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Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past - 4 / 5

Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past is a noir visual novel that has you tackling several cases as Jake Hunter, a gritty, hard-boiled detective who gets by solely on scotch and cigarettes, and who has a good-looking, smart and language-savvy assistant called Yulia Marks.
The pair may not sound like the most original combination, and in fact the entire premise of Jake Hunter is rather cliché (Jake is best friends with a high-ranking police inspector, and also with a high-ranking member of a mobster family, for instance). But despite the been-there-done-that set-up, it all works pretty well as a whole.
There are five cases to be solved, as well as the titular ‘Memories of the Past’ case (that can even serve as a framework for the other cases if you choose to play it that way). All these cases have a large amount of variation in them (murder, missing persons, theft, smuggling, fraud, etc.), and none of them fail to hit the mark.
One case in particular stands out above the rest, namely the fourth case, ‘As Time Goes By’. Coincidentally, this is also the first case where you not only play as Jake Hunter, but also as Yulia Marks. This particular case even manages to pack an emotional punch by its conclusion, which makes me compare it to the best that the Phoenix Wright games had to offer. This case alone is worth the price of the game, imo.
But of course, there’s more to Jake Hunter than just 6 cases that average at two to three hours of game time each. If the rather humourless, gritty and dark approach starts to get you down, you can easily switch to the *other* part of the game: Jake Hunter ‘Unleashed’.
Jake Hunter Unleashed is a series of cases with a distinctively different style: instead of the realistic graphics and the adult take on things, the Unleashed-cases are done in a very cartoony graphical style, and are a LOT more humourous. And in these cases you can actually fail and get a ‘game over’ (which is not possible in the main cases). Naturally, the shorter (30 minutes to an hour on average) Unleashed cases are little more than a fun distraction, but they’re a welcome addition. Some of them (like ‘Picture Perfect’ and ‘The Mysterious Hotel’) even manage to be both clever and fun…
Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past may be pretty low on actual gameplay (it’s a visual novel after all) and the translation could have done with a few less spelling mistakes and typos, but the total of six main cases, six ‘Unleashed’ cases, and 20 unlockables (which feature a variety of bonus content like designer/developer comments, concept art, and even some bonus puzzles) make this a pretty meaty game that’ll easily net you over 20 hours of gaming. Not too shabby, if you ask me…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Just beat: Grim Fandango

10/10

It was my first time moving through Manny’s adventure and even though I have the utmost respect for Tim Schaefer, a part of me was expecting the game to be somewhat overrated due to time and nostalgia affecting others reviews. Boy was I wrong.

The game of course was amazing. Beautiful. Brilliant. A true adventure gamers’ adventure game. The voice acting was, dare I say it? Perfect. I cannot imagine better casting. The script was so well written and Manny was voiced with such authenticity that I truly was pulled in to his quest and really began rooting for him. Glottis was absolutely hilarious and Meche’s voice was a razors edge between innocent and sexy.

How they were able to accomplish such levels of mastery with the graphical fidelity in 1998 is beyond me. The graphics still hold up well today after 14 years and make the game a joy to play. The quality of the cinematography enhances the players buy in and keeps the game from getting stale.

The music is perfectly tailored in each location by Peter McConnell to elicit the desired emotional response from the player. Neither Michael Land, nor Clint Bajakian wrote the score but their involvement in the audio creation process is definitely felt.

The puzzles ranged from easy to difficult but always resulted in a true sense of satisfaction in the player when figuring them out without the aid of a walkthrough.

My only complaints are personal ones and extremely minor. Year two felt a little too open at times with such a variety of locations and scenarios accessible to the player that it was possible to get lost for an indordinate amount of time. I am still a little confused over a puzzle involving a counterfeit betting stub. Finally, controlling Manny became a little erratic when running, to the point that I rarely used the feature and opted to just walk instead.

