Echoes of the Past: The Kingdom of Despair Collector's Edition
Enjoyable with good level of challenge
Having played the demo (full hour by the way :-)), I am struggling to work out why I am not completely wowed by this game as I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has pretty much everything I require from a CE these days.
* 3 levels of challenge (Regular/Advanced/Expert)
* A jumpable and customisable map
* Achievements to earn
* 15 potions to find
* A variety of HOSs some easy and some quite tricky
* Lots of puzzles with some new ideas and all make you rattle the grey cells
* Pretty good graphics
* Good music and sound
I took a while to get used to the inventory at the top of the screen.
Story was familiar but with a bit of a twist. You are 'kidnapped' by the witch and have to find 5 amulets to get back. Each is held by a character whose problem you have to solve to make them give you the amulet. (This is my assumption based on meeting the first of these.)
At first, once you have bribed the skeleton to open the bridge, there seems to be one thing after another, without any means to solve the problem/puzzle. Once you start to collect things, it does begin to fall into place.
I think this is why it lost the wow factor for me, but if you can get through that, it does then begin to move on.
Not sure that just collecting 15 potions will make me get the CE. Hopefully someone out there will love it, buy it, and give me an idea if I really want it.
Have played all the others in the bundle sale so no attraction there. Might wait for the SE or a good sale at the weekend.
Do try it and I hope you love it.
August 15, 2013
5th Instalment of "Echoes of the Past"
There are 3 Difficulty modes: Regular, Advanced, Expert.
In Regular mode, you get sparklies all over, and the Map indicates were immediate actions are needed.
In Advanced mode, active zones are not indicated, and the Map does not tell you were actions are needed.
In Expert mode, there are no hints and no tutorial. Mini games cannot be skipped, and the Map does not tell you were actions are needed.
There is a choice of custom and system cursor.
There is a button for "Aspect Ratio". Whether it's ticked or not, I still get some black borders on either side of my laptop monitor - about half the size of what I usually have with just a full screen game.
There are Achievements, one of them is called "Finder". You get that one if and when you have found all 15 magic potions, which you will find throughout the game.
The SG #strategy guide# only shows the first chapter. In the "Extras" section, you will find the SG, the Bonus Adventure, Concept art, mini-games that can be replayed later on, and the "Book of Spells", which shows a picture of one item per potion you have found. No idea what that is all for, but I am sure all will be revealed at the end, when you have found all the potions - or not.
The Inventory, which can be locked to stay open or unlocked to disappear until needed, as well as the other buttons #Hint, SG, Map, Main Menu and Diary# are at the top.
It takes a little getting used to going to the top when you need an item from the inventory. On the other hand, at least that Inventory doesn't keep popping up whenever I just want to leave a scene and go back out of it.
The Hint button is a tad annoying. Every few seconds it blinks at me, whether I am inside an iHOS #interactive hidden object scene# or in the main scene. It keeps blinking at me. #Insert a "thumbs down" here#.
Most of the voices were not to my liking. They just didn't seem to go with the characters I encountered. Too young and screetchy, I thought.
As always, puzzles can be skipped.
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I very much enjoyed the second and third "Echoes of the Past". Can't remember now whether I liked the last one - I think I did.
However, although this one has much more superior graphics, and the animation is great, and the story is intriguing, I am just not thrown off my chair with excitement. Also, the only extra I see in the main game is the collection of potions, which are quite visible in the scenes, and therefore not much of a challenge. Therefore, I will pass on the CE, but will get the SE when it's out.
August 15, 2013
Echoes Of Past Conflicts
BASED ON DEMO
And so my love hate relationship with this series continues. Unlike the past games, this is the first time the game has been set somewhere other than the kingdom of Orion. Still, it is a benighted kingdom again, and it is still our old adversary, known simply as the witch.
I am pleased to see new settings and players done with the signature features of the Echoes Of The Past series.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The graphics are still not as great as I believe they could be, but they are closer to the mark than usual. There is an element of graininess in this game?s visuals that has been apparent in all these games. I personally dislike it. But the quality has improved immensely.
The tune that is also a standard element of this series is here again, and I must say I?m over it, however appropriate it was at the start. But in addition to it is some of the best background music I?ve heard, with an unusual depth and character.
