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Refreshing as Gelato - daydreaming's Review of The Phantom of Venice

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  • Refreshing as Gelato - daydreaming's Review of The Phantom of Venice

    Having played Nancy Drew games obsessively after borrowing Secrets Can Kill from a teacher, I have grown to love the computer games as much as the books. I waited patiently for each upcoming adventure, and spent many hours in front of the computer, slowly also making my friends and family likewise addicted.


    The most recent Nancy Drew games (notably after Blackmoor) seemed to lack in the plot line and length - it seemed as though the graphics were improving even as the quality of the plot was diminished. However, like any true addict, that did not stop me from eagerly awaiting and replaying each game (except Creature of Kapu Cave…), in the hope that the next one would return to the old classic ND quality.

    So, with rather low hopes for the game, I installed and began it. However, from the first seconds of the game, as the classic Nancy Drew theme music played, I thought that perhaps this game could live up to the standards of even the veteran gamer.


    Graphics
    As usual, Her Interactive paid great attention to the graphics, and it showed. The view from Nancy’s balcony, down into the canals below, was one of my favorites. The characters, too, have grown more lifelike in their appearance. However, my one comment is that some can appear rather blurry. Perhaps that is a sacrifice we have to make for the rest of the amazing graphics.
    Rating - 9.6/10

    Plot
    The plot of a masked thief creeping through the shadows in Venice, clutching stolen art is "wonderfully Venetian." I thought this idea was perfectly suited to an international mystery.
    Nancy’s role in this international mystery was also very fitting - an international detective, working with the GDiF to catch the thief. For the first time, we could make Nancy go undercover by changing clothes and assuming a different name, all of which I found very fascinating.
    The entire storyline was very interesting, especially the ending (see Ending).

    Rating - 10/10

    Setting
    Ciao, Venice!
    A city of art, architecture, romance, and intrigue, Venice was a perfect setting for a mystery!
    I loved, loved, loved the gondola rides, Scopa, and gelato. However, I wish there was a greater need to learn or use facts about Venice or even Italy in the game. For example, in Secret of the Scarlet Hand, learning and using facts about the Mayans was a necessary part of the game. Something similar would have been wonderful.
    Also, in a bustling city, we only ever saw five people. However, I understand that would be terribly difficult to make.

    Rating - 8/10

    Suspects and Character Interaction
    All of the characters in this game were interesting. I really would have liked to get to know them a bit more. Though we did get to talk, the conversations were a bit limited. Colin quickly became a favorite for his endearing quirks. However, we never spoke to Fango, and only to Tazza after Scopa. I wish we could have had more necessary interaction with the characters, and found out more quirks (a personal favorite part) and motives.
    Rating - 7.5/10

    Gadgets/Tools/Items
    Birdseed. Binoculars. Bobby Pins. Several Fliers. Nancy has big pockets! The gadgets were good, and the tasks we used them for were interesting.
    No cell phone and speed dial (we are out of the country) has caused me to memorize the Hardy Boys’ number (which I accidentally called today… haha).

    Rating - 10/10

    Tasks
    The tasks were interesting and fun. Nancy did everything from chasing pigeons to searching for a gadget to planting tracking devices to dancing to filling evil diamond wells (argh…). These are probably some of my favorite tasks so far.
    I prefer non-arcade style tasks. Only one task was in that format, though, so I enjoyed many of our tasks.

    Rating - 10/10

    Tidbits/Quirks/Features
    This is the first Nancy Drew game where we have gotten to dress Nancy, and I loved it! It really added to the fun of the game, and also aided us in our “undercover” work.
    I enjoyed checking in on the Hardy Boys and Ned, but missed Bess and George.
    I loved the features such as the bathroom, costumer’s shop, and ways to earn money around Venice.

    Rating - 10/10

    Scare Factor
    I was anticipating more scary bits in this game (it does have the word Phantom in the title!), but I was perfectly happy with the amount we had. I am a bit of a chicken, and playing the game with a feeling of terror in my stomach is never fun.
    My only comment is that one scary part was spoiled by Nancy’s flashback at the beginning of the game, causing me to remark to my friend that we were about to die.

    Rating - 9.7/10

    Length
    Perhaps a bit short, but the puzzles were interesting, and the game didn’t get tedious.
    Rating - 8.8/10

    Ending
    Wonderful ending!!!
    I would have liked to be have more clues to figure it out right beforehand, though.
    But altogether, it was great, and leaves hope for a continuation game. (Yay!)

    Rating - 10/10

    Overall - 9.37/10

    I am so happy - a new Nancy Drew game I love?! Unbelieveable! Great job, Her Interactive!

  • #2
    Wow! I really liked your review you described everything in the game! I just finished VEN today and I agree, out of the more recent games This game was really fun and just alot better than CRE and CRY!!I was really suprised that it was just so good and I cant wait for the next I love scary games. Reps!
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    Women in White
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    `•-•*…..`•.,¸_¸,.•´.…..*•-•´ `•-•*…...`•.,¸_¸,.•´.…..*•-•´

    ©LadyGreenleaf

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    • #3
      thanks! :)

      Comment


      • #4
        Great review! I basically agree with everything you said.

        "Now that's what I call indigo! — Colin Baxter, The Phantom of Venice

        As of December 2012, I've finished all 27 games!


        I am currently...

        ................................watching: Sherlock Holmes and "Homeland"
        ................................eating: apples and peanut butter
        ................................listening to: The Lumineers
        ................................playing: Just finished DED!

        Comment


        • #5
          Yay! Thanks for the feedback :)

          Comment


          • #6
            Awesome review! I agree with everything you said, the recent games weren't that good lately, but this one came back to the style of Old ND games! And we heard the theme song at the beginning again!
            ARKHAM
            ASYLUMCITYORIGINSKNIGHT

            HARLEY X JOKER
            NANCY & NED FOREVER

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