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A Veteran's Review of VEN

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  • yukixiaomeimei
    = me right now

    I cannot believe I never knew this after all this time! Yeah, I usually won't try hard to get the awards after getting them once, but I still haven't managed to do it completely for the older games (I did for the last several). I'm usually always two or three shy on my favorite games, despite my best efforts, so I guess that will have to be something I try on the next marathon! (ASH is also one of my least favorites too, so I don't think I got any outtakes for it either. At least...none come to mind right now.) As for the loose change, I'm amazed no one has made a guide for that yet. If I ever find one, I'll let you know!

    Edit: There are clips of the outtakes on YouTube at the very least. I just saw the sword-fighting one!
    Last edited by yukixiaomeimei; November 24, 2019, 04:12 PM.

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  • Juliana+Walter
    Whattttt?! Is it true that the amount of bloopers depended on how many awards you got at the end of the game?! That being said, I don’t think I have ever gotten all of the awards in the older games. No matter how hard I try, I’m usually a few short (or only one, which is incredibly frustrating). I think I got close on this latest playthrough, but not all. Either way, I’m just glad I got to see the giant pigeon one. It’s probably my favorite blooper of all time.
    I first found this out in HAU, when, after I played and watched the six outtakes (having gotten all the awards), I couldn't figure out why half of them had 'disappeared' (after getting the awards once, I don't usually bother), so I asked on here, and someone said you need to get all of the awards in order to get all of the outtakes. Also, I always thought ASH didn't have outtakes, but it turns out that I just never got enough awards to trigger them (ASH is one of my least favorite games).

    My favorite is of Fango falling out of the window Apparently, there is one of Helena and Nancy sword-fighting, but I won't see it until I can figure out how to vacuum up enough change
    Last edited by Juliana+Walter; November 24, 2019, 04:00 PM.

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  • yukixiaomeimei
    Originally posted by Juliana+Walter View Post
    Have you ever gotten all of the awards? I've tried and tried to 'vacuum Venice's loose change' and never get enough! I really want to get it sometime, though, because I've heard there are more bloopers in you get every award (as per usual, I guess).
    Whattttt?! Is it true that the amount of bloopers depended on how many awards you got at the end of the game?! That being said, I don’t think I have ever gotten all of the awards in the older games. No matter how hard I try, I’m usually a few short (or only one, which is incredibly frustrating). I think I got close on this latest playthrough, but not all. Either way, I’m just glad I got to see the giant pigeon one. It’s probably my favorite blooper of all time.

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  • Juliana+Walter
    Have you ever gotten all of the awards? I've tried and tried to 'vacuum Venice's loose change' and never get enough! I really want to get it sometime, though, because I've heard there are more bloopers in you get every award (as per usual, I guess).

    Leave a comment:

  • yukixiaomeimei
    started a topic A Veteran's Review of VEN

    A Veteran's Review of VEN

    Allow me to preface this review by saying that I have been playing the ND games for fourteen years. Over those years, I have probably played each game well over twenty times--the older ones probably over fifty--and I do at least one full marathon of all 33 games (i.e., all 32 and SCK Remastered) annually. As I have gotten older, I have found myself ranking the games, characters, music, etc., in my spare time during marathons, and this year I thought I would write--and subsequently post--reviews of each game while I go through my 2018/2019 marathon (things have been very busy). I have lost access to/forgotten about my previous accounts on here, including my very first one, so I made a new one solely for this purpose. That being said, I hope you enjoy my review, and I apologize for the wait to those who have been following me!

    Well, due to some bizarre error with JavaScript and browser keystrokes, I lost my entire review, disabled the autosave function, and, in my very early attempts to discover the source of the problem, replaced it in the browser's cache with random key smashing. So, this review will probably not be as long or as well-written as it was previously, and I apologize, but I have exhausted all of my known options for any recovery attempt and I need to get back on schedule. Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there.

