Echoes of the Past: The Kingdom of Despair Collector's Edition
Oh My, Such a Dissapointment!
I remember the first installment of the Echoes of the Past series which came out in 2008. HOPA games were relatively new and I found the first game quite challenging and fun to play. Since then we have come a long way and HOPA games have progressed with outstanding graphics and technical enhancements. The Kingdom of Despair unfortunately missesthe mark from being an outstanding game due to the poor graphics and sounds. I was rather disappointed at some of the artwork and found voice-overs and musical track to be slightly out-dated. Since this is the fourth or fifth game of the series, my expectations were rather high and it just seems to pale in comparison to some of the HOPA games that are being developed with truely outstanding graphics and aound effects.
I found the story started off weak and if you havent played the earlier games, it really wont matter. However, I felt that there could have been some continuity in the plot and I really found the opening scen rather off-putting. Our storyline continues with the Evil Witch who has returned and now has captured several people in the Kingdom. It is up to us to liberate them from her curse. This means we travel from one scen to another, helping out various charaters by undertaking various tasks and solving puzzles.
Gameplay offers three options in difficulty and game features include a map that will allow you to jump and a journal. Hint system does refill quickly and is quite helpful. Inventory is located at the top of the screen which I really do not like so much. Im a creature of habit and my cursor still moves to the bottom of the screen on pure reflex. There are achievements to earn and you need to collectpotions throughout the game which jump out at you while you search a scene.
Despite the quality of graphics, gameplay is a bit slow moving but nevertheless challenging. There is alot of backtracking to do and the map is there to help you. HO scenes are crowded and come in two styles. Find 12 of the same items or search for items on a list. There is slight interaction but some items are so tiny, they can be difficult to spot at times.
I really enjoyed the mini-games as there are plenty along the way. Some were easy to solve as others required some patience and were rather time-consuming which I do enjoy.
I was surprised that I was unable to complete the first chapter within the demo time as I got stuck on one of the mini-games. Unfortunately I have no idea how many chapters are in this game from the SG. I really which developers would not do this, I find it very misleading and the ambiguity prevents me from an immediate purchase.
In my opinion, Kingdom of Despair is a good game but hardly a great game. It lacks a strong story, Visual and Sounds are rather poor, it runs at a slow pace and most of all, it lacks the WOW factor. Although I found some of it challenging and did enjoy the various puzzles and mini-game, there lacks a cohesiveness to the gameplay which made some of it tedious.
I am really on the fence with this game and will most probably wait for either a sale of some sort on CE games or the SE version. I will however recommend it as it does have merits with the various puzzles and mini-games. Gameplay just did not excite me as much as the previous installements and I feel somehow let down with this story. However I do recommend you go back to the earlier installments, especially the first game, Royal House of Stone which in my opinion was the best of the entire series.
August 15, 2013
A quality game, but a letdown compared to its predecessors...
I was surprisingly disappointed in this latest edition of Echoes of the Past.
Pros: There is a map, a comprehensive strategy guide, beautiful graphics. Several hours of gameplay.
Cons: Storyline is mundane. Gameplay requires a bit of handholding and is dependent on using the map. Music is very repetitive.
I have enjoyed the other games in the series immensely, but the storyline in this episode was unable to capture me. At times, I was honestly confused. Also, had there not been a map, I would have been totally lost.
Please don't get me wrong, the game is definitely a quality made game and perhaps those that have not played the previous games in the series would enjoy it, but I expected more from this game. I became bored with it and ended up not finishing the game.
August 25, 2013
Bug ruined enjoying this game
I started playing the game which I was enjoying very much UNTIL.... I used the glass cutter in a HOP BEFORE using it elsewhere. The glass cutter disappeared from my inventory after using it in the HOP which prevented me from going further in the game. To discover this -- I restarted the game and followed the guide -- page by page which was not challenging nor enjoyable. Also, after finishing the game and moving on to the Bonus portion -- I had trouble loading the game. Sometimes it would load and sometimes it wouldn't but persistence did allow me to finally finish it. I'm not sure whether I would recommend this game or not.
