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јεṡṡαl?ṉ?!//an honest review

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  • јεṡṡαl?ṉ?!//an honest review

    //јεṡṡαl?ṉ?!

    ïṉτɾّḋυсτïّṉ: Oh hey there, it’s Nikoletta. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know what’s coming.

    Ρlّτ: Nancy goes to Thornton Hall because Savannah Woodham knows the family, and Jessalyn Thorton has gone missing right before her wedding. Basically the same plot as the Haunting of Castle Malloy.

    Here’s the thing about this game. Like the three or so games before it, it completely lacks the complexity that made the old games worth playing. The attention grabbing factor is gone. With the location, there were so many opportunities for SUB PLOTS. But, once again, the only goal Nancy has in the entire game is the main goal listed at the beginning: to find Jessalyn. Don’t expect any civil war history or tie ins. Don’t expect the duality found in SHA and DAN, where the location and the plot line work together to create more complicated stories interwoven into the mystery. Those who have played DAN, think about how that game is constructed, how it brings together two main storylines, adding intrigue AND length. But in GTH? Nope. Nancy is there. She solves puzzles. She does her one and only job.

    I’m honestly at the end of my rope here. I (and many others on these boards) have been crying out for sub plots for ages, and there is no pay off. The plots are all flat and one dimensional. I didn’t rush back to the game after quitting for the time being. I was actually bored during most of the game, not gonna lie. The plot seemed thrown together, quick, simple, and altogether lazy.

    [2/10]

    ατṃّṡρhεɾε: It was pretty spooky and dark, the typical ambiance you would expect for a ghost related game. The music ranged from creepy to some sort of weird opera screeching. My friend I was playing with kept asking, “Why does ‘Ave Maria’ keep playing?!”

    [6/10]

    lεṉģτh: Well, since there was no sub plots and no substantial dialogue, it was pretty short. And that’s really all I have to say about that. Although since I was bored all the way through, I went pretty slowly and it took me a couple hours over the course of about 4 days to finish.

    [4/10]

    сhαɾαсτεɾṡ:

    Clara Thornton: Jessalyn’s mom. She seems like she’s hiding something. A very cold, detached woman.

    Wade Thornton: Oh wait. Uh. I think he was Clara’s cousin? I could be wrong. He comes off kind of creepy and has some secrets about him, which of course, the manner of storytelling revealed in the most unceremonious way.

    Harper Thornton: Clara’s cousin. She’s known for being the crazy one in the family. Or is she?

    Colton Birchfield: Jessalyn’s fiancé. He comes off a little standoffish and is very weird about his fiancé disappearing. That was kinda interesting.

    The characters weren’t bad per say, but just like in TMB and DED…they don’t remain interesting because conversation isn’t really meaningful or relevant or coherent half the time and all their secrets are handed to you on a silver platter through lazy story telling. Also, the “speed through” conversation option makes me very angry, personally. If dialogue was meaningful and engaging, there would be no need for this function and no fans would be asking for it in the first place. Just my opinion.

    [5/10]

    ρυʐʐlεṡ: They were relatively easy throughout the game, with a couple of frustrating ones here and there. I’d say there was a good amount. I normally dislike puzzles and I don’t play these games for them, but I’d have to say this was the best element in this entire game. Kudos.

    [9/10]

    ṉαṿïģατïّṉ: Remember when we actually had large, engaging environments to explore and not claustrophobic, generic images with nothing to click on? Oh, yeah? Me too.
    Here’s the thing. I know that the actual places are becoming more detailed and life-like, but it seems like development is being invested in making pretty graphics versus a large environment. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t happy with the tiny lab in DED and I was SO not happy with the one-location-two-things-to-click-on-per-frame setting of GTH.

    [1/10]

    ṡṉّّρïṉģ: There was a good amount. But since I felt the story was so boring…eh.

    [4/10]

    εṿεṉτṡ//ṡυṡρεṉṡε: Maybe if there was more background on the haunting and more to prep me, oh, I don’t know, maybe some subplots or detailed legends versus generic “haunting” rambles of the manor’s inhabitants, I could’ve gotten more into the suspense. Go play SAW or MHM for a good scare, kiddles. Although, I did appreciate that along with jump scares there were little things thrown in there that you could miss if you blinked, which was a throwback to MHM for me. So props for that.

    [5/10]

    ṡсّɾε: 36/80: F

    Not as bad as DED or TMB, not nearly as good as games I felt are well put together. I feel as if this entire game was jumbled and rushed. It was a weird experience. I think my days of new Nancy might be over. I’m just not feeling it anymore. I can hardly keep any interest.

