Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
67
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  hikari_no_tsubasa (11)
Written on  :  Nov 03, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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Summary

One of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had

The Good

Phantasmagoria gave me the chills. I did NOT want to play this game after dark, and one of the movie sequences gave me a nasty nightmare. Granted, this was seven years ago, when I was a bit younger and a fairly novice adventure gamer... but the ability of this game to just suck me into its world has stuck with me for all these years. The music was creepy and appropriate, I loved the attention to detail, and for a video game the acting wasn't too bad. The house in which the game is set has a life of its own. But most impoartantly, this is one of the handful of games which I would THINK about even when I wasn't playing. Like a good creepy novel, I both anticipated and dreaded finding out what would happen next. Immersion in the setting, and immersion in the story... for an incurable escapist like myself, this made Phantasmagoria one of the most memorable games I've played.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I appreciated the censoring feature... Of course, after watching the censored scenes curiosity got the best of me and I watched ALMOST all of them in the original gory versions as well.... except one. I'll probably never go back and watch that one, and I appreciate the feature being there so that I never have to.

The Bad

The sheer number of disks promised more gameplay time than was delivered, and some of the disks were so short that I became aggravated at having to change CDs so frequently. In most multi-disk games, finishing a disk seems like a relief, gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Finishing the first disk of Phantasmagoria felt good, but after that it just became a pain.

At the time I played the game for the first time, it seemed appropriately difficult. However, going back through a second time after getting a few more adventure games under my belt, I realized that this is a very easy game. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing. It's not necessarily bad to lose yourself in the beautiful atmosphere of a game without having to think too much... but in general, I'd like to be challenged a bit more. I did finish all seven disks in about a week (couldn't tell you how many hours this far after the fact, but it was quick) and wondered at the time if it was worth my $60... But the game shouldn't cost anything NEAR that much now, so have fun for a week!

The Bottom Line

Fun, creepy, intriguing. Unlike any other game I've played. But unfortunately a little short and easy.