Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “vampire”

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (Gamefly.com)

When Professor Layton’s mentor opens the fabled Elysian Box, he dies. Is the myth about whoever opens that box will die true, or did someone murder the professor’s mentor and make it look like the myth was true?

The plot is your typical Professor Layton game. At first, it looks like something mystical is going on. Then the characters explain everything in a way that a raises even more questions. To sum it up, the entire series is one big Voodoo Shark (a term invented by SFDebris). Don’t get me wrong, I love the series but I can’t ignore its flaws. I will say one thing, and I warn you that there will be spoilers in what I say next. Professor Layton is not a fit guardian. He regularly abandons Flora, a girl with psychological abandonment issues to the point where she can’t be alone, to go adventuring. When he discovers that Don Paolo kidnapped Flora, he decides to continue solving the mystery of Folsense and the Elysian Box and treats getting Flora back as an afterthought. At this point, I wonder why Flora’s even in the games anymore. She did serve a purpose in the first game but now she’s little more than the token girl of the series. You could say the same about Emmy in the prequel series but she has actually proven useful on more than one occasion.

The game play is the same as ever. You explore the scenery while solving various puzzles along the way. Granny Riddleton will collect any puzzles you miss. You also have three mini-games you can play in the form of exercising an overweight hamster, repairing a camera and taking pictures, and brewing and serving tea to the citizens of Folsense. For those of you who follow my twitter account, you know that the last one is not only my favorite in this game but in the entire series. You can also collect keys to read an old diary. When you’ve finished the game, you can solve bonus puzzles to unlock a few bonuses in the game.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; one of my favorites in the series.

Aveyond: Gates of Night (Amaranthgames.com)

After the wicked witch, Heptitus, stole the first quarter key, Mel and the others regroup at Thais.  Now they need to get what they lost and find a ship to complete their mission.

This game is a continuation of Lord of Twilight.  In my review of that game, I neglected to discuss the plot.  One thing Aveyond fans will appreciate is that Te’ijal and Galahad, two optional fans from the first game, are now a couple of the main characters.  It’s Te’ijal’s brother, Gyendal, who is the main villain and they are the ones that save Mel.  The first game did have a few problems, such as rushing through Mel’s schooling to get to the main plot.  Gyendal also had no true motivation and is only evil for the sake of being evil.  It also has some good points.  Remember in my review of Aveyond 1 when I said that I found Galahad’s noble prejudice annoying?  Well, in this game, he’s miserable as a vampire and feels great anger for his wife, Te’ijal, yet he will still help her in her quest to stop Gyendal’s plan to take over the world.  Speaking of Gyendal, his plan doesn’t make sense to me.  Gyendal is a vampire, like his sister, and wants to rule the Overworld.  The problem is humans are their dinner and it seems like vampires would want them in abundance to quench their thirsts.  If they ruled the overworld, that food source would quickly diminish.  Te’ijal must see this and, like Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has no desire to lose her endless supply of happy meals.  Galahad, unlike Te’ijal, has no desire to drink from a human and still maintains his appearance from the first game.

As I said earlier, this game is a continuation of Lord of Twilight.  New characters join the group, such as Lydia who hopes to become Prince Edward’s bride.  Speaking of Edward, he has to get married by the end of Gates of Night and can choose between three women, Mel, Stella and Lydia.  If he doesn’t pick any of them, his parents choose for him and let me say that their selection is hilarious but wouldn’t have been the slightest bit funny if the genders were reversed.  In the next game, there will be girls that have no love interest whatsoever but it seems like, in this series, only the guys have options about who to marry while the girls only have one fixed option and this isn’t the first time this has shown up.  In Ahriman’s Prophecy, Devin could choose between Talia and Alicia.  Another problem I have is Lydia’s character.  We see her true motivation for marrying Edward in the next game but Lydia’s actions don’t match up.  For one thing, when she locates an amulet that can hypnotize Edward, she only uses it to buy more dresses for herself.  If the throne was Lydia’s goal, why didn’t she just use the amulet to make Edward propose to her?  In another scene, she saves Stella’s life for no reason that I can comprehend.  There’s also the issue of Mel’s informed ability.  We’re told that she is a clever thief yet, in the first game, Edward has to tell her that he’s the Prince of Thais after many months of her living there and hanging out with him.  The only time we see her being clever is in the Orc Kingdom and the citizens are so incredibly stupid that they could fall for the look behind you trick.  In Venwood, when trying to access the water tower, it’s Lydia who figures out that the controls to activate it are rusted.  Mel’s informed ability is truly highlighted in the fourth game but I’ll talk about that when I get to it.

The game play in this one is exactly the same as the last.  You travel the world to complete the main quest while completing various side quests along the way.  You encounter various monsters that you can fight to make your characters stronger.  In this game, you can finally get a ship and a compass to teleport you straight to your ship’s location.  You can’t join a guild but you can visit each one.  You can also locate various agencies in order to teach Mel new skills, though what she does and the skill she learns doesn’t really match up.  For example, in Venwood she has to catch five butterflies in order to learn the Orc language.  How butterflies and Orcs go together, I have no idea.  You can also collect attraction points between Edward and the girl you want him to marry.  When you have the minimum number of points, you can have Edward propose to the desired girl.  Lydia requires zero, Stella requires four and Mel requires all seven.  As I said earlier, you can purchase gowns for Lydia but only one in each shop.  If you want to buy them all, you’ll have to use the golden amulet.  You can also buy weapons and armor for your characters and purchase spellbooks for Lydia.

This game is addictive but not without problems.  I give it 7 out of 10; a brilliant continuation of Lord of Twilight.

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