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Nancy Drew Message in a Haunted Manor flashback review

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This game should not have gotten a 4.5 star rating.

I have never played a Nancy Drew game before but when I saw the high rating I was curious to try it. I Went out of my way to buy the game and although it was a fun short game it definitely shouldn’t be rated that high compared to other adventure games. Misleading review that wasted my money.

Not mad or anything. Just forewarning others whom might get their hopes up like I did.

     
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Since it’s not possible to comment on the articles anymore, perhaps this thread can serve as a way to comment on them, in general (for all articles)?

I’d like to express my gratitude for these flashbacks reviews, especially on Harvester review - I thought it hit the right note, though, personally, I’d give it probably 3,5/5 - simply because it’s the closest thing EVER in the history of gaming to a “David Lynch work” translated to a game, and because it was revolutionary in a way when simple FMV was all the rage, with its freedom and sort of a non-linearity, mixed with the unusual gameplay that didn’t deteriorate much from a classic point&click;.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Origami - 02 November 2015 08:41 AM

This game should not have gotten a 4.5 star rating.

I have never played a Nancy Drew game before but when I saw the high rating I was curious to try it. I Went out of my way to buy the game and although it was a fun short game it definitely shouldn’t be rated that high compared to other adventure games. Misleading review that wasted my money.

Not mad or anything. Just forewarning others whom might get their hopes up like I did.

Maybe it’s a 4.5 in the Nancy Drew games scale? Probably a good warning for you to don’t try another one

     
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Diego, why have just one thread? No reason that individual articles/games can’t have their own.

And to everyone, please don’t forget about the user ratings and reviews! That’s one of the reasons for killing the comments, since they were often acting as a substitute.

Origami, playing a “fun” game is a waste of your money?

     

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Jackal - 02 November 2015 01:31 PM

Diego, why have just one thread? No reason that individual articles/games can’t have their own.

And to everyone, please don’t forget about the user ratings and reviews! That’s one of the reasons for killing the comments, since they were often acting as a substitute.

Origami, playing a “fun” game is a waste of your money?

In the grand scheme of things it is. I have a huge backlog of games that I can imagine will be more fun.
I can still have fun with a game but regret not investing my time or money into another.
An example of that would be a game like Tiny Tower. Had fun with it, but in the end regret was wasting heaps amounts of time with it.

Maybe it’s a 4.5 in the Nancy Drew games scale? Probably a good warning for you to don’t try another one

Should there be such a thing as a Nancy Drew game scale however?
I don’t think so, the same way that there shouldn’t be a Michael Bay or Uwe Boll scale.
But you’re right. I don’t think I will be returning to a Nancy Drew game considering this was the highest rated.

I was just disappointed by the review however, as I regard Adventuregamer as a good indicator for quality adventure games. Now I feel I have to reconsider that.

How this game scored as much as Gabriel Knight 2 is beyond me honestly.

 

     
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Jackal - 02 November 2015 01:31 PM

Diego, why have just one thread? No reason that individual articles/games can’t have their own.

^ This.

Forums are more fun than comment sections anyway, so the more threads the better. Tongue

     

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Origami - 02 November 2015 02:44 PM

Should there be such a thing as a Nancy Drew game scale however?
I don’t think so, the same way that there shouldn’t be a Michael Bay or Uwe Boll scale.
But you’re right. I don’t think I will be returning to a Nancy Drew game considering this was the highest rated.

I was just disappointed by the review however, as I regard Adventuregamer as a good indicator for quality adventure games. Now I feel I have to reconsider that.

How this game scored as much as Gabriel Knight 2 is beyond me honestly.

I have played quite a few of the Nancy Drew games and I would not consider this one of the better ones. Nancy Drew might not be for you but I would not use this game as a guide.

I agree that all adventure games should be rated using the same criteria.

     
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So which one is the best in your opinion furgotten?

     

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Origami - 02 November 2015 08:41 AM

This game should not have gotten a 4.5 star rating.

I have never played a Nancy Drew game before but when I saw the high rating I was curious to try it. I Went out of my way to buy the game and although it was a fun short game it definitely shouldn’t be rated that high compared to other adventure games. Misleading review that wasted my money.

