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MED: Bold to a fault; an unfortunate catastrophe_a review by James

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  • MED: Bold to a fault; an unfortunate catastrophe_a review by James

    The Shattered Medallion Review
    by James
    _______________________________

    Bold to a fault, The Shattered Medallion suffocates entirely from its exhausting plot inconsistencies, over ambition, weak mystery, and obsession for originality. Unfortunately, its eclectic and disappointing plot ensures catastrophe, completely overshadowing MED’s solid characters, excellent puzzles, and refreshing lightheartedness.


    Although its plot imprecision decimates the game as a whole, The Shattered Medallion receives a 6/10. To an extent, I did enjoy MED. HeR beautifully designed Pacific Run’s New Zealand, adventure and exploration being at its finest and most enticing since HAU, or even DDI. Aside from Sonny Joon, each character was good, conversations being at their best in a long time. The puzzles reigned supreme. Yet I would only recommend this game to an experienced player, as I believe it is the worst portrayal of a true Nancy Drew mystery to date.

    _______________________________
    Plot_1/10
    ..………As I have repetitively learned as a Nancy Drew fan, too many chemicals mixed in one beaker spell sheer disaster. Take MED. Here is the summary from the game page:

    Ever since the Secret of the Scarlet Hand, the eccentric Sonny Joon always seemed a step ahead of Nancy Drew. That changes when Nancy and George travel to New Zealand and compete in the hit reality TV contest, Pacific Run. Sonny runs the show, but it’s spiraling out of control. Are the mishaps the result of cheating competitors or something beyond this world? Win big to uncover the truth!


    ..………HeR initially framed MED to follow Nancy and George as they travel to New Zealand to be on the hit reality show, Pacific Run. A solid premise. Yet reality TV and Nancy Drew are already absolute opposites. Throw in some accidents, Sonny Joon as director, and “something out of this world,” HeR suddenly promises to not only combine the world of reality TV in exotic New Zealand, the famed Sonny Joon, his backstory, and a theme of aliens? This is complete and utter overload! Where is the plot line? Lines are linear and constant. Where is the mystery? Nancy is never investigating, only playing Sonny’s version of Pacific Run. CRE had better intrigue.
    ..………From its pretty lame start, the game is thrown completely off kilter. Nancy and George are submerged into Pacific Run, which never spirals out of control, as the entire competition is completed. Simply, HeR must choose one plot angle. One solid story arch. Not three. The game becomes overwhelming. Really, MED is the result of HeR trying to incorporate too many fans’ desires into one game: New Zealand, Reality TV, Sonny Joon, and aliens. As with Sonny’s hair, MED offers no balance or assimilation between any of its diverse poles.

    Setting_9/10
    ..………After the dreadful depiction of Glasgow in SPY, HeR’s representation of New Zealand was fantastic. The looming, snow-capped mountains, grey fjords, lush forests, waterfalls, mines, you name it. The designers of Pacific Run’s New Zealand really blew me away. It was an excellent choice to offer all these impressive landscapes, not to mention it was great to finally have another outdoor-oriented game! I truly felt like I was in New Zealand. On the other hand, I want to mention the Puzzle Palace. It was a great location to have different activities, but a concrete slab with colorful boxes coming out of its roof? In the middle of the New Zealand wilderness? Hmm…
    ..………The exploration in MED was awesome. I loved how new places unlocked as the competition progressed. Base camp and the playing field were both large enough to initially give the game an expansive home, before journeying to other areas. Well done, HeR!
    Characters_5/10
    ..………Each character’s personality shone through their dull and limited backstory. I found conversations with them to be great. I cannot remember a moment where the only option was to say goodbye. Each had something to say. Conversations kept the game flowing. Although the plot was a disaster, conversations somewhat helped MED stay on its rocky track. HeR devoted much attention to conversational development, reinforcing the strong personality of each character. I was never bored when interacting with a character.
    ..………Yet Sonny Joon, the center of The Shattered Medallion’s cover. What a disappointment. He remained evasive, sarcastic, and fairly expressionless throughout the entire game. If the purpose of MED was to finally introduce and establish a concrete backstory for the mysterious Sonny Joon, HeR failed. Sonny is as slippery and unknown to me as in previous games. He was a flat and bland character, offering little. He never impressed me with a dull humor. This reestablishes the risky strategy to incorporate characters from past games in new mysteries. HeR had one chance to visualize Sonny Joon, and now his playful and positive reputation is gone.
    ..………There is one phone friend in this game. Although helpful, this phone friend acts as a catalyst to push the story off its Reality TV foundation and ultimately make the plot more explosive. Occasionally, you receive texts from Bess or George.