    Before I get into the review, I feel it is necessary to say that my opinion of this game came as quite a shock after this most recent replay. This game came out when I was still in my multi-year obsessive The Phantom of the Opera phase (i.e., watching the movie daily and listening to the movie and original cast soundtracks constantly) and wanted to learn Italian more than any other languages, including French. (I still love PotO by the way, just not with the devotion that preteen me was capable.) This was also the period of my life where I wanted to visit Italy more than any other preferred travel destination, so the game struck while the iron was hot, so to speak. However, with time and age, my opinion of this game has drastically decreased, which I can't recall ever happening with a game that I initially regarded so highly.

    Plot: The Phantom of Venice begins in medias res as Nancy walks down a dark, gloomy tunnel with nothing but a flashlight and some creepy music playing. We're not sure where she is exactly, but it appears to be underground and there are pipes everywhere. After reaching the end of the tunnel, Nancy finds herself in a small room with nothing but a wooden crate and more pipes of various sizes. Suddenly, mere moments after she walked into the room, the door swings shut and locks behind her and the room begins filling with water rapidly. As peril starts to grip Nancy, she wonders how she got in this situation in the first place--everything started out so well--and she wakes up in her room at Ca' Nascosta. Whew, talk about horrifying and strangely foretelling dreams! (No, really the game just takes us back in time so we can play through to that point ourselves.) In this game, Nancy must go undercover to investigate a series of art thefts by someone known as Il Fantasma, or "The Phantom," because he dons a mask and leaves so few clues behind. The GdiF asks her to spy on Antonio Fango from the altana at Ca' Nascosta, as they believe he might be related to these thefts. Nancy soon discovers that he is up to no good and that he is one of five people involved in the crime ring orchestrating the thefts and that their leader is Il Dottore. A box of chocolates arrives outside the Ca' Nascosta addressed to Il Dottore, but none of the guests seem to have any idea who that is or what that means. Who is the mysterious ringleader of the crime ring? Can Nancy identify all of the members before another theft happens? Where is the stolen art being held? Can Nancy find it before its too late? It's up to you as Nancy Drew.

    If there is one thing this game has going for it, it's most definitely the plot. As fantastic and unrealistic some parts of it seem, like spying on Fango from an extremely observable point in front of a suspect, there's a distinct and undeniable sense of intrigue. Nancy doesn't get many cool spy gadgets or action-packed scenes, but she does get to infiltrate (and participate in) the crime ring as Samantha Quick and discover the extremely clever and almost untraceable methods by which "Sognitrico" operates. The only part of the game that I did find to be a big disappointment the first time I played it was how little we get to interact with Il Fantasma himself. I get that animating chase scenes and all would have been really demanding--and what interaction we do get with him is excellent--but I never really felt threatened by his presence. I didn't feel like my promptness or lack thereof was really going to affect his actions until the actual stakeout, so I would have liked having more interaction with him one way or the other. That aside, I think the plot is really strong, and I admire how it never feels like Nancy is losing focus because everything ties back together at the end, minus a couple really minor things involving the non-culprit characters.

