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  • What I *Really* Thought: RAN Edition

    .................................................. .......MyCatTilly Presents,
    What I Really Thought:

    The Ransom
    of the

    Seven Ships

    Edition



    I know it’s a long review, but trust me, I already cut a lot. I’m a black belt in rambling.

    Plot

    One of Nancy’s best buddies, Bess Marvin, won a contest for a beach resort vacation and she’s invited you and her cousin George Fayne to come along. Nancy had to arrive a day late due to previous engagements, but once she lands on the island, she quickly learns that things have gone very wrong. George is panicking as she explains that Bess was kidnapped and that there is no one else on the tiny island, with no way to contact the police. The kidnappers have left instructions to find a long forgotten pirate treasure in exchange for Bess’s safe return. But as Nancy discovers that someone has been keeping a close eye one her, she wonders if that really is all they want? Its up to you as Nancy Drew, with help from longtime pal George, to save your friend before its too late.

    Pirates, kidnapping, stranded on an island? How could you go wrong? Well I’m not sure how, but HER managed to mess it up. RAN seriously lacks in suspense and fun. Its basically a puzzle game, loosely strung together with a plot. Like HAU, it sounds so good on paper - it’s the execution that ruined it.

    the plot itself gets 4/10

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Graphics

    We’ll get to third person in a minute. Oh, trust me, we will.

    The almost rare parts of a game that are still seen through Nancy eyes, are a mixed bag. Some sections, like inside the resort look really great. Others look down right terrible, like they were cut and paste from pictures in a magazine. And the water, oh the water….by far the worst graphics I’ve seen from any company in a very long time. Water isn’t opaque, and it sure doesn’t move like that. There really is no excuse. This is game 20, and games as far back as SSH look nicer than some of the areas in RAN. Even VEN had realistic water.

    Ok, third person. So much of this game is in third person. A ridiculous amount. Driving? Third person. Sailing? Third person. Diving? Third person. Rock climbing, certain puzzles, and more are third person. With so many people complaining about the overhead views, why isn’t HER listening? It adds absolutely nothing to the games, and I have yet to hear anyone say that they prefer it. IMHO It all boils down to money. Its cheaper to create a 2D image that you drag a little 2D car around, than it would be to animate the surroundings as you drive behind the wheel. Its faster to create a 2D image too, and after all, time is money. I understand that its a business but I, and I believe a majority of the fans, don’t agree with the changes.

    No rating.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Setting

    You start off with a number of different small areas to explore. The resort lobby, two beaches, some ruins, bat caves, and an abandoned primate research facility. Each section is so small and separated by some form of tedious 3rd person travel (usually driving) that its hard to get a grasp of a real environment for the game. Its more like there is no setting in RAN, just locations. I’m not sure I’m making much sense, but that’s really how I feel.

    Setting gets an…erm, uh…2/10?
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Puzzles

    So in the game you find a book of puzzles left behind by a captain, that will lead you to the crystal skull…uh I mean, the treasure. Really though, haven’t we seen this concept many times before? Someone in the past has something valuable, but they don’t want anyone else to have it. Of course they don’t want it to be lost and forgotten forever either, so they write out a book full of puzzles and clues (that are rather farfetched and over the top) that will help to find where they hid it. I get that its an easy way to explain why we have to do all these puzzles, but its been done.

    Anyway, there are some creative and cool puzzles in RAN but the problem is, thats all it’s got. Puzzles. One puzzle after another. No snooping, no sleuthing just puzzles. And arcade-ish type games thanks to third person. Oh, and monkey games. Yes, you play games with monkeys.

    Puzzles earned a 4.5/10 Would’ve gotten a higher score if there weren’t so darn many of them.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Characters

    At the start of the game, it’s just you and George. With a little exploration, you’ll come across a mysterious man named Johnny Rolle (who I changed my mind about several times during the game) There’s very little character interaction and, of course, no phone friends. You barely even talk to George! Personally I love to question the suspects and chat with phone friends (particularly if they have their own minor storyline) and was disappointed by this. Obviously, the whole point was that you’re stranded on an island but perhaps they could’ve thrown in another character or at least allow you to talk more with the ones that were already there.

    As far as playing as George, it feels a little pointless. Unlike past games, you only have two or so times where you need to switch, and if you switch to George at any other time, there’s virtually nothing to do.

    3/10

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Ending *Spoiler Free*

    If you thought HAU’s ending was surprising, buckle your seat belt, hold on to your hat, keep your arms and legs inside the ride vehicle, and be prepared to have your jaw fall off at RAN’s ending. The gameplay itself is ‘bleh’ and not exciting at all. It’s the culprit(s) that’s the shocker. I really disliked the choice because there were absolutely no clues or anything pointing in that direction, it was just completely out of nowhere. There are some other reasons why I really disliked it, but I couldn’t say them without completely ruining it for those that haven’t finished.