    Graphics_8/10

    ..………Satisfactory. Some landscapes looked fairly boxy, but characters’ movements and facial expressions were very lifelike. Indoor locations, such as the Puzzle Palace, submarine station, and the caves, were crystal clear and sharp. A huge complaint though: why were the fish, supposed to be swimming underwater, frozen 2D cutouts? HeR never impressed me with the graphics, although they were fine.

    Music_4/10

    ..………Very quiet. This is such a drawback from SPY, where every song was elegantly composed. Overall, the music was appropriate in most cases, yet it never ignited a sense of adventure or purpose. Although the quiet and some nature ambience emphasized the fact that Nancy is in the middle of New Zealand, it is not memorable.

    Puzzles_9/10
    ..………Excellent. Each puzzle that Nancy encountered perfectly suited the game. Every task Nancy needed to accomplish for Pacific Run was exciting, as several came with a time limit. Even if the puzzles became as eclectic and haphazard as the plot, they remained intriguing and fun to solve. As the puzzles and tasks literally made the competition, I found it satisfying how HeR themed most of them after a New Zealand topic. Never did I find myself suffering from brain fatigue, and the amount of puzzles was evenly balanced throughout the game. However, the puzzles were almost too easy, after only devoting a minute to figure them out. I do miss having a few that require a longer amount of time.

    Ending_2/10
    ..………HeR needed to have a solid conclusion. The plot lay in separate strands. Yet they were never braided together. Initially, I thought the ending was incredibly exciting, and I was applauding HeR. The ending did evoke a big sense of adventure, and the puzzle at the end promised to tie the game together. It did not. No motive was given for the culprit… was there even a culprit? There was no resolution, nothing was concluded. What MED is about remains up in the air. Sonny Joon proved to be a highly disappointing character in the end.

    Difficulty
    ..………This is the easiest game in the Nancy Drew adventure series. Most likely created with the intention that MED would then be a perfect first game for new players, this is a problem. Like I said, I would only tell an experienced player to play MED because it is not a good model of a Nancy Drew mystery and HeR’s potential. Because there is no middle ground here, the inexistent difficulty hurts MED as a whole. I completed it with no spoilers.
    ..………The difficulty of this game lies below that of CAR and CLK.

    _______________________________



    Thank you for reading my review, but please do not let my opinions
    get in the way of you playing the game! I am very disappointed with
    The Shattered Medallion, and have never reviewed a game so negatively.
    Yet we have seen HeR's potential, and how easily they can recover
    from a weak game!

    I have my faith in you,HeR!
    Last edited by James the Snoop; May 15, 2014, 04:29 PM.
    `;',.><

    THE STORY OF HEROES AND THIEVES
    my next ae, coming soon

  • #2
    I think this is a great review. I haven't played the game yet, but I will start it this weekend. The more reviews I read, the more I keep hearing people don't like it. I won't let that stop me from playing though. Your review is well thought out and very well written and should be sent to HER
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    (.....*•-•´.¸.•*¨¯¨*•.¸.....GoNancyDrew AKA LJ.....¸.•*¨¯¨*•.`•-•*......)
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    ............................................©ac

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with you on nearly all points! Reps were given for your great review! You are both informative and funny.

      I think the plot line just wasn't there... and no real mystery. That's really what killed the game.

      On a side point, there is one phone friend. At least, I considered her a phone friend... I'm not going to say much more, since I don't want to give spoilers, but since you've played the game, you should know who I'm talking about. (;

      - Ella
      .¸•*¨¯¨*•¸...........¸•*¨¯¨*•¸
      (.....*·-·´`•.,¸_¸,.•´`·-·*....)
      .`•¸........Happy........¸•´
      ....)....Halloween....(
      .¸•´¸•*¨¯¨*•¸....¸•*¨¯¨*•¸`•¸
      (...`·-·*......)..(.....*·-·´...)
      .`•.,¸__¸,.•´....`•.,¸__¸,.•´ ©×MG×

      Thanks for the sig!
      I've solved every case, and I cannot wait for another! Bring on mystery number 32!

      Comment


      • #4

        I agree with you! While I did enjoy playing MED, this game just wasn't what I thought it was going to be. I couldn't even tell you what the mystery really was. Sonny was very disappointing and the ending left me so confused and in desperate need of some answers.

        --Derek

        Comment


        • #5
          Great review! The only thing that you seemed to miss was the phone friend, Jamila, that Nancy can phone. I would love it if you could update your review and give us your thoughts on Jamila.

          Other than that, you really encapsulated my thoughts exactly on the topic of MED.
          You are speaking with an
          Official Member of S.P.I.E.D.

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