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  • [+] ----» A VEN Review

    The Phantom of Venice
    A Review by Songlily

    Mode:
    Senior Detective

    NOTE:
    I had to take about a year-long hiatus in the middle of VEN, so my memory of
    the beginning of the game might be a bit fuzzy.

    What is VEN?
    Well, it's not full of puzzles like CUR, and it's not all fun and games like CLK,
    nor is it really a mix of the two. I found VEN to be somewhat unique, which I
    thoroughly enjoyed. HER came up with some interesting new features and
    puzzles that I found enjoyable and refreshing.

    Setting & Graphics
    First, however, I'll begin with the setting--Venice, obviously...
    I was slightly disappointed with how little of the city you were able to explore,
    even though you could 'see' quite a few locales. The Ca' [where Nancy stays]
    seems small and unadorned, and apart from it, there's not much of anyplace
    to poke around. The graphics and the color, however, were gorgeous.

    Snooping
    Somewhat minimal. There is only one main snooping location, which you are
    able to visit multiple times, but because of the small amount of visitable
    [is that even a word?] areas, snooping isn't really required in this game.
    It's more focused on spy work--tracking people, stakeouts, that sort of thing,
    which is a change from past games and works well here.

    Puzzles & Games
    The puzzles are also minimal, but interesting. We don't necessarily see
    the same old puzzles we've been used to, which made some of them more challenging.
    There are also a few 'games' in this game, which provide a nice break if you
    are stuck or just want to have some fun. My favorite aspect of VEN, actually,
    was learning the Italian card game Scopa, which has since become a favorite.
    I found myself loading the game just to play Scopa in my spare time. :D

    History & Learning
    If you're into history and learning, VEN offers a more cultural spin. Rather than
    history or alchemy, you learn Italian phrases, Italian card games, and Italian
    cultural traditions. This is once again a refreshing change and one that fit the
    tone of the game: less snooping, less reading, less historical data to dig up.
    If you're very much into that, this might not be the game for you.

    Characters
    I was slightly disappointed with the characters in VEN. Though very colorful
    [which I enjoyed], our interactions were minimal, and there were only three
    main suspects [I prefer four or five for the challenge!]. It was difficult to
    really get to know them, and there could have been so much more there.

    That being said, there was a wide network of people you had the chance either
    call, contact, get orders from, work with, or spy on, which made the game
    feel more realistic. Nancy usually seems isolated in a world of five people, but
    the presence of others [albeit mostly anonymous and unseen] aided the 'spy'
    feel of the game and made Venice feel a little less deserted.

    Suspense
    There was more in this game than I was expecting, but it came along with
    the spy work. Nothing too creepy, mind, but definitely a few parts that had
    my heart racing. The ending was particularly exciting, with a highly suspenseful
    'beat the clock' part as well as an extra chase of sorts. Definitely a step
    up from recent games.

    Overall, I enjoyed VEN. Though I sometimes found myself bored as the game
    was pretty sequential [and I was stuck or waiting!], I thought the combination of
    a colorful setting and a few noticeable differences from previous games
    made it a great edition to my ND shelf. I'd recommend it.

    8.5/10
    Last edited by Songlily; June 15, 2011, 09:45 PM.

    Songlily

    Smile . . . just because.


    SHA | CUR | CLK | ICE | CRY | VEN | HAU | RAN | WAC | TOT | SAW | CAP | Shop
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