Number of Reviews: 4
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17 people found the following review helpful:
Satisfying and Fascinating, July 3, 2008
I first noticed this game on a Recommended List, and played it the afternoon after. What I want to know now is why this game didn't make a bigger splash when it was released -- it's fantastic! (Note: This is an updated version of a review written 30/06/08. When I first wrote the review, I'd only reached one of the endings.)
The plotline is deceptively simple: you, Lieutenant James Corby, RN (who is nicely characterized) are washed up on an island in the Bay of Biscay that technically isn't supposed to exist. As time goes on, things get stranger and stranger until you are forced to make a decision about your loyalties and future. There are multiple endings and many different priorities you can pursue.
I was forced to draw a map, something I usually hate, but somehow I didn't mind. The geography is realistic and easy to visualize once you have it on paper (although it's sometimes a little under-described). Although the geography is expansive, it's logical; and a nice GO TO command quarters the difficulties of navigating it. Not once did I get lost, which is unusual for me.
The NPCs were well-developed, and the conversation system was fantastic (though occasionally unwieldy when trying to say something specific). You may find it helpful to list the characters and their motivations, as the cast is large and almost everyone has a different opinion/agenda. With regards to romance, it was quite sweet.
So far I've only mentioned what I like. What didn't I like? Surprisingly, quite a lot. I seriously disliked (Spoiler - click to show)Meg, one of the possible love interests. I used to dislike Inalda too, but having finished the game with her as my companion she's grown on me. I extra-seriously disliked (Spoiler - click to show)losing all my possessions in the marsh. I know it's supposed to be 'no going back now' and all that, but I still hated it. UPDATE: A related problem I hated was when Julia made me drop all my stuff. Mean girl. I don't know why I forgave her. Most important, the island simply didn't feel 19th century. This may have been intentional ((Spoiler - click to show)end the game by reaching the White Tower and you'll see what I mean) but if it is supposed to feel like it belongs to the wrong time period, then why doesn't the game make it more obvious instead of it simply being my personal gut feeling? Of course, my obsession with historical literature may have made me over-picky in this regard. (And why can't you call the ladies 'Miss'? Eg. >X MISS TRELAWNEY returns the annoying 'You see no miss trelawney here.' If the PC is supposed to be 19th century, let him use the manners of the day!)
Despite the flaws (which I am probably over-dramatizing) I had more fun with this game than I have with any since Jigsaw. It's worth a good go; highly recommended.