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Written by  :  tomimt (358)
Written on  :  Jul 09, 2012
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars

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Bad game, interesting interactive b-horror movie

The Good

I'd be lying through my teeth, if I'd claim Phantasmagoria as a good game. In fact I feel quite the opposite: as a game Phantasmagoria fails miserably thanks to poor design choices, but the game is not only thing Phantasmagoria is, as it is actually pretty entertaining, albeit some places rather poorly acted and written, interactive horror movie.

The story takes a couple of chapters to get going, but after it does it easily overcomes the poor design choices and keeps you entertained to the end. The game is actually pretty short, seasoned adventurers should go through it pretty fast, so in that sense it's a good way to spend an evening, if you are looking for b-horror horror.

The musical score is pretty good as well. It provides a nice atmosphere to the game and in FMV sequences the music is just superb.

The acting is mostly OK. The main cast does ham up pretty often, but luckily enough there's some good acting in the mix as well. Victoria Morsell does pretty good as the lead, despite she does have some cringe worthy dialogue. Robert Miano as Zoltan brings in good performance as well.

The Bad

The writing is a bit of a hit and miss. Some aspects of the game are well written, but some are just laughable bad. Some pretty sub par actors manage to enhance the poor quality of the script at places, but luckily enough nothing really important is missed even if you skip those parts.

Some poor design choices hinder the gameplay, such as unnecessary FMV segments in room transition or badly done conversations, which don't flow very naturally.

The graphics are mostly pretty ugly pre-rendered 3D. The FMV sequences look a bit better, but it's difficult to claim Phantasmagoria as a pretty game.

The Bottom Line

Phantasmagoria is a short and easy game. It does have very little merits as a good game, but as a b-movie it works surprisingly well despite it does have more than a couple of cliches in its sleeve of scare tricks.

It's not the best example of FMV games, but there's a lot worse candidates out there. Phantasmagoria is not a total failure, so if you're interested in FMV games you should check it out.