    Setting: For a game that takes place in Venezia, I find this one to be quite disappointing, and it took me a while to figure out why. Largely, the game just doesn't capture the beauty or spirit of Venezia or Italy well at all. The most Venetian culture we get is in a book in Nancy's room that barely has any pictures. We don't get to see Palazzo Ducale, Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, Gallerie dell'Academia, Canale Grande, Santa Maria della Salute, Ca' d'Oro, Ca' Rezzonico, Ponte di Rialto, Palazzo Dario, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Palazzo Grassi, or, to my ultimate sadness, Burano. (Okay, on closer inspection, it looks like part of Palazzo Ducale might have been animated in the fake Piazza San Marco that doesn't do justice to the real thing at all.) The actual locations in the game are real campi a Venezia, but, as everyone knows, city squares are gathering spaces and, thus, much more exciting when there are people in them. Unfortunately, in this game, Venezia è una città vuota, so those choices don't make sense to me other than being easier to animate and less popular among tourists. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the in-game locations add anything to the setting. There isn't much to look at or do in each campo, and we don't really get to appreciate any architecture in a place that is so well-known for its architecture. Also, the Argon Building would absolutely NOT exist in Venezia. I just find all of the locations to be so thoroughly unappealing to the eye, including the Ca' Nascosta, which is barren and ugly except for Nancy's room. It shouldn't be called a palazzo, that's for sure. I know capturing the beauty of Venezia is not easy, but I wish we could see a little more of it and see more color in general since everything would have been decked out and lavish on Carnevale. (Have you seen true Carnevale costumes? They are incredible and absolutely gorgeous.) Mercati di Rialto is cute, but I don't think it captures what it is really like either and shopping at the market, especially in the early morning hours, is such an authentic experience. I know that the game wasn't about appreciating Venezia's beauty, but I feel like there was such extreme improvement from Secret of the Scarlet Hand to Danger by Design and Legend of the Crystal Skull. I don't know why it didn't carry over to this game. The box art is so gorgeous, but it doesn't reflect in the game itself.

    Characters: My original review had a lot written in this section, but, for the sake of time, I am going to cut it down significantly in my rewrite by adopting a new format. If you are interested in a more detailed explanation of my feelings about each or a specific character, leave a comment and I will be happy to oblige you! I just need to get this done quickly to get myself back on schedule for the next game!

    Helena Berg - seasoned traveler, journalist for Eurowelt Magazine, and guest at Ca' Nascosta


    1) I really admire Helena's love for art, culture, and Venezia. The fact that she wants to move to Venezia once she can afford her own palazzo is admirable, though not realistic given her current occupation.

    2) She is actually quite pleasant to talk to, which is something to be said for the characters in this game.


    1) We don't know much about her beyond her love for travel and writing. I would have liked to see a little more depth to her character.

    Reasons for Suspicion:

    1) She has rather unorthodox views about Il Fantasma. When Nancy asks her about it, she says, "I probably shouldn't say this...but I think it's great. A caped figure, darting down walkways besides moonlit canals, melting mist-like into the shadows, escaping not with stolen money, but stolen art--it's all so wonderfully...Venetian."

    2) She has connections to the Italian police, and they give her information about their investigation.

    3) She has previously written stories on an Italian crime ring, and she is presently working on a story about Il Fantasma.

    Margherita Faubourg - a waitress-turned-socialite from Pisa who married into money and inherited her husband's fortune after his passing; current owner of the Ca' Nascosta


    1) Absolutely nothing. She is so thoroughly unlikable, I can't think of a single compliment.


    1) She is so mean to everyone around her because she feels like she can be and that her opinion is actually worth something. It's as if she doesn't remember who she is and where she came from before her marriage, so she uses her power to make everyone else feel small. The people she looks down upon are far more cultured than she will ever be, despite all of her money.

    2) She cares about nothing but saving a buck. She literally wants to use substandard materials to restore her historic home at the expense of the artistic and structural integrity of the home because it is cheaper.

    3) She wants to be a part of Venezia's elite circles, but, according to Helena, "lacks [the] requisite wit, charm, chutzpah." She has "abysmal taste in art" and only values it when it can turn her a profit. She talks negatively about everyone behind their back, or to their face, and lies through her teeth and uses her power to manipulate others as well.

    4) She spends all of her time increasing her chances for developing melanoma on the altana. Helena says her skin looks like "soggy toast," and she isn't wrong.

    4) What really rubs me wrong is how interesting she could have been as a character. Seeing a low-to-middle class woman gracefully insert herself into Venetian high society, defying all expectations, revolutionizing the way the upper class views their roles and responsibilities, and bringing in new and fresh ideas about art, philanthropy, and culture? I would have relished in it all. It needn't be seamless, but it would have been far more exciting to see her struggle between sacrificing her ideals and being accepted by this society, or using her newly acquired power to affect positive change at the cost of alienating herself. Even if she stayed exactly like she is in the game, I would have liked to know her motivations and what made her act that way.

