Journey to the center of the earth

Posted by: bigmamma1

Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 05:35 PM

I try to be positive and enthusiastic when I review a game, so I'll start with what I liked about this 2003 adventure by Frogwares:
I enjoyed the story-Our heroine, Arianne, drops into a mysterious realm beneath the Earth and has to unravel a mystery and eventually save her new friends-some friendly giants, some prehistoric creatures, and other assorted "good guys", from exploitation and extermination.
The environments-a quaint little university town, a beautiful tropical jungle, a magical prehistoric village, an undersea diamond mine, were beautifully rendered and colorful.
The puzzles are varied and pretty well integrated with the storyline, ranging from very easy to impossible-something for everyone.
Now for the negatives:
The voice acting of all the characters is flat, without emotion, as if read word for word in a monotone. Even the main character, Arianne lacks personality.
It is very frustrating to move Arianne around. There are supposed to be little footsteps that light up in a direction that she can follow, but many times you have to keep moving the curser around to find a hot spot for her to move, so it is very easy to completely miss an area.
Inventory items are very difficult to see-often dark against dark, so you miss them unless you move the cursor over every sq. inch.Sometimes they go into inventory unnoticed.In one case there is an item that needs to be found at the very start of the game but is not used until very close to the end and as far as I could tell, if you didn't have this when needed, the city gates were closed and you couldn't get back there to get it( much less realise you had to go back that far!)
The game froze up or crashed to desktop several times.( The altirail seemed especially crash-prone)
I feel that the negatives of this game outweigh the positives, so I have to give it a reluctant ** rating
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 05:38 PM

thanks Bigmamma, were you able to finish the game?
Posted by: Becky

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 05:39 PM

Hey bigmamma -- thanks for a balanced review that weighs the pros and cons for this game very well! bravo
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 06:48 PM

Thanks mamma for the Review...

Sorry...You had problems ... wave
Posted by: bigmamma1

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 07:36 PM

wave loony-
Yes, I did finish the game-I liked the idea of the 2 different endings-at least they made it obvious that there was a choice of directions so you could save at that point and then go back and try the other choice. Also, I forgot to mention how important it is to save often,esp. after completing diff. puzzles, due to the frequent crashes smile
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 08:04 PM

I agree with you 100 percent Bigmamma. I finished this game yesterday some coincidence. I had crashes but in different places usually whenever I tried to enter the Giant's village. had to resort to save games to accomplish what I needed to do in the village. The game could have been much better for all the reasons you stated. Did they explain to your satisfaction how they managed to have bright blue skies, even clouds, when they were supposedly buried under the Earth's crust? I did not quite buy it but suspended belief and went with it anyway. Not going to put it in the group with Longest Journey, Gabriel Knight or Syberia though. But it was not the worst either.
Posted by: 3dobermans

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 09:12 PM

Have to disagree to a point; first started the game on my 98 until the motherboard crashed. Had made it to the mine, and had no problems with crashing/freezing. The inventory was on a light background and easy to see.
I am now replaying it on my XP and am in the village and have had no problems with crashing so far.
I'm enjoying the storyline and the scenery and it is after all a fantasy so I would expect anything. I much prefer the brighter scenery/graphics.
I think Ariannes verbal tone is a little more animated than the others she talks to.
I agree it was difficult to move her around but found that double clicking when I couldn't find "footsteps", helped move her where I wanted.
I'm enjoying the game.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/09/07 10:07 PM

Trippy, do you see a difference in the game from playing on the 98 to the XP ?
Posted by: 3dobermans

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/10/07 06:12 AM

L4L, so far I haven't other than movement seems to be just a little smoother with the game on the XP.
I do have the older nvidia graphics card.

Posted by: Mad

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/10/07 03:02 PM

Hi smile

My only real complaint re this game was the navigation failure eek

Very, very frustrating !! mad

I liked the imaginative story and thought the graphics were fine thumbsup but getting my character from A to B was a real pain most of the time frown


Mad wave
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 05/10/07 03:26 PM

Hi ya Mad, navigation seems to be a common complaint with this one. wave
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 06/03/07 01:00 PM

What Mad said. Except for the navigation, the game was OK. I liked the nice bright colors (and so did my brother).

I managed to get Arianne stuck inside a cupboard though, and she couldn't get out. Then I finally got her out and proceeded to the next screen, and she vanished. Fortunately saving and restoring from that save made her reappear. I also had a problem with a slowdown in one location. No crashes to desktop or irrecoverable freezes though.
Posted by: Reenie

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 06/08/07 09:31 PM

I had pretty much the same feelings about this game, same frustrations. My computer didn't crash, but I resented the nonsensical pixel-hunting, and her movement style drove me crazy. I finished the game, but would not recommend it, either. I got it from a bargain bin, so I guess I got my money's worth.
Posted by: sarahandus

Re: Journey to the center of the earth - 08/26/07 08:23 AM

I agree with everyone about the navigation problems, I had to resort to asking for a saved game once to get into the university city. But the thing no-one has mentioned, is the one thing that keeps me going back is the music, I found it simple wonderful, could listen to that all day.

Also I hated that floating island sound puzzle, so much to-ing and fro-ing.