Overall though, I feel like the game was masterfully crafted and now, like many other adventure game enthusiasts, consider the game to be a rite of passage of sorts in earning ones adventure game credentials. It is truly an amazing experience that transcends the term ‘game’.

Enjoy the ride!

     
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Fallout: New Vegas

2 years after starting it I finally finished New Vegas. I never really played the original Fallout games (maybe 10 hours of the first one) but liked Fallout 3 a lot.

If i was going to compare the 2 I would call it a draw. I felt the original Fallout 3 had a stronger beginning and more memorable individual stories (Tenpenny tower, Megaton, Little Lamplight) but New Vegas ended up having a better ending once we arrived in Vegas with the conflict between Mr. House, NCR and the Legion being a more fleshed out overworld and factions.

One thing that happened in both games, probably a problem with playing in normal mode, is that I felt too overpowered from the middle of the game, specially with a companion and Dog.
Also, the choices I made with the stats at the beginning felt like only mattered in the first 2/3 of the game because at the end everything was maxed out (speech, science, repair, etc) and I could approach everything like I wanted.

Also, I only played one add-on so far - Old World Blues but it’s amazing with some of the funniest writing I’ve seen lately.
I’ve started Dead money now and it seems the same quality with a very strong premise and the most interesting companion so far - Dog/God

     
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Origami - 09 December 2012 07:27 PM

1/10 YES, YOU RUINED IT SQUARE ENIX.

They’re only the publishers, not developers.

I know but Eidos changed their game to suit a larger audience. It’s the same with Bioware turning into crap after EA bought them. Same syndrome.

The Cat Lady

Good:

- Amazing style & music!
- Great voice acting expect the doctor & husband
- Creepy atmosphere
- Logical puzzles
- The Queen of Maggots

Bad:

- Life is worth it preaching, it gets tiresome
- Disappointing Cat Lady backstory
- Not scary at all ,creepy surroundings but no scary scenarios at all
- Too easy puzzles
- Endings are basically the same
- The cat lady becomes goody goody instead of the badass monster i wanted her to become.

7,5/10, it’s a good game def worth it! I think it had potential to become much more.

 

     
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Joined 2009-07-07

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Finished Assassin’s Creed III the other day.

I actually enjoyed the game and the new setting a lot, although I found it a slight problem not knowing a lot about the various historical events, not being American myself. In that respect, I enjoyed the Italian and Middle-Eastern stories a lot more, knowing much more about what happened there in the past. That’s a minor niggle, though, and I’m sure the opposite is true for American players concerning the first few games. I do hope they will seriously try and do something different with the series for the next instalment, instead of being exactly the same but in a new location.

Still, I give ACIII an 8,5 for presentation, multiplayer and the sheer amount of things to do in the game.

     

“It is so shocking to find out how many people do not believe that they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.”

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Joined 2012-12-19

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I recently finished Far Cry 3 and i totally recommend it Tongue

     
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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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Another Code: Two Memories (AKA Trace Memory) - 4 / 5

A great title by Cing, and given its release date, the first adventure game to make FULL use of the DS functionality. I mean it has everything: stylus control to tap/slide/nudge/bounce things, blowing/yelling in the microphone and even closing the DS (the most vicious method the DS has to offer) to solve puzzles. It’s the very thing Cing expanded on for their future titles Hotel Dusk and its sequel Last Window. Gameplay-wise it’s top notch.
The story is pretty good, too, despite a pretty redundant “altered memory” plot line near the end. And maybe they should have emphasized solving D’s memories a bit more because I had to play the game TWO times to get the full ending. I had completed Ashley’s story, but I had missed a few items in D’s story (but could still continue) and that gave me an incomplete ending the first time around. That scenario should’ve been avoided, imo.
I also didn’t like the weak descriptions of objects you could examine. Examine a table and all you get is “It’s a table.”. If you were lucky you got a “The table is dusty.”. That’s too little, imo.
But they learned from their mistakes and improved matters for Hotel Dusk, so kudos to them. It’s actually a shame they’re defunct, because they have made a few amazing DS games. They really tried getting the max out of the DS functionalities, and for that Cing should be applauded!

