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Last finished game

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Total Posts: 7

Joined 2012-03-16

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The Black Mirror 3: Final Fear 8.5/10 - Trilogy Rating 9.0/10

Finally completed the last game in a wonderful Trilogy. The 3rd game didnt have as many as “Myst” sort of puzzles ie. Brick placement/slide puzzles or whatever theyre called than the 2nd game, but overall had a better flow in its difficulty curve when it comes to puzzles and most of them were all pretty good. The story felt a bit too slow at times compared to the others but was really captivating and solid throughout the entire game. I was pretty hooked on all of the dialogue throughout it which has been pretty rare for a long time for me.

One of the things i really liked about this game was Darren Michaels character was less annoying than in the 2nd game where he did have alot of dialogue that made him unlikeable and incosistent in behaviour to the situations. Those situations were very rare in this one. Overall a great Trilogy and i wish alot more recent adventure games could capture the atmosphere of these games

     

Now Playing: Deponia - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Recently Completed: The Cat Lady 10/10 - Gray Matter 7.0/10 - Puzzle Agent 6.0/10 - Still Life 2 3.0/10
Next to Play:
Wishlist
Anticipating: Stasis - Moebius - Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse - Memoranda

 

Total Posts: 8

Joined 2005-08-22

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Just finished playing Full Throttle. I played it a while back but never finished it. Had fun even though I disliked the action parts and found it a little too short. But the story was great.

Currently playing the Walking Dead episode 4, but a bug is preventing me from advancing.

     

Total Posts: 14

Joined 2004-04-30

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Legend of Grimrock
Hardcore dungeon rpg for a new generation, or a nostalgian trip that only oldschoolers enjoy?

Story
Four prisoners are taken to the top of Mount Grimrock where they are thrown down into a dungeon and then pardoned for their crimes against the king. Of course, no one who got tossed into the dungeon have been able to come back. Soon after the new prisoners begin to explore their grim fate they are contacted in their sleep by an unknown voice who call to them from deep down below. If they can reach whoever carry that voice they might be able to get out. Along the way they begin to find helpful notes left by an unknown person called Toorum, a friendly beacon among grissly monsters and an occasional earthquake that feels that the whole dungeon is about to crumble down over their heads.

Engine: Graphics & Sound
The greatest part of Legend of Grimrock is it’s presentation. Legend of Grimrock isn’t just a polished dungeon crawler, its above average when it comes to beauty. The modern engine is capable of rendering light and darkness in real time which offers an unique eperience where light becomes an important gameplay element, both for puzzles and for spotting enemies. Only games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R or Amnesia have delivered this level of atmosphere to me before. This is a game to play when it’s dark to get fully absorbed. This is the first game that captured the horror of a pitch black dungeon and it actually made me feel claustrophobic at times. The monsters very detailed and beautifully animated. The noises they make (or the noises you hear when there’s no monsters around) really add to the atmosphere and keep you on your toes.

Gameplay
Legend of Grimrock is a hardcore partybased roleplayinggame in first person. Its greatest gimmick is an attempt to go back to the gridbased dungeonsystems of the early 90’ies. Before “isometric” was “in”, these first-person crawlers allowed you to look and move in 4 directions but not diagonally, up or down. If you stood in a 1-square-wide corridor you cannot strafe an incoming fireball. To create these limits in a modern engine might sound a bit odd, but this actually creates an unique gameplay with many special strategies. If you run on the “hardcore” setting you won’t get an automap at all and you have to memorize the dungeon with pen and pencil or in your head. This might be neccessary to be able to find all the hidden secrets and there are almost a hundred throughout the game.

Another aspect with dungeons like these is that they offer logical puzzles. There’s often just one solution and you need to figure it out based on what you have and sometimes based on notes you get. These can be everything from pressuring plates, pulling levers to using torches to placing the right item into an alchove. If you are the kind of person who enjoy puzzles this is the game for you. Otherwise you are likely to get frustrated.

The party system allows you to create four characters out of four races and three professions. Each profession gets access to six talent trees of which you are probably just going to explore 2 or 3 in one playthrough. Magic is cast by clicking in runes that must be found (or guessed) before a spell can be used. Naturally the monsters are vulnerable or immune against certain magic so I am glad I had access to all four spellschools even though it took awhile to get good. Fighters can specialize in swords, axes, maces and knives (for rogues), each with their own speciality. There are also three kinds of protection; light, heavy and evasion. The former reduce damage taken and the latter avoid damage alltogether (if you are lucky).

