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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Games Review: Cate West - The Vanishing Files by Gamenaut

: Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.
: I’m pretty sure that this game was downloaded from Reflexive Arcade, not dragged in by a cat.
: I’m not talking about the one without the feathers, you feather-brain.
: Oooo, who’s a grumpy devil this morning? Who is? Whooooo is?
: Smart-Alec.
: A grumpy devil and out of quips. Are you feeling alright?
: No, I’ve just spend 8 hours non-stop on a hidden-objects game I haven’t stopped yet.
: And before that was 8 hours of trying come up with a decent literature review report for your system. Time’s running out, Coffee-Fish.
: Coffee-Fish?
: It’s the way you drink Nescafe Mild coffee. You know, like a fish drink water.
: Look’s like I’m not the only one with brain-melty syndrome today.
: I guess we can banter till this blogger get a severe case of smiley-split personality-,
: -but pretty smileys!
: ... But, I’m sure readers would prefer what’s the game that’s been long over due since our, my, last review.

Cate West - The Vanishing Files

At the policestation: “Not yet, Cate. Oooo, look! Donuts!!”

: Hold it, why is the blogger letting us review this game? We’re just metaphorical entities of her fervent imaginings.
: Suppressed imaginings. This is her night hour window to make sure she won’t wake up a dried prune of clich├ęs when she posts her blog.
: More like a dried prune of mindless puk-,
: Anyway, the storyline play with Cate West, an author in a middle of a book signing tour that suddenly got caught in a wave of crime spree against religious-themed events, locations and artefacts. Churches burned, temples desecrated and praying people terrorized.
: My kind of paradise.
: Volunteering to use her psychic ability to stop the crimes, Cate joins the investigative team of the city’s police force. She soon realized that the mastermind had a personal issue with her and the unsolved murder of her father years ago.
: All the trappings of a most unoriginal hidden objects plot. But what makes this game stand out is more than my personal bias towards point-and-click gameplay.

The typewriter holds may keys... and spiders, trinkets, veggies, baseballs, bowling trophys...

Even the CSI team gets baffled on this much of criminal evidence. You just got to look for the right ones

: Hidden objects is a game genre in which you look for the specific item, - based on a list - , within a jumbled-up scene messier than a cross between a recycling plant and my bedroom on weekends.
: Each of these miscellaneous objects, - ranging between a rare steak to the names of Jupiter’s moons - , carries a clue for Cate’s psychic ability to focus on the criminal’s whereabouts.
: Sounds like a very, very average hidden objects game to me. Based on these screenshots, I’d say the Mystery in London game is much better with its 360’degrees imagery.
: If we’re mostly leaning on visuals, the Nobel prize still goes to Dream Chronicles 2. But we’re not. And there’s some new twist in CWTVF I liked about.

The b-b-bookstore?! Okay, now it's personal!

You revist the crime scenes and match them in your testimony.

: The very detailed plotline?
: Yup!
: Detailed plotline says, - and I quote - , “about 75 levels of hidden objects, match-the-difference and puzzle-solving”.
: Most game folks don’t understand the benefits of a real story-based game. KingMania had nothing but potatoes in it.
: But thankfully, CWTVF had a really nice feel to it’s script design.
: They had to. Otherwise it’s just 75 level of pure repetitiveness.
: Add to that, based on your scoring, there are multiple endings to the game.
: Multiple endings, huh? What kind of ending did you get?
: I don’t know because I haven’t finished it yet! *hehehe*

Evidence never stays in one piece...

Cate sense the clues and match them to the correct ugly face.

: So what’s the final analysis on this game?
: Well, after the fit-criminal-to-description puzzle, I also liked the not-so-heavily-laden visual design of the gameplay. It’s easier to find the missing objects in here as compared to other similar games like Dream Day Wedding.
: Or maybe you just got better at finding objects.
: That goes too. So I’d say this is a good game for the veterans/jaded of this genre.
: And not bad for the newbies too.
: It’s not spectacular in anyway, but it’s a great game for a weekend afternoon.
: Your weekend afternoons are supposed to be for cleaning your room, not playing games.
: Don’t be a hypocrite. You enjoy hidden objects tremendously.
: Me? I’m the hypocrite?! You’re cleaning up small knick-knacks in a very messy picture... while playing in your own very messy room.
: Awww, who’s the Baddie conscience? Who is? Whooooo is?
: You’re going to keep playing until you find out your special ending, aren’t you?
: Correct! And the devil wins a cookie.

PS:Downloads for this game can be found in Reflexive Arcade. If you want the cracked version, ask my two little shoulder-mates nicely.

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