As has happened to us before, we are sucked from our real life into a magic book kingdom that takes us this time to the witch?s own kingdom, where all her subjects suffer under her domination and her determination to rid her world of beauty and kindness. Apparently in revenge for our previous interference, she has brought us here, and here we?ll stay unless we can find the 5 runes she has scattered and reopen a portal home.
All of the features that make me like these games are included. The HO scenes are either multiples, interactive lists or misplaced objects. The puzzles are ingenious and often surprising. In the past, many of the best have been picture-based ones, but I didn't see that to be the case in this one so far.
The inventory bar (lockable) is on top, and we need to move between worlds, with well done cut scenes, rather than just being stuck in one at a time.
There is a map that gives you the choice of showing or hiding the scenes with current objectives, and when a scene is completed. It is a jump map.
Alternately, using the hint will give you more specific advice, and may show you the place where you need to be, but you will have to travel there yourself. Both skip and hint are quick on the easiest (of 3) level.
CE extras include achievements, which are mostly game-essential ones. There appears to be 15 potion bottles to collect, purpose unknown. There is a spell book in the extras I didn?t get to look into plus the usual SG, bonus chapter and concept art.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
I always have trouble making up my mind about these games, and the same is true again with this one. Bottom line, I played till I ran out of time without noticing it, and was not at all annoyed by anything except that signature tune, so it must be pretty good.
I give it a four because I believe most people will enjoy it, and it is very professionally put together.
August 15, 2013
VERY NICE ADVENTURE
I have all the other Echoes of the Past games and love them. This one is also good with above average production values, but I don't like it quite as much as the others.
Music is relaxing.
Locations and graphics are very good.
Not much traveling of great distances. although I suspect there will be a great distance near the end.
Interactive map, with fast travel, showing actions needed.
Lots to do.
HOS are moderately crowded; interactive.
Puzzles are interesting and quite different from the usual.
Hint gives you a photo of where the action is.
NOT SO GOOD:
Voice overs are somewhat grating on the nerves.
Somewhat challenging, but not as much as I would sometimes like. When story keeps me interested throughout, I like more challenge.
Other CEs lately have more to offer in the form of extras.
August 15, 2013
Echoes of the Past 5 - Good game, but again the same.
The Echoes of the Past series is one of the best series for me. So this fifth installment was long awaited.
Let's start with the storyline. The storyline is like in the other games. The witch has another plan to rule the world and you are there to save the world and yourself. Again you need to find five medallions to do that. I like the story, but it feels like in every game there's the same story. That's why I have to rate the story lower than the rest.
The graphics are beautiful. Some are bright and some are dark and a bit creepy. But I really loved how many details these graphics had. Every place was full of things to see and the graphics were crystal-clear. The characters are like in the other games. They have good voice overs.
The sounds are as in the other Echoes of the Past games. So they're great. I really love them. The music has a bit more adventure themes in this game and I love this too. Just the right theme songs for this game.
Now to the best thing: This game is a challenging one. Not as easy as all the releases of the last weeks. In every scene you have many things to do and you cannot finish a scene fast. Often you have to play far further and then do a task in a scene from the beginning. There are also some inventory objects that stay there for a long time.
The Hidden Object Scenes are good too. You have many things to do in them and there are some different types of HOS in the game.
The puzzles are challenging. For me only four puzzles were easy to solve without reading the instrucktions. All the others were quite a challenge. That's really great done.
There are some achievements and 15 bottles to collect through the game. The achievements can be earned quite easy.
But a good level of challenge is not everything and because we get nearly the same story in every game I rate this game with four stars. But if I could it would be 4,5 out of 5 stars.
If you are looking for a challenging game with great graphics, then you should definetly try this one. Another great HOPA game!
August 15, 2013
Best Game of the Series!
Based on demo.
I own the previous games, and this one has some nice changes that add to the atmosphere. The evil witch has again trapped you in the past and closed the portal by hiding the magical amulets. However, you aren't stuck in the kingdom of Orion as you are in the previous games and for me this is a big plus. Allows the devs and artists to be more creative and invent new realms to explore. Also, there is a Charon-like skeleton whom you have to pay in order to cross a chasm to the other realms to search for the amulets. I liked this "paymaster" character, even though his role is not large.
