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    Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

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    genkicoll

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    Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by genkicoll on Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:00 pm

    Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories
    by Alawar Friday's - July, 2013

    Series links: Stray Souls 1: Dollhouse Story, Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Available at:
    Big Fish for PC as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    Alawar as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition



    Guide a mother who pursues a terrifying apparition into a twisted reality to save her daughter. As you explore a strange town in which an evil clown has turned all of the residents into wooden dolls, you'll slowly peel back the layers of a disturbing story that reveals why the mother's husband has never spoken about his past!

    The Collector's Edition includes:

    • Shocking bonus chapter
    • High Definition wallpapers and concept art
    • 48 unique locations

    Click images to enlarge
    __


    Last edited by genkicoll on Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total


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    genkicoll

    Posts : 7461
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by genkicoll on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:15 am

    Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories CE (IHOG)

    Options include separate sliders for music and sound, full-screen, system cursor, widescreen, and low quality.  You can change between Casual and Expert modes at any time on your option screen.   I went for Expert, so that will be reflected in my review.  In this mode, there are no sparkles -- including those that indicate a HOS -- but you always do some kind of action that triggers the scene, so it's not hard to tell where they are. Smile

    As with the last game I played by this developer (Dark Strokes: Sins of the Father,) you can click on random points of interest to get some extra tidbits of information.  Things like, "Travelers checks... Receipts... Nothing important."  There's something I clicked on early in the game that had nothing to do with progressing the game, but it gave me interesting background info!  Trying to use the wrong object for a task will tell us WHY it won't work, messing with the radio will get you a couple of different music tracks.  I love that they put in all this extra effort, and it's why Alawar Friday's is one of my favorite developers.

    Our friendly knitted doll is back with us, and we again have a dollhouse that give us not only extra story as we find the figures that belong inside, but also objects that will help us on our way.

    The journal documents our journey, but necessarily the puzzle solutions we've found.  There are NO spoilers in there.   We also will gain a MAP, which we can access through the journal. There IS a jump-to function, and it shows active areas, as well.

    Using a HINT during the adventure portion of the game will give you a directional arrow if you have nothing left to do in that location, and without discharging the hint.

    The voice overs are done well, and the cutscenes are excellent.  I'm not overly fond of the way they do characters, but that doesn't distract all that much from the rest of the amazing graphics.

    The story progresses via a series of notes, journals, cutscenes, and pop-up-type items we find as we explore... and the aforementioned figures we find for the dollhouse.  The cardboard cutout / pop-up type of thing we've seen before, but there are some really inventive minis in the game... almost like the door locks in MCF: Ravenhearst -- loved it!

    The game itself is really spooky -- scary, even, at points! EEK!   It's heavy on the adventure gameplay... so much so that I forgot that it's an IHOG!  The HOS are lightly interactive -- yellow items can be found immediately, white items need some kind of interaction in order to find them.  There IS a rapid-misclick penalty.

    CE Content:

    • Integrated strategy guide
    • Bonus Chapter
    • 5 Music tracks, which you can save to your hard drive
    • 12 Concept art montages (awesome!)
    • 12 Wallpapers (accessible BEFORE you play the game! OH!) Two in particular were gorgeous!
    • 12 Characters, and how they changed before the final product
    • 12 Mini-games
    • 12 Videos

    Bonus Chapter:

    My first thought when I entered the bonus chapter was "Holy cow!"  Well, maybe "cow" wasn't the word I used, but you get the point Laugh  I was fully satisfied with the main gameplay, but I am SO glad I got the Collector's Edition!!  The bonus takes us back in time, explaining not only how our trusty knitted friend ended up in this game, but also a series of events that occurred after the end of the LAST game, beautifully tying the two games together, and revealing the full tragedy of a character that I had not realized was in BOTH games! OH! 

    Whether you choose the standard edition or go with the full CE, you can't go wrong with this game.  Absolutely superb, one of the best I've played! Two thumbs up


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    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:18 pm

    Very Impressive Sequel To Best Seller Original *****

    CE GAME COMPLETED


    The original game in this series (Dollhouse Story) was an instant hit. I gave it my top rating when it was released 2 years ago, and would do so again today. I believe that its unique features, unusually creepy atmosphere and extremely well told story were the primary reasons for its popularity. This sequel follows this formula with at least equal effect.

