Review by Quanrian
Dream Within A Dream
This game is quite possibly one of the hardest games to review I've ever encountered. I'll explain that in an even more oblique manner by saying that plenty of people are going to get annoyed and possibly frustrated and just trade this game in after only a short while of playing it. Simply put this game has some of the worst gameplay I've ever seen, just about everything feels clunky or broken and enjoyment certainly wasn't taken into account when developing it.
Well that's the overall gist, most people wont find themselves feeling like they got their money's worth. They however will probably never bother finishing the game either and experiencing the kind of storyline that hasn't been seen in a very long time. I never thought a storyline would make me want to finish a game, but this one did, it's just that good.
Gameplay - 1
I'd give it less than a one to hopefully encourage the developer to put more thought into how 'fun' their game was, but I'll just break it down for you. Combat is there, but it's so few and far between that you might even forget how uncomfortable it is. If you can imagine a seriously dumbed down version of Jade Empire's combat than you get the idea. There are puzzles, but they're hardly a highlight as they're almost too easy sometimes. To top it off the gameplay is so entirely linear you'll feel like you're being led by the hand like a child the whole time.
Music - 8.5
I definitely did enjoy the music in this game and it's one of the highlights. You'll hear lyrical scores as well as just instrumentals throughout the game and they always seem to fit like a glove. They did a wonderful job in this department and it makes me sad they didn't put the same effort into gameplay. I'm not sure everyone will agree with me however and this certainly isn't enough of a reason to buy or even rent the game.
Sounds - 10
A huge part of this score has to do with the voice acting. In short, most games should be thankful if they ever have any of the talented cast that did voice acting for this game. Everyone sounded right and it really helped immerse you, even when the otherwise painful gameplay was doing its best to push you away.
This is what the game is all about. This is just one mammothly complicated storyline. If you've ever wondered what it'd be like to experience a storyline where every character had a background and history you could almost swim in than this will give you a good sampling if nothing else. This game's storyline is something you usually read in books, you just don't find it in video games.
So I'd almost say buy this game if you're an avid book reader, since this will provide you with a really great experience you'll undoubtedly remember. This storyline is definitely mature however, it brings up issues that children are not likely to comprehend in the way intended. You'll definitely walk away thinking about things you never considered before, simply because of the many issues the game presents in its rich storyline.
You can hear about war in any game's storyline. To have you meet so many people from both sides and have them tell their sides and see for yourself how it's affecting things, gives it a real personal feel that is hard to ignore. It's like talking about hunger compared to watching a child starve to death in front of you. You really feel for the people you interact with because they show you how their emotions, even if they're limited to just a few lines of spoken dialog. There is more dialog in this game than you can imagine and it changes as the story progresses.
To say all the previously mentioned things are mostly subtle is an understatement. You 'can' easily ignore most of what the story hands you, just like you can ignore a bum asking you for change. However when you take the time to really look into all the facets of the story you really see how rich and filled out it is. Worst of all when it's over you're just going to be hungry for more. The only real setback being you have to prefer the storyline over the gameplay and that's an awfully big hurdle.
Overall - 8 / Prefer Gameplay to Storyline - 4
Why do I score it an 8 when the gameplay is so bad ? Well it simply didn't matter because the presentation of the story and the story itself was just so enrapturing. However if you were expecting anything more than a truly amazing story than you can lower my score by 4 points easily and should pass on this game. I'm glad I 'experienced' this game, as it really makes you think in ways you're probably not accustomed to. I'll remember and even treasure this game for sometime to come.
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