I don’t consider Haunted Manor to be among the best Nancy Drew games, though I do understand that it might be a breath of fresh air compared to many current games that are being grouped under the adventure game umbrella. I thought Ghost Dogs and the one they have over at GOG (Blackmoor Manor) were better Nancy Drew games, and more recently Ghost of Thornton Hall.

furgotten - 02 November 2015 03:18 PM

I agree that all adventure games should be rated using the same criteria.

Actually there’s something to be said for rating apples against apples rather than against oranges.
“Compared to other Nancy Drew games” might be a useful indicator somewhere in the review.

     
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Actually there’s something to be said for rating apples against apples rather than against oranges.
“Compared to other Nancy Drew games” might be a useful indicator somewhere in the review.

I disagree. Just rate the game by the same standards as others(or at least attempt to).
If it gets a lower score the people that are familiar with the franchise will still check it out because they know what to expect and know what the games can be critized for.
Less fanatic adventure gamers however that are using this website as a means to find out top-rated adventure games might come off other games deserving of high praise and then try this one leaving them confused, wondering if the previous game was just a lucky hit.

Honestly, my surprise is not just with the rating but also the tone within different parts of the review. I am familiar with AG reviews and this one just painted a picture that is far off from what I experienced.
The review makes it sound as if this game has an amazing story. I see games with more engaging stories critized in the ‘cons section’ wheras in this review it gets mentioned in the ‘pros’ section. I thought I was in for a ride with cool twists and turns. The story serves its purpose, but it’s thin, predictable, forgettable and simply put not a great whodunnit.

The ‘cons’ section could for example stress that the game is pretty short with limited locations(it truly is a small game). Maybe the reviewer thought it was not worth mentioning because it is to be expected of Nancy Drew games? But what about the people that don’t have that expectation?

 

     

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Origami - 02 November 2015 03:45 PM

So which one is the best in your opinion furgotten?

I don’t know about best but my favorites are:
Curse of Blackmoor Manor
Legend of the Crystal Skull
Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
Ghost of Thornton Hall

 

     
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There is no such thing as a “Nancy Drew scale”. Please no one perpetuate that myth any further.

The only extenuating circumstance here is that in flashback reviews, some consideration is always given to the date a game was originally released. A game must still hold up in modern times, of course, but its proper context in history is a factor as well.

Really, though, this is nothing more than a “reviewer liked a game more/less than I did” situation, which happens with every single game and every single reviewer.

     

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Jackal - 02 November 2015 11:35 PM

There is no such thing as a “Nancy Drew scale”. Please no one perpetuate that myth any further.

The only extenuating circumstance here is that in flashback reviews, some consideration is always given to the date a game was originally released. A game must still hold up in modern times, of course, but its proper context in history is a factor as well.

Ah. So no Nancy Drew Scale but there is a Flackback Review Scale. Perhaps you should use green stars or something to reflect that. Or floppy disks. I kind of sympathize with Origami when he doesn’t have the nostalgia for the game and it fails to live up to modern (reasonable) expectation.

     
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You mean the big blatant heading right beside the title calling it a “Flashback review” isn’t enough of a hint?

I’m talking about patently obvious common sense things that don’t need to be spelled out—we don’t expect an old game to look as crisp as a new one; we don’t expect newer gameplay or technical refinements to be present in games that predated them, etc. Rating an old game as if it were brand new would simply be foolish and no right-thinking person should be expecting that.

But no, there is no separate “scale”. A crap game then is a crap game now; a great game then is a great game now. In that reviewer’s opinion, of course. As always, your mileage may (or may not) vary.

     

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Oscar - 03 November 2015 12:01 AM

Ah. So no Nancy Drew Scale but there is a Flackback Review Scale. Perhaps you should use green stars or something to reflect that. Or floppy disks. I kind of sympathize with Origami when he doesn’t have the nostalgia for the game and it fails to live up to modern (reasonable) expectation.