    The feel has been nicely continued with excellent up to date graphics of the same style as before using the same colour palette. The music is the same for the exciting bits, but varies elsewhere.  The gameplay, too, is reminiscent of the earlier game, with the figures placed in the dollhouse to find out more of the story, and getting help and advice from the voodoo doll. Many other reviewers have listed the game’s features, I’d just like to add a couple of observations.

    Although there are very few puzzles, the ones we do have are mostly of a similar type, and are variations of puppet play, diorama and puzzle board. This is saved from becoming repetitious by each being handled in a slightly different way, but the result is that our movement through the game also has a unique character. Varied HO puzzle types are offered as well.

    The story in the first game introduced our nemesis, an evil clown, and now we’re back fighting him again. This time he is after the whole town, not just our family. He is turning all his victims into wooden puppets. We find ourselves in some interesting predicaments before we reach the conclusion. In one of the best finishes I’ve seen in any game, our final confrontation is not then the abrupt ending where we normally just stop, we stick around to tie up the loose ends. The bonus chapter (which I haven’t played yet) is not at all important to a feeling of closure.

    I don’t feel that I have adequately covered the feel of playing this game, but since this is my third attempt *roll eyes*, I’m hoping you’ll get the idea.

    This is an excellent game, something a bit different and outside the cookie cutter style, and in foregoing the CE, I don’t think you miss the most important attractions of the game.

    I recommend this game!


    Last edited by JustTheFacts on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

    RenaissanceMom

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    Location : NYC

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by RenaissanceMom on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:32 pm

    I don't know exactly why I disliked this game as much as I did. I did a beta for it so didn't play the full game, but I really liked the first in the series so expected to love #2. But it annoyed me and seemed super over-the-top cheesy in every way, like a bad photocopy of the first game. I also thought the doll was voiced differently - even cheesier, lol - and it didn't feel like a necessary element. In fact the first game worked so well it did not call out for a sequel imo. But I realize I'm in the solid minority with my opinion.  Smile

    I will admit that I'm generally not a fan of sequels and think good stories can and should stand alone, though there are always exceptional exceptions.  Big smile

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:41 pm

    This is what I wrote after playing the main game. I actually can't remember much about this one at the moment, except that I did enjoy it a lot.

    As you'll see, I am rather caught up in the comparison to the first game and the similarities to it. I too was bowled over by the first game. Which was my first introduction to D&E games!  Elk grin 

    There! Now things are as they should be and I am off to bed!  Half Flower 


    Last edited by JustTheFacts on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:45 pm; edited 2 times in total

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:43 pm

    Actually, I don't know why I didn't post that one instead of the beta. Getting too late in my day again! lol

    pippi

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    Join date : 2013-06-05

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by pippi on Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:27 pm

    Why does my BFG CE not have the morphing items?  Or does it and I'm just blind?  Curious because I don't want to burn out my eyes staring for them and they not be there.  I know Alawar's CE has achievements and morphs.  Rephrase.  BFGs site says Alawar's version has them.  One person wrote in the forum saying the BFG has morphs, everyone else says it doesn't.   Dunno

    genkicoll

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    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:58 pm

    No morphing items -- I definitely would have mentioned that in my review!  I think that the first one had them, but this one didn't (if I'm remembering correctly!)


    _________________
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    pippi

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    Join date : 2013-06-05

    Re: Stray Souls 2: Stolen Memories

    Post by pippi on Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:55 pm

    genkicoll wrote:No morphing items -- I definitely would have mentioned that in my review!  I think that the first one had them, but this one didn't (if I'm remembering correctly!)

    Yep.  You're correct.  A little internet searching revealed that Alawar saves the "Beyond Objects" (which are in all their CEs) and the Achievements for THEIR website's version of the CE.  Big Fish conveniently doesn't tell us that theirs is a "stripped down" version of a CE. 

    I don't really care, as I got it for SE price, but perhaps we should note that the BFG CE is NOT a full-fledged CE for future readers and potential shoppers.  (There.  Noted.)  On Alawar's website, their CE version is noted as being "exclusive".

    Apparently, BF had the full version very briefly upon first release and then they lost it for the "souped-up SE" that they've got now.

     Sigh

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