Finished the lost crown a few hours ago, and decided to sit down and try to summerize my impressions of the game.
Overall - I (*drums*).... didn't
like the game.
I won't say there weren't enjoyable parts - of course there were. But there were also so many parts which were somewhat exhausting, tiresom. There were some features to the game I have never encountered before - and here I mean some horrible features.
I'll start with the good
- The atmosphere. Splendid. Totally spooky, a very haunting atmosphere. The graphics are good (though the animations are definitely not, but that does not belong to the good), and the way the scenes are coloured is very original (and beautiful) for a computer game, at least.
- The story. Complex, Heavy, interwined, like any good adventure. It's rich with characters, and much of it feels authentic. It does lose, in my eyes, some of it's build up potential towards the ending, but genrally - it's good.
- Sounds/Music (not including voice acting!!!) - Gorgeous. If the graphics weren't enough to get you spooked up - the sound effects will cause just that; From mysterious whispers through the back of your neck, to horrible sounds of knocking doors and creeking windows - this game could be enjoyable just by wondering a bit in some scenes, and listening in to the ambience created.
puzzles: Well, that really depends how you like them. Most are inventory based, some are logic-based but tend to be rather easy. I personally like brain-breakers, but I know many here don't, so I stick puzzles in the good zone.
Now, it seems I've touched all the important things, and gave them good remarks. If I would have heard of a game which has a good plot, good graphics, nice puzzles and a wonderful atmosphere - I would've jumped on the offer.
Surprisingly, the few bad features I'm about to describe were enough to get me totally dissapointed with this game. They just made the adventure feel tiresom, exahusting, and mostly, it made you get out of the bubble Jonathan Bokes worked so hard on creating, the bubble of immersion, rolling your eyes.
So, without further delay: The bad.
- The characters.
With perhaps a few exceptions, the characters are plain, dumb and boring. The merely serve as a tool to reveal the plot, while Nigel (the heroine) serves as the marker for the player. They act very plainly, much like a child would act, only without the passion and the charm a child might have. Nigel is terrible, in my opinion. The questions he decides to ask, and the way he asked them, always made me feel how I would act so differently. Sometimes, obvious things would happen, and he would relate to them as "mysteries", saying remarks like "What Is That" or "Has someone been here" (yes, these repeat a million times, but I'll talk about this phenomenon later in detail).
I find it pathetic when the player understands something that's drawn out obvious in the game, and the character "doesn't get it". Worse then that, you can't, as a player, make your character "understand", which makes it even more irritating.
Lucy, Nigel's sidekick, is nicer in a way, yet she still lack realy character.
The only figures I found somewhat intruiging are Nanny Noah, and perhaps prof. oogle as well.
- One cannot skip text or scenes if one desperately wants to.
Don't get me wrong - I'm the last person to skip on anything without seeing/hearing it once, maybe even twice. But this game forces you to endure some of the most tiring dialougs, if you dare to try and exauhst a conversation line you're not sure you've used so far, or maybe wanting to check if something had changed. Also, there are places where Nigel keeps saying those annoying remarks (they might sound nice, at first, but when you hear it for the 1000'th time, it starts to get annoying), and since it is impossible to skip these, and since for some reason the game didn't trigger these remarks off after the first time the player hears them - you just need to take a deep breath, boil some coffee, and return to, hopefully, a game. A good example, although it might sound negligible, is the remark you hear every time you enter to harbour cottage. Nigel, from day 1 to day 5, keeps saying "Home Sweet Home, for the time being", EVERY time you enter. I bet I entered this house at least 40 times throughout the game. that's 40 times hearing "Home Sweet Home, for the time being". If it's not the waste of time that bothered me - it's the fact that it made the game look so bad, suddenly, tasteless, and unreal.
- The voice acting of Nigel voice acting, in my opinion, is terrible. For some reason, this guy uses commas and periods in the most unrelavent cases. His voice acting is very unrealistic, very slow. The creators must have thought it adds to the "nightmarish-slowish" feel of the game. But what it really does, is making the game lose it's realism, and tiring the player, waiting for Nigel to finish a line that he shoul've finished eons ago.
Others are ok, mostly - nothing exceptional or vice versa.
- The most terrible feature of the game: The repetetive use and recycling of voice clips.
"What is that"
"Am I alone in this place"
"Is that a crown? Yes, definitely a crown!"
Actually, at a certain point, it feels like all the text you hear has been said at a certain point, throughout one part of the game, or another.
I'm not talking here about a few examples. Here, I'm talking about the whole game. It's redicoulous - it looks as if they recorded a bunch of sentences, say a hundered, and then, in every scene, they mix the sentences so it would sound somewhat relavent to the theme. It terrible
. I could not stand that. It looked so
unrealistic. It absorbed every bit of immersion I had towards the game.
I don't know if anybody else experienced that feeling, but it totally, most definitely, ruined my experience. I have never encountered such a problem. Yes, I guess some games do contain the same "wording" in two different parts, but firstly, there are always, at the most, a few examples, and secondly, they are usually placed "far" from eachother. Here - every scene is just a repeat of the last scene, with different background.
So - that's my impression. I was dissapointed, cause I saw really good remarks on the game.
Well, it might be better than the average game nowadays, but I'm sorry, it just doesn't cut it for me.
I would recommend it if you like chilly games, and if you find the "bad's" I've listed above insignificant. A warning, however: I'm not sure I have been able to describe the feeling I had from these flaws, especially the last one. So watch it
Hope you enjoyed the review. Would like to hear impression, or get smashed with eggs thrown at me.