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This "Train" Doesn't Know Where It's Headed - A Review

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  • This "Train" Doesn't Know Where It's Headed - A Review

    ConnectTheDots' Review
    of
    Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon


    Bottom line: The lack of a real suspect-and-culprit plot derails this game from the tracks of HER greatness.

    Plot

    Another confusing plot. It was as if HER couldn’t really decide what the plot should be, so there ended up being no real plot at all. Instead, there was a mission – to discover what happened to miner Jake Hurley, the owner of the train that the group is riding on. After the beginning, nothing really happens to shake things up. One other incident occurs and is resolved rather quickly, and then all that’s left is the hunt for the mine. That means – you guessed it – no long-lasting suspense in this one that ND gamers crave.

    Characters

    The characters in this game aren’t really suspects, just passengers. Lori, the head of the treasure hunt, admits at the beginning that she doesn’t really know any of the people she invited, so why should I suspect the guests of having done anything? In fact, there’s very little to suspect anyone of, unless you are predicting that someone will do something in the future. The other characters on the train are just there for chatting. I actually like the suspects’ bold personalities in this game, although they are a little bit stereotypical and exaggerated, but that’s what makes them fun to talk to.

    If you count Frank and Joe as separate people, then there are seven characters in this game. HER went a little overboard on this, but you actually don’t spend much time talking to any of them.

    I know very few agree with me, but I did not like having Frank and Joe in this game. I’ve never read the Hardy Boys series, so I don’t really know how they typically solve mysteries, but I’m pretty sure that they don’t spend the majority of their time reading a pile of books. I know that this is a Nancy Drew game, but still, the way that the boys were presented in this game was pretty shameful. It would be nice for them to interact more with Nancy and the other suspects in future ND games.

    Graphics

    I have mixed feelings about the graphics of this game. You can tell that HER made some serious changes in the graphics department with this game. The characters seem to be a very different style of animation from the previous games, a little less realistic and a little more like characters from an animated movie. The character graphics don’t seem to match with the environment, which is very detailed. It kind of seems like the characters belong in a different world than the one that they have been placed in.

    To sum it up, I really like the environment graphics and character graphics separately, but together, it just doesn’t work.

    Music

    I just played this game the other day, and I don’t remember the music at all. Was there music in this game? Seriously, I haven’t the faintest idea.

    Puzzles

    This is a game for the puzzle lovers, because that is pretty much all that you do. I found the puzzles to be easy in junior detective mode, but I did have trouble with a couple. I really struggled with the scale, for instance. Some of the puzzles, such as the dancing puzzle, were a little disappointing because they were “plug and chug*” puzzles when they could have been so much better! There was another puzzle that I would have never been able to solve if Nancy hadn’t flat-out told me what information I needed when I clicked on it. If you enjoy solving easy puzzles all game long and don’t care as much about the plot, then this is the game for you.

    "The Scare Factor"

    This game really isn’t that scary. If you are afraid of porcelain dolls, then steer clear of this one. The train is supposedly haunted, but you interact with the ghost very little.

    Other Odds and Ends

    - HER didn’t really take advantage of the fact that this game is set on a train. The train only stops twice, and Copper Gorge is the only town that you get to visit. I was very disappointed by this. They could have had the train stop at various places across the country! That would have been so cool.

    - Speaking of Copper Gorge – I don’t like how this is set up. You get to see very little of the actual outdoors which, based on the map that you see instead, seems like a very cool area. After being stuck on a train with the shades down for ages, it would have been nice to see some trees, at least!

    - The ending was okay… way too easy, really, but kind of cool. At least you got to explore a little bit at the end!

    - No snooping in this game. =[

    - Nancy has a really amazing cell phone. Service across the entire country! Wow.

    * When I say "plug and chug," I'm referring to puzzles that don't require any thinking to solve, where you find all of the information in one location, such as a sheet of paper, and you just plug the information in to solve the puzzle.


