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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 28 April 2007
Before I start, I just want to say that I really enjoyed this game. The plot's fantastic (the game IS the plot, so it has to be really), and the graphics are just gorgeous. The black and white drawings of the characters looks perfect, and very sophisticated, although they're limited - the animations aren't very varied, and you've seen them all before you've played the game for an hour. (My favourite? Kyle's smug grin - cracks me up everytime!) The 3D graphics are pretty good as well.

The plot, as I've mentioned, is amazing. It's intriguing, and it manages to mesh everyone in the hotel together very neatly indeed. The characters are very well written, and they never seem to slip out of character. The game's humorous, as well, so it might make you chuckle every now and then, which is always a bonus. Despite this, I did feel like there were points that were a little contrived - how everyone in the hotel somehow managed to be involved in the main plot.. a very large coincidence, and not very believable.

However, I do feel like the game is a bit too much like a book. An interactive book yes, but more like a book than a game. You will spend 90% of the time scrolling through dialogue which you can't control (half the time when you do actually have to input something to a conversation, what you say makes no difference, or any answer apart from the perfect one will get you kicked out. So there's not much leeway there.), and the rest of the time is spent solving fairly simple puzzles. (a jigsaw puzzle. Yippee!)

I personally really enjoyed the game, even if I finished it fairly quickly, but I wouldn't advise players who are into more action games to buy it, as you have to sit tight for the majority of this one. Also, people who have a short fuse may feel a wee bit annoyed when having to sit through the dialogue again and again and again because of Game Overs.
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on 9 April 2007
As the previous reviewer metions, the comparisons between this game and 'Trace Memory' are unavoidable. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 follows a lot of the formula and borrows most of the same elements of Trace Memory, but in a package that's far more mature almost to the point where you'll wonder if you really saw "Published by Nintendo" on the packaging. The almost overly extensive, wordy narrative and slow pace are a little hard to ignore, but hey -- this game's supposed to play out like a good detective mystery. And it indeed does. Hotel Dusk is a great read even if it takes a while to figure out what the heck's going on.

The game's tale unfolds through a very old-school point-and-click adventure style. It's a genre that's slowly died out over the years, but with games like Phoenix Wright hitting the scene it's a genre that's strengthening in numbers on the Nintendo DS. In Hotel Dusk players have a little more freedom than Capcom's lawyer series thanks to a more open environment and more things to do. You travel from area to area by sliding the stylus around on the map, with the other screen showing Kyle's view in full 3D. If you manage to enter an area that can be inspected, clicking on the magnifying glass icon will shift to a closer view to see and interact with items.

Hotel Dusk takes a cue from Nintendo's Brain Age and presents its storyline just like a storybook, going so far as to require players to rotate their systems and play the game in vertical fashion. Because the game's played entirely with the stylus this vertical orientation works. And yes, it's both righty and lefty friendly. The story is truly engaging even and handled far better and far more interestingly than Trace Memory, which sort of collapsed towards the climax. Even allowing for plot issues, Hotel Dusk's story is solid all the way through.

Absolutely, positively do not play this game if you're not fond of reading in videogames. Hotel Dusk's dialogue is incredibly extensive, and requires lots of interaction of the player to explore several conversation trees. Some conversations can actually end the game if you pick the wrong question or answer, so it's important to pick up on the different characterizations so you know just how to handle the interaction. The wordy dialogue is easily Hotel Dusk's biggest hang-up so you should know ahead of time what you're getting into. But if you've trained yourself with the previous two Phoenix Wright games from Capcom then you've got nothing to fear. All in all, it's a nice revitalization of the point-and-click adventure genre on the Nintendo DS.
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on 8 August 2007
Wow, what an amazing game.

I bought if for my wife, it hasn't been in her DS yet! Over the last month or two I have spent almost sixteen hours playing the game. It is a superb idea and works very, very well. I've never been inclined to write a review before, that alone shows how good it is.

The characters all feel real, and even if I didn't play for a few days the next time I turned it on they were easy to remember.

There are many puzzles and fixes to get past and only on one occasion did I need to get help, I honestly expected to need the walk through an awful lot more.

If you're in two minds about this I say buy it five starts isn't enough for this one!

I'm not sure if there is any intention to make a sequel, but hopefully there are enough loose ends to tie up a second could be justified.
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on 17 November 2007
When I first started playing this game I thought I wouldn't have the patience for it. The dialogue is very heavy and at first all the conversation seems meaningly and irrelevant, however I perservered and I'm so glad I did! You get totally lost in it, just like a good book. The characters become interesting and slowly but surely everything starts coming together. I finished it last night, and was gutted! Replay value obviously isn't that high, but it was a real surprising treat for me. Plus, the graphics are very clever and suited the game amazingly well.
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on 30 September 2007
Being a big fan of point and click adventures on the PC, I wanted this as soon as I saw it advertised. The game lived up to my expectations. It played in a similar way to Another Code/Two Memories. This time around, you're an ex cop turned salesman named Kyle, staying at Hotel Dusk, a place full of mysteries and intrigue. You're sent there by your boss to complete a short job, but once you're there, you soon get drawn into a bit of sleuthing. Each character you meet seems to be harbouring a secret and it's your mission to discover what they are. Kyle is also hiding a few secrets of his own. To discover their secrets (and Kyle's) you must solve puzzles, explore and even do a few "fetch and carry" jobs for the other characters. You get to know the other characters and sometimes have to have a few conversations with them before building up their trust to get to their secrets. Unlike AC/TM, you can get "game over" with this game, so it's worth doing regular saves, especially if you think you're likely to be on thin ice with one of the other characters, or about to attempt a bit of snooping in an area you're not meant to be in...

