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|16 SEP 2009 at 4:46pm|
Posts : 2592
Joined: 27 JUL 2003
Location: US, Close to the Edge
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Posted In: Articles : Reviews
Don’t even bother reading this review, just go out and get this game. If you yearn for the classic FMV games, go out and get this game. If you love a good mystery steeped in history the likes of National Treasure or The DaVinci Code, go out and get this game.
I was a bit disappointed when I decided to review this game without knowing anything about it. Randy put out his list of games that needed to be reviewed and I randomly picked the title. After having it assigned to me, I went ahead and looked it up and the first thing I thought was, “Oh crap. It’s like one of those Anacapri games…” I don’t mean to down that game because some people loved it. I, for one, did not. I instantly thought of the endless clicking to get around, with very little in the way of a compelling story that draws you in. The poor English voice translations would only add to the frustrations.
So here we go with a game that on the surface appears to be just like Anacapri and was made in Hungary to boot. Now before I start getting hate mail from Hungarians, let me just say that I meant this to mean that there would probably be some bad English voice acting and nothing against Hungary at all. It’s a beautiful country and the people are wonderful – and judging from this game, the women are absolutely gorgeous.
There are no empty streets here. People are all around, and the developers have done an amazing job of making it believable. In no place was there a person who was frozen in mid-stride walking. They were either sitting on park benches, standing in front of shop windows, sitting at the cafes, etc. In many places they would occasionally move while you stared at them. A woman might move her hair to the side, a man might shift his step, etc. I would often find myself just enjoying the walk around town while people-watching. If that isn’t immersion and a true testament in bringing a game to life, then I don’t know what is.
From a developer’s standpoint, you can really appreciate just how much thought and attention to detail was given in putting this all together. This was not some rough idea that was hastily made into a game that is full of rough edges. This is a game that was well planned and thoroughly thought out. Nothing ever felt hurried or rushed. On several occasions I found myself in awe as to just how far they took things with Yoomurjak’s Ring. This was definitely not some cookie-cutter assembly line adventure game that got pushed out the door that we see all too often nowadays.
I tried hard to find some flaw in their work, and eventually found one spot where you could see the legs of the tripod in the scene when you look down. I’ll leave it up to you adventure gamers to see if you can find it. Call it a bonus challenge. They might have even unknowingly caught some woman changing in one the windows, but you didn’t hear that from me…
How can you call it voice acting when there are real live actors in full motion video?
So in that case lets call them exceptional actors. Of course being that they are all speaking in Hungarian, it makes it a bit tough to tell if they were overacting or not. However, that was one of the best parts of the game. Seeing live actors playing their roles. You become emotionally attached them. The fact that they spoke in their native tongue really drove home the point of being in a foreign land and greatly added to the flavor of the game.
The puzzles range anywhere from straightforward to pretty darned tough to one that fell into the unfair category. Yes, while this game was outstanding on almost every level, there were some bumps in the road.
One puzzle in particular had me stumped. So stumped in fact that after 4 hours of getting nowhere I had to do it. The one thing that I despise having to do - Yes, I had to look at a walkthrough. Nothing is worse though than going to the point you are at in a walkthrough, and STILL being stuck. Now had I been a beta-tester on this game, I would have been raising a red flag and waving it like a madman over this one.
It involved “looking” at an object. I don’t mind triggers in games if they make sense. Now if you know what objects were involved in something, but they are not an object hat you need to hold and use, what is the point in having to find it and look at it first, then you can unlock the ability to solve the puzzle?
There was also one scene where you were walking up the street and some pedestrians came around the corner. When the man saw the camera he grabbed his girlfriend’s arm and pulled her to the side. Again, I found it amusing and funny. People being people.
The Major Oops comes in on the dreaded save game slots! As I said, the game is huge and I think the developer made a major mistake in only giving us 8 slots! Please, any developers reading this make sure you give us players lots of slots to save your games! Some of us like going back to certain points and replaying them.
The other thing is that the menu seems a bit weird. When you go back into the game you have a “Continue” option. Fair enough since the game takes you back to the point you last left. But if you want to go to a saved game, you have to click continue, go into the game, then click the menu button, then you have the option to load a saved game. Just seemed a bit strange. It wasn’t a big deal, but it could have been a bit smoother.
On the plus side, the game loads on to your system and you can put the DVD back in the box. You don’t need it to play.
All Good Things Come to An End
As I’m sure you can probably tell at this point, I really had a blast with this game and enjoyed 99% of it. Private Moons has done an outstanding job with this game. I fully expected to find a light indie game, but was pleasantly surprised to find a major title with high production values. The ending credits showed images of the cast and crew at work on this game. There were so many people involved in bringing this game to life.
While I didn’t expect to play another game that would blow me away like The Lost Crown did for at least a couple of years, Private Moons came out of nowhere to deliver a near masterpiece.
Despite the very few rough spots, I have to give this game a solid A.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and get this game!
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I put my heart and soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process. - Vincent van Gogh
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