Posts Tagged ‘review’

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


Clock Tower 3 Review

Clock Tower 3: Survival horror at its worst?

Clock Tower 3 cover

Warning: This review contains plot synopsis and therefore spoilers.

Years ago, in 2003, Capcom decided to publish a title in a survival horror series that was different from Resident Evil. While they achieved that, the end result of the third installment in the series, Clock Tower 3, is a game that feels like it was created years before it actually was.

The story of the game follows a 14-year-old girl named Alyssa(which sounds just a BIT like “Alessa,” the antagonist from the Silent Hill series, to me), whose ordinary school girl life has just been interrupted by a letter from her mother (who mysteriously vanished) warning her to go into hiding before her 15th birthday. Alyssa finds out later in the game that her family are “Rooders,” which are people responsible for setting free the trapped souls of victims of serial killers, or, as the game refers to them, subordinates. Alyssa has to face off with six of these subordinates and the spirits of a few of their victims throughout her last day as a 14 year old.

This game gets a lot of praise for its cutscenes. I suppose at the time of the game’s release, they were quite impressive. However, today they feel very dated, considering, for example, the protagonist, Alyssa, is always rendered wearing her default outfit (a school uniform) even if the player had selected a different one. Having played games of today in which cutscene elements can now take place during gameplay, this style of game cinematics feels extremely dull.

Though I feel much of GameSpot’s review of this game is too nice, I do agree with the overall point that they make: “Clock Tower 3‘s movie portions are stronger than the gameplay that underpins them, and the result is a game that you’ll probably want to finish more for its storyline than for the fun you’ll have actually playing it.”

The review adds that the gameplay gets “maddeningly frustrating” at times. I agree fully. Instead of combat, the object of this game is to evade the subordinates, and hide from them. Alyssa’s only defense (while not in a boss battle) is a bottle of Holy Water, which halts an enemy temporarily when used. The gameplay becomes very tedious because of this system. The bottle of Holy Water must constantly be refilled after a certain number of uses, and the subordinates chase after you entirely too much, making exploration impossible throughout much of the game.

I’ve got plenty more to rant about Clock Tower 3; be sure to check back for my next post, which will continue the review.