Verdict
The atmosphere and beautiful graphics makes LoG a modern game. It’s not for “hardcore oldschoolers”, but it’s really for players, young and old, who enjoys thinking over action. This is a game that will stretch your brain in many different aspects, from logical puzzles, to character planning to spatial ability. It’s a fairly unique game and rather cheap as well. All things considered it was the best RPG in 2012 for me.

     
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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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Escape From Monkey Island - 4 / 5

This is one of the most underrated games out there. Criticism goes from the awful graphics to a deep hatred of Monkey Kombat, to a claim that it’s just completely unfunny. I don’t agree with this at all.
In fact, when the game was just released, the graphics were actually quite decent. 3D animation hadn’t evolved so far that it was stunning, but there were games that did it way worse. I agree that the graphics are outdated now, but the only real criticism should be that this game didn’t have the amazing Bill Tiller art work that Curse of Monkey Island had. But at least they tried to mimic that style, and they did a decent job at that, imo.
Escape From Monkey Island also had a pretty good (and appropriately zany) story, just like its predecessors, and the humour really is good once again. Add Dominic Armato’s hilarious voice-over to that again, and you’re set for enjoyment.
A lot of the puzzles are well designed too, which is no mean feat after 3 games in the exact same universe with the exact same puzzle style. The only puzzle that could’ve been better was in fact Monkey Kombat. Not because it’s badly designed, but because it lacks an important aspect that the comparable Insult Swordfighting DID have in the previous games: Monkey Kombat isn’t funny. That’s why it’s cute at first, but gets tedious real fast.
Since that’s about the only real gripe I have with the game, I can do nothing else but conclude that Escape From Monkey Island is a great game. It may not be as utterly amazing as its predecessors, but that doesn’t mean that it deserves all the criticism its gotten over the years. This game is alright in my book…

     

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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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 5 / 5

‘Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney’ is a really fun game. You play as the titular Phoenix Wright, a rookie attorney with a bit of a doofus persona who’s always caught up in bizarre cases, defending clients that have all the evidence stacked against them. But things are never quite like they seem, and by carefully exposing contradictions in the evidence and witness’s statements, you start turning the cases around one step at a time.
The main thing that needs to be said for this, is that the writing is great. Every single case has layers upon layers of twists, turning the entire thing upside-down multiple times before you reach the truth. And not only are the cases full of mystery and surprising twists, this entire game is also incredibly funny!
You’ll be hit with amusing descriptions, running gags, slapstick, a wide variety of unique (and often hilarious) characters, and above all: superbly entertaining visual (over)reactions by the characters (the part where the game’s Japanese origins are the most visible). When you’ve found enough contradictions in a person’s testimony to be able to confront them with the truth yourself, most characters go into a “freak-out” mode that will often leave you in stitches. Add to that the fact that most characters are ridiculously comical from the get-go (like Phoenix’s idiot friend Larry Butz, bumbling detective Dick Gumshoe, the totally clueless judge, your ‘assistant’ and spirit medium-in-training Maya Fey, and angry security lady Old Windbag Wendy Oldbag), and you basically have a great recipe for humour.
And then I haven’t even mentioned the best character this game has to offer, gifted prosecutor Miles Edgeworth who’s your opponent in three of the five cases (and coincidentally the one you’re defending in a fourth). Miles Edgeworth has the most interesting character arc in the entire series, and Capcom also realized his potential, as he not only is a recurring character in the other Phoenix Wright games, but he got his very own spin-off ‘Ace Attorney Investigations’ series…
I could go on and on about how great the writing and the characters are, but you really need to experience this gem for yourself. Just be aware that the game is essentially a visual novel with minimal gameplay (you’ll be reading more than you’ll be playing), but the story and the writing is top-notch, and you’ll probably be spending close to 30 hours on a playthrough, so you’ll be getting a lot of bang for your buck.
And if you wonder why the fifth and last case in the game uses more of the Nintendo DS functionality, that’s because the first four cases are basically ported from the GameBoy Advance, with a fifth added solely for the DS. The fifth case not only brings a few more gameplay options with it, but it also accounts (in my case) for about 12 hours of Phoenix Wright fun, making it by far the longest case in the game.
‘Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney’ completely took me by storm, and I’ve been a big fan of the series ever since. If you have a Nintendo DS, then this is one game you don’t want to miss…

     

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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Total Posts: 26

Joined 2009-04-20

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Omerta’s : City Of Gangsters 6/10

The main story & it’s levels are interesting, while the X-Com style combat is great. But it’s pretty shallow when it comes to buying/setting up businesses, and fighting gangs or such in the sandbox game is non-existent, just bribe the police all the time, there is no real competition to rival your businesses.