    I will say that, if I was new to ND games, I probably would’ve been more than a little ticked off.

    I give it 2/10


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Overall

    RAN, like HAU, was so full of potential but it tuned out to be just one big fail. Besides a few cool puzzles, I didn’t enjoy a thing about this game and that’s really sad for me. I’m just sort of left with this feeling that I want my twenty bucks back. My least favorite game of the series.

    It lacks that Nancy Drew vibe that we all know and love and…I’ll stop rambling now. I’ve certainly said enough :P




    Overall score: 2/10
    Creepiness (10 equals terrifying): 0/10
    Difficulty (10 equals hair pulling): 3/10





    "Should I buy this game?"

    There isn't a single ND game that I wouldn't recommend…..except this, at least if your new to the series. If you end up not enjoying this game, don't let that stop you from trying others in the series. There is a ton of variety.

    Happy Gaming!
    Last edited by MyCatTilly; July 25, 2009, 06:27 PM.
    aka SnappyBlueRoadster

    What I *Really* Thought Reviews
    SCK STFD MHM TRT FIN SSH GDML CAR DDI SHA CUR CLK
    TRN DAN CRE ICE CRY VEN HAU RAN WAC TOT SAW
    LCC RED

  • #2
    Great review! I totally agree with you.
    TrueDrewFan20


    Ned Nickerson
    AKA: "Locket Boy"

    Comment


    • #3
      Great review! to tell you how much I disliked this game, I toke it back to the store were i got it, and i wish i had never played this game! to tell you the truth I liked HAU.
      CHECK OUT MY RAN REVIEW!!!!

      SIGN MY PETITIONS IF YOU DARE!!!!!!
      PETITION FOR THE RIVER HIGHTS VANDLE
      NANCY's FLING
      THE CLUE IN THE OLD ALBUM PETITON!!!!
      PETITION 4 HARDY BOYS PC GAME BY HER!!!
      Mystery Of The Fire Dragon


      ♥♥♥Joe hardy! ♥♥♥
      Joe is my man of course!
      He is funny,sweet and loves
      cheesburgers!

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      • #4
        I agree! Especially about the part about George. The only thing you could do was ***edited***

        Spoilers are not allowed on the review boards.
        Last edited by catsandbooks; September 5, 2009, 04:21 PM.
        Being "normal" is TOTALLY over-rated
        (c)taytay24
        Maddiemoo


        My Favorites:

        Game:

        What Would Their HER Username be?

        Singer: Carrie Underwood

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        • #5
          it's nice to know that other people feel the same way. I truly disliked RAN and I've just never felt that way about an ND game before.
          aka SnappyBlueRoadster

          What I *Really* Thought Reviews
          SCK STFD MHM TRT FIN SSH GDML CAR DDI SHA CUR CLK
          TRN DAN CRE ICE CRY VEN HAU RAN WAC TOT SAW
          LCC RED

          Comment


          • #6
            I was upset that they exposed George and Bess's identity, and the fact that they did it for such a trivial couple of tasks that she actually did. frankly, she was useless!
            .......¸·´ ¯ `+.
            ......(....*·-·´...........¸·´¨¯¨`+.
            ..She Returned to a place abandoned long ago
            .........`+,¸ __ ¸,+´.............THEN VANISHED WITHOUT A TRACE!
            .............................ي
            .... It's up to you as Nancy Drew to save her from
            .......................T H E .. G H O S T .. O F .. T H O R N T O N .. H A L L

            Comment


            • #7
              i know what you mean! HER really let us down when they made this game. just hope the other one is better.
              CHECK OUT MY RAN REVIEW!!!!

              SIGN MY PETITIONS IF YOU DARE!!!!!!
              PETITION FOR THE RIVER HIGHTS VANDLE
              NANCY's FLING
              THE CLUE IN THE OLD ALBUM PETITON!!!!
              PETITION 4 HARDY BOYS PC GAME BY HER!!!
              Mystery Of The Fire Dragon


              ♥♥♥Joe hardy! ♥♥♥
              Joe is my man of course!
              He is funny,sweet and loves
              cheesburgers!

              Comment


              • #8
                I was one of those people who were dead set against HeR showing bess or george to the point I didnt even want to play the game. Finally I did when it came out to stores and I agree with everything you said. This game was by far the worst game ive ever played (and ive played for 8 years) what made things worse was seeing how badly Bess and George were created. George was no help and Bess gave me a nightmare (I am not kidding she scared me). I loved your review reps. and I agree I wouldnt recomend this to anyone unless you collect the games. I put this in my drawer to never see daylight again.
                Ive Completed all the nancy drew games.