If you like mysteries without the gore, you should enjoy this. Definitely a worthwhile follow-up to Two Memories.

I hope they do more like this - SOON!
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on 27 March 2007
I had been looking forward to this game since it was announced (at E3 I believe). I'm a huge fan of the Phoenix Wright series, so I thought this game was right up my alley. However one thing concerned me... it was made by the same folks who did Trace Memory.

I didn't like Trace Memory. I thought the story was uninteresting (and I was disappointed and annoyed by the ending) and the whole presentation was very blandly executed. Tap on a bookshelf and maybe there will be an item that you need and so on. The only redeeming quality was some clever DS-feature puzzles.

Hotel Dusk is very similar to Trace Memory, but improved in most ways. The story, although it starts out at an absolute crawl, is terrific. It's kind of like the show Lost. Every guest in the hotel has their own story that you go through (or pry outta them) and each story contributes to a greater underlying story. And just about all the stories are interesting. The mysteries will keep you tapping through. And there will be one or more occasions where the stories are even heartwarming. It's amazing how well you get to know these characters.

Your character starts out as a complete jerk (and in a way stays that way), but in order to advance through the game and not get kicked out of the hotel, you have to make him more likable by choosing what he says. Though it may seem at first that this game is tailored for young adult boys (it's got some mild profanity), I can see it being just as enjoyed by young girl casual gamers.

The puzzles in this game are not hard at all. Some may throw you off for a bit, but a small amount of thinking and notetaking solves everything. There are a few clever uses for the DS, but nothing really mindblowing. I'm glad that the puzzles are doable, but I kinda wish they were a little more challenging and rewarding. There are many moments where you have to choose the correct thing to say (between 2 possible responses) in a row, otherwise the game is over. This is pretty frustrating and the game overs happen often, so make sure to save a lot so you don't have to go through a lot of text dialogue again.

I'm not a big fan of the quiz at the end of each chapter. Trace Memory did the same and I find it really annoying that they need to reiterate the story.

But if you can stick through the first two chapters, you'll find a beautifully crafted game with excellent characters, stories and storytelling. It's been a real pleasure walking in the shoes of the main character, Kyle Hyde. And I'll be sad when it ends. Hoping this will be a franchise. 4 1/2 stars
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on 17 April 2007
I have yet to finish this game but I am so far enjoying it lots. It plays out like an interactive graphic novel with puzzles and finds a balance between realism (in that the puzzles are related to the runnings of the hotel) and keeping things interesting. They also utilise the DS, making plenty of use of the stylus and the DS itself (sometimes you have to close the DS and open it again to flip an object over to view the other side...genius eh?)

Unlike alot of other similar games, the chracters are more then just 2D stereotypes and in order to progress in the game you have to have an understanding of the chracters (for instance by learning that you cannot lie to one chracter you instead have to choose the path of flattering thier ego). Kyle Hyde, the ex cop you play has good if sometimes cliched cop dialouge and some cute fluff growing on his chin which is sure to entertain. The visual style is unique and makes the game all the more playable

I wouldn't reccomend it for those who are impatient or do not have the time to read endless reams of dialouge that go on and on and on and on but if you enjoy a slow burner to provoke thought and you were a massive fan of point and click games like indiana jones and the fate of atlantis this game is well worth it. It is also a game that anyone who is a fan of mysteries would like and for once it is a game which doesn't target any specific gender.
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on 14 January 2008
This game took a little getting used to, but once I got into it, I was addicted. This is the first time I've completed a game on the ds as usually I get bored before reaching the end but this was not the case in this game. I enjoyed Kyle Hyde's remarks and found myself laughing out loud at times. This game does require patience but well worth it.
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on 1 September 2007
i have almost finished this game, it really is the best game i have ever played, however this game can be very difficult at times - not for the impatient and people who dont like reading!!-

P.S if you love this game you MUST buy Phoenix Wright !!!!!
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on 22 May 2007
What can I say. This game is like finding a good book that you can't put down. In fact it's slightly misleading to call it a game because the interactive elements are kept to a minimum.

Playing the role of ex-cop Kyle Hyde you check into the titular Hotel Dusk and encounter an eclectic mix of people all of whom have a story to tell. Throughout the course of your stay in Hotel Dusk you will talk to the guests and staff solving puzzles along the way only to find a few surprises and hopefully answers to a mysterious event that happened in Kyle's past.

The hand drawn art style suits the noirish feel of the game to a tee. It just goes to show you that the super realistic graphics we have become accustomed to the past few years aren't the important factor to making a great game.

The only drawback is this game wont appeal to everyone. The lack of things to do disuade me from actually recommending it to those who like the action coming thick and fast. However those who enjoy a good mystery book every now and again please go pick this up. It will soon monopolise your free time as it has mine.
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