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SummaryThe weakest of the Kyrandia series
The GoodIt's always nice---and unusual---to see a female character as lead in a computer game. The graphics were very well done in this game, and were very reminiscent of LucasArts or Sierra adventure games in those styles. The puzzles could be a little tricky sometimes. I think my favorite puzzle of them all was the rainbow bridge puzzle. There are some funny moments in the game, especially with the petrified trees and the Abominable Snowman.
The prologue artwork is really well done and very nicely colored. The animations for the potion book and the cauldron were very well done (this is when you initially find them). I also liked the little animations that happen in the cauldron when you're not doing anything with it. I saw a pair of eyes, a toy sailboat going by, a tidal wave, and a tentacle come out of the cauldron.
The BadI can't help but notice that only guys have reviewed this game, and all of them seem to have liked it more or less because they think that Zanthia is sexy. For a woman playing this game, that's not an issue. I got very tired of the constant wardrobe changes Zanthia goes through---at least one for every scene change!---for a total of eight costumes. Seriously, was this even necessary? The game design team could have spent a lot more time developing the puzzles for this game and fleshing it out more.
The plot is pretty weak---so why is it exactly that the Hand sends Zanthia instead of someone else?---and could have been made much better or much stronger than it was. The puzzles were pretty darn uninteresting, and sometimes even confusing. I never did quite understand why a Skeptic's potion had to be used to break the trance potion. It didn't make a darn bit of sense.
The dialogue was sparse and not very good, really. It could have been used to flesh out the characters more, but wasn't used to this effect very well. Some of these characters seemed downright rude! The characters from the previous game were mentioned, but I think it would have been more interesting to have actually had them in the game---only Brandywine and the magician from the first game appeared, and that was in the prologue!
I also didn't like Marko following Zanthia around like a lovesick puppy. His personality was as flat as a piece of paper---but they all were, compared to the first game, and I think this was mostly because there were too many characters and not a long enough game.
I also didn't understand the changes made to the alchemical potions. Previously, you needed a gem and something else of the same color. Here, you have to have formulas. This led to many consultations of Zanthia's potion book that could very often be frustrating, especially if you thought you had the right ingredients and really didn't. It was much simpler by far in the first game---and simpler is usually better. There are a few characters where you just scratch your head and wonder what they're doing there, especially the girl in green at Vulcania. She does give you a hint, but it's not like you can't figure it out on your own later from what Zanthia says!
The Bottom LineUnfortunately, I cannot really recommend this game because of how weak the plot and puzzles are. You'd probably like this game if you're a guy and you're into sexy female computer game characters. If you're a woman, though, the fact that the main character IS a woman can be annoying, unless you're into sexy female computer game characters. :)
This game would have been better with a better plot and dialogue---and, of course, puzzles that make sense! I don't know how important it is to the series whether or not you play this game, but I did not see very much continuity between this game and the first game.