    Anyway, I apologize if any of my sarcasm or brutal honesty made anyone uncomfortable. My goal is to describe the game the best way I know how and be as truthful as I can. I know many of you appreciate positivism, and I apologize but this game personally gave me no room to be so.

    Happy sleuthing. You can find me back at Shadow Ranch or on Deception Island.
    It's never too late to be who you might have been...[ George Eliot ]



    reviews:TMBxASHxCAPxSAWxRANxHAUxVEN

  • #2
    I'm rather surprised and confused at your assessment that there were no sub-plots, only the goal of finding Jessalyn. Personally, I thought that at some point, the game stopped being about finding Jessie, and instead shifted focus to discovering what really happened to Charlotte. TBH, I kind of forgot about finding Jessalyn for a while because I found Charlotte's story much more interesting.
    I also thought that a lot of the complexity in the game could be easily missed because you have to look for it. This family that has been torn apart for so long, with so many secrets and tragedy... I've had many long discussions with people about the maturity level that I felt HER brought to this game!
    I wonder how we came out with completely different ideas on this game! If you could, I'd be interested in hearing a bit more on where you though the plot missed out.

    I totally agree with you about the characters seeming flat and dull though, they were probably my least favorite part of the game. I don't know what happened there! And don't even get me started on the phone friends. Major let-down.
    | TRT | SSH | CAR | DDI | SHA | TRN | DAN | CRE | ICE | CRY | VEN | HAU | RAN | WAC | TOT | SAW | CAP | ASH |TMB | DED | GTH | SPY | MED | LIE | SEA |

    25/32
    Currently playing: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Turq8 View Post
      I'm rather surprised and confused at your assessment that there were no sub-plots, only the goal of finding Jessalyn. Personally, I thought that at some point, the game stopped being about finding Jessie, and instead shifted focus to discovering what really happened to Charlotte. TBH, I kind of forgot about finding Jessalyn for a while because I found Charlotte's story much more interesting.
      Yeah, there were actually two intertwined plots in the game. Also, to me the characters weren't that dull. In fact, I found Harper and Clara to be one of the most beautiful characters ever made. Their dialogue completely matched their complex personalities. I also loved how Harper sort of secretly foretold the future in one of her dialogues in the very beginning.

      But, I do have to agree the other two characters were a bit boring but perhaps that was necessary for emphasis of Clara and Harper. I also agree with you that the puzzles were fun and unique to the past puzzles.
      As the great Robert Frost once said,

      "In three words, I can sum up everything I learned about life..."
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      ......................SONNY WUZ HERE!......................

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      • #4


        Thanks for the review.
        While I don't completely agree, I found it interesting and well written.

        A question though...
        Those who have played DAN, think about how that game is constructed, how it brings together two main storylines, adding intrigue AND length.
        Did you really mean DAN aka Danger by Design?

        ~~ LadyLinda ~~ -----
        LINKS...ND20+ Easter Eggs & Glitchs...CAP Phone Charms...ND Game Extras...TMB Phone Charms

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        • #5
          Yep, Danger by Design is the game I'm referring too!

          I can see where both of you are coming from. I guess part of my disappointment had to do with my expectations, which I admit, are not good to have TOO high when it comes to a new game.

          I guess I thought that the story line would be more broad, more expansive. I thought that since Nancy was on an old plantation in the deep South, history would play a role, along with the ghost story. I don't know how I can really phrase this without spoilers, so I'll be general: but I got excited that the game might include some Civil War history elements or maybe even a sub plot related to that subject when I read certain books in the house as well as a certain unknown relative of the family (hopefully you get what I'm referring too). The game was too short to even verge on complexity, and like the past few games, every secret seems to be revealed too quickly for my taste. Everything unravels in a fast paced, convoluted mess.

          And yes, I suppose there were a couple story lines, but I didn't find them as detailed as some stories in older games and definitely not intriguing. They were too closely related and the game took place in such a teeny tiny location that I just felt the whole game to be rushed.

          As for the characters, it's the new writing style I don't like. Characters may be more in depth than the last couple of games, but to me, the dialogue in general doesn't have the effortless flow it used to, and for some reason I never feel the emotions of the characters as much. It's like I can't be sold, I'm not convinced.

