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#657906 - 09/30/10 02:16 AM Lost Horizon
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
Lost Horizon, by Deep Silver

Where does one begin to dissect this game? It is a bit different as it attempts the feel of Indiana Jones featuring exotic locations, romantic time period and a rough edged flawed character. I will leave it to you to determine if they achieved that. A few reviews claim they missed the mark but I don't completely agree with that assessment. You cannot match a big budget Hollywood production with actors like Harrison Ford in a video game. They came close as we travel from Tibet,Hong Kong, Algeria, Berlin, Bavaria, India and back to Tibet. How many video games feature Tibet? You get to fly an airplane, ride a camel and climb a tree among other things.

How are the mechanics? Playing in XP there were no crashing issues and no slow downs. You need an agp or pci express video card with at least 64mb of memory and Direct X9 compatibility. 512 megs of ram, 4.5 gigs of hard drive space with a pentium 4 2ghz single core as a minimum. Not too demanding. The disc needs to be in the drive and it is alt tab or start key friendly for those fast walk through checks. The graphics are well drawn, sharp and quite detailed. You will notice subtle movement of clouds in what appears to be a stationary scene otherwise. Look at the detail you will be pleasantly surprised.

The voice acting is exceptionally good with none of the accents being overdone. One of the complaints I read panned the lip syncing as not very good when shown in closeups. Having read that before playing I noted the criticism was accurate. But quickly determined for me the complaint was reduced to nit picking. You really don't notice it unless you are looking to find fault. It is far less annoying than horrible voice acting featured in some games that sound like chalk screeching on a blackboard. We have good graphics, very good voice acting and that is just the start. What about the important issues puzzle and story?

Let's begin with the manual. Who reads those things? This one is quite thick and detailed. It even includes a "top secret" section printed upside down reading from the back. It features an over view of the story and offers some hints. Of course I did not see this until I finished the game, after all Adventure gamers don't read manuals. The opening screen features a movie theater with traffic out front. You can watch the truck drive by and German soldiers going back and forth all night. Nothing will happen until you click on the entrance then the game begins. The load game, options and main menu screens are found by clicking on the posters along the front of the building. There is a quit option stuck neatly on a lamp post to the right of the store front.

There are unlimited saves. At the bottom of the screen on the right are three icons. A crossed hammer and wrench is where you save games. You also are offered the option of an auto save when you quit the game. Next to that is a question mark icon offering game help. In the form of our lead character telling you where he needs to go. A third icon, magnifying glass serves as a "snoop key" which highlights the items you can access on screen. The space bar serves the same purpose. Next to that along the bottom of the screen your inventory is spread out. An interesting feature is when you end one chapter and enter another your inventory is often used up and close to empty. You never get over loaded with an endless supply of stuff. So as promised the nuts and bolts beginning with puzzles. Most of your puzzles are of the inventory type. The usual mix and match items to perform a function. One thing to be mindful of is when interacting with an item a right click generates a vocal description while a left click picks it up or uses it. Clicking an item in inventory often finds another object. Be sure to check everything. There is one simple maze, no timed puzzles and no sudden death. In fact when you walk into a room full of Nazis they never seem to notice you and will wait patiently while you do whatever you need. Take your time, explore. you will encounter a few stand alone puzzles and are given a choice to do the easy or hard version.

The story is quite detailed with very rich well developed characters. The premise is taken from that real old movie classic, ( 1937 ) The Lost Horizon. But if you were thinking it immerses you into the detailed world of Shangri-la and all the wonders found by the movie character, Robert Conway you will be disappointed. The location renamed Shambala is the same lost world but you won't see any considerable detail of that society or its beautiful gardens. The game opens with Richard Weston being under attack at a monestary in Tibet. It is his disappearance and the need for world domination by the Nazis that sets the basis for the game. Enter our anti hero Fenton Paddock who is tasked to race the Nazis to find the key that will allow access to this mystical world. You play three characters primarily Fenton Paddock who among other things is a smuggler. The idea is he's crafted with Indiana Jones in mind. Yes you can make that connection based on the time period and the character's persona. He is teamed up with a cute and thankfully not over done friend named Kim. You get to play both though not a lot of Kim. In the last chapter there is a small bit with Richard. There are seven chapters in this long entertaining game with many cut scenes. All the action is contained within the cut scenes. The dialogue is extensive at times but you can click through it. All dialogue is subtitled along the bottom of the screen. There are no real head scratchers with the inventory puzzles but they do get progressively more difficult as you go along. I was considering writing a walk through until I found an excellent one with considerable detail and helpful pictures. Link included here. Walk Through

While the end credits are playing you are informed the bonus features are available. What may be an original song in the 1930s style is playing as the credits roll. It is quite well done. All in all this is very likely the best adventure I have seen in the last few years.