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Joined 2006-09-24

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Dreamfall: The Longest Journey - 5/5

Not sure if I should put this here or in the adventure sub forum, but what the hell. One of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever experienced. Yet another game from the mid 2000s that I didn’t play upon release. I missed a lot of great games from ~2003-2008, as I just wasn’t gaming much, or wasn’t that motivated to play games, and was quite busy with other things.

But MAN, Dreamfall is one of those games that really make me hate myself for not playing it when it originally came out. All these years I could have been talking about it, thinking about it…

I do remember the discussions on here pretty well. Yes, the game has less interactivity and puzzle solving than traditional adventures, but it’s still an adventure game. The combat was minimal, sometimes avoidable, and not bad at all like people made it out to be. It was a little easy, but it didn’t get in the way at any moment. The controls were fine. In fact, I’d say they were optimal for a game of this nature. I played almost exclusively with just my left hand on WASD. Almost never used the mouse, except when turning on the focus field or needing to move the camera.

I think the negative reactions toward the controls/combat/etc. came from a certain unwillingness for change. That’s not to say every design aspect is perfect, but they are not “bad” or game-breaking at all. The adventure community had to hold on tightly when the genre was relegated to near obscurity by most developers late in the 90s. I think it made us quite overprotective of the genre. We always think of adventures as those traditional point and clicks. That’s what adventures were, and that’s what they were always supposed to be. We didn’t want to see our genre compromised, changed, or taken from us. We’ll always have traditional point and clicks, and they’re still being made, but I’m so glad games like Dreamfall pushed the genre in new directions. And not just with the gameplay style…

I’ll avoid spoilers, but the story was masterful. Maybe the best ever, aside from the GK trilogy. Better than TLJ. I love TLJ but at times felt like it was a bit too superfluous and dialogue heavy. Dreamfall strikes the perfect balance, in my opinion, with dialogue and cutscenes. I was totally engaged the entire time. Maybe it helped to have the background from TLJ, and less exposition was needed, but I feel like even for someone who didn’t play TLJ they’d be able to catch on.

Probably a top 10 adventure for me. One of the most beautiful experiences ever. And I’m so happy that I’ll be ready for the final act when Ragnar and his new dev team launch the kickstarter. I’m euphoric right now. I can’t wait to return to these characters. Well, some of them at least Wink. That is the heart of adventure games, or even just storytelling - characters. I can’t recall the last time I became so attached to the characters in a story. Ragnar, you magnificent bastard.

     
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inm8#2 - 11 January 2013 03:57 AM

Not sure if I should put this here or in the adventure sub forum, but what the hell.

I usually crosspost - put it in both. Tongue


I hope you restored Wonkers’ brain and got the extra Wonkers scene near the end?

Also, if the voice of Wonkers (and the entire character in fact) felt remarkably close to that of Teddy in Artificial Intelligence, that’s because it’s the same actor. Thumbs Up
Such a soothing voice…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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TimovieMan - 11 January 2013 07:37 PM
inm8#2 - 11 January 2013 03:57 AM

Not sure if I should put this here or in the adventure sub forum, but what the hell.

I usually crosspost - put it in both. Tongue


I hope you restored Wonkers’ brain and got the extra Wonkers scene near the end?

Also, if the voice of Wonkers (and the entire character in fact) felt remarkably close to that of Teddy in Artificial Intelligence, that’s because it’s the same actor. Thumbs Up
Such a soothing voice…

Haha, I knew I recognized Wonkers’ voice! I really enjoyed AI. To answer your question, I forgot to do that, but when I revisited the end in youtube I noticed the extra scene between Wonkers and Helena Chang. After a bit of digging I found out why I missed that.