They could make it into a very good game, but i still prefer Eidos’s charismatic, albeit buggy, original Gangsters:Organized Crime.

     
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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (replay) - 4.5 / 5

Great story, interesting concept, and an awesome mindscrew of an ending.


Like a true visual novel, you’ll be spending a lot more time reading in ‘999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors’, than you’ll be actually playing. Fortunately, the “Nonary Game” (as it is called in-game) is a very intriguing and engrossing concept, and the writing for it is top notch (and that’s a good thing, because this game really is very text-heavy).
You’re immediately drawn into the story with the first “escape the room” puzzle and despite the fact that you have all the time in the world to solve the puzzles, the game gives you the illusion of danger and urgency. 999 excels at giving the impression that your character’s life really is at stake here, and you get sucked into the game even more because of that.
Once the plot for this game becomes apparent, you’ll have difficulty putting this game down. The premise is a really compelling one, and with the multitude of characters you’ll meet, it’s actually quite difficult to know how the game will unfold (and which of the characters can be trusted and which can’t). To make matters worse, the writer throws quite a few curve balls that leave you guessing all the way to the end of the game. Things are rarely as they seem, and the events in the game are guaranteed to pique your curiosity.
As an extra layer in the story, one of the characters has a history with your character (that’ll be gradually revealed), which leads to some emotional investment as well and makes the impact of the story a lot more poignant…

In general, the game consists out of two parts: there’s the “escape the room” puzzle sequences (there are a total of 16 rooms in the game), and then there’s the “story” parts where you’ll be reading about the events (and where you occasionally get to make a choice). The choices you make in the game determine which rooms you’ll enter (and consequently will have to escape from), and they will also determine which ending you get. There are a total of 6 endings in the game, most of them bad, one of them necessary to “unlock” the true ending, and then of course there’s the true ending - your goal in the game.
It’s definitely worth it to play through ALL the endings (not just the necessary one and the true ending), to get the maximum amount of info about the other characters and about the situation you’re in.

The downside of these multiple endings is the fact that you have to restart the game from scratch after an ending. While the game gives you the option to fast-forward through text that you’ve already read, you will have to replay most of the escape-sequences a few times (the very first one will even need to be replayed on EVERY playthrough). While these “escape the room” puzzles are extremely well-designed and pose a moderately difficult challenge the first time around, they can get tedious if you’re doing the same puzzle for the third or fourth (or more) time.
The other downside to the game is inherent to Japanese visual novels: some plot elements are explained ad nauseum, and some of the characters have a tendency to state the obvious at every turn, so part of the writing may feel redundant as a result. The humour in the game is relatively scarce, and half the time it fails as well (for instance: one character starts singing into a shower head because he believes it’s a microphone, and another character acts surprised as he thought the shower head was “a mushroom growing out of the wall”). I’m not sure if some of these “jokes” were lost in translation or not, but they’re definitely hit-and-miss.
But don’t let these small gripes discourage you, the story in this game IS going somewhere and once you work your way through to the true ending, its mindblowing conclusion will knock you off your feet.

The ending has quite a few twists in it and most of the assumptions you made throughout the game will be proven wrong. The main twist in the game is one that you won’t see coming, and it turns an already great game into something unforgettable…
All in all, this is one of my favourite games for the Nintendo DS…




As this was my second playthrough of the game, I didn’t complete *all* the endings this time around, just the bad “sub” ending, the necessary “safe” ending and the true ending. And I only played the “sub” ending because it allowed me to play every “escape the room” sequence in the game (I would have missed three of them otherwise).

Despite this being a replay for me, and despite skipping two bad ending playthroughs, I still clocked in at 16 hours total.
That means I probably got about 30 hours of gametime out of this the first time around. Not too shabby, imo, even if most of it was reading… Tongue

Next up: the sequel! Smile
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
The one I bought a 3DS for… Crazy

     

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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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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King’s Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (partial replay) - 3.5 / 5

The King’s Quest series gets a cartoon overhaul, with streamlined gameplay and an interesting but faltering story.


