off. Especially as you already know where Paloma's fingerprints etc would have been as you played that part already. On the Paloma side there was more of a puzzly nature to the tasks. Unfortunatly it decided that Resident Evil was a model inventory system and included a finite slot system and chest/closets to store items. This causes a fair bit of backtracking and swapping of items. Plot wise the game is aiming for a Se7en meets Saw kind of vibe and for the most part the story is pretty decent. It's not as deep as the historical based previous game and is more modern/mainstream in it's approach. However it keeps the tension and plot twists going for most of the game. My biggest issue with the game is that unlike the previous game which felt unfinished, this game has one too many twists in the tail and over stays it's welcome by a good hour. As Paloma says at one point "OMG will this never end". It also decides to weave into this new killer story some flashbacks to wrap up the loose ends from the previous game. It seems out of place and uses a tenuous method to trigger the flashback. Finally the most annoying thing about the game is the over powering music which drowns out the speech at times in the game. Overall it has it's moments with it's intersting take on the serial killer genre, but looks rough and overstays it's welcome. Time Played: 10-20 hours

Review of Still Life


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


Let's make Cookies


A mature adventure game. One that doesn't shy away from the brutal murders carried out by a Jack the Ripper type killer. One that dabbles in the seedy side of Chicago sex trade. (well it does a little bit). One that isn't afraid to swear. It was a fresh breath of air when it was originally released and replaying it was just as enjoyable and frustrating as the first time. On the plus side the games atmosphere and setting is great. The gritty, cold modern day Chicago is mirrored in the brighter old world flashbacks to Prague. Two sets of murders connected by family and killer. The graphics and cut scenes are great, the character models decent for their time (unfortunalty the goofy run animations are hilarious). The story is captivating and grips you from start to finish with only the odd misstep along the way (Stopping to make daddy Cookies for instance) Puzzles are generally of a very high standard with codes, lockpicking (fecking frustrating but logical puzzle), sliders and other puzzles keeping me entertained for most of the game. There are a couple of infamous puzzles like the aformentioned cookie puzzle and the timed spider maze late in the game that are the low points of the game but nothing game stopping. On the negative side there are unfortunatly a few issues with the game. The conversation system may as well be a cut scene as you are not given much of a choice of topics and just left of right click the mouse at regular intervals to advance the story. The prague story progresses well with a decent conclusion, but unfortunatly the modern day Chicago story is unfinished and left open ended. You never find out the identity of the killer and even the obvious suspect is given such little screen time that you know nothing about them. The game was rushed towards the end with Microids financial problems at the time and it shows in the frustrating and unsatisfactory ending to what is for the most part a superb adventure game. Time Played: 10-20 hours

Review of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


When's Chapters coming out?


Dreamfall is the sequal to The Longest Journey. Something is strange in the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia once again. This time you are Zoe Castillo a young woman in Casablanca, a college drop out with no direction. Used to lazing about with her friends and genreally not having a clue when she starts seeing strange visions of a creepy house and a young girl asking her to find and save April Ryan. Spurned into action after her reporter friend Reza disappears she sets out to find out what happened to her friend and how it is linked to her strange visions. During the game you will visit some old locations in both Stark and Arcadia, meet some old friends and make some new ones. You switch control of characters at certain times in the game but will mostly control Zoe Later in the game you will also control April Ryan and new guy Kian Alvane (Religious warrior who is chasing April). In a major change from the first game the game is presented in 3D and directly controlled with the keyboard or gamepad (I chose this one). I liked this method of control and was soon running about looking for hotspots with ease. Unfortunatly they felt that they needed to add some stealth and fight sequences into the game. Luckily they are few and far between because the fighting mechanics are hilariously bad. Graphics are pretty good for it's day, but look a bit old now. The areas to run around in a very small before hitting a load screen, but luckily the loads are fairly fast. Voice acting and music is superb for the most part (I still hate the stilted voice of the yellow skinned woman who follows Ryan). Puzzles are mostly inventory based and are pretty straight forward. There are a few hacking mini games which are fun for the few times you have to do them. The story is up to the same standard as it's predecessor, the story is deep and intertwines the two worlds and various characters in a mostly satisfying way however my biggest complaint about this game is it is far too openended. The Longest Journey worked as it was a self contained storyline, but this was designed as a multiple game story that so far has not been completed. Overall I had alot of fun with this game, but now i'm frustrated that six years leater i'm still waiting to what fate lies for April, Zoe et al. Time Played: 10-20 hours

Review of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


Never pay more than $20 for a video game


I loved the remake of the classic Lucasfilm game on the iPad. The new graphics were cool, the new full voice work for every character was fitting and the touch screen interface that is really easy to use. The Scumm icons are along the bottom and tapping the screen interacts with the world. All of the original goodness is still there, including the "Ask me about LOOM" dialogue. Swiping the screen switches instantly back to the original graphics and interface. It is a fascinating journey helping Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to become a Pirate. From Insult Sword fighting to the funniest behind a wall robbery ever there are many classic moments to be had. So after eight hilarious hours I became a pirate, found Monkey Island, saved the girl from the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and learned a life lesson ("Never pay more than $20 for a video game" ) Classic Time Played: 5-10 hours

Review of Stacking


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


Charming.