          I don't know if that all made sense; I know a lot of this is coming from the "feel" I'm getting from recent games. To summarize, to make it simple, my main issue is this: I just don't like how the games are written nowadays, therefore, I don't like the construction. The plot and characters are just "off" to me, because of this new writing style. That's the best way I can describe it, I don't know if anyone gets the same feeling that could articulate it better than my attempt, haha

          These are all my personal thoughts though, I respect your opinions and see where you're coming from. I'm glad you were able to appreciate elements of the game I tried hard to appreciate, but unfortunately was unable to.
          Last edited by oceanxatlantic; June 10, 2013, 04:22 PM.
          It's never too late to be who you might have been...[ George Eliot ]



          reviews:TMBxASHxCAPxSAWxRANxHAUxVEN

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          • #6
            Hi, and thanks for the detailed review!

            I get what you are saying about the new "writing style", especially what you said about how secrets are handed to you on a silver platter. There's little time for surprise. No building of suspense. Much better to have Nancy discover the secrets by finding clues, e.g., rather than, about the time Nancy is wondering about so-and-so, they tell her in the next sentence (or even a subsequent conversation) why they behaved in a certain way and reveal their own backstory, rather than letting it be revealed through Nancy's investigation.

            I also agree with you on the irrelevant dialogue. I know that Nancy has to engage the characters in a lot of chat, hoping they will get comfortable and drop some important details. That's a classic detective technique. But there was too much of that, in my opinion, and I found myself wanting to click on that skip button. I didn't, but I wanted to, lol!

            Anyway, great job on your review!

            MysteryEye
            GHOST OF THORNTON HALL . . . . . . Dare to Play!

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            • #7
              I definetly agree with the game being different than the older ones, but in a way it's a good thing, that way people who never get to finish the game cause of the hard puzzles, get a chance, but I agree it isn't as challenging, or amazingly put together, but I did still love it. :-) They might have made this game shorter, and less mind blowing cause they are working on the next game, which looks like it'll be very big. Anyway I also agree with it being like Castle Malloy, I didn't really realize it till you pointed it out, and I was omg! so true! LOL.
              ... · ؛ ¯ ؛ · .
              .. .´ .. .. . • . .. )
              . *. ..........` · ´ . . . .... . · · · · . ...... .. ´ ¯ ` .
              . . . ` · . ... . . . ..... . ´ . . . . .. . . ` . .*. ...... . )
              . . . . . . . ` · . . . · ´ . . . . . . . .. . . . ` · . . . ·


              I ... CHOOSE ... JESUS

              For He sooo Loved the World He Gave His
              one and only son, that
              whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3:16
              .؛ ¯ ؛ · .
              .. .´ .. .. . • . .. )
              . *. ..........` · ´ . . . .... . · · · · . ...... .. ´ ¯ ` .
              . . . ` · . ... . . . ..... . ´ . . . . .. . . ` . .*. ...... . )
              . . . . . . . ` · . . . · ´ . . . . . . . .. . . . ` · . .

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oceanxatlantic View Post
                ατṃّṡρhεɾε: It was pretty spooky and dark, the typical ambiance you would expect for a ghost related game. The music ranged from creepy to some sort of weird opera screeching. My friend I was playing with kept asking, “Why does ‘Ave Maria’ keep playing?!”
                Basically my thoughts exactly about the music. Don't get me wrong, there were some tracks that I liked very much, especially the cello theme "Past"...but those songs barely played. Mostly I heard the "radiator clanking" song and "Ave Maria", both of which kind of got old quickly. Although the "radiator clanking" one certainly freaked me out at first.

                Originally posted by oceanxatlantic View Post
                Wade Thornton: Oh wait. Uh. I think he was Clara’s cousin? I could be wrong. He comes off kind of creepy and has some secrets about him, which of course, the manner of storytelling revealed in the most unceremonious way.
                Hehe...Wade was my favorite character from the game and I quite like him period, but you're right about his secrets. I found it odd how he could tell you one of the whoppers (so to speak) about two minutes after you met him, and the other big one didn't really stay hidden for long either. Oh, and I also have no clue what relationship he's got to Clara and the rest of the family...that was confusing!

