Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “classics”

Christmas Stories: A Christmas Carol Collector’s Edition (Big Fish Games)

Your uncle Scrooge writes you a letter, asking you for help.  In order to grant his request, you must work with his good conscience and the ghosts of Christmas to save him from himself.  Careful, because Scrooge’s evil alter ego seeks to undermine you at every opportunity.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure that you’re familiar with the classic story, A Christmas Carol.  It is the tale of a rich old miser who must change his ways for the good of the world and himself.  This game chose to take a different turn by having you take the role of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.  I’ll admit that this change is not one I’m crazy about at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against change and I do love the story Zombie Christmas Carol.  The only difference is that the zombie version managed to stick to the original theme of the story with an extra plot about the undead walking among them.  This version undermines the moral of the classic story.  In the original Christmas Carol, the three ghosts of Christmas visit Scrooge to scare him into changing his ways.  The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge his past, forcing him to observe memories from his traumatic childhood and demonstrating how it made him the man he became.  It also forces Scrooge to see the mistakes he’s made, such as choosing money over Belle, and showing the few bright spots in his life to make him see that he’s wrong.  Scrooge is helpless to change his past and the bad decisions he made, showing a deep regret for some of his choices.  The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the life he’s missing, such as taking him to Fred’s house, and the depravity of the world he refuses to face.  It also demonstrates to Scrooge how he has the power to do something about this depravity.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes the appearance of the grim reaper and never speaks.  This is to demonstrate how scary and unknown the future can be.  Its job is to show Scrooge the future he will have if he doesn’t change his ways.  Let me tell you, said future is not a good one.

In this game, the ghosts each make an appearance.  However, spoiler alert, you get to change Scrooge’s past.  I’m sure you remember the scene in the original story, when Belle didn’t like the man Scrooge became and broke off her engagement. Well, in this version, Scrooge tried to propose to Belle but the evil alter ego steals the ring and Belle gets angry, thinking Scrooge played a cruel joke on her.

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Don’t worry, you can get the ring and change Scrooge’s present so that he and Belle not only marry, but also get to have children of their own.  As I said earlier, the whole point of the Ghost of Christmas Past is to show Scrooge how bitterness and greed consumed him.  While Scrooge is helpless to change his past, he can still learn from it.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present asks you to take a letter to Scrooge from Bob Cratchit asking him to get medicine for Tiny Tim.  Unfortunately, said alter ego took the letter and tries to destroy the medicine.  That’s right, Scrooge’s current misery isn’t because he let greed and bitterness consume him.  It’s because a little demon goes out of his way to sabotage him at every opportunity.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come makes its appearance and it talks.  The whole point of this spirit is that it doesn’t talk.  You also get to see Scrooge’s miserable present, which doesn’t make sense considering that you changed his past.  He’s not the same man anymore, so he wouldn’t have a bitter future.  There are also two other plot issues, such as Fred saying that he misses Fan.  Since she died giving birth to him, he wouldn’t remember enough about her to miss her.  Another one is that, when you first get to Scrooge’s house, he has a Christmas tree.  The whole point of the story is that Scrooge hates Christmas.  Why would he put up a tree in his house?

The Collector’s Edition comes with an extra story line where you explore kitty cat world and help Sherlock Cat find Santa Cat.  It’s An American Tail with felines.

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I’ll admit, this story is adorable but it really has no point other than to get you to shell out more money.

The game play is actually quite fun, with you going around and collecting objects to add to your inventory.  You can use them to advance throughout the story.  Some items require you to take place in a hidden object scene for you to collect.

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You also play mini games that you have the option of skipping.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

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While this game seems like the typical hidden object formula, it also has one extra addition.  Remember Scrooge’s good conscience, who comes with you?  He can animate objects in order to help you with your quest.  In the extra storyline, this feature changes into a magnifying glass so you can collect paw prints.

This game is fun, but undermines the original story.  I give it 5 out of 10; making an adaptation that completely ignores the message severely damages the game.  However, the addictive game play makes up for it.

Final Fantasy Origins Part 1(Target or Walmart)


The Final Fantasy games are some of the most profitable video games you can find. Years ago, Square Enix remade the very first two games of the series for the Playstation. One considered a remake in both Japan and America and the other released for the very first time in the latter.

Final Fantasy

Since time began, four orbs controlled the elements of fire, water, wind and earth. Now, those orbs fell to the power of darkness. Only four warriors of light, each carrying a crystal, can restore power to the orbs and banish darkness once and for all.

That’s right, the very first game of a plot driven series has little to none of what made the series great in the first place. You never find out anything about the warriors you control, such as how they met or how they came across the crystals in the first place. Every town you drop in has just as much amount of plot and character development. The webcomic, 8-bit Theater, spoofs the very flaws you find in this game. I can’t really fault the writer for that, since everyone involved thought this would be their final game (hence why they called it Final Fantasy).

What the game lacks in story it more than makes up for in gameplay. In the beginning, you name four characters and choose a class for each one. Choose wisely, because, until you get class changes, you’re stuck with these four characters for the rest of the game. You travel the overworld map fighting battles to gain experience points. You also go through dungeons to bring power to the orbs and collect quest items. During your journey, you can visit towns to upgrade your equipment, purchase spells for your mages and resurrect dead characters. In this game, the only way for resurrection is either life spells or visiting the temple and paying the person to revive them. You can also rest at the inn and save your game. The only other saves you can do are memo saves, which is more of a safety mechanism than anything else.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 6 out of 10; a mediocre plot with fun game play.

The Great Gatsby: Secret Treasure (Bigfishgames.com)

When a young architect appraises the mansion of the late Jay Gatsby, a shady man kidnaps her roommate. Now she must find Gatsby’s secret treasure before her roommate dies.

I’m going to spoil something for you, you find out nothing new about Gatsby. You travel through his mansion and discover the story you already knew about if you’ve read the novel or have at least seen one of the two movies. You don’t find out how Gatsby went into business with Wolfsheim, or if he killed a man. If anything, it brings up more questions like why Nick Carraway left his notes all over Gatsby’s mansion or how the main character can visit the past and collect items. The game explains that she has a great imagination but so do I and I’m not retrieving any items from it. As for the storyline that takes place in present time, it’s nothing more than an excuse plot.

The game play is your typical hidden object game. You travel from scene to scene and collect items for your inventory. Some will require you to partake in hidden object scenes.

As I said earlier, sometimes you can visit the past and collect items from there. The map will help you determine where you have to go next. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive but not very intriguing. I give it 6 out of 10; a wasted opportunity.

Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby (Bigfishgames.com)

When Nick Carraway visited his cousin Daisy, he was just hoping to make it big as a bonds salesmen.  He had no idea that he’d get caught up in so much mayhem.

Anyone who’s read the book or at least seen one of the movies knows how the plot plays out.  I’ve done all three and had to play this game due to The Great Gatsby being one of my favorite novels.  For those of you who know nothing about the story, it’s pretty hard to sum up while avoiding spoilers and condensing it into a few sentences.  All I can say is that it’s about dreams vs. reality, the carelessness of the rich and a deconstruction of the American Dream.

The game play is that of hidden object.  During cut scenes you have to collect a certain type of object enough time for points.  You play through hidden object scenes in order to advance the plot.

You can also partake in mini games just as typing out the words as they come (my absolute favorite).

When you’re done, you can use the points you’ve accumulated to purchase decorations for your house.

This game is addictive but not really all that intriguing.  I give it 3 out of 10; unless you’re a diehard Gatsby fan, you’re better off reading the book or watching one of the movies.

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