Katana

by Matt Rohde

Eastern/Historical
2002

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Number of Reviews: 4
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Educational but tedious, April 20, 2013
by Andromache (Hawaii)

I'm sad to say it, but on playing this game a second time, I'm less impressed overall. Setting is still great; I can vividly imagine the various locations and characters. However, puzzle implementation was sort of choppy; only one solution for them, and sometimes, it didn't make sense to only have one. Descriptions didn't change when the environment was manipulated, and while I did appreciate the cultural words and education, I thought it was unfair to have puzzle solutions depend on information you don't have ready access to at the time you need to solve the puzzle. I mean, okay. IF gamers probably do take notes, but for this game, if you didn't take down the right information or weren't really thorough in your examination of objects, you'd miss solutions. There were two or three puzzles I got absolutely stuck on and would never have finished the game if not for the walkthrough provided. Often times, I hit on solutions purely by experimentation. Not that I was doing random things but some solutions require repetitive action. And that's another thing. On top of the notes and repetition, gameplay sometimes felt more like work. And then there were the "guess the syntax" problems and minor bugs that caused some frustration when I wanted to do something but didn't know quite how to phrase it. The game would ask for strange clarification, and when you answered, it would ask again.

The story, too, left me unsatisfied. The fantasy elements were great. My favorite thing about it was the magic. But the romance was melodramatic and I found it shallow and overly sweet. It would have been better if it were more subtle and wistful, instead of the player character being treated shamefully during the endgame because the only thing that mattered was being reunited. It especially annoyed me because I was the one doing all the work.

The game is worth playing for the scenery and mythology. There some graphic violence scenes, but only when necessary.