Review by aeSentinel

Reviewed: 01/26/07

It's like a cross (story and presentation-wise) between Max Payne and Sin City.

"Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - An interactive mystery novel for Nintendo DS"

The story starts with Kyle Hyde, an ex-cop, rocking up to Hotel Dusk, searching for a couple of items for his boss, however, upon checking into the hotel, he finds out somebody else checked in six months ago using his name. It turns out the guy sounds just like his ex-partner, who betrayed him and the force three years ago. Kyle decides it can't be a coincidence and proceeds to search the hotel for any clues on his ex-partner's whereabouts.

You'll spend a lot of your time on Hotel Dusk with your Nintendo DS on its side, using the stylus to navigate through the rooms. Using the map on the touch screen, you guide Kyle around the hotel, examine objects, talk to people and write notes. The top (now left) screen provides you with a 3D view of what Kyle is looking at. At first, the controls are tedius and annoying, especially having use the stylus for trivial tasks, such as knocking on doors and turning the handles to open them, but one you get used to it, you realise it's quite suitable.

Hotel Dusk is single player only. This is a good thing, because multiplayer support of any kind would no doubt ruin the game. Books are supposed to be read alone.

Hotel Dusk features a good '70's style soundtrack and realistic sound effects. The music sounds like it was ripped straight from one of those old black-and-white detective movies you saw 30 years ago. The only real annoyance is the way it's used - you can tell a conversation has ended because the music changes before your friend finished talking, and is quite annoying.

The characters are black-and-white drawings and the textures appear to be hand-painted. It's quite beautiful, and suits the game well, although a lot of the time it lacks detail. At some points, things get so dark you almost feel like you're playing Sin City.

The game's story is exactly what you'd expect to find in a mystery novel. There are no holes left unintentionally and each character has their own unique personality and background.

The game is long and includes a lot of dialogue, so even though there's supposedly multiple endings, I really can't see our average Joe playing through the entire game more than once a year, but I know there are people out there who live for this sort of thing.

If you love novels, you're going to love Hotel Dusk. The game kicks some serious ass. It's like a cross between Max Payne and Sin City, and it truly feels like you're playing one or the other at some points in the game. The controls are brilliant once you adjust to them, and the story is quite good.

Hotel Dusk is exactly what it says it is - "An interactive mystery novel for Nintendo DS". It's perfect for readers and gamers alike.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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