    THANK YOU for reading my review! Feel free to comment with your own thoughts. Feedback is appreciated.

    Last edited by ConnectTheDots; August 15, 2009, 03:16 PM. Reason: Removing spoiler-free from title
    My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,
    TRN, DAN, CRE, ICE, VEN, HAU, RAN, WAC, SAW, CAP, ASH, TMB, DED, GTH and SPY

  • #2
    Nice review. I was debating if I should buy this game or not, and your review helped me make my decision. I don't think I'm going to. This game doesn't sound very exciting and actually rather boring. I like games with snooping and investigation, not just a bunch of puzzles. Thanks for this well thought out review! =)
    I have solved (in this order):
    The Secret Of The Old Clock
    Treasure In The Royal Tower
    The Secret Of Shadow Ranch
    The Phantom of Venice
    Warnings At Waverly Academy
    Trail Of The Twister
    The Final Scene
    Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
    The Haunted Carousel
    Danger On Deception Island
    Curse of Blackmoor Manor
    ~*~*~
    I'm pretty new to the Nancy Drew games. & I love them!

    -jessemgirl

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for commenting, jessemgirl! I'm glad to help. :)

      This is one of those games that I probably wouldn't recommend to someone who has to choose between multiple games, especially if that person isn't a big fan of puzzles!
      My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,
      TRN, DAN, CRE, ICE, VEN, HAU, RAN, WAC, SAW, CAP, ASH, TMB, DED, GTH and SPY

      Comment


      • #4
        Totally.
        Seriously, for the music i thin there was a little drumming at the end, but that's it.
        ♥Cissy!
        Life moves pretty fast.

        if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ConnectTheDots View Post
          Plot

          Another confusing plot. It was as if HER couldn’t really decide what the plot should be, so there ended up being no real plot at all. Instead, there was a mission – to discover what happened to miner Jake Hurley, the owner of the train that the group is riding on. After the beginning, nothing really happens to shake things up. One other incident occurs and is resolved rather quickly, and then all that’s left is the hunt for the mine. That means – you guessed it – no long-lasting suspense in this one that ND gamers crave.
          Good points. I didn't notice so much when I played it, but the plot in this game is a little lacking. I like how you describe it as a "mission". Personally, I still enjoyed the plot, but I've always been more of an adventure game fan. This game reminded me a lot of another adventure game I've played.

          Characters

          The characters in this game aren’t really suspects, just passengers. Lori, the head of the treasure hunt, admits at the beginning that she doesn’t really know any of the people she invited, so why should I suspect the guests of having done anything? In fact, there’s very little to suspect anyone of, unless you are predicting that someone will do something in the future. The other characters on the train are just there for chatting. I actually like the suspects’ bold personalities in this game, although they are a little bit stereotypical and exaggerated, but that’s what makes them fun to talk to.
          Yeah, the other characters didn't really seem like suspects to me either. I agree, they all did have pretty interesting personalities!

          If you count Frank and Joe as separate people, then there are seven characters in this game. HER went a little overboard on this, but you actually don’t spend much time talking to any of them.

          I know very few agree with me, but I did not like having Frank and Joe in this game. I’ve never read the Hardy Boys series, so I don’t really know how they typically solve mysteries, but I’m pretty sure that they don’t spend the majority of their time reading a pile of books. I know that this is a Nancy Drew game, but still, the way that the boys were presented in this game was pretty shameful. It would be nice for them to interact more with Nancy and the other suspects in future ND games.
          I never really thought about that before. Good point. The Hardys do spend nearly all the game reading books... not investigating. It does seem a little out of character.

          "The Scare Factor"

          This game really isn’t that scary. If you are afraid of porcelain dolls, then steer clear of this one. The train is supposedly haunted, but you interact with the ghost very little.
          Yeah, this game wasn't very scary.

