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HAU Disappointing - A Review

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  • HAU Disappointing - A Review

    ConnectTheDots' Review
    of
    The Haunting of Castle Malloy



    Bottom line: The idea behind the game was promising, but ultimately, HAU fell flat in its characters, chills and even its setting.

    Plot

    This game was so intriguing. Imagine if your friend's wedding was on the verge of being postponed because the groom was missing! Imagine the tension and the fears and the hysterical bride. There was none of that in this game for several reasons. First, the game was set in a single night, not several days, so the tension wasn't really given time to build. Secondly, the puzzles didn't really correspond with the plot in any way, which was a bit of a distraction considering that those puzzles make up most of the game. Thirdly, none of the characters seemed to care all that much that Matt (the groom) was missing, which leads me to...

    Characters
    As previously stated, the characters were surprisingly apathetic. Not even Kyler, the bride, seemed concerned that her groom was missing! As I was playing, I thought to myself, "If the bride doesn't care, why should I care?"
    The only character that was really memorable was Donal. His eccentric outlook made up for the personality that the others lacked. There weren't many opportunities to talk to him, which is a pity, but none of the other characters had much to say, either. For this reason, I felt very alone when I played this game, which isn't a nice feeling.

    Graphics
    The graphics were very nice! I was especially pleased to see the characters' mouths moving along with the words perfectly. Some characters looked a little more detailed than others, but overall, a job well done!

    Music
    The music was good, but it didn't seem quite as varied as the other ND games. One of the songs reminded me a little of "Greensleeves," which was a little distracting while I was playing.

    Puzzles
    Ahh, the puzzles. If you're a big fan of puzzles (and a large variety of puzzles), then this is the game for you. Some near the end were particularly challenging and time-consuming, while others were very easy. Some of the puzzles were fun, while others were almost task-like. The good thing about the puzzles is that they really lengthened the game. Also, I know for a fact that one of the puzzles was almost copy and pasted from another ND game, which was a bit disheartening. I hope HER isn't running out of ideas!

    "The Scare Factor"
    The game didn’t really live up to its name. The fact that the game was set in the dark was somewhat creepy, but it was easy to get comfortable with the dark after awhile because there were very few "jumpy" moments! The game didn't lull me into a false sense of security with such few scares, but a real sense of security. I feel like the game could have been so much creepier if Nancy walked around the grounds in first person, not third, so we could see the gloomy landscape as if we were walking past it, not looking at it from above.
    The banshee was a scary concept, but she rarely made an appearance, and when she did, it wasn’t scary so much as creepy.

    The Setting
    This was my biggest disappointment. Ireland is such a beautiful backdrop for a wedding, but I felt like we didn't get to experience its beauty in this game. By making HAU a night game, we didn't get to appreciate the lush green landscape and the sea. Was Nancy really in Ireland? She could have been anywhere.

    As for the castle, there were only a few rooms to explore, which was a bummer. TRT had more of a castle than HAU.

    Other Odds and Ends
    - I enjoyed playing the Find the Difference game and making drinks very much, but I didn't make drinks too much because I really didn't need the money.

    - I liked how there was a story going on at home. It made me want to keep calling Ned, Bess and George for once to found out what was happening.

    - I strongly disliked the use of the third person view while walking around the grounds. In the previews of the recent games, we hear, "It's up to you as Nancy Drew!" Having to experience the game from the third person view took this feeling away, and it made me feel more like a puppeteer than Nancy herself.

    In Conclusion

    I've played all 19 games, and this one isn't one of my favorites. It's not ridiculously bad, but it's one of those games that I probably won't play again for a few years. It might even be one that I look at on my shelf beside all the other games and continue to ignore because there are ND games out there that are so much better!

    THANK YOU for reading my first review!
    Last edited by ConnectTheDots; January 12, 2009, 11:48 AM.
    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
    Ok, so I just went through and read all of your reviews and I must admit that I am a fan I really do agree with you most of the time (particularly HAU and FIN) and its refreshing to read such well thought out and honest reviews.

    Oh, And I really like the "bottom line" feature at the beginning.

    Keep up the good work!
    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


    • #3
      Wow.

      MyCatTilly, thanks so much for the kind words! I'm glad you like the bottom line. It's a little ironic, considering that it's at the top of the reviews instead of the bottom, but I like it that way. =]
      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
        Very well done review. I was a bit disappointed in the ending.
        Angel's fly because they take themselves lightly.- Keith Urban

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice!

          Okay, I'm a fan just by this one review! I really like how precise and straight-forward you were with this game, and I agree completely. Alot of the things you pointed out are similar to my review. I hope you keep up the good work!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks to both of you!

            Thanks for your comments!

            Terrilynn27, I'm surprised that I didn't write about the ending! I thought it was way over the top and anticlimactic. I think I laughed through the entire thing. It didn't stress me out like the ending puzzles normally do because I didn't even know that it was the ending. I thought, "Really... that was it?"
            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

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