Product Type: Nintendo Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... this offers no excitement other than pointing and clicking on everything you can find. The dialog is laboured, the sotry line isn't very w... more
Hyde and Seek!
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
Member Name: Stunt 101
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
Advantages: Brilliant visuals; same great gameplay from the Phoenix Wright games; top notch dialogue.
Disadvantages: Slow paced; not for the gore hungry; no spoken speech; no replayability.
With adventure games, the story can make or break the game. In the case of Hotel Dusk: Room 215, this is the best thing about a game. Sure, a story about a room doesnít seem like a good plot at first, but thereís so much more to the story that that. Itís 1979, and basically, door-to-door salesman Kyle Hyde (Jekyll anyone?), who is a washed up cop that hung his badge up after shooting his partner, has been sent to Hotel Dusk-which is pretty much a dump. The room he gets is Room 215, the room that grants Ďwishesí, or so at least the owner says it does. So as Hyde stays in the hotel, heíll discover many mysteries and solve puzzles, as well as maybe find what heís looking for.
Thatís just opening the opening cellophane of the story, thereís so much to the story. Almost everyone has some kind of secret, which Hyde will think; help find what heís looking for. There are so many questions to be found, like whoís this girl in white who wonít talk, why did the owner make up names for his rooms, why doesnít the owner like cops in his joint-the list goes on and on! The character development is excellent, I really grew to like these characters (especially Hyde himself) and the story itself was really compelling once I got more into the game.
Remember Brain Training? You had to hold the DS like a book? Well you have to do this with Hotel Dusk. It makes more sense, as itís almost like a murder adventure book. The game also really takes advantage of the Touch screen. Most of the game is done with the touch screen. You advance text with it, move around and touch items as well. You can use the D-Pad or buttons to advance text and move, but the rest you must use the touch screen. As far as holding the DS like a book, it felt weird at first as I havenít played Brain Training, but it was great once I got used it it. If you donít like holding it like that, then you wonít be able to change it.
Hotel Dusk plays a lot like Phoenix Wright, except it doesnít have the courtroom scenarios. Itís just as linear, as you have to do something specific to trigger an event to progress, and thereís a lot of clue finding and things of that nature, as well as lots and lots of talking. The gameplay involves a lot of finding clues and solving puzzles. But the puzzles are great in which they donít slow you down as theyíre so hard, but they donít make you frustrated. Plus, the characterís are likable and the dialogue is excellent which makes conversations much better.
So, what does most of the game consist of? Talking! As soon as the game begins, there is a just lot of dialogue to read. The dialogue is well written, but Iíll admit that sometimes thereís just too much. I mean, I remember a part in the game where for about 10 minutes, I was just reading and reading text, as well as tapping an arrow on the DS screen, which was a bit tedious. But hey, it was interesting, and if you donít read, thereís no point in playing as it will be even more boring. As an ex-detective, Hyde will be able to ask people questions at times. When you talk to a character, there will either be questions during the middle of conversations when the character is acting strange, or said something worth questioning. You can choose to leave it, or question. Then you can ask questions at the end, where things came up in conversations that you wanted to ask about. People can ask you questions as well, which you can answer to.
This is where the risk of getting GAME OVER comes in. if you say the wrong thing, itís game over. So, for example, an old crook who Kyle busted says were you joking when you said you hung up your badge. You can say either yeah I was joking and I am a cop or no I am a salesman. If you say youíre a salesman then itís fine, but if you say youíre a cop, the guy will tell the owner that youíre a cop (the manger hates cops taking in mind) and the manager will throw you out, resulting in game over. You pretty much get game over if youíre thrown out or screw up in getting some info you need.
Aside from the standard conversations you have with people, you also have these conversations where youíre trying to get the person to tell you their secrets. What will happen is that youíll get them in an alone situation, like in the personís room theyíre renting, and it will begin. Usually youíll start by telling them bit-by-bit what you know about them already. Once youíve hit that stage, youíll get some questions to ask. Some of these involve you guessing things about the secret, like how they betrayed or things like that. You can guess wrong with these. Sometimes youíll just get to ask it again, but a lot of the time it caused a GAME OVER screen as they donít spill, and you donít get the secret.
