Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Finished Fahrenheit / Project Indigo

I just finished Fahrenheit / Project Indigo, the game that I posted about last monday. I think the game was awesome. I highly recommend it for the excellent story, and unconventional gameplay.

I actually enjoyed the quirky controls. The ddr button mashing sequences really keep you on your toes, without falling into a resident evil or fps shoot, duck, run, shoot routine. They seemed kinda refreshing in a way. Once in a while it is really nice to participate in some big action sequence without really worrying about mundane things like "do I jump now" or "how do you block in this game again?". Some people may hate this type of stuff, but I didn't mind it.

The tutorial covered most of the in game modes, but not all of them. There were few things left out. For example, in some sequences when Carla is scared you need to control her breathing. This is similar to the physical endurance feat, as it puts a little meter on the bottom of the screen which you control with the left-right movement buttons.

However, the way you control it is very different. The aim is to keep the "needle" in the middle of the bar. You need to alternate between buttons - each push is a breath. Each breath moves the needle to the left. When Carla is scared the needle gravitates to the right. So you need to compensate for that with breathing. If you breathe to much, and the needle hits the left edge you also freak out (hyperventilate?).

I found that it is usually best to do some fast breathing and put the needle way in the left field. This gives you more time to react once the needle starts moving again. Since the needle never moves left in it's own, you should be fine as long as you don't over breathe :)

Another sequence is tightrope walking, which uses the exact same type of the meter as Carla's breathing. This time however each button press makes the needle move in the direction that was pressed. Once you hit the edge, you fall off. When the needle is near the middle it moves slower. It picks up speed when at the edges. It also moves faster with each key press. So if you press left twice, you probably won't have time to mash right three times to compensate before you fall off. This was possibly the most annoying sequence of the game. I can't tell you how many times I fell of that stupid railing :P

What else... Let me talk about the story Spoilers may lurk below.

The game puzzles are easy, and usually suffer from the needle in the haystack syndrome. Whenever you need to walk around and look for an item, it is usually safe to assume that it is located in the least accessible area. And usually you don't get enough hints to pinpoint the item, so you pick one at random, go back, validate, pick another one, go back, validate and etc...

I really liked the story. The plot is really linear. I think there are few ways to branch of from the main storyline but again, this is more of an interactive movie, than a game :P I didn't mind the linear progression. The choices given to you make up for the linearity, and give an illusion of a very flexible story.

Only part that I don't liked was the timed conversations. There were several instances when I "wasted" a question on something I already knew, and missed out on potential info. For example, I really didn't learn anything about the second clan until the very end, because I asked Agatha some stupid questions before she transformed. I also still don't know how exactly was Lucas reanimated.

In some cases the timing requirement made perfect sense - for example, when Carla is interrogating Lucas. But when it comes to the crucial information, integral to the plot we should be allowed to grill the characters to our heart's content without some superimposed question limit, and timing. But that's just me...

I also felt that the love scene between Carla and Lucas was kinda gratuitous, and shoved down our throat. I mean, they didn't really get to know each other at all. Lucas just lost his girlfriend... And wasn't he kinda dead - Carla said his skin was ice cold... WTF?

I mean, I think it was great that they actually showed a sex scene with boobs and all. Fuck the US censors. But still...

It's a good game though. I really enjoyed it. Go play it :)

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