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My VEN Reveiw

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  • My VEN Reveiw

    The Phantom of Venice
    A review by Tigeress_10

    Plot: The plot of this game is a huge step up from its predecessors, and possibly the best since SHA or CUR. A mysterious phantom stealing Venetian artifacts? Great. The one big disappointment is that Nancy is working with the GDiF, but other than that, it's perfect. 8.5/10

    Setting/Theme: This is a personal note, but--I wonder how many people who play this have actually been to Venice? It's a very popular tourist destination. I went there for the first time a few months ago and loved it, however there were some moments in VEN where I didn't feel like I was there. I.e, for me, when I think of Venice I think of all the little side-roads, surrounded by glass shops and cafes, like Heather mentions. However in VEN you don't see much of that--just Campos. And while they're lovely and all, I would've loved to duck down more alleyways and see the window of a glass shop or too. Like the cafe you see in DAN--something like that would be nice, too. So, great setting, I was just a little disappointed. 9/10

    Characters: Now, I know everyone loves Colin. He's the new..well...whatever Henry from CRY was. I heavily disliked him and found him to be a little strange. Margareta was just rude. And not Minette's way of putting it. Helena was interesting, albeit she seemed a little needlessly offended at times. Enrico was very interesting but you didn't get to talk to him much, and you never talk to Fango, which I found annoying. 7.5/10

    Puzzles: The 'tear-your-hair-out-and-cry' puzzle for this game was Scopa, mainly because it's all up to chance and I HATE it when ND games do this. I know everyone hated Fox & Geese in ICE, but that was an acquired skill, at least. Scopa was based entirely on chance and how good your hands were. Other than that, there was a distinct lack of puzzles in this one--more detective work. Which is nice, actually. One of my favorite games has almost no puzzles and is compromised entirely around detective work. I don't really mind. 8/10

    Music: The music for VEN is really good, possibly the most Venetian thing in there. It's very catchy and exciting. 9/10

    Ending: The maze. Oh God, the maze.
    Now that I think about it, there are three 'tear-your-hair-out' puzzles in VEN, and this is one of them. I had to do it around five times before I managed to catch the culprit. And again, it felt like a mini-game. Please, HER, stop basing the endings around mini-games. Puzzles, sure. Attacking the villain yourself in some unique way, great. Mini-games? Please no. The maze in VEN was at least hard, and creative, so I was pretty pleased with it, even though it took me way too long to beat it. But still-please, no more mini-games? Also, showing the flash forward with the water right in the beginning of the game? Kinda ruined it for me, but maybe I'm the only one. 7.5/10

    • The new second-chance feature? Annoying. It takes a while, and one I got actually revealed the name of the culprit. Technically you knew who it was already, but still, it was annoying to have it suddenly confirmed beyond all doubt at that point (there was still a possibility that someone was trying to frame them).
    • The graphics were amazing. Especially the water.
    • Loved the little nods at previous games, especially the chocolates.
    • The Phantom was kind of disappointing. I won't say how many times you get to see him/her steal something, but it was lacking.
    • Awesome new version of the theme music. Still want the red books back, but I was happy.

    Overall, I'd give it an 9/10. For me, it has its really, really bad points and then its really, really good points, but it strikes a nice balance and is at least unique. Its premise is probably better than the execution itself, but it is fun and, again, a step in the right direction. If you liked any of the games from TRN to CRY, you should really like this one.

    Well done, HER!
    Last edited by Tigeress_10; January 18, 2009, 08:06 AM.
    My 5* Reviews


    All cased closed

  • #2
    This is a 5-star review, Tigeress. I have to agree with much of what you said. You write very well, & express yourself very well. Your review is well thought out & put together.

    I agree with you that:
    *Nancy needs to explore more alleyways (how exciting you've been to Venice!)
    *everything you said about the characters, including Colin, especially
    *the puzzle/arcade-type game you really liked. I thought it was awesome!
    *that the new 2nd Chance is annoying
    *lack of the Phantom's appearance
    *graphics-- yes, awesome!
    *theme music was great (glad to see it back)

    I disagree with you on:
    *Scopa. I found it to be a lot of fun. I disagree that it's "all up to chance." IMO, it's chance and skill, although Tazzo does cheat in the deal sometimes (but I always scrap the hand at that point & start over )

    Fabolistic review! __Sam
    Last edited by nicedetective; August 25, 2008, 01:42 AM.


