Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, intrigue, clunky gameplay and wooden dialogue, 16 Jun 2011
By 
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
I played Hotel Dusk a few years ago, and although I don't remember it that well, it was an enjoyable experience. So when I spotted The Last Window at a decent price, I snapped it up. I'm a fan of point-and-click games and the dialogue-heavy adventure genre, so I'm more than familiar with the format.

Let's start with the good: The Last Window has a decent plot to keep you hooked at the chapters pass by. It's one of those stories where peripheral characters get drawn into the mystery at each turn, and every question answered throws up more.

However, that's about it. The exploration aspect is dated, and the mixture of plan view on the touchscreen and 3D view on the other is disorientating. You're essentially clunking around the map to find areas where the "examine" button lights up, in the hope you might find a clue. I don't remember this being so annoying with Hotel Dusk. Maybe it's just that time has passed, but this aspect hasn't improved?

While the plot is excellent, the delivery method is not. The Last Window is VERY linear, to the extent that characters will only appear if its their turn to contribute to the story. You'll never encounter one just hanging around, unless that's part of the next plot advance. Maybe that's for the best, as the dialogue is by far the most disappointing and infuriating aspect of the game. Your hero, Kyle Hyde, is not easy to play as. He's not an unlikeable protagonist, but it's difficult to understand any of his reactions to the other characters. He'll respond to a calm statement with anger or aggression, or to a gesture of friendship with coldness and sarcasm. That's not just his character, as the others do it too. The dialogue doesn't flow well, and it's impossible to judge a character's emotions as they just seem 'off'. This is made worse by the fact that the wrong choice in conversation will often lead to Game Over, for a completely ridiculous and unpredictable reason.

I wanted to like The Last Window. I almost do. But it's not an experience I would recommend.
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