Top critical review
33 people found this helpful
on 30 October 2012
I preodered this game based on a couple of screenshots, which were oozing steampunk atmosphere and graphic style.
Unfortunately, this project did not receive the polish that it deserved.
Allow me to jot down here some complaints:
- Low-resolution images butcher the otherwise lovely 2D illustrations. The images lack the sharpness needed for the 3DS screen. Compression artifacts are visible. The 3D scenes are composed by cutting up the 2D illustration and setting them on different layers, but the final composition is rather messy and not really very interesting. The 3D just doesn't convey depth.
- The background music is muffled, repetitive - and in mono sound! There is virtually no voice work. What a shame, since the 3DS sound hardware is capable of such crisp sounds.
- The character design is rather generic. I mean, we're talking about Sherlock Holmes. Surely he can convey personality a little better. I am sorry, but it is hard to tell who is who.
- The story is poorly paced. The intro presents multiple (preposterous) plot elements in literally a couple of seconds.
- The writing is plain boring. For example, at the clue gathering stage, the game encourages you to explore a scene. But when you tap on a drawer, Sherlock says: "Why would I need to open it anyway?" Haaa! Why does Sherlock arbitrarily decide that for me?! I want to tap the screen and see interesting things happening! Instead, you have interactive areas that attract you attention, but the character informs you: "I don't need to go there". That's lazy writing, in my opinion.
- The interface for the few puzzles that I got to see was rather annoying, for some reason. It seemed simple enough - but it just didn't FEEL fun.
So maybe this game would be fine for the iPhone, or as a web-based game. Yet it costs almost as much as an ultra-polished game like "Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask"!
As you could see, I am writing here mostly about the presentation. For me, story and presentation is important in such a game - it makes or breaks the game.
If you're in a mood for a casual, yet engrossing non-violent storytelling game that makes you use your head a bit... then I can recommend to you instead the underrated "Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights", with which I had a lot of fun.