    Reasons for Suspicion:

    1) She has squandered away a lot of her money. If she was selling the stolen art on the black market, it would definitely help her restore her lost wealth.

    2) She may have a connection to one of the suspects outside of the Ca' Nascosta.

    3) She obviously lacks a moral compass.

    Colin Baxter - a British artist with a specialization in art restoration


    1) NONE. I practically wrote an essay on this guy in my other review about why he is so problematic. He gets zero pros.


    *Note: There are so many things wrong with this guy, I am going to have to limit myself to just a few. In summation, he is a Nice GuyTM.*

    1) He views Ned as an enemy and threat even though Nancy was in a relationship with Ned long prior to her meeting him. He gets angry with Nancy for wearing the locket that Ned gave her before she left for Venezia, even though he has no right to say anything about it. Nancy is in no way obligated to put up with his constant flirting or required to give him a "fair" chance. She is dating Ned. She wants to wear the necklace he gave her. He acts as if his interest in her makes him a contender and Ned his rival for her affection, when Nancy is clearly not interested and, furthermore, is in a relationship with someone else. Just because he is interested doesn't mean that she has to give him a chance or even give him the time of day. Can you imagine how he would act if he was dating Nancy and Ned was behaving that way? Ugh, just everything about his behavior relating to his interest in Nancy makes me sick. (Even that compliment about her "real hair" was ridiculous. If Nancy wanted to go blonde, that is completely her choice and in no way means that she doesn't feel confident and beautiful with her natural hair color. Also, if she wants to change her hair color, his opinion is irrelevant, as is anyone's but Nancy's.)

    2) He has some serious anger issues, and he displays manipulative tendencies that are very alarming. He completely goes off on Nancy when she tells him about the microscope, which would have been unwarranted even if she had actually broken it. Immediately, he makes it about him, as if she did this intentionally to disrupt his work and discredit its importance. On top of that, he lies to Nancy repeatedly and makes excuses for his lies once confronted with the truth. Only one of his lies is understandable at best, and even then he would have needed to tell Nancy if he wanted to be in any kind of platonic or romantic relationship with her, and the rest are completely inexcusable.

    3) He is extremely egotistical, which he downplays by constantly victimizing himself. He is extremely passionate about his work, which could be considered a good thing, but he also expects everyone else to react to it with the same enthusiasm and interest. If she tells him that she isn't really interested or doesn't have the time to talk, he accuses her of looking at him like a "lowly" handyman in order to get her to do what he wants. When Nancy gives him a less-than-manic response to his interests, he accuses her of being just like everybody else and only interested in art for its monetary value instead of artistic and aesthetic value. He clearly believes that he is the only human being in the world who truly appreciates art, and this belief leads him to do something extremely inexcusable and unjustifiable. Even worse, he shows absolutely no remorse for his actions and does not seem to understand why the other party took offense, among other things. This kind of mentality is incredibly dangerous, especially if he were to extend it to actions involving other people instead of objects. Yikes, yikes, and nothing but yikes.

    Reasons for Suspicion:

    1) Extremely shady past relating to art that I don't want to discuss because of spoilers.

    2) Desire to live in Venice, but serious lack of funding to do so.

    3) Potential link to at least two other suspects outside the Ca' Nascosta.

    4) Visited one of the locations that was hit the day before art was stolen.

    I didn't say much about the other characters in the original review, but the main takeaway was that I wanted to know more about the suspects (i.e., Enrico Tazza, Antonio Fango, Gina, and Nico Petit) and their motivations. Why were they a part of this? What were they hoping to get out of it? What are these people like? I also would have liked to see them a lot more, especially Enrico. We don't get much dialogue with him, but he is easily the most pleasant, likeable, and interesting character in the game, even though he forces you to play Scopa all the time. Sophia is also nice, but we can only talk to her at scripted times, otherwise she is completely inaccessible. I think Nancy could have checked in with her a whole lot more. Special shout out to Prudence Rutherford for being herself and to that adorable pigeon in a sea of other adorable pigeons.

