Better Late: A Video Game Review

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own this game.  This review is solely for entertainment purposes only…and for you to buy the game from the source.

Download the free demo here!

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a proud gamer and computer geek from way back. Even if I’m not playing the game myself, I’m watching the game. Even if I can’t afford the game, I’ll search gameplay trailers on YouTube. Who were considered the favorite heroes and villains of all time?  How are the graphics?  What is the plot?  I want to know it all.

Over the last several years, I started scouring the Internet for some of the original point-and-click computer adventures of my childhood. King’s Quest, Quest for Glory, and Legends of Kyrandia were a few titles that I ran through after school (yes, in high school I stayed home and played computer games) and chores. As I grew older and computer graphics enhanced, my family added first-person, higher-pixelated selections to our arsenal. Myst, Zork: Nemesis, and Obsidian were more complex versions of their 1980s counterparts.

Though the games of today – the Half-Lifes, the Halos, and the Skyrims – are beautiful to watch and more than engaging to play, I can’t help but keep a special love for the adventures that brought me into the entire world of gaming. Those were the days when games had to rely on clever puzzles and an immaculate script – or fizzle on the shelves.

Enter xii games, Wadjet Eye Games and their latest release: Resonance. In partnership for the first time – and hopefully not the last – they have toiled over the last five years to create an interactive experience that, while visually a blast from the past, was more than modern enough to catch the interest of today’s new and veteran players.

Namely, me.  Tee hee.

 

Storyline

The game begins at the birth of a device that could either save – or destroy – civilization and the world as we know it. Its confirmation coincides horrifically with the mysterious death of its creator, Dr. Javier Morales. Though the device has been temporarily stored away from human hands, Dr. Morales has left clues to allow only a select few to uncover the truth behind his research. These select few are the four main characters of the story:

  • Tolstoy “Ed” Eddings: a young yet brilliant scientist
  • Anna Castellanos: a beautiful yet troubled doctor
  • Winston Bennet: a skilled yet somewhat rogue police officer
  • Raymond “Ray” Abbot: a pompous yet dedicated online journalist

The greatest part of any good story means that – well, you’ll get drawn into it. I suppose that’s what accounted to my trembling hands during the scary moments, my tears during the emotional confessions, and my jaw dropping to the unexpected twists. There were seconds when I forgot I was playing the game and was forced to scramble when it was my turn to work after a cut scene.

I can guarantee a certain investment in this story in that, as you click away and make important decisions, you can easily recall just what is at stake without feeling like you were bogged down with excessive information along the way.

 

Character Development

In my eyes, there is not a single character in this game that has been wasted or overlooked. If you are able to talk to them, then they can help you, whether they want you to or not.

The four main characters – Eddings, Anna, Bennet, and Ray – are given amazing depth that makes you want to learn more and help them succeed. Their voice actors speak every word with full conviction. Eddings’s voice actor is especially memorable. Sad thing is, I often felt like Eddings was talking to me instead of his colleagues. Made for some awkward sensations within my very soul.

Do I wanna talk about it?

Um, well, kinda sorta not.  

Graphics

Resonance was styled to represent the original “glory days” of third-person point-and-click adventures. Not only did it deliver, but it paid for postage, as well. To utter a statement that won’t be repeated much, the pixilation in every scene was perfect. I even had a gaming friend stop by while I was in the middle playing, and he remarked in surprise, “You playing an old game?”

The animators, however, took the pixilation one step further by providing it with the depths of today. In one of the first scenes, Ed sits up quickly in bed, allowing his hair to fly up after him. So too can you see him grin later as he discusses chance with fellow character Anna, and you note how sweet his cheeks look as they bunch up (well, I did). Facial expressions are pleasantly discernable, and there is never a moment of questioning whether a single dot on the screen is important or “just a dot.”

Vibrant colors, strong backgrounds and a variety of scenes kept the diversity up without making my eyes cross.

Overall Gameplay

The best feeling I got about Resonance was that I never felt like the creators were tired of a certain part. I never felt rushed from one scene to the next; even if I got stuck, I was determined to work through the pain and suffering that was haunting soundtracks and endless quips.

Since there are four players that you can use individually or in groups, there were moments when I was confused as to who and which ones I should (or could) use, when and how.

Then, I went to bed. The next morning, clear and pleasant logic prevailed, and I moved on.

Resonance integrates a Short-Term and Long-Term Memory system that allows you to use events that you see and hear to continue in the story. Both of these elements prove vital to reminding characters of important clues, entering codes, and even discovering some Easter eggs along the way. You can gain achievements for being good and even more for being a little bad. The only part of Resonance that I lament for is its brevity. After some comparisons to my old favorites, however, Resonance actually plays just as long as the old pixelated games. If you grab this game like you would your favorite show or book, it should take you about a week and a half of solid, satisfying gameplay.

To those who have never played these type of puzzle-filled adventure games, I definitely recommend this title. It’s easy to learn, fun to play, and won’t break any banks.

 

To view the official trailer, purchase the game or try the demo, click here. The demo’s free, so, why not, I say?

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