Mystery Tales: The Lost Hope
First, in terms of value, this is a timely production: for a while now, the only option for The Lost Hope was the Collector?s Edition. It is not a great value proposition.
This SE, conversely, is.
It's middle of the road. After playing superior games like Stray Souls, Nevertales, Portal of Evil: Stolen Runes, and my longtime favorite, Angelica Weaver: Catch Me When You Can, it's clear this game doesn't occupy the same rarified space. Three stars only, not five.
Visual/Sound Quality: The sights and sounds are good. I think the "set design" is adequate. Items are well drawn. Background music is also good, albeit a bit repetitive.
The Voice actors are good. While the location of the game is not finally indicated, beyond being in the mountains somewhere, it seems it's in the British Empire for British accents abound.
LEVEL OF CHALLENGE:
There are two types of HOGs totaling 20 scenes. First, there is the traditional ?list pick? with each having a couple of interactive items. If you opt out of this you can play a JIGSAW puzzle game. Bonus Fun Factor points for this: I was so thrilled with the opportunity I eschewed a couple HOGs to play the jigsaws.
The second HOG format requires placing an item in its environment (for instance, putting Skull and Crossbones on a bottle of poison). As an alternative to playing this form of HOG you may choose a Match 3 instead. The HOGs, both types, are of average difficulty. The assortment keeps it interesting. While the HOGs are not junk piles they don't have signs saying "I'm an ACORN" either.
The Mini-games are familiar and also total 20 (there are a couple which are not "officially" listed as games but the only thing that keeps them from being a mini-game is that they aren't referred to as such by the developers in the course of play. Call them what you will, they are mini-games. They are fun and in some cases a little more challenging than others of the same type you?ve seen elsewhere. What challenge there is results from the intricacy of the details. Directions are straightforward (not to be taken for granted these days).
You've received a letter from your Brother in-law asking you to visit the town of Reagan where your sister lived and died. Anxious to find out why and how, you visit Emmett. Something is going on in this town and the easy answer that your brother in law is to blame for the strange happenings and several deaths is just a little too easy. So you go to investigate.
TO CE or NOT TO SE...
...That is the question. You must decide whether you'll invest in the Collectors Edition or stick to the SE. For your ready reference, the CE includes:
A. A Bonus Chapter
B. The "Who Cares Assortment" of Wall Papers, Concept Art, and Music
C. Re-playable HOGs and puzzles
D. Three Collectibles: a) Mythic Creature Statues which you bring to life (transform) with b)Crystals; And, lastly, c) coins which you use to upgrade the scenery.
E. 18 unremarkable achievements.
The CE "bling," as my friend Just The Facts refers to it, does not warrant the asking price which is more than twice the SE. Stick with the best value proposition on this good, not great, game.
February 23, 2014
What's the Mystery Here?
Posted after playing the whole game.
This is a really difficult post for me. While some of this was enjoyable, others were very boring. I actually lost interest in the game along the way and would go back to it just to finish it up. To say this was fun to play is a bit of an over statement. I made it though, which I enough.
The graphics were really good and the voice overs were fantastic. This game had such potential, but somewhere along the line it left me. The Hidden Object Scenes were clear and relatively easy to find things. The music while not exciting didn't get on my nerves like some. It did go along with the story.
I did find this a challenging game. There are a couple types of hidden object scenes, the regular and the one where you put things into the scene by association. That was tough at times. You have the option to switch to a match 3 if game if you wish, and it just dawned on me I never did use it. Oh well, next time.
The mini games were very difficult for me. I either could not understand the instructions or just couldn't do many of them. I made good use of the skip button. I'm not the brightest bulb in the box and I'm sure there are those who just dashed right through them. Not me.
Your best friend in this game will once again be Mr. Map. I don't think there is anyway one could just find where they needed to go next. The map is extremely helpful. There is a journal which quite honestly I did not use very often. It just didn't seem to offer the kind of help I needed.
The story was the usual. No surprises there. It was interesting, but the only complaint I have was the ending. Talk about anticlimactic. They could have saved a few Mbs and simply put FINI across the screen and been done with it.
This is not the best game to come around, but it wasn't the worse. It was a middle of the road game with tremendous possibilities that weren't met. I'm not sorry I bought the game. It's a game and that is all there is to it. Give it a shot. You may really enjoy it..
March 6, 2014
Hoping for a better looking game.
Perhaps I am spoiled, but I really felt the graphics on this game were way below par. Stiff, poorly drawn and muddy. The story was ok but nothing new. And the monsters laughable. The voice overs were mixed, there was very little atmosphere and the music became redundant. The character analyzer and green essence remover were annoying rather than enhancing.
Pluses were the map worked well, the games were varied and the story line not bad. There was the option of a match game if you tired of the many HOAs.
Maybe it gets better in the real version. As always, try the demo for yourself, but I personally am not tempted to by this one.
March 1, 2014
Cannot play on
Dim, gray, using too little color, games like this feels awful and unhealthy to look at, so I never play games that don't have enough nice colors and light in most of the game.
March 2, 2014