Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

Game Review: Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst

When it comes to Hidden Objects games, you can see different “levels”. The Low Level is where you mostly look for items for the sake of looking for items. There is a pseudo-story, but it mostly is there for the sake of saying “Hey! We’ve got a story!”. The novelization wouldn’t be very popular. The Medium Level is when you do look for items, but there is an interesting story behind it all. Sure, the item search is seldom really story related (what’s with all the pretzels?), but there is still something more complete. And, finally, you got Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst.


In terms of gameplay, the game is very similar to the previous games in the Mystery Case Files series. You have to look for items in different locations and solve puzzles to access new areas. There are some differences, however, as the game follows the story more than previous installments of the series: your progress reveals new elements and you actually walk around the manor.

There are different types of puzzles for different tastes. You get the option of skipping puzzles, but that adds to your total time. Some puzzles are particularly frustrating, but which ones you like depends entirely on you, I believe.


The story is interesting. It is not ground-breaking and the ending will probably not have you completely flabbergasted, but compared to the average Hidden Objects game, it was definitely good. As the name hints, it is a sequel (or a prequel, depending on how you look at it) to Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst and adds more to the story present in the original.


Another aspect that was good. Some things bug me at times, and the game suffers from the low contrast of any game set in a rather dark environment, but overall the graphics were fine.

Accessibility and Phobia Factor

As I said above, the game will be very hard if you have difficulty looking at very dark screens. Same if you have difficulty concentrating, as some puzzles require you to be very attentive.

Plus, if you suffer from arthritis or, for some other reason, need to take your hand away from the mouse quite often, you might have difficulty with some mini-games, one in particular. Fortunately, they can be skipped.

As for phobias, this game is worse than the average HO game in terms of bugs (the crawling kind), due to its theme. If you are afraid of bugs of any kind and / or of rotting, it might be difficult to make it through the game at times.


Overall, I think this was a very good game. It was one of the games that make it work to play Hidden Objects games. Actually, it often strays from the genre, as only a small part of the game consists of looking for the hidden objects in a scene.


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Game Review (spoiler-free): Phoenix Wright series and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney


Game Type: adventure, novel-type, law
Creator: Capcom
Console: Nintendo DS (portable), GameBoy Advance (Japan original release)
Rating: T (Teens), all games
Overall opinion: extremely awesome


As said in the title, this is a spoiler-free review because, if one thing is sure about those series, it’s that there are plenty of spoilers to share! I might eventually post another review with spoilers.

Where to begin? Should I start with “these games roxors my soxors”, “those games are absolutely awesome” or “those games are some of the best I have ever played in this life and all past and future ones”? I think I will start with “I love those games!!1!!1!!11!!!!!1!one!”

You might know nothing of those games, in which case I will explain the basic concept. You are an attorney—pardon me, an ace attorney. You must defend people accused of a certain crime (almost always murder). You must conduct investigations, question people, cross-examine witnesses and prove your point with evidence. It’s all very fun and often challenging for your brain.

The game’s awesomeness lies in several points. First, the game play is unique and actually fun. I never found the study of law to be particularly interesting, but the games had me hooked on “big time”, as they say. You must use your memory and sense of observation a lot.

Second, the characters are awesome. The game has a lot of humor into it, which is great because, after all, you are investigating murders!

Third, the game has some very excellent plot twists. Revealing the secret behind a mystery will only bring on more questions, until the very end of the game.

There would be much more praise to do of the game, but I would only sink into fangirlish exclamations. So, if you had never heard of the games or were afraid of them because of their lawyerness, well fear no longer and jump on the nearest copy you can find!

I strongly advise to begin with the very first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and continue on in the order they were released, because every game can contain spoilers from the previous games.

Game Review: Mr. Driller: Drill Spirit (Nintendo DS)


Game Type: action / puzzle
Creator: Namco
Console: Nintendo DS (portable)
Rating: E (everyone)
Overall opinion: good, quick and repetitive


Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits is part of the Mr. Driller series by Namco. The purpose of the game is pretty simple. As one of a few characters you can choose (most of which are unlocked by completing some stages), you must drill your way to a certain depths, among blocks of various colors (a bit like Tetris blocks). The difficulty comes from three facts: 1, you can get crushed under blocks from above if you drill beneath them; 2, you can run out of air if you do not refill it and 3, you cannot climb more than 1 block (2 if you use a certain character).

If you read the overview, you might wonder why I say the game is good if I call it repetitive also. It is pretty simple: a part of the game’s success relies on its repetitiveness. Let me explain. Think of some games like Tetris or Arkanoid: change the colors, change the music, increase or decrease the speed, place it in a different “context”, it still remains the same basic concept. Yet those games are classics. New versions are still released, some for free on the web, others being sold for consoles (there exists, for example, a Tetris DS).

If you want some long challenge, the game is certainly not for you. But if you just want something to play on your way to work or school, or when you’re exhausted after a long day, it’s a perfect choice. You don’t need to think too hard and you don’t fall asleep waiting for something to happen.

Plus, the game is cute (even if you can get crushed under blocks!) and kids-friendly. A bit of a downside, some noises can be pretty annoying for people like me, with sensitive ears, such as the sound made by certain characters when they start lacking air.

Brief, the game is a good choice for relaxing, a bit mindless and not too challenging fun.

A Failed Challenge

Remember my movie challenge? Well, the month of February turned out to be quite a failure there. It appears that choosing specific movies was a rather bad idea.

I watched only two of the movies listed, plus a few more.

  • 2010: The Year We Made Contact: a good sequel, less cryptic than the original. It leaves unanswered questions, but there is nothing frustrating in it.
  • Cutie Honey by Hideaki Anno: a very good movie, quite entertaining and not too “heavy”.
  • The Dark Crystal by Jim Henson and Frank Oz: an excellent movie, with great usage of puppets.
  • Ghostbusters by Ivan Reitman: very funny, as expected. Some memorable quotes and moments. I’m in love with Bill Murray (and the giant marshmallow, of course).
  • Rob-B-Hood by Benny Chan: while there were some painfully boring melodramatic moments and montages, the movie still had some stunning fights and great comedic moments.
  • Zoolander by Ben Stiller: I had no particular expectations regarding this movie, and watched it with someone else, sort of “on the spur of the moment”. It was a good choice, a funny movie with some great moments. I like a movie that can laugh at itself.

And I’m pretty sure that’s it. That makes up fewer movies than I hoped to watch, but various events have been hitting me across the face and I did not always have the occasion of watching a movie. I hope to “do better” in March. As I said, a pre-made list is a bad idea, but I know I can very well watch more than 5 movies in a month without a problem.

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