Fenimore Fillmore's Revenge


Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Revistronic

Publisher:    Nobilis & Ascaron Entertainment

Released:  April 2009

PC Requirements:   Windows XP / Vista, 1.3GHz Processor,  1024MB RAM, 128 MB 3D-accelerated video card, DirectX 9  




by Looney4Labs


Fenimore Fillmore’s Revenge, hereafter known as Revenge, is the third adventure game to feature our stalwart cowboy hero, Fenimore. This outing begins with a bang, which continues through to the very end.

“Ok, what’s the story?” Fenimore

While racing through the red-tinted desert with no particular destination in mind, Fenimore and his beautiful, curvaceous girlfriend, Rhiannon, stumble across a gravely wounded man. They stop to help him and quickly discover their canteen is empty. Fenimore sets off to procure some of the life giving liquid while Rhiannon stays with the stranger.

Our champion returns to discover that the stranger has died, but not before giving Rhiannon crucial information as to the whereabouts of some stolen gold. The proverbial outlaw gang arrives and shoots Fenimore in the back. After a spirited fight on her part, our feisty heroine is kidnapped, and so the game begins.

The story is your standard good guy versus bad guy western that we all know and love. You’ll adventure through a very authentic appearing old West setting enhanced by background music reminiscent of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and accompanied by appropriate environmental sounds.

“I don’t mind as long as we are together.” Rhiannon

While the story unfolds along expected lines, Rhiannon’s part is more reflective of modern sensibilities. She is no shrinking violet waiting breathlessly for her man to rescue her. This green-eyed, red haired beauty fights with guts and gusto. So what if certain of her “attributes” are just a little too prominent, her jeans a lot too tight, and her stance decidedly bowlegged (even though no other character’s is) -- she is an equal partner.

“These herbs are having a strange effect on me.” Carson

I greatly enjoyed her character, but was bothered by Rhiannon’s voice acting. The other voices, Fenimore, Baker (a reformed outlaw), and assorted other non-player characters (NPCs), were average, but Rhiannon’s alone had a fingernails-on-the-blackboard effect on me. This was a bigger problem than it needed to be, as dialogue and cut scenes cannot be skipped.

“I’m all right. What’s the next challenge?” Fenimore

Depending on the stage of the game, the gamer controls either Fenimore or Rhiannon. Whichever, you’ll encounter mostly inventory type puzzles. Though no items were truly hidden, several blended a little too well into the environment and some combinations seemed a bit odd. Though the graphics are not gory, one demands that you manipulate a dead body. I did pixel hunt at times, but that was due to the interface, which failed to give me a pickup icon until I positioned the cursor just so.

Also, there are several timed sequences. I did not find them difficult, but you can die and I did, often. There are also several shooting challenges. The first few were easily conquered, but the combination of a decidedly awkward interface and a much higher degree of difficulty for the final contest rendered me unable to complete the game on my own (a first for me). After many hours over several days dying over and over again, I implored another gamer to step in and save my sanity.

This he did, and he was able to eventually win the battle, but even his younger fingers and faster twitch response found the controls for this part of the game aggravating. He specifically bemoaned Fenimore’s lack of ability to reload his pistol after a kill. Of larger concern was the NPC’s ability to kill Fenimore from any position, while the player could only down the bad guy from certain predetermined spots. For instance, several times, the shooting target was squarely on the chest of the selected NPC and Fenimore was close enough to touch him, but inexplicably, the NPC was unhurt even after several shots.

Though for most of the game you can save at will, this did not hold true for the shooting challenges. So each time Fenimore dies, you must start the entire sequence over, and over, and over.

There are no color or sound puzzles, no sliders, and no mazes.

“I don’t do that.” Rhiannon

Now, on to the interface. Revenge is totally point and click. Right clicking scrolls through the options (look at, pick up, use with) and left clicking initiates the action. A single left click moves Fenimore/Rhiannon and a double left click causes them to run.

As mentioned above, you can usually save at will and I did not run out of save slots. However, I’m not sure if it’s because the save slots are unlimited or because the game is short. Leaving out the final onerous shooting scene (oh, if only we could), a seasoned gamer will breeze right through this one.

Normally, mouse controlled games are easy to use, but I fought the interface in this game the entire time. I’d click on the arrow on the far right to move my avatar in that direction and perplexedly watch him/her go left or to the middle or the back or the front, and vice versa. I’d move to the far side of the screen to see what was next and indeed, the camera would swing along but would immediately swing back to center. I could see needed inventory items or know the next action necessary, but be unable to get the appropriate icon (use, take) to appear until I moved pixel by pixel across the object.

I’m firmly convinced that I could have finished the final shooting scene if I had been able to move with keys and shoot with the mouse. I tried adjusting for mouse sensitivity in the options menu, but it had no beneficial effect.

In addition, there is something in this game that does not play well with my computer as I also experienced a few crashes to desktop.

“I think he’s coming. I’d better get out of here.” Rhiannon

This was my first experience with Fenimore and it most likely will be my last. I enjoyed the graphics and the music and was glad to play a game where the story actually ended when the game did. However, the difficulties I had with the interface combined with the vexatious final shooting sequence -- as well as not being able to skip dialogue or cut scenes -- just made playing this game more work than having fun ought to be.

Grade: C+

Short List:

Third person adventure game

Mouse controlled

Difficulties with hot spots appearing

Inconsistencies in camera angles and control as well as with character movement

Background music harks back to old westerns

Classic story

Voice acting average with one exception, which grated on my ear

Inventory puzzles

No sound or color dependent puzzles

No sliders

No mazes

Shooting mini games with one extremely difficult level

You can save at will (except during shooting tests)

Short in length if you leave out time spent shooting

You can die

Timed sequences, though the time is usually sufficient

Subtitles available

I played on a computer with the following specifications:

OS: Win XP Professional SP3

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU @ 2.40 GHz

Ram: 3.25GB Dual Channel DDR2 667 w/ECC 2-DIMMs

Gx card: nVidia GE Force 8800 GTS

Sound card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Music

April, 2009

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