Speaking of AI, that was the first thing I thought of when Zoe was with Faith in Winter. Just like the ending of AI with David.  Cry

     

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Joined 2010-11-16

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SamuelGordon - 13 December 2012 05:18 PM

7,5/10, it’s a good game def worth it! I think it had potential to become much more.

agreed. The story set up oooozed potential… and then fell way short. I might rate it slightly lower because some of the mechanics and animations were so slow that it became a burden.

     
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zane - 12 January 2013 09:16 AM
SamuelGordon - 13 December 2012 05:18 PM

7,5/10, it’s a good game def worth it! I think it had potential to become much more.

agreed. The story set up oooozed potential… and then fell way short. I might rate it slightly lower because some of the mechanics and animations were so slow that it became a burden.

Yeah def, i’m just really biased when it comes to games like these, i absolutely adore the style:).

The Walking Dead episodes

I had a really amazing time with the episodes even though i don’t like zombies. Doesn’t matter though, it’s the human interaction that really pays off. It’s not the zombies you should worry about but human nature! The game shows its brilliantly (i really have to start reading the comics or watching the show).

Good

-Top notch voice acting
-Lee and Clementine chemistry
-Real Humanity, everyone is flawed and is capable of great “evil”.
-You can feel the survival atmosphere, just it’s not like Resident Evil 2 with one clip left and no saves left but it does the trick.
-Interesting characters and i never really predicated any death, it was so unmovielike,sudden and more like reality (dying from a jump, from the little things,..).
- Great graphics, story, music,...
- Cursing, kids do not escape the horror.

Bad

- Camere angles, i just wish you could control it more
- Maybe it’s just me but i would’ve liked more manual shooting, not a press a button thing
- Would’ve liked to see more guns, more types instead of seeing two of the same kinds.
- All choices lead to the same conlusion, that one is really disappointing. (replay value drops).


9,5/10, I cannot wait for season 2! Now i got the show/comic to keep me busy Content

     
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Crosspost from the Community Playthrough thread.


The Space Bar - 3 / 5

Steve Meretzky’s The Space Bar is a mixed bag. On the one hand you have this funny game that has an original, diverse and beautifully created setting (with visuals that still look good after 15 years), but on the other hand it’s riddled with bugs (that will make it a challenge to play on a modern machine), and it has an amount of dead ends that was already long out of date at the time of its release. That, and the gameplay is simply brutal.
The Space Bar is quite possibly the hardest game I’ve ever played, but it’s not without its rewards. Dying will occasionally give you a chuckle, and it’s always worth it to go back to dialogues just to exhaust all options. All the ‘alien’ conversations and pop culture references make the game worth persevering, even though its difficulty often stands in its way. In fact, The Space Bar would have been more enjoyable if it wasn’t so bloody hard.
It also features a few design points that just feel ‘off’, probably a result of Meretzky’s history in text adventures (where some design elements don’t necessarily translate all that well to graphical games). And the sound editing is just plain awful (a lot of the time, two voices speak at once, and neither are subtitled). It’s nothing you can’t ignore, though, and the game should be given a chance, if only to look at the amazing worlds and plethora of alien creatures that Ron Cobb (of Star Wars and in particular the Mos Eisley Cantina fame) thought up…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Resonance - 4.5/5

Wonderful! Great writing and solid puzzle design. I found the level of challenge appropriate, and nothing really felt out of place. Loved the scientific and mathematical aspects in the dialogue and puzzles. It took me awhile to figure a few things out, like the keypad puzzle, but the process of doing so was genuinely enjoyable. Never felt frustrated with anything. A true adventure game!

     
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Joined 2012-07-11

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Banjo-Kazooie (XBLA) 9/10

Played this when it first game out on the N64. Great characters with funny fairy tale like story. Only real draw back is some of the puzzles aren’t really explained. Still great though! Now playing Banjo-Tooie Grin

     

Recently completed: Game of Thrones (decent), Tales from the borderlands (great!), Life is Strange (great!), Stasis (good), Annas Quest (great!); Broken Age (poor)

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