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Circle of Blood (Windows)

87
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  MAT (74433)
Written on  :  Aug 08, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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Summary

Jones!? You've got some nerve...

The Good

| Where's My Hat & Whip? |
Well, this isn't Indiana Jones game, but close enough. You've been assigned a role of George Stobbart, an american in Paris. Holiday, vacation, job, he doesn't give them much of a distinction, but when a bomb blew out the café bar he was spending a pleasant evening in (it was actually noon or morning, but sounds better for the review), he took that a bit personal. And ever since, he's bound to find the trouble. So, what would a normal fellow do? Perhaps thanking God he's still alive. But not our George, he picked up his remains and set off after the phantom (again, it was clown, but sounds more interesting this way, *vbg*). Due to game's further progress, you'll visit locales all around the world and will see how one may confuse George for Indy... he's restless, he'c charming, and he's always where the trouble is. Only he doesn't seem to be interested in the relics, though.

| Upper Cup of His Personality |
Well, I remember playing this game first as it got out. I had some semi-version of it without voice-acting (that was actually a good thing in this case scenario, but we'll come to that later), and after playing the game for some time I officially decided I don't like it not one bit. And the whole clown charade was waaaay out of my point of interest (can't really see what people see in circuses, I can't stand them, unless perhaps Guybrush is performing his cannonball act). However, as I got this game years later, it all started to change slowly, and I realised that George has one helluva personality... and we had some great things in common. For starters, we both really don't like clowns and mimes ;)) Well, as I started to like him, playing started to grow easier and by now it's one of the finest adventure game franchise I've came across (not the finest, but great nonetheless, at least this original is).

| Adventure Away! |
Good riddance smaller companies didn't all gave up on the adventure genre when LucasArts withdraw in his corner. By the time this game came out, I gotta admit that adventure games were scarce (or maybe I got so much used to see LucasArts adventures every year out that I felt like some link was missing) and as hardware became more powerful and soon after 3d graphic accelerator cards came out, the more real-time action was able to infiltrate our games. Still, somewhere behind, companies kept developing adventures, and this one was using it in style, using high color SVGA graphic (hm, actually, it's 8-bit color, but it looks much better) yet remaining on fully hand-drawn art, in a 2d point-and-click style using 3rd person perspective (my favorite genre even now). The graphic art is really beautiful (mark the word beautiful, I'm not referring to technical marvel, but something that is really sightfully pleasing) and everything, from background to sprite animation was great. Of course, it was nothing new, we got used to such quality with LucasArts, but they were no longer leading the genre so we had to look elsewhere for the results. Particularly neat touch are cartoonish animations every now and then (short but sweet), so it kinda adds a feeling like you're in some well done cartoon, and Scooby will pop-out anytime now.

The Bad

| And Revolution Software Created Woman |
Well, as much as this sounds great in theory, on the screen it was a big cast aside. Nico (probably Nicollete, lol), the reporter, the most annoying creature in the game. Yes, she is good looking, and yes it's nice to have a sidekick or someone to call at your side, but the voice-acting they used for her ruined 99% of this game. I don't mind the french accent, but... well, something's really weird about it to say the least. LucasArts never ever used bad voice-acting in any of their games, and they used several different accents to emphasize certain characters. It's not the quality of sound in this game, it's the voice itself. It's like she's mocking at you all the time, and with that bad attitude, I really wonder why George put up with her for so long. I mean, she's a reporter for Pete's sake, can it get any worse than that?

The Bottom Line

| The Sum of All Fears |
Nothing to fear from this game as long as you can turn your head the other way whenever Nico's doing all the talking. Aside from that, this game is a real adventure in a true sense of that word. You won't be fighting your way out like Indy does most of the times, but you'll be handshaking to Mr. Death on a regular basis. The story gets interesting, but in the end, it's not the final revelation that counts here, it's the journey itself. You get to visit many different places, meet interesting characters (and animals), and start to appreciate the effort put in this game altogether. And if interested enough, even better, the trilogy's out there as we speak.