August 24, 2013
A decent if not great sequal
It was an alright game but to be honest I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it. The only reason to buy it, in my mind, was the bonus chapter. For me it was the best part of the game.
August 21, 2013
Echoes of the Past: The Kingdom of Despair Collector's Edition
I am certain that I am almost to the end of this game. One of the things left to do is get the blue sparkle object out of the glass case (it's the last one I need). I had the glass cutter and it has completely disappeared from my inventory and I have checked every single level to see if maybe I missed something somewhere, and that's a no. Big disappointment that this glitch happened as I was kind of enjoying this one as the puzzles were a little more of a challenge and different that other games of the same nature.
August 17, 2013
from the free trial
This looks like it will be a good game as a SE. On first glance it looks as thought there are collectables and achievements but that can be deceiving. All but one of the achievements are game related so you earn them by just playing the game. There are no extras to strive for like find ten items in ten seconds or finish a mini game in a minute for example. Just play the game and you'll earn these ones. Quite disappointing. As for the collectables there is only one --15 potion bottles-- and they sit right out in the middle of the floor. So no real achievements to strive for, not much in the way of collectables and no morphing make me think I'll wait for the SE version. The storyline is also the same as the others that came before it. The witch has returned yet again. On the plus side the graphics are lovely, I've always liked the music and even in the first hour there were some fun puzzles. For sure a buy for me as soon as the SE comes out. This developer should take a look at all that the best games we have seen lately have had to offer and come up to speed. If they were to present a more complete package these games would once again be really great as CE's but for me this CE just doesn't quite measure up. Will write a review for SE when I buy it.
August 15, 2013
A nice game but...
My overall rating is nice. Not more than that. There are just 15 potions to collect, no morfing objects and no funs or mirrors to collect to get additional hints. No full screen on my laptop. Maybe not worth of a CE.
September 19, 2013
I LOVE the first Echoes of the Past games. But as other have said.....for some reason this fell short. I have purchased the Collectors Editions of all the others because they tend to be long and at times you need the extra help to get through tedious back and forth play.
This one started off very interestingly, but in the first two minutes I was confused. As one other reviewer said, the witch is back, and quite beautiful and young.....but her voice over is of a crabby mean old witch. They either needed to stay consistent with the past games, or just made her over completely.
Keep in mind, this review is for the demos....one for the CE version and the other for the regular version. There really wasn't that much difference.
Some of the characters were very unpleasant.....right off the bat you are stopped by a skeleton with a Peter Lorre voice asking for bracelets ???? to let you pass. You are allowed to go in one passage and you meet a jello type jelly bean man who is guarding a niche with a HOS.
You find some things and pass into a kingdom where the kindly queen has been disfigured and has turned bitter. It's very frustrating because you search all these places that require action, but very little can be accomplished for a good while.
The hint would just circle and area where you already know you need something.
The HOS were beautiful, but a few had items that were torn pieces of a painting and some of the pieces were not discernible because you had no idea what to look for.
I am recommending to play both demos and decide for yourself. If you are a fan of Echoes of the Past....expect the same music and the same great visual quality.
I rated the level of challenge with four stars but it was not a fun challenge in my opinion.
I personally felt this was going to end up being a tedious game, rather than challenging.
September 17, 2013
Not the Greatest HO Game
This is the first time I've played any game in the Echoes of the Past series and I didn't even know it was a series until reading the comments before submitting this one.
Anyway, as a frequent HO game player I found this one to be rather lengthy with A LOT of backtracking, not so great graphics, and cheesy storyline. On the plus side, it did have a lot of puzzles that I enjoyed solving and the HO sequences were alright.
September 1, 2013
The Kingdom of disappointment for me...
I have played all Ecohoes of the past series. This one doesn't measure up to the previous adventures.
* No instruction on mini games (had to wing it or skip).
* Evil ugly witch has been replaced by an attractive gothic girl.
* Wasn't into the story, just didn't do it for me.
I don't mean to be so harsh. I'm just comaring it to previous games in this series.
September 2, 2013