                Originally posted by oceanxatlantic View Post
                The characters weren’t bad per say, but just like in TMB and DED…they don’t remain interesting because conversation isn’t really meaningful or relevant or coherent half the time and all their secrets are handed to you on a silver platter through lazy story telling. Also, the “speed through” conversation option makes me very angry, personally. If dialogue was meaningful and engaging, there would be no need for this function and no fans would be asking for it in the first place. Just my opinion.
                Yeah, I agree with this. I personally was thrilled to hear about the skip feature, but what does that say about my feelings on the dialogue? There's so much banter in the games now that they almost have a very subtle "TV show" atmosphere, as though every scene with a character, phone friend or not, is supposed to be like an episode of NCIS or CSI. It sounds good on paper, but in practice I feel there's too much dialogue for the characters' personalities to really show up, so instead you have these people with good quotes, not good personalities. (imo, of course. and there are some exceptions!)

                Originally posted by oceanxatlantic View Post
                ṉαṿïģατïّṉ: Remember when we actually had large, engaging environments to explore and not claustrophobic, generic images with nothing to click on? Oh, yeah? Me too.
                Here’s the thing. I know that the actual places are becoming more detailed and life-like, but it seems like development is being invested in making pretty graphics versus a large environment. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t happy with the tiny lab in DED and I was SO not happy with the one-location-two-things-to-click-on-per-frame setting of GTH.
                I got a little tired of it myself, but I was more frustrated with the darkness of the environment than anything else. My first playthrough (or part of it, at least) was on a computer with a bright monitor - then I switched to my laptop and I couldn't see anything. I couldn't even see half the shadow jump-scares! So not only are the environments limited, I couldn't even admire them. Previous games have frustrated me with their darkness, so I was a bit disappointed about it returning.

                Originally posted by oceanxatlantic View Post
                εṿεṉτṡ//ṡυṡρεṉṡε: Maybe if there was more background on the haunting and more to prep me, oh, I don’t know, maybe some subplots or detailed legends versus generic “haunting” rambles of the manor’s inhabitants, I could’ve gotten more into the suspense. Go play SAW or MHM for a good scare, kiddles. Although, I did appreciate that along with jump scares there were little things thrown in there that you could miss if you blinked, which was a throwback to MHM for me. So props for that.
                I have to semi-disagree with you on this...
                First of all, I'll say that I did not at all like the "rambles", as you put it. The dialogue given to some of the characters, as well as information from phone friends, was all but useless - it felt like attempts to make the atmosphere more frightening. To me, that should have been unnecessary because after all, we're wandering around a dilapidated old hall full of dark pasts - why not give us some room to imagine instead of filling our heads with ominous dialogue? For example, the mysterious accident had my imagination going overtime...then I found out the truth about it and it became much less frightening to me. And don't get me started on one of the phone friends. (I'd say who, but I don't want to give any sort of spoilers.) Aside from a few, very specific tips, I felt that they were just there to talk ominously and creepily about things. And that's unfair to the character imo, using them in such a pigeonholed manner!
                However, I did find the game frightening. Much of this was thanks to the shadow jump-scares, especially two certain ones, one of which freaked me out so much that I had to stop playing initially. The implications of the Thornton family also unnerved me, and the explanation of the hauntings actually did as well, especially when I was playing while thinking about said explanation. I'm not going to say that my level of fear while playing was the same as the level while originally playing MHM - I was creeped out more than feeling like "omg I have to get away NOW", simply because I'm older now than I was then. But it was still a scary game for me.

                Also, I have to agree with this statement as well:
                Originally posted by MysteryEye View Post
                I get what you are saying about the new "writing style", especially what you said about how secrets are handed to you on a silver platter. There's little time for surprise. No building of suspense. Much better to have Nancy discover the secrets by finding clues, e.g., rather than, about the time Nancy is wondering about so-and-so, they tell her in the next sentence (or even a subsequent conversation) why they behaved in a certain way and reveal their own backstory, rather than letting it be revealed through Nancy's investigation.
                This is basically the way I feel in a nutshell!

                I've had this opinion about the writing for quite a few games now, so I feel more and more frustrated about it every time it continues to happen. I do hope that my replies here don't come across too harshly - I'm just saying as much because I love the games and want them to be the best they can possibly be.
                Last edited by tsukiakari; July 5, 2013, 11:31 AM. Reason: accidentally hit save instead of preview
                neverending song
                2008-2018

                So far from me walks your dear self
                So far from me too is your home
                to which I can never find my way
                your fairy tale...

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                • #9
                  I agree with you on this. At first I thought it was a good game, but my opinion changed since I first played it.
                  And all I loved, I loved alone.

                  Edgar Allan Poe

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for being honest! Hopefully the right people see this and do something about it. I am on the same page as you...not interested in playing anymore. Back to replaying the old games!
                    I Love V-ball

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