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"Hmm..." (a review)

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  • "Hmm..." (a review)

    So, I've just finished playing The Shattered Medallion and I'm still trying to work out how I feel about it. Let's decompress.

    GRAPHICS: Amazing. They keep getting better with every game! The characters have very expressive faces (which really enhances the dialogue) and their actions don't feel like they're on a loop (if you look back at some of the older games, character movements are very obviously looped). I'm blown away by them. 10/10

    SETTING: Going into the game, I had no strong feelings about New Zealand, so I didn't have any expectations one way or the other. It was nice and there were a decent number of places to explore. No strong opinions. 8/10

    CHARACTERS: There was a lot of untapped potential here. All of the characters seemed really interesting, but you don't interact with them enough to get a good sense of who they are. And Sonny. Oh, Sonny. I thought he was okay, but I had higher expectations for him. He didn't live up to the person we've been waiting to meet since Secret of the Scarlet Hand. (And the Nancy/Sonny interactions were wildly disappointing...though I loved Bess's impressions of Sonny!) I hope he comes back in later games- maybe the lack of character interaction just made his presence less impactful? I just wish the characters in the game left stronger impressions. 6/10

    PLOT: I'm still having trouble unraveling this. There's the show and the mystery: two plots with minimal overlap. The show gets way more focus than the mystery, which was disappointing . Again, the mystery had potential to be great, but too many details were glossed over in favor of shifting focus towards the competition. This balance reminds me of Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon (although the game/mystery balance there was skewed in favor of the mystery, and the balance worked out much better). Nancy Drew is famous for being a detective, but this game seems to forget that. More mystery, less reality show! 4/10

    PUZZLES: They were pretty fun. The only puzzle I really needed help with was the ending puzzle. To be honest, I still don't fully understand how A led to B on that one. Otherwise, they were fine. I wish I didn't have to do the same puzzle every time I needed to recharge the sub claw, though. 8/10

    CULPRIT/ENDING: The Culprit's motive was really just tacked on at the end so that the game; it felt very forced. The ending would have been more impactful if there was more focus on the mystery. I felt let down. 3/10

    This game had a lot of potential, but didn't live up to it. It's not HER's worst game, but definitely not the best. It didn't help that this came directly after SPY, my favorite ND game. If I was to describe MED in one word, it would be, "Meh."

    At least the preview for the next game looks awesome!
    600006
    =========================

  • #2
    I completely agree. If I had to say anything about this game it would be "meh". I really hope HER reads these reviews and takes them to heart and improves a lot on the next game! Bring us back our good plots, motives, villains and endings please!
    ²iLoVeNaNcYDrEw²

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    • #3
      I also agree with you 100%. I didn't even find myself feeling anxious to get home from work to play this game, like I usually am. There was definitely not enough of a mystery for me because it focused almost primarily on Sonny and his life. I think it was a mistake for HER to include Sonny in a game. It completely ruined my own perception of who he is.
      NANCYDREW
      .the.ACE.in.every.case.

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      • #4
        I agree with your review completely! the game wasn't terrible, it just felt sort of bland. I guess it probably doesn't help that I'm not a huge fan of reality tv shows, so having that as the focus of the game was sort of a deterrent for me.
        Have officially finished all Nancy Drew games

        My favorites:
        Secret of Shadow Ranch
        Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon
        Ghost of Thornton Hall
        The Silent Spy
        Labyrinth of Lies

        It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
        ~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
        A.K.A My favorite novel ever

        Just as I am loyal to The Doctor, and not the actor playing him, I am loyal to Nancy. There will be an adjustment period for the new voice actor for Nancy, however, I've made it through many regenerations watching Doctor Who. If I have learned to love a new Doctor that many times, I'm sure I can learn to love a new voice for Nancy.

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        • #5
          I agree that the balance seemed way off. I was so heavily invested in the "reality game show" side of things that the Sonny mystery seemed like an afterthought.

          Also, I agree with another reviewer who mentioned that the supposed rush to get the medallion pieces was very misleading. I didn't even play the mini games, because I thought I was wasting time while the clock was ticking on the stages of the game show. So the race was an unnecessarily stressed part of the plot. Apparently your placement doesn't change no matter how fast you complete the stages. If I'd known that, I would've slowed down to play the mini games and would've bought things from the little vending machine.

          Meanwhile, the parts of the game that should have had some anticipation and down-to-the-wire sleuthing or puzzle solving were totally absent. I didn't even know I was working on the final puzzle. No sense of urgency, either from impending death or fast music. So the ending seemed to come from nowhere. All of the sudden it was "Dear Ned..." What? I finished? What happened? What? Nothing is explained.

          The "story" in this game... just incredibly disappointing. We have had so many games with the mention of Sonny. Why no explanation for his travels to places right before Nancy arrives? I appreciate the attempt at depth by including the grandfather, but you never really got to know Sonny from Sonny himself. It was just like the other games, where you see his goofy doodles. In person? He was like a cardboard cutout. After over a decade of building this character, the writer for this game totally blew it. Totally. Blew. It. I'm so disappointed.

          The conversations with Sonny were an absolute bore. We didn't learn anything from him or about him. He didn't show any depth until the end, and even then it was only for abut half a second.

          Kudos to the graphic designers or whoever designed Sonny's look. I thought it was very fitting, although he would've looked better with blue alone and not so much purple, but that's a minor gripe.

          On the plus side, I thought the graphics were good. I liked being able to explore multiple places, but only after "unlocking" them so you don't get bored too quickly. I liked having Bess and George in the game. And I actually enjoyed the reality show "challenges," although they took up too much of the gameplay.

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