    Music: I have to admit from the start that I have never been fond of this game's soundtrack. It really sets the tone of the game and creates good atmosphere, but I do not find listening to it to be enjoyable at all, and it's much worse outside the context of the game. I really feel horrible talking about it this way, but I really do not enjoy it and I am not even sure why. I don't even dislike the songs; I just don't care about listening to them. Maybe it's because most of them are mysterious and unsettling? Extremely fitting, just not "easy listening" I guess. There is one song, however, that I love and have consistently loved over the years, and that song is "Matinatta." Disregarding the fact that the name is misspelled, it is an absolutely perfect title for the song, as I have always thought about morning when listening to it. There's something really nostalgic about it as well, so I kind of envision this black-and-white scene where an elderly Italian gentleman wakes up in the morning and as he wakes up and goes about his morning, there's a little more color added. There's a hint of mischief towards the middle of the song, so maybe he takes the bacon his wife was cooking after she scolds him and feeds it to a scrappy dog in the street. Then, she comes back to find the bacon gone and laughs, they sit down to eat breakfast with a flower he picked for her on the table. It's so charming; I can't help myself.

    Puzzles: The puzzles in this game are largely mediocre, which is really unfortunate given how little the game has going for it thus far. As usual, I have sorted each puzzle into five categories and will provide a short explanation for why I feel they belong in those categories.

    Great: Stakeout

    The stakeout is easily my favorite part of the game. It's so exciting! Granted, it is also pretty difficult, not only because it is in Italian, but it is also fast-paced and you are required to process the Italian phrases and watch for the agents and phantom in a short time span. I remember really struggling with it as a child, but I also enjoyed it a lot and felt really immersed in the action. Now, though, it's an absolute breeze because I took three semesters of Italian back in college. Still, I can't help but feel the rush.

    Good: Scopa, fax machine

    I have mixed feelings about Scopa, to the perfectly honest. There have been times where Enrico was beating me left and right--the RNG gods really hated me that day--and I actually had to quit the game because I was so angry and tired of playing Scopa. It is really quite fun though, but I hate that most of our interaction with him is Scopa and not actual conversation. I didn't even realize you could go back and talk to him about things until this playthrough, but there still wasn't a lot of missed dialogue. The fax machine is just cute and clever--and I love "Santa Lucia"--but it is insane that you have to translate that whole song. That's where pen and paper come in handy once again.

    Mediocre: Bobby pin lock, locate the tracking device, feed the pigeon, hide from Fango, spot the pigeon, chocolate translation, microdot, dancing, Palazzo Zattere gate, water pressure gauges, Chinese puzzle box

    Ehh, all of these puzzles were either repetitive, boring, time-consuming, and/or too simple. My favorite among them was definitely everything involving the pigeon because it is so adorable. Apparently, some people think identifying the pigeon is difficult, which really surprised me. Anyway, it's an original idea, but there is absolutely no difficulty on a replay for all of these. Also, I put the dancing in here because it gets really old, really fast.

    Bad: Coded chess, tracking the culprit

    Coded chess would be a great puzzle if the game let you buy the chess book at the beginning so you would know that it is actually an observable, purchasable item. Tracking the culprit is a hit or miss for me. This time I cleared it probably ten seconds into it--I am really not sure what happened there or how I figured it out when it never even gave me a location--but there have been times where I died repeatedly. That map is complicated, and there are too many ways to go from one spot. It only becomes obvious if a particular mode of transportation gets used a lot, but it is still just not a fun time at all.