The seventh installment in the King’s Quest series gives us control over not one but TWO female protagonists. In The Princeless Bride you play half the game as Queen Valanice and the other half as Princess Rosella, alternating between the two after each chapter end. This makes for an interesting concept: both the queen and the princess are hurdled to opposite ends of the same land, and need to work their way towards each other to return home. Add in an evil sorceress who wants to destroy the world, and you have a really good start to this tale.

As usual, Sierra uses the King’s Quest series to showcase their technological advances and improvements. The game sports a new and streamlined interface (similar to the one they used in Phantasmagoria a year later) and the cursor gets the “one-click-does-all” treatment. Personally I feel that the ‘simplified’ cursor is an improvement, but of course that’s debatable.

The graphics for this game are outstanding in a way, and mediocre in another. The entire game consists of hand-drawn graphics with a style similar to that of Disney’s animated movies of that time. It makes the world vibrant and colourful, and it works really well. There are however a few restrictions to this: the use of only 256 colours leads to a lot of dithering (which hurts the appearance), and the movement speed of the characters is extremely slow (it sometimes takes ages for Queen Valanice or Princess Rosella to walk from one end of the screen to the other). But the abundance of different animations gives both characters (as well as most of the minor characters) a lot of personality, so the style does do its job.

It’s also apparent that LucasArts’ success at the time was having some influence on the Sierra games: as far as I can recall, The Princeless Bride is the very first Sierra game that features no dead ends whatsoever. All deaths - and there are quite a few of them, as befits a King’s Quest game - also return you to just a few seconds before they occured (so you no longer need to save all the time). For me personally, this takes care of all annoyances I had with the earlier Sierra games and I consider that a vast melioration.

While the game is fully voiced, there are no subtitles in it. Luckily for the non-native English speakers, the audio (as well as the pronunciation by the voice actors) is crystal clear and the game enjoys some good (though occasionally stiff) voice acting. The music, while not overly memorable, perfectly fits the different themes that are present in the game.

Unfortunately, after a really strong first three chapters, the writing in the game falters a bit. The objectives are not as clear anymore in chapters 4 and 5, and some of the more fantastical elements are taken way too far near the end of the game (especially regarding the floating land of Etheria). The more divine and powerful characters that are present later on in the game lack the same spirit that some of the earlier characters had. And the final chapter quizzes your knowledge of the earlier King’s Quest games by having a major character from King Quest IV make an unannounced appearance here. I feel that this “cameo” could’ve used more backstory.

The more completionist players can rejoice: some of the puzzles in the game have an alternate solution, and like its predecessor in the series, The Princeless Bride has two different endings: one bad and one good. Which ending you get only depends on your final action (or inaction) in the game, though. So there are no different story paths like there were in the sixth installment of the series…

Overall, the game has a great animation style (apart from the dithering), there are plenty of improvements made in terms of gameplay, and alternating between two protagonists adds a little extra. It’s a shame that the writing stumbles a bit later on in the game, otherwise The Princeless Bride could have been on equal footing with Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (which is by far the best game in the series)...

     

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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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon (community playthrough) - 4.5 / 5

An ensemble of great characters in the punniest game ever made!


The Good:
- Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon provides a nice introduction to the world of Spider Robinson’s book series, without you needing to have prior knowledge of the books’ content. And that’s a good thing because I only know of his books because of the game.
- Spider Robinson’s folk songs that were written specifically for this game are really fun. I listened to them occasionaly during the game.
- The graphics in the game still hold up, which is no mean feat for a game that was released back in 1997. The characters and backgrounds are both clear and pretty realistically portrayed. The game also features a couple of cool cutscenes.
- Voice acting in the game is good all-round. The voices match the characters, and the acting is never bad. In fact, at times the acting really stands out (but more on that under ‘The Great’).
- The stories in the game are really good and diverse. You go to wildly varying locations, sometimes even in different eras. A couple of the stories surpass the others (Al Phee’s, Pyotr’s and especially Josie’s story) and could very well be included amongst ‘The Great’ in this listy review.
- The game has a pretty well-balanced difficulty throughout. Apart from a couple of hard wordplay puzzles, most of the puzzles in the game will be solved without trial-and-error, without having you completely stumped, but also without ever feeling like a walk in the park.
- Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is a really lengthy game. You easily net 30 hours of gaming with it, yet it never drags. A lot of the time spent in the game is spent reading all the descriptions and puns, but that’s a good thing. In fact it was refreshing having to read this much in a game again.