                Waiting on: Trail of the Twister

                Dibbs on the potatoes!-Matt Simmons-The Haunting of Castle Malloy !

                Been playing nancy drew for eight years and still not tired of it!!!


                I know the proper use for the words There,They're and Their also Too and To


                I am proud to be an Atheist

                R.I.P MJ. The King of Pop!

                Saw Blue October in Concert! Totaly and compeltly amazing band!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hmm..
                  I saw the trailer.. not impressed. Definitely 3rd person for diving, sailing.. played the demo.. another 3rd person driving..
                  Checked other websites.. makes me even not wanting to buy this game.
                  Better save my money for the next game and if it still doesn't deliver, I will really say bye-bye to HER and find another game.
                  ,´¯`·..´´·,,´¯`·._.´©GirlD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bravo. Magnificent review! At the risk of sounding like my grandparents, I've been around for quite a while and have seen many reviews. Many of them were flashy and colorful and carefully written, but I have found that it is the simple and straight-forward reviews that hit the nail on the head. And yours absolutely has. Cheers!
                    Nancy Drew
                    For Girls Who Aren't Afraid of a Mouse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great review! Couldn't have said it better myself.

                      Am I the only one who was really disappointed by George's character? George is supposed to be spunky and witty and tough. This game made her scared and timid and basically useless. She assisted Nancy very little and offered virtually no ideas. Having her in the game was sort of pointless.

                      Bess and George were far funnier, more clever, and more helpful as phone friends. They seemed so flat and useless in this game. Lazy character development on HER's part.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great review! I was really mad about ***edited***

                        Spoilers are not allowed on the review board.
                        Last edited by catsandbooks; September 5, 2009, 04:20 PM.
                        can you dig it?
                        ...............................................<3 volleyball

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                        • #13
                          Well done! You said everything I felt about this game. Too bad that the majority of players are unhappy. I hope this sends a message about what we want in a game. After all, most of us have been playing the games for a few years at least and it appears enjoy the older games much better. That's when the investigating, snooping, collecting of clues and questioning suspects was the hallmark of a Nancy Drew game. Good for you. You said everything clearly and to the point. I, for one, appreciate you taking the time to comment.

                          Some of my favorites:

                          Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
                          Danger on Deception Island
                          Secret of Shadow Ranch
                          Curse of Blackmoor Manor
                          Treasure in the Royal Tower
                          Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon
                          The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
                          Legend of the Crystal Skull
                          The Phantom of Venice
                          The Haunting of Castle Malloy
                          Warnings at Waverly Acadamy
                          Shadow at the Water's Edge
                          The Captive Curse
                          Ghost of Thornton Hall
                          The Silent Spy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I really agree with your review, except that I didn't think HAU was so bad (at least you had people to talk to) and my #1 most horrible worst game is still DAN. *shudder*

                            That being said, you're right, the idea was good but badly developed. As for the culprit, ***edited***

                            I think you hit the nail on the head with the money issue. It is so much faster and cheaper to create 2D settings, and only two characters to interact with. I really miss having many people to interrogate, waiting for them to leave and snoop around their space, having clues, following red herrings... *sigh* I'll think I'll re-install one of the old ones and play that.

                            Spoilers are not allowed on the review boards.
                            Last edited by catsandbooks; September 5, 2009, 04:19 PM.
                            I like nonsense it wakes up the brain cells. ~ Dr Seuss

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                            • #15
                              I love your review! It was everything that I was thinking. I just finished the game and although the ending was shocking I was still dissapointed because like you said there were no clues. I have played all the games and will continue to buy and play them just because of my curiosity and addiction, but this by far was the worst game. A game is not putting a bunch of puzzles together for you to solve. Nancy drew is supposed to be about mysteries - snooping, questioning suspects, and a few puzzles here and there. I've been seeing people complain about the last couple of games and they don't seem to be doing anything about it, it seems to get worse! The last thing that bugged me (unless it was just my game) was that you only had a square of screen, the rest was black, like watching a wide screen movie. If this how the game was intended to be I absolutely hated it. I don't see what the reason for it is and if we're playing a game we should be able to play it using the whole screen.


                              *SCK* *STFD* *MHM* *TRT**FIN**SSH**DOG**CAR* *DDI**SHA* *CUR**CLK* *TRN* *DAN* *CRE**ICE**CRY* *VEN* *HAU**RAN* *WAC* *TOT* *SAW* *CAP* *ASH* *TMB*


                              Currently playing: The Deadly Device

                              You make me feel like I'm living a teenage dream <3


                              lovesnd <3

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