    Horrible: Getting the sapphire, water well maze, optional bee puzzle

    Oh gah, navigating Zattere has got to be one of the worst puzzles in the games objectively. Somehow, I got through it incredibly fast this time--start from the left and work your way around counterclockwise, trust me--and did so well, but I have also had to quit the game before because I was so angry and constantly getting reset by the guards. Ugh. Such a pain. The water well maze is also AWFUL. I also got through it relatively unscathed this time, but the map they give you at the beginning is incredibly confusing and unhelpful. That puzzle is high on my list of least favorite puzzles and might even take the top spot, though ICE might have it beat with the snowmobile chase. If you've read review for CRY, you already know how I feel about those bees.

    Graphics: I think I've already touched on this a bit earlier, but I think the environmental graphics in this game are a bit of a downgrade from the previous game. It's nothing horrible or unsightly, but it just doesn't look like as much development went into the graphics for this game as they did CRY. Overall, though, they are still good as usual, but the textures used on some of the buildings in the various campi are...bad. I have mixed feelings about the character animation because I feel like it is also a slight downgrade from the previous game, especially in textures. The characters are also not animated uniformly, with some getting way more attention to detail than others. The faces have gotten increasingly long and cartoonish to the point of being slightly unsettling and a bit hideous, but they are shockingly expressive, which is wonderful and exciting. I just like to think of the character models as a continuous work-in-progress through the next couple of games, but these characters definitely did their penance to allow for improved character models.

    Ending: I have mixed feelings about the ending, mostly because the ending is bogged down by two puzzles of which I am not fond. I don't think they take away from the ending too much; it's just something that I know made a lot of fans frustrated, including myself. Puzzles aside, I think the ending is extremely well done! Despite getting a peek at what it's going to look like at the beginning of the game, I remember feeling so thrilled and terrified when I walked into that room and saw that crate. I must admit that I was completely shocked by the culprit reveal the first time I played the game. I did not see that coming at all, which was probably because I missed out on something in the game that would have made me infinitely more suspicious, if you get my drift. There were definitely some clues, but I missed an important one that I would like to think would have been a big flag waving in my face saying, "Here's the culprit!!!!" Alas, I did not see that clue and so the shock and surprise was quite real, and I think the culprit choice was good even without the shock factor. The culprit confrontation is also pretty hilarious and kind of cheesy for reasons I cannot explain without spoilers, but it's still pretty exciting.

    Finally, the endgame explanation is actually more satisfying than frustrating. We get a reasonable and sensible motive that corresponds to statements made by the culprit in the game, as well as a reasonable and sensible explanation for how the culprit was able to pull everything off so well that was also mentioned and backed up by the game. I've complained before about how I hate when the ending feels so expository, but there is actual information and conversation in the game that can lead the player to discover everything the ending reveals about the culprits. I also like how--but not how--the game ties everything up for the other two characters as well. Some is deserved and some is definitely not deserved, but I can't say anymore about how I feel about any of that without giving anything away. All in all, I find the ending to be good.

    Other points of interest: Wow, there is so much to talk about in this section for once other than voice acting! Let's start with voice acting though since it is the primary talking point. Once again, the voice acting in this game is good, just like every other Nancy Drew game so far. The most memorable performance for me, other than Prudence Rutherford, would definitely have to be Helena. I remember many of her lines because I love the way her voice actress says certain words, like "Venetian," "refreshing," "person," and "cat." Her voice is just so pleasant. The Italian characters are also really well done. The cadence with which Margherita speaks and her pronunciation is convincing of an Italian speaker who is very comfortable with English. Enrico and Sophia also have really pleasant voices, but their accents sound less authentic and Enrico's vowel pronunciation is poor (he even pronounces Casa dei Giochi wrong). The worst accent in the game by far is Colin's accent (sorry, Jonah...again). The voice acting is perfectly fine, but if he is from Oxford, and more importantly went to Oxford University, then he would have picked up an RP (Received Pronunciation) accent if he didn't have one already. It just isn't a convincing British accent of any kind.

