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Written by  :  MAT (200529)
Written on  :  Dec 21, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars

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Great adventure until it reaches the end.

The Good

| Prelude |
Like any other adventure fan, I rushed to get this game after I saw it's potential for releasing interesting vibes and graphical pleasure... although took me a few years longer than I expected. After a full installation of 2+ gigabytes of space and no need for CD-ROM drive, I ran this game to great amazement, I wonder what my face looked like when I saw what I was missing for so long by constantly postponing its getting. It started promising, very promising and very cunning in its own veil of mystery, but it didn't take me too long to realise just how they managed to make a simple wanna-be-epic story out of this game and thus turning the screws into the opposite direction of 'good.'

| And a big + goes to... |
  • Promises -- this game doesn't save on promises, it promises more and more by the minute you play it. It builds up your expectation and suspense around you giving you more and more questions for you to satisfy your curiosity... but answers are sparse and occasionally turning very silly. Promises are vast, but expectations dust it fully away.
  • Female heroine -- a cute little female ball called April Ryan is one of the most unique characters that ever entered the stage of computer game protagonists, and as well as the story, her aura radiates promises of lots of fun during the gameplay. Sadly, she turns out just to be a little more stupid than any NPC you encounter along the way, ruining many neatly served situations along the way.
  • Visuals -- undoubtedly, visuals in this game have no flaws whatsoever, pre-rendered backgrounds feel alive and breathe alive. FMVs that look just bigger if not better are making its way on the scene equally nice, but aren't something to look forward to since game itself creates an amazing graphic experience.
  • Language -- vulgar and rather unexpected from a game, but neat fit from the call of reality. Dialogues are vivid and rather pointless, which is what we can hear everyday and that remarkably creates a booster for the atmosphere.
  • Text -- there's lots of text, and it's completely voice-acted. One wouldn't expect less from a game that spans across four CDs, though.
  • Locations -- this game has various of exotic locations and they're all as tempting as they are beautiful in its might of artwork. Starting location is especially amazing as it looks and feels not giving you the slightest hint of the journey you'll actually have to embark on.
  • Mouse cursor -- mouse cursor tends to lighten up whenever you can do something or look at something, or use something on something. This eliminates futile attempts of doing fully nonsense permutations when you are clueless about your next step.
  • Original ideas -- idea of actually splitting world of magic and world of science into two different yet connected worlds where people just act normally as they were raised (people from the world of science, like in our reality, would be afraid of something unknown or known as magic) is neatly created with lots of possibilities and... ah, promises.

    The Bad

    | And a li'l - goes to... |
  • Story -- although promising at start, it reaches its peak to something impossible on occasion and utilize its incompetence to create a perfect circle in the end.
  • Narration -- the entire story is actually your own narration, or call it story-telling. That automatically creates huge boundaries of possibilities. Perhaps that may not be the case in a game or especially in a work of fiction, but it lets you know some things for sure, like, if you're telling the game, then you certainly won't die anywhere in it, and you know you won't end up doing some prophesied deed or who knows what else you might do outside of those bonds. That sort of point sets a huge drawback on a story and makes possible sequel look even more silly if you will be playing it also somewhere before your storytelling time, or if not then it might seriously screw up the original making them incorrectly connected.
  • Music -- although music is what one might call very atmospheric and fits the situations on the plate, there are no rememberable songs even though there are so many to be found.
  • Natural selection -- making some bird talk might seem okay if all the other birds and animals could talk as well, otherwise, this just seems incredibly silly. Why would one bird be treated as something more and another as a simple animal.
  • Wannabe epic -- this game above all wants to build up to become some sort of epic, and by very trying so it erases most of the means that would make it mucho better.

    The Bottom Line

    An adventure game that makes a splendid presentation of how you can make a wrong turn even when you're equipped with all the means to create a masterpiece or a classic.