The Great:
- Most of the main characters are very likeable. Doc, Noah and Josie are people you really would like to get to know in real life (which is a credit to both Spider Robinson’s writings and Josh Mandel’s adaptation). But above all: Jake Stonebender, the character you play as throughout the game, is one of the best-written characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching/playing. The guy is simply loveable, with a great personality, and he’s been given a LOT of depth. This game manages - in a time span of about 30 hours - to make Jake Stonebender feel like family.
- Not only the main characters are well-written: this game also has a couple of really memorable minor characters. After you’ve finished this game, you’ll frequently think back at Guzman (the funny/creepy pilot), Pyotr’s drier-than-the-desert butler, the old gypsy woman, not one but two hilariously uncooperative receptionists/secretaries, the insanely intimidating Dr. Dupliscidus, etc. The game is just filled with distinctive parts and moments.
- The game has an extreme level of interactivity. Every single screen is just brimming with interactive hotspots, most of which have multiple actions that can be performed (all of which have their own separate description or even series of descriptions). You’ll be clicking on everything, trying everything with everything, just to see what the description in the game will be. You’ll even be doing more of this than you’ll be actually advancing the story. And the most important aspect of this interactivity is:
- The puns! The puns! Practically every single action in the game is accompanied by a pun. Sometimes dialogues (d)evolve into a salvo of puns. Everywhere, *anywhere* you click, you’ll have a pun thrown at you. And not just that, but they will consistently be funny. You basically will be smiling and laughing your way through the entire game, which is exactly why having hundreds of clickable hotspots is so time consuming: you won’t want to miss a single joke in this game! I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that was this funny *all the time*. And even if the odd joke misses the mark, the game is fully self-aware of its punny nature and will pretty much mock its own type of humour at every opportunity. Laughing out loud every couple of minutes is not something that’s out of the ordinary with this game - it’s a true triumph of comedy!
- Josie’s story contains a section where you have to make chocolate, starting with some cacao beans and using nothing but a vague recipe in a brochure and some medieval equipment. For me personally, the entire chocolate-making puzzle is one of the very best puzzles the adventure genre has ever produced: it’s logical, you get a rough guideline to help you (so you at least know what you’re supposed to do and you’re never really stuck), it takes quite a few steps to complete (none of which are obtuse - so it’s complex, but perfectly doable), some parts have a very clever (and not too obvious) solution, and the entire thing is even educational because it depicts how you really make chocolate. Going over all these steps will make you crave chocolate, so you could even say that this part of the game turns into a sensory experience…
- Squish’s story ends with one of the best visual gags ever in a game, proving that not all the humour in this masterpiece comes from puns.
- There is a single moment where the tone of the game changes, and it’s handled brilliantly. In a game that relies on comedy for just about everything, they managed to sneak in this subdued and effective moment that packs an enormous emotional wallop. It completely blindsided me and the power of its writing (and accompanying voice acting) made me shed a tear. This one moment presses home the depth of the characters and the humanity of Callahan’s Place and it’ll linger in the back of your head…


...to be continued…

     

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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Total Posts: 7617

Joined 2011-10-21

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...continuing…


The Bad:
- Some of the music gets repetitive after a while (especially in rooms with hundreds of hotspot interactions to read). This is noticeable the most during Pyotr’s story - coincidentally the story with the most interactivity and the longest periods of time spent at the same screens.
- There is an overreliance on wordplay puzzles that can sometimes be quite difficult for younger players, or for non-native (American) English speakers.
- Al Phee’s story contains a couple of very minor text display bugs. Absolutely nothing to fret over, though.

That’s pretty much it.


The game is just great. It’s a tribute to camaraderie that’ll leave you thinking about human nature while having you laugh your heart out. Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is not just one of the funniest games I’ve ever played, it’s also one of the very best!




Dear God, I need to cut my reviews shorter again. They’re getting longer every time! Gasp

Also: am I the only one posting in this thread? Maybe I should rename it “TimovieMan’s Gaming Journal” or something… Tongue

     

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 - 22 April 2013 04:32 PM

Also: am I the only one posting in this thread? Maybe I should rename it “TimovieMan’s Gaming Journal” or something… Tongue

That’s a stupid idea. Who would do that Tongue

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
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Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward - 4 / 5

A worthy successor to 999 with a lot of improvements over it, but lacking the same intensity.


I will start off by saying that Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is not just a spiritual successor to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, but that it’s a direct sequel. While you will be perfectly able to get everything in this game without having played 999, you will miss some references and a lot of the emotional impact for several of the twists in this game.