    Moving along, this is the first game that has bloopers at the end of the game! I usually don't sit through the credits after playing these games once, but I absolutely love that the next several games features blooper reels at the end. They are so cute and funny! I'll have to let everyone know what my favorite blooper reel is once I see them all again, but I regularly think of this one because that scene with giant pigeon cracked me and my little brother up the first time we saw it. To be perfectly honest, I still think it's absolutely hilarious.

    Fashion is a big part of this game, and I have to say, I love getting to change Nancy's outfit all the time. There are some really cute shoes in the game, and that red dress is fabulous. I like that there is a practical purpose to it, but it is also a fun little feature and an enjoyable reason to spend those euros. The gondolas are nice too, even though some of the singing is...not great and only small sections are animated, but I don't have time to go on so many gondola rides and spend my hard-earned money. I did it one time to get the achievement, but Luigi is and always will be my gondolier of choice.

    Good News/Bad News second chances make their first appearance in this game, and, gah, I dislike them so much. I wasn't even that fond of the jokes as a kid, but having to wait for all of that obnoxious text to show up before you can reload? Awful. I was so happy when they finally did away with it.

    Oh, and this is so minor I probably shouldn't mention it, but it drives me insane. First of all, the GdiF is not the Italian equivalent of the FBI in real life; it is the Guardia di Finanza (abbreviated GdF) and it is a law enforcement agency (instead of an intelligence agency) under the Ministry of Economy and Finance (not a ministry of justice or defense). It is more like a militarized police force and it focuses exclusively on crimes involving illegal drug trade, smuggling, money laundering, illegal immigration, tax evasion, etc., so it is not really a good comparison to the FBI. Anyway, what drives me really crazy is how everyone pronounces it G-D-I-F when the "di" in the middle is obviously the Italian preposition "di," meaning "of" and pronounced "dee," so it should be pronounced the G-D-F instead.

    The Takeaway: The Phantom of Venice has a good plot, but it is bogged down with extremely unlikable characters, bad puzzles, unremarkable music, and a lackluster setting. I don't think it is bad game, but I don't think it is a great game either, which seems to be a defining characteristic of many games in what I call the dark ages. There is one thing or several things about the game that are really good, but they are overshadowed or weighed down by many things that could use improvement. Don't get me wrong, I can still enjoy the game and I loved it for years after I first played it in 2008, but there are so many things I noticed in the most recent playthrough that really bothered me. For that reason, I give this game five stars out of ten.

    So the final question is obviously whether I think you should play this game. Approach with caution! No, really, just be mindful that there are some things that are seriously wrong with this game (i.e., Colin) and other things that you may agree with me on or may not. If you are a dedicated fan who wants to play all of the games, I still think this one is fun, just not as good as so many of the others. If you've got a good many games under your belt and you're looking for another game to play, I would recommend looking at something else first, unless you find the plot so gripping that you have to know more. If you are new to the ND games, I would recommend choosing another game with a strong plot that also has significantly better characters and puzzles. Also, it is not scary at all, so if you are looking for a scary game, give this one a hard pass. If you would like to play one of my favorite Nancy Drew games, try out Treasure in the Royal Tower, The Final Scene, Curse of Blackmoor Manor, Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon, and Secret of Shadow Ranch out of the older games. If a new(er) game is more your speed, and especially if you have already played the aforementioned titles, then I highly recommend Shadow at the Water's Edge, The Deadly Device, Ghost of Thornton Hall, and The Silent Spy (again, all in my top ten).

    Thank you for reading my review! I hope that my perspectives and ramblings inspire someone to play this game, replay this game, look at it through fresh eyes, or try it for the first time. I should be posting a review of The Haunting of Castle Malloy within the next four days, and I will continue to post them as I continue my 2018 Nancy Drew Marathon into 2019...hopefully my opinions are not haunting you.

    Previous review: Legend of the Crystal Skull
    Next review: The Haunting of Castle Malloy

    Last edited by yukixiaomeimei; November 19, 2021, 05:52 PM.