    • #3
      I went to Italy in March and spent three days in Venice. I just got the game - want to play it cause I've been there - and I think it looks remarkably like the Venice I remember...I think the Square looks the same as I remember it/have pictures of, and what I remember of Venice are gondolas and canals and stucco, lol.

      ♥ dance in the rain just to get soaked

      call a friend just because you care
      smile just because you can
      and laugh just to make people stare


      • #4
        Thanks for commenting, both of you!

        @Nicedetective: Oh, Scopa is definitely fun, and I played it a lot when I didn't have to. It's winning it that's the hard part...especially when we'd be 5-1 after the first round, always in Enrico's favor. I'm certain he was cheating! Probably hiding 7 of coins in his mask.

        @rainingsunshine: I just don't remember so many campos! I mean, there were a lot, sure...but mostly I was walking through alleyways to get where I wanted to go. But the fun thing was, one of the buildings that you pass in the Gondola, I took a picture of and had it as the wallpaper on my cellphone for I saw it and was just like 'hey, I know that place!'. But yeah, HER did a good job. A better one than DAN, where I didn't feel like I was in Paris at all.

        And I want to add to my review about the graphics, is that for the people, since SHA they've taken a turn for the worse...i.e the people looked ridiculous in CUR and TRN, but a little better in DAN, CRE, ICE, (not so good in CRY, I thought) and VEN. But then again, even in VEN there are moments where the people look very strange and blurry, or maybe that was my computer.
        My 5* Reviews

        HAU RAN

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        • #5
          Wow, fabulous review! And so cool that you've been to Venice -- I've always imagined it with more of the alleyways and shops like you described, so the setting just felt a bit off to me, though it was lovely -- especially with the amazing graphics. What I noticed, not so much with the other characters as I did with Helena, were her facial features and expressions -- I was completely mesmerized! Also love less puzzles and more detective work!
          The new 2nd chance doesn't bug me that much for an automatic, non-book-menu 2nd chance. I like that they don't wordlessly put you back to where you made your mistake like in ICE, and they don't give you hints like in CRY.
          And I absolutely abhorred that flash forward at the beginning of the game; so glad I'm not the only one!


          • #6
            I agree with you on most of your points; the only thing I don't agree with you is the puzzles. To me, most of them were very easy and that is why I finsished the game so quickly. I also thought scopa was sort of frustrating at first, but once you got the hang of it, it got better. I don't think it's fair to even compare it to fox and geese; that game was extremely FRUSTRATING!!! I wish the puzzles had been a little bit more difficult. But, I agree with you on everything else! Great job! The fades were a nice touch. Reps will be given.
            . .. .. .. .. .. ...| . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...,•*¨¯¨*•,
            . .. .. ...\ . .. .. .. ../. ...You are my sunshine. ...,•*¨¯¨*•,. •,¸¸,'
            . .. .. .. .. ,•*¨¯¨*•, . .. .. .My only sunshine. .. .',¸¸,• . ...`·.
            . .. . -- .. ( . .. .. . ) .. -- ..You make me happy. .. .. .. .. ...`×.,¸_¸,.×´¨¯¨*•,
            . .. .. .. ...`•.,¸¸,.•´ . .. .. .when skies are gray. . . .. . ,•*¨¯¨*•,. . You never know dear
            . .. .. .. ../ . .. .. ..\ . .`·. . .. .. .. .. ...,•*¨¯¨*•, . ..',¸¸,• . ..). . How much I love you...
            . .. .. .. .. .. ..|. .. .. .. .. .`×.,¸__¸,.×´ . .. .. ...`×.,¸__¸,.×´. . Please don't take my
            ©L.bulldog + Jimmie Davis .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...sunshine away...

            Jeremiah 29:11♥


            • #7
              I agree on almost everything! I could not stand Colin. I found him so annoying. Terrific Review. I did like the ending though. I liked the logic involved. The first time I played, it took me three times to get it. Now, I can get it in one try. I hated Scopa! It would be fun if we could play it casually, because seriously, who runs his business with people based on whether they won a card game? If I was working for someone like that, I would quit! Anyways, great reivew!
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              • #8
                I think this is a very well written review. I enjoyed playing this game while I had it. I agree with you about Colin. He creeped me out. I felt like maybe he was following Nancy through the whole game. I found scopa to be very hard as well. Though it was my one of my favorite parts of the game. I read some of your other reviews as well and found them to be just as well written with consturctive critisim, nothing to tare down the game. Again great review!
                Last edited by pinkdrew24; April 8, 2010, 06:32 PM.
                Nancy Drew