Clock Tower 3 Review Part 2

Instead of a health bar, Alyssa has a panic bar, which rises and falls depending on her situation, and how afraid she becomes by her surroundings. The sight of a subordinate is enough to rise the panic bar a bit, and getting swung at raises the bar considerably. Alyssa becomes harder to control as her panic bar rises, and when it is at its maximum, the bar turns red and the word “PANIC!” appears above it. At this point, the music in the game gets more intense, and Alyssa fumbles around like an idiot. This is extremely annoying to deal with, given how clumsy Alyssa already is when she’s calm. Alyssa may even freeze in place, quivering with fear for a few seconds, leaving the player unable to evade a subordinate’s attacks. A hit while in panic mode can be fatal, whereas a few hits while not fully panicked can leave Alyssa feeling fine. I feel that the panic system just makes Alyssa all the more frustrating to control, and seem like an even more pathetic protagonist.

The panic bar is replaced by a health bar during boss battles, which is nice. Boss battles overall, however, are almost as tedious as the rest of the game. They occur at the end of every chapter of the game, and Alyssa faces off with whatever subordinate has been stalking her. After watching a ridiculously campy cutscene (which reminds me a lot of a Japanese anime or two) of Alyssa receiving the “special arrows,” the player must run Alyssa around the arena, evading the subordinate’s attacks, until a proper time to fire an arrow occurs. The battle continues, and the player is forced to repeat the same tactics over and over again until the subordinate’s  health bar drains, making for a rather un-enjoyable fight.

The soundtrack of the game is no less dull than any of its other components. The characters are all British, so while the dialogue may be bland and over exaggerated, it is at least comical to listen to at times. The voice acting is unimpressive. IGN raved about Sledgehammer(the first subordinate)’s voice actor, but I found him to sound a lot like Otto from The Simpsons…very un-scary. Subordinates also utter the same phrases such as, “Alyssa…where are you?” over and over again, which works on your nerves after being stalked for a couple of minutes.

This game will make you jump at times, but overall it’s not that scary. The spirits of the victims of the subordinates are entirely unthreatening, and look comical when they are released from guarding their body (after you reunite them with whatever item it is that they’ve lost). The story is definitely interesting, and is the sole reason I wanted to keep playing, but the execution of the events leading up to finding out more details is really disappointing. I found myself laughing or groaning way too many times when I should’ve been jumping or considering the game’s few puzzles (which are uncomplicated and more ridiculous than those in other horror series).

If you can deal with tedious gameplay and are interested in the idea of evading enemies most of the time rather than fighting them, I’d give this game a rental at most. If you just want to learn the full story, I’d suggest watching a playthrough on YouTube or reading a full synopsis online.

Here are two more honest reviews of this game. While they’re both nicer than mine, they do touch on some of the same problems I’ve discussed.
Chris’s Survival Horror Quest


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