Oscar there shouldn’t be a Flashback Review Scale imho. Do a Flashback Review of Gabriel Knight, Grim Fandango, Indiana Jones Fate of Atlantis etc and give it the same high rating as it has now and I would completely understand.
You review the game putting it in the context of its time, but that doesn’t mean you have to mark it up because of Nostalgia. I played The Last Express in 2008 for the first time and completely understand why it was rated so high.

I am not saying the game was bad. I don’t care for inferior graphics. My issue is that the review makes it out to sound like a classic. Back in 2000 had this game gotten that rating and review I would still be surprised.

 

Jackal - 03 November 2015 12:41 AM

You mean the big blatant heading right beside the title calling it a “Flashback review” isn’t enough of a hint?

I’m talking about patently obvious common sense things that don’t need to be spelled out—we don’t expect an old game to look as crisp as a new one; we don’t expect newer gameplay or technical refinements to be present in games that predated them, etc. Rating an old game as if it were brand new would simply be foolish and no right-thinking person should be expecting that.

I agree with you completely. I always try to review a game within the context of its time of release. That’s why you never heard me mention the the graphics of this game. But back in 2000 we already had a clear notion on what is a good thing and what is bad thing in a videogame, there were countless of games that preceded it that did things really well.
I think this game just reeks of mediocrity in all departments except for the puzzles(but then again you only get a handful of puzzles). I still would call the game fair because in the adventure gaming community we are a generous bunch.
But rating this game this high just sets a weird precedence and in the context of other game reviews doesn’t make much sense.
You can’t expect me to believe this game was lauded by critics and adventure gamers all over at the time of its release. The review seems to suggest so however.
Like I said to Oscar: honestly, if this game was reviewed back in 2000 by AG and gotten that review I would still be confused as hell.

And honestly the argument that it is a flashback review is invalid imho.
You don’t have to argue that because we are reviewing an old game we have to be extra lenient within our scoring. Just let the review mention when the game was released, and if it was a good game for its time give it a good mark. The only purpose I see for adding the word flashback is for the novelty of emphasizing that we are reviewing an older game, but it doesn’t mean it dictates a different style of scoring.
But I guess you agree with me on that based on what you said to Oscar.

For example if you would do a second review of games like Gabriel Knight, Last Express, Grim Fandango(in a sense it happened), Blade Runner, Syberia etc. it would get the same high rating it has gotten then and nobody would bat an eye. Reason being those were actually good games for its time and people have little trouble acknowledging it.
One could say: yeah, but because of nostalgia it is bound to get a higher rating.
No. I played The Last Express, The case of the serrated scalpel and numerous other titles way later than its initial release and can still see why the game is/was good for its time. Heck…I played Gabriel Knight for the first time in 2010 and it was clearly obvious why this game got the praise it received. No need to involve a nostalgia factor.

At the same time X-Files The Game, a personal favourite, is not that great of a game no matter how you look at it. It got mediocre to fair scores back in the days and rightfully so. I don’t want to see it receive higher scores now because of nostalgia or that is great fan-service to X-Files fans.

 

     
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Jackal - 02 November 2015 11:35 PM

Really, though, this is nothing more than a “reviewer liked a game more/less than I did” situation, which happens with every single game and every single reviewer.

Not really. It’s more of a ‘frequent visitor familiar with past reviews who has the best intentions for the website is worried about future credibility of said website”

I wouldn’t have bothered if it wasn’t this extreme of a case.
I don’t care with reviews that mark games low that I really liked.
Honestly, maybe in this case a little more weight should be put into my opinion since I approached this game pretty neutral as a player can be instead of being a fan of the franchise who possibly has a more biased viewing.
I am also coming from an angle where I care about the quality of the website and feel it could be compromised, not because I feel attacked that a my fav game is being picked on.

I am too lazy otherwise to even hold a discussion over something like this.

The review is well written linguistically but not good content-wise, in that it doesn’t portray the game well, which is one of the goals for a review. I.e. it creates the wrong expectations.

I don’t know what the prerequisites are for writing reviews but suspect that anyone with a couple of adventure games under their belt(as long as their not solely Nancy Drew games lol)
would not have been as generous.


Again I am not angry or anything, just felt it was fair to share my thoughts on it.
Sort of user-feedback ^^.

     

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