Thursday, February 7, 2008
WTF!? My review of Indigo Prophecy (Xbox)
The Xbox Originals, available for download, is not my type of thing. I like the fact that I can go and buy them at your local Gamestop. One day last month, my Gamestop weekly special flyer had a coupon for buy one get one free on any used Xbox game. I picked up Fable and the game that I am going to review to you now, Indigo Prophecy.
Story – My name is Lucas Kane; and I'm a murderer. That is the tag line from the game and the first 3 minutes will show you why. Indigo Prophecy (known as Fahrenheit in Europe) was developed by Quantic Dream. This company brought us Omikron: The Nomad Soul for the Dreamcast. Tyler kills a man in a diner bathroom and you don't know why you did it. You felt like you were possessed. The game begins after that. You must find a way to cover up your actions and leave before you get caught. Afterwards, two cops (Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles) investigate the murders and things begin to turn from that. I really do not want to get too deep into the story because that would ruin your experience. The story in this game is a big part. The story is told through 3 characters: Lucas Kane, trying to run from the cops and figure out what the hell is going on; and Carla and Tyler investigating the crime to find out who did this. Throughout the game, you have the ability to determine what you can do to cover up your actions or catch the suspect. A very engaging story will make you want to help you both the cops and Kane. A lot of things unfold in this and it is very interesting. The only problems that I have with the story is that, within the last ¼ of the story, it gets really disjointed and bad. It seems like the developers did not enough space on the disc and just threw the ending on this. I will just say that enemies will become friends in the span of 5 minutes. Horrible, but forgivable. Overall, the story is very engaging, but a little rough around the end.
Grade – B
Graphics – The graphics in this game is very good. The characters act as any person would. The voice does match the persona and everything does seem to flow the way it should. New York City in 2009 looks very real. The environments in this game are really well done and that is good, because you will be inspecting every nook and cranny in this game. That is the only way that you can do it right. There is one part, though, that truly pisses me off. The name Indigo Prophecy is different from the European Fahrenheit in one way...nudity. With such a good story, sometimes sex can be involved. The European version has sex a prevalent, and visual component. The US version, however, has blurred pixels and parts of scenes cut out because sex is being performed and you can see women's nipples. I do not like it when you can see a man stab another one, or see two people being killed in a game. Then, to be a fucking hypocrite, blur out a nipple because it offends people. Grow up society, goddamn it.
Grade – B-
Controls – Controls, for the most part, serve this game well. The left thumb stick moves the characters around while the right thumb stick will help you interact with objects. When next to a yo-yo, for example, press the right thumb stick to the left (an icon appears on the top of the screen and the direction you need to get the yo-yo) and you will pick up the yo-yo. Sometimes, you will need to move the right stick in a certain way to proceed. With some of these, you will need to do this in a short period of time, but it is good that it shows you how to move to stick. Action sequences are not the usual fare in this game. Instead of using the A button to punch, actions are done two ways. Two circles will appear on the screen. When the top part of the left circle glows, you must press up on the left analog stick. Sometimes, the glows can get pretty hectic and difficult, but not anywhere near impossible. There will be times when a meter with L on the left and R on the right and you must mash the the LT and RT as fast as possible to move the meter from the left to the right. Sometimes that can get tiring and you need to move fingers over to help compensate, but it is very, very good to do. Sometimes, when people try to innovate, they over-innovate. This is a very well done control scheme and they should be commended. One small blemish is that when you have to deal with the two circles, you must concentrate on the circles, even when actions are taking place. You will only be able to see the events in you peripheral vision.
Grade – A
Sound – The sounds definitely delivers. Characters sounds like you would see from normal everyday life. You can turn on a radio and hear music (though mostly unknowns) and everything is synced just right. Wind noises and echoes are done with real great care. I always say that if you nothing bad to say, don't say anything at all. That is a lie, this is just great.
Grade – A
Extras – The extras in this game is really damn good. You can earn bonus cards by looking for them throughout the game. They give you 5 to 20 bonus points that you can use to purchase items from the bonus menu. There are pictures, the soundtrack, and video shorts. The video shorts give you shots from the development part of Indigo Prophecy. There is also a strip tease, an ice skating mini-game, as well as some grinding done by some of the characters. Very funny. There is also the ability to go back to previous chapters to go through a scene differently. It really does not affect the ending because you can get all 3 endings by completing the final chapter differently. It is a very good amount of extras.
Grade – A-
Challenge – The challenge in this game comes from asking the correct question. Ask the wrong questions and your character can get a little more depressed until you flat out lose it and it is game over. You only have a short amount of time to ask a question that you think is the best one, and hopefully it is. You can do simple things like drink some water to raise your emotional level back up. The circle presses are easy, if you do not look at anything else. There are other challenges like keeping the L/R meter as close to the middle as possible. There are pretty fun to deal with, but if you just concentrate on the task, you'll be fine. There are three different settings (Easy, Normal, and Hard) and they are mostly cosmetic.
Grade – C+
Overall, Indigo Prophecy is a very solid and different gaming experience. A great, but flawed, story; great cast of characters; terrific sound; really great control; a ton of extras make this a must buy. It will take you around 10 hours to get through and it is all worth it.
Overall grade - B
Phil-N Rob'd Moment: This game was really great; but there is definitely somethings that got on my nerves badly. It was when the game did a complete 180 ¾ through the game. I don't want to spoil it, but that part just flat out fucking blew. I did not like it and I was scratching my head until the end of it.
The following film is what is cut out of the American version. You can show people getting stabbed and mutilated, but show one fucking nipple or one sex scene and it has to be removed. Go fuck yourselves US Government.
As a special feature, Kush will also write a review for this to give two different perspectives on this incredible game.