This is a Double Fine game I downloaded a while ago on PSN and never really played. You play as Charlie the smallest member of the Blackmore family. They are a family of chimney sweeps during the American industrial revolution. The family is tricked by an evil moustache twirling Baron into slavery to pay off their debts and it's left to you to rescue the family one by one. The game has a very cartoony 30's asthetic and is portrayed as a silent movie. The characters are all based around Russian matryoshka dolls that stack on into each other in sets. As the smallest matryoshka doll in your family set you can wander the world, but ultimately can't do a lot. So you can "stack" into the next size doll and upwards until you are a large character of 6 dolls. Using which ever doll is the largest you can use it's skills to solve the puzzles within the game. All of the puzzles have multiple solutions making for great replayability. Need to clear out a room you could use a character to fart in a vent, or seduce the guard and sneak in and slap the beejesus out of the waiter. Gameplay video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWh2o...eature=related I loved it. It did feel a bit drawn out towards the end, but it was a lot of fun. Time Played: 5-10 hours

Review of The Last Express


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


Choices, choices.


A $5million game that famously flopped on it's initial release. Mainly due to bad timing and a company going bust. The game takes place on the Orient Express on the eve of WWI. You jump on the train to meet a friend and find him dead. Taking his place on the train you have to investigate his death. This game has a unique gameplay feature that is one of the games biggest strenghs and one it it's weaknesses. The game takes place in an accelerated real time world. Characters move about independantly of your actions, important events happen at certain times whether you are there or not. So you walk around and evesdrop on conversations, pick up items, talk to people or sneak into their cabins when they are otherwise engaged. There is a wealth of story and background to be found by being in the right place. The characters are rich and varied, from the overweight letcherous German to the beautiful musician, the lesbian couple or the African royal. They all have secrets to unfold. It certainly lends a lot of replayability to the game however it also makes the game hard to know what to do next. Do I sit here and listen to Sophie dominate and manipulate poor Rebecca, do I watch Madame B complain about the Dog for the 10th time or do I try and sneak into the young Russians room and find out what he is up to? Choices, choices. It this leads to multiple endings and a branching storyline that makes each play through slightly different. Make a mistake and you will have to rewind time and try again. Mechanically the game is a 1st person flip style game with some great graphics. The characters are all animated in a rotoscope fashion with the real actors being fillmed and then animated. It make for some decent if choppy as hell animations. Most of the puzzles are situational and require you to be in the right place at the right time and hear the next clue or talk to the right person, but there are occassional inventory puzzles. There are also some action fights in the game that require you to do some basic QTE type button mashing to win. These are extremly frustrating and could probably have been left out of the game. Overall, This is a game with a fantastic story and a superb set of realistic characters (the game is not afraid to have them all speak their native language). It is slightly held back by the dodgy fight sequences, the choppy graphics and a weird ending that I never thought fit with the rest of the game. Time Played: 5-10 hours

Review of Day of the Tentacle


Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012


More fun than a jumpsuit full of weasels


A travesty that this game wasn't in the top 5 of the Adventure Gamers Top 100 adventure games of all time. IMO it is by far the best adventure game ever and "More fun than a jumpsuit full of weasels". It has a unique premise that works so well that it's amazing that nobody has tried to emulate it over the years. Set in three distinct time periods and controlling three different characters it very early on sets out the rules for interactions. Small inanimate items can be passed from character to character either directly or through the passage of time to solve some ingenious 4th dimensional puzzling. The time frame setting really brings out the depth of creativity in the puzzles. You are constantly trying to think where and in what time frame are the items relevant. It's a brightly coloured world with a skewed art style that is perfect for the host of hilarious and kooky characters in the game. Including some great US historical figures and Mr Ed Overall it's a game that tickled the funny bone like no game before it or since, stretches the brain matter with some lateral thinking and has some of the funniest sound effects in video gaming. Adventure gaming Nirvana. Time Played: 5-10 hours

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