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It wasn't THAT bad ...a RAN review.

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  • It wasn't THAT bad ...a RAN review.

    I bought this game in the USA because I could wait for it to come out in Canada. Yes, that says could. I could wait, but I didn't want to. SO I played it, and I finished it in a about 2 days (granted, I was painting my computer room...).

    The review:

    Ok, so, your game starts off nicely, you're flying to Dread Isle, you land, and wahoo! Bahamas, here I come. HAHA, not quite. Bess is has been Bess-napped! Oh no! And well, now she's being held ransom for treasure. The larger chunk of the game focuses on finding this treasure.

    Now for the juicy bits, and we're not talking about guavas here.

    If you're on a pretty much deserted island with your friend, it would make sense that the only person you could really talk to, is your friend, correct? Well, George is my friend, and therefore, I can speak to her. To me, I thought she sounded a bit odd from what I would normally think, but that because off previous games I've played, and I'm not going to compare this to any game for that matter. Her personality was sort of shaken, but I mean, if your cousin was kidnapped, who wouldn't be a bit...unstable in their personality? Overall, she was pleasant to talk to, but didn't seem to play a humongiantageous role in the game.

    Okay, so you're exploring a deserted island…now, there's always a possibility that someone else is on the island, and in this case, it's Johnny Rolle. Some hermit Jamaican guy on a pink beach complaining that his boat broke down because monkeys got to it (can we say, manly?). To me, he was a bit of a weird character. I didn't like him much. Not an overly enormous character either.

    The characters in the game…uhh, okay, if I could possibly sum this up (you'd think with fewer characters this would be easier, but of course, it isn't), I would say the characters are a bit bland. Need a little salt (wonder where on the island we'd get that...), but if you can find the pepper to add some fire to your characters, they won't end up being as unflavoured.

    Puzzles and Activities:
    Ahahahah, can I just say bravo to the game designers for their cunning puzzles in this game? For a puzzle lover like me (even though I typically fail at them), the puzzles in RAN are very unique, and challenging. The added wrinkle of time in certain puzzles adds even more excitement and frustration to the treasure hunt. Which, this game essentially is. A treasure hunt. Sure, Bess is gone, but as long as Nancy has a bunch of clues to follows, she'll be fine!

    That wasn't intended to be rude or anything, but really, if anything, my interest in solving these puzzles sort of made forget that we were looking for Bess. If that were in real life, I'm soooo sure Bess wouldn't have liked me one bit.

    If you're not a puzzle maniac, or don't enjoy obscure puzzles, this game may not be your first choice, but a true hardcore Nancy Drew gamer would still try this game out.

    When I say 'activities', I'm refering to any thing we 'do' that's not a puzzle. Many of the activities in the game are set in the third person (someone up there is obviously looking over Nancy, or else she wouldn't have gotten so many second chances), which take away from the game a bit, I personally was not bored or annoyed with the third person. Even driving the golf cart around the entire island, getting lost didn't tire me out (as a word of caution, when you buy this game and start to drive around the island, STUDY THE MAP WELL. You'll really want to if you didn't, ehe.) Besides, driving, Nancy can scuba-dive, snorkel, beach-comb, follow a treasure...thing (I remember this woman from Survivor who didn't know what a pace was. You'll need to know what they are in this game...), and sail around in a boat, which is quite a variety of activities, I must say.

    Of course, there's also playing games with monkeys. Now, just like any task which involves repetitively completing a game to get some reward (ahem, glowsticks, Big Island Bucks, painting...) the 3 games you can play really get boring and annoying afterward. To say nothing of frustrating at times (you may feel the need to throw coconuts at something other than targets, if you know what I mean;). Though it's inevitable, you need to play the games with the monkeys at least a few times to get items. My suggestion if you get REALLLLY bored with the games, is to stop playing, sleep on it or go and do something else, and come back to finish playing games with the monkeys (or is it monkies?).

    Oh, and by the way, I would like for there to be something other than guavas to eat in the game. They have really hard seeds (I would know)...

    My good man Kevin Manthei has done it again with the music in the game. The music, at times, was refreshing, and quite catchy. Other songs were mellow, and defnitely set the mood. My only negative thing to say is not about the music itself, but when the music was played. It seemed like the music sort of just stopped playing or replayed randomly. Usually, I prefer the music in the games to be more connected to the location I'm in. What I mean is, if I'm in a dark cave with no air to breathe, I wouldn't want to hear some pizzicato strings and steel drums playing joyfully in the background. That's just like torture to Nancy! No, something dark and getting my heart beating would be much more intriguing.

    Graphics and Setting:
    B-E-A-UUUUUUUtiful scenery everywhere in this game. The colours were crispy, and the graphics were superb. (I might as well add this now, the new games don't look at all the same as the old ones. Just saying. And I mean, in a bit of a bad way.)

    You're in the Bahamas on a beach resort. I mean, really, you can go crazy, it's so much fun to drive around crashing into trees and...more trees. The setting definitely allowed for the game to use the third-person view.

    The Ending:
    Well, it's supposed to be spoiler free, so I'm not going to spoil the ending. But it's definitely surprising, from whether you're new to Nancy Drew games, or it's one of your first.

    Pros and Cons:
    I hate that title, it sounds so...steely. Industrial grade. Let's tone it down a bit, and change it to Good Things and Not-So-Good Things (IMHO).

    Good Things:
    -the scenery, graphics, and music are are delicious and appetizing to the eyes and ears
    -the puzzles are different, and require a creative thinking process to solve
    -many unique activities

    Not-So-Good Things:
    -music sometimes gave out
    -few characters, but that really can't be helped
    -plot seemed a bit wasn't always the main point.

    To conclude:
    Wow, I sound I'm from George Washington's era. Anyways, Ransom of the Seven Ships with so many new, good, and different things in it, I could never call this game a bad game. Yes, this game is not your traditional Nancy Drew game, and to some fans, that may be disappointing, but to anyone who is a gamer, and not JUST a Nancy Drew gamer, this game I reccommend to you. Not THE definitive or best Nancy Drew game, but not the worst either. I'd rate it an 8.

    Perhaps it may be known to some as 'the game with the thrid person in it' (literally, ahaha), but puzzle lovers will definitely call this a gem.

    This game is probably not a good choice for rookie ND gamers, but will provide be a good challenge for some rookies. For ND gamers looking for interesting puzzles to solve, this is also recommended.

    And just as a side note, there has been a great deal of negativity about this game, I've found. I say to you, the reader, to try and not form too much of an opnion before playing RAN. You won't know if you like it or not if you don't play it. ;)

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by guyscansplay_45; August 2, 2009, 04:36 PM.
    Smile. :)


  • #2
    And just as a side note, there has been a great deal of negativity about this game, I've found. I say to you, the reader, to try and not form too much of an opnion before playing RAN. You won't know if you like it or not if you don't play it. ;)
    sorry but I don't agree I think that read a review is helpful (espacelly if there are more negative reviews then there are good reviews about the game)so you won't spend money on something you didn't like.

    Mystery Of The Fire Dragon

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    • #3
      Great review guyscanplay_45! I gave it an 8 too, and agree with everything, literally, like you said. I thought the third person was unique and loved it all, but rock climbing : ) And also, I thought some of the puzzles in this game were the best yet!
      Again, awesome review!
      Here We Go Again