The game can be frustrating with the GAME OVER screen, mostly thanks to the save system. You can save at any time, but the risk with that is that if you save before a bad situation that you canít get out of then you have to start the whole game again. That happened to me, and I had spent about 5 hours with the game. So to have 5 hours wasted annoyed me, which is why after I didnít use the save system. I only saved when a chapter finished, which I knew wouldnít be a bad time. Also, sometimes what you have to do wasnít very clear. Sometimes it was just me not paying attention, but sometimes it wasnít. For example, you had to go to a room to progress, but they didnít tell you which room it was, so you were stuck unless you guess or used a walkthrough. It was rather frustrating.
At the end of each chapter, thereís usually a Ďsummaryí where Hyde thinks about the past events in that chapter. A lot of the work is done by Hyde, but you also have to do something. Basically, the game will ask you questions about the past events in the chapter. It will be a piece of cake if youíre observatory, and pretty easy even if you donít notice little details. Itís good for reminding you about whatís happened, but it feels a bit tacked on and could of just had a summary for you to read in the options menu.
Aside from dialogue, thereís also exploring and puzzles. On the exploring side of things, you can explore quite a bit of Hotel Dusk. You obviously canít go into peopleís rooms, unless thatís what is meant to happen, and thereís some out-of-bounds places like the ownerís room or the bar while itís closed, but thereís still a fair bit of ground to cover. Unfortunately, early on the game can be a bit hard as people who are needed are not here or items needed donít work. But as you progress, the game makes more sense and is less challenging. Besides, if a game was easy there would be little fun. Also, thereís little need for wandering as people or items needed arenít that far from you. Itís probably because Hotel Dusk isnít the size of America.
The puzzles are great too. The puzzles arenít too complicated, but theyíre not easy. They usually involve you finding an item to do something, for example right at the beginning of the game your key to your suitcase gives away and breaks, meaning you canít get into your case. Thatís a bad thing as the owner wants you to pay in advance. So you have to find something to get it open. I did find something I could use, but I needed to find another item to be able to use it first. Itís not hard to figure out what I needed and once I found it wham I got it open. You also do searching In rooms. The way this works is that you can look at certain places in a room, like in a corner of the room, and search all of there. You can move at about 90 degrees in the part, and use your touch screen to pick out important items.
Aside from the great gameplay, Hotel Dusk also has an incredible visual style. The characters look stunning. They are in 2D, but rather than using the same manga style as Phoenix Wright, they all have this weird sketched look to them. It looked like the people from A-Haís Take on Me which looked stunning. They all animated as well, which looked great. All the people had different animation to each other, though they didnít have too many different animations by themselves. The facial expressions were top notch as well. You could definitely tell when the characters were angry, sad, happy or scared. But Hotel Dusk itself was in full 3D. You can definitely tell itís run down, as all the colours are a rather bland brownish colour. All the wallpaper looked rotten and the doors look as old as can be. It was perfect for the tone of the game. And it all looked smooth-there were little jaggies to be seen.
The sound was great, mostly due to the excellent dialogue. Sure, thereís not spoken text (probably due to the amount of text there is in the game), but itís all superbly written. It all suits the characters tones, like Hyde is pretty sarcastic and you can tell in the dialogue. The music is good, though there could have been more variety. The music is pretty jazzy, which really suits the tone of the game. The effects were great, with some gunshots here and there and perfect footstep sounds.
Hotel Dusk is a long game. I finished it in about 17 hours of play, which is nearly as long as the original Phoenix Wright. But, just like Wright, the game has limited replayability. Most of the surprises arenít worth a second play, and, as good as the text is, itís not going to be as fun as youíve read all of it before. Still, the 17 hours Hotel Dusk gave me were brilliant fun.
So, I have made many comparisons to the Phoenix Wright games, and the real question is Hotel Dusk as good? Not quite, but itís still flipping brilliant. It looks stunning, is a joy to read and play and is a lengthy adventure. Sure, thereís no spoken speech and replayability, but it doesnít matter-this is well worth a place in your DS collection. Another piece of evidence to show adventure games are still fun.
-(Where You Can Buy It)-
Amazon for £24.98 or used and new from £20.40
This game was published by Nintendo and developed by Cing
This was released on April 13th, 2007 and is a DS exclusive
Thanks for reading. Stunt 101
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