1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge

Posted by: Dreamer1990

1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/11/11 12:35 PM

So, this was my first ever Nancy Drew game(I know, right?). I picked it up because the last adventure game I played was Darkness Falls:The Journal and I LOVE Japanese anything smile

On to the review!
Spoiler-free wink



Plot: A-
The plot takes place in an older ryokan inn that is owned by Takae and Miwako. A man named Rentaro also works there, though he is more of a "handyman". Nancy Drew is supposed to be relaxing at the inn(though we all know she never can do just that!) along with teaching students. She instantly realizes something is off about the inn and begins her investigation, though she is met with tight-lipped responses and a maze of clues. The plot was enjoyable, especially being a first time Nancy Drew fan. I had my suspicions at the start, but nothing was instantly obvious like some games can be. I was a little disappointed with the ending as I felt it could have included more, thus the A-.

Characters: B+
The characters were very impressive for the most part. They effectively used the Japanese accent, though the grandmother sounded robotic at times because she talked so slow. The appearance of them all was down pact, especially Yumi, Miwako's sister. She had a Lolita-esque type outfit on that was very kawaii. Rentaro was a source of comical relief from the first encounter. George and Bess were not seen, however, except in picture form. From what I've heard, they've made appearances in previous games. I gave them a B+ because I wish I could have seen Bess and George as well as the students that Nancy Drew teaches.

Locations: B
Overall, the graphics/realistic quality of the areas were very good. The inn definitely had a Japanese "vibe" as well as the other cities/train stops. Most of the game is spent at the inn and gardens around the inn. Occasionally, Nancy must go to Yumi's bento shop, her apartment, and a small portion of a city to play a certain game. While the appearances of the locations themselves were beautiful, I wish we had more exploration, especially outside of the inn.

Puzzles: B-
I am not a very mathematical person so the puzzles were not my cup of tea. For those who love Sudoku, Renograms etc will enjoy these puzzles. I did enjoy the bento boxes once I understood how they work. Nonograms were not too bad as it was sort of like coloring. One timed puzzle got a bit irritating as it had to do with colors. People seem to not like the chores of the other games so perhaps they will like this game. I think I am more of a chore person, but to each their own. B- based on the difficulty and math concentrated puzzles.

Music: A+
The music was just phenomenal, enough said. As you're walking through places the music really helps remind you of the Japanese setting. Whenever creepy events are going to happen the music is very eerie and unsettling. It got to the point that I was almost fearful of turning a corner for what might be there. It had a traditional sound with modern undertones, so A+.

Ending: B
The ending itself did not seem to make me feel satisfied. The climax up until that point however was very suspenseful so I would give that aspect an A+. The ending though, is just a B.

Overall:
Overall the game was not a disappointment. It was a good starting game for me because it was so different from the other games as far as the puzzles and location. Now, whenever I go back to other games, I can respect the chores and such. That is just my opinion though. I would definitely replay this just to see what clues about the characters I might have missed that hint at who did it. If you haven't bought this yet or played a Nancy Drew game, I would suggest this one. The graphics, characters, and puzzles are beautiful, engaging, and moderately difficult.


I hope my first review wasn't an epic fail blush





Posted by: Rushes

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/11/11 12:57 PM

Nice review, Dreamer. thumbsup
Posted by: Mad

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/11/11 10:18 PM

An interesting read, thank you, Dreamer1990 grin
Posted by: traveler

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/12/11 12:09 AM

Dreamer, a very nice review. You could almost talk me into trying Nancy Drew again except for one thing: I cannot stand the interface. It just drives me nuts.

Gil.
Posted by: chrissie

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/12/11 05:15 PM

Thank you Dreamer for an interesting review of the game! thumbsup I really liked the game but don't disagree with any of your gradings. I thought the puzzles were very good and I enjoyed them far more than I thought I would but ideally there should have been more of a variety rather than focusing on just a few types. smile
Posted by: katbear50

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/13/11 01:29 PM

I thoroughly enjoyed your review of this Nancy Drew game, Dreamer!
You addressed each of the aspects of the game quite well and thoroughly,
w/o giving away any secrets to those whom have yet
to feast upon this installment.
I agree with your assessment, and with the addition made by chrissie as well.
Once again, welcome new Boomer!
Posted by: Becky

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/14/11 05:54 AM

Dreamer1990 -- a fun review! Thorough and engaging. wave
Posted by: blsbet44

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/15/11 10:35 AM

Very well written Dreamer smile
Makes me want to go out and try it.
I can get my Kiddo to do the puzzles. She's GREAT with Sudoku!
I love ND games. I'd buy them in a heartbeat. But I sort of lost interest when I played Kapu Caves and saw the problems many were having with Ransom.

Can't wait to see your review for Waverly academy (a new fave of mine)
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: 1st Review: Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge - 03/15/11 03:12 PM

Thanks Dreamer, I'm glad you shared your opinion with us!