          Other Odds and Ends

          - HER didn’t really take advantage of the fact that this game is set on a train. The train only stops twice, and Copper Gorge is the only town that you get to visit. I was very disappointed by this. They could have had the train stop at various places across the country! That would have been so cool.
          That would have been really cool! Even if you didn't get off the train for long, it would have been an interesting addition to the game!

          - Nancy has a really amazing cell phone. Service across the entire country! Wow.
          Ha, I wish I had that!
          Very nice review. You summed up all of your points really well and I like your style of writing.

          I commented on some of your points above. ^^

          I did enjoy this game, but I've always been more of an adventure game fan anyway.
          |¯`•.,¸_¸,.•>
          Life is not a punchcard
          .....Make the best of what you have
          .............................<.,¸_¸,.•*¨¯¨*•.,¸_¸,.•´¯|
          ........................................[size] ADTR

          Comment


          • #6
            Narcissa Malfoy and Lucymybulldog, thank you both for reading my review! I'm happy that you enjoyed it.

            Lucymybulldog, I agree with you that this game is more of an adventure game. I understand why some see this as a positive, but for me, it's a bit of a fault with some of the games, including this one. Nancy Drew is, first and foremost, a detective and I feel like the "case" just wasn't up to par in this one.
            My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,
            TRN, DAN, CRE, ICE, VEN, HAU, RAN, WAC, SAW, CAP, ASH, TMB, DED, GTH and SPY

            Comment


            • #7
              I really enjoyed reading your review because you weren't afraid to say your opinion even if you knew it might not be too popular. (ex: how you didn't like how the Hardy boys were portrayed in the game) You made me see this game differently. Great job!

              Alexa

              "The spiders want me to tap dance...I don't want to tap dance!"
              "You tell those spiders, Ron!"

              Comment


              • #8
                I would have to disagree. TRN was one of my all-time favorite
                games. :] But I do agree that Copper Gorge was poorly set up.
                I would've loved to explore a little bit. And no snooping was
                a big bummer.

                I love your review, however. <3 Very boldly stated, but
                respecting other people's views.
                i miss the message boards.
                everyone needs to come back. please. :'(

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alexa and echoraine :), thank you both for the great comments!

                  Alexa, I'm glad that my review allowed you to look at the game in a different light. That is such a great compliment for me!

                  echoraine :), I appreciate you commenting even though we don't see eye to eye on this game. My number one goal in my reviews is to be respectful, so thanks for noting that. =]
                  My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,
                  TRN, DAN, CRE, ICE, VEN, HAU, RAN, WAC, SAW, CAP, ASH, TMB, DED, GTH and SPY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am with you 100%, especially on the lack-of-plot basis. I find this to be the case with some of the later Nancy Drew games (ie. CUR, CRY, and I thought VEN was kinda messed up) =/ It's unfortunate. Anyway, I loved this review, I think it was well thought out and you backed up your points perfectly :) I'm thinking of starting some reviews too, so thanks for the wonderful influence ^_^
                    ..•*¨¯¨*•. Bella
                    (…..*•-•´..¸.•*¨¯¨*•.¸
                    .`•.,¸_¸,.•´…….-:|:-..)
                    ……¸.•*¨¯¨*•.,¸_¸,.•´
                    -:|:- (
                    ……`•.,¸_¸,.•*¨¯¨*•.¸-:|:-
                    ……………-:|:-……)
                    ……..•*¨¯¨*•.,¸_¸,.•´
                    ..©LG`•-•*


                    Click the images to go to my AEs ~> H
                    τhε pεrfεct bαlαn¢ε -- α нαυ و --

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bella, thank you so much for the sweet comment and calling me an influence! That made my day. :) I see what you mean about CUR and CRY, but I really liked the way Nancy was portrayed in VEN. She was truly undercover.

                      TRN is one of several games in the ND series whose plot is basically to find the treasure, whatever it is, before someone with bad intentions does. It's getting old.
                      My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,
                      TRN, DAN, CRE, ICE, VEN, HAU, RAN, WAC, SAW, CAP, ASH, TMB, DED, GTH and SPY

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