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#657994 - 09/30/10 10:58 AM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: oldmariner]
traveler Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3269
Loc: Rivellon
An excellent review of Lost Horizon, oldmariner! I couldn't agree more.

Your mention of the movie brought back memories of Ronald Colman who played Robert Conway. A handsome man and what a voice! If he were around today, any game developer who could snare him to do the voice acting would be really lucky. (I have a feeling Mad would add Basil Rathbone to the list of great voices. <g> ) Adam Howden was terrific as Fenton, though, and just right for him so I'm definitely not complaining and I hope we hear more from him, preferably in a new game from Animation Arts.

I could do with more fast-moving, irreverent, beautifully done games like Lost Horizon. And did anyone notice? You didn't have to develop one picture! <eg>

Gil.

_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#658011 - 09/30/10 12:12 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: traveler]
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
Traveler,

As a matter of fact I rented that movie from Netflix a few months ago, it is quite dated. I'd have to agree with Mad on Basil. A year or so ago I got the set of restored Sherlock Holmes movies, 13 or 14, as a gift. They are pretty good.

This game is a keeper, I am glad I bought the disc version.

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#658089 - 09/30/10 07:56 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: oldmariner]
DanceWarrior Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 46
Nicely done, oldmariner! A very enjoyable read! laugh

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#658286 - 10/01/10 09:42 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: DanceWarrior]
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
Thanks for your comment Dance Warrior. This was a very good game.

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#658414 - 10/02/10 01:24 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: oldmariner]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Good review, thanks! I'm just starting this one and I've already enjoyed the challenge in the harbor. grin

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#658551 - 10/03/10 07:12 AM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: Becky]
sarahandus Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/25/05
Posts: 579
Loc: Bonney Lake, Washington
I remember reading the book way back when, it fueled a passion for Tibet - along with millions of others.

I downloaded the demo and, while it was beautiful, I just couldn't take to it for some reason. Much as I'd like to. Guess I'll have to pass on this "Lost Horizon".

Part of the problem is my aversion to themes dealing with the war years.

Good review though.

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#659128 - 10/05/10 02:41 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: sarahandus]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23420
Loc: United Kingdom
Another great review, oldmariner thumbsup

You always tell me what I want to know about a game without overdoing the info grin

I haven't started this one yet but I'm sure I will like it as I'm so much enjoying just the anticipation wink

[And as for the one and only Basil ?? Yeah !! A voice and a half .... and, for me, the best Sherlock character ever !! praise
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#659204 - 10/05/10 05:57 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: Mad]
traveler Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3269
Loc: Rivellon
An OT answer for you, Mad. I think the only thing wrong with Basil as Sherlock was his Watson. Jeremy Brett was blessed with both of his. They weren't cretins!

Don't anticipate Lost Horizon too long or the game will never live up to your expectations! <g>

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#659251 - 10/05/10 09:23 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: traveler]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23420
Loc: United Kingdom
I am happy in my anticipation of Lost Horizon, traveler. Anticipation is part of the enjoyment for me thumbsup

[And Basil will always be my best Sherlock, irrespective of who plays his Watson grin]
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#661429 - 10/13/10 05:02 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: oldmariner]
chrissie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 4403
Loc: london uk
Thank you oldmariner for another excellent review! I think I will be definitely getting this one! smile

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#667979 - 11/04/10 01:44 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: chrissie]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23420
Loc: United Kingdom
I finished Lost Horizon this week and what a game !!

I enjoyed it VERY MUCH INDEED and must congratulate Deep Silver on an all round excellent production praise praise
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#668103 - 11/04/10 08:32 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: Mad]
Darleen03 Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 12/13/03
Posts: 14765
Loc: Northeast NJ
Thanks, oldmariner

Very Good review...I love the game..But ...I have only two complaint's...Each time the game goes to a different screen...I get the download thing....Which I hate..

I also find that the dialog is a bit too much duh
All in all it is a fantastic game...Having much fun...
_________________________
Luv Dar


GameBoomers
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#668111 - 11/04/10 08:42 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: Darleen03]
traveler Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3269
Loc: Rivellon
The download thing?

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#668117 - 11/04/10 08:46 PM Re: Lost Horizon [Re: traveler]
Darleen03 Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 12/13/03
Posts: 14765
Loc: Northeast NJ
Yes...You get a black screen with a button that says Loading....Thats what I mean't...lol
_________________________
Luv Dar


GameBoomers
"Games Are More Enticing Because Of Our "MaG"nificent Efficient Radiant Site"

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