Very nice artwork and cut scenes. Sometimes there are VOs to go along with the printed dialogue, and sometimes there aren't, but not a big deal. There are standard/interactive HOSs and there are search HOSs where you look for related items #e.g., find 15 piano keys#. The puzzles are of medium difficulty and pretty fun. The Hint button works very well---it brings up a mini-picture of the area you need to go to and highlights the specific action within the picture. The music is a little repetitive so, as with all games, I just mute it.
Evil witches are always fun to battle and this one is no exception. She has ruined the lives of good people in the different realms and you get to set things right. You are the Agent of Good. It works. But, these games always seem a little flat to me. I never really engage the way I do with other games and I am never surprised, thus the four star rating, not five.
August 15, 2013
One of the Strangest games i have played
Based on completed game:
-music is ok
-nice mini games
-usable stuff u collect in hos not always just one thing some u collect alot of stuff so you can complete a puzzle etc...
-blah blah bah...interactive map the usual
-mouths don't move on vos
-if not for the map alot of back and forth uggh...
-just ended bam was weird u know?
all the others i bought were SE's so when i completed the game i went into extras and tried to play the BC but it said i had to play the game again...turns out the game went right into the BC without any notice! this was a new one on me lol
*BC was fun but the ending was a bit abrupt.
personally i advise you to buy the SE because the story itself is pretty much completed at the end of the main game.
unless your a CE junky and just have to know what the BC is about lol ^^
i actually give this a 3.5 stars because of the ending and the lack of time they put into not moving the mouths on dialogue, and the lack of achievements as well.
August 15, 2013
Something New and Old
I play A LOT of BF games and my preference by far is strategy games with mini games throughout game play. I am over games with mostly hidden object scenes. I have played Echoes of the Past for over 3 hours so far and despite the older style graphics and a few hidden object scenes, this game is packed with new and challenging mini games I have never played. I always turn off background music and skip storlines so that part I can?t really comment on, but if you are looking for new and different, I think this will be for you.
August 15, 2013
I must admit I was really excited when I saw this game available, it seems like it's been forever since a quality, new CE has been released. However...this isn't what I had in mind! Something about this game left me feeling mundane. The story was somewhat confusing, not enough information is given in the beginning. I'm a passer by when I enter a bookstore to see the famous book of spells of which I know nothing about. A woman enters the bookstore wearing an amulet exactly like the one on the spellbook, gets sucked into the book, somehow I get sucked in as well, a witch grabs the woman an tells me so sad, too bad, I'm taking the book's amulets you'll never see your world again. Then I shrug my shoulders and casually walk off to search for the amulets. The fact that there are monsters and hideous witches, talking skeletons, fire and brimstone don't effect me in the slightest. I walk outside the witches house to find a blind boy who was missing his dog and cane and can't leave the bench he is sitting on. I rescue his dog and reunite the two and even though he said he was lonely now that the witch abandoned him I abandon him as well! Enough about the story flaws, onto the meat of the game. The HOS are mundane as well, they just aren't that fun. Some are interactive list finds with your typical find 1/2 of one item such as the sun and place it on the matching 1/2. Others are find 12 piano keys or torn up pieces of a picture. I didn't have any problem with the mini games, nothing new, but they were fun and not too difficult such as sticking pins into a voodoo doll which would light up a path and you had to choose the correct spots so that the path was lit from start to finish before running out of pins. There are achievements (not a lot) and 15 collectable potions to find. The inventory bar was at the top of the screen instead of the bottom which slightly annoyed me and the music really annoyed me. Usually the music and sound effects don't bother me at all but I found this music to be overbearing and I had to turn it down shortly after beginning the game. This isn't a bad game, it's definitely worth playing, I personally didn't experience any WOW factors.
August 15, 2013
I felt that this was a fairly decent game but the music is very depressing as well as the storyline. I felt that this game was the best in the series so far. On my computer the graphics were slightly fuzzy but beautifully drawn. It could just be my computer. There are some new puzzles in this game. I really enjoyed the feather puzzle which is the only puzzle I was able to play in the game. It was unique twist on a pattern puzzle. Generally I would recommend this game.
August 15, 2013