Having said that, this game took a long hard look at the biggest criticism that the first game got, and went on to avoid most of the pitfalls. Where you had to replay large chunks of 999 over and over again (solving the same escape-the-room puzzles multiple times), you now get a handy flowchart that shows all the progress you’ve made and the different branches that your in-game decisions have lead you on, and you can jump to any point on the flowchart that you want. You will still be reading a lot more than you’ll be actually playing, but that’s inherent to the visual novel genre.

The graphics have gotten a 3D overhaul (yet they retained most of the charm of their 2D counterparts of 999), and the game makes good use of the functionality of the 3DS. The in-game memo system will definitely be a big help to you during some of the games’ puzzles. Also, this time around the game is voiced. In the European version you only get the original Japanese voices (so you don’t have the choice of picking the (American) English dubs), but the voice acting is great and I’d have picked the original voices anyway, had I been given the choice. A couple of the voice actors really manage to make their characters stand out. Especially Zero Jr. - the psychotic AI rabbit that’s controlling the game - and the mysterious ‘K’ (who wears full body armor) hit their marks…

While the premise of both games is the same (9 seemingly random strangers are kidnapped and locked in a big place where they need to solve a bunch of escape-the-room puzzles to ultimately escape through a door with the number ‘9’ on it, all the while placing their own lives at jeopardy), Virtue’s Last Reward adds a game of trust and betrayal in the mix. And your chances of escaping depend on the decisions you make: can you trust the other people in this game? Can they trust you?

Unfortunately this game falls victim to its own strength in this regard: as big of an improvement as the flowchart may be, it kills the tension for most of the decisions you make, since you can easily jump back and make a different decision instead. This weakened impact is seen throughout the game if you compare it to 999. Virtue’s Last Reward doesn’t have the same sense of urgency as 999 had and it doesn’t have the same chilling atmosphere (though that’s not for a lack of trying - Zero Jr. *will* creep you out and there’s plenty of death in the game). Consequently, the game lacks the same intensity its predecessor had.

Another difference is in the games’ approach to its plot twists. While 999 basically hit you with an atomic bomb at the end (or in this case: an ‘annihilation’ bomb *wink wink nudge nudge*), there is no single big twist in this game. Rather there are a huge bunch of smaller ones in Virtue’s Last Reward. You’ll be left guessing right up to the last minute, but when most of the bombs are dropped, the game will have lost some of its element of surprise. Quite a few of the plot twists will have been telegraphed from earlier on, especially if you already know how the writer built up 999. While the story is equally fantastical (and equally far-fetched) as that of its predecessor, and while the writing is top notch again (safe for some lame attempts at humour - a problem that was also present in 999 and that could be a result of the localization), overall the story has a lesser impact. You also need to consider that you won’t get full closure at the end of the game since the ‘true’ ending primarily sets up a third game in the Zero Escape series (but at least it does so perfectly)...

The escape-the-room sequences in this game are also a tad harder than they were in 999, especially since there is always an (optional) second solution to be found that’s just a little more difficult to attain. And as a final point I’d like to add that the game is also extremely lengthy (which means that, coupled with its addictive nature, you’re in for several sleepless nights). It took me a whopping 48 hours to complete it, which for an adventure game is simply massive!

In conclusion, the flowchart that was added solves the biggest problem the game’s predecessor had, but while the story is once again outstanding, it just misses some of the intensity that 999 had. Virtue’s Last Reward is a more than worthy successor, but for me personally it falls just a tad short of the original. It’s still a great game, though, and after the cliffhanger at the end I can only say: bring on the next Zero Escape!

     

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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The last game I finished was Secret Files Tunguska for the DS, which is quite an old title. Picked it up for real cheap recently and finished in a few days. Not the best game out there, but overall a very solid adventure game

The puzzles are not overly complex, the storyline is interesting enough to keep you going and the graphics are nice. Pick it up if you find it cheap, I liked it Smile

6,5/10

     

Sega does what Nintendon’t

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@ DrJones: if you liked Tunguska, I can recommend the sequel Secret Files: Puritas Cordis and I can especially recommend Lost Horizon (also by the same devs). Lost Horizon is only for the PC, though. Btw, both Tunguska and Puritas Cordis have PC versions as well.

     

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: Yeah, I already ordered the successor Puritas Cordis, also on the DS Smile

Lost Horizon is definitely on my radar Smile

Cheers, mate Smile

     

Sega does what Nintendon’t

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