Some Thoughts on REAH

Posted by: Trail_Mystic

Some Thoughts on REAH - 09/18/05 05:10 PM

Had to vent a bit about this game since I've just finished it and didn't think my comments belonged in the standard adventure forum so let's call this an informal review for now.

I used the 6 CD-ROM version of the game on my XP machine. Getting the game to work correctly on XP was a challenge and I had to make a concession in the end as the email that exists on the Internet for gaining support for the game is no longer valid. Basically go through Inferno's drill, load the game and keep your fingers crossed.

I set compatibility mode for Windows 95 and disabled visual themes. Any other changes caused the game to crash on start-up as did attempting to choose English from the sub-titles set-up box, more on that in a second.

The CD set I purchased (used) said it was the English version, which is all well and good. I wrestled through installation and began playing the game. After getting into a good game playing session, I saved my game, shut down and went on with my life for a day or two before starting again. I inserted the CD, double clicked the icon and there was the intro screen...all in Polish. I giggled insanely for a minute or two, thinking about the potential of losing around 12 hours of game play because of a strange joke played on me by the XP gods, but calmed down after taking my medication. After approximately 10 or 12 tries at various ways of solving this, including selecting English as the sub-title language, which instantly caused the game to crash at start up I had to call it quits. I was starting to have visions of taking the 6 CD-ROM set out for a bit of skeet shooting practice.

A few weeks later I gave it another go with no success, so I figured what can I lose. I took some wild guesses as to what meant what and jumped back into the game. To my great pleasure, the game gods smiled upon me, because even though the controls were in Polish, the dialog remained in English! I could still play the game!

Onwards and inward. Graphic and 3D panning for the time period were outstanding with extremely imaginative settings. Dialog with other characters was modest, which I considered a good thing as the voice dubbing was not exactly first rate. Also, the sometimes inane comments from the character you portray can get absolutely nerve biting, especially if you need to repeat a particular game sequence. He says the same thing over and over again. Thank goodness for volume controls.

I thought that the music was outstanding. To me, even though there were a number of loops, it never got on my nerves (unlike my character's comments). I am hoping that there is a soundtrack floating around out there, I'd really like it.

The puzzles were great, I loved them. Many were based on numerical sequences verging on a bit of algebra. Others were the type that made you trace back your steps to see what you missed, it's definitely a game that requires note taking. By being extremely observant and detailed you can easily get through the game without a walkthrough. I really liked the fact that there is an audible cue when ever you solve a puzzle correctly. Some are a bit subtle and without that you might not know what you just accomplished.

The most difficult puzzles come at the near-end of the game. Put it this way, I spent nearly 4 hours on one. You see, the developers set it up so you cannot save your progress when working one puzzle. The minute you step back, you loose all your previous work. I'll give you a little hint about the one that requires memorization of a quickly flashed sequence; digital camera with a movie mode...'nuf said thumbsup
Posted by: Becky

Re: Some Thoughts on REAH - 09/18/05 05:33 PM

Wonderful review. It sounds as though it was a puzzle just to get the game to run in XP.

I remember this one well. It came so close to being great, but those ending puzzles were teeth-gnashingly difficult.
Posted by: Trail_Mystic

Re: Some Thoughts on REAH - 09/18/05 07:07 PM

Yes, maybe it's some twisted part of my wiring, but after solving the end game puzzles I had to look back and salute the developers. Even though they are extremely difficult, those puzzles definitely need to be in the adventure game hall of fame. I was actually sweating during the last one, gotta love it... lol
Posted by: fisicx

Re: Some Thoughts on REAH - 09/20/05 02:52 PM

This is one of the wonders of XP - absolutely no consistency between machines.

I loaded up Reah today on XP and it played perfectly first time!